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SAMUEL JOHNSON said: "He who hath much to do will do 
something wrong, and of that wrong must suffer the consequences." 
Possibly that observation might be applied to this work, for in the 
preparation of an elaborate history of Ontario county ^ome things have 
been said that may be error, while there may have been loft unsaid 
many things which should have been narrated. 

Ontario county has a rich and interesting early history, there having 
been enacted within its boundaries a series of events that were not com- 
monjto the State. During the period that covered the years extending 
frorri the French and English War down to and including the War of 
18H-15 the region of Western New York was the seat of operations 
andievents of national importance and bearing, and while some of these 
occirrences have found their way into history, many of them have been 
passed over as of no special value to the general reader. 

Fistory is a statement of fact, clearly and concisely written, without 
ences or personal opinions. One of the most satisfactory features 

infe enc 
of such 

of such a work, both to the writer and the reader, is accuracy of state- 



; ts and dates of occurring events. In this the historian alwa}'s 
ely depends upon the ofhcial records of the county ; the absence 
uch records places him in the somewhat embarassing position of 
beijg compelled to omit certain important facts. But the kind and 
ever- ready assistance of people whose word and memory are almost 
eqial to any records are often available when documentary evidence is 



But it is not the purpose of the writer of this work to in any manner 
apolo<^ize for what has been done, but rather to explain the measures 
used in accompHshing what has been done, and in acknowledging in a 
general way the assistance he has received in the preparation of the 
work which is now presented to the reader. For a period of nearly 
twenty years the editor has been diligently engaged in searching out 
and collecting facts relating to the early history of Ontario county, and 
has been enabled to obtain a vast amount of information, including\a 
very large number of original documents or copies thereof, all of which 
material has been freely used in the compilation and editing of this 
work. And here it may be said, publicly and without reserve, that 
the compiler has received at the hands of the people and the custo- 
dians of records all the assistance that could be desired to enable him 
to make the work as complete, thorough, and reliable as possible. 

But it is to the generous people of the towns of Ontario county, who 
by their hearty support have made the publication of this work success- 
ful, that the publishers and editor acknowledge a special indebtedness. 
Tliat support, freely given, made the work possible, and in return the 
publishers confidently believe that they have prepared for the c.:)unty 
an authentic and reliable and therefore valuable record. 



European Discoveries and Early Occupations —Scandinavians Discover Iceland and 
Greenland — Columbus's Tropical Discoveries — Early Voyaj^es of John and 
Sebastian Cabot — Jacques Cartier Sails up tlie St. Lawfrence — Champlain 
Founds the Colony in New France — Visits the Iroquois Country — Henry 
Hudson at New York and Albany — Eiifi;li>h Colonies Founde<l in Virginia 
and Mas-achnsetts — Each Power Claims the Territory 17 


Claims to Pre-Historic Occupation — The First Occupants of the Region — The 
American Indian --The Iroquois Confederacy — Its Organization and System 
(t Government — The Five and Six Nations — Final Downfall of the Confed- 
zy . 23 


The Beneca Indians, the Original Occupants of Ontario County — Their Origin 
The French First Visit the Senecas — Beginning of Hostilities — Seneca 
Villages and their Location — Missionaries among the Indians — Results of 
their Labors 35 


The Seneca Indians — Continuation of the Preceding Chapter — English Colonists 
Incite the Iroquois against the French — The Latter Retaliate — Courcelles's 
E.xpedition — Denonville Invades the Seneca Country and Destroys the Vil- 
lages — Their Subsequent Building Up — Names and New Locations 42 


Fraich and English Rivalry — The Iroquois Destroy Montreal — The Treaty at 
Ryswick — Queen Anne's War — The Five Nations Become the Six Nations — 
Joncaire's Trading Post — Events Preceding the French and English War — 
Attitude of the Iroquois — Influence of Sir William Johnson — The Senecas 
Remain Neutral, but Favor the French - - Final Overthrow of French Power 
in America 50 



Pontiac's War — Devil's Hole and Black Rock — Sir William Johnson Concludes a 
Peace with the Senecas — Treaty at Fort Niagara — Events Preceding the 
Revolution — Outbreak of the War — The Senecas Serve the King — Kanade- j 
saga Becomes Eleadquarters for Tories — Butler's Buildings — Indian Outrages , 
on the Frontier — The Principal Actors — Sullivan Ordered to Inva'le the In- \ 
dian Country — Destruction of the Villages and Crops — The Senecas Flee to \ 
Fort Niagara — Details of the Invasion of Ontario County — Close of the \ 
Revolution SO 


Condition of the Six Nations at the Close of the Revoluticm — Their Treatment i 
by the State Government — Treaty at Fort Stanwix — Land Grants Sought i 
to be Secured — Operations of the New York Genesee Land Company and 
the Niagara Genesee Land Company — The Long Leases — How Obtained — 
Controversy Between New York and Massachusetts — Its Settlement — An- 
nulled by the State — -The New State Project — Its I'romoters — How Re- 
garded in Ontario County 74 


The Phelps and Gorham Purchase — Rev. Samuel Kirkland Superintends the Pur- 
chase of the Indian Titles — Treaty at Buffalo Creek — Mr. Phelps Secuies 
the Influence of Certain Lessees — The Purchase and Its Approval — Tie 
Proprietors Fail in Their Payments — Sale to Robert Morris — The London 
Associates — The Pre-emption Line — Error and Fraud Charged — The Re- 
survey — Charles Williamson 85 


A Brief Chapter Devoted to the Settlement by the Society of Friends in what r 
now Yates (Jounty — An Outline History of the Society and of its Remarkable 
Leader, Jemima Wilkinson, alias " The Friend " — Early Grist-Mills 102 


Original County Organizations — Albany County — Tryon County Formed — Nam* 
Changed to Montgomery — Ontario County Created — Its Extent and Popu 
lation— The First County Officers -- The County Seat— The County Build 
ings — Civil Divisions of Ontario County — Subsequent County Erection; 
which Took Lands of Original Ontario — Formation of the Towns now Com- 
prising Ontario County — • The County Civil List 107 



Early Settlement in Ontario County — Character of the Pioneers — Yankees, 
English, Scotch and Irish — Disturbances on the Frontier — British Soldiers 
Still Occupy Forts on the United States Side of the Treaty Line — The Sim- 
coe Scare — Their Withdrawal in 1796 — Events Preceding the War of 
1812-15 — Political Sentiment in Ontario County — ''War'' and "Peace" 
Meetings — The Outbreak, the Struggle and Final Peace — Population of the 
County at Different Periods 121 





chaptp:r XIV. 






























INDEX 379 






European Discoveries and Early Occupations— Scandinavians Discover Iceland and 
Greenland — Columbus's Tropical Discoveries — Early Voyages of John and Sebastian 
Cabot — Jacques Cartier Sails up the St. Lawrence — Champlain Founds the Colony in 
New France — Visits the Iroquois Country — Henry Hudson at New York and Albany 
— English Colonies founded in Virginia and Massachusetts — Each Power Claims the 

rOUR hundred years ago the first Spanish adventurers landed on the 
American continent. In 1492 the Genoese, Christopher Columbus, 
set out on a voyage of exploration under the patronage of the Spanish 
power, and in that and the two succeeding years made his tropical dis- 
coveries. However, the first Europeans to visit America were Scan- 
dinavians, who colonized. Iceland in 875, Greenland 983, and about 
the year looo had pushed their explorations as far south as the present 
State of Massachusetts ; but under their discoveries there was not made 
any attempt af'colonization on the continent. In 1497, ^ve years after 
Columbus made his first American discoveries, the Venetian sailor, 
John Cabot, was commissioned by Henry VII of England to voyage 
to the new territory and take possession of it in the name of the crown. 
He discovered Newfoundland and portions adjacent. In 1500 the 
coast of Labrador and the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence were 
explored by two Portuguese brothers named Cortereal. Eight years 


later Thomas Aubert discovered the St. Lawrence, and in 1 5 12 Ponce 
de Leon discovered Florida. Magellan, the Portuguese navigator, 
passed through the straits which now bear his name in 15 19, and was 
the first to circumnavigate the globe. In 1534 Jacques Cartier ex- 
plored the St. Lawrence as far as Montreal, and five years later De 
Soto explored Florida. In 1578 an English navigator named Drake 
discovered Upper California. Thus we observe that not a century had 
passed after the discovery by Columbus before the different maritime 
powers of Europe were in active competition for the rich prizes sup- 
posed to exist in the new world. 

Subsequently events fully demonstrated the accuracy of the con- 
clusions of foreign powers, for no grander country in all respects ever 
awaited the advance of civilization and enlightenment. With climate 
diversified between the widest extremes ; with many of the longest 
rivers of the globe intersecting and draining its territory and forming 
natural commercial highways ; with a system of lakes so grand as to 
entitle them to the name of inland seas; with mountains, hills and 
valleys laden with the richest minerals and almost exhaustless fuel ; 
and with scenery unsurpassed for grandeur, it needed only the coming 
of the Caucasian to transform a continent of wilderness, inhabited by 
savages, into the free, enlightened republic which is to day the wonder 
and admiration of the civilized world. 

While the Spaniards were pushing their acquisitions in the south, the 
French had gained a foothold in the northern part of the continent. 
Here the cod-fisheries of Newfoundland and the prospect of a more 
valuable trade in furs opened as early as the beginning of the sixteenth 
century. In 1518 Baron Livy settled in Newfoundland, and in 1524 
Francis I of France sent thither Jean Verrazzani, a noted Florentine 
mariner, on a voyage of exploration. He sailed along the coast more 
than two thousand miles and is supposed to have entered the harbor 
of New York, where he remained fifteen days. It is believed that his 
crew were the first Europeans to land on the soil of the State of New 
York. This navigator proceeded north as far as Labrador and gave to 
the whole region the name of " New France," thus opening the way 
for future contests between France and England. In 1534 the same 
French king sent Jacques Cartier, a St. Malo pilot, to the new country. 


He made two voyages and ascended the St. Lawrence River as far as 
Montreal (Hochelaga). As he sailed up the river on St. Lawrence 
Day (August lo) he apph'ed to the river the name of the saint whose 
name is perpetuated by that day. In the following year Cartier again 
sailed from France with a fleet which bore many of the nobility, and 
who departed for the new country filled with high hopes and bearing 
the blessings of the church ; they were to begin the colonization of 
New France. They ascended the river as far as the Isle of Orleans, 
from whence Cartier visited the Indian town of Hochelaga, and to 
which he gave the name of Mont Royal, the beautiful and opulent 
Montreal of modern times. The explorer was warmly greeted by the 
Indians, who tendered him the utmost homage and hospitality. The 
Frenchmen passed the following winter at the Isle of Orleans, suffering 
much from the rigors of the climate, and, having taken formal posses- 
sion of the country, they abandoned their colonization scheme early in 
the following season and returned to France. As a beginning of the 
long list of needless and disgraceful betrayals, treacheries and other 
abuses to which the too confiding natives were subjected by the difTer- 
ent European nations, Cartier inveigled into his vessel the Indian 
chieftain Donnegana, who had been his generous host, and bore him 
with several others into hopeless captivity and final death. 

The failure of this colonization movement and the severity of the 
northern winters prevented further attempts in the same direction for 
several years, but in 1540 Cartier was sent back with Jean Francis de 
Robarval, a gentleman of Picardy, who was appointed lieutenant-general 
over the " New countries of Canada, Hochelaga and Saguenay." His 
commission conferred power over a vast territory with plenary powers 
of vice-royalty. Robarval made a second visit in 1 543, and in company 
with the pilot, Jean Alphonse, took possession of Cape Breton, and 
afterward began a settlement at Quebec. However, in colonization 
Robarval was no more successful than had been his predecessor, and 
for half a century afterward nothing was accomplished in that direction. 
In 1 598 another unsuccessful attempt was made to colonize New France, 
by pouring out upon the country convicts from the French prisons ; 
but it was finally left to private enterprise, stimulated by the hope of 
gain from the fur trade, to make the first successful effort toward the 


permanent occupation of the country. About the year 1600 Chauvin 
obtained a broad patent for lands in America, which formed the basis 
of a trade monopoly, and repeated and prosperous voyages were made, 
the success of which stimulated others to enter the same field. In 1603 
Aylmer de Chastes and a party of Rouen merchants organized a com- 
pany, the existence of which becomes of historic importance to this 
work, as it introduces into the field Samuel de Champlain, discoverer 
of the lake which bears his name, and the real founder of New France, 
which included within its asserted limits all that now comprises Ontario 
county. In 1608 Champlain made a permanent settlement at Quebec, 
and afterward founded Montreal, from which points the French fur 
traders and missionaries found easy access to Lake Ontario and even up 
Lake Erie many years before the occupation of this region by the 

In 1609 Champlain, accompanied by a party of faithful Canadian In- 
dians, made a voyage up Lake Champlain for the purpose of exploration 
and to extend the dominion of France, and as well to learn something 
of the characteristics of the Iroquois Indians, whose power as a nation 
and whose valor as warriors were made known to him by his attendants. 
The exploring party encountered a few Mohawk Indians near the pres- 
ent site of Ticonderoga, and there was signalized the first hostile meet- 
ing between the civilized white man and the untutored Indian. Cham- 
plain with his arquebus, which he had loaded with four balls, fired up- 
on the unsuspecting Mohawks, killing two and wounding a third. 

A few weeks after the battle between Champlain and the Indians, 
Henry Hudson, an intrepid English navigator, then in the employ of 
the Dutch East India Company, moored his vessel {Half Moon) in the 
waters of the great river that now bears his name ; this was on the 3d 
of September, 1609. He met and entertained the natives, and was 
hospitably received by them, but before his departure he conferred up- 
on them knowledge of the effects of intoxicating liquor, an experience 
perhaps more disastrous in its results than that conferred by Champlain 
with his new and murderous fire-arm. Hudson ascended the river to a 
point within a hundred miles of that reached by Champlain on the St. 
Lawrence and the lake, returned to Europe and, through the informa- 
tion he had gained, afterward established a Dutch colony for which a 


charter was granted in 1614, naming the region "New Netherland." 
In 1623 it was made a province or county of Holland. In 1614 the 
Dutch built a fort on Manhattan Island, and one in the following year on 
or near the site of Albany, but the territory included within the Dutch 
patent extended indefinitely westward over the territory of this part of 
the present State which was then occupied and controlled exclusively 
by the Indians, and to which was given the name " Terra Incognito." 
In 162 1 the Dutch West India Company was formed and took possession 
of " New Amsterdam " under the charter granted. For fifteen years 
they remained at peace with the natives, but the harsh and unwise ad- 
ministration of William Kieft, who was appointed director-general in 
September, 1637, pi'ovoked the Indians to hostilities and opened a war 
which continued with but little interruption during the remainder of the 
Dutch occupancy, and often endangered the very existence of the colo- 
ny. Under the discoveries by Hudson the Dutch laid claim to the ter- 
ritory of the present State of New York and extending westward indefi- 

Meanwhile, in 1607, the English had made their first permanent set- 
tlement at Jamestown, Va., and in 1610 planted a second colony at 
Plymouth, Mass. These two colonies were destined to become the 
successful rivals of all others, of whatever nationalit , in the strife that 
finally left them masters of the country. 

On the discoveries and colonization efforts we have briefly noted it 
will be seen that three great European powers laid claim to the territory 
of the State of New York. England, by reason of the discovery of 
Cabot, who sailed under letters patent from Henry VII, and on the 24th 
of June struck the sterile coast of Labrador, and that made in the fol- 
lowing year by his son Sebastian, who explored the coast from New 
Foundland to Florida, claiming a territory eleven degrees in width and 
extending westward indefinitely. France claimed the territory by rea 
son of the discoveries of Verrazzani, and Holland by reason of the dis- 
coveries of Hudson, the latter claiming the country from Cape Cod to 
the southern shores of Delaware Bay. As we have stated the Dutch 
became for the time being the possessors of the region of which we 
write. Thus, during the early years of the seventeenth century, there 
were three distinct streams of emigration, with three attendant claims 


of sovereignty, converging toward the original Ontario county. For 
the time being tlie French had the best opportunity, the Dutch the next, 
while the English, the ultimate masters of the soil, were apparently 
third in the race. 

In 1623 permanent Dutch emigration, as distinguished from mere 
fur-trading expeditions, first began upon the Hudson, and the first 
governor was sent thither by the Batavian Republic. In 1625 a few 
Jesuits arrived on the banks of the St. Lawrence, the advance guard of 
a host of representatives of that remarkable order, which was in time 
to crowd out almost all Catholic missionaries from Canada and the 
whole lake region, and substantially monopolize the ground to them- 
selves. In 1626 Father De La Roche Daillon, a Recollect missionary, 
visited the Indians of the Neuter Nation, and passed the winter preach- 
ing the Gospel among them, but did not venture into the territory of 
the Iroquois, who were then at deadly enmity with the French on ac- 
count of Champlain's murderous attack upon the Mohawks several 
years before. In 1627 Cardinal Richelieu organized the company of 
New France, otherwise known as the Company of a Hundred Partners. 
The three chief objects of this association were to extend the fur trade, 
to convert the Indians to Christianity, and to discover a new route to 
China by way of the great lakes of North America. The compan}^ 
succeeded in extending the fur trade, but not to any extent in convert- 
ing the Indians, nor in going to China by way of the lakes. Champ- 
lain was governor of the province and colony, and the first two years 
of his rule were unfortunate in the extreme. British men-of-war 
captured his supplies by sea; the Iroquois warriors invaded Canada 
and tomahawked his hunters; and in 1629 an English fleet sailed up 
the St. Lawrence and captured Quebec. However, peace was soon 
after concluded between England and France, and Champlain resumed 
his gubernatorial powers. Following this the Jesuit missionaries, fired 
with zeal and valor, traversed the wilderness, holding up the cross be- 
fore the bewildered pagans. They met with much better success 
among the Huron, Eries and Neuter Nation Indians than with the 
Iroquois, and soon had flourishing stations as far west as Lake Huron. 
They next visited the Kahquahs, whom they reported as possessing 
eighteen villages, but met with very little encouragement among them. 


The latter were a tribe of Indians residing on the shores of Lake Erie 
in part in the present county of Erie. The Eries inhabited the borders 
of the lake which still bears their name, while the Neuter Nation was 
between them and the fierce warriors of the Iroquois Confederacy. 

Having frequently referred to the Indian occupants of the region, 
the first inhabitants of the soil of the present State of New York of 
which we have any reliable record, we may now briefly turn from the 
subject of European discovery and occupation and furnish an account 
of the savages who played so prominent a part in the early history of 
our county and State. 


Claims to Pre-historic Occupation — The First Occupants of the Region — The Ameri- 
can Indian — The Iroquois Confederacy — Its Organization and System of Govern- 
ment — The Five and Six Nations — Final Downfall of the Confederacy. 

I\A ANY well informed persons of Ontario county believe that this 
/ \ region of the State has produced unmistakable evidences of pre- 
historic occupation ; that there have been discovered certain relics and 
implements of peculiar manufacture, the like of which are now unknown. 
It is claimed that these evidences must have been left by a race of peo- 
ple different from the Indians, the period of whose occupation long an- 
tedated the coming of the ancestors of the famed Iroquois. This claim 
is undoubtedly a mistaken one, for recent investigators have shown to 
us that there has been no possession by any race that cannot be readily 
reconciled with the theory of continuous Indian occupation. It is un- 
doubtedly true that there have been found tools and utensils which 
were never in common use among the Indians, but the reader will re- 
member that the Jesuit fathers traversed this region more than a century 
before any settlement was made by what we call our own people; and 
it will be remembered, too, that the crude and to us unaccountable im- 
plements were then in the hands of comparative ancients, and were the 
product of a period in which was known but little of mechanical arts, as 
we see and understand and use them at the present lime. As early 


even as the year looo the Icelanders had explored the country east of 
the State of New York, and although they made no settlements, they 
may have extended their travels over a region of which we have no 
record. It may be possible that this people brought and left some im- 
plements in use by them at that time, which were imitated by the In- 
dian occupants of the region. The latter, especially the first of them 
that visited this region, are recorded as being ready and apt in the con- 
struction of weapons and tools, and discovering some ancient implement 
imitated it for their own purpose. That they had an immature and in- 
definite knowledge of metals and their value there is no doubt, but with 
the advent of European discoverers in the fifteenth century and after- 
ward, and the distribution of various utensils and implements of im- 
proved pattern, the necessity of former crude manufactures was obvi- 
ated, and they were therefore discarded and replaced with others more 
substantial. It may be stated, however, in the present connection that 
in the regions bordering on Lake Erie, particularly in the State of Ohio, 
there have been discovered unmistakable evidences of an ancient occu- 
pation far back of the coming of the Iroquois ancestors, or of their old 
antagonists, the Lenni Lenapes. Neither of these Indian people had 
any tradition that run to the time of the Mound Builders ; but the dis- 
coveries of such an occupation are constantly being made by careful in- 
vestigators. There have been found in the region of Lake Ontario and 
Erie evidences that tend to show an ancient or pre-historic occupancy, 
but it can hardly be asserted that there has been discovered any relic 
or instrument which would lead the candid student of archeology to be- 
lieve that Ontario county was the dwelling-place of an earlier race of 
people than the Iroquois, or the Indians who preceded them. 

The French, English, and Dutch discoverers and explorers during the 
early years of the seventeenth century found the region of country, now 
known as the State of New York, to be in possession of a powerful race 
of American Indians, who styled themselves Hodenosaunee, which 
signifies " the people of the Long House," likening their confederacy to 
a long house, having partitions and separate fires, after their ancient 
method of building houses, within which the several nations were shel- 
tered under a common roof. The French called them " Iroquois," the 
exact meaning of which name is veiled in obscurity. To the later 


Dutch settlers this people were known as " Maquaas," while to the Eng- 
lish settlers they were known as " Mingoes." 

The Iroquois confederacy, or as more commonly known to the pio- 
neers of the region, " the Five Nations," and subsequently the " Six Na- 
tions," is believed to have had its origin about the year 1450. The 
striking characteristic of the league was not the mere fact of five sepa- 
rate tribes being confederated together, for such unions have been fre- 
quent among civilized and half civilized people, and sometimes even 
among the savages of America. The feature that peculiarly distin- 
guished the people of the Long House, and which at the same time 
bound together all these ferocious warriors, was the system o{ clans ex- 
tending through all the tribes. 

The word "clan " has been adopted as the most convenient one to 
designate the peculiar artificial families about to be described, but the 
Iroquois clan was widely different from the Scottish one, all the mem- 
bers of which owed undivided allegiance to a single chief, for whom they 
were ready to fight against all the world. Yet " clan " is a much bet- 
ter word than " tribe," which is sometimes used, since that is the desig- 
nation usually applied to a separate Indian nation. The Romans had 
their ''gens," which were supposed to have been originally natural fami- 
lies, though largely increased by adoption ; but these, like the Scottish 
clans, instead of binding together dissevered sections, served under the 
control of aspiring leaders as seed-plots of dissension and even of civil 
war. If we can imagine the Roman gens extending through all the 
nations of the Grecian confederacy, we will have an idea of the Iroquois 
system, and had such been the fact it is more than probable that the 
confederacy would have long survived the era of its actual downfall. 
The tribes or nations of Indians comprising the Iroquois confederacy 
were five in number prior to 1712, but about that time the Tuscaroras 
were added, from which time the confederacy was otherwise known as 
the Six Nations The Mohawks occupied the eastern portion of the 
territory and were made the " Receivers of Tribute " from subjugated 
tribes. Next on the west were the Oneidas, then the Onondagas, 
Cayugas, and Senecas in the order named. The territory of the latter 
extended from the western portion of Seneca Lake to the Genesee River, 
though the conquests made by the confederacy afterward extended their 


domain to the shores of Lake Erie. The Senecas, numerically consid- 
ered, were by far the most powerful as well as fierce tribe of the con- 
federacy, and from their position were designated the " Doorkeepers " 
of the western extremity of the Long House. 

The people of the Iroquois confederacy were divided into a number 
of clans, the names of which were as follows : Wolf, Bear, Beaver, Tur- 
tle, Deer, Snipe, Heron and Hawk, and some others. Accounts differ, 
some declaring that every clan extended through all the tribes, and 
others that only the Wolf, Bear, and Turtle clans did so, the rest being 
restricted to a lesser number of tribes. It is certain, however, that each 
tribe contained parts of the three clans named and several of the others. 
The Turtle, Bear, and Wolf clans were principal among all the tribes. 
The Moravian missionary, David Zeisberger, who labored among the 
Indians at a very early day and learned much of their clan system, 
found the three clans named to prevail through all the tribes, while in 
some of the others they were hardly recognized. The Turtle family 
was the noblest of all the clans. The Senecas had the eight clans al- 
ready named, and the Cayugas had the same as the Senecas, except 
that they had an Eel clan instead of the Heron, while the Onondagas 
were similar to the Cayugas, except that the former had the Ball clan 
instead of the Hawk. The Tuscaroras, who were received into the con- 
federacy about 1712, had the Great Turtle and Little Turtle clans, the 
Gray Wolf and the Yellow Wolf clans, and as well the principal clans 
before mentioned. From this and from the names of a few others known 
to have existed, we discover that there were a number of auxiliary or 
minor clans existing among some of the tribes of the confederacy. 

The investigations of that eminent philologist, Horatio Hale, have 
conclusively established the fact that Hiawatha was the founder of the 
league. From his " Iroquois Book of Rites, D. G. Brinton, Philadel- 
phia," we learn that Hiawatha " elaborated in his mind the scheme of 
a vast confederation which would ensure universal peace." " It was to 
be indefinitely expansible. The avowed design of its proposer was to 
abolish war altogether. He wished the federation to extend until all 
tribes of men should be included in it, and peace should everywhere 
reign." The name by which their constitution or organized law is 
known among them, says Mr. Hale, is Kayanerenh, to which the 


epithet kowa (" great ") is frequently added, making it " The Great 

The Indian clan was a brotherhood ; an aggregation of persons united 
by a common tie, sometimes of origin, sometimes of mere locality. 
Each clan formed a large artificial family, modeled on the natural fam- 
ily. All the members of the clan, no matter how widely separated 
among the tribes, were considered as brother and sister to each other, 
and were forbidden to intermarry. This prohibition, too, was strictly 
enforced by public opinion. All the clan being thus taught from earli- 
est infancy that they belonged to the same family, a bond of the strong- 
est kind was created throughout the confederacy. The Oneida of the 
Wolf clan had no sooner appeared among the Cayugas, than those of 
the same clan claimed him as their special guest, and admitted him to 
the most confidential intimacy. The Seneca of the Turtle clan might 
wander to the country of the Mohawks, at the farthest extremity of the 
Long House, and he had a claim upon his brother Turtle which they 
would not dream of repudiating. 

Thus the whole confederacy was linked together. If at any time 
there appeared a tendency toward conflict between the different tribes, 
it was instantly checked by the thought that, if persisted in, the hand of 
the Heron must be lifted against his brother Heron ; the hatchet of the 
Bear might be buried in the brain of his kinsman Bear. And so potent 
was the feeling that for more than three hundred years, and until the 
power of the league was broken by overwhelming outside force, there 
was no serious dissension between the tribes of the Iroquois. Whether 
the Hodenosaunee were originally superior in valor and eloquence to 
their neighbors cannot now be ascertained. Probably not ; but their 
talent for practical statesmanship gave them the advantage in war, and 
being enabled to procure arms and ammunition from the Dutch, which 
the other nations were not able to get, their success made them self- 
confident and fearless. The business of the league was necessarily 
transacted in a congress of sachems, and this fostered oratorical powers, 
until at length the Iroquois were famous among a hundred rival nations 
for wisdom, courage and eloquence, and were justly denominated by 
Chateaubriand " The Romans of the New World." Aside from the 
clan system just described, which was entirely unique, the Iroquois 


league had some resemblance to the great American Union, which suc- 
ceeded and overwhelmed it. The central authority was supreme on 
questions of peace and war and on all other relations to the general 
welfare of the confederacy, while the tribes, like the States, reserved to 
themselves the management of their ordinary affairs. In peace all 
power was confided to " sachems," in war to " chiefs." The sachems 
of each tribe acted as its rulers in the few matters which required the 
exercise of civil authority. The same rulers also met in congress to 
direct the affairs of the confederacy. There were fifty in all, of whom 
the Mohawks had nine, the Oneidas nine, the Onondagas fourteen, the 
Cayugas ten, and the Senecas eight. These numbers, however, did not 
give proportionate power in the congress of the league, for all the nations 
were equal there. There was in each tribe a number of war chiefs, 
and these were the active leaders on the war path. When a council 
assembled, each sachem had an assistant or chief standing behind him 
to execute his orders. But in a war party the war chief commanded 
and the sachem took his place in the ranks. Each nation had a head 
chief, to whom belonged the right and duty of lighting the council fire 
and taking the first place in public meetings. This was the system in 
its simplicity. Some time after the arrival of the Europeans they seem 
to have fallen into the habit of electing chiefs — not war chiefs — as 
counselors to the sachems, who in time acquired equality of power with 
them, and were considered their equals by the white in the making of 

It is difficult to learn the truth regarding a political and social sys- 
tem which was not preserved by any written record. That congress of 
sachems always met at the council fire of the Onondagas, This was 
the natural result of their central position, the Oneidas and Mohawks 
being to the east of them, with the Cayugas and Senecas on their west. 
The latter were unquestionably the most powerful of all the tribes, and 
as they were located at the western extremity of the Long House, they 
had to bear the brunt of war whenever the confederacy was assailed by 
the formidable foes who dwelt in that quarter. It would naturally 
follow, therefore, that the principal war chiefs of the league should be of 
the Seneca nation, and hence two war chiefships were assigned to that 
nation, who had the general supervision of the affairs of war. 


As among many other savage tribes, the right of heirship was in the 
female line. An Indian's heirs were his sister's son ; never his own 
son, nor his brother's son. The few articles which constituted his per- 
sonal property, even his bow and tomahawk, never descended to the son 
of him who had wielded them. Titles, so far as they were hereditary at 
all, followed the same law of descent. The child also followed the clan 
and tribe of the mother. An apt illustration of this law is found in the 
case of Red Jacket, whose father was a Cayuga and his mother a 
Seneca of the Wolf clan, his rank therefore made him a Seneca also of 
the Wolf clan. 

The result of the application of this rule to the Iroquois system of 
clans was that if a particular sachemship having been established in a 
certain clan of a certain tribe, in that clan and tribe it was expected to 
remain. When it became vacant the new official was elected by the 
clan and was then " raised up" by the congress of sachems. 

Next to the sachems in point of position and importance were the 
chiefs, whose number was unlimited, and who, in course of time, became 
coequal in power with the sachems in the administration of the affairs 
of the tribes and of the confederacy. The office of chief was not hered- 
itary but elective, and was attained as a reward of braver}^ by those 
who had distinguished themselves in battle, by eloquence, or by some 
act of public service through which they had gained distinction. The 
noted Seneca warrior, Cornplanter, whose bravery made him eminent in 
the confederacy ; the matchless orator Red Jacket, whose powerful ad- 
dress made his name of world wide fame; and the renowned Mohawk, 
Captain Joseph Brant, are only a few of the many names that might be 
recalled who were chiefs and yet gained honors in the confederacy equal 
to the sachems. 

Notwithstanding the modified system of hereditary power in vogue, 
the constitution of every tribe was essentially republican, each retaining 
its own independent power and rights in its own territory, and main- 
taining its own distinct interests and exercising a vigorous life in its 
appropriate sphere. The eight Seneca sachems, with the chiefs of the 
tribe, formed the council by which its tribal affairs were administered. 
Warriors, old men, and even women, attended the various councils and 
made their presence felt. One feature of the Iroquois polity was that 


the lands belonged to the warriors who defended them, and to the 
women who cultivated them, and that the women, being mothers of the 
warriors, held a claim upon the lands which could not be alienated 
without their tacit consent or their active participation in the council. 
There were in every tribe head or chief women, and in every clan were 
" old women " who had a controlling influence in all its affairs. In the 
deliberations of the council the women of the tribe were represented by 
their chosen spokesman who was designated as their " mouth." 

In the government of the confederacy or in the control of the tribal 
affairs, there was shown a remarkable freedom from tyranny over the 
people, though there was great tyranny by the league over conquered 
nations. In fact there was very little government of any kind, and 
very little need of any. There were few property interests to guard, 
all land being in common, and each man's personal property being 
limited to a bow, tomahawk and a few deerskins. Liquor had not lent 
its. disturbing influence, and few quarrels were to be traced to the in- 
fluence of'woman, for the Indian was singularly free from the warmer 
passions. His principal vice was an easily aroused and unlimited 
hatred, but the tribes were so small and enemies so convenient that 
there was no difficulty in gratifying this feeling outside his own nation. 
The consequence was that although the war parties of the Iroquois 
were continually shedding the blood of their foes, there was very little 
quarreling at home. 

The religious creed of the Iroquois was limited to a somewhat vague 
belief in the existence of a " Great Spirit," and several inferior yet 
very potent evil spirits. They had a few simple ceremonies, one called 
the " green corn dance," performed at the time indicated by its name, 
and others at other seasons of the year. From a very early date their 
most important religious ceremony was the " burning of the white 
dog," when an unfortunate canine of the requisite color was sacrificed. 
To this day the pagans among the Indians still perform this rite, be- 
lieving that with the destruction of the dog their sins are likewise 

In common with their fellow savages on this continent, the Iroquois 
have been termed " fast friends and bitter enemies." They were much 
stronger enemies than friends. Revenge was the ruling passion 


of their nature, and cruelty was their abiding characteristic, and it is 
idle to talk of the goodness of men who roasted their captives at the 
stake. All Indians were faithful to their own tribes, and the Iroquois 
were faithful to their confederacy, but outside these limits their friend- 
ship could not be counted on, and treachery was always to be appre- 
hended in dealing with them. In their family relations they were not 
harsh to their children, and not wantonly so to their wives, but the 
men were invariably indolent, and all labor was contemptuously aban- 
doned to the weaker sex. They were not an amorous race, but could 
hardly be called a moral one. Their passions rarely led them into 
adultery, and mercenary prostitution was entirely unknown, but they 
were not sensitive on the question of purity, and readily permitted their 
maidens to form fleeting alliances with distinguished visitors. Polyga- 
my was not practiced. They could be divorced at will by their lords, 
but the latter seldom availed themselves of their privilege. 

Their wonderful politico- social league and their extraordinary suc- 
cess in war were the special attributes of the people of the Long House, 
for a hundred and thirty years the masters, and for more than two 
centuries the occupants of the county of Ontario. 

The numerical strength of the confederacy is believed never to have 
exceeded 20,000 persons, and there is no record showing that after 
the whites came to the region that the Iroquois numbered more than 
2,500 warriers, nor as many as 15,000 persons. Those who had the 
best opportunity to know, place the force of fighting men in the league 
in 1667 at 2,150, but this was soon after their grand conquest in which 
they subjugated all other Indian nations east of the Mississippi, and in 
the wars of that period they were believed to have lost about 1,000 
warriors. In 1687, as reported by Marquis Denonville, governor- 
general of Canada, the confederacy had 2,000 warriors. In 1763 Sir 
William Johnson, superintendent of Indian affairs in North America, 
made a census enumeration of the Six Nations, in which it was found 
to contain 1,950 warriors, of which number there were 160 Mohawks, 
250 Oneidas, 140 Tuscaroras, 150 Onondagas, 200 Cayugas and 1,050 
Senecas. At the beginning of the Revolution it was stated on good 
authority that the confederacy numbered 2,200 fighting men, while its 
whole population was about 12,000. The missionary, Samuel Kirk- 


land, in 1783 estimated the total number of warriors at 1,900, of whom 
600 were Senecas. In 1794, on the division of an annuity by the 
government, there were 628 Oneidas, 40 Cayugas, 450 Onondagas, 
400 Tuscaroras and 1,780 Senecas. At the same time there was esti- 
mated to be in Canada 300 Mohawks, 460 Oneidas, a grand total of 
4,058. A report to the Legislature in 18 19 stated the number of 
Indians in this State as 4,976. 

When the French first visited the vicinity of Western New York 
the territory thereabouts, in what is now Erie county, was in posses- 
sion of a tribe of Indians called the Neuter Nation. Their Indian name 
is given by some early travelers as Kahquah, and by others as Atti- 
wondaronk. The former is the name by which they have been 
generally known. The name Neuter Nation was given them by the 
French, because they lived at peace with the fierce tribes which dwelt 
on either side of them. They were reported by their first European 
visitors to number 12,000 persons, which, however, was doubtless a 
very great exaggeration. They were nevertheless a large and power- 
ful nation, and their villages lay on both sides of the Niagara River. 

The greater part of the shore of Lake Erie was occupied by the 
tribe from which the lake derives its name. Northwest of the Neuter 
Nation dwelt the Algonquins and Hurons, their territory reaching to 
the shores of the great lake which bears their name, while to the 
southeast was the home of those powerful confederates whose fame has 
extended throughout the world, whose warlike achievements have 
compelled the admiration of soldiers, whose eloquence has thrilled the 
hearts of the most cultivated hearers, the brave, sagacious and far- 
dreaded Iroquois. 

Deadly enmity prevailed between the Iroquois and the Hurons, 
while the hostility between the former and the Fries was scarcely less 
bitter. Between these contending foemen the peaceful Kahquahs long 
maintained their neutrality, and the warriors of the East, of the North- 
west and of the Southwest suppressed their hatred for the time, as they 
met by the council- fires of these peacemakers. Like other Indian 
tribes, the Kahquahs guarded against surprise by placing their villages 
a short distance from any navigable water. 

Down to 1641 the Kahquahs succeeded in maintaining their neutral- 
ity between the fierce belligerents on either side of them, though the 


Jesuit missionaries reported them as being more friendly to the 
Iroquois than to the Hurons. What cause of quarrel, if any, arose 
between the peaceful possessors of the extreme western portion of 
original Ontario county and the powerful confederates to the eastward, 
is entirely unknown, but sometime during the next fifteen years the 
Iroquois fell upon both the Kahquahs and the Eries and exterminated 
them as a nation from the face of the earth. The precise years in 
which these events occurred are uncertain, nor is it known whether the 
Kahquahs or the Eries first suffered from the deadly anger of the Five 
Nations. French accounts favor the view that the Neuter Nation was 
first destroyed, while according to Seneca tradition the Kahquahs still 
dwelt in the territory when the Eries were annihilated. According to 
ancient Seneca tradition, the Eries, who were of themselves a powerful 
nation, had been jealous of the Iroquois from the time the latter formed 
their confederacy. Asserting superiority, they challenged their rivals 
to a grand game of ball, which challenge for two successive years was 
declined, but being again repeated, was accepted by the confederates. 
The opposing representatives met in the western part of what is now 
this State, the meeting resulting in the defeat of the challengers, where- 
upon the Eries then proposed a foot-race between ten of the fleetest 
young men on ekch side. Again the Iroquois were victorious. Then, 
as the story goes, the Kahquahs invited the contestants to their home, 
and while there the chief of the Eries, smarting under the recent defeat, 
proposed a wrestling match between ten champions on each side, the 
victor in each bout to have the privilege of braining his adversary with 
his tomahawk. This challenge, too, was accepted, and in the first con- 
test the Iroquois wrestler threw his antagonist, but declined to play the 
part of executioner, upon which the now enraged Erie chieftian struck 
the unfortunate wrestler dead. Another and another of the Eries was 
in the same way defeated and in the same manner dispatched by his 
wrathful chief 

The jealousy and hatred of the Eries was still more inflamed by de- 
feat, and they soon laid a plan to surprise and destroy the Iroquois, 
but a Seneca woman, who had married among the Eries, but was then 
a widow, fled to her own people and gave notice of the attack. Run- 
ners were sent out, and all the warriors of the confederacy were 



assembled and led forth to meet the invaders. The two bodies met 
near Honeoye Lake, half way between Canandaigua and the Genesee, 
and after a terrible conflict the Eries were totally defeated, the flying 
remnants pursued to their homes by the victorious Iroquois, and the 
whole nation almost completely destroyed. It was five months before 
the conquerors returned from their deadly pursuit. Afterward a 
powerful party of descendants of the Eries came from the far west to 
attack the Iroquois, but were utterly defeated and slain to a man, their 
bodies burned and the ashes buried in a mound near the old Indian 
church on the the Buffalo Creek reservation. 

Such is the tradition, a very nice story — for the Iroquois. Nothing, 
of course, can be learned from such a story regarding the merits of the 
war, except that it tends to show that the two great battles between 
the combatants were fought in the territory of original Ontario county, 
and the first of them in the very heart of the Seneca possessions, and 
within the borders of the county as it at present exists. It may be 
stated, however, that French accounts tend to show that the Kahquahs 
joined the Iroquois in warfare against the Hurons, but were neverthe- 
less unable to avert their own fate ; that collisions occurred between 
them and their allies of the Five Nations in 1647, followed by open 
war in 1650, resulting in the speedy destruction of the Kahquahs. 
Also that the Iroquois then fell upon the Eries and exterminated them 
about the year 1653. Some accounts make the destruction of the 
Neuter Nation as early as 1642. Amid these conflicting statements 
we only know that between 1640 and 1655 the fierce confederates 
" put out the fires" of the Kahquahs and the Eries, and it is said that 
a few of the former were absorbed into the community of their con- 

After the overthrow of the Kahquahs and Eries, the Iroquois lords 
of Ontario county went forth conquering and to conquer. This was 
probably the day of their greatest glory. Stimulated, but not yet crushed 
by contact with the white man, they stayed the progress of the French 
into their territories, they negotiated on equal terms with the Dutch 
and English, and, having supplied themselves with the terrible arms of 
the pale-faces, they smote with direct vengeance whomsoever of their 
own race were so unfortunate as to provoke their wrath. On the Sus- 


quehanna, on the Alleghany, on the Ohio, even to the Mississippi in 
the west, and the Savannah in the south, the Iroquois bore their con- 
quering arms, filling with terror the dwellers alike on the plains of 
Illinois and in the glades of Carolina. They strode over the bones of 
the slaughtered Kahquahs to new conquests on the great lakes beyond, 
even to the foaming cascades of Michillimacinac, and the shores of the 
mighty Superior. They inflicted such terrible defeat upon the Hurons, 
despite the alliance of the latter with the French, that many of the 
conquered natives sought safety on the frozen borders of Hudson's Bay. 
In short, they triumphed on every side, save only where the white 
man came, and even he for a time was held at bay by these fierce con- 

The advent of the European nations on the American continent was 
the forerunner of the downfall of the Iroquois confederacy, and doubt- 
less the ultimate extinction of the Indian race. The French invasions, 
particularly those of 1693 and three years later, cost the confederacy 
half it warriors; their allegiance to the British crown (with the excep- 
tion of the Oneidas) in the Revolutionary War. proving to be an 
allegiance with a falling power — these causes, operating with the dread 
vengeance from the American colonist who had so frequently suffered 
at the hands of the savages, broke up the once powerful league and 
scattered its members to a large extent upon the friendly soil of Canada, 
or left them at the mercy of the State and general government, which 
consigned them to reservations. 


The Seneca Indians, the Original Occupants of Ontario County — Their Origin — The 
French first Visit the Senecas — Beginning of Hostilities — Seneca Villages and their 
Location — Missionaries among the Indians — Results of their Labors. 

THE Seneca Indians, who are frequently mentioned in the preceding 
chapter, were, so far as we have any knowledge, the original own- 
ers and occupants of the soil of Ontario county. It is understood that 
their earliest possessions did not extend west of the Genesee, but with 


the overthrow of other Indian nations by the Iroquois confederacy, about 
the middle of the seventeenth century, the domain of the Senecas was 
extended westward to the Niagara, or substantially including the terri- 
tory embraced within Ontario county as originally created. And inas- 
much as the preceding chapter has referred only in a general manner to 
the Senecas, and having special reference to the confederacy as a whole 
body, it is proposed in the present chapter to devote special yet brief 
atttention to the Seneca Indians, their traditions, customs, villages and 
domestic life. 

Little is known of the Senecas prior to the advent of the French, but 
from the first knowledge of them they were considered and in fact were 
the most powerful and warlike of the confederated tribes, and being 
stationed at the western extremity of the " Long House," they had to 
guard against invasion from that quarter ; for in the regions west and 
southwest of their domain dwelt the Eries, the Andastes, the Delawares 
and other powerful tribes, which nations were at emnity with the Iro- 

The Senecas called themselves " Nun-da- wa-o-no," which signifies 
" the great hill people," or " people of the great hill." This was the 
name of their oldest village, situated upon a hill near the head of Can- 
andaigua Lake, where according to Seneca tradition, the tribe originated 
by springing from the ground. According to the authority of Dr. Mor- 
gan, the locality of Seneca origin is in Middlesex, Yates county, and is 
known as " Bare Hill," being situated six or seven miles from the head 
of the lake. The hill rises with a gradual ascent to the height of about 
lOOO feet. Indian tradition associates Bare Hill with much interest, 
and while the versions have been numerous, the story runs about the 
same in each account, and being merely a tradition, and having no pos- 
sible foundation in fact, it is omitted from these pages. However, it 
may be stated that on the top of Bare Hill the Senecas were wont to 
assemble annually and offer up their sacrifices, and, according to S. C. 
Cleveland, twenty years ago there were still discernible on the summit 
of the hill, " the traces of an ancient fort, covering about an acre and 
surrounded by a ditch, and formerly by a formidable walk" The same 
authority says, referring to the old structures, " they indicate defenses 
raised by Indian hands, or more probably belong to the labors of a race 


that preceded the Indian occupation." Seneca tradition has it that after 
the destruction of all their race (save two, a boy and a girl, who were 
spared by the serpent) the hill top was abandoned and the coming gen- 
erations of the tribe, who must have descended from the spared couple, 
built up their village on the west shore of Seneca Lake, where now 
stands the village of Geneva. 

The origin and meaning of the name " Seneca," appears to be quite 
uncertain, while the word itself has no less than one hundred variations. 
The first Europeans who visited these Indians in their territory were 
the Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries, and their earliest knowledge of 
them came through the Huron Indians of Canada, and by the latter they 
were called " Sonontouerhonons ; " that is " people of Sonnontouan." 
Sonontowane is probably the most correct form of the name, although it 
is sometimes prefixed with the letter T which represents the lisping 
sound of S quite common among the Senecas. It means " great hill " 
or mountain, conveying the idea of people of the mountain or moun- 

In August, 1669, La Salle, accompanied by two priests, De Casson 
and Galinee, made a visit to the principal Seneca village, which was 
situated about twenty miles southerly from the head of Irondequoit Bay. 
Galinee was the historian of this expedition, and his journal reports this 
as the first visit of La Salle to the Senecas. The visitors were very 
hospitably received. The village, like those of all the Indians, was a 
mere collection of cabins, surrounded with palisades about twelve or 
thirteen feet high, bound together at the top, and supported at the bot- 
tom by piles of wood. Of the Senecas, Galinee says that they were the 
most numerous and had four villages, two of which contained about one 
hundred cabins each, while the others had about thirty each, and the 
number of warriors was about 1,000 or r,200. On the occasion of this 
visit La Salle and the priest, escorted by two Seneca Indians, made a 
visit to a certain burning spring, the location of which is at Bristol Cen- 
ter in this county. 

During the spring and summer of 1677 Wentworth Greenhalgh, an 
Englishman, visited all the Five Nations and made very minute observ- 
ations, counting the houses of the Indians, as well as numbering the 
warriors of each tribe. He reported the Senecas as having looo war- 


riors, while their villages were named Catiagora, TiotoJiatton, Canoe- 
iiada, and Keint-he. " Canagora and Tiotohatton," says Greenhalgh, 
" lye'within thirty miles of ye Lake Frontenacque [Lake Ontario], and 
ye other two lye about four or five miles apiece to ye southward of 
those. They have abundance of corne. None of their townes are 
stockadoed. Canagora lies on the top of a great hill, and in that, as 
well as in the bignesse, much like Onondago, contayning 150 houses. 

" Tiotohatton lyes on the brincke or edge of a hill ; has not much 
cleared ground ; is near the river Tiotehatton, w'ch signifies bending. 
It lyes to westward of Canagorah about 30 miles, containing about 
120 houses, being ye largest of all ye houses wee saw, ye ordinary be- 
ing 50 to 60 foot long with 12 and 13 fires in one house. They have 
a good store of corne growing about a mile to the northward of the 

Greenhalgh also states that he was at this place on the 17th of June, 
at which time about fifty prisoners were brought in from the south- 
westward, four of whom were put to death. On the eighteenth, as he 
journeyed towards Canagorah, he overtook the party with the prison- 
ers, and discovered that the captives had been slashed with knives, 
their fingers cut off, and on reaching Canagorah the tortures were con- 
tinued for about seven hours, four men, four women and one boy being 
burned at the stake. Of the other two villages Greenhalgh says : 

" Canoenada lyes about four miles to ye southward of Canagorah ; 
conteynes about 30 houses, well furnished with Corne. 

" Keint-he lyes about four or five miles to ye southward of Tiete- 
hatton ; contains about 24 houses, well furnished with Corne." 

He also says that the French called Canagorah St. Jacques (St. 
James), and Tiotohatton is likewise called La Conception. 

In 1654, when a peace was temporarily established between the 
French and the Five Nations, permission was granted to the Jesuits to 
found missions and build chapels in the Iroquois country. Between 
that time and 1769 there were twenty- four missionaries who labored 
among the Indians of New York, but all, whether Catholics or Prot- 
estants, were eventually forced to admit that their efforts as a whole 
were unsatisfactory and discouraging. Later religious and educational 
work among the Indians, even down to the present time, while yielding 


perhaps sufficient results to justify its prosecution, has constantly met 
with the most discouraging obstacles among the tribes themselves. 
Rev. Samuel Kirkland, who labored as a missionary among the 
Iroquois for a number of years and who resided at Kanadesaga during 
1765 and 1766, says: "I cannot help being of the opinion that 
Indians never were intended to live in a state of civilized society. 
There never was, I believe, an instance of an Indian forsaking his 
habits and savage manners any more than a bear his ferocity." The 
Doc. Hist, of New York, referring to Mr. Kirkland's missionary labors, 
says : " He has taken all the pains that a man can take, but his whole 
flock are Indians still, and like the bear, which you can muffle and lead 
out to dance to the sound of music, becomes again a bear when his 
muffler is removed and the music ceases. The Indians will attend 
public'worship and sing extremely well, following Mr. Kirkland's notes, 
but whenever the service is over they wrap themselves in their blank- 
ets and either stand like cattle on the sunny side of a house, or lie 
before a fire." In this connection we may state that Mr. Kirkland was 
one of the ablest and most self-sacrificing of the many missionaries who 
labored among the Senecas, and what he could not accomplish in his 
work it may safely be concluded others could not. 

In the present connection, also, we may with propriety refer by name 
to the Jesuit fathers and missionaries who labored among the Senecas 
at an early day. Simeon Le Moyne, a veteran Huron missionary, la- 
bored among the Indians during a part of the year 1654, followed the 
next year by Joseph Chaumonot accompanied by Claude Dablon. 
Father Chaumonot did not remain long with the Senecas, and returning 
to Onondaga, was sent to the Oneidas. Early in 1657, a plot to ex- 
terminate the French colony and the missionaries being discovered, the 
latter were hastily called in, while the whole colony fled from the coun- 
try. A fierce war followed between the French and the Iroquois, last- 
ing two years, and it was not until the fall of 1668 that another mission 
was established among the Senecas, when Father James Fremin arrived. 
Of his experiences Father Fremin says : " When I arrived here at the 
close of the year 1668, I was well received ; but a fatal form of sickness 
breaking out at the time, desolated the entire region, so that I was wholly 
occupied in visiting the cabins to instruct, and baptize the sick who 


were in extremity. I baptized more than I20 persons, nearly all adults, 
of whom more than ninety died soon after baptism. But as I was alone 
and could not leave the field, more than 1 50 died (without baptism) in 
districts far removed from here, while engaged in fishing or hunting." 
This induced Father Fremin to send for assistance, and Father Julian 
Garnier went to his aid ; but when the latter arrived the contagion had 
ended, whereupon Father Garnier assumed charge of the town named 
Gandachiragoue, where he soon built a commodious chapel. In rela- 
tion to his own work Father Fremin says : " On the 27th of September 
I entered the town called Gandougarae (St. Michael) and was received 
with every demonstration of public joy. The town is composed of rem- 
nants of three different nations, which, having been subdued by the Iro- 
qois, were forced to submit at the discretion of their conquerors, and to 
establish themselves in their territory." While a chapel was being built 
Father Fremin visited the people in their cabins. In August, 1669, 
the priest was called to Onondaga, and it was during his absence that 
La Salle, in company with the priests, of whom mention has already 
been made, visited the Senecas in furtherance of the expedition to pros- 
ecute his discoveries toward the Mississippi River. Later on Father 
Fremin assumed charge of the mission at Gandougarae, or St. Michael, 
and Father Garnier at Gandachiragoue, or St. John. However, toward 
the close of the year Father Fremin returned to Canada, leaving Father 
Garnier in sole charge of the Seneca missions at La Conception, St. 
James, and St. Michael, but in the spring of 1671 his labors were inter- 
rupted at the latter place by the burning of the town, and the chapel 
was not replaced until the following year. In 1672 Father Peter Raf- 
feix took charge of the mission of the Conception, and in a year or two 
afterward Father Jean Pierron was assigned to the mission of St. James. 
In 1677 Father Pierron was recalled, and in 1680 Father Raffeix left, 
leaving Father Garnier alone, who continued among the Senecas until 
1683, when, being secretly informed that the French intended to make 
war upon the Iroquois, he escaped in a bark which had been built by 
the French governor to trade on Lake Ontario. 

The French occupation of the Niagara River in 1678, by La Salle, 
made it necessary to send a courier to the Senecas to quiet their suspi- 
cions, and avoid the probability of an attack upon La Salle and his com- 


pany, who were desirous of building a small vessel with which to navi- 
gate the lakes. This mission was confided to Sieur de La Motte and 
F'ather Hennepin, the latter a Flemish Recollect and the historian of the 
expedition. The party left Niagara on Christmas day, traveled a dis 
tance of about eighty miles, and reached the Seneca village on the last 
day of the year. Father Hennepin conducted the business intrusted to 
him, but La Motte soon returned to Canada. After a grand council 
with the Senecas, La Salle's representatives succeeded in quieting the 
apprehensions of the savages regarding his intentions, and also gained 
consent to effect the lodgment on the banks of the Niagara River for 
the purpose of building a vessel. The work of construction was at once 
begun and carried on throughout the winter, two Indians of the Wolf 
clan of the Senecas being employed to hunt deer for the French party. 
In the following spring the vessel was launched, " after having been 
blessed according to the rites of our Church of Rome." The new ship 
was named Le Griffon (The Grifiin) in compliment to Count de Fron- 
tenac, minister of the French colonies, whose coat of arms was orna- 
mented with representations of that mythical beast. The Griffin re- 
mained several months in the Niagara. Meanwhile Father Hennepin 
returned to Fort Frontenac (now Kingston) and obtained two priestly 

The labors of the Jesuit fathers among the Senecas and other nations 
of the Iroquois were so contested at every step, and their lives so con- 
stantly endangered that it was enough to dishearten and discourage the 
most courageous missionary worker, as will be more fully mentioned in 
a subsequent chapter. The English, in 1664, conquered New Amster- 
dam and the Netherlands, and thereafter for a period of a hundred years 
were either covertly or openly scheming to work the overthrow of the 
French power in America. Knowing full well the hatred of the Iro- 
quois for the French and the Canada Indians, they neglected no oppor- 
tunity to incite the savages to deeds of violence against the French, as 
well as against the missionary laborers among the Iroquois. Indeed, 
after the English had set up a colonial government in America, and 
after the English and French had ceased secret opposition, and were 
openly contending for supremacy, the colonial legislature passed an act 
forbidding the presence of any missionary, of whatever denomination, 


representing the French power among the Iroquois. It may be stated, 
however, that this legislative injunction was not fully respected among 
the western tribes of the confederacy, as the missionaries succeeded in 
ingratiating themselves in the affection of many of the Senecas, who 
welcomed and at times protected them, and it was only when the anger 
of the whole confederacy was aroused that the priests were compelled 
to vacate the field. 


The Seneca Indians— Continuation of the Preceding Chapter — English (Jolonists In- 
cite the Iroquois against the French — The Latter Retaliate — Courcelle's Expedition — 
Denonville invades the Seneca Country and Destroys the Villages — Their Subsequent 
Building up — Names and New Locations. 

IN a preceding chapter mention has been made of the voyage of Cham- 
plain up the lake of the same name, and how on that occasion the 
adventurous Frenchman brought down upon himself the almost never- 
ending hatred of the Iroquois, by allowing himself to engage in a battle 
with the Mohawks in which a number of the latter were slain Later 
on Champlain made another invasion into the Iroquois country, but 
with fruitless results, On both these occasions the Frenchmen were 
accompanied by the Canadian Indians, between whom and the Iroquois 
there was an old feud. From this time on until the final overthrow of 
French power in America, there was little peace between the French 
and the Iroquois, and the periods were brief and of little effect. As a 
consequence the whole of Northern and Western New York was the 
natural highway of various invading parties. At this time and during 
the next hundred years England and France were frequently at war, 
and with each outbreak in the mother countries there was consequent 
strife between their American colonies. 

Samuel de Champlain died in 1635, and from that date down to 1665, 
there appears to have been no serious outbreak between the English 
and French colonies in America, but during that time the Iroquois made 
their grand conquest of other Indian nations east of the Mississippi. 

triE SENEGAS. 43 

Among the tribes to feel their vengeance were those who dwelt in Can- 
ada, and all of whom were in friendship with the French. In 1665 the 
colonists of New France, alarmed by the increasing English settlements 
south of them, and knowing that the English were inciting the Iroquois 
against their Indian allies, resolved to avenge past injuries and put an 
end to future incursions To this end Lord de Courcelles, then gov- 
ernor-general of Canada, in January, 1666, started with less than 600 
men upon an expedition against the Iroquois in general, and the Mo- 
hawks in particular. 

This expedition, although it resulted in no disaster to the Iroquois, 
prompted them to sue for peace, and a treaty was concluded in May, 
June and July, 1666, by the Senecas, Oneidas and Mohawks, respective- 
ly. In 1667 was concluded the peace of Breda between England, Hol- 
land and France, but it was of short duration, and 1669 the French 
were again at war witbthe Iroquois. However, in April, 1672, Count 
de Frontenac was appointed governor and lieutenant-general of Canada, 
and under his administration peace was again established in 1673. 

The Colonial History of New York, referring to Frontenac's admin- 
istration, makes the latter say: " In spite of the efforts of the Dutch to 
get the Iroquois to make war on the French, the Iroquois came last 
year on solemn embassy to Montreal, brought eight children belonging 
to the principal families of their village, and ratified the treaty made 
with them in 1673." 

In 1684 another rupture occurred between the French and Iroquois. 
M. de la Barre was then governor of New France, and Colonel Dongan 
governor of New York. The Frenchman led an expedition against the 
Senecas, but hearing that the latter would be reinforced by Dongan 
with " 400 horse and 400 foot," he gave up his purpose. This preten- 
tious expedition, which ended so ingnominiously, subjected De la Barre 
to severe censure and in the following year he was superseded by Mar- 
quis Denonville, who came over instructed to preserve a strict neutral- 
ity. This he found to be impossible and so informed his sovereign. 
Reinforcements were sent him for a determined attack upon the Sene- 
cas, and in the summer of 1687 an expedition of two thousand French 
and Indians was organized and marched against the enemy. This large 
force impelled the Indians to adopt their customary tactics for self-pres- 


ervation, and their villages were deserted, or nearly so. The invaders 
destroyed the principal settlements of the Senecas, one of them the 
arge eastern village, being called St. James, or Gannagaro. which was 
located on Boughton Hill, one mile south of Victor village, and the 
other the small village of St. Michael, or Gannogarae, distant a short 
league from the large village. The western village was located on a 
bend of Honeoye outlet, some two miles north of Honeoye Falls This 
village was called " Totiakton, surnamed the great village of the Con- 
ception," and '• the small village of Gannounata " was distant two leaoues 
from Totiakton. The Abbe Belmont who accompanied the expedition 
says : '' The Tsonnontouans (Senecas) have four laroe villages which 
they change every ten years in order to bring themselves near the 
woods and permit them to grow up again. They call them (meaning 
the villages) Gaensera, Tohaiton, which are the two larger; Onnutague 
and Onnennatu, which are the smaller." 

The events of the battle between Denonville's' forces and the Indians 
IS briefly described. Arriving at Irondequoit Bay on the loth of July 
the necessary preparations were soon completed, and on the afternoon 
of the I2th the march into the interior was begun. After proceeding, 
about three leagues the French encamped for the night, but resumed 
he march early the next morning. The large town of the Senecas 
toward which the French were proceeding was that which we have re- 
ferred to as situated on Boughton Hill, a mile south of Victor villa-e 
About one and one-half miles northwest of this Indian town and a lit- 
tle northwest of the village of Victor, is another hill, on which at the 
time was a great thicket of beech trees, and here the Senecas arranged 
an ambuscade. Between these two hills is a small valley, through which 
passes the stream called Great Brook, the borders of the latter being 
planted with alders so thick that one could scarcely see Here the In 
d.ans concealed another ambuscade, it being their intention to allow the 
whole French army to pass the first ambuscade, and then by attacking 
them m the rear, force them to fall into the second trap, and so have 
them between two attacking parties. However, the second division of 
the French army happened to be quite distant from the first, and as the 
advance guard passed near the thicket of beech trees, the Indians sup 
posing the whole army had passed, with a terrible whoop began the at 


tack. Although much disconcerted by the sudden onslaught, Denon- 
ville quickly rallied his forces, checked the Senecas, and having the su- 
perior force soon overcame the enemy, and compelled them to retreat. 
The successful French encamped on the battle field, and the next morn- 
ing marched on to the village, which they found in ashes, the Senecas 
themselves having applied the torch before they retreated from the 

From the various accounts written concerning the expedition of De- 
nonville, we learn that the four principal Seneca villages in existence at 
that time were as follows : Gandagaro, situated one mile south of the 
village of Victor and otherwise known as St. James, Gandagan, and Gaen- 
sera. The second, Gandongarae, the St. Michael of the missionaries, 
and otherwise known as Canoenada and Onontague, peopled principally 
by captives from the Hurons, is thought by some to have been located 
on the south part of lot 13 in the northeast part of the present town of 
East Bloomfield, three miles southeast of Boughton Hill, near where 
the old Indian trail crossed the Ganargua or Mud Creek. Another site 
of an Indian village was a little over a mile to the west of this on the 
Steele farm on lot 16. The sites of other Indian towns are also to be 
found in that region of country, and perhaps further investigation may 
be requisite to locate the precise site of the town. 

These two villages, after their destruction above noted, gradually 
drifted eastward, and a hundred years later were found by Sullivan near 
present Geneva. In 1720 they were two miles east of the foot of Can- 
andaigua Lake, and on the White Springs farm two miles southwest, 
and in 1750 on Burrell's, or Slate Rock Creek, five miles southwest of 
Geneva, and in 1756 at the Old Castle, two miles northwest of Geneva. 

Sonnontonan, otherwise known as Totiacton, Tegaronhies, and also 
as La Conception, was located a mile and a half northwest of Honeoye 
Falls, on the northeastermost bend of Honeoye outlet, in the town of 
Mendon, Monroe county. It was about ten miles west of Gandagaro 
on Boughton Hill. A second location of this village, and the one prob- 
ably occupied by it when it was destroyed in 1687, was on the Ball farm, 
a mile west of Honeoye Falls village. This great village was for some 
time the western door of the Long House, and the residence of Tegar- 
onhies, and was therefore sometimes called Tegaronhies's town. 


Gandachioragou, otherwise known as Gannounata and Keinthe, the 
western small town, was probably on the site of the present village of 
Lima, and four miles south of the great town when located near Honeoye 

After destroying everything of value Denonville proceeded to the 
mouth of the Niagara River, where he erected a small fort on the east 
side. This was the origin of Fort Niagara, one of the most celebrated 
strongholds in America, which, though for a lime abandoned, was after- 
ward for more than half a century considered the key of western New 
York, and of the whole upper lake country. 

The principal eastern Seneca villages after the invasion by Denon- 
ville were those called Onnaghee and Ganechstage, both of which were 
between Canandaigua and Seneca Lakes. The location of the former is 
definitely settled as having been about two miles east of Canandaigua 
Lake, near the old Indian trail on which the turnpike was afterward sub- 
stantially laid. The name Onnaghee, with its variations in spelling, 
carries the idea that it was the old castle or village. The Seneca word 
" onagheh," meaning " head," would be an appropriate name for a set- 
tlement by people of the village which had been the head or capital of 
the tribe, as Gandagaro was when destroyed by Denonville. The lo- 
cation of the other principal Seneca village is definitely fixed as having 
been at the White Springs, about two miles southwest from Geneva, 
and which was called Ganechstage. 

The precise date of the first settlement of these villages is unknown, 
but it must have been made as early, if not earlier, than the year 1700, 
from the fact that Colonel Romer was then sent by the Earl of Bello- 
mont to the Indian country with instructions " to go and view a well or 
spring which is eight miles beyond the Sineks furthest castle, which they 
have told me blazes up into a flame when a light coale or fire-brand is 
put into it." As the Burning Spring is only eight miles from the foot 
of Canandaigua Lake, it might be inferred that the settlement at that 
time was at Canandaigua ; however, there is nothing to confirm such 
an inference, and we must conclude that Onnaghee was the castle re- 
ferred to, and inasmuch as Indian settlements are known to have ex- 
tended over a large territory, we may well suppose that from the lake 
to the place of principal habitation, two miles further east, might be 


within the limits of the castle proper. However, the settlement at On- 
naghee was abandoned previous to 1750. Canandaigua was undoubt- 
edly an off-shoot or branch from it, as the name signifies that it was not 
only " a place selected for a new settlement," or " the chosen spot or 
city," but that it was a place chosen by a party separating from an- 

The settlement at Ganechstage was broken up in 1732 by ravages of 
the small-pox, at which time a large number of the inhabitants died, 
and nearly all the others fled and settled in scattered fragments in the 
neighborhood of Slate Rock or Burrell creek, about three miles further 
southwest. Here they were found by the Moravian missionaries, Bishop 
Cammerhoff and Rev. David Zeisberger, in 1750, their settlement in 
that place being called New Ganechstage. Tiie record in the journal 
of these Moravians is so minute that it positively establishes the fact 
that Ganechstage was the identical Gandagaro that was formerly located 
on Boughton Hill. In 1756, during the progress of the last French 
war, Sir William Johnson, in order to conciliate and attach the Iroquois 
to the British interest, erected palisade fortifications in the Indian coun- 
try, one of them being in the Seneca territory on Kanadesaga or Castle 
Brook, about two miles northwest from Seneca Lake, and about the same 
distance north of the former site of Ganechstage. At that time the 
scattered Indian settlements were brought more closely together on the 
new location, which was then and for many years afterward called Kan- 
adesaga, but now more familiarly known as the Old Castle. The Indian 
name of the place, according to Seneca dialect, was Ganundasaga, 
meaning " a new settlement village." 

Sir William Johnson calls it Kanadasero, which means the grand 
village, not that it differed from others, but from the fact that is was a 
village of the Turtle clan, and the residence of the Smoke Bearer, who 
alone could light the council fire. The name Gaensera of Denonville 
and Kanadasera are identical but of different dialects. Gandagaro is 
another variation, the garo and sera carrying the idea of grand. This 
place being the capital of the Seneca nation, was by far the most 
important village of the tribe, and was wholly destroyed by General 
Sullivan in 1779. 

The fortifications at Kanadesaga, as they were provided to be built, 
were one hundred feet square ; the stockades to be of pine or oak, fif- 


teen feet long, at least three of which to be sunk in the ground, well 
pounded and rammed, and the two touching sides square so as to lay- 
close ; loop-holes to be made four feet distant. There were also two 
block houses each twenty feet square below, the upper portion project- 
ing one and a half feet over the beams, both well roofed and shingled, 
and a good sentry-box on each ; also a good gate of three-inch oak 
plank and iron hinges, and a small gate of oak plank of the same thick- 

The name Kanadesaga (Ganundasaga) was applied by the Indians 
also to the creek, the lake and its outlet, and at a subsequent day was 
transferred to Geneva. It has been found written and spelled in more 
than one hundred different ways, yet Kanadesaga has ever been the ac- 
cepted form, and carries quite fully the pronunciation as used by the 
early settlers. After the destruction of the village by Sullivan's army 
in 1779, there was no further permanent occupation of its site by the 
Indians. After the close of the Revolution, when traders and specula- 
tors were penetrating the whole Genesee country, the center of opera- 
tion was at Geneva, " under the hill," south of Cemetery Creek, or at 
and south of the east end of Seneca street in Geneva, as it had then be- 
come known. This locality then became known as Kanadesaga, while 
the old site was called the Old Castle. 

Although all traces of the old fortification and its block- houses have 
long since been destroyed, the burial-mound of the Senecas is still in 
existence, and is in the lot on the southwest corner of North street, or 
the Old Castle road, and the old Pre-emption road. The center of this 
mound is 200 feet south of North street, and 190 feet west of the old 
Pre-emption road. The stockade was a short distance south of the 
mound, its northeast corner being ninety feet west of the Pre-emption 
road referred to, while toward its southeast end the distance to the road 
was about seventy feet. The farm of the State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station is directly opposite, on the east side of the old Pre-emp- 
tion road. 

In the present connection we may also briefly mention other Indian 
village sites than those already noted, but so far as known they were of 
very little importance. Some of them were in the immediate vicinity 
of Canandaigua. In the neighborhood of Geneva, and about seven 

Ore A a rf/ 



Avi//age of the SenfU'cis near(^(fi('i-aNY. 
It Wfisf/cstroycii iy {?>'// 7 Oi///iian, ifijSfi/?f. ///9. 
TheT>'erirh(Sorei>f(// (//sihleas i,/?own in 
the (/roand p/ofi Aai/ /S4i>, 

Indian Orc/iarc^i;. 
Apple T}-ers.\^ 


miles to the northwest and on the lake shore was Gothseunquean, or 
Kashong. This place was visited by Missionary Kirkland in 1765, and 
in 1779 was destroyed by a detachment from Sullivan's army. On the 
opposite shore of the lake and a little further south was Kendaia, or 
Appletown, which also was destroyed at the same time. The Cam- 
merhoff journal mentions a Cayuga town called Nuquiage, at the north- 
east corner of Seneca lake. In the center of lot 33, Fayette, Seneca 
county, was at one time a fortified Indian town of which but little is 
known. A short distance northwest of Geneva, in the southwestern 
part of lots 56 and 58, town of Seneca, were two Indian village sites. 
They were examined by E. G. Squier in 1848, and are figured and de- 
scribed in his " Antiquities of New York," that on lot 58 being a regu- 
lar fortified work, and on lot 56 a palisaded fortification, the latter being 
about one -half mile west of the former. They are undoubtedly ancient 
works, long antedating Kanadesaga, but nothing whatever is known 
about them. On lots lOi and 120 at Oaks Corners in the town of 
Phelps, was also an Indian village site, but of modern date. 


French and English Rivalry — The Iroquois destroy Montreal — The Treaty at Rys- 
wick — Queen Anne's War — The Five Nations Become the Six Nations — Joncaire's 
Trading-post — Events l^eceding the French and English War — Attitude of the Iro- 
quois — Influence of Sir WilHam Johnson — The Senecas Remain Neutral, but Favor the 
French — Final Overthrow of French Power in America. 

THE bold incursion of Denonville's army, and his allied Huron 
and Algonquin Indians, into the country of the Senecas, the 
strongest nation of the Iroquois, so alarmed the latter that they applied 
to Governor Dongan, of the colony of New York, for protection. It 
was promised them, of course, with advice that the Iroquois should not 
make peace with the French. However, Denonville called a meeting 
of the chiefs of the Five Nations at Montreal to arrange a treaty, and 
they decided to send a representative ; but before the meeting was con- 
summated, and on account of alleged treachery on the part of Denon- 


ville, the Iroquois became deeply angered against the French and 
burned for revenge. The result was that in July, 1689, Montreal was 
sacked, plundered and burned; men, women and children massacred or 
carried into captivity. In October following the Iroquois made a simi- 
lar incursion at the lower end of the island, which was likewise dev- 

At this period the fortunes of France in North America were brought 
very low. The recent Iroquois invasions compelled the abandonment 
of Forts Frontenac and Niagara, and proved almost sufficient to over- 
throw the French dominion in Canada. Many of their former Indian 
allies, disgusted with De la Barre's successive failures, deserted the 
French standard and sought an alliance with the English. However, a 
welcome change was at hand for the French. The divided counsels of 
the English colonies, growing out of the revolution in the mother 
country, resulting in the accession of the Prince of Orange to the 
throne, gave a new aspect to affairs and was speedily followed by an- 
other open war with France. In 1689 Count de Frontenac, the same 
energetic old peer who had encouraged La Salle in his brilliant dis- 
coveries, and whose name was for a while borne by Lake Ontario, was 
sent out as governor of New France. This vigorous but cruel leader 
partially retrieved the desperate condition of the French colony. He, 
too, invaded the Iroquois, but accomplished no more than Denonville. 
The war continued with varying fortunes until 1697, ^^^^ Five Nations 
being all that time the friends of the English, and a greater part of the 
time engaged in active hostihty against the French. Their authority 
over the whole Genesee country and far up the south shore of Lake 
Erie, was unbroken, save when a detachment of F'rench troops was 
actually marching along the border. 

At the treaty of Ryswick in 1697, while the ownership of other 
lands was definitely conceded to France and England respectively, that 
of the Genesee country was left wholly unsettled. The English claimed 
sovereignty overall the lands of the Five Nations; the French with 
equal energy asserted the authority of King Louis over the same 
region as a part of New France, while the Iroquois themselves, when- 
ever they heard of the controversy, repudiated alike the pretensions of 
Yonnondio and Corlear, as they denominated the governors respectively 
of Canada and New York. 


Scarcely had the echoes of battle died away after the peace of Rys- 
wick, when, in 1702, the rival nations became involved in the long 
conflict known as " Queen Anne's War." By this time, however, the 
Iroquois had grown wise and prudently maintained a neutrality, com- 
manding the respect of both French and English, the former being 
wary of again provoking the powerful confederates, while the Colonial 
government of New York was very willing that the Five Nations should 
remain neutral, as they thus furnished a shield against French attacks 
for the whole frontier of the colony. 

Meanwhile, through all the western country, the French extended 
their influence. Detroit was founded in 1701. Other posts were es- 
tablished far and wide. Notwithstanding their alliance with the Hurons 
and other foes of the Iroquois, and notwithstanding the enmity aroused 
by the invasions of Champlain, Denonville and Frontenac, such was 
the subtle skill of the French that they rapidly acquired a strong in- 
fluence among the western tribes of the confederacy, especially the 
Senecas. Even the powerful socio-political system of the Hodenosau- 
nee weakened under the influence of European intrigue, and while the 
eastern Iroquois, though preserving their neutrality, were friendly to 
the English, the Senecas, and perhaps the Cayugas, were almost ready 
to take up arms for the French. 

About 17 12 an important event occurred in the history of the Iro- 
quois confederacy, the Five Nations then becoming the Six Nations. 
The Tuscaroras, a powerful tribe of North Carolina, had become in- 
volved in a war with the whites, growing out of a dispute about land. 
The colonists being aided by several other Indian tribes, the Tuscaroras 
were defeated, many of them killed, and a number of others captured 
and sold as slaves. The greater part of the remainder fled northward 
to the Iroquois, who immediately adopted them as one of their tribes 
of the confederacy, and assigned them a location near the Oneidas. 
The readiness of the haughty warriors of the Iroquois to extend the 
shelter of their Long House over a band of fleeing exiles was due to 
the fact that the latter had been the allies of the Five Nations against 
other southern Indians ; which would also account for the eagerness of 
the latter to join in the overthrow of the Tuscaroras. 

Not long after this Chabert Joncaire, a Frenchman, who had been 
captured in youth by the Senecas, and who had been adopted into 


their tribe and had married a Seneca wife, but who had been released 
at the treaty of peace, was employed by the Frencli authorities to pro- 
mote peace among the Iroquois. Pleading his claims as an adopted 
child of the nation, he was allowed by the Seneca chiefs to build a 
cabin on the site of Lewiston, which soon became a center of French 
influence. All the efforts of the English were impotent either to dis- 
lodge him or to obtain a similar privilege for any of their own people. 
" Joncaire is a child of the nation," was the sole reply vouchsafed to 
every complaint. Though Fort Niagara was for the time abandoned, 
and no regular fort built at Lewiston, yet Joncaire's trading post em- 
braced a considerable group of cabins, and at least a part of the time a 
detachment of French soldiers was stationed there. 

About 1725 they began rebuilding Fort Niagara on the site where 
Denonville had erected his fortress. They did so without opposition, 
though it seems strange that they could so easily have allayed the 
jealousy of the Six Nations. It may be presumed, however, that the 
very fact of the French being such poor colonizers worked to their ad- 
vantage in establishing a certain kind of influence among the Indians. 
Few of the Gallic adventurers being desirous of engaging in agriculture, 
they made very little effort to obtain land, while the English were con- 
stantly arousing the jealousy of the natives by obtaining enormous 
grants from some of the chiefs, often doubtless by very dubious 
methods. Moreover, the French always possessed a peculiar facility 
for assimilating with savage and half- civilized races, thus gaining an 
influence over them. Whatever the cause, the power of the French 
constantly increased among the Senecas. Fort Niagara was their 
stronghold, and the Genesee country was for more than thirty years to 
some extent under their control. The influence of Joncaire was main- 
tained and increased by his sons all through the second quarter of the 
eighteenth century. 

In the war between England and France, begun in 1744 and closed 
in 1748, the Six Nations generally maintained their neutrality, though 
the Mohawks gave some aid to the English. During the eight years 
of nominal peace which succeeded the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, both 
the French and the English made every effort to extend their dominion 
beyond their frontier settlements, the former with greater success. 


To Niagara, Detroit and other posts they added Presque Isle (now 
Erie, Pa.). Venango, and finally Fort Duquesne on the site of Pittsburg, 
designing to establish a line of forts from the lake to the Ohio, and 
thence to the Mississippi. Frequent detachments of troops passed 
through along this line. Gaily dressed French officers sped backward 
and forward, attended by the fierce warriors of their allied tribes, and 
not infrequently by the Senecas. Dark gowned Jesuits hastened to 
and fro, everywhere receiving the respect of the red men, and using all 
their art to magnify the power of both France and the Church of 

It is possible that the whole Iroquois confederacy would have been 
induced to become active partisans of the French, had it not been for 
the influence of one man, the English superintendent (f Indian affairs in 
America, he then being known as Colonel, afterward as General, and 
still later as Sir William Johnson. Colonel Johnson then dwelt at Mount 
Johnson, afterward known as Fort Johnson, on the banks of the Mohawk 
River, and in the very heart of the Mohawk Indian territory. Later on, 
in 1763, Sir William occupied Johnson Hall, a magnificent residence in 
the village of Johnstown, in this State. The hall is still standing, as al- 
so is his former dwelling at Mount Johnson, both being well preserved 
and retaining much of their original appearance. 

William Jolinson was of Irish birth and parentage, and came to Amer- 
ica in 1738 as the agent of his uncle. Sir Peter Warren, the latter hav- 
ing been the owner of an extensive tract of land in the Mohawk valley. 
Johnson located in the valley just below the present city of Amsterdam, 
where he acted as agent for his uncle in the development and sale of 
the lands, and at the same time opened a general store for trade with 
the Indians and the few whites then living in the region. By honesty 
and straightforward dealing among them, Johnson acquired a great in- 
fluence over the Mohawks, and his reputation soon spread throughout 
the whole Six Nations, and he gained an almost complete mastery over 
them. During the later French war, Johnson was elevated through vari- 
ous ranks to the generalship, but preferred to be in direct command of 
his faithful Iroquois rather than of the continental British soldiery. For 
distinguished services as soldier and as a diplomat, he was rewarded 
by the crown with a baronetc)' and made sole superintendent of Indian 
affairs in North America. 


Just preceding the last great struggle in America between England 
and France, Johnson, in fulfillment of promises made to the Iroquois, 
built strong fortifications in the territory of each of the nations, where- 
ever the same was most desirable and would afford the greatest protec- 
tion to the neighboring Indians One of these defences was built under 
his direction on the site of the Seneca village, Kanadesaga, near the 
corporate limits of Geneva, and which has been more fully described in 
the preceding chapter. 

Johnson witnessed the successes of the last French and English war; 
in fact he was an important factor in accomplishing the grand results 
of that struggle, gained distinction for himself therein, but viewed with 
alarm and apprehension the gradual separation of the American colo- 
nies from the mother country. He did not live to see the final over- 
throw of the British power in America, having died in 1774, after which 
his office of Indian superintendent, but never his grand influence, de- 
scended to his son, Sir John Johnson, and to his nephew, Col. Guy 
Johnson, the latter being deputy-superintendent in Canada. Soon after 
the outbreak of the Revolution, Sir John and Col. Guy Johnson fled 
from Johnstown and " Guy Park " and took up their residence in Cana- 
da, being followed there by nearly all of the Mohawks, many of the 
Onondagas and Cayugas, some of the Senecas, and a few of the Oneidas 
and Tuscaroras. 

Returning from this digression to the general narrative, we find in 
1756, after two years of open hostilities in America, war was again 
declared between England and France, being their last great struggle 
for supremacy in the New World. The ferment in the then wilderness 
of Western New York grew more earnest, and more frequently were 
seen the gaily dressed French officers and soldiers of King Louis, speed- 
ing from Montreal, Quebec and Frontenac to Niagara, Venango, Du- 
quesne and other French posts in the extreme west, all passing along 
the western border of old Ontario county; staying perchance to hold 
brief counsel with the Seneca sachems and chiefs, then hurrying for- 
ward to strengthen the line of posts on which so much depended. In 
this war the Mohawks took the field in favor of the English under John- 
son, but the Senecas were friendly to the French and were only restrained 
from taking up arms for them by unwillingness to fight against their 
Iroquois brethren farther east. 


At first the French were everywhere victorious. Braddock, almost 
at the gates of Fort Duquesne, was slain, and his army cut in pieces by a 
force very small in comparison with his own. Montcalm captured the 
little British p_ost at Oswego, and the French lines up the lakes and 
across to the Ohio were stronger than ever. However, in 1758 the 
British government entered more earnestly into the contest Fort 
Duquesne was captured by the English and Provincial army, Fort Fron- 
tenac was seized by Col. Bradstreet, and other victories prepared the 
way for still greater successes in 1759. The cordon was broken, but 
Fort Niagara still held out for France, and still the western Senecas 
strongly declared their friendship for that power. 

The next year, 1759, Wolf assailed Quebec, the strongest of all the 
French strongholds, and almost at the same time General Prideaux, 
with two thousand British and Provincials, accompanied by Sir William 
Johnson with one thousand of his faithful Iroquois, sailed up Lake On- 
tario and laid siege to Fort Niagara. This post was defended by only 
six hundred men and its capture was certain unless relief could be ob- 
tained. But its commander was not idle, and away through the forest 
sped his lithe redskin messengers to summon the allies of France. 
D' Aubrey responded with his most zealous endeavors, and at once set 
forth to the relief of Niagara. The siege was scarcely begun when 
General Prideaux was slain, upon which Johnson assumed command 
and continued until the 24th of July, when a large body of French and 
Indians attempted to raise siege. A. sharp conflict followed and the 
effort was defeated, whereupon the garrison surrendered the next day. 

In the latter part of July, 1759, while the English army was still 
camped around the walls of Quebec, while Wolfe and Montcalm were 
approaching that common grave to which the path of glory was so 
soon to lead them, a stirring scene took place in the western part of 
old Ontario county. The largest European force which had yet been 
seen in the region at any one time were marching to the relief of dis- 
tressed Niagara. On the one side were soldiers, trained to obey every 
command of their leader, while on the other were only wild savages 
who knew no other law than their own fierce will. 

History has preserved but a slight record of this last struggle of the 
French for dominion in this region of the State, but it has rescued from 


oblivion the name of D'Aubrey, the commander, and Delignery, his 
second ; of Marin, the leader of the Indians, and of Captains De Villiers, 
Repertini, Martini, and Basone. The Senecas, snuffing the battle from 
their homes in the region, were roaming restlessly about, uncertain how 
to act, more friendly to the French than the English, and yet unwill- 
ing to engage in conflict with their brethren of the Six Nations. 

Following Johnson's victory over the French at Niagara, there came 
the life- bought victory of Wolfe at Quebec, which gave the latter to 
the triumphant Britons. Still the French clung to their colonies with 
desperate but faiHng grasp, and it was not until September, 1760, that 
the governor general of Canada surrendered Montreal, and with it 
Detroit, Venango, and all the other posts within his jurisdiction. This 
surrender was ratified by the treaty of peace between England and 
France in February, 1763, which ceded Canada to the former power. 

It has already been stated that a stockade fortification and block- 
houses had been erected by Sir William Johnson in 1756, at Kana- 
desaga, for the Senecas in the war then pending. At this time the 
Senecas seemed to have been divided into two branches or sections, those 
in the western part of the State under the leadership of Farmer's Brother, 
Cornplanter and other influential chiefs. This branch of the tribe were 
in fact the " Door-keepers." Those gathered at Kanadesaga, or the 
eastern section, became the capital of the nation and were under the 
domination of the great Turtle clan, with Tagechsadon as the head chief, 
who was succeeded upon his death by Sayenqueraghta, or Gui-yah- 
gwaah-doh, as his name was in the Seneca dialect, with various differ- 
ent or dialectical variations, the signification of the name being, " dis- 
appearing smoke," or the " the smoke has disappeared." The inter- 
pretation thus given, conveys the idea of a glimpse of a flying runner 
bearing a smoking brand, hurrying and soon lost in the obscurity of 
the wilderness — one moment the banner of smoke is seen and then lost. 
It is an exclamation put into the mouth of the beholder. The word is 
idiomatic, but wonderfully picturesque, and is very applicable to an 
official position of smoke-bearer or fire-kindler. He was more famil- 
iarly known by the white people as Old Smoke or Old King, and also 
as the King of Kanadesega. 

While the official position held by Old Smoke gave him great prom- 
inence, his greater popularity and influence resulted from his individual 


personal merit. He was a valiant warrior ; his bravery and sagacity in 
war won for him the trust and confidence of his people. He was a wise 
and judicious counsellor, and this secured for him the respect and es- 
teem of the Indians. Red Jacket testified of him that he was "a man 
of great understanding." His superior talents, together with his good 
and sterling qualities, gained for him the regard and veneration of 
the Indians, and secured for him a greater prominence and a more 
commanding influence than that possessed by any other of the chiefs 
or sachems of his time. He was, indeed, one of the most distinguished 
men of the Iroquois, the most popular and prominent of the Senecas, 
always a firm friend where he pledged fidelity, possessing a warm and 
generous heart; he had the respect of enemies and the love of friends; 
was brave, sagacious and wise. While he was opposed to the Indians 
taking any part in the War of the Revolution, yet it having been de- 
cided against him, he yielded obedience to the decision and became one 
of the most untiresome and active and ferocious on the war path, and 
under his leadership more daring and savage incursions on our frontier 
settlements were made than under any other leader. 

The object of Sir William Johnson in erecting the fortification at 
Kanadesaga was in a great measure accomplished. The eastern Sen- 
ecas either became neutral, or else aided their brethren of the league in 
their assistance to the English, and it is now an acknowledged fact that 
in the evenly balanced and stubborn contest between France and Eng- 
land for the supremacy of the country the friendship and aid thus ren- 
dered finally turned the scale in England's favor, and hence the result 
is that we to-day are an English instead of a French speaking people. 


chaptp:r VI. 

Pontiac's War — Devil's Hole and Black Rock — Sir William Johnson Concludes a 
Peace with the Senecas — Treaty at Fort Niagara — Events Preceding the Revolution 
— Outbreak of the War — The Senecas Serve the King — Kanadesaga beconnes Head- 
quarters for Tories — Butler's Buildings — Indian Outrages on the Frontier — The 
Principal Actors — Sullivan Ordered to Invade the Indian Country — Destruction of 
the Villages and Crops — The Senecas Flee to Fort Niagara — Details of the Invasion 
in Ontario County — Close of the Revolution. 

rOR a period of fifteen years following the final overthrow of French 
power in America, the eastern country was in a condition of com- 
parative peace, and the English, Dutch, and French settlers were per- 
mitted to develop their lands and advance the outposts of civilization 
in almost every direction ; but for some time there was no attempt at 
effecting settlement in the Genesee country other than that limited to 
the immediate vicinity of Oswego and Niagara. The Seneca Indians 
gave little encouragement to colonization in their territory. They had 
become aware of various frauds practiced upon their eastern brethren of 
the confederacy by English and Dutch land speculators, and were not 
disposed to enter into any negotiations for the disposition of any part of 
their choice domain, notwithstanding the fact that theirs was the richest 
region of all that was inhabited by the Six Nations. 

Although the French authorities and troops were withdrawn from the 
country after the close of the late war, the western Indians remembered 
them with affection and were still disposed to wage war upon the Eng- 
lish. The celebrated Pontiac united nearly all of these tribes in a league 
against the red-coats immediately after the advent of the latter, and as 
no such confederation had been formed against the French during all 
their long years of possession, his action must be assigned to some cause 
other than mere hatred of all civilized intruders. In May, 1763, the 
league surprised nine out of twelve English posts, and massacred their 
garrison. Detroit, Pittsburg, and Niagara alone escaped surprise, and 
each successfully resisted a siege, in which branch of war the Indians 


were almost certain to fail. There is little doubt that the Senecas, 
especially those located in the western part of the State, were involved 
in Pontiac's league, and were active in the attack on Fort Niagara. 
They had been unwilling to fight their brethren of the Long House, but 
had no scruples about killing the English when left alone, as was soon 
made terribly manifest. 

In September following occurred the awful tragedy of the Devil's Hole, 
when a band of the western Senecas, of whom Honayewas, afterward 
celebrated as Farmer's Brother, was one, and Cornplanter, probably, 
another, ambushed a train of English army-wagons with an escort of 
soldiers, the whole numbering ninety-six men, three and a half miles 
below the falls, and massacred all except four of the troop. On the 
19th of October following a party of British soldiers were suddenly 
fired upon by a band of Senecas at Black Rock, and thirteen men were 
killed. The British turned upon their assailants and in the battle that 
followed three more of the soldiers were killed and twelve others badly 
wounded, including two commissioned officers. This was the last seri- 
ous attack by the Senecas upon the English. Being at length con- 
vinced that the French had really yielded, and that Pontiac's scheme 
had failed as to its purpose, they sullenly agreed to abandon their Gallic 
friends, and be at peace with the British. 

In April, 1764, Sir William Johnson concluded peace with eight chiefs 
of the Senecas at Johnson Hall. At that time, among other agree- 
ments, they formally conveyed to the King of England a tract of land 
fourteen miles long and four wide, for a carrying place around Niagara 
Falls, lying on both sides of the river from Schlosser to Lake Ontario. 
This treaty was to be more fully ratified at a council to be held at Fort 
Niagara in the summer of 1764. A copy of this paper is to be found 
in N. Y. Col. Doc. VII, p 621, at the end of which it is said, the" Marks 
of the tribes " were affixed opposite the signatures, but no such marks 
being found, a tracing of the same was procured from the original in 
the Record office, London. It is a very valuable and important addi- 
tion to our fund of knowledge on the subject. 

Events in the west, where Pontiac still maintained active hostility to 
the British, determined the English commander-in-chief to send a force 
up the lakes sufficient to overcome all opposition. This action became 

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necessary from the fact that the hostile attitude of the western tribes 
had a damaging effect upon the Senecas, and made negotiations with 
them extremely difficult. Accordingly in the summer of 1764, General 
Bradstreet with 1200 British and Americans came by water to Fort 
Niagara, accompanied by Sir William Johnson and a body of his faith- 
ful Iroquois. A grand council of friendly Indians was held at the fort, 
among whom Sir William exercised his customary skill, and satisfactory 
treaties were made with them. But the Senecas, though repeatedly 
promising attendance in answer to Johnson's messages, still held aloof, 
and were said to be contemplating a renewal of the war. At length 
General Bradstreet ordered their immediate attendance, under penalty 
of the destruction of their settlements, upon which they came, ratified 
the treaty, and thereafter adhered to it reasonably well, nothwithstand- 
ing the peremptory manner in which it was obtained. In the mean 
time a fort had been erected on the site of Fort Erie. In August 
Bradstreet's army had increased to nearly 3,000 men, and among them 
were 300 Senecas, who seemed to have been taken along partly as host- 
ages. This force succeeded in bringing the western Indians to terms, a 
task which was accomplished without bloodshed. 

While these events were in progress in the western part of the prov- 
ince of New York, the inhabitants of the eastern region of the country 
were in a state of great excitement, growing out of the arbitrary and 
oppressive action of the British parliament toward the American colo- 
nies. One of the results of the late French wars was to involve the 
mother country in a large indebtedness, which parliament sought to 
have paid by the colonies, and that notwithstanding the very large ex- 
tent of territory which was ceded to the government at the end of the 
French dominion. In fact, almost before the smoke of the late battles 
had cleared away, the English ministry began devising plans to tax the 
colonies for a revenue without their consent. In March, 1765, the ob- 
noxious stamp act was passed, to oppose which was organized in New 
York the "Sons of Liberty." So great, indeed, was the opposition to 
this odious act that it was repealed in March, 1766, but in 1767 a bill 
was passed by parliament imposing a duty on tea, glass, and other ma- 
terial imported into the colonies. The imposition of a tax on tea led to 
the organization of that impromptu body known as the " Boston Tea- 


Party." Other acts of oppression imposed by the British government 
were met by retahatory measures on the part of the American colonies, 
and at length the countries were in an attitude of open hostility. The 
public attention was drawn to certain mutterings in the political sky, 
low at first, but growing more and more angry, until at length there 
burst upon this country that long and desolating storm known as the 
Revolutionary War. 

In 1775 the struggle fcr independence was begun, but as the early 
years of that war furnished no interesting events in connection with 
the annals of this particular region of country, we may pass lightly over 
them and confine our narrative to occurrences within the Genesee 
country. There were British posts at Niagara and Oswego, and the 
Senecas made frequent complaints of depredations committed by whites 
on some of their number, chiefly from the inhabitants of settlements on 
the headwaters of the Susquehanna and Ohio. Added to this, and 
during the same period, " Cressap's war," in which the celebrated 
Logan was an actor, likewise contributed to make the Senecas uneasy, 
but they did not break out in open hostilities. Like the rest of the Six 
Nations, they had by this time learned to place every confidence in Sir 
William Johnson, and through him all their complaints were made. 
He did his best to redress their grievances, and sought to have them 
withdraw their villages from frontier and isolated localities that they 
might be more completely under his protection. However, before this 
could be accomplished Sir William died, and his authority as super- 
intendent of Indian affairs was transferred to his son, Sir John Johnson, 
and to his nephew, Col. Guy Johnson, the latter, however, being in fact 
the superintendent, while the former was the controlling spirit among 
the Indians in after events. 

The new superintendent persuaded the Mohawks to move westward 
with him, and made good his influence over all the Six Nations, except 
the Oneidas and Tuscaroras, though it was almost two years from the 
breaking out of the war before they committed any serious depreda- 
tions. John Butler, who appears to have held a colonel's commission, 
or at least that title in the British service, established himself at Fort 
Niagara, and organized a regiment of tories known as " Butler's 
Rangers." About the same time Colonel Butler erected a barracks and 


temporary place of residence at Kanadesaga, which was used chiefly as 
a rendezvous and rallying place for the Rangers and Indians preparatory 
to a raid on the interior of the country. Butler's buildings were also a 
depot for supplies, at which large quantities of corn were stored for the 
use of assembled troops and horses. 

We may here state, in justice to the Seneca Indians, that they did 
not readily become the allies of the Johnsons and Butlers, as they for 
a time resisted English importunities, but the prospect of both blood 
and gold was too much for them to withstand, and in 1777 they, in 
common with the Cayugas, Onondagas and Mohawks, made a treaty 
with the British at Oswego, agreeing to serve the king throughout the 
war. Mary Jemison, the celebrated "White Woman," then living 
among the Senecas on the Genesee, declared that at the treaty the 
British agents, after giving the Indians numerous presents, promised a 
bounty on every scalp that should be brought in. However, there is a 
serious question whether a price was actually promised or paid for 
scalps, there being no positive evidence to sustain the assertion, and the 
probabilities are that it was not. Mary Jemison was considered a 
truthful woman and had good means of knowing what the Indians 
understood, and the latter were very ready to understand that they 
would be paid for taking scalps. 

The Senecas, as formerly, hesitated about attacking their brethren 
of the Long House, so now the Oneidas, who were friendly to the 
Americans, did not go out to battle against the other Iroquois until 
the latter years of the war, but at the battle of Stone Arabia, in the 
Mohawk Valley, it was an Oneida Indian, fighting with the Americans, 
who pursued and slew the infamous Captain Walter Butler, a com- 
mander of a tory company, the son of Col. John Butler and the asso- 
ciate of the notorious Joseph Brant. 

One of the most active and the most celebrated of the Iroquois chiefs 
in the Revolution was Joseph Brant, or Thayendanegea, a Mohawk who 
had received a moderate English education under the patronage of Sir 
William Johnson, and whose sister, Molly Brant, was the housekeeper 
and natural wife of the baronet. Brant was frequently intrusted with 
the command of detached parties by the British officers, but it does 
not appear that he had any authority over all the tribes, and it is quite 


certain that the haughty Senecas, to whom by ancient custom belonged 
both the principal war chiefs of the league, would not have submitted 
to the authority of a Mohawk. 

The three chiefs of the Senecas, who during the Revolution became 
exceedingly well known, were Farmer's Brother, Cornplanter and Gov- 
ernor Blacksnake. William L. Stone, author of the "Life of Brant," 
says that at the massacre of Wyoming, in 1778, the leader of the 
Senecas, who formed the main part of the Indian force on that occasion, 
was Guiengwahtoh, supposed to be the same as Guiyahgwahdoh, " the 
smoke bearer." That was the official title of the Seneca afterward 
known as "Young King," he being a kind of hereditary ambassador 
and the bearer of the smoking brand to light the council fire of the 
Senecas. He was too young to have been at Wyoming, but his 
predecessor in office (probably his maternal uncle) was the actual 
leader. It is certain also that Brant was not present at that battle. 

The Seneca chief familiarly known to the whites as Old Smoke, or 
Old King, but whose Indian name was Sayenqueraghta (Mohawk 
dialect), otherwise Guiyahgwahdoh (Seneca dialect), has been con- 
clusively shown by recent investigation to have been not only the in- 
stigator but the actual leader of the expedition that committed the 
terrible outrages at Wyoming. 

It is learned also from tiie "Anecdotes of Captain Joseph Brant," that 
the head chief of the Senecas was Sakoyengwaraghton (a dialectical 
variation of Old King's name), who was descended from a brave and 
loyal family distinguished by their attachment to the crown and to Brit- 
ish interests as early as the reign of Queen Anne, and who was pre- 
sented by the queen with a coronet, the only mark of distinction of the 
kind ever bestowed upon an Indian. He was in command of the 
Senecas at the battle of Oriskany, where seventeen of his nation were 
killed at the first onset. The Senecas were greatly exasperated by 
this loss, although they avenged it by killing many more of their 
enemy. They were not satisfied, however, and it was arranged at a 
council held at Kanadesaga that the chief just mentioned, and l^rant, 
would open a campaign in the early spring, the former to attack the 
Wyoming settlement, and Brant those of Schoharie, Mohawk and 
Cherry Valley. Sakoyengwaraghton "assembled his men without 


calling upon any white man," but Butler, being taunted with inactivity, 
was induced to offer his aid. The Seneca chief stipulated that his men 
be kept separate from the whites, and that they should be under his 
sole command. Without discussing at further length the life and acts 
of this somewhat noted chief, we may say that he has been commonly 
known as the king of the Senecas. The foregoing names are only varia- 
tions in spelling the Indian name of Old King or Old Smoke. 

Not only were the Senecas engaged in the terrible outrage at Wyom- 
ing, but as well were they present in force at Cherry Valley, together 
with a body of Mohawks under Brant, and of tories under Captain 
Walter Butler, son of. Col. John Butler, and there was another un- 
doubted massacre, in which nearly thirty women and children were 
killed, besides many men surprised helpless in their homes. These 
events, and other similar ones of less prominence nearly all concocted 
and starting from Kanadesaga, induced Congress and General Wash- 
ington to set on foot an expedition in the spring of 1779, which had 
a very strong relation to the early history of Ontario county, as it was 
the only important invasion ol the immediate territory by an Amer- 
ican army during the period of the war. The invasion, too, had a 
^strong bearing on the county's history, inasmuch as it brought to the 
knowledge of the troops, representing a number of the colonies, an 
understanding of the fertility and productiveness and salubrity of the 
climate of the Genesee country. The fact was disclosed to Sullivan's 
men that this region would produce large returns of grain, and in ad- 
dition that it was a fruit-growing region unsurpassed in any of the 

As has already been mentioned, the year 1778 was made memorable 
by the many horrible massacres and devastations committed upon the 
frontier settlements by the tories and Indians. By this time the latter 
had made considerable progress in civilization, were less migratory in 
their manner of living, had numerous villages about which were large 
cultivated fields, apple and peach orchards. They even made gardens 
in which a good variety of vegetables were grown. But notwithstand- 
ing the advances made in this respect and their association with whites 
and the adoption of the customs of the latter, they lost none of the 
natural Indian ferocity, and plundered and burned and murdered with 
all of the old time wantonness of the race. 


The expedition against the Indians, planned and carried out during 
the summer of 1779, was placed in command of Major-General John 
Sullivan This ofiFicer established his headquarters at Easton, Penna , 
on the 7th of May, 1779, and on the i8th of June, had his army com- 
pletely organized and supplied with all things necessary for the cam- 
paign. On the nth of August the troops encamped at Tioga Point, at 
which place, while awaiting the arrival of Clinton's brigade, a fortifica- 
tion was erected, to which the soldiers gave the name of Fort Sullivan. 
On the 26th of August, Sullivan's command broke camp at Tioga Point 
and took up the march toward the Indian country. As they proceeded 
the men destroyed all the small Indian villages and cultivated fields, 
and on the 29th they arrived at Newtown, five miles below the present 
city of Elmira, where they found the enemy in force and strongly in- 
trenched, the British and tories commanded by John Butler, his son 
Walter Butler, and Captain McDonald, while the Indians were under 
Thayendanegea, more commonly known as Captain Joseph Brant. A 
battle followed, which has always been known in history as the battle 
of Newtown. After a severe conflict of several hours the British, tories 
and Indians were defeated, and finding themselves on the point of being 
surrounded and captured, they fled precipitately and found refuge in the 
woods. Indeed, so great was Sullivan's victory at Newtown that not- 
withstanding all the art of Butler and Brant, the now discouraged In- 
dians could not be rallied together ; and thereafter throughout the 
extent of Sullivan's devastating expedition neither the Senecas nor any 
other of the opposing tribes could muster courage to oppose the in- 

After destroying everything that could be of value to the Indians, 
and after sending all the wounded soldiers and cumbersome artillery 
back to Fort Sullivan, the victorious Americans, in the lightest possible 
marching order, again resumed their journey. About midnight on the 
first of September the army arrived at Catherinestown, situated on the 
inlet about three miles from the head of Seneca lake, near the site of 
the present village of Havana. This was the residence of the famous 
Catherine Montour, by many writers confused with Queen Esther, no- 
torious as the " Fiend of Wyoming," and also with Madam Montour, who 
were, respectively, probably her sister and grandmother. After camp- 


ing one day at this village and destroying all the cabins and growing 
crops, the army proceeded northward along the east side of Seneca lake, 
destroying the little settlements at Peach Orchard and North Hector, 
arriving on the fifth at the Indian town of Kendaia, or Appletown. The 
village here was located on lot 79 in the present town of Romulus. 
The most important event in connection with the arrival at Kendaia 
was the rescue of Luke Swetland, who had been a prisoner among the 
Indians for a year. On the afternoon of the sixth the army resumed its 
march and encamped that night on the lake shore, near a ravine former- 
ly called " Indian Hollow," on lot 64 in the town of Romulus. Here 
was found a large quantity of pea vines which afforded excellent fodder 
for the horses, and from the camp the men looked across the lake into 
the Indian village of Kashong where they saw a number of Indians 
driving horses. 

On the morning of September 7 the invading army made an early 
start, following substantially the lake road, and after marching about 
eight miles arrived at the foot of Seneca lake. Here a halt was ordered 
and scouts sent forward to reconnoiter, as it was expected that in this 
vicinity the Indians would make a determined stand to defend the Old 
Castle and their chief village of Kanadesaga. However, no ambuscade 
or other defence was attempted by the Indians, and the march was re- 
sumed across the outlet and close to the lake shore, between the main 
body of water and the alm.ost impassable swamp to the northward of it. 
After proceeding about half a mile between the lake and the swamp, 
the outlet was reached and crossed, the same being about twenty yards 
wide, and from " knee " to " middle " deep, according to the accounts 
of various writers. 

Although Sullivan's scouts reported no Indians in sight, the com- 
mander prudently approached Kanadesaga with the greatest caution. 
After crossing the outlet the men marched through a dangerous defile 
and across a morass, nearly a mile west of the old outlet, the locality 
now known as the " Soap Mine." Haifa mile still further on they crossed 
Marsh creek and soon reached " Butler's Buildings," located in a beau- 
tiful situation at the northwest corner of the lake, in the vicinity of the 
present canal bridge. These buildings and the adjacenfcorn-field were 
destroyed, after which the army proceeded in three divisions to the 


"Seneca Castle," or Kanadesaga, the capital of the Senecas, located on 
Kanadesaga or Castle Brook, about two miles northwesterly from the 
foot of the lake. It was Sullivan's intention to surround the village and 
endeavor to cutofif a retreat on the part of the Indians, but when the 
army arrived they found that all the inhabitants had fled and not a per- 
son was found, except a little white boy about three or four years old, 
who was entirely naked and almost starved. The child was tenderly 
cared for and afterward adopted by Captain Thomas Machin, and was 
given the same name as his adopted father, but lived only a few years. 
It was never known who his parents were. Kanadesaga was found to 
contain about fifty houses, with thirty more in the near vicinity. A 
few of these were framed buildings, but all were irregularly located 
around a large open space, the center of the latter containing the stock- 
ade fort and block houses built by Sir William Johnson in 1756, and 
which at the time of the invasion were substantially in ruins ; yet their 
ground outlines were plainly discernible. In the immediate vicinity of 
the village were large apple orchards and extensive fields of growing 
corn, while half a mile to the northward was a large peach orchard. 
Wild plums, mulberries, hickory nuts, walnuts and butternuts likewise 
grew in great abundance. In the houses was found considerable corn, 
many skins and Indian trinkets and curiosities. 

On the 8th of September the main body of the army was employed 
in destroying the houses, orchards, fields and gardens at Kanadesaga, 
and on the same day a detachment of riflemen and volunteers, four hun- 
dred in number, under command of Major Parr, was sent to destroy the 
Indian village and settlement known as Kashong, located seven miles 
south of Geneva on the lake shore, in the northeastern portion 
of the town of Benton. The village contained about fifteen or 
twenty houses, all of which were destroyed, together with large quan- 
tities of corn, beans and other vegetable products, and as well large 
apple and peach trees with which the locality seemed to abound. At 
this place there was said to have been taken also five horses and a num- 
ber of fowls. Major Parr found the vicinity of this little village so ex- 
tensively cultivated that his force was unable to complete the work of 
destruction in a single day, and he was compelled to send to Kanadesa- 
ga for an additional detachment of two hundred men ; and it was not 


until the evening of the ninth that Parr's men rejoined the main army 
while the latter was in camp at Flint Creek. On the 8th a detachment 
of troops under Col. John Harper was sent down the Seneca river about 
eight miles to destroy a Cayuga village called Skoiyase, on the site of 
the present Waterloo in Seneca county. 

