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20 8 48 2 


R 1901 L. 


Descriptive of the Subject __ __ 1-4 


Early Discoveries and Settlements _. 5-20 


Continued Warfare— 1754-1 T63.. _., 20-29 

On the Frontier— 1T63-1TT5 29-34 

The War of the Revolution— 1775-1812 35-46 

The War of 1812—1800-1825 46-66 

From 1825 to the War of the Rebellion _ 66-77 

The War Period in Niagara County _ _ 77-92 

County Institutions and Civil List ._ 93-100 


Subdivisions of the County — Towns and Villages __ 100-103 

City and Town of Lockport 103-174 

Town of Niagara, City of Niagara Falls, Suspension Bridge 174-240 


The Town of Cambria 240-248 


The Town of Hartland 248-254 


The Town of Porter 255-266 

The Town of Royalton 267-281 

The Town of Le wiston _ 281-301 

The Town of Wilson _ 302-315 

The Town of Somerset _. 315-321 

The Town of Newfane .323-331 



The Town of Pendleton z_ _ 331-336 

The Town of WhealHeld 337-360 


The Bench and Bar of Niagara County 360-384 


A Brief History of the Medical Profession in Niagara County and of the 

Niagara County Medical Society .-_ 384-392 

Free Masonry in Niagara County. 393-402 


BIOGRAPHICAL ....'. 403-448 




Part I.. '. 219-247 

Part II ' - _ 247 

Part III 248-254 


Allen, W. L., Dr facing 345 

Angevine, Jackson facing 438 

Armitage, James facing 103, Part III 

Babcock, Isaac H facing 32 

Baker, Flavins J., Dr. ._ facing 104 

Barnard, T. P. C, Dr facing 353 

Bentley, F. W., Dr.. .facing 350 

Brush, Harlan W... between 3,50 and 357 
Brush, Walter S. ..between 356 and 357 
Chapman, ThomasM. between 354and 355 
Cobb, Willard A... between 124 and 125 

Corson, Fred W. facing 122 

Cutler, John W facing 187 

De Kleist, Eugene Fr. T facing 343 

Dornfeld, Albert facing 340 

Dwight, A. N facing 308 

Felton. Benjamin F ..facing 358 

Flagler, Thomas T facing 16 

Gaskill, Joshua facing 374 

Her.schell, Allan... facing 207, Part III 
Herschell, George C. .facing 208, Part III 

Hodge, John facing 56 

Honeywell, Charles E ..facing 311 

Kaltenbach, Andrew facing 425 

La Bar, John W facing 436 

Landreth, William-. facing 435 

Lehon, William S. , jr. .facing 348 

McKeen, Albert E facing 430 

MeseroU, Philip H facing 441 

Millar, David ...facing 360 

Mullaney, P. T., Rev facing 301 

Palmer, Charles N, Dr. facing 112 

Payne, Lewis S., Col. ..facing 347 

Philpott, William A., jr.,. ...facing 229 

Pierce, Henry F., Maj facing 415 

Pool, William frontispiece 

Rieger, Frank facing 439 

Schoellkopf, Arthur facing 423 

Shafer, John W facing 278 

Spalding, Linus ..facing 412 

Vogt, Jacob J. facing 444 

Ward, Joseph A. . .between 124 and 125 
Warner, Thomas E. between 354and 355 

Whitney, Solon M. N facing 408 

Williams, Edward T ...facing 222 

Witmer, Joseph facing 443 

Landmarks of xNiagara County 



Niagara county is the northernmost of the western tier of counties of 
the State of New York, and is bounded on the north by Lake Ontario ; 
on the east by Orleans and Genesee counties ; on the south by Erie 
county, and on the west by Niagara River. It was erected March 1 1, 
1808, and included what is now Erie county, which was set off April 2, 
182 I, leaving the present county with an area of 558 square miles. 

The first appearance of tiie word, Niagara, is, according to the ex- 
cellent anthority of the late O. H. Marshall, on Coronelli's map pub- 
lished in Paris in 1688. it is the oldest of all the local geographical 
terms which have come down from the aborigines, Owing largely to 
the wide variance of pronunciation among the Indians, the word has 
been given almost unlimited forms of spelling. The Documentary His- 
tory of New York gives the following, besides the one now in universal 
use : lagara, lagare, Jagara, Jagare, Jagera, Niagaro, Niagra, Niagro, 
Oakinagaro, Ochiagra, Ochjagara, Octjagara, Ochinagero, Oneagerah, 
Oneigra, Oneygra, Oniagara, Ongagerae, Oniagorah, Oniagra, Oniagro, 
Onjagara, Onjagera, Onjagora, Onjagore, Onjagoro, Onjagra, Onnya- 
garo, Onyagara, Onyagare, Onyagaro, Onyagoro, Onyagars, Onyagra, 
Onyagro, Oneygra, Oneagoragh, Yagero, Yangree. 

The surface of Niagara county is generally level or gently undulating. 

It is divided into two distinct parts or terraces by a ridge extending 

east and west. The lake shore is a bluff ten to thirty feet in height, 

and from its summit the lower terrace slopes gradually upward to the 


foot of an elevation called the Mountain Ridge, where it attains an ele- 
vation of one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet above the lake sur- 
face. This peculiar ridge extends east and west through the north part 
of Royalton and Lockport, and near the center of Cambria and Lewis- 
ton, and forms the north declivity of the southern terrace. At its west- 
ern extremity it has an elevation of two hundred and fifty feet above 
the lower terrace, and is nearly perpendicular. This height gradually 
declines towards the east, having at the east line of the county an ele- 
vation of eighty to one hundred feet. Through the central part of the 
county the ridge is divided into two declivities, separated by a plateau 
from a few rods to a half mile in width. The upper ridge is limestone, 
and for many miles presents the face of a nearly perpendicular cliff. 
Throughout the county this ridge is too steep for much cultivation. 
The south half of the county extending south from the ridge is very 
nearly level. It has a slight inclination toward the south and terminates 
in the Tonawanda Swamp ; this whole inclination within the county 
does not exceed thirty feet. The Lake Ridge, which is supposed to 
have been, and probably was, the early shore of the lake, extends west 
from Orleans county through Hartland and Newfane, thence turns 
southwest and appears to terminate near Lockport city. It appears 
again farther west and at Cambria is divided into two parts, the north 
part extending northwest about three miles and gradually declining to 
the level of the ground surface in general, and the south part e.xtending 
southwest and uniting with the mountain ridge four miles east of Lewis- 
ton. This deflection in the Lake Ridge was doubtless caused by a large 
bay that extended south towards Lockport, while the north branch of 
the ridge which terminates so abruptly in Cambria, was undoubtedly a 
bar extending into the lake. Two large streams probably discharged into 
this bay — one through the ravine in which the canal is located, and one 
through a ravine about two miles west of Lockport. The Lake Ridge 
is composed of sand, gravel, and the usual debris thrown up by the 
action of a large body of water, and differs essentially in character from 
the surrounding surface. It varies in height from five to twenty five 
feet, and is twenty to one hundred and fifty feet in width. 

The lowest rock in this county is the Medina sandstone, which crops 
out in the ravines along the shore of the lake. It is the underlying rock 

of the west half of the county, and extends to the foot of the Mountain 
Ridge. This ridge is composed of the sandstones and Hmestones be- 
longing to the Niagara and Clinton groups, the heavy masses of compact 
limestone appearing at the top. The Onondaga salt group occupies a 
narrow strip along the south border of the county. Nearly the whole 
surface is covered with deep deposits of drift, the rocks appearing only 
on the declivities of the Mountain Ridge and in the ravines of streams. 

Springs of weak brine have been found in the northern half of the 
the county, which exude from the Medina sandstone. This stone, lying 
at the foot of the Mountain Ridge, has been quite extensively quarried 
at some points. Above the sandstone is a layer of impure limestone 
from which water cement has been made. The Niagara limestone fur- 
nishes an excellent building material and a good quality of lime. The 
stone exists along the whole course of the Mountain Ridge, and the deep 
cut through the ridge at Lockport is through this stiata ; the most ex- 
tensive quarries have been worked in that vicinity, the stone for the 
canal locks having been taken from them. 

Niagara River, on the west boundary of the county, contains several 
small islands which belong to the county, the principal ones being Ton- 
awanda, Cayuga, Buckhorn, and Goat Islands. The river itself and the 
great cataract need no detailed description in these pages. Tonawanda 
Creek flows along the greater part of the southern boundary of the county 
and along its course are the extensive marshes known as Tonawanda 
Swamp. This section contains valuable muck and marl, underlaid with 
limestone and gypsum, and where cleared and drained to some extent 
it is excellent for agricultural purposes. The other principal streams 
of the county are Four mile, Six mile. Twelve-mile and Eighteen-mile 
Creeks, so named from their respective distances from the mouth of 
Niagara River ; Fish and Golden Hill Creeks, all emptying into the lake ; 
Mud Creek and East Branch, tributaries of Tonawanda Creek, and Ca- 
yuga and Gill Creeks, tributaries of Niagara River. 

The soil of this county is particularly well adapted to the raising of 
grain and for many years that was the principal occupation of the farm- 
ers. Wheat, barley, oats, corn and potatoes were successfully grown, 
wheat especially being produced in great quatities until about 1850. 
Since that date it has received less attention, and fruit cultivation has 


in recent years taken its place to a great extent. Large apple orchards 
were planted at some points by early settlers, particularly on the Niag- 
ara River below Lewiston, on the lake shore and in the vicinity of Lock- 
port. About 1845 a large demand for winter apples came into exist- 
ence in the west and elsewhere, which stimulated the farmers of this 
county, who had large orchards of inferior fruit, to begin grafting their 
trees. It began to be understood that soil and climate were fitted to 
produce the most perfect apples possible, as well as superior fruits of 
other kinds. Apple growing continued until Niagara county became 
known throughout the whole country for the excellence and quality 
of its product. Peaches, also, were gradually introduced and became 
an important product. The fruit industry still continues to receive a 
large share of the attention of farmers. 

The population of Niagara county has regularly increased in numbers 
as shown by each succeeding census, excepting between i860 and 1865, 
when it decreased about 1,000, a fact due, probably, to the influences of 
the war. The following figures show tiie number of the inhabitants at 
different periods sinc'e 1S35 • 

1835 26,490 

1840 31,132 

1845 - 34.550 

1850 -.42,370 

1855 .48,282 

1860 .' 50,399 

1865 ..49,283 

1870.. ..50,437 

1875 51,399 

1880 ..54,173 

1890 62,491 

1892 63,378 


No attempt will be made in this work to review the Indian history of 
the locality under consideration. It could add nothing to what has 
already been done in scores of historical volumes, and the subject is 
about exhausted. There is evidence that seems irrefutable to many 
that this region was occupied by a race of men far anterior to our na- 
tive Indians; whether this is true or not must be left for antiquarian 
speculation and treatment. Let it suffice for present purposes to state 
that the first white comers iiither found this immediate locality occu 
pied by a nation of Indians called by other nations, Kahquas, and by 
the French, the Neuter nation, because they were at peace with the 
fierce tribes around them. They were a numerous nation, but seemed 
to lack the valor and warlike spirit of the Iroquois. There were Kah- 
qua villages on both sides of Niagara River, but chiefly on the western 
side; there was also one near the mouth of Eighteen mile Creek in the 
present Niagara county, and possibly a few on the Lake Erie shore. 
The greater part of the shores of that lake were, however, occupied by 
the Eries, who were called by the French the Nation of the Cat. Up to 
about the middle of the sixteenth century, it is believed, the Kahquas 
maintained their neutrality amid the fierce strife of their neighbors; but 
not long after that, for some cause now unknown, the dreaded Iroquois 
fell upon both the Eries and the Kahquas and almost exterminated 
them. If any were left they were doubtless absorbed by their conquer- 
ors. From that time forward all of this immediate region was ruled 
over by the powerful Senecas, a nation that shared to some extent in all 
the warlike operations that constitute a part of the frontier history, and 
often in fierce opposition to the English, by whom they were at last con- 

The Tuscaroras constituted the sixth of the famed Six Nations. Thev 

were seated in North Carolina when the Europeans came, where they 
numbered 1.200 wariors at the beginning of the eighteenth century. 
They were at war with the white settlers, 171 1 and 1713, and in the 
latter year were subdued and eight hundred of them captured. The 
remainder fled northward and joined the Iroquois league as the sixth 
nation. In the French and English war and the war of the Revolution 
they were loyal first to Great Britain and later to the Americans, and 
in the spring of 1 78 I located on a square mile of land on the mountain 
ridge in what is now the town of Lewiston, which the Senecas had 
assigned to them. Their domain was increased by a grant of two 
square miles and a purcliase in 1804 of 4,329 acres from the Holland 
Land Company ; for the latter they paid $13,722, which was a part of 
the indemnity received by them for the extinction of their North Caro- 
lina interests. On their reservation the white settlers found in them 
warm friends and good neighbors. They have advanced in civilization, 
have excellent farms and are generally respected by the remainder of 
the community. 

Evidences strongly indicating prehistoric occupation of the territory 
of Niagara county have been found, while Indian relics and remains in 
great quantities and varied character tell of the former occupants of the 
region. The lines of their principal trails are well known and many 
have become our present roads. The most important of these trails ex 
tended from the Hudson to the Niagara ; it came from the east by way 
of the sites of Canandaigua and Batavia, emerged from the Tonawanda 
Swamp nearly southeast of Royalton Center, coming out upon the 
Lockport and Batavia road in the valley of Millard's Brook, and thence 
continued on the Chestnut Ridge to the Cold Springs. Following the 
route of the Lewiston road, with little deviation, it struck the Ridge 
road at Warren's. It followed the Ridge road until it passed the Hop- 
kins marsh, when it graduallj' ascended the Mountain Ridge, passed 
through the Tuscarora village and then down again to the Ridge road 
and on to the Niagara. From Lewiston to Oueenston was the princi- 
pal crossing into Canada, but a branch trail went down the river to Fort 
Niagara. This trail was improved about the close of the last century, 
so as to be passable by sleighs, the work being done by the Holland 
Company; it was the first roadwaj' north of the main road from Canan- 

daigua to Buffalo. "The Ontario trail," according to Turner, which 
came westward from Oswego, via Irondequoit Bay, " followed the 
Ridge road west to near the west line of Hartland in Niagara count)', 
where it diverged to the southwest, crosing the east branch of Eight- 
een-mile Creek and forming a junction with the Canada or Niagara trail 
at the Cold Springs." 

No less important than these trails was that which became and has 
always been known as the Portage road, extending from Lewiston 
around the Falls. It was thus described in a work written in 1718 : 

The Niagara portage is two leagues and a half to three leagues long, but the road, 
over which carts roll two or three times a year, is very fine, with very beautiful and 
open woods through which a person is visible for a distance of 600 paces. The trees are 
all oaks and very large. The soil along the entire length of that road is not very good. 
From the landing, which is three leagues up the river, four hills are to be ascended. 
Above the first hill there is a Seneca village of about ten cabins. These Senecas are 
employed by the French, from whom they earn money by carrying the goods of 
those who are going to the upper country. 

Upon the accession of the English the Portage road was greatly im- 
proved under direction of Sir William Johnson (1763) by John Stedman, 
the first permanent settler at Niagara. The following description of the 
route of this road is froi^i the pen of O. H. Marshall: 

It commenced at the Lewiston landing, and followed the river until it reached the 
small depression just north of the present suspension bridge. Diverging from this 
it intersected the river a short distance above the Stedman house, and followed its 
bank for about forty rods to the fort above. Midway between the house and fort 
were a dock, a warehouse and a group of square-timbered, whitewashed log cabins, 
used by the teamsters, boatmen and engagees connected with the portage. About 
half a mile below the Stedman house, the head of the present hydraulic canal, was 
the old French landing, where goods were transhipped when only canoes were used, 
and where the Portage road terminated before Fort Schlosser was built. All along 
the road between this fort and Lewiston blockhouses were erected about a mile 
apart, to protect the teams from disasters such as had occurred at the Devil's Hole. 

The vast importance of this trail and road through all this history of 
the Niagara frontier v'ill be readily inferred and more clearly understood 
as we proceed. 

The early relations of this section of country to the European pow- 
ers was of a very indefinite character. James I was on the English 
throne, and Louis XIII reigned over France with the great Richelieu 

as his prime minister. The immediate region of which this work treats 
was one of the earhest in the northern patt of America to be visited 
by European adventurers, missionaries and traders. Many years be- 
fore the landing of the Pilgrims, and only a little more than forty years 
after Columbus touched the shores of a new world, Jacques Cartier, a 
French explorer, sailed up the St. Lawrence in 1535 as far as Montreal, 
and learned something of the great country and lakes to the westward. 
He took possession of all the country in the name of his sovereign 
and made some attempts at colonization, but in 1543 they were all 
abandoned. In 1603 the celebrated French mariner, Champlain, came 
over and made permanent settlement at Quebec ; settlement at Mon- 
treal soon followed. A route was established across the country from 
the St. Lawrence to Lake Huron, where Cartier founded a mission and 
where Champlain wintered among the Indians in 161 5. The Hurons 
were at war with the Iroquois and Champlain invaded the Iroquois 
country with their warriors. Meanwhile Champlain had sailed up the 
lake that bears his name, lying between the present States of New 
York and Vermont, in 1609, fought a battle on its shores with the 
Iroquois, killed his first Indians and gave the natives their first per- 
ception of what they were to expect from the white man and his mur- 
derous gunpowder. In 1609, also, Henry Hudson sailed up the river 
that took his name and in the name of his Dutch employers took 
possession of an indefinite extent of territory. These claims, with that 
of the English made by the Plymouth colony, constituted three dis- 
tinct sources of pretended sovereignty over the soil of the new world, 
seen and unseen, and by 1625 there were three streams of emigration 
tending westward. For a long period the French held a measure of 
supremacy, in which they were abetted by those remarkable mission- 
aries, the Jesuits, some of whom were early in the vicinity of the Niag- 
ara frontier. Father Dallion was in some parts of the region in 1626— 
27, but there is no evidence that he visited Niagara. Fathers Brebeuf 
and Chaumanot visited the Neuter Nation in 1641 and wrote a descrip- 
tion of the journey in which is found the first mention of Niagara. We 
quote : 

The river is that bj' which our great lake of the Huron, or fresh sea, is discharged, 
which first enters into the lake of Erie, or of tl}e nation of Cat, from thence it enters 

the territory of Neuter Nation, and takes the name of Onguiaahra until it empties 
into Ontario or St. Louis lake, from which flows the river which passes before 

It is a singular fact that in an elaborate description of Indian villages 
and the river, no mention is made of the falls. The inference is that 
the cataract was not visited. In 1648, however, Father Ragueneau 
described the lakes Huron and Erie to Ontario, and the cataract of 
" frightful hight." The falls are also designated on Champlain's map 
of 1632, but there is no detailed description of the river and falls 
dating earlier than the arrival of La Salle and his company in Decem- 
ber, 1678. 

La Salle made his first voyage of discovery in 1669, sailing up Lake 
Ontario and reaching the Seneca settlements on Genesee River under 
Indian guidance, and hoping to be conducted thence to the Ohio River. 
This he accomplished after considerable delay and difficulty. His 
second expedition was approved by royal authority, but was fitted out 
at private expense by La Salle and his friends. The voyage was made 
in a brigantine commanded by La Motte, the expedition comprising six- 
teen persons, among whom were Louis Hennepin and Henri de Tonti. 
Hennepin was the first to visit the falls and left a detailed description 
of the great natural wonder. Embarking at Frontenac in two small 
vessels they sailed directly for the mouth of Niagara River. The voy- 
age was tempestuous and it was December 5 before they reached a 
point on the northern side of the lake, "lying about seventy leagues 
from Fort Frontenac." Of their movements the next day Hennepin 

We were obliged to tarry there till the 5th of December, when we sailed from the 
northern to the southern side, where the river Niagara runs into the lake, but could 
not reach it that day, though it was but fifteen or sixteen leagues distant, and there- 
fore cast anchor within five leagues of the shore, where we had very bad weather all 
the night long. On the 6th, being St. Nicholas day, we got into the fine river 
Niagara, into which never any such ship as ours entered before. 

The Iroquois had a little village at the mouth of the river and their 
astonishment at the advent of these visitors in such a craft may be 
imagined. The next day the voyagers went two leagues up the river 
in quest of a building site. They probably landed at the site of 
Queenston and thence proceeded as far as Chippawa Creek, in snow a 


foot deep. There is some uncertainty on which side of the river the 
journey was made. Capt. James Van Cleve, long a resident of Lewis- 
ton, insisted that they landed on the Queenston side at a point still 
known as Hennepin Rock, where, finding they could go no farther 
with their vessel, they crossed to this side at about the point of the 
old ferry landing, whence they walked to the falls. They returned the 
next day and on the iith Hennepin said the first mass in this part of 
the new world. To carry out their purpose of building some houses at 
the landing place, they commenced in the latter part of 1678 the first 
building on this frontier on the site of Lewiston. The vessel was towed 
up from below on the 15th of December. "The 17th, i8th and 19th," 
says the record, " we were busy making a cabin, with palisadoes, to 
serve for a magazine." The next four days were spent in efiforts to 
save the brigantine, which "was in great danger of being dashed to 
pieces by the vast pieces of ice that were hurled down the river." 

These operations, as might have been expected, excited the jealousy 
of the Indians, and in order to allay it Hennepin, La Motte and seven 
others visited the Iroquois village in what is now Ontario county, and 
by gifts and flattery obtained the acquiescence of the Senecas. Return- 
ing they reached their brethren on January 14, 1679. It was a part of 
La Salle's purpose to continue his explorations westward, to accom- 
plish which he saw the necessity of having a vessel above the falls. He 
revisited Fort Frontenac and returned bringing with him supplies and 
rigging for the proposed craft, but his vessel was wrecked about 
thirty miles from the mouth of the Niagara, the anchors and cables 
being about all that was saved. On the 22d of January they made an 
encampment on the site of La Salle village, about five miles above the 
falls, and there on the 26th of January laid the keel of a vessel. There 
has been a great deal of speculation as to the exact place where this 
ship was built, and a few years since Cyrus Kingsbury Remington pub- 
lished a pamplilet upon the subject, to which the reader is referred. 
Hennepin said it was a most convenient place for the work. During 
the winter one Indian was employed in building a cabin and another 
supplied the party with venison. Tonti was left in command while La 
Salle made another trip to Frontenac, traveling over 200 miles through 
the snow with two men and a dog. The Indians made some trouble 

1 1 

during the building of the vessel, threatening to burn it. Most of the 
Iroquois were away on the warpath and before their return the little 
vessel was launched and safe from their attack. It was named Le 
Griffon (the Griffin). She was towed up the river to near the site of 
Black Rock and there left riding with two anchors. Hennepin and 
others then made a voyage to Frontenac in one of their vessels, for 
further aid in his religious work, and returned to Niagara July 30. On 
the 4th of August they made their way to La Salle and thence pro- 
ceeded to the anchorage of the Griffin, where they were warmly wel- 
comed. August 16 and 17 they returned to Niagara and brought the 
vessel in which they had sailed to Frontenac to Lewiston. From there 
their goods and supplies were transported around the falls to a point 
where they could be taken in small boats. Hennepin describes the 
tedious task of carrying these supplies up " the three mountains " and 
over the portage. 

The Griffin was a small vessel, only si.xty tons, but was well supplied 
with anchors and other equipment, and armed with seven Small can- 
non. There were thirty- four men on board, all Frenchmen but one. 
After several fruitless attempts to get the vessel up the river, it was 
finally accomplished by setting all sail in a favorable wind, and attach- 
ing a tow line upon which the crew hauled. This was upon August 7, 

While this work was progressing Hennepin doubtless visited the falls 
more than once and has left to us his description, which may be found 
in the Documentary History of the State by the curious reader. So, 
also, may be read with interest the description of the cataract by Char- 
levoix, written in 1721. 

The great importance of this frontier was early appreciated by both 
the French and the English, and no efforts were spared by either to 
keep it within their control. It was the grand passage way of the Iro- 
quois warriors and the fur traders from the east to the west, and a mili- 
tary strategic point of great strength M. Le Febvre de la Barre was 
appointed governor of Canada in 1682 and received detailed instructions 
from his sovereign regarding a campaign against the Senecas, the main 
purpose of which was to prevent them from further warring against the 
Illinois and other western Indians. The rivalry that was to continue 


many years between the French and the English now developed, and 
Governor Dongan, of New York, vehemently protested against the 
French making any invasion into the Iroquois country upon any pre- 
text. In the spring of 1684 the French officer reconnoitered the south- 
ern shores of Lake Ontario and the Seneca country, in preparation for 
his campaign ; but for some reason, cowardice among other charges 
having been made against him, nothing was accomplished that needs 
detail here. De la Barre's action found no favor in France and on 
March 10, 1685,^ he was recalled and the Marquis De Nonville was sent 
over in his stead. 

De Nonville was a brave and experienced officer and promptly 
adopted measures for vigorous action. He studied the whole situation 
and, of course, was impressed with the importance of erecting a forti- 
fication at the mouth of the Niagara, and urged the matter upon his 
government. It would, he insisted, not only be a protection against 
the Iroquois, but would give the French the desired control of the pas- 
sageway of the Indians and fur traders. He finally advised the building 
of a fort large enough to accommodate 500 men, "enclosed by a single 
ordinary picket fence to place it beyond all insult." This, he thought, 
would entirely close the road to the " Outawas " against the English and 
break up the fur trade with the Indians. 

When information of these purposes reached the ears of Governor 
Dongan, a long and spirited controversy followed, which is set forth in 
Volume III of the Colonial History. Meanwhile the French commander 
was led to believe, and it was possibly true, that the English were con- 
templating the seizure of the Niagara frontier. Preparations for the in- 
vasion against the Senecas having been completed, De Nonville gath- 
ered a force of about 3,000 French and Indians at Irondequoit, where 
he planted 2,000 palisades as a work of defense, which task he finished 
on the 1 2th of July, 1687. On the same day the march was begun, and 
on the following day a body of Senecas attacked the invaders, but were 
driven off. After some show of resistance at their villages the Senecas 
burned most of their buildings and fled eastward. The work of de- 

' Louis XIV wrote to his minister in Canada as follows: " I have reason to be dissatisfied with 
the treaty conclnded between Sieur de la Barre and the Iroquois. His abandonment of the Illi- 
nois has seriously displeased me, and has determined me to recall him."— Doc. Hist. vol. IX, p. 209. 


struction was finished by the French, who burned an immense quantity 
of corn, killed stock and destroyed growing crops. ^ 

The army returned to Niagara, reaching there on the 30th. A site 
was now selected for the proposed fort and work on it begun. Stock- 
ades were collected and set, and three days later the so-called fort was 
considered " in condition of defense," and a portion of the army started 
for Montreal. A part of the regular troops were left under Vaudreuil 
to complete the work, after which the post was left under command of 
Sieur de Troyes with 100 men. The record states that wood was scarce 
in the vicinity of the fort and that it had to be carried up a hill. This, 
taken with De Nonville's statement that the post he had thus fortified 
was not a novelty, "since Sieur de la Salle had a house there which is 
in ruins since a year" when Serjeant La Fleur abandoned it or was 
driven away by Indians, has by some writers been taken as proof that 
La Salle's post had been established there in 1678-9, instead of at Lew- 
iston ; but the best authorities give Lewiston the preference in the mat- 
ter. Hennepin, however, does state that when La Salle was on his way 
back to Fort Frontenac in 1679, while the Griffin was being built at 
La Salle, he " pretended to mark out a house for the blacksmith which 
had been promised for the convenience of the Iroquois." This was at 
the mouth of the river, and possibly a house was erected there, but that 
the chief post was at Lewiston there can be very little doubt. 

The little garrison at Niagara suff'ered intensely during the winter of 
1687—8. The Senecas kept them in a state of siege, and if a soldier 
ventured from the fort, the tenacious watchmen were ready to slay him. 
Provisions were scarce, hunters could not venture out to kill game, sick- 
ness came on and by the following April their number was reduced to 
ten or twelve; this time some friendly Miamis came and cared for the 
survivors until the arrival of a French detachment. 

In the mean time animosity between the English governor and the 
French was rapidly gaining strength. Dongan insisted that the French 
must destroy the post at Niagara and leave the country. After consid- 
erable correspondence De Nonville in the fall of 1688 demolished the 
works and abandoned the post. It does not appear to have been again 
occupied for nearly forty years. The document recording the abandon- 

' For De Nonville's description o£ this invasion, see Col. History, vol. Ill, p. 3:38. 


ment is very full and formal. The cabins and quarters were left stand- 
ing. A cross eighteen feet high was erected in the center of the square 
bearing an inscription. Besides the five cabins, there was a bakehouse, 
a large storehouse, and another " large and extensive framed building 
having a double door furnished with nails, hinges, and fastenings, with 
three small windows," but the building had no chimney. The large 
storehouse was described as "covered with one hundred and thirty 
boards, surrounded with pillars, eight feet high, in which there are many 
pieses of wood serving as small joists, and partly floored with unequal 
plank. There is a window and a sliding sash." The other structures 
were also minutely describetl. There was also " a well with its cover 
above the scarp of the ditch." 

The vengeance of the Iroquois for De Nonville's invasion was swift. 
A large body of warriors started for the Canadian settlement, fell upon 
the Island of Montreal like demons, destroyed everything of value on 
their way, and reached the very gates of the city. A revolution in 1688 
placed William of Orange on the English throne, and war continued 
until 1697 with varying fortunes. The F"ive Nations continued friends 
of the English and engaged much of the time in harassing the French. 
Their authority over the whole west bank of the Niagara, and far up the 
south shore of Lake Erie, was unbroken, except when French troops 
were actually marching there. 

The treaty of Ryswick (1697) was imperfect and left the sovereignty 
of Western New York undecided. The English continued their claims 
to all the country of the Iroquois, while the French with equal energy 
persisted in setting up the authority of King Louis. Permanent 
peace under such circumstances was necessarily out of the question and 
Queen Anne's war broke out in 1702. During this struggle the Iro- 
quois, who had grown wiser in their generation, maintained neutrality. 
Both European powers feared them too much to wantonly attack them. 
Meanwhile Detroit and other strong posts were established by the 
French. In 1700, in going from Montreal to Detroit, the French were 
careful to avoid the Niagara route, so as not to give offense to the Iro- 
quois. But the great importance of having a fortified post at Niagara 
could not be overlooked. 

In 1706 proposals were made to the French court to take possession 


of Niagara, before the English should accomplish the same avowed pur- 
pose. The most convincing reasons were given for such a course, 
which the reader can find in the Paris Documents. At this time Cha- 
bert Joncaire, for many later years a conspicuous figure on this frontier, 
appears on the scene It was proposed to take advantage of his inti- 
macy and influence with the Senecas to secure their good will. Jon- 
caire had a few years earlier been captured by the Senecas and when 
his life was threatened by them, had gained their lasting respect by an 
act of bravery in the face of death and been adopted into the nation. 
He married a squaw and was made a sachem. The French govern- 
ment appreciated the importance of Joncaire's influence and received 
the proposals to take the possession of Niagara. Instructions were, 
accordingly, issued to d'Aigremont to proceed to Niagara, among other 
points, and adopt measures to prevent its occupation by the English. 
De Vaudreuil, then governor of Canada, was to co-operate. The latter 
advised the promotion of Joncaire and gave him employment, leadin" 
to charges that ihe two were in league in maintaining the e.xisting con- 
ditions so as to control the Indian trade for their own benefit. In 1708 
d'Aigremont reported the result of his mission. He states that he 
arrived at Niagara on June 27, 1707, where he met Joncaire by appoint- 
ment, " at the site of the former fort." They agreed that it was impor- 
tant to fortify the place ; that it would induce the settlement near by of 
friendly Iroquois, who would keep them informed of the movements of 
the English. This report was not favorabl>' received and M. De Pon- 
chartrain wrote d'Aigremont that the post at Niagara " is not expedient 
under any circumstances." The home authorities had, without doubt, 
- been prejudiced against Joncaire ; this is indicated by De Ponchartrain's 
remarks when the decision was announced. Said he ; " I will have him 
watched in what relates to the avidity he feels to enrich himself out of 
the presents the King makes these Indians, so as to obviate this abuse 
in future." 

This postponement of the reoccupation of Niagara left Lewiston 
again the principal point of settlement. In 17 19 Joncaire persuaded 
the Senecas to permit him to build a trading post. In the following 
spring he had Indians at work on the structure, which De Vaudreuil 
called " a picketed house," at Lewiston. This alarmed the English 


and they endeavored to induce the Iroquois to order the destruction of 
the building. Nothing averted this but Joncaire's presence among the 
Senecas and the exercise of his great influence over them. The trad- 
ing house thus estabUshed, the French in Montreal sent on goods and 
Joncaire opened the first ''store" in Lewiston more than one hun- 
dred and seventy- five years ago. When the English soon afterward 
threatened to destroy the trading house, the customary correspondence 
ensued between Governor Burnet of New York and Vaudreuil. Burnet 
complained that " the French flag has been hoisted in one of the 
Seneca castles," and considered it "an ill observance of the articles of 
the Peace of Utrecht." To counteract these operations by the French, 
Burnet established some kind of a trading post at Irondequoit in 
1 72 1, but it probably remained only a short time. And so the strife 
went on.' 

The existing condition of affairs at this time led to the establish- 
ment by the English of a fortified post at what is now Oswego (called 
by the French, Choueguen) in 1725-6. This at once constituted a 
new and important factor in the strife, and the French felt the great 
necessity of having a strongly fortified work at Niagara. De Vaudreuil 
sent dispatches to his king that nothing could preserve their control at 
Lewiston and along the frontier but a strong fort at Niagara. In order 
to deceive the Indians as to their actual purpose, Vaudreuil proposed 
to have two vessels cruise on Lake Ontario in the interests of trade, 
and at the same time to carr)' materials for the " house," as he termed 
it, at Niagara. Joncaire reported to them that, while the Indians 
would not oppose their trading vessels nor the erection of a "house," 
they would not permit the erection of a stone fort. The French gov- 
ernment did not in that year furnish the means for either vessels or the 
" house." 

While these negotiations were in progress, Joncaire was increasing 
his trading facilities at Lewiston, making journeys to Quebec for his 
goods. In the spring of 1721 De Longueville and others were sent on 
from Quebec to negotiate with the Indians for building privileges. 
The party numbered about fifty and among them was Charlevoi.x, 

^ For the correspondence of Burnet and Vaudreuil, and other details of the English and 
French operations of this period, see Doc. Hist., vol. IX. 



who wrote a letter from Lewiston to Madame Maintenon, which has 
frequently been drawn upon by local historians ; but in reality it con- 
tained little of value. 

The first little store of Joncaire at Lewiston, which has been referred 
to in a document of 1721 as " a kind of cabin of bark where they dis- 
played the king's colors," soon gave place to a more pretentious struc- 
ture. It was described as a block house thirty by forty feet, inclosed 
by palisades, which were pierced with port holes. This building, how- 
ever, must have soon been neglected and left to decay, as it was fall- 
ing into ruin at the time of the erection of the stone fort. In 1627 
Louis XV proposed its rebuilding, but it was not done. This French 
sovereign evidently took a deeper interest in affairs on this side of the 
ocean than his predecessor. He sent out 29,295 livres for the erection 
of the fort, and 13,090 livres for the building of two barks to aid in 
transporting materials to Niagara, There are no recorded details of the 
construction of the fort, but it was erected in 1726 and with changes 
and improvements, remains to this day. 

The English were now alive to the importance of the French opera- 
tions on this frontier. The principal act of retaliation was the construc- 
tion of the fort at Oswego, which point became secondary only to 
Niagara Burnet wrote of it to the Board of Trade: 

I depend upon its being of the best use of anything that has ever been undertaken 
on that side, either to preserve our own Indians in our Interest, or to promote and 
fi.\ a constant Trade with the remote Indians. 

The Marquis de Beauharnois, then governor of Canada, took Burnet 
to task for building the'fort at Oswego, and the usual paper wa fare 
continued, for which space cannot be spared in these pages. In 1728 
flie French king wrote Beauharnois that the reconstruction of the house 
at the Niagara carrying place (Lewiston) did not seem necessary, in 
view of the strength of the fort at the mouth of the river. Competition 
in trade with the Indians now entered into the contest and Beauharnois 
directed that Niagara be well supplied with goods and that they be sold 
at such prices as would prevent the Indians going to Oswego to trade 
with the luiglisli. In 1730 Sieur de Rigauville was placed in command 
at Niagara, Joncaire having been sent among the Senecas in the general 
interest of the French ; he took his son with him. For a period of 

twenty- five years after the rebuilding the fort at Niagara the strife 
for the good will and alliance of the Iroquois by the French and 
the English continued unabated, the element of profit in trade being 
dominant in the struggle. The French gained the greater advantage in 
this respect for some years. Early in the intercourse of the Europeans 
with the Indians brandy and rum became one of the most important 
articles of trade to the natives, as well as one of the greatest profit to 
the white men. When, in 1736, Beauharnois informed his government 
that trade had greatly declined at Niagara, he gave as the cause the 
fact that the sale of liquor to the Indians was restricted by the French, 
while it was freely traded at Oswego, whither the Indians went for it, 
passing by Niagara. Rigauville still continued in command here, and 
the Senecas occupied their cabins at Lewiston, where they found 
more or less occupation in transporting goods over the portage. The 
Tuscaroras had come north and became a nation of the Iroquois 

A new and powerful character came into the field in 1738, in the 
person of Sir William Johnson. He was a young Englishman sent 
over to care for his uncle's estate in the Mohawk valley, and by his un- 
flinching honesty in his dealings with the Indians, upholding them 
a ainst the rapacity and dishonesty of traders, and his abilit)', he won 
the confidence of the Iroquois, and especially of the Mohawks, in a 
marked degree. He was adopted by that nation, as Joncaire had been 
by the Senecas, and made a sachem. By his powerful influence a large 
share of Iroquois fealty was allied to the English. Johnson was ap- 
pointed superintendent of Indian aftairs in 1743. 

Fearing the English ascendency more than ever before, Beauharnois, 
in 1740, sent La Morandiere to Niagara to have the fort repaired, pre- 
paratory to supplying it with more troops, ammunition and food. Jon- 
caire died, but his sons, Chabert and Clauzonne, were his worthy 
successors in aiding the French cause In 1744 Sieur de Celeron was 
sent to take command of the Niagara fort, and thirty men were added 
to the garrison, making si.Kty four soldiers and six officers. The 
artillery in the works consisted of five " peteraros " and four two- 
pounders The stockades were repaired with a view of having the post 
in a good state of defense in the fall. As a whole the power of the 
French increased among the Senecas, Fort Niagara was their strong- 


hold and all of Western New York was for more than thirty years to a 
very great extent under their control. 

In the war between England and France, begun in 1744 and con- 
cluded by the treaty of Aix la Chapelle in 1748, there was a general 
pretence of neutrality by the Six Nations ; but in fact, the Mohawks, 
and some other nations to a limited extent, aided the English. This 
was almost wholly owing to the influence of Sir William Johnson, who 
was persistent and indefatigable in his efforts for his country. In 1747 
a French writer gives Joncaire as authority for the statement that " the 
Five Nations have accepted the hatchet from the English." This was, 
of course, an exaggeration. M. Duplessis, then in command at Niag- 
ara, stated that the Senecas were behaving well there, while in October 
of that year, letters from Niagara stated that the Indians in general 
were ill disposed towards the F"rench. These reports show the un- 
settled conditions in relation to the Indians. Little else occurred 
during that war of consequence to this work, and hostilities were sus- 
pended in 1748 

During the eight years of nominal peace that succeeded this war 
both nations made constant efforts to extend their dominion beyond 
their frontier settlements, the French with greater success. To Niag- 
ara, Detroit and other posts were added Presque Isle, Venango, and 
finally Fort Du Ouesne. In 1748 Captain de Celeron came to Niagara 
with a convoy of over one hundred French and Indians on their way 
up the lake via the portage from Lewiston to Schlosser. They report- 
ed having made a favorable impression upon the Iroquois here. In 
1749 the artillery at Niagara was reported as consisting of "four iron 
two pounders, four of one and one-half, one six-inch mortar, one ditto 
for grenades, five swivels, and thirteen iron shells." 

In the summer of 1750, Joncaire, the younger, told the Senecas that 
the French intended building a fort above Niagara Falls. Such a fort 
was built that same season a short distance below Gill Creek (so named 
because of its diminutive size) and at the upper terminus of the portage 
from Lewiston. This fort was small, but served as a protection to per- 
sons and property against marauding Indians. It was sometimes re- 
ferred to as the Little F'ort, Little Niagara, Fort du Portage, and subse- 
quently as Fort Schlosser and Fisher's Battery. It served as a 


rendezvous for the French and their allies on their way to and from the 
upper country. In 1751 Lieutenant Lindsay wrote from Oswego to 
Sir William Johnson that Indians from Niagara reported to him that a 
new fort had been built at the " Niagara Carrying Place" (at Schlosser) 
since they were there. Information also reached the English that the 
French, in July, landed at Niagara a force of nearly three hundred 
French and several hundred Indians, on their way to drive the English 
from the Ohio country. Against this movement the Iroquois raised 
opposition, a feeling which was cultivated by Johnson, who was more 
and more impressed with the importance of this frontier. He fre- 
quently urged his government to organize an expedition to secure its 
control. He insisted that the French had no right there whatever. 
The struggle that was to determine this question was at hand. 



During the interval of peace that succeeded the war just described, 
both the French and the English continued their intrigues to gain the 
fealty of the Iroquois It was apparent to both that the nation which 
succeeded in this effort would ultimately triumph. As a part of the 
measures of the English, they held at Albany in 1754, a "Congress" 
of commissioners from New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massa- 
chusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maryland, who prepared 
an address to the Iroquois, and there met some of the most famous 
chiefs, among them Hendrick, of the Mohawks. The congress con- 
tinued in session about a month. The king sent presents for the In- 
dians and urged the utmost efforts to gain their friendship. Another 
council was held in the following year at Alexandria, Va., where Brad- 
dock was encamped, as the head of the army. General Braddock pro- 
posed an expedition against the French forts at Crown Point and 
Niagara. Sir William Johnson was commissioned as major-general to 
take command of the Crown Point expedition, and Gov. William Shir- 


ley, of Massachusetts, a biave and capable officer, was to command 
against Niagara, A third expedition against Fort Duquesne was also 
planned. Shirley did not proceed farther than Oswego, as shown 
in the following quotation from Pouchot's Memoirs, volume I, page 45 : 

The regiments of Shirley and Pepperell, with the miUtia of New York and New 
Jersey, according to the plan we have spoken of, arrived at the end of June [17551 
at Oswego, from whence they could equally menace both Frontenac and Niagara. 
Bad weather and a sickness that prevailed among them, prevented the execution of 
their designs. They employed themselves during this campaign, in forming an in- 
trenched camp around Oswego, and in building Fort Ontario on the other side of 
the river. They also undertook to build vessels to form a fleet upon the lake. 

It is a fact that Shirley did construct a sloop and a schooner of sixty 
tons each, and a large number of galleys and whale boats. In the 
mean time Johnson attacked and defeated the French in the battle of 
Lake George. Braddock was defeated near Duquesne, leaving the 
French in still better condition to defend this frontier. They had not 
been idle, their instructions involving the building of vessels and 
canoes, a sufficient number of which were to be placed on the river 
at Schlosser to facilitate the passage of their troops back and forth to 
the Ohio. 

During the Ohio campaign reports of " horrible waste " at the Niag- 
ara portage were circulated, and as a consequence the transportation 
business was submitted to competition. The price agreed upon was 
fifty sous the piece, but M. Duquesne gave his opinion that the con- 
tractors could make no profit owing to mortality among the horses and 
other causes. He also stated that the site of the fort at Niagara was to 
be changed, as the lake was undermining it. Fears that Shirley would 
capture Niagara that season caused the French great anxiety, Vaudreuil 
writing that if the English attacked the fort, " 'tis theirs." Concerning 
its condition he wrote as follows: 

I am informed that fort is so dilapidated that 'tis impossible to put a peg m it 
without causing it to crumble; stanchions have been obliged to be set up against it 
to support it. It's garrison consists of thirty men without any muskets. Sieur de 
Villiers has been detained with about 200 men to form a camp of observation there 

Active measures were adopted to strengthen the post in anticipation 
of Shirley's expedition. Vaudreuil sent orders to Detroit for Indians 
to be sent here, and M de Foubonne came with the battalion of 


Guiennc, while Pouchot, the distinguished engineer, came to plan such 
entrenchments and other works as would place the fort in a good state 
of defence. After Braddock's defeat, the artillery captured there by 
the French was sent to Niagara, while Joncaire was busily employed 
among the Iroquois villages in vain efforts to counteract the influence 
of Johnson's emissaries. But all these preparations were temporarily 
unnecessary, on account of Shirley's failure. Had his plans been car- 
ried out, there is every reason to believe that Niagara would have fallen 
into the hands of the English in 1755 

General Shirley summoned the provincial governors to another 
council at Albany in December, 1755, where he ardently advocated 
raising a force of 5,000 troops, who should rendezvous at Oswego, in 
the spring, to aid in the capture of Niagara and the conquest of the 

In the fall of that year Commissary Doreil gave the following dis- 
couraging description of the fort at Niagara: 

A house surrounded by a little ditch, wiih stockades or palisades seven or eight 
feet over the ground, but in such a bad state that most of them fall through rotten- 
ness, composes what is styled, Fort Niagara. 

During this winter the whole force at the fort comprised about 300 
men, who labored hard to strengthen the work. Now, in May, 1756, 
after two years of open hostilities, a formal declaration of war was made 
between England and France, and the last struggle for supremacy con- 
tinued. On March 27, 1756, Fort Bull, which guarded the great 
carrying place from the Mohawk River to Wood Creelc, on the route to 
Oswego, was captured by a body of French and Indians, and a large 
quantity of stores destined for Oswego were destroyed. It was hoped 
that this would at least delay the operations of the English against 
Niagara. Meanwhile another battalion, Beam's, was sent here, and 
Vaudreuil took occasion to compliment Pouchot for placing Niagara, 
" which was abandoned, and beyond making the smallest resistance," 
in a state of defense ; he continued that " it had thus been made a 
place of considerable importance, in consequence of the regularity, 
solidity, and utility of its works." Montcalm, also, that brilliant French 
military genius, was pleased with the improvements made, and called it 
"a good fortification," of " horn work with its half moon, covert- way, 


and lunettes at the places d'armes re entering from tlie covert- way. 
Tlie front of the work is 120 toises." 

In the summer of 1756 the French gained in their cause through the 
capture of Oswego by Montcalm on August 14, thereby securing a 
large measure of respect and good will from the Indians.' Moreover, 
the moral effect of the victory was disastrous to the English, and all 
offensive operations ceased for a time. It removed what the French 
regarded as the chief danger to their plans respecting the North Ameri- 
can continent, and left unbroken their possession of the valleys of the 
St Lawrence, the great lakes, the Ohio and the Mississippi. 

The campaign of 1757 terminated disastrously, leaving the affairs of 
Great Britain in America in a worse condition than at any former 
period. Fort William Henry, a strong work at the head of Lake 
George, fell before Montcalm's army in August, while the French still 
retained control of Fort Duquesne and the Ohio region. But a change 
was at hand, which was brought about to a considerable extent by the 
succession of William Pitt to the prime ministry in England. He was 
a man of great ability and a devoted friend to the American colonics. 
He promptl}' gave assurance that ample forces should be sent over and 
recommended that the colonists raise as many men for their armies as 
possible. Lnrge bodies of soldiery were accordingly recruited by the 
colonies and made ready for the field in the spring of 1758. 

Only about 150 men garrisoned Niagara during 1757. The French 
seemed to believe that its capture by the English was not to be consid- 
ered at all. In the fall Pouchot went to Montreal where he reported 
that the fort was completed except some sodding. He had changed 
the location of some of the bmldings. There were two large barracks, 
one church, one powder magazine, and one store for provisions and 
merchandise. He said more barracks would be necessary in the course 
of the winter. Captain Vassan took his place in command at the fort. 

General James Abercrombie assumed command of the English forces 

• The capture of Oswego produced ttie greatest effect upon all the Indian tribes, because the 
English had affected a decided superiority over us, and by their bragadocio on their power and 
courage, sought to make the Indians believe that we should not be able to resist them. The 
latter saw with what ease we took a post which had as many defenders as assailants, and their 
brisk cannonade, of which they had never heard the like, did not disturb the French troops. We 
may say, that since this event, they have redoubled their attachment and friendship for the 
VYexiii\i.--Poiichot^s Memoirs, Vol. /, /, 70. 


in America in 1758, and extensive expeditions were planned. One of 
these was for the recapture of Oswego; one against Louisberg, wliich 
was captured by Maj.-Gen. Jeffrey Amlierst; another was against 
Crown Point and Ticonderoga, to be commanded by Abercronibie in 
person, who was defeated by Montcalm ; and another, which was suc- 
cessful, against Duquesne. During this year, or part (.f it, Niagara was 
left destitute, and measures were adopted for its relief Goods, provis- 
ions and artillery were to be forwarded, and in fear of the English 
armed vessels on the lake, M. de Montigue with 500 or 600 men and 
20,000 pounds of powder were sent here. But the final and more im- 
portant operations in this region were left to the succeeding year. 

The rapid increase of population in the English colonies and the 
facility with which they had enlarged their armies, gave the Ercnch 
great anxiety and led some of their authorities in the winter of 1758-9 
to express their conviction that it would prove a difficult task to defend 
Niagara against an attack. One writer declared that the French could 
not place more than 5,000 or 6,000 men in the field; and they could 
not confidently count on their Indian allies. Among their strongholds 
Niagara was considered most tenable, but it was evident that against a 
determined assault it could not long hold out. Provisions became very 
scarce and costly, rations of bread being reduced to a pound and a half 
and of pork to a quarter of a pound. Horse flesh was issued for food. 
The courageous Montcalm foresaw the coming disaster and was dis- 
couraged. On August 12 he wrote from Montreal : 

Canada will be taken this campaign, and assuredly during the next, if there be 
not some unforeseen good luck, a powerful diversion by sea against the English colo- 
nies, or some gross blunders on the part of the enemy. The English have 60,000 
men, we, at the most, from 10,000 to 11,000. Our government is good for nothing; 
money and provisions will fail. . . The Canadians are dispirited ; no confidence 
in M. de Vaudreuil or in M. Bigot. 

Nevertheless Vaudreuil provided for the defense of Niagara as best 
he could. Pouchot was to remain here with 300 Canadians, and call in 
all the forces from Detroit and other points. Orders also went to 
Toronto to send all the Indians possible from there. This made Pou- 
chot's force 486 regulars and militia, and thirty-nine employees, five of 
whom were women and children, besides the Indians, He went imme- 
diately at work to strengthen the works. This task was not completed 


on July 7, when several barges of the enemy appeared but were driven 
off by cannon shots. These boats were a part of the expedition under 
command of Gen. John Prideaux, who liad made his rendezvous at 
Oswego, with 2,000 regulars and provincials, and where he was joined 
by Johnson with 1,000 Indians. This expedition left Oswego July i. 
Pouchot now sent out a scouting boat which reported that the English 
had landed in strong force at the " little swamp," now known as the 
mouth of P"our-mile creek. Pouchot sent a courier to Chabert Jon- 
caire, in command at Schlosser, to cross the river in case he saw any of 
the enemy up here. A large body of F"rench troops and Indians had 
made a rendezvous at Erie, by Pouchot's orders, and the courier was 
directed thither also to order them to fall back on Niagara, and in case 
Fort Schlosser (then called Little Fort) had been abandoned, to cross 
the river and go down on the other side. That night two Indians were 
sent from Fort Schlosser down to Niagara, whence they went out on a 
scout towards the English camp. The French kept an armed corvette 
cruising off the mouth of h'our-mile creek and some shots were ex- 
changed. Joncaire at Schlosser burned the works there and removed 
his valuable property across to Chippawa. Both the Joncaire brothers, 
with about seventy others, went down to Niagara on the Canada side, 
arriving there on the loth. Some English accounts made the burning 
at Fort Schlosser follow the surrender of Niagara, but the French state- 
ments differ and are probably correct. 

The English soon had Niagara completely invested on the land side, 
and on the loth a brisk cannonade was kept up from the fort. On the 
I ith fighting took place between a body of French sent out to remove 
some stockades, and the English. During these operations Pouchot 
'gave some of the Indians permission to go within the English lines and 
bring back some of their brethren for a conference. The visiting In- 
dians made extravagant promises to the French commander, but the 
gifts and allurements of the English were more than they could with- 
stand and Johnson was also on the ground with his immense influence. 
Day by day the English approached nearer the doomed fort. Annoying 
batteries were placed by them on the opposite side of the river, from 
which on the 22d red hot shot were fired, several times setting on fire 
the wooden buildings. In the mean time General Prideaux was killed 


in the trenches on the i8th by the bursting of a cannon, and the com- 
mand devolved on Johnson. On the 23d some Indians came through 
the English lines with a white flag, having been sent from Fort Schlos- 
ser by the French officers in command of a force of 600 French and 
1,000 Indian reinforcements from the upper posts. This force came 
down the river in a vast number of canoes and reached Navy Island, 
where, according to some accounts, large French vessels were built and 
were stationed. From the island scouts were sent out to learn the 
position of the English, and from them Pouchot learned of the ap- 
proaching reinforcements ; but the English were equally well informed. 
Pouchot advised those in command of the reinforcements that if they 
did not feel competent to attack the English army, they should cross 
over to the Chippawa and pass down on the other side, drive the 
enemy out of the batteries just mentioned, and then recross. This 
counsel, for some reason, was not followed, and they came down on this 
side to Lewiston. The English were stationed in three divisions — one 
at the little swamp where they had first landed ; one at La Belle 
Famille about a mille above the fort on the river, and the other be- 
tween these two. M. de Lignery, in command of the reinforcements, 
was advised to attack and defeat one of these divisions, upon which the 
siege would probably be raised. The attack was made at La Belle 
Famille (the site of Youngstown village), on the 24th. In the mean 
time Johnson had laid an ambuscade to assail the French and Indians 
as they came down from Lewiston. The battle was short, sharp and 
decisive. The French were routed and fled to Schlosser, and thence 
across the river. When Pouchot was informed of this disaster he called 
a council of officers. The garrison was worn out and despondent ; 109 
men had been killed and wounded and thirty seven were sick, leaving 
only 607 effectives. Further resistance was clearly unjustifiable and the 
officers unanimously advised surrender. This was done, but difficulty 
arose over the terms, Pouchot not being willing to accept Johnson's 
proposals. After discussing the matter through the night, Pouchot was 
about to stop the negotiations and take the chances of unconditional 
surrender, when the Germans, who constituted a majority of the gar- 
rison, mutinied and the entire force demanded capitulation. Terms 
were then agreed to by Pouchot. The articles were signed on the 25th 


and on the following day the garrison marched out to the beach, laid 
down their arms and embarked for New York, according to the stipu 
lations. This account follows Pouchot's record. 

French accounts state that those troops who escaped in the rout of 
the 24th Hed to Navy Island, where a guard of about 150 had been 
left. They then proceeded to Detroit, and it is asserted that the vessels 
before mentioned were burned by them before they left. Both of the 
Joncaires were made prisoners. 

The foregoing story, derived from the French records, is necessarily 
largely confined to what took place in the fort. The English accounts 
of outside occurrences are interesting, and as this was the most im- 
portant event of a military character that ever took place on this fron- 
tier, it is of sufficient importance to give a brief account from the other 
point of view. 

When Johnson on the 23d learned of the approach of the French re- 
inforcements on the road from Lewiston, he at once disposed a part of 
his forces near the road and not far below the Five mile Meadows at a 
place now known as Bloody Run. Johnson had doubtless been kept 
advised of the movements of the French from the time they arrived at 
Navy Island. The action began early in the forenoon of the 24th and 
lasted about an hour. Captain De Lancey, son of General De Lancey, 
was in command of the advance sent up on the 23d. He threw up 
breastworks that night and early the next morning sent a sergeant and 
ten men to cross the river and bring up a six pounder. These men 
were attacked a short distance above De Lancey's line and were killed 
or captured. The French were nearer than they supposed. The Eng- 
lish were reinforced in the course of two hours so that they numbered 
600 regulars, loO New Yorkers, and 600 Indians, when the battle 
opened about 8 o'clock. The French and Indians attacked with screams 
and war whoops, but the English and their Indian allies were accus- 
tomed to this. The battle raged fiercely for about an hour. Johnson's 
Indians attacked the French on the flank, and the English leaped over 
their breastworks and attacked so fiercely in front that the French were 
soon routed. It is said that their treacherous Indian allies left them in 
tlie hottest of the fight. The pursuit was continued some miles towards 
Lewiston (about five miles, according to De Lancey). Many were 


killed and many officers and men taken prisoners. While some au- 
thorities state that this engagement took place as far up the river as 
Bloody Run, another statement was made that it was fought within 
sight of the garrison at Niagara. The latter statement is probably 
erroneous. Many years afterwards pieces of muskets, axes, bones and 
other evidences of the battle were found on the field near Bloody Run ; 
but it was within hearing of the fort. D'Aubrey, in command of the 
French, was wounded and captured, as also was De Lignery. Marin, 
in command of the Indians, was also a prisoner. All three had been 
prominent some years in the border wars. This battle sealed the fate 
of the fort, as has already been shown. 

Johnson divided the prisoners and scalps taken in the engagement of 
the 24th (146, of whom ninety-six were prisoners). The officers he 
released from his Indian allies by ransom, but with some difficulty. 
The Indians were given all the plunder of the fort, said to have 
amounted to $1,500 to each man. Of the ordnance stores captured 
there were two fourteen pounders, nineteen twelve- pounders, one 
eleven-pounder, seven eight-pounders, seven six-pounders, two four- 
pounders, and five two-pounders, all iron, together with 1,500 rounds 
of twelve- pound shot, 40,000 pounds of musket balls, and other stores. 
The English found the buildings in good order and the fort in such a 
condition for defense that, had they stormed the work as was intended, 
there must have been much loss of life. The English loss was sixty- 
three killed and 183 wounded. That the Indians took quite good care 
of themselves during the siege is proved by the fact that, of the losses 
above given, only three Indians were killed and five wounded. After 
sending his prisoners to New York by way of Oswego, Johnson sent 
off his Indians in boats loaded with plunder. Soon afterward Colonel 
Haldiman arrived and claimed the command, but Johnson refused to 
give it up until General Amherst was consulted. Two French vessels 
cruising off Niagara prevented Johnson from leaving the fort for 
Oswego until the evening of August 4. He arrived at Oswego on 
the 7th. 

Thus passed the control of the Niagara River, which had been under 
French domination more than a hundred years, to the English. Soon 
the life-bought victory of Wolfe gave Quebec to the triumphant Eng- 


lish ; but the French clung to their colonies with desperate, though 
faihng grasp, and it was not until September, 1760, that tlie Marquis 
de Vaudreuil surrendered Montreal and with it 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. 


ON THE FRONTIER— 1763 TO 1775. 

With the change fr^m French to English domination was inaugurated 
entirely new arrangements on the portage from Lewiston to Schlosser. 
A new fort was built a short distance from where Little Niagara had 
stood and named Fort Schlosser, from Capt. Joseph Schlosser, its first 
commander. It consisted simply of a line of palisades enclosing a few 
storehouses and barracks. A tall chimney, which is still a conspicuous 
object on the Porter farm beluw Gill Creek, and which had belonged to 
the French barracks burned by Joncaire, as before related, was used by 
the English in the construction of this new work. Meanwhile Fort 
Niagara was repaired and strengthened and served as an important 
base of supplies for the western country and the rapidly increasing In- 
dian trade. Comparative peace reigned in this region until Niagara 
was quietly surrendered to the United States in 1796, after the Revolu- 
tion ; but during this period of nearly forty years of possession by 
the English, many interesting events took place that require descrip- 

It was unfortunate that the Indians nearest to this frontier were the 
Senecas, for they had been more or less antagonistic to the English in 
the past years, and were prone to disregard Johnson's sovereignty as 
superintendent of Indian affairs ; moreover, a lingering affection for 
the French seemed to remain with them and they, with some of the 
western Indians, carried on marauding forays through the country, on 
some occasions carrying their depredations very near the gates of 


Niagara, where they killed an Englishman wliom they were trying to 
capture. Three others were killed near the mouth of Chippawa Creek, 
but in retaliation a party of Hurons were surprised at the mouth of the 
Niagara and one killed and six wounded. Most of the Iroquois, how- 
ever, remained united under the autocratic sway of Sir William John- 
son. It must be remembered that there was no Indian settlement 
between the Genesee and Niagara at this time; only a few cabins re- 
mained at Lewiston where some of the Senecas aided in transporting 
goods over the portage. In July, 1761, Johnson started on a journey 
to Detroit, arriving at Fort Niagara on the 24th. Here he learned that 
the Senecas around the Genesee were jealous of the advance of the 
English beyond Niagara. The Indians already foresaw what finally 
took place — their expulsion from their hunting grounds and their ulti- 
mate extinction. This growing feeling led to later serious trouble on 
the frontier. Johnson passed a few weeks in this vicinity, visiting 
Schlosser, Navy Island, the former battle ground, exploring Chippawa 
Creek, visiting Lewiston (which he calls in his record, " Trader's 
Town "), the falls and other points, and left for Detroit on August 19 
Returning he arrived at Schlosser October 15 ; from there he went to 
Lewiston on horseback and thence to Niagara by boat. 

By this time the Indian fur trade had become a great industry 
through the activity of the English and Dutch merchants at Albany, 
and soon became a source of difficulty. White traders did not scruple 
to defraud and cheat the Indians, frequently first getting them drunk 
for the purpose. Competition was active, and honorable traders, who 
adhered to the methods prescribed by the authorities, found themselves 
hampered and their business injured by shameless adventurers Com- 
plaints on this subject from all quarters were made to Johnson at 
Niagara, all ol which he endeavored, by exercising his well known 
diplomacy and authority, to adjust. A man named Stirling, it is re- 
corded, had placed " a great store of goods " at Schlosser, where he 
was cheating the Indians. General Amherst had also licensed Captain 
Rutherford and Lieutenant Duncan, with others, to settle on the port- 
age and, it was charged, had given them 10,000 acres of land along 
that road. The general's explanation was, that this permit was made 
subject to the pleasure of the king. In a letter of October, 1762, he 


said that this grant was asked in the interest of trade and that great 
advantages would follow a settlement on these lands covering most of 
the territory between Schlosser and the mouth of F"our Mile Creek and 
the river. The king disapproved of this permit and orders were issued 
to "put a stop to any sctlement on the carrying place." 

In 1762 trouble arose with the Indians, said to have been occasioned 
by the murder of two traders who were passing through the Seneca's 
country. At a council held at Canaseraga in December of that year, 
the Senecas failed to attend, although special efTort had been made to 
induce them to be present. The Tuscaroras were represented and the 
interpreter was William Printup, ancestor of the Tuscarora Printups of 
recent years. The Indians made profession of friendship and threw the 
blame for the murder of the traders upon some irresponsible strolling 
Indians. This was not believed by Johnson, who gave them to under- 
stand that they would be punished for any further depredations. Out 
of this and otiier causes grew the succeeding warfare on the frontier, 
and Pontiac's war in the west. The hostile movements of the Indians 
were kept secret until the western Indians and the Senecas were ready 
to strike. Detroit was besieged and the posts at Sandusky, Erie and 
on the route from Erie to the Ohio were captured ; settlements were 
destroyed and the settlers massacred. The Indians believed they could 
gain control of the whole country west of Oswego, out of which the 
French hoped to profit. It is a part of general border history that 
the Indians were severely punished and were glad to sue for peace in 
the following year. At this time the Seneca nation numbered nearly 
1,200 members. 

At this time the portage between Lewiston and Schlosser, e.xtending 
most of the way through a forest, was especially exposed to surprise, 
and soldiers were kept at both ends of the road to accompany teams- 
ters. In September, 1763, one of these convoys was attacked by a 
large band of Senecas and many were killed. This wagon train started 
from Lewiston for Schlosser on the 14th of September, with supplies 
for Detroit. On the return with an escort of twenty five men, accom- 
panied by John Stedman, who had been in charge of this end of the 
portage since 1760, the attack was made in the thickets near the road 
and close to the Devil's Hole, by a large body of Senecas who were 


hidden at that point. While the wagons and soldiers were moving by 
the declivity, the savages opened fire. It must have been a deadly 
volley, for it was at close range and very deliberate. The Indians at 
once sprang upon their victims with knife and tomahawk and com- 
pleted the slaughter. It is recorded that some of the teams were 
frightened over the precipice and that some of the English jumped over, 
preferring to take that desperate chance rather than be tomahawked or 
burned at the stake. One of these a, drummer boy named Matthews, 
fell into a tree top and descended in safety. He died long afterwards 
at Oueeiiston at the age of ninety years. A wounded teamster is 
also said to have crawled into a secluded spot and escaped. Stedman 
was mounted and spurring his horse into a run, escaped through a 
shower of bullets to Schlosser. The firing was heard at Lewiston, and 
reinforcements immediately started for the scene. In some doubt these 
troops marched up the road to sure destruction. The Indians had 
finished the first massacre and, discovering the approach of the rein- 
forcements, again secreted themselves As the troops came up a 
deadly volley killed or wounded a large part of their number and the 
knife and tomahawk completed the bloody work. But eight men are 
reported as having escaped to carry the news to Lewiston and flee on- 
ward to Fort Niagara. The garrison turned out to meet the savages 
and with better knowledge of what had already taken place, they took 
greater precautions, but the Indians had gone. The soldiers found the 
remains of their stripped and mutilated comrades, broken wagons, 
wounded teams, etc., at the bottom of the precipice. This was the 
most terrible and bloody deed ever enacted in this immediate vicinity. 
The little stream close by, that some years ago supplied water for a saw 
mill, is known as Bloody Run, deriving its name from the massacre. 
Many thousands of tourists have visited the locality where, for many 
years, a charge was made for going down the declivity on rude steps. 
Along down the banks relics of this butchery were found by the pioneer 
settlers half a century later. 

To prevent further depredations reinforcements were sent on from 
Oswego. In November two soldiers were killed at Lewiston while cut- 
ting wood in sight of their quarters. General Amherst was in favor of 
punishing all the Senecas wherever found, but Johnson secured imniu- 


^0S^ ^ 




nity for two small villages that had remained pacific. Later in the sea- 
son, when news came from the west that the Hurons and others who 
had shared in the Pontiac war had offered to make peace, the Senecas 
hastened to Johnson with similar proposals. Johnson advised the Lords 
of Trade that the Senecas were undoubtedly sincere and advocated the 
exaction of the lands along the Niagara from the fort to Schlosser, 
with a guarantee from the Indians of its peaceable possession forever. 
Accordingly, when the Senecas to the number of four hundred met 
Johnson in April, 1764, they signed articles conveying to the English 
government all the lands on both sides of the river, two miles wide, 
from Lake Ontario to Fort Schlosser. At this meeting Johnson 
adopted measures to secure a general conference of all the Indian na- 
tions at Niagara. On the 8th of July he arrived here from Oswego 
with General Bradstreet and twelve hundred white men and six hun- 
dred Indians. Other western Indians had already arrived and more 
continued to come, the Senecas arriving last about August 1st. There 
were present at this council a little more than 2,000 Indians, seventeen 
hundred of whom were warriors. Some of the nations represented had 
been at enmity with each other, while others were deadlj' enemies of 
the English; consequently it required consummate diplomacy to avert 
trouble. But Johnson was equal to the occasion and much important 
business was transacted. The cession of lands by the Senecas, before 
noticed, was ratified and the boundaries thereof extended to Lake Erie, 
while they made Johnson a present of all the islands in the river. All 
of this cession Johnson turned over to the English crown. The sale of 
liquors to the Indians by traders, a practice full of evil results, was also 
discussed, and certain regulations made to restrict the sale. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Vaughn took command of Niagara about this time, and Nor- 
man McLeod was commissary at the fort many years. 

The conference ended early in August and Johnson left for Oswego 
on the 6th. Bradstreet erected a temporary defensive work at Buffalo 
and then marched to Schlosser where he embarked with his army for 
Erie and Detroit. On his return later in the season he encountered a 
storm, lost many boats and stores, and about one hundred and fifty of 
his men were forced to traverse the wilderness; some of them died on 


the way and the remainder straggled on to Niagara in the cold months 
of the closing year. 

Johnson had now accomplished his purpose of making friends with 
the Senecas, and treaties with other nations gave the settlers a feeling 
of security they had not before entertained. Johnson continued to 
urge upon the Lords of Trade a policy of conciliation and kindness 
towards the Indians, and altogether wielded a powerful and beneficent 
influence. He set up the just claim that he had never received ade- 
quate compensation for his services, asked for title to the lands in the 
Mohawk valley given him by the Mohawks, and an increase in salary. 
He, however, continued to give much of his time to adjusting difficul- 
ties among traders, and regulating affairs on the several frontiers, 
among which Niagara was, perhaps, the most important. 

No very important events took place in which we are here directly 
interested during the period extending from the time under considera- 
tion to the breaking out of the Revolution. Settlement advanced very 
little beyond the various trading posts, everybodj' being intent upon 
making profit in the fur trade to the entire neglect of clearing away 
forests and tilling land. The English maintained the ship yard on Navy 
Island, and in the fall of 1766 one of two vessels there was burned, 
whether by straggling Indians or carelessness of workmen is unknown, 
but probably the latter. In 1767 Commissary McLeod called a small 
council of some Senecas and Canadian Indians at Niagara, occasioned 
largely by a drunken quarrel between parties of those Indians, some of 
whom were wounded. The matter was satisfactorily arranged. Other 
petty troubles were frequently the cause of complaints, but did not lead 
to serious difficulty. 



ITiStolSli— THE Wa: ~ THE REVOLU: 

The Niagara frontier had veni- _ -::rrino events 

of the! ^ratFortNi; rJ"wasan 

ar. • • . - ^^ng 

t^ ..-..._ . :.. ^.;glish 

ihat contest which gave 
- i-O AmenCi .;;u is weil known, were enacted far 

'- " i'^ome in Tc 

lea\-ing his estate and ar 
Guy Johnson, and 5  . 

sans of the English : : . 

ada. Daring the period from 1759 to his death r 

great an influence : destiny of the Iroc New 

York as Sir Wi"-': - Hi? capacit)- for - -. 

and his diploma: . _. .ess so. 

After the actual outbreak of the Revolution, Sir John Johnson, who 
had been appoi- rndent of Indian aflairs, persuaded the Mo- 

hawks to move :h him and gained a strong influence over 

all of the Six Nations excepting the Tuscaroras and the Oneidas. John 
Butler establish e f at Nia_ organized a regiment known 

as Butler's Rang; _ a and the : .. . ..asons used all of their influence 

to induce the Jr. ;; = ..£ :j attack the Americans. The Senecas refused 
for a time, but in 1777 the prospect of gratifying their natural love of 
the war path and at the same time being paid for it overcame their 
scruples, and the)' made a treaty with the British at Oswego agreeing 
to ser\'e the king throughout the war. From that time forward the 
Senecas. Cayugas, Onondagas, and Mohawks were active in the British 
interest, and Niagara became the key to this region, the Indians looking 


hither for instruction and guidance. Here was the headquarters of the 
Butlers, Johnsons, Brant and other inveterate enemies of the country ; 
here forays were planned ; prisoners were brought here from long dis- 
tances, where they were safely hidden from their far away friends. Sir 
John Johnson was driven out of the Mohawk valley in 1776, for his 
disloyalty to the American cause; he fled through the forest to Mon- 
treal, was made a colonel in the British army, and raised and com- 
manded a regiment called the Royal Greens. 

The campaign of 1776 was generally unfavorable to the Americans ; 
but none of its important events took place in this region. Complaint 
was made in the latter part of this year that large sums had been ex- 
pended at Niagara on the Indians gathered here, and that they had not 
participated in the war; but Butler's accounts were audited and settled 
at Quebec. He and his regiment of Rangers soon became infamously 
notorious in the border battles. 

Inspired by repeated successes, the British made extensive prepara- 
tions for their campaign of 1777, involving the invasion of New York 
by Gen. John Burgoyne with a large army from the north ; and an ex- 
pedition organized under Col. Barry St. Leger, composed of regulars, 
Canadians and Indians, to land at Oswego and penetrate and lay waste 
the Mohawk valley. The first of these movements was successful, and 
Ticonderoga was captured ; but St. Leger came to grief and was driven 
back from the valley to Oswego, whence he proceeded with his dis 
comfited troops and Indians to Montreal. Butler and Brant returned 
to Niagara. In 1778 occurred the massacres at Wyoming and Cherry 
Valley, the story of which has stained the records of British warfare 
ever since. To chastise the Indians in some measure for their repeated 
atrocities, an expedition was made against the Onondagas in the spring 
of 1779, under Cols. Van Schaick and Marinus Willett ; it resulted in 
the destruction of their dwellings and crops, but otherwise served only 
to further exasperate the savages. Later in the same year a similar 
but much more extensive expedition was organized with the same ob- 
ject in view — the punishment of the Indians. This expedition was di- 
rected against the Senecas, with the capture of Fort Niagara to follow. 

General Washington placed Gen. John Sullivan in command of about 
three thousand Continental soldiers, gathered in Wyoming valley, with 


orders to march against the Senecas and leave nothing but desolation 
in his path. SulHvan arrived at Tioga Point August 22, and was there 
joined by Gen. James Clinton with sixteen hundred men. The expedi- 
tion was slow in its early movements, giving the British opportunity to 
send a force to the aid of the Indians. The latter fortified themselves at 
Newtown (mmira) and a battle was fought in which the Americans 
were victorious. The march was then continued into the Genesee 
country. There he found an astonishing and beautiful region. The 
village contained one hundred and twenty- eight houses, " mostly large 
and very elegant," surrounded by a fiat extending for miles, " over 
which extensive fields of corn were waving, together with every kind of 
vegetable that could be conceived," as the record has it. The torch 
and the axe were applied everywhere, and the beautiful scene was soon 
transformed into a picture of dreary desolation. The corn destroyed 
was estimated at one hundred and sixty thousand bushels. Orchards 
were cut down, one of which is said to have contained fifteen hundred 
trees. The Indians pursued their usual tactics in the face of such ex- 
peditions and fied. Sullivan and his army retraced their steps eastward, 
leaving Niagara untouched. Why he did not continue and capture the 
post is not known, for it could, without doubt, have been easily done. 
The Senecas were completely broken up by this disaster and fled to 
Niagara. It was in this campaign that the famous Red Jacket first ap- 
pears and, it is said, in favor of making peace with the Americans, in 
which he was opposed by Brant. 

Sullivan's expedition had important results. It forced the Six Nations 
to make the Niagara frontier their principal resort. Here they gathered 
in large numbers, claiming protection of the king and sustenance through 
the severe winter of 1779-80. In the latter year several important 
forays were planned and executed against the border settlements. In 
May Sir John Johnson made a raid into the Mohawk valley from Crown 
Point, and burned every dwelling in that region, except those of tories, 
slew many people, recovered some valuable plate he had buried at 
Johnstown, took his booty and prisoners and fled to Canada. Another 
foray was organized against the Oneidas, who were driven eastward to 
Schenectady, and their buildings burned. That nation remained faith- 
ful to the Americans through the war. 


In April, 1780, Brant was again on the war path, his main purpose 
being a raid into the Schoharie country. Leaving Niagara in the early 
spring with his followers, he reached his destination and destroyed one 
village, another being saved by the cool falsehood of a prisoner he had 
taken, who represented that a large force of Continentals had just arrived 
there. Brant returned to Niagara, bringing many prisoners who had 
escaped torture and death, by agreeing to come to Niagara as prisoners 
of war. When the party reached the western part of the State, Brant 
sent a rumor ahead to apprise the Indians of his approach with prisoners. 
It is believed that his principal object in this was the humane one of 
having the garrison meet him at the Indian settlements, one of which 
was Lewiston, and thus protect his prisoners from the ordeal that was 
customary on such occasions. In any event British troops met the 
home comers and saved the prisoners from torture. They were, how- 
ever kept in confinement at Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax until 1783. 

Only a sliort time after Brant's arrival there was another party of cap- 
tives from the eastern end of the State sent on to Niagara. They were 
compelled to run the gauntlet here, but under favorable conditions, so 
that they escaped with little suffering. One of these captives was a 
Captain Snyder, who reported upon the condition of the fort, etc. He 
mentions Johnson, the Butlers, and Brant, and said the fort at that time 
was a structure of considerable magnitude, enclosing an area of six to 
eight acres, and of great strength. At the close of 1780, afteran event- 
ful season of border war, the story of which belongs to the general his- 
tory of the times, the British and Indians settled down at Niagara for 
the winter. The forces here at that time consisted approxima'tely of 
sixty British regulars, four hundred loyalists, and twelve hundred In- 
dians, including women and children. But the fort was then well sup- 
plied, and although there was a large force to feed, the Indians probably 
fared better than they ever had before. 

The war of the Revolution continued with its march of memorable 
events, but they possess little interest in this immediate connection. 
Brant made some desultory and unimportant forays from Niagara dur- 
ing the winter and spring of 1780-81 ; but beyond this the frontier was 
quiet. In 1782 hostilities between the two countries approached an 
end. Demonstrations of conciliation were made by England, but Wash- 


ington prudently kept the country in a state of defense until the final 
declaration of peace. In 1782 Brant's residence was at Levviston, a 
short distance east of the village. After the war he went to Quebec to 
arrange for the fulfillment of British promises regarding the Indians. 
There he was given a large tract of land on Grand River, and from him 
is derived the name of the village of Brantford. The grant of land was 
for the benefit of those Indians of the Six Nations who had lost their 
homes by their continued alliance with the British. In 1781 the Tus- 
caroras were given a square mile of land on the mountain ridge, to which 
they removed. There they have remained as steadfast friends of the 
white people. 

The arrangements for peace began with the agreement for the cessa- 
tion of hostilities made in Paris in November, 1782, and signed by com- 
missioners January 10, 1783. On March 24, 1784, a letter was received 
in this country from General La Fayette announcing a general peacf. 
Congress issued a proclamation April 11, declaring a cessation of mil- 
itary operations on sea and land. But England submitted to defeat with 
bad grace. Under the treaty the boundary between the possessions of 
the two countries was to run along the 45th parallel, and in the middle 
of the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie ; 
but the mother country objected to the Americans occupying the posts 
on the fronlier south of this line. That country also set up a claim that 
the United States government had not the power to enforce observance 
of a commercial treaty, and therefore lefused to join in the execution of 
one. These matters, in connection with the fact that debts due to 
British subjects from Americans were in many instances left unpaid, 
and confiscated property was not returned to royalists from whom it 
had been taken by Americans, were made the basis of the astonishing 
condition of affairs that existed for thirteen years after the peace, during 
which period a nation unsuccessful in war, occupied and held fortified 
military posts within the lines of the victorious country. The frontier 
was not formally surrendered until July, 1796. 

In the mean time changes began to take place along the Niagara 
River. In 1793 United States Commissioners Lincoln, Pinckney, and 
Randolph came to Niagara on their way to a great council at Miami. 
At that time what is now Niagara, Ont., opposite Fort Niagara, was 


the seat of government and there Governor Simcoe resided. With the 
cessation of hostilities and even before the actual surrender of the fron- 
tier by the British, a new era dawned ; a new class of traders came in, 
the vanguard of the pioneers from New Jersey, the New England 
States and eastern New York. It is recorded that the only white resi- 
dent at Lewiston in 1788 was one Middaugh, who kept a tavern for the 
accommodation of travelers and traders, but probably derived his 
greatest revenue from selling liquor to the Indians. Silas Hopkins was 
at Lewiston in 1788 buying furs, and subsequently settled on a farm on 
the Ridge road east of Dickersonville, where he lived to old age. 
He was grandfather of Silas and Willard Hopkins, of Lewiston. 

John Gould came on from New Jersey in 1788 and was occupied as 
a drover, selling cattle mostly to Butler's rangers on the Canada side. 
He was the pioneer of the Gould families, long prominent among the 
residents of Cambria. Both Hopkins and Gould were neighbors of 
Brant, the celebrated Indian chief 

John Street, father of the late Hon. Thomas Street, had a trading 
place at Niagara, Canada, in 1790. Soon after receiving a visit from 
Hopkins and Gould, he was murdered near Warren's Corners, and the 
assassin and robber was not discovered. 

In 1792 a traveler from Boston westward wrote descriptions of the 
country through which he passed. He alluded to the comparatively 
easy task of cutting a ditch twenty- three miles and a lock by which a 
water course could be opened to carry commerce " through an extent 
of country capable of maintaining several millions of people." He de- 
scribed the Genesee flats as very rich, clear of trees, producing grass 
ten feet high, mostly owned by Indians, and worth in his estimation 
;^2, 000,000 sterling. Coming onward to Niagara, a distance of ninety 
miles, he found " not one house or white man the whole way." The 
reader will bear in mind that this was years after peace was declared at 
the close of the Revolution. The traveler evidently pursued his way 
across Tonawanda Swamp and went on to F"ort Niagara. There he 
was passed over the river, where he found a public house. A regi- 
ment was garrisoned there which he said " had the honor of dancing 
Yankee Doodle on the plains of Cambridge, 19th April, 1775." He 
met Colonel Butler and one of the Johnsons. 


Ontario county was formed in 1790, and included all of New York west 
of the so called preemption line. The extinguishment of the Indian title' 
to most of the lands in western New York opened up a vast and valuable 
tract for settlement. In 1791 there was not a house on the site of Youngs- 
town. In that year Joshua Fairbanks arrived at Fort Niagara. He began 
keeping a tavern at Oueenston and made his house a favorite resort. 
He subsequently became a resident of Lewiston and was there a well 
known citizen. The Holland Company was in reality no company at 
all, at least in a legal sense ; it was merely a syndicate of Hollanders 
who sent over funds to agents in this country with which to purchase 
lands, having first been granted the privilege by our Legislature in 
1798. In the latter part of that year the American trustees conveyed 
the Holland purchase to its real owners. It was, however, transferred 
to two sets of proprietors, and one of these sets was afterwards divided 
making three in all. Each set held its tract as joint tenants; that is, 
the survivors took the whole. The shares could not be the subject of 
will or sale, and did not pass by inheritance, except in case of the last 
survivor. But there was no incorporation and no legal company. For 
all details of this purchase, for which space cannot here be spared, the 
reader is referred to the well known work, Turner's Holland Purchase. 
It is sufficient for our purpose to state that the territory of Niagara 
county constituted a part of that purchase. The first general agent of 
the company was Theophilus Cazenove, who was sent over for that 
purpose. Previous to the extinguishment of the Indian title to the 
company's lands, Cazenove had employed Joseph Ellicott to survey 

' When in the spring of 17(>4 the Senecas became fearful of the vengeance of the English for 
repeated depredations, about four hundred of them waited on Sir William Johnson at Johnstown 
and begged for peace. Johnson realized his power over them and did not hesitate to e.Nercise it. 
The cessions agreed upon at that time were most important, the document containing the fol- 
lowing: "That they [the Senecas] cede to His Majesty and his successors forever, in full right, 
the lands from the Fort of Niagara, extending easterly along Lake Ontario about four miles, 
comprehending the Petit Mavais, or landing place, and running from thence southerly, about 
fourteen miles, to the creek above the Fort Schlosser or Little Niagara, and down the same to 
the river or strait and across the same, at the great cataract, thence northerly to the banks of 
Lake Ontario, at a creek or small lake about two miles west of the fort; thence easterly along the 
banks of the Lake Ontario, and across the river or strait to Niagara; comprehending the whole 
carrying place, with the lands on both sides of the strait, and containing a tract of about four- 
teen miles in length and four in breadth. And the Senecas do engage never to obstruct the 
passage of the carrying place, or the free use of any part of the said tract, and will likewise give 
free liberty of cutting timber for the use of His Majesty, or that of the garrisons, in any other 
part of their country, not comprehended therein." 


their tract in Pennsylvania. He was a younger brother of Andrew A. 
Ellicott, then surveyor general of the United States, and had aided in 
laying out the city of Washington. As soon as the treaty was made 
with the Indians, Mr. Ellicott was employed to survey this tract ; with 
him was associated Augustus Porter, in the interest of Robert Morris 
These men, assisted by a force of surveyors, axemen, chainmen, etc., 
pushed ahead the work of surveying the great tract with energy. Elli- 
cott himself ran the east line of the purchase, known as the East Transit. 
The tract was first divided into ranges six miles wide, running from 
Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario and numbered from east to west. These 
were subdivided into townships si.x miles square, and these were further 
subdivided into sections and lots In the fall of 1798 Seth Pease ran 
the line of the State Reservation along the Niagara River. 

The lands of the Holland Company were placed on sale at $2 75 per 
acre ; but as lands were then selling in Canada for sixpence, and were 
offered very cheap in parts of this State nearer to advanced settlements, 
purchasers were very slow in accepting the terms of the company, as 
will presently appear. By request of the State surveyor, Ellicott 
selected Levviston as a village site in 1798. The dwellers there in 1800 
were the families named Woodman, Gambol, McBride, Hustler (a tavern 
keeper). Hough, Mills, Middaugh, and Joseph and John Howell ; Mc- 
Bride had a small tannery. In 1801 there were only forty sales to set- 
tlers on the Holland Company's lands; but the number rapidly in- 
creased after that. At the old Schlosser terminus was the Stedman 
place. The traveled routes from the Genesee to the Niagara were 
through what is now Genesee county, where they divided, one taking 
the ancient Indian trail across to the Ridge road at Warren's Corners, 
and thence to Lewiston ; the other continuing to Buffalo and from there 
down the river. The first named route passed through the Tonav\anda 
Reservation, where there was then a large number of Indians. Philip 
Beach, then living at Scottsville, near the Genesee, carried the early 
mail from Batavia to Fort Niagara, over the route by Warren's Cor- 
ners. There being no dwellings on the way, he was forced to camp out 
nights, the journey requiring several days. In 1801 he settled in what 
is now Niagara county. His brother, Jesse Beach, settled on the North 
Ridge near Molyneaux's, as also did Aaron Beach. 


It will now be correctly inferred that at the beginning of the present 
century the frontier had seen little change from its condition during the 
long period of strife through which it had passed. Fort Niagara had 
only recently been surrendered to the United States ; Lewiston and 
Schlosser were mere trading places; and Bufifalo gave little promise of 
future greatness. But important changes were at hand. Niagara 
county, then including what is now Erie county, was erected from 
Genesee March ii, 1808, and the county seat fixed at Bufifalo. There 
the first courts were held and the county buildings erected, but in fol- 
lowing the history of settlement and growth in Niagara county we shall, 
of course, confine ourselves to the present boundaries of the county. 
When the county was erected the territory now constituting Niagara 
county was all comprised in the town of Cambria, erected at that time 
from Willink. 

After the opening of the year the sales of land by the Holland Com- 
pany rapidly increased; in 1809 they were more than a thousand. 
During the first decade of the century settlement had been Well ad- 
vanced in many localities within the boundaries of the county as it now 
exists; but no new towns were erected until 181 2, as noticed further 
on. It was natural that the advantages of the Ridge road attracted the 
earliest settlers. Here, amid the primeval forest, above the swamps 
and avoiding hills, was a natural highway in every way inviting to the 
pioneer. From Warren's to Dickersonville it was always passable, 
while on either side, and especially on the north, it was almost impass- 
able except in winter and the dry months of summer, What are now 
the richest sections of the county were then avoided. Some settlements 
were made early near Lake Ontario, in what are now Wilson and New- 
fane, but along the river and the Ridge they were most numerous. 

The first town meeting in the new town of Cambria was held at the 
house of Joseph Hewitt April 5, 1808. Joseph Hewitt was elected 
supervisor; James Harrison, clerk; Robert Lee, Benjamin Barton, and 
Charles Wilbur, commissioners of highways ; Lemuel Cook, Silas Hop- 
kins, and John Dunn, assessors ; Stephen Hopkins, collector ; Philemon 
Baldwin and Thomas Slayton, overseers of the poor; Stephen Hopkins, 
Ray March, Stephen A. Baldwin, and Alexander Haskin, constables; 
Enoch Hitchcock and Thomas Hustler, poundmasters for the eastern 


and western districts respectively. Sixteen overseers of highways were 
elected and assigned to districts. 

It was voted to pay a reward of five dollars for every wolf killed, on 
proof before a magistrate, accompanied with the skull and the entire 
skin attached. One hundred dollars was voted for wolf bounties. Other 
customary regulations were voted for the government of the great town, 
which embraced all of the present Niagara county. 

The most prominent settler to arrive here early in the century was 
Augustus Porter, who came in 1806 with his wife and three sons, A. H., 
P. B., jr., and A. S. Porter. Augustus Porter had represented the dis- 
trict of Ontario and Steuben in the Assembly of 1802. His brother, 
Peter B. Porter, represented Genesee and Ontario in the Assembly of 
1803, but did not come to this locality until several years later, and then 
from Black Rock. Augustus Porter had been here as early as 1795 and 
again in 1796, on his way to the Western Reserve of Ohio, as chief of a 
company of surveyors. The further extensive operations of the Porter 
family in this vicinity are described in the history of Niagara Falls in 
later pages. 

James Field became a settler in 1808 on the Porter farm; he subse- 
quently kept a tavern. He was grandfather of the late C. W. Field. 
The town meetings were held at Field's tavern many years. In 1809 
Enos Broughton opened a tavern in the Stedman house, as it had then 
been vacated by Mr. Porter. 

Meanwhile settlers were locating at Lewiston. In 1802 came Capt. 
Lemuel Cook who had been a surgeon in the army ; sons of his were 
the well known prominent citizens of Lewiston, Bates Cook, afterwards 
comptroller, Lathrop Cook, afterwards the first sheriff of Niagara county 
after Erie was set off in 1821. Benjamin Barton came in 1809, having 
previously visited the frontier in 1787. Soon after came John Latta 
who built a tannery which he operated until driven out by the war of 
1812. Jesse Beach, before mentioned, settled in 1803, and John Rob- 
inson in 1806. Asahel Sage settled in 1807. John Gould and a few 
others were then his neighbors. Aaron Childs settled on the Ridge 
in 1809, where he kept a tavern, and subsequently removed to Lewis- 
ton. Two years later Achish Pool removed from Massachusetts to a 
home where Dickersonville now is and where he lived to an old age. 


His son, the late Thomas F. Pool, who resided in Dickersonville until 
his death in 1886, and William H. Pool, who removed to Michigan, 
were sons of Achish and small bo\'s at the time of the arrival of the 
pioneer. Their conveyance, like that of most of the earliest settlers, 
was a yoke of oxen ; they brought in, also, one horse. 

Col. Andrew Sutherland came from Sutherland Falls, Vt., in i8io, 
with his family and settled on a farm east of Molyneaux Corners on the 
Ridge; the homestead was afterwards occupied by his son, Fletcher 
Sutherland, and now owned by the latter's daughters. Colonel Suther- 
land took part in the war of 18 1 2. A tavern had been opened In 1806 
at Warren's Corners by John Forsythe. About this time Reuben Hurd 
settled on the North Ridge. 

In what is now the town of Porter settlement began early but was 
slower in progress than in Lewiston or Niagara. John Lloyd, who had 
been a soldier, settled near the old Peter Tower homestead in 1801. 
Others soon came in, among them the families named Doty, Hopkins, 
Zittle, Abijah Perry, and Cogswell, the first school teacher. Jonathan 
Lutts settled in 1806, Jacob Lutts in 1808, and his brother Michael 
soon after. The town received its name from Augustus Porter and 
was thinly settled until after the war of 181 2. John Young settled 
in the town of Niagara in 1810 with a large family in what has always 
been known as the Young neighborhood ; his sons were excellent citi- 
zens. In the same year John Witmer settled in the same neighborhood, 
purchased a farm, and built a saw mill which was in use many years. 
These pioneers are more fully noticed in the later town annals. 

Jacob P'itts settled early in Somerset, where he was preceded by a 
Mr. Kemp. The Meade families were early and prominent in that 
town. In Newfane the early settlers were William Chambers, John 
Brewer, and a Mr. Cotton, in 1807. James Van Horn began operating 
a mill on Eighteen-mile Creek about 18 10. It was burned by the Brit- 
ish in 18 1 3. 

In 181 1 the port of entry, which had been at Fort Niagara since its 
opening in 1799, was removed to Lewiston, giving that village consid- 
erable added importance; it remained there until 1863 when it was re- 
moved to Suspension Bridge. In all the years that intervened between 
the close of the Revolution and the beginning of the war of 1812, there 


was little cultivation of friendly relations between the American settlers 
on this side of the river, and the people on the other side. The latter 
were largely composed of the members of Butler's Rangers, whose 
deeds were too fresh in the minds of our pioneers to render their 
friendly intercourse welcome. The British kept up a strong garrison, 
and there was a feeling of enmity not less strong because not publicly 
expressed, between the two sections. 