While Sullivan's army was camping at Kanadesaga there was much 
discussion among the officers as to the advisability of pushing the work 
of destruction further westward into the heart of the Seneca country, 
and it was finally decided that the sick and wounded, together with all 
useless and cumbersome baggage, should be sent back to Tioga 
under an escort of fifty men. This being done, the invaders supplied 
themselves with all things necessary for temporary maintenance and de- 
stroyed the surplus*. On the morning of the 9th they set out upon their 
westward march, following substantially the Indian trail along which the 
old turnpike was afterward laid out, and in the evening encamped at Flint 
Creek, where was discovered evidence showing that the Indians had 
been there a few days before. Early the next morning the march was 
resumed and on the same day the army reached the Indian town of 
Canandaigua, located in the western part of the present village of that 
name. " At Kanadague," says General Sullivan's report, " we found 
twenty-three very elegant houses mostly and in general very large. 
Here we also found very extensive fields of corn." These houses are 
mentioned in the journals (kept by a number of Sullivan's men) as very 
substantial, better than any ever seen before in the Indian country and 
constructed mainly of hewn planks or logs, and from their general ap- 
pearance indicated occupancy by white people. A few of the houses 
had very neat and well built chimneys. 

The army halted at Canandaigua only long enough to destroy the 
buildings, and then proceeded a mile further to the corn-fields, which 
were located on a ridge north of the town. Here they camped and at 
once set about destroying the crops growing in the vicinity. At sun- 

*Sergeant Moses Fellows says in his journal: What Corn, Beans, Peas, Squashes, Potatoes, 
Inions, Turnips, Cabage, Cowcumbers, Water-millions, Carrots, Pasnips, etc. our men and horses, 
cattle, etc. could not Rat was Distroyed this Morning Hofore we march." As an indication of the 
great number of fruit trees that were girdled at this place by Sullivan'.s army, it may here be 
stated that sprouts from the roots soon sprang up and in 1797, only eighteen years later, one 
hundred bushels of peaches were sold to a distillery and cider to the amount of $1,200 was sold, 
the product of these orchards. 


rise on September 1 1 the army was again in motion, retracing their 
steps back to the town and thence in a southwesterly direction, follow- 
ing substantially the Hne of the present road through Bristol to the foot 
of Honeoye Lake, where was located another Indian village of about ten 
or twelve houses, built of hewn logs, which, together with the corn-fields 
of the locality, the invaders destroyed. At this place Sullivan estab- 
lished a post with a garrison of fifty men under Captain Cummings,and 
here was left ail the heavy stores and one field piece, and all the sick 
and infirm men. about two hundred and fifty in number, together with 
a large number of pack-horses which were allowed to roam in the 

About noon on the 12th of September the army resumed its march, 
traveling in a southwesterly direction about eleven miles, and camped 
in the woods two miles from the village called Kanaghsaws, tiie resi- 
dence of Big or Great Tree, situated near the head of Conesus Lake. 
Being somewhat uncertain as to the location of the large western town, 
Sullivan directed Lieutenant Thomas Boyd to take a detail of men and 
make a reconnoissance during the night. The detachment, comprising 
about twenty-seven men were surrounded by the Indians, many of 
them killed, and only a few succeeded in effecting an escape. Boyd 
and Sergeant Parker were among the captured and were taken to Little 
Beard's Town where they were horribly tortured and put to death. 

The town of Kanaghsaws was destroyed, and on the same day, Sep- 
tember 13, the army pushed forward to Gathtsegwarohare, a village 
located on the east side of Canaseraga Creek, about two miles above its 
confluence with the Genesee. This town comprised twenty five houses, 
of then recent construction, all of which, with the extensive corn- fields 
in the region, were destroyed. About noon on the 14th, having com- 
pleted the devastation of the village, the westward march was resumed, 
and at sunset of the same day the army reached the Genesee Castle, 
commonly called by the whites Little Beard's Town, and which was the 
original western door of the famous Long House of the Iroquois con- 
federacy. It was located on the west side of the Genesee River, and 
near the site of the present village of Cuylerville, in Livingston county. 
According to General Sullivan's report. Little B^eard's Town contained 
128 houses, many of them very large and elegant, while the village it- 


self was beautifully situated and almost encircled in a cleared flat sev- 
eral miles in extent, and scattered over the latter were vast fields of 
corn, grain, vegetables and other earth products. On the morning of 
the 15th the whole army began the work of destruction of every thing 
that could be available to the recent occupants of the village, it being 
estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 bushels of corn alone were 
destroyed at this place. 

The work of destruction being completed, the army faced about, fol- 
lowing the same general line of march as before, diverging slightly how- 
ever, to destroy isolated dwellings and cornfields, and on the evening 
of September 19 arrived at Kanadesaga. From this point Sullivan 
sent out various detachments of troops who destroyed every Indian 
village and all growing crops that could be found. On the 20th the 
main army took final leave of Kanadesaga, crossed the outlet of Seneca 
Lake and encamped on the shore. The next day, following the course 
by which they came, the troops proceeded to Newtown, thence to Tioga 
and finally to Easton, arriving at the latter place October 15th, where 
the men went into winter quarters. 

In summing up the results of the expedition under his personal direc- 
tion, General Sullivan's report says: " The number of towns destroyed 
by this army amounted to forty besides scattering houses. The quan- 
tity of corn destroyed, at a moderate computation, must amount to 
160,000 bushels, with a vast quantity of vegetables of every kind. 
Every creek and river has been traced, and the whole country explored 
in search of Indian settlements, and I am well persuaded that, except 
one town situated near the ' Allegana,' about fifty miles from ' Chinesee,' 
there is not a single town left in the country of the Five Nations." 

The other detachments of troops which were sent to destroy Indian 
villages in other directions than that taken by Sullivan, were equally 
successful in accomplishing the work assigned to them. The result was 
that the Indians, now bereft of all means of maintaining themselves, 
were left to the mercy of the British. A large number from various of 
the interior tribes betook themselves to Montreal, where they joined the 
army commanded by Sir John Johnson and his equally cruel subordi- 
nates. The Senecas, however, fled in great dismay before Sullivan's 
conquering host and found refuge and protection at Fort Niagara. The 


Senecas, moreover, were the tribe who were chiefly feared and against 
whom the vengeance of the Americans was chiefly directed. 

Another result of Sullivan's expedition was that it substantially de- 
stroyed the bond which bound the Six Nations together, and while the 
league for a time afterward retained its form, it had lost its binding 
power. By this separation the Oneidas and Tuscaroras became still 
more frindly to the Americans, while the tribes whose possessions had 
been destroyed were completely subservient to the British power, 
thereby weakening the whole intertribal relation ; and the spirit of the 
Senecas, the most powerful and warlike of all the tribes, was much 
broken by their recent punishment. It was a more serious matter with 
them than had been the destruction of their villages in earlier times, for 
they had learned to depend more on agriculture and less on the chase, 
and possessed not only corn-fields, but gardens, orchards, and sometimes 
comfortable houses. In fact they had adopted many of the customs of 
civilized life, though without abating their primitive pleasures, such as 
tomahawking prisoners and scalping the dead. 

After taking up their temporary abode at Fort Niagara, the Senecas 
remained there during the winter of 1779-80, which was of unusual 
severity, and they were scantily sustained by the British authorities. 

Of the severity of the winter Mary Jemison says : " The snow fell 
about five feet and remained so for a long time ; and the weather was 
extremely cold, so much so, indeed, that almost all the game upon 
which the Indians depended for subsistence perished, and reduced them 
almost to a state of starvation through that and three or four succeed- 
ing years. When the snow melted in the spring deer were found dead 
upon the ground in vast numbers, and other animals of every descrip- 
tion perished from the cold also and were found dead in multitudes. 
Many of our people barely escaped with their lives and some actually 
died of hunger and freezing." 

In the following spring the officers made efforts to persuade them to 
make new settlements and plant crops, but the red men were anxious 
to keep as far as possible from their dreaded foes and would not risk 
their families again at their ancient seats. A considerable body of 
Senecas with a few Cayugas and Onondagas established themselves on 
Buffalo Creek, about four miles above its mouth. Among the Senecas, 


and one who had been their leader, was Old King (Sayenqueraghta) 
then an aged but influential chief. Among the Indians were several 
members of the Gilbert family, Quakers who had been captured on the 
borders of Pennsylvania in the spring of 1780. 

Meanwhile the war had gone forward with varying fortunes. Sir 
John Johnson, Col. Guy Johnson, the Butlers and Brant kept the In- 
dians as busy as possible marauding upon the frontiers, devastating par 
ticularly the Mohawk Valley, the vicinity of the Johnsons' former home, 
but the Indian spirit had been so thoroughly broken that the maraud- 
ers were unable to produce such devastation as at Wyoming and Cherry 

In the fall of 1783 peace was formally declared between Great Britain 
and the revolted colonies, and the latter were thenceforth to be known 
as the United States of America. By the treaty the boundary line was 
established along the center of Lake Ontario, Niagara River, and Lake 
Erie. Although the forts held b}'' the British on the American side of 
the line were not given up for many years afterward, and they thus re- 
tained a strong influence over the Indians located on this side. Thus 
the unquestioned English authority over the territory of Ontario county 
lasted only from the treaty with France in 1763, to that with the United 
States in 1783, a little more than twenty years. 


Condition of the Six Nations at the Close of the Revolution — Their Tieatnient by 
the State (xovermnent— Treaty at Fort Stanwix —Land Grants Sought to be Secured 
— Operations of the New York Genesee Land Company and the Niagara Genesee Land 
Company — The Long Leases — How Obtained — Controversy Between New York and 
Massachusetts — Its Settlement — Annulled by the State — The New State Project — 
Its Promoters — How Regarded in Ontario County. 

IN the treaty of peace between the British government and the United 
States no provision whatever was made for the Indian allies of the 
former living in the State of New York, but the English authorities of- 
fered them land in Canada, which was accepted by the Mohawks alone. 


However, the United States treated them with great moderation, and 
that notwithstanding the fact that the Six Nations had violated their 
pledges, and without provocation had plunged into a war against the 
colonies. Still they were readily admitted to the benefits of peace, and 
were even recognized as the owners of all the land in New York over 
which they had ranged before the Revolution. The property line pre- 
viously drawn between the whites and Indians ran along the eastern 
borders of Broome and Chenango counties, and thence northwestward to 
a point seven miles west of Rome. 

In October, 1784, a treaty was made at F'ort Stanwix between three 
commissioners of the United States and the sachems and chiefs of the 
Six Nations. The Marquis de La Fayette was present and made a 
speech, though not^ne of the commissioners. It is quite certain that 
Red Jacket, then a noted young Seneca, who afterward claimed to have 
been there, did not take any part in the council. Brant was not pres 
ent, although he had been active in a council with Governor Clinton 
only a short time before. Cornplanter, too, was there and spoke on be- 
half of the Senecas, but Sayenqueraghta, or Old King, was recognized 
as the leading Seneca chief. The eastern boundary of the Indian lands 
does not seem to have been in question at this time, but the government 
commissioners desired to extinguish whatever claim the Six Nations 
might have to Ohio and other western territory, and also to keep open 
the right of way around Niagara Falls, which Sir William Johnson had 
obtained for the British ; and it was accordingly agreed that the west- 
ern boundary of the Indian lands should begin on Lake Ontario, four 
miles east of the Niagara River. All the territory of the Six Nations 
west of this boundary line was ceded to the United States, and the In- 
dians were to be secured in the peaceful possession of the lands they in- 
habited east of the same, except six miles around Fort Oswego, which 
was reserved to the United States. 

The treaty at Fort Stanwix was finally accomplished after many dif- 
ficulties, and only after several adjournments. The British officers at 
Fort Niagara used every endeavor to prevent the Senecas from attend- 
ing the council, and Brant was also charged with using his influence in 
the same direction, and it is believed that had he been present no treaty 
would have been concluded. However, the document was finally signed 


by Cornplanter and two other Seneca chiefs, and by two each of the 
Mohawks, Onondagas, Oneidas and Tuscaroras, and one Cayuga. 
Among the names of the witnesses were three Pennsylvania commis- 
sioners, Missionery Samuel Kirkland, and James Dean. Although the 
attempt to procure a cession of lands by the State of New York from 
the Indians was not successful at this time, in consequence of the United 
States commissioners persisting in holding a treaty at the time ap- 
pointed by the State for that purpose, the situation of affairs made it 
necessary that a grant should be obtained from them as speedily as pos- 
sible, and in pursuance of that fact the next Legislature passed an act 
directing the governor and commissioners of Indian affairs to obtain a 
cessipn or grant of such lands as the Indians should be willing to dis- 
pose bf on reasonable terms, on or before the first of October, 1785. 

The treaty just mentioned as having been made with the Indians at 
Fort Stawix was followed by others of like character, but that re- 
ferred to above was the first that covered any portion of the broad 
Genesee country, and consequently was within the boundaries of 
Ontario county as originally created. The granting of lands by the 
Indians, except as they included portions of the region of which we 
write, was of frequent occurrence and has no important relation to the 
subject. While the Indians had no rightful claim to any of the lands 
within the State, they were nevertheless regarded as owners of the 
territory west of the property line, and the State sought only to acquire 
title through the recognized channels and upon the payment of ample 
compensation. There was, however, a class of persons, land specu- 
lators, who were organized as corpoiations, or as parties, and occasion- 
ally acting in an individual capacity, whose aim was to obtain Indian 
titles for the least possible consideration, often using liquor as a domi- 
nant factor in bringing about results and without the payment of 
adequate compensation for the lands they obtained. 

To put an end to operations of this character the Legislature passed 
a law which forbade the purchase of Indian lands by corporations, 
parties or individuals, reserving the purchase right to the State alone or 
subject to its approval. To avoid the provisions of the law, the specu- 
lative capitalists of the region, many of them residents of the Mohawk 
and Hudson River valleys, thereafter sought to obtain at least a quali- 


fied title to the lands by negotiating leases for long terms of years, in 
the hope that after being possessed they might persuade the Legis- 
lature to confirm them in their titles. Such a lease was made to run 
for a period of 999 years, covering a vast area of territory, being the 
same region that was afterward in part erected into Ontario county. 
About that time, however, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the 
State of New York, through their respective authorities, were engaged 
in dispute regarding the title to the lands now of Ontario county, and 
as well of the whole western portion of the State. As a matter of fact 
this controvery began previous to the Revolution, but the outbreak of 
the war united the otherwise opposing elements in the defence of com- 
mon interests. After the overthrow of the British dominion in Amer- 
ica, and after the several colonies had taken upon themselves the char- 
acter of statehood, the discussion was renewed with much warmth and 
some bitterness, and it was only after mutual concessions that an 
amicable settlement of the difficulty was reached. This is a subject, 
however, that has a special bearing upon the early history of Ontario 
county, and therefore calls for a brief review of the claims of the con 
testing States from the time of the origin of those claims, an hundred 
years before. 

In 1628 Charles I of England granted a charter for the government 
of Massachusetts Bay. It included the territory between 40 degrees, 2 
minutes and 44 degrees, 15 minutes north, extending from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific, making a colony 154 miles wide and 4,000 miles long. 
Ontario county was included with its boundaries, as was the whole of 
Western New York. 

On the 1 2th of March, 1664, Charles II of England conveyed by 
royal patent to his brother James, Duke of York, all the country from 
the river St. Croix to the Kennebec in Maine; also Nantucket, Martha's 
Vineyard and Long Island, together with all the land from the west 
side of the Connecticut River to the east side of Delaware Bay. The 
Duke sent an English squadron, under Admiral Richard Nicolls, to 
secure the gift, and on the 8th of September following Governor Stuy- 
vesant capitulated, being constrained to that course by the Dutch 
colonists, who preferred peace with the same privileges and liberties 
accorded to the English colonists, to a prolong and perhaps fruitless 


contest. Thus ended the Dutch regime. The EngHsh changed the 
name of New Amsterdam to New York. Like the Massachusetts grant, 
that of the province of New York covered a vast extent of territory, 
and with subsequent additions by other charters h'kewise extended 
indefinitely westward, or from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 

Many were the controversies arising from these conflicting or over- 
lapping grants ; but previous to the close of the last French and Eng- 
lish war, while there was still an uncertainty as to which would be the 
dominant power in America, there does not appear to have been any 
controversy between the colonial authorities respecting the extent of 
the several provinces. We must except, however, from the last state- 
ment the case relating to the New Hampshire grants, in which the 
controversy in fact began about the year 1750. 

After the close of the French war the governors of Massachusetts and 
New York opened a discussion regarding the apparent conflict in their 
charters, but at that time as settlement had not progressed on the dis- 
puted territory, the controversy had taken no definite form. At that 
time, too, the public mind was drawn in another direction, growing out 
of the oppressive burdens heaped upon the colonies b}' the mother 
country. However, even before the outbreak of the Revolution, an 
agreement was entered into between John Watts. William Smith, 
Robert R. Livingston and William Nicoll, commissioners on the part of 
New York, and William Brattle, Joseph Hawley and John Hancock, on 
the part of Massachusetts, who were to run the line and agree upon a 
boundary between the respective colonies ; but the Revolution soon 
followed and the line was never run. It must be stated, however, that 
the agreement just referred to was to provide for the settlement of the 
boundary line between New York and Massachusetts as at present 
located, and had no special reference to the territory now included in 
Western New York. 

After the close of the Revolution, and after the independence of the 
United States had been secured, the newly created States of Massa- 
chusetts and New York resumed a discussion of the old controversy 
with a view to its amicable adjustment. To effect a settlement Massa- 
chusetts, by an act passed March 14, 1784, petitioned Congress to 
take action in the premises, upon which the Federal body appointed 


Thomas Hutchins, John Ewing and David Rittenhouse, commissioners 
to determine the controversy. However, while proceedings were pend- 
ing in Congress, the legislative bodies of the contesting States passed 
acts providing for the appointment of commissioners to settle the 
dispute otherwise than by the Federal Courts, and in such manner as 
should be deemed for the general welfare. The claims of Massachusetts 
to the lands of Western New York were finally settled at Hartford, Conn., 
December i6, 1786, by James Duane, Robert R. Livingston, Rob- 
ert Yates, John Haring, Melancthon Smith, and Egbert Benson, on the 
part of New York, and John Lowell, James Sullivan, Theophilus Parsons, 
and Rufus King, on the part of Massachusetts. By the agreement of 
the commissioners, Massachusetts surrendered the sovereignty of the 
whole disputed territory to New York and received in return the right 
of soil and pre emptive right of Indian purchase west of a meridian line 
passing through the eighty- second mile stone on the Pennsylvania north 
line, except certain reservations, consisting of 230,400 acres between the 
Oswego and Chenango Rivers in the southern part of the State and one 
mile in width along the Niagara River. We may here state that the terri- 
tory thus ceded by New York, west of the meridian line, in fee to Massa- 
chusetts, was substantially the same which, three years later, was erected 
into Ontario county. The land, the pre-emption right to which was 
ceded, amounted to about six million acres. 

The plain interpretation of this agreement was that the territory in 
question should continue under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the 
authorities of New York State and subject to its laws and government, 
but that its ownership and fee should be vested in the State of Massa- 
chusetts, subject only to whatever rights the Indian occupants had at 
that time. This right Massachusetts was at liberty to purchase from 
the natives, while all other persons or corporations were expressly for- 
bidden by the laws of the State from negotiating any purchase from the 
Indians, whether on the pre emption tract or elsewhere. 

The proceedings of the arbitration commission were held, and its 
agreement reached, as has been stated, during the year 1786, and in 
1787 Massachusetts began casting about for a sale of her newly acquired 
territory. However, at this juncture there appeared a disturbing ele- 
ment which not only threatened trouble for the Bay State's interest, but 


as afterward developed, that same troublesome factor threatened to dis- 
rupt if not entirely overthrow the very institutions of the State of New 
York. The troubles and vexations of the time were caused by the un- 
warranted and unlawful operations of the New York Genesee Land 
Company, and its auxiliary association, the Niagara Genesee Land 
Company, the latter being organized for the express purpose of carry- 
ing out the nefarious scheme of the former. 

In 1787 there was organized an association of individuals who styled 
themselves the " New York Genesee Land Company," prominent 
among whom were John Livingston, Major Peter Schuyler, Doctor 
Caleb Benton, Ezekiel Gilbert, and others of more or less note. The 
object of this association was the acquirements of lands from the Indians, 
not, however, by purchase, for that was forbidden by law, but by ob- 
taining leases of land for long periods of years, and upon the payment 
of small cash considerations, and an annual rental. The persons com- 
prising this company were men of large means, most of whom resided 
in the Hudson River region, and who became members of it solely for 
purposes of speculation. This company caused to be organized an 
auxiliary association, called the " Niagara Genesee Land Company," 
numbering among its members Colonel John Butler, Samuel Street, John 
Powell, Johnson and Murphy, subjects of Great Britian, and Benjamin 
Barton, a citizen of the United States, all of whom were supposed to 
possess much influence over the Indians and through whom the chief 
land company hoped and proposed to secure its leases. 

Through the machinations of the lessee organization there was exe- 
cuted by the Six Nations a lease in which the lessee party was the New 
York Genesee Land Company, the instrument bearing the date of No- 
vember 30, 1787, and running for a period of nine hundred and ninety- 
nine years The council or treaty at which this long lease was obtained 
was held at Kanadesaga at the time above indicated, and purported to 
be an agreement between the " chiefs or sachems of the Six Nations of 
Indians, on the one part, and John Livingston, Cabel Benton, Peter 
Ryckman, John Stevenson, and Ezekiel Gilbert, for themselves and their 
associates of the county of Columbia and State of New York, of the 
other part." The territory conveyed by this lease included "all that 
certain tract or parcel of land commonly called and known by the name 


of the lands of the Six Nations of Indians, situate, lying and being in 
the State of New York, and now in the actual possession of the said 
chiefs or sachems of the Six Nations " In brief, the lands included or 
covered by this lease comprised all that part of the State lying west of 
the " property line " which has been described in an earlier chapter. 

The consideration expressed in the lease was a yearly rent or sum of 
2,000 Spanish milled dollars, payable on the 4th day of July in each 
year. The instrument was signed by forty six Indian chiefs, principally 
Senecas and Cayugas, among the signatures there being found the names 
of Farmer's Brother, Cornplanter, Big Throat, Big Tree, Infant, Chaw 
Tobac, Hot Bread, and Little Beard. The witnesses were M. Rose- 
krantz, George Stimson, jr., Joseph Smith, and Colonel Lewy. 

On the 8th of January, 1788, another lease was executed between the 
company and certain other Indian chiefs and sachems, by which another 
large tract of land, claimed to be that of the Oneidas, passed into the 
constructive possession of the lessees above named ; but as the lease 
first mentioned was the one that included all the lands of Ontario 
county, no further detail is necessary of others in this place. 

The lease consummated, the new proprietary at once set about the 
colonization of their extensive territor}/, but no sooner had the intelli- 
gence of this lease reached the ears of Governor Clinton than that of- 
ficial at once dispatched trustworthy agents to the land of the Senecas 
for the purpose of informing the latter that they had been duped; that 
the lease would be declared null and void by the State Legislature, and 
that they, the Indians, should refrain from further negotiations with 
either of the land companies or their agents. 

It appears that the originators of the scheme for the acquirement of 
Indian lands by lease had another project in view than the mere ac- 
quisition of title. At that time, as well as previously and afterward, 
there was a controversy between the authorities of this State and those 
of the then independently organized district known as the State of Ver- 
mont, over which latter New York claimed sovereignty and jurisdiction 
as against New Hampshire. And while the situation in Vermont had 
no parallel in the case of the lessee company in this State, the latter was 
inspired with the hope that in acquiring a long lease-hold interest in 
the lands of the Six Nations, they, too, might organize a separate and 


independent estate. Such was their intention, as was afterward dis- 
closed, but the prompt and energetic action of Governor Chnton 
thwarted their schemes, annulled their leases, and made them glad to 
sue for peace and compromise. The result was that instead of possess- 
ing several million acres of land, and forming the region into a new 
State, they were ultimately content with receiving a ten mile square 
grant off the old military tract in the northern part of the State, to- 
gether with other concessions and gratuities of less note from the Phelps 
and Gorham proprietary. However, the consideration of the grants 
from the latter was the influence of the agents of the lessees among the 
Indians in enabling Phelps and Gorham to perfect their title. 

In noting events in connection with the long leases, it may be stated 
that in February, 1788, Livingston and Benton, who appear to have 
been the leading spirits in the enterprise, presented to the Legislature a 
copy of the leases they had obtained, and solicited the appointment of 
commissioners to confer with them, the lessees, " on such terms and con- 
siderations as may be consistent with the justice, dignity and policy of 
the State, and that the Legislature would be pleased to recognize the 
said leases under such restriction as to them in their wisdom shall ap- 
pear just and equitable." 

Although the lessees had at this session one of their number in the 
Senate, and three, including Livingston himself, in the Assembly, yet 
their petition was summarily rejected, and the Legislature by resolution 
passed' February 16, 1788, declared the leases to be purchases, and em- 
powered the governor to use the force of the State, if necessary, to pre- 
vent intrusion or settlement upon the lands so claimed. 

The prime movers of the lease scheme had, as has already been in- 
timated, something more in view than the mere possession of the lands, 
and it was doubtless their design to form a new State out of the terri- 
tory of Central and Western New York, and in case of success the long 
leases would have been declared titles in fee simple. And this project 
was not abandoned by the surrender of the leases, but was kept in abey- 
ance until compensation lands were procured for them by an act of 
the Legislature, and then in the autumn of the same 5^ear a circular 
"signed by John Livingston and Caleb Benton as ofificers of a conven- 
tion purporting to have been held at Geneva, was issued, urging the 


people to hold town meetings and sign petitions for a new state to be 
set off from New York, and to embrace the territory of the counties, as 
then existing, of Otsego, Tioga, Herkimer and Ontario," then compris- 
ing the whole of Central and Western New York. 

This daring attempt at secession was met in a spirit of true patriotism, 
and at a meeting held at " Canandargua " immediately after the ad- 
journment of court on the 8th of November, 1793, "All the Judges 
and Assistant Judges, and a large Majority of the Justices of the Peace, 
together with all the Inhabitants, convened from different Parts of the 
County on that Occasion, were present." Hon. Timothy Hosmer, first 
judge of the county, was elected chairman, and Nathaniel Gorham, jr., 
clerk. At this meeting, after a full discussion of the situation, the in- 
habitants present unanimously adopted resolutions expressive of the sen- 
timent of the people of the county, which resolutions were as follows : 

Resolved, That the inhabitants of the county of Ontario, sensible of 
many advantages that they have derived from their connection with one 
of the most respectable States of the Union, and desirous of the contin- 
uation of the same advantages, highly resent the ill-timed and improper 
attempt made by the characters above alluded to (referring to promo- 
ters of the new state scheme) to disturb their peace and harmony, that 
they conceive their measure as pregnant with danger, and such as, if 
carried into efifect, would introduce into our infant county all the com- 
plicated evils which anarchy and confusion can create. 

Resolved, That this meeting highly resent the threats made use of by 
the said persons, and conceive that, under the protection of the State 
of New York, they have nothing to fear from any banditti they can col- 
lect for the purpose of forcing them into measures which they heartily 
disapprove of. 

Resolved, That this meeting, fully impressed with the impossibility of 
the proposed state's defraying expenses of the most moderate govern- 
ment that can be devised, and aware of the impolicy as well as injustice 
of raising by enormous taxes on uncultivated lands such a revenue, or 
of devoting to those expenses property purchased under the faith of the 
States of New York and Massachusetts, and of drawing into our flour- 
ishing county people that such iniquitous measures would attract ; 
recommend to the persons above alluded to, to persuade some more 


laudable mode of gratifying their ambition, and to desist from proceed- 
ings altogether hostile to our interest and welfare. 

Resolved, Also, that it is the opinion of this meeting that the pro- 
posed meeting at Geneva ought not to be attended, as it was called by 
strangers to the county, and that we will consider as inimical to the 
county such persons belonging to it, who, at said meeting, shall consent 
to any of the proposals before reprobated. 

Resolved, That this meeeting expect, after having made this public 
declaration of their situation, that those intrusted with the administra- 
tion of the State, will take the most vigorous measures to suppress any 
of the attempts made to destroy the peace and quiet of this county. 

While the foregoing resolutions are not a full copy of the whole of 
the original, they nevertheless substantially set forth the sentiments ex- 
pressed by the inhabitants of the county who attended the meeting. 
From what is stated it will be seen that the promoters of the new state 
scheme had few adherents in Ontario county. The lessees had in con- 
templation the formation of a new state previous to the erection of the 
county, and the annullment of their leases, and even the relinquishment 
of their pretended claim to the Phelps and Gorham tract seems not to 
have had the effect of changing their original purpose. The new state 
project had many followers who were residents of the counties east of 
the pre-emption line, while in the region of the extreme western part of 
the State there were others who likewise favored the scheme. It seems, 
too, from what is stated in the resolutions that emmissaries of the les- 
sees were going among the people of the newly created county, in the 
hope of pursuading them to favor the new state. At that time Geneva 
was a central point of operations, perhaps the most important location 
then in the whole Genesee country. By this time, also, Canandaigua 
had become a village of some note, and in both of these places the sub- 
ject of the new formation was the most important topic in the public 

However, the whole scheme proposed and contended for by the lessees 
proved a complete failure. As will be found more fully stated in the 
succeeding chapter, Phelps and Gorham became the proprietors of a 
vast area of territory west of Seneca Lake, and in perfecting their title 
by purchase from the Indian owners, they were, of course, confronted 


with the long lease, but by concessions made to the lessees, and by lib- 
eral inducements held out to some of the more influential members of 
the two land companies, they succeeded in winning them over, and thus 
without serious difficulty they soon afterward obtained a deed from the 
Indians for their fee in what has always been known as the " Phelps 
and Gorham Purchase." The land purchased by Phelps and Gorham 
from the Indians was, of course, a part of the territory covered by the 
long lease ; and in their negotiations the lessees relinquished their right 
to the tract, and at the same time the Indians released the New York 
Genesee Land Company from the payment of the entire sum of 2000 
dollars per year, and in lieu thereof agreed to accept the annual rental 
of 1000 dollars for the balance of the land held under the long lease. 


The Phelps and Gorham Purchase — Rev. Samuel Kirkland Superintends the Pur- 
chase of the Indian Titles — Treaty at Buffalo Creek — Mr. Phelps Secures the Influence 
of Certain Lessees — The Purchase and its Approval — The Proprietors Fail in their 
Payments — Sale to Robert Morris — The London Associates — The Pre-emption Line — 
Error and Fraud Charged — The Re-survey — Charles Williamson. 

SOON after Massachusetts became possessed of the pre-emption 
right from the State of New York, Oliver Phelps with a company 
of associates resolved to purchase a large tract of land, but before his 
plans were matured Nathaniel Gorham had made a proposition to the 
Legislature at the session in 1787, but the matter failed. Soon after 
this a consolidation of speculative interests was effected by parties who 
desired to become interested in the venture, and an association was 
formed of which Phelps and Gorham were constituted agents and rep- 
resentatives. They made a proposition to Massachusetts "to purchase 
for the consideration of 300,000 pounds in consolidated securities of 
this Commonwealth, or 3,000 pounds specie together with 290,000 
pounds in like securities, the right of pre-emption which this Common- 
wealth has in and to the western territory, so called, lately ceded by the 
State of New York to this Commonwealth." 


On the 1st of April, 1788, Massachusetts agreed to sell the lands to 
the Phelps and Gorham association for the sum of 300,000 pounds as 
above, to be paid in three annual installments, and authorized the pro- 
prietary to extinguish the claims of the Indians by purchase. At the 
same time the Legislature appointed Rev. Samuel Kirkland to super- 
intend the negotiations with the Indians, and approve or disapprove of 
whatever should be done. 

After the passage of this act the shareholders in the association held 
a meeting and appointed Gen. Israel Chapin to go out and explore the 
country ; Oliver Phelps to be general agent, and whose first duty 
should be to hold a treaty with the Indians and purchase the fee of the 
soil ; Nathaniel Gorham to be an agent to confer with the authorities of 
New York in reference to running the east boundary or pre-emption 
line ; and William Walker as the local agent of surveys and sales. 

Mr. Phelps soon made preparations for a treaty with the Indians at 
Kanadesaga, and in order to facilitate operations, secured the influence 
of John Livingston, one of the most prominent members of the New 
York Genesee Land Company. On arriving at Kanadesaga Mr. 
Phelps soon found that the Niagara Genesee Company was in conflict 
with Mr. Livingston's company, and was holding and controlling the 
Indians at Buffalo Creek. He at once proceeded to the latter place, 
and succeeded in securing the favor of John Butler, Samuel Street and 
others of the Niagara Company, and Livingston, Caleb Benton and 
Ezekiel Gilbert of the principal company (who claimed ownership under 
the long lease), by promising them a number of townships of land. Thus 
Mr. Phelps was at once enabled to hold a council with the Indians, and 
on the 8th of July following he concluded a treaty with them, securing 
all the lands the Indians would then sell, estimated to contain 2,600,000 
acres, and agreeing to pay therefor the sum of $5,000 and an annuity 
of $500 forever. 

Inasmuch as the lands included in this sale embraced all that is now 
Ontario county, and as this purchase had a direct relation to the 
county's early history, it may be of interest to the reader to note the 
boundary line of this immense Phelps and Gorham purchase, as it has 
always been called ; which bou-ndarics were as follows: "Beginning 
on the north boundary line of Pennsylvania, at the eighty-second mile- 


stone, and from said point or place of beginning running west upon the 
said line to a meridian which will pass through that corner or point of 
land made by the confluence of Kanahasgwaicon (Canaseraga) Creek 
with the waters of the Genesee River ; thence north along the said 
meridian to the corner or point last mentioned ; thence northerly along 
the waters of the said Genesee River to a point two miles nonth of 
Kanawageras (Canawagus) village so called ; thence running due west 
twelve miles; thence running in a direction northward so as to be 
twelve miles distant from the most westward bounds of the said Gene- 
see River, to the shore of, Ontario lake; thence eastwardly along the 
shore of the said lake to a meridian which will pass through the first 
point or place of beginning before mentioned ; thence south along the 
said meridian to the point or place of beginning aforesaid, being such 
part of the whole tract purchased by the grantees aforesaid, as they 
have obtained a release of from the natives." 

The deed of land thus procured from the Seneca Indians, was wit- 
nessed by Rev. Samuel Kirkland and many others, and approved by 
him as superintendent in the manner following : " Pursuant to a reso- 
lution of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, passed 
March 30, 1788, I have attended a full and general treaty of the Five 
Nations of Indians, at the chief village in their territory, on the Buffalo 
Creek, alias Teyoheghscolea, when the foregoing instrument or deed of 
conveyance, made to the Hon. Nathaniel Gorham and Oliver Phelps, 
esquires, of a certain part of lands belonging to the said Five Nations, 
the description and boundaries thereof being particularly specified in 
the same, was duly executed, signed, sealed and delivered in my pres- 
ence, by the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the above mentioned Five 
Nations, being fairly and properly understood and transacted by all the 
parties of Indians concerned, and declared to be done to their universal 
satisfaction and content; and I do therefore certify and approve of the 

The tract of land above described was all in this State that Phelps 
and Gorham ever procured. At the time they made the purchase 
Massachusetts currency was worth only about twenty cents on the 
dollar, but when the first payment fell due it had appreciated and was 
nearly at par. In consequence of this, and from other causes, they 


were unable to make the payments according to the terms of their con- 
tract, and were finally obliged to compromise with Massachusetts, and 
surrender to the State the portion of the territory not purchased by 
them from the Indians. 

The survey of the Phelps and Gorham purchase was begun in the 
late summer or early fall of 1788, under the direction of Col Hugh 
Maxwell, and with the assistance of Augustus Porter and other survey- 
ors, was finished in 1789, the whole territory being divided into "divers 
tracts or townships, and as nearly in regular ranges as the sides con- 
tained within oblique or irregular lines would admit;" there being 
seven long ranges, each six miles in width, and in length extending 
from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario. There were also two or three 
short ranges at the northwest corner of the tract. The ranges were 
numbered from one upward, beginning with number one on the eastern 
side, the eastern boundary being the old pre-emption line, and each 
range was divided into townships or tracts of six miles square, num- 
bered in each range from one at the Pennsylvania line to fourteen at 
Lake Ontario. 

The plan adopted by the proprietary for dividing their territory into 
ranges and townships, preparatory to sub- divisions for sale, was sub- 
stantially the same as the land surveys in new territories of the United 
States, which are uniform and done under what is known as the " rec- 
tangular system," which was adopted by a resolution of Congress, 
passed May 20, 1785. 

Scattered throughout the field notes of the surveys on the Phelps and 
Gorham tract are notations of Indian paths which were crossed by the 
surveyors ; none, however, were mentioned except those of prominence 
and of common use. The traverse of " Candaughque " Lake was begun 
June I, and on finishing the work is the following entry : "The whole 
of the traverse of Canadaque lake with that of the main inlet is thirty- 
eight miles." Ranges four, five and six are noted as being five and one- 
half miles in width from east to west, while range seven was to be six 
miles. There is also the traverse of " Hayanaya " (Hemlock) and 
" Kaunaughshus " Lakes. 

The difference between the townships as surveyed by Colonel Maxwell 
and his assistants, and the towns as they at present exist, must be ex- 


plained, or confusion will follow relating to different localities. The 
size of the original townships was necessarily somewhat arbitrarily fixed 
and made as uniform as possible, that they might more readily be resur- 
veyed into allotments and to facilitate sales of the land. The early 
settlements of course were made according to inclination and interest, 
and when the territory became populous enough it was necessary to 
have the security of the law extended over the settlement, and hence 
under legislative enactments the territory was organized into towns, 
making such apportionments of the territory as the then existing wants 
of its inhabitants seemed to require. 

The territory of present Ontario county became apportioned substan- 
tially as follows : (This is not absolutely correct as the lines of some of 
the towns for various reasons were not literally on the township lines, 
but such difference can generally be seen by a glance at the map). The 
town of Seneca, including the present town of Geneva, comprised the 
whole of township No 9 and the south half of No. 10 in the first range, 
and that part of the gore lying east of the same. The town of Phelps 
comprised the north part of township 10 and south half of No. 1 1 in the 
first range and that part of the gore east of the same. In the second 
range the towns of Gorham, Hopewell and Manchester comprised, re- 
spectively, townships 9, lo and ii. Canadaigua is from 9 and 10 and 
Farrington from No. 1 1 in the third range. In the fourth range town- 
ships 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 were formed into Naples, South Bristol, Bristol, 
East Bloomfieid and Victor. In the fifth range, Canadice, Richmond 
and West Bloomfieid comprise townships, 8, 9 and 10 

The surveys into townships of the Phelps and Gorham purchase 
were made from the eastern pre-emption line, as run in 1788. The 
work itself was done under the direction of Col. Hugh Maxwell, but it 
must not be understood that he, having charge of the entire work, could 
give his personal attention to every detail of the survey of this immense 
tract of land. The survey and location of the eastern boundary line 
of the purchase was of the utmost importance, and while waiting for the 
result of the negotiations. Colonel Maxwell made a preliminary survey of 
the southern part of the east line of cession, running a trial line from 
Pennsylvania to a point opposite Seneca lake. In his book of field 
notes we learn that on the loth of June he set out with Captain Alen and 


three assistants and rowed up the lake from Kanadesaga to about three 
miles above the great point. On the iith they continued southward, 
"found a large sunken Marsh at the south end of the Lake " and 
" landed up the creek at Kathreen's Town." The next day they ar- 
rived at Newtown, five miles below present Elmira, and on the 13th 
began a survey from the eighty-second mile stone on the Pennsylvania 
line. After running the trial line for about twenty-three miles, on the 
nth they turned the course to the east and in a little less than four 
miles the party came to Seneca Lake. They then returned to Kan- 
adesaga. As Mr. Phelps did not leave Kanadesaga until July to attend 
the Indian treaty, he was aware that from this trial, when the line would 
be actually run, it would pass to the west of Kanadesaga, and his com- 
pany would not own the place where he had intended to build a city. 

The actual work of running the pre-emption line was begun by Colonel 
Maxwell with the assistance of Mr. Jenkins and others at the eighty- 
second mile stone on the 25th of July, 1788, and as the work progressed 
the end of every sixth mile was marked as the corners of townships, 
each mile of every township also noted as to the kind of timber, quality 
of land, whether level or hilly, and the points where brooks, creeks and 
streams were crossed and whether they were large enough for millseats. 
Colonel Maxwell left the line on the 7th of August for Geneva, probably 
to obtain supplies, and was detained there against his will until the i ith, 
when, as he wrote his wife, he was not to return until he had run the 
line quite through to Lake Ontario, and perhaps run around a number 
of towns there, which might take him perhaps three weeks in the bush. 
It was while Col. Maxwell was at Geneva that it is said a fraud was com- 
mitted in running the line whereby Mr. Phelps was deprived of the lo- 
cality of Geneva, but it must be remembered that the trial line gave ev- 
idence that such would be the case, and there is no positive evidence as to 
whether any or what surveys were made during Colonel Maxwell's ab- 
sence, the field notes of the whole line being in his hand- writing. The er- 
ror in the line was soon suspected by Mr. Phelps, and in 1789 he wrote to 
Col. William Walker, the local agent for survey and sales, to that effect, 
and advising him to have the work performed over, but circumstances 
prevented it being done at that time, and afterwards when the new pre- 
emption line was established many complications followed with all the 
unfortunate consequences ever attendant upon conflicting titles. 


Nearly every person who has written upon the subject of the survey 
of the pre-emption line has stated that a fraud was actually committed, 
or that there were strong grounds for suspicion of fraud in the perform- 
ance of the work ; and it has been freely intimated that Mr. Jenkins, 
who appears to have been prominent in the surveying party, was either 
in the employ of the lessees or of Reed and Ryckman, and that he took 
advantage either of the temporary sickness or the absence of Colonel 
Maxwell to commit a fraud which he was charged with having been 
employed to do. 

In the present connection it is well enough to state that at the time 
mentioned Kanadesaga, or Geneva, was a village of much importance, 
and the chief seat of operations in the whole Genesee countr}^ and with 
all a very desirable acquisition. This point the ruling spirits of the 
lessee company desired to retain and control, but could not do so with 
the correct running of the line as described in the pre-emption com- 
pact. The absence of Colonel Maxwell opened a possible opportunity 
to the surveyors to deviate from the meridian line and establish a bound- 
ary to the westward of Kanadesaga, thus throwing the coveted village 
without the Massachusetts tract and bringing it within the territory 
claimed by the lessees under their lease with the Six Nations. It 
was charged that this was done, and that the engineers made a deflec- 
tion to the westward and so established the first pre-emption line, as to 
defraud Phelps and Gorham of many thousand acres of land. 

In relation to the intimation of fraud it must be said that no imputa- 
tion was ever made against Hugh Maxwell. That competent authority, 
Judge Porter, fully exonerated him, and in common with all who knew 
Colonel Maxwell, entertained for him the highest respect, and not a 
shadow of suspicion was ever cast upon his honor or integrity. The 
first forty- five miles of the old line was run under the direction of Col- 
onel Maxwell, and it is a well known fact that at that point it was nearly 
two miles west of the true meridian, and the deviation must be laid to 
the imperfect instruments in use at that time, and to the fickleness and 
uncertainty of the compass. If the line had continued to be run in the 
same direction, it would have passed fully as far west of Geneva as the 
line that was actually run. 

There is no doubt that at that time there was some feeling between 
the lessees and the Phelps and Gorham proprietary, both of v^hom con- 


sidered Geneva a very desirable acquisition, and as it was known that 
the line must pass near this place, some anxiety was felt as to which 
party it might belong. Judge Porter, referring to this subject, said : 
" Colonel Maxwell, on the part of Phelps and Gorham, and Mr. Jen- 
kins on the part of the lessees, began on the Pennsylvania line and ran 
through to Lake Ontario the pre-emption line, which was the basis of 
the surveys afterward made. The line afterward proved to have been 
incorrectly run, the fact being charged as a fraud on the part of Jenkins, 
whose object was to secure to his employers, the lessee company, the 
location of Geneva. The suspicion of fraud led to the re- survey of the 
line under the direction of Robert Morris." 

At that time the lessees claimed all the land east of the pre-emption 
line, and although the State had repudiated their lease, they still hoped 
in some manner to retain the land, and still continued their headquarters 
at Kanadesaga, holding that as a central point for all their operations 
with the Indians and others, and keeping there their depot of supplies. 

Having released their claims to the Seneca's country west of the pre- 
emption line, they had embraced the opportunity offered at the close of 
Mr. Phelps's treaty, to have a new lease executed by the Indians, con- 
firming their long lease of all the territory east of that line, and there 
was no other locality for them to retain a foothold where they could so 
easily operate with the Indians. However, it was not until the follow- 
ing February that the lessees delivered up their lease to the State, and 
as they were the only persons that could be benefited, if a fraud was 
actually committed or attempted, it must have been in their interest 
that they might retain control of a location at Geneva. When they 
saw that the Indians were under the influence of Reed and Ryckman, 
and that a treaty with the State could not be prevented, then, with a 
show of magnanimity, they surrendered their long leases, hoping finally 
to be remembered with compensation lands, which they eventually 

Colonel Seth Reed and Peter Ryckman had for some time been resi- 
dents at Kanadesaga. It does not appear that Colonel Reed had any 
positive connection with the lessees, but Ryckman was a shareholder in 
the company, being made such to secure his influence with the Indians. 
However, his connection with the company was not of long duration, 


for he was soon found in the employ of the State negotiating with the 
Indians. Still in the early part of 1788 he was in league with the les- 
sees, but by the 1st of September he had broken with them and, with 
Colonel Reed, was bitterly opposed to the company. In February, 
1789, Reed and Ryckman had obtained a cession of land lying between 
the pre emption line and Seneca Lake, while the former had also 
secured another tract lying north of the joint cession. Their grants 
were not obtained until some time after the old pre-emption line had 
been established, and it is, therefore, difficult to see what interest either 
of them could have had in participating in a fraud, as charged against 

As has been stated in the present chapter, the enterprising land oper- 
ators, Phelps and Gorham, in 1789, found themselves to be in an em- 
barrassed financial condition. To be sure they were the possessors of 
upwards of 2,000,000 acres of the best land in the State of New York, 
and to a fair proportion of that vast area they had succeeded in ex- 
tinguishing the Indian claim of title. However, the expenses incurred 
in doing what had been done up to this time had been enormous. The 
surveyors charges had been large, while the payment to the Indians and 
the distribution of influencing presents among them amounted to a large 
sum. Then, too, was the ever present contingent of hangers on, per- 
sons who had helped or claimed to have assisted in bringing about a 
settlement Qf difficulties, and who were persistent in their demands for 
money and lands. Added to these expenses was the compensation and 
gratuities paid the members of the lessee companies for their services 
and influence. 

During the period of their ownership the proprietors had succeeded 
in disposing of about fifty townships, but the purchasers were in the 
main persons who held shares or stock in the association, and who had 
accepted town grants in exchange for their interest in the company. 
Therefore the year 1789 found the proprietary with a large amount of 
land, but with very little cash, and the payment of $100,000 to be made 
to Massachusetts was now due, an obligation they could not meet. In 
this emergency Phelps and Gorham petitioned the Massachusetts Legis- 
lature, offering to surrender that portion of their purchase from which 
the Indian title had not been extinguished, and asking that they be re- 


leased from the payment of a large part of the principal sum, expressing 
a willingness to pay for a portion of the land. This proposition was agree- 
able to the State, the more so, perhaps, from the knowledge they had 
that the remaining territory could be readily sold to Robert Morris, of 
Philadelphia, the financier of the Revolution, and a man of large means 
and influence. 

Early in 1789 Phelps and Gorham opened a land office at Canan- 
daigua and the lands of their purchase, known as the Genesee Tract 
were put upon the market. The sales, however, did not come up to 
expectation, for although several townships and parts of townships were 
sold, they were mainly taken by those who had an interest as share- 
holders and at cost price. Phelps and Gorham soon finding themselves 
in further financial difficulties, applied to Robert Morris, and on the loth 
of August, 1790, he became the purchaser of all the unsold lands in 
the Genesee Tract, except Township No. 10 of the 3d range, and No. 
9 of the 7th range, the two towns comprising about 47,000 acres, which 
Phelps and Gorham retained for their own use. This purchase was con- 
summated by deed from Phelps and Gorham and their wives to Robert 
Morris, dated November 18, 1790, and by articles of agreement at that 
time it was stipulated that the, tract should contain one million acres of 
land, payment for which was then made, and for any surplus over said 
amount further payment was to be made after the contents of the tract 
should be accurately ascertained. Mr. Morris soon employed Major 
Adam Hoops to cause a resurvey of the tract to be made, This work 
was performed during the years 179 1-2, Frederick Saxton, John Ad- 
lum, Augustus Porter, Thomas Davis, Robert James, and Morgan Jones 
being the surveyors who assisted Major Hoops in the work, the calcula- 
tions being made by Major Hoops and Mr. Saxton. 

The old pre-emption line as run by Col. Hugh Maxwell in 1788, 
having been surveyed with very primitive instruments, was known to be 
erroneous, and a new line was run in November and December, 1792, 
by Benjamin Ellicott, assisted by James Armstrong, Frederick Saxton 
and Augustus Porter, and which was surveyed with such accuracy that 
its correctness has never been questioned. Under an act of the Legis- 
lature, passed March 24, 1795, a description and map of the pre-emp- 
tion line was procured by Simeon De Witt, the surveyor-general of the 


State, from Benjamin Ellicott, with his oath attached, certifying that it 
was an " accurate representation of the eastern boundary of Massachu- 
setts as run by himself and others;" that the line run was in accordance 
with the act of cession, and that " the said pre-emption line was truly 
performed." Under an act of April 6, 1796, the description and map 
were duly attested by the surveyor- general and deposited in the office of 
the secretary of state and the line formally adopted. The map contains 
not only the new line, which is divided into miles, but also the old line 
with all the points of deviation from the true course, with the distances 
at the different points between the two lines. Both lines begin at the 
eighty second mile stone on the north bounds of Pennsylvania and at 
a distance of about forty-five and one half miles, just after crossing the 
outlet of Crooked or Keuka Lake it was found that the old line was 
distant one mile and seventy-eight chains and twenty five links, having 
gradually diverged to that distance from the starting point. Some two 
or three miles north of Dresden, and nearly forty nine miles from the 
the starting point, the new line enters Seneca Lake, at which point the 
distance between the lines has increased to two miles, fifty six chains 
and fifty links. The new line passes out of the north end of the lake at 
Pre-emption Street and runs due north to Great Sodus Bay, being in 
total length eighty-four miles, seventy-seven chains and forty-five links. 
From the point mentioned above, the old line runs nearly parallel, being 
at eighty-one miles only nine chains and fourteen links farther west. 
From the " Return of Survey " made at Philadelphia, by Major Adam 
Hoops to Robert Morris, we learn that there were 85,896 acres of land 
in " the Gore " between the pre-emption lines. Although a meridian or 
true north and south line, the pre-emption line is not on the meridian 
of Washington as some have supposed, that meridian being some four 
miles farther west The new line passed nearly as far to the east of 
Geneva as the old line did to the west. 

By the " Return of Survey," just mentioned, it was ascertained that 
the actual area of Mr. Morris's purchase was one million two hundred 
and sixty-seven thousand five hundred and sixty- nine acres, two rods, 
and thirty perches; and from the final settlement made between the 
parties at Philadelphia, February 16, 1793, we learn that the full num- 
ber of acres as per the "Return of Survey," which included the Gore, 


was paid for and that the price paid by Mr. Morris was eight pence half 
penny per acre, Massachusetts currency, or between eleven and twelve 
cents per acre in United States money, the settlement paper being 
signed by Nathaniel Gorham, Oliver Phelps, Robert Morris, and also 
Charles Williamson to show his privity to the transaction. 

Previous to this time, however, in the early part of the year 1791 
this great tract of land had been sold by the London agent of Robert 
Morris to some English capitalists, Sir William Pulteney taking a nine- 
twelfths interest, William Hornby, two twelfths and Patrick Colquhoun, 
one- twelfth. Soon after the purchase Charles Williamson, a Scotchman 
by birth, then residing in Great Britain, entered into an agreement with 
the purchasers to proceed to America as their agent, to settle on the Gen- 
esee tract, to sell the lands and remit the proceeds to London. He soon 
came to America, and after becoming a naturalized citizen, obtained from 
Robert Morris and his wife an absolute conveyance of the Genesee tract 
to himself in fee, after which he proceeded to settle on the tract and com- 
menced operations for bringing the lands into market. The deed of 
conveyance from Morris to Williamson is dated April 1 1, 1792, the con- 
sideration named therein being seventy five thousand pounds sterling. 

In this connection an explanation of the currency of early times is per- 
haps necessary. The act of Congress April 2, 1792, establishing the 
mint, provided, "That the money of account of the United States shall 
be expressed in dollars or units, dismes or tenths, cents or hundredths 
and milles or thousandths," and " that all accounts in the public offices 
and all proceedings in the courts of the United States shall be kept and 
had in conformity to this regulation," also, that the silver dollar should 
be of the same weight and fineness as the Spanish milled dollar then in 
common use. Individual and mercantile transactions, however, for a 
great many years continued to be carried on in pounds, shillings and 
pence This continued infect until an act of Congress, February 21, 
1857, debased the foreign coins, when such currency rapidly went out 
of existence. As the value in dollars of the pound of account became 
fixed at different rates in the several States, in consequence of the de- 
preciation of the early currency of the American colonie.«i, it is necessary 
to know what kind of currency is mentioned, and the real value of it, in 
order to know the actual value mentioned in any early transaction. 


Although the pound of account was composed of twenty shillings, both 
in Great Britain and in this country, yet the English shilling, worth 
about twenty-two cents, was of more intrinsic value than the Spanish 
real or shilling, which was of less weight. The Spanish silver coins 
were the principal currency of the country, and it was upon the value 
of these that moneyed transactions were principally based. The pound 
sterling of Great Britain being rated at 4^. 6d. to the dollar, the con- 
ventional rate for sterling exchange was $444! to the pound and this 
rate or value was maintained for many years In New England, Vir- 
ginia and Kentucky the dollar was fixed at six shillings in value, hence 
the shilling was worth i6| cents, and the pound of those Statee worth 
$3-33i ; i" New York and North Carolina the dollar was fixed at eight 
shillings, the shilling worth \2\ cents and the pound worth $2.50; in 
South Carolina and Georgia the dollar was fixed at four shillings eight 
pence, the shilling worth 2iy cents and the pound worth $428^; in 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland the dollar was seven 
shillings six pence, the shilling worth 13-^ cents, and the pound worth 
$2.66f. From this it will be seen that the price paid by Sir William 
Pulteney and his associates for the Genesee tract was $333,33333, being 
about twenty- six and one -third cents per acre. 

The accompanying map is a reduced reproduction of the map of the 
resurvey of the Phelps and Gorham purchase under direction of Major 
Hoops, by Augustus Porter, from a copy of the original map in posses- 
sion of Geo. H. Harris, esq., Rochester, N. Y. 

The discovery that the State did not own the lands in the Gore 
worked to the great disadvantage of the State, and to the owners and 
settlers who had by that time taken possession of their lands. The 
State had sold and granted to divers individuals all the lands lying be- 
tween the old pre-emption line and Seneca lake, and many of the pur- 
chasers and grantees under these sales were in possession. Now the 
true pre-emption line had been surveyed and fixed, and within the 
Phelps and Gorham purchase, as by that survey decided, were found 
the lands and improvements of persons holding titles from the State. 
Nothing now remained to be done on the part of the State other than 
to satisfy the claims of the injured parties. In many cases Mr. Will- 
iamson confirmed the State titles and received compensation therefor 



from the State by grants of land in other localities from the public 
lands, while in other cases the State satisfied the claimants by grants 
of public lands, but generally was compelled to give from three to six 
acres for each one possessed by the person found to be on the pre- 
emption tract. 

As has already been stated these lands had been granted by the State 
to various persons and the discovery of the error and the subsequent 
resurvey of the eastern boundary was the source of much confusion. 
Captain Williamson, acting for the association, purchased a number of 
these patents, and made arrangements to quiet the title of other owners 
to the extent of 37,788 acres, 25,000 acres of which had been pur- 
chased for him by his agent, John Johnstone. However, in 1799 Will- 
iamson received as compensation lands 56,682 acres, or one and one- 
half acres for one, which were granted him by the State and located 
adjoining the pre-emption line in Wayne county. John Livingston and 
Thomas Maule, the then owners of the Reed and Ryckman tract, 
which Williamson took and retained in possession, received from the 
State patents for 42,969 acres, being five and one- half acres for one as 
compensation lands for their loss. Robert Troup, agent for Sir John 
Lowther Johnstone, in 181 1 obtained a decision from the land office for 
compensatiom for lands in Seth Reed's patent for 2,000 acres, the title 
of which Williamson had purchased. Numerous other illustrations 
might be given in this connection, but the above are deemed sufficient 
for the purpose of this chapter. 

Charles Williamson, who has been frequently mentioned in connec- 
tion with the Pulteney association, was as intimately associated with 
the early history of Ontario county as were Phelps and Gorham, or any 
other of the early land proprietors. Williamson was born in Scotland, 
and is said to have first come to this country during the Revolution as 
a captain in the British service ; but the vessel on which he was making 
the passage was captured by a French privateer, and Williamson was 
detained as a prisoner at Boston until the close of the war. He im- 
proved every opportunity to become acquainted with the country, and 
his services therefore were much sought by foreign investors in United 
States lands. His first visit to the Genesee country was made in Feb- 
ruary, 1792, he having then been recently appointed representative of 



the Pulteney association. The next year he founded the village of 
Bath, now in Steuben but then in Ontario county, and at the same 
time caused a survey and map of Geneva to be made, the latter work 
being performed by Joseph Annin. By this time, also, Canandaigua 
had become a village of much importance, it being the county seat of 
the newly erected county of Ontario. In 1796 a sloop was built by 
Williamson on Seneca Lake to be run as a packet between Geneva and 
Catherinestown. In the same year, also, a printing office was estab- 
lished at Geneva. However, these are subjects which may be more 
appropriately treated as local rather than general history, and therefore 
need no further discussion at this time. 

In 1796 Charles WHliamson was elected to the Legislature from On- 
tario county, and served three successive years. March 18, 1795. ^^ 
was appointed a judge of the county of Ontario and served in that 
capacity at several terms of the court held at Canandaigua. March 31, 
1796, he was appointed first judge of Steuben county. He was also 
appointed by the governor, lieutenant colonel of the militia. In the 
infancy of settlements in the Genesee country he was a most important 
agent, and much of the early prosperity of the region was due to his 
enterprise. Eastward of Geneva was an uninhabited wilderness, and 
not a road within a hundred miles of the Genesee country would admit 
of any sort of conveyance except when the ground was covered with 
snow. He opened roads in various directions, and often made advance- 
ments to induce settlement. The lands he was generally compelled to 
sell upon credit, and payments were often postponed. Many of Will- 
iamson's enterprises were ahead of the times, and were rewarded with 
slow returns. His resources were mainly the capital of his principals, 
who advanced large amounts for improvements, freely at first, but soon 
began to be impatient at the slow return of their outlays. By the year 
1800 there had been expended by the association the sum of $1,374,- 
470.10, and there had been received for lands sold only $147,974.83, 
while at this time there was owing for lands purchased about $300,000. 

Sir William Pulteney was the principal man in the association, his 
interest being so large that upon the division of the lands his share ex- 
ceeded that of both of his associates. However, the Hornby and 
Colquhoun shares were each large, and were managed as J\n estate, the 


agency of which was at Canandaigua under the charge of John John- 
stone, and upon his decease John Greig, of Canandaigua, succeeded to 
the agency. 

In the final adjustment of affairs with his principals, Mr. Williamson 
obtained a princely compensation and a large estate was left to him. 
Major James Rees was his agent until Mr. Williamson returned to 
Scotland, in 1803 or '4, when his matters were left with Col. Benjamin 
Walker of Utica. Mr. Williamson died of yellow fever in 1808, while 
on a passage from Havana to England. His wife did not leave this 
country, but continued to reside in Geneva, where she died August 31, 

Much that might properly come within the province of this chapter, 
particularly that which relates to the sale and disposition of the several 
townships now forming Ontario county, is omitted from the present 
narrative, but reference to them will be found in one of the later chap- 
ters (relating to the organization of the county), and also to the chapters 
devoted specially to township history. 

In the settlement of Williamson with his principals, he conveyed the 
real estate directly to them by deeds dated the i6th of May, 1801, under 
an act of the Legislature, April 2, 1798, enabling aliens to purchase and 
hold real estate. This act expired by limitation in three years from its 
passage. The amount of personal property, consisting of bonds and 
mortgages and notes he thus conveyed at different dates, according to an 
adjusted statement between the parties, was $551,69977. According 
to the same statement the valuation of the land conveyed was, to Sir 
William Pulteney, in Ontario and Steuben counties, $2,607,682.25; to 
William Hornby, in said counties, $350,924.45, and to Patrick Colqu- 
houn, in the same counties, $37,188.13, making the whole amount con- 
veyed valued at $3,547,494.58. 

Robert Troup was the attorney of Sir William Pulteney in effecting 
the settlement with Williamson, and to his surprise received a full 
power of attorney, dated July 26, 1801, to act as the permanent agent 
and attorney. At first he absolutely refused the agency, but finally 
was persuaded to accept, and commenced his duties in September, 
1 801. Sir William Pulteney died intestate. May 13, 1805, and the 
property descended to his only child, Henrietta Laura, the countess of 


Bath; she died July 14, 1808, intestate as to her real estate, and that 
property descended to Sir John Lowther Johnstone, her cousin and 
heir-at-law; he died August 7, 181 1, leaving a will under the powers of 
trust in which the management of the property has continued until this 
day. Colonel Troup continued in the agency until his death, which 
occurred January 14, 1832, and his successors have been Joseph 
Fellows and Benjamin F. Young, the latter continuing as yet the 
agency at Bath, Steuben county. This part of the Pulteney estate is 
usually known as the Johnstone Branch. 

The countess of Bath bequeathed the personal part of the estate for 
the benefit of Mrs. Elizabeth Markham, the wife of the Rev. George 
Markham, afterwards the wife of John Pulteney, and her children. The 
personal estate in America consisted of moneys due and to become due 
on sales of real estate by contracts of purchase, and hy bonds and mort- 
gages taken on such sales. Elizabeth Evelyn Pulteney died March 18, 
1856, bequeathing to her son, the Rev. Richard Thomas Pulteney, the 
residuary personal estate of the countess of Bath. This part of the 
Pulteney estate has become known as the Pulteney Branch. Joseph 
Fellows was the agent for a number of years and was succeeded by 
Edward Kingsland in 1871, who yet retains the agency at Geneva, 
Although the personal property branch of the Pulteney estate was but 
a minor part of the whole estate, yet after all it was considerable. It 
has, however, been gradually reduced until it is now comparatively 
small, and as soon as it can be done, without detriment to the estate or 
inconvenience to the parties, it will be entirely closed up. 


A Brief Chapter Devoted to the Settlement Made by the Society of Friends in what 
is now Yates County — An Outline History of the Society and of its Remarkable Leader, 
Jemima Wilkinson, alias "The Friend" — Early Grist Mills. 

IN the preceding chapter reference was made to the settlements begim 
at Kanadesaga and Canandaigua under the direction and patronage 
of Proprietors Phelps and Gorham ; and at a later period how the les- 
sees made the former place their chief seat of operations, and were fol- 


lowed in the same work by agent Charles Wilh'amson of the London 
Association. Under the patronage of the persons named, the northern 
part of what is now Ontario county was developed and settled. And 
what is true of that locality will also apply to the western part of the 
State of New York, which was likewise improved and developed under 
the patronage of the Holland Land Company. The Holland Purchase 
and the Morris Reserve were each, in part at least, portions of Ontario 
county as originally created, but as the jurisdiction of the county over 
that region of country was of brief duration, the subject of its purchase, 
subdivision and early history needs but a slight notice in this work. 
However, there was an element of pioneer population in Ontario county, 
which, although the territory settled now forms a part of another county, 
is nevertheless deserving of some mention in this record. We refer to 
the settlement made by the " Friends " in what is now the town of Tor- 
rey, Yates county. As a matter of fact the emissaries of the "Friends" 
made their first visit to the Genesee country very soon after the close 
of the Revolution, before the controversy between Massachusetts and 
New York was decided, and, of course, before Phelps and Gorham made 
their extensive purchase, and before any county erection in this part of 
the State was even contemplated. 

In the year 1786 Ezekiel Shearman visited the Genesee county, his 
object being to find some suitable location for a permanent settlement 
for the followers of Jemima Wilkinson, but finding the country not ripe 
for occupation, Mr. Shearman returned and reported to the society the 
result of his investigation. During the next year three other emis- 
saries of the society visited the region, stopping for a brief time at Kan- 
adesaga, then proceded up the lake to the location of the old Indian vil- 
lage Kashong, where they found two Frenchmen, De Bartzch and 
Poudre, who were residing there and carrying on trade with the Indians. 
By these traders the committee was informed that the region about 
them was unsurpassed for purposes of settlement and cultivation. The 
travelers proceded several miles further southward and examined the 
lands in the vicinity of the outlet of Lake Keuka, and decided to make 
a favorable report to the society, but to leave the exact location of the 
colony to the discretion of those who should first come to make a home 
in the region. 


The first settlement by the society of " Friends " was made during 
the latter part of the summer of 1788, when twenty five of their num- 
ber made this place their permanent home. The next year the little 
colony received large accessions in numbers, and even their faithful 
leader herself attempted the journey to the " New Jerusalem," but an 
accident compelled her to return to Philadelphia ; and it was not until 
1 79 1 that the Friend joined the colony, at which time its number 
amounted to more than one hundred persons 

Jemima Wilkinson, as she was originally named, or the Universal 
Friend, as she styled herself after her somewhat remarkable transforma- 
tion from the material to the spiritual being, was the founder and leader 
of the sect or society just referred to. She was with her followers re- 
ligionists of the order usually termed fanatics. The people who allied 
themselves to the Friend were earnest, honest, upright men and women, 
and among them were many persons who are remembered as having 
been among the foremost men of Ontario county during its pioneer 
period; and although the society has been for many years extinct, and 
memory of it lives only in historical records, no intelligent speaker has 
given voice to sentiments other than of praise for the society and for 
its most zealous founder and head. 

Jemima Wilkinson was born in the town of Cumberland, Providence 
county, R. I., in 1758, the daughter of Jeremiah and Amy Wilkinson, 
and the eighth of their twelve children. The young life of this child 
was not unlike that of others of her condition and situation, nor did she 
possess traits that marked her in contrast with others of her time. She 
lived in an age when it was not an uncommon thing for numbers of 
people to separate themselves from established sects and set up a new 
standard of religious discipline or worship ; and while Jemima was 
brought under the influence of one of these departures, she was not gov- 
erned by it. 

During her young womanhood Jemima underwent a remarkable and 
singular change. In the summer of 1776 she fell sick with a disease 
that puzzled the medical men and was called by them one of the ail- 
ments of the nervous system, and not of the physical, for she suffered 
no pain. Gradually wasting in strength, her life hung by a slender 
thread, and she finally fell into a trance state and appeared almost life- 


less for a space of thirty-six hours. Then she suddenly aroused herself, 
called for her garments, dressed, and walked among the members of the 
household, though weak from long prostration. From this time forth 
she disclaimed identity with Jemima Wilkinson, asserting that her former 
individuality had passed away, and that she was another being, a min- 
ister of God sent to preach His gospel, and to minister to the spiritual 
necessities of mankind. She took to herself the iiame " Universal 
Friend," or " Public Universal Friend," and would recognize no other 
name even to the end of her life, although to her followers she was com- 
monly known as " The Friend." 

The first public appearance of the Friend in her new character was 
made on the Sunday following her rising from the bed of sickness, and 
on that occasion she delivered a discourse, displaying a remarkable 
familiarity with Scripture passages and surprising her hearers with the 
peculiar force of her delivery. She traveled about from place to place, 
visiting and preaching in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, 
drawing many followers to her standard, among them men of wealth 
and influence; and in the summer 1782 she went to the neighborhood 
of Philadelphia, where her ministrations were continued. To establish 
a community home in some new and unsettled region was the cherished 
desire of the Friend, and it was for this purpose that Ezekiel Shearman 
visited the Genesee country in 1786. 

As has been stated the colony of the Friends in the New Jerusalem 
was established in 1788 upon the lands ceded to Massachusetts by New 
York. As afterward developed, the settlement was on both sides of the 
old pre-emption line, and, in 1794, Charles Williamson, in response to 
a petition, showed the society the greatest consideration, treating them 
with great liberality and confirming to them the title to the lands upon 
which they had settled. 

However, dissensions finally arose among members of the society, 
and the result was in the purchase of township number seven in the 
second range from Phelps and Gorham for the use of the Friend and 
those of her followers who remained faithful. This township was named 
Jerusalem in Yates county, while the provisional district of Jerusalem 
embraced a much larger area of territory, and was one of the original 
civil divisions of Ontario county. 



The Society of the Friend gradually decreased in numbers and in- 
fluence until the death of its founder, which took place July i, 1819, 
after which time it soon passed out of existence. 

One important event in connection with the Friend's settlement at 
City Hill, in the present town ofTorrey, was the erection of a grist-mill 
in 1788, the first structure of its kind in that region of country. And a 
noteworthy fact, also, was the settlement by the pioneers of the society, 
which was the first permanent settlement west of Seneca Lake. These 
sturdy pioneers, during the year 1788, sowed about twelve acres of 
wheat, which was the first event of its kind in the State west of the lake. 
In this connection we may add that the Friend's mill for some time sup- 
plied the whole region of eastern Ontario county with flour, except such 
as was brought from the east. 

The grist-mill above mentioned at the Friend's settlement was built 
in 1789 and 1790 by Richard Smith in conjunction with Abraham Day- 
ton and James Parker. The following record is taken from Mr. Smith's 
family Bible. "4th July 1790 I have this day completed my grist mill 
and have ground ten bushels of Rye," and "July 5 I have this day 
ground ten bushels of wheat the same having been raised in this im- 
mediate neighborhood last year." The first grist-mill erected in West- 
ern New York appears to be that of John and James Markham on a 
little stream which enters the Genesee River, two miles north of Avon, 
in the winter of 1788—9. Indian Allen built a mill at Rochester late 
in the year 1789, the frame being raised on the 12th and 13th of No- 
vember. Oliver Phelps built a grist-mill on the Canandaigua outlet, 
about five miles northeasterly from the lake and about half a mile above 
Shortsville. This was run for some years by Samuel Day, and com- 
monly called Day's mill ; it was built in 1791. Early in the year 1794 
Bear's mill at Waterloo, Seneca county, was erected, the frame thereof 
being put up on Sunday by church people from Geneva at the request 
of the minister who officiated at the Presbyterian church at Geneva on 
that day. 



Ori,2:in,il County Organizations — Albany County — Tryon County Formed — Name 
Changed to Montgomery — Ontario County Created — Its Extent and Population — 
The First County Officers — The County Seat —The County Buildings —Civil Divis- 
ions of Ontario County — Subsequent County Erections Which Took Lands of Original 
Ontario — Formation of the Towns Now Comprising Ontario County — The County 
Civil List. 

DURING the rule of the Dutch, the inhabited portion of the State 
of New York was organized as a county or province of Holland; 
but during that period there was little attempt at settlement beyond the 
limits of the Netherlands, and only a limited colony in the vicinity of 
Schenectady. After the overthrow of the Dutch power in America, the 
successful English rulers organized the original county of Albany, 
the same being formed November i, 1683, ^"^ confirmed October i, 

In 1772, just preceding the outbreak of the Revolution, the territory 
of Albany was divided, and Tryon and Charlotte counties were created. 
Tryon county was formed March 12, and originally embraced all the 
lands of the State west of the Delaware River and a line extending 
north through Schoharie, and along the east lines of the present coun- 
ties of Montgomery, Fulton and Hamilton, and continuing in a straight 
line to Canada ; and therefore embraced the lands of the Genesee coun- 
try and the subsequently created county of Ontario. 

Tryon county was so named in honor of William Tryon, colonial gov- 
ernor of the Province of New York, but during the Revolution the con- 
duct of this official was so decidedly inimical to the cause for which the 
Americans were contending that his name was highly distateful to the 
patriotic settlers who located in the county after the war. Consequently 
when a petition was presented to the Legislature, that body on the 2d 
of April, 1784, dropped the former name and in its stead adopted that 
of Montgomery, so given in honor of Gen. Richard Montgomery, a 
Revolutionary officer, who was slain in battle at Quebec. 


During the period in which the region existed under the names of 
Tryon and Montgomery, there was a division of the territory into pro- 
visional districts, and it was not until 1788 that any town or township 
organization was effected, or even attempted. At first there were five 
of these districts, all formed in 1772, and covered all the inhabited por- 
tion of the country. 

In 1787 Phelps and Gorham became the owners of a vast tract of 
land in Montgomery county, located west of Seneca Lake, in extent be- 
ing about 2,600,000 acres. The greater part of the remainder of the 
State west of the purchase just mentioned soon afterward became the 
property of the so-called Holland Land Company. The proprietary of 
each of these tracts at once began its development by making surveys 
and settlements thereon. The permanent settlement on the Phelps and 
Gorham tract began in 1787, and increased so rapidly that in 1789 it 
was deemed advisable to make a division of Montgomery county. 
Therefore, upon the presentation of an application, the Legislature, on 
January 27, passed an act creating Ontario county, and including within 
its boundaries all the lands of the State west of Seneca Lake, or in 
other words, the whole tract which was ceded by New York to Massa- 
chusetts west of the pre-emption line. The county was named from 
Lake Ontario, which formed its original northern boundary. The effect- 
ive part of the act creating the county reads as follows : " Whereas, 
the county of Montgomery is so extensive as to be inconvenient to those 
who now are, or may hereafter settle in the western part of that county ; 
Therefore, be it enacted, etc., Tiiat all that part of the county of Mont- 
gomery which lies to the westward of a line drawn due north to Lake 
Ontario from the mile-stone or monument marked eighty- two, and 
standing on the line of division between this State and the Common- 
wealth of Pennsylvania, shall be one separate and distinct county, and 
called and known by the name of Ontario." 

The third section of the act provided that until other legislation should 
be had in the premises it " shall be lawful for the justices of the Court 
of Sessions for the said county of Ontario to divide the said county into 
two or more districts, as they shall deem expedient and convenient to 
the inhabitants." 

It was under the provisions of this act that the original districts of 
Bristol, Canandaigua, Bloomfield, Farmington, Gorham, and Middle- 

Organization of the county. lou 

town (Naples) were formed, each thus comprising a much larger area 
of territory than at present. However, this is a subject which will be 
more fully treated hereafter. 

At the time of the organization of the county the total population of 
its towns or districts did not exceed r,ooo persons, as the first federal 
census, made soon afterward, gave the county a total of 205 families and 
108 1 inhabitants. 

After the erection of the county, to complete the organization, the 
following officials were appointed : Oliver Phelps, judge of the Common 
Pleas ; John Cooper, surrogate ; and Nathaniel Gorham, county clerk. 
The first sheriff of the county, Judah Colt, was not appointed to office 
until April 7, 1790. 

As is well known, the county seat and buildings have been located at 
Canandaigua since the erection of the county ; and while the people of 
Geneva had a strong desire to possess the county properties, even at 
the time the county was formed, their claims were not well grounded, 
inasmuch as there was then a doubt whether the locality of that village 
was on the Phelps and Gorham tract, or on the lands claimed by the 
lessees. Furthermore, the seat of operations of the proprietors had, by 
1789, been removed from Geneva to Canandaigua, and as those pro- 
prietors were chiefly instrumental in causing the division of the mother 
county — Montgomery — it was only natural that the same influences 
should control the location of the county biu'ldings. Therefore, the 
commissidners appointed to examine the several localities desirable for 
the seat of justice, had no difficulty in designating Canandaigua as the 
place most suitable. 

Geneva, however, was the county seat to the extent of having con- 
ducted within its limits (at Patterson's tavern) the first Court of Oyer and 
Terminer convened in the county. This event took place in 1793, and 
Judge John Sloss Hobart presided at the session. 

The first court- house of Ontario county was built during the year 
1794, in pursuance of an act of the Legislature, passed April 9, 1792, 
which authorized the supervisors of the several towns to raise by tax 
the sum of 600 pounds to construct the building, with an additional tax 
of one shilling to pay the expense of collection. The old court-house 
was a plain two-story frame structure, and was located on the northeast 


corner of the public square, near the site of the present court-house. It 
was built by Elijah Murray. On the erection of the second court-house, 
in 1824, the pioneer building was removed to the corner of Main and 
Cross streets, and thereafter was occupied as a town hall and post- 
office. Later on it was again moved to Coach street and used as a 
store- house. 

The second Ontario county court-house was a more pretentious 
structure than its predecessor, a fact in no mariner surprising when we 
consider that the new building cost double the first one. After thirty 
years of constant use the old county building was deemed unfit for 
longer use ; in truth it was said to be a disgrace to the village and the 
county, and that notwithstanding the historic memories surrounding it.. 
But as sentiment counts for nothing in a growing, enterprising com- 
munity, the people in 1824, through the board of supervisors, applied 
to the Legislature for an act authorizing the laying of a tax to raise the 
sum of $6,000 for the construction of a new court-house. The bill 
passed and was approved in April, and on the 4th of July following the 
corner stone of the new building was laid with impressive ceremonies. 
Like its predecessor, the second court-house was a plain two story 
building, yet was more substantially built and more ornamental in ap- 
pearance. Over its entire front was a broad portico, supported by 
heavy columns. This building was in use by the county from 1824 to 
1858, a period of thirty-four years, and then gave way to the large and 
handsome structure which now adorns the " square." 

The present court-house of the county was begun in the early part of 
1857, the corner-stone being laid with Masonic ceremonies and great 
formality on the 4th July of that year, f^owever, it must be said that 
the people of the county seat and vicinity were somewhat divided in 
sentiment regarding the erection of the new building; not that there 
was much serious dispute concerning the necessity of a new and hand- 
some structure, but rather as to its exact location and the direction it 
should front. In fact three sites were considered, and of them, the old 
square, was finally chosen. The building, which has a base measure- 
ment of 76x96 feet, was erected by Canandaigua and Geneva contract 
ors, and cost $46,000, a large portion of which was borne by the United 
States government. The court-house is surmounted by a large dome, 


on which is a statue twelve feet in height, and the general outside ap- 
pearance of the structure is not greatly dissimilar to the court-house in 
Rochester, and is quite like that of Broome county in Binghamton. The 
lower floor of the Ontario county court-house is arranged for county 
offices and post-office, while the upper or second story has court- rooms 
for both United States and county courts. The building was completed 
and opened for use early in January, 1859. 

The first Ontario county jail was originally built as a block-house to 
be used in case an attack should be made upon the village by the In- 
dians. The use of this structure as a place of confinement was of a 
later date. In 18 13 the supervisors adopted measures for the erection 
of a more suitable jail building, and, under the direction of commis- 
sioners John Price, Rogers Sprague and Septimus Evans, a jail was 
built. At one time, also, in the early history of the county, a hotel, 
sheriff's residence and jail were built, the lower part being used as a 
place of residence and hotel, while the second story was arranged for 
confining prisoners. This building, which stood on the Webster Hotel 
site, is said to have been first used about 18 16. The present Ontario 
county jail was built at a somewhat later date, and was, at the time of 
its erection, considered a very substantial structure. Its appointments 
were complete and somewhat elaborate. It still stands and is in use, 
but the ravages of time are becoming apparent, and the building must 
soon give way to one of greater security. 

Upon the erection and organization of Ontario county, its vast terri- 
tory was but little developed and settled. Previous to that time there 
appears to have been little government in the region, except the 
general authority exercised by the State. In fact there was no need of 
officers or law, for the few settlers of the region were inspired by other 
desires than those of lawlessness or violence. The town of Whites- 
town, a subdivision of Montgomery county, was formed in March, 
1788, and included within its boundaries an indefinite area of territory 
to the westward ; so that previous to the formation of districts and 
towns in Ontario county, whatever jurisdiction was necessary to be 
exercised over the region was as a part of the town named. However, 
during the next year, this county was created, and separated in its 
territory from the mother county — Montgomery — and its townships 


organized into provisional districts, having limited jurisdiction, but in 
the nature of town organizations as at present constituted. This was 
done for the convenience of the scattered settlements of the county ; 
but, unfortunately, there appears to be no records of the old districts of 
Ontario county, neither is it known the full extent of those that were 
formed. These districts were Canandaigua, Tolland, Sodus, Seneca, 
Jerusalem, Painted Post and Geneseo, each of which held their first 
town meeting on April 5, 1791. The original towns of Ontario 
county (within the county's present boundaries) were Bristol, Canan- 
daigua, Bloomfield, Farmington, Gorham, Middletown (Naples), Seneca 
and Phelps and were formed under the erecting act of 1789. 

The first reduction in area of Ontario county was made on the i8th 
of March, 1796, when Steuben county was created out of its territory, 
the north boundary of the new formation being the south lines of Milo, 
Jerusalem, and that same line continued east and west, and the west 
boundary was the west line of the seventh range of townships on the 
Phelps and Gorham tract. At the time of its erection Steuben county 
had not to exceed 1,500 population. 

The next surrender of land which Ontario county was called upon to 
make was on the 30th of March, 1802, when an act of the Legislature 
created Genesee county, by taking all that part of old Ontario which 
lay west of the Genesee River and a line running due south from the 
junction of the river and Canaseraga Creek. The formation of Genesee 
county took from the mother county at least half its original territory, 
and still the people of the old region seem to have submitted uncom- 
plainingly to the reduction. However, in 1805 another scheme was 
set on foot looking to still another division of Ontario, and against the 
proposed measure the inhabitants of Canandaigua and adjoining towns 
did earnestly protest; and the result was that the bill to divide the 
county was defeated. At that time the county contained 4,150 taxable 
inhabitants, and its boundaries were the lake on the north; the Genesee 
on the west; the new pre-emption line on the east; and a continuation 
of the south lines of Milo and Jerusalem on the south. 

After the erection of Genesee county there was no further division 
of what was then left to old Ontario until the formation of Livingston 
and Monroe counties, both of which were created February 23, 1821. 


However, from 1805 until the division of the county was again accom- 
plished, there was a constant agitation of the subject, and the discussion 
engendered considerable feeling throughout the region. During these 
years the development of the country and its consequent increase in 
population were almost marvelous, and as fine villages were constantly 
being built up, the more progressive of them were each naturally desir- 
ous of becoming the shire town of a county. It is claimed, and with 
much show of reason, that the then villages of Rochester, Palmyra, 
Avon, Geneva and Penn Yan had aspirations in this direction ; and 
subsequent events showed that some of them succeeded in gaining the 
desired prominence. 

As has been stated, Livingston and Monroe counties were created 
February 23, 1821, each taking lands from Ontario and Genesee coun- 
ties. The next formation which took further from the territory of 
Ontario was Yates county created February 5, 1823, followed on the 
nth of April of the same year by the erection of Wayne county, the 
latter taking lands from Ontario and Seneca counties. 

Briefly recapitulating events, Ontario was created January 27, 1789, 
including within its boundaries all that part of the State lying west of 
the pre emption line. Out of this vast territory there has been erected 
and at present exists fourteen counties, the names of which, with the 
date of the erection of each, are as follows : Steuben, March 18, 1796, 
taken wholly from Ontario; Genesee, March 30, 1 802, taken wholly 
from Ontario; Allegany, April 7, 1 806, taken from Genesee; Cattarau- 
gus, Niagara and Chautauqua, March ii, 1808, taken from Genesee; 
Livingston and Monroe, February 23, 1821, taken from Genesee and 
Ontario; Erie, April 2, 1821, taken from Niagara; Yates, February 5, 
1823, taken from Ontario; Wayne, April 1 1, 1823, taken from Ontario 
and Seneca; Orleans, November 12, 1824, taken from Genesee; 
Wyoming, May 14, 1841, taken from Genesee; and Schuyler, April 
17. 1854, taken from Chemung, Steuben and Tompkins counties. From 
this, and what has already been narrated in preceding chapters, we 
discover that Ontario county originally contained about 6,6oo,000 
acres, or more than 10,300 square miles of land, and that by the re- 
duction of its territory, taken for the creation of other counties, it con- 
tains at present 409,600 acres, or 640 square miles of land. 



Ontario county, as at present constituted, contains sixteen towns, and 
in the present connection we may note briefly concerning them, but 
refer the reader, for detailed information, to the several chapters relat- 
ing especially to town history. 

Bristol vjdiS formed January 27, 1789, and was named from Bristol 
county, Mass. In 1838 South Bristol was taken off and a part was an- 
nexed to Richmond in 1848, but restored in 1852. It is an interior 
town, lying southwest of the center of the county. Its population in 
1830 was 2,952, and in 1890 was 1,510. 

Canadice, the name of which is a corruption of the Indian name of 
the lake situate in the center of the town, was formed from Richmond, 
April 15, 1829. A part of it was annexed to Richmond in 1836. It 
is the southwest corner town of the county. 

Canandaigua, the shire town of the county, was one of the: original 
towns, formed January 27, 1789, and a part of it was annexed to Gor- 
ham in 1824. 

East Bloomfield was formed as Bloomfield January 27, 1789, and 
Mendon and Victor were taken off in 1812. 

Farmington, named from Farmington, Conn., was also one of the 
original towns of the county, and was formed January 27, 1789. 

Gorham was likewise an original town, formed January 27, 1789, 
under the name of Easton, but changed to Lincoln in April, 1806, and 
to Gorham one year later. The last name was given the town in honor 
of Nathaniel Gorham. Hopewell was set off from this town in 1822, 
and a part of Canandaigua was annexed in 1824. 

Hopewell wdiS formed from Gorham, March 29, 1822. 

Manchester was formed March 31, 1821, under the name of Burt, 
which was changed to Manchester April 6, 1822. 

Naples was one of the original towns of the county, formed January 
27, 1789, under the name of Middletown. However, the region em- 
braced by the town was originally known as Watkinstown, so named 
from WiUiam Watkins, of Berkshire, Mass., one of the purchasers under 
Phelps and Gorham. This region was called by the Indians Nundawao, 
in reference to the " great hill," of which mention has been made in a 
preceding chapter. The name Middletown was changed to Naples 
April 6, 1808. Italy was set off from it in 181 5, and a part of Spring- 
water in 18 16. 


Phelps was formed in 1796, under the act of January 27, 1789, and 
was named in honor of Oliver Phelps, one of the proprietors. A part 
of this town was annexed to Lyons, Wayne county, April 11, 1823. 

Richmond wdiS also formed under the act of 1789, and called Pitts- 
town. April 6, 1808, the name was changed to Honeoye, and to Rich- 
mond, April II, 181 5. Apart of Canadice was annexed April 30, 
1836, and parts of Bristol and South Bristol in 1848, but the latter were 
restored in 1852. 

Seneca was formed in 1793 under the provisions of the act of 1789, 
and its territory remained substantially undisturbed until November 15, 
1872, when the town of Geneva was erected by the Board of Super- 

South Bristol was formed from Bristol March 8, 1838. 

Victor vjdiS formed from Bloomfield May 26, 1812. 

West Bloomjield ^NdiS, formed from Bloomfield February 11, 1833. 

Now, having sufficiently referred to the various properties and civil 
divisions of Ontario county, it is proper that there should also be made 
a record of the names of persons of the county who have been identified 
with the political history of the Federal, State and county governments: 

United States Senator — Elbridge G. Lapham, elected July 22, 

Secretary of War United States — John C. Spencer, October 12, 1841, 

Posttnaster- General United States — Francis Granger, March 6, 1841. 

Secretary of Treasury United States — Charles J. Folger, October 27, 

Representatives in United States Congress — Thomas Morris, 180 1-3; 
Oliver Phelps, 1 803-5 \ Nathaniel W. Howell, 1813-15 ; Micah Brooks, 
1815-17; John C. Spencer, 1817-19; Nathaniel Allen, 1819-21 ; 
John Dickson, 1831-35 ; Francis Granger, 1835-37; Mark H. Sibley, 
1837-39; Francis Granger, 1839-41 ; John Greig, 1841 ; Robert L. 
Rose, 1847-51 ; Emory B. Pottle, 1857-61 ; William H. Lamport, 
1871-75 ; Elbridge G. Lapham, 1875-83 ; John Raines, 1889-92. 

Governor — Myron H. Clark, elected November, 1854. 

Secretaries of State — John C. Spencer, appointed February 4, 1839, 
served to February 7, 1842 ; Frank Rice, elected November, 1889, and 
November, 1891. 

Comptroller — Thomas Hillhouse, elected November 7, 1865. 


Canal Commissioners- — Myron Holley, appointed April 17, 1816; 
William W. Wright, elected November 5, 1861. 

Adjutant- Gefierals — Levi Hubbell, appointed June 4, 1833 ; Thomas 
Hillhouse, August 19, 1861. 

Bank Commissioner — James Rees, appointed February i, 1830. 

Inspector of State Prisons — Jared Wilson, appointed May 10, 1835. 

State Engineer — Charles B. Stewart, elected November 2, 1847. 

Regents of the University — John Greig, January 12, 1825 ; William 
H. Goodwin, June 24, 1865. 

Members of Constitutional Conventions — Convention of 1801, Moses 
Atwater; convention of 1821, Micah Brooks, John Price, David Suther- 
land, Philetus Swift, Joshua Van Fleet; convention of 1846, Robert C. 
Nicholas, Alvah Worden ; convention of 1867, Henry O. Cheesebro, 
Angus McDonald, Charles J. Folger, Elbridge G. Lapham. 

Judges of Court of Appeals — Samuel A. Foote, April 11, 185 1 ; 
Charles J. Folger, May 17, 1870, and chief judge. May 20, 1880. 

Justices of the Supreme Court — Henry W. Taylor, March 27, 1850; 
James C. Smith, May 23, 1862; William H. Adams, November 8, 

Senators — Thomas Morris, 1 797-1 801 ; Lemuel Chipman, 1802-5 ; 
John Nicholas, 1806-9; Amos Hall, 1810-13 ; Philetus Swift, 1814- 
15, 1 817; Stephen Bates, 1815-16, 18 17- 19; Gideon Granger, 1820- 
21 ; John C. Spencer, 1825-28; Chester Loomis, 1835-38; Robert C. 
Nicholas, 1839-42 ; Mark H. Sibley, 1840-41 ; Albert Lester, 1844- 
47; Myron H. Clark, 1852-54 (resigned January i, 1855, elected gov- 
ernor) ; William H. Goodwin, 1855; Thomas Hillhouse, 1860-61; 
Charles J. Folger, 1862-69; Stephen H. Hammond, 1876-77; Edwin 
Hicks, 1878-79; John Raines, 1888-89. 

Members of Assembly — Eleazer Lindsley', 1791 ; Israel Chapin, 
1792-93; Thomas Morris, 1794-96; Lemuel Chipman and Charles 
Williamson, 1796-97; Amos Hall^ and Charles Williamson, 1798-99; 
Nathaniel Norton and Charles Williamson, 1800; Lemuel Chipman 
and Nathaniel Norton, 1800-01 ; Daniel Chapin and Peter B. Porter, 
1802; Thaddeus Chapin, Augustus Porter and Polydore B. Wisner, 
18033 ; Amos Hall, Nathanial W. Howell and Polydore B. Wisner, 1804 ; 

' Served from Jan. 4 to April w. '^ Prom Ontario and Steuben counties. ^ Genesee and On- 
tario counties. 


Amos Hall, Daniel W. Lewis and Alex. Rea, 1804-05 ; D. W. Lewis, 
Ezra Patterson, Alex. Rea, 1806; Alex. Rea, Philetus Swift, Asahel 
Warner,! 1807 ; Amos Hall, William Rumsey, Philetus Swift and Asahel 
Warner, jr., 1808; Micah Brooks, Samuel Lawrence, Richard Leech, 
Hugh McNair and Wm. Rogers. 1808-09; Valentine Brother, Israel 
Chapin, Daniel Dorsey, Wm. Markham, Gideon Pitts, 18 10; Septimus 
Evans, Reuben Hart, Hugh McNair, Stephen Phelps, Asahel Warner, 
181 1 ; Nathaniel Allen, Valentine Brother, David Sutherland, Joshua 
Van Fleet, Ezra Waite, 1812; Abraham Dox, Gilbert Howell, Hugh 
McNair, David Sutherland, Asahel Warner, 1813-14; Hugh McNair, 
Stephen Phelps, David Sutherland, Joshua Van Fleet, Asahel Warner, 
1814; Peter Allen, John Price, James Roseburgh, Ira Selby, David 
Sutherland, 1814-15 ; Peter Allen, Israel Chapin, Jonathan Child, 
Henry Fellows, Myron Holley, Alex. Kelsey, Thos. Lee, Roger 
Sprague, 18 16; Peter Allen, Jonathan Child, By ram Green, Caleb 
Hopkins, Joshua Lee, James Roseburgh, Nathan Whitney, 1816-17 ; 
Phineas P. Bates, Nathaniel Case, Samuel Lawrence, James Roseburgh, 
Ira Selby, John Van Fossen, Ezra White, 1818 ; William BilHnghurst, 
Byram Green, Eli Hill, Wm. McCartney, Elijah Spencer, John A. 
Stevens, Asahel Warner, 18 19; Valentine Brother, Byram Green, John 
Price, John C. Spencer, Elisha B. Strong, John Van Fossen, Matthew 
Warner, 1820; Claudius V. Boughton, William Cornwell, Oliver Cul- 
ver, Truman Hart, Myron Holley, John C. Spencer, Wm. H. Spencer, 
1820-21 ; Birdseye Brooks, Byram Green, Isaac Marsh, Aaron Remer, 
David White, 1822 ; Birdseye Brooks, Richard Hogarth, Jacob Leach, 
Aaron Remer, Ira Selby, Philetus Swift, 1823 ; Daniel Ashley, Gideon 
Pitts, Bowen Whiting, 1824; Claudius V. Boughton, Gideon Pitts, 
Bowen Whiting, 1825 ; Claudius V. Boughton, Francis Granger, Gideon 
Pitts, 1826; Francis Granger, Lemuel Morse, Nathan Parke, 1827; 
Heman Chapin, Francis Granger, Robert C. Nicholas, 1828; John 
Dickson, Walter Hubbell, Robert C. Nicholas, 1829; John Dickson, Fran- 
cis Granger, Robert C. Nicholas, 1830; Thomas Ottley, Samuel Rawson, 
John C. Spencer, 1831 ; Francis Granger, Jonathan Mason, Robert C. 
Nicholas, 1832; Ephraim W. Cleveland, John C. Spencer, James H. 
Woods, 1833 ; Peter Mitchell, Oliver Phelps, Aaron Younglove, 1834 ; 

1 Allegany, Genesee and Ontai'io counties. 


Ariel Hendee, William Hildreth, Mark H Sibley, 1835 ; Amos Jones, 
Henry Pardee, Mark H. Sibley, 1836; Amos Jones, Henry Pardee, 
Henry W. Taylor, 1837; Jonathan Buell, David Hudson, Henry W. 
Taylor, 1838 ; Augustus Sawyer, Z. Barton Stout, Henry W. Taylor, 
1839; Reynold Peck, Abraham A. Post, Henry W. Taylor, 1840; 
Isaac Mills, Daniel A. Robinson, Alvah Worden, 1841 ; Peter M. Dox, 
Staats Green, Joseph C. Sheltcn, 1842; Sylvester Austin, James C. 
Crown, Jedediah Dewey, jr., 1843; Lorenzo Clark, Israel Huntington, 
Henry Pardee, 1844; Timothy Buei, jr., Israel Huntington, Alvah 
Worden, 1845 > Elias Cost, Joseph C. Shelton, Alvah Worden, 1846; 
Emmery B. Pottle, Ezra Pierce, 1847 I Charles S. Brother, Hiram Ashley, 
1848; Dolphin Stevenson, Josiah Porter, 1849; John L. Dox, Josiah 
Porter, 1850; Thomas J. McLouth, Henry Pardee, 1851; William R. 
Pettit, Elnathan W. Simmons, 1852; Marcus Parsons, Hiram Ashley, 
1853 ; Jesse Cost, Stephen V. R. Mallory, 1854; William H. Lamport, 
Oliver Case, 1855; Samuel A. Foot, Oliver Case, 1856; Samuel A. 
Foot, Zoroastar Paul, 1857; Volney Edgerton, Ira R. Peck, 1858; 
Ulysses Warner, Shotwell Powell, 1859 ; Lewis Peck, Shotwell Powell, 
i860; Perez H. Field, Stephen H. Ainsworth, i86i ; David Pickett, 
P'rancis O. Mason, 1862 ; Perez H. Field, Lanson Dewey, 1863 ; Perez 
H. Field, Lanson Dewey, 1864; Volney Edgerton, Edward Brunson, 
1865; Hiram Schutt, Edward Brunson, 1866; Hiram Schutt, Samuel 
H. Torrey, 1867 ; Henry Ray, Samuel H. Torrey, 1868 ; Henry Ray, 
George Cook, 1869; Henry Ray, David E. Wilson, 1870; George W. 
Nicholas, David E.Wilson, 1871 ; Ambrose L, Van Dusen, Cyrillo S. 
Lincoln, 1872-73 ; Stephen H. Hammond Cyrillo S. Lincoln, 1874-75 ; 
Seth Stanley, Hiram Maxfield, 1876 ; Dwight B. Backenstose, Amasa T, 
Winch, 1877; David Cosad, jr., Amasa T. Winch, 1878; John Robson, 
Charles R. Case, 1879; Charles R. Case, 1800; John Raines, 1881-82 ; 
Frank Rice, 1883-84; John Raines, 1885 ; Edward P. Babcock, 1886 
-87; Robert Moody, 1888-89 ; Sanford W. Abbey, 1890; Frank O. 
Chamberlain, 1891-92; Wm. L. Parkhurst, 1893. 

County Judges — Oliver Phelps^, May 5, 1789; Timothy Hosmer, 
Octobers, 1793; John Nicholas^, January 27, 1803; Natnaniel W. 

' Date of appointment or election. 

2 No record of his appointment found in minutes of Com. of Appointments.— Civil Abstract No. i 
Sec'y St. Off. shows that he received a general commission as fiist judge, dated March n, 1805. 


Howell, March 13, 1819; Oliver Phelps, April 30, 1833; Bowen Whit- 
ing, July 17, 1838 ; Charles J. Folger, May 7, 1844; E Fitch Smith, 
February 10, 1845; Mark H. Sibley, June, 1847; Charles J. Folger, 
185 I ; Peter M. Dox, 1855 ; John M. Bradford, March 18, 1856; Henry 
W.Taylor, 1857; George B. Dusinberre, i860; William H. Smith, 
1868; Francis O. Mason, 1872 ; William H. Smith, 1878; Frank Rice, 
1884; J. Henry Metcalf, app. January, 1890, and elected November, 

Surrogates — John Cooper, May 5, 1789; Samuel Mellish, March 22, 
1792 ; Israel Chapin, jr., March 18, 1795 ; Amos Hall, February 23, 
1796; Dudley Satonstall, January 25, 1798; Reuben Hart, February 

16, 1809; Eliphalet Taylor, February 13, 1810; Reuben Hart, Febru- 
ary 5, 181 1 ; Eliphalet Taylor, March 9, 18 13; Reuben Hart, March 

17, 1815 ; Stephen Phelps, April 10, 18 17; Ira Selby, March 5, 1821 ; 
Jared Wilcox, March 28, 1823 ; Jared Wilson, March 31, 1827 ; Orson 
Benjamin, January 29, 1840; George R. Parburt, April 10, 1844, 
count judge, June, 1847; George Wilson 2d, November 2, 1851; 
Orson Benjamin, December 2, 1852 ; Samuel Salisbury, February 18, 
1853; John N. Whiting, November, 1855; Orson Benjamin, Novem 
ber, 1857; Elihu M. Morse, October 11, 1861 ; Isaac R. Parcell, No- 
vember, 1869; Charles A. Richardson, 1873; Edward P. Babcock, 
1879; David G. Lapham, 1885; David G. Lapham, 1891. 

District Attorneys — William Stuart, appointed March 31, 1796; 
Nathaniel W. Howell, appointed February 9, 1797, for the Sixth Dis- 
trict ; William Stuart, ^ 1802; Daniel W. Lewis, 1810; William Stuart, 
181 1, Vincent Matthews, 1813 ; Daniel Creger, 181 5; John C. Spen- 
cer,2 18 18; Abraham P. Vosburgh, 1821 ; Bowen Whiting, 1823; 
Henry F. Penfield, 1832; George W. Clinton, 1835; Nathan Parke, 
1836; Thomas M. Howell, 1840; Barzillai Slosson, 1847; James C. 
Brown, 1849; Stephen R. Mallory, 1851; Jacob B. B. Faurot, 1853; 
Thomas O.Perkins, 1855; Edwin Hicks, 1857; William H. Smith, 
1857; Edwin Hicks, 1863 ; Frank Rice, 1875; Oliver C. Armstrong, 
1881-84; Maynard N. Clement, 1887-90, and re-elected for second 

1 The above were appointed under the act of 1801 for the Seventh District. 

2 Year of appointment or election under act of 1818. 


Sheriffs — Judah Colt, 1790; Nathaniel Norton, 1794; Roger Sprague, 
1798 ; Benjamin Barton, 1802 ; Stephen Bates, 1806; James R. Gurn- 
sey, 1807; Stephen Bates, 1808; James Rees, 1810; Stephen Bates, 
1 811; William Shepard, 18 13; Nathaniel Allen, 181 5; Phinehas P. 
Bates, 1819 ; Samuel Lawrence, 1821 ; Phineas P. Bates, 1822 ; Joseph 
Garlinghouse, 1825 ; Jonathan Buell, 1828; Jonas M. Wheeler, 1831 ; 
Joseph Garlinghouse, 1834; Myrop H. Clark, 1837; John Lamport, 
1840; Eri Densmore, 1843; Phenas Kent, 1846; William H. Lam- 
port, 1849; Owen Edmondston, 1852 ; Henry C. Swift, 1855; William 
Hildreth, 1 858; Harlow Munson, 1861; John Whitwell, 1864; William 
W. Clarke, 1867; Darwin Cheney, 1870; Nathaniel R. Boswell, 1873; 
David V. Benham, 1876; Orrin S. Bacon, 1879; Hiram Peck, 1882; 
Robert H.Wheeler, 1885; Irving Corwin, 1888; Avery Ingraham, 

County Clerks — Nathaniel Gorham, jr., 1789; John Wickham, 1795 ; 
Peter B. Porter, 1797; Sylvester Tiffany, 1804; James B. Mower, 
1808; Myron HoUey, 18 10; James B. Mower, 1811 ; Myron Holley, 
1813 ; Hugh McNair, 181 5; John Van Forsen, 18 19; Gavin L. 
Nicholas, 1821-24; Ralph Lester, 1825; Charles Crane, 1831 ; John 
L. Dox, 1834; Thomas Hall, 1837; Alexander H. Howell, 1843; 
Reuben Murray, jr., 1849; John J. Lyon, 1852; Elnathan W. Sim- 
mons, 1858; Jefferson J. Whitney, 1861 ; Nathan J. Milliken, 1864; 
Frederick W. Prince, 1867; Walter Marks, 1870; Washington L 
Hicks, 1873; Myron S. Hall, 1876; William G. Dove, 1879; Bolivar 
Ellis, 1882; Martin H. Smith, 1885 ; William R. Marks, 1888; Devoy 
J. Harkness, 1891. 

County Treasurers'^ — Henry K. Sanger, 1848; Ralph Chapin, 185 i ; 
William H. Phelps, 1854; Jacob J. Mattison, 1855 ; Spencer Gooding, 
1858; Charles A. Richardson, 1864; George N. Williams, 1870; 
Harrison B. Ferguson, 1876; Ira B. Howe, 1882; E. Chapin Church, 
1885; Jesse B. Coutant, 1891. 

' Elected under Constitution of 1846 ; formerly were appointed by supervisors 



Early Settlement in Ontario County — Character of the Pioneers — Yankees, Eng- 
lish, Scotch and Irish— Disturbances on the Frontier — British Soldiers Still Occupy 
Forts on the United States Side of the Treaty Line — The Simcoe Scare — Their 
Withdrawal in 1796 — Events Precedine; the War of 1S12-15 — Political Sentiment 
in Ontario County — "War" and "Peace" — Meetings — The Outbreak, the Struggle 
and Final Peace — Population of the County at Different Periods. 

THE permanent and substantial settlement of the Genesee country- 
began soon after the purchase by Phelps and Gorham of the pre- 
emption right ceded to Massachusetts. However, there was made by 
the pioneer " Friends," or followers ©f Jemima Wilkinson, a permanent 
colonization on the west side of Seneca Lake even before Phelps 
and Gorham acquired and perfected their title. As is well known, 
these proprietors held the right to purchase from the Indians all the 
territory of the State west of Seneca Lake, but as a matter of fact, they 
secured only about 2,600,000 of the more than 6,000,000 acres included 
within the region, the large remainder having reverted to Massachu- 
setts, and being secured by Robert Morris, was by him sold to the so- 
called Holland Land Company, except that portion west of the Phelps 
and Gorham purchase and east of a meridian line, starting at a point 
twelve miles west of the southwest corner of the Phelps and Gorham 
purchase, which was supposed to contain about 500,000 acres, which 
Mr. Morris reserved, and which was commonly called the Morris 
Reserve, and which was afterwards sold to different parties in various 
tracts ; and it was under these proprietorships that the legitimate settle- 
ment of the region was begun. 

The purchasers and settlers who acquired title from Phelps and Gor- 
ham direct were mainly New Englanders — Yankees; many of whom 
were veterans of the Revolution, and being imbued wifh a spirit of 
enterprise, thrift, independence and courage, so characteristic of their 
class, they sought a home in the then new country which they well 
knew to be highly fertile, and in which the peaceful art of agriculture 


might be carried on with generous returns. Therefore the Yankees 
came and settled in the region among the first pioneers; and to-day 
many of the residents of Ontario county can trace their ancestry back 
directly to New England stock, and justly proud, too, they are of the 

In the same region, also, and within the limits of Ontario county as 
constituted previous to 1823, came the "Friends" and built up their 
little colony hardly more than a score of miles south of old Kanadesaga. 
This people came from both New England and Pennsylvania, and the 
improvements made by them were of the most substantial cha*^acter for 
the period. They were thrifty, earnest plodders, but did not wish to 
be considered enterprising, for they were a strictly pious people and 
the devoted followers of an equally conscientious leader. The New 
Jerusalem, as they called the locality of their settlement, included some 
of the most productive lands of the Genesee country, and the faithful 
tillers of the soil who dwelt within the region steadily increased their 
possessions and left to their descendants an goodly inheritance in lands. 

However, it must be acknowledged that under the proprietorship of the 
London Associates, and under the direct and personal superintendence 
of Charles Williamson, original Ontario county received its most sub- 
stantial early development. Captain Williamson was a man well cal- 
culated by nature and education to head an enterprise such as that with 
which he was entrusted, and, moreover, instead of being the haughty 
and overbearing manager, he proved himself the courteous and obliging 
gentleman, and one who fostered alike the interests of proprietors and 
purchasers ; and he had at his command an almost unlimited fund of 
money with which to develop the region under his charge. The settlers 
under Charles Williamson came from New England, Maryland, Virginia, 
Pennsylvania and Eastern New York, while in addition to the settle- 
ment by Americans, he also induced immigration from foreign lands, 
mainly from England and Scotland, with an occasional Irishman. 

The settlement and^ development of the region of the original county 
west of the Genesee River in no manner devolved upon Captain Will- 
iamson, but that country was likewise under competent management, 
and therefore was occupied and improved almo.'^t as rapidly as the 
Phelps and Gorham tract. The Holland Land Company and its man- 


aging agents were earnest and progressive, and while their settlers were 
principally Americans, there were nevertheless many among them of 
Dutch descent, while from across the Canadian borders there came a 
fair contingent of French and English. Some of these also drifted over 
the Genesee and located within the boundaries of Ontario county as it 
existed prior to the creation of Genesee county. 

However, during the period of pioneer settlement and early develop- 
ment of Ontario county, all was not peace and unretarded prosperity 
within the region. In the extreme western part of the State was Fort 
Niagara, while further east was Oswego ; at both of which places the 
English still maintained garrisons, and that notwithstanding the results 
of the late war. The British soldiery had no love for the Americans, 
and their hatred and jealousy prompted many of the petty insults and 
indignities they were charged with having committed. The treaty of 
peace in 1783 fixed the forty fifth parallel as the boundary line 
between the province and the States, except as was otherwise deter- 
mined, but the British claimed that the people of the United States 
frequently violated the provisions of the treaty to such an extent that 
the Canadian government, at the suggestion of the crown, felt it a duty 
to maintain an armed force along the frontier, extending as far west as 
Detroit. In doing this, however, the British not only assumed to pro- 
tect their own possessions, but actually trespassed on United States 
territory with full knowledge of the fact, so determined was the Cana- 
dian government to show proper resentment of what were claimed to 
be breaches of the treaty stipulations. The result of this awkward 
situation, though possibly not dangerous in character, worked many 
disadvantages in Western New York, and somewhat retarded its settle- 
ment, for it was not until 1796 that the British finally withdrew from 
the territory. John Jay's treaty of amity, commerce and navigation 
was concluded with Great Britain November 19, 1794, and proclaimed 
February 29, 1796. Thus ended an embryo war, but it was not 
finally concluded until after Gen. Anthony Wayne had improved an 
opportunity to administer severe punishment to the Indians and Cana- 
dian provincial troops in a sharp battle on the Maumee River on the 
20th of August, 1794. 

The year 1794 was an eventful period in the history of Ontario 
county and Western New York. In the month of August, Governor 


Simcoe, ©f Canada, sent Lieutenant R. H. Sheafife with a protest and 
letter to Captain Charles Williamson, demanding that he should relin- 
quish his design of forming a settlement at Sodus and move off the 
ground. This was delivered to Williamson at Sodus, he having gone 
there in company with Thomas Morris and Nathaniel Gorham, jr., on 
being notified to meet the messenger of Governor Simcoe. The news 
of this hostile demonstration of the governor of Canada rapidly spread 
through all the settlements of the new country, and caused great con- 
sternation among the people. The attitude of Great Britain in persist- 
ently retaining the forts at Oswego and Niagara, contrary to the stip- 
ulations of the treaty ©f peace — the act of the governor of Canada in 
marching a body of troops and erecting a fort at the Rapids of Miami, 
seventy miles within the territory of the United States — the tampering 
of British officers and agents with the Indians of New York, and the 
evidence of aid extended by them to the western Indians who were 
hostile to the United States, and who had in turn defeated and repulsed 
Generals Harmar and St. Clair, and the fears of a like result in the issue 
that General Wayne had made with them and which was then pending, 
was enough to create a feeling of the greatest uneasiness among the 
people. An unusual emigration of the New York Indians to Canada 
had only a few weeks before occurred, which included the great body 
of the Onondagas. The Senecas, as a body, remained in the State, but 
they had become morose and quarrelsome and had committed many 
outrages upon the settlers. In great numbers they had gone to the 
aid of their western brethren, fitted out with blankets, clothing and 
decorations from the king's stores at Niagara. When this message 
and demand from Governor Simcoe came, it seemed as if the sequel 
would speedily be the breaking out of a general war, and such was 
the alarming crisis that many of the settlers made hasty preparations 
for a sudden flight and at least a temporary abandonment of their homes. 
In writing of this affair to Sir William Pulteney, Captain Williamson 
says that Governor Simcoe had " left nothing undone to induce the 
Six Nations, our neighbors, to take up the hatchet the moment he 
gives the word." 

For months previous to this the country had been excited on account 
of the act of the British officers and agent and with the alarming con- 


duct of the Indians ; the Legislature of this State had enacted a law 
for the erection of fortifications and for supplying the necessary arms 
and ammunition. General Knox, secretary of war of the United States, 
in response to a representation made, on July 3, of the situation of affairs 
on the northern and western borders of the country, had replied that 
correspondence had taken place on the subject with the British minis- 
ter, and that an order had been issued in favor of the governor of New 
York for one thousand muskets, cartridge boxes and bayonets. 

The act of Governor Simcoe in ordering the people of the United 
States out of the Indian territory in Western New York was at once 
officially communicated to John Jay, who had sailed for England on 
the 1 2th of May. Under date of August 30, 1794, President Wash- 
ington wrote to Mr. Jay. and observing " on this irregular and high 
handed proceeding of Mr. Simcoe," he says, " this may be considered 
as the most daring act of the British agent in America, though it is not 
the most hostile and cruel. I All the difficulties we encounter with the 
Indians, their hostilities, the murder of helpless women and children 
along our frontiers, result from the conduct of agents of Great Britain 
in this country) They keep in irritation the tribes that are hostile to 
us, or we of them, to unite in the war against us; and whilst it is an 
undeniable fact that they are furnishing the whole with arms, ammu- 
nition, clothing, and even provisions to carry on the war, I might go 
father, and if they are not much belied, add, men also in disguise." 

Under the provisionsoftheact of the Legislature heretdfore mentioned, 
Governor Geo. Clinton, from New York May 29, 1794, writes to James 
Watson, Mathew Clarkson and Benjamin Walker, commissioners for 
purchasing field artillery, etc., for the use of the militia, saying: "The 
present aspect of affairs on our western frontiers renders it advisable to 
deposit at Canadaque, in Ontario county, one thousand weight of 
powder, and a proportionate quantity of lead, and the same quantity of 
each in Onondaga county, which you will be pleased to cause to be 
done without delay, as it is represented to me that the militia of those 
exposed counties are destitute of ammunition. Lieutenant- Colonel 
Othniel Taylor will take charge of that directed to be deposited in On- 
tario county, and Major John L. Hardenburg of that to be deposited 
in Onondaga county." 


About the middle of July Captain Williamson and Thos. Morris re- 
ceived proposals for palisades, thirteen feet long and one foot square to be 
delivered on Pultcney Square, Geneva, for the purpose of erecting a 
fortification at that place. This was in response to an advertisement for 
one thousand palisades and the price asked was six pence ( 1 2-^ -cents) 
each. An a.rUc\e \n the A //?a7ij^ Gazette, September ii, 1794, under 
date of September 6, says: Governor George Clinton writes to Major 
General Ganscvoort that a British officer had protested against the oc- 
cupation of any part of the Indian territory for war or settlement by the 
United States until all questions between Great Britain and the United 
States were definitely settled. Governor Clinton says arms must be 
sent at once westward, particularly to Ontario county, that the principle 
set up by the protest " cannot for a moment be tolerated by our gov- 
ernment, and if any attempt should be made on the part of the British' 
to carry it into excution, it will be justifiable and necessary on our part 
to repel force by force " 

" The commissioners appointed to carry into operation the law 
directing fortifications to be erected on our northern and western 
frontiers, have fixed on the following places for erecting block- houses 
and pickets, to-wit: On the western frontier — a block house at Can- 
andaigua, Canawagus, on Genesee River, and at the town of l^ath. 
Pickets at Fort Brewerton, at Three River Point, at Geneva, at Mud 
Creek, at the head of Canandaigua Lake, and at the Painted Post, 
near the Pennsylvania line. On the northern frontier — a block- house 
at Skeensborough, at Willsborough, at Peru, at Plattsburgh, and at 
Thurman's Patent." 

In this connection it may as well be stated that Charles Williamson 
had met with a good deal of opposition. He had been a captain in 
the British army, but as he was a prisoner of war at Boston, having 
been captured while on his voyage to this country, he had taken no 
active part in the war. For a long time he was much mistrusted by 
many of the early settlers, who remembered the cruelties they had en- 
dured during the war, and retained a strong hatred against the British, 
so that up to the time of the affair at Sodus he was looked qpon by 
many with suspicion. In writing about this he says: "To such an 
extent was this carried that every road T talked of was said to be for 


the Indians and British ; every set of arms I procured — though really 
to enable the settlers to defend themselves against the Indians — was 
said to be for supplying the expected enemy ; and the ver>' grass seed 
I brought into the country for the purpose of supplying the farmers, 
was seized as gun powder going to enemies of the country." His 
energy and activity in the year 1794 against the acts of the British 
and Indians had much to do in gaining the confidence of the settlers, 
and in the course of time this was fully accomplished. 

Very soon after the affair of Sodus, a bright and cheering ray of hope 
appeared, and strong anticipations of peace and quietness prevailed. 
Only a short time elapsed before the spirited onset of General Wayne 
took place, and the western Indians were so badly beaten and com- 
pletely routed, that they became demoralized, were quite humbled, and 
anxiously sued for peace. The Senecas returned completely crestfiallen. 
The warfare of General Wayne was one they had been unused to ; it 
was impetuous, terrific and crushing, and in their imagination he seemed 
more than human and inspired them with a terror that conquered effect- 
ually as his arms. The proud and haughty spirit of the Iroquois was 
humbled and completely subdued, and they began to quietly settle 
down in their villages and resumed amicable and peaceful relations with 
their white neighbors and the settlers began to feel that they were once 
more in peace and security. 

The withdrawal of the British from the State and the quiet which 
followed left the region of Western New York in a condition of absolute 
peace, and an era of great prosperity ensued. From that time (1796) 
until the beginning of the second war with Great Britain, the history of 
the county consisted chiefly of a constant flow of immigration into the 
townships, and as rapidly as they were filled, or even partially so, there 
came a demand for the division of the territory and the creation of new 
counties. In a preceding chapter is told the history of the frequent 
divisions of old Ontario, and the number of times it was called upon to 
surrender territory to new county formations. During the period re- 
ferred to the growth and development of this region of countr>' were 
almost phenomenal, but ;i5 the years immediately preceding the war of 
1812-15 were fraught with numerous political disturbances, a feeling of 
bitter animosity was engendered between the contending governments. 


and even in this county there arose a serious division of sentiment 
which temporarily checked the tide of settlement and turned the public 
attention to the affairs under discussion, to the neglect of personal con- 
cerns. However, this is a subject which naturally leads to a narrative 
of the events of the war as they related to Ontario county ; but in the 
present connection these events may be very briefly treated, for this 
county was not the site of any of the stirring events of the war, and the 
contention therein was chiefly at the polls and in the frequent " war" and 
" peace " meetings held in several of the towns. 

The causes which led to the second war with Great Britain were nu- 
merous. Although charged to the contrary, the United States always 
carefully observed the provisions of the peace treaty made at the close 
of the Revolution, and had also maintained a strict neutrality during the 
progress of the Napoleonic war with the British kingdom, when grati- 
tude should have induced a participation in it. For several years the 
aggressive acts of the British had been the subject of anxiety and regret 
and finally engendered feelings of animosity on this side of the Atlantic, 
and resulted in the laying of an embargo upon shipping in American 
ports, but as that measure was found injurious to commercial interests 
it was repealed and the non- intercourse act passed in its stead. This, 
too, was temporarily repealed, the British ambassador at the time con- 
senting to a withdrawal of the obnoxious "orders in council." How- 
ever the English government refused to ratify the agreement and recalled 
her minister, whereupon the president revoked his proclamation and 
again put in operation the non-intercourse act. 

War was formally declared on the 19th of June, 1812, but the meas- 
ure was not invariably sustained throughout the Middle and Eastern 
States The opposing element was embraced in the Federal party, its 
chief ground of opposition being that the country was not prepared for 
war. The Federalists constituted a large and influential minority in 
Congress, and had a considerable following throughout the country. 
They asked for further negotiations, and met the denunciations of the 
ruling party (the Democratic and Republican, for it went by both names) 
upon the English government with bitter attacks upon Napoleon, whom 
they accused the majority with favoring. 

Just what may have been the prevailing sentiment in Ontario county 
at that time would be difficult to determine with accuracy. However, 


it is very well known that a majority of the people of Western New 
York were deeply interested in the American cause, and active in their 
efforts both at the polls and in organizing the militia for warlike opera- 
tions. The Federalist party in the county numbered among its mem- 
bers men of wealth and influence, and its opposition measures were sub- 
stantially confined to public discussion; yet on September lo, i8i2, 
they held a formidable meeting at Taylor's Hotel in Canandaigua at 
which time resolutions expressive of the sentiment of the party were 
adopted, but no determined opposition to the war was advocated. 

In i8i I, the year preceding the outbreak of the war, the villages of 
Onondaga, Canandaigua and Batavia were made depositories for mili- 
tary stores, supplies, ammunition and arms. At that time and previous- 
ly as well the entire able-bodied male population between the ages of 
eighteen and forty-five years were among the enrolled militia of the 
State ; and in accordance with the prevailing custom of the period the 
militia men of each county were expected to meet at the general train- 
ing and annual muster to perfect themselves in the arts of war. This 
precautionary measure of enrolling available militia men was adopted 
soon after the Revolution for the purpose of guarding the frontiers, 
should occasion therefor arise, but more particularly in this region of 
country were the militia organizations desirable to repel any sudden at- 
tack on the part of the Indians of the region. 

As has already been stated, British troops remained in possession of 
the posts at Niagara and Oswego from the close of the Revolution to 
1796, from which time they frequently attempted to incite Indian hos- 
tilities against the Americans ; and during the years preceding the 
War of 1 812, the same influences were again at work both in Canada 
and in this State, that the Indians might be induced to declare war upon 
the frontier settlements of Western New York. Hardly a week passed 
during the first years of the war that rumors of Indian outrages did not 
startle the inhabitants of this county and cause them to look with 
anxious eyes on the half-tamed Senecas of the region, many of whom 
had more than once bathed their hands in American blood. Fortun- 
ately, however, the rumors proved false, but the terror they inspired 
was none the less real. 


The news of the outbreak of the war was brought into Ontario county 
by express very soon after the beginning of hostiUties, and within 
six days thereafter a large public meeting was held at Canandaigua for 
the purpose of adopting such measures as should be necessary for the 
public good. Major William Shepard was chosen chairman and John 
C. Spencer secretary of the meeting, and a committee of correspondence 
was also appointed, comprising Nathaniel W. Howell, Thaddeus Cha- 
pin, Zachariah Seymour, Oliver L. Phelps, John C. Spencer, Nathaniel 
Gorham, Moses Atwater, James Smedley and Hugh Jameson. At this 
time it was decided to organize a " Citizens' Corps," to be composed 
of men exempt from military duty, and who should defend the county 
against a possible Indian invasion which might occur while the militia 
was on the frontier. Other equally patriotic meetings were held in East 
Bloomfield, Farmington and Seneca, and at each effective measures for 
the defence of the county were taken. A noteworthy organization was 
that formed in the town first mentioned, and called the " East Bloom- 
field Alarm Company," the members of which determined to arm them- 
selves, and if called upon to hasten to the relief of any portion of the 
county which might be attacked. 

Fortunately, however, the people of Ontario county were exempted 
from an Indian attack during the period of the war. On the 26th of 
May, 1812, Erastus Granger, superintendent of Indian affairs, with in- 
terpreters Horatio Jones and Jasper Parrish, held a council with the 
chiefs of the Six Nations who were then living in the United States. 
Mr. Granger did not seek to enlist their services, such not being the 
policy of the government, but urged them to remain neutral. To this 
they agreed, but said they would send a delegation to consult with their 
brethren in Canada. Red Jacket, the renowned Seneca sachem, at 
first declared for neutrality, but when the British invaded their reser 
vation lands that action was a signal for digging up the hatchet, and 
they became united with the Americans. However, the Indians fre- 
quently met in council before they took up arms against the British, 
and on one of these occasions Red Jacket addressed his hearers (both 
whites and Indians) as follows : " Our property is taken possession of 
by the British and their Indian friends. It is necessary now for us to 
take up the business, defend our property and drive the enemy from it, 


tf we sit still upon our seats and take no means of redress, the British, 
according to the custom of you white people, will hold it by conquest. 
And should you conquer the Canadas you will hold it on the same 
principle, because you have taken it from the British." 

Another council was soon afterward held, at which a formal declara- 
tion of war was adopted and reduced to writing by an interpreter; and 
this was undoubtedly the only formal declaration of war published by 
an Indian nation. Notwithstanding the declaration, however, no con- 
siderable number of the Indians took the field on the American side 
during the year 1812, and there were many of the chiefs who were 
really desirous that their people should remain neutral. 

Upon the outbreak of the war the militia kept marching to the front- 
ier, there being no apparent lack of numbers, and all were anxious to 
capture Canada the next day after their arrival. But they were quite 
ignorant of actual war, and the first touch of reality chilled them to the 
marrow. In one respect they were prepared for the struggle, in that 
the regiments were amply provided with officers. General Amos Hall, 
of Bloomfield, major general of this division of the State militia, was 
in command on the frontier for a short time, succeeding General Wads- 
worth. On July 1 1 he was superseded by Major-General Stephen 
Van Rensselaer, who established headquarters at Lewiston. The dis- 
astrous defeat of the latter caused him to be succeeded by General 
Alexander Smyth, a regular army officer, but even he failed to accom- 
plish hoped for results, wherefore he resigned in December, 181 2. In 
April, 181 3, Major-General Lewis and Brigadier- General Boyd arrived 
on the frontier and assumed command of the American troops. 

The new officers found great difficulty in obtaining a permanent force, 
as the military system of the country was in an unorganized condition, 
and it was considered a remarkable thing if a volunteer should remain 
three months on the frontier. Officers were plenty, but inexperienced, 
those who fought in the Revolution being generally too old for present 
service. Added to these disadvantages, the country then possessed a 
a timid, vacillating president, and a dominant South which was unwill- 
ing to strengthen the North and its outposts. These were some of the 
reasons for the feebleness which characterized the prosecution of the 
War of 1812-15. 


In the spring of 1813 General Lewis invited the warriors of the Six 
Nations to come to his camp, and soon received three or four hundred 
of them under the lead of Farmer's Brother. However, it is difficult to 
state who was their acknowledged leader, one account saying it was 
Farmer's Brother, and another names Henry O'Bail (the Young Corn- 
planter) as holding that position, while a third authority credits Young 
King with being the principal war-chief. After their enrollment by 
General Boyd, the Indians remained in service a short time and then 
returned to their habitations. 

Turning from these events of the war, we may observe the move- 
ments and disposition of the Ontario county soldiery. During the year 
18 1 2 the local troops were on the frontier much of the time and en- 
gaged in such movements and operations as were required, yet the bat- 
tles of the campaign were not of such a character as to test the mettle 
of the county militia. However, in 181 3 the men of Ontario county 
w«re actively engaged in the campaign in Western New York. The 
report of General Hall shows that he reviewed his force in Buffalo and 
that they comprised one hundred twenty- nine mounted volunteers from 
Ontario county under command of Colonel Seymour Boughton ; also 
four hundred thirty-three Ontario county volunteers commanded by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Blakeslie, together with other militia from Buffalo, 
Canada and Genesee county. General Hall's command was in the bat- 
tle at Black Rock, where the Ontario militia did most of the fighting 
and acquitted themselves with credit by sustaining the attack of the 
Royal Scots with much firmness, but not being properly supported and 
finding the enemy attacking them on two sides, they were compelled 
to retreat. However, General Hall was determined to make a firm 
stand at the borders of Buffalo village, but at that time the cry of " In- 
dians are coming" filled the men with terror and they fled precipitately. 
The result was that Buffalo village was plundered and burned, while the 
inhabitants of the entire region deserted their homes and sought refuge 
and safety in the villages and settlements to the east. In the campaign 
of the year the Ontario militia suffered severe loss, forty of Colonel 
Blakeslie's regiment being made prisoners. General Hall rallied two 
or three hundred of his discouraged troops at Williamsville, but their 
services were not required, and no further conflict followed. The gen- 


eral acted with all possible energy and failed only through the defection 
of his force and his own inexperience in military art. 

The destruction of Buffalo, and the threatened invasion of Genesee 
county, carried dismay into every heart and suffering into every house- 
hold. The defenceless families at once abandoned their homes and 
possessions and fled eastward, having no definite end in view other than 
to escape death at the hands of the British and their Indian allies. 
Along every thoroughfare of travel they came, foot-sore, weary and 
half- starved across the border of Genesee county and into Ontario, 
where they were received and cared for as well as the means of the 
people would permit Their sufferings would have been greater had 
not the prompt measures of relief been taken by the public authorities 
and the citizens of more fortunate localities. The Legislature voted 
$40,000 in aid of the devastated territory, besides $5000 to the 
Tuscarora Indians and a like sum to residents of Canada who were 
driven away from home on account of their friendship for the United 
States. The citizens of Canandaigua appointed a committee of relief, 
who raised a considerable amount in that and surrounding towns, and 
sent communications soliciting aid through all the country eastward. 
They were promptly responded to, and liberal contributions were raised 
throughout the State. With this aid, and that of the commissary de- 
partment and the assistance of personal friends, those who remained on 
the frontier managed to live through the unfortunate winter of 18 13- 

The Canandaigua Relief Committee just mentioned addressed a com- 
munication to Hon. Philip S. Van Rensselaer and others, of which the 

following is a copy: 

Canandaigua, January 8, 1814. 

Gentlemen, — Niagara county, and that part of Genesee which lies west of Batavia, 
are completely depopulated. All the settlements in a section forty miles square, and 
which contained more tlian twelve thousand souls, are effectually broken up. These 
facts you are undoubtedly acquainted with ; but the distresses they have produced 
none but an eye-witness can thoroughly appreciate. Our roads a^e filled with people, 
many of whom have been reduced from a state of competency and good prospects to the 
last degree of want and .sorrow. So sudden was the blow by which they have been 
crushed that no provision could be made either to elude or meet it. The fugitives from 
Niagara county especially were dispersed under circumstances of so much terror that 
in some cases mothers find themselves wandering with strange children, and children 


are seen accompanied by such as have no other sympathies with them than those of 
common sufferings. Of the famihes thus separated, all the members can never again 
meet in this life ; for the same violence which has made them beggary has forever de- 
prived them of their heads, and others of their branches. Afflictions of the mind, so 
deep as has been aPotted to these unhappy people, we cannot cure. They can prob- 
ably be subdued only by His power who can wipe away all tears. But shall we not 
endeavor to assuage them ? To their bodily wants we can certainly administer. The 
inhabitants of this village have made large contributions ^^or their relief, in provisions, 
clothing and money, and we have been appointed, among other things, to solicit 
further relief for them from our wealthy and liberal-minded fellow-citizens. In pur- 
suance of this appointment, we may ask you, gentlemen, to interest yourselves par- 
ticularly in their behalf. We believe that no occasion has ever occurred in our 
conntr}' which presented stronger claims upon individual benevolence, and we humbly 
trust that whoever is wilhng to answer these claims will always entitle himself to the 
precious reward of active charity. We are, gentlemen, with great respect, 

William Siiepard, 
Thaddeus CnAPiN, 
Moses Atwater, 


Myron Holley, 
TnoMAS Beals, 
PniNEAS p. Bates, 
Committee of Safety and Relief at Canandaigiia. 

The campaign for 1814 was a remarkable contrast to those of the 
previous years of the war. Early in April there came to the general 
rendezvous (Williamsville) Brigadier- General Winfield Scott, followed 
soon after by Major- General Brown, the latter having been ordered to 
command the army that should be collected in Western New York. 
His force consisted of two brigades of regulars under Generals Scott 
and Ripley, and one of volunteers under General P. B. Porter. This 
was composed of five hundred Pennsylvanians, six hundred New York 
volunteers, all of whom had not arrived when movements began, and 
nearly six hundred Iroquois warriors. In General Porter's command 
were the Ontario county militia. They took part in the capture of Fort 
Erie, the battle of Chippewa, Lundy's Lane, Conjockety Creek and the 
later attack and attemped capture, by the British, of Fort Erie. The 
fort was relieved and saved, however, by the splendid action of General 
Porter and his Western New York and Pennsylvania volunteers. Very 
high credit was given to General Porter for his eloquence in engaging 
the volunteers, and his skill in leading them. The press sounded his 


praises, the citizens of Batavia tendered him a dinner, the governor 
brevetted him major-general, and Congress voted him a gold medal. 

The raising of the siege of Fort Erie was substantially the close of 
war on the New York frontier, and all the troops except a small guard 
were withdrawn from Fort Erie. During the following winter com- 
missipners were endeavoring to negotiate a treaty of peace at Ghent, 
and there was a universal desire for their success, for in Western New 
York at least the people had had enough of the glories of war. The 
victory at New Orleans was soon afterward followed by the signing of 
the treaty at Ghent, and everywhere was immediately spread the wel- 
come news of peace. 

In the present chapter we have already stated that the early settle- 
ment of Ontario county was somewhat retarded by the events of the 
War of i8i2 and the years immediately preceding it. A glance at the 
records of the war will suffice to show why this was so. But, not- 
withstanding the fact that settlement and development may for the time 
have been checked, they were by no means suspended ; and it is a fact 
that regardless of adverse circumstances and unfortunate events the 
growth in the county's population, even during the decade in which 
the war took place, was almost remarkable. In proof of this we may 
with interest refer to the population of the county at different periods. 

In 1790, the year following that in which Ontario was separated from 
the mother county, the census enumeration of the several towns showed 
that the number inhabitants in the entire county, with its 6,6oo,ooo 
acres, was only one thousand and eighty- one. Ten years later, in 
1800, the territory of the county had been materially reduced by the 
erection of Steuben county, notwithstanding which the census of that 
year showed Ontario to have 15,218 inhabitants During the next 
ten years, the county of Genesee was created, taking within its 
boundaries almost half of the original territory of Ontario, nevertheless 
the census of 18 10 gave the latter county a population of 42,032. By 
1820 the number of inhabitants had increased to 88,267, as .shown by 
the census of that year. Between 1820 and 1830 the area of this 
county was still further reduced by the erection of Livingston, Monroe, 
Yates and Wayne counties, and the enumeration of the last named 
}'ear naturally showed a less population, the number then being 40,167. 


No further curtailment of the county's territory has since been made, 
and the fluctuations of population, as shown by the several federal 
census enumerations, have been as follows: In 1840, 43,501 ; 1850, 

43,929; i860, 44.563 ; 1870, 45.108 ; 1880, 49,541 ; 1890, 48,453- 

Ontario County in the Rebellion — 1861-1865. 

GROWING out of the agitation of the slavery question there be- 
came engendered a feeling of bitter hostility between the people 
of the North and the South many years before the actual outbreak of 
the War of the Rebellion. In November, i860, Abraham Lincoln was 
elected to the presidency, and the news of that election was received 
by the southern people with great indignation and the violent expres- 
sion of treasonable sentiments. On the 20th of December South Caro- 
lina passed an ordinance of secession, and less than a week afterward 
seized upon certain forts and public properties of the government and 
raised over them the palmetto flag. Still later, on the 9th of January, 
1861, the rebel batteries in Charleston harbor fired upon the Star of 
the West, a merchant steamer in the government employ, which had 
been sent with supplies and troops for the relief of Major Anderson. 

The example set by South Carolina was soon afterward followed by 
other Southern States, and the final result was that the whole country 
became involved in a Civil war which continued for more than four 
years, and cost the State of New York more than $150,000,000, and 
more than 50,000 men. 

The war of 186 1-5 was actually begun by the firing upon Fort 
Sumter at half-past four o'clock on the morning of the 12th of April, 
1861. The news of the bombardment was received at the capital on 
the 14th, and on the following day the president issued a proclamation 
calling upon the militia of the several States to the number of 75,000 
men to suppress the treasonable combinations and to enforce the law. 
To the State of New York was assigned the quota of seventeen regi- 


ments, or an aggregate force of 13,280 men. Governor Edwin D. 
Morgan and other officials, who comprised the State Military Board, 
took immediate action and issued orders for the available organized 
militia to prepare to march. Military depots were established at 
Albany, New York and Elmira, with branches in other prominent 
cities and needed supplies and equipments were provided with all pos- 
sible dispatch. 

The efforts of the governor and other officials were ably and heartily 
seconded by the Legislature, which was then in session, the senator 
from Ontario county being Thomas Hillhouse, while the respective 
assembly districts were represented by Perez H. Field and Stephen H. 
Ainsworth. In this connection it is proper to mention the names of 
the senators and assemblymen who served in those respective capacities 
during the other years of the war. In the fall of 1861 Charles J. 
Folger was elected senator and continued in that capacity throughout 
the war. In 1862 the Ontario county assemblymen were David Picket 
and Francis O. Mason ; in 1863, Perez H. Field and Lanson Dewey, 
who also were re elected and served during the legislative session of 
1864. In 1865 Volney Edgerton and Edward Brunson were members 
of assembly from this county. 

It would be extremely difficult, if not almost wholly impossible, to 
state the number of men furnished by Ontario county in all branches of 
the service during the period of the war. However, we may state in a 
general way that representatives of Ontario county served in twenty - 
nine different military organizations of the State and in each of these 
was at least a considerable contingent. In the Cavalry service men 
from the county were in the Eighth, Ninth, Fifteenth, Twenty-Fourth, 
First Mounted Rifles, and the First Veteran. In the Artillery the 
county was represented by men in the First, Fourth, Ninth, Plleventh, 
Thirteenth and Sixteenth regiments. In the regiments of Engineers 
men from the county were in the First, Fifteenth (new) and Fiftieth. 
The county was also represented in the following Infantry regiments, 
viz.: Eighteenth, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third, Thirty- 
eighth, Eighty-fifth, One Hundredth, One Hundred Twenty- sixth, One 
Hundred Forty-eighth, One Hundred Fifty-fourth, One Hundred 
Sixtieth, One Hundred Seventy-ninth, One Hundred Eighty-eighth, 
and One Hundred Ninety- fourth. 


It is the purpose of the present chapter to make some reference to 
each of the several regiments in which were men from Ontario county ; 
but inasmuch as each of these commands has had its history previously 
written, many of them at length and in great detail, it will be unneces- 
sary in this work to repeat what is already extant, and our record may 
therefore be very much condensed, and at the same time furnish to the 
reader all the facts desirable to be known in connection with the services 
of each command. 

The Eighteeiith Regiment of Infantry, otherwise known as the New 
York State Rifles, was the first organization that numbered in its ranks 
men from this county. Company G, which was recruited at Canan- 
daigua was organized by the election of Henry Faurot as captain ; 
James H.Morgan, first lieutenant, and William H. Ellis, jr., ensign. 
The regiment, which was under command of Colonel William A. Jack- 
son, was accepted by the State and mustered into service on May 13, 
1861. It was organized at Albany and mustered into service May 17, 
1 86 1, for two years. At the expiration of the term the three years' 
men were transferred to the 121st New York Volunteers. 

The companies comprising the Eighteenth were recruited mainly as 
follows ; A and E at Schenectady ; B, F, H and T at Albany and its 
vicinity ; C at Fishkill ; D (Walkill Guards) at Middletown and in Sul- 
livan county; G at Canandaigua, and K at Ogdensburg. On June 19 
the regiment left the State, served for a time at Washington, D. C.and 
from July 13 in the Second Brigade, Fifth Division, Army N. E. Vir- 
ginia. Later on it served in Franklin's and Newton's Brigade in the 
Army of the Potomac, with which army, though variously assigned, it 
continued its service until May 28, 1863, when it was honorably dis- 
charged and mustered out at Albany. 

During the period of its service the Eighteenth lost an aggregate of 
seventy-five, being five officers and seventy enlisted men, three of the 
latter dying in the hands of the enemy. 

Battles of the Eighteenth. — 186 1 : Braddock Road, Va., July 16; 
Fairfax Station, July 17 ; Blackburn's Ford, July 18 ; Bull Run, July 
21 ; Munson's Hill, August 28 and November 16; Springfield Station, 
December 4. 1862: Union Mills, March 12; West Point, May 7 ; 
Seven Days Battle, June 25 to July 2 ; Gaines Mills, June 27; Gar- 


nett's and Golding's Farms, June 28; Glendale, June 30; Malvern Hill, 
July I ; Burke's Station, August 28; Crampton Pass, September 14; 
Antietam, September 17; Fredericksburg, December 11-15. 1863: 
Franklin's Crossing, April 29 and May 2 ; Marye's Heights and Salem 
Church, May 3-4. 

The Twenty-seventh Regiment w^ls, organized and accepted by the 
State May 21, 1861, and mustered into the service at Elmira in the 
early part of July, to serve for two years. The companies of the Twen- 
ty-seventh were recruited in Southern and Western New York, a part 
of the Company G being from Ontario county. The regiment left the 
State July 10, 1861, in command of Henry W. Slocum, served the full 
term of its enlistment and was mustered out of service May 31, 1863 at 
Elmira. During its service the Twenty-seventh lost, from all causes, a 
total of 146 men. The battles in which it participated were as follows : 
1861 : Bull Run, July 21 ; Pohick Church, October 4. 1862: West 
Point, May 7 ; near Mechanicsville, May 22, and June i ; Seven Days 
Battle, June 25 to July 2 ; Gaines Mills, June 27 ; Garnett's and Gold- 
ing's Farms, June 28 ; Glendale, June 30 ; Malvern Hill, July i ; Cramp- 
ton Pass, September 14; Antietam, September 17; Fredericksburg, 
December 11-15. 1863: Franklin's Crossing, April 29 to May 2 ; 
Marye's Heights and Salem Church, May 3-4. 

The Twenty-eighth Regiment of Infafitry, otherwise known as the 
" Niagara Rifles " and the " Scott Life Guard," was recruited princi- 
pally in the western part of the State, companies A, B, C and K, being 
raised at Lockport ; D at Medina ; E at Canandaigua ; F at Batavia ; 
G at Albion ; H at Monticello ; and I at Niagara Falls. The Ontario 
county company was commanded by Theodore Fitzgerald, captain ; J. 
J. Whitney, first lieutenant, and Harry Paddleford, ensign. When mus- 
tered in the regiment was in command of Colonel Dudley Connolly, and 
when mustered out was in command of Colonel Edwin F. Brown. The 
Twenty-eighth was organized at Albany, and mustered into service for 
two years. May 22, 1861. It left the State June 25, serving for a time 
at Washington, thence in Butterfield's Brigade, Keim's Division, Dis- 
trict of Pennsylvania, and after October 15 in Banks's Division, Army of 
the Potomac. Later on it served with the Army of Virginia and the 
Army of the Potomac until mustered out at Albany, June 2, 1 863. The 


Twenty-eighth during its service lost an aggregate of 1 1 5 officers and 
men. The engagements in which it took part were as follows : 1861 : 
Near Martinsburg, July 11; in Virginia, opposite Point of Rocks, Au- 
gust 5 ; Berlin, September 18. 1862 : Winchester, March 23 ; Monte- 
veido, March 27 ; near Columbia Furnace, April i 5 ; near Harrisonburg, 
April 24 ; operations in Shenandoah Valley, May 23—25 ; Front Royal, 
May 23; Middletown, May 24; Newtown, May 24; Winchester, May 
25 ; Bunker Hill, May 25 ; near Luray, June 30; Rappahannock, July 
25 ; Cedar Mountain, August 9 ; General Pope's campaign, August 16 
to September 2 ; Rappahannock Station, August 23; Sulphur Springs, 
August 23-24 ; Antietam, September 1 7. 1 863 : Chancellorsville, May 


The Thirty -third Regiment of hifantry, which afterward became 
known as the " Ontario Regiment," Col. Robert F. Taylor command- 
ing, was organized at Elmira, and mustered into the United States serv- 
ice July 3, 1861, for two years, to date from May 22, 1861, at which 
time the regiment was accepted by the State. To the numerical 
strength of the Thirty-third the county contributed nearly three com- 
panies, one' from Canandaigua, under Capt. John R. Cutler, and the 
others from Geneva, commanded by Captain Walker and Captain Wa- 
terford, respectively. However, the most recent recognized military 
authority in the State places the organization of the companies of the 
Thirty third as follows: A and K at Seneca Falls; B at Palmyra; 
C (Waterloo Wright Guards) at Waterloo ; D at Canandaigua ; E at 
Geneseo ; F at Nunda ; G (Richmond Guards) at Buffalo; H at Ge- 
neva ; I (Keuka Rifles) at Penn Yan. 

The Thirty- third broke camp at Elmira, July 8, 1861, and proceeded 
at once to Washington, where it performed service for some time. On 
August 4 it was attached to W. F. Smith's Brigade, and on September 
25 was transferred to Stephen's Brigade, Smith's Division, Army of the 
Potomac. In March, 1862, it formed a part of the Fourth Corps 
and in May following was attached to the Sixth Corps. The appended 
list will give the reader an idea of the service performed by the Thirty- 
third, in addition to which we may say that it lost an aggregate of 152 
men from all causes. On June 2, 1863, still under command of Colonel 
Taylor, the regiment was honorably discharged and mustered out of 
service at Geneva. 


The engagements in which the Thirty- third participated were as fol- 
lows: i86i, near Chain Bridge, July 25; near Lewinsville, September 
25 ; Big Chestnut, October 13. 1862, Watts's and Young's Mills, April 
4; siege of Yorktown, April 5 to May 4; near Lee's Mills, April 5 ; 
Lee's Mills, April 8 and 16; before Yorktown, April 26; near Lee's 
Mills, April 28 ; Williamsburg, May 5 ; Mechanicsville, May 24 ; Gold- 
ing's Farm, June 5 ; Seven Days Battle, June 25 to July 2 ; Garnett's 
Farm, June 27 ; Garnett's and Golding's Farms, June 28 ; Savage Sta- 
tion, June 29; White Oak Swamp, June 30; Malvern Hill, July i; 
Harrison's Landing, July 3; Jefferson Pass, September 13; Crampton 
Pass, September 14; Antietam, September 17; Fredericksburg, De- 
cember 11-15. 1863, Marye's Heights and Salem Church, May 3-4. 
Gettysburg, detachment, July 1-3 ; Fairfield, July 5 ; Antietam and' 
Marsh Run, July 7; Williamsport, July 14. 

The Thirty- eighth Regiment of Infantry, otherwise known as the 
" Second Scott's Life-Guard," was organized in the city of New York 
for two years, June 3 and 8, 1861. Its colonel was J. H. Hobart Ward. 
The companies were recruited as follows: A, B, C, D and F in New 
York city ; E in Westchester county ; G in Westchester and Dutchess 
counties; H at Geneva; I at Horseheads, and K at Elizabethtown 
The Geneva company was commanded by Captain W. H. Baird. 

The Thirty-eighth proceeded to Washington June 19, 1861, and be- 
came a part of the Army of the Potomac. In December, 1862, the 
regiment was consolidated into six companies, to which was added four 
consolidated companies of the Fifty-fifth Infantry, which completed the 
regiment. On June 23, 1863, Col. Augustus Funk was authorized to 
reorganize the regiment, but this he did not succeed in doing, and the 
enlisted men were transferred to the Seventeenth Veteran Volunteers. 
The Thirty- eighth was honorably discharged and mustered out, under 
Col. James C. Strong, June 22, 1863, at New York city. During its 
service the Thirty- eighth lost a total of six officers and 115 enlisted 
men, but the following list of engagements will furnish a more compre- 
hensive idea of the services of the regiment. 1 861, Fairfax C. H., July 
17; Bull Run, July 21 ; near Munson's Hill, August 18. . 1862, siege 
of Yorktown, April 5 to May 4 ; Williamsburg, May 5 ; Fair Oaks, 
May 31 to June 1 ; Seven Days Battle, June 25 to July 2 ; Jourdan's 


Ford, June 29 ; Glendale, June 30 ; Malvern Hill, July i ; General 
Pope's Campaign, August 26 to September 2 ; Centerville, August 28 ; 
Groveton, August 29: Bull Run, August 30; Chantilly, September i; 
Fredericksburg, December 11-15. 1863, Chancellorsville, May 1-3. 

The Eighty -Fifth Regiment, (Veteran). — This command was organ- 
ized November 7, i86i, and was the first regiment in which were On- 
tario county men that was mustered into service for three years. Its 
first commander was Col. Uriah Davis, under whom the regiment was 
mustered into service between August and December, 1861. The On- 
tario county contribution to the Eighth-fifth comprised two companies, 
B, which was credited to Canandaigua, and G, which was recruited 
principally at Geneva. William W. Clark, of Naples, practically organ- 
ized Company B. and was chosen its captain, C. S. Aldrich and Amos 
Brunson being respectively first and second lieutenants. Company G 
was raised in and about Geneva by John Raines, who was made its cap- 
tain, with George W. Munger and Thomas Alsop first and second lieu- 

The other companies comprising the Eighty- fifth were recruited 
principally as follows ; A at Olean ; C at Friendship ; D at Little Gen- 
esee ; E at Granger ; F at Black Creek and Friendship ; H at Wells- 
ville ; I at Richburgh ; and K at Hinsdale. The regiment left the State 
December 3, 1861, and was attached to the Army of the Potomac in 
the Third Brigade and Case's Division. 

In March, 1863, it was attached to the department of the South. 
During the years 1862 and '63, the services of the Eighty-fifth were 
not specially severe, its greatest losses being at Fair Oaks in the latter 
part of May and the early part of June, 1862. However, on April 20, 
1864, at Plymouth, N. C, the regiment lost eleven men killed, and the 
whole command surrendered to the enemy, together with the entire 
brigade. During the period of its service the Eighty-fifth lost an 
aggregate of 378 men, of whom 245 enlisted men died in rebel prisons. 
The engagements in which the regiment participated were as follows : 
1862, siege of Yorktown, April 17 to May 4 ; Lee's Mills, April 28; 
Williamsburg, May 5 ; Seven Pines, May 24 ; Fair Oaks, May 30. May 
31, and June i ; New Market Road, June 8 ; Fair Oaks, June 24-25 ; 
Seven Days Battle, June 25 to July 2; Malvern Hill, July i ; Carter's 


Mill, July 2 ; Franklin, October 31 ; Tuni, November 18 ; Exp. from 
New Berne to Goldsboro, N. C, December 1 1-20 ; Kinston, December 
14; White Hall, December 16; Goldsboro, December 17; Williams- 
ton, December 27. 1863, New Berne, March 14; Nixouton, April 16 . 
Blont's Creek, April 9; Little Washington, April 19-20; Free Bridge, 
July 6; Williamston, July 27 ; Chowan, July 28. 1864, Harvelsville, 
January 20; Plymouth, April 17-20. 

The Ninety -Eighth Regiment of Infantry, a veteran organization, was 
organized at Albany in the early part of 1862, The command was 
otherwise known as the " Malone and Lyons Regiment," the " Wayne 
County Regiment," and " Franklin's Own." Companies A, B, C and 
E were principally recruited at Malone ; D and G at Bangor ; H at 
Fort Covington, and F, K and I at Lyons. In the companies last 
named was a fair contingent of Ontario county men. However, the 
Thirty- fourth Regiment of militia formed the nucleus of the command, 
which contained, also, a few St. Regis Indians. 

The Ninety-eighth was mustered into service from the ist to the 6th 
of February, 1862, and under Col. William Dutton left for the front and 
was attached to Palmer's Brigade, Casey's Division, Fourth Corps of 
the Army of the Potomac. Its battles began with the siege of York- 
town in April, and closed with the fall of Petersburg, April 2, 1865. 
Its most serious losses were at Fair Oaks, Swift Creek, Cold Harbor, 
the operations before Petersburg and Richmond, the assault on Peters- 
burg, and the battle at Chaffin's Farm. During the period of its 
service the regiment lost eight officers and 230 enlisted men. It was 
honorably discharged and mustered out under Col. William Kreutzer, 
August 31, 1865, at Richmond, Va. The engagements in which the 
Ninety-eighth took part were as follows: 1862, siege of Yorktoxvn, 
April i6-May 4; Lee's Mills, April 28 ; Williamsburg, May 5 ; Bottom's 
Bridge, May 21-22; Savage Station, May 24; Fair Oaks, May 31, June 
I, and June 24-25; Seven Days Battle, June 25-July 2; White Oak 
Swamp Bridge, June 30; Malvern Hill, July i ; Carter's Hill, July 2. 
1864, operations before Petersburg and Richmond, May 5-31 ; Port 
Walthall and Chester Station, May 6-^ \ Swift Creek, May 9-10; 
Proctor's Creek, May 12 ; Drury's Bluff, May 14-16; Bermuda Hun- 
dred, May^ 18-26 ; Cold Harbor, June 1-12; (First Assault, June i; 


Cold Harbor, June 2 ; Second Assault, June 3 ;) before Petersburg and 
Richmond, June 15 and April 2, 1865; Petersburg Assault, June 15- 
19, 1865 ; Chaffin's Farm, September 29, October i ; Fair Oaks, October 
27-29, 1864; Fall of Petersburg, April 2, 1865. 

The One HiindredtJi Regiment of Infantry (Veteran) was organized 
during the fall and winter months of 1861 under the supervision of 
General G. A. Scroggs, and its companies were mustered into 
service by detachments as rapidly as they were recruited. James M. 
Brown was made colonel of the regiment, and with the command left 
for the front March 10, 1862. The Ontario county contingent was 
mainly in Company B, the recruits being from the town of Victor. 
The service of the One Hundredth began with the siege of Yorktown 
in April, 1862, and continued throughout the war, ending with the fall of 
Petersburg and the final surrender at Appomattox. Its severest losses 
were at Fair Oaks, Va., Battery Wagner, S. C, the operations against 
Petersburg and Richmond, the battle at Strawberry Plains, and in the 
final Appomattox campaign. Its total losses were thirteen officers and 
384 enlisted men. The regiment was mustered out of service at Rich- 
mond, Va., August 28, 1865. 

The One Hundred and Second Regiment, the "Van Buren Light In- 
fantry," a veteran organization, was organized early in 1862, at a time 
when the government was seriously in need of men. The Ontario 
coimty contribution to the regiment was exceedingly small, being a 
{^w recruits enlisted by Captain M. E. Cornell, and his brothers George 
and Stephen, and obtained in the western part of the county. The 
regiment was mustered into service between November, 1861, and 
April, 1862, and was mustered out at Alexandria, Va., July 21, 1865. 

The One Hundred and Twenty -Sixth Regiment was raised by Col. 
Eliakim Sherrill, who received authority therefor June 15, 1862. It 
was to have been recruited in Ontario, Washington and Yates counties, 
but instead of Washington, Seneca county appears to have been utilized. 
The regiment was organized at Geneva and there mustered into service 
for three years August 22, 1862. On December 25, 1864, it was con- 
solidated into a battalion of five companies, A to E, and on June 2, 
1865, the men not mustered out with the regiment were transferred to 
the Fourth New York Artillery. Glancing over the records, we dis- 


cover that companies A and B were recruited in Yates county; C and I 
in Seneca county; D, H and K wholly in Ontario county; E at Geneva 
and Rushville ; F in Ontario and Seneca counties, and G in Ontario, 
Seneca and Yates. 

As a stimulus to hasten the raising of this regiment, a reward of $200 
was offered for the first company recruited in Ontario county. D 
gained the prize, the money being paid by H. B. Gibson, of Canandai- 
gua. The first officers of this company were Philo D. PhiHips, captain; 
Charles A. Richardson, first lieutenant, and Spencer F. Lincoln, second 
lieutenant. E, the Geneva and Rushville company, was under com- 
mand of Captain Henry D. Kipp, and George E. Pritchett and John 
B. Brough, first and second lieutenants respectively. Company F, 
which was raised in this county and Seneca, was under Isaac Shinier, 
captain, Ira Munson and Ten Eyck Munson as first and second lieu- 
tenants. Company G was commanded by Captain John F. Aikins; 
first lieutenant Frederick Stewart and second lieutenant Sanford H. 
Piatt. The towns of Phelps and Manchester furnished the men for 
Company H, the first officers of which were Orin J. Herendeen, cap- 
tain ; George N. Redfield, first lieutenant and Alfred R. Clapp, second 
lieutenant. The officers of Company K were, captain, Charles M. 
Wheeler; first lieutenant, H. Clay Lawrence, and second lieutenant, 
Isaac A. Seamans. This company was raised principally in Canan- 
daigua and Naples. 

The One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth proceeded to the front during 
the latter part of A^ugust, 1862, where it served in the Middle Depart- 
ment of the Army of Virginia The most notable event in connection 
with its whole service took place at the siege of Harper's Ferry, so 
called, on which occasion the entire regiment, together with 11,000 
other Union troops, surrendered to the enemy. In justice, however, 
to the One Hundred and Twenty- Sixth it must be said that this sur- 
render or capture, for it amounted to the same, was in no manner at- 
tributable to the fault of the regiment, but rather to the weak and 
ill-advised action of the commanding officers of the army. Notwith- 
standing this the whole force was charged with cowardly conduct, a 
stigma which was not removed until after the men were released from 
their parole. By reference to the appended list of battles in which the 



regiment took part it will be seen that the men fully removed the 
characterization previously applied to them, and demonstrated con- 
clusively that they were as good and true fighters as ever faced an 
enemy. After being paroled the regiment was ordered to Camp 
Douglas, at Chicago, where it remained two months, then being ex- 
changed and at once proceeded to the defences of Washington, at Arl- 
ington Heights. Later on it formed a part of the Twenty- second, and 
still later of the Second Army Corps. At the expiration of the term of 
enlistment the regiment was honorably discharged and mustered out 
June 3, 1865, at Washington, D. C, then being under command of 
Col. J. Smith Brown. 

During the period of its service the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth 
lost a total of seventeen officers and 259 enlisted men. The engage- 
menfs in which it participated were as follows : 1862, siege of Harper's 
Ferry, September 12-15 ; Maryland Heights, September 12-13 ! Boli- 
var Heights, September 15. 1863, Gettysburg, July 1-3; Auburn, 
October 14; Bristoe, October 14; Mitchell's Ford, October 15-16 ; 
Mine Run campaign, November 26-December 2 ; Robertson's Tavern, 
November 27. 1864, Morton's Ford, February 6 ; Wilderness, May 
5-7 ; Spottsylvania, C. H., May 8-21 ; Po River, May 9-10; Salient, 
May 12; Landron House, May 18; North Anna, May 22-26; Tolo- 
potomoy, May 27-31 ; Cold Harbor, June 1-12; before Petersburg, 
June 15, April 2, 1865 ; assault of Petersburg, 1 5-19 ; Weldon R. R., 
June 21-23; Deep Bottom, July 27-29; Strawberry Plains, August 
14-18; Reams Station, August 25. 1865, Petersburg Works, March 
25 ; Appomattox campaign, March 28, April 9; White Oak Ridge, 
March 29-31 ; fall of Petersburg, April 2 ; Deatonsville Road, April 6 ; 
High Bridge, April 7 ; Farmville. April 7 ; New Store, April 8 ; Appo- 
mattox C. H., April 9. 

The One Hundred and Forty eighth Regimetit. — In many respects 
this was one of the important of the many military organizations repre- 
sented by recruits from Ontario county. In fact much of its strength 
came from the county, while the whole regiment was raised in the im- 
mediate vicinity, and had its place of rendezvous at Camp Swift, Geneva. 
The companies were recruited principally as follows: A at Seneca Falls, 
Fayette, Geneva, and Canoga ; B at Dundee, Starkey, Barrington and 



Milo ; C at Phelps, Hopewell and Geneva; D at Geneva, Fayette and 
Varick ; E in Seneca county ; F at Geneva, Rushville, Gorham, Potter 
Center, Penn Yan and Middlesex ; G at Geneva, Canandaigua and 
Naples ; H in Seneca county ; I partly in Geneva and the balance in 
Yates and Seneca counties, and K at Manchester, Bristol, East and West 
Bloomficld and Hopewell. 

The regimental organization was completed and the command mus- 
tered into service at Geneva for three years, September 14, 1862, at 
which time the field and staff officers were as follows : Colonel William 
Johnson, Seneca Falls; lieutenant-colonel, George M. Guyon, Seneca 
Falls; major, John B. Murray, Seneca Falls; adjutant, Henry T. 
Noyes, Starkey ; quartermaster, Albert Woodruff, Lodi ; surgeon, 
Henry Simmons, Canandaigua ; first assistant surgeon, C. H. Carpen- 
ter, Phelps; second assistant surgeon, Frank Seeley, Rushville. 

The regiment left Camp Swift on the 22d of September, then having 
twelve companies with full 1,200 men. Ten companies being the re- 
quired number orders were received at Watkins, where the regiment 
had proceeded via steamer up Seneca Lake, directing two of the com- 
panies to return to Geneva. In October following these companies 
were attached to the Forty- fourth Regiment of Infantry, N. Y. V. The 
command proceeded to Washington, thence to Portsmouth, Va., and 
still later to Suffolk where its actual service was begun. At first it 
served with the Seventh Corps, and later with the Eighteenth and finally 
with the Twenty fourth. Its battles began with Gwynn's Island in No- 
vember, 1863, from which time it was most actively employed until 
the fall of Petersburg and the final surrender at Appomattox in April, 
1865. During its service the regiment lost, from all causes, six officers 
and 261 enlisted men, twenty-four of the latter dying in the hands of 
the enemy. 

The One Hundred and Forty-eighth participated in the following 
engagements : Gwynn's Island, November 18, 1863 ; operations against 
Petersburg and Richmond, May 5-31, 1864; Swift Creek, May 9-10, 
1864 ; Proctor's Creek, May 12, 1864; Drury's Bluff, May 14-16, 1864; 
Bermuda Hundred, May 18-26, 1864; White House, May 31, 1864; 
Cold Harbor, June I-12, 1864; Second Assault, June 3, 1864; before 
Petersburg and Richmond, June 15, 1864, and April 2, 1865; assault 


of Petersburg, June 15-19, 1864; Chaffin's Farm, September 29-Octo- 
ber I, 1864; Fair Oaks, October 27-28, 1864; Appomattox Cam- 
paign, March 28-April 9. 1865; fall of Petersburg, April 2, 1865; 
Rice's Station, April 6, 1865 ; Burke's Station, April 7, 1865 ; Appo- 
mattox Court-house, April 9, 1865. 

The One Hundred and Sixtieth Regiment was organized at Auburn 
during the fall of 1862, and was mustered into service for three years at 
New York city on the 21st of November The Ontario county contri- 
bution to this regiment formed a part of Company E, the towns of 
Canandaigua, East Bloomfield, Bristol, and Geneva furnishing the re- 
cruits. The balance of the company was made up of men from Seneca 
Falls, Owasco, Auburn and Tyre. The regiment left the State Decem- 
ber 4, 1862, and was attached to Sherman's Division, Department of 
the Gulf, until about July, 1864, when it came north and joined the 
Army of the Shenandoah. During the period of its service the regi- 
ment lost, from all causes, seven ofificers and 212 enlisted men, seven 
of the latter dying in the hands of the enemy. The command was 
honorably discharged and mustered out at Savannah, Ga., Novem- 
ber I, 1865. The battles of the One Hundred and Sixtieth were 
as follows: 1863: Bayou Teche, La., Jan. 13; Gunboat Cotton, La., 
Jan. 14; Berwick City, La., March 13; Pattersonville, La., March 
28 and April 1 1 ; Fort Bisland, La., April 12-13; Jeanerette, La., 
April 14; Plain Store, La., May 21 ; siege of Port Hudson, La., May 
23-July 8; First Assault, May 27 ; Second Assault, June 14. 1864, 
Red River Campaign, La., March lO-May 22 ; Sabine Cross Roads, 
La., April 8; Pleasant Hill, La., April 9; Cane River Crossing, La., 
April 23; Mausura, La., May 16; Snicker's Ferry, Va., July 20; 
Opequan, Va., September 19 ; Fisher's Hill, Va., September 22 ; Ce- 
dar Creek, Va., October 19. 

The One Hundred and Seventy-ninth Regiment of Infantry was or- 
ganized at Elmira and mustered into service for three years during the 
summer and fall of 1864. Company K was recruited at Buffalo and 
in the towns of Hopewell and Phelps, the other companies of the regi- 
ment being formed by recruits generally from Western and Central New 
York. The command left the State in detachments, being first attached 
to the Twenty-second Corps, from which it was transferred to the Ninth 


Corps and so continued until mustered out June 8, 1865, near Alexan- 
dria, Va. Although its actual service at the front was of less than a 
year's duration the regiment lost, from all causes, 191 men, of whom 
twenty- five died in the hands of the enemy. The battles in which it 
participated were as follows : Cold Harbor, June 11-12, 1864; before 
Petersburg, June 16, 1864, and April 2, 1865 ; assault of Petersburg, 
June 16-19, 1864; Mine Explosion, June 30, 1864; Weldon Road, 
August 18-21, 1864; Poplar Spring Church, September 29-October 
2, 1864; Hatcher's Run, October 27-28, 1864; Fort Stedman, March 
25, 1865; Appomattox Campaign, March 28-April 8, 1865; fall of 
Petersburg, April 2, 1865. 

The One Hundred and Eighty-eighth Regiment of Infantry was re- 
cruited by Colonel John E. McMahon, with headquarters at Rochester, 
where it was organized and mustered in service during the early part 
of October, 1864, to serve for one year. Company B was composed of 
men from Rochester, Avon, Phelps, Victor, Italy, Penn Yan, Naples 
and Geneseo. A few men in Company E were from Richmond, Farm- 
ington and Seneca. Company F had a sprinkling of Canandaigua men 
as also did Company G. In Company I were a few recruits from 
Phelps. The regiment, under command of Major C. C. Davis, left the 
State October 13, 1864, and served in the Second Brigade of the Fifth 
Corps until finally mustered out and discharged July i, 1865, near 
Washington, D. C. Although less than a year in service the One Hun- 
dred and Eighty- eighth lost ninety men from all causes. Its battles 
were as follows: Before Petersburg, October 20, 1864, and April 2, 
1865 ; Hatcher's Run, October 27— 28, 1864 ; Hicksford Raid, December 
6-1 1, 1864; Hatcher's Run February 5-7, 1865; Appomattox Cam- 
paign, March 28-April 9, 1865 ; White Oak Ridge, March 29, 1865 ; 
Gravelly Run, March 31, 1865; Five Forks, April i, 1865; fall of 
Petersburg, April 2, 1865 ; Appomattox C. H., April 9, 1865. 

The One Hundred and Ninety-fourth Regiment of Infantry was re- 
cruited during the early part of 1865 by Colonel Joseph W. Corning, 
and was mustered into service for one and three years. In Company C 
were a few recruits from Canandaigua ; in Company D (Ninth Inde- 
pendent Company) were men from Victor, Seneca and Naples ; in Com- 
pany I (Seventeenth Independent Company) were a few recruits from 


Canandaigua. The regiment was organized at Elmira, and at the same 
place was mustered out after about four months' service, having lost by 
death and disease seven enlisted men. 

The Eighth Regiment of Cavalry, the first organization of its kind 
in which was any noticeable contingent of men from Ontario county, 
was organized in i86i, under authority given to Colonel Samuel J. 
Crooks. This command became a veteran organization, and was always 
known as a Rochester regiment, although many of its men were from 
other counties than Monroe. Glancing over the records, we find men 
from Canandaigua in Co. A ; men from Phelps in Co. D ; from Rush- 
field in Co. G; from Canandaigua in third Co. K, and from the same 
town in second Cos. L and M. 

In the latter part of November, 1861, the Eighth left the rendezvous 
and served during the following winter in the defences of Washington. 
In March, 1862, it was attached to ihe Department of the Shenandoah, 
and in June following was annexed to the Eighth Corps, in the Middle 
Department. Its later service was with Pleasanton's Division of Cavalry, 
the First Division Cav. Corps, the Third Division of the Army of the 
Potomac, the Army of the Shenandoah, and with the Army of the Po- 
tomac. In the numerous operations in which the cavalry participated 
in Virginia and Maryland, the Eighth was present, and at least a part of 
the regiment took part in one hundred and forty-two battles, raids or 
skirmishes. Beginning with the operations in the Shenandoah Valley, 
May 23, 1862, and from that time on to the surrender of Lee's army at 
Appomattox, April 9, 1865, the Eighth was constantly engaged. In 
the Shenondoah Valley in May, 1862, its losses amounted to thirty-one 
men; at Harper's Ferry, ninety-two; at Beverly's Ford, fifty; at 
Gettysburg, forty ; Chester Gap, twenty-five ; Brandy Sta., eighteen ; 
on the raid to South Side and Danville R. R., 117; in the Appomattox 
campaign, thirty-one. 

At the expiration of the term of enlistment, the men entitled thereto 
were ordered to Rochester and there discharged and mustered out of 
service, the remaining men being consoldated into a battalion of eight 
companies. The regiment, commanded by Colonel Edmund M. Pope, 
was finally mustered out June 27, 1865, at Alexandria, Va., having lost, 
during its entire service, 19 officers and 305 enlisted men, of whom 3 
officers and 70 men died as prisoners in the hands of the enemy. 


The NmtJi Regiment of Cavalry {^ Q\QX2,Vi) otherwise known as Stone- 
man's Cavalry and the "Westfield Cavalry " was recruited by Colonel 
John Beardsly under authority from the State. Its organization began 
at Westfield and was completed at Albany. The companies compris- 
ing the regiment were mustered into service between September 9 and 
December 13, 1861. The records show that Ontario county was rep- 
resented by a few recruits in this regiment, but the number was so small 
that no extended mention of its services is necessary in this chapter. 
In Company F were a few men from Farmington, and in Company M 
was a small contingent of recruits from Geneva. The services of the 
Ninth began at Yorktown, Va., in the early part of April, 1862, and 
closed with the surrender at Appomattox, three years later. However, 
the regiment served in and about Washington from the latter part of 
November, 1861, until the beginning of the campaign of the next year. 

The Fifteejith Regiment of Cavalry was organized at Syracuse and 
mustered into service by companies during the summer and fall of 1863. 
A portion of Company C which was mustered in August 8, was from 
Canandaigua and Geneva, the representation, however, from this county 
being exceedingly small. The services in the field began with the 
battle at Hillsboro', Va., in January, 1864, and closed with Appomattox 
C. H., April 9. 1865. 

The Tzveniy -fourth Regiment of Cavalry was organized by Colonel 
William C. Raulston during the latter part of 1863, and its companies 
were mustered into service in December of that year, and in January, 
1864. Portions of Companies H and L were recruited at Canandaigua 
prominent in connection with which were Captain F. T. Brown, Lieu- 
tenant William F. Jessup and Byron F. Crain. The command left the 
State in February, 1864, and served for a time, dismounted in the de- 
fences of Washington. It afterward served for a brief time in the 
Twenty-second Corps, but later and more prominently in the Ninth 
Corps in connection with the Army of the Potomac. Colonel Raulston 
was captured September 29, 1864, and in attempting to escape was 
shot and died of wounds in December following. He was succeeded 
by Colonel Walter C. Newberry, under whom the regiment was con- 
solidated with the Tenth N. Y. Cavalry July 10, 1865, the new organ- 
ization receiving the designation " First Provisional Regiment, N. Y 
Vol. Cav." 


The battles in which the Twenty- fourth participated began with the 
Wilderness, May 5-7, 1864, and closed with Appomattox C. H., in 
April, 1865. 

The First Regiment of Mounted Rifles. In the summer of 1862, Ma- 
jor Dodge was authorized to organize several companies of cavalry in 
order to complete a regiment, a battalion having previously been or- 
ganized by permission of the war department. The result was the for- 
mation of the First Mounted Rifles, to which the towns of Richmond 
and Victor contributed recruits, the men being enlisted in Company K. 
On July 21, 1865, the regiment was consolidated into a battalion of 
seven companies. Company K, in which were the Ontario county men, 
was mustered into service in August, 1862. 

The First Regiment of Veteran Cavalry was organized by Colonel 
Robert F. Taylor, under authority granted July 20, 1863. According 
to the original design, this command was to have been designated the 
Seventeentli Regiment of Cavalry, but the plan was changed before the 
organization was completed. The regiment was organized at Geneva, 
where, September 17, 1863, the recruits intended for the Seventeenth 
Cavalry were transferred to it. The companies mustered at Geneva 
were C, D, E, F, G, H, I and K, and the date October 10. Companies 
L and M were mustered in November 17 and 19, at the same place. 
In October, 1864, Company M was consolidated with A, and the for- 
mer replaced by a new Company M. It would be difficult indeed to 
determine accurately the number of Ontario county men which were 
members of this command, as the recruits were scattered through sev- 
eral of its companies. Men from Geneva were in Companies C, D, E, 
G, H, I, L and M. Canandaigua was also represented in Company E, 
and Seneca in Company L. The regiment left the State by companies 
and served in the Department of Washington until February, 1864, and 
was then attached to the Army of West Virginia. In October follow- 
ing it formed a part of the Army of the Shenandoah, but in March, 
1865, returned to the Army of West Virgina. On July 20, 1865, then 
under command of Colonel John S. Plainer, the First Veteran Cavalry 
was honorably discharged and mustered out of service at Camp Piatt, 

The Second Regiment of Cavalry was organized during the summer 
of 1861, and mustered into service in August and October of that year. 


The command was originally known as the " Harris Light Cavalry," 
but the War Department designated it the " Seventh Regiment of Cav- 
alry " in the service of the United States. However, when the regiment 
was turned over to the State it was numbered the " Second Regiment 
of N. Y. Vol. Cavalry." 

The original command was composed of recruits and squadrons from 
New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana; and 
as one of the actively employed regiments in the Army of the Potomac, 
its services was necessarily severe and its losses heavy. At the expi- 
ration of its term of service many of the men were mustered out, and 
the remainder consolidated into a battalion of four companies. In Sep- 
tember and October, 1864, eight new companies joined the command 
and again raised it to a regiment ; and it was among these recruits that 
we find the names of Ontario county men, representing principally the 
towns of Farmington and Hopewell and members of Company K. 

The Fourth Regiment of Heavy Artillery (Veteran) was organized 
during the summer and fall of 1861, and mustered in by companies in the 
following winter. It was recruited under authority given to Colonel T. D. 
Doubleday, and was originally known as " Doubleday's Heavy Artil- 
lery," but afterward designated the "First Heavy Artillery, "andstill later 
as the "Fourth Heavy Artillery." In this commnd the greater part of the 
Ontario county contribution are said to have been in Company H ; in 
fact that has been called the Ontario Company. However, Canandaigua 
and Geneva both furnished recruits to Company M, and the village last 
named to Second Company D. 

The regiment went to Washington in February, 1862, and served in 
that vicinity for a time, and later with the Twenty-second Corps, serv- 
ing both as artillery and infantry. Its battles were fought nearly with- 
out exception in Virginia, but during the period of its service, the 
regiment lost a total, from all causes, of four hundred and sixty-four men 
of whom ninety-seven died as prisoners in the hands of the enemy. 
On September 26, 1865, at Washington, the Fourth was mustered 
out of service. 

The Ninth Regiment of Heavy Artillery, a command which was 
otherwise known as the " Second Auburn Regiment," and the " Cay- 
uga and Wayne County Regiment," was organized during the late 


summer of 1862, being mustered into service on the 8th and 9th of 
September, and designated the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Regi- 
ment of Infantry. It was converted into an artillery regiment in De- 
cember, 1862, and received the designation as given above. A small 
part of Company F of the Ninth was recruited in Geneva, but the con- 
tingent of men was so very small that little mention of the regiment 
need be given here. The Ninth was mustered out of service July 6, 

The Thirteenth Regiment of Heavy Artillery was organized during 
the spring and early summer of 1863, and was mustered into service by 
companies as rapidly as formed. In Company B were a few men from 
the town of Seneca. 

The Sixteenth Regiment of Heavy Artillery was organized in pursuance 
of authority granted to Colonel Joseph J. Morrison, and the command 
itself was raised during the summer and fall of 1863. In the regiment 
were a few Ontario county men, who were enlisted in Companies D and 
H, and who represented the towns of Canandaigua and Bristol. The 
company first mentioned was mustered into service December i, 1863, 
and the latter February 8, 1864. The regiment left the State by de- 
tachments, and its service in the field was also of a detached character 
previous to July, 1865, when it was united. It was mustered out of 
service at Washington, D. C, August 21, 1865. 



TO properly understand and fully appreciate the history of the judi- 
ciary of any commonwealth, and the worth and attainments of the 
magistrates and practitioners at the bar, some knowledge of the origin 
and development of the machinery and spirit of this branch of the gov- 
ernment is necessary. 

The sentiment is commonly expressed that the judicial system of the 
State of New York is largely copied from the common law pf England. 

u£iW{lharr.B i/BroMT 



This is true in many respects, and resemblances may be traced therein, 
but a close study of the history of the laws and judicial practice of this 
State will reveal the fact that they largely are an original growth, and 
differ materially from the old systems of Europe. This difference is 
strikingly manifested in the simple matter of entitling a criminal process. 
In this State it is the people versus the criminal ; in England it is rex 
versus the criminal. In the one the requirement is an independent 
judiciary responsible to the people only ; in the other it is a court sub- 
servient to a king. 

This great idea of the sovereignty of the people, even over our laws, 
has had a slow, conservative, yet progressive and systematic unfolding 
of the germ into organism. In the early history of the State the gov- 
ernor was in effect the maker and interpreter, as well as enforcer of the 
laws. He was the chief judge of the court of final resort, while his 
councillors were generally his obedient followers. The execution of 
English and colonial statutes rested with him, as did also the exercise 
of royal authority in the province ; and it was not until the adoption of 
the first constitution in 1777, that he ceased to contend for these pre- 
rogatives, and to act as though the only functions of the court and 
councillors were to do his bidding as servants, while the Legislature 
should adopt only such laws as the executive should suggest and 
approve. By the first constitution the governor was entirely stripped 
of the judicial authority which he possessed under the colonial rule, and 
this power was vested in the lieutenant-governor and the Senate, the 
chancellor and justices of the Supreme Court; the former to be elected 
by the people, and the latter to be appointed by the council. Under 
this constitution there was the first radical separation of the judicial 
and legislative powers, and the advancement of the judiciary to the 
position of a co-ordinate department of the government, and subject 
only to the limitation consequent upon the appointment of its members 
by the council. This restriction, however, was soon felt to be incom- 
patible with the independence of the judiciary, though it was not until 
the adoption of the constitution of 1846 that this connection between 
the purely political and judicial parts of State government was abol- 
ished, and with it disappeared the last remaining relic of the colonial 
period. From that time the judiciary became more directly represent- 


ative of the people. The development of the idea of the responsibility 
of the courts to the people, from the time when all its members were 
at the beck of an irresponsible master, to the time when all judges (even 
of the court of last resort) are voted for directly by the people, has 
been indeed remarkable. 

Let us now look briefly at the present arrangement and powers of 
the courts of the State, and then at the elements from which they have 
grown. The whole scheme is involved in the idea of first a trial before 
a magistrate and jury — arbiters, respectively, of law and fact — and then 
a review by a higher tribunal of the facts and law, and ultimately of 
the law by a court of last resort. To accomplish the purpose of this 
scheme there has been devised and established, first, the present Court 
of Appeals, the ultimate tribunal of the State, perfected in its present 
form by the convention of 1867 and '68, and ratified by a vote of the 
people in 1869 ; and taking the place of the old court for the trial of 
impeachments and correction of errors. The Court of Appeals as first 
organized under the constitution of 1846, was composed of eight 
judges, four of whom were elected by the people and the remainder 
chosen from the justices of the Supreme Court having the shortest time 
to serve. As reorganized in 1869, and now existing, the court consists 
of a chief judge and six associate judges, who hold ofiice for the term of 
fourteen years. 

The court is continually in session at the capital in Albany, except 
as it takes a recess on its own motion It has full power to correct 
or reverse the decisions of all inferior courts when brought before it for 
review. Five judges constitute a quorum, and four must concur to 
render judgment. If four do not agree the case must be reargued ; but 
no more than two rehearings can be had, and if then four judges do 
not concur, the judgment of the court below stands affirmed. The 
Legislature has provided how and when proceedings and decisions of 
inferior tribunals may be reviewed, and may in its discretion alter or 
amend the same. Upon the reorganization of the court in 1869 its 
work was far in arrears, and the law commonly known as the "judiciary 
act" provided for a commission of appeals to aid the Court of Appeals; 
and still more recently there has been organized a .second division to 
assist in the disposition of the business of the general court caused 
by an overcrowded calendar. 


Second to the Court of Appeals in rank and jurisdiction stands the 
Supreme Court, which is made up of many and widely different elements. 
It was originally created by an act of the colonial Legislature, May 6, 
1691, and finally by order of the governor and council May 15, 1699, 
and was empowered to try all issues to the same extent as the English 
courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer. It had juris- 
diction in actions involving one hundred dollars and over, and to revise 
and correct the decisions of inferior courts. An appeal lay from it to 
the governor and council. The judges, of whom at first there were 
five, made an annual circuit of the counties, under a commission issued 
by the governor, and giving them nisi prius, oyer and terminer, and 
jail delivery powers. Under the first constitution the court was re- 
organized, the judges being then named by the council of appointment, 
and all proceedings were directed to be entitled in the name of the 

By the constitution of 1821 many and important changes were made 
in the character and methods of the court. The judges were reduced 
to three, and appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate, 
to hold office during good behavior, or until sixty years of age. They 
were removable by the Legislature on the vote of two- thirds of the 
Assembly and a majority of the Senate Four times a year the full 
court sat in review of their decisions upon questions of law. By the 
constitution of 1846 the Supreme Court was abolished, and a new court 
of the same name and having general jurisdiction in law and equity was 
established in its place. This court was divided into General Term, Cir- 
cuits, Special Terms and Oyer and Terminer. Its members were com- 
posed of thirty-three justices to be elected by the people, and to reside 
five in the first and four in each of the seven other judicial districts, 
into which the State was divided. By the judiciary act of 1847, Gen- 
eral Terms were to be held at least once in each year in counties hav- 
ing more than 40,000 inhabitants, and in other counties once in two 
years ; and at least two special terms and two circuits were to be held 
yearly in each county except Hamilton. By this act the court was 
authorized to name the times and places of holding its terms, and those 
of the Oyer and Terminer, the latter being a part of the Circuit Court, 
and held by the justice, the county judge and two justices of sessions. 


Since 1882 the Oyer and Terminer consists of a single justice of the 
Supreme Court. 

The Court of Chancery of the State of New York was an heirloom of 
the colonial period, and had its origin in the Court of Assizes, the 
latter being invested with equity powers under the duke's laws. The 
court was established in 1683, and the governor (or such person as he 
should appoint), assisted by the council, was designated as its chan- 
cellor. In 1698 the court went out of existence by limitation ; was 
revived by ordinance in 1701, suspended in 1703, and re-established 
the next year. At first the Court of Chancery was unpopular in the 
province, the assembly and the colonists opposing it with the argument 
that the crown had no authority to establish an equity court in the 

Under the constitution of 1777 the court was reorganized, but its 
chancellor was prohibited from holding any other office except delegate 
to Congress upon special occasions. Upon the reorganization of the 
court in 1778, masters and examiners in chancery were provided to be 
appointed by the council of appointment ; while registers and clerks 
were appointed by the chancellor, and the latter licensed all solicitors 
and counselors of the court. Under the constitution of 1821 the , 
chancellor was appointed by the governor, and held office during good 
behavior or until sixty years of age. Appeals lay from the Chancery 
Court to the Court for the Correction of Errors. 

Under the second constitution equity powers were vested in the cir- 
cuit judges, and their decisions were reviewable on appeal to the chan- 
cellor. This equity character, however, was soon taken from the cir- 
cuit judges, and the duties devolved upon the chancellor, while the • 
judges referred to acted as vice-chancellors in their respective circuits. 
The constitution of 1846 abolished the Court of Chancery, and its 
powers and duties were vested in the Supreme Court. 

By an act of the Legislature passed in 1848 and entitled the " Code 
of Procedure," all distinctions between actions at law and suits in 
equity were abolished, so far as the manner of commencing and con- 
ducting the same was concerned, and one uniform method of practice 
in all actions was provided. Under this act appeals lay to the General 
Term of the Supreme Court from judgments rendered in the justice's, 


mayor's or recorder's and county courts, and from all orders and deci- 
sions of a justice at special term or circuit, and from judgments rendered 
at any trial of the Supreme Court. 

The judiciary article of the constitution of 1849 was amended in 1869, 
the Legislature being authorized to provide (not more often than once 
in five years) for the organization of General Terms, consisting of a 
presiding justice and not more than three associates, but by chapter 
408 of the laws of 1870, the then organization of the General Terms 
was abrogated, and the State was divided into four departments, and 
provision made for holding General Terms in each. By the same act 
the governor was directed to designate from the justices of the Supreme 
Court, a presiding justice and two associates to constitute a General 
Term in each department. Under the authority of the constitutional 
amendment adopted in 1882, the Legislature in 1883 divided the State 
into five judicial departments and provided for the election of twelve 
additional justices to hold office from the first Monday in June, 1884. 

In June, 1877, the Legislature enacted the code of civil procedure to 
take the place of the code of 1848. By this many minor changes in 
the practice of the court were made, among them a provision that every 
two years the justices of the General Terms and the chief judges of the 
Superior City courts should meet and revise and establish general rules 
of practice for all the courts of record in the State, except the Court of 

These are, in brief, the changes through which the Supreme Court 
has passed in its growth from the prerogative of an irresponsible gover- 
nor to one of the most independent and enlightened instrumentalities 
for the protection and attainment of the rights of citizens of which any 
nation, ancient or modern, can boast. So well is this fact understood 
by the people that by far the greater amount of business which might 
be done in inferior courts at less expense, is actually taken to this court 
for settlement. 

Next in inferiority to the Supreme Court is the County Court, held 
in and for each county in the State at such times and places as its 
judges may direct. This court had its origin in the English Court of 
Sessions, and like it had at first only criminal jurisdiction. By an act 
passed in 1683, a Court of Sessions, having power to try both civil and 


criminal causes by jury, was directed to be held by three justices of the 
peace of each of the counties of the province twice a year, with an ad- 
ditional term in Albany and two in New York. By the act of 1691, 
and the decree of 1669, all civil jurisdiction was taken from this court 
and conferred on the Common Pleas. By the sweeping changes made 
by the constitution of 1846, provision was made for a County Court in 
each county in the State, except New York, to be held by an officer to 
be designated " the county judge," and to have such jurisdiction as the 
Legislature might prescribe. 

Under the authority of this constitution County Courts have, from 
time to time, been given jurisdiction in various classes of actions, and have 
also been invested with certain equity powers in the foreclosure of mort- 
gages and the sale of infants' real estate, and also to partition lands 
and to admeasure dower, and care for the persons and estates of luna- 
tics and habitual drunkards. The judiciary act of 1869 continued the 
existing jurisdiction in all actions in which the defendant resided within 
the county and the damages claimed did not exceed one thousand 

Like the Supreme Court the County Court now has its civil and 
criminal sides : In criminal matters the county judge is assisted by two 
justices of sessions, elected by the people from among the justices of the 
peace in the county. It is in the criminal branch of this court, known 
as the " Sessions" that the minor criminal offenses are now disposed of. 
All indictments, except for murder or some very serious felony, may be 
sent to it for trial from the Oyer and Terminer. By the codes of 1848 
and 1877 the methods and procedure and practice are made to conform 
as nearly as possible to the practice of the Supreme Court. This was 
done with the evident design of attracting litigation into this court, and 
thus relieving the Supreme Court. In this purpose, however, there has 
been an evident failure, as litigants much prefer the broader powers of 
the Supreme Court. By the judiciary act the term of office of county 
judges was extended from four to six years. Under the code the judges 
can perform some of the duties of a justice of the Supreme Court at 
chambers. The County Court has appellate jurisdiction over actions 
arising in Justice's Courts and Courts of Special Sessions. Appeals lie 
from the County Court direct to the General Term. 


Surrogate's Courts, one of which exists in each county of the State, 
are now courts of record, having a seal, and their especial jurisdiction is 
the settlement and care of the estates, both of infants and also of the 
dead. The derivation of the powers and practice of these courts is from 
the Ecclesiastical Court of England, also through a part of the Colonial 
Council which existed during the rule of the Dutch, and exercised its 
authority in accordance with the Dutch Roman law, the custom of 
Amsterdam and the law of Aasdom, the Court of Burgomasters and 
Schepens, the Court of Orphan Masters, the Mayor's Court, the Prerog- 
ative Court and the Court of Probates. 

The settlement of estates and the guardianship of orphans, which was 
at first vested in the director-general and council of New Netherland, 
was transferred to the Burgomasters in 1653, and soon after to the Or- 
phans' Masters. Under the colony the Prerogative Court controlled all 
matters in relation to the probate of wills and settlement of estates. 
This power continued until 1692, when, by act of legislation, all probates 
and granting of letters of administration were to be under the hand of 
the governor or his delegates, and two freeholders were appointed in 
each town to take charge of the estates of persons dying intestate. 
Under the duke's laws this duty had been performed by the constables, 
overseers and justices of each town. In 1 778 the governor was divested 
of all this power, except the appointment of surrogate, and it was con- 
ferred upon the judges of the Court of Probates. 

Under the first constitution surrogates were appointed by the Coun- 
cil of Appointment, but under the second constitution by the governor 
with the approval of the Senate. The constitution of 1846 abolished 
the office of surrogate in all counties having less than forty thousand 
population, and conferred its powers and duties upon the county judge. 
By the Code of Civil Procedure surrogates were invested with all the 
necessary powers to carry out the equitable and incidental require- 
ments of their office. In its present form, with weekly sessions, this 
court affords a cheap and expeditious medium for the care and settle- 
ment of estates and the guardianship of infants. 

The only remaining courts which are common to the whole State are 
the Special Sessions, held by a justice of the peace for the trial of minor 
criminal offences, and also Justice's Courts with a limited civil jurisdic- 


tion. Previous to the constitution of 1821 (modified in 1826) justices 
of the peace were appointed, but since that time they have been elected. 
The office and its duties are descended from the English office of the 
same name, but are much less important, and under the laws of this 
State it is purely the creature of the statute. 

This brief survey of the courts of New York, which omits only those 
that are local in character, gives the reader some idea of the machinery 
provided for the use of the members of the bench and bar at the time 
of the creation of Ontario county in 1789. 

The organization of the courts in Ontario county was accomplished 
without ceremony and with but little formality. The act creating the 
county was passed January 28, 1789, and among other things provision 
was therein made for a " Court of General Sessions of the Peace, and a 
Court of Common Pleas," to be held at "such suitable and convenient 
place within the county as the judges of the Court of Common Pleas 
and the justices of the Court of Sessions may direct." It was also pro- 
vided that there should be held two terms every year, " to commence 
on the first Tuesday in June, and end on the Saturday following; and 
on the first Tuesday in November, and to end on Saturday of the same 

A later section of the erecting act provided that "it shall not be the 
duty of the justices of the Supreme Court to hold Circuit Court once in 
every year in said' county of Ontario, unless in their judgment they shall 
deem it proper and necessary." However, by an act passed April 9, 
1792, this provision was repealed. 

The first judge of Common Pleas of Ontario county was Oliver 
Phelps, who was appointed to that office May 5, 1789. The other offi- 
cers of the court, with dates of their appointment, were as follows : 
Sheriff", Judah Colt, April 7, 1790; clerk, Nathaniel Gorham, jr., May 
5, 1789. The first surrogate of the county was John Cooper, appointed 
May 6, 1 789. However, it was not until the first Tuesday in June, 1 792, 
that a term of the Common Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace 
was in fact held within the count}', and at that time the court-house had 
not been erected, and the session was held in the unfinished chamber 
of Dr. Moses Atwater's house. It is said also that Vincent Matthews 
was the only lawyer present at the opening of the court. 


The first court-house of the county was erected in pursuance of an 
act of the Legislature, passed April 9, 1792, by which the supervisors 
were authorized to raise by tax the sum of six hundred pounds, with an 
additional allowance for collection. The building, a plain frame struct- 
ure, stood at the northeast corner of the public square, and was erected 
during the year 1794. Later on, after the second court house was 
built, the old pioneer building was removed to the west side of Main 
street, on the park lot, and still later to Court street, where it still 

The second Ontario county court-house was a more pretentious struct- 
ure than its predecessor, and was erected at an expense of about $6,000, 
under the authority of an act of the Legislature passed in April, 1824. 
This building is now used as a town house and, therefore, requires no 
extended mention in this chapter. On the 4th of July, 1824, the cor- 
ner stone was laid with due ceremony, and on that occasion nearly all 
the legal profession of the county and region were present, many of 
them participating in the proceedings. 

In 1857 and 1858 the present court- bouse was erected at the joint 
expense of the county and the United States government, the latter con- 
tributing, it is said, about $30,000 of the entire cost of construction, and 
having an interest in the property to the extent of a large room on the 
first floor for use as post-office, and room above for the Federal Courts. 
However, as the county buildings are fully described in another chapter 
of this volume, no further reference to them is requisite here ; but rather 
we may turn to the profession which has been so particularly promi- 
nent in connection with the past and present history of this county. 

The legal profession of Ontario county has ever been noted for its 
strength. On the bench and at the bar of the courts have been men of 
the highest character and of great moral worth. Among the leading 
legal minds of the State Ontario county has furnished a liberal propor- 
tion, many of whom have attained distinction and some eminence. 
They were, indeed, characterized by strict integrity as well as rare abil- 
ity ; qualities which have made for them a high standard, not only in 
the courts, but also in the legislative halls both of the State and the 


Prominent Members of the Old Bar.i 

Oliver Phelps was the first judge of Ontario county, but was not a 
member of the legal profession, nor was he " learned in the law " as 
attorneys and judges now understand the term. However, he was a 
man of much prominence, and through his efforts the county was cre- 
ated. As the first judge of the county he is entitled to at least a 
passing mention in this chapter. 

Vincent Matthews, a lawyer of repute in the early history of the 
Genesee country, was one of the pioneers of the profession in the region, 
and enjoyed the distinction of being the only attorney in attendance at 
the opening of the first term of court in this county. However, he was 
never a resident of the county, his home being at Newtown (Elmira), 
but afterward at Rochester, where he died in 1846. He was the co 
temporary of Judge Howell and Peter B. Porter, who are mentioned in 
this chapter. 

Among the prominent members of the early bar of the county may 
be mentioned the familiar name of Nathaniel W. Howell, more familiarly 
known, however, as Judge Howell, a title he honestly earned by his 
long service upon the Common Pleas bench of the county. Mr. Howell 
wns born in Orange county, N. Y., January i, 1770, and came to this 
county from Elmira in 1796. He was engaged in some of the impor- 
tant cases tried during the early history of the county, and was con- 
sidered a leader at the bar, though his manner and bearing were such 
that he showed to better advantage on the bench than in practice. He 
became judge in 1819 and served in that capacity thirteen years, then 
retiring from active professional life to the more congenial pursuits of 
farming and gardening. His sons, Alexander H. and Thomas M. 
Howell, likewise entered the legal profession, the latter dying in 1892, 
and the former quite recently. Judge Howell was admitted to 
practice in 1794, and for a time lived in Tioga county before coming 
to Canandaigua. He became the legal adviser of Charles Williamson, 
agent of the Pulteney Associates, and also was connected in the same 
capacity with the Holland Land Company. In 1799 Mr. Howell was 

' The data upon which these sketches are based have been drawn from all reliable sources, much 
being from the published articles written by Dr. Noah T. Clark and contributed to the Ontario 
County Times. 


TflE BSNCH and bar. 165 

appointed assistant attorney- general for the five Western New York 
counties, which office he held until i8o2. In the Thirteenth Congress 
he represented this district, succeeding his old legal associate, Peter B. 
Porter, and being in turn succeeded by him. Judge Howell died in 
Canandaigua in 185 I. 

Dudley Saltonstall was a pioneer at the Ontario county bar. He 
was a highly educated young man, a graduate of Yale, and afterward 
pursued a course of law study in the school of Judge Reeves, at Litch- 
field, Conn. In 1795 Mr. Saltonstall was admitted to practice in this 
county, but later on left the county seat and took up his residence in a 
Southern State. 

General Peter B. Porter was born in Salisbury, Conn., in 1773, and 
became a resident of Canandaigua in 1795. He was not only one of 
the strong pioneer lawyers of the county, but during the War of 
18 1 2-1 5 won distinction as commander of the militia in a number of 
severe battles of that war on the western frontier of New York. As a 
lawyer he was highly respected, and is credited with having engaged 
in the first jury trial presented in the courts of this county. After an 
honorable service of seven years in Canandaigua, General Porter moved 
to the western part of the State, and died at Niagara Falls in 1844. 

Dudley Marvin, who honorably bore the title of general, was one of 
the most distinguished early members of the Ontario bar, and was also 
one of the ablest advocates who appeared in the courts of the State, 
his especial strength being before the trial jury. However, recollections 
of General Marvin are very meager, and we can only state in a general 
way that he was the peer and cotemporary of Spencer, Willson, Hub- 
bell and Sibley. In the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth sessions 
of Congress Mr. Marvin was one of the representatives of the Twenty- 
sixth District, and after his removal to Chautauqua county, he likewise 
served in the same capacity in- that district. 

John Greig, who is still remembered by the older members of the 
present bar, was in some respects a distinguished lawyer, but was 
especially noted for his peculiarities of manner and conversation, for 
he was a Scotchman and seemed to have inherited to a remarkable 
degree the peculiarities of his people. John Greig was an honorable 
and straightforward citizen and lawyer, and one who enjoyed the full 


confidence of the people. It is regretted that he left active professional 
life to assume charge of the Hornby estate and interests, as his continu- 
ance in practice would have undoubtedly developed legal abilities far 
beyond the average of his time. Mr. Greig was born in Dumfrieshire, 
Scotland, in 1779, and settled in Canandaigua in 1800, but of his early 
life and education we have no data except that he read law with Judge 
Howell, and began practice in 1804. His old residence on upper Main 
street is still a conspicuous structure, and one which, with many others, 
the people of the present day describe with pleasure and pride. Mr. 
Greig, though not a farmer, was interested deeply in agricultural pur- 
suits, and perhaps preferred the life of farmer to that of lawyer. He 
was one of the early presidents of the the county Agricultural Society, 
and by his efforts did much to promote its prosperity as one of the 
institutions of the locality. Mr. Greig was for a time associated in law 
practice with Judge Howell, an exceedingly strong partnership, for as 
Mr. Howell was inclined to be somewhat severe and possibly harsh in 
presenting a case, Mr. Greig displayed the opposite and more captivat- 
ing qualities of affableness and courtesy; and while at times apparently 
odd in manner and conversation, Mr. Greig was a man of fine sensi 
bilities and cultivated tastes, extremely courteous, and a generous 
entertainer and host. His public service was confined to one term in 
Congress, he being elected to the vacancy caused by the resignation of 
Francis Granger. This was in the Twenty seventh Congress. Mr. 
Greig was also one of the organizers of the old Ontario Bank, and its 
president at one time. In 1825 he was one of the Regents of the Uni- 
versity, succeeding De Witt Clinton, and was himself succeeded by 
William C. Bryant in 1858. Mr. Greig's appointment as vice-chancellor 
of the Board of Regents dated January 9, 1845. He died in Canan- 
daigua in 1858. 

John C. Spencer was the son of Ambrose Spencer, the latter a lawyer 
of distinction, a justice of the Supreme Court in 1804 and chief justice 
in 1 8 19, but not a resident of Ontario county. John C. Spencrr was 
born in Columbia county in 1788, became a resident of Canandaigua in 
1809, left the county in 1845, ^^^ ^^^^ '" Albany in 1855. At the age 
of twenty one Mr. Spencer became a member of the legal bar, and 
although neither the brilliant orator nor charming advocate, he was 


nevertheless a leading lawyer of his time, and one whose understand- 
ing of the law was almost marvelous. He was highly educated and 
had the highest respect for men of scholarly attainments. Moreover, 
he was deeply interested in all matters pertaining to education. 
As a lawyer in general practice Mr. Spencer acquired an enviable 
reputation, and was associated in the trial of some of the most impor- 
tant cases in this region. In fact, without detracting from the standing 
of his professional associates, it may be truthfully said that Mr. Spencer 
was undoubtedly the' ablest lawyer of the county during his palmy 
days. Naturally a man of his mark could not well avoid being drawn 
somewhat into political life, and we find him in June, 1818, the district 
attorney of Ontario county ; in 1820 he was elected to the Assembly, 
and served several terms in that body. From 1825 to 1828 he was in 
the State Senate. In 1827 he was appointed one of revisers of the 
laws of the State, and on the 4th of February, 1839, was appointed 
secretary of state by Governor William H. Seward. Still later, on 
October 12, 1841, he was appointed secretary of war under the admin- 
istration of President Tyler, and on March 3, 1843, was transferred to 
the cabinet office of secretary of the treasury. Mr. Spencer died in 
Albany in 1855. 

Micah Brooks was a native of Connecticut, and a pioneer of East 
Bloomfield, this county, where he settled in 1799. For several years 
he was one of the associate judges of Common Pleas; a member of 
the Constitutional Convention of 1821, and member of Assembly dur- 
ing the legislative session of 1808-9. ^^ finally left this county and 
resided in Livingston county. 

Myron HoUey was for a time a resident lawyer of Canandaigua and 
held the office of county clerk in 181 1. Later on he moved to Lyons, 
in Wayne county. He was made canal commissioner in 181 6. In this 
year also he was one of the Ontario county assemblymen, and again in 

Gideon Granger was also a distinguished member of the early bar of 
the county, but earned many of his honors before coming to Canandai- 
gua. He was born in Sufifield, Conn., in 1767, and was educated and 
entered professional life in his native State. From 1801 to 1809, dur- 
ing the administration of Thomas Jefferson, Mr. Granger was post- 



master general, and continued some time in the same capacity under 

President Madison. In 1816, after retiring from public service, he be- 
came a resident of Canandaigua, the chief object of his coming to this 
locality being to assume charge of certain interests which the State of 
Connecticut then had in lands in Western New York. Although not 
actively identified with professional life in this county, Mr. Granger is 
nevertheless worthy of mention in this chapter. He died in Canandai- 
gua, December 31, 1822. 

The name of Timothy Burt is recalled among the earliest lawyers of 
the county seat, and although remembered as standing well in the 
profession, does not appear to have been prominently connected with 
political life at that time. However, he was town clerk of Canandaigua 
in 1799, and supervisor of the same town in 1 806 and 1807. 

Jared Willson was one of the leaders of the local bar, the partner of 
John C. Spencer, and the cotemporary of Mark H. Sibley, Walter 
Hubbell and Francis Granger. Mr. Willson was born in Massachusetts 
in 1786, and became a resident of Canandaigua in 181 1, immediately 
after his graduation from the University of Vermont. He read law in the 
office of John C. Spencer and after being admitted to practice became 
partner with him. He is not remembered as having been a brilliant 
orator, but he possessed a remarkable knowledge of the law and hence 
soon became recognized as one of the leading lawyers of the county. 
During the early part of his professional career, Mr. Willson was one of 
the leading Democrats of Western New York, but in 1848 the attitude 
of his party on certain questions so disgusted him that he severed his 
connection with it and became a Free Soiler and afterward Republican. 
Mr. Willson died in April, 185 i. 

Bowen Whiting was a native of Massachusetts, but an early member 
of the bar in this county ; having a residence at Geneva. In 1823 he 
was made district attorney for this county ; member of assembly in 
1824-25 ; county judge in 1838, and one of the judges of the Seventh 
Circuit in 1844, 

Daniel D. Barnard was one of the members of the old bar, residing 
in this county as early as 1825, but at a later day locating at Rochester. 
Still later he moved to Albany, and from that county was elected to the 
Assembly, and to Congress, and still later was appointed minister to 


Walter Hubbell was born at Bridgeport, Conn., February 25, 1795, 
and received his early education in Saratoga county, N. Y,, whither his 
parents had removed while he was a child. He afterward graduated 
from Union College, still later read law with Judge Howell and John 
Greig, of Canandaigua, and was admitted to practice about the year 
1 8 17. Mr. Hubbell was a careful, painstaking and conscientious lawyer, 
and withal an upright Christian man. He sought no political advance- 
ment, yet he was in the Assembly in 1829, and was also master and 
examiner in chancery for a number of years. His law partners were 
Judge Howell, followed by Levi Hubbell, his brother. His third 
partner was David Greig, and his fourth, Thomas M. Howell. Walter 
Hubbell died at Canandaigua March 25, 1848. 

Francis Granger, son of Gideon Granger, was born in Sufifield, Conn., 
and came with his father to Canandaigua in 1816, and soon afterward 
entered the legal profession. Mr. Granger was a lawyer of ability, and 
practiced at the county seat several years before he entered into poli- 
tics. He might have been an eminent legist, but unfortunately for such 
an end, he inherited a large property, and the practice of his profession 
was therefore unnecessary, hence he lost an otherwise impelling power. 
In 1826-27-28, and again in 1830-32, Mr, Granger was one of the 
members of Assembly from Ontario county. In 1835 ^^ was elected 
to Congress and served continuously in that body until March 3, 1841, 
when he resigned and was succeeded by his old Ontario county associ- 
ate, John Greig, Three days after his resignation, on March 6, 1841, 
Mr. Granger was appointed postmaster- general under President Harri- 
son. Returning from his public service, Mr. Granger continued his 
residence in Canandaigua until his death, August 28, 1868. 

Gideon Grenger, son of Francis and grandson of Gideon Granger, 
heretofore mentioned, was also a noted Canandaigua lawyer, of whom 
an extended notice will be found among the personal sketches in an- 
other part of this volume. 

Mark H. Sibley was another of the master minds of the legal pro- 
fession of this county, and was, perhaps, the peer of any lawyer at the 
local bar during his time. He was a native of Great Barrington, Mass., 
born in 1795, and became a resident of Canandaigua in 18 14. He read 
law under the direction and in theoffice of Dudley Marvin, andbecamethe 


professional rival of his instructor. He was noted as an advocate rather 
than for learning in the law ; was usually successful in winning favor 
with the jury, and hence was popular throughout the region. His law 
partner at one time was Alexander H. Howell, while his other legal 
associates, and not infrequently his antagonists, were Jared Willson and 
William H. Adams. Mr. Sibley represented the county in the Assem- 
bly during the legislative sessions of 1835, and 1836; in the Senate in 
1840 and 1841 ; was made county judge in 1847, serving four years, 
and was a member of the Twenty-fifth Congress, his years of service 
being 1839-41. He died at Canandaigua September i, 1852. 

Alexander Duncan was also one of the members of the old bar of 
Ontario county, but of his antecedents or early record we have no data. 
He did his law business in the land office of John Greig. 

William H Adams was another of the older members of the Ontario 
county bar, and for a number of years lived at Canandaigua. He was 
admitted to practice in 1815, but the greater part of his lite was passed 
in Wayne county, where he became quite prominent, filling the respon- 
sible positions of member of Assembly, district attorney and county 
judge. He died in the village of Lyons. 

The name of Henry F. Penfield is also to be mentioned as one of the 
old bar of the county. He was district attorney from 1832 to 1835. 

Henry W. Taylor, also one of the early bar of the county, was a 
native of New England, and on locating at Canandaigua was the as- 
sociate of Spencer, Willson, Sibley and other prominent attorneys of 
the old bar. He was evidently a man of strength and popularity, for 
during four legislative sessions, beginnmg with 1837, he was in the 
Assembly. On March 27, 1850, he was appointed justice of the 
Supreme Court in the place of Judge Maynard, deceased, and in 
November, 1857, he was elected county judge of Ontario county. At 
one time Judge Taylor was in partnership with one Mason. 

Albert Lester came to Canandaigua from Litchfield, Conn. He read 
law in the ofiice of John C. Spencer, and practiced from about 1825 to 
1850. He was at one time partner with Jared Willson, and the firm was 
one of the strongest in the county. He was State Senator in 1844 and 
1845. M^' Lester died in Canandaigua, in 1867. 

Alvah Worden was born in Saratoga county, June 11, 1798, and 
came to Canandaigua in 1835, then having recently been admitted to 




practice law. Early in life he prepared to enter the medical profession, 
but changed his purpose, and for several years engaged in mercantile 
pursuits. However, having a strong inclination for professional work, 
he read law, was admitted, and began practice in Cayuga county. He 
soon came in contact with Mark H, Sibley and defeated him in a 
memorable trial in Cayuga county, and the skill and learning of the 
young attorney so attracted Mr. Sibley that he invited a law partner- 
ship with him at the Ontario county seat. The offer was accepted, and 
the firm soon took rank among the strongest in Western New York. 
Mr. Worden represented Ontario county in the Assembly in 1841, and 
again in 1845 ^"d 1 846. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Con- 
vention of 1846, and under the constitution of that year was appointed 
one of the commissioners to revise and codify the statutes. Mr. Wor- 
den died in Canandaigua in 1856. 

Orson Benjamin came from Bloomfield to Canandaigua, and was for 
several years a practicing lawyer. He held the office of surrogate by 
appointment dated January 29, 1840. 

George R. Parburt was also one of the older lawyers of the county 
seat, and who was appointed surrogate of the county, April 10, 1844. 

John Callister may properly be referred to at this time, but for an ex- 
tended sketch of his life the notice of the reader is directed to the bio- 
graphical department of this work. 

Henry S. Cole was also of the old bar, and as well a native of Can- 
andaigua, born September 23, 1800. He was admitted to practice in 
1 82 1, but soon afterward moved to Michigan, where he acquired a high 
standing in his profession. 

Alexander H. Howell, the oldest son of Nathaniel W. Howell, was 
born in Canandaigua, and was educated at the Canandaigua Academy 
and Hamilton College. He was admitted to the bar and became a 
partner of Mark H. Sibley. After a few years he gave up the law for 
other pursuits. He held the office of county clerk of Ontario for a term, 
for many years was a justice of the peace, and died in 1893, respected 
and beloved by all who knew him. 

Thomas M. Howell, second son of Judge Nathaniel W. Howell, was 
born in Canandaigua in 181 1, and acquired his early education at the 
academy, after which he took a graduating course at Amherst College. 


He read law under the direction of his father, and was admitted to practice 
in 1834. Then, for a period of full fifty-eight years, Mr. Howell was 
actively identified with the profession in the county, and only a short 
time before his death he argued an important case in the Supreme Court. 
He was a careful and diligent lawyer, and in all his habits in life he was 
characteristically methodical ; hence was a safe counsellor and trust- 
worthy attorney. From 1840 to 1847 Mr. Howell was district attorney, 
was United States commissioner from 1855 until the time of his death, 
and was police justice of Canandaigua from 1876 to 1880. Mr. Howell 
was a strong Democrat, and one of the leaders of the party in the county, 
and he was also deeply interested in local and Indian history ; was an 
acquaintance of the famous Red Jacket, and the local papers frequently 
published interesting historical articles from the pen of our subject. Mr. 
Howell died in Canandaigua, October 27, 1892. 

Jabez H. Metcalf was a native of Ontario county, born in the town of 
Naples, or rather that portion of the town which was afterward set off 
and called Italy. Mr. Metcalf read law with VVillson and Lester of Can- 
andaigua, and began practice in 1843. ^^ resided at the county seat, 
and there he died in 1883. Mr. Metcalf was a brother to Hiram Met.- 
calf, a lawyer at Canandaigua, and father to J. Henry Metcalf, the pres- 
ent county judge. 

Elbridge Gerry Lapham was born in the town of Farmington, Oc- 
tober 18, 1 8 14. His father was a farmer, and on the farm our subject 
passed his youth and attended the public schools, later on, however, 
attending the Canandaigua Academy, where he was the classmate of 
the afterward eminent Stephen A. Douglass. Mr. Lapham studied 
civil engineering and was for some time employed on the Michigan 
Southern Railroad, which was then being built. He read law with 
Jared Willson, and was admitted to practice in 1844. He opened an 
office at the county seat, his first partner being Jabez Metcalf, father of 
the present county judge. In 1855 he formed a law partnership with 
James C. Smith, which continued until Mr. Smith entered upon his 
duties as justice of the Supreme Court. Later on Mr. Lapham was in 
practice with William H. Adams, and so continued until elected to 
Congress, in November, 1875. He served continuously in that body 
throughout the Forty- fourth, Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth and Forty- 

^n.C^:^<^4^ ^(^ ^ ^^^iKy^^C^ 


seventh Sessions, and then returned to his law practice, not engaging 
in it, however, as ardently as before, but being connected with many- 
important cases. Mr. Lapham was a very strong lawyer, especially so 
as an advocate before a jury, and in this branch of practice he attained 
much prominence. Originally he was a Jackson Democrat, but in 
1856 became a Republican, and was ever afterward identified with that 
party ; and in the councils of the party he occupied a high position, 
and was considered one of its leaders in the State. On July 22, 1881, 
Mr. Lapham was elected United States senator to the vacancy caused 
by the resignation of Roscoe Conkling In 1867 he was a delegate to 
the Constitutional Convention. Mr. Lapham died in Canandaigua, 
January 18, 1890. 

Henry O. Chesebro was born in Canandaigua in 1822. He was 
educated at the academy and afterward was graduated from Union 
College ; read law with Alvah Worden, and was admitted to practice 
in 1846. From this time on and until the death of Mr. Worden (in 
1856), Mr. Chesebro was associated with him in law practice. He died 
at Canandaigua, November 24, 1888. 

Stephen V. R. Mallory was another lawyer of note residing in Canan- 
daigua, and who in 1854 represented this county in the State As- 

John Rankine, when a child, emigrated with his father from Scotland, 
was educated in the Canandaigua Academy, and after graduating at 
college, read law, married Juliri, the second daughter of Jared Willson, 
who still survives him, engaged in the practice of his profession in Can- 
andaigua, and was for a time the president of the Canandaigua and 
Niagara Falls Railroad Company. He died about 1880. 

James M. Bull was born in Canandaigua, read law, was admitted to 
practice, and was for some years managing clerk in the law ofifice of 
Smith & Lapham. While occupying that position, in 1862, he enlisted 
in the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Regiment of N. Y. State Vol- 
unteers, was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the regiment in Sep- 
tember, 1862, was promoted to the colonelcy in July, 1863, soon after 
the battle of Gettysburg, in which he distinguished himself by his 
bravery, resigned in April, 1864, in consequence of ill health, and died 
soon after the war. 


Edgar W. Dennis, a native of Canandaigua, was educated at the 
academy there, read law and was admitted to practice, and enlisted in 
the military service of the United States in the war of \S6i-6$. 
After the close of the war he removed to Topeka, Kansas, was the 
counsel of important railroad corporations in that State, and died at 
Topeka in the prime of life, but not before he had attained distinction 
in his profession. 

In the same connection also may be recalled the name of Oliver 
Phelps, the grandson of the proprietor, who was a member of the old 
bar, and as such entitled to notice in this chapter. 

In the present connection we may also appropriately mention the 
name of Samuel A. Foot, who for a number of years was a member of 
the Ontario county bar, although his professional life had its beginning 
in the eastern part of the State. Judge Foot came to Geneva from New 
York city. On the iith of April, 185 i, he was appointed to a vacancy 
on the Court of Appeals bench, and in 1856 and 1857 he represented 
Ontario county in the Assembly. Judge Foot died in Geneva. 

Henry H. Van Rensselaer was the first lawyer in Geneva, but re- 
mained here only a few years. 

Herman H. Bogert, born October 13, 1768, began the practice of 
law in Geneva in 1797. He was also largely interested in real estate in 
this county ; was one of the incorporators of the Bank of Geneva, and 
the founder of the village of Dresden. He died in June, 185 i. 

David Hudson was born in 1782, and practiced law at Geneva at a 
very early day. He achieved some political fame, and was State canal 
commissioner from 1840 to 1842. He died in i860. 

Daniel W. Lewis was a member of the old Geneva bar, but moved to 
BufTalo, where he died. 

Lansing B. Mizner was another of the older Geneva lawyers, and an 
active participant in public affairs. He afterwards moved to Detroit. 

Also among the early lawyers of Geneva there may be mentioned the 
names of Robert W. Stoddard, Mott, Nathan Parke, Godfrey J. Grosve- 
ner, William E. Sill, John M. Bradford, Peter M. Dox, and James H. 
Woods. Some recollections of these lawyers are still preserved in the 
public records. Nathan Parke represented Ontario county in the As- 
sembly in 1827, and was district attorney from August 16, 1 836, to 
May 23, 1840, and is remembered as a lawyer of ability and worth. 



Godfrey J. Grosvener was also a lawyer of prominence, and held the of- 
fice of postmaster at Geneva for a number of years. John M. Bradford 
held the position of county judge by appointment, in place of Peter M. 
Dox, resigned. Judge Dox was elected to office in November, 1855, and 
served till March following. Mr. Dox represented Ontario county in 
the Assembly in 1842. Upon his resignation he went to Alabama, and 
was afterward elected to Congress from that State. 

The most distinguished lawyer, however, who made his home in 
Geneva, was the late Charles J. Folger ; and without exception the bar 
of the entire county will freely concur in according to Judge Folger the 
honorable mention made above. Charles J. Folger was born in Nan- 
tucket, Massachusetts, April 16, 18 18, and came with his parents to 
Geneva about the )ear 1830. He was graduated from Hobart College 
in 1836, and afterward read law in the office of Sibley & Worden, of 
Canandaigua ; in 1839 Mr. Folger was admitted to practice. His life 
as an active lawyer was marked by a display of intelligence rarely found 
in a young man, and he naturally soon became a candidate for political 
preferment. In 1844 he was appointed county judge, and served con- 
tinuously until 1855. In November, 1851, he was elected to the same 
office and served four years more. During the legislative sessions of 
1862 and '63, and thence continuously until 1869, Mr. Folger repre- 
sented Ontario county in the State Senate, and during the year 1867, 
also, he was one of the delegates at large to the Constitutional Conven- 
tion. On May 17. 1870, he was elected judge of the Court of Appeals, 
and ten years later, May 20, 1880, was elected chief judge of the same 
court. In 1 88 1, on the 27th of October, Judge Folger was appointed 
by President Arthur to the cabinet office of secretary of the treasury, 
consequently he resigned from the Court of Appeals bench on Novem- 
ber 14 following. In 1882 he became the candidate of the Republican 
party for the office of governor of New York State, but on account of a 
widespread feeling of discontent then existing in the party, and in which 
Judge Folger was neither directly or indirectly concerned, he was over- 
whelmingly defeated at the polls, but not one whit did this disaster re- 
flect adversely upon the character, standing, popularity or worth of its 
victim. After the campaign Judge Folger returned to his cabinet posi- 
tion. However, he lived only a short time afterward, and died the 4th 
day of September, 1884, at his old home in Geneva. 