On the 1st of June, 1812, three new towns were erected in the county ; 
these were Hartland, Niagara (as Schlosser), and Porter, all taken, of 
course, from Cambria 


1800 TO 1835— THE WAR OF 1812. 

The first quarter of the present century witnessed important changes 
and stirring events in what is now Niagara county. There was a large 
increase of settlers at some points ; many acres of forests were cleared 
away and cultivation advanced on many farms ; mills and shops were 
built and manufactures inaugurated ; little hamlets had their inception ; 
churches and schools were established, and, finally, war was renewed 
which for two years paralyzed business and caused anxiety and sufter- 
ing along the frontier. 

At the beginning of the century the population of this State had 
reached 589,000, of which total about 6o,000 dwelt in New York city. 
Albany was a considerable community, while at Utica, Rochester and 
Buffalo the foundations had been laid for the present thriving cities. 
Commerce on the lakes was just coming into existence. Matthew Mc- 
Nair, at Oswego, bought a sloop in 1803, rechristened it and began the 
forwarding business there ; and there was soon a small fleet of vessels 
trading and transporting freight along the lakes. The Ontario, the first 
steamer to enter the Niagara from Lake Ontario, was built at Sackett's 
Harbor in 18 16, and was soon followed by others. Prospects of peace 
and plenty throughout the country were hopeful. 


Early in the century began the acts on the part of England and France 
which resulted in another war. Through orders issued by Great Brit- 
ain and decrees made by the Emperor Napoleon, all American com- 
merce in neutral ships with either of these belligerent nations was sus- 
pended. American sailors, claimed as British subjects, were seized on 
American vessels ; and the right to board American vessels for this 
purpose was one of the unjust claims set up by Great Britain. These 
and other outrages continued until they could no longer be borne in 
silence. Late in October, 1807, Congress opposed this action by lay- 
ing an embargo on all vessels in United States harbors. This measure, 
necessary as it may have appeared as a general policy, was disastrous 
to the mercantile and shipping interests of the whole country. The 
embargo act was supported by a large part of the Democratic party, 
but was strenuously opposed by the Federalists. 

On June i, 181 2, President Madison sent a confidential message to 
Congress, in which he reviewed the causes of complaint against Great 
Britain, and asked for a decision whether Congress would act upon its 
light and as duty dictated, or remain passive under accumulating in- 
justice. It was well known that the president favored open retaliation. 
By one party the president was urged by threats as well as ridicule to 
declare war, while the other, among whom were many whose personal 
interests were already suffering, bitterly opposed such action. The 
Committee on Foreign Relations made its report June 3, accompanying 
it with a bill declaring war against Great Britain. After prolonged de- 
bate and amid the greatest excitement throughout the country. Con- 
gress passed the bill on July 18, and Madison signed it. On the 19th 
the president issued a proclamation announcing the fact and calling on 
the people to support the government in its war policy. 

At no point in the country, perhaps, was this event discussed with 
deeper interest and more anxiet)' than on the Niagara frontier. In 181 1 
the port of entry for the Niagara customs district was located at Lewis- 
ton, having previously since its establishment in 1799 been at Fort 
Niagara. This gave additional importance to Lewiston. ^ 

' The office was relained at Lewiston until 1S(J3, when it was removed to Suspension Bridge. 
Tlius for half a century Lewi.ston was a political headquarters, the collectorship being the prin- 
cipal political office in this section. 


During the period between the close of the Revolution and the war 
of 1812 there was little cultivation of friendly relations between the 
settlers on opposite sides of the river ; the feeling on either side was that 
of enmity, the causes for which will be readily understood. The Brit- 
ish kept a strong garrison at Fort George, and the declaration of war 
meant constant menace and possible invasion at any time, with destruc- 
tion of the new-made homes and perhaps loss of life. The Tuscaroras 
and Senecas proved their friendship for the Americans and rendered 
valuable service ; but the Mohawks, who had been located in Canada 
by their British friends, remained our implacable enemies. To secure 
the co-operation of the Indians a council was held at Buffalo July 6, 
at which Red Jacket made speeches declaring in favor of neutrality and 
volunteering to send to the Mohawks and urge them to abandon the 
war path ; but the effort failed. Immediately upon the declaration of 
war Gen. Isaac Brock, commander-in-chief of the British forces in Upper 
Canada, took command of the Niagara frontier on that side and strength- 
ened its defenses; while similar action was taken on the American side, 
where Gen. William Wadsworth took command in person. By a gen- 
eral order issued by the War Department on April 21, 18 12, the de- 
tached militia of this State had been arranged in two divisions, eight 
brigades and numerous regiments. In June the first detachment of the 
militia quota of New York was placed under command of General 
Brown, who was charged with the defense of the northern frontier from 
Oswego to Lake St. Francis. A regiment under Col. C. P. Bellinger, 
was stationed at Sackett's Harbor. 

The chief purpose and hope of the war enthusiasts on this side of the 
Niagara frontier, was the conquest of Canada Detroit was early cap- 
tured by Brock, whose forces, thus relieved, came hither and threatened 
an invasion. They took possession of Grand Island ; but nothing of 
importance took place until the fall of 1812, when Stephen Van Rens- 
selaer established his headquarters at Lewiston, while Brock faced him 
across the river. There was at that time probably not as many troops 
under Van Rensselaer as would make one full regiment, and he called 
for reinforcements. By October he had gathered about 2,500 men, 
while at Fort Niagara there was a regiment of infantry and about 300 
light artillery. There was a considerable force at Buffalo and a regiment 


at Schlosser under command of Lieut.- Col. Winfield Scott. At Queens- 
ton were two companies of infantry , while at Fort George and nearby 
was a disciplined force of 2,ooo soldiers. Batteries opposed each other 
at favorable points on either side. An invasion of Canada was the chief 
topic of discussion ; there were the usual predictions of what would be 
accomplished by the Americans in such an event ; but when it came to 
the point of crossing the river the raw militia shrank from the danger, 
and the burden of taking the initiative fell upon the regulars from the 
fort. On the morning of October 13, a crossing was effected without 
much difficulty, until the march began upon up the slope to Oueenston. 
There determined opposition was met, the Americans were driven back, 
and a few lives were lost. Soon afterward, with reinforcements from 
this side, Capt. John E. Wool (later a distinguished general) stormed 
the heights, drove back two companies stationed there and captured a 
battery. The uproar of the battle was heard at Fort George and Gen- 
eral Brock hastened to the front with a larger force. In his heroic 
effort to recapture the heights Brock was killed and his troops were re- 
pulsed in disorder. The decisive moment had arrived when, had the 
remainder of the Americans promptly crossed the river, a permanent 
victory would have been assured ; but the militia could not be prevailed 
upon to cross, and Brant, with five hundred Mohawks, made his appear- 
ance on the field, and in spite of the gallant defense of the little army 
under Scott, they were defeated ; many were killed and wounded and 
a large number were marched to Fort George as prisoners. During the 
progress of the battle a brisk bombardment of Fort Niagara from Fort 
George caused Captain Leonard to abandon the works. This closed the 
campaign on the immediate frontier. 

During the year 181 3 the march of military events was rapid and 
eventful on the frontier. General Van Rensselaer resigned his command 
soon after the battle at Oueenston and was succeeded by Gen. Alexan- 
der Smyth, of the regular army, who had been in this vicinity a short 
time as inspector-general. He was a Virginian who in i8o8 had aban- 
doned his profession and resigned from his State Legislature to accept 
a colonelcy in the army and had been promoted to brigadier general. 
Immediately on taking command he began the concentration of troops 
at Buffalo and Black Rock, preparatory to an invasion of Canada. He 



also had scows built for the river transportation of artillery. On the 
1 2th of November General Smyth issued a flaming address declaring 
among other things that within a few days his troops would plant the 
American flag in Canada. Other still more bombastic addresses fol- 
lowed. The attempt to cross the river was made November 28, and 
several detachments were sent over ; but owing chiefly to the imperfect 
arrangements and want of concentration, the movement was almost a 
ridiculous failure. Derision and ridicule were heaped upon the com- 
mander by the troops and subordinate officers. One of the latter was 
Gen. Peter B. Porter, a brave and competent officer, who was out- 
spoken in condemnation of the operations. This led to a duel which 
was fought on Grand Island, but neither of the participants was injured. 
The army now went into winter quarters. 

The conquest of Canada was still the hope of the Americans in the 
campaign of 1813. The government had gathered quite a fleet of 
vessels on Lake Ontario, whicli were placed under command of Com- 
modore Isaac Chauncey, who made his headquarters at Sackett's Har- 
bor. He successfully defended that port against the operations of Sir 
James L. Yeo, commanding the British squadron, in May, 181 3, and 
thereafter practically controlled the lake. Toronto had been captured 
in April, and measures were adopted looking to the capture of Fort 
George. General Henry Dearborn was in command of the department 
and took part in the capture of Toronto. That victory prevented the 
British from sending reinforcements to Fort George when the time 
arrived for its capture, For this event troops and war munitions were 
landed at Four- mile Creek and a large number of boats were built at 
Five- mile Meadows, a few miles below Lewiston, and taken down the 
river to the rendezvous. A cannonade was opened from both sides, 
and early on the morning of May 27 the troops embarked and the fleet 
of Commodore Chauncey took its position. The heavy fire from Fort 
Niagara and the vessels drove the enemy from one battery, enabling 
the Americans to make a landing. A sharp engagement followed a 
little distance from the beach, which merged in a combined assault and 
the enemy was driven back through the village, while Fort George was 
deserted. Preparations had been made to blow up the work and one 
magazine exploded, throwing Col. Winfield Scott from his horse, but 


without seriously injuring him. The enemy was pursued several miles 
by Scott, but he was recalled just as he felt confident of their capture. 
The victory was a decisive one, all the positions at Niagara (which then 
bore the name of Newark) being in possession of the Americans, while 
the British losses were nearly three times as many as ours. On the 4th 
of July an unimportant raid was made on Schlosser by a lieutenant and 
a small British force, surprising the guard there and capturing a field 
piece, some arms, provisions, etc. 

It would seem that territory on the frontier which had been captured 
by the Americans should have been held ; but such was not to be the 
case. Up to midsummer of this year no Indians had been taken into 
the service of the United States. In the spring the warriors of the 
Six Nations had been solicited to come into the American camps, and 
a few hundred did come, under lead of the veteran Farmer's Brother ; 
but they requested that they be allowed to remain and take no part for 
the present in military operations. When in the early part of July a 
skirmish took place near Fort George in which an American lieutenant 
and ten men were captured and never heard from, leading to the con- 
clusion that they had been massacred by Indians, General Boyd ac- 
cepted the services of the Indian warriors. 

Gen. James Wilkinson succeeded General Dearborn and proved an 
efficient officer ; but by some mistaken policy most of the American 
troops were withdrawn from this frontier. Colonel McClure garrisoned 
Fort George with only sixty men, and in November a British force 
marched to recapture the work, upon which McClure abandoned the 
fort and crossed the river on the lOth of December. But before he 
embarked he made the fatal mistake of firing the British village of 

On the 18th of that month, a strong force of British and Indians 
landed at or near Five-mile Meadows in the night. The regulars 
marched on towards Fort Niagara with the intention of storming it ; 
but this was not necessary. They captured the pickets without giving 
an alarm and found the gates of the fort open several hours before sun- 
rise. A slight defense was made from the blockhouse and the barracks, 
and Colonel Murray, the British commander, was wounded. The gar- 
rison of four hundred and fifty men was captured, and it is recorded that 


about eight}' soldiers and hospital patients were murdered after the 
surrender, but this is believed to be exaggerated. The loss of this fort 
at that time and the terrible operations that rapidly followed were mo- 
mentous events. Colonel McClure had left the fort and gone to Buffalo 
to announce the alarming situation at the mouth of the river, leaving 
the fort in command of Captain Leonard. The latter, for some un- 
accountable reason, was at his house several miles above Youngstown. 
Charges of treason, more particularly against Leonard, were freely made, 
and that officer found his residence for some years after at Five-mile 
Meadows a most undesirable one, if the opinions of his neighbors affected 
him. He was always held in contempt, which he doubtless merited, 
for even a meager defense would have given the people alarm and en- 
abled them to avoid the calamities that followed.' As soon as Niagara 
was captured, McClure, who did not escape blameless, retreated with 
his regulars to Batavia, against the vehement protest of the inhabitants 
of Buffalo, leaving that village wholly unprotected. The British forces 
now on this side of the river proceeded to burn the few houses at 

' While this was common talk among those who had been driven from their homes, and thus 
found a place in local historical sketches as truth, there are reasons for believing that Captain 
Leonard was unjustly accused. He was not at Five-mile Meadows, probably did not t'hen own 
the place— not far below Lewiston — but had gone to attend his sick wife at Four-mile Creek, leav- 
ing a subordinate in command. It had been known two or three weeks that an invasion was be- 
ing planned, and with this knowledge Colonel McClure had gone to Buffalo to secure aid for 
defense. Full preparations had been made to defend the fort, guns placed, etc., and a battery on 
the brow of the mountain, overlooking Lewiston and the river below, was in charge of an ofificer 
instructed to watch for any attempted crossing and signal the fort by firing three cannon shots. 
This signal was given as the enemy crossed not far from Five-mile Meadows, If unheard at the 
fort it is evidence in support of a well authenticated report that the garrison slept after a drunken 
debauch, and that accounts for the easy capture. Robert Fleming, father of William Fleming 
(born in Lewiston in 1817, and now living in Buffalo), was stationed at the battery and related the 
particulars to his son years afterwards. He was subsequently a member of the State Legislature, 
and was always on the most friendly terms with Captain Leonard when he afterwards resided at 
Five-mile Meadows. The Bartons and other prominent Lewistonians were also intimate friends 
of Captain Leonard, and as all these were intensely patriotic, they must have known the truth in 
the matter. Captain Leonard was one of the first trustees of the Lewiston Academy, organized 
only about ten years after, and this is evidence in his favor. It was natural for the pioneer set- 
tlers to accept suggestions of disloyalty. My father and grandfather had to flee and suffer ac- 
cordingly, and often repeated these common reports. Turner says Captain Leonard was tried 
and dismissed the service, but we can find no evidence in proof and it probably cannot be had 
outside of the War Department. It is believed to be erroneous. The late Hon. W. H. Merritt, 
father of Hon. J. S. Merritt, of St. Catherines, had command of part o£ the British forces, but did 
not partieipate in the invasion, being sick at his home. In his memoirs published by his son, it is 
stated that Captain Leonard was captured and sent to Quebec. In my youth I heard much of the 
bitter feeling among pioneer settlers on the frontier. Suspicion easily grew to positive statement, 
and of such too much history made. In this note I desire to do justice to a townsman of xny 
youth and therefore this extended note. — William Pool. 


Youngstown, and then separated into raiding parties and desolated the 
unprotected frontier. A body of Indians crossed the river from Queens- 
ton, joined those from below, and Lewiston was plundred and partly 
burned, the inhabitants fleeing away on the Ridge road. The first 
alarm to the settlers at Dickersonville and beyond was given by the 
Tuscarora women who were hurrj'ing along that road towards a place 
of safety. Reaching the brow of the Mountain Ridge the faithful Tus- 
caroras there obtained a view of the road below. The pursuers were 
mounted and were coming on in hot haste after the fugitives. Then 
the Indians stood their ground and so delayed the enemy that many 
were enabled to escape. It was in midwinter, the ground was covered 
with snow, and the sufferings of the flying people were intense. Many 
incidents of capture, massacre, and other terrible details are related of 
that memorable day. Thomas F. Pool, son of Achish Pool, then a lad 
of thirteen, heard the alarm and hastily hitched a team to their convey- 
ance and aided in snatching a few necessary articles from the house and 
loading tiiem on. While thus engaged an acquaintance came from 
towards Lewiston and warned them to waste no more time in securing 
their valuables or they would surely be overtaken and killed. Mrs. 
Pool had a restless babe and the last thing secured was a bottle of milk 
which she determined to take along for her offspring. The road was 
crowded with fugitives, the larger part of whom were squaws and their 
children, and all were frightened beyond measure. The inhabitants 
were out of the way none too soon. It was only a little while before 
the red allies of the British came on with tomahawk and torch to wreak 
their vengeance for the burning of Newark. The pursuit continued a 
little beyond Dickersonville, one fugitive being killed a mile beyond 
that place. At Howell's Creek, where a well known tavern was kept 
many years afterwards, was a quantity of arms and ammunition and 
there a stand was made bj' some of the retreating men. This gave the 
fugitives safe opportunit)- to continue their flight to the Genesee, where 
the remainder of the winter was passed amid great privation. 

At Lewiston a small volunteer force had been recruited a kw days 
earlier for such protection to the frontier there as they could give ; but 
they were taken by surprise with the rest of the settlers. Solomon 
Gillet was a member of the band, and when coming up the street from 


Benjamin Barton's, where he had been after cartridges, met a party of 
Indians and supposed them to be friends. Farther on he met another 
party and entered into conversation with them. A white man with the 
party dressed and painted hke an Indian, asked Gillet where he was 
going with his gun. Answering that he was going to drill, he was 
asked if he did not know that the fort had been taken. Gillet at this 
juncture saw the British soldiers near at hand and was soon captured. 
Meanwhile his son Miles met the first party of Indians at a different 
point, and promptly shot and killed a chief Attempting then to fly he 
was shot through the head and instantly killed. Among the other 
slain were two men named Tiffany and Finch, Thomas March, Jarvis 
Gillet (only seven years aid who was trying to escape with his mother), 
and Dr. Alvord, the pioneer physician. The latter had just mounted 
his horse at his door and started to ride away, but was shot before he 
had gone far. Reuben Lewis lived at the foot of the mountain and had 
agreed with a neighbor that he would not be taken alive by the Indians. 
He was attacked and fought until wounded, when he fell down behind 
a log. In that position he continued to load and fire until the Indians 
came up and tomahawked him. The killed at Lewiston numbered 
about a dozen. John Robinson lived three miles east of the village on 
the Ridge road, heard of the invasion about nine o'clock and hurriedly 
gathered up some of his property and placed it on a sled, wliich he took 
to the site of Pekin village. Meanwhile his wife took their children and 
crossed the mountain to a place south of the Indian Reservation where 
she remained concealed in the woods three days. After removing his 
goods Robinson returned to his house and was captured, but escaped 
and afterwards discovered his wife and children. 

Lathrop Cook had recently had his leg amputated. He was placed 
on a sled and accompanied by his brother, the late Hon. Bates Cook, 
was taken along the Ridge ; but they were overtaken a few miles on 
their way by some Indians. Bates Cook took up his gun and shot one 
of the Indians. He then ran and escaped unharmed from two shots 
that were fired after him. Some Tuscarora Indians, hearing the firing, 
hastened to the place, repulsed the enemy and took the sled and its 
invalid burden to a place of safety. 

Aaron Childs, one of the settlers on the Ridge, was on guard at the 


Meadows the previous night. When Mrs. Childs saw the approaching 
fugitives she ran out and inquired for her husband. She was told that 
all on the river were killed and for some time she believed her husband 
was among the slain. He finally returned uninjured and they made 
their escape. Aaron Childs was father of W. H. Childs, long a well 
known resident of Niagara Falls. 

During the progress of these events disaster of no less importance 
was falling upon the settlers at Black Rock and Buffalo. Other parties 
of the enemy burned everything along the river towards Tonawanda, 
at which place the guard house and the few dwellings, with one excep- 
tion, were destroyed. Near midnight of the 29th a detachment of 
British landed near Black Rock, and during the remainder of that night 
and the next day scenes were enacted there and at Buffalo which were 
a counterpart of those at Lewiston. The torch was applied indis- 
criminately, the inhabitants fled eastward, and many were killed, wound- 
ed or captured. 

Such was the retaliation of the British for burning of the small vil- 
lage of Newark by McClure, where not a life was sacrificed. The feel- 
ings that inspired the British at the time are indicated by the following 
extract from a letter written (as believed by Lossing, the historian, by 
General Drummond) while the work of devastation was in progress : 

A war-whoop from five hundred of the most savage Indians (which they gave just 
at dayhght, on hearing of the success of the attack on Fort Niagara) made the 
enemy [at Lewiston] take to their heels, and our troops are in pursuit. We shall not 
stop until we have cleared the whole frontier. The Indians are retaliating the con 
flagration of Newark. Not a house within my sight but is in flames. This is a 
melancholy but just retaliation. 

The succeeding winter was one of great suffering to the fugitives 
from the frontier. Of this period Turner, the historian of the Holland 
Purchase, wrote as follows : 

It is impossible now to give the reader such an account of the condition of things 
in western New York during the ill-fated winter as will enable him to realize the 
alarm, the panic, the aggregate calamities that prevailed. On the immediate fron- 
tier all was desolate; the enemy holding possession of Fort Niagara, detached 
marauding parties of British and Indians came cut from it, traversed the frontier 
where there was nothing left to destroy, and made incursions in some mstances in 
the interior, enlarging the theater of devastation and spreading alarm among those 
who had been bold enough to remain in a flight. West of a north and south line 


that wottM pssss tferoagfei tite TMs^e <rf leFsmr. traosn? ttisaro t'Kife-feaH «<' t!!'^ e^imw' n^i 


In comtueuuug u{K>im tbe eaomuiiey oi' clme acts ot tbb ngiv^ii 


Feaotol was Ae KtsJ^-rvt-Q- t"cr tie stestarasttem ©f &ialf-im6a8>«te<fi Xewittfc wftfisf ssm 
a Gfe WAS ssbi:: ~ . ~. mnamiy teuiateii iwctmtoy JiKxasesv aamifi iSjmr Tessejte 

were- cvjosjttittsc — _- of trnttoceat jnersiMS as Fwrt XJagarA. HjewEawa, 

ScMssserv Tteistiwra vttlage, Biliaffi Ruxci ssaici BctSalov ai&S in- fauroai Soaoses^ aSHesaevl 

The wriater sttSeriiags of tfee fogittinnes ;:. .. '"r-- --v^-; ^ __.;._. 

altevtatedl b)' the gemerosJU}'- of tfce Statse. - _ - ? >-ii»ite<3 

$40^,000- to ttse devastatteiiJ dtstirict. bestdes ^5,Q<oo 10 ir . --j>ra 

New Yoirfc ;^5»OQO> aod ctSier ccmtribcitioms carane firoam olhe: 
thie Stite. 

Tliie catiipatgin "t^f tSi4 was Otwadosel^d witlhi mnoje vigor a  . ^ ; : 
by the Ameirtcai!i!S> wttbi tfee oooniqaiest d" Caraadai stsM ttiie c' 
view. For ttnese pages we :~--- . — -_-----• ----:■--■- ■- 
sptcmo'as ev^mfcSs fe&e battles c _ _ 

afflt-Gemeraal DinaBiainBiomd wis im cbcef eo  
wMCe Gemer ; ' "' "'  • -■  . 

to®; bat »-.:- - ------ , - .- ; . 

Boifello Biiffitter Soa>tt« be estaMfebeJ bfe iheaB^qiaaitess .; " 
cstabttsJted a fortifei caoaipi At tbe dose of I tame, M«|--«ji; 

Bf^'wu oinrtved at Etat&fo ante  :- .* cSttef c-,- • 

ojjssisted ot' two brigasies c, ;i irespec •:-.:;; 

amdl RipJey. to eacb of wbkb was atttacfeevl a ssnallll boNSy - ; :y ; 

vamca amid New Y<»& a: 
atwafceneiii to atitSom by : 
ajad Imdtams wece ar.-f- 






was then quartermaster- general of the New York militia. On the 
1st of July Brown was ordered to cross the river, capture this fort, 
march on Chippawa, menace Fort George, and if he could have the co- 
operation of Commodore Chauncey's fleet, to seize and fortify Burling- 
ton Heights. Brown made his plans for General Scott and his brigade 
to cross the Niagara in boats a mile below the fort, while Ripley's 
brigade was to be landed a mile above the work. This accomplished, 
the boats were to return and carry over the remainder of the army, 
with the ordnance and stores, to the Canada shore. The order for this 
movement was given July 2, and was promptly carried out by Scott on 
the 3d ; Ripley was dilatory, and when Scott had pressed forward to 
invest the fort, he found that Ripley had not crossed ; but no time was 
lost in hurrying over the ordnance and stores Seeing these energetic 
preparations for action, the weak garrison surrendered. The prisoners 
were sent across the river, and the campaign on the Canada side con- 

Early in the morning General Riall had sent forward a body of Royal 
Scots to reinforce the garrison at Fort Erie ; but they were too late. 
At Chippawa he heard of the surrender of the fort, upon which Riall 
determined to make an immediate attack upon the American forces. 
Learning that reinforcements for him were on their way from York 
(Toronto) he finally deferred the attack until the next morning. To 
meet Riall's troops General Brown sent forward Scott with his brigade, 
accompanied by Towson's artillery, on the morning of the 4th. Ripley 
was ordered in the same direction with his brigade, but was again slow 
and not ready to move until afternoon. Scott marched along the river 
skirmishing nearly all the way and driving in the enemy's advanced 
detachment. The main portion of Brown's army reached Scott's en- 
campment on the south side of Street's Creek that night and on the 
morning of the 5th the opposing forces were only two miles apart. At 
about noon Scott was joined by General Porter with his volunteers and 
Indians. The British had also been reinforced. 

Operations began at daybreak on the morning of the 5th with petty 
attacks on the American pickets for the purpose of diverting the atten- 
tion of the American commander from his center, upon which the Brit- 
ish were to make an assault. This part of the plan did not succeed. 



The American commander felt sure of his position and strength and 
gradually drew in his pickets, and the British were thus led on to gen- 
eral action. The Indians behaved gallantly under Porter and Red 
Jacket, and the British advance was forced back in flight towards Chip- 
pawa, with heavy slaughter. Porter's command followed, but on reach- 
ing the edge of the forest and there meeting the main British army, his 
men, unaccustomed to the battle field, were disconcerted and fled in 

The American commander, apprised of these operations only by the 
reports of fire arms, now discovered at a distance a cloud of dust which 
heralded the approach of the British, and rode on to General Scott and 
ordered him to bring his brigade into the field for action. At the same 
moment he sent his adjutant general to Ripley, who was in the rear 
with his brigade, and ordered him to march by the left through the 
wood and fall on the enemy's right flank for the purpose of cutting off' 
his retreat ; but the promptness with which Scott obeyed the order to 
to advance on the enemy, prevented Ripley's forces from participating 
in the oncoming struggle. The American commander accompanied 
Scott's brigade into the field and took his position on the left in front 
of the enemy's right flank, from whence he posted a battery of artillery 
opposite the center and further directed the operations. The British 
came into the field and were promptly attacked by Scott's forces, which 
persistenly advanced, fighting desperately for every step gained. He 
crossed Street's Creek in face of a heavy cannonade and then the battle 
raged along the whole line. Several times the British line was broken 
and closed up again. Finally a flank movement and a furious charge 
was made by Major McNeill with Colonel Campbell's regiment, and a 
terrific fire on the British center, forced it to give way. The whole 
British force broke and fled to the intrenchments below Chippawa 
Creek. The fugitives destroyed the bridge, thus cutting ofTthe imme- 
diate pursuit of the victorious Americans. The battle, though an insig- 
nificant one when compared with the sanguinary struggles of more 
modern wars, was nevertheless an important one at that time and place 
and exerted a large influence in the closing scenes of the war. The 
American loss was 355 in killed, wounded and missing; the British loss 
604, of whom 236 were killed. A gentle shower fell on that hot July 


evening, mitigating the horrors of the bloody field. The succeeding 
few days were spent in burying the dead. 

On his retreat General Riall fled down the borders of the river to 
Queenston, placed a part of his troops in Fort George and made his 
headquarters near the lake twenty miles to the westward. Drummond 
was deeply mortified by this defeat of his veterans by what he deemed 
a raw body of the despised Americans and resolved to wipe out the dis- 
grace. He drew most of his troops from Burlington Bay, Toronto, 
Kingston and Prescott, for the purpose of organizing an army that 
would drive the invaders out of Canada. With a force about one-third 
greater than that of General Brown, Drummond now pressed forward 
to meet the Americans. In the mean time Brown had moved forward 
to Queenston and menaced Fort George, expecting to bring on a battle. 
He anticipated the finding of Chauncey's fleet on Niagara River, ready 
for co-operation with the land movements, but at that time the fleet 
was blockaded at Sackett's Harbor and the commodore was ill in bed. 
When it became apparent that there was no hope of naval co-operation 
General Brown fell back to Chippawa for supplies, intending to then 
march across the country to Burlington Heights and meet the en- 
emy. But in the mean time the British reinforcements arrived and 
they occupied Queenston Heights. On the 24th Brown received intel- 
ligence that Drummond, with a thousand troops, many of them Well- 
ington's veterans, had landed at Lewiston with a view, no doubt, of 
seizing the American stores at Schlosser. To defeat this movement 
General Brown determined to attack the British at Queenston. Gen- 
eral Scott was given the advance, and was not forced to march to 
Queenston to find his enemy. The opposing forces soon came to- 
gether to fight the battle of Lundy's Lane.^ Waiting only to dispatch 
intelligence to his commander, Scott began the attack. Gen. Brown, 
apprised by the report of musketry and cannon of the contest that had 
commenced, ordered the second brigade under Ripley to follow him, 
and, accompanied by his personal staff", hastened to the field of battle. 

1 It is proper to state that this account of the battle is largely drawn from the writings of 
one " Cimon," in the New York Stafesiimit, published soon after the war. Who the writer was is 
not generally known but it is believed he was present in some capacity in that campaign. The 
general .iccuracy of his descriptions has never been seriously questioned, except in unimportant 
details. We use much of his language, without quotation marks. 


Meeting on the way the messenger dispatched by General Scott, he 
ordered him to continue his route to camp and bring up the whole force. 
General Brown, perceiving that Scott's brigade was much exhausted by 
severe action, as soon as Ripley's brigade reached the field, interposed 
a new line between the enemy and Scott's brigade, thereby disengaging 
the latter and holding it in readiness, after recovering from its exhaus- 
tion, for a new conflict. The enemy now falling back took a new posi- 
tion and rested his right flank on a height commanding the whole sur- 
face of the contiguous plains on which his own and the American 
forces were displayed. Colonel McKee and Major Wood had, by order 
of General Brown, reconnoitered the enemy's position, and reported to 
him that this height must be carried or the engageriient could not be 
prosecuted with any probability of success. McKee was ordered to de- 
tach Colonel James Miller with the 2 1st Regiment for the duty, and to 
advance the remainder of the second brigade on the Oueenston road to 
divert the enemy's attention from his right, on which the attack was to 
be made. General Brown rode in person to Colonel Miller, and ordered 
him to assail the heights and seize the artillery.^ It was instantaneously 
and gallantly done. The enemy retired before the line of bayonets 
with which he was assailed, leaving his cannon and several prisoners in 
possession of the assailants. General Ripley's brigade had advanced 
and encountered the enemy on the right of Colonel Miller's operations, 
and a part of it under his own command was broken by the enemy's 
fire, but it was soon reformed and brought again into action. 

It was at this moment that Major Jessup, who had been detached 
from General Scott's brigade, to act independently on the right of the 
American army, after capturing and sending to camp General Riall and 
several other British officers, had made his way toward the height as 
far as the Oueenston road. Here he encountered a body of the enemy, 
which dispersed and fled after receiving a single discharge. General 

1 Perceiving the key of the British position to be the battery on the hill, he turned to Col. 
James Miller, of the 27th regulars, and asked, *' Can you storm that work and take it ? " " I'll try," 
was the prompt reply. With .300 men he moved steadily up the hill in the darkness, along a fence 
lined with thick bushes that hid his troops from the view of the gunners and their protectors who 
lay near by. When within short musket range of the battery, they could see the gunners with 
their glowing lintstocks, ready to act at the word, fire. Selecting good marksmen. Miller di- 
rected each to rest his rifle on the fence, select a gunner, and fire at a given signal. Very soon 
every gunner fell, when Miller and his men rushed forward and captured the battery. — Lossing. 

Colonel Miller was given a medal by Congress for his heroism in this campaign. 


Brown, who had removed to this part of the field, joined Major Jessup, 
and ordered him to advance up Lundy's Lane, and form on the right 
of General Ripley's brigade, the left of which was resting upon the 
height defended by the captured cannon. General Porter had arrived 
with his command, and was formed on the left of General Ripley. 

The enemy had now been reinforced by fresh troops from Fort 
George and Queenston, and advanced in strong force on the new line 
formed upon the ground from which he had been driven. He was re- 
ceived with a general discharge at a distance of about five rods, and 
fled in the utmost confusion. In twenty minutes he made a second 
attack, which he contested more obstinately, but was again driven down 
the height after two or three volleys. During the second attack, Gen- 
eral Brown rode to the left of the American line and ordered General 
Scott to advance with his brigade, and take a position in rear of the 
enemy's right flank in order to assail him in reverse. In executing it, 
General Scott, after passing in front of the American line, was assailed 
by a concealed party of the enemy while he was in open column, and 
his command severed in two parts, one passing to the rear and the 
other immediately towards the main force of the American army. 
Hoth were again in action in a few minutes with the main body and 
participated in the repulse on the third and last desperate assault of the 
enemy. General Brown at the moment of the attack on Scott's com- 
mand, received a severe wound from a musket ball, but still kept his 
scat on his horse. The enemy had now closed with the main body of 
the Americans and a most desperate conflict ensued. General Brown 
in passing up the left of his own line, received a second wound in his 
side, but continued to direct the movements of the battle, though .so 
enfeebled by the loss of blood as to require occasionally to be supported 
on his horse. The hostile lines were several minutes at the point of the 
bayonet, struggling for victory, and the carnage was appalling. The 
enemv at length gave way in great disorder, leaving many prisoners, 
and reappearing no more During this last attack from the enemy 
General Scott, animating his command by his own example, received 
a wound which utterly disabled him and was borne from the field. The 
British thus repulsed, the Americans fell back to Chippawa, with orders 
from General Brown to General Ripley (on whom the command de- 


volved) to return after a brief rest and occupy the battlefield. The 
dilatory Ripley, however, continued to remain at Chippawa. In 
three days after the battle the British received large reinforcements by 
way of the lake, which Chauncey's illness left substantially open, raising 
their forces to a great superiority in numbers over the Americans. 
Ripley now broke his camp and fell back to the ferry opposite Black 
Rock, intending to cross the river and occupy Buffalo — the position 
* held by the army before the invasion began. Learning of this meas- 
ure, General Brown stopped its consummati(jn by ordering Ripley to 
plant his force in Fort Erie. This was done on the 28th of July. In 
the battle of Lundy's Lane the American loss was about eight hundred 
killed, wounded and missing, nearly one-third of the whole force ; the 
British lost 878. A part of the battlefield is now covered with the vil- 
lage of Drummondville. 

From the 7th to the 14th of August Fort Erie was besieged by the 
British, subjected to a fierce cannonade, and repeatedly assaulted. But 
the heroic Americans bravely held the work. Finally at the end of the 
fifth desperate assault, a bastion which had been captured by the British 
was blown up, causing frightful destruction. This was followed by a 
fierce cannonade from the remaining American guns, and the British 
fled to their intrenchments, leaving 221 killed, 174 wounded and 186 
prisoners; the y\merican loss was less than one-half these numbers. 

After the explosion both sides prepared for a continuation of opera- 
tions; but it was more than a month before the next important event 
took place. Hearing that Drummond's forces were greatly weakened 
by sickness contracted by lying on the low grounds along the river, 
General Brown, now recovered and in command, resolved upon a sortie 
from the fort. The date set for its execution was September 17. For- 
tunately on that day a thick fog prevailed. The movement was begun 
about noon, the troops passing out of the work in three divisions — one 
under General Porter, one under Gen. James Miller, and the third under 
General Ripley. Porter reached a point near the British right about 
three o'clock and still unobserved. He immediately made an assault 
and the startled British fled. The batteries were then stormed and cap- 
tured within twenty minutes. This victory was quickly followed by the 
capture of the block house in rear of the batteries. The garrison were 


made prisoners, the cannon destroyed and the magazine blown up. 
Meanwhile Miller had carried two other batteries and block houses in 
their rear. Within forty minutes after Porter and Miller began opera- 
tions, the whole line of British intrenchments was in possession of the 
Americans. Fort Erie was saved, with Buffalo and the stores on the 
frontier, by this successful sortie. Congress presented medals to Porter, 
Brown and Ripley, and public honors were bestowed upon them. 
These events were not only important in themselves, but have local 
significance from the fact that General Porter bore so conspicuous a 
part in them. He was a brave and loyal citizen and greatly distin- 
guished himself He was grandfather of Col. P. A. Porter who lost his 
life at Cold Harbor in the war of the Rebellion, and father of P. A. and 
George M. Porter, prominent citizens of Niagara Falls. General Porter 
was brevetted major-general of militia soon after the events here de- 

The practical results of the campaign of 1814 were not especially 
advantageous to the American cause. Battles were won, and officers 
and troops fought bravelj' and successfully ; but at its close in Decem- 
ber the British were still in full possession on the Canadian side. Two 
months later, in February, 181 5, news reached this country of the treaty 
at Ghent. Under this treaty each country agreed to surrender all 
places captured during the war, leaving the boundaries asthev formerly 
existed. This closed hostilities on this frontier. The closing events 
of the war in the south are well known and constitute a part of general 

At the end of the war the whole country was left poor. Trade of all 
kinds was broken up, specie was almost unobtainable, banks were with- 
out credit, and genera! depression prevailed. But the resources of the 
country were great and recovery was rapid. Niagara county, as at 
present bounded, was still almost an unbroken forest. Along the river 
and on a few of the principal roads, clearings had been made ; all else 
was woodland. But the pioneers were made of stern stuff and when the 
clouds of war had cleared away they returned and took up the work of 
making their homes. Settlement continued to advance with consider- 
able rapidit}' during the first quarter of the century, and in 1821 a di- 
vision of the great county, which then included all of what is now Erie 


county was made by an act of the Legislature in 1821, Niagara retain- 
ing the original name and Erie county the organization. The sub- 
divisions of Niagara county which took place before and after the erec- 
tion of Erie county are summarized later on, Lewiston was then 
the most prominent village in the county and practically the county seat, 
continuing thus until 1822. It was the terminus of the daily lines of 
stages that had been established to connect with Rochester ; and a tri- 
weekly line ran to Buffalo. These lines were the natural avenues of 
travel between the east and the west and for many years and even after 
the advent of the first railroads, were largely patronized. Taverns were 
numerous along the routes, and hamlets came into existence to supply 
the rural districts with goods. 

In the mean time the great work of constructing the Erie Canal, 
which was to prove of so much importance to this county, was progres- 
sing. There is no excuse for giving a detailed history of the under- 
taking in these pages, for it is at everybody's hand in scores of places. 
The herculean task of cutting through the Mountain Ridge at Lockport 
was the last work done on the waterway, and the series of locks at that 
point were finished and the canal opened on the 26th of October, 1824. 
One of its most important results as far as this county was concerned, 
was the building up of the thriving village and later city of Lockport, 
and of the less important village of North Tonawanda. 

The Legislature of 1823 passed an act for laying out the territory of 
the jail limits and the erection of a court house in Lockport, a full 
account of which is given in a later chapter. It was in that session, 
also, that an act was passed incorporating the Niagara Canal Company, 
the avowed object of which was to construct a ship canal from the 
mouth of Gill Creek to Lewiston. The application to the Legislature 
was signed by Benjamin Barton, Jacob Townsend, N. Leonard, William 
Hotchkiss, Rufus Spalding, Silas Hopkins, and Bates Cook. Nothing 
was accomplished in this canal sclieme, but the project has at different 
times been discussed ever since. At about the same time application 
was made to the Legislature for authority to construct a turnpike road 
from what is now Wright's Corners to Warren's Corners. An im- 
passable swamp lay between the two places, but a good road was made 
across it. 


Immediately after the erection of the new county, political affairs 
were active and much complicated. In 1822 Judge Silas Hopkins was 
earnestly pressed to accept the candidacy for the Assembly. He then 
resided in Niagara, but subsequently removed to a farm in Lewiston, 
where he lived to an old age. He declined the proffered nomination, 
giving as the reason that his circumstances would not permit him to make 
the sacrifice involved in the service Reuben Wilson was nominated in 
his stead. Augustus Porter was candidate for Congress, Lothrop 
Cooke for sheriff and Oliver Grace for county clerk, on the same ticket. 
The canvass was active, jealousy of the growing importance of Lock- 
port entering into the contest. The total vote of the county was less 
than 1,500 and the candidates above named were badly defeated. 

Those who suffered from the raids of the British and Indians in the 
war of 1S12 held many meetings thereafter to press their claims for 
reimbursement of their losses. At the meeting of December, 1822, 
Rufus Spalding, Benjamin Barton and Bates Cook were appointed a 
committee to take charge of the matter. The meeting resolved not to 
employ any lobby aid. Some years later a partial reimbursement of 
losses was made, but not sufficient to satisfy the sufferers. 

This chapter may be interestingly closed with the following from the 
Lewiston Sentinel of 1824, probably written by Oliver Grace, and 
treating somewhat upon the travel created by the attractions of the 
falls and other causes : 

We of the frontier who are supposed by many to dwell on the very borders of the 
west, but who in fact live some hundreds of miles east of a well cultivated and civil- 
ized portion of America, have witnessed so far this season more of the traveling 
mania than in any one year within our remembrance. Eastern and southern travel 
appears to be rapidly increasing from year to year. The great perfection to which 
the means of transportation has been brought in this State has obviously contributed 
much to this increase. The regular lines of daily stages, excelle4 by none in the 
State for superior carriages and teams, which ply the Ridge road as well as the 
Buffalo route, are but little adequate to the travel that is now passing to the great 
center of attraction — the falls of Niagara. But to make good any deficiency in this 
respect, the stage proprietors have provided their lines with ample extra convey- 
ances, so that no passenger need delay a moment's time on any part of the route 
from Albany to this frontier, and on returning the same facilities await him. Our 
steamboat, too, which scours the eastern shores of Ontario is in no way behind hand 
in point of accommodation, and is the means of imparting pleasure and of affording 
facility for the traveler, and we are happy to see that she is gathering a good share 


of the patronage of the fashionable as well as increasing in her commercial and for- 
warding transactions. In fact, there is a sensible revival of trade and of business in 
general on this frontier, and when a few more improvements which are now in 
progress, are accomplished — when the Ridge Road is made perfect by the construc- 
tion of a turnpike through the Eleven-mile Woods, and the waters of Erie are pass- 
ing through the Mountain Ridge— the spot where Brock fell, and the splendid raonti- 
ment now erecting to his memory — the stupendous rock over which the unfortunate 
Colonel Nichol was precipitated, and the battle grounds of Queenston, Lundy's Lane 
and Chippawa — these, we say, with the great natural curiosity as the center, will 
furnish attractions for which we may challenge the world for a parallel. 



From the close of the first quarter of the present century to the be- 
ginning of the great Civil war, Niagara county as a whole kept abreast 
of other parts of this State in its general development. Population in- 
creased from 26,490 in 1835, to 31,132 in 1840; to 34,550 in 1845 ; to 
42,276 in 1850; and to 50,399 in i860. During this period every 
town in the county increased its number of inhabitants, though in 
recent years, in common with most other sections, some of the rural 
towns have declined in this respect Lockport grew from 6,000 to 
more than 13,000; but in i860 the whole town of Niagara had only 
6,603 inhabitants, to which number it had grown from about 2,000 in 
1835. The great days of Niagara Falls were yet far in the future. 
All the towns in the county had been erected before 1825, excepting 
Pendleton and Wheatfield — Lockport and Newfane in 1824. Tiie orig- 
inal forest had been largely cleared away, the log houses of the pioneers 
superseded by frame dwellings ; commerce on the lakes had reached 
large proportions, contributing its share to the prosperity of this 
region ; manufactures had been established in some localities, with 
newspapers, schools, and churches, and general progress was manifest- 
ed on every hand. 

Going back for a moment in the course of this record it should be 
noted that commerce and trade between the East and the West was 


greatly facilitated early in the present century by the improvement of 
waterv/ays by the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company, which 
was incorporated by the Legislature March 30, 1792, its purpose being 
stated as "to encourage agriculture, promote commerce, and facilitate 
intercourse between the citizens of the southern, northern and western 
parts of the State." The company was promptly organized, and in its 
operations followed the old route. It constructed a short canal with 
locks at Little Falls ; another across the portage from Rome to Wood 
Creek, from which Oneida Lake was easily accessible, and made im- 
provements in the Oneida, Seneca and Oswego Rivers. However im- 
perfect this navigation was as compared with that of the Erie Canal, its 
influence upon the prosperity of the State, and the early settlement of 
Western New York was incalculable. The company did a profitable 
business for some years, but later for several reasons it became un- 
profitable and its property and rights reverted to the State when the 
Erie Canal project was assured. The latter waterway had a still greater 
influence on the development of Western New York than its predecessor. 
The detailed history of its construction is familiar to all intelligent 
readers. The initial steps were taken early in the century, and the re- 
port of commissioners made in March, 181 1, recommended the work 
on the route selected by Engineer James Geddes. On the strength of 
this report the Legislature continued the commission and voted $15,- 
000 for further operations. A year later, it having been found impos- 
sible to obtain an appropriation from Congress, the Legislature author- 
ized the commissioners to borrow $5,000,000 on the credit of the State 
for the work. The war of 18 12 delayed the enterprise, but it was re- 
vived in i8i5andin 18 17 the actual construction commenced. The 
work was divided into three sections, eastern, middle and western, this 
county belonging, of course, in the latter. James Geddes was appoint- 
ed engineer of the western division and made a survey in 1815, but no 
work was done thereon until 1820. In that year he was succeeded by 
David Thomas, who made some changes in the route, the most im- 
portant of which was in the point at which the mountain ridge should 
be crossed, and which determined the site of Lockport. Mr. Geddes's 
line crossed the Ridge in the gorge a mile west of Lockport. The 
whole western division of the canal was placed under contract in 1821. 


During the fall of 1823 the navigable part of the canal was extended 
west to Brockport and Holley, and in the following season to the foot 
of the Ridge at Lockport. In 1824, also, the adaptation of Niagara 
River and Tonawanda Creek for canal purposes was completed and the 
channel excavated east to Lockport, leaving the great rock cutting 
and lock construction at tliat point as the last work to be done on the 

Meanwhile the old stage lines flourished. The line from Canan- 
daigua west by way of the Ridge Road, which has before been alluded 
to, to Lewiston and the Falls, was established in 18 16 and was im- 
mensely popular. The coaches were met at Wright's Corners by a 
wagon from Lockport carrying mail and passengers for the stage pro- 
prietors. Tliese stages were kept running up to near the middle of the 
century. In 1828 a company of men who were opposed to running 
stages on Sunday, established the Pioneer line, their coaches leaving 
the Ridge road at Wright's Corners for Lockport and thence to Niag- 
ara Falls and Buftalo. Competition was active, rates of passage were 
lowered and the Pioneer Company, failing to get a mail contract, suc- 
cumbed to its rival after about two years. With the advent of railroads 
the old stages gradually disappeared. 

The intimate connection between this county and the celebrated case 
of William Morgan, the abducted Free Mason, entitles it to brief notice 
here, though the general facts are well known. Morgan was a resident 
of Batavia and had written and threatened to publish a book revealing 
all the secrets of the Masonic order. After numerous attempts to in- 
duce him to abandon his purpose and give up his manuscript of the 
book, all of which failed, he was arrested on a trifling charge and con- 
fined in the Ontario county jail. A day later he was released bj' ad- 
vice given to his wife by several Masons, and on reaching the street 
was seized and placed in a closed carriage and driven rapidly westward. 
He was accompanied by three Masons, and was taken on through Roch- 
ester and via the Ridge road and Lewiston, and thence down the river 
to Fort Niagara, which was reached near midnight of the 13th of Sep- 
tember, 1826. He was there confined in the magazine until the 19th. 
The following paragraph is from Capt. Janes Van Cleve, who was fully 
conversant with the facts of the case : 


lu September, 1820, many Free Masons came up the lake on board the steamer 
Ontario [on which Van Cleve was clerk] from Rochester to participate in the instal- 
lation of Col. William King as Knight Tem]>lar at Lewiston. On the steamer's re- 
turn she landed by request at the government wharf at Fort Niagara, and many 
Masons went into the fort for the purpose of seeing William Morgan, who was then 
confined there by the Mason.-i. Col. Samuel Denison, the managing owner of the 
Ontario, who was a Mason, told me at the time that he was requested to go into the 
fort and see Morgan, but he declined, believing such high-handed measures in viola- 
tion of the law would in the end lead to much trouble, which proved true. 

On the 19th Morgan disappeared. Arrests and trials for his abduc- 
tion followed. Eli Bruce, then sheriff of Niagara county, the com- 
mandant at Niagara, and several other prominent Masons were tried at 
Lock-port and Canandaigua, and a few were convicted. Bruce was 
fined and imprisoned for contumacy and depo.scd from office. The 
trials extended over a period of four or five years. It came to be 
generally believed that Morgan was drowned in Niagara River, and 
the stream was dragged, but without finding his body, and it is not 
even now positively known what became of him. 

The event created intense excitement throughout the country, and 
especially in this State ; it finally crept into politics and gave birth to 
the Anti- Masonic party which for some years was a powerful political 
factor. It drew large numbers of adherents from the other parties and 
in the election of 1829 its candidate for State senator in the Eighth dis- 
trict was elected by the unprecedented majority of 8,000. In 1830 in 
a poll of 250,000 votes it failed of electing its candidate for governor 
by barely 8,000, while in 1832, when the poll was 320,000, it was de- 
feated by less than 10,000. In Pennsylvania it elected its candidate for 
governor in 1835, and carried large strength in some other States. 
Much of this power was attained through the skillfid manipulation of 
politicians, at the head of whom was Thurlow Weed in this State; it is 
now clear that there was no real and permanent foundation for such 
a great organization, and it gradually passed out of existence. 

After the building of the first railroad in this country, farseeing men 
realized that a line from the metropolis of this State northward and 
westward would, sooner or later, become one of the most important and 
probably the most profitable in the country. Between 1835 and 1840 
the several roads that were consolidated into the New York Central in 
1853, had their inception, and one of the very early branches was built 


in this county. In 1835 tlie Lockport and Niagara Fails Company be- 
gan the construction of its road ; it started from the corner of Chapel 
and East Market streets in Lockport (known as Lower Town), whence 
it ran southwesterly a short distance, turned across the canal and 
thence extended to the end of Glenwood street ; along that street it 
wound its way up the mountain side, and after turning to the south to 
pass the head of the gorge a mile west of Lockport, it bore away to 
the west through Pekin to Cleghorn's, thence a branch down the moun- 
tain grade to Lewiston, the main line continuing to what is now Sus- 
pension Bridge, whence it ran on to the Falls along the cliff that over- 
looks Niagara River. The roadway itself comprised mudsills laid 
lengthwise, across which were laid ties and upon these were lines of 
4 by 6 oak timbers on which flat iron rails were spiked. The cars 
were small affairs on four wheels, holding either sixteen or twenty-four 
persons, the former class being divided into two and the latter into 
three compartments, with seats crosswise. These cars were drawn by 
horses about two years, when light locomotives came into use. 

Meetings were held in Lockport in 18,35 to consider the building of 
roads to Batavia and Buffalo, which [projects were favorably discussed, 
but nothing further was then accomplished. 

In July, 1836, the Niagara Falls Journal announced that the road 
from Lockport to that place was rapidly approaching completion, and 
that the Buffalo and Niagara Falls road was also in a far advanced con- 
dition, cars being then running on some parts of it. It was then ex- 
pected that the track would be ready for use between the Falls and 
Schlosser and between Black Rock and Buffalo by August i, when 
these two sections would be connected by a steamboat ; both boats were 
to be ready in September. The Buffalo road was surveyed in 1834 
and part of the grading done in 1835. The road road bed was similar 
to the above described. In the winter after the road was opened, frost 
so heaved the sills and track that the engines were taken off and horses 
substituted for motive power. Some years later the road was recon- 
structed and the route somewhat changed. In the latter part of Au- 
gust, 1836, the Buffalo Courier announced that the first locomotive had 
been put on the track between Tonawanda and Black Rock, and a 
speed of about fifteen miles an hour attained. The first engine was 
called Little Buffalo, and the second, Niagara. 


On December lO, 1850, the Rochester, Lock-port and Niagara Falls 
Railroad Company was organized. It purchased the interest of the 
Lockport and Niagara Falls Company in 1851, and the track of the 
latter company was abandoned and taken up. None of the first direc- 
tors of this company was from Niagara county. Regular trains began 
running on this line June 30, 1852, and the road was joined in the 
consolidation of the New York Central in May, 1853. The branch 
from Lockport Junction to Tonawanda was built by the Rochester, 
Lockport and Niagara Falls Company in 1852, and began business in 
January, 1853. 

At the time of the consolidation of the Central roads there was or- 
ganized a company which constructed the Canandaigua and Niagara 
Falls road. This line was opened to the Falls July i, 1853, and to 
Suspension Bridge, October i, 1854. In March, 1857, it was purchased 
by a syndicate of individuals, most of whom were in Europe, to whom 
it was heavily mortgaged, and the name was changed to the Niagara 
Bridge and Canandaigua Railroad ; it was then immediately leased to 
the Central. 

On the 9th of September, 1852, the Niagara Falls and Lake Ontario 
Railroad Company was organized to build a line from Niagara Falls to 
Youngstown. Benjamin Pringle was president; John Porter, vice- 
president ; Bradley D. Davis, secretary, and William S. Mallory, 
treasurer. The construction of this short road involved an immense 
amount of rock cutting along its picturesque route on a shelf of the 
cliff that overhangs the river between the Devil's Hole and Lewiston ; 
it was graded and opened to Lewiston in 1854, and a train ran over 
the road to Youngstown October 21, 1855. Soon afterward work on 
that part of the road was suspended and the track taken up. The re- 
mainder of the road was leased to the New York Central. The open- 
ing of these railroads changed the conditions of trade, made com- 
munication between distant points more easy and frequent, and broad- 
ened the social life of the community. 

Niagara county had its share in the financial distress and panic that 
swept over the country in 1836-7 and again in 1857. During the 
year 1836 speculation and extravagance ran riot through the country ; 
land values were carried far beyond their legitimate limits, while the 


disorganized condition of the currency and the banks produced results 
that might have been foreseen. The western part of the State, espe- 
cially at and near Buffalo, suffered severely when the revulsion came. 
Among the prominent speculators of that city was Benjamin Rathbun, 
who went down in the crash with many others. He operated exten- 
sively in real estate and made large purchases at Niagara Falls and its 
vicinity, built a large addition to the old P^agle Hotel and laid the 
foundation for another huge public house on the square now occupied 
by the International Hotel. Under his enthusiastic and visionary 
manipulation the village plan was extended and he began the sale of 
lots at auction. But in the midst of his operations the tide turned and 
he was overwhelmed. There was great depression for a time and the 
village at the falls suffered severely. But recovery from the effects of 
both the periods of stringency referred to was more rapid than in 
many localities. Niagara Falls village lias always had within itself a 
source of considerable wealth, while Lockport was then just beginning 
to feel the beneficent effects of the great water power supplied at the 
locks in the canal, which eventually made the place prominent in the 
manufacturing centers of the State. 

In 1837-8 took place what has become known as the Patriot war, in 
which many American citizens along the frontier were engaged, in associ 
ation with residents in Canada in redressing wrongs more or less imagi- 
nary which they had suffered from that country. As a result of the work 
of emissaries of the Canada insurgents in this State, secret organizations 
were formed, the membership of which, with outside sympathizers, was 
very numerous. About the middle of December, 1837, a few hundreds 
of these crossed from Schlosser to Navy Islatid armed with weapons 
furnished by contribution or stolen from a State depository, among the 
latter being a number of cannon. Preparations were made on the isl- 
and for an invasion of Canada. The leader of this party was Rensse- 
laer Van Rensselaer. Another officer was Gen. Thomas Jefferson 
Sutherland, having many relatives in Niagara county. On the 29th of 
December a small steamer, the Caroline, belonging to William Wells, 
of Buffalo, made several trips between Schlosser and the island, carry- 
ing the men and equipments, and finally tied up at the Schlosser land- 
ing. That night a party of British crossed the river and after a fight in 


which one New York man was killed and several wounded, set fire to 
the Caroline, cut her loose, and she drifted over the falls. About 
twenty-five men were on the boat at the time of the attack, some of 
whom were missing after the firing of the vessel. The burning of the 
Caroline was an unjustifiable proceeding and constituted an invasion 
of United States territory, and it created intense excitment throughout 
the countr)' ; for a time it was feared that complications might arise 
from the event which would lead to war between the United States and 
England. This act, moreover, rapidly added to the ranks of the self- 
styled patriots and gave them a new excuse for their proposed invasion. 
The Niagara frontier was the most important point to the insurgents, 
though they were active farther east and particularly near Ogdensburg. 
General Scott was now sent to Niagara, and was accompanied by Gov- 
ernor Marcy. A considerable force of troops, including Randall's bat- 
tery of artillery, was collected at Buffalo, and in January, 1838, marched 
to Schlosser. Finding matters quiet there they returned to Buffalo, 
and a few days later were stationed at Black Rock. After the burning 
of the Caroline, the patriots brought the Barcelona down from Buffalo 
for use as their ferry boat, but General Scott nullified their efforts by 
hiring the vessel for Ihe United States government and on the i6th 
ordered her back to Buffalo The boat had been carefully watched by 
the British authorities, who had stationed three armed schooners just 
above Grand Island with the purpose of attacking her on her return 
trip. A force of the Ikitish were also under arms on the Canada side. 
On the preceding day Scott had notified the English commander that 
he was ful'y prepared to restrain any further demonstration by the pat- 
riots and that if the British fired on the Barcelona, he should consider it 
a breach of neutrality and a hostile demonstration against his govern- 
ment. This warning was repeated on the morning of the i6th. In the 
mean time Scott had posted his men and planted his cannon on this 
side of the river, where the gunners stood ready to fire on the British if 
they attacked the vessel. They wisely let her pass unmolested, thus 
averting difficulty that might have led to international war. On the 
previous day, when Van Rensselaer saw that he was to lose the Barce- 
lona, he abandoned the island, returned to this side and dispersed his 

patriots. The entire foolhardy scheme was soon afterward abandoned. 


It is time that a paragraph should appear in these pages in reference 
to the Niagara ship canal project, which at various times received much 
attention in Western New York and especially in this county. A com- 
pany having in view the construction of a ship canal from the naviga- 
ble water above the falls to navigable water below, was incorporated as 
early as 1798. In 1808, in pursuance of a resolution of the Senate, the 
secretary of the treasury submitted to that body an able and elaborate 
report on the subject of roads and canals in general, and among those 
that might require public aid he mentioned a canal around the falls at 
Niagara. In 1823, while the Erie Canal was in process of construction, 
and a sort of canal fever prevailed throughout the State, there was a 
wide-spread belief that a canal should be built around the falls, which 
resulted in the organization of a company in April of that year. 
Among the provisions of the charter was one giving power to "open 
navigation from the Niagara River above the falls thereof to the heights 
near the village of Lewiston." The company was largely composed 
of prominent citizens of Lewiston and vicinity. Nathan Roberts, an 
experienced engineer who had been connected with the Erie Canal from 
its commencement, was engaged by the company to make a survey for 
the proposed work. He began at the mouth of Gill Creek, two miles 
above the falls, and ran a line nearly due north to a point on the moun- 
tain just above Lewiston. He made full and careful reports in which 
he demonstrated that the canal could be constructed on that route, 
with a single lock, for a little less than $1,000,000. As this sum could 
not be guarantied, the project was temporarily abandoned. Before the 
lapse of another decade this subject had assumed more extended im- 
portance. In 1836 Capt. W. G. Williams, topographical, engineer of the 
United States army, was sent on by President Jackson to make surveys 
" preparatory to the construction of a ship canal around Niagara Falls," 
One of the routes surveyed was that followed by Mr. Roberts, and the 
estimated cost, including locks, was $3,000,000, the difference in the 
estimates of the two engineers being occasioned principally by the in- 
creased cost of labor and materials. The undertaking again failed, 
largely on account of the financial crisis of 1836-7. The whole project 
remained at rest until 1863, when it was brought before the president 
and Congress, and a new survey was ordered in 1868. The reports 


made upon the several surveys ordered at this time were laid before 
Congress, but when the matter was brought to a vote it was lost by a 
small majority. Although this subject has never lost its interest and is 
still frequently discussed, nothing further has been done regarding it, 
except the submission of a report by a U. S. commission recently (1897) 
which favors the project in connection with other projects making a 
ship route from the Hudson to the lakes and Chicago. 

During this first half of the present century commercial affairs on 
the lakes grew to considerable proportions. The first vessel built on 
the New York side of Lake Ontario after the Revolution was built by 
Eli Granger, at Hanford's Landing, on the Genesee River, in 1797, and 
named Jemima; it was a craft of thirty tons. In 1798 Augustus and 
Peter B. Porter bought this vessel, and the bill of sale is still in posses- 
sion of the Porter family. In 1803 the sloop Niagara was built at 
Cayuga Creek. The Niagara Portage Company was early formed and 
owned or controlled many vessels engaged in transporting Onondaga 
salt, merchandise, etc., to pass over the portage. Among them was 
the schooner Niagara, another called the Ontario, and the Charles and 
Ann. Other vessels not owned by this company sailed in connection 
with it between Oswego and Lewiston Among the firms and in- 
dividuals connected either directly or indirectly with the portage be- 
tween Lewiston and Lake Erie were the following, according to state- 
ments of the late Capt. James Van Cleve : Archibald Fairchild owned 
two vessels in Oswego ; Matthew McNair, the founder of commerce on 
the lake at Oswego, owned several; Townsend, Bronson & Co., and 
Sharp & Vaughn, of the same place, owned one or more vessels ; 
Henry Eagle, of Osweg", owned two or three vessels, and John T. 
Trowbridge and Capt. Joseph VVhitne}' owned the Mary Ann. Other 
vessels were owned at various lake ports, all contributing to the volume 
of transportation at the portage. 

The first steamboat, the Ontario, which has already been mentioned, 
was the first on the great lakes ; Captain Van Cleve was clerk on this 
boat in 1826-30. She was built at Sackett's Harbor in 18 16, and made 
her first trip in April, 1817. She was greeted with enthusiasm at the 
different ports on the lake and St. Lawrence River, and demonstrated 
the fact that such vessels could be successfully navigated on the inland 


waters. In I 8 17 President Monroe visited Niagara county, landing at 
Fort Niagara from Sackett's Harbor, whence he came on the United 
States brig Jefferson. 

The first Enghsh steamer built on Lake Ontario was the Frontenac, 
which appeared in Niagara River in 18 18, under command of Capt. 
James McKenzie. Tlie steamer Canada, built at Toronto in 1826, by 
Capt. Hugh Richardson, ran as a packet between that city and the 
Niagara River. The steamer Oueenston, built in 1824, sailed in the 
next year under command of Capt. Joseph Whitney. The Transit, 
owned by Captain Richardson, ran as a packet between Lewiston and 
Toronto from 1835 to 1842. The steamer Chief Justice Robinson, with 
the same owner, made the same run from 1842 to 1852 The steamer 
Great Britain, 500 tons, came out in 1831 under command of Capt. 
Joseph Whitney ; she ran ten years between I^ewiston and Prescott. 
Other prominent vessels that came to Lewiston were the Zimmerman, 
tlie Southern Belle, the United States, the St. Lawrence, the Oneida, 
the Lady of the Lake, the Rochester, the Vandalia, the Cataract, a 
second Ontario, the Bay State, the Northerner, the New York, and 
others of less note. Besides the captains thus far mentioned, others 
who were conspicuous on the lake were Capts. Thomas Dick, Andrew 
Estis, R. J. Van Dewater, William Williams, John Evans, J. J. Taylor, 
George S. Weeks, H. N. Throop, Rufus Hawkins, R. F. Child, R. B. 
Chapman and others. 

Soon after the close of the war of I 812, the timber and lumber trade 
began to assume large proportions in Western New York along the 
lake and river. Lewiston and Youngstown were large markets for 
timber and staves, which were drawn thither from various places along 
the lake within Niagara county. Concerning this business Turner's 
Holland Purchase has the following : 

In 1817 and 1818 it was extended along the lake to Niagara river; the mouths of 
Oak Orchard, the Eighteen [milej, the Twelve [mile], Youngstown, and Lewiston 
were the principal depots. The trade was at first in butt staves; ship timber fol- 
lowed and continued until the fine groves of oak between ridge and lake pretty 
much disappeared. As soon as the canal was completed as far west as Lockport 
the commerce in ship timber and staves commenced upon it. Daniel Washburn 
and Otis Hathaway first engaged in the business at Lockport, under a large con- 
tract with the eminent ship builder, Henry Eckford, of New York. The fine oak 
that grew in the immediate vicinity of Lockport was used to fill their contract. 


This timber and stave business finally declined and gave way to an 
immense trade in sawed lumber that for many years constituted the 
most important part of the business of Tonawanda. 

All these various public improvements and institutions, and enter- 
prising private industries served to place Niagara county in the pros- 
perous condition that existed at the time of the rising of the war cloud 
that appeared on the horizon in 1859-60. 



It is a fact easily substantiated that when in April, 1861, the enemies 
of the government and the Union fired upon the American flag, no 
county in the Empire State exhibited more prompt and universal pa- 
triotism, size and number of inhabitants considered, than Niagara, and 
none more promptly and freely met the several calls of the president 
for volunteers, and of the various organizations for relief to soldiers and 
their families. With the fall of Fort Sumter and the president's call for 
75,000 troops, the wildest enthusiasm prevailed. The Union flag leaped 
from hundreds of buildings, the sound of drum and fife were everywhere 
heard, and the ordinary pursuits of life were almost abandoned for 
military discussion and action. Measures for the relief of the families 
of the early volunteers were prompt and generous. The first public 
meeting was held in Lockport on the 1 8th of April, and the second on 
the 20th, at which more than $8,000 was subscribed and subsequently 
collected and paid to volunteers and their families. These were followed 
by similar gatherings in other villages of the county, in all of which en- 
thusiastic and generous action ruled. These efforts to relieve the terrors 
of war continued in this county throughout the struggle, and funds 
raised in those days which did not seem to be pressingly needed and 
were held over, have in recent years been devoted to the erection of a 
memorial to the military heroes of the county. 

So prompt was the response to the first call of the president that on 


the i8th of April, 1861, Capt. Elliott W. Cook had a recruiting office 
open in Lockport, and in two days 140 men had enlisted; within the 
succeeding few days five companies of volunteers were organized in this 
county. They were commanded respectively by Captain Cook, and 
Captains W. W Bush, William H. H. Mapes, H. H. Paige, and Theo- 
dore P. Gould. These companies were joined by two from Orleans 
county, under Captains Erwin A. Bowen and Hardie, and onecompany 
each from Genesee, Ontario and Sullivan counties, to form a regiment. 
The organization was number 28, and mustered in at Albany May 22. 
On the 25th of June it departed for Washington and was attached to 
General Patterson's command at Martinsburgh. On the ilth of July, 
while on a scouting expedition, Isaac Sly, of Lockport, was killed. The 
principal engagements in which the 28th participated were Winchester. 
Cedar Mountain (where the loss was 207, killed, wounded and prison- 
ers), Rappahannock Station, Antietam, and Chancellorsville. In all of 
these the organization earned an excellent record. The regiment re- 
turned to New York in May, 1863, and was mustered out. 

In the 49th Infantry Company H, commanded by Capt. Charles H. 
Moss, of Lockport, was composed of Niagara county men and officered 
as follows : 

Captain, Charles H. Moss, Lockport; first lieutenant, Andrew W. Brazee, Lock- 
port; second lieutenant, Henry D. Hall, Lockport; first sergeant, William D. 
Boughton, Lockport; second, Otis B. Hayes, Somerset; third, Charles A. Murphy, 
Lockport; fourth, William Tindall, Lockport: first corporal, Frank Baker, Lock- 
port; second, Isaac N. Porter, Lockport; third. Jay Silsby, Lockport; fourth, Henry 
E. Barlow, Lockport; fifth, Michael Hutchinson, Lockport; sixth, William Levan, 
Lockport; seventh, George W. Pixley, Somerset; musician, Schuyler S. Ballou, 
Lockport; wagoner, Ludolphus W. Fuller, Lockport. 

The 49th was raised in response to the call for 300,000 volunteers in 
1861, and was mustered in on August 22, of that year. It was com- 
manded at the first by Col. Daniel D. Bidwell, of Buffalo. It arrived 
at Washington in September and was soon attached to Gen. " Baldy " 
Smith's division, The regiment remained in camp most of the fall and 
winter of 1 861-2, participating meanwhile in an engagement at Draines- 
ville. In the spring of 1 862 the 49th shared in the peninsular campaign, 
taking part in the battles of Yorktown, Williamsburg, Golding's Farm, 
Savage Station, White Oak Swamp, and Malvern Hill. Later engage- 


ments in which the 49th won renown were Crampton's Gap, Antietam, 
Mary's Heights, Salem Heights, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, 
Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Fort Stevens, Ope- 
quan, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek. Company H, however, did but 
little fighting after the engagement at Malvern Hill, having been de- 
tailed at division headquarters as provost guard. Captain Brazee acting 
as judge advocate. 

The regiment itself suffered terribly in the battle of the Wilderness, 
where every officer was either killed or wounded. Captain Moss re- 
turned home sick with fever in 1862 and died on the 2Sth of March. 
The regiment was mustered out June 27, 1865. 

A battery and a regiment of light artillery were largely composed of 
Niagara county men. These were the 23d Battery and the ist Regi- 
ment, both recruited in the summer of 1861. The 23d Battery was 
raised by Capt. Alfred Ransom, of Newfane, associated with Samuel 
Kittenger of Cambria, and Lewis B. Manning, of Wheatfield. The 
battery was mustered into service October 16, 1861, and ordered to 
Albany, where about half of a Warren county company was assigned to 
it, raising it to the required strength. Proceeding to Washington the 
battery was armed and on April 28, 1862, reached Newbern, N. C, to 
reinforce Burnside. During that summer and the first half of the suc- 
ceeding winter the 23d was engaged in operations near Newbern and 
Morehead City. In December it shared in the engagements at Kins- 
ton, Whitehall and Goldsboro. In the spring of 1S63 the battery aided 
in preventing the enemy from capturing Newbern and Washington, 
N. C. At the latter place the battery then remained until April, 1864, 
taking part in numerous raids and skirmishes. The battery was sta- 
tioned at Newbern most of the summer of 1864 and until the spring of 
1865, and was mustered out July 3, 1865. Following is an official 
record : 

Captain, Alfred Ransom; first lieutenant, Samuel Kittenger; first lieutenant, 
Thomas Low (promoted to captain) ; second lieutenant, Nelson Cornell ; first sergeant, 
Lewis B. Manning; quartermaster .sergeant, Joseph Kittenger; sergeants, John K. 
Swick, Newfane, enlisted November 11, 1861, mustered out November 10, 1864; Ed- 
gar C. Balcom, Frederick F. Palmatier, Newfane, enlisted October 23, 1861, mus- 
tered out November 10, 1864; George W. Sprout, Newfane, enlisted October 16, 18G2, 
died in 1865; Amos Parker, Orlin S. Hays; corporals, Charles T, Saxton, William 


Sage, William M. Smith, Simeon H. Talbot, Newfane, enlisted November 11, 1861, 
mustered out November 10, 1SG4; Sylvester Perry, Edmond T. Ackerman, Edwin 
Saxton, James McDonald, Almon Bliss, William H. Merville, Philip Simmons, 
Stephen Flynn; buglers, Clark Anderson, William J. Porter; artificer, William L. 
Warden; blacksmith, Jedediah Biggins, Newfane, enlisted August 35, 1862, mus- 
tered out July 24, 1866; wagoner. Perry McKenzie. 

Of the 1st Regiment of Light Artillery only Company M was from 
this county; it was officered as follows: Captain, George W. Cothran, 
Lockport ; first lieutenant, C. E. Winegar, Medina; second, James II. 
Peabody, Olcott ; third, George B. Eggleston, Wilson; fourth, John D. 
Woodbury, Wilson. The regiment did service by batteries and was 
mustered out in the same manner. Battery M joined the regiment at 
Elmira and was mustered in from August 30, 1861, to November. 
Proceeding to Washington, the regiment joined General Banks at Fred- 
erick in January, 1S62. In the succeeding campaign and up to Au- 
gust, 1863. the battery was actively engaged and participated in the 
battles of Antietam, Second Bull Run, Cedar Mountain, Winchester, 
and Gettysburg. In August, 1863, the battery marched to Chatta- 
nooga and fought at Lookout Mountain and .Wahatchie Valley. In the 
following winter the regiment went to Bridgeport, Ala., and its term 
having expired the members re- enlisted and joined Sherman. Hatiery 
M was assigned to the late 12th Corps under General Thomas. After 
the capture of Atlanta by Sherman the battery was a part of the force 
of that commander until the close of the war, when it retuined to Wash- 
ington and shared in the grand review. It was mustered out June 23, 

The 8th Cavalry, commanded by Col. Samuel J. Crooks, of Roch- 
ester, mustered in from November 28, 1861, to October 4, 1862, con- 
tained one company (E) from Niagara county and chiefly from Hart- 
land and Royalton. It was raised by Capt. Benjamin F. Foote ; Alpha 
Whiton, of Royalton, first lieutenant. It is impracticable to follow 
with any pretense of detail the movements of a cavalry organization in 
the field, but it may be briefly stated that this regiment performed gal • 
lant and meritorious service in the battles of Winchester, Antietam, 
Upperville, Beverly Ford, Gettysburg. Locust Grove, White Oak 
Swamp, Opequan, Cedar Creek and Appomattox Court-house. At 
the battle of Beverly Ford, June 9, 1863, Captain Foote was killed. 

The original members of the regiment were mustered out at the close of 
their term and the regiment, composed of veterans and recruits, was 
retained in service until June 27, 1865. 

Company E of the 15th Cavalay was composed largely of Niagara 
county men mostly from Lockport. Officers in this company were the 
following: First sergeant, Orlando E. Dickerson ; commissary sergeant, 
George A. Bond ; sergeant, Edward Bragden ; corporals, George Fra- 
zier, Walter W. Smith, Royalton, enlisted July 13, 1863, discharged 
August 9, 1865; Robert Hamilton; farrier, John G. McLean; black- 
smith, John Jacobus. The regiment was mustered in from August, 
1863, to January 14, 1864. It was consolidated with the 6th N. Y. 
Cavalry June 17, 1865, the new organization becoming the 2d N. Y. 
Provisional Cavalry. 

The 3d Cavalry, raised in 1 86 1, contained thirteen men from Royal- 
ton ; three from Newfane, and seventeen who enlisted at Tonawanda. 

In July, 1863, public announcement was made that Col. John Fisk, 
of Niagara, had been authorized to raise a regiment for three years' 
service to be known as the Governor's Guard. Capt. William P. War- 
ren was to act as adjutant with headquarters at Lockport. This regi- 
ment, it was announced, was to go as mounted rifles. Enlistments 
began, the first three being Henry F. Pierce, of Niagara Falls ; Dr. 
Robert T. Paine, of Lockport ; William P. Warren, Lockport. Dr. 
Paine was mustered as surgeon, and Warren as adjutant. The first 
company filled was Capt. Joseph V. Rushmore's, of Lockport ; this was 
quickly followed by the companies of Capts. William H. H. Mapes and 
Henry G. Stebbins. both of Lockport. In February, 1864, twelve 
companies were ready for muster. The regimental officers were as 
follows : 

Colonel, John Fisk, Niagara Falls; lieutenant-colonel, Jasper N. Raymond, New 
York; lieutenant-colonel, Joseph H. Wood, 3d Regular Cavalry; major, William H. 
H. Mapes, Lockport; major, John D. Newman, Lockport; major, John H. Fralick, 
Little Falls; adjutant, William P. Warren, Lockport; adjutant, Franklin Rogers, 
Buffalo; quartermaster, Henry F. Pierce, Niagara Falls; commissary. Joseph A. 
Briggs, Buffalo; commissary, John M Hill, Lockport; surgeon, Robert T. Paine, 
Locicport; assistant surgeon, Hugh McGregor Wilson, Lockport; assistant surgeon, 
Eli Woodworth, Allegany; chaplain, Washington Stickney. 

The regiment was stationed in Fort Porter, Buffalo, where it re 


mained until March, 1864, whence they proceeded to Washington. 
There instead of being armed and equipped for the service in whicli 
they had been enhsted, the men were assigned to a provisional brigade 
of dismounted cavalry and heavy artillery, in the 9th Corps under 
Burnside. The regiment participated in the battles of Spotsylvania 
and the North Anna, suffering slight loss. Its losses at Tolopotomoy 
were more severe, and the next day at Bethesda Church some fifty or 
sixty were killed and wounded. In the battle of Cold Harbor the 
loss was not heavy, among the wounded being Lieut. Charles Flagler. 
Proceeding across the James to the Petersburg front, the regiment 
soon became actively engaged. In the capture of the Weldon Rail- 
road, June 18, a heavy loss was sustained Lieut. James B. N. De- 
long was among the killed; he was from Lockport. In tiie further 
operations before Petersburg this regiment was constantly engaged, 
losing men almost every day, and taking part in the terrible assault 
following the explosion of the mine on July 30. At Pegram's Farm, 
Major Mapes, Captain Stebbins and about fifty others were taken 
prisoners and the killed and wounded numbered more than fifty. Lieu- 
tenant Casey, of Lockport, was among the killed. After the battle of 
Hatcher's Run, in which the regiment lost slightl)', it proceeded to City 
Point and there received the long promised horses, with orders to re 
port to Gen. Charles H. Smith, of the 2d Brigade, 2d Cavalry Division. 
A raid to Stony Creek followed ; the Weldon raid in December, 1864 ; 
the second Hatcher's Run engagement, and the final pursuit of Lee, 
came in their order, in all of which the regiment earned an excellent 
record. After service at Appomattox in the closing scenes, the brigade 
including the 22d was detailed to escort Grant from Appomattox to 
Burkeville Junction. Pending negotiations between Sherman and 
Johnston the regiment was ordered to North Carolina ; there it was 
learned that Johnston had surrendered, and the 22d went on provost 
duty until August, 1865 ; it was mustered out at Buffalo August 10 

In the infantry branch of the service the organization containing the 
largest proportion of Niagara county men was the 151st Regiment, Of 
this, Companies B, F, and H, the larger part of K, and a part of G 
were from this county. It was recruited by Col. William Emerson, of 
Albion, in the summer of 1862, and was ready for inspection about the 


middle of October. On the 22d of that month they left Camp Church 
at Lock-port for Baltimore, being armed at Elmira on the way. The 
regimental officers were as follows: Colonel, William Emerson ; major, 
Thomas M. Fay; adjutant, James A. Jewell; quartermaster, John K. 
McDonald ; surgeon, A. A. Leonard ; assistant surgeons, John R. Cotes 
and J). W. Onderdonk ; chaplain, E. M. Buck. The i 5 ist was assigned 
to a division under General Emory, then stationed at Baltimore and 
preparing for service in the Gulf Department. The regiment remained 
at Baltimore through the winter, and on the 22d of April, 1863, was 
ordered to West Virginia ; during the next sixty days they were almost 
constantly on the march, going to Clarksburg, Martinsburg, Berlin, 
Monocacy and to Maryland Heights. About the 1st of July the 
Heights were abandoned and the troops were ordered from there to 
Frederick City, and there held in reserve during the battle of Gettys- 
burg. At noon of July 4 dispatches from General Meade announced 
the repulse of the enemy and ordered the forces of which the 151st 
was part to march to South Mountain Pass, sixteen miles distant. On 
the 8th General Hooker arrived with the Army of the Potomac and all 
the troops marched through the pass. The isist now constituted a 
part of the 3d Corps. The succeeding immediate operations of Lee 
were such that Meade was compelled to follow him into Virginia, and 
after a most arduous march in the heat of summer, the isth of July 
found the army again in camp at the foot of Maryland Heights. The 
remainder of the campaign of 1863 was a series of maneuvres without 
much actual fighting. It has been described as follows: 

Crossing the Potomac from the Middletown valley the route lay on the eastern side 
of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the latter part of July the 151st passed through 
Warrenton and went into camp at Bealton, where it remained about six weeks. Here 
nearly every man in the regiment was sick, and many died. Lee's movements 
compelled the army to fall back to Centreville. He was trying to get to Washing- 
ton, and the division to which the 151st belonged was trying to head him off.- The 
two armies marched almost side by side for a time, when Lee finally abandoned the 
project and fell back to the Rapidan. The Union forces under Meade followed, 
never halting until Lee was driven to the south .side of the river. On the 26th of 
November Meade took his forces across the Rapidan, with a view to attacking Lee, 
and, if successful, marching on to Richmond. On the night of the 26th the army bi- 
vouacked on the south side of the river. On the 27th the division to which the 151st 
belonged engaged with Johnston's division of Ewell's corps, and for two hours was 
in one of the sharpest musketry duels of the war at Mine Run. It was here that the 


gallant officer Captain Wilcox, ofGasport, Niagara county, waskilled. The infernal 
yell of tlie rebels as they rushed into the fight, the sharp thud of the bullet striking 
the flesh, lent fury to the struggle. This was the first severe engagement in which 
the 151st participated. The troops remained on the south side of the Rapidan about 
a week without any further engagement. Thej- then recrossed the river, and went 
into winter quarters at Brandy Station. The l.'jlst encamped on the farm of the 
somewhat famous John Miner Botts. During the winter the men cut down and 
burned twenty-five acres of timber for Botts. It does not appear, however, that they 
were ever paid for it. 

In the spring of 1864 Grant came into command of the Army of the 
Potomac and on the 5th of May crossed the Rapidan to begin the mem- 
orable battle of the Wilderness. In that conflict the 151st made an 
honorable record and suftered its heaviest losses. Subsequently at 
Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor the regiment participated in the bloody 
struggles and saw more of its members fall. 

On the 15th of June the 151st joined the movement across thejames 
and became a part of the Union troops that invested Petersburg to be- 
gin the closing scenes in the great struggle. On the 1st of July the 
regiment was part of the force sent to head off Early in his movement 
towards Washington ; its services not beirig long demanded in that 
direction, it marched to Baltimore and thence to Monocacy. After the 
battle at that point it returned to Baltimore and went into camp near 
where it first wintered A few weeks later it was in the Shenanhoah 
valley with Sheridan, paiticipated in the engagements of Opequan, 
Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek, and in November was ordered back to 
the Army of the Potomac in front of Petersburg, where it went into 
camp for the winter. In the later well known campaign which ended 
the war the 151st performed an honorable part. The regiment mus- 
tered out only 306 enlisted men. 

In the 78th Infantry Company I was raised in this county and was 
commanded by Capt, Peter M. T. Mitchell, of Suspension Bridge ; 
most of the men were from Lewiston and Niagara. The record of the 
officers is as follows : 

Captain, Peter M. T. Mitchell, Suspension Bridge, killed at Antietam ; first lieu- 
tenant, Henry F. Pierce, Suspension Bridge; second lieutenant, Myron E. Dunlap, 
Suspension Bridge; first sergeant, Henry Stearns, Suspension Bridge; sergeants, 
Thomas Mayberry, Suspension Bridge; James H. Cleveland, Niagara City; corpor- 
als, Cornelius Mitchell, William O. Butler and Henry Williams, Su.spension Bridge; 


George H. Whitman, Lewistou; James Jones, William H. Seely, James Foster, and 
John B. Church, Suspension Bridge. 

The regiment participated in the battles of Wahatchie, Lookout 
Mountain, Resaca, Dallas, Lost Mountain, Pine Knob, Kenesaw, Peach 
Tree Creek, and Atlanta. The date of its muster was October, 1861, 
to April, 1862. 

Companies B, D, and H, of the 105th Regiment were largely com- 
posed of Niagara county men. This regiment was organized at Roch- 
ester and mustered in in March, 1862, was consolidated with the 94th 
ill March, 1S63, tiie latter organization being mustered out July 18, 
1865. The first battle in which the 105th participated was at Cedar 
Moimtain, and it subsequently performed good service at Rappahannock 
Station, Thoroughfare Gap, Second Bull Run, Chantilly, South Moun- 
tain, Antietam and Fredericksburg. 

Several other infantry organizations contained larger or smaller num- 
bers of Niagara county men, and there were also, of course, many in- 
dividual enlistments of which no record can be given. The 96th • mus- 
tered in February and March, 1862, contained a few men from this 
county. The looth regiment, mustered from September, 1861, to Jan- 
uary, 1862, contained nearly lOO men, mostly from Wheatfield. The 
I32d, mustered October 4, 1862, contained over thirty Niagara men 
and officers and left a gallant record. Company B of the 164th was 
almost wholl}' from this county, under Capt. William Maroney of Lock- 
port. The regiment was mustered in November 19, 1862. Company 
G of the 194th was from this county and nearly all its members were 
from Lockport ; it was mustered in from February to April, 1865. A 
few men in Company A, 178th regiment were from this county and a 
still smaller number in the 179th and 187th regiments. 

Niagara county was honored in the artillery branch of the service, 
and especially so by the gallant career of the 8th Heavy Artillery. 
The companies of which this regiment was composed were raised in 
Niagara, Orleans and Genesee, by Col. Peter A. Porter, and was mus- 
tered in at Lockport, August 22, 1862. Companies B, D, E and F 
were principally from Niagara county. The regiment was officered as 
follows : 

Colonel, Peter A. Porter, Niagara Falls; lieutenant-colonel, W. W. Bates, Orleans 


county; major, James M. Willett, Batavia; First Lieutenant E. L. Blake, adjutant, 
Lockport; First Lieutenant George B. Wilson, quartermaster, and Major James M. 
Leet, surgeon, Lockport; First I/ieutenant H. C. Hill, assistant surgeon, Somerset; 
Captain Gilbert L)e La Matyr, chaplain, Albion. 

The officers of Niagara county companies were as follows: 

Co. B — Captain, Joel B. Baker, Cambria; first lieutenant, James Low, Cambria; 
second lieutenant, Eli S. Nichols, Lockport; sergeants, Fayette S. Brown, D. L. 
Pitcher, Romeo G. Burns, W. H. Crowley, N. Z. Paterson ; corporals, T. C. Ed- 
wards, L. C. Harwood, Lyman A. Pyle, John Root, W. H. Bennett, Newfane, en- 
listed July 23, 18G2, mustered out February 25, 1865; Alexander Robb, Newfane, en- 
listed August, 1862, killed at Cold Harbor; Walter L. Martin, Job Cornell ; musicians, 
William S. Pike, H. W. Olmstead; wagoner, C. Gardiner. 

Co. D — Captain, James McGinnis, Lockport; first lieutenant, William Gardner; 
second, M. R. Blodgett, Lockport; first sergeant, John E. Owens, Royalton, enlisted 
August 22, 1862, discharged March 17, 1866; second, Arthur L. Chase; third, Horace 
J. McDonald; fourth, William F. Spalding, Royalton, enlisted in August, 1862, dis- 
charged in March, 1865; fifth, Charles B. Lackor, Royalton, enlisted August 6, 
1862, discharged Qctober 6, 1864; sergeant, W. H. H. Brown, Royalton, enlisted 
August 4, 1862, discharged June 5, 1865; first corporal, Almon Van Wagner; first 
corporal, J. Cooney, Royalton, enlisted August 1, 1862, discharged June 32, 1865; 
second, William George; third, Stephen H. Sim; fourth, John E. Carrington ; fifth, 
Henry Murray; sixth, Alfred Wakeman ; seventh, Hiram Carpenter; drummer, John 

Co. E — Captain, J. W. Holmes, Niagara Falls; first lieutenant, R. Baldwin, Wil- 
son ; second lieutenant, H. R. Swan. Suspension Bridge. 

Co. F — Captain, William J. Hawkins; first lieutenant, Samuel Sully; second lieu- 
tenant, George W. Rector — all of Lockport. 

This regiment was organized as the 129th N. Y. V., but was changed 
to the 8th Heavy Artillery in February, 1863, by order of the secretar)' 
of war. Two additional companies, L and M, were raised for the regi- 
ment in 1864. The regiment served from the time of its muster until 
the spring of 1864 in the defenses of Baltimore, with a short campaign 
to Harper's Ferry. On May 15, 1864, the regiment arrived in Wash- 
ington under orders for the field. Two days later it was on the 
march for Fredericksburg, and was soon connected with the Army of 
the Potomac. On the night of the 19th the men had their first en- 
counter with the enemy, meeting with a loss of thirty-two killed, 
wounded and missing. Between May 20 and June 2 the 8th per- 
formed arduous duty at Milford Station, the North Anna, and on the 
march to Cold Harbor. On that fateful day the sun went down for the 
last time to thousands of heroes. No organization did more gallant 


service in that memorable battle than the 8th Artillery and its ranks 
were thinned. Colonel Porter fell, Major Willett was wounded, and a 
large number of line officers were killed or wounded. The body of 
Colonel Porter, who had fallen at the head of his troops, was not found 
until the next day. It lay midway between the two lines of troops, 
and was brought away by Le Roy Williams (afterwards lieutenant of 
Co G), and Samuel Traverse, of Co. B, at the risk of their lives. In 
that action the 8th lost in killed nine officers and 146 men ; wounded, 
140 officers and 323 men ; missing, one officer and twelve men. From 
that time to the surrender the regiment participated in the operations 
around Petersburg, losing in the several more important engagements 
thirteen officers and sixty-five men killed ; fifteen officers and 230 men 
wounded ; four officers and 238 men missing. On June 4, 1865, Com- 
panies G. H, I and K were transferred to the 4th N. Y Artillery; 
Companies L and M to the loth N. Y. Infantry, and the remaining 
six companies were mustered out June 5, 1865. Following is a record 
of official casualties: 

Lieut.-Cul. Willard W. Bates died June Sf), 18G4, of wounds received in action; 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Blake died June 19 and Capt. George A. Hoyt, July 5, from 
the same cause. Capt. James McGinnis was killed at Ream's Station, August 25, 
1864; Capt. William J. Hawkins died of wounds, June 23, 18C4; Capt. Eldridge F. 
Sherman died of disease at City Point, July 30, 1804; Capt. Alexander Gardner was 
killed at Cold Harbor; Capt. Thomas Lowe died Aprd 35, 1865, of wounds; First 
Lieut. Charles H. West, jr. was killed at Ream's Station; First Lieut. Henry R. 
Swan died of disease at Cold Harbor, June 14, 1864; First Lieut. George W. Rector 
was killed at Hatcher's Run, October 29, 1864; First Lieut. A. G. Clapp died of 
wounds November 21, 1864; Second Lieut Fayette S. Brown was killed at Cold 
Harbor; Second Lieut. Arthur L. Chase was killed at Cold Harbor; Second Lieut. 
Walter P. Wright, in action before Petersburg, June 16, 1864; Second Lieut. Joseph 
W. Caldwell, Wallace B. Hard, Oliver M. Campbell and George W. Gladden were 
killed at Cold Harbor. 