In point of numbers Geneva has been hardly less productive of law- 
yers than the county seat. Through the courtesy of counselor John E. 
Bean, of Geneva, we are enabled to reproduce a nearly complete list of 
the lawyers who in the past have practiced in the village, but who have 
either moved to other places or are now dead. The list referred to is 
as follows : 

Judge' Gordon, Bowen Whiting, Judge Sutherland, Charles J. Folger, George M. 
Horton, Edgar H. Hurd, Silas Walker, Calvin Walker, Calvin Walker, jr., John M. 
Bradford, W^m. E. Sill, Theodore Sill, John M. Whiting, John Sutherland, Gideon 
Mundy, George R. Parburt, Nathan B. Kidder, James H. Woods, John C. Strong, 
James C. Brown, David and Joseph Herron, Henry V. R. Schemerhorne, Samuel Miles 
Hopkins, Samuel A. Foote, Wilbur F. Diefendorf, George Proudfit, George B. Pritch- 

ett, Peter M. Baum, De Witt C. Gage, Stryker. Marvin D. Reed, Harvey Henry, 

Anthony C. Simpson, Bar^illai Slosson, Geo. B. Dusinberre, Angus McDonald, Robert 
W. Stoddard, Elias R. Stoddard, Godfrey J. Grosvener, Nathan Parke, Herman H. Bo- 
gart, George E. Dodge, Peter M. Dox, John N. Dox, John Mitchell, James Bishop, 
David Hudson, E. Fitch Smith, Hatley W. Hemiup, Silas C. Tease, John H. Bissell, 
Green, John Raines, Frank Rice, Wm. H. Higbie, Moran, W R. Linson. 

The town of Naples has furnished a small numerical contingent to the 
county bar, among whom we can recall the name of Josiah Ward, a 
good lawyer, and who was in practice between 1820 and 1830, but 
about the latter year he left the county and became a citizen of Michi- 

Robert Flint was also in practice at Naples about 1830, but he too 
soon left the town and settled in Allegany county. 

Edward P. Babcock was a native of Naples, and lived and practiced 
in that town for many years, except during such times as his duties as 
surrogate required his continual presence at the county seat. He was 
elected to that office in 1879. He was elected member of assembly in 
1886 and 1887. Mr. Babcock died in Naples in October, 1892. 

Emory B. Pottle, of Naples, is one remembered by the present bar 
of the county, he having engaged actively in professional work until 
about the time of his death. Mr. Pottle was a man of worth and ex- 
cellent standing, and hence was honored by the people of the county in 
advancement to positions of trust. In 1847 he was elected to the As- 
sembly, and in the Thirty- fifth and Thirty- sixth sessions of Congress he 
represented the Twenty-sixtli District, the years of his service being 
1857-59 an<^ 1859-61. 


In the town of Phelps one of the earliest legal practitioners was 
Thomas Smith, father of Judge James C. Smith, late justice of the Su- 
preme Court. Mr. Smith was a lawyer of quiet tastes and conservative 
habits. For nearly a quarter of a century he was continued in the office 
of justice of the peace by the votes of his townsmen, and is remembered 
as a sound and upright magistrate and an honest man. He died in 
Phelps in 1863. 

William Marvin was also a lawyer residing in Phelps, and was for a 
time the law partner of Mr. Smith. He afterward became United States 
district judge, and lived in Florida, at Key West. He achieved promi- 
nence in the South during the reconstruction period, he having been ap- 
pointed provisional governor of Florida. He is yet living at Skaneateles. 

George R. Parkhurst and Johnson also practiced in Phelps at a 

comparatively early day, the former, however, afterward emigrating to 

Dolphin Stephenson, Charles E. Hobby, and Robert W. Lansing 
may also be mentioned as lawyers of the town of Phelps, and members 
of the old bar. 

John Dickson was a lawyer of note in the town of Bloomfield, and 
also gained prominence in the Assembly (1830) and in Congress, he 
serving in the latter body during the Twenty-second and Twenth-third 
Congressional sessions. 

Spencer Cole and Isaac Marsh were also early lawyers in practice in 
Bloomfield, both of them before 18 10. 

Throughout this chapter reference is frequently made to the names 
of lawyers who have at various times filled the offices of county judge, 
surrogate and district attorney ; wherefore, in the present connection it 
becomes proper that we here furnish the succession of persons appointed 
or elected to the offices named. However, no dates of incumbency are 
here given, and should the reader desire to be fully informed in that 
respect, his attention is directed to the county civil list in a preceding 
chapter of this work. 

Succession of County Judges — Oliver Phelps, Timothy Hosmer, John Nicholas, Na- 
thaniel W. Howell, Oliver Phelps, Bowen Whiting, Charles J. Folger, E. Fitch Smith, 
Mark H. Sibley. Charles J. Folger, Peter M. Dox, John M. Bradford, Henry W. Tay- 
lor, George B. Dusinberre, William H. Smith, Francis 0. Mason, William H. Smith, 
Frank Eice, J. Henry Metcalf. 



Surrogates — John Cooper, Samuel Mellish, Israel Chapin, jr., Amos Hall, Dudley 
Saltonstall, Reuben Hart, Eliphalet Taylor, Reuben Hart, Stephen Phelps, Ira Selby, 
Jared Wilcox, Jared Wilison, Orson Benjamin, George R. Parburt, George Wilson 2d, 
0. Benjamin, Samuel Salisbury, John N. Whiting, 0. Benjamin, Elihu M. Morse, Isaac R. 
Parcell, Charles A. Richardson, Edward P. Babcock, David G. Lapham, Oliver C. Arm- 
strong, John Colmey, David 6. Lapham. 

District Attorneys — John C. Spencer, Abraham P, Vosburgh, Bowen Whiting, Henry 
F. Penfield, George W. Clinton, Nathan Parke, Thomas M. Howell, Barzillai Slosson, 
James C. Brown, Stephen V. R. Mallory, Jacob P. Faurot, Thos. 0. Perkins, Edwin Hicks 
William H. Smith, Edwin Hicks, Frank Rice, Oliver C. Armstrong, Maynard M. Clement. 

The Present Bar. 

The present Ontario county bar is the worthy successor to the old 
bar, the members of which have been fully referred to in a preceding 
portion of this chapter. It is a recognized fact, and one frequently 
mentioned both in and outside the county, that the early bar of Ontario 
ranked well with almost any in the State, and stood at the front of the 
profession in Western New York ; and it has been said, too, that the 
influences of the early bar have reached even to the present representa- 
tives of the profession and inspired them also with high purposes and 
with a commendable ambition to maintain the standard established by 
the old members. In fine the influence of the old bar has been so 
salutary and pervading that the present profession has inherited much of 
its spirit and has maintained a freedom from all unworthy methods. 

However interesting might be a brief reference to the professional life 
of each of the present legal practitioners of the county, such has been 
deemed inadvisable from the fact that many of the bar are still young men 
and although worthy of anything we might feel inclined to say of them, 
have yet their records to complete, and in view of this prefer that no men- 
tion be made of the personnel of the bar except as is disclosed by the 
record of their names taken from the court calendar, which is as follows : 


Jno. S. Andrews, 
Thomas H. Bennett, 
Jean L. Burnett, 
Maynard N. Clement, 
John S. Coe, 
John Colmey, 
Frank A. Christian, 
George B. Cooley, 
Leander M. Dniry, 
Henry M. Field, 

Jacob P. Faurot, 
Elisha W. Gardner, 
Jno. Gillette, 
Spencer Gooding, 
Lorenzo C. Hall, 
Frank H. Hamlin, 
Edwin Hicks, 
Walter S. Hubbell, 
Avery Hemenway, 
Herbert Huntington, 

Walter H. Knapp, 
Charles B. Lapham, 
David G. Lapham, 
Hiram Metcalf, 
J. Henry Metcalf, 
Elihu M. Morse, 
Mark T. Powell, 
Chas. A. Richardson, 
James A. Robson, 

Homer J. Reed, 

John Raines, 
Frank Rice, 
Samuel H. Torrey, 
William H. Smith, 
James C. Smith, 
Royal R. Scott, 
Bradley Wynkoop, 
Jacob A. Wader. 




Geo. L. Bachman, 
Samuel Baldwin, 
Arthur Baldwin, 
D. B. Backenstose, 
John E. Bean, 

Charles D. Bean, 
Geo. F. Ditmars, 
John G. Farwell, 
Charles A. Hawley, 
Lansing G. Hoskins, 

S. H. Hammond, 
Lewis W. Keyes, 
Chas. N. Hemiup, 
Henry Ludlow, 
Francis 0. Mason, 

Nelson W. Clark, 


Cyrillo S. Lincoln, William L. Pottle, 


Samuel S. Partridge, Rockwell Brown. 


Francis L. Brown. 
Seward French — Miller Corners, East Bloomfield and Victor. 

William S. Moore, 
Geo. W. Nicholas, 
Philip N. Nicholas, 
Arthur P. Rose, 
Geo. W. Bostwick. 

Isaac A. Seamans. 

The Medical Profession in Ontario County. 

T^'HE medical profession of Ontario county has preserved but little 
of its early history, and while there are a few meager records 
from which we may learn the proceedings of the general and local 
societies that have been formed, there are no data upon which can be 
based a faithful history of the developments of the profession. Added 
to this the county Medical Society has to acknowledge the loss of its 
earliest record books, and such facts as are gleaned of its early mem- 
bership rest largely upon the uncertain memory of man, and still less 
reliable tradition. However, there has been incidentally preserved a 
list of the pioneer physicians of the county, while the records from 1842 
to the present time are in existence. 

The medical science which now sheds its light throughout the world 
and does so much to ameliorate suffering, began with Hippocrates 
nearly twenty-three hundred years ago, and he first treated of medicine 
with the simplest remedies, relying chiefly on the healing powers of 
nature. He wrote extensively, and some of his works have been trans- 
lated and served as a foundation for the succeeding literature of the 


profession. Jiut it must be said that the greatest advance in medical 
science has been made during the last one hundred years, and chiefly 
during the last half century. 

IJotanists are now acquainted with 150,000 plants, of which a large 
proportion arc being c(;nstantly added to the already appalling list of 
new remedies. Many of the latter possess little if any virtue, yet by 
liberal advertising they hold a place in nearly every drug store. The 
ancients were not so well sui)plied with drugs, and hence they resorted 
to other methods, h^or instance, it is said that the Babylonians ex- 
posed their sick to the view of passers-by in order to learn of them 
whether they had been afflicted with a like distemper, and by what 
remedies they had been cured. It was also a custom of those days for 
all persons who had been sick to put up a tablet in the temple of Escu- 
lapius, whereon they gave an account oi the remedies by which they 
had been restored. Prior to Hippocrates all medicines were adminis- 
tered by priests and were associated with numerous superstitions, such 
as charms, amulets and incantations ; sympathetic ointments were 
applied to the weapon with which a wound was made; human or horse- 
flesh was used for the cure of epilepsy, and convulsions were treated 
with human brains. It may be added that the credulous superstitions 
of early ages has not been fully wiped out, even by the advanced 
medical education of the present day. One of the latest appeals to the 
credulity of the masses is an invention to relieve the unfortunate sick, 
and known as " Christian Science " and " Faith Cure," but so long as 
filth brings fever, prayer will not avail, and those who advocate any 
such method of cure are either self deceived or are deceiving others. 

It is not, however, the i)urpose of this chapter to treat of ancient or 
even modern medical history, and though a review of the progress of 
this science from the time of the Egyptian medical deities, or the Greek 
or Roman medical mythology, would be very interesting as well as in- 
structive, it is not pertinent to the medical history of Ontario county, 
and the foregoing introductory observations are merely to suggest to 
the reader the difference between t-lie ancient and modern means of 

The settlement of the region now included in Ontario county began 
about the year 1790, and thereafter progressed very rapidly for more 
than a quarter of a century. At that time, and indeed for a number of 


years afterward, the facilities for obtaining a medical education were 
very limited. The State of New York, quite unlike New England and 
and Pennsylvania, had done very little to encourage science, and there 
were no schools of medicine worthy of the name nearer than Boston or 
Philadelphia; and few young men could afford to go so far to qualify 
themselves for a profession which then offered but little pecuniary in- 
ducement, hence the prevailing custom was for the medical aspirant to 
enter the office of some neighboring physician and read for two or 
three years, at the same time accompanying his tutor in his pro- 
fessional visits and learned his methods of treatment. At the end of 
the term the young doctor would seek some promising field and begin 

The legislation which then regulated the admission and practice of 
physicians was so defective as to be really worthless. However, in 
1806 an act was pas.sed repealing all former laws governing ihe pro- 
fession, and at the same time authorizing a general " State Medical 
Society," and also county societies. The Ontario County Medical 
Society was organized in 1806 in accordance with the provisions of the 
act above referred to, but the profession of the present day has to lament 
the loss of the early records of the society, a fact which deprives us of 
much interesting and valuable information. However, the society was 
organized upon the general plan laid down in the act of 1806, and was 
given the power to regulate the practice and the admission of physicians 
in the county. Its first officers, or indeed any record of its proceedings 
prior to 1842, are not obtainable, it being understood that the minute 
book was destroyed by fire. Notwithstanding this loss, a stray leaf 
from an old record is found, from which we learn the names of the 
early physicians of the county, but there is nothing by which can be 
determined the date of the entry. For the purpose, therefore, of 
bringing to the attention of the reader the names of as many as possible 
of the older physicians of the county, the names on the leaf are copied 
in full. " List of those who do now or have belonged to the Ontario 
County Medical Society : Moses Atwater, Richard Wells, Nathan 
Raymond, Jared Dyer, Joel Prescott, Daniel Goodwin, John Dorman, 
Reuben Hart, Buffum Harkness, Jeremiah Atwater, Thomas Vincent, 
Silas Newcomb, James Carter, Robert W. Ashley, Joshua Lee, Stephen 
Aldrich, Seth Tucker, Hubbard Crittenden, Richard Taylor, William 


White, Jonas Wyman, Benjamin A. Parsons, Gain Robinson, Cyrus 
Chipman, John Ray, Justus Smith, Daniel Arms, David Fairchild, 
Samuel Stevens, Ralph Wilcox, Charles Bingham, Isaac M. Morgan, 
E. B. Woodworth, John Campbell, Eli Hill, Charles Little, William S. 
Richards, Jason Angel, Isaac Balcom, Henry P. Hecock, Orin Lee, 
Jonah D. Simonds, Lyman N. Cook, Isaac Smith, Jonathan Griffin, W. 
L. Newcomb, William Brown, James White, Calvin Fargo, Oliver 
Butrick, Thomas Beach, Daniel Brainerd, Nathaniel Jacob, Benjamin 
Tucker, John Delamater, Joseph Mallory, Joseph Loomer, Samuel B. 
Bradley, Philctus Sprague, Samuel Dungan, David Sprague, Willis F. 
Clark, Alexander Kelsey, James Thayer, Augustus Torrey, Otis Hig- 
gins, Augustus Frank, Berkley Gillett, A. Woolcott, Hartwell Carver, 
Josiah Lane, William R. Ellis, A. G. Smith, C. C. Coon, Pliny Hayes, 
William A. Williams, Harvey Pettibone, Andrew Huntington, Chauncey 
Beadle, Ezekiel Webb, Jonathan Guernsey, Samuel Hamilton, Lewis 
Hodges, W. A. Cowdry, F. Vanderberg, Enoch Cheney, Samuel 
Daniels, Ira Bryant, Adolphus Allen, Janna Holton, Henry P. Sartwell, 
Jonathan Hurlbut, Linus Stevens, Alex. Mclntyre, Elisha Brown, Silas 
Dunham, Oliver Reynolds, Thomas Williams, Benjamin Bemis, Archi- 
bald Burnett, Ephraim W. Cheney, Andrew Wood, William Frisbie, 
Cyrus Button, James Lakey, Jesse Wood, Joel Amsden, Jacob Gillett, 
jr., Henry C. Hickok, Josiah Bennett, Isaac Beers, Martyn Paine, 
Elisha Warner, Samuel Borrowe, jr., Wynans Bush, Francis Dean, 
Jedediah Smith, Philip N. Draper, Edwin Angel, Gardner Wheeler, 
Edson Carr, Benjamin F. Post, John Gilbert, Elijah Sedgwick, Asahel 
Beach, William A. Townsend, Elias W. Frisbie, William C. Gooding, 
Daniel A. Robinson, James Stewart, Caleb Bannister, Jonathan Pratt, 
George Burch, Samuel Chipman, Enoch Peck, Ira S. Barber, Stillman 
Ralph, James Davis, Willard Doolittle, Albert G. Bristol, Lester Jew- 
ett, Wm. H. Hall, Harvey Jewett, S. V. R. Bogart, Daniel Hudson, 
William F. Sheldon, Joel Gray, William Holland, Lucius W. Crittenden, 
Phineas A. Royce, Thaddeus Garlick, F. C. Bateman, Erasmus D. Post, 
Luther Hecock, Royal Gurley, G. L. Rose, N. J. Smith, Booth North- 
rup, Edward Cutbush, John Staats, C. F. Brower, John Currie, Daniel 
D. Dayton, Jonathan Burt, E. W. Simmons. 

In 1852 the society was substantially reorganized, and new by-laws 
were adopted at that time. However, about that period certain dissen- 


sions arose among the members, said to have been the result of un- 
favorable legislation, and no meetings were held thereafter until 1857. 
At the latter date the society was revived, and the members subscribed 
to the by-laws adopted prior to the disruption. The following is a list 
of the physicians who signed the roll, but in explanation it must be 
said that many names were added as applicants became members of the 
society. Therefore the membership under the constitution and by laws 
of 1852 was about as follows: E. W. Cheney, Edson Carr, Harvey 
Jewett, John Stafford, J. Richmond Pratt, Daniel T. Webster, Hazard 
A. Potter, Elon G. Carpenter, C. H. Carpenter, Daniel Durgan, M. C. 
K. Crooks, J. W. Palmer, Charles N. Hewett, T. O. Bannister, H. 
Hamilton, Z. Paul, Thomas A. Brown, W. Scott Hicks, B. Monahan, 
David J. Mallory, Charles C. Murphy, P. D. Pettier, H. N Eastman, 
F. Glauner, Mitchell H. Picot, Byron T. Wheeler, H. Fay Bennett, R. 
A. Carncross, John O. Palmer, M. W. Archer, E. W. Simmons, John 
Q. Howe, Joseph T. Smith, Edwin R. Maxson, L. F. Wilbur, George 
Cook, F. G. Bentley, William T. Swart, A. G. Crittenden, F. B. Seelye, 
James H. Allen, M. N. Carson, I. Ackley Gray, D. D. Dayton, L. 
Sprague, George N. Dox, J. T. Rogers, A. B. Snow, J. B. Hayes, C. 
H. Wood, John B. Chapin, J. I. Denman, James Parmely, jr., W. Fitch 
Cheney, L B. Lester, L. Y. Phinney, W. A. Carson, D. G. Weare, J. 
P. Avery, A. R. Shank, F. D. Vanderhoof, S. W. West, H. K. Clark, 
M. D. Skinner, H. C. Gorham, Charles C. Eastman, G. H. Wheelock, 

Flood, Charles Mudge, E. A. Hollister, G. H. Van Deusen, Fred. 

T. Webster, G. S. Gallagher, James F. Draper, Charles R. Dryer, F. 
W. Mailler, Ellis B. Sayre, Le Roy Lewis, Herbert M. Eddy, John H. 
Jewett, Dwight R. Burrell, J. Henry Budd, Alfred M. Mead, O. J. 
Hallenbeck, C. O. Jackson, W. F. Edington, A. D. Allen, T. D. Rupert, 
George E. Flood, N L. Keith, John Hutchins, W. A. Hubbard, Frank 
L. Willson, Albert L. Beahan, George W. Sargent, J. B. Burroughs, 
Frank H. Ingram, J. Pope De Laney, John J. McNulty, James H. 
Haslett, Horace B. Gee, R. W. Walmsley, C. R. Marshall, John A. 
Robson, S. R. Wheeler, Bradford C. Loveland, G. W. McClellan, Wm. 
A. Howe, C. D. McCarthy, J. B. Finucan, John H. Pratt, C. R. Keyes, 
F. E. McClellan, Robert L. Carson, Charles A. Van Der Beck, Frank 
R. Pratt, Edgar O. Grossman, C. C. Thayer, Harry C. Buell, F. B. 



As has been stated the society held no regular meetings between 
1852 and 1857, but in the last mentioned year the " Medical Profession 
of Ontario County " held a meeting for the purpose of reorganizing 
the virtually defunct society. From that time until the present, regular 
meetings have been held, and the society has enjoyed a reasonably 
prosperous existence. The present membership numbers about fifty 
regular practicing physicians of the county, as follows : 

A. D. Allen, Gorham. 

J. H. Allen, 

D. S. Allen, 

Albert L. Beahan, Canandaigua. 

F. P. Bell, Naples. 

D. R. Burrell, Canandaigua. 

J. B. Burroughs, Shortsville. 

H. C. Buell, Canandaigua. 

M. R. Carson, 

Robert L. Carson, Canandaigua. 

Edgar O. Crossman, Clifton Springs 

J. Pope De Laney, Geneva. 

J. F. Draper, Victor. 

H. M. Eddy, Geneva. 

L. E. Green, Honeoye. 

O. J. Hallenbeck, Canandaigua. 

W. G. Hemiup, Geneva. 

W. A. Howe, Phelps. 

W. S. Hicks, Bristol. 

John Hutchins, Cheshire. 

C. O. Jackson, Victor. 

J. H. Jewctt, Canandaigua. 

C. R. Keyes, Geneva. 

B. C. Loveland, Clifton Springs. 
A. M. Marsh, Victor. 

G. W. McCIellan, Canandaigua. 
F. E. McCIellan, 

C. D. McCarthy, Geneva. 

H. W. Nichols, Canandaigua. 

J. R. Pratt, Manchester. 

J. H. Pratt, 

F. R. Pratt, 

T. D. Rupert, Geneva. 

F. B. Rasback, Phelps. 

George W. Sargent, Seneca Castle. 

John C. Smith, Clifton Springs. 

E. B. Sayre, Allen's Hill. 

E. W. Simmons, Canandaigua. 
C. C. Thayer, Clifton Springs. 
George H. Van Dusen, Gorham. 

F. D. Vanderhoof, Phelps. 

C. A. Van Der Beck, Canandaigua. 
L. F. Wilbur, Honeoye. 
R. W. Walmsley, Canandaigua. 
S. R. Wheeler, East Bloomfield. 
F. B. Weitling, Naples. 

The officers, president and secretary, of the Ontario County Medical 
Society from 1842 to 1793 (exclusive of the years from 1852 to 1857) 
have been as follows : 


1842, Henry P. Hickok, 

1843, Enos Barnes, 


Franklin B. Hahn. 


Daniel T. Webster. 






Edson Carr, 

Owen Munson 


Nathaniel Jacob, 



Harvey Jewett, 



Daniel T. Webster, 

Edson Carr. 


Erastus B. Woodworth, 



T. G. Meachani, 






Edson Carr, 

J. T. Smith. 


E. W. Cheney, 



Z. Paul, 



G. N. Dox, 



George Cook, 



F. R. Bentley, 

J. B. Hayes. 


H. N. Eastman, 



C. C. Murphy, 



J. W. Palmer, 



A. G. Crittenden, 



L. F. Wilbur, 



James H. Allen, 



C. H. Wood, 



F. D. Vanderhoot, 



E. W. Simmons, 



H. K. Clark, 



J. T. Smith, 



W. S. Hicks, 



S. W. West, 



Harvey Jewett, 



James Flood, 



H. W. Nichols, 

J. H. Jewett. 


J. B. Hayes, 



D. S. Allen, 



J. R. Pratt, 

F. D. Vanderh 


J. H. Budd, 






E. 0. Hollister, 





1886, G. H. Van Deusen, F. D. Vanderhoof. 

1887, C. O. Jackson. •' 

1888, J. B. Burroughs, " 

1889, M. R. Carson, 

1890, A. D. Allen, 

1 89 1, F. D. Vanderhoof, J. H. Jewett. 

1892, S. R. Wheeler, 

The Homoeopathic Medical Society of the Counties of Ontario and 
Yates was organized at an informal meeting of homoeopathic physicians 
held at the office of Dr. O. S. Wood in Canandaigua on the 1 6th of 
October, 1861. According to the constitution, any regularly licensed 
physician " who has complied with the requisitions of the laws of the 
State of New York, and who shall avow his belief in the homoeopathic 
maxim, similia similibtis curajiter, may be elected a member of the 
society," etc. 

The constitution of the society was signed by a large proportion of 
the homoeopathic practitioners of the counties of Ontario and Yates, 
and the name given above was continued in use until October i6th, 
1889, when an amendment to the constitution was adopted by which 
the name was changed to The Homoeopathic Medical Society of Ontario 

The original constitution was signed by these physicians: Oliver E. 
Noble, H. Fay Bennett, O. S. Wood, H. W. Smith, George Z Noble, 
M. W. Combs, S. W. West, J. H. Stebbins, E. B. Holmes, E. W. 
Rogers, J. B. Voak, J. A. Hawley, N. B. Covert, A. B. Smith, T. D. 
Prichard, C. T. Mitchell. George C. Prichard, R. B. Covert, E. W. 
Bryan, Frank Tompkins, Henry Foster, Cyrus Allen, Hylon Doty, 
Cassius H. Green, A. Imeson, W. R Townsend, A. J. Frantz, George 
H. Church. E. D. Smith, V. A. Lewis, W. A. Wheeler, Frank E. 
Murphy, John Dudley Cooke, Frank P. Warner, James C. Knapp, 
Fred. H. Lutze, Henry P. Perkins, jr. 

The first officers elected were: Oliver E. Noble, president; H. Fay 
Bennett, vice-president; O. S. Wood, secretary and treasurer; G. Z. 
Noble, M. W. Combs and H. W. Smith, censors ; G. Z. Noble and H. 
Fay Bennett, delegates to State Society. 



The succession of presidents and secretaries has been as follows : 



Oliver E. Noble, 














T. D. Prichard, 




J. H. Stebbins, 




J. B. Voak, 










Nelson B. Covert, 


George Z. Noble, 




C. T. Mitchell, 






Henry Foster, 








Frank P. Warner, 


G. C. Prichard, 








J. C. Knapp, 


O. S. Wood. 

J. B. Voak 

G. Z. 


G. C. 

C. T. 



Present Membership : Henry Foster and F. P. Wilcox, of Clifton 
Springs; George C. Prichard, of Phelps; J. H. Stebbins, Nelson B. 


Covert, A. B. Smith and J. C. Knapp, of Geneva ; C. T. Mitchell and 
F. P. Warner, of Canandaigua ; J. D. Cooke, of Shortsville ; G H. 
Church, of Oak's Corners; B. S. Partridge, of East Bloomfield ; C. A. 
Rowley, of Victor. 

The Society of Physicians of the Village of Canandaigua was organ- 
ized on the 20th of December, 1864, with an original membership of ten, 
as follows : M. R. Carson, John B. Chapin, W. Fitch Cheney, George 
Cook, Harvey Jewett, J. B. Hayes, J. F. Rogers, E. W. Simmons, J. T. 
Smith and W. T. Swart. The first officers were E. W. Simmons, presi 
dent; Harry Jewett, vice-president; J. B. Hayes, secretary. 

The object of the society, as declared by the articles of association, 
is "to promote the scientific improvement and social fellowship of its 
members ; to preserve the unity and to maintain the dignity and honor 
of the profession." 

The honorary members, elected soon after the organization of the 
society, included these persons : Benjamin Richards, A. M. ; E. C. 
Tyler, A. M. ; N. T. Clark, A. M.. Ph. D. ; William S. Zantzinger, M. 
D. ; John Rosewarne, M. D. ; Alexander Murray, M. D. ; and Charles 
S. Hoyt, M. D. 

The Society of Physicians has been in all respects a useful and worthy 
organization, and has enjoyed an uninterrupted prosperity of nearly 
thirty years' duration. However, its greater step forward was taken on 
the 26th of December, 1892, when the society was incorporated, thus 
acquiring recognition by and standing in the State Medical Society. In 
this connection we may also note the fact that the Canandaigua Society 
is not only a pioneer in its class, but was one of the first in the State to 
become incorporated. The active spirits of the incorporation measure 
were the following physicians : Matthew R. Carson, Orlando J. Hallen- 
beck, Albert L. Beahan, Charles A. Van Der Beck and John H. Jewett, 
each of whose names are subscribed to the articles of association. 

From the time of its original organization (in 1864) the active officers 
of the society have been as follows: 

Presi'Dent. secretary. 

1864,1 E. W. Simmons, J. B. Hayes. 

1866, Harvey Jewett, " 

' Elected in December, 1864, and served to Janiiary, 1866. 






J. T. Smith, 
W. T. Swart, 

J. B. Hayes. 


J. B. Chapin, 
M. R. Carson, 




J. B. Hayes, 
George Cook, 
E. W. Simmons, 

H. C. Gorham 

W. T. Swart. 



Harvey Jewett, 
J. T. Smith, 
W. T. Swart, 
M. R. Carson, 
J. B. Hayes, 
E. W. Simmons, ' 

M. R. Carson. 


J. B. Hayes. 
M. R. Carson. 


D. R. Burrell, 



D. Nichols, 

E. G. Tyler, 
N. T. Clarke, 

J. H. Jewett. 


W. F. Swart, 



J. B. Hayes, 
Charles S. Hoyt, 

A. L. Beahan. 


J. H. Jewett, 

0. J. Hallenbeck, 



R. W. Walmsley, 




J. B Hayes, 

Charles A. Van Der Beck, 

0. J. Hallenbe 


A. L. Beahan, 



M. R. Carson, 


Present Members of the Society — M. R. Carson, president ; J. H. 
Jewett, vice president; O. J. Hallenbeck, secretary and treasurer; H. 
C. Buell, Noah T. Clarke, D. R. Burrell, C. N. Van Der Beck, R. W. 
Walmsley, A. L. Beahan. 

Under an act of the Legislature passed in 1880, each physician in 
the county (in each county in the State) was required to register in the 
office of the county clerk his name, place of birth, residence, date of 
diploma, and the institution from which he was graduated, or the 


authority by which he claimed the right to practice medicine in the 
county. In compliance with the requirements of the act there has been 
a very general registration by the physicians of this county, and in 
order to bring to the notice of the reader the names of as many as pos- 
sible of the past and present medical practitioners, we extract from the 
records the names, with other data referred to, of those legally qualified 
to practice medicine in Ontario county since the law was passed : 

Elnathan W. Simmons, born in Bristol ; authority to practice granted 
by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, January 
23, 1834. 

John H. Jewett, born at Canandaigua ; diploma February 28, 1879, 
from College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York city. 

Frederic C. Hawley, born Middlesex, Yates county ; diploma Feb- 
ruary 16, 1854, from Syracuse Medical College. 

Ira F. Hawley, born in Middlesex; diploma March 28, 1878, from 
the American University of Philadelphia. 

J. Richmond Pratt, born Manchester; diploma March 8, 185 i, from 
Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. 

Andrew Merrill, born Utica, N. Y. ; diploma June 20, 1851, from 
Geneva Medical College. 

William Templar, born Steuben county; diploma March 23, 1854, 
by Medical Society of Yates county. 

David J. Mallery, born Cayuga county; diploma January 26, 1847, 
from Geneva Medical College. 

Ziba H. Potter, born Yates county; diploma January 22, 1867, from 
Geneva Medical College. 

Francis R. Bentley, born Onondaga county ; diploma January 26, 
1840, from Geneva Medical College. 

Orlando J. Hallenbeck, born Schenectady county ; diploma Febru- 
ary I, 1879, from Albany Medical College. 

Alfred M. Mead, born Wayne county ; diploma February 25, 1880, 
from Buffalo University. 

James A. Hawley, born in Middlesex, Yates county ; diploma June 
4, 1879, from Genesee Valley District Eclectic Medical Society and 
Eclectic Medical College of Philadelphia. 

William Bell, born Gorham ; diploma June 4, 1879, from Genesee 
Valley District Eclectic Medical Society. 


Leonidas F. Wilbur, born Windham county, Vt. ; diploma March 4, 
1854, from Harvard University, Boston, Mass. 

Duncan S. Allen, born Montgomery county ; diploma December 26, 
1865, from Albany Medical College. 

Le Roy Lewis, born Seneca Falls ; diploma March 16, 1868, from 
Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa. 

John Q. Howe, born Wayne county; diploma June 10, 1842, from 
Berkshire Medical School, Pittsfield, Mass. 

Mitchell H. Picot, born Philadelphia, Pa.; diploma March 9, 1861, 
from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Joseph T. Smith, born Farmington ; diploma March 9, 1854, from 
Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa. 

William T. Swart born Gorham ; diploma February 24, 1847, from 
Western Reserve College at Hudson, O. 

Henry W. Nichols, born Addison county, Vt. ; diploma January 25, 
1845, from Geneva Medical College. 

Henry S. Dimock, born Phelps; diploma August 30, 1880, from 
Eclectic Medical College of New york city. 

Peter P. Van Vleet, born Seneca county; diploma March i, 1869, 
from Bellevue College Hospital, New York city. 

Theodore B. Weitling, born Oneida county ; diploma February 23, 
1873, from College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York city. 

Cassius O. Jackson, born Canandaigua ; diploma February 24, 1880, 
from University of Buffalo. 

Jedediah W. Palmer, born Berkshire county, Mass. ; diploma Sep- 
tember I, 1830, from Berkshire Medical Institution, Pittsfield, Mass. 

Harvey Jewett, born Cheshire county, N. H. ; diploma December 
31, 1 83 1, from Medical Society of Herkimer county. 

Michael D. Skinner, born Onondaga county; diploma May 2, 1865, 
from Illinois State Medical Society. 

James H. Allen, born Montgomery county; diploma January 23, 
1853, from Albany Medical College. 

Frank W. Mailler, born Atlanta, Ga. ; diploma February 28, 1877, 
from Detroit Medical College. 

W. Scott Hicks, born Bristol; diploma February 26, 185 I, from Uni- 
versity of Buffalo. 


Dwight R. Burrell, born Loraine county, O. ; diploma March 25, 
1868, from University of Michigan. 

Lewis E. Green, born Steuben county; diploma February 16, 1874, 
from Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery. 

Joseph Byron Hayes, born Canandaigua ; diploma March 15, i860, 
from University of Pennsylvania. 

Frederick D. Vanderhoof, born Manchester; diploma March 10, 
1864, from College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York city. 

Jonathan Burt, born Brattleboro', Vt. ; license May 19, 1830, from 
Wayne County Medical Society. 

George W. Prentiss, born Chelsea, Canada; diploma March 5, 1863, 
from Bellevue Hospital Medical College. 

Charles T. Mitchell, born Hamilton, Ont. ; diploma September 10, 
1863, from University of Victoria College, Canada. 

Milton U. Gerhard, born Durham, Pa.; diploma March 15, 1877, 
from University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 

Ellis B Sayre, born Rushville ; license November 22, 1877, from 
Ontario County Medical Society. 

John Hutchens, born Cheshire; diploma February 20, 1871, from 
University of Buffalo. 

H. A Slingerland, born Canadice ; diploma June 4, 1879, from Gen- 
esee Valley District Eclectic Medical Society. 

H. L. Eddy, born Wayne county; diploma December 11, 1833, from 
Berkshire Medical College, Massachusetts. 

George N. Dox, born Geneva; diploma February 15, 1843, from 
Albany Medical College. 

J. Henry Budd, born Schuyler county; diploma February 23, 1875, 
from Buffalo Medical College. 

Byron B. Havens, born Yates county ; diploma February 21, 1876, 
from Bellevue Hospital Medical College. 

Herbert M. Eddy, born Seneca county ; diploma March 2, 1870, 
from College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York city. 

Matthew R. Carson, born Seneca; diploma December 22, 1857, from 
Albany Medical College. 

Gardner S. Gallagher, born Cortland, N. Y. ; diploma March 20, 
1872, from University of City of New York. 


William A. Wiieeler, born Wayne county; diploma March lo, 
1880, from Hahnemann Homoeopathic Medical College, Philadelphia, 

Alexander D. Allen, born Gorham ; diploma June 10, 1880, from 
Syracuse Medical College. 

Reuben E. Phillips, born Canada; diploma January 18, 1872, from 
Eclectic Medical College of Pennsylvania. 

J. Benson Voak, born Yates county; diploma March i, 1866, from 
Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. 

James K. King, born Troy, N. Y. ; diploma March i, 1877, ^i"©"! 
Columbia College, New York city. 

Albert G. Cruttenden, born Wyoming county ; diploma February 20, 
1840, from Willoughby University of Lake Erie, Ohio. 

Matthew Bird Gault, born Fayette county; diploma March i, 1870, 
from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Carmi C. Thayer, born Worcester county, Mass. ; diploma February 
26, 1876, from Rush Medical College, Chicago, Ills. 

Hilem F. Bennett, born Cayuga county; diploma March i, 1866, 
from Bellevue Hospital Medical College. 

Herbert F. Gillette, born Steuben county; license May 18, 1880, 
from Steuben County Homoeopathic Medical Society. 

William F. Edington, born Seneca ; diploma July 24, 1864, from Ge- 
neva Medical College. 

George E. Flood, born Seneca county ; diploma March 4, 1879, from 
Detroit Medical College. 

Nellie L. Kieth, born Madison county; diploma March 15, 1871, 
from Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 

Mary H. Dunbar, born in Nebraska; diploma March 16, 1868, from 
Woman's Medical College of New York city. 

Henry Foster, born Norwich, Vt, diploma February 23, 1848, from 
Western Reserve College. 

William G. Hemiup, born Geneva; diploma February 28, 1877, from 
Detroit Medical College. 

William M. Silvernail, born Yates county; diploma June 4, 1879, 
from Genesee Valley District Medical Society. 

Jerome P. Avery, born Fairfield, N. Y., diploma February 22, 1854, 
from University of Buffalo. 


Archibald Imesoii, born Canada; diploma June, 1856, from Victoria 

Stephen P. Johnson, born Oswego county ; diploma December 27, 
1859, from Albany Medical College 

James H. Stebbins, born Monroe county; diploma February 18, 1856, 
from American Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Henry K. Clarke, born Buffalo; diploma December, 1862, from Al- 
bany Medical College. 

Albert J. Frantz, born Seneca county ; diploma June 28, 1871, from 
Detroit Medical College. 

Nelson B. Covert, born Ovid, Seneca county ; diploma February 27, 
1862, from Homoeopathic Medical College of Cleveland, Ohio. 

Edwin O. Hollister, born Batavia ; diploma March i, 1874, from 
Bellevue Hospital Medical College. 

Charles Hoyt Mead, born Fairfield, Conn., diploma March 28, 1878, 
from Physio- Eclectic Medical College, Cincinnati, O. 

W. A. Hartman, born Sandusky, O. ; diploma April i, 1854, from 
Philadelphia College of Medicine. 

"" Watson W. Archer, born Hopewell ; diploma January, 1867, from 
Geneva Medical College. 

James F. Draper, born Washington county ; diploma January 27, 
1846, from Geneva Medical College. 

Amos Stoddard, born Blenheim, O. ; license June 25, 1868, from 
Eclectic Medical Society of State of New York. 

Elisaph Dorchester, born Geneva ; diploma February 20, 1849, frorn 
Geneva Medical College. 

George Henry Van Deusen, born Montgomery county ; diploma June 
9, 1 86 1, from University of Vermont. 

George C. Prichard, born Phelps; license October 18, 1870, from On- 
tario County Medical Society. 

Sylvanus E. Parker, born Niagara county ; diploma February 20, 
1877, from University of Buffalo. 

David H. Conley, born Yates county ; diploma February 25, 1868, 
from Western Homoeopathic Medical College, Cleveland, O. 

Jeremiah P. H. Deming, born Pittsfield, Mass. ; diploma November 5, 
1839, from Berkshire Medical College. 


Nehemiah S. Bryant, born Seneca county; diploma January 25, 1845, 
from Geneva Medical College. 

AmosL. Sweet, born Cortland county; diploma March 9, 1866, from 
University Medical College, New York city. 

Henry D. Weyburn, born Geneva; diploma March 22, 1876, from 
Physio- Eclectic Medical College of Ohio. 

Fred. Francis Webster, born East Bloomfield ; diploma February 23, 
1875, from University of Buffalo. 

Mary E. Stark, born Yates county ; diploma May 27, 1880, from 
Woman's Medical College of New York. Infirmary. 

Amos Bird Smith, born Tompkins county; diploma July 6, 1846, 
from Geneva Medical College. 

Byron D. Hershey, born Gorham ; diploma March 31, 1869, from 
University of Michigan. 

William R. Townsend, born Monroe county ; diploma March 4, 1875, 
from Homoeopathic Medical College of New York. 

William H. Coe, born Genesee county; diploma March 14, 1866, 
from University of PeniKBylvania. 

John Melvin, born Manchester; diploma March 5, 1850, from Eclec- 
tic Medical College, Cincinnati. 

Francis H.Wisewell, born Yates county; diploma, March, 1871, from 
University of Michigan. 

James A. Barringer, born Rensselaer county ; diploma February 24, 
1873, from University of Buffalo, 

Elon G. Carpenter, born Herkimer county; diploma June 6, 1840, 
from Castleton Medical College. 

John Dudley Cooke, born Canada; diploma February 22, i88i,from 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, Buffalo. 

Edward Munson, born Penn Yan ; diploma May 13, 1881, from 
Medical Department Columbia College. ' 

J. Reed Topping, born Geneva; diploma June 23, i88j, from Col- 
lege of the University of City of New York. 

Charles M. Franklin, born Lancaster, Pa. ; diploma March 15, 1881, 
from University of Pennsylvania. 

William A. White, born at Albany; diploma March 4, 1881, from 
Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. 


Wm. A. Hubbard, born Tompkins county; diploma February 21, 
1881, from University of Buffalo. 

E. Clayton Smith, born Richmond ; diploma June 7, 1881, from Ec- 
lectic Medical Institution, Cincinnati. 

Miles B. Butler, born Ontario county; diploma March 3, 1881, from 
New York Homoeopathic College. 

Frank P. Warner, born Phelps ; diploma March 9, 1881, from Uni- 
versity of City of New York. 

Reuben E. Phillips, born Canada; diploma March 2, 1881, from 
United States Medical College, New York city. 

Milo A. Jewett, born in Asia ; diploma June 29, 1881, from Harvard 

James Arthur Phillips, born Clifton Springs; diploma March 7, 1882, 
from University of City of New York. 

John A. Shannon, born Albany ; diploma March 2, 1876, from Ben- 
nett Medical College. Chicago. 

Rachel T. Speakman, born Chester county, Pa. ; diploma February, 
28, 1863, from Cleveland Homoeopathic College. 

Frank L. Willson, born Oswego county; diploma March 13, 1883, 
from University Medical College, New York city. 

George D. Hamlin, born Naples; diploma March 15, 1883, from 
University Medical College, New York city. 

Benton S. Partridge, born Canadice ; diploma March 6, 1883, from 
Pulte Medical College, Cincinnati, O. 

Frank H. Ingram, born Logansport, Ind. ; diploma March 14, 1883, 
from Bellevue Hospital Medical College. 

Emory A. Eakin, born Gallipolis, O. ; diploma March 2, 1869, from 
Miami Medical College, Cincinnati, O. 

Frederick H. Lutze, born Germany; diploma March 16, 1882, from 
Homoeopathic Medical College, New York city. 

Albert L. Beahan, born Watkins, N. Y. ; diploma March i, 1879, 
from Bellevue Medical College, New York city. 

Murdock K. Macdonald, born Nova Scotia; diploma March 6, 1884, 
from Chicago Homoeopathic Medical College. 

Elon N. Carpenter, born New York; diploma March 11, 1884, from 
Medical Department University of City of New York. 


Duncan Campbell, born Canada; diploma April 24, 1884, from Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons, Ontario. 

James C. Knapp, diploma March 13, 1884, from New York Homoeo"^- 
pathic Medical College. 

Franklin B. Smith, born Hillsdale, Mich; diploma February 26, 1879, 
from Hahnemann Medical College. 

Charles Mudge, born Oswego county; diploma March 3, 1854, from 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York city. 

Joseph B. Burroughs, born Paterson, N. J.; diploma June 4, 1881, 
from Syracuse University. 

George W. Sargent, born Wallingford, Vt. ; diploma June 25, 1879, 
from Syracuse University. 

Horace B. Gee, born Cortland, N Y. ; diploma February 26, 1885, 
from University of Buffalo. 

Elmer D. Cooley, born Oswego county; diploma July 2, 1882, from 
University of Vermont. 

John Pope De Laney, born Portsmouth, N. H. ; diploma March 9, 
1885, from Bellevue Hospital Medical College. 

L. M. Phillips, born West Winfield, N. Y. ; diploma June 28, 1882, 
from University of Vermont. 

Robert W. Walmsley, born Dubuque, la. ; diploma March 17, 1881, 
from University of Louisiana. 

Stoughton R. Wheeler, born North Bergen, N. J. ; diploma February 
23, 1886, from University of Buffalo. 

Cuvier R. Marshall, born Bellefontaine, O. ; diploma March 9, 1885, 
from Bellevue Hospital Medical College. 

James Henry Haslett, born Seneca; diploma March 6, 1886, from 
University Medical College, New York city. 

John J. McNulty, born Seneca county; diploma February, 1877, 
from College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York city. 

John A. Robson, born Seneca; diploma March 3, 1886, from Albany 
Medical College. 

George M. Skinner, born Richmond ; diploma March 15, 1886, from 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore. 

George A. Lung, born Canandaigua ; diploma May i, 1886, from 
University of Pennsylvania. 


George H. King, born Mechlenburg, N. Y. ; diploma May 28, 1868, 
from Eclectic Medical College, Cincinnati. 

Lucius C. Adamson, born Atlanta, Ga. ; diploma March 11, 1885, 
from University of New York City. 

George W. McClellan, born Alton, Ontario ; diploma February 24, 
1885, from University of Buffalo. 

William S. Rogers, born Central Square, N. Y., diploma March i, 
1883, from Eclectic Medical College, New York city. 

Caroline A. Hemiup, born Geneva; diploma March 17, 1881, from 
Woman's Medical College, Philadelphia. 

Kate A. Hathaway, born Hornellsville, N. Y. ; diploma June 30, 
1887, from University of Michigan. 

Charles A. Foster, born England; diploma February 22, 1847, from 
Botanica Medical College of Ohio. 

Chauncey A. Holt, born Hartford, Conn.; diploma February 17, 1877, 
from University of City of New York. 

Henry H. Coburn, born Waterbury, Vt., diploma February 19, 1889, 
from Chicago Homoeopathic College. 

Isidore A. McClellan, born New York city; diploma May 5, 1880, 
from Eclectic Medical College, Cincinnati, O. 

Frank Bert Rasbach, born Ilion, N. Y. ; diploma March 30. 1891, 
from Bellevue Hospital Medical College. 


History of the Town of Canandaigua, and of the Vh.lage 
OF Canandaigua, the Seat of Justice of Ontario County. 

THE earliest recollections of the town called Canandaigua were in 
connection with the Indian occupation of the region. Near the 
borders of the present town was the once famous Seneca village, 
variously known as Oniiaghcc, OnagJiec and Onnhic, which are only 
modifications of the name Onagheh, the latter meaning ''head,'' and 


from which we naturally and correctly infer that this locality was once 
a head or chief village of the Seneca Indians. The Indian village of 
Canandaigua or Ganadarque, was an off shoot of this village, and was 
destroyed by General Sullivan in 1779. 

According to Hon. Lewis H. Morgan, LL.D., who is the acknowl- 
edged standard authority on Seneca names, the name in the several 
Iroquois dialects is as follows: Seneca, Ga-nun da-gwa ; Cayuga, 
Ga-na da gwa; Onondaga, Ca-na-da-qua; Tuscarora, Ca-ta-na ra-qua; 
Oneida, Ga-na da-lo-qua ; Mohawk, Ga-na-ta-la qua; the signification 
being " A Place Selected for a Settlement," or, in other words, "the 
chosen spot or city," a fact itself of much significance in view of later 
events, for the Indian location or " spot chosen for a new settlement " 
was also selected by the Phelps and Gorham proprietary as their 
" chosen spot or city," after they had been compelled to leave the 
vicinity of old Kanadesaga; and a little later the same "chosen spot" was 
designated as the shire town of the county, and was therefore destined 
to become a somewhat important point in Western New York in the 
affairs of civilized white settlement as it had been formerly prominent 
in connection with the Indian occupation of the region. However, as 
the subject of Indian supremacy and dominion is fully discussed in the 
early chapters of this volume, it need not be further pursued here, but 
rather may we give attention to the development and improvement of 
the town during its occupation by the whites. 

As is fully narrated in one of the earlier chapters of this work, in the 
year 1788 the region of country now including this whole county was 
sold by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to Oliver Phelps and 
Nathaniel Gorham, they representing an association of eastern capital- 
ists. As soon as they had secured the Indian title they at once caused 
the entire tract to be surveyed into townships, and each numbered by 
range and town. For the purpose of better carrying out their designs, 
the proprietors made a location for a village at the ancient Indian site 
called Kanadesaga, also Geneva, but on running the eastern line of the 
Massachusetts lands it was discovered that the village was east of the 
so-called pre-emption line and therefore not within the purchase 
proper. We may here state incidentally that Geneva was on the west 
side of the line, but owing either to error or fraud the line was so run 


as to bring that village eastward of it and on lands claimed by other 

Whether error or fraud located Geneva east of the pre emption line 
matters little at this time, but the circumstance was indeed fortunate 
for the after history of Canandaigua. The proprietary were compelled 
to change their seat of operations from Geneva, consequently in 1789 
Mr. Phelps caused township number 10, in the third range, to be 
resurveyed and allotted for more than usual townships and agricultural 
purposes. Moreover, the town was especially reserved to the proprie- 
tors for their own use, also as a county town, for it seems that the 
worthy proprietor even at that early day had in contemplation the 
erection of a new county out of the territory of old Montgomery. 

Oliver Phelps made generous provision for the future of the pro- 
spective village, and indeed carried out the New England custom of 
donating lands for county buildings, park and schools, and likewise 
laid out the main thoroughfare of the village of ample width, having a 
consideration for the personal comfort of the people as well as for 
private gain. 

Col. William Walker acted as agent for the proprietorg, and to him 
has been given the honor of erecting the first house in the town — a log 
structure built during the year 1788, and standing on the east side of 
the main street, south of the square ; the contract for the erection of 
this building will be found in the chapter of the town of Phelps. Two 
other dwellings were built during the same year, one for James D. 
Fish, and the other for Joseph Smith, but none of these was perma- 
nently occupied by its owner until the following spring. Smith soon 
turned his dwelling into an inn, thus becoming the pioneer landlord of 
the vicinity. 

Joseph Smith was a prominent character at an early day at Canan- 
daigua. He had been a captive among the Indians, and when set free 
he chose to remain among them. He was an open-hearted, generous 
man, and possessed many good qualities. As an Indian interpreter his 
services were often in requisition. He was in business in this region as 
early as October and November, 1788, as the following bills receipted 
by him, and yet in existence, will show : November 22, bill against 
William Walker, for " Mogassens," rum, salt, etc., ;^2i is. Bill against 


William Walker, for sundries furnished by Smith & Vrooman, to differ- 
ent persons, ^8 04^'. 'jd. As no place is mentioned in the above bills, 
it is uncertain whether they were furnished at Canandaigua or Geneva, 
but from the following receipt for goods stored by Walker on his de- 
parture from the place for the winter, it would seem that Canandaigua 
must at the time have been his residence, although on account of the 
familiarity and friendship of the Indians, the goods would doubtless 
remain undisturbed even if he was not permanently here during the 

KaNANDAIGUE, Nov'r 19, 1788. 

Bill of articles belonging to the Hon'ble Mess'rs Phelps & Comp'y, 
William Walker, Esq'r, Agent. 

I Chest containing 

I Broad ax, 9 Narrow Do., i Bush Hook, 2 Pros and one hoe, i 
Drawing knife, i twist augur, i p'r Carpenters Chitzels, i Hand Saw, 
I nail hammer, 2 Iron Wedges, i Small Broken Chain, i Bake Pan, i 
Spider, I Skillet, i Earthen Plate, i Pewter Do., i Tin Ot mug, i case 
knife & 2 forks, \ H. old Pewter, about 3 qts Salt, I Small Brass 
Kettle, Ring of Iron, i Crane Hook, 31 Candles, i Iron Hinge, one 
Sitting Pole Iron, i Door Hook and some small pieces of Iron. 

I Batteau, 3 Oars, i Paddle, 3 Setting Poles and Boat House, 5 
Empty Barrels, and one Large Iron pot and one Grindstone. 

Re'd the above Chest containing said Articles together with Said 
Batteau, Oars, &c and Empty Barels, into my care, all of which are to 
be safely kept and to be delivered to William Walker, Esq'r or to his 
order, when called for. Extraordinaries Excepted. 

James Perry 
Joseph Smith for Joseph Smith 

Endorsed, Joseph Smith's Rec't for Articles left at Canandaiqua. 

The memorandum book kept by Colonel Wm. Walker contains the 
names of a number of people who were early on the ground in the new 
country and employed by him in October, 1788. The following are ex 
tracted therefrom : Colonel Hugh Maxwell, surveyor, and Samuel Whe 
don. Brown and two others, assistants. Frederick Saxton, surveyor; 
Wm. Markham, Capt. Cleveland, Phinehas Blodget and Ransom Smith, 
assistants. Mr. Curtis, surveyor, Joseph Salisbury, Robert White, Ad- 


ner Hickox, John Fanning, assistants. William Ewing, surveyor, 
Henry Reading, Andrew Evers, Benoni Taylor. Four men on the road 
on the falls on the outlet of Canadaque, Cornelius Decker, John Jones, 
E. Phelps, John Culver. Also the following: David Bailey, chain 
bearer, James Parmeter, Enos Boughton, Sewell and Othniel Gilbert, 
James Dugan, Rees Stevens. 

The first permanent settlement in the town was made in 1789, when 
Fish and Smith occupied their respective houses, and about the same 
time there also came to the locality General Israel Chapin, Nathaniel 
Gorham, jr., Frederick Saxton, Benjamin Gardner, Daniel Gates, Dan- 
iel Brainerd, Martin Dudley. These pioneers were soon followed by 
others, and in the same year William Walker opened his land ofifice in 
the village. First events followed one another in rapid succession, and 
from preserved records we learn that pioneer Samuel Gardner opened 
the first store, while Major Willis taught the first school, beginning in 
1792. The first birth was that of Oliver Phelps Rice, and the first 
death was that of Caleb Walker, both events taking place in 1790. 

Although it is well known that the settlement of this town began in 
1788 and 1789, it is quite difficult to determine just when pioneership 
ceased, and equally difficult to ascertain the names of persons and fam- 
ilies who are entitled to mention in that connection. However, we 
may state that early settlements in the town began in the village and 
rapidly extended therefrom in almost every direction until the lands 
were well occupied and put under cultivation. There was no separation 
of the village from the township until 181 5, and for the purposes of the 
record the entire territory may be treated as a body so far as pioneer- 
ship is concerned. 

The greatest difficulty which confronted the pioneers who sought 
homes in this region was that attending the journey from the east, 
and although the opening of a public highway engaged the early at- 
tention and effiDrts of those interested in the lands, and the State as well, 
it was not until the year 1790 that the old *' State Road " from Utica to 
Canandaigua was opened ; and even in the completion of this thorough- 
fare many of the emigrants took part, stopping on their journey for this 
purpose, and thus hastening the work to a successful en^. This road, how- 
ever, was but little better than an Indian path, sufficiently opened to allow 


a sled to pass and the most impassable streams bridged, and it was not 
till 1797 when, on the 28th of March, the Legislature passed an " act 
for opening and improving certain great roads in this State," which pro- 
vided for raising money by lotteries for such purpose. Under the 
provisions of this act and through the energetic exertions of Charles 
Williamson, who made and secured large additions in contributions of 
money, and with the additional assistance of the inhabitants who subscribed 
four thousand days' work, the state commissioner was enabled to com- 
plete the Great Genesee Road of near one hundred mi'es, opening it 
sixty-four feet wide and paving with logs and gravel the moist places 
through which it was carried. Hence the road from Utica to the Gen- 
esee, from being in the month of June, 1797, a little better than an In- 
dian path, was so far improved by the latter part of September that a 
stage route was established on it. 

The construction of the "turnpike" in 1 803-4 opened a valuable 
thoroughfare to travel leading from the eastern country into the then 
comparatively wild Genesee region, and from the timeof its completion, 
settlement and development increased with great rapidity. An ad- 
ditional reason for this sudden influx of pioneers lies in the fact that in 
1789, before the opening of the road, a new county had been created out 
of the territory of old Montgomery, and Canandaigua had then been 
designated as its seat of justice. 

The settlers of this region were fortunate in having a good mill in 
their vicinity, which aided them materially in obtaining lumber for their 
buildings. During the winter of 1789-90 Judge Augustus Porter, a pion- 
eer of the region, agreed with General John Fellows, one of the pro- 
prietors of East Bloomfield, to join together in the erection of a saw- 
mill on Mud Creek, five miles west of Canandaigua, which was in due 
time accomplished. 

However, among the many important, and we may say fortunate, 
early events which contributed to the building up and development of 
this town, that which led them all was the erection of Ontario county 
and the designation of Canandaigua as the county seat. The erecting 
act was passed on the 27th of January, 1789, and by it provision was 
made for the creation of towns under the name of districts, of which 
there were to be not less than two. At that time the county included 


all the western part of the State, but the total number of inhabitants 
within its boundaries did not exceed one thousand. Therefore, in the 
organization of the territory into provisional districts a large area of 
land was included within each, and, as a matter of fact, the entire county 
contained only six of these districts, one of which was Canandaigua. 

Following close upon the creation and organization of the county 
came the erection of the county buildings, for which the generous pro- 
prietors donated a suitable plot of land, situated on a commanding ele- 
vation, and in the most desirable portion of the village tract. That 
Canandaigua was to be a county seat was of itself sufficient in impor- 
tance to swell the local population and enhance materially the value of 
lands not only in the- village but in the town beyond the settled hamlet. 
Professional men, merchants, speculators and the ever attendant con- 
tingent of persons who are ready almost for anything, soon came to the 
town, and the result was that Canandaigua soon took a position at the 
head of the districts and afterward towns of the county. Of the lawyers 
who made this their place of residence and business we have no positive 
record, but the first medical men of the town were Moses Atwater and 
his brother, Jeremiah Atwater, Samuel Dungan and William A. Will- 
iams, all of whom were here before 1800, while Dr. Moses Atwater is 
credited with having settled in the town in 1791. 

Town Organization. — The district of Canandaigua was organized 
January 27, 1789, but there is no record of proceedings by which we 
can accurately determine either the extent of the district or its first 
officers. However, the district did not long retain that distinctive 
character, for in 1791 it took the name of "town." and included within 
its boundaries townships 9 and 10 of the third range, containing pre- 
sumably seventy-two square miles of land, but in 1824, surrendered to 
Gorham that part of township No. 9 which lay east of Canandaigua 
Lake. Therefore, as at present constituted, the town is twelve miles in 
length, six miles wide on the north boundary and less than three miles 
on the south line. 

The first town meeting (of which there is any record) was held on 
the first Tuesday in April, 1791, and was " opened and superintended " 
by Israel Chapin, esquire. The records appear in the bold and per- 
fectly plain handwriting of pioneer James D. Fish, and from the title 


line on the initial page it appears that the town was known to the early 
settlers as Canandarguay, for it must naturally be presumed that as Mr. 
Fish was so good a penman he must also have been at least a fair 
" speller," and that his rendition of the name must have been that rec- 
ognized by the inhabitants at that time. 

At the first town meeting just referred to, the following town officers 
were elected : supervisor, Israel Chapin ; town clerk, James D. Fish ; 
assessors, John Call, Enos Boughton, Seth Reed, Nathan Cumstock, 
James Austin, Arnold Potter and Nathaniel Norton ; collectors, Phineas 
Bates and John Codding ; overseers of the poor, Israel Chapin and 
Nathaniel Gorham ; commissioners of highways, Othniel Taylor, Joseph 
Smith, Benjamin Wells ; constables, Nathaniel Sanburn, Jared Bough- 
ton and Phineas Pierce ; overseers of highways, James Latta, Joshua 
Whitney, John Swift, Daniel Gates, Jabez French, Gameliel Wilder, 
Abner Barlow, Isaac Hathaway, Hezekiah Boughton, Eber Norton, 
William Gooding and John D. Robinson. 

The foregoing list of first town officers will bring to the notice of the 
reader the names of perhaps a majority of the pioneers at that time, as 
the number of eligible freeholders was so small that nearly every one 
having an interest or ambition in that direction was freely supplied with 
office. In this connection it may be interesting to refer to the succes- 
sion of supervisors of Canandaigua from the organization of the town to 
the present time as follows : 

Supervisors. — Israel Chapin, 1791-95; Abner Barlow, 1796-99; 
Augustus Porter, 1800— i ; Nathaniel Gorham, 1802-3 ; (no record of 
1804 and 1805); Timothy Burt, 1806-7; Hugh Jameson, 1808 ; Eben- 
ezer F. Norton, 1809; Hugh Jameson, 1810-11; Nathaniel Gorham, 
1812; Reuben Hart, 1813; Phineas P. Bates, 18 14; Eliphalet Taylor, 
1815-16; John A. Stevens, 1817; Nathaniel Gorham, 1818; Lott 
Rew, 1819; Harvey Sanders, 1820; Phineas P. Bates, 1821 ; Francis 
Granger, 1822-25; Oliver Phelps, 1826-31; Phineas P. Bates, 1832; 
Oliver Phelps, 1833 ; Phineas P. Bates, 1834-36; Russell B. Johnson, 
1837; Charles Shepard, 1838-42; William W. Gorham, 1843-47; 
Jabez H. Metcalf, 1848; Gideon Granger, 1 849-5 f I Henry W. Taylor, 
1852; Zebina Lucas, 1853-54; Ebenezer Hale, 1855 ; Evander Sly, 
1856 ; Charles Shepard, 1857 ; Charles Coy, 1858-61 ; Jacob J. Matteson, 


1862; George Cook, 1863; John Callister, 1864; J. Harvey Mason, 
1865-67; Gustavus R. Fox, 1868; Frank O. Chamberlain, 1869-70; 
Charles E. Shepard, 1871-73; Frank O. Chamberlain, 1874; James S. 
Hickox, 1875; John B. Robertson, 1876-78; William L. Parkhurst, 
1879-81; Thomas H. Cost, 1882 ; RolHn L. Beecher, 1883-84 ; Marion 
P. Worthy, 1885 ; Matthew L. Parkhurst, 1886; Joel M. Howey, 1887 ; 
George B. Sackett, 1888; Frederick W. Bryan, 1889: Charles C. Sack- 
ett, 1890-92; PVank O. Sisson, 1893. 

The attention of the first town officers was early drawn to the matter 
of surveying and opening highways ; in fact this duty was about the 
first of importance which required the efforts of the proprietors. From 
the lake running northward a distance of about two miles a splendid 
thoroughfare of travel was surveyed, but it was some time afterward 
that the road was fully completed. This is now known as Main street, 
and was originally laid out six rods in width, but Mr. Phelps had in 
view such grand possibilities for his chosen town that he increased the 
width to eight rods. Cross street was laid out and ever afterward main- 
tained as a six rod road. 

Returning, however, from this- digression to the subject of early set- 
tlement in the town of Canandaigua, we may say generally that great 
difficulty is encountered in learning the names of pioneers, while the 
exact or even approximate date of their settlement in the town cannot 
be learned. In a later department of this volume the reader will find 
sketches of many of the pioneer families in the towns, properly arranged 
and classified, and furnishing a reasonably complete biographical record 
of those named ; wherefore in the present connection it cannot be consid- 
ered necessary to furnish more than a brief allusion to the heads of pio- 
neer families, with a mention of the general locality of their settlement. 

Over in the east part of the town, near the foot of the lake, at an early 
day dwelt pioneers Samuel Rogers, Artemas Lincoln and Charles 
Grimes, the latter the owner of a fulling and cloth mill, an almost indis- 
pensable necessity in a new locality. John Van Orman afterward oper- 
ated the mill and also acquired some fame as a landlord. Liberty Day 
was an early settler on the turnpike, and made brick in a small way, 
but his industry was greatly appreciated by the people of the locality. 
Eliliu Tupper was a pioneer in the same region, and also became pro- 



prietor of an inn, and as well was the owner of a three-horse team, hence 
a man of some note in the vicinity. He also carried a stock of goods 
and was a tradesman of the town. Lyman and Arnold Hays also were 
pioneers in the vicinity of which we write, and while both were farmers 
the former conducted a fulling mill. Judah Colt, the first sheriff of the 
county, at one time lived in this neighborhood, on what was called the 
Shepard farm. 

In that part of the town north of the locality of which we have just 
written were a number of families of whom several can be recalled by 
name. Zachariah Tiffany was one of these pioneers and the head of a 
large family who followed in the parental footsteps. In this vicinity 
also dwelt the Cassarts and Shulers, the Faurots and Sanders, the latter 
settling here as early as 1795, and being a physician was regarded as a 
man of importance in the town. In this neighborhood there also dwelt 
pioneers De Bow and Latting. 

West of the general locality just mentioned at a very early day were 
made settlements by Caleb Gage, Thomas Pike, Joseph Canfield, Stephen 
Bishop, John Gage, Levi Brockelbank, Chandler Burger, James Reeves 
(a wheelwright), Eliphalet Taylor (a prominent man in town affairs),. 
Oliver Glover, Charles Cassart, William Curtis, and possibly others 
whose names are not now recalled, but all of whom by their efforts 
helped to develop the resources of the town, and laid the foundation for 
prosperity to be enjoyed by a later generation of occupants. 

In the northern part of the town, in the locality which has for many 
years been known as Paddleford, there settled at an early day a number 
of families of much prominence, and among vi^hom can be remembered 
the names of Price, Hudson, Walker, Tilton and Marble. The pioneer 
of this region is said to have been tlie first named settler, Price, Pad- 
dleford as a village did not attain any prominence prior to the building 
of the railroad. Lying to the west of Paddleford is situate District 
Number 20, so called, which is a part of the territory included by the 
settlement above mentioned. Some of the old family names are still 
preserved in the locality but the pioneers themselves are all gone. This 
section of the town was formerly known as the " Bacon Tract." 

The locality of the town lying southeast of the village of Canandaigua 
was settled very soon after the survey of the region was completed. 


The lands here appeared to have been especially desirable, and settlers 
and speculators were active to possess them. Lemuel Castle was one 
of the first to make an improvement in this vicinity, coming here in 
1789. Castle is said to have built the first frame barn for Mr. Phelps in 
1792. Following Castle came other pioneers, among whom were John 
Sutherland, Seth Holcomb (a settler of 1792, and also a hotel keeper), 
Ebenezer Williams, wheelwright and wagon- maker; Captain George 
Hickox, a soldier of the War of 18 12, but a pioneer of 1793. Joseph 
Van Orman, Daniel Case, Giles Mitchell and Hugh Jameson were like- 
wise early settlers in the same region, and are remembered ?s men of 
prominence and worth in the community. 

The country around Centerfield was also desirable as an early (and 
even present) place of abode, and was settled early. Colonel Thaddeus 
Remington and Abner Barlow located here in 1790, while later on came 
other pioneers, among them David Hawley, Noah Heacock, Jesse Mil- 
ler, Isaac Morse, better known as " Papa " Morse, and popular at all 
country sports because of his ability as a fiddler. Enos and Henry 
Hawley, Stephen Ward, Charles and Oliver Johnson, Harvey Steele and 
Oliver Rose were also early residents of this locality. 

A short distance south of Centerfield early settlements were made by 
Rev. Zadoc Hunn, who was a preacher of some note among the pio- 
neers, and who settled here in 1795 and died in 1801. Seba Case came 
here in 1794, and was followed by Elijah Tillotson and George Good- 
ing, both of whom were also pioneers. East of the pioneers just named 
was a locality also occupied at an early day, there appearing the prom- 
inent names of Spencer, Tayloi;, Moore, Root, Castle, Bunnell, Butler, 
and Mack, nearly all of whom are to be recorded as settling in the town 
prior to 1800, and the names of whom are generally represented in the 
locality at the present day. 

Along the west side of the lake th,e early settlers had no thought of 
erecting summer cottages such as now dot its shore, as their attention 
was directed to other enterprises, such as getting suitable buildings for 
family and stock, and earning a livelihood from the lands. Pioneers 
Israel Reed and Miles Hecox, Seth Lewis, Levi Rowley, Epaphratus 
Nott, Christian Seaman, and the Eatons had but little time during the 
early years of this century to devote themselves to pleasure seeking on 


the lake, but with them, as with all pioneers of an undeveloped country, 
they were content to live frugally and in the enjoyment of such pleas- 
ures as a life of constant toil might afford. 

The Academy Tract. 

In the extreme southeast part of the town is situated what was orig- 
inally known as the Academy tract, containing three thousand acres of 
land which was deeded and donated by Oliver Phelps for the benefit of 
the Canandaigua Academy, from which its name was derived. The 
tract was surveyed into lots, each one hundred and fifty acres, and these 
were in turn divided so that each occupant should have seventy-five 
acres. According to the original purpose, these lands were to be 
rented, but they were gradually disposed of by sale and are now occu- 
pied almost entirely by owners. This generous donation was made by 
the proprietor in 1 804. but it was not until 18 10 that settlement on the 
tract in fact began, and then the lots were taken quite slowly, as the 
lands were supposed to be unproductive. The pioneer settler on this 
tract was named Santliff, but within the succeeding three years the 
lands were occupied by at least fourteen families, as follows : James Cur- 
rier, John Penoyer, Jonathan Croker, William Warren, Solomon Riggs, 
William Holmes, Elias Bascom, Robert McGill, the Widow Holmes, the 
pioneer Santliff and other heads of families named Olds, Gordon, Bul- 
lard and Dickerson. 

These first settlers not only developed and improved the lands for 
their personal benefit, but as well had a care for the spiritual and edu- 
cational welfare of their families and descendants. They built a primi- 
tive school-house, which was soon burned, and at once replaced with 
another, the latter being constructed under the watchful care of Deacon 
James Currier. The building also served as a church until 1832, when 
a more suitable edifice for public worship was erected in the neighbor- 
hood. In 1837 a substantial school house was likewise built. Both of 
these public institutions have ever since been maintained, and the in- 
habitants-of the Academy tract are numbered with the substantial peo- 
ple of the town. Their originally supposed poor lands have developed 
great productiveness, yielding fairly well to general agricultural efforts, 
while hops are also grown with good success. Grapes, too, yield well 


under careful attention, though the lake region is more especially favor- 
able to this crop than the western part of the tract. 

In the early history of the tract the majority of the people were mem- 
bers of the Methodist church, or society, and that denomination has 
prevailed even to the present day, although the membership of the Chris- 
tian church has acquired large accessions in the locality. The church 
edifice of this society was built in 1832, but later on was replaced with a 
union meeting-house, the use of which was made free to all worshipers 
of whatsoever faith. 

On the Academy tract is a central trading point and post-office, 
named " Academy Post-office," and around the locality has been built 
up a little hamlet, with the usual shops, store and other adjuncts of a 
rural settlement. The first hotel here was established by Benjamin 
Hight, and was afterward kept by Joseph Coy. Deacon James Cur- 
rier was the first millwright, and he followed that pursuit nearly half 
a century. 


In the western part of the town of Canandaigua is a productive 
locality whose people are devoted chiefly to agricultural pursuits, and 
which is known as the Centerfield District ; and near the center of the 
district is situated the little hamlet and post-office called Centerfield. 
The pioneers of this vicinity have already been mentioned and we need 
only refer to this hamlet as a trading center and record some of its 
principal interests and institutions. Oliver Rose opened a store here 
about 1 8 10, and was otherwise identified with the place in the capaci- 
ties of school teacher and afterward disti'Uer. Justus Rose, his brother, 
became connected with the business and the partners soon ranked as 
extensive dealers and operators. They were succeeded by the later 
firm of Sackett, Fosket & Carter. During their operations Centerfield 
was made a post-station with John Fosket as postmaster. 

However, it must be said that Centerfield as a village or hamlet is of 
much less importance than its people could boast half a century ago. 
It has been the home of no less than four church societies, yet none of 
them could maintain a permanent organization. As early as 1796 Rev. 
Han)ilton Jefferson formed a Methodist Episcopal class at Centerfield, 


and among its early members were Roswell and Hebzia Root, Ambrose 
and Lydia Phelps, and Sarah Moore. Some years later " Coke's 
Chapel " was built, its first preacher being James Gilmore. 

In this connection also we may note the fact that a class was organ- 
ized in 1808 at Sand Hill, which numbered among its members John 
Johnson, Elizabeth Cassart, Zachariah Tiffany and wife, Betsey Knapp 
and Catherine De Bow. However, upon the organization of the M. E. 
church and society at Canandaigua village, these outside classes gradu- 
ally diminished. 

On the 1 2th of November, 1832, the Congregationalists of this local- 
ity organized a society, with thirty- five members, under the ministra- 
tions of Rev. Silas Brown, Robert Hill and Edward Bronson, and in 
1833 the church was recognized and received by the Ontario Presby- 
tery. A church edifice was soon afterward built, the first pulpit sup- 
plies being S. S. Howe, Jonathan Leslie, Benjamin Smith, Joseph Ware 
and Silas C. Brown. However, this society, like the others of the 
locality, soon began to lose its membership and hence its influence for 
good, and is not now in active existence. 

About the year 1830, under the pastoral care of Reverend Potter, 
the Baptist worshipers of the vicinity of Centerfield organized a 
society and built a church home. However, misfortunes soon came to 
the society and reduced its membership and influence to such an extent 
that the property was compelled to be sold. It was purchased by the 
society of Trinity parish of the Episcopal church, which was organized 
at Centerfield, September 23, 1832. Among the prominent early com- 
municants of Trinity church in this vicinity were George H. Wheeler, 
Linus Gunn, James Blair and wife, Asa Hawley and wife, Orlando 
Morse, Ashbel Tuttle and wife, Dr. Thomas Williams, Samuel Shrope 
and Thaddeus Remington. The first rector of the parish was Reward 
Kamey, followed by William Hecox and Rev. Chipman. This 
church and society, like its predecessors in the neighborhood, had not 
the numerical and financial strength to permanently maintain its 
organization, hence its services were less regularly kept up, and the 
result was the gradual decline of interest and practical final dissolution. 

The present business interests of Centerfield are briefly mentioned, 
and in fact consist of one small store, which together with one or two 


small shops, the village post-office, and a few dwelling houses comprise 
all that remains of a hamlet which once enjoyed some prominence in 
the town. The local postmaster is W. L. Hyde. 


Among the outlying hamlets of the town, the pretty little village 
called Cheshire is the largest and most important, and that notwith- 
standing its location in the southern part of the town remote from any 
railroad or other thoroughfare of travel that might contribute to its 
population or industries. However, Cheshire is situated in the center 
of a highly productive agricultural region, and one which is well popu- 
lated with thrifty and prosperous inhabitants, hence the hamlet is a 
natural and profitable center of trade. 

The village of Cheshire was so named by the inhabitants of the 
locality, many of whom were former residents of a Connecticut town of 
the same name. However, the locality was earlier known as "Rowley's 
school-house," from the fact that a school was there built on lands of 
pioneer John Rowley, who came and settled here in 1795. Other 
pioneers of the vicinity were Peter Atwell and E. Nott, both of whom 
acquired title from the Phelps proprietary. Milton Gillett, Levi Beebe, 
Jonathan Mack, William Bacon and Stephen Ward were also early 
settlers, in the Cheshire neighborhood, or in School District No. 5. 

In 1812 Jonathan Beebe opened a store at the village, but not until 
two or three years later was there made any direct effort to build up a 
settlement in the locality. About 181 5 a number of families settled 
here, and about the same time, possibly a year earlier, John Rowley 
built a saw-mill on the creek. He also run a distillery, which so 
annoyed some of the staid townsfolk of the locality that they left the 
settlement. Some of the early merchants, whose names can now be 
recalled, were William King, Israel Parshall, Delano & Green, Lorenzo 
Tillotson, Harman Cooley, Ralph Hunter and Isaac Webster. Joseph 
Israel opened a hotel here in 18 18, and about that time the village 
promised to develop considerable size and importance, but later years 
turned the tide of settlement in other channels and Cheshire never at- 
tained any greater importance than that of post village, having daily 
stage and mail from the county seat. A score or more years ago an 


effort was made to increase the industries and business interests of the 
village, and a carriage shop, steam mill and spoke factory were then in 
operation. But as the place was comparatively remote from any rail- 
road, no advantages in shipping or marketing were presented, hence a 
natural decline in business interests. The mercantile interests of to day 
are represented by two large and well stocked country stores, the pro- 
prietors of which, respectively, are Cyrus H. Wilbur, and Johnson 
Lucas. No industries are now permanently maintained in the village. 
The present postmaster at Cheshire is Ralph Hutchins. 

The first Baptist Church society in the town of Canandaigua was or- 
ganized at Cheshire in the year i8oo, but after a life of vicissitudes 
covering a period of many years, this society, as was that formed at 
Centerfield, was merged in the stronger and more influential organiza- 
tion at the county seat. Among the early members of the mother 
church were pioneers John Rowley, Hugh Jameson, Lemuel Castle, Eli 
Butler, Fairbanks Moore, Solomon Gould, Jeremiah Miller, David 
Hurd, John Freeman and wife, Charity Castle, Rebecca Rowley, Chloe 
Butler, and Janette Jameson. The first meeting-house was built in 1832, 
the early services being held in convenient places in the neighborhood. 
Elder Eli Haskell was pastor of the society for almost thirty years, and 
Rev. A. S. Long followed with a term of seven years. Later on, as 
above indicated, the society began to decline, and eventually merged in 
the society at the county village 

At Cheshire village is now located a union church, which is used 
mainly by the members of the Free Will Baptist Society, while other 
denominations have access thereto upon stated occasions. The Baptist 
society was organized in 1840, and numbered in its membership some of 
the substantial inhabitants of the locality, among them Justus Rose, 
Amasa Salisbury, Lester Heilse, Orin B. Morse, Ellas Huntley, Wm. B. 
Prouty, and Moses Ward. The church edifice was built in 1840. This 
society, like others of the locality, has experienced a varied existence, 
but the organization was of longer continuance. The most recent of- 
ficiating minister was Rev. John L. Langworthy. 

The history of the town of Canandaigua is recorded in the growth 
and development of its abundant resources, in the lives of its pioneers 
and their families and descendants from the time of the first settlement 


to the present day. In every school and church, in every industry of 
whatever nature, in every town meeting, is the history of the town also 
established, but the reader will of course know that a complete record 
of all events from the time of the survey of townships nine and ten is 
wholly impossible, but it is believed that enough has been herein re- 
corded to inform the average mind of all that is needful for present and 
future purposes in the town. 

As has been stated in this chapter, the town of Canandaigua was or- 
ganized in January, 1789, and at that time its territory included two 
townships of land, hence about seventy- two square miles of land. How- 
ever, in 1824 all that part of the town lying directly east of the lake was 
annexed to Gorham, and consequently reduced the area and population 
of Canandaigua. The early settlement of the town was surprisingly 
rapid, and notwithstanding the hardships of the pioneer period, and the 
material check to immigration ju=t preceding and during the War of 
1812—15, there was a constant flow of settlers into the region, and 
the most desirable lands were taken up and improved within the first 
fifteen years of the town's history. In 1830, six years after the south- 
east part of the town was set off to Gorham, the census enumeration 
showed Canandaigua to have a population of 5,162, and from that un- 
til the present time the changes in number of inhabitants have been as 
follows: In 1840 the population was 5,652 ; in 1850 it was 6,143 ; in 
i860 it was 7,075 ; in 1870 it was 7,274 ; in 1880 was 8,363 ; and in 
1890 it was 8,229. 

Educational. — While the inhabitants of the town have never been un- 
mindful of their personal interests, they have at the same time shown 
due care for the educational welfare of their children. Among the pio- 
neers of the town every necessary effort was put forth to provide com- 
fortable schools and competent teachers, and for this purpose the terri- 
tory of the town was divided into school districts. In some localities 
school- houses were erected and opened for attendance several years be- 
fore the beginning of the present century, but it was not until the lands 
of the town had become fully occupied that the districts became reg- 
ularly settled by established boundaries ; and however interesting a 
subject for narration might be a complete history of the schools and 
school districts of Canandaigua, the absence of reliable records precludes 


the possibility of such a record, and we must content ourselves with a 
brief reference to the educational system of the town as it has for some 
years existed, and is still maintained ; reserving, however, a further 
reference to the schools of the village as a succeeding portion of this 

According to the present arrangement, this town is divided into nine- 
teen school districts (with one union district in the village), in which 
there are employed forty three teachers, and in each of these districts, 
in addition to the customary branches, the pupils are specially instructed 
in the important branches of physiology and hygiene. As shown by 
the last school census, the number of children between the ages of five 
and twenty-one years was 2,259, while the average school attendance 
amounted to 907. In addition to the public schools, the town also has 
three private schools, with an attendance of 250. In the town there 
are twenty two school houses, and the total value of school property 
amounts to $122,850. As shown by the reports of the commissioner 
for the year ending July 25, 1892, the total amount of money received 
for school purposes from all sources was $41,141.19, and of this sum 
there was paid to teachers alone an aggregate of $16,424.48. 

The Village of Canandaigua. 

From the time when Oliver Phelps and his associates changed their 
place of abode from Geneva to Canandaigua it became a fixed fact that 
on the site of their new location would be built up an important village, 
and very soon after that enforced change of base was made the "chosen 
spot," was made the seat of justice of the first county erected in West- 
ern New York. Indeed hardly more than a score of years passed be- 
fore the little hamlet cast off its uncertain character and became an in- 
corporated village. 

In another part of this work the story is told how Oliver Phelps and 
Nathaniel Gorham purchased the pre emption right of all Western 
New York, how they caused the land to be surveyed into townships, 
and sub-divided each into lots. It is also stated that the proprietors 
failed to meet the payments for this land, and that it thereafter passed 
into other hands. However, the town in which Canandaigua village 
is situated was reserved by the proprietors, and was by Mr. Phelps resur- 


veyed and lotted, with a provision for a village location where afterward 
built up. This provision for a future village was most appropriate, and 
nothing was omitted which could in any manner contribute to the com- 
fort of the people who were expected to inhabit the locality. Beginning 
at the foot of the lake a principal thoroughfare of travel was laid out, 
six (afterward increased to eight) rods in width, and extending northerly 
through the village tract a distance of two miles. This is known as 
Main street, the chief business and residence thoroughfare of the vil- 
age. The parallel and lateral streets and avenues have also been laid 
out with the same liberality that actuated the pioneer in his original 
measures, and in passing along these streets, both principal and auxil- 
iary, the attention of the ordinary observer is at once attracted by the 
evident generosity of the proprietors and early village authorities in 
laying them out and adorning them with foliage trees and ample 
grass plats. More than this, there has been preserved by the later 
generations of villagers much of the original appearance of the place, 
and even the old and substantial dwellings of the early dignitaries and 
principal men of the village appear to be retained as nearly as possible 
according to their original form. This is not an evidence of what is 
vulgarly called "old fogyism," but indicates to the observer that the 
people who first settled here are still represented in present occupants 
of the place, and that the ancestors are still remembered with feelings 
of the highest respect and esteem. 

After surveying the village site the work of building was at once 
begun, and the first house, a small log structure, was erected on lot 
number one in 1788 by John Decker Robison, to be occupied by Will- 
iam Walker, the resident agent of Phelps and Gorham. During the 
same season other houses were built for James D. Fish and Joseph 

In January, 1789, Ontario county was created and Canandaigua was 
designated as its seat of justice. This event had the effect of establish- 
ing the early prosperity of the place, and created an immediate demand 
for property, and materials with which to build and develop the lo- 
cality. In the spring of this year a party of several pioneers, headed 
by General Israel Chapin, came to the village. General Chapin was 
the local agent among the Six Nation Indians, and was a man of much 


authority and prominence in the region. With him came Nathaniel 
Gorham, jr., Frederick Saxton, Daniel Gates and Benjamin Gardner, 
some of whom were connected with the surveying parties who fre- 
quented the village at that time. Nathaniel Sanborn and family, Judah 
Colt (the first sheriff), Daniel Brainerd, Martin Dudley, Thaddeus 
Chapin, Phineas and Stephen Bates, Orange Brace, Moses and Jere- 
miah Atwater, Samuel Dungan, Dr. William A. Williams. Abijah 
Peters and others, whose names are perhaps lost, were also among the 
earlier residents of the village. 

In 1792 and 1793 the first framed houses of the village were built, 
the first of which was that of Oliver Phelps. This mention leads us to 
note briefly concerning this worthy proprietor and his equally generous 
associate, Nathanial Gorham, though the latter was never a permanent 
resident of the village, his interests here being represented by his son, 
Nathaniel Gorham, junior. 

Oliver Phelps was born in Windsor, Conn., in 1750, and gained some 
early prominence during the revolutionary period. In 1788 he, asso- 
ciated with Nathaniel Gorham, and they representing a body of specu- 
lators of the east, purchased the so called Massachusetts lands in West- 
ern New York, and in connection with that interest made his home in 
Canandaigua. In 1789, upon the organization of the county, Mr. 
Phelps was appointed county judge of Ontario county, and during 
the years 1803-05 was a member of the Eighth Congress. Among 
the donations of land for various purposes made by the proprietors, 
we may mention the tract upon which the county buildings were 
erected, and the "Academy Tract" of 3,000 acres in the southern 
extremity of the township. Oliver Phelps died in Canandaigua, 
February 21, 1809. 

Nathaniel Gorham, jr., son of the great proprietor, was born at 
Charlestown, October 25, 1763. He took charge of his father's landed 
interests in Western New York in 1790, and came frequently from his 
residence on Bunker Hill to superintend them. In 1800 he removed 
to Canandaigua with his family and resided there until his death in 
1826. He erected an elegant mansion on the site of the present court- 
house, which was noted for its profuse and generous hospitality. 



There, for the remainder of his Hfe, he enjoyed the esteem of his fel- 
low townsmen as an honored citizen, as judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas, and as president of the Ontario Bank. He was a gentleman of 
the old school, of courtly and f)olished manners. He had five children. 

Before the beginning of the present century the village had made 
much progress in the direction of a municipal condition. In 1794 the 
court-house was completed, and one year later the afterward celebrated 
Canandaigua Academy was founded. At the time of which we write 
the village had several hundred inhabitants and a fair representation of 
business interests. Among the first merchants of the place were Samuel 
Gardner, Thaddeus Chapin, Isaac Davis, Thomas Beals, Joseph Smith 
and Luther Cole. Early hotel-keepers were Nathaniel Sanborn, Free- 
man Atwater (on the site now of the Ontario House), Phineas Bates, 
and others now forgotten. The first medical men were Drs. Moses 
Atwater (1791), Jeremiah Atwater, Samuel Dungan (1797), and William 
A. Williams (1793)- The local tailor was pioneer Abijah Peters, while 
the gunsmith of the community was William Antis. A school was 
started in 1792 and Major Wallis taught the children with both book 
and birch. In 1790 the State road from Utica to Canandaigua was 
opened, saw and grist mills were put in operation, and the future 
growth and progress of the village were assured in the general develop- 
ment of the region. 

From the Documentary History of New York we take the following 
general description of Canandaigua in 1792: "This is a settlement 
made by Mr. Phelps, and promises to be a very flourishing one There 
are now about tliirty houses, situated on a pleasant slope from the lake, 
and the adjacent farms are very thriving." In the same connection we 
may also quote from the "Travels of Timothy Dwight," and note what 
that distinguished early observer says of the village, viz. : "The town 
[village] of Canandaigua is built chiefly on a single street formed along 
the great road. Its site is partly an easy, handsome acclivity, and partly 
an elevated level at its termination. The situation is inferior in beauty 
to that of Geneva ; the town itself is greatly superior. The houses are 
remarkably good, in a better style than that of most older settlements, 
and at the same time are not defaced by any appearance of decay. 
The inhabitants are without a church, but have settled, a respectable; 


clergyman. A good building is erected here for an academy on a very 
pleasant elevation. It is not yet completed, but so far advanced that 
it is intended to establish a school in it the ensuing winter. The stores 
in this town are more numerous and the mercantile business more ex- 
tensive than at any other west of Utica. At present it is the resort of 
the whole surrounding country. . The inhabitants of Canan- 

daigua have availed themselves of their present advantages. A genial 
spirit of industry is everywhere visible, and the whole town wears a 
cheerful appearance of thrift and prosperity " 

Incorporation of the Village. — The growth of population in Canan- 
daigua was so rapid and apparently permanent that there passed hardly 
more than twenty years from the time the first log hut was erected be- 
fore the people of the village asked for the creation of a municipality 
that would enable them to make such improvements as were desirable 
without the objections and hindrances put forth by the residents of the 
township. This subject was under almost constant agitation for three 
or four years before any decisive steps were in fact taken, although in- 
formal meetings were held, and the villagers fully determined upon an 
incorporation. The leading spirits in this movement were John Greig, 
James Smedley, Jasper Parrish, Elisha B. Strong and John A. Stevens, 
and their efforts resulted in the incorporation of the village by an act 
of the Legislature, passed April i8, 1815. Under the act the first 
meeting of the freeholders and electors was held on the first Tuesday 
of June thereafter, and the village organization was there made com- 
plete by the election of the following officers: Trustees, James Smed- 
ley, Thaddeus Chapin, Dr. Moses Atwater, Nathaniel W. Howell and 
Phineas P. Bates; assessors, Jasper Parrish, Asa Stanley, Freeman At- 
water, Abner Barlow and John A. Stevens; treasurer, Thomas Beals ; 
collector, Benjamin Waldron. The trustees held their first meeting on 
June 13, 181 5, and organized by the election of Judge Howell as presi- 
dent, and Myron Holley as clerk, together with the full contingent of 
appointed officers necessary for the conduct of village business. 

In this connection it is interesting to note the succession of presidents 
and clerks of the board of trustees from the first election of officers 
above mentioned. The succession is as follows : 





Nathaniel W. Howell, 


Eliphalet Taylor, 


Jeremiah F. Jenkins, 




James D. Bemis, 




William H. Adams, 


Francis Granger, 




Henry B. Gibson, 


John W. Beals, 


Phineas P. Bates, 




James Lyon, 




William Kibbe, 


Nathan Barlow, 




William Blossom, 


Alex. H. Howell, 


Phineas P. Bates, 


Nicholas G. Chesebro, 








Phineas P. Bates, 


Nicholas G. Chesebro, 






Jabez H. Metcalf, 


George W. Bemis, 




John A. Granger, 





Myron Holley. 

George H. Boughton. 

Mark H. Sibley. 

Jeffrey Chipman. 
Albert Lester 

Ebenezer S. Cobb. 
Ansel Munn. 

Ralph Chapin. 
Elbridge G. Lapham. 

George A. Leete. 
Hiram Metcalf. 





, Myron H. Clark, 


< 1 


, Alex. H. Howell, 


Thomas F. Brown, 


, Cyrus Townsend, 


Alex. H. Howell, 


, John J. Lyon, 








Henry C. Swift, 




Gideon Granger, 


Alex. McKechnie, 




Noah T. Clarke, 




John C. Draper, 


Wm. H. Lamport, 


J. J. Mattison, 






Edward G. Tyler, 


Marshall Finley, 




Rollin L. Beecher, 




Hilem F. Bennett, 


J. Harvey Mason, 


Wm. T. Swart, 


Amos H. Gillett, 


Rollin L. Beecher, 




Lyman C. North, 


John B. Robertson, 




Hiram Metcalf. 

Myron H. Peck. 
Hiram Metcalf, 
Cornelius Younglove. 

Fred. A. Lyon. 
Cornelius Younglove. 

Walter Heard. 
George W. Bemis. 

Horatio B. Brace. 

George Couch. 
H. B. Brace. 

Charles H. Paddock. 

Charles B. Lapham. 

Charles H, Paddock. 

Maynard N. Clement. 



1886, Alex. Greive, Chas. H. Paddock. 

1887, Frank H. Hamlin, Maynard N. Clement. 

1888, Mattison L. Parkhurst, C. E. Crandall. 

1890, W. M. Spangle, Samuel F. Warder. 

1891, Charles S. Robertson, " 

1892, Lyman C. North, J. Stanley Smith. 

The Fire Department. — One of the first duties which developed upon 
the trustees was to provide a systematic organization to be useful in 
preventing and extinguishing fires ; and the measures which were then 
adopted led to the formation of a fire department — the nucleus of the 
present effective organization, and acknowledged to be one of the best 
equipped and valuable volunteer associations in this section of the State. 

Under an ordinance of the trustees, passed April 22, 18 16, was or- 
ganized the Canandaigna Fire Company, the names of whose original 
members were designated by the board as follows : John W, Beals, 
Charles Underbill, Walter Hubbell, Punderson B. Underbill, Ebenezer 
Ely, Spencer Chapin, Nicholas Chesebro, Charles Hill, Manning Good- 
win, Joseph Bull, George H. Boughton, George Clark, James Lyon, 
Mark H. Sibley, Simeon T. Kibbe, Hiram T. Day, Jeremiah F. Jenkins, 
W. M. Jenkins, John Clark and Abraham H. Bennett. 

In June following the organization of this pioneer company the trus- 
tees voted to purchase a fire engine, hooks and rope, ladders, leather 
fire buckets, leather hose, and also to establish public wells in various 
parts of the village. 

Sixteen years after this, in 1832, the trustees organized the Canandai- 
giia Hook and Ladder Company, and named as its organized members 
these persons : John P. Granger, William H. Ellis, Henry K. Clark, 
Ebenezer J. Cobb, George M. Bemis, Ebenezer Jackson, B. W. Farnum, 
Asa Spaulding, Henry G. Chapin, Stephen W. Ellis, Albert G. Murray, 
Decius W. Stanley, Caleb Morgan, Seth Aldrich, Moses Roberts, Mar- 
tin H. Collins, Charles Taylor, Charles G. Brewster, Augustus M. 
Church and Thaddeus Chapin. The first officers of this company were 


John A. Granger, foreman ; William H. Ellis, assistant foreman; Hovey 
K. Clark, secretary and treasurer, Ebenezer S. Cobb, steward. 

Previous to this time, however, and in 1830, Fire Company No. 2 
was organized with members as follows : Joseph Bull, A. Berryhill, O. 
E. Sibley, J. Carson, J. B. Street, Reuben Town, G. Gregory, Reuben 
Poor, J. W. Bacon, W. M. Gibbs, W. M. Wyvill, O. A. Branch, W. 
M. Chipman, D. C. Rupp, A. Francis, Chas. W. Chesebro, A. Granger, 
B. Palmer, T. McNutt, J. L. Woodruff, J. B. Hayes, L. L. Morse, A. 
O. Leland, Jesse Mason, John Reznor, Geo. Bull, Ambrose Church, 
Jno. Pinch, Charles Coy, D. H. Ruger, L. L. Boon, Henry Hyde, Benj. 
P. Frazer. 

In 1817 the first engine-house was built and stood on the west side 
of Main street, on the lot where Walter Hubbell's office now stand. 
In 1822 the building was moved down the street to the Gorham lot, and 
in 1857 was moved to Beeman street. The engine-house for company 
No. 2 was erected in 1831 on what was called the " Masonic " lot, but 
was finally moved to Chapin street. 

In 1843 Ontario Fire Company No. 3 was organized, and was especial- 
ly designed to protect property in the north part of the village, hence 
the location of the company's building was at the north end of the 
street, and there it has ever been maintained, while the membership of 
the company has experienced many changes, and the organization is 
now known as Ontario Hose Company No. 3. 

Referring generally to the evolutions of the Canandaigua Fire De- 
partment, it may be stated that it has passed through all the various 
stages of advancement from the Bucket Brigade era to the Steamer 
period and perhaps farther. The leather bucket system was soon 
superseded by the hand engine, while the latter eventually yielded its 
place to the steamer. However, in this village at least the steamer 
seems to have been displaced by the present water supply system, but 
is still held in readiness for use in case of emergency. 

The system of water supply inaugurated by the trustees in 18 16 was 
maintained and enlarged by subsequent village authorities, and served 
the purposes of the village until 1884, when the present operating water 
company was organized and the water works supply established. 
Throughout the principal streets the company laid mains and placed 


hydrants, and the water being suppHed with sufficient force to render 
needless the use of the steamer, they have been laid aside and their 
companies resolved into hose organizations. 

This leads us to refer to the composition and equipment of the village 
Fire Department as it at present exists Three duty hose companies, 
named Erina No. i, Merrill No. 2, and Ontario No. 3, and Mutual Hook 
and Ladder Company, comprise the active working force of the depart- 
ment. The steamers are kept, one in the main department building on 
Niagara street, and the other in Ontario company's building in upper 
Main street, and, in case an emergency calls them into service, are 
manned, respectively, by the volunteers of Erina and Ontario hose 
companies. Merrill Hose Company No. 2 has its house and apparatus 
on Phoenix street. The department has a large, also a small truck, the 
former for use at fires in the business quarter of the village, and the 
latter in case of fire in more remote localities. The department now 
comprises about one hundred and fifty active members, and its officers 
are as follows : chief engineer, James Fogarty ; first assistant, William 
Carr ; second assistant, Frank Castle ; secretary and treasurer, Harland 
H. Lane. The Fire Wardens of the village are John A. McKechnie 
for the Upper District; William Crowley and William Blanchard for the 
Middle District, and Frank McNulty for the Lower District. 

The Police Department. — Although for many years conducted without 
more formal organization than the supervision exercised by the board 
of trustees, the Police Department of Canandaigua has ever been an 
effiictive branch of local government, but to record its history in any 
definite form is difficult, and possibly unnecessary. In 1882 the Legis- 
lature passed an act providing for the appointment of three police com- 
missioners, in whose charge should thereafter be the affairs of this de- 
partment of government. Marshall Finley, James McKechnie and 
Evander Sly were named in the act as the first police board, who were 
authorized to appoint four policemen, one of whom should be " chief." 
Under this act the afifairs of the police have since been admirably con- 
ducted. The present commissioners are J. C. Norris, Rollin L. Beecher 
and Frank McNulty. The police justice is John J. Dwyer ; chief of 
police, George S. Booth. 

TJie Canandaigua Water Works Company. — Although in no sense a 
municipal institution, but a private corporation, in the present connec- 


tion we may properly mention this public enterprise. The company 
was organii^ed in 1884 under the personal management of Frank B. 
Merrill, who became its president. The pumping station is situated 
near the lake shore, at the foot of Main street, and pure and wholesome 
water is obtained from the lake, being taken from a " crib " two thous- 
and six hundred feet distant from the main land. The water is then 
pumped to a stand pipe at the head of Main street, two and one- half 
miles distant from the station, and thence is distributed throughout the 
streets of the village, there being now in use fifteen miles of main pipe, 
while for fire purposes there are placed at convenient points ninety 
hydrants. The number of water takers in the village is five hundred and 
twenty five. The present officers of the company are Frank B. Merrill, 
president and treasurer, and Harland H. Lane, secretary. 


The village of Canandaigua has alwa}s been noted for the excellence 
of its educational institutions, and at least one of them, founded nearly 
one hundred years ago, has acquired a State wide reputation. Others 
have also been prominent, but the Canandaigua Academy early attained 
a grade of excellence that placed it among the best in the State; and 
that standing it has ever since maintained. However, before referring 
to this noted institution we may briefly note some of the others which 
existed during the early history of the village, a number of them being 
now numbered with things of the past, while a few became permanent 
and have a present relation to their original character. 

As early as 1792 a school was started in the village, said to have 
been taught by Major Wallis ; and in 1804 Mrs. Whalley opened a 
young ladies boarding and select school. These are believed to have 
been the first schools in the village. 

On the establishment of the public school system in the State, the 
village of Canandaigua was divided into three school districts — Nos. i I, 
12 and 13, but subsequently 11 was changed to 10, and 12 to 11. In 
1 8 10 a brick school-house was erected in No. 11, on the square, west of 
the town-house site, and in 18 12 another brick school was built in No. 
10, about opposite the Catholic church, on land obtained from Colonel 
Antis. Objections were raised against the building on the square, to 



remedy which Judge Atwater ofifered favorable terms to the trustees 
which induced them to buy lands opposite the old burying-ground, and 
on the lot they erected a brick school-house which continued in use 
until the school on Greig street was built, in 1851. 

School District No. 10 was organized between 18 10 and 18 13, the 
, records dating from the year last named. Among the early teachers 

in this district were Ann Gooding, Newcomb, Joseph Ryan, Ira 

Weston, Edson Carr, B. Stall, Thomas Sellman and Warner Bunday, 
A new school-house was built in the district in 1839, and enlarged in 
185 I. In 1870 preparations were made for the erection of a still larger 
school building, but nothing was in fact accomplished until 1875 when 
a one-story building was erected. In May of this year District 10 and 
ri were consolidated into a Union School District, known as No. 11. 

School District No. 13 is understood as having been organized in 
1830, but no record appears earlier than the meeting held October 10, 
1832, although a school house had be^n erected before that time. A 
new building was erected in 1832 on Chapel street, at a cost of nearly 
$500 One of the first teachers was Hiram Blanchard, followed by 
George B. Northrup, Abigail Munger, Bennett Munger, Messrs. Oakley 
and Haskell, Marshall Finley, A. R. Simmons, M. L. Rawson and others, 
about in the order named. In this connection we may also state that in 
1848 a school for colored children was opened in this district, taught 
by O. L. Crosier, followed by S. A. Sloat. 

In the Union District, after the consolidation, the trustees at once se- 
lected a suitable location for a large and attractive school building, one 
which should be an ornament to a village long noted for the superiority 
of its educational institutions. For the purpose named a committee 
was chosen, and in May, 1875, the Bennett property on the west side 
of Main street, opposite the court house was purchased at a cost of 
$11,000. During the years 1875 and 1876 the High School was 
erected at a total cost, including furnishing, of about $40,000. The 
building has a front of 79 feet, and is 1 14 feet in depth, and three stories 

The Canandaigua Academy. — This famous institution is one of the 
oldest of its class in Western or Central New York, and has an interest- 
ing and valuable iiistory, yet the story of its founding and career may 


be briefly narrated. The academy without doubt owes its origin to the 
generosity of Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorhani, but in its establish- 
ment and erection a large number of prominent residents of Canan- 
daigua and vicinity had a part, and hence are entitled to honor with 
the founders of the enterprise. 

On the 28th of January, 1791, Nathaniel Gorham and Oliver Phelps, 
proprietors of the vast Phelps and Gorham Purchase, conveyed to cer- 
tain trustees in consideration of their " own pleasure," all that tract of 
land which thenceforth became known as the " Academy Tract," for 
the purpose of "establishing an academy or seminary of learning " in 
the county of Ontario. In February, 1795, application was made to the 
Regents of the University for an act of incorporation, which resulted in 
the passage of such an act on the 4th of March following, and naming a 
board of trustees as follows: Nathaniel Gorham, Oliver Phelps, Israel 
Chapin, Nathaniel Gorham, jr., Thomas Morris, Arnold Potter, John 
Smith, Timothy Hosmer, Charles Williamson, James Wadsworth, Oliver 
L. Phelps, Daniel Penfield, Ambrose Hull, John Codding, John Wick- 
ham, Moses Atwater, Judah Colt, Israel Chapin, jr., and Amos Hall. 

At the first meeting of the trustees, July 12, 1796, the name of Na- 
thaniel W. Howell was substituted in place of Israel Chapin, and that 
of Dudley Saltonstall in place of Nathaniel Gorham. At the same time 
a committee was appointed to solicit and receive subscriptions for the 
benefit of the proposed academy, and the result was donations of land 
to the extent of 6,300 acres, and cash to the amount of $4,581. In the 
same year, also, the erection of the academy building was begun, and so 
far progressed that school was opened in the fall, although several years 
passed before it was fully completed. 

The early records of the academy were so obscure and incomplete 
that there cannot be given accurately the name of the first principal or 
other teachers. However, among the early instructors in various capac- 
ities there can be recalled the names of Dudley Saltonstall, Eliphalet 
Coleman, Thomas Beals, Revs. Chapman and Howes, Rev. Ezra Wit- 
ter, and Rev James Stevenson. The teacher last mentioned came to 
the academy in 181 8, remained four years, and was succeeded by Icha- 
bod Spencer, afterward a celebrated divine of Brooklyn, N. Y. George 
Wilson followed Mr. Spencer, and in the spring of 1828 was succeeded 

228 Distort of Ontario county. 

by Henry Howe, under whose administration the institution became 
practically self-sustaining. Also during Mr. Howe's term (in 1836) the 
academy building was materially repaired and enlarged ; in fact, was 
substantially rebuilt, and so arranged as to admit boarding students. 
Mr. Howe continued his services at the head of the institution until 
March, 1849, then retiring because of failing health, and was succeeded 
by George Wilson and Noah T. Clarke, the latter becoming principal 
in 1858, and remaining in charge until June, 1882, when Rev George 
R. Smith was chosen to the position. In September, 1885, the present 
principal. Prof. J. Carlton Norris, entered upon his duties. 

The present board of trustees of the Canandaigua Academy is as fol- 
lows: Walter Hubbell, James C. Smith, William Gorham, William H. 
Smith, Noah T. Clarke. Frank H. Hamlin, Rev. Andrew L. Freeman, 
John D. McKechnie, Robert W. Walmsley, Charles A. Richardson, Rev. 
Nelson M. Calhoun, and Rev. H. C. Townley. The officers of the board 
are : James C. Smith, president ; Frank H. Hamlin, secretary and treas- 

The Ontario Female Seminary. — In 1825, through the efforts of James 
D. Bemis, Nathaniel Jacobs, Walter Hubbell, Jared Willson, and Mark 
H. Sibley, this once notable seminary was founded and established. The 
building, a large two-story brick structure, was erected on the west side 
of Main street, on the site now occupied by the McKechnie mansion. 
The names of the first principals are unknown, but in 1830 Miss Han- 
nah Upham, associated with Arabella Smith, were placed in charge, 
and continued, the former until 1848, and the latter till 1842. In July, 
1848, Edward G. Tyler and wife assumed charge of the institution, and 
four years later the capacity of the building was much increased. In 
July, 1854, Benjamin Richards and wife succeeded to the principalship, 
although Mr. Tyler maintained a connection with the seminary until 
1867, at which time Mr. Richards assumed sole charge of its affairs. 

Notwithstanding the favorable conditions under which it was founded 
and began its career, the Ontario Female Seminary continued in ex- 
istence only half a century. The causes which precipitated its decline 
and final extinction were various, and need no recital here. The insti- 
tution was founded with an honest purpose, and upon that basis was 
ever conducted, but from lack of support was compelled to suspend 


The Granger Place School. — In the year 1816, Gideon Granger, post- 
master-general under Thomas Jefferson, and one of the most famous 
early lawyers of Ontario county, built a family mansion at Canandaigua, 
on the grounds used by the troops for barracks during the War of 18 12, 
but which were afterward tastefully laid out and adorned with beautiful 
foliage trees, shrubbery and flower gardens. The mansion here erected 
was maintained in all its beauty and desirability for many years, and in 
1876 fittingly became an institution of learning, for the especial use of 
young ladies, and under the name above given — The Granger Place 
School. It was founded in 1 876, and among its prominent patrons may 
be named Dr. James Carey Thomas, of Baltimore, Md. ; Mr. and Mrs. 

Charles C. Morse, and Rev. and Mrs. A. H. Strong, of Rochester ; 

J. L. Brownell, of Nyack, N. Y. ; Joseph Powell, of Towanda ; Sophia E. 
Howard, M. D., of Fairport. N. Y. ; Mrs. Gideon Granger, Revs. J. H. 
France, S. E. Eiistman, and Annis F. Eastman, of Canandaigua ; Mrs. 
L. A. Skinner, of Westfield ; and Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Leach, and Thomas 
B. Heermans. of Syracuse. 