The 1 2th Battery of Artillery was organized at Albany by Capt 
William H. Ellis, of Troy, but it contained many Niagara county men. 
It entered the service January 14, 1862, for three years and at the close 
of its term the original members were mustered out and the battery, 
composed of veterans and recruits, was retained in the service until 
June 14, 1865. The principal engagements in which this organization 
took part were Petersburg, Reams's Station, Kelly's F^rd, Mine Run, 


North Anna, Tolopotomoy, and Cold Harbor. F"ollowing is a list of 

Niagara county officers in the battery : 

First lieutenant, Walter Shaw, Newfane, enlisted October 7, 1861, honorably dis- 
charged March 31, 1863; orderly sergeant, Elijah Ewing, Newfane, enlisted in Au- 
gust, 1861, mustered out with regiment; sergeants, Rollin G. Steele, Newfane; 
George Outwater, Newfane, enlisted October 11, 1861, mustered out December 19, 
1865: corporals, William T. Slocum, Cambria; Charles Frinlc, Wilson; Matthias 
Hoffman, Hartland; bugler, Charles H. Newell, Newfane, enlisted October 12, 1861, 
mustered out July 21, 1865; carpenter, Elijah Dodge, Newfane, enlisted August 18, 

In 1862, when the prospects of the Union cause were most depress- 
ing and the president liad issued a call for 300,000 more men, of whom 
about 50,000 were to be raised in this State, Capt. William Stahl, of 
Lockport, began an effort early in August to enlist 142 men, as the 
19th Independent Artillery. He was successful and before the end of 
September he found himself in command of 162 men, more than one 
hundred of whom were farmers; the e.xcess over 142 was transferred 
to other organizations. The battery 'left its camp at Lockport on Oc- 
tober 23, proceeded to Washington and there went into the camp of 
instruction for the winter. In April, 1S63, it shared in the operations 
around Suffolk, Va., and in general service during the remainder of 
that season. In September, 1863, Capt. Stahl died of fever near Wash- 
ington, and the command devolved upon Lieut. E. W. Rogers. In 
April, 1864, the battery joined the Army of the Potomac, in Rurnside's 
Corps. In the terrible battle of the Wilderness the battery bore a con- 
spicuous part, and from that time forward until the surrender of Lee in 
April, IS65, was constantly employed in arduous service, suffering much 
in the operations around Petersburg, especially in the defense of Fort 
Steadman, March 25, 1865. After Lee's surrender the battery went to 
Alexandria, and remained to June 8, participating meanwhile in the 
grand review of June 5. This battery was officered as follows: 

Captain, William H. Stahl, Lockport, died September 15, 1863; first lieutenant, 
Edward W. Rogers, Lockport, promoted captain October 23, mustered out June 17, 
1865; second lieutenant, Peter McGraw, Lockport, discharged September 39, I860; 
first sergeant, Henry J. J. Fassett, Lockport, discharged in January, 1863; quarter- 
master sergeant, George N. McCoy, Lockport, died December 9, 1862; sergeants. 
Henry H. Moore, Lockport, promoted to lieutenancy; Michael Long, Lockport, pro- 
moted to lieutenancy; Gardner Corliss, Pendleton, wounded and discharged; corpo- 
rals, Aratus F. Pierce, Lockport; Alvin B. Baker, Lockport. deserted; James Rich- 

ards and Willard Heath, Lockport; John W. Haskell, Porter; Lockwood S. Sher- 
wood, Lockport. killed July 29, 1864; W. Scott Hovey, Newfane, enlisted August 16, 
1863, died December 8, 18G2, at Washington ; musicians, Richard A. Perry, Porter; 
Charles A. Bowen, Lockport, deserted Februarys, 1863; artificers, Elijah Dodge, 
Newfane, enlisted August 18, 186',', discharged August, 1863; W. C. Beck, Lockport. 

Other batteries of artillery containing more or less Niagara county 
volunteers, were the 14th and the 25th. There were also many indi- 
vidual enlistments in various other organizations, the detail of which 
may be found in the State muster rolls in the various county clerk's 

In providing the large sums necessary to pay bounties to fill the quo- 
tas under the several calls, the supervisors of this county acted with 
patriotic promptness and liberality, and the brave deeds of the soldiers 
are remembered with gratitude. 

An act of the Legislature was passed April 16, 1872, incorporated 
the Soldiers' Monument Society The passage of the act was procured 
through a request which was signed by thirty prominent citizens of tiie 
county. The purpose of the society was to erect a suitable monument 
in commemoration of the deeds of Niagara county soldiers. A consid- 
erable sum of money was on hand which had been accumulated during 
the war for miscellaneous relief objects and not used. The law made 
this available for the erection of the monument. The commissioners 
named to carry out the provisions of the law were T. G. Hulett, Will- 
iam Samways, Benjamin Flagler, A. W. R. Henning, S. T. Murray, 
George S. Harris, and T. V. Welch. An imposing monument was 
purchased by the commissioners and erected at the intersccti n of Falls 
and Canal streets. Its dedication took place on August 22, 1876, the 
same day on which was held the reunion of the 8th Heavy Artillery, 
Col. Peter A. Porter's regiment. The dedication ceremonies consisted 
of a procession, with music, the singing of "America " by a chorus of 
ladies representing the States of the Union, and addresses by T. G. Hu- 
lett, Colonel James M. Willett, T. V. Welch and others. 

There is little to add to the history of Niagara county during the 

period since the war that is not included in subsequent chapters and 

town histories in this work. The country at large at the conclusion of 

the great civil struggle, was enjoying a high tide of apparent prosperit)' 


The destructive and costly war had demanded immense issues of cur- 
rency, which, although greatly depreciated, was comparatively easy to 
obtain, through high wages, business activity in every direction, rising 
markets and general inflation. These conditions led to the almost 
reckless establishment of many industries, public and private, extrava- 
gant ways of living, the free circulation of the debased money, and ul- 
timately caused the financial stringency of 1872-3. This apparent tide 
of prosperity was, of course, largely illusory and fictitious. In later 
years every community was forced to suffer for it, as industries of every 
nature and all values gradually assumed their normal condition. 

Among the public improvements inaugurated in this county very- 
soon after the close of the war and under State legislation, was the ex- 
tensive draining of large sections of lowlands in different localities. An 
act was passed April 22, 1866, which appointed James Van Horn, 
Andrew Hamblin, andjohn McColhim-, commissioners to "drain cer- 
tain lowlands contiguous to Keg Creek," and directing them to make a 
map of the drains necessary for the purpose. In the same month Isaac 
Cook, Jesse P. Haines, and Lewis C. Beals were appointed by legislative 
act, commissioners to drain land in the town of Porter, extending from 
a certain described point to Six- mile Creek. Again, on April 25, 1867, 
Jesse P. Haines, Elijah C. Odell, and Philetus R. Perry, were appointed 
commissioners to drain lands in the town of Royalton, into Black Creek 
or Mud Creek. Within a few years these drainage improvements were 
continued in the towns of Lockport, Pendleton, Cambria and Hartland, 
and were the means of reclaiming and fitting for successful cultivation 
much land that had previously lain nearly idle. 

On April 10, 1866, an act of the Legislature was passed organizing 
Buffalo, the village of Tonawanda and town of Wheatfield into the Ni- 
agara Frontier Police district. Vigorous opposition, voiced by the 
Buffalo Commercial and the Niagara Falls Gazette, caused the frontier 
towns and villages below Wheatfield to be stricken from the bill before 
passage. In this district police powers were to be vested in a board of 
commissioners and a regular police force properly officered created. 
The act provided for an equitable payment of the cost of maintaining 
the force by the city, villages and town, and other details. 

On May 9, 1867, the Wilson Harbor Company was incorporated by 


act of the Legislature, which named Vincent Seeley, William Hambh'n, 
and Harvey N. Joiinson to open subscriptions for $30,000 of stock. 
The title of the act explains its purpose. 

On May 8, 1868, an act of the Legislature authorized the commis- 
sioners of highways of the towns of Lockport and Newfane to purchase 
what has long been known as the Long Causeway Turnpike, which ex- 
tends along the boundary between those two towns, and was formerly a 
toll road. 

Railroad extension was active in all parts of the country after the 
close of the war, and many lines were projected in this State. In the 
spring of 1 870 the Lake Ontario Shore Railroad Company was organized 
at Oswego, with the purpose of constructing a road along the south 
shore of Lake Ontario, which should eventually constitute part of a 
trunk line between Boston and the West. Many towns along the route 
were bonded in aid of the undertaking, amony them Somerset, in Ni- 
agara county, for $90,000; Newfane for $88,000 ; Wilson for $1 17,- 
000, and Lewiston for $152,000. The road was built under discourag- 
ing circumstances and the work proceeded slowly. Litigation was 
commenced over some of the town bonds, which checked their sale and 
the company was finally so crippled that it could not complete the road. 
In May, 1874, the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Company as- 
sumed the undertaking and about a year later the last of the bridges on 
the western part of the road were put in place. In the latter part of 
July, 1875, the track was laid twenty miles west of the Genesee River 
and was carried through to Lewiston in the spring of 1876. The first 
passenger train passed over the western part of the line on June 12, of 
that year. The road has been of benefit as a part of the general devel- 
opment of this region. 

In May, 1874, the Niagara River and Air Line Railroad Company 
was informally organized and elected directors from Orleans and Niagara 
counties, of whom J. W. Helmer, of Lockport, was chosen president. 
The company voted to disband a year la'ter. 

The Lockport and Buffalo Railroad Company was organized in 1876, 
with Thomas T. Flagler, president ; B. H. Fletcher, vice president ; 
and EJisha Moody, Lewis S. Paj-ne and Benjamin Carpenter in the 
directorsliip Lockport issued bonds for $100,000 of the stock of the 


company and in the following year most of the grading and bridge 
work as far as Tonawanda was completed. On July 9, 1877, the fol- 
lowing were elected directors of the company : T. T. Flagler, B. H. 
Fletcher, J. A Ward, John Hodge, James Jackson, jr., Benjamin Car- 
penter, Lewis S. Payne, J. L. Breyfogle, Josiah H. Helmer, Elisha 
Mood}-, J. C. Jackson, L. F. Bowen and I. H. Babcock. Tlie work of 
construction was pushed rapidly and the road was opened in 1878. It 
subsequently became a part of the Erie system. 

A branch of the Erie Railway, extending from Buffalo to Suspension 
Bridge, was constructed in the fall and winter of 1870-71. The road 
was formally opened for business May 15, 1 871. 

During the progress of these public improvements a gradual change 
took place in agricultural methods and products in this county. This is 
particularly true respecting the growing of fruits. Niagara county has 
always been an important locality in-this respect, and during the past 
quarter of a century has acquired fame throughout the country for the 
excellence and quantity of its native fruits, and especially its apples. 
Climate, soil and somewhat peculiar situation and surroundings of lake 
and river, early indicated that it could be developed into a great fruit- 
growing locality. Large apple orchards existed from early years, one 
of 700 trees having been planted by Nathan Comstock in I 817, within 
the present boundaries of Lockport. But it was not until 1845, about 
which time a large western demand came into e.xistence, that the 
county began to assume its modern importance in this industry. F"rom 
that time onward immense apple orchards were planted and Niagara 
fruit soon gained a wide reputation. Peaches and pears are also grown 
to a considerable extent. By the year 1875 Niagara county iiad a 
larger number of apple trees than any other county in the State, and 
this supremacy is still maintained. 

It should not be inferred from the above that this county has neglected 
the cultivation of the grains which in early years constituted so large a 
part of its products. As late as 1874 the county produced more than 
650,000 bushels of wheat, out of the 10,000,000 bushels in the State. 
For many years the county was also among a very few that produced 
the largest acreage of barley. 




The Niagara Countv Agricultural Society. — A county agri- 
cultural association was informally organized in this county at the court 
house in Lockport in 1841. The first president was William Parsons; 
others who were conspicuous in the matter were M. C. Crapsey. Dr. 
VV. A Townseiid, Daniel Pomroy, Jabez Pomroy, Parkhurst Whitney, 
and Washington Hunt. The first fair of the society was held the same 
year in Lockport, and in succeeding years they were held in the various 
towns of the county. Those early fairs were reasonably successful and 
served to materially advance the interests of agriculture and fruit grow- 
ing in the county ; from 1846 to 1857 t'le records are not complete and 
the society was not very active, but in 1858 it was reorganized under 
the law of April 13, 1855, and has since held regular and very suc- 
cessful fairs. The first election of officers for the new organization took 
place January 5, 1859, and resulted as follows: President, Willard 
Weld ; secretary, S. S. Pomroy ; treasurer, Roland Sears. The con- 
stitution was so drawn as to provide for a president, twelve vice presi- 
dents (one from each town in the county), a secretary, treasurer, and 
six directors. The officers purchased grounds at the corner of Wash- 
burn and Willow streets in Lockport, which originally comprised about 
twenty acres ; subsequent additions were made, suitable buildings were 
erected, and improvements made from time to time, until now the 
society has a well equipped, up-to-date fair grounds plant — one of the 
best in the State. The membership list gives the names of over 500 
of the solid and representative citizens of this county who have given 
active and helplul service in promoting the welfare of this legitimate 
county institution, whose aim is " to introduce in Niagara county new 
breeds of stock, encourage agriculture, horticulture and floriculture, 
recognize and award domestic manufactures, induce manufacturers of 


agricultural implements from abroad to exhibit here for the information 
of the farming community, and to diffuse valuable agricultural and 
horticultural information in general." The annual county fair, telling 
the story of local progress, is considered a good thing for every com- 
munity and should have the support of every citizen. From the early 
one to two days' annual fair has come the interesting and instructive 
annual fall exhibit lasting four days, with large business and attractions 
of great variety. 

During the season of i8g6, at the suggestion of Joshua Wilber, of 
Lock-port, a review of the local change and progress for the last seventy- 
five j'ears was made a very interesting feature of the fair. A large 
number of rare and ancient relics of great historical interest and value 
were exhibited, and the ofificers were encouraged to continue " histori- 
cal day " a permanent feature of the annual county fair. Many other 
new features have recently been added to the general programme, which 
with liberal premiums and prizes in all classesshould bring out the good 
things of the neighborhood in a way to show forth the glories of Niagara 
county to the satisfaction and delight of every resident. 

The officers of the society are elected annually by the life members, 
and of those who have been chosen and who have given good service 
in official capacity in the years gone by we find recorded as presidents : 

William Parsons, J. D. Shuler, Willard Weld, Franklin Spalding, D. A. Van Valk- 
enburgh, William Robinson, Hatnell Hayward, Alexander Campbell, Benjamin 
Farley, P. D. Walter, Albert Flanders, I. H. Babcock, Elisha Moody, George L. 
Moote, Seneca B. Foote, E. W. Gantt, Solomon Ernest, John P. Sawyer, P. H. 
Corwin, John Hodge, John P. Brown, Charles A. Warren, George H. Bradley. 

As vice presidents: Parkhurst Whitney, Jonathan Ingalls, O. P. Knapp, William 
Robinson, P. L. Ely, P, D. Walter, A. E. Reynolds, John H. Buck, I. H. Babcock, 
George B. Townsend, Mark A. Nichols, J. F. Trolt, S. B. Foote, William V. Corwin, 
Solomon Ernest, John P. Sawyer, John Hodge, Henry C. Howard, John P. Brown, 
Charles A. Warren, George H. Bradley, Charles Flagler. 

As secretary: Chauncey Leonard, Sullivan Caverno, S. S. Poraroy, N. M. Spald- 
ing, John R. St. John, P. D. Walter, Henry Shaft, J. F. H. Miller, John E. Pound, 
George N. Nichols, Thomas Scovell, George G. Moss. L. H. Hill, M. A. Nichols, 
Louis Viedt, W. H. Case, John T. Darrison. 

As treasurer: William O. Brown, Silas Marks, Roland Sears, E. A. Holt, P. D. 
Walter, A. C. Pomroy, Edward Simmons, L. W. Bristol, John G. Freeman, Benjamin 
F. Gaskill. 

The officers for 1897 are: President, George PI. Bradley; vice-president, Charles 
Flagler; secretary, John T. Darrison; treasurer, Benjamin F. Gaskill; directors: 


Benjamin F. Felton, James A. McCollum, Frank H. Terry, A. B. Lewis, George T. 
Pearson, A. Douglas Pease. 

Town Vice-Presidents: — Cambria, Charles Young; Hartland, Jno. L. Chase; 
Lewiston, Samuel Townsend ; Lockport, John H. Wilson; Newfane, John Coulter; 
Niagara, E. P. Bowen ; Pendleton, G. C. Richards; Porter, Edward Calvert ; Royal- 
ton, Seth Silsby; Somerset, William A. Sawyer; Wilson, J. G. O. Brown; Wheat- 
field, James S. Tompkins; City of Lockport, Jesse Peterson ; City of Niagara Falls, 
John Whitney. 

County Poor House and Farm. — When the act was passed by 
the Legislature in 1829 providing that the care of the poor should de- 
volve upon the various counties of this State, instead of their being a 
a town charge as theretofore, Niagara county purchased a farm of ninety- 
one acres in the western part of the town of Lockport and erected 
thereon a commodious frame building. In the fall of that year the pau- 
pers of the county, then numbering about thirty, were placed in the 
building. Hiram McNeil, Henry Norton tind George Reynale were 
appointed superintendents of the poor, and John Gould was installed on 
the farm as keeper. In 1833 larger and better accommodations were 
demanded and the main part of the present structure was erected, of 
stone, ICO by 60 feet in size and three stories high, with basement. In 
1845 two three-story wings were added, each 40 by 60 feet, the east 
wing being intended for the use of insane poor exclusively. Other ad- 
ditions for hospital and other purposes were subsequently added. In 
1858 a large area was inclosed with a stone wall nine feet high, in 
which insane inmates could obtain necessary exercise. In 1854 an ad- 
dition of twenty-nine acres was made to the farm. In former years 
paupers of all ages and classes were received and kept on the farm and 
a school for young inmates was maintained. In 1875 the county made 
arrangements whereby children between the ages of three and thirteen 
were to be cared for by the Lockport Home for the P'riendlfss, the 
the county paying a stipulated sum for their maintenance. For many 
years past the insane of the county have been sent to State institutions 
for treatment or confinement. The county house and farm were under 
control of three superintendents until 1856, at which time the number 
was reduced to one. A keeper was employed regularly until 1875, 
when the supervisors made arrangements that compelled the superin- 
tendent to reside on the farm and have its immediate management. 


Samuel A. Carson was elected to the office in 1892, who"was succeeded 
by W. W. Tompkins in 1895 — the present superintendent. 

Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company of Orleans and Ni- 
agara Counties — This company was organized December 18. 1877, 
chiefly through the efforts of George L. Pratt, of Ridgevvay. George 
H. Bradley was chosen president, and A. P. Scott, vice-president, and 
both have held their offices to the present time The business of the 
comiJany prospered from the first, and on February 19, 1878, applica- 
tions for insurance had been received amounting to ^329,500. Six 
months later the amount of policies had reached more than a million 
dollars. The board of directors consisted of one member from each 
town in the two counties In 18S4 the company reorganized under 
State laws, dropped the "honor" policy theretofore used, nnd received 
authority to carry on a fire insurance business in the two counties. 
Under the new system the company has been remarkably successful, 
as shown by the last report, from which the following figures are taken: 

New Policies 214 

Amount risks last report $7,813,400 

Amount added §349,500 

Number of policies in force December 31st 3,934 

Amount at risk January 1st, 1897 .57,584,400 

Received on collections due, 1895 $1,005 88 

Received on collections, 1896 .?13,760 44 

P'ollowing are the names of the directors for 1897 '■ 

Edward Manning, Cambria ; Fred J. Swift, Hartland ; E. II. Forsyth, Lockport ; 
Wm. P. Mentz, Lewiston ; Franklin Fletcher, Niagara ; Wm. H. Staats, Newfane ; 
Chas. W. Manning, Pendleton ; Peter S. Tower, Porter ; H. H. Bugbee, Royalton ; 

A. M. Armstrong, Somerset ; John W. Eggleston, Wilson ; M. J. Volmer, Wheat- 
field ; Geo. P. Warner. Albion ; Ora Lee. Barre ; N. R. Fuller, Carlton : Daniel P. 
Albert, Clarendon ; W. J. Prussia, Gaines ; Alouzo Eggleston, Kendall ; L. J. Hill, 
Murray ; D. R. Watson, Ridgeway ; J. P. Clute, Shelby ; E. D. Miller. Yates. 

Niagara County Anglers' Club. — This club was organized 
March, 1886. At a meeting held March 8, 1886, tlie following persons 
were appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws: David Millar, W. 
J. Ransom, and J. B. Boyce. The following officers were chosen at an 
adjourned meeting held March 15, 1886: David Millar, president; J. 

B. Boyce, vice-president; Wash. H. Cross, secretary; Jerome E. Emer- 
son, treasurer. At the meeting held March 29, the following were ap- 


pointed as executive committee : W. H. Chase, F. N. Trevor, S. Olin 
Seager, W. J. Ransom, James Carter, A. J. Eaton, George M. Swain, 
and Harvey E. Matthews. At this meeting the membership was re- 
ported as sixty- six. 

At a meeting held April i6, 1892, this club was incorporated by the 
following persons: Charles W. Hatch, Jerome E. Emerson, Fred K. 
Sweet, George W. Westerman, jr., Dumont A. Hixson, Frank N. 
Trevor, William E.Shaffer, Daniel E. Brong, and W. E. Huston. This 
board of directors succeeded the old executive committee. Charles W. 
Hatch was chosen president; Fred K. Sweet, secretary, and Jerome E. 
Emerson, treasurer. The club has been active and vigilant in restrict- 
ing illegal fishing and the punishment of offenders of the game laws. 

Niagara County Pioneer Association. — This society was or- 
ganized at Olcott village on the 14th of September, 1877, o" which 
occasion a number of the pioneers of the county met on the grounds of 
William Ten Brook. The chief purpose of the association was to pre- 
serve the records of the early settlement of the county, and at the same 
time render meetings of the pioneers enjoyable through social inter- 
course and recalling reminiscences of early times. The following list 
shows those who were present at the organization, the date of their ad- 
vent in the county and in most instances their age : 

From Cambria, Harvey Beach, -jj, 1801 ; Thomas Barnes, born in 
the county in 18 11. 

Hartland, Daniel Van Horn, 83, 181 1; William Morgan, 62, 1830. 

Newfane, Benjamin Stout, 75, 1815 ; Stephen Wilson. 

Porter, Peter Tower, 86, 1815 ; Henry Palmer, 69, 1832. 

Pendleton, Orrin Fisk, 71, 18 10. 

Lewiston, John Cornell, 68, 1828. 

Lockport, Elisha Clapp; B. M. Edwards, 81; Ira Farnsworth, 54, 
1837 ; Peter Aiken, born in 18 16; W. W. Bush, born in 1828. 

Royalton, Andrew J. Secor, horn in 1817; P. P. Murphy. 

Somerset, David Barker, 83, 1815; Adam Pease, 68, 1817; Leman 
Hoag, 81, 1825; Loran.Fitts, -jj, 1810. 

Wilson, J. M. Newman, 65, 1818; J. S. Cuddeback, 69; 18 16; Rev. 
A. Holsey, 84, 1830; Richard Holmes. 

Niagara, Asahel Colt. Wheatfield, Lewis S. Payne. 


The following were chosen the first officers of the association : Presi- 
dent, John Van Horn ; secretary, F. N. Albright ; executive committee, 
J. S. Hopkins, Cornelius Tompkins, and Willard A. Cobb. 


Presidential Electors.— 1836, Hiram Gardner; 1840, Davis 
Hurd, Peter B. Porter; 1848, Solomon Parmele ; 1852, William Van- 
dervoort, Sherburne B. Piper, at large; 1856, William Keep; 1872, 
Moses C. Richardson ; 1888, Benjamin Flagler. 

State Officers. — Governor, Washington Hunt, 1850-54; Comp- 
troller, Bates Cooke, 1839; Secretary of State, Peter B. Porter, 18 15 
(then residing at Canandaigua) ; State Prison Inspector, Gaylord J. 
Clark; Canal Commissioners, George H. Boughton, 1840; Hiram 
Gardner, 1838 ; James Jackson, 1873. 

When Niagara county was erected in 1808, it became a part of the 
Western Senatorial District, which had from 1803 been entitled to eleven 
members; nine from 1803 to 1808, and twelve from 1808 to 18 15. 
Under the act of April, 18 15, the district again was given nine mem- 
bers, and continued thus until the adoption of the second Constitution. 
The second Constitution divided the State into eight senatorial districts, 
and Niagara, with Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, 
Livingston, Monroe, and Steuben, constituted the Eighth district. 
Niagara continued in this district until the Constitution of 1846, which 
placed it with Genesee and Orleans in the Twenty- eighth district. 
Under an act of 1857 these counties were made the Twenty-ninth dis- 
trict. An act of 1869 made Niagara, Genesee, Livingston, and Wy- 
oming the Thirtieth district. Under the new constitution the district 
comprises Niagara, Orleans and Genesee. 

The following have held the office of State senator from Niagara 
county : 

Archibalds. Clarke, 1812-16; (Mr. Clarke was an Erie county territory resident 
before the division of the county of Niagara.) George H. Boughton, 1829-30; Sam- 
uel Works, 1839-44; George D. Lament, 1858-59; Peter P. Murphy7^8C0-61 ; Rich- 
ard Crowley,* 1860-69; Lewis S. Payne,* 1878-79; Timothy E. Ellsworth,* 1882-83- 
84-85; Cuthbert W. Pound,* 1894-95; Timothy E. Ellsworth,* 1896-97-98. 

*Still living~-I89r. 


Niagara county was not entitled to a member of assembly until the 
seventh apportionment made in 1822. The apportionment of 1836 gave 
the county two members. The following persons have held the office 
from this county : 

1833, Benjamin Barlow, jr.; 1824^25, Daniel Washburn; 1836, William King; 
1837-29, John Garnsey; 1830, Samuel De Veau.x; 1831-33, Henry Norton; 1834, 
Robert Fleming, jr.; 1835, Henry McNeil; 1836, Hiram Gardner; 1837, Reuben H. 
Boughton (succeeded on January 24, 1837, by Davis Kurd), Hiram McNeil; 1838-39, 
Davis Hurd, Peter B. Porter, jr. ; 1840-41, Peter B. Porter, jr., Francis O. Pratt; 
1842, T. T. Flagler,* Francis O. Pratt; 1843, T. T. Flagler,* John Sweeney; 1844, 
John Sweeney, Luther Wilson; 1845, Levi F. Bowen, John Sweeney; 1846, Lot 
Clark, Morgan Johnson; 1847, Benjamin Carpenter, Christopher H. Skeels; 1848, 
Elias Ransom, Solomon Moss (Morgan Johnson contested the seat of Moss and was 
admitted April 1, 1848); 1849, Hollis White, Morgan Johnson; 1830, George W. 
^ Jermain, James Van Horn, jr. ; 1851-52, Abijah H. Moss, Jeptha W. Babcock; 1853, 
George W. Holley,f Reuben F. Wilson; 1854, Robert Dunlap, Reuben F. Wilson; 
1835, Linus J. Peck, Ira Tompkins; 1856, William S. Fenn, John Gould; 1857, Elisha 
Clapp, John Gould; 1858, Burt Van Horn, John W. Labar;* 1859, James Sweeney,* 
Burt Van Horn; 1860, T. T. Flagler,* Burt Van Horn; 1861, Henry P. Smith, Oliver 
P. Scovell;* 1862, Benjamin H. Fletcher, Peter A. Porter; 1863, Benjamin H. Fletcher, 
William Morgan; 1864, James Jackson, jr., William Morgan; 1865, Albert H. Pick- 
ard,* Guy C. Humphrey;* 1866, Solon S. Pomroy,* Guy C. Humphrey;* 1867, Elisha 
Moody, William Pool;* 1868-69, Ransom M. Skeels, Benjamin Farley; 1870, Lewis 
S. Payne,* Lee R. Sanborn;* 1871, John E. Pound,* Lee R. Sanborn;* 1872-73, 
Isaac H Babcock,* George M. Swam:* 1874-73, Artemus W. Comstock, Orville C. 
Bordwell;* 1876, Amos A. Bissell, Jonas W. Brown;* 1877, Amos A. Bissell, Sher- 
burne B. Piper; 1878, Joseph D. Loveland, Sherburne B. Piper; 1879-80, Thomas 
N. Van Valkenburgh,* James Low;* 1881, Elijah Adams Holt, James Low;* 1883, 
Joseph W. Higgius,* Thomas V. Welch ;* 1884, Jacob A. Driess,* Thomas V. Welch ;* 
1885, Jacob A. Driess,* Thomas V. Welch;* 1886, Lewis P. Gordon,* Walter P. 
Home;* 1887, Christian F. Goerss,* Peter A. Porter;* 1888, Christian F. Goerss,* 
Nelson D. Haskell;* 1889, John F. Little,* J. Marville Harwood ; 1890, J. Marville 
Harwood, Ruthven Kill; 1891, Garwood Leverett Judd,* Levi Parsons Gillette;* 
1893, Elton T. Ransom;* 1894-3, John H. Clark;* 1896-97, Henry E. Warner,'* 
Frank A. Dudley.* 

County Officers.— T/vai^r-fr.— 1848, T. T. Flagler;* 1851, Alfred Van Wagon- 
er; 1854, William J. Dunlap; 1857, John Van Horn; 1860, Morrison W. Evans;* 
1863, Jacob M. Chrysler; 1866, Josiah L. Breyfogle;* 1869, Hiram Benedict;* 1873- 
78, S. Curt Lewis;* 1881, Ed. J. Wakeman; 1884, John B. Arnold;* 1887, John Jacob 
Arnold,* to 1893; 1894^97, John C. Lammerts.* 

County C/t'r/^. — 1808, Louis Le Couteulx; 1810, Juba Storrs; 1811, Louis Le 
Couteulx; 1813, Zenas Barker; 1815, Archibalds. Clarke; 1816, Frederick Merrill; 
1819, John E. Marshall; 1821, James L. Barton; (the foregoing were all residents of 

*, Still living-IS'jr. tDied June 13, 1S1I7. 



what is now Erie county;) April 3, 1821, OliverGrace; 1823, Asahel Johnson; 1825, 
James F. Mason; 1828, Henry Catlin ; 1834, Abijah H. Moss; 1837, Hiram A. Cook; 
1840, David S. Crandall ; 1843, James C- Lewis; 1845, Edwin Shepard;* 1845, John 
Van Horn; 1848, George W. Gage; 1851, Lewis S. Payne;* 1854, Wilson Robinson; 
1857, Nathan Dayton; 1859, Charles H. Van Duzen; 1859, Charles H. Symonds; 
1862, William S. Wright; 1865, Lewis S. Payne;- 1868, George B. Wilson; 1871, 
Peter D. Walter; 1874. George L. Moot;* 1877, Amos W. R. Henning; 1880, John 
A. Merritt,* re-elected ; 1886, Daniel C. Carroll,* re-elected ; 189:^, James Compton ;* 
1896, Samuel H. Pettit.* 



The territory now comprising Niagara county was formerly a part of 
the great county of Ontario, which was erected in 1789 and included 
all of the State of New York west of the Phelps and Gorham pre- 
emption line. The territory of the original provinces of New York 
and Massachusetts was chartered to extend westvvard indefinitely. 
New York in 1781 and Massachusetts in 1785 relinquished to the gen- 
eral government their claims to territory beyond tlie western boundaries 
of this State, but Massachusetts still claimed that part of New York 
west of the meridian line extending along the eastern line of the pres- 
ent Ontario county. Against this presumptuous claim New York con- 
tended, but the dispute was settled in 1786 by New York retaining the 
sovereignty of the territory, while the ownership, subject to the Indian 
title, should remain with Massachusetts ; that is, the Indians could con- 
vey title only to Massachusetts. The eastern boundary of the Massa- 
chusetts claim became known as the Pre-emption Line, as that State 
had the right of pre-emption, or first purchase, of the territory in ques- 
tion. New York, however, retained a strip one mile wide along the 
Niagara River. 

In 1788 Massachusetts sold to Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, 
and their associates, the pre-emption right to Western New York for 

* still liviiiB. 


$1,000,000. To acquire the Indian title a council was held in Buffalo 
in July, 1788, at which for $5,000 down and an annuity of $500 the 
company bought about 2,600,000 acres, bounded on the east by the 
pre-emption line. The tract thus secured is known as the Phelps and 
Gorham purchase. In March, 1791, Robert Morris contracted with 
Massachusetts for the pre-emption right to all of New York west of the 
Phelps and Gorham purchase ; the Indian title to this was acquired in 
1797, excepting eleven reservations, two of which were the Tuscarora 
reservation (then about one mile square), and the Tonawanda reserva- 
tion, both in what is now Niagara county. Morris sold his lands in 
immense tracts, with only one of which are we here concerned. On 
December 24, 1792, he sold to Herman Leroy and John Linklaen 
1,500,000 acres west of the east transit line.^ On February 27 follow- 
ing he sold to the same persons and Gerrit Boon 1,000,000 acres. July 
20, 1793, he sold these three persons 800,000 acres, and to Herman 
Leroy, William Bayard and Matthew Clarkson 300,000 acres. These 
vast purchases were made for what is known as the Holland Land 
Company, or the Holland Company (though no such company ever 
existed), and the tract as the Holland Purchase. It included what is 
now Niagara county. 

In 1797 the survey of this purchase began by Joseph Ellicott for 
the Holland people, and Augustus Porter (see history of the town of 
Niagara) for Mr. Morris, with numerous assistants. In the division of 
the land the plan adopted on the Phelps and Gorham purchase was fol- 
lowed ; strips six miles wide and extending from Pennsylvania to Lake 
Ontario were laid out and called ranges ; they were numbered from 
east to west. These ranges were divided into townships by lines run- 
ning east and west and numbered from south to north. These town- 
ships were to be subdivided into sixteen mile-and-a-half squares called 
sections, and the sections into twelve lots, each containing 120 acres. 
The mile strip along the river was surveyed in 1798 at the expense of 
the Hollanders. This plan of surveying in its township and lot features 
was not strictly followed. 

' This line ran between the eastern tier of towns and those to the westward in what is now 
Orleans county, and on southward. It is called the east transit line to distinguish it from the 
west transit line, which passes through Lockport. Both lines were laid out in defining bound- 
aries of Morris's sales. 


The next county to Ontario erected in the western part of the State 
was Genesee, which was formed in 1S02 from the territory west of the 
Genesee River and, of course, included what is now Niagara county. 
At the same time the great town of Northampton, which had consti- 
tuted a part of Ontario county and embraced the whole Holland Pur- 
chase, was divided into four, of which Batavia included all of the State 
west of the east transit line. 

On the iith of March, 1808, Niagara county was erected from Gen- 
esee. Its eastern line has remained unchanged, except that it extended 
southward to Cattaraugus Creek, which is the southern boundary of the 
present Erie county. Niagara county at its formation included what is 
now Erie county, the latter beifig set ofT on April 2, 1821. The bound- 
aries of Niagara county have not since been changed. By the census 
of 1820 the population of the whole of Niagara county was 23,313, of 
which number 15,668 were in the Erie county territory. The original 
town of VVillink, erected in 1804 in what was then Genesee county, com- 
prised a tract of land eighteen miles wide and perhaps a hundred long, 
including all of Niagara county territory. When the latter county was 
erected its entire territory was constituted one town Cambria. On 
June I, 181 2, Cambria was divided and three new towns erected : Hart- 
land included all the territory east of the west transit line ; Niagara the 
territory of township 13, ranges 7, 8, 9 ; township 14 in those ranges 
retained the name of Cambria, and the remainder of the original Cam- 
bria was set off with the name of Porter. On April 5, 1817, that part 
of Hartland south of township i 5 and extending to the south and east 
bounds of the county, was erected into the town of Royalton. On Feb- 
ruary 27, 1 818, Lewiston was set off from the west part of Cambria with 
its present bounds. On June i, 1812, Porter was erected from the west- 
ern and northern part of Cambria, and Wilson was set off from Porter 
on April 10, 1818. On the 8th of February, 1823, Somerset was 
formed from Hartland with its present width, but extending west to the 
transit line, and on the 20th of March, 1824, the parts of Somerset and 
Hartland between their present west bounds and the transit line, and 
the eastern part of Wilson were erected into Newfane. Lockport was 
erected February 2, 1824, from Cambria and Royalton with its present 
boundaries. Niagara originally included what are now Pendleton and 


Wheatfield; the former was set off April i6, 1827, and the latter May 
12, 1836. In the treatment of these county divisions, the cities and 
towns of Lockport and Niagara Falls will be considered first, on ac- 
count of their importance as business centers, one being the county 
seat. The remaining towns will be noticed in the order of their forma- 
tion as far as practicable. 


It is a well known fact that many villages and a few cities along the 
line of the Erie Canal owe either their very e.xistence or their growth 
and prosperity after 1820, to the influence of the great waterway. The 
city of Lockport is one of these. If the Erie Canal had not been con- 
structed, or if it had taken a course elsewhere than through this county, 
it is quite certain there would have been no Lockport — probably no 
community of importance on the site of the city. 

Lockport was incorporated as a village March 26, 1829. The popu- 
lation had increased very rapidly during the preceding five years, ren- 
dering such action necessary for the proper government of the commu- 
nity. In 183s the population was over 6,000. The place was incor- 
porated as a city April 11, 1865, and divided into four wards, which 
number has since been increased by subdivisions to si.x. The popu- 
lation in 1896 was 16,000, and has been the most important manufact- 
uring center in the county and still crowds Niagara Falls for first place. 
It is pleasantly situated on the so-called "mountain ridge" elevation, 
through which the canal was cut, forming one of the most remarkable 
series of locks in the world, five in number. The water power created 
by these locks has given rise to the extensive manufacturing operations 
of the city 

The soil of the town is a clayey loam and stony in the north part. 
The Niagara limestone crops out along the mountain ridge, and has 
been extensively quarried near Lockport ; it is a good building mate- 


rial and was used in building the locks at this place. Underlying this 
is a stratum of hydraulic limestone from which waterlime has been 
made. Sandstone belonging to the Medina formation has been ob- 
tained on Rattlesnake Hill, northwest of the city, and at other points, 
and has been used for walks and building. There are six post-offices 
in the town — Lockport, Hickory Corners, Rapids, Warren's Corners, 
Raymond and Wright's Corners. The city contains a number of 
churches, an excellent school system, four banks, a street railroad sys- 
tem, good water supply, several newspapers, health, fire and police 
departments, and numerous and varied manufacturing industries. It is 
a station on the Rochester and Niagara Falls branch of the Central 
Railroad, a branch of which extends to Tonawanda and thence to Buf- 
falo ; a branch of the Erie Railroad also connects it with Buffalo via 
Tonawanda. The city is the county seat of Niagara county. 

The first settlement in this town was made at Cold Spring, about a 
mile east of the city, by Charles Wilbur, in 1805, nineteen years before 
the town was erected, and three years before the county was set off 
from Genesee. The old Indian trail and later mail route early in the 
century passed from Canandaigua to Fort Niagara and near this cold 
spring. Other early settlers were David and Joseph Carlton, 1809-10, 
David Pomroy, Thomas Mighells and Stephen Wakeman in 18 10; 
Thaddeus Alvord and Alexander Freeman in 181 1 ; the latter built the 
first saw mill in town; Jesse Griswold and Jacob Loucks in 18 13; 
Josiah Richardson settled on what became the county farm, and Luther 
Crocker in the northwest part of the town in 18 16; John Gibson opened 
the first blacksmith shop in town in 181 5, a little east of Warren's Cor- 
ners; and Jared Tyler settled in the same year in the northeast part; 
Charles Smith and Oliver L Millard came into the town in 18 17; Dr. 
Ezekiel Webb, the pioneer physician, came in 18 18, and Dr. Isaac W. 
Smith in 1821 ; Jesse P. Haines, a surveyor, Edward Raymond and 
Helam and Hiram Mead were other early settlers. On the site of 
Wright's Corners a man named Barber was an early settler and kept 
the first hotel. A later one was kept by Alva Buck. Solomon Wright 
settled on the Ridge road, at the point which took his name as Wright's 
Corners in 1822, or earlier; he kept a hotel many years, and was post- 
master after the office was established in 1828. David Maxwell pur- 



chased a farm at Wright's Corners in 1824, but had lived at Johnson's 
Creek in Harti.ind since 1 819, where he kept a hotel and did survey- 
ing; he was a prominent citizen. It was through his influence that a 
charter was secured in 1824 for the toll road from Wright's Corners to 
Warren's Corners, which became known as the long causeway turnpike, 
from the fact that it was at first laid with logs when it was opened for 
the benefit of the government during the war of 1812; the later turn- 
pike was completed in 1825. Mr. Maxwell also laid out the well 
known Hess road, from the Ridge road to the lake shore. 

Tne first settlement at the village of Rapids, in the extreme south- 
eastern part of the town, on Tonawanda Creek, was made by Amos and 
S. B. Kinne in 1839, who purchased land and laid some of it out in vil- 
lage lots. There was little growth in the settlement until 1849, when 
Orange Mansfield built a steam saw mill. G. H. Utley erected and 
opened a hotel and Horace Cummings built and opened a store. The 
site of Warren's Corners was settled in 1813 by Ezra Warren, from 
whom it took its name ; he kept a tavern there many years. Before 
the openintT of the canal and the diversion of business to Lockport, this 
was quite an important point. Sketches of many other families of this 
town are given in Part HI of this work. 

The lands on which a large part of the city of Lockport is built were 
purchased from the Holland Company by Esek Brown, Zeno Comstock, 
Nathan Comstock, Webster Thorn, Daniel Smith, David Fink, Almon 
H. Millard, Reuben Haines, Joseph Otis, John Comstock, Asahel Smith, 
Nathan B. Rogers, Daniel Washburne and James Conkey. As late as 
1820 there were only a few log houses on the city site, and much of 
the land was still uncultivated. When the course of the canal was fully 
determined in 1821, and the commissioners were ready to receive pro- 
posals for building the locks, etc., the owners of the land planned a vil- 
lage and arranged for the sale of lots. Among them was Otis Hathaway, 
wlio had his land surveyed in the spring of 1821. The name of Locks- 
borough was at first suggested for the place, but Dr. Isaac W. Smith, it 
is said, suggested Lockport, which finally won the preference. Esek 
Brown about the same time opened his log house as a tavern ; here the 
canal contractors made their headquarters for a time,' 

1 The question of who named Lockport is to some extent in dispute. On this fruitful topic 


Capitalists now foresaw the propable importance of the place and in- 
vested their money. Before that summer was over considerable im- 
provement had been made. Morris H. Tucker opened a store, the first 
in the place. The nearest other store was at Hartland Corners. House 
& Boughton soon built another store and sought a part of the trade. 
Lebbeus Fish, also, opened a third store. Esek Brown's farm was rap- 
idly reduced in extent by the sale of village lots, many of which passed 
to possession of Jesse Hawley, and John G. Bond. Associated with 
Jared, Darius and Joseph Comstock were Otis Hathaway and Seymour 
Scoville, who were actively interested in selling lots east of Transit 
street. Zeno Comstock had purchased in that vicinity from the Hol- 
land Company, as Esek Brown had west of that street, but had recon- 
veyed it before the village was founded and invested a mile and a half 
to the westward, believing the canal would be located there. Before 
the close of that year George VV. Rogers, the poineer blacksmith ; 
Shepard & Towner, the first shoemakers, and Elliott Lewis, harness 
maker, were settled in their respective shops, while John Jackson con- 

Ebenezer Mix wrote the following, which was published in a Lockport paper some forty years 
ago : In the spring of 1821, being on business in Lewiston, I understood that the canal commis- 
sioners had given notice that they would meet the day following at the house of Esek Brown, on 
the mountain ridge, to receive proposals for building the locks and excavating the canal in that 
vicinity. The next day being a leisure day with me I concluded to visit the scene of action, as I 
knew that many of my old acquaintances would be there. I accordingly went to Molyneaux' that 
night, and was on the ground early in the morning. At this time there was no inhabitant on the 
present village plat, except the Comstocks, on the east side of the ravine (now canal), and Esek 
Brown, who resided about fifty-five rods west of Transit street, or near the south road from the 
forks. I went to Brown's, but there was no one there except Mrs. Brown, or "Aunt Lucinda.* 
Mr. Brown had gone to Lewiston to get a tavern license. While there alone with Aunt Lucinda a 
stranger to me, she talked much about the new village and their tavern (a log house, with a log 
addition or wing for a bar-room, erected but unfinished^, for Aunt Lucinda was a great talker. I 
asked her what they were going to call their village. She mentioned a number of names that she 
had heard, some of which partook of the Quaker dialect, and among them she mentioned 

About 9o'clock Brown returned with his license, aud the company began to assemble. Brown 
opened his bar tolerably stored with kegs and jugs, which he dared not do until he got his paper 
license. Finding that Brown was a law-abiding man, I asked him if he did not know that he was 
breaking the law to keep tavern without a sign. He said that he did not, but if so, he did not 
know what to do, as he could not get a sign short of Lewiston, and he could not go that day. I 
told him I would satisfy the law for him, and undertook to furnish him with a sign, but I could 
not find a piece of board big enough, although he was building. I, however, found a door sill 
which he had prepared for his bar-room door, and hewed and planed off one side of a split bass- 
wood bolt tolerably smooth, on which I wrote with a coal, without consulting any one, "Lockport 
Hotel by E. Brown," and stuck it between the projecting ends of the logs of the new bar-room, 
and, to bring the history of the sign to a close. Brown hewed out a new door sill and let that re- 
main as a sign until he procured another. 

The^ign being raised, Lockport Hotel and Lockport village were soon christened, not by mere 
sprinkling, but by something like immersion. 


ducted a bakery. The post office was established early in 1822, the 
mail at first being brought from Molyneux's Corners; in the following 
year a road was opened through the forest to Wright's Corners, con- 
necting there with a stage route. Bartemus Ferguson started a news- 
paper, the Lockport Observatory (previously published at Lewiston), 
which passed into possession of Orsamus Turner in August, 1822. 
Work was at that time progressing on the canal at this point. In July, 
1822, the place received another impetus through its selection as the 
county seat, and two acres of land were deeded to the county as a site 
for county buildings, by William M. Bond. 

The village now advanced rapidly. The greater part of the business 
of the place was done on the west side of the canal in 1823-25. In 
the former year there was a small store on the northeast corner of Main 
and Transit streets. A few small buildings stood on the north side of 
Main street before reaching the Lockport Hotel, then kept by Samuel 
Jennings. East of that Dr. Maxwell had his office and next was the 
blacksmith shop of Allen Skinner. Then came the store of House & 
Boughton, where the post-office was situated, with George H. Boughton 
in charge as postmaster. A primitive bridge crossed the canal. Wil- 
liam Parsons & Co. had a store in a yellow building about on the site 
of the Moyer block, and adjoining it was a stone building, part of which 
was occupied for a store by Sidney and Thomas Smith. Lyman A. 
Spalding kept a store on the site of the Savings Bank, and next east 
was the law office of James F. Mason, who acted as county clerk and 
kept the records in his office Adjoining that was a store kept by H. 
Kimberly & Co. Other stores of that time were kept by Nathan B. 
and George W. Rogers, for the sale of groceries; the "red store," kept 
by William Kennedy, and Morris H. Tucker's store. There were sev- 
eral other groceries and small places of business, with shops of various ' 
kinds and several hotels. It will be seen that this was a considerable 
business to spring up within two or three years. 