In the course of time the Granger property was offered for sale, and 
the citizens of Canandaigua,' appreciating the advantages of a superior 
school for girls and young ladies, raised a fund to assist Miss Caroline 
A Comstock, Miss Harriet J. Hasbrouck, Miss Jane M. Slocum, Mrs 
Charlotte Parmelee Crocker, all of them cultivated and experienced in- 
structors, in purchasing the estate and founding the school. This was 
in 1876, and very soon afterward the school was opened. Its object is 
" to develop womanly gifts and graces by the best methods ; to substi- 
tute true culture in place of showy accomplishments ; to impress the 
idea of responsibility in daily tasks, and to inculcate the sentiment that 
all attainment is to be sought as a means of usefulness, rather than an 
end sufficient in itself" The course of study occupies to preparatory, 
three academic, and four collegiate years. 

Churches of Canandaigua. 

The First Congregational Church. — In the year 1799 two zealous 
clergymen named Zadoc Hunn and John Rolph organized the church 
whose name stands at the head of this article. The original members 
were Enos Hawley, Abraham Root, Phineas Bates, William Shepard, 


Thaddeus and Israel Chapin, William A. Williams, Harvey Steele, 
Joshua Geddings, Esther Bates, Dorothy Taylor, Abigail Warren, Abi- 
gail Chapin, Betsy Williams, Susanna Hubbard, Mather, Naomi 

Bates, and Phebe Steele. Three licentiates, in whose presence the or- 
ganization was perfected, were Jedediah Bushnell, Amasa Jerome and 
Timothy Field. The first deacon of the church was Enos Hawley, 
elected at the time of organization and who continued in that office until 
his death, August 1 1, 1807. 

The church edifice of this society was erected during the years 1812 
and 1 81 3, and was repaired and enlarged in 1848. It is an attractive 
brick structure, retaining it is said much of its original appearance, and 
may be justly considered a beautiful edifice still, an additional attraction 
and interest attaching to it on account of its age. In 1872 and 1873 
the stone chapel was built adjoining the church edifice. 

The pastors of the church have been as follows : Timothy Field, Feb- 
ruary, 1800, to June, 1805 ; Henry Channing. January, 1808, to May, 
181 1 ; William T. Torrey, February 9, 1813, to January 5, 1817 ; Evan 
Johns, October 24, 1817, to June 9, 1823 ; Ansel D. Eddy, January i, 
1824, to July 3, 1835 ; M. L. R. P. Thompson, spring of 1836 to May, 
1844; Oliver E. Daggett, January 30, 1845, to October 16, 1867 ; Fred- 
erick B. Allen, April 2, 1868, to April 2, 1873 ; Frank T. Bayley, Sep- 
tember 3, 1873, to January 3, 1878 ; William Adams, July ii, 1878, to 
December 9, 1880; Samuel E. Eastman, November 16, 1881, to Sep- 
tember 23, 1886; Newell M. Calhoun, the present pastor, was called 
September 26, 1887, and entered upon his duties January i, 1888. 

The deacons of the church with date of election, have been as follows ; 
Enos Hawley, 1799; William Shepard, January ii, 1809; Harvey 
Steele, January ii, 1809; Israel Chapin, June 24, 1810; Walter Hub- 
bell, January 15, 1824; Henry W. Taylor, November 28, 1828; Rob- 
ert Antis and Samuel H. Andrews, April 29, 1837 ; Francis J. Castle, 
February 28, 1845 ! George Willson 2d, Noah T. Clarke and W. Myn- 
derse Chipman, June 30, 1848 ; Edward G. Tyler, December 30, 1853 ; 
Joseph Byron Hayes, January 2, 1863 ; Levi B. Gaylord, December 30, 
1870; Cyrus W. Dixson and Teneyck Munson, January 11, 1882; 
Daniel Satterthwaite, March 5, 1887. The foregoing were elected for 
life, but in March, 1888, this church adopted the term of five years for 


the office of deacon, under which rule Mark S. Smith and J. Carlton 
Norris were elected May 4, 1888; A. Eugene Cooley, January 4, 1889; 
John H. Jewett, March i, 1889. 

The present church officers are as follows: Pastor, Newell M. Cal 
houn ; deacons, Edward O. Smith, Cyrus W. Dixson, Daniel Satter- 
thwaite, Charles T. Mitchell, F. H. Wisewell, A. Eugene Cooley and 
John H, Jewett; treasurer, Chas. T. Mitchell; clerk, Edward O. Smith. 
Present membership, 398. 

As early as September, 1793, the Rev. James K. Garnsey, of Massa- 
chusetts, came to Canandaigua and was for at least a year engaged in 
missionary work. The Congregational missionary societies of Massa- 
chusetts were deeply interested in the missionary cause in Ontario 
county, and through their instrumentality many of the settled pastors 
were induced to temporarily leave their charges and spend portions of 
the summer season in active duties in Western New York. Bekiah 
Hotchkiss received $34.36 for " services as a missionary to the west- 
ward in the summer season, 1798." Under date of May 29, 1799, Rev. 
Joseph Avery was empowered to receive " forty dollars on condition 
that you go and faithfully perform the duties of a missionary twelve 
weeks in the county of Ontario and its vicinities, in the course of the 
summer season following." Receipts of Joseph Avery May 29, 1796, 
$30 ; September 24, 1799, $10 "in full for my services as a missionary 
to the county of Ontario." Up to May 28, 1802, the editor has seen 
receipts from the following persons for missionary work performed, com- 
prising from foiir to twelve weeks, most of it in Ontario county, and 
some of them dated at Canandarque : Revs. Timothy Woodbridge, 
Samuel Fuller, Jacob Catlin. Abiel Jones, David Perry, Aaron Bascom, 
Samuel Leonard and Rev. Aaron Kinne. 

The following is extracted from the history of Berkshire county, Mass.: 
" I'he Rev. Zadock Hunn was called to the pastoral office (Congrega- 
tional church in Becket), September 20, 1770, and ordained June 5, 
177 1. He was dismissed in October, 1788, and subsequently removed 
to the county of Ontario, N. Y., where he labored faithfully and use- 
fully among the new settlers who were then crowding into that region. 
He died at Canandaigua May 12, 1801. He was born in Wethersfield, 
Conn., and graduated at Yale College in 1766." 


St. Johns Church (Protestant Episcopal). — Previous to 1795 there 
was neither Episcopal church or mission in all Western New York. 
The first missionary services of this church in Canandaigua were begun 
by Robert G. Wetmore in 1796, and on February 4, 1799, a mission was 
founded by Philander (afterward Bishop) Chase, and the result was the 
later parish and church of St. John's. The persons prominently asso- 
ciated with the early history of the church in this village were Ezra 
Pratt and Joseph Colt (both first wardens); John Clark, Augustus Por- 
ter, John Dickens, Nathaniel Sanborn, Benjamin Wells, Jones Field, 
Moses Atwater and Aaron Kent, who were likewise first vestrymen. 

The early efforts to establish the church in Canandaigua were beset 
with many difficulties and discouragements, and not until 18 14 was the 
parish completely organized, and not until 18 16 was a church house 
provided. Services in the mean time were held in the " Town Hall," 
Alanson W. Welton being the first officiating rector or missionary, suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Onderdonk, who afterward became Bishop of Pennsyl- 
vania. In 1 8 16 the society determined to build a church and on the 
i6th of May, following, laid the corner-stone. In December the edifice 
was consecrated, under Bishop Hobart. The old pioneer church build- 
ing continued in use from the time of its erection until 1872, and was 
then replaced with the beautiful stone edifice which now adorns the 
main street of the village, and is an honor to the parishioners who as- 
semble within its walls. 

The succession of rectors of St. John's has been as follows : Alanson 
Welton ; Rev. Dr Onderdonk, appointed 1815 ; William Barlow, Jan- 
uary 13, 1820; Augustine Palmer Prevost, 1836; Joseph Wayland, 
1844; T. M. Benedict, Alfred B. Beach, George N. Cheney, George T. 
Rider, Walter Ayrault, B. H. Hickox, C. S. Leffingwell, Eugene J. 
Babcock and Charles John Clausen, the latter being the present rector 
of the church and parish, and whose ministry began in December, 1892. 

St. John's church has a membership of communicants numbering 
185. The present church officers are as follows : Wardens, James C. 
Smith and D. R. Burrell ; vestrymen, Wm. H. Adams, H. W. Nichols, 
George T. Thompson, W. S. Ball. W. H. Tuttle, M. C. Beard, C. F. 
Booth and F. W. Chesebro. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Canandaigua Village had its 
origin indirectly in the older classes formed at Centerfield and Sand 


Hill, but the first meetings which resulted in the village society had 
their beginning in i8i I, and were held in the old court-house, A class 
was formed in 1815 by Rev. Gideon Lanning and William Boughton, 
the latter a local preacher, and in 1817 a chapel was built on Chapel 
street, the same being completed and ready for dedication in July, 

On the 4th of February, 1823, the First Society of the M. E. Church 
in the Village of Canandaigtia was incorporated, and David Benham, 
Wm. C. Gooding, Levi Brockelbank, Ebenezer Benham and Silas Ben- 
ham were elected trustees. In 1834, during the pastorate of Wilbur 
Hoag, it became desirable for many reasons to change the location of 
the church building ; therefore a lot was purchased on Main street, and 
in the new edifice the conference of 1836 was held. In 1855 ^^^ the 
year following the building was materially repaired and enlarged at 
a cost of $8,000. 

The preachers on the circuit and pastors of this society, since 18 17, 
have been as follows : Benjamin Paddock, William Balcom, Israel 
Chamberlain, Wm. Barlow, J. B. Alverson, Loring Grant, George 
Harmon, Gideon Lanning, James Hall. Seth Mattison, Gideon Gum- 
ming, Richard Wright, Ira Fairbanks, John Parker, John Easter, Wil- 
bur Hoag, Philo E. Brown, Gideon D. Perry, Thomas Carlton, Thomas 
Castleton, Wm. H. Gooding, John Copeland, Wm. R. Babcock, John 
Parker, J. T. Arnold, Manley Tooker, E. G. Townsend, S. W. Alden, 
J. T. Arnold, K. P. Jervis, Porter McKinstry, F. G. Hibbard, J. K. 
Tuttle, D. D. Buck, F. G. Hibbard, John Alabaster, Charles Z. Case, 
Augustus W. Green, George Van Alstyne, Wm. R. Benham, Luke C. 
Oueal, Manley S. Hard, Theron Cooper, Theron Green and Edmund 
B. Gearhart, the last mentioned being the present pastor. The M. E. 
Church numbers about 500 members. 

The First Baptist Church. — In 1800 a Baptist society was organized 
at Cheshire, and in 1826 another at Centerfield, and both of these were 
afterward transferred to Canandaigua village and merged in the society 
there formed. The first meetings were held in the town hall, and in 
December, 1833, the new organization secured a lot from James D. 
Bemis, and in 1835 the church edifice was built, being dedicated in 
December of that year. The old building was of brick, forty by fifty 



feet in size, and served the purposes of the congregation until 1879, 
when the present large edifice was erected on the old site. 

The pastors of the church, with dates of ordination, have been as 
follows: John B.Potter. November 5,1833; Marvin Allen, July 5, 
1834; Lewis Ransted, October 8, 1837; J. G. Haskins, January 10, 
1840; W. R. Webb, December 20, 1840; S. Wood, April 9, 1843 ; S. 
Adsit, January 4, 1844; D. Barnard. September 9, 1845; Leonard 
Whitney, November 2, 1845 ; A. S. Kneeland, May 15, 1847; ^- H. 
Douglass, December 2, 1849; W. C. Phillips, June 20, 1852; A. 
Bowles, April 23, 1853; M. P. Forbes, January 15, 1856; A- H. Lung, 
May 7, 1858 ; H. G. De Witt, supply while Mr. Lung was in the army ; 
S, W. Titus, January 16, 1865 ; J. N. Tolman, October 28, 1866; A. 
Wilkins, September 25, 1870; J. B. Ford, March 15. 1874; W. H. 
Sloan, July 21, 1878; C. E. Hiscock, December 14, 1879; S. A. Mc- 
Kay, January 20, 1877; H. C. Townley, D.D., the present pastor, who 
was called October 27, 1889. 

St. Mary's Church (Roman Catholic). — The first missionary services 
which led to the founding of St. Mary's Church and parish were held 
in Canandaigua during the early part of 1848 by Father Bernard 
O'Reilly. In December of the same year the mission became a parish 
under the pastoral care of Father Edward O'Connor. In 1849 the 
church was built, and is still standing, although it has been twice en- 
larged and repaired The succession of pastors has been as follows : 
Fathers Edward O'Connor, Charles McMullen, Michael Purcell, James 
Early, Joseph McKenna, and Dennis English. Father P^nglish came 
to the parish in May, 1869, and has been in charge of the church since 
that time. 

St. Mary's Orphan Asylum and Academy is a worthy institution 
having a connection with the church in the village. It was incorpo- 
rated October 6, 1855, and was for nearly twenty years maintained near 
the church. In April, 1873, the trustees of the church purchased, at a 
cost of $20,000, the desirable Granger property, situate at the corner 
of Main and Gibson streets, upon which the academy has been built, 
while the old and beautiful mansion is used as an asylum for Catholic 
orphan children, and also as a place of abode for the sisters of St. 
Joseph, in whose care is placed the affairs of the large parochial school, 
and guardianship of the orphans at the asylum, 


The First Presbyterian CJmrcJi was organized May 15, 1870, by the 
withdrawal of a number of persons of that denomination who had 
formerly been associated with the Congregational societv. A few also 
of the original membership of the new organization were drawn from 
other churches of the village. The first public meetings were held in 
the court-house, and on May 15, 1870, Rev. E. A, Huntington, of 
Auburn Theological Seminary, organized the society, fifty seven persons 
then uniting in the original membership, forty six of whom came from 
the Congregational church. John S. Worth, Harlow L. Comstock 
and William H. Lamport were chosen elders, and George Hills and 
Daniel F. Alverson deacons. The Sunda}' school was organized at 
about the same time. 

The corner-stone of the present large brick church edifice was laid 
May 30, 1 87 1, and the dedicatory services were held January 26, 1872. 
The first pastor, Samuel H. Thompson, was installed in November, 
1870, resigned January 30, 1873, and was succeeded by Rev. George 
C. Curtis on October 16, 1873. During the summer of 1875 the 
chapel was erected on the church lot. Mr. Curtis resigned the pastor- 
ate in April, 1884, and was followed by Rev. Wm. Rice, June 3, 1884. 
He resigned in October of the next year, and on the ist of February, 
1886, the present pastor, Rev. Joseph H. France, D.D., entered upon 
his duties. 

The Wesleyan Methodist Church of Canandaigua was erected in 1888 
through the generosity of John Carrington, and was by him presented 
to the connection as a free and voluntary gift. The society of this 
church was organized during the year 1891, and is under the pastoral 
charge of Rev. Sheldon F. Frazier. The church property is situated 
near the corner of Bristol and Main streets. 

Ontario Orphan Asylum. — This charitable and most praiseworthy 
institution had its inception in the efforts of a few of the generous and 
benevolent persons of Canandaigua, and although not an organization 
of the county town, maybe appropriately mentioned in this chapter. 
The articles of incorporation were executed in July, 1863, and soon 
afterward the organization was perfected, and by it provision was made 
(according to the constitution) for the election of seven trustees, and a 
board of managers, twenty- four in number, the latter to be elected 
from the female members of the corporation. 


Upon the completion of the organization, the trustees purchased 
the Greenleaf homestead property, containing five acres of land, to 
which thirteen acres more were subsequently added. The building 
was remodeled and furnished for its proposed use, and the asylum was 
soon ready for the reception of orphan children of the county and vicin- 
ity. We may mention here, also, that this institution has been quite 
liberally endowed by generous admirers of its worth and purpose, and 
now possesses property and securities to the value ot $43,460.19, and 
in addition derives an annual income of $3,000 from a contingent en- 
dowment fund of $75,000. The last mentioned sum of money will 
come to the trustees absolutely upon the death of certain legatees, but 
at this time the asylum receives an annual income equal to the amount 

The financial and more difficult affairs of the institution are vested in 
the trustees, vvho are the legal representatives of the corporation, for the 
purpose of receiving and holding the property belonging to it, while 
the conduct of all other affairs of the asylum is entrusted to the man- 
agers. The present trustees are as follows: James C. Smith, president; 
Charles A. Richardson, secretary ; F. H. Hamlin, treasurer; and Henry 
M Field, F. F. Thompson, David G. Lapham, and Max C. Beard. 

The Board of Managers is as follows : Canandaigua — Mrs. A. Mc- 
Kechnie, Mrs. F. F. Thompson, Mrs. H. T. Parmele, Miss Alice Smith, 
Mrs. Geo. N. Williams, Mrs. Charles C. Wilcox, Mrs. H. M. Field, Mrs. 
R. L. Beecher, Mrs. H. M. Finley, Mrs. William Gorham, Mrs. L E. 
Clarke, Mrs. Wm. H. Adams, Mrs. A. M. Stowe, Mrs. D. Alverson, 
Mrs. L. T. Sutherland, Miss Priscilla Hanna, Mrs. A. L P>eeman, Mrs. 
A. Scofield, Mrs. F. H. Hamhn, Miss Ida Canfield, Mrs. Wm. Allen 

Geneva — Mrs. J. W. Smith, Mrs. D. B. Backenstose, Mrs. N. B. 
Covert, Mrs. T. J. Skilton, Mrs. John De Lancey, Mrs. T. C. Maxwell, 
Mrs. D. P. Nelson, Miss Nancy Johnston, Miss Grace Sutherland, Miss 
Julia Sill. 

Victor — Mrs. O. S. Bacon, Mrs. C. O. Jackson, Mrs. Will Osborne, 
Mrs. Higinbotham. 

East Bloomfield— Mrs. H. E. Porter, Mrs. Helen Beebe, Mrs. E. O. 
Hollister, Miss Edna Beach, Mrs. W. Reed, Mrs. Oliver Swift. 


West Bloomfield — Mrs. S. H. Ainsworth, Mrs. Myron Shepard, Mrs. 
Will Case, Miss Harriet Hall, Miss Rebecca Orcutt. 

Clifton Springs — Mrs. Dr. Archer, Mns. C. C. Whitney, Mrs. A. A. 
Raymond, Mrs. H. Kellogg. 

Richmond — Mrs. Dr. Wilbur, Mrs. Jackson Bray. 

Bristol — Mrs. Dr. Hicks, Mrs Templar, Mrs. Gooding Packard 

Richmond Mills — Mrs. Charles Reed. 

Gorham — Mrs. John Cody. 

South Bloomfield — Mrs. Simmons, Mrs. Frank Poole. 

Canadice — Mrs. Asher Norton. 

Naples — Mrs. Geo. Gordon, Mrs. E. C. Clark. 

Shortsville— Mrs. O. S. Titus. 

Manchester — Mrs. Sarah McComb, Mrs. Edwin Pratt. 

Miller Corners — Mrs. Erastus Miller. 

The officers of the Board are as follows: President, Mrs. Charles S. 
Hoyt; directresses, Mrs. A. M. Stovve, Mrs D. Alverson, Mrs. F. H. 
Hamlin, Miss Alice Smith ; treasurer, Mrs. Henry M. Field; recording 
secretary, Mrs. Hiram T. Parmele ; corresponding secretary, Mrs. 
William Gorham. 

Brigham Hall. — This institution was founded in 1855, and was 
named in honor of the memory of Dr. Amaria Brigham, the first super- 
intendent of the State Asylum at Utica. Just on the edge of the village 
stands this hall which for many years has been a retreat for patients 
whose friends desire more privacy than is possible in a State institution. 
Beautiful grounds surround the retreat and there is a farm of lOO acres 
in connection. It was established, as has been stated, in 1855, by Dr. 
George Cook and was chartered by special act of the Legislature in 
1859, and afterwards licensed when the law so required. It was the 
first institution for the insane in the State to take the name of " hospi- 
tal," as well as the first where was made a legal requirement for admis- 
sion to have the certificate of two physicians. That personal liberty of 
patients which is now permitted in most all insane hospitals was from 
the first granted by Dr. Cook. There are four classifications on the 
male and the same number on the female side. 

In the management of the institution Dr. Cook procured the services 
of Dr. John B. Chapin, who remained until 1869, then resigning to 


enter upon the duties of superintendent of Wiliard Asylum at Ovid, In 
1876, upon the death of Dr. Cook, Dr. D. R. Burrell was appointed 
resident physician, and is assisted by Dr. C. A. Van Der Beck, asso- 
ciate physician. 

The Wood Library Association. — During the latter part of 1858 a 
few public- spirited citizens of the village made an attempt to arouse a 
popular enthusiasm, having for its object the founding of a permanent 
library for public use. The first movement in this matter, however, 
proved fruitless of good results, and it was not until May 6th of the 
next year that the organization was in part effected. The first officers 
were H. Bennett, president; F. C. Bennett, vice president ; J. G. 
Gregory, secretary ; H. J. Messenger, treasurer ; trustees, Francis 
Granger, H. O. Chesebro, Lucius Wilcox, Chester Coleman, O. H. 
Smith. The association adopted the name " Wood Library Associa- 
tion," in memory of the honorable career of William Wood, an old 
resident of the village, and a man worthily noted for purity of charac- 
ter and generous bestowal of charities. The association has rooms in 
the Town Hall, and there the library of miscellaneous books is kept. 

The Agricultural Society. — Although an institution of the county, 
rather than of the village or town, we may nevertheless in the present 
connection refer briefly to this organization, which has its permanent 
place of annual meeting in the county town. As early as 18 19 measures 
were taken for the formation of a county agricultural society, at which 
time the first proceedings were had under the patronage of the Board 
of Supervisors, and a meeting was held at the court-house. The result 
was that on February 18, the Ontario Agricultural Society was brought 
into existence with these officers : President, John Nichols ; vice- 
presidents, William Wadsworth, Darius Comstock, Philetus Swift, 
Gideon Granger, Moses Atwater ; secretary, John Greig ; treasurer, 
Thos. Beals. In addition to these officers, a board of managers was 
chosen, each town in the county (there then were thirty-four towns) 
having one representative. The first annual fair was held on October 
18, 1 8 19, and the society, fairly established, became one of the institu- 
tions of the county which has since enjoyed a permanent existence, 
though not without some vicissitudes. It paved the way for a later 
organization, formed during the fall of 1838, and known as the Ontario 


Agricultural Society, the first public meeting of which was held October 
20, 1840, at which time John Greig was its president, and Oliver 
Phelps and William W. Gorham secretaries. 

For a period of about sixteen years following this reorganization the 
annual fair was held in such town as a majority of the managers should 
designate, but in 1854 a resolution was adopted which designated Can- 
andaigua as the permanent place of meeting. During this year land 
was purchased, and as soon as possible thereafter the necessary im- 
provements were made and buildings erected. Thus, from the small 
beginning above noted, there has grown and developed a society which 
affords to the people of the county generally, and to the farmers in 
particular, a season of interest, amusement and instruction. And while 
the county fair of to-day has little resemblance to that of half a century 
ago, it is nevertheless an indispensable requisite of county progress. 
The founders of the original society offered special inducements to 
farmers to compete in enriching and making profitable their lands, and 
while the societies of the present day are not altogether deficient in this 
respect, they, as a rule, are inclined to award the greatest premiums as 
a result of contests in other directions, and to encourage sports and 
pleasures fully as much as large farm productions. However, be it said 
to the credit of the Ontario county society that it shows greater zeal in 
promoting the agricultural interests than many other of the societies of 
Central and Western New York. 

The Red Jacket Chcb. — " This association shall be known as the Red 
Jacket Club;" and "Its object shall be to promote social intercourse 
among its members and to provide for them the comforts and conven- 
iences of a club house." Such are the first and second articles of the 
constitution of the club the name of which is given above. On the 22d 
of December, 1888, the association was formed, and three days later 
its incorporation was effected and approved. Its first officers were 
James C. Smith, president; Frank Rice, vice-president; James A. 
Robson, secretary ; and William G. Antis, treasurer. 

Soon after its organization the club purchased the north portion of 
the old Gorham residence on the corner of Main and Gorham streets, 
which was remodeled and furnished for the use of the members, and 
convenience and pleasure were especially considered in accomplishing 


whatever was done in arranging the interior of the house. The officers 
above mentioned have been continued .in their respective positions until 
the present time, except that David G. Lapham succeeded Mr. Antis 
as treasurer and was in turn succeeded by George N. WiUiams. 

The Ca7iandaigua Lake Steamboat Company was organized in March, 
1890, with $35,000 capital stock. The boats of this company are the 
Onnalinda, built in 1887 ; the Ogarita, built in 1889; and the Seneca 
Cliief, a small and old boat which was put on the lake about the year 
1886. The officers of the company are L. R. Gunn, president; J. H. 
Mason, vice-president; H. S. Hubbell, treasurer; and Fred. A. Mc- 
Kechnie, secretary. 

The People s Line is the name of a still younger navigation company 
and own the new steamer Ganundawa The active man in the man- 
agement of the company is John M. Miller. 

The above remarks lead to mention of the older boats on the lake. 
The first steamer was named Lady of the Lake, built and owned by 
Canandaigua capital, and put on the lake in 1823 under command of 
Captain Isaac Parrish. The second steamboat was built, or at least 
begun, at Naples in 1845, ^"<^ floated down to this village and there 
finished in 1846. The third boat was the Joseph Wood ; the fourth the 
Ontario, and the fifth the Canandaigua. 

Banking in Canandaigua. 

In 1 813 the old Ontario Bank was chartered by an act of the Legisla- 
ture, and in the personnel of its management were the leading men of 
the county seat. Nathaniel Gorham was its president, and William 
Kibbe was cashier. The latter, however, was succeeded in 1821 by 
Henry B. Gibson, who was decidedly prominent in local history for 
many years. He continued with the bank until the expiration of its 
charter, in 1856, and afterward did a loaning business, but was not a 
banker later than that date. The Ontario Bank had a capital of $500,- 

The Ontario Bank was allowed to establish a branch bank at Utica, 
which was done April 10, 181 5. However, by some process the branch 
was operated as a banking institution of Canandaigua, and was so con- 
tinued for many years, under the direction of William B. Welles and 
H. K. Sanger. 

-^■^CampirZl, S c:. ^' 


The Ontario Savings Bank was incorporated April 30, 1830, the in- 
corporators being Judge Howell, H. F. Penfield, Jared Willson, Jno. 
Greig, Jno. C. Spencer, Wni. B. Welles, Oliver Phelps and P. P. Bates. 
In 1832 Thomas Beals wa? elected treasurer, and so continued during 
the existence of the bank. Afterward he conducted a private banking 
business in the village until his death in 1864. 

The Bank of Canandaigua, an individual concern, was opened for 
business April 4, 1854, and at one time had an apparent capital of 
$26,000, consisting of stocks and real estate. Theodore Hart was its 
chief managing officer, and in 1857, he secured a partner in William 
Antis, who was made cashier. After a time Mr. Antis sold his interest 
to H. J. Messenger, who changed its name and conducted its affairs. 

John Mosher succeeded to the banking business formerly conducted 
by Henry B. Gibson, and established the once well-known Exchange 
Bank. In 1861 Mosher assigned to M. D. Messenger, and then what 
was known as the Messenger Bank was started. 

The First National Bank of Canandaigua was established in 1864, 
with a capital stock of $75,000. George Cook was its president, and 
M. D. Munger, cashier. In 1873 E. G. Tyler was elected president. 
In 1887 this bank was about to liquidate and go out of business, and 
about the same time effected a sale, and was succeeded by the present 
Canandaigua National Bank, whose organization dates from December 
I, 1887. Its capital stock is $100,000. The first officers, who have 
ever since been continued in their respective positions, were: F. H. 
Hamlin, president; Robert Chapin, vice-president; H. T. Parmele, 
cashier. The Board of Directors is as follows : Dr. Henry Foster, 
Thompson Sutherland, Marvin A. Wilbur, F. H. Hamlin, W. H. Tuttle, 
H. T. Parmele, J. Henry Metcalf, Walter Marks, Robert Chapin. 

The banking firm of Williams & Barnes is the outgrowth of a bank- 
ing business established by John C. Draper in 1871. He went out of 
business in 1889, and was succeeded by Henry S. Pierce and George 
N. Williams, under the style of Pierce & Williams. In Februar)^ 1890, 
Mr. Pierce died, and immediately thereafter James W. Barnes became 
associated with Mr. Williams, under the firm name of Williams & 



The banking firm of McKechnie & Co. was founded and established 
by James and Alexander McKechnie in October, 1882, and although 
a private bank was nevertheless capitalized at $100,000. At the same 
time Alfred Denbow was made one of the banking firm and placed in 
charge as cashier, and so continued until 1890, the year of his death. 
He was at once succeeded by Mack S. Smith, who still fills the position. 
Alexander McKechnie died in January, 1883, and his interest passed 
to his widow and heirs. James McKechnie died in September, 1889, 
and a similar disposition was made of his interest. The active persons 
in connection with the bank at the present time are the heirs and lega- 
tees of James and Alexander McKechnie; Orin S Bacon as executor; 
Mark S. Smith, cashier; and Frank E. Howe and Fred. A. McKechnie, 
assistant cashiers. 

Business Interests — With much truth it may be said that the village 
of Canandaigua has never occupied an advanced position among the 
county seats of the State in respect to the number of its manufacturing 
interests. Indeed it has been asserted that during the early history of 
the village there was much direct opposition to encouraging manufact- 
ures in the community and that many prominent and wealthy families 
were induced to come to Canandaigua on the strength of representa- 
tions assuring them that they should not be annoyed by the presence 
of large factories. However much of truth there may have been in 
this assertion is now unimportant, but it is a fact that manufacturing - 
has never been prominent in this village. 

In general mercantile business, however, the situation has long been 
quite different, and it may be said that there has not been at any time 
a lack of men or capital in any branch of the trade. And we may also 
say, with equal truth, that there is no appearance of over competition 
in any business, but that the supply has been about equal to the 
demand. The business part of the village is peculiarly well situated, 
the stores and blocks being conveniently close to one another, and all 
well centered, 4 great convenience both to tradesman and customer. 
And there does not appear to have been any attempt to extend trade 
north of the railroad, hence the general growth has been to the south, 
on Main street, and slightly to the east and west on some of the lateral > 


. During the early history of the village, the situation was much the 
same as at the present time, though of course less in number were 
the business houses. Some of the early and prominent merchants of 
the village we may appropriately recall. During the first score of years 
of village history there were in trade Augustus Porter & Co., Freeman 
Atwater, John Cochrane, Thompson & Benjamin, James Sibley, Robert 
Spencer, William Antis, Thompson & Benedict, Peter Brown, Little & 
Hawley, Joel Andrews, Jonathan Phelps, Luther Cole and Ira Blake, 
(general merchants), Whiting, Bemis & Co., Norton & Richards, 
Thomas Beals, Asa W. Wheeler, Charles Cameron William Johnson, 
Aaron Crane, Beals, Johnson & Tiffany, N. Gould & Co., Reuben 
Paddleford, Ebenezer Hale, N. R. Hamilton (butchers), and others 
who are perhaps equally worthy of mention but whose names cannot be 
recalled at this remote day. Concerning the prominent actors on the 
business stage at a little later period, Dr. Clarke's reminiscences afford 
considerable interesting information. About the year 1830, H. & R. 
Chapin were merchants where Cooley's hardware store is located, and 
on the other side of the street was Church's Tavern, the old FrankHn 
House which once served as a jail. Nathaniel Gorham was a merchant 
on the upper corner of Bristol street, while Wm. (Bill) Antis's gun-shop 
was on that below. Henry Howard, John A. Granger, Col. Leicester 
Phelps, B. B. Morris, Ebenezer Hale, Wm. Austin, jr., N. G. Chesebro, 
hat-maker, Bemis & Ward, book sellers, Hammond & Town, A. K. 
Van Rensselaer, J. M. Mead, Thomas B. Lyon, C. & W. Hawley, 
Albert Daniels, and others were representatives of business interests at 
that period, and each in a way of greater or less note. J. L. Wood- 
ruff & Co. and Sanford & Lewis were the principal hardware dealers, 
and Jesse Mason and Seth Lee had a morocco factory at the old tan- 
nery of Asa Stanley on Bristol street. O. E. Sibley was a dealer in 
watches; Thomas Beals & Co. sold lead and oils and seeds; Robert 
Royce, T. McNutt and A. C Leland were the local tailors. 

Of the residence portion of the village at the time, particularly on 
Main street, the same authority says : Beginning at the public square 
and going up Main street on the east side there were the following 
families: Nathaniel Gorham, Mark H. Sibley, H. K. Sanger, Mr. 
Shepard, Albert Daniels, Nathan Barlow, Dr. Dungan, Judge Howell, 


Wm. Judevine, Jared Willson, Henry Howe, Colonel Bunnell, John A. 
Stearns, Dudley Marvin. Returning on the west side, there was the 
old tavern (Northern Retreat), Dr. Jacobs, Phineas P. Bates, Elijah 
Forbes, Alex. Duncan, John Greig, John C. Spencer, Spencer Chapin, 
John A. Granger, Thos. Beals, Henry F. Penfield, Walter Hubbell, 
Ebenezer Hale, Nath. Sanborn, Mr. Brayton, Dr. Cheney, H. B. Gib- 
son, L. Jenkins and Judge Moses Atwater. 

Present Business Interests. — In this connection but little need be said 
for it is not the purpose of this work to advertise any merchant or branch 
of business. However, as we have referred to past merchants, we may 
with equal propriety mention the names of some of the more prom- 
inent business men of the day.^ 

Agricultural Implements (dealers in) — Caleb Brockelbank, Carpenter 
& Sisson, L. H. Hawley, Hopkins & Francisco. 

Bakers and Confectioners — W. M. Smith & Co., John Stevens, L. C. 

Booksellers — F. A. De Graff & Co., William H. Foster, Stewart C. 

Boots and Shoes — Alanson Bates, Davidson & Park, Joseph Drum- 
mer, John Hoff, Edwin Lines, Thomas Skidmore, Wm. A. Widman. 

Clothiers and Merchant Tailors — J. J. Conroy, J. S. Crawford, Carl 
Huebler, Hugh McFarland, W. J. Moran, F. W. Kinde, W. M. Spangle, 
L. S. Sprague, E. Weisenbeck. 

Coopers — Benham Bros., Caleb Brockelbank, George Lindner. 

Crockery and Glassware — L B. Smith. 

Druggists — J. A. Baker, Edward W. Simmons, A. S. Newman, LeRoy 
Benham, Charles Paul. 

Dry Goods — George Bradley Anderson, established 1865 by Squires, 
Anderson & Co.; P. Lighten, Henry Simonds, J. Levy Sons, founded 
by J. Levy & Son in 1878. 

Furniture — Joseph Jahn, C. W. Newman & Son, T. Skidmore. 

Grocers — Bull & Co., S. S. Burgher.J. B. Classey, jr , Classey & How- 
ell, Eastman & Wheaton, H. W. Grimes, Wm. S. McKechnie, Moran & 
Berry, Mrs. P. Mulhgan, T. P. Murray, W. W. Parsons, Simmons & 
Humphrey (succeeded by C. R. Simmons), Frank Twist. 

1 Directoiy of 1892-93. 


Hardware— K. S. & A. E. Cooley, Alex. Davidson, Theodore Per 
kins, Mrs. J. A. Tillotson. 

Hats and Caps—C. H. Maggs, Thomas Skidmore. L. S. Sprague. 

Watchmakers and Jewelers — W. W. Case, C. E. Padleford, Z. Span- 
gle & Son, T. B. Stephenson, E. C. Williams. 

Lumber Dealers — Alex. Davidson, Wm. Garrett, Johnson & Crowley, 
G T. Thompson. 

Meat Markets — Blanchard Bros., Boyle & Gartland, Eldridge & Hus- 
bands, P. Meath. 

Tobacco and Cigars — B. H. Beck, H. Claudius (estate), Coyle Bros., 
J. J. Crough, Thomas Drooney, George French, H. Van Vechten. 

Stove Dealer — Alex. Niblock. 

Undertakers — Cheney & Kennedy, O. N. Crane, John B. Francis 
John O'Leary. 

Manufacturers — As has been intimated Canandaigua village has not 
until quite recently aspired to or attained any special degree of promi- 
nence as a manufacturing center, but since the organization of the local 
Board of Trade there has been made some effort in respect to encour- 
aging this important element of municipal prosperity. In reviewing 
this branch of local history we may briefly refer to some of the more 
prominent past industries and then mention those in operation at the 
present time. 

Throughout this chapter reference has been made to various early 
industries of the village and vicinity, in addition to which we may also 
mention the cooper-shop of pioneer Isaac Legare. Nathaniel Gorham 
and Robert Pomeroy built a large three story grist-mill at the lower 
end of Main street as early as 1825. In it were six run of stone, and 
for the time it was considered a large concern. It was finally destroyed 
by fire. H. M. Mead was the builder of a large mill near the mouth of 
Sucker Brook, which was operated for a time with indifferent success, 
and was afterward changed into a woolen mill. It also burned, but 
Mead afterward built another mill on another site in the lower part of 
the village. In 1840 Robert Higham and Francis Paul had a saw-mill, 
and about the same time John M. Terrill erected a grist-mill. 

The present firm of Smith Bros. & Co., whose large flouring mill is 
located on Mill street in this village, is the outgrowth of the original 


firm of Richmond & Miller, the latter having been formed about 1868. 
It was afterward succeeded by the firm of Richmond & Smith, during 
whose ownership (in 1879) the mill was burned. Later on a reorgan- 
ization of the partnership was effected, and the present firm of Smith 
Bros. & Co. was formed, the partners being Lucas Smith, L. L. Smith, 
and John W. Priest. The building occupied by this firm is a large 
frame structure, well adapted for its intended use. The mill has a capac- 
ity for making 150 barrels of flour daily, and employs seventeen sets 
of machinery. The present mill was built in 1879. 

The J. & A. McKechnie Brewing Company was founded by James 
and Alexander McKechnie in 1843, and since that time has ever been 
recognized as the leading manufacturing industry of the village. Al- 
though both the original proprietors are dead the company has been 
continued without interruption and its stock is all held by the descend- 
ants of the founders. The works are very extensive and are located 
on Buffalo street in the north part of the village. The annual output 
amounts to about 50,000 barrels, two-thirds being ale and the balance 
lager beer. Employment is furnished to about lOO persons. 

In the south part of the village, on Parrish street, James B. Murray 
began in a small way the manufacture of cider and vinegar about the 
year i860, and continued in that business until 1889, when James D. 
Murray succeeded him. In these years the buildings and plant had be- 
come materially enlarged, and now about 30,000 bushels of apples are 
annually made into cider. In the same building in 1891 Thomas S. 
Van Dervort began distilling cider and grape brandy, which industry 
has become quite important. 

The Robinson Chilled Plow Company was organized in 1876, but 
prior to that time the firm of Robinson & Herendeen were proprietors 
of a foundry and machine shop on the same site. In 1865 J. S. Robin- 
son became sole owner of the plant and began the manufacture of a 
common iron plow, and so continued until 1874, when he invented a 
process for chilling plows, producing a highly valuable farm implement. 
In 1876 the company was formed and its principal works located at 
Syracuse, and by it the local concern was absorbed and closed for two 
years. In 1878 work was resumed in Canandaigua by the firm of J. S. 
Robinson & Son, under the name of the company mentioned. The 


works employ about fifteen men, and the annual product amounts to 
more than five hundred plows of superior quality, and for which there 
is a rapidly increasing demand. 

In 1867 the firm Johnson, Wilcox & Norton started a lumber yard 
on Pleasant street, on the site now occupied by the sash, door and blind 
factory of Johnson & Crowly, the latter being the outgrowth of the older 
firm, though not its direct successor. The present firm was formed in 
1887, the individual members being Thomas Johnson and Wm. M. 

Howe & Beard (Howe H. L. and Beard M. C.) — The Ontario Iron 
Works, of which the above are the proprietors^ were established in 1883 
by H. L. Howe as a machine shop for repair work and conducted as 
such for few years, when he was joined by Edward I. Dayton, and the 
firm was Howe & Dayton for about three years. Mr. Howe was alone 
again until 1 889, when the present partnership was established. At 
that time a foundry was added to the manufactory, and they have since 
done a very extensive business in casting and general machine business. 
Since Mr. Beard's introduction into the firm, they have enlarged the 
foundry two or three times, and have added much machinery. They 
are now manufacturing as a specialty rock and ore crushers, and ore 

They make a special grade of soft gray iron castings, especially use- 
ful in the manufacture of locks and light work. 

The machinery consists of four lathes, large planer, shaper, four drills, 
blacksmith forge, etc., driven by an engine of their own manufacture. 
They have also a patternshop attached, where patterns of wood and 
metal are made. The capacity of the foundry cupola is about six tons, 
and the balance in proportion The establishment employs thirty to 
forty- five hands. 

The Vanderbilt Sash Balance Company was organized in 1881, with 
a capital stock of $10,000, all of which is owned in Canandaigua. The 
company manufactures a sash balance, an ingenious and valuable pat- 
ented contrivance, designed to replace and supersede the old cord and 
weight appliance for raising and balancing window sash. The officers 
of the company are : Peter Lighton, president and treas. ; Wm. M. 
Crowly, secretary. The works are on Pleasant street. 


In the southeast part of the village, near the intersection of Salton- 
stall and Elmira streets, are the extensive brick and tile works of Willys 
& HoUis, which is worthy of at least a mention in this chapter. In the 
same connection we may also mention the spoke and hub factory of 
William Garratt, which is located at the foot of Main street, and the two 
tinware establishments which have been recently started in the village. 
These are the Lisk Manufacturing Company, incorporated in 1889, 
formerly doing business in one of the outlying towns of the county, but 
which removed to the county seat and occupied extensive works in the 
eastern part of the village. This is recognized as one of the leading in- 
dustries of Canandaigua, and one that furnishes employment to many 

The Canandaigua Tinware Company manufactures and sells the fam- 
ous " Queen Steamer and Cooker." The company was incorporated 
May 25, 1892, and is represented by the following officers : F. P. War- 
ner, president; H. C. Sutherland, vice-president; W. R. Marks, secre- 
tary and treasurer. 


For many years Canandaigua has been noted for the general ex- 
cellence of its public houses, and it may truthfully be said that at 
the present time they are superior to any that have existed in the past. 
Joseph Smith was the pioneer landlord of the village, and closely fol- 
lowing him was Nathaniel Sanborn. Freeman Atwater built the On- 
tario House. Taylors Hotel cdLvne into existence about 1803, and the 
afterward famous Blossom s Hotel was built about 18 15, its first proprie- 
tor being Elisha Mills. Blossom's Hotel later on became the Canan- 
daigua Hotel, but had no relation to the present elegant hostelry which 
now bears that name. In this chapter previous mention has been made 
of the old Franklin House, which was at one time used in part for jail 
purposes. Its site is now occupied by the Webster House. 

The present Canandaigua Hotel, the largest and most commodious 
public house in the county, was built in 1852 on the site formerly oc- 
cupied by the still older hotel of the same name, the latter having been 
burned in 185 i. The next year a number of local capitalists and prom- 
inent men succeeded in having erected the large hotel, but during sub- 


sequent years the changes in ownership and proprietors have been so 
frequent that it becomes difficult to follow them. 

The Webster House was built in 1 860-61 on the site of the still older 
Franklin House, the latter having been burned in i860. 

The Masseth House wdiS built by and named for the brothers Masseth, 
and opened to the public in the spring of 1875. In addition to these 
principal hotels to which we have referred, there may also be mentioned 
other existing hotels of the village — the Lake Breeze House, located 
near the lake at the foot of Main street; the Washington Hotel, on On- 
tario street; the Tracy House, on Main street; and Ransom's Hotel, at 
the corner of Main street and the railroad avenue. 

The Canandaigua Press. 

The Ontario Gazette and Genesee Advertiser. — The first paper in the 
present county of Ontario, was started at Geneva in April, 1797, by 
Lucius Carey, and removed to Canandaigua in 1799. Mr. Carey con- 
tinued to publish it until 1802. John Keep Gould, who then became 
the publisher, changed its name to The Western Repository and Genesee 
Advertiser, and in 1803 it was again changed to The Western Repository. 
James D. Bemis became interested in its publication in 1804 ^"d in 
1808 he issued it as The Ontario Repository, and continued it until 1828. 
The paper was published by Morse & Ward, Morse & Wilson, and 
Morse & Harvey until 1835, ^'"^^ until 1840 by Chauncey Morse. The 
last named was succeeded by Geo. L. Whitney, who, in January, 1856, 
sold it to H. G. Moore. The following month the office was burned 
and the paper suspended. In May following it was revived as The 
National New Yorker and Ontario Repository by H. G. Moore and Dr. 
B. F. Tifft, and in May, 1857, it passed into the hands of Geo. L. Whit- 
ney & Son, who sold it to Geo. W. French, of Geneva, October 10, 1861. 

TJie Ontario Pha;nix was issued at Canandaigua by W. W. Phelps in 
1827, and was afterward published by R. Royce, who soon after changed 
its name to The Freeman. In 1836 it was united with the Repository. 

The Ontario Freeman was established at Canandaigua by Isaac Tif- 
fany in 1803. In 1806 it passed into the hands of John A. Stevens, 
who changed its name to The Ontario Messenger. 



It was successively published by Day & Morse, L. L. Morse, B. W. 
Jones, and F. B. Hohn. The latter was succeeded in November, 1845, 
by Jacob J. Mattison. On February 10, 1862, Mr. Mattison bought 
The Repository of Mr. French and consolidated the two papers. Mr. 
Mattison continued The Repository and Messenger until his death in 
1879, a part of the time having been associated with his son Clarence. 
After Mr. Mattison's death, his estate sold the paper to Wm. H. Under- 
hill, of Bath. The latter conducted it about three years, when he died, 
and his father, A. L, Underhill, became the owner about March, 1883, 
and managed the paper till December 15, 1885, when Herbert Hunting- 
ton purchased it, and has since been sole owner. 

The Ontario County Times was established January i, 1852, in what 
was then known as the Southerland block, on Main street, directly 
opposite the present office of the Times, by N. J. Milliken, its present 
senior editor and proprietor. Here the establishment was wholly de- 
stroyed by fire in February, 1853. In 1855 Mr. Milliken sold the paper 
to Wilson Millor, by whom it was continued as the Ontario Times. In 
February, 1856, the establishment, then located in the Lyons block on 
the west side of Main street, was again burned, and in May of the same 
year Mr, Milliken, having renewed the publication of the paper and 
found temporary quarters in what was then known as the Bemis block, 
again set the wheels in motion. In 1858 the office was removed to the 
Phoenix block, on the east side of Main street Here it remained until 
January i, 1873, when it was removed to its present location on the 
west side of the street. 

Mr. Milliken continued the sold proprietor and editor-in-chief until 
January i, 1891, when he took his eldest son, Charles F. Milliken, into 
partnership, and the business has since been conducted under the firm 
name of N. J. Milliken & Son. 

Having been founded as the organ of the Free Soil wing of the old 
Whig party, the Times was an active participant in the events that led 
to the formation of the Republican party, and its editor took a promi- 
nent and honorable part in the early proceedings of that political or- 
ganization. For twenty years the Times wdiS the only Republican paper 
published at the county seat, and it continues to maintain the promi- 
nence in circulation and influence that it won almost at the outset. 

J^/^^^S^ oV^-^^^-^^t^^&^^I, ^ 


The TtPies has given special attention to the compilation and publi- 
cation of the history of the county, and has called to its aid in this task 
the services of such able local historians as Hon. George S. Conover, 
Dr. N. T. Clarke, the late Hon. H. W. Taylor, the Thomas M. Howell, 
esq., the late William Hildreth, Mr. Irving W. Coates, and the Rev. 
Anson Titus. In its files are preserved a large amount of valuable his- 
torical material, as well as a complete record of current local events. 

The Times was the first among the county weeklies of the State to 
inaugurate the enterprise of gathering and publishing, the night after 
election, the complete returns of the vote, and it was the first, also, 
among this class of papers, to publish portraits and biographical sketches 
of men of home and national prominence. 

From the very limited and crude equipment within the reach of coun- 
try printing offices at the time of its establishment, the Times office has 
steadily progressed, until its plant now includes every facility requisite 
in a first class modern printing office and book bindery. 

The Ontario County Journal had its beginning with the year 1874. 
The first number was really printed two weeks before the opening of 
that year, but was dated ahead, as was the one of the following week, 
to offer time to the first editor and publisher in which to establish the 
infant newspaper upon a firmer basis before issuing the regular num- 
bers upon the dates announced in the title. 

The history of journalism in Ontario county was thought to have 
proved that but two contemporary newspapers could maintain an exist- 
ence. Several journals had had a painful birth, a troubled existence, 
and an early death. Notwithstanding this history of newspaper calami- 
ties, George D. A. Bridgman, in the year already named, came to Can- 
andaigua and fearlessly established the Ontario County Journal. Not 
one promise of help had been made the editor. The first edition was 
struck off without a single name upon the subscription list; yet at the 
end of the first year the paper had eight hundred bona fide paying sub- 
scribers, and the Ontario County Journal was upon a firm, paying basis. 

The first office of publication was in the second story of the Hubbell 
block, on the west side of Main street, at the point where the street is 
crossed by the Central- Hudson road. The rooms were those now 
occupied by Crandall Brothers, photographers. 


The Journal was originally an Independent Republican paper. A 
change occurred, however, within the year, when it took an advanced 
stand toward radical Republicanism. That position has ever since been 
zealously maintained. At no time in its history has the Journal stepped 
aside to espouse factionalism, or relaxed its vigorous fight for the tenets 
of its party. 

The Journal has twice changed its form. Started as a folio seven 
column paper, it changed June ii, 1875, to an eight column paper, 
and July 30, 1880, changed to its present form, with nine columns to 
the page. 

In the year 1879, when the McKechnie block, occupying the corner 
of Main and Niagara streets, was being erected, arrangements were 
entered into by which a special building should be made for the Jour- 
nal. The work of construction was adapted to the end in view, and, as 
a result, the Journal has occupied since the year 1880 the most con- 
veniently arranged and appointed office in Ontario county. 

In May, 1886, Mr. Bridgman sold the Journal \o William G. David, 
who had previously been connected with the Oneida Dispatch. Mr. 
David had desired to secure control of the Lyons Republican, a paper 
published at his home, and, accordingly, when in September, 1887, he 
was able to purchase that paper, he sold the Journal to its former editor, 
Mr. Bridgeman. 

The paper was thus again continued under its original proprietor un- 
til in July, 1 89 1, Mr. Bridgman desiring to lay aside the task which had 
absorbed the energy of his life, sold the paper again, this time to the 
present editors and proprietors, Edwin P. Gardner and William H. 
Hamlin, both of Canandaigua. 

The Journal, in their hands, has increased in circulation until there 
are now over two thousand names upon the mailing list. The adver- 
tising department, with increased tariff, has been extended almost to 
its limit. The job department of the paper has had an unusual advance, 
the books showing nearly twice as much business done during the year 
1892 as in any single year preceding. 

As has been said before, the Journal is always radically, a non- fac- 
tional Republican paper. It never pauses to consider the ultimate re- 
sults financially, but, believing in the eternal justness of Republican 
principles, it at all times advocates them with vigor. 


Published Friday morning of each week, the Journal has the oppor- 
tunity of carrying to its readers later news than is contained in any 
other local paper, and places that news before the eyes of its subscribers 
at a time when the agricultural classes, who form a large number of its 
readers, have most convenient leisure for its perusal. 

Referring briefly to other newspaper publications which have had an 
existence in the county seat, we may mention The Republican, a 
weekly paper started by T. M. Barnum in 1824. Its life, however, was 
quite brief. 

The Clay Club, a campaign paper, was printed at Canandaigua in 
1844, and continued a short time. 

TJie Seminarian was the name of a monthly journal started it 185 i, 
and, as indicated by its title, was devoted mainly to the interests of the 
seminary then in operation in the village. 



THE original town of Seneca was composed of township 9 and the 
south half of township 10, range i,of the Phelps and Gorham tract; 
also so much of the " Gore " as was east of the same and which lay be- 
tween the old and new pre-emption lines. From this the town of Ge- 
neva was set off October ii, 1 872, and embraced "All that part of the 
town of Seneca lying east of the west line of the first tier of township 
lots next west of the old pre-emption line," or, all that part of the old 
town of Seneca which was in the gore, and the eastern tier of lots in 
townships 9 and 10. 

The history of this town has a peculiar interest, and forms a record 
without parallel in any other of the civil divisions of Ontario county. 
However, it is difficult to separate the history of the town from that of 
the corporate village, yet we may mention the names of some of the 
early settlers of the town without reference to particular location, and 


later treat of the history of the village as a separate municipal organi- 
zation, devoting to it the greater attention, for here have taken place 
many of the most important events in connection with the history of the 
Genesee country. 

Gleaning information from all sources, we may mention among the 
pioneers of the town Jerome Loomis, whose settlement in the northwest 
portion was made in 1788. He was a survivor of the Revolution and 
a man of influence in the new country. About the same time came 
Major Sanford Williams, Phineas Stevens, William Ansley, a Pennsyl- 
vanian, made an improvement in the south part of the town. Other 
pioneers and early settlers whose names can be recalled, but the date of 
whose location in the town cannot be accurately determined, were John 
Scoon, Thomas Huie.the latter having been in service during the War of 
1812, thus gaining the title of "Major"; Thomas McKelvie, James 
Barnes, Cornelius Roberts, Benjamin Cromwell, the latter being a pioneer 
tanner at " Cromwell's Hollow " ; Aaron, Hugh and Archibald Black, 
James Armstrong, William Price, John Mclntyre, Adam Fisher, George 
Wilkie, Christopher Richardson, Mathew Bennett, and others whose 
names are now lost, and all of whom contributed with their families to 
increase the town's population, and who were also identified with the 
improvement and development of this fertile region. 

The reader will of course understand that the persons herein named 
were pioneers of Seneca, not Geneva, but in that portion of the old town 
which was set ofif and separately organized in 1872. This mention 
naturally leads us to make a record of the organization of the youngest 
town of Ontario county, though at the same time the most populous, 
the first town meeting of which was held at the Franklin House, March 
4. 1873, when these officers were elected : Supervisor, John J. Doolittle • 
town clerk, Charles Kipp; justices, George W. French and Martin H. 
Smith ; assessors, George R. Long and William H. Gambee ; overseer 
of poor, Wm. H. Dox ; commissioner of highways, Samuel S. Graves ; 
collector, Edmund S- Spendlow. 

In this connection, also, may properly be given the succession of in- 
cumbents of the chief office of the town, viz.: Supervisor, John J. Doo- 
little, 1873-75; Abraham Robinson, 1876-77; William Slosson, 1878- 
8b; Charles A. Steele, 1881 ; O, J. Cammann Rose, 1882-84; Charles 


A.Steele. 1885-86; E. Bayard Webster, 1887; Philip N.Nicholas, 
1888-91 ; Walter Clark, 1892-93. 

The present principal town officers of Geneva are : Walter A. Clark, 
supervisor; John W. Mellen, town clerk; Stephen Coursey, D. W. 
Colvin and Robert Bilsborrow, assessors ; George W. Nicholas, William 
P. O'Malley, Edward N, Squires and John G. Farwell, justices of the 

Among the prominent settlers of rather an early day was Judge John 
Nicholas, who came to Geneva in 1801 and contracted for the purchase of 
a large farm at the White Springs, and with him was his brother-in-law, 
who contracted far a large farm in Seneca county at the northeast cor- 
ner of Seneca Lake. These two gentlemen with their families and slaves 
emigrated from Virginia in 1803 and settled down on their respective 
farms, both becoming actively engaged in agricultural pursuits and in 
raising and improving the breed of sheep. They were both very prom- 
inent and influential men in this community. Mr. Rose was three times 
elected to the Legislature, was a member of the constitutional conven- 
tion in 1 82 1 and for six years a member of Congress. He died No- 
vember 24, 1835. John Nicholas was appointed first judge of Ontario 
county March ii, 1805, and served as such until March, 18 19, and was 
a member of the State Senate 1806-9. He died December" 31, 1819. 

Cephas Hawkes, who with his brothers Eleazer and Joseph were early 
settlers in Phelps, previous to the War of 181 2 erected a large woolen 
factory at the White Springs on the farm of Judge Nicholas ; bought 
fine wool of the Wadsworths and others; sold cloth at from $5 to $12 
per yard, and made money rapidly, but after the war low prices pre- 
vailed and consequent failure succeeded. He removed to Michigan. For 
many years a grist mill was operated at this place, but some years ago 
it was destroyed by fire, and the enterprise was abandoned. 

The Village of Geneva. 

On the 4th of April, 1806, the Legislature of the State passed an act 
•' to vest certain powers and privileges in the freeholders and inhabi- 
tants of the ' village of Geneva,' in the county of Ontario," which act was 
the first authoritative recognition of the existence of a village of that 


name, and here, ordinarily, the history of the body corporate and pohtic 
would naturally begin. However, as early as the year 1788 the village 
of Geneva had a distinct and positive existence, and the name by which 
it is now known was then in use, first applied during that year, and, it 
is supposed, so given in allusion to Geneva, a municipality in Switzer- 
land. The tradition is that the name was given by a Swiss engineer in 
the employ of Charles Williamson, but inasmuch as Williamson had no 
interest in this region until the fall of 1791, and never saw the Genesee 
country until he made a flying visit to it in February, 1792, and there 
are a number of documents yet in existence bearing date October and 
November, 1788, in which the name of Geneva is used, the fallacy of 
the tradition is apparent. Two of these papers, a letter of Dr. Caleb 
Benton to William Walker, October 15, 1788, and a letter of Enos 
Boughton, November 7, 1788, can be found pasted in the back part of 
Vol. I, Village Records. In addition there are contracts of Wm. 
Walker with John Decker Robison ; Hickox, receipt for goods stored 
for the winter, and dated 1788 ; certificates of Benj. Allen and Eleazer 
Lindsley ; letter of Major Ab'm Hardenberg to Gov. Ch'nton, 1789; 
map of Genesee lands, 1790, and two journals, 1791, all using the name 
of Geneva for this place. 

In noting the history of this old village we may go back still further 
and to a time when the first inhabited village here was known as Kan- 
adesaga, the capital of the Senecas, the home of their famous king 
Say-en quer agh ta, and one of the most important Indian villages in 
the whole Iroquois country. This Indian village was located about two 
miles northwesterly from the foot of Seneca Lake, just outside the 
corporate limits of the village of Geneva, and is now in part occupied 
by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1756, as 
is fully narrated in a preceding chapter, General William Johnson 
caused to be built the first structure in this region in which civilized 
white man took a part, and this was the stockade or palisade fortifi- 
cation and block houses to be used by the Senecas and English in 
defending themselves against an attack by the French. However, there 
was no permanent occupancy of the fortress, or of Kanadesaga, by the 
whites during the period of the last French war, but its erection had 
the positive effect of cementing the friendship of the Senecas of this 


region to the English cause, which action was a highly important factor 
in the British interest in the success finally achieved by that power. 

At a still later day, during the early years of the Revolution, Colonel 
John Butler, in command of the English tories at Niagara, caused to 
be erected within the limits of the present village of Geneva a barracks 
and storehouse, which stood near the canal bridge and which were 
occupied as a place of rendezvous and military depot in the British 
interest. From this point there were sent out various marauding and 
destroying parties, until the depredations and merciless slaughters per- 
petrated by the bloodthirsty savages and their no less inhuman white 
companions could no longer be borne in silence. It was from here that 
the Indians marched to the bloody battle of Oriskany, and with their 
English allies to the bloody scenes of Wyoming, Cherry Valley, Fort 
Freeland and other places on the frontiers of New York and Penn- 
sylvania. To avenge the outrages and punish the Indians, General 
Sullivan invaded this country, burned every habitation and other 
building, and destroyed the growing crops and vast orchards which 
abounded in the region. The Seneca village of Kanadesaga with all its 
appurtenances was dcitroyed in September, 1779. Butler's buildings 
were also destroyed at the same time, and the same is noted in the 
journals of some of the officers, and recorded on the map of the surveyor 
who accompanied the army as " Tory Butler's Quarters." 

The name Kanadesaga was bestowed by the Indians not only upon 
their " new settlement village," but also upon the creek, the lake, the 
outlet, and at a subsequent day it was transferred to Geneva After 
the destruction of the village by General Sullivan in 1779, no permanent 
settlement was ever made at that place, although it was temporarily 
occupied at different times by small bands of Indians. After the close 
of the Revolutionary War, when traders and speculators began to pene- 
trate into the country, the focus of operations was " under the hill," on 
present Exchange street, at and south of the east end of Seneca street. 
Here a trading establishment sprang up, and it was here that the cabins 
of the Indians became located and all operations between them and the 
white people were carried on This place was the headquarters of the 
notorious " Leasee Company," and here they had their trading estab- 
lishment with Dr. Caleb Benton, at its head, and which was located 



" under the hill where the bluff approaches the lake," or near the foot 
of " Colt's Hill" or present Washington street. It was at this point 
that the " Leasees " carried on their operations against the State and 
for a long time prevented any successful negotiations by the State with 
the Indians, freely supplying them with provisions and liquor, keeping 
the Indians in a continual state of intoxication, severely threatening 
and ordering off the ground Peter Ryckman and Colonel Seth Reed, 
who were using their influence in favor of the State, and using even an 
armed force to prevent the Indians from going to the treaty. Dr. Benton 
and Col. McKinstry having from twenty to thirty riflemen under arms 
for about twenty- four hours for that purpose. It was here that John 
Livingston, Dr. Benton and others held a treaty with the Indians, 
November 30, 1787, by which they obtained for themselves and associ- 
ates of the " Leasee Company " the lease for 999 years of all the lands 
of the Indians in the State. It was here that the first permanent occu- 
pation of the place was made, the early settler being Elark Jennings, 
whose unfinished log cabin, the first tavern in the place, was found by 
the committee of exploration of Jemima Wilkinson's followers in the 
early summer of 1788. This tavern was located on the west side of 
Exchange street, north of the foot of Washington street. This was the 
place where the traders, speculators, surveyors and others gathered and 
formed the nucleus for the settlement of the new country. This place 
became known as Kanadesaga, while the old locality was designated as 
the Old Castle. The distinctive difierence was well known and fully 
recognized by the early settlers, and is fully evidenced by many docu- 
ments yet in existence. The map of the traverse and survey of Seneca 
Lake, now in possession of Cayuga County Historical Society, Auburn, 
N. Y., made in August, 1789, by Captain John L. Hardenbergh, one 
of the surveyors of the Military Tract, places " Cannadasego " on the 
lake shore south of the mouth of Cemetery Creek, the very spot afore- 
mentioned, and thus fully corroborates and positively settles the place 
of the first settlement at Geneva. 

The Indian village of Kashong, situate on the lake shore on Kashong 
Creek, about seven miles south of Geneva, has been alluded to in an- 
other place, but as the locality was intimately connected with the early 
history of Geneva, it may be stated here that under date of August 15, 


1789, Capt. Hardenbergh notes on the above map the " Frenchman's 
house " as being " 18 chains south of Sawmill Creek." The Frenchman 
alluded to was Dominique De Bartzch, a French trader, who occupied 
the place with Joseph Poudre, the latter married to an Indian woman, 
and receiving a grant of land at that place from the State. Kashong 
Creek, in consequence of a saw-mill having been erected on it by Dr. 
Caleb Benton, was called Sawmill Creek. 

In 1788 the Widner family settled in the village, locating where 
afterwards stood Tillman's tannery, near the northeast corner of Ex- 
change and Castle streets. According to the reminiscences of John 
Widner the inhabitants then were Peter Bartle, Elark Jennings and 
Horatio Jones. The latter was living in a log house covered with bark. 
In 1 78 1 he was captured by the Indians, adopted by them, and having 
learned their language, was an interpreter in after years. In this settle- 
ment he was a trader, having a small stock of goods. His son, William 
W. Jones, born on this site in 1786, is said to have been the first white 
child born west of Utica. Elark Jennings kept tavern in a log house at 
the foot of the hill, as noted above. Peter Bartle was also a trader. 
Herman H. Bogert commenced the practice of law in 1797, was a large 
land operator and a prominent man. Ezra Patterson was an early set- 
tler in the village, a tavern keeper, whose house stood about where the 
Mansion House is on Seneca street, and in which the first court in On- 
tario county was held in 1793. He was an early supervisor of the 
town, and in 1806 a member of the Stkte Legislature. 

Among the other early inhabitants of the village were Major Ben- 
jamin Barton and Joseph Annin, a carpenter named Butler, Dr. Will- 
iam Adams, the first physician, Gilbert R. Berry and Asa Ransom, 
silversmiths. Mr. Widner also relates that the early settlers near the 
" Old Castle " were Jerome Loomis, Col. Seth Reed, Sanford Will- 
iams, Isaac MuUender, and families named Crittenden. Solomon War- 
ner, Ringer and others, while further south lived pioneer Phineas 
Stevens. Jonathan Whitney was also an early settler at the Old 

Although a subject which is fully treated in an earlier chapter, we 
may here briefly state that Geneva was supposed to be a part of the 
Phelps and Gorham purchase, and for the purpose of carrying out his 


plans Oliver Phelps arrived at the place on June 2, 1788, and here he 
proposed to treat with the Indians for the purchase of their title to the 
land. Here also he proposed founding a city, but the fact was soon 
made apparent that, according to the survey, Geneva or Kanadesaga 
was east of the pre-emption line, hence on the land claimed by the 
lessee company. Mr. Phelps thereupon moved to Canandaigua and 
established his land ofifice at that place. After the withdrawal of the 
proprietary in the fall of 1788,* Geneva became a village of some note 
and was the center of operations for land speculators, explorers, the 
lessee company and its agents, and the principal seat of the Indian 
trade. Horatio Jones lived in a log house on the lake shore and had a 
small stock of goods ; Asa Ransom occupied a log hut and made Indian 
trinkets ; Elark Jennings kept the log tavern, while the lessees had a 
larger framed hotel, yet roofed with bark, which stood near the lake 
shore about where the high land is nearest the water. Dr. Benton oc- 
cupied the tavern. There was also a cluster of log houses along the 
low ground near the lake. The geographical locations were designated 
" hill " and " bottom." Peter Ryckman and Peter Bartle ; Col Seth 
Reed was at the Old Castle site, and Dominique De Bartzch, whose 
chief seat was at Kashong, was a frequent visitor to the settlement. 

It may here be stated that most of the improvements and settlements 
made on the village tract previous to 1793 were accomplished under 
the direction of Reed and Ryckman and the lessee company. It was 
here also that the company conducted their negotiations with the In- 
dians which resulted in the historic "long lease;" and here, too, the 
lessees and others held their meeting on November 25, 1793, which 

* The following historical paper, yet in existence, is of much historical importance : 

Memorandum of Articles left at Geneva in care of Hickox, viz. : 

4 Tierces of Beef, 500 lbs. each ?,ooo 

15 Bbl. of do. 300 each 4i50o 

Package do. 150 

Total - 6,650 

4 Blankets, 7 Empty Barrills, 2 half Do., i cag, 4 Bags, 1 Horse Collar, i Saddle and 3 Bridle, 3 
Tin kettle with covers, i Do. Jack, i small rope, 2 pr. Horse Shoes, 2 axes, i Brass cock', 2 Candle- 
sticks, part of a cask of nails, g Tea cups and lO Saucers, 1 Tin pan, 6 Tea spoons, 6 Earthen 
plates, 8 Knives, 10 Forks, i Coffee Pot, i Iron Tea kettle, i pewter platter, i spider, i Iron Kettle. 
Rec'd the key of the Store containing the aforesaid Articles and provisions I promise to ren- 
der an acc't of to William Walker, as Agent for Messrs. Gorham, Phelps and Company on 
Demand. HiCCOCK. 

Geneva, Nov'r 24, 1788. 


they intended to result in the formation of a new state. This scheme 
failed, being defeated through the vigilant efforts of Ontario county 
citizens, and in the same year the first court in this county was held in 
the village. Reed and Ryckman were the owners of 16,000 acres of 
land in the gore, and the south part of the village has been built up on 
that tract. Seth Reed became the owner of 2,000 acres north of this 
tract, while to the east lay the Military tract on which the northeast 
part of Geneva has been built. However, Reed and Ryckman received 
but little benefit from their vast tract, the same passing to Leonard M. 
Cutting in 1791, thence to various owners, but the titles becoming 
valueless after the running of the new pre-emption line, the recognized 
owner, under whose administration the village was in fact founded was 
Charles Williamson, representative of the Pulteney Associates. 

As above indicated, the village of Geneva may be considered in three 
parts. The patent granted to Reed and Ryckman, commonly called 
their reservation, comprised all the land in theTvillage of Geneva south 
of what is known as the Reed and Ryckman line, which commenced at 
Seneca Lake, about two rods north of the mouth of Cemetery Creek, 
and ran due west on a line two chains north of Seneca street, as said 
street was originally laid out (it being then four rods wide and formerly 
called Genesee street), and continuing on in a due west course and 
along the north boundary of the Pulteney Street burial ground and 
through the center of High street to the old pre-emption line, and is 
the base line of all the original surveys of the village. The reservation 
was bounded on the east by Seneca Lake, on the west by the old pre- 
emption line, and extended south in Yates county, comprising 16,000 
acres of land. 

The patent of Colonel Seth Reed's location comprised all that part of 
the village lying north of the Reed and Ryckman line, between the old 
pre-emption line on the west and the Military line on the east, and em- 
braced that part of the town of Geneva almost to the present south line 
of the town of Piielps. It comprised 2,000 acres of land. 

All that part of the village lying east of Seth Reed's location, and 
bounded on the west by the Military line which started at Seneca Lake 
at the east end of the Reed and Ryckman line, and run north 3^ 45' 
east, crossing the west side of present Exchange street at Castle Creek 


and continuing on to Lake Ontario. Thi.s comprised the northeast 
part of the village and town, and falling within the Military tract was 
granted by the State to different soldiers of the Revolution. 

As has been stated in another place these lands were finally found to 
be within the cession to Massachusetts, and the New York State grants 
were void, and so recognized by the State, who granted compensation 
lands in other parts of the State for the loss of title. "^ 

Geneva being located at the northwest corner of Seneca Lake, it may 
here be stated, that the only thorough survey of the lake was made by 
triangulation during the summers from 187S to '83, under the direction 
of Prof. E A. Fuertes, Dean of the department of Civil Engineering, 
Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. The following is a summary : 

Seneca Lake. 

Place. Width. Depth. 

Watkins 5.250 ft. variable 

8^ miles from 7-750 560 ft 

17 " " * . 12,000 580 ft 

25i " " 13.000 438 ft 

Geneva 10,000 variable 

Total length along axis 34 miles. Greatest depth — 618 feet, 12.1 
miles from Watkins or 1.5 miles north of North Hector Landing 

Greatest width — 3.12 miles opposite Dresden, which is 22.7 miles 
from Watkins. Here the deepest point is 500 feet below water. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that the length of Seneca lake is 
34 miles.. This, of course, is in a direct straight line. The route of 
Sullivan's army in 1779 along the east shore of Seneca Lake, as 
measured by the surveyor who accompanied the army, was about 35 
miles. At a very early day, and before there was any settlement 
of moment at present Watkins, the head of navigation was some three 
or four miles up the inlet at Catherinestown, so named in consequence 
of its being the residence of Catherine Montour, a prominent Indian 
character, sometimes called Queen Catherine, the site of which is now 
known as Havana. To this point the early sloop made regular trips, 
and it was commonly called the head of the lake, and from this fact the 
length of the lake came to be called (in round numbers) 40 miles. 


notwithstanding the measurement of 35 miles by the surveyor of Sulli- 
van's army was well known. 

In a preceding chapter will be found an account of the life and work 
of Captain Williamson, wherefore in the present connection little need 
be said further than to record the more important of his acts relating 
to the early history of Geneva. He first visited the village in February, 
1792, and found himself confronted with many obstacles, for everything 
which was British met with disfavor from the settlers, especially those 
who had served in the Revolutionary War. In 1793 Williamson was in" 
Geneva much of the time, looking up his interest in that quarter. He 
took possession of the Reed and Ryckman Reservation and caused the 
northern part of that tract to be surveyed into village and out lots, the 
work being done by Joseph Annin, whose map stands to this day as 
the original reference map of the titles to that part of the village. John 
Livingston, having become the owner of the title of Reed and Ryck- 
man, brought an ejectment suit against Williamson, but in 1794 or '5 
the court in the city of New York decided in favor of Williamson, John 
Cuyler, of Albany, being his attorney. 

Seth Reed's location was surveyed and plotted by Jacob Hart in 
May, 1790, and the map still stands as the reference for land titles in 
that tract. Williamson allowed the titles which had emanated from 
the original grantee to stand, but became the owner of many such by 

In 1794 Williamson began preparations for extensive improvements, 
but not until his titles were confirmed was anything substantial really 
done. By the village survey Main street became the principal thor- 
oughfare, while the laterals were South (St. Clair), Middle (Hamilton), 
and North (Washington) streets. Along Main street the first and most 
important improvements were made in 1796. At the south end of the 
street a fine country house was begun, and completed the next year; a 
large and convenient tavern was erected (now a part of the Hygienic 
Institute), and about the same time a sloop of forty tons burden was 
built and launched on Seneca Lake. This craft was intended to run 
as a packet boat between Geneva and Catherinestown (Havana), and 
was the first vessel of any size built on Seneca Lake. A copy of the 
first newspaper published in Geneva is in the Reynolds Library, 


Rochester, N. Y. It was established by Williamson, published by 
Lucius Carey, dated November 24, 1796, and called the 0)itario County 
Gazette and Western Chronicle. 

Although plotted on the map of 1793, Main street, on the hill, was 
not laid out and regulated until 1796, and it was the intention of Will- 
iamson that no buildings should ever be erected on the east side of the 
street, thus perpetuating a free and unobstructed view of the lake, and 
it is a misfortune that this original intention was not strictly adhered to. 
Many other large and well finished houses were completed during the 
year 1796. The house at the south end of Main street, known as the 
Mile Point House, cost $4,228.84. James Barden, who had leased the 
Dr. Benton saw mill on Kashong Creek, supplied the lumber, his bill for 
the same being $425.45, and as early as December 13, 1794, David 
Bryant, of Geneva, received $500 in payment for 100,000 brick fur- 
nished by him for this house. The Mile Point house was a large and 
spacious mansion, standing on the triangular piece of ground at the 
south end of Main street, fronting to the north and commanding a fine 
view of the street. It was demolished more than sixty years ago, prev- 
ious to which it had the reputation of being " haunted," and was a 
terror to many of the people. 

The Geneva Hotel, above mentioned, was an institution of more than 
ordinary importance. Its construction began in the spring and was 
finished in the fall. It fronted on the large open park and was in all 
respects an imposing building, and one the reputation of which extended 
throughout the State, and was maintained for more than half a century. 
Its first landlord was Thomas Powell, whom Captain Williamson se- 
lected, and who contributed much to its early success. At this hotel 
was a general rendezvous for the stage lines and wagons carrying mer- 
chandise from the east to the west. It was also a famous resort for all 
travelers, and many public officers have found entertainment and rest 
within its comfortable walls. Wm. Powell succeeded Thomas Powell 
as landlord. The old house at last fulfilled its mission, but still main- 
tains a quasi existence as a hotel, being a part of the popular Sanita- 
rium now owned and managed by Dr. A. B. Smith. The cost of the 
building was $9,577-39, the bill of David Abbey for carpenter work 
being $4,538.47, of John Woods, mason, $77490, and of James Barden 



for lumber, $1,411.40. Captain Williamson had two rooms in this 
hotel appropriated to himself, and he took care that Landlord Powell 
did justice to the establishnient and his guests, so that as regarded 
provisions, liquors, beds and stabling there were few inns in America 
equal to this hotel. 


The foregoing is a good representation of the old Geneva Hotel as it 
appeared in its glory many years ago. It shows the original wooden 
building in front, as erected by Captain Williamson in 1796, and the 
brick addition in the rear built in 1828 by William Tillman. It fronts 
on the public square or Pulteney Park, the addition in the rear on Wash- 
ington street, comprises about one half of the building as shown in the 
cut. The engraving, having been made many years ago, does not show 
the beautiful condition of the parkas it now is It has been owned and 
occupied a number of years by A. B. Smith, M. D., as a hygienic insti- 
tute, a large brick addition on the rear on Washington street having 
been erected by him in 1882. The older buildings have been altered, 
thoroughly renovated and greatly improved, and a fourth story added 
in 1886. In fact Dr. Smith is constantly making improvements. 

John Maude, an English gentleman, who made a hurried exploration 
of the new country in 1800, says : " Geneva is situate at the northwest 
extremity of Seneca Lake. It is divided into Upper and Lower Town. 
The first establishments were on the margin of the lake, as best adapted 
to business ; but Captain Williamson, struck with the peculiar beauty 
of the elevated plain which crowns the high bank of the lake, and the 
many advantages which it possessed as a site for a town, beg^n here 


to lay out his building lots parallel with and facing the lake. These lots 
are three quarters of an acre deep, and half an acre in front, and valued 
at $375 per lot. One article in the agreement with Captain William- 
son is that no buildings shall be erected on the east side of the street, 
that a view of the lake may be kept open. Those who purchase a lot 
have also the option of purchasing such land as lays between their lot 
and the lake — a convenience and advantage which I suppose few will 
forego — the quantity not being very great, and consisting principally 
of the declivity of the bank, which, for the most part is not so steep as 
to unfit it for pasturage or gardens." 

The launching of the sloop, which took place the latter part of 1796, 
drew together an assemblage of several thousand people, and no cir- 
cumstance having before occurred to draw together the different settle- 
ments, the people composing them were not a little surprised to find 
themselves in a country containing so many inhabitants, and these so 
respectable. Natives of every State in the Union and of every nation 
of Europe, were to be found in the assemblage, all ambitious of the one 
object, the aggrandizement of the Genesee country. The sloop was 
named Alexander, built by Brown & Sheffield, and cost $2,304.28. 
About 1800 the name was changed to Seneca. The following interest- 
ing incident shows how important events sometimes flow from a rrifling 
circumstance. The launching of the sloop being an unusual event, the 
people came from far and near to witness it, and among them was 
Major James Cochran, then a young man. At night the young people 
wanted a dance, and having a fiddle young Cochran, who was an ama- 
teur performer, was pressed into service. In commendation of his 
achievement a gentleman remarked at the supper table, "He is fit for 
Congress," and the hint being favorably received by the company, he 
was nominated and elected to a seat in Congress from the district which 
then included the whole of New York west of Albany. So, says Major 
Cochran, "I fiddled my way into Congress." 

During the year 1796 the little village was provided with a water 
supply, by the formation of a company, followed by the laying of 
pipes from the White Springs, about one and one-half miles southwest 
of Pulteney Park The pipes were of logs, ten to twelve inches in diam- 
eter with a twoiinch bore through which water could be supplied to 


each house in the village. The Geneva Water Works Company was 
incorporated in 1803, which will be more fully referred to later on in 
this chapter. Ten years of Captain Williamson's efforts increased Ge- 
neva to a population of 325 in 1806, there being then thirty five houses, 
besides stores and public buildings, while a mill was by this time in oper- 
aiion in the near vicinity and a steamboat was plying on Seneca Lake 
Also during the same year Colonel James Bogert first published the 
Expositor, from which it is learned that the merchants and business 
men who advertised their wares were A. Dox, Septimus Evans, Wil- 
liams, Samuel Warner, Reuben Bordwell, Foster Barnard, James Reese, 
Richard M. Stoddard and E. H. Gordon. About 1797 a person from 
Scotland, John Mofifat, established at Geneva a respectable brewery 
which Captain Williamson says " promises to destroy in the neighbor- 
hood the baneful use of spirituous liquors." This brewery was located 
on the lake shore at Mile Point. 

Incorporation of the Village. 

Another ten years witnessed still greater advance in municipal prog- 
ress, and within that time Geneva passed beyond the stage of hamlet 
and became an incorporated village. The first act of the Legislature of 
the State of New York in relation to the village of Geneva, is an act en- 
titled " An Act to vest certain powers and privileges in the freeholders 
and inhabitants in the Village of Geneva, in the County of Ontario," 
passed April 4, 1 806. 

This act was afterwards amended, but there is no record left of any 
proceedings under these acts, until after the passage of " An Act for 
the Incorporation of the Village of Geneva in the County of Ontario," 
passed June 8, 18 12, the record of the first action being as follows : 

"At a meeting of the Freeholders and itihabitants of the Village of 
Geneva, held at Powell's Hotel in said village, according to the form of 
the act in such case made and provided, on the third Monday in May, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirteen, Abra- 
ham Dox, Herman H. Bogert and John Hall (Trustees of said Village 
appointed pursuant to the act of the 4th of April, 1806, and the act 
amending the same,) being present did preside as inspectors, the follow- 
officers were elected, to wit : 


" Foster Barnard, Herman H. Bogert, Abraham Dox, Samuel Colt 
and David Cook, Trustees for 1813. James Rees, Treasurer. David 
■Hudson, Clerk. Jabez Pease, Collector. David Naglee, Jonathan 
Doane and Elnathan Noble, Fire Wardens." 

In the present connection the statement may be made that the orig- 
inal village of Geneva, incorporated as above noted, was much less in 
area than at the present time. The act of incorporation has been the 
subject of frequent amendment, but the most important action was that 
taken by the Legislature in granting a charter, which act was passed 
March 3, 1871, and by which Geneva was advanced another step in 
municipal progress and became a village of the first class. The bound- 
aries of the village were extended to their present limits by the act of 
the Board of Supervisors, passed May 27, 1890; and as the village 
within its present limits is the subject of this chapter a description of the 
same is appropriate : " Beginning at a point on the Waterloo road 
where the present north bounds of the Village intersect the new Pre- 
emption line, running thence north along the said new Pre-emption line 
1,008 feet to a point in the center of the highway ; thence in a straight 
line due west to a point in the center of the Carter road, so called ; 
thence southerly along the center line of the said Carter road to the cen- 
ter line of North street (being the present north bounds of the corpora- 
tion) ; thence westerly along the center line of North street, and the 
center line of the highway which is the continuation of North street, to 
the center of the Castle road at the northeast corner of the New York 
State Experimental Station ; thence south along the center line of said 
Castle road to the present west bounds of the corporation, at or near 
the residence of William Smith." 

The act to revise and consolidate the laws in relation to the village of 
Geneva passed March 3, 1871, and the several amendments thereto 
have been the most important events in its municipal history, as radical 
changes in former methods of local government were made. That act 
provided for the election of the president, six trustees (two for each 
ward), three assessors, clerk, collector, treasurer, and police justice, by 
the qualified electors of the village. The Board of Trustees was author- 
ized to appoint all minor civil officers of the village. Under the provis- 
ions of an act passed in 1882, there was constituted a Board of Police 



Commissioners, in whom should be vested the necessary power and 
authority to regulate and control all affairs pertaining to the police of 
the village. Under this act Samuel H. Ver Planck, Francis O. Mason, 
and Philip N. Nicholas comprised the first board. The Geneva Ceme- 
tery Commissioners were constituted as such by the Legislature by an 
act passed in 1872, and clothed with greater powers than formerly pos- 
sessed by them. 

Such, in brief, is the character of the village government ag it now 
exists. However interesting for reference might be a complete succes- 
sion of village officers from the date of first incorporation/the same 
cannot be done for the reason that previous to the granting/of the vil- 
lage charter in 1825, the trustees acted in concert and without a presid- 
ing officer. However, following custom, we may furnish the succes- 
sion of presidents from 1825 to the present time, which is as follows. 

Presidents of the Board of Trustees, appointed each year by the 
board : 

1825—6, George Goundry. 
1827-8. Richard M. Bayly. 

1829, George Goundry. 

1830, William Tippetts. 

1831, No record of any meeting 

except Charter Election. 
1832-3-4, Lansing B. Misner. 
1835-6, David Hudson. 
1837, William W. Watson, from 

May 9. 
1837, John L. Dox, from June 5. 
1838-9, David Hudson. 

1840, William E. Sill. 

1 841, William W. Watson. 

1842, Sanford R. Hall. 

1843, Alfred A. Holly. 
1844-5-6-7-8, John M. Bradford. 

1849, Luther Kelly. 

1850, Joseph S. Lewis. 

1 85 1, David S. Hall. 

1852, Samuel M. Morrison. 
1853-4, Thomas Crawford. 

1855, George Barkley, resigns 

July 2. 
1855-6, George Merrill, from July 
2, 1855. 

Charles J. Folger. 

Thomas Hillhouse. 

John M. Page. 

George W. Nicholas. 
1 861-2, J. Clark Rogers. 
1863-4-5, WilHam P. Hay ward. 
1866, Sidney S. Mallory. 

George B. Dusinberre. 

Samuel H. Ver Planck. 

Sidney S. Mallory. 

James M. Soverhill. 





Presidents of the Village, elected at annual charter election, for the 
term of two years : 

April 1 87 1 to April 1873. Samuel Southworth. 

April 1873 to April 1875 George S. Conover. 

April 1875 to April 1877. Matthew Wilson. 

April 1877 to April 1879. George S. Conover. 

April 1879 to April 1881. William B. Dunning. 

April 1 88 1 to April 1882. William B^ Dunning. 

April 1882 to April 1883. Matthew Wilson, appointed April 

18, 1882. 

April 1883 to April 1885. Matthew Wilson. 

April 1885 Stephen H. Parker, resigned June 

30, 1885. 

July 7, 1885 to Feb. i, Roscoe G. Chase, appointed to fill 

1886. vacancy. 

Feb. I, 1886 to April 1889. William B. Dunning. 

April 1889 to April 1891. William B. Dunning. 

April 1 891 to April 1893. Daniel F. Attwood. 

April 1893. Millard F. Blaine 

Ofificers for 1893 (elective). Millard F. Blaine, president; Thomas 
W. Hawkins, George F. Ditmars, trustees first ward ; James Hill, James 
R. Vance, trustees second ward ; Daniel E. Moore, James Taney, trus- 
tees third ward; Wm. A. Smith, clerk; M. S. Sanford, treasurer; 
Delos W. Colvin, Stephen Coursey, Thomas Henson, assessors ; John 
M. Smelzer, police justice. 

At the time of organization Geneva had, become a village of much 
importance among the municipalities of Western New York, and had, 
among other properties and institutions, a system of water works, a fire 
department, three churches (Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, and Epis- 
copal), four schools, a printing office, a good hotel, a large number of 
stores and shops, about one hundred and thirty houses, and a total 
population of about eight hundred persons. The center of trade and 
business at this time and for several years afterward was on the "hill," 
principally along Main street, the park being the central point, while all 
business and other enterprises extended in various directions therefrom. 
For many years this part of the village held supremacy, and it was only 


when the locaUty became crowded that the " bottom " vicinity assumed 
any local importance. In 1824 a large hotel was built at the foot of 
Seneca street (the present Franklin House), and business gradually 
moved in that direction ; and still later, with the construction of the 
Auburn and Rochester railroad, Seneca and Exchange streets gained a 
complete ascendency over the " hill " region, and rapidly drew trade 
from the latter to the former locality. However, the old landmarks of 
the hill have been preserved to a considerable extent, and in passing 
along Main street, south of Seneca, the observer is at once struck with 
the peculiar and generally old architectural appearance of the buildings, 
which were constructed in " rows," generally two stories in height, and 
according to a mixture of colonial and English styles, the former pre- 

In 18 13 the once famous Geneva Academy was incorporated, and in 
the following year a large schooner, the Robert Troop, was launched 
upon the lake In 18 13, also, the Seneca Lake Navigation Company 
was incorporated, the purpose being to improve and make navigable the 
outlet of Seneca and Cayuga Lakes ; the canal and locks contemplated 
by the act of April 6, 1813, were constructed, bwned, and used by the 
company until 1825, when, under the act of April 20, authorizing the 
Cayuga and Seneca Canal, this enterprise became State property. The 
work was finished in 1828, having eleven locks and eighty- three and 
one half feet lockage The construction of this canal was one of the 
factors in drawing trade from the " hill " to the " bottom." The estab- 
lishment of this and other public enterprises, coupled with the natural 
advantages offered by this locality as a desirable place of abode and 
business, had the effect of increasing population quite rapidly, and the 
year 1820 found Geneva with a population of 1,357; two years later it 
was 1,723. In the latter year the village contained 251 dwellings, 
twenty-six stores, two newspapers and printing offices, a bank, a land 
office, about fifty shops of various kind ; the Geneva Academy, the 
Presbyterian, Episcopal, Dutch Reformed, and M. E. Churches, and 
daily stages coming and leaving in all directions. The newspapers at 
this time were the Gazette and the Palladium, and from an old "file " 
of the latter we learn the names of some of the advertising business men 
of Geneva in 18 16 and 181 7, and also the kind of business conducted, 


as follows : William Tippetts was a general merchant, whose stock con- 
sisted of all kinds of dry goods, dress goods, " lion skins and coatings," 
brandy, spirits and wine, plug tobacco and snuff, glass, crockery and 
hardware, "approved family medicines," and numerous other wares. 
Field & Grannis were general dealers in dry goods, groceries, crockery, 
glass and hardware, boots and shoes, and other good?, all of which they 
" are determined to sell uncommonly low for ready pay," at their store 
two doors north of T. Lowthrop & Co. William Powell had a stock 
similar to those described, and which, ' having been purchased low, he 
has it in his power to sell as cheap as can be purchased in the county." 
In the same manner we may also mention the firm of H. Newton & Co., 
which comprised William, Daniel L and Henry Newton, which was dis- 
solved June 20, i8i6. Mountjoy Bayly advertised to collect claims for 
persons who suffered loss of property during the "late war, " i8i2, and 
made his office in the store of Colt & Bayly. Henry Newton succeeded 
H. Newton & Co , and in May, i8l6, occupied the building on Seneca 
street, formerly the store of Burns & Bros., two doors west of " Church's 
Inn." Norris & Chapman were boot and shoe dealers two doors west 
of the post-office in Seneca street. Smith & Noble kept a general store 
a few doors west of the post-office and opposite Church's Inn. Carter 
& Bannister were local druggists. Hart & Allen were general dealers. 
John Sweeney advertised to pay a premium for Spanish dollars and 
gold coin, also to cash prize tickets in the " Medical Science Lottery 
No. I." Abraham Dox " recommenced " busines in this year at " the 
most reduced prices." Philip Rupert dealt in boots and shoes. A 
" New Establishment " was the copper, tin, and sheet- iron manufactory 
of Lewis Miller & Co., on Seneca street George Hemiup likewise be- 
gan "chairmaking " in the shop " lately occupied by F. Backenstose." 
At the corner of Main street and Canandaigua turnpike (Hamilton 
street) Seth Chapin had a stonecutting and monument works. Wm. 
Hildreth, Root & Co. advertised a mail stage from Geneva to Pittsford. 
In addition we may mention the names of other early merchants of 
Geneva, among whom were Thomas Lowthrop & Co., Darius Bonnel, 
Herrick & Bliss, Carwell & Fitzhugh, Lucius Warner, Wm. Cary, James 
Gerry (brewer), David S. Skaats, J. Van Valkenburgh, Bank of Geneva, 
John Nicholas, J. B. & Robert Rumney, H. Hastings, Wm. S. De Zeng, 

' ^ TOWN OF GENEVA. 273 

David S. Hall, Phineas Prouty, James Carter & Co. The list might be 
continued indefinitely throughout a long period of years, but the fore- 
going mention is thought to be sufficient to bring to mind the names 
of some of the prominent business men of Geneva during the inter- 
esting years of early history. Many of the old names are still pre- 
served, but the pioneers are all gone and new generations have taken 
their places and enlarged upon the original beginnings. As a busi- 
ness locality " the hill " has lost all prominence, yet its substantial 
buildings, well preserved and maintained, are all occupied, many 
of them as dwellings, and others as offices of professional men. 
The old hotel has passed through some changes and enlargements, 
and is now a famous institution, of which futher mention is made in 
this chapter ; the old Bank of Geneva, after a life of many years, 
is now a thing of the past, yet its descent can be traced to the pres- 
ent Geneva National Bank. This is also true of many other of the 
village institutions, each of which had a small and humble beginning, 
and have been gradually improved and enlarged by later generations of 
actors in every field of life until the present satisfactory condition of 
things is attained ; and in noting the history of these institutions, and 
the persons connected with them, we have in the result the history of 
the village itself. To these, therefore, the reader's attention is next 

The Geneva Water Works Company. — The present water supply com- 
pany traces its history back almost an hundred years, to the time when 
the energetic action of Captain Williamson and a few of his associates 
laid log pipes from the White Springs, and thus furnished the village 
with wholesome water for all domestic purposes. The organization of 
this primitive company was accomplished in August, 1796, and in the 
next year the water supply was furnished. On the 31st of March, 
1803, an incorporated campany was formed, among whom were 
Herman H. Bogert, Jacob Hallett, Jacob W. Hallett, Samuel Colt, 
Nathaniel Merrill, David Cook, David Naglee, Ezra Patterson, Charles 
Williamson, Thomas Powell, John Johnston, Polydore B. Wisner and 
Joseph Annin. This company for some time operated the old system 
provided originally, cast iron pipes with a bore of two and one-half 
inches being substituted in 1846, but the rapid growth and extension 


of the village finally necessitated a more substantial equipment and a 
greater supply; consequently new pipes were laid and the storage 
reservoir increased in capacity. In 1875 the works of the company 
were a second time enlarged, and again in 1887 and *88, the latter 
increase in capacity being the cause of much discussion and some feel- 
ing throughout the village. At this time a pumping station was estab- 
lished on the lake to increase the natural reservoir supply, and this was 
the occasion of the criticisms upon the action of the company. There 
have been established at various convenient points throughout the 
village 125 fire hydrants, from which water is taken in case of fire, the 
same being paid for by the village. There are about fifteen miles of 
from four to twelve-inch main pipe. The capital stock of the company 
is $20,000, and the officers are Stephen H. Hammond, president ; A. 
L. Chew, treasurer; Edward Kingsland, secretary; Samuel S. Graves, 
superintendent. Cost of the works has been $150,000, and in the pres- 
ent year, 1893, the works are again being enlarged. 

The Fire Department. — In 18 16, at a time when Geneva had a popu- 
lation of about one thousand, the trustees decided to organize a fire com- 
pany, whose services, with " good leather buckets," hooks, axes, pikes, 
ladders and ropes, would be available in case of fire. The act of incor- 
poration authorized the purchase of an engine, but some time passed 
before one was secured. The first company comprised these village 
residents : William Giffing (captain), Silas Chapin, James Lawson, A. 
McNab, Phineas Prouty, P^rancis Day, Wm. Powell, Peter Thomas, 
Daniel Cook, David Field, jr., A. B. Hall, Hiram Walbridge, Castle 
Sutherland, Bostwick Noble, Nathaniel Noble, Gaines Clark, Roswell 
Baker and Eli Bannister. 

This company, among whom the reader will recognize many familiar 
names of old times, constituted the village fire department about two 
years, when the trustees determined to organize three companies, 
numbered in order, whose members should " man the brakes," handle 
the hose, and attend to the ladders. By this time it seems the depart- 
ment passed the condition of bucket brigade and partook of more for- 
mal organized character ; however, the buckets were retained and held 
in readiness for an emergency. Reference to the organization of the 
three companies also recalls the names of early inhabitants, hence we 


reproduce them as follows : No. i, Daniel L. Skaats, Jabez Pease, David 
Field, jr., James Black, Wm. Tippetts, Richard Hogarth, Comfort Haw- 
ley, D. L. Lum, Matthew Lum, A. P. Tillman, Joseph M. Davinny, Silas 
Chapin, Samuel Jacobs, Moses Hall, Francis Nares, Wm. Alcock, John 
Wilson, Samuel P. Hall, George Mumford and Wm, W. Watson. 

No. 2, Wm. Field, Jno. Singer, Truman Smith, Jno. Dox, Perez 
Hastings, Jno. Staunton, Stephen Brock, Jas. G. Dorchester, Orson 
Brice, Elias Beach, Peter R. Thomas, Hiram Walbridge, A. B. Hall, 
Jas. Radliff, David Fulford, Wm. Cortelyou, Fred Haas, Wm. Goff, 
Daniel Cook and Jonathan Keeney. 

No. 3, G. P. Griffith, Jas. R. Rees, Andrew McNab, Roswell Baker, 
G. Clark, Jno. Springstead, Eli Bannister, Wm. Sutton, Jas. Hayes, Seth 
Chapin, Anthony Hemings, E. Northam, Burton Monroe, Chris. Camp- 
bell, Wm. Nutting, Bowen Whiting, Chas. A. Cook, Castle Sutherland, 
Aaron Young, David Wilson. 

These companies were equipped with what was then modern appara- 
tus, comprising hand engines, and hose and hook and ladder companies, 
which rendered efficient service for many years. In fact this comprised 
the department equipment until i866, when a " Silsby " steamer was 
purchased, also a " Button " engine in i868, but in the meantime the 
personnel of the organizations had materially changed, new and younger 
members entering the department, thus adding to its activity and effi- 
ciency. However, in July, 1870, the entire department was reorganized, 
its number very much reduced, and those retained in the service were 
paid for duty performed. Instead of drawing the engines " by hand," 
horse were procured, and Geneva thus inaugurated the paid system, 
being one of the first villages in the State to do so. 

This system continued in operation about ten years, but the results 
accomplished by it were hardly satisfactory to the people, and especially 
the business community, and a demand was consequently made for a 
return to the old volunteer organizations of earlier years. In this, how- 
ever, the trustees were slow to act, but at last permission was granted 
to organize one company as an experiment. Hydrant Hose Company 
was the first to be organized, and its work proved so entirely satisfac- 
tory that the old paid department was compelled to yield. In the mean 
time the water works system had been enlarged and increased in effi- 


ciency as a fire fighting factor, the pressure on the mains being sufficient 
for ordinary use in the case of conflagration, but the steamers have ever 
been retained and held ready for an emergency. Thus in 1 880 the pres- 
ent department was virtually organized, though some important changes 
have been made during the fourteen years of its existence. 
^ According to the present arrangement and disposition of this branch 
of local government, the Geneva Fire Department comprises Hydrant 
Hose Company, whose building is on Linden street. The company 
equipment consists of a "jumper," a combination parade and duty car- 
riage, and a protective carriage. The office of the latter is to protect 
and preserve property rescued from burning buildings. This company 
receives from the village $500 annually. 

The C. J. Folger Hook and Ladder Company is located on the north 
side of Seneca street, and has a well equipped " truck " and other 
auxiliary apparatus. The village pays this company $300 per annum, 
as its owns the building in which the apparatus is. 

Nestor Hose Company occupies comfortable quarters on Exchange 
street, and owns a handsome parade carriage, also a " duty cart " or 
jumper. It was named in honor of S. K. Nestor, who has every duly 
appreciated the compliment thus shown him. The sum of $500 is paid 
this company by the village. 

Ogoyago Hose Company was independently organized, but is recog- 
nized by the village as a part of the fire department proper. Its rooms 
are at the corner of Pulteney and Hamilton streets, the company having 
been formed to protect property in the south part of the village. This 
company receives $350 annually from the village. 

The Holtz Protectives were formed in 1892, and have rooms on 
Castle street. The organization is similar, in purpose, to the protective 
department of Hydrant Hose. To this company the village annually 
pays $300. 

From the old steamer companies selections of men were made to 
form Kanadesaga Steamer Company, whose duty it is to operate 
the steamers in case of fire. The " Button " engine is ever ready for 
service and attends all fires, while the " Silsby " is held in reserve for 
an emergency. The principal department officers are chief engineer 
(W. P. O'Malley), first assistant (Chas. Hennessy), and second assistant 


(James Tracey), who are elected annually by the trustees on the recom- 
mendation of delegates from each company. 

Cemeteries. — The lot whereon now stands Trinity chapel was the 
original place of burial for the first white inhabitants of Geneva, but 
when and by whom founded there appears no record. The first burial 
in the village, of which there is a record, was that of the child of 
pioneer Polydore B. Wisner, the death and burial taking place in the 
latter part of 1797, and the body being laid at rest in the Pulteney 
street burial ground. During the preceding years deaths were infre- 
quent, and the lands in the south part of the village were then un- 
occupied by habitations, hence were put to use for burial purposes. 

The Pulteney street burial ground is the oldest of the recognized 
burial gounds of the village, and is believed to have been laid out and 
donated for the purpose by Charles Williamson soon after he became 
settled in the matter of the title to the lands in the gore. The oldest 
tombstone in this cemetery was erected "in memory" of Martha, wife 
of Sanford Williams, who died May 9, 1794, but the first burial was 
that noted above. 

Referring briefly to some of the earlier interments in this cemetery, 
mention may be made of the death and burial of " An Infant, died 31 
July, 1798, aged 5 weeks," and of two other infants who died in 1801 
and 1803, and were the children of Frederick and Eliza Backenstose, 
In the same manner may be noted the fact that James Green, born 
in New Jersey, 1774, settled at Canandarqua, 1795, and died in Geneva 
in 1 801 ; Betsey, wife of Joseph Cole, died November, 1801 ; Amelia, 
daughter of Dr. Cyrenius Chapin, died August 15, 1818; Rev. Jedediah 
Chapman died May 22, 1813; Margaret, wife of Jedediah Chapman, 
died September 9, 1812 ; Lucius Crittenden, died October i, 1807; 
Rev. Orin Clark, D. D , rector of Trinity Church, died February 24, 
1828, his first wife, EHza Ann, having died May 4, 1821, and Susan 
R., his second wife, in 1826. James Rees, March 17, 1837, private 
secretary to Robert Morris during the Revolution, moved here in 1798. 
These are but a few of the hundreds of burials in the old Pulteney 
street cemetery made during the first thirty years of its existence. 

However, during this same period nearly all the lots in this cemetery 
were taken by purchasers, and the village authorities were soon com- 


pelled to secure another tract of land for burial purposes. By a deed 
dated September 13, 1832, the village acquired title to a four acre lot 
en the south side of Washington street and west of Monroe street, 
which was laid out in 162 lots, and which has always been known as 
the Washington Street Cemetery. The first interment here was that 
of Augusta Matilda, wife of H. H. Merrell, whose death took place 
September 28, 1832. The lots in this cemetery were subdivided, but 
at last the grounds became so crowded that still another place of burial 
must be provided by the authorities. In 1 871, at the request of many 
prominent citizens, the trustees appointed commissioners to investigate 
and report upon a desirable tract of land to be used for cemetery pur- 
poses, and upon the report made by these men the taxpayers voted to 
issue bonds to the extent of $21,000 to pay for the lands selected, being 
fifty-four acres situated in the south part of the village, and in part in- 
cluding the old Walnut Hill Seminary property. The transaction was 
completed early in 1872, and the name " Glenwood Cemetery " was 
given to this beautiful "city of the dead." 

On the 20th of January, 1872, the trustees appointed "Cemetery 
Commissioners," in whom should be vested the care and management 
of village cemetery property ; and on April 6, following, the Legislature 
confirmed the appointments and constituted the board of " Geneva 
Cemetery Commissioners," composed of Phineas Prouty, Wm. E. Sill, 
Corydon Wheat, George W. Nicholas, Samuel S. Graves, George B. 
Dusinberre, Thompson C. Maxwell, Stephen H. Parker and Angus Mc- 
Donald. The present commissioners are Thompson C. Maxwell, presi- 
dent ; Stephen H. Parker, secretary ; Samuel Southworth, treasurer ; 
and Solomon E. Smith, Wm. B. Dunning, Joseph S. Lewis, O. J. C. 
Rose, P. N. Nicholas and Thomas Mc Blain. 

Banks of Geneva. — On March 28, 18 17, the Legislature chartered the 
Bank of Geneva, the legal title of which was "The President, Directors 
and Company of the Bank of Geneva." The capital of this bank was 
$400,000,20,000 shares of $20 each, and upon its organization meeting 
(held at Griffith's Hotel) the directors were Robert Troup, Septimus 
Evans, Wilhelmus Mynderse, Charles Thompson, George McClure, 
Herman H. Bogert, Truman Hart, Jacob Dox, Elnathan Noble, 
Thomas Lee and Leman Hotchkiss. Mr. Troup was elected the first 


president, but very soon resigned in order that Rev. Henry Dwight 
might succeed to the office, the latter having then become the owner of 
14,100 shares of the bank's stock. This measure was adopted in order 
to give the bank a standing among similar institutions in the East, and 
the name of Mr. Dwight in connection with the local concern was itself 
a guarantee of stability and soundness. 

The first place of business occupied by the Bank of Geneva was in 
the house, now the rectory of Trinity church, from which it was soon 
moved to the south side of the park, two doors from Main street. 
About 1837 another removal took place, this time to the large and 
commodious building now standing at the head of Seneca street (now 
occupied by R. G. Chase & Co.), which was built for its own use. The 
charter of the bank expired January i, 1832, but being a successful 
institution, its officers in 1829 had secured an extension to January i, 
1853. At the latter date, having had a prosperous life of thirty-six 
years, it closed its business and went into liquidation. During its his- 
tory, the most serious loss suffered was in the failure of the Canal Bank 
of Albany, 1848, with which the Geneva bank had a deposit of $93,- 
000. only fifteen per cent, of which was recovered. This great loss, 
however, did not injure the local bank or impair its standing. 

The presidents of the Bank of Geneva were Robert Troup, Henry 
Dwight (twenty-two years), and Charles A. Cook (thirteen years). 
The cashiers were James Rees, Benjamin Day, Charles A. Cook, 
Edmund Dwight and William E. Sill, each serving in the order named. 

Immediately following the dissolution of the old Bank of Geneva, 
another bank of the same name was established, being what was known 
as a banking association, having a capital stock at the beginning of its 
business (Januar}'- I, 1 853) of $200,000. In 1855 the capital was in- 
creased to $205,000; in 1864 reduced to $200,000, and in 1885 still 
further reduced to $150,000. 

This banking association was in fact organized in November, 1852, 
although its business began on January i following. The first directors 
were Charles A. Cook (president), John L. Eastman, John S. Prouty, 
George C. Seelye, Horace Devereux, Jedediah Smith and Robert C. 
Nicholas. In 1854 Mr. Cook died, and was succeeded as president by 
Wm. E. Sill, who served until January, 1856, when his resignation was 


followed by the election of Wm. T. Scott to the vacancy. The latter 
resigned in January, i 860, and was succeeded by Samuel H. Ver Planck, 
who has filled the responsible office of president for a period of more 
than thirty- three years. 

The Bank of Geneva began business in the building on Main street, 
at the head of Seneca, formerly occupied by the old banking institution, 
and in 1862 Mr. Ver Planck erected the elegantly appointed building 
at the corner of Exchange and Seneca streets, which was at once occu- 
pied. In 1865, without material reorganization or change in the per- 
sonnel of the corporation, this bank, under the laws of Congress, became 
known as " The Geneva National Bank," having a capital of $200,000, 
which was reduced to $150,000 in 1885. The first cashier of the 
National Bank was Samuel Southworth, succeeded in 1868 by Mont- 
gomery S. Sandford, who still continues in that capacity. 

This bank has now an accumulated surplus of $75,000, with $20,000 
of undivided profits ; and another fact worthy of note in connection 
with its history is that from its direction there has been furnished one 
secretary of the treasury of the United States (Charles J. Folger), who 
also served as assistant treasurer, and chief judge of the New York 
State Court of Appeals. Likewise, Thomas Hillhouse, a former director, 
has been assistant United States treasurer, and is now president of the 
Metropolitan Trust Company of New York city. The present directors 
of the Geneva National Bank are Samuel H. Ver Planck, president ; 
Montgomery S. Sandford, cashier ; and Joseph Lewis, Samuel K. Nestor, 
Francis O. Mason, Solomon E. Smith and Thos. McBlain. 

The First National Bank of Geneva was organized November 20, 
1863, with a capital of $50,000, its originators and active officers being 
Wm. Richardson, president ; Thomas Raines, cashier; and Henry J. 
Messenger, Benj. H. Woodworth and J. H. Tripp. On the 29th of 
March, 1866, a large proportion of the stock of this bank was purchased 
by Alexander L. Chew, Phineas Prouty, Corydon Wheat and Thomas 
Raines, which was followed by a partial reorganization and the election 
of new directors, as follows: A. L. Chew, Phineas Prouty, Corydon 
Wheat, Thomas Raines, Thomas Hillhouse, Joshua L Maxwell, John 
W. Smith, W. P^oster and Thos. Smith. Mr. Chew was at once elected 
president of the bank, an office he has continued to hold to the present 
time. Thomas Raines was the first cashier, succeeded by J. B. Hart, 


and the latter in turn by Wm. T. Scott. The present cashier, Thomas 
H. Chew, was appointed May i, 1887. 

On January 17, 1888, the capital of the bank was increased to $100,- 
000. It has a surplus of $40,000, and the undivided profits amount to 
nearly $15,000. The present directors are A. L. Chew, president; 
Thos. H. Chew, cashier ; and Joshua I. Maxwell, Wm. Smith, Thomas 
Smith, Roscoe G. Chase and O. J. C. Rose, directors. 

Samuel Southworth, banker, was clerk in the Bank of Geneva in 
1855, and afterward cashier of the Geneva National Bank. In 1868 he 
purchased a real estate and insurance business and in connection there- 
with established a private bank, his partner for a time being Major 
John S. Plattner. ' In December following,. Mr, Southworth became 
sole proprietor, and has ever since conducted a conservative, safe and 
successful banking business. 

Prominent among the banking institutions of Geneva, was the as- 
sociate corporation known as " The Farmers' Bank of Geneva," which 
began business July 18, 1839, with a capital of $100,000. Its first and 
only president was William K. Strong, while the cashiership was filled 
by William N. Clark. Both of these officers were men of integrity and 
worth, and the affairs of the bank were almost wholly entrusted to their 
management. However, the institution was never abundantly success- 
ful, hence its career was comparatively brief. It did not fail, but not 
meeting with expected success, it went into liquidation. The Farmers' 
Bank occupied the building then recently vacated by the Bank of 
Geneva, standing on the south side of the Park, near Main street. 

Nathan B. Kidder will be remembered by the older residents of 
Geneva as the one time head of a private bank. He began business 
about 185 1 and continued till 1854, then making a disastrous failure. 

Schell & Hemiup were private bankers in the Kidder building on 
Seneca street, following in business the banker last mentioned, and, 
like him, also failed, in 1862. 

Educational Institutions.^ 

It is quite impossible to give the history of all the schools that have 
existed in Geneva from the time of settlement over a hundred years 

1 Compiled from materials furnished principally by Professor Charles D. Vail, Hobart College, 
by whom all rights are reserved, also revised and corrected by him. 


ago to date, for while documentary materials are not wanting for the 
incorporated schools, such materials are almost entirely wanting for the 
unincorporated or private schools. Indeed, it is doubtful whether even 
an accurate list can now be given of the schools of the latter class that 
have existed within the village limits. In this review of the educational 
institutions of Geneva, attention will be directed more particularly to 
those which have a living interest either as being now in existence or 
as having played a prominent part in the earlier days of the town. 


It is reasonably certain that the first school estabhshed in Geneva 
was that afterward known as the Geneva Academy, and that the 
first school-house was the one which stood on the lot now occupied by 
the session room of the First Presbyterian Church. When the school 
was established, and when the school- house was built are questions that 
cannot now be answered definitely. That the school was in operation 
as early as 1796 may be inferred from the fact that from 1796 to 1800 
inclusive school commissioners were elected annually at town meeting 
to receive the money granted by the State for the use of schools, under 
the act of 1795, which provided an appropriation annually to schools 
for the five years following. That the school -house was in existence 
and was^'regarded as in a manner a public or well-known building as 
early as 1801, appears from the further fact that the annual meeting ot 
the freeholders of the town held that year was adjourned to meet the 
following year at the " school- house." That there was more than one 
regular school or one school house at this early date is extremely im- 
probable, as there were in Geneva in 1800 but sixty families, and as 
late as 1806 only three hundred and twenty-five inhabitants. 

January 30, 1807, twenty- three freeholders of Geneva joined in a 
petition to the Honorable the Regents of the University of the State of 
New York for the incorporation of Geneva Academy. This document ^ 
is interesting as being the oldest extant document in which the acad- 
emy is mentioned by name. It contains the following statement which 
is historically of much value : 

lit is given entire in the " Historical and Statistical Record of the University of the State of 
New York," issued 1885. 


" Your petitioners beg leave further to represent that the real estate 
belonging to their Academy consists of a lot of land fronting the public 
square in the said village of Geneva, on which they have erected a 
building twenty- five feet by thirty-eight feet, and one and a half stories 
high, and that they have for upwards of two years past employed a 
gentleman of abilities, regularly graduated at Princeton College, who, 
together with an assistant, has the superintendence of upwards of sixty 

This petition was not granted, and the academy remained without a 
charter till 1 8 13, when another and successful application was made. 
It is a matter of regret that diligent inquiry has thus far failed to ascer- 
tain the name of the graduate of Princeton referred to in the petition. 

August 7, 1809, the trustees of the academy announced by adver- 
tisement in the Geneva Gazette the engagement of the Rev. Andrew 
Wilson to take charge of the academy. This announcement is of suffi- 
cient interest to justify its reproduction here, especially as it has not 
appeared in any history of the academy. 

The Rev. Andrew Wilson, formerly of the University of Glasgow, at 
the request of the trustees, has undertaken the superintendence of the 
Geneva Academy, and engaged to teach the respective branches of 
literature on the following terms, viz. : 

First Class — Reading, writing and arithmetic, 2 dollars 25 cents per 

Second Class — English grammar, book-keeping, geography and 
mathematics, including geometry, mensuration, algebra, surveying, 
navigation and astronomy, 4 dollars per quarter. 

Third Class — The Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages, 5 dollars per 

The tuition fees payable in advance. 

From the respectable recommendations produced by Mr. Wilson, the 
trustees have every reason to believe that he will do ample justice to 
the pupils committed to his charge. 


John Heslop. > Trustees. 

H. H. BOGERT, ) 

N. B. — Boarding can be had on reasonable terms. 


In i8i2 Mr. Ransom Hubbell, a graduate of Union College, and 
highly recommended by the Rev. Eliphalet Nott, president of that col- 
lege, was made principal of the academy and remained such till 1817. 

On the 29th of March, 18 13, an act of incorporation was obtained 
from the Regents of the University, for which was subscribed the sum 
of $1,600 by the following persons, not less than $50 being subscribed 
by any individual: Polydore B. Wisner, H. H. Bogert, Robt. W. Stod- 
dard, Samuel Colt, William Hartsen, Jonathan Doane, Thos Lowthrop, 
James Rees, James Carter, John Nicholas, David Cook, John Woods, 
Thos. D. Burrall, Joseph Stow, Walter Grieve, Robt. Scott, Fred A. 
De Zeng, Wm. Tippets, Abner Cole and Abraham Dox. The first 
Board of Trustees named in the charter was as follows : Rev. Jedediah 
Chapman, Polydore B. Wisner, Jas. Rees. Samuel Colt, John Nicholas, 
H. H. Bogert, Robert Scott, David Cook, Thos. Lowthrop, Jonathan 
Doane, Walter Grieve, Wm. Tippetts and Fred. A. DeZeng. 

In 18 1 7 Mr. Hubbell was succeeded as principal by the Rev. John S. 
Cook. December 8, 18 17, " in consequence of some differences of feel- 
ing," at a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the academy it was re- 
solved, " that the academy operations be suspended." However, to 
obviate any public disadvantage, a committee was appointed, consisting 
of Rev. Henry Axtell, Dr. James Carter and David Cook, to take charge 
of the school building and give the use of it to any respectable teacher 
till the trustees should again resume their duties. 

On the 6th of March, 1821, a meeting was called by senior trustee 
James Rees, and at this meeting, the first meeting held since December 
8, 1817, the following action was taken: " Whereas, Trinity Church, 
New York (city), in consequence of an application from the trustees of 
Trinity Church, Geneva, have transferred to Geneva Academy an en- 
dowment of $750 per annum, granted by them for the support of an 
academy at Fairfield, N. Y.. Therefore, Resolved, That the endowment 
thus transferred with the conditions stipulated, be and they are hereby 
accepted, and that we will take immediate measures for raising the 
necessary funds for carrying the endowment into effect " 

One of the conditions of the proposed grant from Trinity Church, 
New York, being that the inhabitants of Geneva should erect a suitable 
building for the accommodation of the "Branch Theological School," 


and funds for this purpose having been already secured by citizens of 
Geneva by a subscription paper circulated under date of February 
15, i82i,it was further resolved at this meeting, in order that the site 
for the Geneva Academy might be selected without regard to indi- 
vidual or sectional interest, that the location be made by the Rt. Rev. 
Bishop Hobart, and that on the site selected by him the necessary 
buildings be erected. Agreeable to the resolution the bishop viewed 
several sites in Geneva, and on March 17, 182 1, he communicated to 
the trustees his selection of the site now occupied by the college build- 
ings. In the same year the erection of " Geneva Hall " was begun, and 
the work completed in the spring of 1822. 

At this same meeting (March 6, 182 1) the Rev. Daniel McDonald, 
D. D., formerly principal of the Fairfield Academy, was appointed prin- 
cipal of the Geneva Academy, and on the 25th of April Geneva Acad- 
emy started anew, its home till the completion of Geneva Hall being in 
the frame school- house erected in 1817 in the rear of Trinity Church 
in Geneva. Under the Rev. Dr. McDonald (1821—25) Geneva Acad- 
emy prospered greatly. 

On the 2 1st of January, 1822, the trustees of the academy made 
application to the Board of Regents to grant the academy the powers 
and privileges of a college. April 10, 1822, a provisional charter as 
such was obtained and the conditions imposed by it having been com- 
plied with, on February 8, 1825, the Regents granted a charter by 
which Geneva Academy became Geneva College. 

With this consummation attained naturally ends the history of the 
old and noted Geneva Academy, but certain prior conditions and stip- 
ulations governing the subscription funds continued it in existence for 
seven more years, and even beyond this time the college trustees found 
themselves occasionally confronted with an ancient scholarship certifi- 
cate which entitled the holder to academic instruction in the college or 
its auxiliary institution, which was for some time maintained in connec- 
tion with the higher institution. To meet this exigency the college 
trustees established the Academic School, so called, which went into 
operation January 3, 1827, and was abolished July 31, 1832. 

The circumstances under which the Academic School was estab- 
lished were briefly these: A very considerable portion of the original 



endowment of the college — the fund required by the provisional char- 
ter for the securing of the permanent charter — was raised by the sale 
of certificates, each of which, in consideration of the sum of one hun- 
dred dollars subscribed and paid, entitled the holder, his heirs and 
assigns, to the privilege of sending one student to the Geneva Academy 
or to Geneva College, free of tuition fees, for the term of twenty years, 
commencing from the date thereof, or whenever he might choose. No 
sooner was the permanent charter obtained, February 8, 1825, than 
claims were put forward by the certificate holders, or in their behalf, 
that the Geneva Academy could not justly be discontinued. Accord- 
ingly, at the first sitting of the Board of Trustees of Geneva [Hobart] 
College, in May, 1825, Doctor McDonald, Mr. R. S. Rose and T. D. 
Burrall were appointed a committee to consider and report upon the 
propriety of continuing the Academy School under the care of the trus- 
tees of the college. Subsequently, August 24, the committee reported 
against the continuance of the Academy School and their report was 

In September Geneva College began. The certificate holders who 
claimed that academic instruction should be continued were defeated, 
but only for the time being, for, on December 9, 1826, the executive 
committee of the Board of Trustees established a school (opened the 
following month), employing as principal U. M. Wheeler, the commit- 
tee being satisfied that it was expedient to establish a permanent 
academic school to which the holders of certificates might send on the 
terms of their subscriptions. The Academic School originated, then, 
as a concession to a demand — a demand which appears to have had 
no real foundation. 

The Academic School went into operation June 3, 1827. It was 
abolished July 31, 1832. During the first two years of its existence it 
was kept on the ground floor of the Masonic Hall, a building erected in 
1825 on the site of the original Geneva Academy, the lot being that 
on which now stands the session room of the First Presbyterian Church. 
From January 2, 1829, to the date of its discontinuance it was con- 
ducted in the building best known to the present generation as the 
Old Chapel, a wooden structure that stood ten or fifteen feet north of 
Geneva Hall. 


While under Masonic Hall the Academic School received as pupils 
both boys and girls, and was, in point of grade, essentially a primary 
school. During this period the number of pupils in attendance at any 
one time did not, probably, exceed fifty. A new era begins with the 
term which opened November 26, 1828. The roll ceases to show the 
names of girls, and the students are divided into two groups, the class- 
ical and the English, there being ten of the former and sixteen of the 
latter. The most noted names on the roll are the following : James R. 
Doolittle, Archibald C. Campbell, Butler G. Noble. The next term 
opened February 19, 1829, with more flattering prospects, thirty-two 
students being in attendance. In the following term, which began May 
14, the names of fifty-eight students appear on the roll, and noticeable 
among them are those of Walter Ayrault and Anthony Schuyler. 
Henceforth the fortunes of the Academic School declined, and Novem- 
ber 10, 1830, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of 
Trustees : 

Resolved, That all resolutions of this Board authorizing the payment 
of any salary or other compensation to the teachers of a preparatory 
school in Geneva be rescinded from and after the 17th instant. 

The school was continued, however, by Mr. Walter T. Taylor, under 
permission from the Board of Trustees, as a private school, and so re- 
mained till January, 1832. The Board of Trustees then assumed con- 
trol again, employing a teacher, but in July of that year by resolution 
permanently discontinued the Academic School. 

The teachers {i. e. those employed by the college) and their respect- 
ive terms of office were as follows : [The Rev.] U. M. Wheeler, class of 
1826, from January, 1827, to November of the same year; [the Hon.] 
George Woodruff, class of 1829, from November, 1827, to January 30, 
1828 ; Mr. R. D. H. Yeckley, class of 1834, from January, 1828, to 
February, 1829; [the Rev.] Seth Davis, class of 1827, from February, 
1829, to November of the same year; from November, 1829, to 
May, 1830, Mr. Alfred Hall, tutor in the college, 1828-30, with Mr. 
Walter T. Taylor as assistant; from May to November of 1830, 
Mr. Taylor remaining as assistant, the Rev. Levi H. Corson ; from 
January, 1832, to July of the same year, Mr. Festus Fowler, class of 



The movement for the establishment in the State of New York, at 
some point west of Albany, of a college of liberal culture under Episco- 
pal auspices first found expression in a resolution adopted, upon the 
suggestion of the originator of the movement, the Rev. Amos G. Bald- 
win, by the trustees of Fairfield Academy, April lO, 1812, petitioning 
Trinity church, New York, for a grant of funds to that end. This peti- 
tion was not favorably received, but in the following year, acting upon 
another petition suggested by the Rev. Mr. Baldwin, the corporation of 
Trinity church founded in connection with the Fairfield Academy a 
Theological School. In 181 8, however. Bishop Hobart, recognizing 
the importance, if not necessity, of having in the western portion of his 
great diocese a school of liberal culture, as well as a theological school, 
communicated to friends in Geneva his plan to transfer the Theological 
School from Fairfield to Geneva in connection with a " college and 
printing press," to be established there. In 1821 the transfer was made, 
the principal of the Theological School then being the Rev. Daniel 
McDonald, D.D , the steadfast coadjutor of Bishop Hobart in this edu- 
cational movement. In 1822, April 10, just ten years after the incep- 
tion of the movement, a plan for the foundation of a college of general 
culture having been formed and submitted, it was approved by the Re- 
gents of the University of the State of New York, and a provisional 
charter granted. In 1825 new and more satisfactory provisions for 
theological instruction having been devised, the Branch Theological 
School, as it was then styled, was abolished, and its endowment trans- 
ferred to the proposed college. In 1825, February 8, the conditions 
of the provi.<iional charter having been complied with, a full charter was 
granted under the title " Geneva College," and in 1826 the first class 
was graduated. 

By the terms of the original charter the corporation consisted of a 
Board of Trustees, empowered to perpetuate itself by its own action In 
1874, by amendment of the charter, the constitution of the Board of 
Trustees was entirely changed and all members, except members ex 
officio} made elective. Under the new arrangement the alumni of the 

• From the College Catalogue by permission. 

2 There are two members ex officio ; the president of the College and the bishop of that diocese of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church which includes the college site. 


college are secured a constant representation of at least five members 
(one fourth of the whole number excluding members ex officio) in the 
board. A further amendment of the charter, made in 1891, enables the 
alumni to vote at the annual election by letter as well as in person. 
The whole number of alumni in the board for the current year is nine. 

In the original endowment of the college, the principal item was a 
sum of money raised by subscription mainly in Geneva and adjacant 
villages and cities; the other chief item being an annual allowance from 
the Society for Promoting Religion and Learning. Of the earlier ad- 
ditions to the permanent resources of the college, a noteworthy one was 
the benefaction, in 185 i, of Trinity church, of New York, amounting to 
$3,000 annually. One of the results of this benefaction was the change 
in the following year of the corporate title of the college to Hobart Free 
College, which was further modified in i860 to Hobart College. Since 
1851 the endowment fund has steadily grown through the thoughtful 
generosity of friends of the college and of liberal education, and for 
years, though the endowment has been by no means adequate for the 
constantly increasing wants of the college, it has, nevertheless, proved 
sufficient for the maintenance, without the incurring of debt, of a high 
standard in all the essential departments of college instruction. Of 
recent bequests the most considerable are those of Mrs. Elizabeth S. 
Seymour, of Buffalo, Alanson Sutherland, of Dunkirk, Peter Richards, 
of Geneva, the Rev. J. F. Potter, of Pompton, N. J., and the late James 
Simons, of Geneva, the latter bequest amounting to between thirty and 
forty thousand dollars. 

The following professorships represent special endowments: The 
Charles Startin Professorship, founded in 1825 by Bishop Hobart out of 
a legacy left by Mrs. Sarah Startin, of New York ; the Hobart Professor- 
ship, founded in 1852 by gifts from friends of the college on the promise 
of a gift of equal amount from the Society for the Promotion of Religion 
and Learning ; the Horace White Professorship, founded in 1861 by the 
legacy of Horace White of Syracuse; the Prendergast Professorship, 
founded in 1862 by Mrs. Deborah Prendergast of Mayville ; the Chap- 
laincy, founded in 1862 by the late John H. Swift of New York. 

In recent years the college plant has been greatly enlarged and im- 
proved. In particular, during the last decade, there have been added 


the south building for laboratories and recitation rooms, the Chaplain's 
House, the Gallagher or Ayrault grounds and buildings, the Rose house 
and lot, the Gymnasium and Alumni Hall, and the fire-proof Library 
building ; while the library itself, by increase in the number of its vol- 
umes and in its endowment, has been made a more important factor 
than ever in college life. The general improvement in the college 
campus and the condition of the college buildings is also noticeable, 
while three of the college fraternities, Sigma Phi, Kappa Alpha, Sigma 
Chi, have recently acquired handsome chapter houses on Main street. 

At its first meeting after its organization in 1825, the Board of Trus- 
tees pledged itself to maintain perpetually in the college in addition to 
the usual course of classical studies pursued in simular institutions, an 
English or Scientific Course in direct reference to the practical business 
of life This was the first instance of action by a college of liberal cul- 
ture to diversify its curriculum by the offer of a course other than, and 
additional to, the customary classical course. 

Equipment. — The grounds on which are grouped all the college build- 
ings are a little over fifteen acres in extent. They are situated on Main 
street in the most beautiful portion of the village, three quarters of a 
mile from the business center. To the east the prospect opens upon 
Seneca Lake, at this point two miles or more in width, while to the 
west it includes the ridge, so called, with its lawns and villas. The col- 
lege land extends down to the lake, which is here ninety feet below the 
level of the street. The original college grounds embraced only village 
lot No. 35, three-quarters of an acre in area, on which stands Geneva 

Geneva Hall, the oldest of the college buildings, was begun in 1821 
and finished in the spring of 1822. The funds for its erection were 
raised by subscription among the inhabitants of Geneva and its vicinity. 
The building is seventy-four feet by forty-one, and three stories in height. 
The stone used in its construction was brought from the south end of 
Seneca Lake. In the history of the college Geneva Hall has served 
various purposes. At present it is fitted for dormitories, The rooms 
are arranged in suites consisting of a sitting-room and two bed-rooms, 
each suite being designed for two students. The building is provided 
with gas, water and steam heat. 


Trinity Hall, a gift to the college from the Protestant Episcopal So 
ciety for the Promotion of Religion and Learning, was erected in 1837-8. 
Architecturally it matches Geneva Hall and is arranged in the same 
manner and used for the same purpose. The stone employed in the 
construction of this building is the Waterloo limestone. 

St. John's Chapel, which attests the memorable interest taken in the 
college by William B. Douglas, esq., of Rochester, is a Gothic struct- 
ure in the Second Pointed Style, erected in 1862-3. It is built of Wa- 
terloo limestone and is twenty- six feet by seventy- nine internal meas- 
urement. It has a massive porch on the south side, and on the north 
side, at the east end, a robing room of octagonal form, connected with 
the chancel. From the top of the walls rises a steep and ornamental 
roof of slate surmounted with a ridge crest. Within the roof is open 
and richly moulded. The seats are parallel with the side walls and rise 
from the aisle. All the furniture is of black walnut. The windows 
throughout are glazed with stained glass, the work of Henry Sharp of 
New York. The chancel window — a window much admired — memo- 
rializes the founder of the college. The font, a beautiful piece of carv- 
ing in Caen stone, the communion vessels of richly chased silver, the serv- 
ice books and book-marks and other chancel furnishings are severally 
the gifts of friends. The large brass cross and vases are memorials of 
the Rev. Dr. Metcalf, presented by alumni of the college. Over the 
entrance to the chapel is a sun dial with the legend : " Pereunt et im- 
putantur y 

The Astronomical Observatory stands in the southwestern portion of 
the campus. The building, which was erected in 1870, is an octagon 
tower seventeen feet in diameter, with two wings at right angles. The 
octagon is furnished with a moving dome, and has as a support for the 
telescope a brick and stone pedestal six feet in diameter. One of the 
wings is designed for transit observation ; the other for a computing 
room and library. 

The boat house is at the water line of the college grounds, and is but 
a minute's walk from the college buildings It is a frame structure, 
fifty feet by thirty- one, in two stories, protected on the south by a sub- 
stantial stone pier, and was erected in 1877. The cost of construction 
was largely defrayed by funds raised by ladies of Geneva. 


The South Building, designed especially for the chemical and physical 
departments, was erected in 1879-80 from funds contributed by friends 
of the college, the principal sum coming from Mrs. Julia Douglas Mer- 
ritt through Mr. William B. Douglas. The building is constructed of 
Waterloo stone, point dressed, and is thirty-five feet by seventy, two 
stories in height, with a gable roof It contains in the basement a work- 
ing laboratory for metallurgy and general chemistry, and on the first 
floor a large octagonal lecture room for the chemical department, and 
side rooms for offices, balance and apparatus ; and on the second floor 
for the use of the department of physics, a lecture room similar to that 
on the first floor, with working rooms adjoining. The building also 
contains two lecture rooms for other departments of college instruction. 
In the gable on the north side of the building are mounted the college 
clock and chimes, the gift of the Misses Cammann of Geneva. 

The Library Building is a substantial fire proof edifice in the early 
English style of architecture, with basement and sub-basement. It 
stands forty-eight feet west of the chapel, and architecturally harmon- 
izes with that building. It is constructed of Waterloo stone with On- 
ondaga limestone trimmings, and is sixty-four feet by thirty six, and 
was erected in 1885-6. It is furnished with galleries and is arranged in 
alcoves, each alcove being suitably equipped for reading and study. 
The furniture and the woodwork throughout, except the floors, are of 
polished ash. The building is well lighted and is heated with steam. 
The basement is fitted as a lecture room For this long needed acces- 
sion to the college plant, the college is indebted to many friends, and 
especially to Mrs. Julia Douglas Merritt through Mr. William B. Doug- 
las, the senior trustee. Conspicuous in the building are the many tab- 
lets of engraved brass which have been erected to perpetuate the names 
of benefactors or of their kindred, and the memory of benefactions to the 
library and the college. The building is constructed with reference to 
extension to the north at a future date, when the present porch will be- 
come the center of the completed work. 

Alumni Hall, erected in 1886-7, principally from funds contributed 
by the alumni, is a substantial brick building, eighty eight feet by 
twenty- seven, with an extension on the north side twenty-one and one- 
half feet by fourteen for hall and stairway. It stands on the south line 

I'OWN of geneva. 293 

of the college quadrangle, halfway between the south building and the 
astroaomical observatory. It is four stories in height. The first two 
stories are occupied by the gymnasium. The third story is fitted for 
lecture rooms with special adaptation to the wants of the departments of 
mathematics and drawing. The rooms on this floor when thrown open 
form a hall for the use of the alumni at their meetings. The fourth 
story is devoted to the geological and mineralogical cabinet and the 

College Residences. — There are six buildings for members of the Fac- 
ulty on the college grounds. Additional residences are also owned by 
the college. The practice has been introduced of leasing lots to officers 
of the college with permission to build thereon. In 1885 the college 
purchased the Gallagher mansion and grounds. This purchase was pe- 
culiarly important as completing the college site. The house has un- 
dergone extensive alterations and enlargement, and is at present occu- 
pied by the president of the college. In 1883-4, a chaplain's house, a 
brick building with stone trimmings, was erected on the lot adjoining 
the chapel on the north. The college is indebted for this beautiful resi- 
dence to Mrs. Merritt through Mr. W. B. Douglas. The Hale house, 
first acquired in 1 840, the hospitable home of Presidents Hale, Jackson, 
Stone, Rankine and Hinsdale, and for a time the office of President Pot- 
ter, is now the residence of a member of the Faculty. The college resi- 
dence erected under lease by Professor McDaniels, stands on the lake 
side south of the Hale house. The house occupied by Professor Rose 
passed into possession of the college November 7, 1891, by purchase. 
The senior professor occupies the dwelling which adjoins Professor 
Rose's residence on the north. It was the second building erected on 
the college grounds, and has within a few years been enlarged and im- 

The Physical Laboratory is in the second story of the south building, 
which was erected for the special accommodation of the scientific de- 
partments of the college. In addition to the general apparatus belong- 
ing to the physical department, and especially designed for lecture 
illustration, there is another collection in the physical labaratory for de- 
termination of physical units and constants, comprising in part delicate 
balances, apparatus for laws of flexure, strength of materials, modulus 


of elasticity, fluid pressure, specific gravity, and for determinations of 
density, mass and volume, and for standardizing thermometers ; also for 
measurement of electrical and magnetical currents by various forms of 
dynamometers, ammeters, volt meters, tangent galvanometers, etc. The 
various forms of batteries are also well represented, and also motors 
and dynamos, with armatures of the ring and drum type. The re- 
sources and equipment of the laboratory are quite adequate to pre- 
pare the students for the more advanced work of the special scientific 

The Chemical Laboratory, which is in the basement of the building 
that contains the physical laboratory, is fitted up with tables for indi- 
vidual work. Each table is provided with gas and water and all the 
ordinary reagents. There is also provided for general use all the ap- 
paratus necessary for quantitative as well as qualitative work In con- 
nection with the laboratory is a large dark room admirably adapted to 
photography, for which study special facilities are offered. 

The chemical and the physical laboratory are largely indebted for 
their efficient equipment to the liberality of the late William Constable 
Pierrepont, of Pierrepont Manor. 

The large observatory is furnished with the following instruments: 

An equatorial telescope, ten feet focal length and nearly nine inches 
aperture. It is driven by clockwork, and furnished with spectroscopic 

A transit instrument, with electro- chronographic register. 

A sidereal clock ; a mean-time chronometer and a repeating circle, 
several sextants, and artificial horizon. 

The equatorial telescope was procured from funds contributed for the 
purpose mainly by Mrs. Dean Richmond and the late Samuel G. Cor- 
nell, of Buffalo. The sidereal clock was the gift of the late Albert Gal- 
latin Heminway, of Palmyra, a graduate of the college in the class of 


Students in practical astronomy receive instruction in the use of the 
instruments and in actual observation, and to facilitate this a small ob- 
servatory has been erected near the college buildings. It contains an 
equatorial telescope of five inches aperture, furnished with three microm- 
eters ; one spider line and double-image (rock crystal), and a solar 


prism; and spectroscope, all driven by clock work, as is also the A. R. 

The Geological and Mineralogical Cabinet embraces an extens've and 
valuable collection of minerals, including duplicates of the New York 
State Geological Survey, also a paleontological collection amply suf- 
ficient for the purpose of instruction, with a set of the well known Ward 
casts of celebrated fossils. These collections in general geology, miner- 
alogy, paleontology and conchology are displayed in the fourth story 
of the Museum Hall, an open room eighty-eight feet by twenty-seven, 
with a side extension twenty- two feet by fourteen, and are sufficiently 
extensive to fill the entire room. A beginning has also been made 
towards a museum of natural history and antiquities. Gifts to the mu- 
seum or any of the cabinets will be welcome and will be suitably 
acknowledged and cared for. For the Ward casts and valuable addi- 
tions to the geological and mineralogical cabinet, the college is indebted 
to Mr. William B. Douglas, who added to these gifts a sum of money to 
be expended in the purchase of illustrative scientific works. The college 
is further indebted to Mr. Douglas for providing during the past year 
the much needed addition of cases for the museum. 

The Botanical Cabinet is also in Alumni Hall. It consists chiefly of 
an herbarium of about five thou,sand species, late the property of the 
Rev. H. M. Denslow, of Seneca Falls. The herbarium contains many 
species collected by the late owner in Connecticut, Vermont and Michi- 
gan, also many from the collections of Curtis, Canby, Jones and Rusby 
in the South and West, besides many from the West Indies, England, 
Germany and France. It is particularly rich in certain orders, as the 
Filices, Orchidacese, Boraginacea; and Rosacea;, which have been made 
the subject of special study. The specimens are all mounted on good 
white paper, and arranged in genus covers, with full labels within and 
without. The whole collection is arranged systematically in special 
cases, according to the " Genera Plantarum " of Hooker and Bentham. 
The provision for illustration and demonstration in the department of 
botanical instruction includes also a full series of the admirable botanical 
charts of Professor Denslow. 

The Library contains over twenty-nine thousand volumes and three 
thousand pamphlets, including one thousand three hundred and fifty-four 


volumes on deposit. Its characteristic excellence is the extent to which 
in the various departments of instruction in the college it is supplied 
with the standard works and those which represent the latest and best 
thought in the several departments, in recent years the library has 
grown steadily and with relative rapidity. Since November 19, 1885 
— the date of the fire which destroyed the building in which the library 
was then quartered, and from which it was soon to be removed to the 
present fire-proof building — there have been added by gift and by pur- 
chase over fifteen thousand volumes, a large portion of the increase 
being by purchase. 

The scholarships and prizes offered to the students of the college 
represent a capital sum of $80,000. Three prize scholarships, given 
by the college itself, are assigned yearly by competition and are of the 
annual value of two hundred and eighty, one hundred and seventy-five 
and one hundred and fifty dollars respectively. Besides these, there 
are the Ayrault scholarships, representing $54,000, the Henry Laight 
and John Watts scholarships, representing $2,000, the Pierrepont 
scholarships, representing $6,000, and the Alanson Sutherland prize 
scholarships, representing $2,000. The latest addition to the number 
of scholarships is one of $5,000, established by Mrs. Demorest, of 
Buffalo. The prizes are those established respectively by the late 
Horace White, of Syracuse, by the children of the late Augusta H. 
Cobb, and by the Rev. Walter Thompson, of Garrison's. 

Succession of Presidents — Jasper Adams, 1826-28; Benjamin Sharp 
Mason, S.T.D., 1830-35; Benjamin Hale, S.T.D., 1836-58; Abner 
Jackson, S.T.D , LL.D., 1858-67 ; Jacob Kent Stone, S.T.D., 1868-69; 
James Rankine, S.T.D. , 1869-71 ; Maunsell Van Rensselaer, S.T.D. , 
LL.D., 1871-76; William Stevens Perry, S.T.D., 1876; Robert Gra- 
ham Hinsdale, S.T.D., 1876-83; Eliphalet Nott Potter, S.T.D., LL.D., 

Presidents Pro Tempore — Daniel McDonald, S.T.D., 1825-26; William 
Dexter Wilson, S.T.D., LL.D., L.H.D., 1867-68; Hamilton Lanphere 
Smith, M.A., LL.D., 1883-84. 

Trustees, classified with the dates of their election : 

The Rt. Rev. The Bishop of Western New York, ex officio. 

The Rev. The President of the college, ex officio. 



1893 The Hon. James C. Smith, LL D., Canandaigua, 1855 
The Rev. W. W. Battershall, D.D., Albany, 1879 

" The Hon. SterHng G. Hadley, Waterloo, 1883 

" WilHam J. Ashley, A.M., Rochester, 1883 

1894 The Rev. John Brainard, D.D., Auburn, 1888 
" The Rev. H. R. Lockvvood, S.T.D., Syracuse, 1876 

The Hon. James M. Smith, LL.D., Buffalo, 1884 

*' The Hon. S. H. Hammond, D.C.L., Geneva, 1874 

1895 P- N. Nicholas, A.M., Geneva, 1884 
" William B. Douglas, esq., Rochester, 1856 

William H. Walker, esq., Buffalo, 1890 

William H. DeLancey, A.M., New York, 1880 

1896 The Rev. Morgan Dix, S.T.D., D.C.L., New York, 1863 
" Thomas McBlain, esq., Geneva, 1891 

Arthur P. Rose, A.M., Geneva, 1871 

*' The Rev. Lewis Halsey, D.D., Oswego, 1891 

1897 Douglas Merritt, esq., Rhinebeck, 1885 
" Alexander L. Chew, esq., Geneva, 1868 
" Arthur G. Yates, esq., Rochester, 1892 

John McDonald, A.M., New York, 1881 

Douglas Merritt, esq., Rhinebeck, chairman ; P. N. Nicholas, A. M., 
Geneva, secretary, bursar and treasurer. 

Geneva Medical College. — In 1834 an act of the Legislature author- 
ized a medical department in the college, and in 1836 the middle col- 
lege building was erected for the use of the medical faculty. In 1841 a 
new medical building was erected on the east side of Main street, and 
the middle building was thereupon devoted to the use of the literary 
department. The State contributed $15,000 towards the fund for the 
erection of the new medical building. The medical department of Ho- 
bart College was discontinued in 1872, and the building itself destroyed 
by fire in 1877. Its period of greatest prosperity was from 1840 to 
1850; its total number of graduates, six hundred and thirty-two. 

The De Laneey Divinity School. — In the year 1861 Bishop De 
Lancey called James Rankine to Geneva to assume charge and direction 
of a theological and training school which the bishop was then about to 



establish, and which was then to be known as the " Diocesan Training 
School of Western New York." However, in 1865 Bishop De Lancey 
died, and in honor of his splendid life and services, the name of this 
institution was changed to "The De Lancey Divinity School." 

The confidence in Dr. Rarikine which was shown by the bishop in 
calling him to the charge of this school was most worthily bestowed, 
for since its inception in 1861, there has been no change nor desire for 
change in its principalship. This silent though thorough institution 
attracts but little attention in the village, and only for the grand results 
here achieved, we would hardly know of its existence. Briefly stated, 
the object of the De Lancey Divinity School is to prepare for the 
sacred ministry and church work such persons as from age and pecu- 
liar circumstances cannot attend the general theological seminaries. 

In 1806 relations were established with Hobart College by which 
the use of the facilities of the college, including the chapel and the 
library, and instruction from members of the College Faculty were se- 
cured to students connected with the Divinity School. 


The first public school law enacted by the Legislature of the State of 
New York was that of 1795, which simply provided for an annual ap- 
propriation of $50,000 for five years, apportioned at first to the several 
counties according to their representation in the Legislature, and later 
according to the number of assemblymen ; to the towns according to 
taxable population, and to the school districts according to the number 
of days' instruction. ^ It has already been pointed out that for the five 
years during which this act was operative, the freeholders of the town 
of Seneca annually elected commissioners of schools to receive the 
money apportioned under it The names of the first commissioners 
chosen by the town were James Rice, Oliver Whitmore and Phinehas 
Pierce, selected May 3, 1796. There are no records to show what 
action, if any, was taken by these commissioners or their successors in 
office under the act, or how much money was received by them. An 
inquiry addressed to the Department of Public Instruction at Albany 
has elicited the information that in the report of school returns to the 

1 See N. Y. vS. Educational Exhibit pamphlet, "The Schools of New York" (p. 30), Albany, 1893. 


Legislature of 1798, no returns whatever were received from Ontario 
county, and that the appropriation for that year averaged one cent per 
day to a scholar. The ofificial report of 1798, the only one made during 
the five years of the life of the act, was, however, confessedly incom- 
plete ; but even if it had contained a report from the town of Seneca, 
it could have shown little more than the number of schools in the town, 
and the number of children in school attendance, though official in- 
formation on these points would have been interesting and valuable, 
particularly in settlement of the question whether there was more than 
one school in Geneva at that early date. 

In 1805 the common school fund was created by a legislative act, but 
no distribution of the annual revenues arising from that fund was made 
till 1815. Meanwhile, June 19, 1812, an act was passed by the Legis- 
lature which became the basis of the present common school system of 
the State of New York. Acting under this law, the freeholders of the 
town of Seneca at a special town meeting held September 29, 18 13, at 
Powell's Hotel (the present Water Cure building), elected three com- 
missioners of common schools, viz. : Valentine Brother, Nathan Whit- 
ney, David Cook ; and six inspectors of common schools, viz. : Seth 
Whitmore, Joseph Hart, Foster Sinclair, Caleb Rice, Polydore B. Wis- 
ner, John Collins. Unfortunately there are no records either in Geneva 
or in Albany to show when the original division of the town of Seneca 
into school districts was made, or what the boundaries of the school dis- 
tricts as first organized were. The first report of the first superinten- 
dent of common schools, the Hon. Gideon Havvley, merely shows that 
out of thirty towns in Ontario county, twenty-four, representing one 
hundred and eighty seven school districts, reported, no town being 
especially mentioned. The report further shows that the school districts 
reporting received for the year from the State $3,873.92, and that the 
attendance of pupils was ten thousand six hundred and ninety- eight. 
Whether the town of Seneca reported, and what its report was, must 
remain matters of conjecture. 

In 1839, when the Union School of Geneva was formed, the corporate 
limits of the village comprised two school districts, Nos. I and 19. The 
difTerence in the district numbers seems to indicate that in the original 
division of the town of Seneca into school districts, the village of Ge- 


neva was made district No. i, and that at a later date a second school 
district, No. 19, was set off within the village limits. This view is 
strongly supported, if not confirmed, by the language of a document 
hesLVing dsite Januajy 15, 1822, in which the trustees of the Geneva 
Academy present the old academy building to " The Trustees of the 
District School in the village of Geneva " — language incompatible with 
the theory that there were then two district schools in the village. 
School district No. 19 must have been created, however, only a few 
months later, for the census of Geneva the same year enumerates two 
district schools 

No records exist to show that teachers taught in these district schools 
or what buildings the schools were kept in ; but tradition and inci- 
dental references to the schools in old newspapers and documents have 
preserved to us not a little information on these points A petition ad- 
dressed to the trustees of Geneva Academy under date of September 
27, 1 82 I, speaks of " the District School " as being then kept in their 
building. Later, as is well known, district school No. i was kept on 
Geneva street, and district school No. 19 on Pulteney street. Of the 
earlier district school teachers, the names most frequently mentioned by 
the older inhabitants, are those of Peter B. Hard, J. Brown, and D W. 

T/ie Unioii School of Geneva was the pioneer institution of the kind 
in the State, and its plan was first suggested by Francis Dwight, who 
submitted the proposition to Charles A. Cook, Perez Hastings and 
Aaron Young. The proposed system being at length submitted to the 
taxpayers, met with much opposition, but the advocates of the measure 
finally overcame all obstacles and established for Geneva a grand union 
school which afterward served as a foundation for many other similar 
institutions throughout the State On the 24th of April, 1839, School 
District No. i of the town of Seneca was formed from the older Districts 
Nos. I and 19, which comprised the village corporation. The sum of 
$3,600 was voted by the district with which a site on Milton street was 
purchased and a suitable school building erected. It was completed in 
1839, had four rooms and accommodations for 300 pupils. At first 
five teachers were employed, Isaac Swift being the first principal. 

In 1842 an addition to the building was erected, being the east wing, 
and in 1853 a further addition was made to the building, the west wing; 


also in the last mentioned year three branch schools were established 
in the village, known as the North and South branches and the Colored 
School. The Middle Branch, on Lewis street, was erected in 1854. 
In 1 89 1 the Prospect avenue branch school building was erected at an 
expense of $9,000. The instruction of colored students in a separate 
building was abolished in 1863. 

In 1853, by an act of the Legislature passed April 15, the Geneva 
Union School was incorporated and authorized to establish and main- 
tain a classical department, and also to instruct a normal class under 
the supervision and control of the State Board of Regents. On March 
16, 1869, its corporate title was changed to "The Geneva Classical 
and Union School." Of its history Mrs. Bradford says: "It has 
fitted many young men for college, many for teachers, and has sent 
abroad many more to occupy places of trust and honor. As it was the 
first institution of its kind in its organization, so now it is one of the 
first in moral and intellectual improvements." 

On the 17th of December, 1868, the academy building on Milton 
street was destroj ed by fire, and with it was also burned a large quan- 
tity of valuable school apparatus, books, pictures and other desirable 
property. Immediately following the fire, measures for rebuilding were 
adopted, and the work was done during the years 1869 and '70, the 
building being ready for occupancy in October of the year last men- 
tioned. The new building was erected on the site of its predecessor, 
and cost, with furnishings, about $42,000. Extensive repairs and im- 
provements have recently been made, and in particular in the summer 
of 1892 an extension to the south two stories in height was erected at 
an expense of $10,000, with ample accommodations for a chapel on the 
first floor and a laboratory and additional lecture rooms on the second. 

The trustees of Districts i and 19, at the time of consolidation in 
1839, were as follows: No. i, Aaron Young, Wm. W. Green and S. S, 
Green ; of No. 2, Clark Morrison and Wm. Barker. The first tru.stees 
of Consolidated District No. i were Bowen Whiting, Richard Hogarth 
and Francis Dwight. 

The public schools of Geneva at the present time comprise the High 
School and Senior, also the East and West Junior Departments on 
Milton street; and the Primary schools on Lewis, Cortland and High 


streets and Prospect avenue. The present Board of Education 'is as 
follows: M. S. Sandford, Philip N. Nicholas, Samuel D. Willard, 
Arthur P. Rose and Chas. R. Mellen. 

The first principal was Isaac Swift, 1839 to 1852 ; J. E. Dexter, 1852 
to 1855; E. M. Hutchins. 1855 to 1857; B I. Bristol, 1857 to 1859; 
Wm. H. Vrooman (principal and superintendent) 1859 to 1879; Henry 
K. Clapp, 1879 to 1889; Geo. W. Pye, 1889 to 1890; W. H. Trues- 
dale, principal from August, 1890, to August, 1891, since which time 
he has filled the offices of principal and superintendent. 

SL Francis De Sales, Catholic.^ — In connection with this church is a 
parochial free school, erected 1874, and opened for school purposes 
September, 1875; taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph; cost $17,000, 
furniture included. The Catholic children of the village are gathered 
in this school and there are 543 scholars enrolled, the average attendance 
being 470. The St. Francis De Sales Convent and school are in charge 
of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The property on which the church, con- 
vent and school is situated comprises the entire block fronting on Ex- 
change street, between State and Toledo, and in the rear by Center 
street. The St. Francis De Sales Society is incorporated under the 
laws of the State of New York. The pupils of this school pursue a 
thorough graded course of studies and take the Regents' examinations, 
in which, as the records show, the most of them receive the honor 
mark for high standing. All expenses of the school are met by the 
voluntary contributions of the parishioners, who at the same time are 
taxed to educate the children of their wealthier neighbors. 

The De Lancey School for Girls. — Thirty- seven years ago the Misses 
Bridge opened a select school in Geneva, in the house on Main street 
now occupied as a residence by George W. Nicholas, and at a later 
date removed to the dwelling on the same street now occupied by Mrs. 
E. H. Hurd About the year 1868 the Misses Bridge left Geneva for 
a time, but returned about 1878 and in 1880 established the present 
De Lancey School, using for a time the George W. Nicholas house, 
then buying the Admiral Craven property, also on Main street. Here 
the school was continued until 1890 under the care of the Misses 
Bridge. At this time the present principal. Miss M. S. Smart, suc- 

' Furnished by the Rt. Rev. Father McDonald. 


ceeded to the school, and in 1891 secured for its use the "Foot Place." 
The school was incorporated in 1888. It has six instructors, an aver- 
age of forty pupils, and is under the religious instruction of the Protes- 
tant Episcopal church 

In addition to the educational institutions already described as at 
present existing in Geneva, there are two excellent schools of primary 
grade, the one kept by Miss Gray, successor to the Ouincy School ; the 
other by Miss Smith. 

TJie Geneva Lyceum. — This once notable institution was founded in 
1 83 1 by Rev. Miles P. Squier, D. D., its purpose being "to prepare 
young men to enter higher literary institutions, and especially to fur- 
nish facilities for pious young men who are contemplating the gospel 
ministry to lay a broad and solid foundation in the various fundamental 
branches of learning, for subsequent higher attainments." 

The Lyceum buildings were erected in the west part of the village, 
the funds therefor being raised among the generous people of the region, 
upon the personal application of Dr. Squier. Although not intended 
to be specially denominational, the Lyceum was generally recognized 
as having Presbyterian leanings, a statement which finds confirmation 
in the fact that Mr. Squier offered the buildings and grounds to the 
Synod of Geneva (" on terms every way advantageous ") for the pur- 
pose of founding a college. The ofifer was seriously discussed for a 
time, but at length was abandoned, after which the Lyceum passed out 
of existence about the year 1842. 

The Walnut 'Hill School, an institution designed for the especial 
work of educating boys, was established in 1 85 2 and was located at the 
south end of Main street, on the site now in part occupied by the resi- 
dence of Wm. J. King. Of the history of this once popular school, but 
little reliable data is obtainable, though it is known that the course of 
study was thorough and the discipline excellent. During most of its 
career its principal was Rev. Dr. T. C. Reed, who was assisted by three 
competent teachers. The school was discontinued in 1875. 

Other schools famous in their day were Mr. Eddy's, the opposition 
school when the Geneva Academy was reorganized in 1821 ; William 
Kirkland's, 1828-1835I; Walter T. Taylor's, 1835I-1852; Professor 


David Prentice's, 1850-1855 ; Geneva Grammar school, 1866-1870; 
Geneva Academy, 1869-1873; Ouincy school, 1879-1891; and for 
girls, Mrs. Plum's, 1822I-1825I; Mrs. Aikin's, 1823-1827I; Geneva 
Female Seminary, Mrs. Ricord, principal, 1829-1842; Geneva Female 
Institute, Mr. Chapin, principal, 1846-1849; Mrs. Titus's, 1849^- 
1855I; The Misses Field's, 1856-1873; Mrs. Bradford's, 1862-1868; 
Mrs, Hopkins's, 1 868-1 872; The Misses Black's, 1 873-1 880. 

In the earlier time notable primary schools were kept by Mrs. 
Young, Miss Lowthrop, Miss Lewis and Miss Martha Tillinghast. 

Churches of Geneva. 

The First Presbyterian Church. — On the i6th of July, 1798, a meet- 
ing of citizens was held at the Geneva Hotel for the purpose of organ- 
izing a church or religious society in the village of Geneva. By a 
pluraHty of votes the following persons were elected trustees by the 
name and style of "The Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of 
Geneva," to wit: Oliver Whitmore, Elijah Wilder, Septimus Evans, 
Ezra Patterson, Samuel Latta, William Smith, jr., and Polydore B. 
Wisner. The first elders were Oliver Whitmore and Elijah Wilder. 
The organization was accomplished largely through the efforts and 
under the direction of Rev. Jedediah Chapman, who was the first pas- 
tor of the society. 

The first church edifice was erected in 1809, and was succeeded by 
another of larger proportions and more imposing appearance, built in 
1839. I" ^'^n the present large and attractive edifice was built. The 
church property consists of the main edifice at the corner of the Park 
and Washington street, a large session-room building standing just 
north of the church, and a pastor's residence on Washington street 
in rear of the church. 

The First Church now has 420 enrolled communicants and a Sun- 
day school of about 325 pupils. The present church and society 
officers are Arthur Hammond, Frank O. Kent, William H. Smith, 
William H. Dobbin, David H. Henry, Edw. B. Richardson, Solomon 
E. Smith, Eli A. Bronson, Isaac L. Seely and Lucius Van Slycke, 

* This date is perhaps not absolutely accui-ate. 


elders; John L. Bennett, M S Sandford, George Travis, F. S. Bron- 
son, James N. Kipp, David H. Patty, Charles H. Darrow, Henry W. 
Foster and Thomas E. Rippey, deacons; D. H. Fatty, T. J. Skelton, 
William H. Vrooman, Joseph S. Lewis, David H. Henry, Eli A. Bron- 
son, and Solomon E. Smith, trustees. 

The succession of pastors has been as follows : Jedediah Chapman, 
1 800-1812 ; Henry Axtell, 1812-29; Eliakim. Phelps, 1830-35 ; Philip 
C. Hay, 1836-46; William Hogarth, 1847-56; Hubbard Winslow, D.D., 
1857-59; A. Augustus.Wood,D.D., 1860-73 ; Henry A. Nelson, D.D., 
1874-85; Halsey B. Stevenson, 1887-89; William W. Weller, 1890. 

The North Presbyterian CJmrcJi of Geneva was formed by a union 
of the members of the United Presbyterian Church with the Bethel 
Society of Geneva. The latter was an organization of faithful mis- 
sionary workers whose field of labor lay especially among the boat- 
men of the lake and canal and with others who had no fixed church 
house. By this society a chapel was erected on Exchange street, 
north of the railroad, and here the meetings were held until the union 
mentioned was formed. The Bethel Society was organized in 1839, 
and in 1866 began to maintain preaching in their chapel. Soon after 
the year last mentioned the members of the United or Scotch Presby- 
terian Society proposed a union with the Bethel members, which, being 
accepted, the former secured a dismissal from its connection and asked 
for admission to the Presbytery of Geneva, which was granted Novem- 
ber I. 1870. The result was the organization of the "Second Pres- 
byterian Church of Geneva," and which afterward became known as the 
North Presbyterian Church. 

The early meetings were held in the Scotch Church edifice, and in 
1876 the large and elegant stone edifice was erected at the corner of 
Genesee and Lewis streets. Its cost was nearly $40,000, about one- 
half of which was contributed by Thompson C, Henry E., and Joshua 
I. Maxwell. 

The North Church numbers 430 members, with 500 pupils in the 
Sunday school. The elders of the society are John Mackay, James 
S. Sears, Thompson C Maxwell, Stephen W. Hopkins, Theo. S. Hub- 
bard, Charles K. Scoon, John H. Daniels. E. M. Maynard, and George 
X. Smith. The deacons are John P. Vail, E. B. Van Houghton, Will- 



iam M. Gates, C. W. Haviland, Charles H. Webster, Harry J. Loy, 
Watson E. Stubbs, Frank P. Skuse, and E M. Maynard. 

The first pastoral supply was Henry P. Collin, 1870-71, succeeded 
by stated supply Alfred C. Roe, the latter remaining two years. Dr. 
William Hogarth was called to the pastorate in July, 1873, and installed 
in November. He remained thirteen years and was followed in 1886 
by Paul Van Dyke, who retired in 1888, and was succeeded by the 
present pastor, Rev. Dr. Ninian B. Remick, the pastorate of the latter 
beginning in 1890. 

Trinity Church. — The parish and society of Trinity Church were 
organized on the i8th of August, 1806, by former members of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church of older places. The incorporators were 
John Nicholas, Daniel W. Lewis, James Rees, James Reynolds, David 
Nagle, Robert W. Stoddard, John Collins, Robert S. Rose, Samuel 
Colt, Ralph T. Wood, Richard Hughes, William Hortsen, Thomas 
Wilbur, Richard M. Bailey, William Tappan, Levi Stephen, Thomas 
Wood, Richard Lazelere and Thomas Smith. The first wardens were 
John Nicholas and Daniel W. Lewis, and the vestrymen Samuel Sheckel, 
John Collins, Robert S. Rose, Richard Hughes, Ralph T. Wood, David 
Nagle, James Rees and Thomas Powell. 

Although the parish and church were not organized until 1806, still 
earlier services were held, beginning in 1803, under the missionary 
labors of Rev. Benjamin Phelps, who afterward became the first rector, 
and who baptized seven children in 1805. The early services were 
held in the district school-house, and in 1809 the Trinity parish was 
provided with a church -house. This edifice served the purpose of the 
society for a period of thirty- six years, and in 1842 the erection of the 
present splendid edifice was begun, the work being finished in 1844. 
It was consecrated by Bishop De Lancey August 15, 1844. The edi- 
fice has been occasionally repaired, and some improvements have also 
been made to it, and it stands to day, notwithstanding its age, one of the 
finest of the many beautiful church edifices of Geneva. 

Trinity has 560 communicants, and its Sunday school has 227 pupils. 
The present wardens are Alexander L. Chew and James P. Mellen ; 
vestrymen, O. J. C. Rose, Henry Slosson, S. H. Hammond, Samuel 
Southworth, H. Dennison, P. N. Nicholas, Thomas Smith. 


The succession of rectors has been as follows: Davenport Phelps, 
missionary and rector from 1803 to June 27, 1813; Orrin Clark, Au- 
gust 17, 1814, to 1828; Richard S. Mason, D.D., July 6, 1828, to 
April 26, 1830; Nathaniel F. Bruce, August 4, 1831, to July, 1835; 
Pierre P Irving, October 26, 1836, as deacon, and as rector May 27, 
1837, to 1843 ; Samuel Cook, D. D., 1843 to 1845 5 Jolm Henry 
Hobart, D. D., 1845 to 1847. William Henry Augustus Bissell, D.D., 
next succeeded to the rectorate as the successor of Dr. Hobart, and 
was himself succeeded by William Stevens Perry, D.D., LL.D. The 
next rector of Trinity was Rev. Dr. Henry W. Nelson, whose first ser- 
vice in the church began on Thanksgiving Day, 1876. 

St. Peter's Church. — The Rt. Rev. William Heathcoate De Lancey 
was elected bishop of the Diocese of Western New York in 1838, and 
in the next year moved to Geneva. He retained a residence in the 
village until the time of his death, April 5, 1865, and in honor of his 
life and good works in the mission field and church, St. Peter's was 
founded and organized as his memorial. As early as 1850 Bishop De 
Lancey began missionary work in Geneva and soon established a pros- 
perous mission in the north part of the village. In 1852 he began 
holding services in a small chapel on Genesee street, and becoming 
owner of the building, he named it St. Peter's in honor of his old par- 
ish church at Philadelphia, in which he was advanced to the Episco- 
pate. In 1 861 the bishop called Dr. James Rankine to Geneva to 
assume charge of the Theological Training School, and the latter soon 
found himself also engaged in the mission work, holding full Sunday 
service in the chapel. However, it was not until 1867, two years after 
the death of Bishop De Lancey, that St. Peter's parish and church were 
organized. The chapel was replaced with a large and elegant stone 
edifice, the funds therefor being raised by voluntary contribution, and 
the chief actor in accomplishing all that was done was Dr. Rankine. 
The church was begun in 1868, and was consecrated May 10, 1870. 
The tower was built in 1878. The first rector was Dr. James Rankine, 
who has filled that office until the present time, with the exception of 
about one year, during which he was president of Hobart College. In 
this interval Dr. Maunsell Van Rensselaer was rector of St. Peter's. 


The church now has 250 communicants and a Sunday-school with 
about 200 members. The wardens of St. Peter's are Samuel S. Graves 
and Davis L. Stacy ; vestrymen, S. H. Parker, Charles A. Steele, A. 
A. Halsey, Julius R. Roenke, James E. Brown, H. B. Graves, Benja- 
min Harvey, Peter R. Cole. 

The Methodist Episcopal Chtnxh of Geneva was not in fact organized 
until the year 18 18, although as early as 1793 Methodist preaching 
services were held in the region, and in 181 1 a class of eight members 
was formed in the village, Mr Loomis being the first leader. In 181 8 
the present society was organized by Rev. Ralph Lanning, the mem- 
bers numbering thirteen persons, who held their meetings in the Me- 
chanic's Society School house on Castle street, on the site where the 
society afterward built a church edifice. Prior to 1821 Geneva was a 
jnission, and the first house of worship, built on the site mentioned, 
was dedicated on Christmas Day, 1821. 

In 1828 this church was constituted a separate pastoral charge, then 
having seventy- two white and three colored members. The church on 
the corner of Maine and Seneca streets was begun in 1839 and finished 
in 1840, the dedicatory services being held August 15. The original 
cost of the building was $20,000, and it was substantially rebuilt in 
1885 at a considerable expense. The present trustees of the church 
are Dr. A. B. Smith, George Taylor, A. G. Frisbie, D. P. Nelson and 
W. I. Bonnett. The present pastor is Rev. R. D. Munger, and the 
superannuated ministers, D. D. Buck, D.D., and H. T. Giles. 

The pastors in succession have been as follows: Mauley Tooker, 
Seth Mattison, John B. Alverson, John W. Nevens, Calvin S. Coats, 
Elijah Hibbard, Seth Mattison, VVm. P. Davis, E. G. Hibbard, Moses 
Crane, F. G. Hibbard, O. R. Howard, John Dennis, John G. Gulick, 
John Raines, Wm. H. Goodwin, T. H. Kellogg, D. D Buck, Thos. 
Tousey, John W. Wilson, Wm. H. Goodwin, D D., John Raines, A. 
F. Morey, George Van Alstyne, A. W. Green, A. J. Kenyon, Robert 
C. Brownlee (3 terms), T. M. House, Charles H. Wright, John C. 
Nichols and R. D. Munger, the latter being the present pastor, whose 
connection with the local church began in 1891. The Geneva M. E. 
church has 340 members, and a Sunday school with 250 members. 


TJie United Presbyterian CJitirch, by many known as the Scotch 
church, dated its history in Geneva back as far as 1826, when Rev. D. 
C. McLaren ordained elders in the old M. E. church on Castle street. 
In 1830 the society had gained sufficient strength to erect a church 
house on Castle street, which it continued to occupy until the dissolu- 
tion of the society and the organization of what is now the North Pres- 
byterian church, with which nearly all the other members (in 1870) 
united. The supplies, pastors and others connected with the United 
Presbyterian church, during the period of its existence, were D. C. Mc- 
Laren, David Currie, J. F. McLaren, T. S. Farrington, VV. S. McLaren, 
J. L. Robertson, D. A. Duff, A. C. Roe. 

In connection with the history of this church the statement may be 
made that the original name of the society was " Associate Reformed 
Congregation of Geneva," and that in the spring of 1858, by a union 
of the Associate Presbyterian and Reformed Presbyterian churches at 
large, the local society became thenceforth known as the United Pres- 
byterian Church of Geneva. 

The Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Geneva was organized on 
the 24th of August, 183 1, at a meeting held in the Associated Reformed 
Presbyterian church on Castle street. The original members numbered 
nine persons, from whom Peter Dox and John Veader were chosen 
elders, and John N. Bogert and George Giffing deacons. For about 
six months worship was held in the red brick building on William 
street, and afterwards in Masonic Hall, on the site of the present* First 
Presbyterian church chapel, and in 1832 the large and commodious 
edifice was completed, the edifice being dedicated January 17, 1833. 
The society continued in existence for a period of nearly sixty years, 
during that time enjoying successes and meeting with reverses. Its 
membership began to decline about 1865, and the society was financially 
weak. The church was indebted to the Collegiate church in New 
York, which debt fell due when the local society ceased to be a Dutch 
church. The remedy was pursued, the edifice sold in 1887, and the 
village became its owner in a year or two afterwards. However, dur- 
ing the year 1890 the property was bought by the Catholic church for 
the purpose of establishing a branch of that church in the village. The 
pastors of the Dutch church, from the time of its organization to the 


final dissolution, were as follows: Revs. Henry Mandeville, Gustavus 
Abeel, D.D., Rev. C. C. Van Arsddale, D.D., pastoral supply, James 
Romeyn, D.D., Henry V. Vorhees, Joseph A. Collier, Charles Wiley, 
D.D., Samuel J. Rogers, William W. Brush, John O. Oppie, Rev. D. 
D. Buck, D.D., pastoral supply, Wm. H. Nasholds and Dr. Thomas 
G. Strong, the latter acting as stated supply at the time of the ending 
of the church's career. 

T/ie Universalist Church and Society of Geneva were organized No- 
vember 8, 1834, and in the next year the church edifice was erected at 
a cost of about $6,500. The society has never been large, and now 
has about one hundred and twenty- five members. The pastors have 
been Revs. Jacob Chase, jr., George Sanderson, Stephen Miles, Oliver 
Ackley, Z. Cook, Hiram Torrey, L. L. Sadler, E. Case, jr., S. W. Rem- 
ington, J, Bartlett, John M. Austin, J. F. Countryman, C. C. Richard- 
son, E. S. Corbin, E. E Bartlett, H. B. Howell, C. E. Perkins, O. M. 
Hilton and J. H. Ballou, the latter being the present pastor. The trus- 
tees of the society are W. E. Hayes, M. W. Hemiup, J. A. Barcklay, 
A. J. Rutheford, H. W. Harris and C. N. Hemiup. 

The First Baptist Chnrch of Geneva was organized on the 26th of 
February, 1826, and on the 5th of March following held its first cove- 
nant meeting. On April i thereafter Elder E. W. Martin was 
chosen as the first pastor. There were twenty- five original mem- 
bers. The first meeting-house was erected in 1829, and to it substantial 
repairs were made in 1849. I" ^^^7 the comfortable frame edifice on 
Milton street was built, but during recent years- the growth of the 
society has been such as to require the erection of a large house of 
worship; consequently a lot at the corner of North Main and Lewis 
streets was secured, upon which there is in course of erection an elegant 
brick and stone edifice, which from an architectural standpoint is not 
surpassed by any similar structure in the village. 

The church now has about 350 members, and in the Sunday school 
are 200 pupils. The succession of pastors of the Geneva Baptist church 
has been as follows : Elders E. W. Martin, Norman Bentley, S. Davi- 
son, J. Sears, W. B. Miller, Wm. W. Smith, John Middleton, Edward 
Tozer, W. T. Purrington, Elder Lawton, W. T. Parish, Elder Carpenter 
(supply), B. B. Gibbs, T. S. Hill, M. S. Goodno, J. Byington Smith, 


Dr. David D. Moore, Donald Grant, Walter Barse and Brewer G. 
Boardman, the latter being the present pastor of the church. 

St. Francis De Sales CJuirch (Roman Catholic). — The parish and 
church was organized in 1832 under the direction of Bishop Du Bois, 
and in the same year a church edifice was built. In 1858 Rev. James 
McManus became pastor, and under his ministry the attendance was so 
greatly increased that a new edifice became necessary. Accordingly, 
in 1864 the present large structure was built at a cost of about $30,- 
000. Father McManus continued pastor of this church until the time of 
his death, June 28, 1890, and on July 26 of the same year, was suc- 
ceeded by Father Wm. A. McDonald. 

In 1875 Father McManus established St. Francis De Sales Parochial 
school, a very worthy and thorough institution, now numbering 500 
pupils in attendance. This school is admirably conducted by the Sisters 
of St, Joseph. 

The Evangelical Association of Geneva was organized in 1873, the 
first pastor being John Reuber. No church house was provided until 
1885, when the neat brick edifice on Main slrect was erected. The 
Association has eighty- six members, and a Sabbath school with 
seventy-five attendants. The pastors, in succession, have been John 
Reuber, Charles Weisman, Jacob Burghart, A. Schlenk, Bavid Fischer, 
Jacob Vosseller, Louis Heinmiller, Frederick Lohmeyer and Andrew 

A Free Church for the colored worshipers of all denominations was 
erected on High street as early as 1825 or '26. This building was 
burned, and a new church was built in 1892. It has no present resi- 
dent pastor. 


In November, 1796, Lucius Carey published at Geneva the first 
number of the Ontario Gazette and Western Chronicle. Although 
this paper was founded under the immediate direction and pat- 
ronage of Charles Williamson, it continued publication in Geneva 
only about a year and a half, when it was removed to Canandaigua, 
from which village its worthy descendant, the Repository and MesseJiger, 


is still issued. A copy of the first number of the paper printed at Ge- 
neva, is now in the Reynolds Library, Rochester, N. Y. 

In the early part of i8o6 James Bogert became a resident of Geneva, 
and in November of the same year he established the Expositor, the 
second paper of the village, the publication of which was continued by 
him for a period of more than twenty seven years, or until December 4 
1833. However, in 1809, Mr. Bogert changed the name of his paper 
from Expositor to the Geneva Gazette, by which it has ever since been 
known. Grieve & Merrell (John Grieve and J. C. Merrell) succeeded 
next to the ownership of the Gazette, and in 1836 Mr Merrell became 
its sole proprietor, continuing only one year, and then selling to J. J. 
Mattison. During the later years of his proprietorship John H. Dey 
was a partner of Mr. Merrell. J. Taylor Bradt next owned the paper, 
and in 1839 ^^ ^o^*^ ^^ Stowe & Frazee. From some unknown cause 
the Gazette was declared to be an unprofitable business enterprise, and 
for a time its publication was suspended. However, in January, 1845, 
the office and plant was purchased by Ira and Stephen H. Parker, who 
not only revived the paper under its old name, but who gave such ener- 
gy and force to its publication that it at once became a leading paper in 
the county, and one not only satisfactory to the reading public, but a 
source of profit to its owners. In 1852 Stephen H. Parker became sole 
proprietor of the Gazette, and has continued in that relation to the pres- 
ent time, the year 1893 being the forty-second of his sole ownership 
and the forty-ninth of his connection with the paper. 

During the publication of the Expositor, James Bogert was a Feder- 
alist, but while publishing the Gazette and on the approach of the War 
of 181 2, he became a Democrat, and although he was associated with 
influence which might have allied him to federalism, he was patriotically 
democratic during the War of 1812-15. He was upon the frontier in 
18 1 2 bearing a captain's commission, and was afterwards commissioned 

Mr. Parker has maintained the political standard established by 
Colonel Bogert in 18 12, and has been consistently democratic in his 
conduct of the Gazette ; perhaps we might truthfully say his course has 
been at times enthusiastically with his party platform. But regardless 
of the political tendencies of the Gazette, it is one of the leading papers 


Mr. William O. Bunn became sole proprietor of the paper and Mr. Elon 
G. Salisbury continued in the office in the capacity of editor. 

In January, 1876, when the Geneva 6<?«rzVr establishment came un- 
der the control of Mr. Malette, then began a period of rapid growth. 
There was at that date in the office the usual force, in such towns as 
Geneva was then, of five printers, including the "devil." The business 
was carried on in one good sized room, in which were all the printing 
materials, including the press, engine and boiler. Subsequently this 
same establishment comprised four newspapers, a large jobbing depart- 
ment, and from thirty to forty persons, occupying four floors, including 
a building planned and erected for its use. Two printing plants had 
grown up within its walls ; one of them newspapers, as stated else- 
where ; and in July, 1891, Mr. Malette disposed of the Courier, as has 
been narrated. 

During the period mentioned, the Courier found itself two or three 
times out of line with the Republican party, especially in its support of 
bi metalism, and also its advocacy of the policy of withdrawing the 
Federal military arm from the administration of civil government in the 
Southern States, and it met a storm of opposition particularly in regard 
to the latter ; but both policies were subsequently incorporated into the 
Republican national platforms. On every important question from the 
inception of the party the paper was either with or in advance of the 
party itself, it was as a rule radical and not conservative, while on every 
moral question it uniformly favored the very best attainable standard, 
regardless of party exigency or private interest. 

The Saturday Review, (Geneva) ; The News- Letter, (Ontario County), 
and The Seneca Connty Neius- Letter, published at Geneva, James Malette, 
editor and proprietor ; F. A. Malette, managing editor. These news- 
papers, constituting a series, issued on a plan essentialljMiew in the field 
of journalism, with their field of circulation chiefly in Ontario and Sen- 
eca counties, and representing no one place in preference to any other, 
were designed to bring into more intimate relation the people of the 
various towns and villages in the section of the country in which they 
are circulated. 

The initial publications were The Miscellany and The Asteroid, begun 
in 1878. At first the sheets comprised four pages, twenty columns in 




all. Successive enlargements were made from this point, and the plan 
of publication was developed so that the three issues assumed their 
present form, size and character (1893), each paper twelve pages, seven- 
ty-two columns, and together including news departments and offices 
in from thirty to forty towns ; in each of which towns the news of the 
other towns is served as far as practicable to all the readers every Sat- 
urday. Sensationalism is avoided. The three papers are alike, bright, 
newsy, entertaining, of high character, useful to all communities within 
the radius of their influence. 

The Miscellaneous Register, edited by William Ray and published by 
Leavenworth & Ray, was published from July 20, 1822. 

The Christia7i Magazine, a monthly publication, Rev. John F. Mc- 
Laren, editor, under the supervision of the Associate Reformed Synod 
of New York, was first published January, 1832, and was continued for 
about twelve years, being discontinued in 1854. The Young Ladies' 
Mirror, published from August i, 1834, to August i, 1835, by Imley 
Prescott. First editor, E. D. Kennicott, subsequent editor, Jacob Chase, 
jr. Literaty Museum. ■^\y}o\\'i\\^di {xoxx\ March 13, 1834, to March 30, 
1835, by Snow & Williams. Herald of Truth, publication begun by 
Imley Prescott on June 21, 1834, with E. D. Kennicott as first editor, 
who was followed by Jacob Chase, jr., and G. N. Montgomery. Publi- 
cation continued in Geneva until December 23, 1836, when it was re- 
moved to Rochester by George Sanderson, its subsequent proprietor. 

The Geneva Democrat was published during the campaign of 1840, 
by Stone & Frazer. The District School Journal (monthly) was started 
in Geneva in 1840 by Francis Dwight, and removed to Albany in 1841. 
The Geneva Advertiser and Mechanics Advocate, a semi-weekly, was 
started in 1841 by S. Merrill & Co, and continued one year. The 
Geneva Budget first appeared in 1852, published by Sproul & Tanner, 
and suspended in 1854. The New York State Intelligencer lived only 
through the year 1848. The Ontario Whig, semi weekly was started in 
Geneva in 1850 by Wm. C. Busted and discontinued in 1852. The 
Geneva Independent and Freeman's Gazette was established in 1851 by 
W. K. Fowle and by him published until 1855, followed by H. G. Moore 
until 1857, when it became known as the Geneva Ledger and again 
passed into the hands of its founder. Mr. Fowle also started the Gen- 


eva Daily Union in 1858, but the venture was unprofitable, and the 
paper, therefore, discontinued. The Ledger- zXso ceased in 1859. 

The Geneva Ad%>ertiser first made its appearance December 31, 1880, 
under the editorship of Edgar Parker, and, although it ventured into a 
well filled field, the paper has maintained an exceedingly healthy exist- 
ence even from its first number. Mr. Parker entered the journalistic 
arena with a rich experience, gathered during long years of service on 
the Gazette, but he had become thoroughly disgusted with advocating 
radical party platform declarations when the controlling elements of the 
party itself failed to maintain its rights. The Tilden campaign failure 
of 1876, followed by the split of 1879 and the defeat of 1880, led to the 
founding of the Advertiser as an independent paper, bound to no party 
and tied to no candidate, and on this principle the publication has been 
founded and maintained ; and with more than fair success to the owner. 
The Advertiser has a good circulation and a satisfactory advertising 
support. In fact it is a bright, newsy and desirable family paper. 

The Geneva Democrat is the latest venture into the local field of jour- 
nalism and, although young in years, having been published for two 
years, it has shown a remarkable growth. It is well dressed in appear- 
ance, vigorous in tone and strong in support of the party whose cause 
it advocates. It is edited and published by William P. O'Malley. 


The mention of this subject naturall}/ takes us back again to the early 
history of the village to a time when the principal business interests were 
centered at the square. From Mrs. Bradford's valuable history we learn 
that " the early merchants of Geneva were Grieve & Moffat, Samuel Colt, 
Richard M.Williams, Elijah Gordon, Richard M.Bailey. Abraham Dox." 
Septimus Evans was an early settler and "respectable" merchant. Daniel 
W. Lewis was an early resident and lawyer. Polydore B. Wisner prac- 
ticed law here in 1805. Moses Hall had a shop where Edward Kingsland 
lives now. Samuel Colt has already been mentioned among the busi- 
ness men. Dr. William Adams was the first physician ; other early med- 
ical men were Drs. John Henry and Daniel Goodwin. "Among the 
earliest mechanics were William Tappan, John and Abraham Hall, 
Moses Hall, William W. Watson, John Woods, Foster Barnard, Richard 
Lazalere and Jacob and Joseph Backenstose." 


From Colonel James Bogert's reminiscences of Geneva, published by- 
Mrs. Bradford, it is learned that in 1805 there were thirty-five houses 
on Main street, seven on Seneca street, five on Castle street, two on 
Genesee street, and one on Pulteney street, and that many of the now 
important streets were not then laid. From the same authority we also 
learn " that the north side of Seneca street on which there is now (1833) 
a compact mass of beautiful and substantial buildings, was long after we 
commenced the publication of our paper (1806) improved as a mowing 

However, it is not our purpose at this time to dwell at length on the 
old business interests of Geneva. There are now living in the village 
many persons whose recollection carries them back from fifty to sixty- 
five years ; persons who have observed the growth of the place from 
the small hamlet to the metropolitan village, now having a volume of 
business equal to some of the cities of the State. In a preceding portion 
of this chapter we have traced the development of business and noted 
the gradual decline of the park vicinity and the corresponding use of 
Seneca, Exchange (formerly Water), and Castle streets as business 
thoroughfares. But in manufactures Geneva did not gain any great 
prominence until after the building of the railroads, and the greatest 
strides in this direction have been made during the last quarter of a cen- 
tury. Glancing over the village directory for 1867, the names of man- 
ufacturers appearing are as follows : James Alexander, brewer, David 
W. Baird, carriage manufacturer; Henry D. Beach, bedstead maker 
and " leader of the band ; " Charles Bennett, brickyard ; Wm. H. Brund- 
age, carriage factory; Bullard & Co., manufacturers of dial attachment 
dampers for stove pipes ; Alfred Catchpole, foundry and machine shop ; 
Conger & McKa)^ saw and planing mill and spoke factory; Patrick 
Coursey, wool puller and tanner; John B. Dixon, tile manufacturer; 
Wm. B. Dunning, proprietor iron works; P. H. & G.W. Field, maltsters ; 
Samuel L. Jones, planing-mill ; Benjamin W. Keyes, carriage manufact- 
urer ; Rubert & Co , yeast factory; Richard Snyder, brickyard. A 
few of these industries are still in existence, and may be mentioned 
among those of the present day. Especially are the names of Wm. B. 
Dunning, Benj. W. Keyes and .David W. Baird familiar to quite recent 
business interests. 


The New York Central Iron Works Company, that great Geneva in- 
dustry, was incorporated in 1890, and is the outgrowth of an original 
business established by Wm. B. Dunning in 185 i. In 1853 Mr. Dun- 
ning began making boilers, mill irons and other articles on a larger 
scale, and with each passing year found a largely increasing business. 
The old works were burned in 1870, and at once replaced with the present 
buildings. Here are made the Dunning steam and hot water heaters, 
steam engines, boilers and general machinery. Tlie company was incor- 
porated July I, 1890, having $100,000 capital. Its ofificers are Wm. B. 
Dunning, president; O. J. C. Rose, vice-president and treasurer ; E. N. 
Squires, secretary and manager. 

In 1868 Edward W. Herendeen established the Thomas Harrow 
Company for the manufacture of harrows, also various kinds of other 
agricultural implements This branch of business has not been wholly 
discarded, although the chief products of the present large plant are the 
Furman heaters, and steam and hot water boilers. The Herendeen 
Manufacturing Company was incorporated in February, 1888, with 
$100,000 capital. The officers are: Edward W. Herendeen, president ; 
Francis A. Herendeen, secretary ; Wm. L. Herendeen, treasurer ; Fred- 
erick J. Furman, superintendent. 

The firm of T. Smith & Co. is the outgrowth of a business established 
on the Waterloo turnpike in 1859 by Ezra Havens, who had a spoke 
and bendings works in that location. At a later date the firm of Kipp, 
McDougall & Co. succeeded Havens, and the business was moved to 
Exchange street, occupying the old Burrall foundry building. Thomas 
Smith afterward became owner of the works, but the buildings were 
burned in 1873. Being at once rebuilt, the firm of T. Smith & Co. was 
formed, Daniel Catchpole and Thomas McBlain becoming partners with 
Mr. Smith. The present firm comprises Mr. Smith, Daniel, Edward A.' 
and Lewellen G. Catchpole, and was formed in November, 1891. 

In 1 87 1 the Geneva Malt House was established by Samuel K. Nes- 
ter, and the industry thus founded by him more than twenty years ago 
has grown to mammoth proportion, being recognized as one of the most 
extensive of its kind in the country. 

The Geneva Optical Company, whose extensive works until recently 
were on Linden street, but in 1893 moved to an elegant large building 



at the corner of Lyceum and Nursery avenue, was formed in January, 
1875, for the purpose of manufacturing optical goods. The active orig- 
inators of the industry were Corydon Wheat, Andrew L. Smith, and 
William Hall. The officers of the company are : Thomas Smith, presi- 
dent ; Wm. Smith, vice-president ; Thomas J. Smith, treasurer ; Wm. 
Bowker, secretary and superintendent. The company is capitalized at 
$100,000, and employs about 200 persons. 

The Standard Optical Company was organized in 1883, to operate in 
connection with the Geneva Optical Company. Its capital is $300,000. 

The large Steam Roller Flour Mill at the south end of Exchange 
street, was built in 1877 by Patrick and Stephen Coursey. In 1880 
Stephen Coursey became sole proprietor. This is one of the best mills 
in the county, and has a full equipment of roller machinery, with a ca- 
pacity of 125 barrels of flour daily. 

The Geneva Preserving Company was incorporated in March, 1889, 
with $40,000 capital. The buildings are located in the north part of 
the village, and here during the year 1892 were canned 1,250,000 pack- 
ages of fruits and vegetables. The officers are : Irving Rouse, presi- 
dent ; S. D. Willard, vice-president; B. E. Rouse, secretary; E. H. 
Palmer, treasurer. 

The Phillips and Clark Stove Company. In 1885 the firm of G. H. 
Phillips & Co. moved from Troy to Geneva, and soon thereafter a prop- 
osition was made to organize a company for the manufacture of stoves 
on an extensive scale. Local capitalists hesitated about entering into 
the enterprise, but after a short time a stock company with $100,000 
capital was incorporated. The Phillips interests expressed a willingness 
to take a $75,000 of the stock, a fact considered quite surprising at the 
time, but Mr. Phillips was experienced in business and saw grand pos- 
sibilities to be attained with works at Geneva. The necessary buildings 
were at once erected and the company began business ; and it is a fact 
that this is by far the largest and best paying industry now operating in 
Geneva. The works employ about 250 men, while the output of stoves 
is about 100 per day. The officers of the company are: George H. 
Phillips, president and manager; F. O. Mason, vice president ; E. B. 
Webster, secretary ; W. A. Clark, treasurer ; L. S. Phillips, superin- 


The Patent Cereals Company of Geneva was incorporated in 1888 
with a capital of $350,000, for the manufacture of goods from wheat 
and corn, producing food and brewery products. The officers of the com- 
pany are : George W. Pier, president ; Fred. Licht, vice-president ; 
J no. T. Munn, secretary and treasurer. 

The Geneva Carriage Company was incorporated on April 7, 1891, as 
a local manufacturing concern, though its principal practical men were 
formerly in business at Seneca Falls, from whence the works moved to 
Geneva and became known as above noted. In this village the com- 
pany first occupied a building near the railroad on Exchange street, 
but in March, 1893, moved to the large and more suitable building on 
Middle street, fojjnerly occupied by Pierce, Butler & Pierce. The Ge- 
neva Carriage Company manufactures a large variety of vehicles, chief 
among which is that known as Morrell & Eddy's patent cut-under 
wagon, which is fast gaining popularity throughout the country. In 
fact Morrell and Eddy, jointly and severally, are the inventors of many 
valuable appliances relating to wagons and carriages, and are now justly 
reaping the deserved harvest of the fruits of their genius. The capital 
of the company is $50,000, and the officers are : O. J. C. Rose, presi- 
dent ; Millard F. Blaine, secretary, treasurer, and general manager ; 
directors, O. J. C. Rose, E. N. Squires, M. F. Blaine, Wm. N. Morrell, 
Chas. A. Eddy. 

In the same manner there may be briefly mentioned the other busi- 
ness and manufacturing interests of the village and vicinity, among 
which are the Border City Manufacturing Company and the Superior 
Land Roller Company, both of which are in the suburb known as 
" Border City " and " East Geneva." In the village also we may make 
mention of the brewery and malt-house of James Thwates on the Pre- 
emption road; the church organ factory of John J. Pole, at 52 Castle 
street ; the extensive cooper shops of J. H, Fellows, on Exchange street; 
the sash, door and blind factories of Wm. K. Butler and Daniel E. 
Moore; the machine shop of W. K. Bennett, and the metallic packing 
works of F. B. Smith & Co. 

The Nurseries. — Incidental to the business and producing interests 
of Geneva and locality we may with propriety refer to the great and 
leading industry of the region, that which in importance and volume 


has far outstripped all others, and that for which the village and town 
of Geneva have gained a wide reputation. The Seneca Indians knew 
of the fruit producing tendencies of the climate and soil of this region, 
for they had extensive orchards of various fruits, which were in full 
growth when Sullivan's avenging army came and destroyed villages, 
trees and all crops. However, it remained for a later generation of 
occupants to develop the valuable resources of the soil and produce 
nursery stock, and as each generation has observed the success achieved 
by its predecessor, we find the entire outlying region, extending 
throughout the town of Geneva, and into the towns of Seneca and 
Phelps, and elsewhere, almost one vast nursery, while general agri- 
cultural pursuits have been discarded as comparatively unprofitable, 
and now the vineyard, the orchard and the nursery command the chief 
attention of the pioneer husbandman. As to who was the pioneer of 
the nursery business in this region would indeed be difficult to deter- 
mine, and while nearly all the pioneer farmers grew their own orchard 
stock, there were nurserymen within the proper meaning of the term, 
and although the growing of young trees has been a feature of trade in 
this locality for more than half a century, the business did not reach its 
maximum in volume until a much more recent date. 

The first nursery that the editor has any knowledge of was located 
on the Waterloo road, a little east of the limits of Geneva. The fol- 
lowing advertisement copied from the Geneva Palladhnn of December 
31, 18 17, is an account of the same: 

Grafted Fruit Trees. — The subscribers having on hand and will 
constantly keep for sale, a large assortment of Grafted Fruit Trees, at their 
nursery, two miles east of Geneva, on the Turnpike to Albany, among 
which are — Newtown Pippins, Yellow Sweetins, Fall Pippins, Hog Island 
Sweetins, Long Harvest Apple, black and yellow Gilliflower, Jersey 
Sweetins, Newark Crabs, for Cider, Pound Sweetins, Golden Pippins, 
White Cider Apples, Queen Apple, Royal Crown, Spitzenburgs, Seek- 
nofurthers, Vandeveer, black, Ox, Swaar and Bough Apples, Pearmains, 
King Apple, Tallman Sweetins, English Russetins, Farmer's Profit, 
Queen Ann Apple, Bellflour. Together with a variety of other kinds ; 
all of which they will warrent to be of the genuine kinds, and Grafted 



under the ground. They flatter themselves that, as they have taken 
unwearied pains to select their Fruit from the best Orchards in several 
of the states, and as there is no establishment of the kind equal to it in 
the country, it will meet the patronage of the public. 

BoARDMAN & Wheeler. 
Junius [Waterloo] Seneca C. Oct i, 1817. 

In 1846 Thomas, William and Edward Smith established a nursery 
west of the village, occupying at first not more than a few acres, but 
gradually enlarging to meet a rapidly increasing demand for stock. In 
1863 Edward Smith retired from the firm and made a beginning on 
what is now a vast fruit growing business. Thomas and William there- 
after continued the nursery business, and now, under the name of the 
" W. and T. Smith Co." (incorporated March i, 1892), are the owners 
of 900 acres of land, of which 400 acres are in fruit and ornamental 
nursery trees and stock. 

In 1848 Thompson C. Maxwell purchased the ten acre nursery 
formerly owned by Isaac Hildreth, and soon afterward associated in the 
business with his brothers Henry E. and Joshua I. Maxwell, thus form- 
ing the well-known firm of T. C. Maxwell & Bros., a name known to 
the trade for more than forty years. Henry E. Maxwell died January 
24, 1889, but the firm name remains unchanged. During the last five 
years the firm have practically withdrawn from the nursery business, 
and become fruit growers. They have about 900 acres, 300 acres of 
which are in orchard. 

E. A. Bronson began business in 1867, and the late firm of Bronson 
& Hopkins was the outgrowth of it. The firm of Hammond & Willard 
originated in the older concern known as Graves, Selover, Willard & 
Co., the latter being formed about 1867. Selover & Attwood are the 
actual successors to the old firm and still known to the business, and 
are extensive growers and dealers. Attwood, Root & Co. began in 
1870, while Richardson & Nicholas were older in business; and were 
also large growers. R. G. Chase & Co., and Hammond & Willard are 
also old firms in the nursery business. Referring to a directory of the 
nurserymen in business in Geneva town and village in 1867 these 
names are found quite prominent, viz : Anderson, Sears & Henry, 
Jacob W. Baker, Bronson, Graves & Selover, Cyrus Churchill, George 


W. D. Churchill, C. S. De Witt, John B. Dixon, Seabury S. Graves, 
Herendeen & Jones, T. C. Maxwell & Bros., Nicholas & Newson, A. D. 
Pratt, W. & T. Smith, Abram Y. and Franklin E. Van Epps. 

Comparing the foregoing list of proprietors with that now represent- 
ing the nursery trade in Geneva town and village, it will be noticed 
that the above numbers but few whose names are now familiar in 
nursery circles. An examination also shows that the number then in 
the trade was very small when placed beside those now representing the 
great industry. A directory of the nursery stock growers and dealers 
at the present time shows these firms and proprietors to be engaged in 
the business having nurseries or places of business in Geneva village. 
Attwood & Co., F. S. Bronson & Co., Bronson & Hopkins, H. W. 
Foster & Co , W. & T. Cass, R. G. Chase & Co., John Hammond, The 
Guarantee Nursery Co., W. D. Chase & Co., James Hallahan, Ham- 
mond & Williard, H. E. Merrell & Co., John Jordon, James W. Love, 
A. McGraw & Co., Wm. L. McKay, Victor Pavalock, John D. Scott, 
E. B. Richardson & Co., D. H. Patty, William Sessen, Sears, Henry & 
Co., S. C. Selover & Co., Selover & Attwood, Chauncey Sheffield, W. 
& T. Smith Co., E. Smith & Sons, T. C. Maxwell & Bros., C. L. Van 
Dusen Nursery Co., George W. Trautman, John N. Twomey, William 
Wilson & Co , Wyatt Bros. 

The Geneva Permanent Loan and Savings Association was incorpor- 
ated and organized in 1885, according to the provisions of the act of 
April 10, 185 I, authorizing the formation of building, mutual, loan and 
accumulating fund associations. The business done by this associa- 
tion has been in every way legitimate and successful, and justly it en- 
joys a full share of public confidence. The officers are ; M. F. Blaine, 
president; M. S. Sandford, vice-president; W. G. Hemiup, secretary; 
W. O'Hanlon, treasurer ; Meyer Jacobs, F. C. Hofmann, James R. 
Vance, W. L. Young and W. G. Dennison, trustees. 

The Peoples' Building, Loan and Savings Association was incorpor- 
ated and organized December 22, 1887, through the efforts of D. F. 
Attwood, E. A. Walton, S. F. Gascoigne, M. S. Sandford, Dr. N. B. 
Covert and D. W. Hallenbeck. The association began business in 
1888, and has grown to proportions which are enviable indeed. The 
present officers are as follows: Dr. N. B. Covert, president; D. W. 


Hallenbeck, vice-president ; D. F. Attwood, secretary ; E. A. Walton, 
treasurer; S. F. Gascoigne, manager; T. F, Costello, N. B. Covert, S. 
F. Gascoigne, D. W. Hallenbeck, £. J. Rogers, D. F. Attwood, P. N. 
Nicholas, E. A. Walton, and O. N. Whitney, directors. 

The Universal Savings and Loan {7<9w//>rt«j^ was incorporated in March, 
1891, having authority for a capital of $5,000,000. Its object is to 
encourage industry and frugality, and to promote thrift and economy 
among its members by providing a medium through which their sav- 
ings may be invested. The present officers are as follows : M. C. Haight, 
president ; Grove R. Watson, vice-president ; D W. Hallenbeck, treas- 
urer ; Wm. Wilson, secretary ; E, H. Fleming, general manager ; Fred. 
A. Malette and Thos. H. Sweeney, trustees. 

The Manufactjirers' Accident Indemnity Company was incorporated 
December 10, 1886, chiefly through the efforts of Wm. D. Chase and 
D. J. Van Auken. Its business increased rapidly until a total of 18,000 
members were obtained. In April, 1893, the company left Geneva and 
located in New York city. The officers, while Geneva was the seat of 
operations, were : Thos. Smith, president ; Wm. D. Chase, secretary 
and general manager; D. J. Van Auken, vice-president; R. G. Chase 

Folger Corps, Thirty -fourth Separate Company, N. G. S. N. Y., was 
organized in February, 1880, and has, therefore, been one of the recog 
nized organizations of Geneva for more than thirteen years. As is well 
known, the company was named in honor of that distinguished states- 
man, legist and jurist, Charles J. Folger. In 1891, through the efforts 
of Captain Wilson, Lieuts. Schell and Malette, the State gave Geneva a 
fine armory building, in every way an ornament to the village, the cost 
of the same being about $45,000. The first captain of the corps was 
Charles W. Folger, who was succeeded by Geo. S. Prince. The com- 
mission of Capt. Wm. Wilson bears the date of October 4, 1884. C. C. 
Schell is first lieutenant, Fred. A. Malette, second lieutenant 

The Young Mens CJiristian Association oi Geneva was organized in 
1886, and incorporated in 1888. In 1891 a lot of land on Castle street 
was acquired through the generosity of the Maxwell family, and other 
splendid gifts have enabled the association to erect on this lot a beauti- 
ful building. The entire property is valued at $50,000. The officers 


of the association are: H. A. Wheat, president; W. I. Bonnett, vice- 
president ; Geo. F. Ditmars, recording secretary ; A.E. Robinson, treas- 
urer ; A. P. Gillett, general secretary. 

The C/inrch Home of Geneva on the Foster Swift Foundation, incor- 
porated April 27, 1878. By two splendid gifts from James T. Swift, in 
honor of the memory of his brother Foster Swift, added to which were 
other donations, the Church Home was founded. Upon the organiza- 
tion the corporation purchased the property at the corner of Pulteney 
and High streets, which was remodeled and arranged for the purposes 
of the Home. It is supported mainly as one of the dependencies of the 
Episcopal churches of Geneva. The hospital department was added in 
1886, the fund therefor being given by Admiral Craven in memory of 
his wife. The interior management of the Home is in charge of a board 
of lady managers. The officers of the corporation are: Rev. Dr. Henry 
W. Nelson, president; James P. Mellen, treasurer; A. P. Rose, secre- 
tary ; and F. W. Wilson, James Rankine, A. L. Chew, James P. Mellen 
Henry L. Slosson, trustees. 

The Geneva Civil Service Association was organized in 1883, and has 
about forty members. The officers are F". O. Mason, president; A. P. 
Rose, secretary ; A. L, Sweet, treasurer. 

The Medical and Surgical Hospital of Geneva was incorporated 
March 27, 1892, its purpose being to erect and maintain a general hos- 
pital in the village. The plan had its origin in a munificent gift by 
the late John V. Ditmars of $12,000. The association has a lot on 
North street, on which the hospital building is to be erected. The 
officers are as follows: F. O. Mason, president; Geo. F. Ditmars, vice- 
president ; M. S. Sandford, treasurer ; A. L Sweet, secretary. 

The Kanadesaga Club, the most prominent social club organization 
in Geneva, was incorporated in August, 1892, and has seventy- five 
members. The club-house is on Main street in the new Music Hall 
building, the latter one of the most artistic in design of the many at- 
tractive structures of the village. The club officers are : Walter A. 
Clark, president ; Louis D. Collins, secretary ; Jno. W. Mellen, treas- 

Ark Lodge, No. 33, F. and A. M., was chartered by the Grand Lodge, 
September 2, 1807, s"<^ was, therefore, one of the oldest Masonic or- 


ganizations of Western New York The present lodge membership 
numbers about one lumdred persons 

Geneva Chapter, No. 36, R. A. M., was organized November i, 1813, 
the original members being Jacob Dox, Garrit L. Dox, Ellis Doty, 
Walter Dean, Philetus Swift, Arthur Lewis, William Burnett, Nathaniel 
Allen, Orson Bartlett, and Samuel Lawrence. Present membership, 
about sixty. 

Ontario Couficil, No. 23, R. afid S. M., was chartered February 5, 
i860, and Corydon Wheat was chosen first master. 

Geneva Commandery, No 29, Knights Templar, was instituted Sep- 
tember 13, i860, and has at present about one hundred members. 

Old Castle Lodge, No. 299, I O O. F., was instituted December 20, 
1 87 1, with eight charter members. 

Having referred to a number of the charitable, benevolent, social and 
secret societies and organizations of Geneva, that are of more than pass- 
ing importance, we may with propriety mention the names of others 
which also have a seat of operations in this village, though histories of 
secret societies, regardless of their general usefulness, are not fairly 
within the scope of this work. The Algonquin Club was organized in 
1889. The Independent Battery was organized in 1879 Amongother 
societies, clubs and orders we may mention the existence of the Ladies 
Auxiliary Y. M. C. A. ; the Delphian Historical Society ; the Delta 
Sigma Club ; the Equitable Aid Union ; the Geneva Club, organized 
1875 ; Geneva Lodge 231, K. of P. ; Geneva Lodge, No. 40, E. O. M. A.; 
Hastings Commandery, No. 174; the Swift Relief Corps, organized 
May 14, 1891 ; Swift Post, No. 94, G A. R. ; the Royal Templars of 
Temperance; the Seneca Club, incorporated 1886; White Springs 
Lodge, A. O. U. W. ; the Woman's Employment Society; and the Ge- 
neva Republican Club. All of these have a certain usefulness in local 
history, but a history of each is not deemed advisable. 

The Seneca Lake Navigation Company was incorporated in June, 
1893, to succeed and enlarge upon the business conducted by the Seneca 
Lake Steam Navigation Company. The latter was incorporated in 
November, 1882, and succeeded a still older company of the same 
name, the latter having its origin about 1853, and a capital stock of 



To Captain Charles Williamson attaches the distinction of having 
built and put on Seneca Lake the first vessel of any considerable size, 
being the famous sloop, vi^hich was built at Geneva and launched 
with great ceremony during the year 1796. In 18 14 the schooner 
Robert Ti'oop was built, and navigated the waters of the lake. The first 
steam craft was the Seneca Chief, built by the Rumney Brothers. In 
1832 she was bought by John R. Johnston and Richard Stevens, and 
the next year was lengthened and improved at Big Stream and named 
Geneva. Capt. "Joe" Lewis "run" the Geneva in 1835 ^"^i '^6, 
at which time the name had been changed to the Geneva. In 1835 
the Richard Stevens was built, followed later on by the Chemung, 
Canadesaga, Chemung, Seneca, and BeJt Loder, the last mentioned boat 
being built in 1848 or '49. 

The Seneca Lake Steam Navigation Company (limited) was incorp- 
orated in November, 1882, as the successor to the older company of 
the same name. The company is the owner of the four boats called re- 
spectively Onondaga, ScJinyler, W. B. Dnnnitig, and Otetiani. The 
principal officers are : Samuel K Ncster, president ; and Wm. B. Dun- 
ning, general manager, secretary and treasurer. The Seneca Lake Nav- 
igation Company, recently incorporated (but not yet organized), suc- 
ceeds the company above mentioned, and is brought inlo existence for 
the purpose of increased local traffic. 

77^1? New York Agricultural Experiment Station. — This almost won- 
derful institution (though never fully appreciated by those most active 
in bringing it into existence), was established under authority of the 
State in the year 1882, in pursuance of an act passed by the Legislature 
in 1880. The leading farmers of the State, the State Grange, and the 
State Agricultural Society, for many years urged upon the executive 
and legislative branches of State government the desirability of estab- 
lishing a station to promote agricultural interests through scientific in- 
vestigations and experiments, and in response to this demand the Board 
of Control was appointed by the governor. In February, 1882, the 
State purchased the Denton farm (west of Geneva) of 125 acres, to 
which four and one- half acres were subsequently added, and here the 
station with all its useful appliances and appurtenances was established. 



Its first director was Dr. E. Lewis Stu 
1887, by Dr. Peter Collier. The full " 

Dr. Peter Collier, 
Wm. P. Wheeler, 
L. L. Van Slyke, Ph. D., 
S. A. Beach, M. S., 
C. G. Jenter, Ph. C, 
A. L. Knisely, B. S., 
W. B. Cady, Ph. C, 
B: L. Murray, Ph. C} 
A. D. Cook, Ph. C.,1 
J. T. Sheedy, Ph. C.,i 
C. E- Hunn, 
Geo. W. Churchill, 
Frank E. Newton, 

rtevant, succeeded December i, 
Station Staff" is as follows: 

First Assistant. 
Assistant Chemist. 
Assistant Chemist. 
Assistant Chemist. 
Assistant Chemist. 
Assistant Chemist. 
Assistant Chemist. 
Assistant Horticulturist. 
Clerk and Stenographer. 



THE township of Manchester, Number 1 1 in the second range, al- 
though one of the most important interior towns of the county, 
and one across which many pioneers were impelled to pass to reach 
their western lands, was not settled until the year 1793, and was not 
organized as one of the civil divisions of the county until 1821. In this 
township, also, was laid out, and at least partially worked, the second 
principal highway across the county. But, notwithstanding the fact that 
Manchester was not settled comparatively early, its subsequent growth 
and development was very rapid, and at the first enumeration of its in- 
habitants after organization (1830) it contained 2,811 population, stand- 
ing sixth in this respect among the towns of the county. From that 
until the present time the population has constantly increased, and now 

1 Connected with Fertilizer Control. 


its population (census 1890) 4,439, the towns of Canandaigua, Geneva 
and Piielps only having a greater number of inhabitants. 

Under its original civil organization this town formed a part of Farm- 
ington (created 1789) and in connection therewith its early settlement 
was made, and when organized separately this town was called " Burt," 
the name being changed to Manchester April 16, 1822. The pioneers of 
Number 1 1, range 2, were Stephen Jared, Joel Phelps andjoab Gillett, 
all Yankees, who located about on the site of the village of Clifton 
Springs in 1793, and here made the first improvement. In 1795 Nathan 
Pierce and John McLouth came from Berkshire, IVfass., and also settled 
in the town, the former building a strong log house. The other pio- 
neers were John Van Fleet, Sharon .Booth, Jedediah Dewey, Benjamin 
Barney, William Mitchell, Israel Thomas and Nathaniel Harrington, all 
of whom were in the town as early as 1798. Mr. Booth located in the 
town in 1794, and soon afterward married Ruth, daughter of pioneer 
Joab (or Joel as some authorities state) Gillett, which was the first event 
of its kind in the town. The child of these parents, Dorris Booth, born 
1795, also connected the family with another first event. John McLouth 
built a cider mill, so it is said, in the town. Later on, 1804, Theophilus 
Short built the first mill on the outlet where Shortsville now stands. 
From him this thriving little village took its name. About a mile above 
Shortsville, and on the outlet at a place called Littleville, Oliver Phelps 
built one of the first mills in the county. This mill stood not far from 
the present Shortsville Wheel Company's works, and was built in 1791. 
Further mention of this mill will be found in the chapter on Kopewell. 
The first school in the town was opened in 1800, and was taught by 
Elam Crane. On March 12, 1796, Thomas Sawyer died, the first death 
in the town, and his remains were buried in the cemetery in Hopewell. 
Thomas Sawyer was a settler in 1795, and his brother,. Hooker Saw- 
yer, and Jacob Rice came about the same time. Luke Phelps and 
Bezaleel Gleason were pioneers of 1796. 

Benjamin Barney and family came from New Jersey and settled in 
the town in 1797. Jedediah Dewey and Isaac Lapham came in 1798. 
Sylvester Davis located and built a blacksaiith shop on the site now of 
Manchester village in 1798, the first shop of the kind in the town. In the 
same year Abram Spoor located on the site of Gypsum village and waA 


soon afterward followed by Jacob and John, sons of Garret Van Derhoof . 
The year 1799 was notable for the number and prominence of its pio- 
neer settlers in the town, there then coming Peleg Redfield, Nathan 
Jones, Joseph Hart, Jacob White, Asa Reed, Daniel Macomber and 
others whose names have perhaps been forgotten. In the same con- 
nection we may further mention pioneer heads of families, among whom 
were Gilbert Rowland and his large family, John Shekell, Samuel Rush, 
Zuriel Fish, Philip LaMueuix, Benjamin Throop, Abram Spoor, Gehazi 
Granger, Hezekiah Baggerly and Timothy Bigelow. 

However, it is not deemed necessary to here refer at length to the 
lives and history of the pioneers of Manchester, for, in a subsequent de- 
partment of this work will be found full and complete family and per- 
sonal sketches, collected with much care by personal application to 
present representatives of early and pioneer settlers. Joe Smith, the 
Mormon prophet, resided in this town with his father; and Mormon 
Hill, the place where the gold bible was found, is situated a little north- 
west of the center of the town 

In 1797 the two townships which then formed Farmington (Man- 
chester being one of them) were found to contain a population sufficient 
to warrant an organization and the election of officers. The first meet- 
ing was therefore held on April 4, and among the ofificers chosen were 
several from the Manchester side of the town. Nathan Pierce was 
elected road commissioner; John McLouth, assessor; Sharon Booth, 
collector; Joshua Van Fleet, school commissioner; and Joel Gillett, 
pound master. 

In 1799 the town (Farmington) was divided into road districts, three 
of which were in what is now Manchester. In 1804 the town meeting 
was held in Manchester for the first time, the session being at Ebenezer 
Pratt's house. Later town gatherings in the town prior to its separate 
organization were those held in 181 5 and 1818. About this time (181 8 
and 1 8 19) the people became anxious for a division of Farmington and 
the organization of a separate town, but it was not until March 31, 
1 82 1, that the Legislature passed the enabling act, and authorized the 
organization of the town of " Burt." However, this name seemed to 
be unsatisfactory to the townspeople, consequently on April 16, 1822, 
the name was changed to Manchester. 


The first town meeting of the new town was held in 1821, at which 
time the following officers were elected : Supervisor. John Van Fleet ; 
town clerk, Gehazi Granger ; assessors, Thomas Kingsley, David How- 
land, Peter Mitchell; collector, William Popple; commissioners of 
highways, Jacob Cost, Carlos Harmon, Nicholas Howland ; overseers 
of the poor, Titus Bement, James Harland ; commissioners of schools, 
Addison N. Buck, Azel Throop, George Redfield ; constables, Wm. 
Popple, Robert Spear, John Schutt; inspectors of common schools, C. 
Harmon, P. Mitchell, Leonard Short. 

The supervisors of Manchester have been as follows : ^ Peter Mitchell, 
1827; Nathan Pierce, 1828-9; Nicholas Howland, 1830-31; Peter 
Mitchell, 1832; David Howland, 1833; Nicholas Howland, 1834-35; 
David Howland, 1836; Peter Mitchell, 1837; Ezra Pierce, 1838-42; 
Peter Mitchell, 1843; Alfred Dewey, 1844; Peter Mitchell, 1845; 
Mead AUerton, 1846-48; Proctor Newton, 1849; Joseph H.Dewey, 
1850; Peter Mitchell, 1851; Jedediah Dewey, jr., 1852; Ezra Pierce, 
1853 ; Nathaniel K. Cole, 1854-55 ; Ezra Pierce, 1856-57 ; N. K. Cole, 
1858; Andrew J. Hanna, 1859-60; Wm. H. C. Redfield, 1861-64; 
Abial Allen, 1865-69; Wm. H. C. Redfield, 1870-71; Sidney D. 
Jackson, 1872-74; Sherman Mosher, 1875-77; J. Addison Howland, 
1878 ; D. C. Mattison, 1879; J. A. Howland, 1880-82; Jeremiah Lyke,. 
1883; Edward J. Sheldon, 1884; Jeremiah Lyke, 1885-86; J. A. 
Howland, 1887-89; Jeremiah Lyke, 1890-91; John C. Parker, 

Present town officers: Supervisor, John C. Parker; town clerk, 
Grover Partridge; assessors, David H. Townsend, John McClellan, 
Sharon Booth ; justices of the peace, John W. Parker, James W. Rafter, 
Almeron Dunham, Charles L Brant ; overseer of the poor, Charles A. 
Moore; commissioner of highways, Theron Y. Allerton ; collector, 
William Potter; constables, John Rodney, Harry S. Forshay, John 
Lannon, George W Rockwell, John W. Wood; commissioners of ex- 
cise, Richmond P. Pratt, Harvey K Carpenter, Isaac Benson. 

Schools of Manchester. — In all matters pertaining to education and 
the welfare of the youth in general, the town of Manchester has main- 
tained a position ever in the front rank. Even during the pioneer days 

iThe record of town meetings from 1821 to 1827 is missing. 


of the town, schools were estabHshed at convenient places, and the 
system thus inaugurated has always been maintained on the same gen- 
erous plan. At this time the town has sixteen school districts, three 
of which — Nos. 3, 9 and 12 — have not school houses. In 1892 the 
number of children of school age was 868, to instruct whom nineteen 
teachers were employed, at an expense of $5,501.77. The amount 
realized by the town for school purposes, from all sources, was $8,049.73. 
The total value of school property in the town is $24,000 ; the value of 
the school building in District 7 is $13,500. Of the thirteen school 
buildings in the town, eight are of frame, two of brick, and three of 

It is a well known and conceded fact that civil, political and military 
history of Manchester bears favorable comparison with any other of the 
towns of the county. In this respect the people of the town have ever 
felt a just pride. Among the pioneers and early settlers of the town 
were a number of men who served with credit during the Revolutionary 
War, and among whom may be recalled the names of Nathan Pierce, 
Peleg Redfield, Joshua Van Fleet, Jacob Gillett, Samuel Rush, Thomas 
Sawyer, Israel Harrington, Nicholas Chrysler and Ebenezer Pratt. 

In the second war with England the town also furnished a number of 
men for the service, ainong them being Nathan Pierce, jr., son of the 
pioneer Nathan Pierce ; Nicholas Reuland, who held a captain's com- 
mission ; Lieut. Peter Mitchell, who commanded a company, and also 
Heman J. Redfield and his brothers Manning and Harley ; Joshua Ste- 
vens, John Wyatt, Moses Eddy, Jacob Eddy, John Robinson, Timothy 
Bigelow, Asel Throop, Achilles Botsford, Russell M. Rush, Hooker 
Sawyer, and others whose names are not remembered. 

However, it was during the War of 1861-65 that the town of Man- 
chester made its most glorious record and displayed it most genuine 
martial spirit. In a preceding chapter of this volume will be found a 
record of the Ontario county volunteers in the war, and there also will 
be found a list of the battles in which the commands participated; and 
a glance at the record will disclose the fact that Manchester was repre- 
sented by volunteers in nearly every principal command to the strength 
of which the county furnished troops, and there was hardly a branch of 
che service not represented by men from Manchester. In i860 the town 

tOWN Of MANCltES'fEft. 333 

had a population of 3,280 inhabitants, and in the war which followed 
during the succeeding four years the town is credited with having fur- 
nished a total of about four hundred men, or more than twelve 
percent, of its population. Nearly all of the regiments having Manches- 
ter men now have elaborate histories prepared, in which are furnished 
complete rosters of the troops by companies, wherefore in the present 
connection we need only refer generally to the town's record during the 

In Ontario county Manchester has been called the town of many vil- 
lages ; and whether said in honor or derision matters not, as the assertion 
is true, and is reasserted with emphasis by every loyal resident of the 
town. These villages, three of which are incorporated, are Clifton 
Springs, Shortsville and Manchester, Port Gibson, Manchester Center, 
Plainsville (Gypsum) and Littleville, a total of seven and a showing 
which cannot be equaled elsewhere in the county. 