The pioneer lawyer of Lockport was Elias Ransom. James F. Ma- 
son and Hiram Gardner came on afterwards and were subsequently ap- 
pointed justices. The following persons came on prior to or during 
the year of 1823: Elias F. Pierce, Dr. Isaac Southworth, Asa W. 
Douglas, Geo. W. Douglas, George W. Rogers, John Jackson, George 


Richardson, Jolin Gooding, Hiram Gardner, Elliott Lewis, Chauncey 
Leonard, Joseph Pound, John Pound, Harvey W. Campbell, Gillet Bacon, 
William Parsons, L. A. Spalding, B, S. Davenport, Orin Fisk, A. T. 
Prentice, E. A. Wakeman, A. G. White, J. G. Gustin, Orsamus Turner, 
Job Layton, Jacob Hall, Jacob Bolard, Justus Jenney, James Harris, 
Samuel Earned, James F. Mason, Dr. Henry Maxwell, David P"ink, 
Warren Sadler, Col. W. M. Bond. 

The cut through the Ridge at Lockport was the last part of the canal 
to be completed. On the 29th of September, 1825, William C Bouck 
announced to the canal commissioners tiiat the water way would be 
ready for the passage of boats on the 29th of October, and steps were 
taken to celebrate the event. On the evening of the 24th the guard 
gates were raised and the level was soon filled with water. A salute of 
cannon was fired at daybreak on the 26th, and under direction of Gen- 
eral Whitney, marshal of the day, a procession was formed at nine 
o'clock and marched to the foot of the locks and there embarked on 
boats, one of which, the William C. Bouck, was selected to take the 
lead in passing the locks. On board of this boat the officials and some 
prominent citizens made the passage. At ten o'clock the firing of the 
series of guns along the canal from Buffalo reached this place, the lock 
gates opened and the boats started on their upward passage. The fol- 
lowing description of the scene is recorded : 

As it ascended the stupendous flight of loclcs, its decks covered with a joyous mul- 
titude, it was greeted with a constant and rapid discharge of heavy artillery, 
thousands of rock blasts, or explosions, prepared for the occasion, and the shouts of 
spectators that swarmed upon the canal and lock bridges, and upon the precipices 
around the locks and ba.sin. As soon as the two forward boats had passed out of 
the upper locks they were drawn up side by side, and after a prayer by the Rev. 
Mr. Winchell, an address was delivered by Judge Birdsall. Stepping upon an ele- 
vated platform upon the deck of one of the boats, in the stillness that had succeed- 
ed the earthquake sounds and shouts of human voices, he exclaimed: The barrier 
is passed ! We have now n.sen to the level of Lake Erie and have before us a per- 
fect navigation open to its waters. When his address, glowing with cheering 
prophecies of prosperity in the future, was concluded, the boat moved westward to 
meet the fleet approaching from Buffalo, and act as an escort in passing through 

The village coptinued to flourish and in 1827 measures were adopted 
for building up what became known as the Lower Town, or East Lock- 
port. Nathan Comstock sold 300 acres of land in that vicinity to Joel 


McColliim, Otis and S. R. Hatliaway and Seymour Scoville, who had 
it laid out in village lots and streets. The promoters recommended it 
to purchasers on account of its eligible situation " below the locks and 
the grand natural basin," and its already having a grist mill, three saw 
mills and other shops located there. A considerable sale of lots was 
soon made, and .several buildings were erected. The proprietors of this 
section soon afterwards sold out to Lot Clark and others, who consti- 
tuted what was known as the Albany Company. They began vigor- 
ous action to develop and sell their lots. It was represented among 
other things that the surplus water of the canal would be brought there 
and tlie upper town deprived of it— a condition that did not seem 
especially improbable at that time. The rivalry that was engendered 
in those early years between the two sections of the village disap- 
peared with the lapse of time and the practical uniting of the two. 

The village was incorporated March 26, 1829, the charter defining 
the boundaries of a parallelogram of about a mile and three quarters 
in length, which was divided into two wards. The charter provided 
for the election of five trustees, a treasurer, a collector, two constables, 
five assessors and five wardens. The first board of trustees was com- 
posed of Joel McCollum, Levi Taylor, Levi E Rounds, Joshua G. Dris- 
coll and James F. Mason, ffenry R. Hopkins was chosen clerk, and on 
the 1 8th of May Eben Griswold was appointed poundmaster ; Samuel 
Learned and Luke Draper, fence viewers; N. W. Gardner, surveyor; 
George W. Rogers, chief engineer of the fire department. The board 
appointed si.\teen men each in a fire company and a Iiook and ladder 

In early years there was considerable rivalry between the Upper and 
the Lower Towns, as they were distinguished, with the Lower Town far 
in advance. Here the first bank was opened and the more prominent 
business establishments conducted. Of Lockport from 1838 to 1848 
John IL Dickey has written some interesting and valuable reminis- 
cences from which are taken the following extracts : 

I first saw Lockport in the summer of 1838, then a thriving village of a few thou- 
sand inhabitants. No school system but the common school of the period except two 
select schools where a limited number of pupils were instructed. Lower Town, as it 
was then called, was the leading busmess part of the village. The railroad running 
from there to Niagara Falls by way of Pekin about two miles north of Sanborn came 


to the river bank near where Suspension Bridge now is. At that time there was no 
bridge there, and no buildings but now and then a farm house until you arrived at 
the Falls. This railroad did not go to Lewiston, as one of your late correspondents has 
it. Then there was the cotton factory at the corner of Exchange and Garden 
streets, and the land office on Market street. The then ex-Judge Hunt, Hiram Wal- 
bridge, J. J. B. Spooner, G. W. Germain, Samuel Works, Lott Clark and others, 
were engaged in the business interests of the Lower Town. Judge Hunt in 1838 and 
a few years thereafter was a Democrat in politics, but about 1844 era little before he 
united with the Whig party and they gave him the nomination for Congress. He 
had sharp opposition in the convention that nominated him by an old Whig, Joseph 
Center, a lawyer of Upper Town, and he was so incensed at his defeat, that he left 
the Whigs and joined the Democrats but the Whigs as it proved got the best of the 
bargain. Governor Hunt proved to be not a mere politician but a high minded and 
eloquent statesman. The Whig party elected him twice to Congress, comptroller of 
the State of New York, and also its governor. He died at the early age of fifty-six 
years greatly lamented by all. Samuel Works was State senator from this Senate dis- 
trict. J. J. B. Spooner was cashier of the Lockport Bank. Some of the business 
men of Upper Town were Lyman A. Spalding, grain dealer and flouring wheat for 
eastern market. He had a savings bank, and was postmaster when the office was in 
the Arcade Charles and Ellas Safford were engaged in the same business. Asa W. 
Douglas and Gen. John Jackson were partners in the grain trade and flouring for the 
eastern market and other mills of less note busily engaged in the manufacture of 
flour and grinding grist for the farmers. Thomas Flagler was editor and proprietor 
of the Niagara Courier. It was then printed on an old hand press. Early in the 
forties he sold out the paper to David S. Crandall, one of the jolliest and most jovial 
men that ever lived in Lockport. He was clerk of the county one term. He pub- 
lished the paper a while, and then sold it to the late M. C. Richardson, when the 
name was changed. 

A few years after this the Hon. T. T. Flagler was elected to Congress from this dis- 
trict, and then re-elected. Mr. Flagler served his constituents faithfully and well 
and with honor to himself and all interested. He has served in other public stations 
equally as well. 

The late Benjamin and James Carpenter were owners of extensive stone quarries 
and contractors for fancy building stone. They have had contracts in New York 
and many large cities for their stone. The Gargling Oil building, the county 
clerk's office and the old jail are built of stone from their quarries. Benjamin Car- 
penter was mayor of Lockport when President Lincoln was assassinated by J. 
Wilkes Booth. William O. Brown and William Keep were dry goods merchants. 
Their store was about the second block west of the Simmons & Walter jewelry store 
and the Keeps kept a hardware store in the block now kept by J. S. Woodward & 
Son. The late Chauncey Keep was the manager, ably assisted by the late Rowland 
Sears as head clerk and bookkeeper. Just across the street, Francis N. Kelson kept 
a first-class dry goods store. J. L. Brej'fogle and the late Jacob M. Chrysler were 
the clerks in Mr. Nelson's store. They afterwards became the leading dry goods 
merchants in the city and both gentlemen held the office of county treasurer. Silas 
H. Marks and Mr. Harvey were dry goods merchants of that time. Some of the 


physicians were Drs. McCollum, Southworth, Skinner, Chase, Fassett and Shuler. 
The latter owned a house and grounds where the Hodge opera house and Gargling 
Oil works now stands, and lived there when the late Dr. Gould was a student in his 
office. I first knew Dr. Gould when he was attending the Medical College in 
Buffalo, knew him to be a rising young man in his profession, and he always main- 
tained a leading position among the physicians of the county. His counsel was always 
eminently wise and judicious under all circumstances whether pertaining to church af- 
fairs of which he was a prominent member, or in consultation with his professional 
brethren in trying and difficult cases. He always reminded me of his relative. Gen. 
David Gould, whom he strongly resembled. General Gould was a very popular officer 
in the State militia of that time. 

The population of Lockport increased from a little more than 6 ooo (in 
the town) in 1835, to over 9,000 in 1840, and to about 12, OOO in 1850. 
At the same time a large manufacturing interest came into existence. 
By an act of the Legislature, passed April 20, 1825, the canal commis- 
sioners were authorized to sell surplus water from the canal whenever it 
was practicable. To supply the Genesee level of more than one hun- 
dred miles in length eastward from the foot of the Lockport locks, 
water is drawn from Lake Erie, rendering it necessary to pass a large 
volume around the locks at Lockport. While this fact was generally 
known, it was not thought the power thus created could be of great 
value, chiefly on account of the anticipated obstruction caused by work- 
ing the locks. Darius Comstock owned the land around the locks and 
canal basin at the time the water was advertised for sale. His bid was 
only fifty dollars. A few days previous to the opening of the canal he 
sold to Lyman A. Spalding for $3,500 all the land on the southeastern 
side of the canal owned by him, excepting a small reservation. When 
the canal was finally opened and the water for the first time passed 
around the locks in the raceway prepared for it, it was at once seen that 
an immense power was at hand. On January 25, 1826, the surplus 
water at this place was sold to William Kenney, of Lockport, and Junius 
H. Hatch, of New York. The bid was $200 per annum. In the winter of 
1825—6 Mr. Spalding built a flouring mill, and about the same time 
Jabez Pomeroy and William Bass erected a building near by and put 
in carding and cloth pressing machinery. These mills were the first 
driven by water from the canal. 

As the magnitude and value of the water power became better 
understood, there developed a strong rivalry to secure its control. In 


1829 the lease of the water from the State was transferred to the Al- 
bany Company before mentioned, who then owned more than half of 
the Lower Town. To improve the real estate prospects in the Lower 
Town it became necessary to carry the water thither, but an obstacle 
existed in the fact that Mr. Spalding had previously purcliased lands 
(as before stated) through which the water must necessarily pass in 
order to reach that section. One of the commissioners is said to have 
been interested in the schemes of the Albany Company, and an order 
was finally issued by the board putting the sole control of the canal and 
locks here into the hands of the lessees A party of laborers were now 
set at work digging a ditch for the water along the side of the canal. 
A body of citizens, indignant at this usurpation, drove away the labor- 
ers. When the canal closed for the winter of 1829, the commissioners 
cut off the water from the race, thus stopping the mills. The contro- 
versy continued to the great detriment of business advancement until a 
year or two later, when the necessary land was purchased by the Al- 
bany Company, who thus commanded a right of way for the power. 

When the State sold at auction the right to the surplus waters of 
the canal, Richard Kenney and Junius Hatch were the purchasers at 
$200 per annum. The raceway was already e.xcavated as far as Spald- 
ing's mill, and in 1828 it was extended to the Douglas & Jackson mill, 
and in 1832 to the old factory mill. The lease of the water was sub- 
sequently held by William L. Marcy and Washington Hunt, and in 
1858 the Lock-port Hydraulic Company was organized with the follow- 
ing trustees: Washington Hunt, William L. Marcy, W. P. Daniels, 
Charles A. Morse, Daniel A. Van Valkenburgh, and Willard J. Daniels. 
Through leases of power to consumers at reasonable rates this company 
was instrumental in establishing a large number of milling and other en- 
terprises. Out of it grew also the Manufacturers' Building Company, 
organized in 1858, with the following trustees: Hiram Gardner, Silas 
H. Marks, Thomas T. Flagler, Ezra P. Wentworth, James Jackson, jr., 
Stephen Hopkins, and John W. Steels. The capital was $15,000, but 
was subsequently increased. The chief purpose of this company was to 
erect buildings for manufacturers. Frank N. Trevor is now president of 
the company, and Charles T. Raymond, secretary and treasurer. 

In October, 1887, the Hydraulic Company leased to the city of Lock- 




port for a term often years, at $1,500 per annum, sufficient water "for 
seven and one half twelve horse powers," which is used for the operation 
of the pumps which supply the city with water. The first fourteen 
firms named in the list on a subsequent page also lease water from this 

By the year 1835 the manufacturing interests of the place had as- 
sumed considerable importance. In the First ward was Spalding's 
flouring mill with a capacity of 120,000 barrels annually; a wool card- 
ing mill employing six persons; an iron foundry with capital of $3,000 ; 
two saw mills employing twelve persons; a turning and a machine 
shop; a sash factory; a tannery turning out $30,000 worth of leather ; 
a hat factory, two harness shops, four cabinet shops, two newspapers, 
a book bindery, various other small shops and fifty to sixty stores of 
various kinds. In the Seoond ward there were three flouring mills 
making about $1,000,000 worth of flour yearly ; seven saw mills ; a cot- 
ton factory, a woolen mill, two distilleries, one furnace, a tannery, a hat 
factory, harness, tailor and shoe sliops, and five mercantile establish- 
ments. During recent years, the character of the manufactures of 
Lockport has been greatly changed. 

The opening of the railroad in 1852 gave Lockport a further impetus. 
The extent of early travel over the line between Rochester and the 
Falls may be inferred from the fact that the receipts amounted to more 
than $1,000 daily before the close of the first year. General Winfield 
Scott was one of the early passengers on the road, visiting Lockport in 
the fall of 1852, where he received a public welcome befitting his rank. 

At the risk of repeating some of the names mentioned in the fore- 
going pages the following prominent early settlers of the town are given 
at this point; Daniel Pomeroy, Daniel Alvord, Webster Thorn, Daniel 
Smith, Stephen Hoag, Lyman Liscomb, the Norton, Williams, Har- 
rington and Weaver families, John Smith, James Conkey, Jonathan 
Rummery, Joseph Otis, John Comstock, Isaac Titus, Isaac Mace, 
Charles Freeborn, Nathan Comstock, John Ingalls, Alexander Free- 
man, David Carlton, Conrad Keyser, Franeis Brown, Deacon Croker, 
Zeno Comstock, Asahel Smith, Reuben Haines and Jesse P Haines. 
Nearly all these became settlers prior to the opening of the canal in 

1825, previous to which only about 600 acres were cleared in four square 


miles, with Lockport village as the center. In 1820 there was not a 
frame building within five miles of Lockport, and about this time the 
later village corporation contained less than 100 souls. 

The population of the village reached in 1865 13,523, and the place 
was becoming unwieldy to be governed as a village. After the usual 
preliminary discussion an act was passed by the Legislature April 11, 
1865, incorporating Lockport city, with four wards. The officers 
elected by ballot under the charter were a mayor, clerk, police justice, 
treasurer ta.x collector, superintendent of streets, one chief and two as- 
sistants of the fire department; and in each ward two aldermen, a su- 
pervisor, three inspectors of election, a constable, assessor, poormaster 
and fire warden. The principal officers elected the first year were Ben- 
jamin Carpenter, mayor (re-elected 1866) ; Isaac Allen and M. M. 
Southworth, aldermen of the First ward; William H. Fursman and 
David C. Hufl^, aldermen of the Second ward; J. L. Breyfogle and S. R. 
Daniels, aldermen or the Third ^ward; A. W. Brazee and H. C. Pom- 
roy, aldermen of the Fourth ward. The mayors of Lockport have 
been as follows : 

Benjamin Carpenter, 1865-6 ; James Jackson. 1867-8 ; Albert F. Brown, 1869 ; 
John Van Horn, 1870 ; Origen Storrs, 1871 ; Elisha Moody, 1872 ; Peter D. Walter, 
1873 ; John H. Buck, 1874 ; Freeman H. Mott, 187,'5 ; Samuel R. Daniels, 1876 ; 
Hiram D. McNeil, 1877 ; Richard B. Hoag, 1878 ; John E. Pound, 1879-80 ; Ambrose 
S. Beverly, 1881 ; Edward W. Rogers, 1883 ; William Richmond, 1883 ; John 
Hawkes, 1884 ; William Spalding, 1885-87 ; Thomas Oliver, 1888-89 ; James S. Lid- 
die, 1890-91 ; JohnT. Darrison, 1892-93 ; James Atwater, 1894-95 ; Charles Peterson, 

The original city charter was amended in many important features 
by the laws of each year from 1886 to 1890 inclusive and in 1892, to 
which the reader is referred. By the laws of 1892 the city was divided 
into six wards instead of four, making the Board of Aldermen twelve 
and giving some sections of the city better representation. To ac- 
commodate the various city officials and departments, the stone build 
building which had been occupied as a mill by W. K. IVIoore & Co. 
was secured in 1893 and such changes made in it as would adapt it 
for its purpose ; it was given the name of the Water Works building. 
In 1894 a stone addition was erected for the council chamber and the 
structure is now known as the City building. 


Some interesting incidents took place in connection with the early 
mail service of Lock-port and its vicinity. A daily mail service was 
estabh'shed between the village and Wright's Corners, Sundays included. 
This practice called out determined opposition, and when it was dem- 
onstrated that moral suasion was not sufficient to cause a discontinuance 
of the Sunday business, an opposition line of stages was started, run- 
ning only six days in the week, and called the Pioneer line. This pro- 
ceeding developed the fact that there were in the village a number of 
prominent citizens who desired Sunday mail and traveling facilities, who 
called a. meeting to remonstrate against the efforts of the new stage line. 
This meeting was held on the 9th of December, 1828, and the call was 
quite numerously signed ; it declared among other things, that at the 
time there were within the village four or five hundred buildings of 
various kinds, a population of about 2,000, and twenty-five respectable 
mercantile establishments. It also emphatically denied that a majority 
of the business men favored the discontinuance of the Sunday mail. 
However, the Pioneer line of stages was operated about two years, but 
did not pay and did not prevent the receipt of mails on Sunday. 

In this connection the following sketch by Thomas Scovell, printed 
in the Lockport Journal, is worthy of preservation in these pages. 
After noting the fact that John L. Wright was an early mail carrier in 
the vicinity of Lockport, Mr. Scovell continues thus: 

I will say the late Col. Hezekah W. Scovell was postmaster 3 or 4 terms from 1835 
and 1845. I have now in my oiKce three commissions given him in 1835 and 1840 
and 1845 signed and sealed by Martin Van Buren and John Tyler as president and 
John C. Calhoun secretary of the state and by the postmaster general, and in the 
winter of 1841 and 1842 I boarded with my uncle and went to select school in the 
basement of the old frame Episcopal church on Buffalo street where the German 
Church now stands and worked night and morning in the post-office and carrying 
the mail to Lower Town nights and mornings, as a large part of the business letters 
were taken or sent from Lower Town. 

Among my schoolmates that winter was the lamented Col. D. Donnelly, the late 
Rollin Daniels, and many others long gone. Only Windsor Trowbridge, now of this 
city, and myself are left living that I now remember. In the spring of 1843 I was 
appointed post-office clerk in place of W. S. Towle, who went to Buffalo. I remained 
in office during '42, '43 and most of '44, when I resigned and went out to Cambria to 
help my father on the farm, Chauncey Wolcott taking my place in the office. 

The post-office in 1842 was in a small one story white building on Canal street, 
just east of the Grand, where is now the grocery store owned by Mr. Smith, and in 
1843 the post-office was moved into a brick building next east of the old Eagle Tavern 


where the Grand now stands. The first news stand in the city was opened in the 
front hall or porch of the post-office that season by Lockhart R. Carswell, a Scotch- 
man, who slept under his counter the first year and afterwards moved up on Main 
street. As there was no railroads at that time, the mails were carried only by 
stages on the different routes. Mr. Isaac Dole and his son, the late Daniel E. Dole, 
in connection with a man in Brockport, ran a line of tally-ho coaches with four horses 
daily each way on the Ridge Road between here and Rochester. Another line with 
covered wagon went the canal route to Rochester daily each way; another line daily 
each way from here to Batavia; also one to Buffalo, the Falls, and Lewiston ; other 
side mails once or twice a week. When the roads was good the mails all got in be- 
fore night; but with bad roads they came at all times of night and left very early in 
the morning. I did all the work alone in the office except occasionally an hour or 
two a day by the postmaster. The rates of postage were then 5, 6|, 10, 12i, 18J and 
2.5 cents each, according to distance, and each letter or as many as was going to one 
place, had to have a bill made out and entered in the book and the package done up 
separately and plainly directed, and each package received, when opened, the bill 
accompanying it had to be entered in an account book for that purpose. The mail 
used to average about 150 to 175 letters daily ; occasionally 200 each way, besides, a 
large amount of papers, daily and weekly. Even that number of letters, with the 
form of keeping the accounts and waiting on delivery, kept one clerk very busy. 

The year 1 886 saw the completion and opening of what Lockport 
citizens usually term " the big bridge," which superseded the old 
structure which had been in use for more than half a century. The 
new bridge was not secured witliout a prolonged and energetic effort, 
and upon its completion its opening was inaugurated with one of the 
largest and most enthusiastic celebrations ever held in the place. This 
occurred on the 2d of September, i886. A great crowd, two or three 
brass bands, lavish illumination and fire-works and many speeches from 
prominent men were features of the event. A platform was erected on 
the bridge on which were Mayor Spalding, Aldermen Crosby, McGrath, 
Heary, Ashford, Darrison and Gaskill, with A. Stewart Gooding, M. C. 
Richardson, O. W. Cutler, H S Servoss, W. W Henry, L. P. Gordon, 
Richard Crowley, W. C. Olmsted, J. A. Ward, John G. Freeman, 
Henry Hueshoff, Joseph Rainor, D. F. Stevens, T. M. McGrath, Wil- 
liam E. Tuttle, A. R. Brooks, George F. Smith. Col. W. E. Palmer 
was master of ceremonies. After introductory remarks by Colonel 
Palmer the following preamble and resolutions were adopted : 

Whereas, The structure lately within the city of Lockport called by its citizens the 
" Big Bridge," which for more than half a century has carried in safety the traffic of 
the town and afforded to the citizens of the County of Niagara a public market for 
their produce, has now been replaced by a better and more durable one of like char- 


acter and capacity, of design and detail most satisfactorj' and pleasingto our citizens, 
in that its similarity of form and uses to the one which it replaces, affords us a guar- 
antee that one of the valued landmarks of our city is not to be obliterated, but that it 
shall stand to bear the weight of a thriving and progressive community in the future 
as it has in the past sustained the steps of those who formed the nucleus and basis of 
a city destined by its natural advantages and the public spirit of almost all of its 
citizens to become one of the fairest and most prosperous in the Empire State; and 

Whereas, The erection and completion of the present structure was obtained 
through the intelligent efforts in that behalf of certain public officers, both State and 
local, and we are desirous of expressing in some public manner our acknowledgment 
of the service they performed ; therefore. 

Resolved, That the citizens of the City of Lockport are under obligations for the 
aid and encouragement afforded the enterprise by Hon. Elnathan Sweet, state engi- 
neer; Hon. James Shanahan, superintendent of public works, and Mr. Horace H. 
Servoss, superintendent of locks at Lockport; and hereby assure them individually 
of our appreciation of their public spirit and good judgment. 

Resolved. That the thanks of our citizens are particularly due to Hon. Edward C. 
Walker, State senator from this district; Hon. Lewis P. Gordon and Hon. Peter A. 
Porter, members of assembly from Niagara county, for action and zealous effort in 
behalf of the enactment which secured an appropriation for this work sufficient in 
amount to ensure the proper and satisfactory completion of it. 

Resolved, That the citizens of Lockport, contemplating the skill and good judg- 
ment of the State officers having control of the erection of bridges over the Erie 
Canal, as displayed in the form and convenience of the structure now completed, are 
led most earnestly to hope and believe that the design for a high truss bridge over 
said canal at Cottage street, in this city, may be changed so as to correspond to that 
of the one upon which we now stand, and thus a most serious obstruction to view 
and travel be obviated, and the well-earned reputations of those officials for sound 
and practical administration of the affairs of the canal be sustained. 

D. F. Stevens, 
T. M. McGrath, 

Committee on Resolutions. 

Hon. Richard Crowley was the first speaker and gave a brief history 
of the old bridge, stating that when the canal was first built, sixty five 
years earlier, it was bridged with logs, and that a few years later the 
bridge demolished to make way for the new one was erected. 
Other addresses were made by M. C. Richardson, L. P. Gordon and 
others with music at intervals. The exercises closed with a display of 

Lockport had a fire service before its incorporation as a village in 
1829, and before the organization of the department was effected 
[-ynian A. Spalding purchased a rotary engine, which he named Tus- 
carora, and for which a company was subsequently organized. It re- 


quired sixteen men to operate this engine and it was soon displaced by 
the Niagara. The company for the Tuscarora was formed soon after 
the incorporation of the village, with John G. Gustin foreman. The 
first hook and ladder company was organized in 1833. In 1836 a com- 
pany was formed in the Lower Town with the name of Tuscarora No. 
2, with William Dixon foreman. Some years later Osceola Engine 
Company No. i was organized and continued until 1873, when it was 
reorganized as Spalding Hose Company No. r and still exists At 
about the same time that Osceola Company was organized another was 
formed with the title of Rescue Engine Company No 3 ; this company 
was disbanded in 1868, and Washington Hose Company No. 2 was or- 
ganized from it and is now in existence. In 1853 Tuscarora Company 
No. 2 was reorganized and became De Witt Clinton Engine Company. 
Protection Hook and Ladder Company was organized in 1863 with 
thirty-five members. Hydrant Hose Company No. i was organized in 
November, 1865, and Washington Hose Company No 2 in January, 
1868. The present department comprises Active Hose Company No. 
5 (formerly Active Engine Company and organized in 1878) ; De Witt 
Clinton Hose No. 6 ; Hydrant Hose No. i ; Spalding Hose No. 3 ; 
Washington Hose No. 2, and Protection Hook and Ladder Company 
No. 1. 

Chief Engineers of the Fire Department. — The Board of Trustees of 
Lockport on May 13, 1829, was composed of Joel McCoUum, presi- 
dent; Levi Taylor, Levi F. Bounds, Joshua Driscoll, James P". Mason, 
and Henry K. Hopkins, clerk. It was ordered that sixteen firemen 
and sixteen hook and ladder men be appointed. George W. Rogers 
was appointed chief engineer, and a small engine was purchased at a 
cost of $650. The list of chiefs and dates of service from 1829 to 
1897 as far as known is given below : 

George W. Rogers, 1820, 1831, 1833, 1833 and 1849; Lewis Godard, 1830-31; Ben- 
jamin Carpenter, 1833-38; B. S. Pease, 18.38, 1839, 1840; Isaac Dole, 1840-41; Robert 
White, 1850; John Jenney, IS.'jO-SS; Alexander Eastman, 18.52-53; Dudley Don- 
nelly, 1853-61; L. Austin Spalding, 185.5-58; B. H. Fletcher, 1801-62; Joseph T. 
Bellah, 1802-63; John E. Mack, 1863-04; M. Dempsey, 1804-65; James Jackson, jr., 
1805; Henry F. Cady, 1805-67; L, W. Bristol, 1867-09 and 1874-76; William Spald- 
ing, 1809-74 and 1878-79; Robert Madden. 1870-77 and 1890-91; John Hodge, 1877- 
78; H. D. McNeil, 1879-80; William E. Jenney, 1880-81; Max Starck, 1881-82; H. 
K. Wicker, 1883-91; H. L. Cleveland, 1891-93; C. E. Carnall, 1893; Dr. William E. 
Jenney, 1897. 


List of Fire Organizations of Lockport from /.y.'y.— Niagara Fire Company No. 
1, organized December 25, 1834. 

Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, organized September 18, 1834. 

Tuscarora Fire Engine Company No. 2, organized November 28, 1838. 

Protection Fire Engine Company No. 1, organized 1850. 

Osceola Fire Engine Company No. 1, organized September 27, 1860. 

Rescue Fire Engine Company No. 3, organized February 23, 1852. 

Bucket Company, organized December 20, 1852. 

De Witt Clinton Fire Engine Company No. 2, organized 1854, from Tuscarora 
Company above named. 

Protection Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, organized June 15, 1863, from Hook 
and Ladder Company No. 1. 

Hydrant Hose Company No. 1, organized November 24, 1865, first hose company 
in the State to use hydrants of the Holly Water Works system. 

Washington Hose Company No. 2, organized January 27, 1868, from Niagara Fire 
Engine Company No. 1 and Rescue Engine Company No. 3. 

Spalding Hose Company No. 8, organized May 26, 1878, from Protection Fire 
Company No. 1 and Osceola Company No. 1. 
. Active Hose Company No. 5, incorporated, organized February 5, 1878. 

De Witt Clinton Hose Company No. 6, organized April 1, 1879, from De Witt 
Clinton Engine Company No. 2 

The Exempt Firemen's Association of Lockport was organized De- 
cember i6, 1893, with the following officers: H K. Wicker, president; 
T. James McMaster, vice president; Charles F. Foley, secretary; John 
R. Mahaney, treasurer; H. L. Cleveland, marshal; Charles B. Long, 
Charles E Carnall, trustees ; Richard Smith, steward. 

The object of the association is stated as the promotion of friendly 
and social intercourse, to provide a headquarters for the transaction of 
all business connected with the association, together with a reading 
room where the members may meet and renew their old-time friend- 
ship, to collect and preserve relics, pictures and implements used in 
olden times, and to provide for and establish a mutual aid or funeral 
fund for the benefit of its members. Only such persons as served as 
firemen of the late volunteer fire department can become members. 

On the 1st of January, 1897, this association had 174 members, and 
the following are the present officers: President, George W. Mann; 
vice-president, W. R. Scott; treasurer, J. R. Mahaney; financial secre- 
tary, Fred R. Oliver; marshal, W. J. Quinlan ; steward, Richard Smith. 
The association has just purchased a building at a cost of $3,000 which 
will be used for general club purposes. 


The water supply of Lockport had its inception in a reservoir on the 
site of the later American Hotel, the water being pumped into it by a 
pump which Lyman A. Spalding had procured to use in case of fire in 
his early mill. From the reservoir the water flowed by gravity. This 
inadequate establishment did not long suffice. Fires were frequent and 
many of them were destructive in spite of the efforts of firemen. This 
condition of affairs led Birdsall Holly, whose name became famous in 
connection with his system of supplying water to communities, to turn 
his attention to devising a remedy. As a result of his genins the Lock- 
port Water Works were constructed in 1864, by a company organized 
for such undertakings. The system, as now well known, consists briefly 
in setting up pumping machinery to raise water to a sufficient height 
and to supply it under pressure, and so regulated by the pressure of 
the water in the mains that the machinery will respond to the demand. 
About 6,000 feet of pipe were laid in the village (then soon to become 
a city) and twenty- seven hydrants were set, the highest of which was 
seventy-two feet above the pumping station. The machinery was pro- 
pelled by a turbine wheel under a head of nineteen feet. The contract 
between the village and the Holly Company stipulated that from a hy- 
drant fifty feet above the pumping station a stream could be thrown 
through one hundred feet of hose one hundred feet high. At the test 
the stream was thrown 175 feet under those conditions, and the works 
were promptly accepted. In 1882 the water works were taken under 
municipal control. About twenty four miles of mains are now in use, 
with one pump of 3,000,000 and one of 5,000,000 gallons daily capacity. 
George H. Drake was the first superintendent, and was succeeded by 
R. J. Sterrett. The present superintendent is B Burroughs who as- 
sumed the office in 1893. 

^ The Lockport Press. — Tiie history of newspapers in Lockport 
furnishes an illustration of the consequences of changed business and 
industrial conditions, frequently enabling new communities to spring 
up and outstrip older and apparently more permanent ones. A news- 
paper was born in Lewiston many years before Lockport was more 
than a canal settlement ; but it was soon removed to the younger com- 
munity. The Niagara Democrat was started in Lewiston in 1821, by 
Bartemus Ferguson; but in the ensuing winter some of the enterpris- 


ing citizens of Lockport purchased tiie printing office, removed it to 
their little village and the editor with it. The name of the paper was 
at the same time changed to The Lockport Observatory. In August, 
1822, the establishment passed to possession of Orasmus Turner, who 
for about thirty years thereafter was prominently identified with Niag- 
ara county journalism.' Meanwhile, another paper, the Lewiston Sen- 
tinel, was started in Lewiston in 1822 by James O. Dailey. It soon 
passed into the hands of Oliver Grace, who read the signs of the times 
and also removed it to Lockport, changing the name to the Niagara 
Sentinel. In 1828, for business reasons, the Observatory and the Sen- 
tinel were consolidated and published with the name of the Democrat 
and Sentinel. In the same year the establishment was purchased b)- 
Peter Besancon, who changed the name of the paper to the Lockport 
lournal. In 1829 another change of name was made to the Lockport 

In 1833 the Lockport Gazette was started by Pierpont Baker, and 
one year later the two papers were consolidated and issued as the 
Lockport Balance and Gazette ; the last part of the title was soon 
dropped and the Balance was published a short time by D. C. Coul- 
ton, and later by T. H. Hyatt. In 1835 Orasmus Turner started a 
new journal with the name of the Niagara Democrat, and in 1837 
purchased the Balance, and continued the publication of the Niagara 
Democrat and Lockport Balance as one paper ; the last part of the title 
was soon dropped. Mr. Turner remained as editor and publisher 
until 1839, when it passed into the hands of Thomas P. Scoville, who 
continued the publication until 1846. It was then sold to Turner & 
McCoUum, wiio were succeeded by Ballou & Campbell, who transferred 
it to its former publisher, Mr. Turner ; he continued the paper until his 
death in 1855. John Campbell was the next publisher, continuing 
until 1858, when the establishment was purchased by A. S. Prentiss, 
who had for about five years been conducting the Lockport Daily Ad- 
vertiser, a free advertising medium. After purchasing the Democrat 
he enlarged the Advertiser and continued its daily issue, while the 

' Mr. Turner died on .March il, 1H55. It is a historical fact of special importance to printers, 
that the first "composition " roller in this county was made and used in Mr. Turner's office; the 
discovery was made in Eni^land. 


weekly issue was named the Democrat and Advertiser. In i860 the 
establishment was transferred to Gaylord J. Clark. 

On April 9, 1S59, the Lockport Chronicle was started by S. S. Poni- 
roy &: Co., a weekly, and in the following year the Lockport Daily 
Union was issued from the same office by tlie County Democratic Com- 
mittee. In 1862 a consolidation was effected by the Democrat and 
Advertiser, and the Chronicle and the Union, the new daily taking the 
name of the Lockport Daily Union, and the weekly that of the Niag- 
ara Democrat. At the time of the consolidation Pomroy & Chamber- 
lain became proprietors and editors. In 1863 Mr. Pomroy retired 
from the business, and in the next year Mr. Chamberlain sold out to 
Henry E. Shaft, who had already begun the publication of the Lock- 
port Bee, which was then merged with the Union and Democrat. Mr. 
Shaft soon transferred the establishment to Wolcott & Chamberlain, 
who continued until June, 1867, when Mr. Chamberlain sold his inter- 
est to R. M. Skeels ; in 1876 he bought Wolcott's interest also. On 
the 1st of October, 1876, a stock company was formed, for the pub- 
lication of the paper, with John Hodge, president; James Jackson, jr., 
treasurer, and Mr. Skeels remained as editor. Early in the eighties 
O. W. Cutler acquired a controlling interest in the company stock and 
continued in the management of the business until 1895, when Fred 
W. Corson became an equal partner with him. At the same time the 
plant and papers of the Lockport Sun Company were taken into the 
Union Company. In February, 1896, Mr. Cutler's interest was ac- 
quired by Walter P. Home, and in July, 1897, the business was incor- 
porated and the present organization effected as follows : Walter P. 
Home, president ; Fred W. Corson, treasurer and manager ; George S. 
Palmer, secretary. 

The Lockport Daily Sun, referred to above, was founded by Messrs. 
M. H. Hoover and Fred Relyea, June 19, 1891. The plant was located 
on Market street. After the paper had been published a few months 
Mr. Relyea between two days quietly slipped away and has never since 
returned. On May 30, 1892, the paper and plant passed into the hands 
of Democratic politicians, under the company name of the Sun Print- 
ing and Publishing Company, William C. Greene, president ; F. H. 
Pomroy, secretary ; A. E. Hoyt, treasurer and managing editor, and 



C. N. Seabury, business manager. It was proving to be a most suc- 
cessful party rival of the Democratic l.oc]<port Daily Union, and that 
concern thought it policy to buy up the Sun, and subsequently did so, 
as related above. 

On May I, 1827, M. Cadwallader began the publication of the Ni- 
agara Courier, and was succeeded for a short time by George Reese, 
who sold to Hon. T. T. F"lagler. Under his direction the paper was 
successful. In 1843 it was purchased by Crandall & Brigham, who 
transferred it to David S. Crandall. In 1S47 he began the issue of a 
daily, the first of a permanent character in the village. In 1851 the es- 
tablishment was sold to C. L. Skeels and John Williams. In 1846 
Robert H. Stevens began the publication of the Niagara Cataract, 
which he soon sold to Humphrey & Fox ; they were succeeded by 
Charles J. Fox, who continued until June, 1851, when Moses C. Rich- 
ardson, who had been for three preceding years editorially associated 
with the Courier, purchased the plant of the Cataract for the purpose 
of using the material on a Free Soil paper. With additions to the 
material he started tiie Lockport Journal in June, 185 1. The paper 
was liberally received, and in 1852, at the solicitation of his friends, 
Mr. Richardson began publishing the Lockport Daily Journal. It was 
an up-hill struggle for a few years, on account of the limited population 
of the district. In 1852 Cornelius Underwood, a practical printer, ac- 
quired an interest in the business. He had no capital and was soon 
discouraged with his prospects and retired. Mr. Richardson continued 
alone and in 1853 introduced the first power printing press to the vil- 
lage. In November, 1854, the establishment was nearly ruined by 
the great fire. Undismayed, Mr. Richardson purchased new material 
and continued the issue of the paper, and in course of time the estab- 
lishment was placed upon a secure basis. In the year (185 i) that 
Skeels and Williams purchased the Niagara Courier, as before stated, 
S. S. Pomroy assumed its editorship, and in 1855 became its owner. In 
1857 John G. Freeman acquired an interest in the office and a little 
later became sole owner. The Courier and the Journal now occupied 
substantially the same political field and the friends of each urged a 
consolidation. Accordidgly in February, 1859, the two were united 
by the firm of Richardson & Freeman, the daily issue being called the 


Journal and Courier, and the weekly the Niagara Intelligencer. The 
name of the weekly was afterwards changed to tlie Niagara Journal, 
and the daily to the Lockport Daily Journal. In 1861 Mr. Freeman 
sold his interest to A. Holly, who a few months later sold to James 
W. Barker. On the night of May 3, 1863, the establishment was de- 
stroyed by fire, causing a heavy loss. The proprietors then purchased 
the lot on which the Journal building was erected. New materials were 
purchased and the paper prospered more than before. In July, 1864, 
Mr. Barker sold his interest to M. C. Richardson, who continued sole 
proprietor, and in 1869 erected the present Journal building. In 1870 
Joseph A. Ward purchased a quarter interest in the establishment and 
became business manager. In the spring of 1871 Willard A. Cobb, 
for several years previous proprietor of the Dunkirk Journal, pur- 
chased of Mr. Richardson a quarter interest and became associate editor 
of the paper. 

Messrs. Ward & Cobb purchased Mr. Richardson's interest in the 
plant in 1880, and since that time they have been and still are sole pro- 
prietors of the Journal. 

While the firm's interests are mutual, Mr. Ward has special charge of 
the business department. Mr. Ward was formerly connected with the 
Niagara County National Exchange Bank of Lockport and has always 
enjoyed the reputation of being an unusually successful business man. 

Hon. Willard A. Cobb, one of the owners of the Lockport Journal, 
was born in Rome, N. Y., was educated in Rome Academy and Ham- 
ilton College, graduating from the latter institution in 1864. He im- 
mediately entered upon editorial work, first as a reporter on the 
Chicago Post, and afterwards as associate editor of the Racine Advo- 
cate, city editor of the Utica Morning Herald, editor of the Dunkirk 
Journal, associate editor and finally editor-in-chief of the Lockport 
Journal. Aside from his editorial labor Mr. Cobb has been active in 
the political field, served his district two years on the Republican State 
Committee, and has frequently been a delegate to Republican State 
and local conventions. In 1879 he made an extensive tour of Europe 
contributing interesting letters to his journal. Mr. Cobb was a member 
of the State Board of Regents from 18S4 to 1893 when he resigned 





from that body to accept a place upon the State Civil Service Com- 
mission, to which he was appointed by Governor Morton. He was sub- 
sequently appointed president of that commission. 

Mr. Cobb h;is at this present time been engaged in journahsm for up- 
wards of thirty years. He is generally recognized as one of the ablest 
and most forcible editorial writers in the Empire State. 

The Lockport Niagaraii. — The first issue of a weekly publication 
established by Messrs. George S. Gooding, Ouincey G. T. Parker and 
Homer I). Upson, was printed on March 7, 1891. It entered the sea 
ot newspaperdom with about si.\ hundred subscribers. Its subscription 
price was fifty cents per annum. It was a five column, four page 
sheet devoted entirely to local news — independent Republican in poli- 
tics. Within a month after it was started Mr. Upson withdrew from 
the partnership and Messrs. Gooding and Parker continued the publica- 
tion together for one year, then Mr. Parker sold his interest in the paper 
to Mr. Gooding, who enlarged it to the regulation size, si.x column 
folio, and continued to so publish it for two years. During these two 
years Mr. Gooding branched out into the job printing business. He 
met with excellent success and found that job printing in Lockport was 
more remunerative than publishing a weekly newspaper, so at the be- 
ginning of Vol. IV. of the Niagaran he reduced it to a four-column 
montiil)- publication and so issued it for one year. Then it was discon- 
tinued. From a small outfit in an upper room in the brick building 
corner of Lock and Ontario streets, by earnest efforts and perseverance 
Mr. Gooding built up a good printing business, and added to the plant 
until he had one of the finest and best equipped offices in the city. In 
January, 1896, he sold his office, then located on the ground floor at 
No. 39 Pine street, McRae block, to W. H. Mackenzie. Later in the 
year Mr. Mackenzie sold the plant. to Adolph Laux, who removed it to 
his bookbinding establishment, No. 22 Main street, where it remains. 

The Lockport Daily Review was first issued on March 27, 1895, ^fJ 
was started by six members of the printing business, namely : John M. 
Smith, R. C. Wilson, J W. Jenss, F. H. Foga!, Eugene Kearns and T. 
T. Feeley. The Review, contrary to predictions, steadily gained in 
favor, and to daj' stands as one of the best papers in Western New 


York. In size it is a four-page, eight columns. The Review was 
started on the co operative plan, but after a year it was changed to an 
incorporated body. Dr. E. W. Gantt was the editor- in chief from its 
conception uutil July 12, 1896, when he resigned. The Review is 
independent in politics and its motto, " Lockport first, last, and all the 
time," is strictl}' lived up to. The plant now occupies two floors of the 
Van Wagoner building, and a good job plant is run in connection with 
the paper. 

The Niagara Semi-Weekly Review, published Wednesday and Sat- 
urday, is an off shoot of the daily. It was started a year ago and has 
now a large circulation. The present officers and equal stockholders of 
the company are: President, John M. Smith; vice-president, R. C. 
Wilson ; secretary-treasurer, J. W. Jenss ; manager, T. T. Feeley ; 
John Tierney, John Berry and George S. Gooding. Brief sketches of 
several newspaper editors and publishers, connected with the Lockport 
press, may be found in Part II of this work 

Lockport was without local banking facilities until 1828, in which 
year the bank of Lockport was organized and incorporated. The 
Lockport Bank and Trust Company and the Canal Bank were organ- 
ized about the year 1838 ; the Western Bank in 1850, and the Cataract 
Bank in 1862. The Lockport City Bank was incorporated in 1858 and 
continued in business until 1866. These institutions supplied financial 
accommodations to the place for longer or shorter periods, but all long 
ago passed out of e.xistence. 

The National Exchange Bank was incorporated as a State institution 
in 1844, and was changed to a national bank in 1865. The capital is 
$150,000. The institution has been managed most judiciously and 
for the best interests of the community. The present officers are as 
follows: Timothy E. Ellsworth, president; C. M. Van Valkenburgh, 
vice-president; William E. McComb, cashier. These with John R. 
Redfield, Joseph A. Ward, and John E. Pound constitute the board of 

The First National Bank was organized in December, 1865, with 
capital of $200,000. George W. Bowen was the first president, and 
John O. Noxen the first cashier. It was subsequently changed to the 


Merchants' Bank, as a State institution, and closed its career in Octo- 
ber, 1893, in the hands of a receiver. 

The Niagara County National Bank was organized December 6, 
1864, with a capital of $150,000. The first officers were Thomas T. 
Flagler, president; Daniel A. Van Valkenburgh, vice-president; James 
R. Compton, cashier. The present officers are as follows: T. T. 
Flagler, president; T. E. Ellsworth, vice president; J, R. Compton, 
cashier ; T. T. Flagler, T. E. Ellsworth, T. N. Van Valkenburgh, H. 
H. Flagler, Charles M. Van Valkenburgh, Ransom Scott and D. Van 
Shuler, directors. 

The Farmers' and Mechanics' Savings Bank was chartered May 11, 
1870. The first officers were Jason Collier, president; Silas Osgood 
and John Hodge, vice-presidents ; F^dward Voke, secretary and treas- 
urer ; George C. Green, attorney. The bank was opened for business 
August I, 1870. In the following December a lot was purchased and 
a building thereon was remodeled for banking purposes. The present 
officers of the company are as follows: Isaac H. Babcock, president; 
Benjamin F. Gaskill, first vice-president; David D. Crosby, second 
vice-president; J. E. Emerson, secretary and treasurer; Barnett D. 
Hall, Willard T. Ransom, B. F. Gaskill, Harrison S. Chapman, Isaac 
H. Babcock, J. E. Emerson, David D. Crosby, E. Achley Smith, 
George H. Moody, William A. Williams, Charles A. Hoag, Henry 
Grigg, Joseph Dimivillc, jr., directors. The bank has a surplus of 

The Lockport Banking Association, composed of several prominent 
citizens, began business as a private banking institution April 8, 1882. 
It has gone out of business. 

The banking office of S. Curt Lewis was opened for business in May, 
1876, and has continued to the present time. 

CllUKCHES. — The first house of worship built in the village of Lock- 
port was the log meeting house of the Society of Friends ; it cost $300 
and stood on the lot now bounded by Main, Market and F^lm streets, 
containing two acres, which was purchased for $24. Under the regu- 
lation of the Holland Company this religious society was entitled to a 
donation of one hundred acres of land for building the first church in 
the town. The society, however, declined the donation, on the ground 


that it would act as a payment for preaching, to wliich they were op- 

Tlie I'"irst Presbyterian church was organized ciiielly througli the ef- 
forts of Rev. David M. Smith, wlio was installed pastor of the church in 
Lewiston in 1817. The society which had been organized at Lockport 
was taken in charge of the Niagara Presbytery in 1823, when there were 
twenty- nine members. A small church was built on the courthouse 
square and the society availed itself of the offer of the Holland Company, 
which had been declined by the Society of F"riends, and selected a tract 
of land two miles south of the city which was afterwards sold for $1,000 
and the inoney used fortlie building. The first settled pastor was Rev. 
Abatus Kent, who began his service early in 1S23. Within the next 
few years the membership greatly increased, and in 1 830 the society 
built a brick church on the corner of Ontario and Church streets, the 
site of their later edifice. In 1832 the membership had reached 355. 
l^etween 1834 and 1838 two distinct elements were developed in the 
society which it seemed impossible to harmonize The disagreement 
culminated in the minority asking letters to form another church, which 
were granted, and the)- organized the First Congregational church. 
Under the long pastorate of Rev. William C. Wisner, who began in 
May, 1842, the congregation was most prosperous and outgrew the old 
church. In 1855 the present spacious edifice was erected on the site. 
Gardner Memorial chapel, in rear of the church, was built and dedicat- 
ed in 1890. 

On the 13th of April, 18 16, John Uptold, a missionary from the Ham- 
ilton Baptist Missionary Society, visited the vicinity of Lockport, where 
five believers in that faith met and formed the nucleus of a church; the 
society was regularly organized with twelve members in March, 18 17. 
In the ne.xt month the name Cambria Baptist church was adopted and 
Samuel Alvord was licensed to preach. During a number of years the 
meetings were held in divers places; the first one held in Lockport was 
on December 6, 1824, when the membership was about fifty. On the 
30th of July, 1825, the name of the church was changed to the Lock- 
port Baptist church. A committee to select a site for a church edifice 
was appointed in August, 1825, but the work was postponed several 


years. In 1833 a stone church was erected on Pine street, costing 
about $5,000. Discord was caused in this society a httle prior to 1850 
through the lectures of a Mr. Miller on the second advent and their 
acceptance by the church pastor, Rev. Elon Galusha. The trouble 
culminated in 185 I, the church withdrew the hand of fellowship from a 
part of the members, gave letters to the remainder and soon afterward 
disbanded. At a meeting held in November of the same year a portion 
of those holding letters, about thirty, organized themselves under the 
name of tlie Second Baptist church of Lockport, with Rev. S. R. Mason, 
pastor. The society now became more harmonious and the member- 
ship increased. In 1867, it having become necessary to have larger 
accommodations, measures were adopted for building a new church. 
The site of the present edifice was purchased and the building erected. 
The reorganization mentioned was void in law and in order to properly 
transact business the name of the society was changed by legislative act 
April 23, 1867, to the Baptist church of Lockport. 

In the year 1816 Rev. Daniel Shepardson traveled through Western 
New York and during his journeys he preached Methodism about 
once a month in the school house two and a half miles east of Lockport, 
and also near Warren's Corners. In 1823 Lockport was included in 
the Buffalo and Lewiston circuit, and in October of that year a society 
was incorporated with Samuel Leonard, Austin Atchinson, Ira Smith, 
Peter Aiken, William Hattan and Laban Smith, trustees. This cor- 
poration was subsequently dissolved, but a reorganization was effected 
April 30, 1827. A small church building was erected in 1824, on 
what is now Genesee street, between Pine and Cottage. This building 
was soon enlarged to accommodate the increasing congregation, but it 
ere long became inadequate and the site now owned by the society was 
purchased. A new edifice was completed in 1833 at a cost of about 
$10,000. Agitation of the slavery question caused a division in the 
church in 1840, and a second organization was made, which continued 
until 1846, when the dissenters disbanded and its members united with 
the former society. In 1854 the church edifice was burned; the society 
was in debt and only about $7,000 could be raised toward building an- 
other. After prolonged and discouraging labor, however, the new 
house of worship was completed in 1857 as it "ow stands. 



The church edifice of St. John the Baptist (Roman Catholic) was 
commenced in August, 1834, on land donated by Edward Bissell and 
Joel McColIum ; Lyman A. Spalding gave the church another lot which 
was sold for its benefit. The edifice was completed at a great deal of 
sacrifice and was enlarged to its later size prior to 1842. A stone house 
was also built for the pastoral residence The initial steps toward build- 
ing a new church were taken in 1856, and during the pastorate of 
Father Gleason, beginning in i860, the edifice was erected. In 1866 
the bishop opened the old church, which had been occupied by the 
Sisters; they removed to the land purchased for their school on Church 
street. Under the pastorate of Father Byrne^, beginning in 1867, the 
old church was improved and made suitable for services. It is still in 
use by the St. John's society. Rev. M. J. Darcy has been pastor of 
this church for the past twenty years, and under him the edifice was 
completed in its present form. A successful parochial school is main- 
tained in a building adjoining the church St. Patrick's society was 
organized and the church erected in 1856. but was completed in its 
present form under the pastorate of Rev. P. J. Cannon, who has served 
more than twenty years. The German Catholic parish of St. Mary's 
was organized in i860 and used first a frame church in Buffalo street; 
this was superseded in 1885 by the present brick structure. 

The First Free Congregational church of Lockport was organized 
June 7, 1838. The word "Free" indicates the convictions which the 
church held respecting the question of slavery. The first house of 
worship was dedicated July 23, 1840, on the site of the present building. 
It was destroyed by fire November 2, 1854. On October 15, 1857, the 
present stone structure was dedicated. The following have been the 
pastors and supplies of the church : 

Rev. William Bacon, 1838-41; Rev. W. Rosevelt, 1841-43; Rev. William Curry, 
1842-44; Rev. Edgar Perkins, 1844-49; Rev. Edward W. Oilman, 18-l9-.')(i. Rev. J. IX 
Potter, Rev. F. W. Brauns and others supplies during 1857; Rev. Joseph I.. Ben- 
nett, 1857-1871; Rev. James W. Cooper, 1871-78; Rev. Ezra Tinker supplied for 
one year. Rev. Edward B. Furbish, 1879-89; Rev. J, W. Bailey, 18t)0-97. 

The pastor, Rev. John W. Bailey, was born in Galesburg, 111., No- 
vember 25, 1854. In 1875 he graduated from Blackburn University, 
Carlinville, 111. From the same institution three years later he received 
the degree of A. M. After graduating he entered a business house in 


Alton, III., in the capacity of bookkeeper. After this he was appointed 
principal of one of the ward schools in Alton, and later became the 
superintendent of public schools in Carlinville, 111. He entered Lane 
Theological Seminary at Cincinnati, O., graduating in 1882, and was 
immediately ordained by the Presbytery of Columbus, O. He then 
accepted a call to the pastorate of the First Presbyterian church in 
Cambridge City, Ind. In 1886 he was called to the First Congrega- 
tional church in West Rutland, Vt, and in 1890 accepted a call to 
become the pastor of the First Congregational church in Lockport, 
which position he still holds in 1897. 

What was formerly the Second Presbyterian church of Lockport 
(now the Second Ward Presbyterian), was organized June 5, 1832. 
The society worshiped about five years in a building on Market 
street. In 1836 trouble arose in the church through the alleged 
teaching by the pastor (Rev. Samuel Beaman) of certain doctrines 
of perfectionism, and in February, 1837, the Presbytery of Niagara 
prescribed some articles of faith to test the soundness of the church. 
Only seven persons, six of whom were women, subcribed to them, 
and these seven were then declared to be the church. Mr. Beaman 
soon removed to New York city. The stone church on Van Buren 
street cost about $5,000 and was dedicated January 8, 1838. In De- 
cember, 1846, the name was changed, the church property was sold 
for debt and bought by a member of the society for $900. The 
society has passed through periods of great trial, but is now in better 

The Clinton Street Methodist church was organized October 16, 
1855, when the following were appointed stewards: D. W. Ballon, W. 
R. Ford, D. B. Ingraham, J. McDonald, D. Thurber. Work upon the 
church edifice was soon begun and it was finished in 1856 at a cost of 
$4,000. It is still in use. 

Missionaries of the Universalist faith first preached in Lockport about 
1835. The first minister here of whom there is a record was Rev. Job 
Potter, who preached in the winter of 18^6-7, holding meetings in the 
court house. A society was organized at about that time under the 
name of the First Universalist Society of Lockport, but interest flagged 
and regular preaching was soon abandoned. In the summer of 1841 


Rev. Charles Hammond, of Rochester, came to Lockport determined 
to form an active society. Meetings were held in the court house and 
in a hired hall, and were largely attended. On April ii, 1842,3 
society was organized with the following trustees: Daniel A. Van 
Valkenburgh, Harlow V. Wood, Samuel C. Stevens, David S. Crandall, 
Stephen B. Ballou, Abial Eastman. Preparations for building a church 
were begun, a lot was bought, corner of Church and Ontario streets, 
and between that time and the fall of 1843 the building was finished 

In May, 1877, certain persons met in the southeastern part of the 
city for consultation regarding religious affairs in that section. As a 
result the South Street school house was obtained and there Rev. E. P. 
Marvin preached in the Presbyterian faith for one year. In October the 
congregation purchased that school house, and in the following month 
the Calvary Religious Society was organized. Soon afterward the 
building was enlarged fifty feet in its length. On May 5, 1878, the 
society was regularly organized as Calvary Presbyterian church. 

The Free Methodist church was organized in 1862, with twenty-five 
members. Rev. C. D. Brooks was the first pastor. Meetings were 
held in dwellings and halls until 1866, when the house of worship was 

The First h^vangelical Lutheran church was organized in 1837, with 
about one hundred members and Rev. John Selsmer, pastor. In 1838 
a brick edifice was built on West Main street. This was occupied until 
1850, when the present church was erected. St. Peter's German United 
Evangelical church was organized in 1862, and in the following )'ear a 
church edifice was built on the corner of Locust and South streets. It 
is still used by this society. 

The East Avenue Congregational church has a handsome brick edifice 
erected in 1890-91. The society' was organized previous to that time 
and until the church was erected worshiped in a hall. The society is 
an offshoot of the First Free Congregational Society. 

The German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity church was organized and 
built its edifice, corner of Saxton and Lagrange streets, about two years 
ago. Rev. Arthur Michel is pastor. 

The colored people of Lockport have a religious organization in the 
A. M. E. United church, with a church building on South street. 


The Protestant Episcopal Church in Niagara County} — The begin- 
ning of religious work in the county of Niagara, N. Y., by the Episco- 
pal church, dates from 1823. At that time faithful and self sacrificing 
men, sent by the General Board of Missions of the Diocese of New 
York, are found ministering at the then two most promising settlements 
in the county — Lockport and Lewiston. From these centers occasional 
ministrations were given to Royalton and Manchester (now Niagara 
Falls). At that time and up to 1838 the entire State of New York 
comprised one diocese under the title, '"Diocese of New York." At 
the time this history begins the diocese of New York was under the 
Episcopal care of its third bishop, the Rt. Rev. John Henry Hobart, 
D.D., who died Septembi r 10, 1830; he was succeeded November 26, 
1830, by the Rt Rev. Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk, S. T. D.; re- 
signed in 1852. Since the year 1868 the State of New York has com- 
prised five dioceses. The first to be set off from the parent diocese was 
the diocese of Western New York, organized in 1838. It comprises 
the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, 
Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Steuben, 
Wayne, Wyoming and Yates, in the State of New York. Square miles, 
11,345. First bishop, the Rt. Rev. William Heathcote De Lancey, 
D.D., LL.D., D.C.L., born October 8, 1797. Consecrated May 9, 
1839. Died April 5, 1865. Second bishop, the Rt. Rev. Arthur 
Cleveland Co.xe, D.D , LL.D. Consecrated January 4, 1865. Died 
July 20, 1896. Present bishop, Rt. Rev. William D. Walker, D.D., 
LL.D., D.C.L. 

A detailed history of the Episcopal church in this county is best told 
by an account of the several parishes in the order of their establish- 

It was on the 23d of February, 1829, that a number of men desirous 
of maintaining the services of the church, having had for a short time 
the ministrations of the Rev. Burton H. Hickox, organized themselves 
into a society under the title of "The Minister, Wardens and Vestry- 
men of Grace Church of Lockport." This, it will be observed, was a 

' Prepared for this work by Rev. George F. Rosenmuller. of Niagara Falls. As this history 
of the Episcopal church covers the whole county and is continuous, it is deemed advisable not to 
divide it among the several towns in which the churches are situated, as is done with other de- 


month before the village of Lockport was incorporated. The organ- 
ization lapsed, owing probably to its inability to maintain the stated 
services regularly. 

In the Convention Journal of the Diocese of New York for the year 
ending October i, 1830, the Rev. Lucius Smith, then rector of St. 
John's church, Batavia, says : " Held one service in Lower Lockport, 
where the service was performed for the first time, and where there 
is great solicitude expressed for a clergyman of our church, to whom 
a liberal compensation would be paid for his services." Unfortunately 
the date of this service is not given, but the probability appears to be 
that it was held in the summer of 1830. 

In February, 1831, the Rev. David Brown, of Albany, settled in 
Lower Lockport ; on August 19 of the same year he presented six 
persons for confirmation to Bishop Onderdonk, who on the same occa- 
sion laid the corner stone of the old Christ church, on its present site, 
corner of Market and Vine streets. The parish was organized, it is 
stated, in April, 1831, but the certificate of incorporation is dated Sep- 
tember 28, 1832. In October, 1833, it was admitted into union with 
the diocese. The church — of the old meeting-house style of architec- 
ture — had been finished for some time when on August 18 of that 
year Bishop Onderdonk consecrated it. It was but a few months after 
this that the Rev. Mr. Brown left Lockport to go to Florida, and was 
succeeded, July 26, 1834, by the Rev. Orange Clark The parish was 
burdened with debt, discouraged, but under the new rector made rapid 
strides in prosperity and growth. 

This brings us back to Grace church. How long the first organiza- 
tion mentioned at the outset continued, we have no means of knowing ; 
as said before, it lapsed. But the church people of Upper Lockport 
resolved on a second effort, and by the kind assistance of the new rector 
of Christ church, who presided at the meeting, they formed a parish 
ever since known as Grace church. This was February 9, 1835, •r' "the 
long room over George H. Boughton's store," which was their place of 
worship for some time after, until a wooden church, 35 by 56 feet, 
erected on the corner of Buffalo and Saxton streets, was ready to re- 
ceive the growing congregation. It was on August 12, 1838, that 
Bishop Onderdonk, on what proved to be his last visitation, consecrated 


the new church, and afterward went to Christ church to advance to the 
priesthood the Rev. Ebenezer H. Cressey, rector of that parish. 

Thus were tlie two parishes organized, provided with houses of wor- 
ship, and started on tiieir career of usefulness side by side "Upper 
Town" and " Lower Town" were almost two distinct places, and in the 
course of the next thirty years the latter seemed to become more and 
more the center of the wealth, and of the business and social life in 
Lock])ort. Since then the process has again been reversed, and to day 
old Market Street, with its quaint and stately look, speaks of the past 
more than the future. 

It is eminently fitting in this connection to record the names of those 
who in each of these parishes labored as clergymen, and as prominent 
laymen in their time. The roll of rectors and minister in charge for 
Christ church is as follows: 

Rev. David Browu, 1831-1833; Rev. Orange Clark, ]834-18:!(); Rev. Russell 
Wheeler, 1836-1837: Rev. Ebenezer II. Cressey, 1837-1841; Rev. Origen P. Hol- 
comb, 1841-1843; Rev. Erastus B. Foote, 1843-1845; Rev. Henry Stanley, 184G-1849; 
Rev. Orlando F. Starkey, 1849-1855; Rev. Andrew Mackie, 1850-1857; Rev. I. Foote 
and Rev. E. R. Welles, 1858-1859; Rev. Martin Moody, 1859-1860; Rev. Albert 
Lewis, 1861-1863; Rev. James Abercrombie, D. D., 1863-1874: Rev. Frederick S. 
Hyde, 1874-1877; Rev. George W. Southwell, 1877-1888; Rev. C. Graham Adams, 
D. D.. 1889-1890; Rev. John H. Perkins, 189I)-18.M; Rev. Williaii F. Faber, 1894- 

The rectors of Grace church have been the following: 

Rev. Beardsley Northrup, 1835-1836; Rev. George Denison, 1837-1841; Rev. 
Lloyd Windsor, 1843-1846; Rev. Charles H. Piatt, 1846-1849; Rev. William A. 
Matson, D D., 1800-1866; Rev. Lawrence S. Stevens, 1806-1870; Rev. Charles G. 
Gilbert, Ph. D., 1870-1875; Rev. Foster Ely, 1875-1885; Rev. Charles W. Camp. 
1885-1893; Rev. William F. Faber, 1893- ' 

' William Fix-derick Faber was born at iJuffalo, N. V.. February 27, 1800, of German parent- 
age; and after tour years at .St. Peter's parochial school, attended the public and the High School, 
graduating from the latter at the age of si.xteen. He entered the University of Rochester where 
he made a specialty of linguistic .studies, taking his degree of Bachelor of Arts in the class of 
1880. Three years later he graduated from Auburn Theological Seminary. In April, 1882, he was 
licensed to preach, after examination by the Presbytery of Buffalo, and by the same body was 
ordained to the Presbyterian ministry July 8, 1888. After spending a short time in city mission 
work in Buffalo, he went in November, 1883, to Westfield, N. Y., as pastor of the First Presby- 
terian church of that place. Here he remained over nine years, this being his first and only Presby- 
terian pastorate. 

In December, 18i«, Mr. Faber, after long study and reflection, felt it his duty to enter the Epis- 
copal church, and became a candidate for Holy Orders under the late Rt. Rev. Bishop Coxe, by 
whom he was made deacon at Geneva, May 28, 1883, and advanced to the priesthood at Lockport, 
May 20, 18'.M. For eight months he served as assistant to the rector of St. Peter's, Geneva, the late 
Rev. James Rankine, D. D., I>L.D. when he was called to the rectorship of Grace church, Lock- 


To follow in detail the history of each parish would require more 
space than is available. 

The first wardens of Christ church were Edward W. Raymond and 
Dr. Josiah K. Skinner; the first vestrymen, Nathan Dayton, Henry 
VValbridge, Lot Clark, Seymour Scovell, Edward Kissell, Leverett Bis- 
sell, Joel McCollum, and George Fields. There seems to have been no 
parish register kept by the first rector. The first recorded marriage is 
that of Washington Hunt (afterward governor of New York) and Mary 
Walbridge, November 20, 1S34. Mr. Hunt was confirmed in 1841, 
and continued to the last his benefactions and personal devotion to the 
parish, which his widow, now resident in New York, still maintains with 
unabated affection. The first list of communicants, made in 1835, con- 
tained thirty-eight names, among them that of George W. Merchant, 
since become famous as the founder of Merchant's Gargling Oil Company. 

Mr. Cressey's rectorship of four years is spoken of as one of great 
prosperity. The number of communicants rose to sixty seven. 

A church school for girls was founded, of which Bishop De Lancey 
spoke with enthusiasm. Prominent men were confirmed. It was dur- 
ing this rectorship tliat the diocese had been divided. Rev. William 
H. De Lancey, D.D., being chosen at Geneva, November i, 1838, as 
first bishop of Western New York 

In 1848 a new communicant list was made, which contained only six 
of the thirty-eight names of the list of 1835, the whole number now 
being seventy. This fact may serve to show the fluctuating character 
of the population in those early days. 

The rectorship of Rev. Orlando F. Starkey is noteworthy as being 
that in which the present church was erected. Mr. Starkey had felt 
the need of a new edifice, and during his travels abroad he " got his 
mind full of what he would like." The project seemed utterly visionary 
to the people, but Grace parish was just erecting its handsome stone 
church, and so, after some agitation, a committee circulated a subscrip- 

port, entering upon his duties December 1, KHUa. The happiness of this congenial relation and 
encouraging work was soon clouded by the untimely death of his wife, Dorothea J. K. Faber, on 
February 11, 180,5. 

Mr. Faber has published three small volumes of sermons under the title "Thoughts for 
Thought" (ISSli). '■ The Church for the Times (18i)l ) and " Nobiscum Deus: The Gospel of the In- 
carnation" (1803) ; as well as a number of articles in the Andover Review and the Reformed Quar- 
terly Review. 


tion, and a building committee consisting of the rector with Messrs. 
James Denniston, William Norman, John Bous and John Craine went 
to work. The result we know, November i6, 1854, Bishop De Lancey 
consecrated the beautiful Gothic church, whose erection excited so much 
comment and even ridicule in a generation as yet unaccustomed to 
churchly architecture. The cost of the building was $6,000. 

The period which followed witnessed a retrograde movement, until 
1 86 1, when under Revs. A. C. Lewis, James Abercrombie, D.D , and 
F. S. Hyde, great numbers were baptized and confirmed, the commun- 
icant list in 1877 numbering (in spite of many removals) iio. Dr. 
Abercrombie is remembered with grateful affection as the rector of 
longest incumbency up to that time, and as the builder of the rectory. 

The efficient and faithful pastorate of Rev. G. W. Southwell extended 
over eleven years. He witnessed the progress of the decline of Lower- 
town, and foresaw that the movement of population and of business 
would continue to be unfavorable to that part of the city ; but he 
labored on and brought the parish up in many important respects. The 
last work he undertook and brought to completion was the building of 
a parish house in 1888, at a cost of $2,200, of which $900 was a legacy 
left by Mrs. Walbridge and $500 a gift by Mrs. Mary H. Hunt. 

In November, 1894, the parish being vacant, the vestry asked the 
rector of Grace church to take charge of the work, and in the following 
year elected him rector. June i, 1896, the Rev. G Sherman Burrows 
came as vicar of Christ church and assistant at Grace church, the two 
parishes being bound together in this way under one head and deriving, 
it is hoped, a greater efficiency and moral strength from such union. 
At the present time, January, 1897, there is a list of eighty communi- 
cants and a Sunday school of about sixty. The wardens are Joseph 
DumviJle and John Hawkes ; the vestrymen Joseph Bewley, Martin L. 
Stevenson, John Drew, Richard Bewley, Hon. Charles Peterson and 
Jesse H. Clark. The property consisting of church, parish house and 
rectory, all of stone, is valued at $13,000. There is no debt. 

The first entry on the parish register of Grace church is that of the 
baptism of Emma Hickox and Caroline Hart Boughton, children of Mr. 
and Mrs. George H. Boughton. The date is June 28, 1832. The 
burial of the former of these two children is entered October 25, 1832. 


These entries give conclusive evidence of the existence of the parish, at 
least in outward organization, for three years after the first corporation 
was formed, and within three years of the second and permanent 

The first wardens after the reorganization, February 9, 1835, were 
Edward W. Raymond and John Bagley. The first vestrymen were 
Hezekiah Thomas, Lathrop Fellows, Edward I. Chase, Elias Ransom, 
jr., Alexander Ralston, John S. Shuler, Stephen B. Bond and George 

Severe struggles marked those early years. Trinity church, New 
York, whose benefactions aided so many young parishes in the State, 
had given Christ church $1,000 toward its building, but was appealed 
to in vain for help in erecting the wooden "Grace cliurch" on Saxton 
street in 1836. The necessary $4,000 were raised among themselves, 
and soon the building had to be enlarged. Again they outgrew it, 
and now a conference was held between the vestries of the two parishes 
as to the feasibility of joining in the erection of a suitable church for 
both congregations. That was in 1847. The first overtures came 
from Christ church. After a full and very friendly interview it ap- 
peared impracticable to unite, the obvious difficulty being a suitable 
location. So the question of a parish church for Upper Town was still 
pending, and became daily more urgent. The Rev. Charles H. Piatt 
was a man of energy and practical leadership. His name will be for- 
ever honored as that of the rector who built the present Grace church 
on a scale worthy of the growing parish and city. The enterprise was 
undertaken in 1852; May 2, 1853, the corner stone was laid, on the 
new site, Genesee and Cottage streets; two years, nearly, the church 
was in building; August 12, 1857, it was consecrated by Bishop De 
Lancey, the last indebtedness being paid. It was a great work, and 
the history was one of severe struggle, of many discouragements, of 
genuine heroic faith. Gillet Bacon, George W. Davis, S. Caverno 
were the subscription committee ; Solomon Parmlee, Daniel A. Van 
Valkenburgh, George W. Davis the building committee. The cost far 
exceeded the original sum contemplated, $12,500, though we have no 
means at present of ascertaining the exact amount. The old church 
was sold to the German congregation of Roman Catholics, and as "St. 


Mary's" continued until 1885, when it was removed to make way for a 
new brick cliurch. The thirteen years of Mr. Piatt's rectorship were 
years of intense effort and activity, and of corresponding progress in 
numbers and in all other ways. 

The next rector, Dr. Matson, inaugurated the movement to secure a 
rectory, which, under his successor, Rev. L. S. Stevens, was realized 
in the purchase of a house on Pine street at a cost of $7,000. 

Dr. Gilliat's rectorship is worthy of remembrance, among other things 
for the beginning of a project long in abeyance, "the building of a 
free church or chapel in the southeastern part of the city." 

The Rev. Foster Ely, D.D., secured not only large additions to the 
membership of the parish, but very extensive repairs and improvements 
to the church, beautiful and churchly furnishings, without which we of 
to-day should hardly recognize the interior of Grace church as the same 
place. He also founded the "Guild," whose work has been invaluable 
from that day to this, through whose hands have passed in twenty 
years more than $24,000, largely spent in building improvements, re- 
pairs and additions to the church property. 

During the rectorship of Rev. C. W. Camp the splendid parish build- 
ing was erected at a cost of $12,000, and a fund secured for a fine 
Hutchings organ, costing some $6,000. This necessitated other 
changes in the chancel ; a large vested choir was introduced, and the 
entire interior of the church redecorated. The last improvements 
were made in the first year of the present rector. 

The parish has now some 440 communicants, and a Sunday school 
of about 260. The wardens are Hon. John E. Pound and William A. 
Williams; the vestrymen, Hon. David Millar, C. M. Van Valkenburgh, 
Francis N. Trevor, A. H. Ivins, C. G. Sutliff, Francis P. Weaver, Hon. 
J. T. Darrison, Wallace I. Keep, Edward H. Boynton. The property 
is valued at $62,500, which includes the beginning of an endowment 

In May, 1896, a plan was definitely formulated to obtain a chapel 
for the new and growing southeastern district of Lockport. The Hon. 
Ambrose J. Beverly learned about the situation and the project, and 
unbeknown to his rector bequeathed to the latter "$ 1,000 for his mis- 
sionary work in Lockport." On Mr. Beverly's death, June 24, 1896, 


the bequest was made known, and was very kindly paid with the ut- 
most promptness, so as to be available for the erection of the chapel. 
An additional sum was freely contributed by many churchmen in 
Grace parish, and numerous memorial gifts served to furnish the place 
in a very beautiful and churchly manner. "All Saints' Chapel" at the 
corner of Walnut and Vine streets, stood complete All Saints' Day, 
1896, and was opened with the services of the church. Three weeks 
later a Sunday school was formed, which has now a membership of 135. 
The congregations at evening prayer are large. No parish organiza- 
tion is contemplated ; All Saints' is simply a "chapel-of-ease," primarily 
to furnish the services to church families living in that district. The 
property stands valued at $2,400 ; there is no debt. 

St. PauP s Church, Lewiston, N. Y. — Lewiston, after having been 
served by missionaries of whose work no records have been kept, re- 
ceived as resident missionary the Rev. J. M. Robertson. He came un- 
der the authority of "The Education and Missionary Society of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New York," on December 
II, 1831. The church was formally organized on January 16, 1832. 
Mr. Robertson resigned August 23, 1832, and on December i 1832, 
the Rev. Robert Davis was appointed. He left in August, 1833. 
Efforts to erect a building for worship were made by Messrs. Robertson 
and Davis, but in vain, a cloud having come over the prospects of the 
church. On November 27, 1834, the Rev. Samuel McBurney took 
charge of Lewiston and Niagara Falls ; but the church of Lewiston had 
only a nominal existence. Holy Communion was administered for the 
first time on Christmas Day, 1834, to ten persons, six only of whom 
belonged to the parish. 

On Easter Monday, April 21, 1835, the wardens and vestry were 
chosen anew, for the first time since the organization of the parish. 
July 23, 183s, witnessed the laying of the corner stone of a church by 
the Rev. Henry J. Whitehouse, D. D., of Rochester. In April a Sun- 
day school was organized with about thirty scholars. 

After the retirement of Mr. McBurney in 1835, the parish was vacant 
till April, 1836, when the Rev. Rufus Murray succeeded him. Mr. 
Murray remained until August, 1845. f^c was followed on September 
5, 1845, by Rev. A. C. Treadway, who resigned in October, 1852. 
Rev. L. VV. Russ labored from June 26, 1853, to February 26, 1856. 


The first confirmation on record was by Bishop De Lancey on May 
6, 1856. 

Rev. J. H. Haven became rector of the parish October 13, 1861, and 
Rev. George W. Knapp, October i, 1878. Mr. Knapp retired Novem- 
ber I, 1881. Rev. John S. Seibold labored from 1882 to July, 1886, 
when he became chaplain in the U. S. Army, and was sent to Dakota. 

De Veaux College masters supplied the parish till May 5, 1887, when 
the Rev. E. Stewart-Jones, came from Niagara, Ontario, Canada, to be 
rector. Mr. Jones, after a remarkably useful and popular incum- 
bency, died on February 12, 1 890. His death was due, no doubt, to 
exposure while superintending the renewal and remodeling of the 

At the suggestion, and by the request, of Bishop Coxe, the Rev. 
James Roy, LL.D., who had been supplying Scottsville, N. Y., became 
the incumbent of the parish from May 5, 1890, to August 31, 1891. 
Dr. Roy, while engaged in educational work at Le Roy, N. Y., came to 
Lewiston during September. He was followed in 1891 by the Rev. 
John Evans, who resided at Youngstown, on the purchase of a rectory 
there. Since his time the parish has been supplied by occasional visits 
of clergymen, the weakened condition of the Lewiston congregation 
rendering the support of a rector an impossibility. 

A handful of faithful people struggle, amidst almost hopeless dis- 
couragement, to maintain occasional services in their beautifully ap- 
pointed little church of St. Paul's. 

St. Luke's, Royalton. — The records of St. Luke's church, Royalton, 
are of a very meager character. It first appears as a missionary sta- 
tion under the pastoral care of the missionary at Lockport. It is in 
the list of one of the three organized parishes in the diocesan reports 
of 1S39. In 1840 Bishop De Lancey reports an official visit "to the 
newly organized congregation of St. Luke's church, Royalton," and 
holding a service " in the Academy." In the same year " the Rev. 
Stephen Douglass (deacon) was received into the diocese, and appoint- 
ed the missionary at Medina and Royalton." 

The report of the parish to the Convention of the Diocese was made 
this year (1840) by Rev. Ebenezer A. Cressey, rector of Christ church, 
Lockport, under whose care the parish had been, in which he says: " I 


have given occasional services to this parish during the year. Divine 
service has been maintained by lay reading on the mornings of each 
Sunday, to which I have been able generally to add the evening service, 
and a sermon. One infant baptism. The communion administered 
once, at which there were present fifteen communicants." 

On the 14th of May. 1841, Bishop De Lancey made his second offi- 
cial visit to this parish, preached in the academy, and confirmed five 
persons. The bishop adds, in his report to the Convention : " On this 
day was used a form of prayer, prescribed by me under authority of 
the Canon, as suitable to the day set apart by recommendation of the 
civil authority as a day of humiliation and prayer, in reference to the 
death of the late Wiliiam Henry Harrison, president of the United 
States, the deep gloom of which event was relieved by its proving an 
occasion for calling forth the religious sensibility of the nation, and re- 
vealing to many despondnnt minds how powerful still is the great un- 
der current of religion throughout our land, notwithstanding the surface 
of society is polluted by so much that is calculated to alarm and dis- 
hearten the faith and piety of the Christian." 

In the following year, 1841, the parish is reported as vacant. At the 
Convention of the Diocese held in St. Paul's church, Syracuse, Henry 
Hill is present as a deputy and presents the report of the parish, by 
the warden : '' Services have been held twice on each Sunday in the 
academy, which have been regularly attended ; communicants, nine- 
teen ; Bible class and Sunday school organized." On the loth of 
July, 1843, Bishop De Lancey again visited this parish and officiated 
in the academy. 

The next parochial report is in March, 1844, by the Rev. Philemon 
E. Coe, missionary at Medina and Royalton. He reports : Twelve 
families, sixty individuals, fifteen communicants, twenty-five services 
on Sundays, one marriage. On the 8th of May, 1845, Bishop De 
Lancey preached in the Methodist chapel and confirmed three persons. 
In 1846 the missionary, the Rev. T. E. Coe, reports ten families, 
fifty individuals, fifteen communicants, eighteen services on Sundays, 
one burial. In the following year a less encouraging report is made 
by the same missionary. In 1848 Chauncy H. Whitney was present at 
the Convention of the Diocese as a deputy from this parish. In this 


year the bishop again visited Royalton and officiated in the M. E. 
chapel, and again on the 9th of July, 1849, and on the 17th of May, 
1850. The last record of an Episcopal visitation to this parish was 
May 30, 1854, by Bishop De Lancey, after which no reports of this 
parish appear in the diocesan journal. The parish, after a hard struggle 
for life, having lost much by removals of its members, in the year fol- 
lowing gave up its charter and ceased to exist. 

St. Peter's Church, Niagara Falls. — From an early date, up to 1840 
and afterwards, the original settlement at the Falls was known as Man- 
chester. Occasional services of the Episcopal church were held here as 
early as 1823 by the Rev. Mr. Hopkins, and by the Rev. Mr. Bennet in 

As early as 1829 a union meeting house was built at the Falls, in 
which church services might be held from time to time, in proportion to 
the number of Episcopalians contributing to the erection of the build- 
ing. In this house Bishop Hobart, third bishop of New York, once held 
service, and there is yet preserved a Bible and prayer book which he 
presented to this first congregation. 

Of the original members of this parish, Samuel De Veaux and his 
wife Sarah were confirmed in Trinity church, New York city, April, 

1829, by the Rt. Rev. John Henry Hobart, D. D., bishop of New York. 
The first class confirmed at the Falls was by the Rt. Rev. Benjamin 

T. Onderdonk, S. T. D., who was consecrated the fourth bishop of New 
York November 26, 1830, Bishop Hobart having died September 10, 

1830. This class consisted of Mrs. Sally Woodruff, Mr. William G. 
Tuttle, Mary A. Tuttle, Abel M. Swallow, Christiance Hooker, Mary 
Merry, Christiance Hooker, second, Rachel Hooker. In January, 1829, 
the congregation of church people was organized under the legal title 
of " The Parish of Christ Church, Niagara Falls, N. Y.," and the fol- 
lowing officers were elected: Wardens, Messrs. Samuel De Veaux and 
Samuel Hooker ; vestrymen, Messrs Gad Pierce, Ambrose Thomas, 
Stephen Chapman, Lorin Gerington, William G. Tuttle, John Smith, 
Abel M. Swallow, Thomas Chapin. 

The population of the Falls fluctuated so much that at the end of 
1835, it is said, only one church family (Judge Samuel De Veaux) re- 
mained, and for five years after that date no church services were held. 


Occasional services were held 183 1-2 by the Rev. Dr. Shelton while 
rector of St. Paul's church, Buffalo; in 1832, by the Rev. Mr. Robinson, 
minister in charge at Lewiston ; 1833-4 by the Rev. Mr. Davis, minis- 
ter in charge at Lewiston; 1835-40 by the Rev. Mr. McBurney, rector 
of Lewiston. For a short time in the early part of 1840 "Manchester 
(Niagara Falls) is served by the Rev. Rufus Murray of Lewiston," and 
later in the same year the Rev. George S. Porter became the " mission- 
ary at the new station of Niagara Falls and Tonawanda." 

On Sunday morning, October 4, 1840, Bishop De Lancey made his 
first visitation of this mission and officiated in the " Union Meeting 
House," and again on the i8th of May, 1841, the bishop was present, 
baptized the infant child of the missionary, the Rev. George S. Porter, 
preached, and confirmed two persons. 

The first report of this mission was made at the Diocesan Convention 
of 1 84 1 by the missionary, the Rev. George S. Porter, in which he re- 
ports nine communicants, three marriages, two burials, public services 
fifty-seven, and records his obligations for two dozen prayer books from 
the Rev. Dr. Shelton, rector of St. Paul's church, Buffalo, N. Y. Janu- 
ary I, 1842, the parish is reported vacant. 

On the 25th of July, 1S43, Bishop De Lancey visited the mission, 
and preached in the Presbyterian house. In 1845 the Rev. A. C. 
Treadway, missionary at Lewiston and Niagara Falls, reports to Con- 
vention, holding a service at Niagara Falls at 4 o'clock every Sunday 
afternoon; communicants fifteen, increasing congregations; the pros- 
pects of soon having a house of worship of "our own;" generous sub- 
scriptions by several gentlemen and the gift of two lots on First street 
near Falls street, one for a church, the other for a rectory, with a sub- 
stantial subscription therefor by " a young lady," viz.: Miss Elizabeth 

The following year (1846) Bishop De Lancey gave his canonical con- 
sent to the organization of a parish at Niagara Falls, and the Rev. Mr. 
Treadway reports to Convention for that year, he having continued 
holding afternoon services at the Falls, as having organized a church 
there by the title of St. Peter's, and the contracting for the erection of 
a church building. 

Judge Samuel De Veaux, Mr. Telyea and others exerted themselves 


in securing subscriptions and furthering on the work. Bishop WiUiam 
H. DeLancey, D. D., LL. D., D. C. L. (the first bishop of Western New 
York), having decided that the old organization of "Christ church" 
was now null and void, measures were taken for a new organization, 
which were perfected on the 28th day of December, 1846, in the legal 
title of "The Rector, Church Wardens and Vestrymen of St. Peter's 
church, in the Village of Niagara Falls, in the County of Niagara and 
the State of New York." The officers then elected were: Wardens, 
Messrs. Samuel De Veaux and George W. Holley, Vestrymen, Messrs. 
Christopher H. Smith, Michael Walsh, John Telyea, Abel M. Swallow, 
Hollis White, Cyrus F. Smith, Walter E. Hulett, Richard H, Woodruff. 
The church building was vigorously urged forward, so that the first 
service in the new St. Peter's church was held July 16, 1848, and at the 
time of Bishop De Lancey's visitation. The building was not entirely 
completed till March 4, 1849, when it was formally opened for divine 
service. The parish was at this time under the care of the Rev. Syl- 
vanus Reed, deacon, who remained si.x months, having previonsly en- 
gaged to go to "The Church of the Holy Innocent," Albany, when it 
should be completed. He was succeeded by the Rev. Edmund Rob- 
erts, deacon, June 15, 1850, who remained two years. Next in succes- 
sion was the Rev. Joseph M. Clark, deacon, who took charge of the par- 
ish August 8, 1852, and who was ordained priest the following year. 
The consecration of St. Peter's church took place May 3, 1853, by the 
Rt. Rev. William H. DeLancey, D.D., LL.D., D. C. L., bishop of 
Western New York. The Rt. Rev. the bishop of Toronto (Strachan) 
preached the consecration sermon. 

After a very useful pastorate the Rev. J. M. Clark resigned as rector 
August I, 1858. He was succeeded March 20, 1859, by the Rev. 
W. O. Jarvis, who held the rectorship until February 22, 1863. The 
Rev. O. F. Starkey having been elected to the vacant rectorship, en- 
tered upon his duties June i, 1863. His work was of a most excellent 
and substantial character and lasted till his resignation December i, 
1869. During his rectorship, and through his efforts, the brick build- 
ing adjoining St. Peter's church was purchased to be used as a school 
for young ladies. It was given the title, "The Jerauld Institute." The 
Rev. M, A. Johnson succeeded as rector February 23, 1870. In 1871 



the project of a new site and new church was commenced. In 1872 a 
building committee was appointed consisting of the rector and the 
Messrs. D. J. Townsend, D. R. Jerauld and S. M. N. Whitney. Mr. 
Henry Dudley of New York was chosen architect, and the new site, 
corner Second and Union streets, was purchased, and on September 
16, 1872, ground was broken for the new foundation by the rector in 
the name of the Triune God. On Ascension Day, May 22, 1873, the 
corner stone of the new church was laid by the Rt. Rev. A. Cleveland 
Coxe, D.D., LL.D., bishop of Western New York, assisted by the rector 
and a number of visiting clergy. The topmost cross of the tower was 
set in its place by the rector in the name of the Undivided Trinity, 
July 15, 1874. Externally the building was complete, but for financial 
reasons the interior remained unfinished. But finally having completed 
everything, and every debt paid, the first service in the new and impos- 
ing building was the service of consecration held All Saint's Day, No- 
vember I, 1880. The Rev. M. A. Johnson resigned his rectorship 
November i, 1874, and was succeeded November 29, 1874, by the Rev. 
Edward Ingersol, D. D., late rector of Trinity church, Buffalo. He 
continued in charge until March i, 187S. On the same date the Rev. 
Stephen H. Battin, by appointment of the bishop, became rector, which 
office he resigned May i, 1880. August 22, 1880, the Rev. Robert B. 
Wolsely entered in charge of the parish. During his term of office the 
last service, November i, 1880, was held in the old church, and the new 
church consecrated the same day. By his earnest efforts a vested choir 
was introduced, and in the fall of 188 1 a choral festival of united vested 
choirs was held in St. Peter's church. His health failing him, he was 
compelled to resign as rector September 10, 1882. The present rector, 
the Rev. George Frederick Rosenmuller, formerly rector of Sayre, Pa., 
entered upon his duties All Saint's Day, November i, 1882. The 
parish is in possession of an elegant and valuable property, consisting 
of church, chapel and rectory, representing $70,000. Within recent 
years a fund for the erection of a parish guild house, and an endow- 
ment fund for parish purposes have been started. This latter fund is in 
charge of three trustees, one of which is elected annually by the con- 
gregation. The list of actual communicants now numbers 270. The 
officers of the corporation are from among the leading men of the city. 


They are, beside the rector Messrs, S. M. N. Whitney and L. W. Pette- 
bone as wardens. The vestrymen are the Messrs. John S. Macklin, W. 
Caryl Ely, Peter A. Porter, Joseph Sturdy, W. A. Brackenridge, Rich- 
ard F. Rankine^ F. L. Lovelace, H. Neiison. The congregation is one 
of the largest in the city, and is a prominent factor in every good work 
for the general good. 

February 9, 1896, Rev. George F. Rosenmuller, the rector of St. 
Peter's church, Niagara Falls, began holding services at Echota every 
Sunday afternoon, which, with the intermission of the summer months, 
has been maintained. From the above date to July 19, 1896, these 
services were held at the home of Mr. Lafiferty, No. 8, A street, and 
from December 4, 1896, they have been regularly held each Satur- 
day afternoon in the Town Hall. A Sunday school, started the lat- 
ter part of 1895, by Mrs. Allen and her daughter, Miss Maud, in their 
own house, but since December 4, 1896, held in the Town Hall, has 
been continued without intermission from its beginning with most en- 
couraging results. 

St. Mark's Church, Tonaivanda. — The first report of church ser- 
vices according to the Episcopal ritual, in Tonawanda, are made by 
Bishop Delancy, 1840, in his annual address to the Convention of his 
Diocese (Western New York), in which he names the Rev. George S. 
Porter, teacher of a private school in Buffalo, as having been appointed 
" missionary at the new station of Niagara Falls and Tonawanda, 
Niagara County." To that same Convention the missionary, the Rev. 
George S. Porter, reports having commenced his work there in June, 
1840. He says, "Never before my going there had they been visited 
by a clergyman of the church. Population estimated at 500 or 600. 
No denomination is organized but the Methodists, and that but lately, 
and they only hold public worship once in two weeks. Communicants 
five, baptisms two. My services seem acceptable considering the times 
in which we live " 

May 19, 1 841, Bishop De Lancey made his first official visit to Ton- 
awanda, preached, and confirmed one person. The missionary, the 
Rev. George S. Porter, reports to the convention of 1841 having held 
services there every other Sunday. At the end of this year, the Rev. 
Mr. Porter having resigned his charge, no services appear to have been 


held at Tonawanda till 185 1, when the Rev. Joseph M. Clark, rector of 
St. Peter'.s church, Niagara Falls, reports havino- provided services for 
Tonawanda, and to the next Convention of the Diocese (1852), he re- 
ports having held tweiit\'-six services at Tonawanda, baptized three 
adults and six infants, presented six for confirmation, and administered 
the Holy Coninuinion once to eight persons. Through the following 
year (1853), regular services were cohtinued b)' the Rev. Mr. Clark, 
wiio reports ten communicants. l'~or the year 1854 he reports having 
held but few services at Tonawanda, where "the strength of the church 
is much diminishetl by removals." Thereafter the same clergyman re- 
ports occasional services hekl b)- him at Tonawanda up to the time of 
his resignation of St. Peter's, Niagara Falls, August i, 1857. 

l'"rom the above date, last named, services were suspended until Sep 
tember 26, 1868, when the Rev. George Pennell, A. M., rector of St. 
James's church, BulTalo, renewed the services of the Episcopal church, 
in the M. E. church of North Tonawanda. During the three months 
succeeding, thirteen services were held in the same place by the same 
clergyman, chiefly on Sunday afternoons, at other times on Friday 

At the end of this period it was resolved by a number of those 
regularly attending the services to secure the exclusive use of a suita- 
ble building in which to hold the services of the church, organize a 
parish and obtain a resident minister. Accordingly Washington Hall 
was rented, the Kev. P'red. W. Raikes (deacon) was called as assistant 
to Rev. Mr. Pennell, beginning his pastoral labors January 18, 1869, 
and on Wednesday, the 17th of February following, the male members 
of the congregation met in said hall and organized themselves as a 
parish to be know n in l.iw as "The Rector, Church Wardens and Ves- 
trymen of St. Mark's Church, Tonawanda, P'.rie County, N. Y." The 
certificate of corporation was duly signed and the following day regis- 
tered in Buffalo. The names of those who were elected wardens were 
George W. Sherman and Col. Louis S. Payne. The names of the ves- 
trymen were Calvert G. Lane, Garwood L. Judd, Decimus R. Bur- 
rowes, William H. Vickers and James Sweeney. The Rev. Mr. Pen- 
nell resigned as rector September i. of the same year, and the Rev. 
Mr. Raikes was appointed minister in charge. The on!)' members of 


tlic first vestry living and residents are Col. L. S. Payne and Hon. G. 
L. Judd; Mr. James Sweeney now resides in Buffalo and is a member 
of the vestry of St. Paul's church. 