The Village of Clifton Springs. — The pioneer on the site of the pres- 
ent village of Clifton Springs was John Shekell, a Marylander, and a 
man of much worth and influence in the new community. The build- 
ing more recently occupied as a boarding-house, standing on an eleva- 
tion in the east part of the village, was the Shekell mansion, built in 
1800. and opened in 1801 as a public house. Mr. Shekell was specially 
noted in the settlement from the fact that he possessed three slaves, but 
these were set free and well provided with dwelling places. 

The second settler in the village locality was William Hanna, and the 
third Arnold Warfield, both bringing families from Maryland, following 
the example of the pioneer, John Shekell. About the year 181 1 Wm. 
Entricken, also from Maryland, settled here and opened a blacksmith 
shop, but before this time, in 1806, Landlord Powell of the famous Ge- 
neva Hotel laid the foundation for later growth by building a public 
house where the village has since been built up. In 1808 St. John's 
church was built, but the building was sold in 18 1 2 to the Methodist 
Society. About the same time a district school was built and opened, 
while to John Bradt attaches the honor of having been the first store- 
keeper. Rose & Spangler were later merchants. 

The Snlphnr Springs of this village have made the locality famous 
throughout the United States. Elsewhere will be found a detailed his- 


tory of this celebrated resort and its cliief promoter and founder, but at 
this time we may briefly state that the valuable medicinal properties of 
the water here found were known to the first residents, for as early as 
the year 1806 a hotel was erected here as a dispensary. However, it 
was not until later years that the village assumed a position of munici- 
pal importance in the town, and this result was achieved almost wholly 
through the efforts of Dr. Foster, aided and assisted by a few liberal 
and progressive people of the locality The Foster House was erected 
in 1869, by William Foster; the Clifton House in 1870, by Thos W. 
Warfield,and the name changed to Warfield House in 1871, but again 
became Clifton House in 1875. In 1850 Clifton Springs was made a 
post-office, and in 1859 the population was so increased, and the in- 
terests of the persons engaged in developing and improving the locality 
were such as to require the incorporation of the village, which was ac- 
cordingly done. 

At the present time the village of Clifton Springs presents an appear- 
ance fully as attractive as any municipality of the county. It is in no 
sense a busy manufacturing place; such has not been the aim of its 
founders and promoters, but as a quiet resorting place for persons seek- 
ing rest and recuperation, Clifton Springs has become famous thiough- 
out the land. The public buildings include five churches, two good 
schools (one public and one select), a water supply system, and a fire 
department. The village population numbers about 1500, and its mer- 
cantile representatives about equal the demand, but there does not ap- 
pear to be an excess in this direction. 

The water supply of the village is owned by the Sanitarium Com- 
pany and is a private institution, although the main pipes extend 
through some of the principal streets and furnish water to private fami- 
lies. A hose company is organized in connection with the water 
supply department, and is also a part of the Sanitarium equipment; 
still in case of fire in any part of the village, the company promptly 
responds. The Citizens' Hook and Ladder Company is an institution 
of the village corporation. 

As has been stated, the village was incorporated in 1859, and its 
boundaries extend beyond the limits of the town of Manchester on the 
east, hence include a small part of the town of Phelps. In fact the 


public school is located on the Phelps side of the line. The present 
trustees of the village are D. C. Mattison, Albert Everts and James 
Brady. The president of the village is William Llewellyn. 

The Clifton Springs Seminary, a large, comfortable and in every way 
praiseworthy educational institution, occupies a commanding site in the 
west part of the village. It is well patronized, and its graduates rank 
well with those of some of the famed preparatory schools of the State. 
This institution was founded many years ago under the name of " Clif- 
ton Springs Female Seminary," and was a school exclusively for girls. 
However, under its present management and name it is open to both 
sexes. The present principal is Prof. Wm. A. Deering. 

The Union School of the village and district is also an attractive ap- 
pearing and substantiall}' constructed building, standing on an elevation 
in the eastern part of the village. Its affairs are managed by a Board 
of Education, of which Dr. Henry Foster is president. 

The principal manufacturing industry of Clifton Springs is that car- 
ried on by the Clifton Springs Manufacturing Company, a body cor- 
porate, organized May 2, 1885, with a capital of $30,000, afterward 
increased to $40,000. The product of this large concern consists of 
nearly one hundred and fifty varieties of tinware articles, each of which 
is manufactured with a patented " anti-rust" attachment. The present 
factory building was erected in 1 890, and in it are employed about 
forty men. The officers of the company are Rush Spalsbury, presi- 
dent; H. C. Evard, treasurer; J. A. Brook, superintendent. 

W. A. Judd, successor to the firm of Bostwick & Judd, is an exten- 
sive manufacturer of tinware articles, and employs ten men. Bostwick 
& Judd began business in 1892, succeeding a still older business estab- 
lished by Mr. Bostwick. 

T/ie Clifton Springs Press, under the efficient management and 
ownership of H. L. Wright, was established in 1871, and then known as 
the Clifton Spring News. The last mentioned paper was the outcome 
of a discussion among interested residents of the village, and by them 
an arrangement was made with J. W. Neighbor, of the Phelps Citizen, 
whereby the News should be printed at Phelps, the local editor being 
Charles G. Gustin, succeeded in 1873 by W. S. Drysdale. John M. 
Waterbury was local editor in 1874; George H. Woodruff in 1878, and 


Harry C. Burdick in 1880. W. W. Gillis came next in 1882, and was 
followed in 1884 by F. L. Brown, the latter changing the name of the 
paper lo the Netv Era (indeed it was a " new era " in the history of 
the paper), and subsequently to the Clifton Springs Press, which last 
mentioned name has ever since been retained. In 1885 W, H. Neigh- 
bor became editor, and was succeeded in 1886 by H. L. Wright, the 
present proprietor, who edits and prints the Press at Clifton Springs, 
in a comfortable and well equipped office. The persons who were active 
in establishing the first paper were J. W. Neighbor, A. J. Hanna, Byron 
Harmon, C. W. La Du, E. J. Warfield, Dr. Henry Foster and J. J. 

St. John's Church at Clifton Springs dates back in time to an organi- 
zation effected as early as 1806-7, with which event were prominently 
connected the Shekells, John and Samuel, Darwin Seager, William 
Warner, George Wilson, Archibald Beale, Davis Williams, Thomas 
Edmonston, Alexander Howard and William Powell. A church edi- 
fice was begun at once, but before completion was sold to the Meth- 
odists. F'ollowing this the parish of St. John's became extinct, and was 
not revived until 1866, followed in 1871 by the consecration of a new 
edifice by Rt. Rev. Bishop Coxe. The parish and congregation of St. 
John's are small, the communicants few, and at present the church is 
without a rector. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church at Clifton Springs was organized in 
1808, under the missionary labors of Rev. John Baggerly, and soon 
afterward the society purchased the edifice built by the society of St. 
John's, which they occupied from 18 10 to 1841, when the building was 
burned. Another church house was built in 1843-44. In 1846 the 
society was reorganized and called the " Third Methodist Society in 
Manchester." In 1867 the large brick church edifice superseded the 
old home of the society. The congregation and membership of this 
church are large. The present pastor is Rev. J. V. Benham. 

The First Universalist Church of Clifton Springs was organized 
April I, 1852, with twenty original members, and under the pastoral 
care of I. I. Brayton. The full church organization was completed in 
1858. The first house of worship was erected in 1852 and '53. The 
membership and congregation of this society are not large. The last 






pastor was Rev. G. B. Russell. For many years the pastorate of this 
church was filled in connection with the Universalist Church at Geneva. 

St. Agnes' Roman Catholic Church at Clifton Springs was organized, 
and the parish also, in 1856, and during the same year the church edifice 
was built. For several years this church was an out- station, and 
Father McDermer was the first resident priest. The present priest is 
Father Patrick Lee. 

The Baptist Society of Clifton Springs is the youngest of the several 
religious organizations having an abiding place in the village, its forma- 
tion dating back only a few years. The church edifice is located on the 
hill in the east part of the village and is a very attractive structure. 
The present pastor is Rev. H. F. Cope. 


The life record of Dr. Henry Foster, as far as it is not directly con- 
nected with the history of the famous institution of which he is the 
head, is extremely brief. Dr. Foster is the son of a Vermont farmer 
and miller, and was born in Thetford, in that State in January, 1821. 
Receiving a good English education, he pursued medical study in 
Lowell, Mass., and in 1844 graduated from the medical department 
of the Western Reserve College. While studying in Lowell he cared 
for a sick brother in a sanitarium which bore the name of a water cure, 
if not its full character. Of this experience he has himself said: 
"While there observing and helping, a revelation was made to me, 
that this kind of treatment was the best mode of treating chronic dis- 
eases, though bred an allopathic physician and, of course, strongly 
attached to that faith ; as a result of that impression, and wishing to 
learn more of this system, in 1847 I found myself for three years at the 
head of the medical department of a similar institution at Graeff'enberg, 
N. Y." During those three years Dr. Foster accumulated one thousand 
dollars and a valuable stock of experience. It is proper at this point to 
explain that Dr. Foster has been from his early life a firm believer in 
not only the general principles of Christianity, but in the daily and un- 
remitting guidance of the Almighty in all of the affairs of those persons 
and undertakings which seek His honor and to do His will. This belief 
has ever permeated his life and was the corner-stone upon which he 



finally built the institution over which he has so long presided. This 
fact explains the following remark in one of his addresses recently given 
before the great family in the Sanitarium : " My coming here was, as 
I have no doubt, purely a divine leading, for I had a number of offers 
to build and equip establishments, if I would take one in charge ; one 
in Cincinnati, one in the western part of this State, another in Con- 
necticut. But led by some peculiar experiences, I had learned by this 
time to submit everything to God, to commit all my ways to Him, and 
never start in any enterprise without having first within me the inquiry, 
' What saith the Lord ? ' " 

In his quest for a proper place at which to establish the institution 
in which he hoped to carry out the plans already formed or partly 
formed in his mind. Dr. Foster was, as he said, directed to Clifton 
Springs. The locality then had a local reputation as " the sulphur 
springs," the freely flowing waters of which had been long used, but 
the country round-about was simply a farming community, where now 
stands the pretty and thriving village. Let us quote a little farther 
from the address before mentioned, to indicate how Dr. Foster's plans 
had their birth and grew to perfection : " While at that place (New 
Graeffenberg) a question came up which was absolutely necessary for 
me to investigate and settle for myself; for, having a desire both to 
please and to benefit the patients, I used to take the feeble ones and 
carry them into the parlor, and there we would have an exhibition of 
what we then called pleasure, dancing, tableaux, charades, etc. It did 
some patients good to go there and witness the dancing ; it did them 
good and I used to minister to it. I could not dance myself any more 
than a wild colt, but could help others dance. I began to see, however, 
that while at first many of them seemed to be benefited, and indeed a 
few were benefited, there came up other and adverse symptoms, and I 
found that the larger number, quite two-thirds, were absolutely injured. 
Well, that question, then suggested, began to enlarge, and I enquired 
into the reason why such amusement often proved unhealthful. I 
found that it was twofold — that the old adage which had been with 
me a law with chronic cases, to tell them to ' laugh and grow fat' was 
not always founded on truth, and that we must minister to the mental 
and spiritual as well as to the physical, if we would do the largest 


amount of good. With that sort of investigation there came upon me 
a pressure — some of you know what that is — when there comes a truth 
pressing upon you, and you have not accepted it fully, and it presses 
upon you until it gets hold of your conscience, and if you have any 
regard for God's will and God's law, how you yield to that pressure, 
and it becomes after a while like fire shut up in your bones. It is some- 
thing which you must settle at once and forever. I began to look at 
the question still more carefully; I began to pray for guidance, and to 
gather up all the literature bearing on the subject that could be found 
and study it with an honest heart, trying to get at the truth. Well, 
the more I studied that question the more it grew and enlarged. At 
first my views seemed vague and unsettled ; but they finally crystal- 
lized in one particular, and there was one thing settled in my mind. 
That was, that if we would do the largest amount of good, we must 
give to the elements in man's being the same order in importance that 
God gives. And He has always mentioned the soul first, the body 
second. He has put the two together, it is true, but always towering 
above the interests of the body were the interests of the soul ; and that, 
too, when we are searching for physical health. . . . There is 
another power outside of that which physicians recognized as medical, 
which has to do with health, and it became to me a most potent factor 
for good in almost every case. Well, that thought got hold of me and 
I began to work it out ; and with that God brought a pressure upon me 
which revolutionized my whole life. . . . And I was taken right 
out of my plans, right out of my former schemes and ambitions entirely, 
and a new order of things was set up. A new life came to me ; 
another motive came to me ; and from that day to this I have pursued 
that thought and that idea, without once wavering. I had no option 
after that. . . The moment that was settled, there came another 

thought, by the divine spirit — there came another scheme, and it was 
the one for me to adopt. And that was the establishing of a sanitarium 
where God should be honored ; where reference should be had first of 
all to him ; one that would take cognizance of the necessities of God's 
own children. That grew for a few weeks in my mind, and after 
awhile I could see nothing else." We have quoted thus Hberally from 
Dr. Foster's own words, as they are best calculated to show the reader 


the motives and plans underlying the whole undertaking. It may be 
added that before his plans were fully perfected the}' embraced the 
charitable features which have since been constantly at work in the 
conduct of the institution, relating to the treatment of ministers of the 
gospal without cost to themselves, in the first instance ; missionaries in 
the second and teachers in the third instance, as far as the profits of 
the establishment would permit. It is, perhaps, as well to state right 
here that mere money- making has never been a part of the scheme 
of management of this Sanitarium, except as it would provide for its 
further extension and usefulness. This feature will be again alluded 
to a little further on. 

Going back to the practical work of founding the Sanitarium, Dr. 
Foster came here with his one thousand dollars, felt that he had found 
the spot to which he was destined, purchased ten acres of the land sur- 
rounding the springs, and from friends, brought to him as he believes 
through divine influence, obtained $23,000. This sum was expended in 
erecting the first buildings, as shown in the accompanying sketch. Had 
Dr. Foster not beeen supported by his abounding faith, or had he 
listened to the gloomy predictions of evil, he would have met a fate 
wholly diflerent from that which is commonly encountered by pioneers 
in any direction, and particularly in undertakings that seem to the 
majority of persons to be Utopian in character. To diverge in the 
least from the beaten paths of business ; to place a spoke called by 
the name of charity in the wheels that are to move a great work ; to 
place any direct reliance upon divine good- will and aid is in these days 
to call down the forebodings of most of one's acquaintances. " He was 
called a fool," said he, "an enthusiast, doing a work which would 
only go to pieces. But a long step had been taken, and by God's bless- 
ing there was something to stand on." Let those carpers now look upon 
the noble institution which has members of its almost innumerable 
family in all parts of the world, singing its praises from strong lungs 
and sound bodies, and is dispensing in charitable treatment and support 
about twenty-five thousand dollars annually, while the " enthusiast " 
looks quietly on, and does his work, content with his living, with the 
whole immense property turned over by him in trust to others when his 
work is done. 



The sanitarium grew as God's special works often do. In 1856 a 
brick chapel had been added, which was dedicated on the 25th of July 
of that year, with addresses by many honorable and noted divines and 
others. Aside from this there have been from time to time various ad- 
ditions to the main structure, as the means accumulated and the necessi- 
ties for more room became imperative. These additions comprise some- 
thing like fifteen different improvements. 

In the year 1873 what is known as " The Annex " was erected. It 
is a brick structure, three stories in height, two hundred and twenty 
feet front, with parlor, offices and bath room and nine stores on the 
ground floor and sixty rooms for guests above. It is entirely separate 
from the original Sanitarium buildings and on the opposite side of the 
street. This has since been enlarged by a fine proof building to more 
than one hundred rooms for patients. 

In the year 1880 Mr. Andrew Pierce erected what has since been 
known as the Pierce Pavilion, upon which and the grading and beauti- 
fying the grounds he expended $15,000, out of gratitude and good will 
to the instutition. 

The Tabernacle is a recently constructed building, one story high with 
its sides constructed largely of glass ; it has a large veranda, and is 
fitted up on the interior for public meetings. Here various religious 
bodies meet every summer to further their good works. 

Opposite the Annex is Dr. Foster's cottage home, which forms a part 
of the Sanitarium property. 

The time came, and that just at the present, when the Sanitarium 
proper, with all of its various additions and improvements, became in- 
adequate for its purposes and the best results. To meet the require- 
ments, plans were obtained and early in the year 1893 was begun the 
rebuilding of the entire structure, which will take on the appearance 
shown in the accompanying engraving, which shows also several of the 
other structures. This step was taken to secure ample room, to improve 
the accommodations for patients, and particularly to secure a strictly fire- 
proof structure. Said Dr. Foster in the address from which we have 
already quoted, " I have walked these halls many nights, stormy nights, 
watching against fire, and have taken every precaution possible, and 
we have gone on forty- two years without burning, but we fear when I 


am gone (and that may not be but a short time now), that the person 
who succeeds me will not watch the house with the same vigilance. We 
know human nature too well to expect it." Yes; when the watchful 
eye is closed forever, and the tireless hand is cold, it will be well that 
the structure wherein are at all times so many lives, shall be fire- proof, 
self-supporting and able to stand and flourish upon the solid foundations 
laid by its faithful founder. 

The farm as it is now connected with the Sanitarium, embraces nearly 
four hundred acres of land, and the same careful system prevails in its 
management that governs the Sanitarium. As an accessory to the in- 
stitution and its cuisine it is of paramount importance. 

It is perhaps not proper in this place to attempt a detailed description 
of the treatment of disease in this Sanitarium, as it would occupy much 
space. It must suffice to say that it embraces " the use in a liberal 
spirit of all known remedial agents." The faculty is composed of mem- 
bers of every reputable school of medicine. It is a water cure only so 
far as water may prove an efficient aid to other remedies; while the 
waters of the springs are used in all kinds of baths and in connection 
with electricity, massage, and that stimulation and recreation of the mind 
afforded by books and religious services daily in the chapel in which Dr. 
Foster so ardently believes. More than three thousand patients were 
treated in the past year, and the number is constantly on the increase. 

As before intimated, the Sanitarium is not a money- making enter- 
prise. Twelve years ago, in 1881, Dr. Foster and his wife drew up a 
deed of trust which commits to a board of thirteen trustees comprising 
seven denominations the management of the whole property. The 
provisions of this deed of trust are such that in the course of time the 
property becomes a free home for invalids to recuperate, but not a per- 
manent home for incurables. The majority of the board of trustees are 
non- elective, but hold their office ex officio so that the provisions of the 
deeds of trust cannot be tampered with by mercenary persons. The 
readers will best get a clear idea of the character of the men at present 
constituting the Board of Trustees by a reference to their names. The 
Right Rev. Arthur C. Coxe, of Buffalo, N. Y. ; the Rev. N. G. Clark, 
D.D., of Boston ; the Rev. F. F. Ellenwood, D.D., of New York; the 
Rev. Henry Y. Satterlee, of New York ; the Hon. James C. Smith, of 


Canandaigua ; Bishop J. H. Vincent, of Buffalo ; the Rev. D. J. Hill, 
D.D., president of Rochester University, Rev. Samuel Hopkins, presi- 
dent of Auburn Theological Seminary, the Rev. H. M. Cobb, D.D,, of 
New York, and Henry Foster, M. D., of Clifton Springs. 

Following are the names of the faculty and officers of the Sanitarium : 
Henry Foster, M. D., president, assisted by C. C. Thayer, M. D., J. H. 
North, M. D., E. O. Crossman, M. D., J. C. Smith, M. D., B. C. Love- 
land, M. D., Mrs. M. Dunbar Adams, M. D. 

The Rev. Lewis Bodwell has for many years been chaplain of the in- 
stitution. E. A. Miles is hotel keeper, and J. J. Dewey, cashier. The 
force of employees embraces about one hundred and sixty five other 

The following description recently prepared for a current publication, 
will give the reader a correct idea of the new Sanitarium: 

Six stories lift their stately proportions into the air and 244 feet are 
occupied by the front. In the center a graceful tower surmounts the 
whole and at each end two other towers are constructed. From this 
building a wing extends backward one hundred feet. In the basement 
story is a smoking room in the corner and also lavatories and water 
closets. Two elevators start from the rear end of the center, one for 
the transportation of guests and the other for servants and the carriage 
of baggage. All baggage is taken to a glass covered trunk room in the 
rear where it can be elevated without the annoyance of its being in the 
way in the lobbies. In this basement story are found other apartments, 
such as a ladies' movement room and gentlemen's movement room, a 
room for wheel carriages, etc. The dining room, ninety- four by fifty- 
one and one-half feet occupies a considerable portion of the first story 
above the basement. 

The dining room is a magnificent hall, and all accessories to make it 
beautiful, and its service easily attended to, are found here. The en- 
trance is in the center of this story ; just back of this are the lobby and 
business offices. A large reception room extends its spacious quarters 
to the visitors, and three parlors, richly furnished, make intercourse 
pleasant among the guests. Another large room is used as a library 
on this floor, and a beautiful chapel also is here, thus making the place 
of divine service one quickly reached. This chapel will be, as in the 


past, a great element in promoting the work of the institution. The 
upper stories are divided into private rooms and special apartments 
suited to the peculiar service of the Sanitarium. There are bath rooms 
on every floor for both sexes as well as water closets of the most ap- 
proved type. Many rooms have both attached. In each room is a fire 
place with a gas log which sheds its cheerful light and warmth through- 
out the apartment. Transoms are placed over every door; the build- 
ing at all portions is lighted with electricity, and the system of heat and 
ventilation adopted is simply the best possible. The result is that the 
entire building will be uniformly cool in summer and warm in winter. 
The roof forms a great winter garden where patients can obtain exer- 
cise and watch the varying landscape of the surrounding country; be- 
sides they can obtain sun baths and at any season of the year be in the 
midst of a tropical climate, as the roof is enclosed with glass. The ele- 
vators make this portion of the building easily accessible. The plan 
adopted for the construction of this edifice gives fourteen rooms to the 
benevolence of charitable persons. Any one of these rooms may be en- 
dowed for $15,000. 

The Village of Shortsville. — In all respects this is the most impor- 
tant village in Manchester, and in point of manufactures it ranks second 
only to Geneva in the county. In 1804 Theophilus Short came to this 
locality and built both flour and saw- mills, from which fact the little 
hamlet thus built up became known as Short's Mills. In 1822 Mr. 
Short built a second flour mill north of the first one, but before this, and 
in 1818, William Grimes had a woolen mill in operation, while the year 
18 1 8 witnessed the founding of a foundry and furnace. 

All these old industries, however, had their period of existence many 
years ago, and are now unknown to the locality. They were succeeded 
by other and more important enterprises which have been continuously 
maintained until the present time, and all have combined as elements 
of strength in building up one of the most progressive little villages of 
Ontario county. In truth it may be said that the increase of businees 
interests in Shortsville has never declined since the founding of the vil- 
lage ; on the contrary there has been maintained a steady progression 
and the village was never more prosperous than now, although one of 
the large factory buildings is idle while the ravages of fire destroyed one 


or two others. From this the statement may be made that the history 
of Shortsville is best written in the history of its manufactures, its 
churches, schools, and other enterprises, public and private. In 1889 
the village interests were of such character and importance that the 
people thereof procured its incorporation, the proceedings being com- 
pleted in November. Within its limits there are about 1,000 inhab- 
itants, and few there are of them who are not in some manner directly 
interested in the welfare of the municipality. The present trustees are 
J. Morgan Stoddard, president, and C. M. Sisco, E. P. Babcock and 
E. D. Mather ; village clerk, Charles Davidson. 

On the old mill site where Theophilus Short built his pioneer mills, 
now stands the extensive works of the Empire Drill Company, incor- 
porated with $150,000 capital. In 1855 Hiram F. and Calvin P. Brown 
established a business of manufacturing grain drills in a somewhat small 
way. Their product was originally called the " Pioneer Force Feed 
Drill," but in later years became known as the "Empire Drill." The 
first year they produced thirty completed drills ; in 1892 the company 
made 4,000 drills. Two men began the work, now nearly one hundred 
are employed. 

The Star Paper Company was organized in 1867 and on the outlet 
where formerly stood one of the Short mills and the old distillery a 
building was erected. In 187 1 the old wooden mill site was utilized as 
the " Diamond " paper mill. The company had a capital of $50,000, 
and for many years did a large and successful business. Dr. J. P. H. 
Deming was its president ; Stephen T. Seymour, secretary and treas- 
urer. However, this was one of the industries of the village which ulti- 
mately failed, its affairs being closed about five years ago. 

The Ontario Paper Mills is the name of one of the substantial and en- 
during industries of the village, and under the present proprietorship 
of James Jones does a large business. These mills have also been in 
operation many years. 

The Shortsville Wheel Company was incorporated January 7, 1889, 

by Charles W. Brown, Jennie B. Heath, Charles E. Brown and Calvin 

P. Brown. The works were situated on the outlet about half a mile 

above the village. The company above named sold to the American 



Wheel Company, but the latter failed and the plant passed into the 
hands of Calvin P. and H. L. Brown, by whom it is now operated. 

The Shortsville Cart Company was organized in December, 1891, 
and continued operations for about two years. 

In this connection mention may also be made of the general planing 
mill of Charles M. Clark, which does a successful business ; and also of 
the former enterprises known as G. Van Sickle's Champion Grain and 
Hay Unloader, and the machine and implement shops of H. C. Sheffer 

The first school in Shortsville was conducted in Asel Kent's dwelling 
and Manning Redfield was its teacher. The first school-house was 
built in 1 807 on the farm of Elam Dewey, just outside the village proper. 
In 181 1 the first district school in the village was built, the first teachers 
being Harry Robinson, Sylvester Miner and Aaron Pomeroy. In edu- 
cational matters Shortsville has kept even step with the villages of the 
county, but in 1886 it advanced beyond many others and erected a 
large and attractive Union school building, being the property of dis- 
trict number seven. 

The Myron Buck Free Library is one of the institutions of the vil- 
lage, and was established in a handsome memorial building on Main 
street, and although only a few years old is recognized as a contribu- 
tion of much worth to the village residents. 

On the i6th of April, 1888, Edgar D. Mather opened a private bank 
in Shortsville, which was another progressive step in village history, 
this being the first bank to be established here. 

The First Presbyterian Church of Manchester was in fact organized 
in January, i860, although meetings were held and an effort at organ- 
ization several years earlier, A Sunday-school of the Presbyterian 
Society was started in the village in 1857. In 1859 and '60 a church 
edifice was completed, which was replaced in 1884 by the present 
beautiful structure which now adorns Main street, near the center 
of the village. This church is by far the largest and most influential in 
this part of the town, numbering about 265 members, while the Sun- 
day-school has about 250 pupils. Since the organization the pastors 
and supplies in succession of this church have been as follows : Revs. 
Charles H. Chester, William J. Stoughtenburgh, Richmond James, 


James M. Harlow, Chester C. Thorn, E. G. Cheesman, W. O. Carrier, 
J. C. Lenhart, W. I. Coburn, and John T. Crumrine, the latter being 
the present pastor, who was called to the church in December, 1892. 

The other church societies of Shortsville are the Protestant Epis- 
copal, the Methodist Episcopal, and the Roman Catholic, each of which 
are of comparatively recent organization, and neither of which has a 
resident pastor. Trinity Church was built about 1884, ^^^ is a small 
chapel edifice standing on Main street. The Methodist Church is 
organized and beyond the condition of a mission, and its pastorate is 
supplied by Rev. J. E. Showers. St. Dominick's Church and parish 
was organized about ten or twelve years ago, and holds monthly serv- 
ices under the charge of Father Patrick Leel, of Clifton Springs. 

T/ie Village of Manchester. — This locality at an early day acquired 
some prominence as a manfacturing center, and here there was in opera- 
tion a pioneer woolen- mill, hence the townspeople called the hamlet 
Manchester, in allusion to the great manufacturing city of the same 
name in England. The mill referred to was built in 181 2, and the 
village was established soon afterward. In 1822 the town was given 
the same name as the village. 

On this site of the pioneer woolen-mill now stands the roller flour- 
mill of W. G. Mason, which, with the spoke factory adjoining, com- 
prises all there is of manufactures in the village at this time. The 
original settler on the village site was Valentine Coon, from whom the 
locality was first called Coonsville. In 1892 the village of Manchester 
was incorporated, having a population of about 450 persons. In 1891 
the Lehigh Valley road was built through the village, thus giving an 
impetus to trade, and, what is still better, extensive round-houses have 
been built conveniently near the center of the village, with a promise 
of large machine shops in the near future. The trustees of Manchester 
village are Dr. J. R. Pratt, president, and VV. A. Wilson, W. G. Mason 
and Isaac Reed ; clerk, Elmer Ver Planck. 

The First Baptist Church of Manchester was originally organized as 
the First Baptist Church of Farmington (before the division of the 
town), and dates back to 1797, although not until 1810 was the first log 
meeting-house built, followed by a stone chapel in 181 5. In 1822 
Farmington was divided and Manchester was formed, whereupon the 


society took the name of the First Baptist Church of Manchester. The 
property on which the present large church edifice now stands was pur- 
chased in 1849, ^"^ i" the same year the meeting-house was built. 
The church has a present membership of about 190 persons, and a Sun- 
day school with about seventy- five members, all under the pastoral care 
of Rev. Edwin C. Long. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Manchester (village) also had its 
origin in pioneer times, but no reliable record of its early history seems 
to have been preserved. The present church edifice was built in 1841, 
and recent repairs have given it an attractive appearance. The society 
has about 130 members on the church roll, the Sunday-school about 
100 pupils. Pastor, Rev. De WittTooker. 

Manchester Center is the name of a small hamlet situate about mid- 
way between Manchester village and Clifton Springs. Having a loca • 
tion on the outlet of Canandaigua Lake, this has been a manufacturing 
point of some note during the early history of the town, but the growth 
of Shortsville and Clifton Springs have drawn trade from the Center 
to those places. The recent construction of the Lehigh Valley railroad 
has given an impetus to trade in this locality, and the Center is un- 
doubtedly benefited thereby. 

Port Gibson enjoys the distinction of being the only village in On- 
tario county which touches the Erie Canal, in fact the port owes its 
very existence to the construction of the canal, which famous water- 
way was completed and opened for traffic in 1825, Among the lead- 
ing men of Canandaigua who were prominently interested in the con- 
struction of the canal was Henry B. Gibson, and in his honor this hamlet 
was named Port Gibson, and in the laying out of the village tract the 
names of other influential residents of the county seat are preserved, 
for here are found Grieg street (for John Grieg), Atwater street (Moses 
or Freeman Atwater), Granger street (Francis Granger), Bemis street 
(James D. Bemis), and others. However, it was during the palmy days 
of exclusive canal transportation that Port Gibson enjoyed its greatest 
glory, for v;ith the construction of railroads across the State canal traf- 
fic began to decline, consequently the village also lost its importance in 
a corresponding degree. The village now has two or three stores, 
several shops, a school and a M. E. Church, the latter having a merti- 


bership of 128 persons, and now being under the pastoral charge of 
Rev. John Easter. The total value of church property (edifice and 
parsonage) is about $9,000. 

Littleville was first called Parker's Mills, the latter name being given 
in allusion to Edward Parker, the former proprietor of the grist-mill at 
that place. Norman C. Little afterward purchased the site, and the 
name was thereupon changed to Littleville. However useful and 
profitable these mills may have been, they have been discarded as such, 
and the buildings have recently been remodeled and fitted for use as an 
electric power station, form which point it is proposed to furnish electric 
lights for Clifton Springs, Shortsville and Canandaigua, and also to furnish 
power for the electric cars in the last mentioned village. A further ac- 
count of this place may be found in the history of the town of Hopewell. 

Gypsum is the name of a small hamlet situate on the line between Man- 
chester and Phelps, and about two miles north of Clifton Springs. In 
this locality Pioneer Van Derhoof settled, followed by other Dutch 
families, from which fact the place or vicinity was originally called the 
Dutch settlement, later it became known as Plainsville, and still more 
recently as Gypsum. Having its location on the outlet, this has been a 
manufacturing point of some note in the past, and the opening of a 
plaster bed here also added to the industry of the place. 

The Baptist Church at Gypsum was the second society of that de- 
nomination in the town, having been organized in 18 13 under Elder 
William Rowe as first pastor. The early meetings were held at various 
convenient places in the town, and it was not until about 1835 that the 
somewhat historic old stone meeting-house was built. 



THE town of Phelps includes within its boundaries the northern 
half of township No. 10 and the southern part of No. 1 1 in the 
first range, together with all that part of the " gore " lying east of the 
portion above mentioned. This town or district was originally known 


as " Sullivan," and so named in allusion to General Sullivan, the com- 
mander of the historic expedition against the western Indians during 
the summer and fall of 1779. Upon the organization of the town in 
1796, at the solicitation of the proprietary, the name was changed to 
"Phelps;" in consideration of which change it is said that Oliver Phelps 
regaled the inhabitants with a sumptuous feast at the tavern of Jona- 
than Oaks. 

The honor of being the pioneer settler of this town is generally con- 
ceded to John Decker Robison, and enough of history on this subject 
has been furnished by past writers to fill a volume ; but in the present 
narrative we mainly rely on the accuracy of the statements of Dr. Caleb 
Bannister in his address before the Agricultural Society in 1852. Ac- 
cording to the address, in the summer of 1888, James Robison, son of 
the pioneer, was employed with Nathaniel Sanborn to drive loo head 
of cattle into the Genesee country, which were intended as presents to 
the Indians, in order to conciliate their friendship and good will, that 
subsequent negotiations for their title to the lands might be consummated 
with as little difficulty as possible. Robison and Sanborn reached 
Geneva with the cattle on June 3, 1788, and on the next day John 
Decker Robison arrived at the same place. The latter at once pro- 
ceeded to the town of Phelps, as afterward known, but then unnamed, 
and settled on lot No. 14 in township 11, first range, which was sur- 
veyed to contain 320 acres of land, but by an error the tract actually 
contained more than 320 acres, and its total cost to the pioneer was 
not far from $100. 

The foregoing statement is corroborated by the fact that the consid- 
eration was paid by Robison in building for Phelps and Gorham a house 
in Canandaigua, according to the following contract : 

Memorandum of an agreement between William Walker on the 
one part and John D. Robison of the other part, witnesseth, that 
the said Robinson doth agree to Build for the said Walker a house 
at Canadauque of the Same Dimensions and in the same manner 
as the house now building by Captain Bartles at Geneva, with this 
Variation, viz.: he is to build but one Chimney and is not either of 
the floors, or make the Doors or window Shets, he is to board himself, 
and procure all the materials except nails, the building is to be com- 


pleted every way as well as the said Bartles, there is to be a twelve 
square, seven by nine Glass Window frame in the front and rear of each 
room, the work is to be completed this fall, for which the said Walker 
doth agree to pay the said Robinson forty pounds New York Currency 
in the following manner, viz.: in provisions Sufficient for him the said 
Robinson's self and hands, while building said house, and the remainder 
in a Lot of Land in No. Eleven, first range, to be valued according to 
Quality and Situation, reckoning the whole Township at two Shillings 
per acre, and if the said Lot should be found to exceed the Remainder of 
the said forty pounds, said Walker agrees to take his pay in Said Rob- 
inson's Labour after the first day of June next, when the said Walker 
may demand it, witness our hands interchangeably, Signed this Twenty- 
eighth day of October, in the year of our Lord, 1788. 

Wm. Walker, 
John Dk'r Robison. 
Witnesses present, Ezekiel Scott, Enos Boughton. 

The above building was used as a land office and for the residence of 
Judge Walker, the agent for surveys and sales of Phelps and Gorham. 

This worthy pioneer, John Decker Robison, built and opened a tav- 
ern on his tract in 1793, the first event of its kind in the town ; also his 
son, Harry H. Robison, was the first white child born in the town. 
The Robison purchase included a part of the Phelps village site, being 
that portion thereof lying east of the town hall. In 1789 Mr. Robison's 
family came to the town, and nine days later there also came Pierce 
and Elihu Granger, Nathaniel Sanborn and a Mr. Gould, but all these 
returned to Connecticut (for all were Yankees) in the fall, leaving Rob- 
ison and his family alone in the town, eight miles from the nearest set- 
tlement (Geneva.) Following those who have been mentioned, the 
next settlers in the town were Jonathan Oaks, Seth Dean, Oliver Hum- 
phrey, Charles Humphrey and Elias Dickinson. In 1793 or '94 Mr. 
Oaks built a large frame house, which for many years was occupied as 
a hotel, and was located at Oaks' Corners, a small hamlet of the town, 
its name being applied in honor of the pioneer. This was the second 
frame tavern west of Geneva, a place of much note in early days, while 
its founder was hardly less prominent in the new community. Philetus 
Swift was a pioneer of 1789, a man of much energy and influence, par- 


ticularly in early political history ; and as well was he prominent in 
military afifairs, he being commander of a company during the war of 
1 812. Seth Dean, who has been mentioned, was a pioneer on the 
Phelps village site, and here in company with Oliver Phelps he erected 
a saw- mill on Flint Creek, on the location where an industry of some 
sort afterward became a fixture. 

Another very prominent early pioneer was Dr. Joel Prescott, who 
settled in the town at an early day and was one of the prominent physi- 
cians of the county. He came to this region as early as May, 1788, 
and, probably, for a while resided at Kanadesaga, as during that and 
the succeeding year his name is found as a witness on several papers 
dated at that place. At the first town meeting in Phelps, 1796, Dr. 
Prescott was elected school commissioner and assessor, was appointed 
justice of peace, January, 1798, was supervisor of the town from 1797 
to 1809 inclusive, except 1805, and for several years chairman of the 
board ; was school commissioner of the town for several years. He 
located on a farm one mile west of Oaks' Corners, and was the first 
physician of Phelps, his practice being very extensive and laborious 
with the old time saddle bags strapped to his saddle. He was married 
in Phelps to Lucy Reed, September 8, 1793, and had seven children, 
two of whom died in infancy, the rest living to mature years. His home 
was among the earliest of frame houses in the town. With an active 
interest and efficient in rendering them he was repeatedly placed in po- 
sitions of trust by his fellow-citizens, and so great was the esteem for 
him that his counsels were called for in all departments of life. He was 
born June 20, 1759, and died October 5, 1841. His funeral took place 
on the afternoon of Sunday, October 6, and was attended by the largest 
number of people that had ever before been gathered together on such 
an occasion, from 1,000 to 1,200 being present, among whom were 
the principal and prominent men of Geneva and the surrounding 

The following is worthy of a record in this place. Horatio Jones was 
one of the early pioneers at Kanadesaga or Geneva. In 1788 he was 
joined by his brother, John H., at that place, and having obtained a 
yoke of oxen in the spring of 1789, the two brothers went into the town 
of Phelps, found an open spot, ploughed and planted five or six acres of 


corn, which they sold on the ground, and finally removed to the west 
of the Genesee River. 

Referring again to the address of Dr. Bannister, we find the names of 
other early settlers, among them being John Salisbury, who settled in 
1 79 1 a short distance west of Melvin Hill. Also in the same year came 
Walter Chase and Nicholas Pullen ; in 1792, John Patten and David 
Boyd; in 1793, Jonathan Melvin ; in 1794, John Sherman; in 1795, 
Osee Crittenden and Cornelius Westfall ; in 1796, Jesse Warner and 
John Newhall ; in 1797, Theodore and Lemuel Bannister, who located 
just north of Oaks' Corners. Another account says Theo. Bannister 
settled in 1798, and Lemuel one year later, which latter is probably cor- 
rect. Deacon John Warner was a pioneer at Orleans, while the first 
settler at Melvin Hill was Jonathan Melvin, from whom the hill derived 
its name. Jesse Warner settled at Warner Hill, east of Flint Creek. 
Joseph Vandemark, Lodowick Vandemark, John and Patrick Burnett, 
came about or during the year 1794. Lodowick was a skillful mill- 
wright, and put up an excellent saw-mill in the town. Other early set- 
tlers were Coll Roy, Joseph, Eleazer and Cephas Hawks, Augustus Dick- 
inson, and others now forgotten. About 1799 Cephas Hawks, Augustus 
Dickinson and Theo. Bannister built a grist-mill on the outlet, on the 
site in later years known successively as Dickinson's, Norton's, and the 
Exchange Mills. 

In 1800 George Wilson and Harvey Stephenson came to the town, 
followed in 1802 or '3 by John Hildreth. John R. Green was the first 
merchant at Oaks' Corners. Wills Whitman came with the Oaks. The 
first marriage in the town was that of Joseph Annin with the daughter of 
pioneer Seth Reed. Magistrate Thomas Sisson performed the cere- 
mony. Cephas Hawks erected the first plaster-mill, and about the 
same time Luther and Francis Root, Ezekiel Webb, and Nathaniel 
Hall, bought the Seth Dean grist-mill, and converted it into a plaster- 

The persons who have been mentioned thus far in this narrative were, 
it is thought, the pioneers of the town of Phelps ; there may have been 
others whose names are lost and forgotten, but drawing information 
from all reliable sources, the statements above made are probably ac- 
curate in general. It will be observed that when once begun the settle- 


ment progressed rapidly ; in fact, in 1796, on April i, the inhabitants 
were so many that it became advisable to organize the town and elect 
officers. Prior to this time the town formed part of a district, and was 
known as Sullivan, as has been stated, but at the time of organization 
the name was changed to Phelps. We may further state that according 
to Dr. Bannister the change in name from Sullivan to Phelps was made 
in 1795. Boyd's Gazetteer of the State of New York, Albany, 1872, 
states that Phelps was formed in 1796, under the act of January 27, 

The officers elected at the first town meeting were as follows : Super- 
visor, Jonathan Oaks ; town clerk, Solomon Goodale ; assessors, Joel 
Prescott, Philetus Swift and Pierce Granger ; collector, Augustus Dick- 
inson ; overseers of the poor, Oliver Humphrey and Patrick Burnett; 
commissioners of highways, Jesse Warner, Oliver Humphrey and Phi- 
letus Swift ; overseers of highways, Cornelius Westfall, Abram D. Spurn, 
Charles Humphrey, Elijah Gates, John Patten, Augustus Dickinson, 
David Woodard ; pound-master, Jonathan Oaks. 

The present town officers are : Wm. E. Edmonston, supervisor ; Jno. 
T. Watkins, town clerk ; Lysander Redfield, Richard M. Green, Jesse 
P. Warner and Jno. B. Armstrong, justices ; Stalham Crittenden, Wm. 
H. Hunt and Judson Raymer, assessors ; Russell B. Cobb, Thos. H. 
Gerow, Samuel Cuddeback, commissioners of highways ; Jno. M. White, 
overseer of the poor ; Willard R. Laughlin, collector ; Epenetus T. 
Lamb, James T. Sweeney, Adrian Easterly, commissioners of excise. 

Succession of Supervisors: Jonathan Oaks, 1796; Joel Prescott, 
1797-1804, and 1806-09; Pierce Granger, 1805 ; Elihu Granger, 1810- 
II; Wm. Burnett, 1812-13, and 1816-17 ; Lemuel Bannister, jr., 1814 ; 
Thaddeus Bannister, 181 5; Philetus Swift, 1818-22; Wm. Hildreth, 
sen., 1823-26; Thos. Edmonston, 1827; Jas. Van Demark, 1828-29, 
and 1832-33; Richard D. Cuyler, 1831 ; David McNiel, 1834; Isaac 
M. Norton, 1835; FVed'k Van Demark, 1836-37; Wm. Dickinson, 
1838-40; Jno. S. Harris, 1841-42; Moses Chapman, 1843; Cornelius 
Horton, 1844-52; Henry C. Swift, 1853; Hubbard McLoud, 1854; 
Sylvanus B. Pond, 1855; Lewis Peck, 1856-59; Ambrose L. Van 
Dusen, i860; Nathan Oaks, 1861-64; Lysander Redfield, 1865; Henry 
Ray, 1866-67 ; Horatio N. Mather, 1868 ; Samuel E. Horton, 1869-70; 


David Cosad, jr., 1871 ; Thaddeus O. Hotchkiss, 1872-73, and 1875 
-79; Hamilton McBurney, 1874; Jno. C. Warner, 1880; Benj. F. 
Odell, 1881-82; Abram S. Smith, 1883-87; Thaddeus O. Hotchkiss, 
1888-90; Geo. B. Shepperd, 1 891 ; Wm. C. Edmonston, 1892-93. 

On the iith of April, 1823, a portion of the town of Phelps was set 
off to Lyons, Wayne county, therefore to correctly note subsequent 
changes in population we may properly begin with the federal census 
of 1830. In that year the number of inhabitants in the town was 
4,798; ten years later it had increased to 5,563; in 1850 was 5,542 ; 
in i860 was 5,586, the greatest number ever attained in its history. 
By 1870 it had fallen to 5,130. During the next decade it increased 
to 5,189, and by 1890 had again fallen to 5,086, which is about the 
present population. From this we discover that Phelps had a less 
population in 1 890 than in 1840, or half a century before. 

Among the pioneers of Phelps were a number of Revolutionary sur- 
vivors, the names of some of whom can still be recalled, but there were 
others who are now forgotten. At a later period, and during what may 
more properly be termed the early history of the town, the inhabitants 
were called upon to furnish men for frontier service in the second war 
with Great Britain. The enrolled militia of Phelps were frequently 
under arms during the War of 18 12-15, ^"^ ^'so they performed duty 
on the Niagara frontier. Unfortunately no reliable record of the Phelps 
company has been preserved. However it was during the War of 
1861-65 that the men of the town made their most glorious military 
record, at a time when the population of Phelps had reached its maxi- 
mum, in i860, the number of inhabitants then being 5,586. In 1861 
the war began, and from that time until no more volunteers were 
needed, Phelps was ever ready to contribute men and means for the 
prosecution of the war. More than that, the patriotic people of the 
town, both men and women, had local organizations the object of which 
was to relieve and administer to the personal comfort of the sick and 
wounded soldiers. This organization was known as "The Phelps 
Union Soldiers' Aid Society," formed in 1863, and prominently con- 
nected with which were Mrs. Hibbard, president; Mrs, Stebbins, vice- 
president; Mrs. Browning, secretary and treasurer; Mrs. C. P. Moser, 
assistant secretary and treasurer ; and Mrs. W. A. Smith, Mrs. Jackson, 
Mrs. A. Hawks, Mrs. A. Swan and Mrs. Williams, directresses. 


During the course of the war the town of Phelps furnished to all 
branches of the service a grand total of more than 500 men, although 
the imperfect records extant show a number slightly less. An exam- 
ination of the muster rolls will disclose the fact that hardly a regiment 
formed in Western New York in which were any Ontario county men 
that did not contain Phelps enlistments. A preceding chapter of 
this work has narrated at length the composition of the several com- 
panies recruited in whole or in part in the county, and a reference 
thereto will show the towns which contributed to the county contingent 
of volunteers. 


First in importance in this town, and one of the first in commercial 
and industrial importance in Ontario county, is the incorporated village 
of Phelps. John Decker Robison was a pioneer of the town, and also 
of the village, his purchase including a part of the village tract (lying 
east of the town hall). Seth Dean is also to be mentioned in the same 
connection, for he also located on the village site and afterward became 
identified with Oliver Phelps in the erection of a saw-mill on Flint 
Creek, where the Nelson & Bowker mill of later days was built. How- 
ever, pioneer Robison laid the real foundation for the subsequent village 
by erecting in 1793 his famous tavern. The locality at once thereafter 
became a trade center, and before long we find Orin Redfield in general 
mercantile business on the land now occupied by the Phelps Hotel. 
Hotchkiss & McNeil opened trade in 1810 in Root's bar-room, but 
later on moved to the site of the Odell block. Wing & Nelson began 
business in 1813 ; D wight and Partridge in 18 16; while David D. Van 
Auken and the Thayers were later business men. In 18 16 Hotchkiss 
& McNeil built the first brick block in the village. 

As is elsewhere stated, Seth Dean built the first grist mill, and he 
was followed in the same line by the larger mill built by pioneers 
Hawks, Dickinson and Bannister, the latter being erected in 1799 on 
the outlet, while Dean's mill was on Flint Creek. In the village, about 
18 1 2, Luther and Francis Root and Erastus Butler built a rather large 
woolen-mill, and established an industry that prospered about three 
years and was then abandoned. 


In fact, by this time (1812) the village had become a place of much 
importance, and had industries and business interests. The truth is 
that in the early history of this village the whole people were imbued 
mainly with the spirit of enterprise, while in some other localities large 
tracts of land, and business interests as well, were held for speculative 
purposes only. To outsiders, and to wits who spoke in derision, this 
village was known as " Woodpecker City," yet no person will now 
venture to trace the origin of the name. In 18 12 the village was made 
a post station under the name of " Vienna," and so called in accord- 
ance with the then prevailing custom of naming towns and villages 
after foreign municipalities (excepting English names, which were even 
then distasteful to the Yankees). David McNiel was the first post- 
master. About the same time mail stage routes were established 
between Phelps and Geneva, Palmyra and Pittsford. Weekly mails 
were at first carried by Francis Root and Lyman Williams. 

As Vienna this village continued without corporate character from 
1812 to 1855, and then, under the name of Phelps the court of sessions 
granted the petition of the people for an incorporation, thereby enabling 
its citizens to carry to a completion certain desirable improvements 
which met with some opposition from the residents of the town at large, 
who were not directly interested in village affairs and property, hence 
were not willing to be taxed for those improvements. The order of 
incorporation was granted by Judge Folger in February, 1855, and 
thereafter the first village trustees were elected, as follows: Zenus 
Wheeler, Dolphin Stephenson, Harvey Carey, Anson Titus and John 

Thus constituted and organized, Phelps village entered upon an era 
of prosperity not before enjoyed during the period of its history. In 
all these years there had been a gradual and healthful increase in popu- 
lation and industry, and at the time of incorporation we find the village 
possessed of such local institutions as were usual to other similar vil- 
lages of the county, and in many respects was far in advance of some 
other of the municipalities. It had then church accommodations suffi- 
cient for the town's people added to those of the village ; the schools 
were of such character as to commend them to the public favor ; and 
the impetus given to manufacture in various branches made Phelps, 


forty years ago, a place of much importance. The railroad between 
Syracuse and Rochester furnished ready transportation to both east and 
west markets, and before many years passed another thoroughfare of 
travel provided a north and south outlet. These facilities have been in- 
creased quite recently, yet the confession must be made that business 
in general in the village is not so great in volume as a quarter of a cen- 
tury ago. However, avoiding comment, we may briefly refer to some 
of the leading institutions of the village, and in a measure trace their 

Schools. — Tradition has it that a school was opened in Phelps village 
prior to i8oo, but on this point there is a possibility of doubt. It is 
well known, however, that in 1805 a school was maintained in the vil- 
lage, the building standing on the site of the Hotchkiss bank, being a 
double house, one story in height, and occupied in part as a dwelling- 
house. Among the early teachers who are remembered as having 
charge of the first regular district school were Chloe Warner (better 
known as Aunt Chloe), Rowland Dewey, Ann Bigelow, Abigail Bige- 
low, Betsey Newell, Caleb Bannister, Jared Willson (later a prominent 
lawyer at the county seat). Dr. Harry E. Phinney, Miss Knapp, Oliver 
Moore, Erastus Kellogg and John Chapman. 

After the term of Mr. Chapman had expired (in 1820), the district 
was divided, in order that two schools might be maintained, and to bet- 
ter suit the convenience of the children then living in the vicinity. 
Therefore the "East" and "West" districts, so-called, were established 
and each provided with a school-house, that of the east district being 
of stone and standing just south of St. Francis' Church, and that of the 
west district being of brick. After the division above mentioned the 
teachers in the east school were Wm. King, Mr. Noble, Jacob Moon, 
Erastus Marvin, Ziba Crawford, Chas. E. Pinkney, Sybil Marvin, T. A. 
Pinkney, Hiram Frazer, John S. Moore, Cornelius Horton, Philander 
Dawley, J. C. Anderson, Fanny Henry and Mr. Coon, the latter con- 
cluding his period of service about 1845. Among the teachers in the 
other districts during the same period were Cornelius E. Crosby, Rich- 
ard Marvin, F. Root and Ann S. Frazer. 

However, about the year 1845, the districts were consolidated, and 
in 1846 the large brick building now owned by district number eight 


was built. In after years material repairs were made, but in 1890 the 
new rear addition was erected, while the general structure was entirely 
remodeled. Also about the same time (1846) the Phelps Union and 
Classical School was incorporated, and the affairs of its management 
vested in a Board of Education. This proceeding placed the Phelps 
school on a level with the best academic institutions of the county, and 
at that time it took the name above mentioned. 

Succession of Principals: Lewis Peck, Thomas Purington, W. F. 
Crosby, Ziba H. Potter, Ezra J. Peck, Rev. Ferris Scott, Lockwood 
Hoyt, John S. Coe, Ezra J. Peck, James S. Root, H. C. Kirk, Geo. W. 
Rafter, H. C. Kirk, F. M. Smith, Cicero Hutchins, Daniel D. Edgerton. 

The members of the Board of Education are as follows : H. K. 
Bowker, president ; Wm. B. Hobbie, secretary ; and F. H. Wisewell, 
Dr. Wm. Howe and Edward Hicks. 

The village fire department is equipped with one serviceable hand 
engine, controlled and operated by the Crothers Fire Engine Company; 
and a good hook and ladder apparatus, operated by the Redfield Hook 
and Ladder Company. 

In the spring of 1889 the village gave permission to the Phelps 
Water Works Company to lay water mains through the principal 
streets. Although a local improvement, the stock of this company is 
owned by non residents. The water supply is taken from the locality 
known as Melvin Hill. 

The Baptist church of Phelps village was organized January 31, 1843, 
although a society of this denomination was formed in the town as 
early as 1808, and was known as the First Baptist Church of Phelps. 
The old society continued in existence from 1808 to about the year 
i860, but its life was one of vicissitudes and hardships. For many 
years its meetings were held in school-houses and other convenient 
places, and not until about 183 i was a minister employed. The Second 
and Third Baptist churches of Phelps were the outgrowths of this mother 
society. However, in 1843 the Baptists of the village were sufficiently 
strong in numbers and influence to accomplish the formation of a 
society, and on January 31 the organization was effected with fifty-one 
original members. The first pastor was J. H. Stebbins, followed, in 
succession, by Revs. Bingham, Luke Davis, G. W. Mead, J. M. Wade, 


C. M. Newland, M. W. Holmes, W. D. Woodruff, H. C. De Witt, Mr. 
Chase, C. A. Vottley and others. The membership of this church is 
now small. The church edifice was built in 1845 ^^^ dedicated in 
1847. The present pastoral supply is Rev. Mr. Long. 

The Presbyterian church of Phelps village was organized May 10, 
1 83 1, with sixty constituent members, under the pastoral charge of 
Rev. Levi Grisvvold. A comfortable church edifice was erected for 
the society on what is now known as Church street, and here the 
society met and prospered, growing constantly in numbers and influence, 
until certain dissensions worked a division in the church, followed 
by the withdrawal of about twenty members in 1840, who organized a 
new society and held regular services. In 1858 the old school adher- 
ents, having then become numerous, built a large and commodious 
edifice on Main street, while the dissentients occupied the old building 
on Church street. However, about 1869 or 1870 the factions were 
once more united and consolidated, and all worshiped thereafter in the 
Main street edifice. The building on Church street was then sold to 
the bishop of the diocese for the use of the parish of St. Francis' Roman 
Catholic church. The Presbyterian church of the village is a large 
organization, and is under the pastoral care of Rev. Wm. Henry Bates, 
who was in January, 1892, called to succeed Dr. Porter. This society 
has a large Sunday school, and also helps to support several benevolent 

St. John's Episcopal church was founded in 1832. Its early services 
were held in public buildings until 1845 when the erection of the stone 
church edifice was completed and consecrated in 1856. The communi- 
cating membership numbers fifty- three. The rectors in succession 
have been Erastus Spaulding, Edward de Zeng, Eli Wheeler, Erastus 
Spaulding (second rectorship), Dr. Kendrick Metcalf, Francis T. Rus- 
sell, Dr. Wm. B. Edson (who died December, 1892), and Dr. Charles 
Wells Hayes. St. John's has an endowment fund of $12,500, the gift 
of the well-known Stanley family ; the rectory lot also was given to the 
society by the same generous donors. 

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Phelps, or, as legally 
organized, the "First Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church," 
had a beginning in this village and locality during the early years of 


the present ceiitiir)', although the formal organization was not effected 
until July 19, 1831, at which time Josiah Maffitt, Erastus S. Morin and 
Caleb Bannister were elected trustees. In 1856 the substantial brick 
church edifice on Main street was erected. The church has a present 
membership of about 200, and a Sunday school with about 150 pupils. 
The present pastor is Rev. Piatt T. Hughston. 

St. Francis' Roman Catholic Church. A mission was established in 
Phelps in July, 1856, which afterward developed into a parish and 
church organization, and named as above mentioned, in 1857. Tlie 
parish of course includes all the Catholic families of the village and 
vicinity, and is under the pastoral care of Father A. M. O'Niel. As 
has been mentioned in an earlier church histor}-, the congregation of 
St. Francis' own and occupy the building formerly used by the Pres- 
byterian society. 

The record of the press of Phelps village forms a brief though inter- 
esting local history, and while the newspaper publications have not 
been many the proprietors have indeed been numerous; almost "too 
numerous to mention." About the year 1832 the Phelps Citizen and 
Clifton Springs News was founded, but since that time the paper, in its 
various stages of prosperity, and under its numerous proprietorships, 
has been known as the Vienna Advertiser, The Phelps Democrat, The 
Westerii Atlas, The Phelps Union Star, The Phelps Citizen, The Ontario 
Citizen and Neivs, and finally, as at present permanently established, 
as The Phelps Citizen. And we may here state, parenthetically, per- 
haps, that at no time during the entire history of the paper (or papers) 
has its success been greater than at present — under the management of 
Bussey Brothers. It is a bright, newsy, clean and interesting publica- 
tion, enjoying a large circulation and liberal advertising patronage. 

Other papers of the village, which have had a transient existence 
only, were The Neighbor s Home Mail and The Phelps Advertiser. 

As a manufacturing locality Phelps village has for many years held a 
position of importance among the municipalities of the county. The 
two principal waterways of the town — Canandaigua Lake outlet and 
Flint Creek — have provided abundant mill sites and privileges, and 
while the former stream has its general course north of the village, its 
principal influences have ever extended to the village and contributed 



to its welfare. Flint Creek is a stream of good size and crosses the 
village in an east and west direction, and its " fall " being considerable, 
abundant power has been provided for operating the machinery of the 
many mills which have for nearly a century lined its banks. In a pre- 
ceding portion of this chapter reference has been made to the old mill- 
ing and manufacturing enterprises that have been operated in the 
vicinity, wherefore a repetition of them here is unnecessary ; nor in the 
present connection need we be confined by corporate limits, for the 
adjoining mills are quite a part of the local interests, and may be so 

The commonly called Stone Mill, but in fact the old " Farmers' and 
Mechanics' Mill," now owned by the estate of Dr. J. O. Howe, was 
built in 1834, under the ownership of F. Van Demark ; A. More, 
builder. This mill is in the center of the village, and in the immediate 
vicinity is the basket factory of Henry J Whiting, which formerly was 
the Miller & Hoffmill; also the malt-house of Oliver Crothers & Son, 
the store- house and machine shop. The old Edmonston mills, which 
were erected in 1819 are no longer used ?s originally built, but are 
now the cider mill and brandy distillery of Peter Garlock. The mill is 
north of the Phelps Hotel. The Red Mill at Phelps, built many years 
ago by Wm. Hildreth, has not been in operation during the last fifteen 

The old foundry and machine shop and edge tool factory of Thomp- 
son & Co. is now a part of the extensive plow works of G. H.Parmelee. 
The carriage factory of S Bowker is a thing of the past, the shop hav- 
ing been sold to other persons who for a time made thermometers, but 
afterward suspended business. 

The Ontario Mills are half a mile northeast of Phelps, on the Newark 
road. Here are made about sixty barrels of flour daily. Fridley Bros, 
are proprietors. Next west of this place is the location of the Empire 
Mills, of which Pnilander Mott is proprietor. Still farther west is the 
Plainesville Mill. 

At Unionville, which was formerly a place of some note, is the site 
of the once well-known Unionville Mill, originally built in 1839, 
also the New Mill, on the site of the old paper-mill. Although still in 
operation, now owned by R. A. Willing, this locality has lost its former 


prestige. The roller flour- mill here has a seventy- five barrel capacity. 
A little farther east is the old Swift mill site, where General Swift built 
a small mill in pioneer days, and here a mill has ever since been contin- 
uously maintained. Since 1858 Jesse Barlow (now sole owner) has 
had an interest in the property. The present large mill was built in 

1882, and has a fifty, barrel capacity. Unionville, though once a busy 
locality, has lost its primitive importance. 

The Crown Manufacturing Company, by far the largest industry of 
Phelps, was incorporated in 1883 ! capital $ioo,000. The large build- 
ing was erected the same year, and here are manufactured annually 
about one thousand Crown Grain and Fertilizer Drills, and about one 
thousand two hundred Crown Wheel-barrow Grass Sowers. About fifty 
men are employed in the works. The officers of the company are Benj. 
F. Prichard, pres. ; Geo. C. Prichard, vice-pres. and treas., and Edward 
H. Leggett, sec. The officers are also directors. 

Summarizing briefly, it is found that the manufacturing interests of 
Phelps at the present time are the Crown Manufacturing Company ; 
Fridley Bros., millers ; Peter Garlock & Son, cider and brandy manu- 
facturers ; Jno. O. Howe & Sons, millers; Calvin Mclntyre & Son, 
maltsters; J. K. Nester, maltster; G. H. Parmelee, plow manufacturer; 
the Phelps Chilled Plow Works of G. H. Parmelee ; H. C. & T. C. Sev- 
erance, carriage manufacturers. 

In 1857 L. B. Hotchkiss opened a private bank in Phelps. Thaddeus 
O. Hotchkiss succeeded to the business in 1869, and Wm. B. Hotchkiss 
& Co. succeeded to the last mentioned owner in 1879. 

The banking firm of Jno. H. Roy & Co. began business in February, 

1883. The personnel of the firm is as follows: John H. Roy, Simeon 
K. Bowker, Wm. T. Van Vranken, Isaac Roy, and Isaac Roy 2d. 

The villages and hamlets of the town, except Phelps, are small and 
have been of little importance as elements of local history. Of those 
worthy of mention Orleans is the largest, and is a station on the line of 
the Sodus Point and Southern Railroad It is situated in the southwest 
part of the town, on Flint Creek, which stream has been utilized to some 
extent in furnishing mill power. The Blythe Mills are to be mentioned 
as among the industries of first importance in this locality. The public 
properties, past and present, have been the district school, the M. E. 


church, the Baptist church and the H. P. Chapel. The M. E. church 
building was sold to the Presbyterians and its congregation joined with 
the church at Seneca Castle. 

The Baptist church at Orleans wasorganized in 1819, under the min- 
istry of Elder Shay, its first pastor It had fifty-eight original members, 
among whom were a number of the pioneers of the town and their de- 
scendants. The first church edifice was built in 1820, burned in 1846, 
and soon afterward replaced with a more substantial structure. 

Oaks' Corners is the name of a small hamlet situated three miles 
southeast of Phelps village, and attained an early prominence from the 
efforts of pioneer Jonathan Oaks, who built a hotel here as early as 
I793> '^^^ who also contributed much to the general welfare and devel- 
opment of the town. 

A Presbyterian society was informally organized here in 1803, and 
in tlie next year the organization was perfected by Rev. Jedediah Chap- 
man, the original members numbering fourteen persons. The society 
of this church has experienced many vicissitudes, yet its life has been 
constant to the present time. Originally organized as Congregational, 
it became Presbyterian in 181 1 and so continues. The edifice was built 
in 1804, and still stands, a neit and well preserved structure. Frequent 
repairs have been made to the building The present membership is 
one hundred, and in the Sunday school are over eighty pupils. The 
pastor is Rev. Henry W. Maier, whose term began June i, 1893, suc- 
ceeding Rev. Samuel Murdock. 

Melvin Hill is a settlement in the southeast part of the town. The 
village of Clifton Springs includes within its corporate limits a portion 
of the town of Phelps, a subject more fully discussed in another chapter. 
Gypsum is a hamlet north of Clifton Springs and extends over the 
town line into Phelps, but it is a settlement belonging chiefly to Man- 

In this chapter occasional reference has been made to the early schools 
opened in the town, and however interesting might be found a complete 
history of each from the time of founding, such a record is impossi- 
ble in consequence of insufificient minutes and record books. Accord- 
ing to the present arrangement the town of Phelps has a total of 
twenty- four school districts, four of which (Nos. 3, 5, 7 and 10) have no 


school-house. The school census of 1892 shows the number of children 
of school age to be 1,614; number of teachers employed, thirty- three ; 
amount received from all sources for school purposes, $18,056.80; paid 
to teachers, $10,959.49 ; total value of school buildings and sites, $48,- 
120. Of the school buildings in the town, thirteen are of brick, five of 
frame and two of stone. 


IN 1789, under the name of Bloomfield, the territory of the town now 
known as Victor, was first organized by competent authority and 
without dispute as to right of sovereignty and jurisdiction. However, 
there was an earlier occupancy of this particular region than that ac- 
complished by the settlers under the Phelps and Gorham titles, for re- 
liable records furnish the information that here was the Seneca village 
known as Gan-da ga-ro, although of the time of its founding we have 
no knowledge. In 1656 the Jesuit father, Chaumonot, visited the 
locality, but some doubt has been expressed regarding the exact loca- 
tion of the village at tnat time, for the Indians were not only migratory 
in their personal habits, but frequently changed the location of their 
villages. In 1677 and ten years later the village was on Boughton 
Hill, one mile directly south of the village of Victor, and contained, ac- 
cording to Greenhalgh, about 150 houses In 1669, Galinee, the asso- 
ciate of La Salle, described Gandagaro as a large plain, about two 
leagues in circumference on the edge of a small hill, and surrounded 
with palisades. It was this description that aroused a feeling of doubt 
as to the time the village was founded. Denonville found some kind 
of a work on the hill north of Victor village, and evidences of a small 
village have been discovered here, but the weight of testimony tends to 
show that Gan-da gan was south of the great hill. This Gandagan, 
alias Gandagaro, was the "St. James" founded by the Jesuits about the 
middle of the seventeenth century, and afterward discovered by the 


Moravian missionaries. It was also a chief seat of the Senecas and the 
residence of the sachem who presided over the grand council of the 
tribe. In 1687 Denonville, the French governor of New France, made 
an expedition against the Senecas and destroyed the village. How- 
ever, this subject is treated at much length in one of the earlier chap- 
ters of this volume, to which the attention of the reader is referred for 
greater detail ; and the brief observations we have here made are only 
introductory, and for the purpose of showing that the earliest history of 
this locality was fully as interesting as that of later years. 

By an act of the Legislature passed January 27, 1789, Ontario county 
was created, and provision was also made for the formation of jurisdic- 
tional districts for the purposes of organization and government. One 
of these districts was called Bloomfield, and included all that is now 
East and West Bloomfield, Mendon and Victor. The town last men- 
tioned, the subject of this chapter, was set off and separately organized 
May 26, 1812 ; and although the early history of the town was made 
while it formed a part of Bloomfield, that fact will be disregarded and 
and the town treated in the same manner as if No. ii in the fourth 
range was an original creation. 

Pioneer and Early Settlement. — All authorities concede to Jared 
Boughton the honor of being the first pioneer settler in what is now 
Victor. Enos Boughton, brother to Jared, was a clerk for William 
Walker, ths principal agent for the surveys and sales of the Phelps and 
Gorham Co. Enos purchased township No. 11, fourth range, from the 
proprietors, paying therefor twenty cents per acre for the land, the 
money being furnished by his father, Hezekiah Boughton, and other 
members of the family. In the spring of 1789 Enos and Jared Bough- 
ton came to Canandaigua, and soon afterward visited the recently pur- 
chased township, in their journey following the old Indian trail. In the 
extreme south part of No. 11, they built a small cabin and made other 
preparations for a permanent residence in the then wilderness region. 
In June following, Hezekiah Boughton, jr., and Jacob Lobdell arrived 
at the cabin, bringing with them cattle and implements for household 
and farm use. After making improvements and clearings, and harvest- 
ing the season's crop, all these pioneers, except Lobdell, returned to 
the east for the winter. In February, 1790, Jared Boughton and his 


family set out upon the journey to their future home, and after many 
noteworthy incidents, and some hardships, they safely arrived at their 
destination on the 7th of March, and gained the distinction of being 
the pioneer family of Victor. 

The Boughtons were a prolific as well as adventurous family, and 
after their surname the historic Boughton Hill itself was named. Heze- 
kiah Bougbton, the father, with his son Seymour and daughter Theo- 
doria, came to the town in the fall of 1790, and settled in the "hill" 
neighborhood in a locality afterward called "Turner's Hill." 

Jacob Lobdell, who was about eighteen years old when b.e first came 
to this locality, became the owner of a hundred acre farm by purchase 
from the Boughtons, and he married the daughter of Levi Boughton, 
and was also the sire of a large family. He was the first supervisor 
elected for Victor, and was otherwise prominent in town affairs. He 
died in 1847. Hezekiah Boughton in 1792 built the first framed house 
in the town, which he put to use as a tavern, in which occupation he 
was the pioneer. He died in 1 798, and was succeeded as landlord by 
one Dickinson. Jared Boughton left the town in 1799, but two years 
later returned, and remained until his death. Frederick, son of Jared, 
was the first child born in the town, the date being June i, 1791. 
Claudius Victor Boughton, child of Hezekiah, jr., became a prominent 
man in the town, and after him the town was named. 

Having mentioned at some length the facts connected with the set- 
tlement by the Boughton family, it is proper that there also be some 
reference to other early settlers in the township. We have noted the 
fact that Enos Boughton purchased the entire township from the Phelps 
and Gorham proprietary, but of course he did not remain absolute 
owner for a great length of time. The lands were sold to various pur- 
chasers, each of whom became in a measure a pioneer, or at least an 
early settler; therefore, for the purpose of preserving a record of all 
such persons and families, we may appropriately name them, but with- 
out reference to date of settlement or locality of their respective first 
purchases of land. The list is as follows: ^ Elijah Ingersoll, David 

I The reader must not assume that this list contains the names of all the pioneers of Victor. The 
names mentioned are of persons who in some manner contributed to the erection of the " Proprie- 
tors' Church." 


Lusk, Asahel Boughton, Jirah Rowley, James Upton, George Low, 
Dinah Brooks, Joseph Rowley, Lora Davis, Thomas Ingersoll, Joseph 
Thrall, Elisha Coon, Isaac Marsh, De Forest Boughton, Silas Pardee, 
Solomon Turner, Nicholas Smith, Timothy Williams, Samuel Gillis, 
Jeremiah Hull, Thomas Hawley, Jabez Felt, Harry Hart, Eleazer 
Boughton, Jared Boughton, Lucy Boughton, Jacob Lobdell, Urana 
Willard, Erie Hawley, John Hughes, Nathaniel Turner, Isaac Root, 
Elisha Brace, Peter Berry, Elisha Williams, Jesse Scudder, Israel Sim- 
mons, Joseph Brace, Nathaniel Boughton, Solomon Griswold, Johanna 
Marsh, Claudius Victor Boughton, Isaac Hathaway, Reuben Parmele, 
Jonathan Smith, M. O. Dickinson, Alice Boughton, Abraham Bough- 
ton, Ezekiel Scudder, Ira Seymour, jr., Ebenezer Bement, Ezra Wil- 
marth, Reuben Brace, Thos. Beach, Asahel Moore, Abraham Brunson, 
Abner Hawley, Wm. Jackson, Seymour Boughton, Andrew Colton, 
Henry Bement, Simeon Parks, Silas Thayer, Harry Boughton, sr., John 
Brace, Gershom Wilmarth, Joseph Perkins, Peter Turner, Erastus In- 
gersoll, Enos Gillis, Asa Root, Samuel Perkins, Abijah Williams, Jabez 
Hart, Rufus Dryer, Seymour Boughton, jr., Asahel Lusk, Edwin 
Bement, Samuel Rawson, Silas Barnes, Manley Hawley 

These names represent not only the proprietors of the 'ands of the 
township upon its subdivision, but represent also pioneers, and in many 
cases the children and wives of pioneers, in whose names titles were 
given through feelings of generosity and for convenience; and it is 
quite probable that names of persons are mentioned who were not 
early residents of Victor, but who were land owners for purposes of 
speculation, for of some of those named, there is little or no record ex- 
cept as holders of title However, of some whose names are above 
referred to there is a record of settlement, and also we may state that 
the town had a few pioneers who are not named in the list of proprie- 

Asa Hecock settled in the town in 1790, and was the first postmaster ; 
also an early tavern-keeper,' and at one time a side judge of the courts. 
Abijah Williams also settled in Victor in 1790, first in the north part, 
but moving later on to the southern part of the town. Nicholas Smith 
settled in 1790; Ezra Wilmarth in 1796; Reuben Parmele, an early 
and prominent Presbyterian minister, in 1798; Elisha Brace in 1793- 

'■e^'i-e.<f<>^-t.i^/i, ,_>^-t^^C!^/c-^'f-z^d^. 


In the same connection may also be mentioned the names of Josiah and 
Jabez Morehouse, Dr. Thomas Beach and Elisha, Herman, Joseph, Dr. 
Joel, and Reuben Brace, all of whom were early settlers and identified 
with the development of the region. Those who have been named in 
this connection were pioneers in the south part of the township, in the 
locality later known as School District No. 2. 

In the eastern part of the town is the hamlet now called East Victor, 
which was originally named Scudderville, after Ezekiel Scudder, who 
built here the first permanent mill in the township. The locality has 
also been called Freedom The pioneers of this district (No. 4) were 
Abraham Boughton, 1791 ; Thomas Hawley, a pioneer saw- mill 
builder ; Otis Wilmarth, builder of an early grist-mill ; Elijah Griswold, 
who had a carding- mill as early as 1800; Levi Boughton, settler in 
1790; N. O. Dickinson, tavern-keeper ; Samuel Boughton, shoemaker ; 
James Felt, distiller ; John M. Hughes, carding-miller. In the same 
locality also were early settlers Samuel Drowne, Eleazer Boughton, 
/ Nathan Jenks (merchant), James Barnhart, Cornelius Conover, Asahel 
Moore. In the southeast corner of the town Solomon Griswold made 
the first settlement, remaining only a short time, and giving way to 
Isaac Wheeler. In this neighborhood also were Ebenezer Stone, wheel- 
wright and handy man at any trade, and William Barber, said to be a 
famous hunter. 

The west and southwest portions of Victor were not settled until 
about twenty years after the eastern and southeastern sections, and a 
number of the settlers here were from the Mohawk valley country. Jona- 
than Culver came in 1801 ; Increase Carpenter in 1808 ; Roswell Mur- 
ray in 1810; as also did Stephen Ellis and Elston Hunt. Murray's 
wife was sister to Brigham Young, the Morman leader. Other early 
settlers in this locality were John and William Ward, James M. Camp- 
bell, Abijah Covill, Ezra Wilmarth, Samuel Dryer, James Wilmarth, 
Deacon Sheldon, and James Potter. 

In the northwest part of the town is located the railroad station and 
post-village called Fisher's, and so named in honor of Charles Fisher, 
who settled here in 18 17. However, it was not until the completion of 
the railroad and the establishment of a post-office that the name was 
regularly applied to the station. Irondequoit Creek has its course in 


this part of the township, consequently the locaHty became desirable for 
the purposes of both farming and lumbering. The result was in the 
founding of a settlement at an early day and the starting of numerous 
saw mills along the stream mentioned. Asahel Lusk was an early set- 
tler here ; Elisha Coan was an early comer, and built a saw- mill ; Rich- 
ard Brunson had a saw- mill and also a distillery, the latter as early as 
1818 ; Richard Hayes was proprietor of a grist-mill ; Jonas Allen built 
a saw mill in 18 14, and a fulling and carding-mill in 18 17. Among 
the other early settlers in this immediate locality we may mention the 
names of Gregory Hill, Joseph and Barzilla Woolston, Asa Gaskill, and 
David Barrett, while in the same general region, and a little farther east, 
the pioneers were Joseph Rowley, Simeon Parks, Eleazer Bough - 
ton, Jonathan Smith and Isaac Simmons. In the extreme north- 
west of the town dwelt pioneer Abraham Mattison, who built the 
first saw- mill on Irondequoit Creek. A little later David Lyon built 
both saw and grist-mills (1820), and in 1825 Erastus Hughes operated 
a fulling-mill. John Earle and Samuel Moore were also early settlers 
in this locality. East of the section just referred to, and in what after- 
ward became District No 7, the early settlers were Capt. Jirah Rowley, 
a pioneer of District No. 8, who served in the War of 1812-15, and 
was captain of the Victor militia company. In this neighborhood also 
lived at an early day Ichabod Town, the cooper ; Allen Bearmore or 
Barmour, Asa Root, De Forest Boughton, John Gould, and Squire 
Fox, the latter being noted for his native ability as a lawyer in justice 

The northeast part of Victor was settled very early, when we consider 
its comparatively remote location. The first improvement here was 
made in 1797 by James Upton and Jabez Hart, and in the next year 
there came pioneers Isaac Marsh, the first tanner; Jirah Rowley, who 
soon moved to the north part of the town ; Abraham Bliss, John Cline, 
and Joseph Trail came in the same year, while among the later early 
settlers were Timothy Wilson and John Rose, the latter a local preacher 
of the M. E. Church. John and Timothy Lane settled about 1800 in 
the extreme eastern part of the town, and in 1802 Jeremiah Richard- 
son began an improvement in the northeast corner. 


District No. i and Victor Village. — In the central part of the town is 
located the large school district known as No. i, and within the limits 
thereof is the attractive village of Victor. The location of this district 
was generally favorable to early settlement, but it so happened that its 
pioneers were quite extensive land owneis, consequently the number of 
early settlers was small. About where the depot is now located dwelt 
pioneer Peter Turner, and north of him was Isaac Root. Israel Blood 
settled in the northeast corner of the district soon after 1790, while in 
other parts the pioneers were Joel Hart, Samuel Burgman, Samuel Raw- 
son, and Michael Brooks, the latter a tailor by occupation. The village 
site was occupied and owned by Capt. Abner Havvley, whose residence, 
and also that of his son James, were the only buildings standing in 1798. 
James Hawley kept a tavern, and was the pioneer in that line, and was 
succeeded in business by Rufus Dryer, who came to the town in 1792, 
and became a man of note in local affairs. He was prominent as a land- 
lord, and built and conducted the Victor Hotel, one of the landmarks, 
in name at least, of the village. Enos Boughton was the pioneer mer- 
chant, and was followed in that line by William Bushnell. Other early 
business men of Victor may be briefly mentioned, among them Bush- 
nell & Jenks, Giles Arnold, Thomas Embry, Alfred Gray, merchant, 
1 8 17, succeeded by T. M. Boughton; John Turner and William Turner, 
shoemakers, 1826; Stephen CoUyer, wagonmaker, 1816; David Stout, 
hatter ; Wm. T. Roup, harnessmaker ; Enos, Samuel and James Gillis, 
tanners, established 18 10. 

For many years there was a feeling of friendly rivalry between the 
residents of districts Four and One, for each had an ambition to be the 
more important center. Scudderville, or East Victor, possessed the 
most desirable water-power, while Victor was the natural center, at 
which the principal highways terminated. The latter gradually ac- 
quired the greater population, and East Victor maintained its early 
manufacturing supremacy. 

The completion of the Auburn and Rochester railroad in 1840, added 
much to the prosperity of Victor village, although the station is half a 
mile distant from the business center. The post-office was established 
at the village soon after 18 10, the first postmaster being Asa Hickox, 
succeeded by William Bushnell, the latter serving twenty years, and 


being succeeded in 1835 by Wm. C. Dryer. In 1892 the Lehigh Val- 
ley Company completed an extension of their road through the center 
of the village, thus affording additional shipping and traveling facilities 
to the people, though it must be confessed that this improvement has 
made no apparent increase in manufactures. 

Within the last score of years the people of the village have realized 
the necessity of having a corporate existence, which should in a meas- 
ure separate the municipality from the township. To this end an in- 
corporation was effected during 1879, and the newly elected trustees 
held their first meeting on December 31. These trustees were James 
Walling, Josiah Upton, Albert Jacobs and William R. Townsend, the 
latter of whom was elected president of the board. The first clerk of 
the village was F. W. Edmonds. The corporation includes about one 
square mile of land, extending about half a mile in each cardinal direc- 
tion from the business center. The trustees at present are Theodore 
M. Norton, Albert Bailey, John M. Ladd and William A. Higinbotham. 
Mr. Norton is president. The village clerk is Gilbert Turner. The 
population of the village is about 800 inhabitants. 

Although one of the small municipalities of the county, Victor num- 
bered among the oldest trading centers of the region. James Hanley 
opened the way to trade by starting the tavern here, and was later on 
followed in the same pursuit by other worthy citizens, among whom we 
may recall the names of Eleazer Boughton, Rufus Dryer, Asa Hickox, 
John M. Hughes, George W. Dryer, Wm. C. Dryer, Harry Peck and 
others. Rufus Dryer and N. O. Dickinson were early millers, while 
Enos Boughton and William Bushnell were the first merchants. The 
stone store was built in 1834. The frame school-house was built in 
1 8 16, its first teacher being Melancton Lewis. The principal general 
merchants in the village at the present time are A. Simonds' Sons, suc- 
cessors to A. Simonds & Sons, and William B. Gallup. F. E, Cobb is 
the local druggist, Walling & Brace, the tailors, while the present in- 
cumbent of the post-office is D. A. McVean. 

About 1870, William C. Moore opened a private bank at Victor, ran 
it about ten years and then failed. He was followed in business (more 
successful in results, however,) by Parmele, Hamlin & Co., and in 1889 
Norman A. Wilbur purchased the Parmele interest, and the firm of 


Higinbotham & Wilbur was formed. The members of the firm are 
William A. Higinbotham and Norman A. Wilbur, both men of worth 
and integrity, and each interested in the welfare of the village and 

At the New York Central station is a large and well equipped flour- 
ing- mill, which was built in 1876 by Amos Scramling. In 1885 this 
property was purchased by the present proprietor, E S. Berry. 

In 18 16 the first frame school-house was built in the village, and as 
has been stated, Melancton Lewis was its first teacher. In the village, 
both before and after the incorporation, educational affairs have re- 
ceived deserved attention from the trustees of the district, and a good 
school building and excellent teachers have always been provided. In 
1883, at an expense of about $15,000, the trustees of the district caused 
to be built the large school-house which now adorns the village. 

The Herald is the name of a newspaper published at Victor village, 
under the sole proprietorship of Wm. W. Gillis. The Herald is an in- 
dependent paper, devoted to the interests of the county in general and 
of Victor in particular. It is the only paper published between Canan- 
daigua and Rochester, or in northwestern Ontario county. The paper 
is in all respects a worthy and enterprising publication, and deservedly 
enjoys its large circulation and a good advertising patronage. 


The pioneers of Victor were not wholly unmindful of the spiritual 
welfare of the community, and at a very early day provided for relig- 
ious instruction according to the New England custom. They first 
acted as a united people, and secured the services of a minister of the 
gospel to conduct services for the benefit of all the inhabitants, and a 
little later on (1804,) raised by contribution enough money to purchase 
a lot and build a meeting-house. This was known as the "Proprietors' 
Church," from the fact that nearly all the then land owners of the town 
contributed to its erection. At length, as the population increased, 
each denomination prepared to conduct services according to the rules 
of the church favored by it, hence withdrew from the use of the union 
edifice and built for themselves. In another part of this chapter will be 
found the names of the contributors to the Proprietors' Church. 


The First Presbyterian Church of Victor is the outgrowth of early 
meetings inaugurated by Rev. Reuben Parmele as early as 1798, al- 
though the life of the society from the time of its origin has been one 
of many vicissitudes. Mr. Parmele began holding Congregational 
meetings in 1798 at the request of the inhabitants of the town, and on 
the loth of February, 1799, a society was organized with twenty mem- 
bets. In January, 1828, a majority of the members determined to 
adopt the Presbyterian form of church government, which resulted in a 
division of sentiment in the society. However, in 1832 the factions 
were reunited and an independent Congregational church was organ- 
ized, and was so conducted until March 8, 1858, when a Presbyterian 
government was adopted, and the "First Presbyterian Church of Victor" 
was formally organized, and thenceforth superseded the older society. 
The first church edifice of this society was built in 1837, at a cost of 
$3,500, and was substantially enlarged and repaired in 1844, and again 
in i860. The parsonage was built in 1868. 1 he pastors of this church 
since its original founding have been as follows: Reuben Parmele, 
Philander Parmele, Ebenezer Raymond, Jabez Spicer (supply), John 
Taylor (supply), Richard Kay, Jarius Wilcox (supply), Charles E, Fur- 
man, Charles Merwin, A. V. H. Powell, C. Waterbury, C. C. Carr, Wm. 
H. Webb, G. P. Nichols, Henry T. Miller, W. B. Marsh, Robert Ennis, 
Thomas E. Babb, C. W. Backus and Charles Noble Frost, the latter, 
the present pastor, having been installed in November, 1889. The 
church membership numbers 197 persons, and the Sunday school has 
200 pupils. 

The Methodist Episcopal Cliurch. — The history of Methodism in Vic- 
tor dates back to the early years of the century, and to the primitive 
meetings occasionally held by Joseph Jewell, Amos Jenks and James 
Kelsey, which resulted in the formation of a class in 1807, followed by 
a permanent church organization. The first meetings were held at con- 
venient places, one of which, the Ladd school-house, was especially 
devoted to the use of the society. In 1820 a small church edifice was 
built, and so far completed as to be dedicated in August, 1821, although 
it was not entirely finished until 1829. It was enlarged in 1832, and 
five years later the society purchased a parsonage. The large edifice 
superseded the old church in 1870, and was completed during the fol- 


lowing year, and dedicated June 15. The church has a present mem- 
bership of about 220 persons, a Sunday school with 100 pupils, and is 
under the pastoral care of Rev. Richard W. Copeland. 

TJie First United Universalist Society of Victor was organized by the 
compact signed by its members in 1834, although Universalist teaching 
and preaching was conducted in the town as early as 1825, under the 
ministerial labors of Wm. J. Reese. The early meetings were held in 
the M. E. and Proprietors' churches, the latter of which afterward be- 
came the property of the Universalist society, and was used by it until 
the erection and dedication of the large brick edifice in 1857. Univer- 
salism in Victor had a beginning as humble as any other of the town's 
institutions, but continued to grow and spread until it became one of 
the leading churches, both in members and influence. The pastors, in 
the order of succession, have been as follows: James Cook, S. W. Fuller, 
L. L. Saddler, Olin Ackley, Geo. W. Montgomery, Stephen Miles, 
Daniel R. Biddlecome, Kneeland Townsend, James Cook. J. R. John- 
son, Charles S. Skinner, Thos. Bartholon)ew, Thos. Whitcomb, W. W. 
Dean, Charles D. Fluhrer, Rev. Goodenough, Thomas Borden, Rev. 
Peck, Stephen H. Roblin, G. L. Leland and Charles Legal, the latter 
being the present pastor, who entered upon his duties July i, 1891. 
The church has 100 members, and the Sunday-school about 125 pupils. 

St. Patrick's Church at Victor was an out mission attached to Pal- 
myra, from 1850 to 1857, and was attended by Fathers Kilbride, Walsh 
and Casey. In 1857 East Bloomfield received a resident pastor, and 
Victor was made one of its out- missions, being attended during the next 
four years by Father P. Lee. In 1859 the church was built. Father 
Wm. Hughes succeeded Father Lee, and in 1882 the Victor church was 
given a resident pastor, the first being Rev. Angelo Lugero, who was 
the successor to Father Hughes On October 20, 1888, Rev. J. J. Don- 
nelly was appointed pastor. In St. Patrick's parish are 170 families, 
numbering about 875 persons. 

The Episcopal Church, or mission, at Victor village was erected in 
1 873, and named " Church of the Good Shepherd." It was consecrated 
in September, 1874. The parish has but few families and the church 
ever maintained a struggling existence. It has no regular rector, being 
supplied with occasional services by clergymen from other parishes. 


In an earlier part of this chapter we have referred to the early settle- 
ment in the locality where is now the little hamlet called East Victor, 
which was originally known as Scudderville. Among the villages of 
the town this place has acquired little importance, except in connection 
with early settlements to which we have referred. The New York Cen- 
tral road passes half a mile south of it, and the Lehigh Valley is still 
nearer, yet East Victor remains about the same in business importance. 
During the greater part of a century this has been a milling locality, but 
the present industry in that line is substantially confined to operations 
at the Winans Mills. 

Fisher's Station we have also referred to, and to the early mills in the 
northwest part of the town. At the station at the present time the busi- 
ness interests are the grist and saw- mills ofKingsley Brownell, the gen- 
eral store of George E. Prosseus, and potato storage of C. W. Ford & 
Co., the latter an industry of much note. 

Town Organization. — On the 26th of May, 1812, the town of Victor 
was formed from the still older town of Bloomfield, and in October fol- 
lowing the inhabitants held a meeting and determined to call their new 
formation " Victor," after and in honor of Claudius Victor Boughton, 
who had rendered great service to the people in the early events of the 
war then in progress. The first meeting of the freemen was held April 
6, 18 13, and these officers were elected: Supervisor, Jacob Lobdell ; 
town clerk, Eleazer Boughton ; assessors, Nathaniel Boughton, Ezra 
Wilmarth, and Sellick Boughton ; commissioners of highways, Ezekiel 
Scudder, Elisha Williams, Joseph Brace ; overseers of the poor, James 
Upton, Rufus Dryer; constable and collector, Solomon Griswold ; 
poundmaster, Joseph Perkins. 

Schools of Victor. — In 1790 the inhabitants of the Boughton Hill lo- 
cality built a school house, it being the first in the town. The East 
Victor neighborhood had a school before 1800, and District No. 8 had 
one in 1798. In due time the township was divided into districts and 
school accommodations were provided for each. There are now four- 
teen districts in the town, three of which (Nos. 11, 13 and 14) have no 
school- houses, hence are joint districts with others. The reports for 
the year 1892 inform us that the school census is 688 children, and that 
the value of school property is $21,650 ; that there are eight frame, one 


brick, and two stone school buildings; that seventeen teachers are em- 
ployed, to whom is paid annually $5,637.22, while the amount of school 
moneys received from all sources, for the year mentioned, was $9,- 

Succession of Supervisors — Jacob Lobdell, 18 13-14; Andrew Colton, 
1815 ; Jacob Lobdell, 1816-18; Jared Boughton, 1819-20; Jacob 
Lobdell, 1821 ; Eleazer Boughton, 1822-23; Samuel Rawson, 1824; 
Jacob Lobdell, 1825 ; Samuel Rawson, 1826-28 ; Nathan Jenks, 1829 
-30; Orin Miller, 1831-33; Henry Pardee, 1834-35; Samuel Rawson 
1836; Jacob Lobdell, 1837; Samuel Rawson, 1838; Azariah Bickford, 
1839; Henry Pardee, 1840; Joseph Rawson, 1841 ; Thomas Embry, 
1842; Henry Pardee, 1843 i Thomas Embry, 1844; Lauson Dewey, 
1845 ; Wi" C. Dryer, 1846-48; Peter S. Bonested, 1849; Wm. Ball, 
1850; Lauson Dewey, 185 i ; Levi B. Lobdell, 1852-53 ; William S. 
Clarke, 1854-56; Josiah Upton, 1857-58; Lauson Dewey, 1859-67; 
Wm. C. Dryer, 1868; James Walling, 1869-77; Gilbert Turner, 1878 
-79; Bolivar Ellis, 1880-82; Marvin A. Wilbur, 1883-86; Stephen 
Van Vorhis, 1887; John Colmey, 1888-89; Wm. B. Osborne, 1890 
-91 ; Willis D. Newton, 1892-93. 



ON the 20th of March, 1789, the Phelps and Gorham proprietary 
conveyed by deed to certain representatives of a Massachusetts 
company, the tract of land now known as Naples, being township 7, in 
range 4, for the consideration of 1,056 pounds Massachusetts currency. 
However, there is a little history back of this apparently plain transac- 
tion which is worthy of narration. According to the records, written 
and traditionary, during the year 1789 (the true date is believed to have 
been 1788) a company of Massachusetts residents was formed for the 
purchase of a township of land in the Genesee country from Phelps and 



Gorham. For the purposes of the company, which numbered sixty 
persons, a committee of eleven was chosen, and the latter delegated 
their authority tD a smaller committee, comprising Edward Kibbe, Na- 
than Watkins, and William Cady. 

In September, 1789, the committee set out upon the journey to the 
Genesee country, and in three weeks arrived at Canandaigua. They at 
once visited Gen. Israel Chapin, who represented Phelps and Gorham, 
and informed him of the purpose of their presence, and by him they 
were directed to examine township 9, in range 2 (Gorham), which they 
did, and at once decided upon its purchase. However, before the ne- 
gotiations were completed, this town was purchased by an agent of a 
Dutchess county company, whereupon the committee of Yankees were 
referred to township 9, in range 5 (Richmond), with a request to ex- 
amine its lands. This being done, and the town proving satisfactory 
to the visitors, its purchase was agreed upon at the price of 1,056 
pounds, but, either through error or design on the part of the grantors, 
the deed of conveyance described township 7, in range 4, which the 
grantees accepted. There does not appear any evidence to show that 
the grantors manifested any disposition to correct the error, wherefore 
the purchasers were at liberty to accept the township described or take 
none at all. 

Notwithstanding the evident fraud practiced upon them, the purchas- 
ers of the town accepted the situation, and at once made preparations 
to settle and improve the lands of the town. The pioneers of the town 
were Samuel, Reuben and Levi Parrish, who with their families started 
for the western country in January, 1790, and four weeks later reached 
the head of the lake, and thence proceeded to the site of the present 
village, where they built a small log-house. Soon afterward Levi Par- 
rish built a second house in the same locality. But the Parrishes were 
not altogether alone in this then wilderness region, as the Seneca In- 
dians were still in the neighborhood and watched the operations of the 
white pioneers with evident interest, but made no attempt to molest 
them. In April or May following other pioneers came to the town to 
the number of thirty, and among them were Capt Ephraim Cleveland, 
Colonel Wm. Clark, Nathan and William Watkins, John Johnson, Jona- 
than Lee, and their families. The newcomers built the third dwelling- 


house in the town, and during the summer Capt. Nathan Watkins built 
the fourth, Captain Cleveland the fifth, and Colonel Clark the sixth. In 
1793 Captain Watkins built the first framed barn, and the honor of 
building the first framed house fell to pioneer Isaac Whitney, in 1794, 
Captain Watkins also was the pioneer hotel- keeper in the town. 

The persons and families mentioned above were the first settlers in 
the town, but they were soon afterward followed by others, whose 
names are also worthy of mention in these pages. Captain Edward 
Kibbe came in 1793; Dr. Thomas Maxwell in 1796; Otis Fuller in 
18 1 3. Mr. Sutton very appropriately arranges the names of early set- 
tles in Naples, from which we extract the following: In district No. i 
the pioneers were James Lee, Richard Hooker (181 1), John Sibhart 
(18 1 2). In district No. 2 were Wm. James, Asa Perry, Paul Grimes, 
Guy Hinckley and E. Stiles. In district No. 3 were Rev. Thomas Peek, 
John Powers and Seymour Gillett. In district No. 4 were Peter Whit- 
ney, Wm. Oakley, Amaziah Cornell, Nathan Tyler, Abijah Shaw and 
Israel Meads. In district No. 5 were Zacheus Barber, Oliver Tenney, 
Lemuel and John Barber, the latter in 1798. The settlers of No. 6 were 
Abraham Sutton (181 1), John Sutton (1812) and Samuel Shaw, Jacob 
Dagget, Nathan Clark and Russell Parrish, all in 18 12. In No. 7 the 
first settler was Aaron Hunt, who built the first grist-mill in the neigh- 
borhood. Others in this vicinity were Jacob Holdren, Jonas Belknap, 
Gail Washburn and Wm. Sullivan. In No. 8 were Stephen Garling- 
house, Jesse Peck, Mr. Tallman, Wm. West, sr., and Joseph Grant; of 
No. 9 were Isaac Whitney, Benj. Clark, Simon Lyon, Stephen Storey 
and Dr. Newcomb ; in No. 10 were Isaac Sutton, Thomas Blodget, John 
Blodget, Thos. Bentley, Wm. Bush, David Fletcher; in No. 11 were 
Alanson Lyon, Elisha Sutton, Chas. Wilcox, Bushnell Cleveland, Uriah 
Davids ; in No. 13, Deacon David Carrier, Pitts Parker, Ichabod Green, 
Samuel Stancliff, John Cronk, Ithamer Carrier and Michael Keith ; in 
No. 15 were Reuben Parrish, Peabody Kinne, Robert W^iley, Nathan 
and Wm. Watkins, and the already mentioned Clark, Cleveland and 
Kibbe, John Johnson and Levi and Samuel Parrish; in No. 17 were 
John Hinckley, Nathan Goodell, Ami Baker, Joshua Lyon, Joseph Bat- 
tles, Hiram and Stephen Sayles. 

One of the first duties which engaged the attention of the proprietors 
of this town was the proper survey of its lands and the division of the 


lots; and this seems not to have been done previous to 1793. The 
whole area was surveyed into 195 lots, each having 108 acres. Fif- 
teen of the best lots were first selected and each was divided into four 
parts, a total of sixty, one of which parts was allotted to each of the 
sixty original proprietors. Then followed a geneial drawing of lots, 
according to the established New England custom, and while many of 
the pioneers held their lots for their children, very large tracts were sold 
to speculators of the East. 

In 1795 and '96 the inhabitants began the work of laying out and 
opening roads in various directions from the center of the town. Pre- 
vious to this time the chief thoroughfare of travel was to the head of 
the lake, thence down the same to whatever point was desired. The 
road to Rushville was surveyed in 1794; the Bristol road was partly 
constructed in 1 795 ; the road to the Indian landing from Reuben Par- 
rish's was made in 1796. 

Having referred at some length to the pioneer and early settlement 
of the town of Naples known as No. 7, in range four, attention may now 
be turned briefly to the early civil history of the same territory. As 
originally formed by the Court of Sessions in January, 1789, the district 
included all its present area, also all that is now Italy and part of Spring- 
water. The earliest name applied to this district was " Watkinstown," 
and so called in allusion to pioneer William Watkins. This naming is 
believed to have been done in January, 1788, at which time the terri- 
tory of the county was divided into districts; however, in 1785, the 
year in which the town was organized, Watkinstown was dropped and 
Middletown adopted in its stead. The next year,on April 5, the organ- 
ization of the town was made complete and town officers were then 
elected. The change of name to Naples was accomplished at a later 
date, on April 6, 1808. Italy was taken off in 18 15, and a part of 
Springwater in 18 16, and by these separate creations Naples was re- 
duced to its present area. 

At the first town meeting above mentioned the following officers were 
elected : Supervisor, William Clark ; town clerk, Joel Watkins ; asses- 
sors, Jabez Metcalf, Edward Kibbe and Edward Low ; highway com- 
missioners, Nathan Watkins, Wm. Dunton and Elijah Clark ; poor mas- 
ters, Wm. Watkins, Ephraim Cleveland, Robert Wiley ; constable, Elisha 


Parrish ; pathmasters, Levi and Reuben Parrish, John Mower and 
Isaiah Post; fence viewers, John Johnson, Benjamin Hardin and Isaac 
Whitney; poundmaster, Jabez Metcalf 

The patriotic mihtary spirit of the early settlers of Naples is shown in 
the fact that the town furnished a militia company for the frontier serv- 
ice during the War of 1812-15 ; and it is worthy of special remark that 
this is one of the few towns in which the roll of militiamen has been pre- 
served. The names are as follows : Elijah Clark, captain ; Joseph Clark, 
lieutenant ; and privates, Fisher Metcalf, Elias B. Kinne, Levi Watkins, 

Otis Pierce, Jonathan Pierce, Wm. Danton, Kimball, 

Matoon, Dodge, Wheeler, John Cronk, Pitts Parker, 

Daniel Parker, Ichabod Lyon, Benj. Johnson, Edward Low, Jacob B. 
Sutton, Zelotus Sackett, Captain Wm. Watkins, Henry Porter, Robert 
Vickery, Ephraim W. Cleveland, John W. Hinckley, Amos Johnson, 
Amasa S. Tift, Loring Pottle ; sergeant, Lyman Hawes. 

Equally honorable, also, was the record made by Naples soldiery dur- 
ing the war of 1861-65, in which the town is credited with having sent 
more than two hundred men into the service ; and many of them never 
returned. In memory of the faithful performance of their duty and of 
the specially brave deeds of many the generous town's people caused to 
be erected a memorial townhall, a building both useful nnd ornamental, 
in lieu of the customary soldiers' monument. Land was purchased in 
1869, at the corner of Main and Monroe streets, and thereon at an ex- 
pense of several thousand dollars a large two-storied and basement brick- 
building was erected. It was completed November 16, 1872. 

The Village of Naples. — The history of Naples village is a part of the 
history of the town itself and with difficulty are the subjects separated. 
The pioneers of the township located within the limits of the village 
proper, and from this central point all subsequent operations were con- 
ducted. One of the first improvements which called for attention from 
the pioneers was the need of a water supply to furnish power for mills. 
To provide this the people made a united effort and constructed a race 
from " below the falls," by which mill sites and abundant power were 
afforded. On this stream pioneers Benj. Clark and Jabez Metcalf built 
the first saw- mill in the town. Reuben Parrish also built a saw- mill in 
1796, at the " mouth of Parrish gulley," and in the same year Benj. 


Clark built a grist-mill where O. M. Woodruff's Ontario Mills now 
stand. Likewise Jason Goodrich built a cloth and carding mill, Paul 
Grimes built a woolen mill, and Perry Holcomb a fulling mill in the 
vicinity, all at an early day. 

The pioneer tradesman of the settlement was a Plolland Dutchman 
named Hesselgesser, who was noted for the large price rather than the 
extent of his wares. Later merchants were Warren Clark (also dis- 
tiller and owner of an ashery). Pardon T. Brownell, Robert Fleming 
and Calvin Luther. Paul Grimes was the proprietor of the first public 
house, and another early representative of the same business was Joseph 
Clark. Joshua Abbey was the village blacksmith, and Jabez Metcalf, 
Jason Goodrich, Oliver Tenney, Amaziah Cornish and Charles Wilcox 
were the first carpenters and joiners. The first distillers, in succession, 
were Reuben Parrish, Warren Clark and Zacheus Barber. Phineas P. 
Lee, son of Col. James Lee, is also said to have been the first white 
child born in the town, while the first death of which there is a record 
was that of the Seneca Indian, Kanesque, at the unusual age of one 
hundred years. Benjamin Clark married Thankful Watkins in 1795, 
and Susanna Parrish taught the first school, in 1792, which were also 
first events of this kind in the town. 

Naples is the largest unincorporated village in Ontario county, and 
while the subject of incorporation has frequently been discussed the 
necessity for such action has not been apparent. In fact, between the 
inhabitants of the village and those of the town at large there has ever 
existed perfect friendliness, and neither seems inclined to oppose the 
projects of the other. The result is that the numerous public improve- 
ments, both in and outside the village, are paid for by the whole town. 
And in the matter of improvements there has been no backwardness on 
the part of Naples's people, for both village and town are far advanced 
in this respect as any locality of the county, and on every side the view 
of the interested visitor is rewarded with a general appearance of neat- 
ness and progress. 

In 1890 the total population of the village and town was 2,455, more 
than one-half of which is within the village proper. The public prop- 
erties of the latter are four church buildings, the Memorial hall, the 
Union school, formerly the academy, and these added to the several 


mercantile and manufacturing interests, and the many residences built 
along Main street on both sides of the business center, all combine to 
make Naples one of the most attractive villages in the county. Previous 
to 1892 communication with the outside localities and the county seat 
was had only by wagon travel and steamboat, but in the year men- 
tioned the Middlesex Valley Railroad was completed, thus affording 
rapid connection with the large villages of the region. This is a boon 
which the people of the town fully appreciate, as they have for many 
years paid interest on a large bonded indebtedness, created to aid the 
construction of the road, and for which they had previously received no 
return whatever. 

The present business interests of Naples are not numerous, neither 
are they of great magnitude ; but all are important and contribute to 
the prosperity of the town. There are three well- equipped flouring 
mills, known, respectively, as the Ontario Mills, O. M. Woodruff, prop. ; 
the Naples Mills, N. W. Clark, prop. ; and the mills of J. C. Morgan. 

E. A. Griswold is owner of a saw and planing mill and basket factory. 
J. H. Loveland has a planing and shingle mill and basket factory. Z. 

F. Knapp has a basket factory. W. B. Ensworth is the present pro- 
prietor of the knife factory. 

The principal merchants in trade during the early spring of 1893 are 
the firm of Lewis Brothers and G. C. Dill, dry goods and general 
stores ; grocers C. G. Everitt, D. J. Doughty, C. M. Lyon, A, W. 
Durston, Mrs. E. R. Thornton, George Stoddard, the latter also dealing 
in drugs Storey Bros, are dealers in boots and shoes; J C. Morgan is 
the druggist ; F. W. James, stationer and bookseller, also postmaster ; 
W. H. Tobey, merchant tailor and clothier; M. B. Reed, merchant 
tailor ; S. R. Sutton and Charles Peck, jewelers ; O. W. La Valley and 
J. P. Richardson, harness makers and dealers ; E. Wells & Co. and Doo- 
little & Graham, hardware dealers; J. H. Tozer, furniture dealer; Mrs. 
Tyler and Johnson & Stetson, milliners ; E. E. Lafler and Rowland, 
meat markets. The hotels are the Naples House, M. Brown, prop., 
and the Luther House, S. S. Luther, prop. 

The banking house of Hiram Maxfield was established in 1877, and 
it is no fulsome compliment to say that this is one of the safest and 
strongest private banking institutions of Ontario county. 


Naples has been the home of several newspaper publications, among 
which may be mentioned the Free Press, founded January i, 1833, by 
Charles P. Waterman, and was continued about two years. The Nea- 
politan was started in 1840 by David Fairchild. In 1845 it was sold 

to Phelps, who changed its title to the Naples Visitor, and soon 

afterward the paper suspended publication. The Naples Journal was 
published in 1853 by R. Denton. The Naples Record was started in 
January, 1870, by Mr. Deyo, who was its sole publisher and proprietor 
until February i, 1873, when he sold a half interest to R. M. Mcjan- 
nett, who was a partner until July i, 1877, when he sold to Mr. Deyo. 
October i, 1878, Mr. Deyo leased the office to Miles A. Davis, who 
published the paper until November, 1879, at which time Mr. Mcjan- 
nett purchased and ran it until February i, 1884. January i, 1880, 
Mr. Deyo established the Neapolitan, which paper he continued to 
publish until February i, 1884, at which time he purchased the Record 
of Mr. Mcjannett and consolidated the two papers under the name of 
Neapolitan Record. The paper continued under this name and man- 
agement until October i, 1887, when it again changed hands, and the 
old name, Naples Record, was restored." 

May I, 1890, Rev. F. P. Leach, then pastor of the Baptist church, 
began the publication of an eight page church paper called the Naples 
Church Unioji. Mr. Leach continued its publication until he removed 
from town — January, 1891 — when the publication ceased. The work 
on this paper was done in the Record office. 

The Naples Academy was the outgrowth of an ineffectual attempt to 
form a Union school in 1858. Following the failure of the Union 
school enterprise, a subscription fund of $12,000 was raised in the 
village, and in i860 the academy building was erected, the corner- 
stone being laid June 12, and the building soon afterward completed, 
with capacity to accommodate two hundred pupils. The first principal 
was M. M. Merrill, succeeded by Charles Jacobus, P. V. N. Myers, L. 
G. Thrall and others. In the course of time, however, the academy 
property was transferred to the Board of the Union School District, the 
latter including parts of three town districts Nos. 2, 9 and 15. The 
principal of the Union school is Burr W. Mosher. 

While there has not been made any attempt to organize an elaborate 
fire department in the village, the enterprising citizens have provided a 


good serviceable engine, hose cart, truck, and an abundance of buckets. 
This equipment in the hands of interested residents and all working 
unitedly, has thus far proved equal to any emergency. The truck is 
in charge of" Morgan Hook and Ladder Company, No. i," an organ- 
ization which was incorporated June 22, 1885. 

The church and religious history of Naples has an interest equal to 
its civil and political records, yet may be briefly narrated. The town 
now has three and possibly four active church societies, the fourth being 
St. Januarius Roman Catholic, which had it organization soon after 
1880, but has had a resident pastor only a short time Father Ege 
is the present incumbent. The church edifice stands on Tobey street, 
in the north part of the village. The other churches referred to are 
the Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal and Baptist. 

The present Presbyterian church and society of Naples are the out- 
growth of the still older Congregational society, the latter dating its 
history back to the pioneer days of the town. That indefatigable Chris- 
tian worker and organizer, Rev. Zadoc Hunn, conducted religious serv- 
ices in this town as early as 1792, but not until 1 800 was there any 
formal organization. On February i of that year. Rev. Samuel Fuller 
completed the organization with these members : Nathan and Sarah 
Watkins, Edward and May Kibbe, Timothy Madden, Mary Clark, Mrs. 
Parrish, Samuel, Susanna, Mark and Lydia Watkins, Lemuel Barber 
and Martha Cleveland. Rev. Mr. F'ishals preached for a time. Rev. 
Solomon Allen was the first regular pastor, installed December 15, 
1803, and was followed in the same capacity by Revs. Silas Hubbard, 
Lyman Barrett, John C. "Morgan, John Burbank, Mr. White, John C. 
Morgan, Henry Morgan, Mr. Everett, G. T. Everest, Mr. Roulette, F. 
S. Gaylord, B. F. Millard, Miles B. Gilston, W. L. Austin and B. F. 
Millard, the latter being the present pastor. 

The first services were held in a log barn and afterward in the log 
school-house on the square. In 1823 the society began raising a fund 
for the erection of a church home, and in December, 1825, the edifice 
was completed and dedicated. However, during the course of its history 
this church changed its form of government and became Presbyterian. 
In 1850 a new edifice was built, but was burned in March, 1874. It 
was soon afterward replaced by the handsome structure now in use. 



This church has a membership of one hundred and fifty-one, and a Sun- 
day-school of two hundred and seventy pupils. 

Methodist Episcopal services were first held in Naples as early as 1 826, 
but not until several years later was a class formed and an organization 
effected. A church edifice was first erected for the society in 1 851, at 
the corner of Vine and Main streets. From a small beginning this society 
has grown into one of the most numerous and influential in the region. 
Rev. E. G. Piper is the present pastor. 

The Naples Baptist church was organized in 1843, Y^t as early as 
1826 preaching service of this society was held in the town. After or- 
ganization the society purchased the Congregational edifice, and being 
thus provided the Baptist society became one of the permanent institu- 
tions of the town. Elder Cole, an aged Baptist minister, had much to 
do with the early history of this society, and among others who followed 
him in pastoral work were David Olney, M. Tuttle, E. A. Hadley, H. 
Ingraham, Amos Chase, Edward Tozer, W. F. Purington, R. H. Tozer, 
S. J. Douglass and others. The present pastor is Rev. Eugene Anthony, 

The Christian church of Naples is now a thing of the past, the society 
having forfeited its property and the same reverted to the general con- 
ference. The church in Naples was organized in 1826, the first meet- 
ings antedating that event by several years. The society transferred 
to the village and reorganized in 1842, and Rev. J. J. Brown was its 
first pastor at the latter place. The church edifice was built in J845, 
and removed to its present location in 1875. 

In the same connection mention may also be made of the Methodist 
Episcopal church and societ}^ at Garlinghouse in the township, of which 
D. A. Parcells is pastor; of the F'ree Will Baptist church society, which 
is under charge of Rev. Lindsay, and of the Methodist Episcopal society 
at Hunt's Hollow, over which Rev. E. G. Piper exercises pastoral care. 

The early school records of the town of Naples are indeed meagre, 
but well grounded tradition has it thatthe education of the youth ofthe 
town was begun very soon after the first settlement. The first frame 
school-house was built on "the square" in 1797, and here Isaac Blan- 
chard and Caleb Abernathy were first teachers. As the population 
increased the town was divided Into school districts, and these have 
been changed from time to time to suit the convenience of the inhab- 


itants. At the present the town has sixteen districts, two of which. Nos. 
12 and i6, have no school-house. In the town is a school population 
of seven hundred and forty- eight (census of 1892), and there are em- 
ployed thirty three teachers, at an annual expense of $5,380. In 1892 
there was received from all sources school moneys to the amount of 
$7,243.46. The Union school building at Naples village is of brick, and 
all others in the town and village are of frame, and the total value of 
all school property is placed at $34,225. 



IN 1788, in pursuance of the authority conferred by the act creating 
Ontario county, the Court of Sessions formed the townships now 
known respectively as Farmington and Manchester into one town, and 
to the same was given the name of F'armington. Of this, however, it 
must be said there is no present positive record to prove the foregoing 
assertion, but it is nevertheless an accepted fact. Within the territory 
of the original township, were numbers eleven in the second and third 
ranges, each containing presumably thirty-six square miles of land. In 
1 82 1 number eleven in the second range was separated from the mother 
town and organized under the name of Burt, but subsequently changed 
to Manchester. 

The first township sold by the Phelps and Gorham proprietary was 
number eleven in the third range, and its purchasers were a company 
of Massachusetts citizens, then residing mainly in Berkshire county, 
who were members of the old and honored society of Friends, whose 
desire was to leave their former home and take up their abode in a then 
wild, uncultivated and almost unknown region called the Genesee 
country. The purchasers of number eleven were Nathan Comstock, 
Benjamin Russell, Abraham Lapham, Edmund Jenks, Jeremiah Brown, 
Ephraim Fish, Nathan Herendeen, Nathan Aldrich, Stephen Smith, 
Benjamin Rickerson, William Baker and Dr. Daniel Brown. 


Nathan Comstock and Benjamin Russell appear to have been the 
leading spirits of this enterprise, as the conveyance of the town was 
made to them individually, and the lots were afterward chosen by draft, 
a New England custom, and agreeable to the results of the allotmejit 
the deeds were given. The purchase being completed pioneership at 
once began, the honor of being first settler falling to Nathan Comstock, 
and his sons Otis and Darius, and Robert Hathaway, all of whom, dur- 
ing the year 1789, came to the town, made a clearing and sowed a 
small field of wheat, built a cabin, and thus accomplished the first per- 
manent settlement in the town. Closely following this little party, 
however, came pioneer Nathan Aldrich, who brought seed for planting 
and sownng, but when winter approached all save Otis Comstock re- 
turned to their New England homes. 

On the 14th of February, 1790, Nathan Comstock and his large fam- 
ily, accompanied by pioneers Nathan Aldrich and Isaac Hathaway set 
out upon their journey 10 the town, and on the next day Nathan Her- 
endeen and his family, comprising his son Welcome and his sons-in-law, 
Joshua Herrington and John McCumber, with their wives and children, 
likewise set out for the new country. These pioneers were united at 
Geneva, and from thence journeyed together to Farmington, which 
name was given in allusion to the town of Farmington in Connecticut. 

Referring briefly to first events, we may note the fact that Nathan 
Comstock and his party built the first dwelling and made the first clear- 
ing of land. Nathan Aldrich is credited with building the second 
dwelling, while Nathan Herendeen followed as third in the same im- 
provement, and was first to raise a barn, this being in 1794. In 1 790 
a son was born to Joshua Herrington and wife. It was named "Wel- 
come," after its uncle, but the surname was afterward changed to Her- 
endeen. Otis Comstock and Huldah Freeman were married in 1792. 
Elijah Smith died in 1793. Jacob and Joseph Smith built the first 
grist-mill in 1793, and the first saw-mill in 1795. The first wheat was 
harvested in the town in 1790. In this connection we may state the 
claim to building the first barn by Annanias McMillan for Isaac Hath 
away in 1793. The grist-mill was built the same year by McMillan for 
the Smiths on Ganargwa Creek. The first physician was Dr. Stephen 


The greater part of the pioneers who are named above settled in the 
general southeast portion of the town, in what afteiward became school 
district number one. In the same locality, and sufficiently early to be 
numbered among the early settlers, there came in 1790 John Payne, 
Jonathan Reed (the pioneer blacksmith), Samuel Mason (cabinet maker), 
John Dillon, Adam Nichols and Joseph Wells. Joseph Smith and 
James Fish started an ashery in this locality in 1793, and in 1800 
Thomas Herendeen had a tannery in operation. In the region just 
west of that last mentioned Jacob Smith settled in 1791 ; Jonathan 
Smith in 1790, and at now unknown dates came Ichabod Brown, Abi- 
ather Power, George Jenks, John Young, Mr. Shotwell and Ebenezer 
Wells. In the southwest part of the town lived pioneers Isaac Hatha- 
way, from whom Hathaway's Corners took its name, Asa Wilmarth, 
who run an ashery, Levi Smith, Arthur Power, Moses Power, Robert 
Power, Eseck, Jesse and Willis Aldrich, and Samuel Cooper, were also 
early settlers in this locality. Levi Smith and William Dailey were in 
in the same neighborhood, though farther south. Still farther west 
along the town line, in 1793, Annanias McMillan built the pioneer mill 
for Jacob and Joseph Smith, and two years later a .saw-mill was built 
in the same locality. Both were operated until about 1840. The 
Smith families came to this vicinity in 1791, and other early settlers 
were Jephtha Dillingham, Richard Thomas and David Smith. 

In the west part of the town the earliest settlers were Jeremiah 
Brown, one of the original purchasers of the town tracr, and near him 
were Gideon Grinnell, Peter Smith, and others named Harris and Pratt. 
In this general neighborhood also were David Brown, Otis Comstock, 
William Smith, David Gillis, Zurial Brown, Nicholas Brown, Hezekiah 
Lippett and others now forgotten. The settlers last mentioned were 
early residents of what was known as the Brownsville district, a locality 
which at an early day was of much note as a center of trade. In this 
vicinity David and Stephen Brown had a distillery and an ashery, while 
Stephen Brown and Elias Dennis started a carding and cloth mill. 
Other early manufacturers hereabouts were James Van Vleck, and 
the Haskinses, Amos, James and John. Reuben Smith was in trade, as 
also, later on, were Paul Richardson, Abner and Stephen Brown and 
Albert Nye. Peter Cline is remembered as an old tanner, and Otis 


Brown a blacksmith. Joseph Jones made hats for the early settlers. 
The pioneer of Brownsville is said to have been David Gillis. 

East of Brownsville was the pioneer abode of Dr. Stephen Aldrich, 
the first physician of the town, and in this district we may name as 
early occupants of the land Gideon Herendeen, Elisha Gardner, Turner 
Aldrich, Ebenezer Horton and others of later date. Here, too, was 
made an attempt to found a hamlet, for in the locality pioneers Talcott 
and Batty started an ashery in 1817 ; Reuben Hoyt built a tannery; 
John Sheffield kept hotel ; Augustus Bingham had a blacksmith shop, 
and other trades were also pursued in the neighborhood. In the north 
part of the town, about where the quiet little hamlet of Farmington or 
New Salem is situated, pioneer Nathan Comstock and his family made 
their first settlement. With him came his sons, Otis and Darius, also 
Robert Hathaway, and later on four other sons, Nathan, jr.. Jared, 
Joseph and John, were added to the settlement. Otis Hathaway was 
the founder of the village and its firsl: merchant. S. Pattison built the 
saw-mill on the creek. Other early settlers in this locality were Hugh 
Pound, Isaac Lapham, James Brooks and Benjamin Rickerson. 

The central and eastern portions of Farmington were not settled as 
early as many other sections, the marshy character of the land at that 
time making them not specially desirable as a place of residence. 
These localities, however, had their pioneers, and among them we may 
mention John and Elijah Pound, Stephen Ackley, James Hoag, Calvin 
Whipple, Job Howland, Major Smith, Jonathan Archer, William Dillon^ 
Pardon Arnold, George Smith and Ahez Aldrich. In the northeast 
part of the town Moses Power settled in 1798, and later on there came 
Isaac Price, Simpson and Benjamin Harvey, Peter Pratt, Lawrence Mc- 
Louth, Perez Antisdale, Samuel Rush, Benjamin Peters and others now 

In this connection the statement may be made that the foregoing 
brief mention of the pioneer families is not intended to be a sketch of 
each, for such notices are reserved for another department of this work. 
However, in recording the early history of the town, at least a passing 
notice is due to the pioneers, and for more detail of early and late fam- 
ilies the attention of the reader is directed to the personal and family 


From what has been stated in this chapter it will be seen that Farm- 
ington was settled generally as early as other towns of the county, and 
was accomplished as early as elsewhere. Prior to 1821 its civil history 
was associated with Manchester, although the general characteristics of 
the inhabitants were radically different, yet all were worthy, industrious 
and self-sacrificing people. The settlement of this town was completed 
about 1820, and Manchester was set off from it in 1821. From the 
year last mentioned to the present time there has been no material vari- 
ation in population, but there appears to have been less tendency 
toward vacating the town in favor of other localities than is noticeable 
in the history of the towns of the county generally. By referring to 
the census reports of each decade we may get a fair idea of the changes 
in population since 1 830. In that year the population was 1,773 ; in 
1840 was 2,122; in 1885 was 1,876; in i860 was 1,858; in 1870 was 
1,896; in 1880 was 1,978; in 1890 was 1,703. 

As we have already stated, the original purchasers and pioneer set- 
tlers of Farmington were of the once extensive Society of Friends; ear- 
nest, honest, faithful and patient Christians and workers, whose every- 
day walk in life was in full accord and keeping wi;h their religious be- 
lief and teachings. From the time of their first settlement, beginning 
in 1790, the Friends held regular meeting services, and although wholly 
devoid of display or demonstrations of any sort, the members were none 
the less zealous or devoted. Ostentation was foreign to their character- 
istics and repugnant to their doctrines ; and it is a serious question 
whether these sturdy plodders were not the first settlers in the county 
to hold and conduct religious services, although the Friends themselves 
made no claim to this honor, as it did not become them to do so. When 
they came as pioneers to the Genesee country their action was disap- 
proved by the body of the Friends' society in the east, and being with- 
out consent and approbation, the emigrants were for a time cut off from 
the parent society ; but when, a few years later, representatives from 
the east made a visit to Ontario county and discovered the happiness 
and progress everywhere discernible in the Farmington colony, the er- 
rors and faults of the former separatists were condoned and forgiven, 
and the factions became united. Throughout several of the towns in 
this part of the State there dwelt families of the Friends, and by them 


regular meetings were held at various places. In Macecion there were 
many families of the society ; in F'armington about thirty families, and in 
Palmyra about forty- five. In 1796 the first Friends' meeting house was 
built of logs in the north part of Farmington, near the hamlet called New 
Salem. In December, 1803, the building was destroyed by fire, and in 
1804 was replaced with a larger building, of frame construction, but per- 
fectly plain in exterior and interior finish. The first speaker of the Friends 
in this town was pioneer Caleb McCumber, who died in 1850. From its 
first humble beginning the society increased in numbers, influence and 
usefulness for a period of about twenty- five years, when, in 1828, Elias 
Hicks, an able and eloquent speaker, was moved to so teach and preach 
sentiments not at all in harmony with previous usages, and the result 
was in a division in the society, a large number of the people flocking 
to the standard of tiie new doctrinal expounder, and thenceforth the se- 
ceders were called Hicksites, while those who remained faithful to their 
old allegiance at the same time became known by the name of Ortho- 
dox Friends. About the year 18 16 the society had erected a new 
meeting house of greater proportions than the older structures, the build- 
ing committee comprising Darius Comstock, S. Pattison, Ira Lapham, 
Nathan Aldrich, and W. Herendeen. The Hicks'tes took possession of 
the new building, and the Orthodox members returned to the old 
meeting-house, still standing in the same vicinity. The committee 
charged with the erection of the meeting-house of 1804 was comprised 
of pioneers Nathan Herendeen, Caleb McCumber, Stephen Aldrich, 
John Sprague. Nathaniel Walker, Nathan Comstock, Hugh and David 
Pound, Isaac Wood, H. Arnold, and Jesse Aldrich. 

In the course of time the house of meeting occupied by the Orthodox 
Friends was burned, and to replace it the members built a neat and 
commodious modern structure, the first services therein being held in 
June, 1876 In addition, it may be stated that another Friends' meet- 
ing-house was built in the southeast part of the town, between lots 
21 and 22, in which preparative meetings were for many years con- 

Having due regard for the educational and physical welfare of their 
children, the Friends established what has been called a Manual Labor 
School, in which the youth of the town might acquire necessary educa- 


tion, and pay therefor in manual labor on the lands connected with the 
institution. On March 19, 1838, Daniel Robinson, Isaac Hathaway, 
and Asa Smith conveyed lands to the extent of 12.14 acres to trustees 
Gideon Herendeen, Asa B. Smith, and John Ramsdell, in whom the 
management of the school was vested. It must be said, however, that 
notwithstanding the worthy character of the institution, it failed to pro- 
duce desired results, and therefore enjoyed not more than a brief ex- 

As must be seen from what is stated in this chapter, the majority of 
the early settlers and nearly all the pioneers of Farmington were Friends, 
and as such, possessing distinguishing traits and characteristics, they 
made their spiritual life a part of the temporal by erecting houses for 
meetings, and giving strict attention to attendance and discipline ; and 
although a century has passed since their work in the town began, the 
present generation of inhabitants seems to possess much of the old and 
worthy spirit of their ancestors, and still remain a majority in the town. 
However, many of the later of the early settlers were not of the Friends' 
religious convictions, and when their numbers became strong enough 
they established churches of their own denominations. As early as 
1817 a Presbyterian society was organized in Farmington, under the 
fostering care of the Geneva Presbyter}-, but its members were few 
and it passed out of existence after about fifteen years of vicissitudes. 

The Farmington Wesleyan Methodist Church and society was organ- 
ized January 12, 1846, and enjoyed a prosperous lite of about forty 
years. The first trustees were Lewis Lumbard, Wm. Pound, Benjamin 
Haight, Wm. Plum, and Rufus Holbrook, and the first pastor was 
Thomas Burrows. The church edifice was built at New Salem, on prop- 
erty originally deeded to the trustees by Joseph C. Hathaway. The 
parsonage property was the gift of Miss Fanny Robson, and the ceme- 
tery lot was deeded to the society by Benjamin Soule and wife. Not- 
withstanding these and other benefactions, the society was destined to 
dissolution, but not until within the last three years did it finally cease 
to exist. The church edifice was sold to the trustees representing Farm- 
ington Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, who took possession of the prop- 
erty in 1892. 



Neiv Salem is the name of a small hamlet situated in the extreme 
north part of the town, in the locality where pioneer Nathan Comstock 
made the first improvement. The early settlers of this place and the 
various business enterprises established by them are sufficiently stated 
in a preceding paragraph, hence need no repetition here. The hamlet 
hardly retains its old importance, but the name " Pumpkin Hook," ap- 
plied in derision, still clings to it. The post-office name of the place is 
Farmington. Its present business interests comprise the stores of Mrs. 
A. E. Nichols and C. H. Betz, the latter being also postmaster. About 
half a mile west of the " Hook" is the grist mill of Warren Young The 
Hicksite and Orthodox Friends' meeting-houses are about half a mile 
east of the hamlet. 

The hamlet of West Farmington, as originally called, but Mertensia, 
as more recently known, is situated in the southwest part of the town, 
in school district No. 6, and has little importance, except as a station 
on the Central road, and the possession of one or two small stores. 

Farmton is the name of a station on the Lehigh Valley road, and 
was established in 1892, on the completion of the road. Industries and 
interests it has not, and the possibilities of the future are not proper sub- 
jects for discussion here. 

Although the old school established by the Friends failed to secure 
the success hoped for by its promoters, the educational system of the 
town has kept even step with that of other towns of the county. Ex- 
tracting briefly from the commissioner's report for 1892, it is learned 
that in Farmington there are thirteen school districts, only one of which 
has no school-kouse, and the twelve are frame buildings, having a total 
value of $8,160. Tlie school population of the town is 488 children, 
for whose instruction thirteen teachers are employed at an annual ex- 
pense of $3,079 20. The town received moneys for school purposes in 
1892 to the amount of $4,131.62. 

Present Tozvji Officers — C. H, Herendeen, supervisor; A H.Steven- 
son, town clerk ; Edwin J. Gardner, Charles G. McLouth, John F. Sad- 
ler, justices of the peace; Edwin A. Adams, Henry C. Osborn, Wm. 
H. Edmonston, assessors ; Julius Aldrich, commissioner of highways; 
Hinckley Fay, overseer of the poor ; Edward H. Randall, coUector. 




ON January 27, 1789, in pursuance ot the act creating the county 
and dividing its territory, a town called " Easton " was formed, and 
included all of townships 9 and lO, second range, Phelps and Gorham pur- 
chase. On April 17, 1806, the name of this town was changed to " Lin- 
coln, "and one year later, April 6, 1807, was again changed to Gorham, 
and so called in honor of Nathaniel Gorham, one of the proprietors. In 
1822, township 10 was taken from Gorham and given a separate organ- 
ization under the name of Hopewell ; and in 1824 all that part of town- 
ship 9 in the third range which lay east of Canandaigua Lake, was an- 
nexed to Gorham, the convenience of the inhabitants east of the lake 
demanding that such annexation be made. 

The first settlement in this town was made in the year 1789, in the 
locality known as Reed's Corners, by James Wood, whose particular 
location was on lot fifty- four. The other pioneers and early settlers in 
this part of Gorham were Silas Reed, John McPherson, Jeremiah Swart, 
and one Gurnsey, nearly all of whom left children, the descendants of 
some of them being still residents of the town. In this part of the town 
is the little village of Reed's Corners, named in honor of the pioneer 
family, of which village a more detailed narrative will be found on a 
subsequent page. 

In the extreme northwest part of the town, including the part set off 
to Gorham from Canandaigua, there dwelt at an early day James Wood, 
son of the pioneer, Alexander Sampson, Jonathan Stearns, and other fam- 
ilies whose surnames were Koomer, Sackett, Wilson, Mead, Davis, Fisher, 
Carson, Gulick, with others whose names are not now recalled. South 
of the Reed's Corners vicinity the pioneers were Silas Reed, Harvey 
Stone, Jacob Young, Mr. Wilson, Royal Stearns, Thomas Tuffs, John 
Tuffs and others ; while still further south dwelt pioneers Nathan Pratt, 
Elisha Pratt, Charles Russells, Benjamin Washburn, Daniel Treat, Eben 
Harwood, Archibald Armstrong, G. Merrell, Charles Headgar, 


East of the Reed's Corners neighborhood there settled at an early 
day a colony of pioneers, among whom were a number of Dutch 
families from the Hudson River Valley, but unfortunately many of the 
surnames have been lost. So far as can be now learned the early set- 
tlers in the northeast part of No. 9 were Darius Miner (18 12), Ebenezer 
Lewis, 1798 ; Levi Sortell, 18 10; William Howe and Frederick Spauld- 
ing, 181 1. 

In the eastern part of the town is located the pleasant post village of 
Gorham, named from the town, and about which is a fertile agricultural 
district. This is an important locality, for here Flint Creek has its 
course, and various mill enterprises have added to the resources of the 
vicinity. In this connection the name of Levi Benton became con- 
spicuous at an early day, he having built the first grist mill in the town, 
on Flint Creek. The first lumber-mill on the creek was built in 1808 
by one Craft. The surnames of Petit, Phillips, Perkins, Pickett, Harris, 
Sherman, Arnold and Hogeboom are named as heads of families who 
settled in this part of the township at an early day, the domain of their 
settlement extending west to the center of the town. 

The incorporated village of Rushville is situated in the south part of 
Gorham, and includes within its corporate limits parts of three towns — 
Gorham, Potter and Middlesex. Nothing of more than ordinary im- 
portance contributed to the early settlement of this loeality, and it was 
not until a comparatively recent date that railroad communication be- 
tween this place and the county seat was opened. Ludin Blodget was 
one of the pioneers of this locality, as also in the same connection may 
be mentioned the names of Daniel Gates (proprietor of the once famous 
Gates' Tavern), Henry Green, Chester Loomis, Samuel Torrey. Timothy 
Moore, Captain Harwood, Zebediah Morse, Daniel White, John Catlin, 
Curtis Chatfield and Oliver Chatfield. A little farther east some of the 
pioneers were Richard Westbrook, William Bassett, James Lewis, Lem- 
uel Moore, Solomon Blodget, William Blodget, Samuel Reed, Horatio 
Gates, Lewis George. West of the Rushville neighborhood the earliest 
settlers were Christian Fisher, Abraham Garrison, John Ferguson, the 
Franciscos, Briggs, Van Brankens, Martins, Sheep, Bascoms, Abner Du 
Valle Northward from this locality and along the lake shore, the early 
settlers were Otis Lincoln, Southwick Cole, Amasa, Gage (head of the 


numerous and thrifty Gage family of Gorham), Henry Elliott (built a 
grist-mill in 1815). Still farther north pioneer James Wood made his 
first beginning, which has been referred to in this chapter. However, 
without here making more detailed statements concerning the pioneer 
families of Gorham, the attention of the reader is directed to another 
department of this volume, wherein will be found further allusion to the 
early settlers of Gorham, and as well to their descendants and some of 
the later generations of inhabitants of the town. 

From the large number of names of heads of families above mentioned 
it will be seen that the early settlement of Gorham was made as rapidly 
as that of any part of the county of similar situation. In 1824 the 
town was enlarged by the acquisition of territory from Canandaigua, 
and constituted according to its present boundaries. In 1830 the cen- 
sus enumeration showed Gorham to contain two thousand nine hundred 
and seventy-seven inhabitants, and since that time there has been a 
gradual and constant reduction in number, as will be seen from the 
statement taken from the census reports. The population in 1840 was 
2,789; in 1850 was 2,645 : i" i860 was 2,537 ; i" 1870 was 2,389 ; in 
1880 was 2,521, and in 1890 was 2,203 It will be seen from this that 
the present population of this town is about eight hundred less than that 
of sixty years ago. 

The civil, social, political and military history of Gorham is equally 
interesting with that of any other interior town in the county. Its 
pioneer settlement began at about the same time as elsewhere, but when 
it actually ceased to be of that distinguishing character is quite difficult 
to determine. However, while it was still in operation the people of the 
town were disturbed by the events of the War of 18 12, and that con- 
flict called the young men of the enrolled militia into service on the 
western frontier, while others were in the regular continental army; 
but, unfortunately, no records have been preserved, and is therefore im- 
possible to name the volunteers in the militia service during the war. 

In the war of 1861-65, commonly known as the Rebellion, the town 
gained an enviable reputation. At that time its population was about 
2,500, and the records show that more than two hundred and twenty-five 
men entered the service, while the fact exists that at least twenty- five or 
thirty others were in commands not credited to the town, making a 


total of more than two hundred and fifty men to the town's actual cred- 
it. Recent publications have been made which show the services of the 
several commands in the field in which were Gorham volunteers, and 
almost every comrade has not only the record but also the roster of his 
regiment and company, wherefore in this chapter it is not necessary to 
more than refer to the period of the war. In an earlier chapter of this 
work will be found a record showing the composition of the Ontario 
county regiments, with some pertinent allusion to their services in the 
field, and to the military chapter, therefore, the attention of the reader 
is directed for further information regarding the record of Gorham's 

The Village of Riishville. — In point of importance, population and 
business interests, Rushville stands at the head among the villages of 
Gorham, and in fact is the only one of those in the town that has ac- 
quired a corporate character. Unfortunately, however, for the general 
good of Ontario county, and particularly the town of Gorham, compar- 
atively little of the corporate territory of Rushville is within this county, 
the same lying chiefly in Yates county, and taken from the towns of 
Potter and Middlesex. The Union School district of Rushville never- 
theless extends beyond the village limits on the Ontario county side. 
The village is distant from the county seat, by wagon road, about ten 
miles, but the most convenient route of travel between these points is 
the Middlesex Valley and Northern Central railroads. 

In addition to its general business and manufacturing interests, the 
village possesses several large and useful public buildings, and as well a 
number of societies and enterprises of fraternal character. On the Gor- 
ham side of the village the generally called public institutions are the 
cemetery and the M. E. Church property, while the Congregational 
church is south of but very close to the line. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized about the year 1821, 
the original members being from Gorham, Potter and Middlesex. The 
first church edifice was begun in 1830, and finished and dedicated in 
June, 1832. The society has a large membership, numbering about 
200 persons, and is at present under the pastoral care of Rev M J. 
Wells, who also supplies the pulpit of the M. E. Church at Vine 


The Congregational Church at Rushville has among its members a 
number of residents of Gorham, who are prompted by convenience in 
their attendance there rather than at the church of the same society at 
Reed's Corners. The present pastor of this church and society is Rev. 
Hover, who officiates in the same capacity at Reed's Corners 

The Roman Catholic Church at Rushville extends its paris-h into this 
town. Its present pastor is Rev. Father Dougherty. 

Gorham Village. — This pretty little hamlet may be said to be the 
most important trading center in the town. Settlement in its imme- 
diate locality began with the present century, the pioneer being Thomas 
Halstead, who laid the foundation for a village by erecting a public 
house. Soon afterward Levi Benton built a grist-mill, utilizing the 
waters of Flint Creek for purposes of power. Craft's saw- mill was 
erected in 1808, and in the same year Joseph Palmer opened a store 
and began trade. Thus was the village founded. Its original name 
was Bethel, and was thus maintained until about 1856 when it was 
changed to Gorham, In the village a frame school-house was built in 
1815, and also in that year the cemetery was laid out. 

As Gorham village has its location on Flint Creek the locality very 
early acquired some prominence as a manufacturing and milling center. 
This reputation has ever since been maintained, though the last score 
of years have witnessed a general diminution rather than an increase in 
industry. However, the recent completion of the Middlesex Valley 
railroad has had the effect of stimulating a renewed effort in the direc- 
tion of manufacturing, hence the outlook for future prosperity becomes 

In 1868 a disastrous fire destroyed many of the business buildings of 
the village, but these were afterward replaced with more substantial 
structures. We have mentioned some of the early interests of the vil- 
lage and may also add the names of the first physicians, Doctors Coffin 
and Dean ; and the churches, the Methodist, built in 1828; and the 
Presbyterian and Baptist, both built in 1842-43. The large and sub- 
stantial school-house was built in 1874. The principal business enter- 
prises of Gorham at the present time are the general stores of William 
Pulver and and A. M. Phillips ; the drug store of Bowen Cook; Cro- 
zier's hardware store; Charles Johnson's store (he being also postmas- 


ter) ; the hotel of Mark Bane, together with the shops and light indus- 
tries of a well-regulated village. In the immediate vicinity are the saw- 
mill, commonly called the " Stockoe mill;" the grist mill of the Gorham 
Mill Company (Joseph Hershey, owner) ; the planing mill and the bar- 
rel and stave factory. 

Reed's Corners is the name of a very small settlement in the northeast 
part of the town ; and although the smallest of the hamlets, or villages, 
in Gorham, it has a historic importance in many respects superior to the 
other trading centers which have greater population. It is a fact, also, 
that many of the institutions which have developed and grown in other 
localities had their beginning at or near the Corners. The business in- 
terests at Reed's Corners comprise the general store of A. S. Winne, 
the wagon shop of George W. Tozer, and the hotel of Mrs. George Par- 
tise. The Reed's Corner Recreative Association have a hall for enter- 
tainments, and near the cross-roads is situated the grounds of the Gor- 
ham Agricultural Association. The last mentioned is one of the old 
institutions of the town, having been formed in 1852 and maintained 
without interruption ever since. The track is one- third of a mile in 
length, the grounds on the Mason H. Reed farm are ample, and the 
annual meeting of the association is an event of importance in local an- 
nals. The president is S. B. Douglas ; secretaries, Frank G. Gage and 
John Turner ; treasurer Virgil Smith. Among the directors are G. W. 
Tozer, A. J. Anderson, William Macgaffe, John H. Miller and Charles 

In the vicinity of Reed's Corner are the Congregational and Baptist 
Churches, both of which are offshoots from older societies in the town. 
Neither has a resident pastor, the supply of the former being Rev. Hover 
of Rushville, and of the latter Rev. Rose of Gorham village. 

Referring briefly to the churches of the town, it may be noted that 
as early as 1796 religious teaching and preaching was conducted in 
Gorham. Revs. Owen and Hamilton of the M E. Church were mis- 
sionary workers in the region at that early day, and the result was the 
organization of " The first M. E. Society of the Town of Gorham," 
which was the parent of Methodism in the town. In 1842 the society 
made a permanent lodgment at Bethel (Gorham) where the church has 
ever since been maintained. It is a joint station with Stanley and is now 


under the pastoral care of Rev. O. D. Davis. In this connection also 
we may mention the organization of the M. E. Society at Reed's Cor- 
ners, which was incorporated in 1856 by John Turner, Jacob W. Lamb, 
Abram Arnold, Moody VVyman and Hiram F. Wilbur, trustees. 

The Presbyterian Church of Gorham was organized February 26, 
1828, with twenty four members. The first meeting-house was erected 
near Reed's Corner, but in 1843 the society was divided and the Gor- 
ham village church formed. Thereafter the Congregational Church at 
the Corners was organized and the edifice built by former members of 
the mother society. 

Schools. — The educational welfare of Gorham has neverbeen neglected 
and an examination of the facts will show that this interest has been 
carefully regarded. As early as 181 3 the town, which then comprised 
Gorham and Hopewell, was divided into school districts and moneys 
appropriated for the maintenance of schools therein. However, on the 
separation of Hopewell from the mother town, and the annexation of a 
large territory from Canandaigua, the Gorham thus constituted was re- 
districted according to the convenience of the inhabitants. 

It would indeed be difficult to trace the history of the schools in every 
district in Gorham from its earliest infancy to the present time, and such 
a recital would even then have a doubtful interest, but we may broadly 
state that school teaching began in this town as early as 1798 and has 
continued uninterruptedly to this time. According to the present dis- 
position of educational interests in the town, there are sixteen school 
districts, fourteen of which have good school-houses, there being eleven 
of frame and three of brick material, and of a total value, exclusive of 
the large Union school at Rushville. of $6,820. In 1892 the town re- 
ceived for school purposes $4,428.21, of which amount the sum of 
$3,616. 10 was paid to the fi:fteen teachers employed. The school popu 
lation of the town is 577. 

Orgajiization. — Gorham was formed as Easton January 27, 1789, but 
as to the date of organization there appears some uncertainty, the rec- 
ords giving no account of town meetings previous to April 4, 1797, and 
from the general character of the minute book it is doubtless a fact that 
the town organization was not perfected before that time. The town 
meeting was then held at the dwelling house of pioneer Frederick Fol- 



lett, and officers were elected as follows : Supervisor, Samuel Day ; town 
clerk, James Austin ; assessors, Samuel Day, Frederick Follett, Silas 
Reed and George Brandage ; collector, John Warren ; overseers of poor, 
Wm. Engle and Joseph Brundage : commissioners of highways, Elijah 
Hurd, Robert Whittery, Wm. Hicks; constable, John Warren. 

Succession of Supervisors. — Samuel Day, 1797: James Austin, 1798 ; 
Daniel Gates, 1 799-1 802 ; Samuel Reed, 1 803-8 ; John Price, 1809-18- 
Lemuel Morse, 18 19; Stephen Bates, 1820; John Price, 1821 ; Aaron 
Younglove, 1822; Lemuel Morse, 1823; Chester Loomis, 1824-25; 
Lemuel Morse, 1826 ; Timothy Mower, 1827-32 ; Joseph Blodget, 1833- 
34; Adam Fake, 1835; Joseph Blodget, 1836; Isaac Phillips, 1837; 
Joseph Blodget, 1838 ; Staats Green, 1839-44 ; Wm. H. Lamport, 1845- 
46; Hiram Harkness, 1847; Staat.? Green, 1848; Wm. R. Pettit, 1849- 
50; David H. Runyan, 1851; James M Pulver, 1852-53; Marvin 
Gage, 1854; David Pickett, 1855-56 ; Harvey Stone, 1857-59; James 
M. Pulver, i860 ; Hiram Harkness, 1861-65, 1867; Henry Metcalf, 
1866; John Robson 1868-72; Erastus Green, 1873; James Robson, 
1874, 1876-78, 1883; Lebbeus Phillips, 1875; Adnah J. Phillips, 
1879-80; Lorenzo D. Gage, 1881-82; De Roy J. Harkness, 1884-86; 
Wm. O. Valentine, 1887 ; Alex. D. Allen, 1888-92; Marvin Gage, 1893. 

Present Toiun Officers. — Marvin Gage supervisor ; H. Clark Wood, 
town clerk ; Gilbert W. Elwell, Lewis C. Lincoln, Wm. Pulver, Richard 
Ringer, justices of the peace : J. Andrew Henry, D. A. Goodrick, John 
W. Wasiiburn, assessors; John Dear, collector; John W. Turner, com- 
missioner of highways; Charles Babbitt, overseer of poor ; Charles 
Stark and Thomas Dawson, constables. 



ON January 27, 1789, Ontario county was created and its inhab- 
ited portion organized into provisional districts, or towns with 
an incompleted civil jurisdiction. One of these was called Bloomfield, 
and included within its boundaries all that is now Mendon, Victor and 


East and West Bloomfield. The two towns first mentioned were 
taken off in i8i2, and West Bloomfield in 1833. The latter creation 
necessitated a change in the name of the mother town, hence it was 
called East Bloomfield. 

The original occupants of this town, so far at least as we have any 
definite knowledge, were the Seneca Indians, and within what is now 
East Bloomfield, on the east side of Mud Creek, (known to the savages 
as Gan-ar-gwa), and on lot 13, was at one time the Seneca village 
of " Gan dou-gar-ae," the St. Michael of the Jesuit fathers, and a 
place of some note in aboriginal history. This village was destroyed 
by Denonville in 1687, and though the inhabitants fled the invaders 
also destroyed growing crops in the vicinity, which were said to have 
been cultivated to a great extent. This subject, however, is so fully 
discussed in an earlier chapter that no more than a passing reference to 
it is necessary in this place. 

In 1789 the Phelps and Gorham proprietary sold township 10, range 
4 (now known as East Bloomfield), also townships 12, range i (now 
Arcadia, Wayne county), to a party of Massachusetts purchasers, com- 
prising Capt. William Bacon, Gen. John Fellows, Gen. John Ashley, 
and Elisha Lee, of Sheffield ; Deacon John Adams, of Alford ; and Dr. 
Joshua Porter, father of Judge Augustus Porter. According to the 
reminiscences of Judge Porter, he made an arrangement with the pur- 
chasers to survey the tracts of the township, and in May, 1789, met 
Captain Bacon at Schenectady, where also was Deacon Adams and his 
family These pioneers had a number of cattle and such utensils, pro- 
visions and implements as were needful in making a beginning in a new 
region. The goods were carried as far as possible by boats, while 
Deacon Adams had charge of the cattle. The journey was at length 
accomplished, though after much labor and hardship, and in the same 
year, 1789, the pioneer settlement of East Bloomfield was begun. 

The honor of pioneership in the town is accorded Deacon John 
Adams, whose party comprised himself and his sons John, William, 
Abner, Jonathan and Joseph, his sons-in-law Ephraim Rew and Loren 
Hull, and also Elijah Rose, Moses Gunn, Lot Rew, John Barnes, Roger 
Sprague and Asa Hickox, and the families of such of them as were 
married. Truly, it may be said that this was a formidable party of 


determined Yankee pioneers, and that many of the hardships which 
usually attend early settlement were set at naught by the numbers and 
courage of the first settlers of the old township No. lo. Pioneer Lot 
Rew died in 1793; Laura Adams opened a school in 1792; General 
Fellows and Judge Porter built a saw-mill on Mud Creek in 1790; Benja- 
min Goss married the daughter of George Codding about the same 
time, which event is said to have been the first of its kind on the Phelps 
and Gorham purchase. Other first events may be recorded by mention 
of the distillery of Nathaniel Norton, and the tannery of Anson Munson, 
each prior to 1800. These pioneers of the town settled mainly in the 
Mud Creek neighborhood, though a few of them made their first im- 
provements in the eastern part of the town generally, and almost wholly 
in what afterward became districts four and ten. In the same vicinity 
also there settled at a very early day Nathaniel and Ezra Norton, 
Benjamin Goss, John Keyes, Joel Steele and Thaddeus Keyes. 

Having referred to the original settlers of East Bloomfield, we may 
also recall the names of other early residents of the town, briefly 
mentioning them and directing the reader's attention to the latter part 
of this work where will be found biographical sketches of pioneers, 
early settlers and others In the east part of the town in the vicinity 
of the pioneer settlement there dwelt Oliver Chapin, who built a grist- 
mill on Fish Creek, and who was one of the settlers of 1789. Dr. 
Daniel Chapin and Aaron Taylor came in 1790, while others followed 
at later periods, among them Heman Chapin and Roswell Humphrey, 
1795 ; Cyprian and Tyrannus Collins, 1800; and at dates now unknown 
came settlers Nathaniel Baldwin, Philo Norton (son of pioneer Aaron 
Norton), Zebediah Fox, Chauncty Beach, John Doud, Jonathan Hum- 
phrey, Asa Johnson and others whose names cannot now be recalled. 
Joel Steele and Capt. Nathan Waldron were also in the east part of 
the town, as also were Timothy Buell, Joab Loomis, Benjamin Wheeler, 
Joel Parks, Benjamin Chapman, Ashbel Beach, Israel Beach, George 
Lee, while westward of these there settled the pioneer Goss, or Gauss, 
family in 1789; Aaron Collins, a minister, in 1795 ; Amos Bronson in 
1794; and Moses Gunn, Gideon King, Daniel Bronson, Joel Kellogg, 
Joseph Parker, and other families whose names were Lamberton, 
Winslow and Tainter. Moses Sperry was in the south part of the town, 


as also were Pitts Hopkins and Erastus Rowe. Ebenezer Spring may 
also be named among the pioneers. 

The west and southwest portions of this town were settled early. 
Pioneer Silas Sprague and his sons Silas, Roger, Asahel and Thomas 
made the first improvements here, and at or about the same time came 
Lot Rew. In this region the first settlers generally were those named 
and also Elijah Hamlin, William and John Adams, Jonathan Adams, 
Nathan Wilcox, Christopher Parks, Henry Lake, Asa Doolitlle, Asher 
Saxton, Enoch Wilcox, Ransom Spurr, James McMann and Israel 
Reed. In the northwest part of the town the early settlers were Moses 
and Flavel Gaylord, Silas Harris, Ebenezer French, Joseph Dibble, 
Alexander Emmons, Ransom Sage, John Benjamin, Archibald Rans- 
ford, Luther Millard and Silas Eggleston 

In the central portion of the township is the pretty little village of 
East Bloomfield, situated entirely within the boundaries of old school 
district No. 8. The pioneer and early history of this locality naturally 
belongs to the village narrative, yet we may properly mention in a 
general way the names of some of the early dwellers of the vicinity. 
Dr. Daniel Chapin made a pioneer settlement here, and the subsequent 
growth must have been quite rapid, for upon his removal, Dr. Ralph 
Wilcox succeeded to local practice and was soon afterward followed by 
Dr. Henry Hickox. John Fairchilds, Silas E^leston, Abraham Dud- 
ley, John Keyes, Benjamin Keyes, Deacon Hopkins, Elisha Hopkins, 
Abner and Gains Adams, Asa Hayward, Elijah Rose, Isaac Stone and 
Ephraim Turner are also to be named among the early settlers of this 
central district. The pioneer of the village site was Benjamin Keyes, 
whose generous donation of land for the park has ever caused his name 
to be held in kind remembrance by the villagers. These first settlers 
were mainly native New Englanders — Yankees — and imbued with 
truly patriotic and generous sentiments, and to them, or any of them, 
the giving of land for park purposes was a custom of long standing, and 
such an action was never animated by selfish motives. 

The pioneers of East Bloomfield were a hardy, industrious and pro- 
gressive body of Yankees, and their coming to the region had the effect 
of inducing settlement in the town and vicinity by other New England- 
ers, and at a comparatively early day we find the whole territory occu- 


pied and as densely populated as any other part of the Genesee 
country. The originally formed town of Bloomfield was a large terri- 
tory, from which four distinct townships were created, and these divis- 
ions make it impossible to state the population of the mother town in 
such manner as to throw any light on the number of inhabitants of 
East Bloomfield previous to its separate erection. However, we may 
state that the population of Bloomfield, as existing in 1830, was 3,861, 
there then being only three large towns in the county. In this con- 
nection also we may state the population of the town at various periods, 
showing the fluctuations in number of inhabitants at the beginning of 
each decade. In 1833 Bloomfield was divided and West Bloomfield 
set off, hence the number of people was reduced, there being in East 
Bloomfield in 1840 only 1,986 inhabitants; in 1850 the number was 2,- 
262; in 1860,2,163; in 1870,2,250; in 1880,2,527; and in 1890, 

The early settlers of this town were not only thrifty but were patri- 
otic, and even during the doubtful period of the war of 1812 emigration 
from the east to the town was constantly going forward, while during 
that period within the town there were the organized militiamen, many 
of whom went into the service on the frontier, and from there a few of 
them never returned. But it was during the war of 1861-65 that the 
town made its best military record and showed the characteristic New 
England martial spirit, for in that period the records show that more 
than one hundred volunteers are credited to the town, and were scattered 
throughout the regiments of New York, which were specially noted for 
their fighting qualities. However, it does not become important in this 
chapter to review at much length the military history of East Bloom- 
field, as in one of the general chapters of this work a more extended 
account of military experience during the war referred to is given, but 
we may here state in a general way that the volunteers of East Bloom- 
field were mainly in these regiments: The Twenty-seventh, the Eighty- 
fifth, the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth, the One Hundred and 
Forty- eighth, while many others were scattered through various other 
commands of State troops 

The town of East Bloomfield has very appropriately and munificently 
remembered her honored soldier dead by the erection of a handsome 


brown granite monument in the park in the village of East Bloomfield. 
This was done by the people in the year 1868, and the expense of the 
work was about $6,000. On the base of the monument is this inscrip- 
tion : " East Bloomfield. To the memory of her sons who died in 
defence of the Union, 1861-65." 

T/ie Village of East Bloomfield. — In the central part of School Dis- 
trict No. 8 is the pretty little village of East Bloomfield. This locality 
was one of the first settled in the town, and its pioneer, Benjamin 
Keyes, apparently anticipated a future village in this immediate locality, 
for, in accordance with New England custom, he set apart a desirable 
tract of land for a public park, about which the village should be built 
up. One of the earliest evidences of a village here was the tavern 
established by Ephraim Turner, who was succeeded by one King. Mr. 
Turner was also a tanner in the neighborhood and had much to do with 
the early history of the place. The first dealers in merchandise in the 
village were Norton & Beach, the latter of whom (Eli^ha Beach) was 
the first postmaster of the town. The firm of Childs & Gardner began 
merchandising about 1812, while later proprietors in tl e same line were 
Roger Sprague, Daniel Bronson and others. Peter Holloway was the 
village blacksmith as early as 1804, but being ambitious, turned land- 
lord and built a hotel. Jared Boughton, of Victor, also built a hotel of 
brick in 18 1 2, which was run by his son Frederick. Besides Ephraim 
Turner, before mentioned, Anson Munson also engaged in tanning as 
early, it is said, as 1804, and some of his leather was used by shoe- 
maker Zadock Bailey, a settler in 1798. 

The village of East Bloomfield stretches away a mile in length, 
reaching from the now called old village limits to a point somewhat 
beyond the railroad station. In fact, where was once but one village 
there are now two, fliough where the one stops and the other begins 
would be difficult to determine. There are two post offices, one at the 
depot, called East Bloomfield Station, and the other at the old village 
and ever known as East Bloomfied. Each village has its special indus- 
tries and institutions, but no unfriendly rivalry is known among the 

At an early day the village attracted some attention as a manufac- 
turing center, and a special industry was wagon and carriage making, 


but in common with the great majority of villages similarly situated the 
importance and value of these industries seems to have declined with 
passing years, and now the local manufacturers do not aim to supply 
much more than domestic trade. 

The banking firm of Hamlin & Steele was formed in 1883, and con- 
tinued to 1885, then chauL^ed to Hamlin & Company. Under this style 
the present partners. John S. Hamlin and Henry M. Parmele, conduct 
a general banking business. The other business men and merchants in 
East Bloomfield are F. Munson & Company, general dealers ; O. E. 
Thorpe, drugs and groceries : E. H. Ashley & Son, hardware ; Barton 
Douglass, flour and feed ; Childs & Wilson, meat market ; Michael 
Monaghan and Thomas Cummings, blacksmiths; Neenan Brothers, 
wagon makers and blacksmiths; T. A. Spitz, carriage painter; S. 
Mayo, carriage maker and dealer, established 1846; A. E. Spitz, horse 
goods and harness maker ; P. McGreevey, shoe dealer ; Edward S. 
Mason, barber and town clerk; William Brldgland, tailor; C. W. 
Bradley, agricultural implement dealer; F. K. McMann, jeweler and 
photographer. We may also mention the grist and flour mill of C. M. 
Bayless on the old mill site, which has been in use for some kind of 
manufacture for at least three quarters of a century. The physicians 
are S. R. Wheeler, P. S. Patridge and D. O. Williams. The local 
dentist is Charles Sweeney. Postmaster, Thomas W. Peeling 

The busy little hamlet which has been built up at the station owes 
its prosperity, if not its very existence, to the construction of the rail- 
road and the establishment of a depot at this point. The business in- 
terests here are fairly equal to those at the old village, and may be 
summarized as follows : C. H. Mason & Company, general merchants ; 
R. W. Appleton, groceries and boots and shoes ; E. Wheeler, agricul- 
tural implement and coal dealer; M. B. Eaton and William A. Frear, 
blacksmiths; John S. Hamlin, coal and lumber; C. H. Mason, grain 
and produce ; Daniel McWilliams, general hardware ; C. F. Zimmer- 
man and Leonard Jones, evaporators ; William Van Aken, undertaker; 
Hugh Flanigan, cooper ; Thomas Welch, proprietor Rowley House ; 
Mark Reubenstein, clothing and jewelry ; C. H. Mason, postmaster. 
On the site of the old " Shepard mill " the firm of Burrell Brothers 
have a good water-power flour and feed-mill. 


The East Bloomfield Academy is one of the important and enduring 
institutions of the locality, and although in late years its corporate 
character has been lost and it is now a Union school, it has not lost in 
value or worth by the modification. In April 9, 1838, the academy 
was incorporated by an act of the Legislature, the following persons 
being named as its trustees : Robert Hill, Moses Fairchild, Josiah 
Porter, Bani Bradley, Harlow Munson, Silas Eggleston, Calvin Pom- 
eroy, Timothy Buell, jr., Henry Prindle, George Rice, Thayer Gauss, 
F. J. Brunson, Myron Adams, Frederick N. Tobey, Frederick Mun- 
son. In 1840 the institution passed under control of the State Regents. 
Its first principal was Aaron Garrison. 

The academy building, a large three storied brick structure, occupies 
a commanding site in the center of the village, having a front on the 
public park. After a period of about forty years the institution passed 
from its originally intended character and became the property of the 
Union Free School District in which the village is situate, and the high 
standing and character of the school which was firmly established more 
than half a century ago has ever since been maintained. The Board 
of Education comprises these members ; T. W. Peeling, Dennis 
Neenan, B. S. Partridge, J. S. Hamlin, E. W. Page, John Mason, R. 
W. Appleton, S. R. Wheeler. Officers of the Board : J. S. Hamlin, 
president; P. A. Spitz, secretary; F. R. Munson, treasurer; princi 
pal of the school, Arthur E. Neeley. 

In this connection we may also properly mention the schools of the 
town generally, for it is a well known fact that in East Bloomfield the 
educational interests have been guarded with commendable zeal, but to 
trace the history of each school in each district would be an impossible 
task. However, enough is known to authorize the statement that the 
first school in the town was built and opened on Mud Creek as early as 
1792 ; the second in 1795 in what became district No. 7; the third in 
No. 6 in 1797, and others throughout the town as rapidly as settlement 
permitted. Later on the territory of the town was arranged in districts, 
and these have at various times been altered to suit the public conven- 
ience. According to the present arrangement of its territory. East 
Bloomfield has eleven school districts, each of which has a school build- 
ing. The total amount received for school purposes for the last current 



year was $5,833.39, of which $4,589 was paid to the fifteen teachers 
employed. The value of school property in the town is $1 1,750. The 
school population in 1892 was 552. Of the buildings nine are frame, 
one of brick, and one of stone. 

It so happens that the churches of the several societies having an or- 
ganization in this town are located in East Bloomfield village, and on 
the road leading thence to the depot; and although they may be 
treated as institutions of the village, their attendance is drawn from the 
town at large. A brief narrative of the history of each of these will 
prove interesting. 

The Presbyterian church of Bloomfield dates its special organization 
only from 1873, although it is properly and directly the outgrowth of 
the " Independent Congregational Society," which dates its history 
almost to the first settlement of the town itself. The society just men- 
tioned was formed September 8, 1795, and pioneers Nathaniel Norton, 
Ehud Hopkins and Asher Saxton were chosen its first trustees. The 
regular church organization under the name of the Congregational 
Church, was effected in November, 1796, through the efforts of that 
zealous laborer. Rev. Zadoc Hunn, and the original members were sev- 
enteen in number. The first church home of the society was built in 
1 80 1, and was without doubt the first church edifice in all Western 
New York. On the 19th of June, 1822, the church adopted the Pres- 
byterian form of government, but in 1825 returned to Congregational- 
ism, and so continued until September 2, 1873, when the Presbyterian 
form was formally and permanently adopted. As has been stated the 
old pioneer meeting-house was built in 1801, although not full)/ com- 
pleted until several years later. In 1836 a new edifice was begun, and 
finished and dedicated September 28, 1837. Twelve years later the 
building was materially repaired and enlarged. The present church 
property consists of a large and well arranged house of worship, and 
also a commodious chapel and lecture-room adjoining the church. 

The missionaries and pastors, in succession, of this church, through- 
out its life and vicissitudes have been as follows : Zadoc Hunn, Seth 
Williston, Jedediah Bushnell, Jacob Crane, David Higgins, John Weber, 
Aaron Collins, Oliver Ayer, Darius O. Griswold, Julius Steele, Robt. 
W. Hill, Henry Kendall, Luther Conklin, Lewis D. Chapin, J P. Skeele, 


Arthur F. Skeele, Charles S. Durfee and Charles C. Johnson, the latter 
being the present pastor, who was installed in 1889. 

The original members of this church were Zadoc Hunn, John Adams, 
Amos Bronson, Ephraim and Chloe Rew, Amos Leech, Joseph King, 
Ehud and Hannah Hopkins, Asa and Mary Hickox, Chloe, Abner and 
Abigail Adams, Lucy Bronson, Martha and Clarissa Gunn. The pres- 
ent membership of the church is 2 12 ; of the Sunday-school 200. 

The First Baptist Church in Bloomfield was organized in June, 1799, 
having an original membership of seventeen persons, as follows : Eli- 
jah Rose, Benj., Abijah and Roxy Stilwell, Pitts Hopkins, Enoch and 
Nancy Wilcox, Rachel Barnes, Anna Rose, Chester Doty, Eli and Lucy 
Lyon, Aaron and Otis Hicks, James and Betsey Case and Simon Sim- 
mons. The early meetings of the society were held at convenient 
places and not regularly, and it was not until 1803 that a church house 
was provided, and that an humble log house situate in the north part 
of the town of Bristol, north of the locality known as Baptist Hill. 
However, in 1805 the parent society was divided by the withdrawal of 
the members living in Bristol, and after a few more years of uncertain 
and varying life the old society ceased to exist, except on the records. 

In this connection we may also mention the existence of a Univer- 
salist church and society in Bloomfield, which had only a brief career. 
Their meeting-house was built about 1832, but was afterward sold to 
the M. E. society. 

The First Methodist Episcopal Church and society of East Bloom- 
field was organized May 12, 1834, with an original membership of 
twelve persons. Then hardly more than a missionary station, the few 
members succeeded in 1840 in building a small frame meeting-house, 
which stood near Mud Creek, Rev. John Parker was the pastor at that 
time. In 1861 a society and church organization was effected, and on 
the 9th of April it became a body corporate, Simeon B, Sears, Harlow 
Munson, George Wright, Benjamin D. Spring, Benj. F. Jenkins, Myron 
Mariner, Levi S. Beach, Chauncey Knowles and Nelson Parmele being 
the trustees elected. The society then purchased the old Universalist 
property at East Bloomfield village, and from that time has maintained 
a church home at that place. The present membership of the church 
is 145 ; of the Sunday-school 100. The pastors, in succession, since 


the reorganization, have been as follows: Jonathan Watts, A. F. Morey, 
Martin Wheeler, S. B. Dickinson, J. Edson, Andrew Shurtliff, R, D. 
Munger, Charles Hermans, J. C. Hitchcock, Henry Van Benschoten, S. 
A. Morse, G. W. Terry, Wni. Armstrong, T. S. Green, Wm Bradley, 
P. M. Harmon, J. M. Dobson, Edmund J. Gwynn. 

St. Peter's Church. The parish of St. Peter's in Bloomfield was es- 
tablished in 1830, and the first services were held in dwellings and the 
Universalist meeting-house, the latter being subsequently purchased by 
the society, but later, in 1859, being sold to the M. E. society. The 
society of St. Peter's then built a neat chapel, which was thereafter used 
for services. At present the church has no resident rector, but some 
of the earlier ones may be recalled by naming John Norton, Reese 
Chipman, Edmond Embery, Manning Stryker, Seth Davis, Edward 
Livermore, Alex. H. Rogers, Lewis L. Rogers and Henry M. Baum, 
who officiated in the order named. St. Peter's has about sixty com- 
municants, and a Sunday-school with about twenty pupils. 

St. Bridget's Church. The first masses of the Catholic church were 
said during the forties, though not until 185 i was the parish organized 
and church built, the first pastor being Edward O'Connor. In 1874 
the new edifice was begun, and completed and dedicated the next year. 
It is of brick, and in appearance is neat and attractive. Father O'Con- 
ner was succeeded by Father Byrnes, and the latter by Father Lee. At 
the present time the services are conducted by Father John J. Don- 
nelly, whose residence and leading parish is at Victor village. 



IN 1789 the Legislature passed an act creating Ontario county, and 
authorized the Court of Sessions to divide its territory into districts. 
This was done, and although we have no record of the event, it is well 
known that the district of Seneca included a large area of territory — 
much larger than did the original town of Seneca, organized in 1793. 


The town organized in 1793 included township No. 9 and the south 
half of township No. 10, and also so much of the " gore" as was east 
of the same and between the old and new pre-emption lines 

Within the bounds of the original town of Seneca there took place 
many of the most interesting events of early history in Western New 
York, for within these limits was the home village and favorite hunting 
and fishing grounds of one branch of the famed Senecas of the Iroquois. 
Old " Kanadesaga," their village, was within the town, and here dwelt 
their famous king. Also within the same limits was the historic burial 
mound of the Senecas, and around all these there still clings a wealth 
of memories dear to the student of archeology. Previous to their set- 
tlement at this place, the Senecas had been located at the White 
Springs and at Burrell or Slate Rock Creek, both of which are in the 
limits of the old town of Seneca In June, 1750, when Bishop Cam- 
merhofif and Rev. David Zeisberger, the Moravian missionaries, were 
on a journey to the western town of the Senecas, the}- passed through 
this region and along the site of the White Springs, where they were 
informed a former village of the Senecas had been, and which they 
called " Ganechstage," and on which there was at this time but few 
huts This settlement had been broken up in 1732 by a plague of the 
small pox, with which an Indian had become infected at Albany. 
Taking a wrong path, the missionaries went southwesterl}', passing 
" through a beautiful, fruitful valley," and came to the site of " New 
Ganechstage." On their return they again came this way, and at 
" New Ganechsatage " they were hospitably entertained by " Gajin- 
quechto " and his wife. This is but a dialectical variation of" Sayen- 
queraghta," and is the same person who in later yeans was the "smoke 
bearer " at Kanadesaga. The " sachem's " wife pointed out the way to 
them and they journeyed on, passing old " Ganechsatage," reaching a 
spring. The location of New Ganechstage was in the present town of 
Seneca, on the farm of J. Wilson and Newton A. Read, lot 32. Other 
village sites were on the Rippey farm, lot 2)^ ; farm of W. P. Rupert, 
lot 36; Haslett farm, lot 37. It was from here that they were gath- 
ered and formed the " new settlement village," as has been stated in 
another chapter. 

However, in 1872 Seneca was deprived of the greater and more in- 
teresting part of its history, for in the year named the town of Geneva 


was created and included within its boundaries nearly all the old inter- 
esting localities formerly of Seneca. The town so set off comprised all 
that part of the old town which was in the gore, and also the eastern 
tier of lots in townships 9 and 10. Therefore, the subject of Ihis chapter 
must be the town of Seneca as constituted after the separate organiz- 
ation of Geneva as an independent civil division of Ontario county ; 
and as all that remains to be told in this connection relates to its early 
settlement and organization, we may properly begin with the advent of 
the pioneers into the region, referring only incidentally to the settle- 
ments at Kanadesaga and Geneva As the places last mentioned were 
for several vears previous to the erection of this county the center of 
operations in the entire western country, settlement naturally began 
there, but after the survey of the Phelps and Gorham purchase, 
pioneers at once sought to purchase the towns, or portions of them, 
and settlement thus followed in due time. 

Township number 10 of range i, of which a part is included within 
Seneca, was purchased by a party of twenty New Englanders, and 
under this proprietorship the settlement of the town was begun. One 
of the purchasers was Captain Joshua Whitney, who first examined and 
explored the lands of the purchase in 1789, and became -a permanent 
settler therein in 1790, He was a man of influence, large means, and 
much experience; had been a soldier during the Revolution, and had 
gained his title in that service. He had at first 1,052 acres in the town, 
which amount he doubled later on. We may also state that the Whit- 
ney family was represented by other early settlers in the town, all of 
whom constituted a fair contingent of the number entitled to be called 

Among the. other early settlers and pioneers of Seneca, whose names 
as heads of families or single men seeking homes in the new country 
are equally worthy of mention, were Anson Dodge, Abraham Burk- 
holder, Peter Van Gelder, Zora Densmore, John Berry, George Ack- 
ley or Eckley, Ammi Whitney, Robert Carson, Leonard Isenhour (built 
grist and saw mills as early as 1800), Peter Wyncoop, William Esty, 
Thomas Tallman and others, the date of whose settlement was prior to 
1800, and that of many of them before 1795. There were also the 
families named Clemons, Parker, Harris, Fiero, Charlton, Childs, Tor- 


rence, Rogers, McPherson, Culver, Latta, Darrow, and the McCauleys, 
Hallidays, Buttons, Onderdonks, the Ringers (John and Jacob) and 
others now forgotten, whose names are equally worthy of mention as 
early settlers in this rich agricultural region. 

In the same manner we may also recall the names of other pioneers, 
among whom were Thomas Ottley, Nathan Whitney, Eben Burt, Isaac 
Amsden, Peter Gray, Matthew Rippey, David McMaster, Abram Post, 
Israel Webster, Simeon Amsden, Joel Whitney, Hugh Fulton and 
Gameliel Brockway, all of whom with others named and yet to be 
named, were located in the town of Seneca as early as the year 1800. 
There were also William Rippey, Joseph Fulton, Edward Rice, Philip 
Gregory, John Dixon, Seba Squier, Jacob Reed, Thomas Densmore, 
Solomon Gates, Colonel Wilder, David Barron, all pioneers, nearly all 
of whom had families, and all of whom contributed to the prominent 
position Seneca early occupied among the towns of the county. 

The Stanley family, of whom Seth Stanley was the pioneer head, 
settled in the town in 1796, and the locality afterwards became known 
as Stanley's Corners, while the still later station and railroad junction 
are known as " Stanley's." On the old Geneva and Rushville turnpike 
at an early day settled pioneers Peter Diedrich, George Simpson, Will 
iam Fiero and George Rippey; and elsewhere in the town were Salma 
Stanley, Thomas McCauley, Matthew Rippey, Peter Blackmore, Mr. 
Harford, John McCulIough, Captain Wm. McPherson, Whitney Squier, 
Jonathan Reed, the Phillips family, Squire Parks, James Rice, James 
Means, Leonard and William Smith, Chauncey Barden, Alfred Squier, 
Aaron Black, the Careys. John Wood, John Rippey, Robert Parks, 
Timothy Miner, James Black, Aden Squier, Edward Burrall, Samuel 
Wheadon and others, the dates and precise location of whose settle- 
ment cannot now be accurately determined. 

In this connection also we may name among the early settlers John 
Hooper, Foster Sinclair, the Dorman family, Adam Turnbull, Richard 
Bell, Wm. Foster, William Brown, John Scoon, Aaron Black, Mr. 
Stockoe, Jonathan Phillips, George Conrad, Thomas Vartie, Edward 
Hall (the pioneer for whom Hall's Cornerswasnamed), Sherman Lee, 
Wm. Wilson, the Cooleys, the Robinsons and Robsons, James Beattie, 
George Crozier, the Straughtons and the Wilsons, Rufus Smith, Robert 


Moody, Valentine Perkins, David Miller, Mr. Clark, the prominent 
Barden family, Daniel Sutherland, Sylvester Smith, Levi Gland, John 
Thompson and others. 

From the large number of names of early settlers above mentioned 
it will be seen that the settlement of this town must have been very 
rapid, and when we consider that none of those named were from the 
part of the town recently set off to Geneva, the conclusion must be 
natural and correct that Seneca was settled and improved as early as 
any district or town in the county. In 1800 the population of the 
whole county was only 15,218, yet the assertion is made that of the 
number the then town of Seneca had at least 2,000. In fact, until 
Geneva was set off, Seneca was by far the largest town in the county. 
In 1810 the population was 3,431 ; in 1830 it was 6,161 ; in 1840 it 
was 7,073 ; in 1850 it was 8,505 ; in i860 it was 8,448 ; in 1870 it was 
9,188; and in 1880, by reason of the erection of Geneva, the local 
population was only 2,877; ^^ 1890 it was 2,690. 

In 1793 tlie population of the town was deemed sufficiently great to 
warrant its complete organization by the election of officers, conse- 
quently a town meeting was held at " the house of Joshua Fairbanks, 
Innkeeper," on the first Tuesday in April, 1793. At this time the first 
town officers were elected, as follows: Supervisor, Ezra Patterson; 
town clerk, Thomas Sisson ; assessors, Oliver Whitmore, James Rice, 
Phineas Pierce; commissioners of highways, Patrick Burnet, Samuel 
Wheadon, Peter Bartle, jr. ; collector, Sanford Williams ; overseers of 
the poor, Jonathan Oaks, David Smith ; constables, Charles Harris, 
Stephen Sisson, Whelds Whitmore; overseers of highwaj's, Nathan 
Whitney, Oliver Humphrey, Jerome Loomis, Jeremiah Butler, Benj. 
Tuttle, Wm. Smith, jr., David Benton, Benjamin Dixon ; fence viewers, 
Amos Jenks, John Reed, Joseph Kilbourn, Seba Squiers, Caleb Culver; 
poundmasters, Peter Bartle, jr., David Smith ; sealer of weights and 
measures, Peter Bartle, sr. ; surveyor of lumber, Jeremiah Butler. 

Among the first proceedings of the town authorities were those relat- 
ing to the la3'ing out of highways, among them, and one of the very 
first, being one of historical importance, inasmuch as it was evidently 
laid out on the old Indian trail which led southeast from the foot of Sen- 
eca street, and afterwards in a westerly direction until it reached the 


west line of the town. The western part of this was where the turnpike 
from the old pre emption road was laid out later on. 

The officers elected in 1793 and mentioned above were chosen, the 
reader will of course understand, from the town of Seneca, as at that 
time constituted, therefore including all that is now the town of Geneva. 
The center of population at that time, and for many years afterward, 
was at Geneva, and here all trade and barter was carried on ; therefore 
it was usual that the town meetings should be held at the village, the 
first at Joshua Fairbanks' " Inn "; the second at " the house of Elark 
Jennings, Inn Keeper," the third at the house of Ezra Patterson ; the 
fourth at Benjamin Tuttle's house ; the fifth at the house of Epenetus 
Hart, adjoining Powell's Hotel ; the sixth and seventh at Powell's Ho- 
tel, and so on to the end of the list. In this connection it is interesting 
to note the succession of supervisors of the old tovvn of Seneca from its 
organization to the present time, which succession is as follows , 

Ezra Patterson 1793 ; Ambrose Hull, 1794-95 ; Timothy Allen, 
1796; Ezra Patterson, 1797-98; Samuel Colt, 1799; Ezra Patterson, 
1800-1801 ; Samuel Wheadon, jr., 1802; Ezra Patterson, 1803-04; 
Septimus Evans, 1805-14; John M. Cullougli, 1815 ; Septimus Evans, 
1816-17; Nathan Reed, 1818-28. The records of town officers be- 
tween the years 1828 and 1838 cannot be found. Abraham A. Post, 
1838-42; Philo Bronson, 1843; Abraham A. Post, 1844-47; John L. 
Dox, 1848-49; Chas. S. Brother, 1850-51 ; Lucius Warner, 1852-54; 
James M. Soverhill, 1855-56; John Whitwell, 1857-58; Perez H. 
Field, 1859-60; Joseph Hutchinson, 1861-62 ; George W. Nicholas, 
1863-68; Samuel Southworth, 1869-70; John Post, 1871-72; Seth 
Stanley, 1873; Edward S. Dixon, 1874; Seth Stanley, 1875; Robert 
Moody, 1876-81 ; Levi A. Page, 1882-89; H. Joel Rice, 1890-93. 

Present Town Officers — H. Joel Rice, supervisor ; Mathew D. Law- 
rence, town clerk ; Harmon VV. Onderdonk, Orson S. Robinson, W. H. 
Whitney, assessors; E. S. Dixon, Eben E. Thatcher, Wm. H. Barden, 
W. D. Robinson, justices of the peace ; Albert M. Knapp, John B. Esty, 
Hamilton Rippey, excise commissioners; John H. Carr, Frank L. Pars- 
hall, C. E. Onderdonk. commissioners of highways; overseer of the poor, 
James Woods. 


Returing again briefly to the period of old times, we find the pioneers 
of Seneca engaged in the laudable enterprise of raising a fund for the 
purpose of building a bridge across Flint Creek at Castleton, to form a 
part of the main thoroughfare from the town to the county seat. The 
subscribers to this fund, with the amount of their respective subscrip- 
tions, in pounds, were as follows : Sanford Williams, 8 ; Oliver Whit- 
more, 3 ; Nathan Whitney, 6 ; Solomon Gates, 3 ; Hugh Maxwell, 2 ; 
Samuel Warner, 3 ; Warner Crittenden, 3 ; Ebenezer Bunt, 3 ; Solomon 
Warner, 3 ; Joel Whitney, 3 ; Oliver Whitmore, sen., i ; Luke Whit- 
more, I ; Elijah Wilder, 3 

Villages and Hamlets. — In this department of this work it is not pro- 
posed to make any extended reference to the Indian occupation of any 
of the towns of the county, nevertheless, in this connection it is not in- 
appropriate to allude to the old Seneca villages which formerly existed 
in this town, in the north part thereof, one of them on lot 56, and the 
other on lot 58; but where they were first located and inhabited by 
the Senecas, and the precise date of their disappearance we know not of 

The present villages and hamlets of Seneca are five in number, four 
of them being on the line of the commonly called Northern Central rail- 
road, while the fifth is in the eastern part of the town, and is accessible 
only by team or foot travel. 

Seneca Castle, the largest of the villages, and sometimes known as 
Castleton, is situated in the northwest part of the town, on Flint Creek, 
also on the railroad extending from Stanley to Sodus Bay. The orig- 
inal name of the village was Castleton, and the application of the name 
Seneca Castle was an afterthought. As a trading center this place has 
some prominence, but during the last half century it can hardly be said 
to have increased or lessened in business interests or population. The 
village has two church societies, each of which has a substantial church 
home. Of these we may make a brief record. 

The Presbyterian Church of Seneca Castle was a branch or ofi'-shoot 
of the mother church at Geneva, the latter having been organized in 
1798, and in connection therewith occasional services were conducted in 
this western part of the town, altthough it was not until 1828 that the 
Seneca Castle was fully organized. The early services here were held 
chiefly by Revs. Jedediah Chapman and Henry Axtell, the former the 


first, and the latter the second pastor of the church at Geneva. The 
Castleton (such was the name then) Church was organized February 5, 
1828, with nineteen original members " inhabitants of the village of 
Castleton and its vicinity." On the 4th of March the trustees were 
chosen, and steps were at once taken to raise, means with which to erect 
a church home. This was quickly accomplished and the house was 
dedicated during the latter part of July, 1829. 

The pastors, in succession, of this church have been as follows: 
Stephen Porter, Oren Catlin, Stephen Porter (second pastorate), George 
C. Hyde, R. Russell (supply), B. B. Gray, Alex. Douglass (supply), A. 
H. Parmelee, H. H, Kellogg, James S. Moore, and Howard Cornell, the 
latter being the present pastor, whose service as such began in June, 
1893. The church has about eighty members, and a Sunday school 
with about ninety pupils. 

The Castleton Methodist Episcopal Chapel was the outgrowth of a 
series of revival meetings held by the Presbyterians of this locality dur- 
ing the years 1 830-3 1. The M, E. Class and church was organized 
soon after this time, and in 1842 the society erected a substantial brick 
edifice in the village. Its membership is about eighty, and the Sunday- 
school has about one hundred members. The present pastor is Rev. S. 
F. Beardslee. 

Flijit Creek is a small hamlet of about twenty dwelling-houses, one 
store, a post-office, a combined cider mill and wood working factory, 
the school of district No. 2, and a M. E. Church. The village is on the 
stream from which it is named, and is about midway between Seneca 
Castle and Stanley. A grist and saw-mill were in operation many years 
a few rods south of the village proper. 

The M. E. Church at Flint Creek, one of three societies of this de- 
nomination in this town, is of comparatively recent origin, and is sup- 
plied in its pastoral relation from Hopewell. The present pastor in 
charge is Rev. Cordello Herrick. 

Stanley, formerly Stanley's Corners, is second in size and greatest in 
business importance among the hamlets of Seneca. The village is sit- 
uated near the center of School District No. i. Here also the Northern 
Central railroad divides, one branch leading to the county seat and the 
other to Sodus Bay. During the year 1892 the long hoped for Middle- 


sex Valley road was completed and put in operation between Stanley 
and Naples; and during 1893 the work of construction on the same 
road between Stanley and Geneva is expected to be prosecuted. 

Although of considerable importance among the hamlets of Seneca, 
Stanley is only a small place, having two good stores (Hill & Coon, and 
James A. Pulver), a hotel, a grain elevator, a good district school, and 
two churches. 

St. Theresa's Roman Catholic parish was organized in 1875, and the 
church edifice was built in 1876. This parish is a joint station with 
Rushville, and includes about ninety families. The priests in charge 
have been Fathers James A. Connelly, Joseph Hendrick, Joseph J. 
Magin, D. W. Kavanaugh, J. H. Butler, James F. Dougherty, and John 
P. Hopkins, 

The Methodist Episcopal Church and society of Stanley are also of 
quite recent organization. The church and class work began many 
years ago, and the organization dul}' followed. There are now about 
thirly five members, and preparations are being made for the erection 
of a substantial church home in the village. The services are now con- 
ducted by Rev. O. D Davis, as supply, he being pastor of the church 
at Gorham village. 

Hairs Corners is a small though busy hamlet in the south part of the 
town, and being in the center of a large fruit and grain region, becomes 
a place of much importance during the harvest and shipping season. 
The village proper is about forty rods from the station. The mer- 
chants are William C. Mead (also postmaster) and George O. Rippey & 

Seneca. — About a mile and one-half northeast of Hall's Corners is a 
little settlement and post office called Seneca. It has no industries of 
any importance, except the nursery of W. P. Rupert, yet around the 
old Presbyterian church at Seneca has been built up a quiet little set- 

This church was organized June 29, 1807, by a devoted little band of 
Christians, by whom it was resolved "That we form ourselves into a 
church, to be denominated the Associate Reformed Church of the Town 
of Seneca." In July following the work of organization was completed, 
and at the first communion service forty- five members were on the 


church roll. After much work the little society succeeded in raising a 
fund and erecting a church edifice, a plain though neat frame structure, 
which was used about twenty five years, and then, in 1838 and '39, was 
superseded by a larger and more pretentious building, which the so- 
ciety still occupies. This edifice was enlarged and improved in 1862, 
and again in 1868. 

In 1859 this church changed its ecclesiastical connection and became 
essentially Presbyterian in doctrine and teaching. Its present member- 
ship reaches the remarkable number of 350 persons, and within the 
bounds of the congregation there are maintained four Sunday-schools. 
The succession of pastors and supplies of this church has been as fol- 
lows: James Mears, Andrew Wilson (supplies), Thomas White (first 
pastor). William Nesbit, John D. Gibson, Samuel Topping, George 
Patton, A. B. Temple. The latter, Mr. Temple, became pastor in March, 
1873, and has ever since continued in that relation, a period of more 
than twenty years. 

Schools of the Town. — In traveling along the public thoroughfare of 
Seneca, the observer is at once attracted by the general beauty of his sur- 
roundings in every locality, but in respect to the public schools of the 
town his attention is at once called to their ever substantial appearance 
and pleasant situation. When the town was divided, in 1872, it became 
necessary to re-district the old town ; hence at that and at the present 
time its area is divided into thirteen districts, only two of which (Nos. 9 
and 10) are not provided with school-houses. In 1892 the school pop- 
ulation was 798, to instruct whom there were employed fourteen teach- 
ers at an expense of $3,961. The total amount of money raised for 
school purposes was $5,445. Of the school- houses six are frame and 
five of brick, and the total value of all school property in the town is 
estimated at $13,750. 



ON the 27th of January, 1789, a district or town, called " Easton," 
was formed, and included within its boundaries all that is now 
Gorham and Hopewell. On April 19, 1806, the name was changed to 


" Lincoln," and still later, April 6, 1807, to Gorham, being given the lat- 
ter name in allusion to and in honor of Nathaniel Gorham, one of the 
proprietors under the Massachusetts pre-emption purchase. In 1822, 
on March 29, Gorham was divided, and the north half was separately 
set off and named Hopewell. According to the Phelps and Gorham 
system of surveys, Hopewell is township 10, range 2, and contains, ap- 
proximately, thirty-six square miles of land. 

In common with the towns generally of Western New York, the 
pioneers of Hopewell (though under its original name) were mainly 
New Englanders, therefore Yankees, and fully imbued with the 
characteristic spirit of thrift, push and progressiveness which so strongly 
marks that element of American citizens. The pioneer settlement in 
this town began in 1789 and the year following, and must have pro- 
gressed with great rapidity, for in i830it had a total population of more 
than two thousand, a number of inhabitants not exceeded or even 
equaled at any subsequent census enumeration. 

In 1798 Oliver Phelps and General Israel Chapin proceeded to a point 
in town 10 range 2, about three miles northeast from Canandaigua, 
where they had a large tract of land, and on which they made some 
improvements which did much to invite and encourage settlement in the 
town ; the point has ever since been known as Chapinville ; and here in 
later years a thriving little hamlet grew up, became an early post vil- 
liage, and afterward a station on the Auburn and Rochester railroad. 

The current of water in the outlet flowing northerly from Canandaigua 
Lake has at first but a slight fall, and it is not until about five miles 
northeasterly from the lake, at a place on the outlet now called Little- 
ville, that sufficient power for a grist-mill could be obtained, and this 
place was chosen for the pioneer mill. It is on the north bounds of the 
town of Hopewell adjoining the town of Manchester and about a mile 
south from Shortsville. Here Oliver Phelps erected a grist-mill in 1791 
which was known as the Phelps Mill. Although but a crude and pigmy 
affair, it answered the purpose for some time, and the pioneer settlers 
came from long distances to get their grists ground. Samuel Day was 
engaged to run this mill, which had but one run of stone from which the 
flour was conveyed by a short spout to the bolt. Among the maps in 
the office of the State engineer of Albany is No. 341, " Map of Messrs. 


Phelps and Gorham's Purchase." This map is dated 1792 and on it is 
located a mill on the Canandaigua outlet, at the junction of the Indian 
path or trail from Geneva through Oaks' Corners with the trail from 
Canandaigua Lake to the region of Palmyra. This is the precise loca- 
tion of the Phelps or Day Mill. In 1800 this mill was owned" and 
operated by Edward Parker and run by him up to the time of his death, 
April 13, 1820, in the sixty- eighth year of his age. Afterward the 
place came into the possession of a company of " Fourieritcs," and in 
the fall of I S45 or spring of i 846, Norman C. Little came into possession, 
and in addition to the mill he kept a store. The place was called Little- 
ville after him, and continues to be known as such up to the present 
time. Being unsuccessful in business, after an occupancy of two or 
three years, the property was sold out by the sheriff, and Mr. Little 
moved to Saginaw, Mich., where he was afterwards found drowned in 
the river. There is another Littleville named after him, situated at the 
junction of the Conesus with the Genesee River, about one and a half 
miles south of Avon village, where a saw-mill was erected in 1796, a 
grist-mill in 1810, and soon followed by a distillery. About 1830 these 
came into possession of Norman C. Little who, in 1833, built a large 
store and had a considerable trade. About 1837 he sold out, but the 
place still retains the name of Littleville. 

When the Moravian missionaries, Bishop Cammerhoff and Rev. David 
Zeisberger, visited this region in 1750, after crossing Flint Creek they 
proceeded along on the main trail, and they say: " Towards evening 
we reached an Indian settlement where a city by the name of Onnachee 
is said to have stood, which is now uninhabited." As Onnaghee has 
been fully spoken of in another place it is only necessary here to give 
the location of the town, which has been identified as having been on lot 
20, on the farm of Darwin McClure, formerly owned by Cyrus Gates, 
and situated on the old turnpike about five and a half miles west 
of Flint Creek and about three miles southerly from Canandaigua 
village. It was about half a mile north of the turnpike and on the south 
side of Fall Brook. On the north side of the brook the ground is low 
and flat, but a short distance to the north and some twenty- five or thirty 
rods north of the Northern Central Railroad is a rise of ground of a 
sandy, gravelly soil, and on which was the Indian burial ground Here 


quantities of skeletons have in time past been uncovered and brought to 
light by the cultivation of the land, and very large numbers of kettles, 
tomahawks, with some guns and other Indian implements and relics 
have been found. Some twelve or fifteen rods to the east of the village 
there are two springs of soft water, and some fifty rods to the west is a 
small spring of sulphur water. About sixty rods east of the village is a 
large flat limestone rock, hollowed on top, evidently for pounding corn in. 

According to the best information now obtainable, the pioneers of 
Hopewell were Daniel Gates, Daniel Warner, Ezra Piatt, Samuel Day, 
George Chapin, Israel Chapin, jr., Frederick Follett, Thomas Sawyer, 
Benjamin Wells and Mr. Sweet, all of whom were from Massachusetts, 
while William Wyckoff, who was another pioneer, was from Pennsyl- 
vania. A son was born to Benjamin Wells and wife on February 4, 
1 79 1, and was named Benjamin Wells, jr. This was the first birth in 
the town. Calvin Bacon opened a school in 1792, which also was the 
first event of its kind in Hopewell. While it is generally conceded that 
the pioneers above mentioned were the earliest settlers of Hopewell, there 
were others who are equally worthy of notice in the same connection ; 
and while the majority of the pioneers were New Englanders, or Yankees, 
other localities contributed to the early population of this town Penn- 
sylvania and Maryland were represented by substantial natives who 
sought homes in this region, their coming being influenced by the agents 
of the London Associates, who caused highways to be made from Penn- 
sylvania to the Genesee country, and otherwise invited settlement in 
the whole region west of Seneca Lake. 

In addition to those already mentioned as first settlers in Hopewell, 
we may with propriety recall the names of others who are deserving of 
mention in the same relation, although the dates of settlements cannot 
be learned. Of many of these pioneer families and their descendants 
there will be found biographical sketches in a later department of this 
volume, wherefore in this chapter there need be given nothing more 
than a mention of the names of heads of families. Richard Jones was 
a Marylander, and came to Hopewell in 1805, and whose descendants 
are still living in the town. Nathaniel Lewis, Elam Smith, Vimri Dens- 
more, George LeVere, Robert Buchan, John Price, Daniel Le Vere, 
John Freshour, Israel, John and Stephen Thatcher, Major Elijah Mur- 


ray (a Revolutionary survivor), Elijah Ellis, John Russell, David W 
Beach, William Bodman, Erastus Leonard, Luther Porter, Robert Penn, 
Samuel Bush, Joshua Case, Oliver and William Babcock, John Ricker, 
Amos Knapp, Silas Benham, C. P. Bush, Daniel Warren, Shuball Clark, 
John Hart, John Faurot, George Chapin, Russell Warren, Dedrick 
Coarsen, Robert Davidson, Moses De Pew, John Gregg, James Moore, 
James Birdseye, Edward Root, Ezekiel Crane, John McCauley, David 
Aldrich, Amos, Amasa and James Gillett, Joseph Lee, Oliver Warren, 
Elam Crane, Ezra and Leonard Knapp, Thaddeus Benham, Elisha 
Higby, William Canfield, Andrew Bush, Elder Anson Shay. John 
Kellogg, Thomas Edmundson, Daniel Macumber, Captain Thomas 
Davis, Rufus Warner, Apollas Baker, John Church, Jonas Whitney, 
Asel and Constant Balcom, Eben and Eli Benham, Ezra Newton and 
others whose names are forgotton or lost by lapse of time. These also 
were pioneers of the town whose coming and after labors contributed 
much to the early prosperity of Hopewell, and many of them left chil- 
dren, the descendants of whom still reside in the town and are numbered 
among its best citizens. 

In addition to the many already mentioned, the names of other fam- 
ilies may also be recalled as among the early settlers in Hopewell. 
There were the surnames of Thomas, Derr, Spangle, Skinner, Cleve- 
land, Knapp, Marks, Sly, Purdy, Ketcham, Brundage, Bishop, Pem- 
broke, Woodin, Knickerbocker and others now lost to memory, all of 
whom settled in Hopewell at an early day, the descendants of some of 
whom are yet in the town and identified with its present history and 

During the War of 1812 the young men of the town, as well as some 
of the older residents, were numbered among the enrolled militia, and 
as such rendered efficient service on the frontier, under command of 
General Porter. A full account of this service is detailed in a preced- 
ing chapter, to which the reader's attention is directed, and while no 
record exists to show the names of Hopewell men who performed serv- 
ice during that year, we may at least refer to the period, and know 
that some of the present residents of the town can connect their ances- 
tors with the events of the war. 



A reference to the war of i8i2 naturally suggests at least a passing 
allusion to the still more important period of the war of 1861-65, and 
known as the late rebellion. In i860 the town of Hopewell had a 
population of less than 2,000 inhabitants, notwithstanding which during 
the war, it furnished volunteers and troops for all branches of the serv- 
ice to the extent of more than 200 men, or more than ten per cent, of 
the town's population at the time. The history and record of the vol- 
unteers of Ontario county is given in one of the general chapters of this 
volume, but the history of Hopewell would be incomplete without some 
reference to this period of the war. 

As has already been stated Hopewell attained its maximum popula- 
tion in 1830, or between 1820 and 1830. In 1822 the town was set off 
from Gorham and made a separate civil division of the county, and the 
first Federal census was made eight years later. The subsequent dimi- 
nution in population in the town is fairly shown by extracting from the 
census reports, and while the last sixty years have witnessed a falling oft 
of about 600 in the number of inhabitants, the fact occasions neither 
alarm nor apprehension, for the same causes contributed to it that have 
reduced the rural population throughout the Eastern and Middle States. 
However, let us look at the census records and note the changes in 
population in this town throughout these years. In 1830 the popula- 
tion was 2,202 ; in 1840 it was 1,976 ; in 1850 it was 1,923 ; in i860 it 
was 1,970; in 1870 it was 1,863 J i" 1880 it was 1,894; and in 1890 
it was 1,655. 

In the year 1825 the Board of Supervisors of the county purchased 
a farm of one hundred acres, situated in the southeast part of Hope- 
well, which was fitted up for a home for the county poor. The cost of 
the property was less than $2,000, but by subsequent management of 
the farm (now exceeding 200 acres) and the erection of necessary build- 
ings, many thousand dollars have been expended. Previous to 181 5 
the indigent poor of the county were maintained by the towns sepa- 
rately, in accordance with New England custom. Although this is not 
a town institution, but of tlie county, its location in Hopewell makes 
necessary a passing reference to it. The Ontario county poor-house 
and farm are among the most noted institutions of the county, and one 
in which every loyal citizen feels a just pride ; and it is a fact that no 


similar county in the State can lay claim to a like property which is 
conducted on more thorough and practical business principles than is 
this one. During the last five years the direct care of the inmates and 
the management of the farm has been entrusted to Ralph Wisner, as 
keeper, and much of the fame which this institution has acquired is due 
to the efforts of the keeper and his wife. 

On the 22d of March, 1822, the Legislature passed an act dividing 
the township of Gorham, and setting off the north half thereof, which 
was the original town No. 10, of range 2, and creating a new town 
called Hopewell. On the 17th day of April following, the electors held 
their first annual town meeting, at which time officers were elected as 
follows : Supervisor, Nathan Lewis ; town clerk, John Price ; assessors, 
Elisha Higby, George Brundage, James Birdseye ; highway commis- 
sioners, Joel S. Hart, Erastus Larned, William Canfield ; overseers of 
poor, Rufus Warner, Lemuel Babcock ; commissioners of schools, Wm. 
Buchan, Jason Angel, Joshua Case; inspectors of schools, Joseph Mer- 
rill, Wm Bodman, Joel Amsden ; constables, Timothy Dunham, Hiram 
Dillon, Wm. Larned, Jos. Parker; collector, Walter Wells. The first 
justices of the peace were Nathaniel Lewis, John Price,. Amos Jones and 
Elisha Higby. 

Although lying adjacent to the county seat, Hopewell has never at- 
tained a position of much importance among the towns of the county. 
The outlet has afforded an abundant water privilege to manufacturing 
enterprises, and during the early history of the town this power was 
employed to a considerable extent, and there has been maintained an 
industry of some sort on this stream ever since the settlement of the 
town. However, the proximity of Hopewell to the county village has 
operated to the disadvantage of the former, as enterprises have chosen 
Canandaigua as a place of operation rather than a remote locality. 

Chapinville is a small hamlet located in the northeast part of the 
town, about in the center of school district No. 4. This is one of the 
oldest settled localities in this part of the county, for here Captain 
Chapin and Oliver Phelps caused to be erected a mill at a very early 
day, and about the mill a settlement was at once begun. At a com- 
paratively recent period the Auburn and Rochester railroad was con- 
structed through the village, which had the effect to temporarily stim- 


nlate business in the locality, but within less than twenty years the 
hamlet had resumed its former condition. The important industry of 
the Chapinville vicinity at this time is the " Chapinville Wheel Com- 
pany," which was incorporated January 5, 1891, by Jacob Martin, Ed- 
ward D. Martin, David N. Salisbury, Edward C. Scudelbach, and Ad- 
dison D. Kelley and the object of which is the manufacture of wheels, 
gears and bodies of carriages and wagons. The capital stock of the 
company is $45,000. 

The First Society of the M. E. Church and congregation in Chapinville 
was incorporated May 24, 1865, but the society was organized at a 
much earlier date, in 1852, by James L. and Harriet P. Munson, Will- 
iam and Elizabeth Callister, George W. Caton, Jerusha Caldwell, Eliz- 
abeth Stead, Mary Jackson, and Margaret Redfield, as original mem- 
bers. However, we may state that Methodist meetings were held in 
this neighborhood at a day far earlier than indicated by the above dates. 
In 1853 the church edifice of this society was built. The first pastors 
were John Spink, D. S. Chase, Geo. W. Paddock, E, J. Hermans, A. 
F. Morey, and L. D. Chase, in the order named The present pastoral 
supply of the church is D. D. Davis, who also officiates in the same ca- 
pacity at Shortsville. 

Hopewell Center is a hamlet still older than Chapinville, and being 
situated away from any railroad is of perhaps less importance than the 
other village. In a way. however, the Center has much local impor- 
tance, and is the natural trading point for a large and productive agri- 
cultural district. The business enterprises of the Center are few, 
being the stores, hotels, shops and other adjuncts of hamlet existence. 
Here also is located the school of district No. 6, and the M. E. Church. 
The latter is known as the First Society of the M. E. Church in the 
town of Hopewell, and had its organization in 18 19, Silas Smith, Eben- 
ezer Benham and Ezra Newton being its first trustees. For a time, 
however, this society was discontinued, but was reorganized in 1841, 
and has since enjoyed a prosperous existence. It is now under the pas- 
toral care of Rev. S. F. Beardslee, who also supplies the pulpit of the 
M E. Church at Seneca Castle. 

In the southeast part of the town is the little hamlet called Lewis, a 
station on the Northern Central road, and a center of trade for a well- 


peopled region. Thi.s hamlet is in school district No. 8, the school- 
house and church being the most important of its local institutions. 
The latter is under the present pastoral care of Rev. Cordello Herrick, 
he also being pastor of the M. E Church at Flint Creek. The post- 
office here is called Hopewell, while the name Lewis applies to the rail- 
road station. 

The Wesleyan church of Hopewell is to be mentioned among the in- 
stitutions of Hopewell Center, although its members came from the town 
generally. The church was organized in 1843, by Rev. Ralph Bennett, 
and numbered in its membership some of the most substantial families 
of the town. Its earlier pastors were Revs. Bennett, H. M. Booth, Spoor, 
Ryder, Thompson, Brain, May, Slosson and others. 

Ennerdale is a station on the Northern Central Railroad, between 
Lewis and Canandaigua. The post-office here is called Bculah. Other 
than a convenient point in the midst of a fertile , farming region, this 
hamlet has no special importance. South of its locality and in the south 
part of the township was organized one of the pioneer church societies 
of the county. This was the Presbyterian church, the first meeting of 
which were held as early as 1803, although the organization was not 
completed until many years later. Rev. Jedediah Chapman was the or- 
ganizing minister and the society drew its members from both Hope- 
well and Gorham, the latter of which towns included the territory of the 
former at that time. At an early day this church had a large member- 
ship, but the organization of a church of the same denomination in Gor- 
ham, after Hopewell was set off, very much weakened the old society 
in the town last named. The Presbyterian church, parsonage and cem- 
etery were situated in district No. 9, about fifty rods north of the Gor- 
ham line. 

Schools. — In all matters pertaining to education the inhabitants of 
Hopewell have kept even step with the people of other towns of the 
county. Although the records are quite incomplete there is evidence 
which tends to show that schools were opened and maintained during 
the pioneer period, the first school being taught by Calvin Bacon in 
1702, and that Elesta Murray, Ahl Tracy and Nathaniel Lewis were 
among the earlier teachers in the little old school house which stood on 
the turnpike road leading from Geneva to the county seat. Directly 


north of the old site, and in the extreme north part of the town, was 
another pioneer school house, in which Walter Fitzgerald was a teacher. 
Chapinville, likewise an old settled locality, had its school in operation 
at an early day. The settlement of Hopewell was accomplished so rap- 
idly that the territory of the town was early divided and formed into 
school districts, and these have since been increased and rearranged to 
suit the convenience of the town's people. According to the present 
disposition of the town's area, there are twelve school districts, each of 
which has a good school building. The total value of school property 
in the town is $5,735- The number of children of school age in the 
town is four hundred and fifty one, as shown by the enumeration of 
1892, to instruct whom twelve teachers are employed at a cost, in the 
year mentioned, of $2,704. The total amount of moneys received for 
school purposes in 1892 was $3,5 19. 12. Of the school houses, nine are 
of frame, two of brick and one of stone material! 



THIS town was formed in January, 1789, and originally included 
all which is now Bristol and South Bristol, or townships 8 and 
9 in the 4th range, as described according to the Phelps and Gorham 
surveys. In March, 1838, number 8, or South Bristol, was set off and 
separately organized. On March 23, 1848, a part of Bristol was 
annexed to Richmond, but on February 25, 1852, the strip was restored. 
The town derives its name from Bristol in Connecticut, from whence 
came many of its pioneer settlers. 

The settlement of this town began in 1788, at which time several 
brothers named Gooding came to the region, made an improvement on 
lot No. I, in the northeast corner of the town, sowed wheat and planted 
turnips, and then, with the exception of Elnathan Gooding, all returned 
east to spend the winter and prepare for an early return in the next 
spring Wherefore, the honor of being the pioneer of this town natu- 


rally falls to Elnathan Gooding, whose long watch and wait appear to 
have been somewhat relieved by the presence and company of an 
Indian lad known as Jack Beary. In 1789 he returned to the town, 
accompanied with his family and brothers, and made a location in the 
vicinity of the improvement of the year before. Mr. Gooding was a 
veteran of the Revolution and a man of much influence in the new 
formed settlement. He was by trade a blacksmith, and his knowledge 
of that work made him especially serviceable to the pioneers. He was 
the first supervisor of the town. 

In 1788 George Codding and his family came to the town, also locat- 
ing in the northeast portion. Pioneer Codding had five sons in his 
party, and their coming greatly added to the little community. The 
boys were John, George, Farmer, Burt and William. Other settlers 
of the same vicinity, and about the same time or soon afterward, were 
Capt. Peter Pitts, William Pitts, Calvin Jacobs, John Smith, James 
Gooding, all of whom are believed to have been permanently located in 
the town as early as 1792, and some of them in 1789. Seth Simmons 
was a settler in the town in 1798. Alden Sears .'settled in 1792. 
Thomas Hunn opened a school in 1790, and in the same year pioneer 
Gameliel Wilder had a grist-mill in operation. Three years later, 1793, 
Stephen Sisson opened a store and kept a public house in the town. 
Cornelius McCrum is said to have been the first white child born in the 

In the preceding paragraphs we have named the first pioneers of the 
town, but great difficulties are encountered in learning the date of each 
settlement, while an attempt to preserve succession of settlement is 
wholly useless ; wherefore we may only recall the names of pioneers 
with date and general locality of settlement when ascertainable. Daniel 
Taylor settled in 1804, o" 'ot 4, and an early dealer of cattle, Faunce 
Codding, located on lot 5. Marcius Marsh settled on lot 5 in 1796 or 
'97. Abijah Spencer settled in 1789 on lot 6, and the place was occu- 
pied in 1797 by Dr. Thomas Vincent, who formerly lived in Geneva. 
On th^ same lot Hezekiah Hills settled in 1797. Burt Codding and 
John Whitmarsh were settlers on lot 7 in 1791. Ephraim Wilder 
located in 1793 on lot 14. and remained only one season and then 
moved to lot 10. He built a mill in the town in 18 10, and died in 1826. 


Theopholis Short settled on lot ii in 1796, and was the first brick- 
maker in the town. Eleazer Hill settled on lot 13 in 1794. He 
organized a militia company in the town in 1812. John Taylor, settled 
in the town in 1797 on lot 13. Samuel Mallory settled on lot 14 in 
1797. In 1794 John Crow located on lot 15. John Trafton settled 
on the same lot in 1797. Oliver Mitchell settled early on lot 16. Alden 
Sears's settlement in 1792 was on lot 36. Aaron Wheeler came to the 
same locality in 1798, and Samuel Torrence in 1800. Aaron Hicks 
located on lot 37 in 1795. John Simmons settled on lot 38 in 1792. 
John Kent settled on lot 37 in 1795, and Seth Jones on lot 38 in 1802. 
The latter is remembered as a tavern-keeper at Baptist Hill as early as 
1 8 16 William Francis came to the town in 1800. Solomon Goodale 
came to the town in 1802, and was a Baptist minister. Luther Phillips 
settled in Bristol in 1803, and was an early shoemaker. Job Gooding 
located on lot 39 in 1794, and four years afterward Joshua Reed and 
Nathaniel Cud worth settled on the same lot. Samuel Andrews settled 
on lot 40 in 1791, and five years later Benjamin Andrews occupied a 
part of the same lot. Zephaniah Gooding came to Bristol in 1798 and 
located on lot 41, and in 1800 John Phillips settled on the same lot. 
Thomas Gooding came in 1802. David Simmons settled on lot 42 in 
1797, and in the same year also came Ephraim, Simeon, Benjamin, 
Raymond and Constance Simmons, all of the same family. Jeremiah 
Brown located on lot 45 in 1 800. Asa James came to lot 47 about 

1801. In 1805 Philip Simmons located on lot 50, and Capt. Amos 
Barber on lot 51 in 1796 or '97. 

In the same manner there may be recalled the names of other early 
settlers in Bristol, among them Nathan Fisher, who located near Bap- 
tist Hill about 1795. Abijah Warren settled in 1805. Rufus Whit- 
marsh came in [806 Jonas and Joseph Wilder came a little earlier. 


James Case came in 1800, and John Case in 1802. James Austin and 
Eliakim Walker were also early settlers, Daniel Smith was on lot 43 
in 1800, and Tisdell Walker on lot 42 in 1802. John Mason located 
on lot 44 in 1801. Sylvanus Jones and John Crandall were settlers in 

1802, and Azer Jackson and Elias Jackson in 1803. George Reed 
located on lot 52, and Ephraim Jones on lot 53 in 1805. 

Such was the pioneer settlement of township No. 9 in the 4th range, 
which is now and for more than a century has been known as Bristol. 


Glancing over the names of pioneers there appear very many which are 
still famihar, and are represented by persons still resident in the county ; 
and cases are not wanting in which some of the descendants of these 
pioneer heads of families have attained high standing in professional 
and public life. It is a conceded fact, too, that Bristol has furnished 
some of the best and strongest men of Ontario county; men who have 
adorned the medical and legal professions, and others have reached an 
enviable position in political affairs. 

The early settlement of Bristol was indeed rapid, and in fact the 
town reached its maximum population in 1830. The census of that 
year gave it 2,952, but in 1838 South Bristol was taken off, hence, in 
1840, the number was reduced to 1,953. Since the last mentioned year 
the number of inhabitants has been steadily reduced, the result of the 
same causes that have operated to decrease the population in the 
majority of interior towns in this State, and as well all the Eastern 
States. In 1850 the population was 1,773 ; in i860 was 1,657; '" 1870 
was 1,551 ; in 1880 was 1,550; and in 1890 was 1,510. From this we 
discover that half a century witnessed a diminution of Bristol's popula- 
tion by more than 500. 

Organizatio7i. — The town of Bristol, as has been stated, was formed in 
1789, but it seems not to have been fully organized until 1797, the first 
meeting for that purpose being held on April 4. The justices of the 
peace — Gameliel Wilder and George Codding presided, and officers 
were elected as follows: Supervisor, William Gooding; town clerk, 
John Codding; assessors, F'aunce Codding, Nathan Allen and Nathaniel 
Fisher; commissioners of highways, James Gooding, Jabez Hicks and 
Moses Porter ; constables, Amos Barber, Nathan Allen and Alden 
Sears, jr. ; overseers of the poor, George Codding, jr., and Stephen 
Sisson ; overseers of highways, Eleazer Hills, Peter Ganyard, Theoph- 
ilus Allen, Elnathan Gooding, John Simmons and Amos Barber ; 
school commissioncis, Aaron Rice, Ephraim Wilder and Nathaniel 
Fisher; collectors, Amos Barber and Nathan Hatch. 

Although Bristol was early populated, its location in the county is 

such that the building up of large villages or trading centers has been 

an impossibility, and such as have been and are in existence, are for the 

accommodation of trade within the town. Mud Creek is the principal 



water course of the town, having its source in South Bristol, whence it 
flows north into and across Bristol. Along this stream from the earliest 
settlement there has been both saw and grist-mills in operation, but the 
latter have outstripped the former in length of standing and usefulness. 
Mill Creek is a smaller stream, having its headwaters and course in the 
southwest part of the town, whence its flows into Richmond and dis- 
charges into the outlet of Honeoye Lake. 

Of the hamlets or centers of trade in Bristol, that commonly called 
Bristol Center is -perhaps the largest and most important, although 
Baptist Hill, or Bristol, may hold a supremacy in historical recollections. 
Ephraim Wilder was the pioneer in the Center neighborhood, he having 
located on lot 14 in 1793, where he built a log house, and afterward a 
frame dwelling, and kept public house, or tavern ; also he started a dis- 
tillery and otherwise laid the foundation for a village. Abijah Spencer 
and Major Jones were also early residents of this locality. In Landlord 
Wilder's hostelry Horace and Allen Hooker opened the first store of 
the Center, and were followed in the same line by one Bradbury, also 
George Gooding, the latter likewise keeping a hotel. The pioneer 
blacksmith was Learned Johnson, while the tanner of the village was 
Isaac Mason. Abijah Wan en also had an early tannery. Other 
former residents of the Center, all of whom were more or less associated 
with the early history of the town, were Zenas Briggs, Mr. Pool, 
Antony Low and one Warrells, the last mentioned being a cabinet- 
maker. The public buildings of the Center are the Methodist church 
and the school-house, while the Congregational church is located 
outside the village proper and about three-quarters of a mile to the 

In the month of August, 1669, La Salle, accompanied by De Casson 
and Galinee, visited the Senecas. While the negotiations with the In- 
dians were pending the following event is recorded by Galinee. " In 
order to pass away the time, I went with M. de la Salle, under the 
escort of two Indians, about four leagues (ten miles) south of the vil- 
lage where we were staying, to see a very extraordinary spring. Issu- 
ing from a moderately high rock, it forms a small brook. The water is 
very clear but it has a bad odor, like that of the mineral marshes of 
Paris, when the mud on the bottom is stirred with the foot. I applied 


a torch and the water immediately took fire and burned hke brandy, 
and was not extinguished until it rained. This flame is among the In- 
dians a sign of abundance or fertility according as it exhibits the con- 
trary qualities. There is no appearance of sulphur, saltpetre, or any 
other combustible material. The water has not even any taste, and I 
can neither ofifer nor imagine any better explanation than that it ac- 
quires this combustible property by passing over some aluminous land." 
In 1700 Col. Romer was sent by the Earl of Bellomont, governor of 
the province of New York, on a journey through the country of the 
Iroquois. In the instructions given him is the following: "You are 
to go and view a well or spring which is eight miles beyond the Sinek's 
furthest Castle, which they have told me blazes up in a flame when a 
light coale or fire-brand is put into it ; you will do well to taste the 
said water, and give me your opinion thereof, and bring with you some 
of it." This Burning Spring is located at Bristol Center, about eight 
miles from the foot of Canandaigua Lake, in a direct line south of 
Boughton Hill. The late N. W. Randall, in giving the writer a descrip- 
tion of this spring, said : "The spring is on the south side of a small 
brook which empties through a ravine into the west side of the Ganargua 
or Mud Creek. The banks opposite the spring are from eight to 
twenty feet high, the spring being on a level with the bed of the brook. 
By applying a match the water appears to burn, and is not easily ex- 
tinguished, except by a heavy rain or a high wind." 

The present business interests of Bristol Center are few, being the 
stores of Mrs. A. H. Case, who also is postmistress, Frank Simmons 
and Whitfield Burge ; also the grist-mill of Henry Codding. The ham- 
let contains about thirty dwellings, and has a population of about one 
hundred and fifty persons. 

The hamlet called Baptist Hill, the correct name of which, however, 
is Bristol, is located in the north part of the township in school district 
No. I. This place took the character of a village about 18 10, when 
Mr. Hunt opened a store. Later on he was followed in business by 
Joel Park, Dr. Jacob Gillett and others. Aaron Van Orman was the 
first blacksmith, and Luther Phillips the first tavern-keeper. Stephen 
Sisson built the first frame building here, which was used both for store 
and tavern. The present hotel-keeper is John Baker, and the mer- 


chants are Messrs. Wm, Doyle and Mr. Shelters, both of whom have 
general stores. Frank Hicks4ias a harness shop. The public proper- 
ties of Bristol are the Baptist and Universalist churches, the school of 
district No. i, and the cemetery, the latter a burial place of much note. 
Muttonville, as originally called, but Vincent of later designation, is, 
or at least was, a hamlet of some importance half a century ago. The 
name first mentioned was given the locality about 1845, when a tallow- 
chandlery was built there by Asahel Gooding. It is said that 30,000 
sheep were annually slaughtered here, the tallow from which was made 
into candles ; the hind quarters were sold at less than three cents per 
pound ; the skins were tanned by Abijah Warren and Isaac Mason ; 
and the remainder of the slain animals was fed to swine. However, the 
good old days of Muttonville have passed, its industries are all gone, 
and during the spring of 1892 the remnant of the hamlet was nearly all 
destroyed by fire. 

Bristol has been called the town of many churches, there having been 
no less then seven society organizatio