The Rev. Mr. Raikes resigned the charge of the parish April 25, 
1870. His successor, the Rev. Albert Wood, entered upon his duties 
as rector the following January, and continued in that relation to April, 
1875. On the following October the Rev. Henry A. Duboc (deacon) 
was called to take pastoral charge and served in that capacity to May, 
1883, at the same time conducting a school for girls Mr. Duboc was 
succeeded the following July by the Rev. J. H. Barnard, who served as 
rector till January, 1892. On March i following the Rev. Evan H. 
Martin, the present rector, commenced his labors. 

The edifice in which the services of the church have been held since 
February, 1 87 1, is situated on the corner of Tremont and Marion 
streets. North Tonawanda, the lot having been donated by George W. 
Sherman, warden, on condition that the name of the church be St. 
Mark's, and remain unchanged. It was built at a cost of about $2,- 
500. The lot also contained a dwelling house which was purchased 
for a rectory, but has not been used for that purpose by either of the 
last two rectors. In 1893 the small chancel of the church was re- 
moved and a large chancel 24 by 32 erected in its place, handsomely 
furnished with oak ; altar, and choir stalls for a vested choir of thirty- six 
voices. At the same time a two story guild house was constructed on 
the same lot adjointng the new vestry room, and a robing room for the 
choir erected at the northwest corner of the church, the whole at a cost 
of $3,000. 

Since the organization of the parish there have been baptized 372 in- 
fants and adults, and there have been 276 confirmations. There are at 
the present time about 175 communicants. No permanent missionary 
work has been carried on by the church. 

Though the church was originally incorporated in Erie county, it was 
last April incorporated in Niagara county, when the new diocesan canon 
regulating the date and manner of election of wardens and vestrymen, 
was adopted by the parish. 

Sf. Joint's Cluircli, Yonngstoivn. — In the early days church people of 
this vicinity depended upon St. Paul's church, LewLston, for public 


worship. The first service here (1838) was conducted by the Rev. Mr. 
Murray, then rector of Lewiston, in the old school house. He held 
other services occasionally for some years following. 

From the year 1861 down to 1867 there was public worship with 
more or less regularity, the following clergymen officiating : 

Revs. G. M. Haven, R. O. Page, Treadway and Russ, all of whom 
were rectors at Lewiston. These services were held in the " brick 
church " originally built as a union meeting house. 

On the second Sunday in February, 1867, there began a regular fort- 
nightly service in the above place holden in the afternoon, the Methodist 
Episcopal society occupying the building in the morning. 

The officiating clergyman was Rev. G. M. Skinner, rector of St. Paul's 
church, Lewiston. The Rt. Rev. A. Cleveland Coxe, D.D., LL.D., 
bishop of the diocese, visited this mission in 1866, confirming three 
persons, and also in 1867 confirming four persons. 

A meeting of persons interested in the church assembled in the brick 
church according to call on April 27, 1868, for the purpose of organiz- 
ing a parish. The canonical notice had been read on the two preceding 
Sundays. Wardens and vestrymen were elected as follows : Benjamin M. 
Root, John Carter, wardens ; Charles M. Pyne, S. Parke Baker.Lewis Lefif- 
man, James S. Lawrence, Francis O. Dee, Thomas Balmer, William 
Mendham, Robert Patterson. The name of St. John was chosen as the 
name of the parish, and the Rev. G. M. Skinner, then a missionary in 
these parts, was elected rector. In the following June the public wor- 
ship became weekly, and on August 9, the Holy Communion was ad- 
ministered for the first time, seventeen persons receiving. The rector 
continued his services for about the space of three years. It was evident 
that Youngstown alone could not afford a proper support for a clergy- 
man. Upon his resignation the paiish decayed and for seven years 
nearly no public worship was maintained. 

With a view to reorganization a meeting assembled July 27, 1878. 
Those present were former members and others interested in maintain- 
ing regular services. The only member of the former vestry in attend- 
ance was S. Park Barker, and he was made chairman. It is to be 
noted that active influence for the renewal of church life came from the 
garrison at Fort Niagara. Upon the commissioned and noncommis- 


sioned officers of the post and their famihes the parish rehed largely 
for support and personal service in carrying on the work, and this ser- 
vice has been rendered eftectiveiy by some of the various garrisons 
from that day to the present. Gen. G. A. De Russy, Lieut. Edward 
Davis and Ord. Sergt. Lewis Leftman were chiefly instrumental in re- 
viving the parish at this time. 

A new vestry was elected Easter Monday, April 22, 1878, and the 
next day a lot upon which to build a church was deeded to the trust 
fund of the diocese. The donors were Mr. and Mrs. LefiVnan. A 
building committee was appointed immediately in the persons of Lieu- 
tenant Davis, Thomas Brighton and William Ripson. The corner 
stone was laid May 16, 1878, by Bishop Coxe, assisted by a number 
of the clergy. On September 28, the church was consecrated by the 
same bishop. Other clergy present were Archdeacon McMurray, of 
Niagara-on- the- Lake ; Dr. Spalding, Connecticut ^ Dr. Ingersoll, Van 
Dyck, Henderson, Knapp, Buffalo ; Patterson and Payne, De Veaux 
College; Batten, Niagara Falls; Raikes, Suspension Bridge. 

October 2 the vestry, in conjunction with the Lewiston vestrj', 
called G. W. Knapp, of Buffalo, to the joint rectorship. He was in 
charge for three years. Rev. J. S. Seibold succeeded him in March, 
1882, and remained until Jul)', 1 886. The rectorship was vacant till the 
next May, there being occasional services. May i, 1887, Rev. E. 
Stewart Jones accepted the charge of the parishes, coming from Niag- 
ara, Ont. He died in February, 1890 The Rev. James Roy, LL.D., 
became rector April 14, being chosen for one year, but continued till 
August 31, 1 89 1. 

All rectors heretofore had residence in Lewiston. Dr. Roy was the 
last joint rector. St. John's vestry having purchased a house for a rec- 
tory after his resignation. The Rev. John Evans, the next rector, No- 
vember, 1891, resided in Youngstown and officiated occasionally for the 
Lewiston parish. He resigned October 31, 1895. The Rev E. J. 
Babcock became rector November 4. 1895, and is the present incum- 

The church is built of wood, has a seating capacity of 196, with a 
very neat and pretty interior finished in natural wood. The plans 
were furnished by Upjohn, the celebrated architect of New York. 


There are three memorial windows in the apse of chancel. Beside 
these are handsome memorials in polished brass, viz., altar, cross and 
vases, chancel rail, angel lecturn, and a mural tablet in the nave to Rev. 
Mr. Jones. 

Chuicli of the Epiphany, Niagara Falls. — In 1857 the building of 
the Suspension Bridge having brought a number of families to what 
was then known as Niagara City, but later. Suspension Bridge, they 
held cottage services conducted by lay readers or some one of the cler- 
gymen of De Veaux College, that institution having been opened in May 
of that year. Their numbers increasing, they held services for a time 
in what had been the book store of Mr. George Hackstaff on Main 
street, but what is now occupied as a grocery by Mr. Thomas Hannan. 
That room also proving inadequate, Colt's Hall was rented at the rate of 
fifty dollars a year. 

In the fall of 1857, the Rev. Isreal Foote, D. D., then a professor in 
De Veaux College, took charge of the services and the congregation 
was incorporated in accordance with the canons of the church and the 
laws of the State, with the sanction and approval of the bishop of the 
Diocese, the Rt. Rev. William Heathcote De Lancey, D. D., LL. D., 
D. C. L. 

On the 6th of January, 1858, a meeting was called for the purpose of 
electing two wardens and eight vestrymen, with the following results: 
Wardens, J H. Cramp, Anthony W. Hecker ; vestrymen, J. W. Dunk- 
lee, Rodney Durkee, A. D Lampkins. R. B. Monroe, R. D. Cook, H. 
S. Stewart, D. H. Thomas and G. P. Heap. Dr. Foote presided at this 

The congregation from the season of its organization was to be known 
as the Church of the Epiphany. Not one of the officers of the church 
elected at that time is now living. 

The parish being unable to pay a stated salary to a clergyman, the 
Rev. Dr. Foote and Rev. E. R. Welles, deacon, and tutor at De Veaux 
College, offered their services, receiving for their labors whatever the 
congregation might be able to raise. The services were continued in 
Colt's Hall for one year, when the vestry engaged the Congregational 
place of worship for one half day every second Sunday for three 
months. Tiiis time having expired, the same place was engaged for six 



months more, for one-half day service each Sunday, and the use of the 
Sunday school room. The Sunday school numbered at this time about 
fifty scholars. Dr. Foote and Mr. Welles both resigned their positions 
in De Veaux in 1858. The last named clergyman afterwards became 
bishop of Wisconsin in 1874, and died in 1888. 

The services were subsequently conducted at different times by the 
Rev. Mr, Stevens, Rev. Dr. Van Rensselaer and other clergymen from 
De Veaux College. The Rev. Henry F. Nye, deacon and teacher at 
De Veaux was called to the rectorship of the parish at Easter, 1862. 
He officiated in the house of worship on Niagara street, corner of Tenth, 
owned by the Presbyterians, who had built a new church at the Falls. 

The Rev. Mr. Nye remained for nearly a year, when he removed to 
Canada The services were then held every Sunday afternoon by the 
Rev. Dr. Van Rensselaer until November, 1864, when the Rev. W. W. 
Walsh became rector of the parish. January 24, 1864, Bishop Coxe 
confirmed the first class of the Church of the Epiphany. It numbered 
sixteen persons. 

In this same year a subscription list was started to build a new 

Two lots were given for that purpose on the corner of Lockport street 
and what is now Main street. One of these lots was given by James 
and Henry W. Ford, of Albany, N, Y., and the other by Mrs. Marietta 
Wallace. The rubble stone for the building was given by Mr. Jacob 
Vogt. The excavating was begun on July 12. On August 8 the Rt. 
Rev. A. C. Coxe, D. D., LL. D., attended by seventeen of the clergy, 
laid the corner stone of the Church of the Epiphany. At the ceremony 
a new service arranged by the bishop was used for the first time, and 
this was also the first corner stone laid by the bishop. This beautiful 
stone edifice, of early English architecture, was completed by the 19th 
of December, 1866, a few days less than nine years from the founding 
of the parish. The opening services were held December 30, 1866, the 
first Sunday after Christmas, the bishop officiating, assisted by the rec- 
tor, the Rev. Dr. Van Rensselaer and Rev. F. R. Winne, of De Veaux. 
Seven persons were confirmed at this service. The following gifts were 
presented to the new church : The bishop's chair, by the Rev. Dr. Van 

Rensselaer; the font, by Col. Charles B. Stuart, of Geneva, N. Y.; the 


pulpit, by Messrs. H. J. and G. W. Walsh ; the credence-table, by the 
Rev. George Worthington. Gn June 29, 1868, St. Peter's Day, the 
church being free from debt, the bishop of the Diocese consecrated the 
building to its sacred purpose. On March 29, 1869, Easter Monday, 
the Rev. W. W. Walsh resigned the rectorship of the parish after a 
faithful service of over four years. 

The Rev. G. W. Knapp became rector on July 18, 1869, remaining 
until December 5, 1872, During his term of service the small pipe 
organ still in use was placed in the church. The " Prince " melodeon 
that it replaced was purchased at this time, and is still owned by Joseph 
H. Willis, junior warden of the church. The Rev. G. H. Patterson, 
Rev. James Van Voast and Rev. W. Van Gantzhorne, all of De Veaux, 
served the parish until June 12, 1873, when the Rev. Walter North, 
deacon, of De Veaux, was assigned to that duty by the bishop. He 
became rector and remained until May 15, 1875. During his adminis- 
tration a drain was laid, a new furnace put in and altar cloths presented. 
A month from his resignation, the Rev. Gabriel A. Mueller, deacon, of 
De Veaux, became minister-in-charge, remaining till January, 1877. 
For three months the church was again dependent for services upon the 
clergy from De Veaux, Rev. Messrs. Long, of Rochester, and Moore of 
Middleport. In April the Rev. F. W. Raikes, of Honeoye Falls, became 
rector, resigning July 26, 1880. He was succeeded by Rev. James 
Stoddard, who remained about two years. The Rev. Sidney Wilbur 
then became rector for about three years. His successor in 1886 was 
Rev. H. S. Huntington, who resigned in June, 1892. after six years of 
hard and faithful duty. 

The church was then closed for six months to undergo much needed 
repairs. A bequest of $2,000 having been left to the cliurch by the 
late Mrs. Eliza Griffin, it was deemed best to use this fund toward the 
erection of a guild house. The building was finished and opened in 
1892, and proves to be most useful in carrying on the work of the 
church. In 1886 Mrs. Griffin built the tower, and gave the bell as a 
memorial to her sister. Mrs. Lucia Rciebling. Mrs. Griffin also placed 
the fence around the church property and gave the communion service, 
besides being a generous supporter of all the interests of the parish. 
Mention also must be made of two other devoted workers and generous 


givers, Mrs. Marietta Wallace and Mrs. Priscilla Buttery, " whose works 
do follow them." The beautiful alms basin now in use was given as a 
memorial of their parents by the daughters of Mrs. Buttery. 

The illuminated texts in the chancel were given by Mrs. H. E. Wood- 
ford, as a memorial to their father, Mr. Hoffman. 

The oak chair in the chancel was presented at Easter, 1895, by the 
King's Daughters. 

The past year a beautiful rectory has been built next the church on 
land purchased by means of a legacy of $500, left by the late Thomas 

The parish has a most efficient Woman's Guild, a branch of the 
Woman's Auxiliary, a branch of the King's Daughters, a Society of 
Willing Workers, composed of little girls, a Junior Auxiliary, and a 
Chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. The church membership 
now numbers 1 19. The Sunday school numbers about 150. 

The present rector, Rev. James Roy, LL. D., entered upon his duties 
on February I, 1893. 

Trinity Church, Middleport, N. Y. — The services of the Episcopal 
church were first introduced into the village of Middleport in 1864 by 
Rev. W. A. Watson, D.D., and Rev. J. Abercrombie, D.D., both of 
Lockport, and the Rev. R. D. Stearns of Medina, N, Y., who officiated 
alternately on Sunday evenings during summer and autumn of that year. 
Some of the leading citizens became interested, and the services of the 
Rev. G. W. Southwell, the then rector of Christ church, Albion, were 
engaged by Messrs. A. S. De Lano, and W. H. Cornes. Rev. Mr. 
Southwell began permanent work January i, 1865. At that time there 
were but two communicants in the village, Mrs. W. H. Cornes and Mrs. 
George Sage. The first baptism was that of Mrs. A. S. De Lano De- 
cember 4, 1864, by Rev. J. Abercrombie. The first confirmation was 
held by the Rt. Rev. A. C. Coxe, D.D., LL.D., the newly consecrated 
bishop- coadjutor of this Diocese, January 20, 1865, when Mrs. A. S. 
De Lano, Mrs. E. B. De Lano, and Mrs. C. B. Lane were confirmed. 
Thirteen more persons were confirmed during the year. In January, 
1866, there were eighteen communicants. 

August I, 1866, the parish was organized under the name of " Trin- 
ity Church," when A. S. De Lano and C. R. Blakslee were elected 


wardens, and James Lobbett, J. Cornes, A. F. Pierce, J. Biddick, H. 
Pierce, W. S. Fenn, E. H. Woodworth, and E. B. De Lano were elected 
vestrymen. For four years the services had been held in the Presby- 
tetian house of worship, but in the year 1868 they decided to re estab- 
lish their services and retain the use of their church exclusively to 
themselves. The last service was held there December 27, 1868. The 
members under the able leadership of the Rev. G. VV. Southwell im- 
mediately began planning to procure a building of their own Plans 
were procured from H. Dudley, of New York, and on May 31, 1869, 
the corner stone was laid by Bishop Coxe. The lot was the gift of Mrs. 
A. S. De Lano, wife of the senior warden The church was completed 
in 1873 at a cost of $9,600, built of brick with stone trimmings, gothic 
in architecture, with a seating capacity of 250. 

November 18, 1866, the Rev. Mr. Southwell held a service in the 
afternoon at Plartland Corners in tlie Methodist church, and December 
23, 1866, at Johnson's Creek, in the Baptist house of worship. This 
was the beginning of a mission station at that place. A hall was pro- 
cured in a brick building owned by Gordon Rowe, and services held for 
the first time in the afternoon of January 27, 1867. The first baptisms 
were Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Denel, October 13, 1867. Bishop Coxe held 
the first confirmation April 14, 1868. In 1869 the work seemed en- 
couraging, and a parish was organized June 16, by the name of St. 
James's church, Hartland, with C. F. Paul and Alfred Denel, wardens, 
and George Crouse, Jesse Gladding, E. O. Seaman, and W. C. Butter- 
field as vestrymen. In June, 1870, an effort was made to buy a lot and 
build a church, but money not coming to hand, the plan was abandoned. 
Many of the families moved away, and in the winter of 1870, Rev. Mr. 
Southwell, because of ill health, was unable to continue services. 

In 1873 Mr. Southwell resigned the rectorship of Trinity church, 
Middleport. The Rev. J. H. Dennis succeeded him, when occasional 
services were renewed at Hartland Corners. Rev. Mr. Dennis resigned 
in September, 1874. The Rev. A. Wood became rector February, 
1875, remaining two years. Rev. Mr. Southwell again assumed the 
rectorship in 1877, in connection with his work at Christ church, Lock- 
port, and by him occasional services were held at Hartland. April i, 
1 88 1, Mr. Southwell resigned the rectorship, and in the same year Mr. 


F. E. Easterbrooks was appointed lay-reader for the parish, March 4, 
1882. Mr. Easterbrooks was ordained deacon in the parish church, and 
on April 25, 1882, St. Mark's Day, the church was consecrated by 
Bishop Coxe. Rev. Mr. Easterbrooks resigned June 16, 1883. He 
was succeeded by the Rev. Nobel Palmer. 

January 14, 1884, a terrible calimity befell the parish in the destruc- 
tion of the church by fire There was but a small insurance on the 
building and its contents, but the small yet devoted band of church- 
people, nothing daunted, went immediately to work, and raised funds 
for a new building, which was erected and formally opened by Bishop 
Coxe, November 14, 1884. The Rev. Nobel Palmer resigned the rec- 
torship June I, 1888. March 30, 1889, the Rev. G. VV. S. Ayres occu- 
pied the rectorsiiip and began his duties the first Sunday in May. Dur- 
ing his rectorship services were renewed at Hartland Corners, T. W. 
Atwood serving as lay reader. For a few years this mission again 
flourished, in 1892 numbering twenty -five communicants. Rev Mr. 
Ayres resigned the parish October 20, 1893, f'om which date there ex- 
isted a vacancy till July i, 1894, when the Rev. H. S Gatley occupied 
the rectorship. During this time Mr. W. Sterritt, senior warden, as lay- 
reader, conducted the morning service each Sunday, and in the after- 
noon at Hartland. 

In 1896 the parish was in excellent condition, having a communicant 
list of seventy-two and forty-five families. A vested choir of fifteen 
young girls, under the leadership of Dr. H. A. Wilmot and wife, has 
added greatly to the services. The parish has a good theological 
library, presented by the founder of the parish, the Rev. G. W. South- 
well. The foundations which Air. Southwell laid in the early days of 
the parish are now bearing fruit. The parish is on a sound financial 
basis. It has a flourishing Sunday school of sixty children. The 
present rector is the Rev. H. S. Gatley, A. M. The wardens are 
Messrs. W. J. Sterritt, and G. W. Eddy ; the vestrymen : Messrs. 
Robert Pearce, T. VV. Jackson, H. A. Wilmot, M D., Samuel Biaxall, 
F. A. Coon. 

No mention is made in this account of the Episcopal church in 
Niagara county of occasional services held at odd times in some of the 
smaller settlements of this county, nor of those maintained at De Veaux 


College, from its foundation to the present time, inasmuch, as such ac- 
count will more properly appear in connection with the history of that 

LocKPORT Home for the Friendless. — In September, 1865, the 
Lockport Ladies' Relief Society and Home for the Friendless was or- 
ganized, and during the succeeding six years dispensed relief in food 
and household articles to needy families. In 1871 the necessity was 
apparent for a permanent home for friendless and destitute children, 
where they could receive proper care. After considerable discussion a 
meeting was held, which resulted in the procurement of a charter dated 
February 8, 1871. under which the following nine trustees were named : 
Hiram Gardner, John Hodge, J. L. Breyfogle, Horatio Kilborne, Gus- 
tavus P. Hosmer, D. F. Bishop, Thomas Hall, M. W. Eavns, J. W. 
Helmer. This board of trustees appointed a board of twenty-four ladies, 
who qualified and elected the following officers : President, Mrs. J. T. 
Bellah ; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Calvin Haines ; treasurer, Mrs 
A. J. Mansfield ; recording secretary, Anna S. Gardner. After ener- 
getic work the sum of $3,000 was raised by subscription and yearly 
membership dues, which was increased by nearly $3,500 from the Board 
of Supervisors, on condition that it should be used for the purchase of a 
Home. On December, 1871, the residence of F. N. Nelson, on High 
street, was secured at a cost of $5,000. This served its purpose until 
August, 1892, when Wyndham Lawn, the old home of Governor Hunt, 
was purchased for $30,000. This institution has accomplished a vast 
amount of good, and during its existence has sheltered nearly 1,000 
children. Its twenty- fifth anniversary was appropriately celebrated 
February 1 1, 1896. 

Schools. — The first school taught in Lockport, or within the limits 
of what is now the city, was in 1821, the Friends' meeting house being 
used for the purpose. The first teacher was Miss Pamelia Aldrich. A 
village district was soon afterward set off, and in 1822 R. L. Wilson 
erected at his own expense a log school building. The trustees made 
him a proposition to open a school on subscription, which he did, and 
the school sufficed for the existing needs. In 1823 David Nye erected 
a school building for a private school, which he taught for a time and 
then sold it to Charles Hammond, who continued the school. The 


first meeting of the school commissioners, after the erection of the town, 
was held on the 17th of April, 1824. School district No. i was formed, 
embracing a large territory on the west side of the canal, and on the 
19th of August following, district No. 2 was set off on the east side of 
the canal. The town profited by the public school money in 1825 for 
the first time as a town, at which time the total number of scholars in 
the village was 542. The two original districts were divided at various 
times until they numbered seven in 1848, and the Union school system 
was adopted for the village. Meanwhile schools were opened, some of 
them many years earlier, at various points throughout the town. The 
first of these was situated at Warren's Corners, and stood on ground 
donated by Ezra Warren. It was a frame structure and was built by 
subscription in 1814. In the following summer Amanda Rice taught 
the first school. That building was used until 1836 when it was super- 
seded by a stone structure. In 1 8 18 a log school house was built in 
district No. 5, where Lyman Lyscomb was the first teacher. It stood 
just on or over the C imbria line, and was abandoned after two years 
and a new building erected on the Lockport side. The first school 
house erected in district No. 1 1 was of log and built in 1822. District 
No. 16 was formed in 1830 and a school house built the same year. 
The first school house at Wright's Corners was not built until 1837. In 
i860 the number of districts in the town was eighteen, and at the pres- 
ent time it is seventeen. 

Lockport boasts of the first union school in this county and is the 
home of the birth of the system. Until 1848 the village contained no 
academy, seminary, or other educational institutions, except seven 
common schools in as many districts, some of which were hardly worth 
the name of school houses. In 1846 Sullivan Caverno, of Lockport, 
originated the Union school plan, and after submitting it to several 
educators in other localities, framed an act which passed the Legisla- 
ture in 1847, establishing the system in Lockport. The act provided 
that Sullivan Caverno, trustee of district No. i, William G. McMaster, 
No. 2, Joseph T. Bellah, No. 3, Silas H. Marks, No. 4, Isaac Colton, 
No 5, John S. Wolcott, No. 6, Edward L. Boardman, No. 7, with 
Nathan Dayton, Samuel Works, Jonathan S. Woods, Lyman A. Spald- 
ing, and Hiram Gardner, should constitute a corporation with the title. 


The Board of Education of the Village of Lockport. Other provisions 
of the act need not be followed here. 

The Union School thus established was divided into junior and senior 
departments, and provision was made for a normal department. Cour- 
ses of study were laid out for the different grades substantially upon 
the lines that have been followed since in schools of this character, and 
from the very first the great superiority of the system over the old 
one was apparent. Mr. Caverno was chosen president of the Board of 
Education, and for five years labored indefatigably for the advancement 
of the cause of education. Soon after its organization the board took 
steps for the erection of a Union school building. A site was pur- 
chased on which the structure was erected and properly furnished, the 
city meeting a tax levy of $13,000 to pay the expense. During the suc- 
ceeding years new school buildings were added at a cost of more than 
$100,000, most of which were modern in style and convenience. By 
a law of 1866 the boundaries of the Union school district were con- 
formed to the city boundaries, and the power to raise money for the 
schools was transferred to the council. In 1866 tuition rates in these 
schools were abolished. Chapter 15 of the laws of 1890 authorized 
the building of a new Union School house and the issue of bonds for 
the purpose, by the city, not to exceed $125,000. 

About $100,000 was expended in the construction of the new Union 
School building, a structure of a plain but substantial character, while 
its interior arrangement includes all the appurtenances and conveniences 
required by modern educational methods. There are assembly rooms 
for each department with adequate recitation rooms, a fully equipped 
laboratory, commercial department, Board of Education rooms, super- 
intendent's office, and an ample library room. The corner stone was 
laid with impressive ceremonies by the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of the 
State on July 10, 1890. The structure was completed and dedicated 
August 30, 1 89 1. 

Since the Union School building was occupied the school has largely 
increased its enrollment, attendance and graduating classes. Classes 
are graduated yearly from the senior department and also from the 
commercial department. Prof Edward Hayward, Ph. D., succeeded 
Prof Asher B. Evans as principal of the senior department in 1892. 


Under provisions of law a Normal or Teachers' Training Department is 
also conducted, the graduates of which are well prepared for service as 
teachers in grade schools. 

The school system of the city comprises the Union School, with the 
departments above mentioned, an Intermediate or Lower Grammar 
School, and Primary Schools situated on and named for the following 
streets: High Street, Hawley Street, Washburn Street, Walnut Street, 
Clinton Street, West Avenue, and Vine Street. The annual enroll- 
ment of pupils in all of the schools is a little more than three thousand, 
and about seventy five teachers are employed. 

A most commendable feature of the school management in the city 
is its entire independence of the municipal control, as it is wholly under 
the control of a Board of Education whose members are chosen at a 
special election, and in whose selection thus far political considerations 
have had no perceptible influence. All teachers and other school offi- 
cials, including superintendents, are appointed by the board. Best 
superintendents from any section of the country are to be obtained for 
the salary that the board may feel warranted in paying. The present 
superintendent is Emmet Belknap, A. M., who has held the position 
since 1889. 

h'or a number of years prior to 1892 the city had an imperfect and 
unsatisfactory street car system. To remedy this the Lock City Elec- 
tric Railroad Company was organized and on December 12, 1892, the 
city granted the company a charter to operate a road by the trolley 
system through Main street, East avenue, Market street. Mill street, 
Clinton street, Olcott street, West Main street. New Main street, Haw- 
ley street,! Locust street, Willow street and Lincoln avenue. The com- 
pany accepted the conditions of the charter and went vigorously at 
work to give the city a first-class railroad system. Charles Johnson is 
president of the company; William Spalding, vice-president; Raymond 
C. Johnson, secretary. 

Gas lighting was introduced in Lockport as early as 1851, chiefly 

through the efforts of James G. Porter, and a company was organized 

February I of the year named, with a paid up capital of $15,000. The 

first officers were James G. Porter, president ; George Reynale, treas- 



urer ; Joseph T. Bellah, secretary. The first Board of Trustees were 
James G. Porter, William Keep, George Reynale, R. S. Wilkinson, T. 
T. Flagler, Benjamin Draper, Silas H. Marks, Joseph T. Bellah, and 
Stephen Meredith. The site which has since been used for the works, 
corner of Transit and Lagrange streets, was purchased and the required 
plant established. The main streets of the village were first illuminated 
with gaslight on the night of the 30th of December, 185 i. About five 
years later the capital of the company was increased and the works en- 
larged for making coal gas ; previous to that time the product was 
made from resin. In August, 1894, the Lockport Gas and Electric 
Light Company was organized and incorporated with a capital of $150,- 
000. This company is composed chiefly of New York men. The city 
was first wired for the use of incandescent lights in 1884-85 by the 
Gas Company. At about the same time another company was formed 
for lighting the -streets by arc lamps, and the two subsequently con- 
solidated. The present company supplies 209 street lamps. 

Enough has already been written to convince the reader that, with 
its immense water power, if for no other reason, Lockport would early 
become a large manufacturing center. Some of the early industrial 
establishments have already been mentioned. With a large wheat- 
growing district at its doors, and with the shipping facilities supplied 
by the canal and the later railroad, it is not difficult to understand why 
a great flouring industry sprang into existence in the village. For 
many years it was the principal industry and its products were favor- 
ably known over a wide stretch of territory. A mill was put in opera- 
tion about 1824, by Otis Hathaway, on a branch of Eighteen mile 
Creek where it passes under the Erie Canal. So welcome was this mill 
to the people at that time that on the day when it was first started, a 
large number gathered and expressed their gratitude to the builder, and 
in the evening the event was duly celebrated. This mill was followed a 
few years later by the large mill of Lyman A. Spalding, which has been 
described. It was begun in the spring of 1826, and was erected seven 
stories in height. Flour was first shipped from this mill in May, 1827, 
on the canal boat Chief Engineer ; the freight charge to Albany was a 
dollar a barrel, while the best wheat sold at fifty cents a bushel. This 


mill was purchased by the before mentioned Albany Company in 1832, 
but Mr. Spalding continued to operate it under lease. It was burned 
in 1840, and in the following year Mr. Spalding purchased the site and 
built another mill larger than the first, with a capacity of 400 barrels 
of flour daily. It was purchased in 1857 by N. H. Wolf and was burned 
in the following year. What became known as the later Spalding mill 
was erected on the site in 1858. After passing through various hands 
it was sold to Thornton & Chester, who operated it with success many 
years and were succeeded by George T. Chester. This mill also was 
subsequently burned. 

Edward Bissell built a mill on the site of the one that was afterwards 
operated by Douglass & Jackson, Saxton & Thomson, and others. It 
was burned, rebuilt, and again destroyed by fire. S. Burt Saxton re- 
built the mill in 1884, giving it a capacity of 1,000 barrels a day. It 
was burned December 8, 1889, and was rebuilt in 1890 by the Thomson 
Milling Company, the present proprietors. Saxton & Thomson were 
succeeded by the Thomson Milling Company, of which George B. 
Thomson is president ; A. L. Draper, vice-president ; H. M. Whitbeck, 
secretary and treasurer. This is now the largest flouring mill in Lock- 
port and has a capacity of 500 barrels a day, 

The Niagara mill was built about 1832 by Henry Walbridge on the 
north bank of the canal. It was operated about fifty years by various 
persons and firms, but finally closed up. 

What has been known as the Lockport City mill was built in 1863 by 
David Cope, near the site of the Spalding mill. Mr. Cope enlarged it 
in 1866, and after his death it was sold to N. H. Wolf. In 1870 it was 
sold to Gibson, Arnold & Little. It is now operated by Grigg Brothers 
& Ellis. 

The Franklin mill building was erected in 1833 by the Lockport 
Manufacturing Company (capitalized at $i,ooo,ooo) for a cotton fac- 
tory and was used as such until 1841, at which time Washington Hunt 
became the sole owner. In the following year he conveyed it to the 
Niagara Manufacturing Company, who operated it as a cotton factory 
until 1854. This industry was rendered unprofitable chiefly because of 
the State withholding water necessary for power. The machinery was 
consequently removed and the premises purchased by B. C. Moore, 

1 64 

Washington Hunt and Henry Walbridge, who converted it into a flour- 
ing mill. In 1864 Hiram Finch became owner of a large interest in the 
mill and in 1867 its sole owner, operating it until 1872, and increasing 
the capacity to 500 barrels daily. In 1872 the property passed to Mary 
H Hunt, who conveyed it to Ambrose S. Beverly, Nathan P. Currier, 
J. Carl Jackson, and William S. Camp, The mill is now operated by 
the Franklin Milling Company (incorporated in 1 894), chiefly in the 
manufacture of entire wheat flour, which is largely used. 

What is known as the Farmers' mill, now operated as an iron works 
by W.esterman & Co., with C. G. Sutliffe, manager, was built in 1833 
and has passed through the hands of numerous owners. The original 
structure was burned and the stone part was built by Elliott & Robin- 
son. What was called the Pine Street mill was operated in the build- 
ing that became the city Water Works building and is now the City 
building. It was erected in 1864 by W. K. Moore. The Model mill, 
on East Market street, was originally a plaster mill, and was converted 
into a flouring mill in 1865 by B. & N. E. Moore. It was later enlarged 
by Moore & Willey and was finally closed up. Other minor flouring 
mills were those operated by John Stahl, which burned, and another 
by Henry Thornton called Rock mill. 

It will be seen by the foregoing paragraphs that the flouring industry 
has largely declined in recent years. There are good reasons for this 
which need not be explained here ; but while this is true of that one 
industry, there is at the present time a far larger gross manufacturing 
interest in Lockport than ever before, as will presently appear. 

Zeno Comstock built the first saw mill in Lockport in 18 19, on the 
branch of Eighteen- mile Creek. It was in this mill that the first ma- 
chinery of any kind was operated in the place. In the early years, be- 
fore the timber lands were cleared, saw mills were numerous. Among 
others who had early mills in Lockport v.'as David Frink, which later 
passed through various hands, and had a sash and door mill added to it. 
It stood on the site of the Lockport Paper Company's plant and was 
finally demolished. After the canal water power became available, 
Lyman A. Spalding erected a saw mill (1825-6) ; this was taken down 
in 1836 and superseded by one of greater capacity, containing two 
gangs of twelve saws each. Edward Bissell built a mill in 1828 on the 


site of the Trevor Manufacturing Company's works. In 1S36 there 
were eight saw mills in operation within the limits of the present city. 
In 1848 Stevens, Doty & Pease built a mill where the Traders' Paper 
Company is located ; this mill also had several different owners. Near 
the site of the pulp mill H. F. Cady built a saw mill in 1855. 

In 1835 Lyman A. Spalding began making agricultural implements, 
and some years later added steam engines. In 1869 the Pound Manu- 
facturing Company was formed, with L Austin Spalding, president; Al- 
exander Pond, superintendent. The company did a large business 
many years and finally closed up; the premises are now in use by Nor- 
man & Evans for the manufacture of merry-go rounds and similar 

Mr. Charles T. Raymond, of Lockport, has furnished the editor with 
the following list of industries running by water power in the city, the 
value of their property, hands employed, value of product, etc.: 

Name of Firm, Value of Property. Hands Employed. 

Grigg Bros. & Ellis $ 40,000 10 

Ward & Cobb 9,000 34 

Norman & Evans 45,000 35 

Eleven factories and firms securing 

power from Norman & Evans's water 

wheels 300,000 275 

Niagara Cotton Batting Co 5,000 12 

Thompson Milling Company 100,000 23 

Trevor Manufacturing Co 42,000 41 

Boston & Lockport Block Co 40,000 33 

Western Block Co 18,000 38 

Miller & Rogers 7,000 15 

Franklin Milling Co 30,000 25 

Empire Manufacturing Co 30,000 38 

Holly Manufacturing Co 500,000 470 

Richmond Manufacturing Co 115,000 60 

Lockport Pulp Co 65,000 43 

Traders' Paper Co 130,000 75 

Lockport Paper Co 250,000 100 

Niagara Paper Mills 165,000 47 

Westerman & Co 100,000 110 

Cascade Wood Pulp Co.: 40,000 16 

United Indurated Fibre Co 300,000 300 

Cowles Electric Smelting & A. Co 150,000 50 

Lockport Felt Co 30,000 16 

Totals $2,531,000 1,881 

1 66 


Traders' Paper Co S 400,000 

Lockport Paper Co 300,000 

Niagara Paper Mills 190,000 

Westerman & Co 157,500 

United Indurated Fibre Co 700,000 

Cascade Wood Pulp Co 60,000 

Cowles Electric Smelting and Aluminum Co 190,000 

Lockport Felt Co 30,000 

Total 82,127,500 

The Lockport Manufacturers' Association, organized about i888 by 
Charles T. Raymond, is composed of manufacturers using water power 
on the race and creek, and was formed for tlieir mutual benefit. Au- 
gustus H. Ivins is president; John A. Merritt, treasurer; and Mr. Ray- 
mond, secretar)'. 

One of the most important industries in Lockport is that of the Holly 
Manufacturing Company, which was organized May 2, 1859, with $20,- 
000 capital. The original stockholders were Thomas T. Flagler, Charles 
Keep, Silas H. Marks, L F". Bowen, Washington Hunt, G. W. Bowen, 
and Birdsall Holly. The company began the manufacture of pumps 
and hydraulic machinery, and in later years constructed water works 
for cities and villages after the plans and inventions of Mr. Holly, 
referred to on an earlier page. They constructed the I^ockport Water 
Works in 1864 and three years later supplied Auburn with a system. 
Since that time the company has installed their system in hundreds of 
cities and villages. The massive stone buildings used by the company 
were completed in 1866. Birdsall Holly is deceased, leaving several 
sons, only one of whom, Frank W. , is resident in Lockport. 

What was known as the Holly Steam Combination Company was or- 
ganized in 1877, for supplying steam heat to cities through street mains 
upon plans devised by Mr. Holly. The business has been successful. 
The present title of the company is the American District Steam Com- 
pany, which was organized in January, 1881, 

The manufacture of cotton battin , was begun in Lockport in 1870 by 
George W. Hamlin, who was succeeded by Levan & Gritman, under the 
name of the Lockport Cotton Batting Company. E. W. Rogers & Son 
are the present proprietors. The Lockport Glass Works were first 

1 67 

established in a small way in 1840 by Hildieth, Marks, Keep & Hitchins. 
They cairie into possession of Alonzo J. Mansfield in 1872 and are now 
operated by A. J. Mansfield & Co. What was formerly the Richmond 
Mill Furnishing Works are now operated by the Richmond Manufac- 
turing Company, with William Richmond at its head. The business 
was started in 1869 by James Richmond. The principal product is 
grist mill machinery. The Penfield Block Works, established in 1864 
by Charles R. Penfield, for the extensive manufacture of tackle blocks 
and sheaves, passed through other hands and are now operated by the 
Boston and Lockport Block Company. In 1858 Joseph and J. B. 
Trevor built a large structure for the manufacture of shingle, stave and 
heading machinery. The business passed in 1864 to W. W. & F. N. 
Trevor, who were succeeded by the Trevor Manufacturing Company, 
incorporated in 1890, with W. W. Trevor, president; F". N. Trevor, 
secretary and treasurer. Pulp machinery is now manufactured by the 
company. The Lockport Saw Works were established in 1869 by 
William Cocker and W. W. & F. N. Trevor, under the style of Cocker 
& Trevor. The business is now carried on by William Cocker. The 
Field Force Pump Company was organized by Jason Collier and Will- 
iam P. Field, both of whom are deceased, with Harrison S. Chapman, 
about 1880. The present proprietors of the business are Mr. Chap- 
man and Charles A. Barnes. The large product comprises pumps of 
various kinds and steam fittings. The United Indurated Fibre Com- 
pany was originally started in 1886 by Jesse Peterson, Henry G. Cord- 
ley, and Charles E. Folger. In 1893 the present company was incor- 
porated under New Jersey laws, with the factory and general office in 
Lockport. The capital is $757,000 Jesse Peterson is president; 
Henry G. Cordley, secretary; James E. Hayes, treasurer; Charles E. 
Folger, assistant treasurer. About 300 hands are employed in the 
manufacture of household articles from the indurated fibre, the basis of 
which is wood pulp. 

The Empire Manufacturing Company originated with Edwin W. 
Carey in 1883. In the next year Tiras A. Hall became a partner in 
the manufacture of cotton hose, belting and elastic surgical goods and 
the business continues under the above title ; it is a very successful en- 
terprise. The Merritt Machinery Company was organized in 1882 by 


I E. Merritt, who is now president of the company ; the capital is 
$16,000. The product of the works is wood-working machinery. This 
company succeeded T. R. Bailey and Vail in the same business. The 
Lockport Pulp Company was organized in 1889 by James Jackson, jr., 
A. S. Beverly, W. S. Camp and Augustus H. Ivins ; the capacity of the 
establishment is thirty tons a day. A. H. Ivins is president of the 
company and Charles T. Raymond, secretary. The Lockport Felt 
Company, organized in 1891, has its office in Lockport and its fac- 
tory in what was once the Van Horn woolen mill in the town of 
Nevvfane. About twenty hands are employed in the manufacture of 
paper maker's felts. The company was organized by A. S. Beverly 
and James Jackson, jr., both of whom are deceased, and Charles T. 
Raymond, who has since been secretary and since June, 1896, treasurer. 

In 1893 John, William, Thomas and George Oliver, of whom William 
and Thomas are residents in Lockport, formed the firm of Oliver 
Brothers for the manufacture of brass and iron bedsteads. From i 50 to 
300 hands are employed ; this is one of the largest establishments in the 
country that makes brass and iron bedsteads. The Niagara Cotton 
Batting Company was organized in April, 1894, and incorporated by 
James Cochran, president, and E. H. Baker, secretary and treasurer; 
both still hold these positions; the capital is $7,000. The Traders' 
Paper Company was incorporated April I, 1895, with a capital of 
$300,000. James A. Roberts is president, and T. E. Ellsworth, secre- 
tary and treasurer. A large modern paper mill is operated with suc- 
cess. The Lockport Paper Company was incorporated in 1884 with 
Charles Keek, president ; W. H. Howes, secretary, and Wallace I. 
Keep, treasurer. The capital has remained $50,000 from the first. 
The company built its own plant, which was enlarged in 1893; the 
present capacity is twenty- five tons of building paper daily; the present 
officers are George G. Moss, president ; Wallace I. Keep, secretary and 
treasurer, and John Jack, superintendent. 

Other manufactures of the city of considerable importance are the 
the Cowles Electric Smelting and Aluminum Company, the name of 
which indicates its business; A. J. Mansfield & Co., glass manufac- 
turers; Bramley Brothers, iron founders and machinists ; Evans & Liddle, 
brooms; Morgan Brothers, boat builders; Norman & Evans, derricks. 



dredges, etc. ; Ira Bronson & Son, carriages ; the Western Block Com 
pany, organized 1888, E. J. McGrath, treasurer and manager; G. W. 
Hildreth & Co., the Garden Foundry Company, the Hall Iron Works, 
and Westerman & Co. 

For several years an extensive fruit and cold storage business has 
been successfully carried on in Lockport. Among the leading firms in 
this line are the Niagara County Fruit Company (Charles W. Hatch, 
manager) ; H. C. Hoag & Son, B. J. Furgason, Ferrin Brothers Com- 
pany. Large storage warehouses have been built and immense quan- 
tities of fruit stored, much of it coming in from Western States. 

The celebrated Gargling Oil, a remedy with a reputation extending 
througiiout the country, has always been manufactured in Lockport. 
The business was founded in 1833 by George W. Merchant, a reputable 
druggist in the village, who made the remedy and submitted it partic- 
ularly to owners of horses. For certain diseases of this animal it soon 
acquired a wide celebrity as a sure cure. As the demand for the oil 
increased Mr. Merchant established an extensive manufactory in con- 
nection with his drug store, and in course of time accumulated a com- 
petency, and in 1853 retired. He disposed of his business to M. H. 
Tucker, Dr. B. L. Delano, and H. Walbridge. Lender the immediate 
management of Mr. Tucker, the business was greatly increased and the 
extensive use of the remedy for human ailments inaugurated. In 1858 
a stock company was organized, of which Mr. Tucker was chosen sec- 
retary. He died in i860 and was succeeded by John Hodge. This 
energetic business man made the oil known almost throughout the f^lobe 
and greatly increased its sale. The business was under iiis immediate 
management until his death. 

Lockport has had a Protective Merchants' Association, an Improve- 
ment Association, and a Manufacturers' Association ever since it has 
been a city, but was without a regular Board of Trade until 1891. That 
year a weekly illustrated paper called Niagara Spray was started there, 
and it earnestly advocated the organization of an association of the 
business men of the city, which would perform the general functions 
of a board of trade and exert itself specifically for the consummation of 
the long talked of hydraulic canal from the Niagara River to Lockport. 
The idea met witli hearty endorsement on the part of the citizens and 


in a short time J. Charles Ferrin, Chauncey E. Dunkleberger, M. H. 
Hoover, and others secured 225 members. Tiie formal organization 
occurred in March, 1891, with Hon. John E. Pound as president. Un- 
der his able management many things for the material advancement of 
Lockport were accomplished. A survey of the canal route was made, 
and the association now owns a map of the same costing $[,200. Hon. 
William Richmond succeeded Mr. Pound as president, and he now holds 
that office. The other officers of the Business Men's Association are 
Dr. M. S. Kittinger, vice-president ; M. H. Hoover, secretary ; and 
Joseph A. Ward, treasurer. 

In 1895 the Business Men's Association, after a deal of hard work, 
succeeded in securing a charter from the State for the hydraulic canal. 
The association further spent several thousands of dollars in securing 
options on land which it is proposed to turn over to any responsible 
party or parties who undertake the canal's construction. In order to 
obtain the charter the association, which was unincorporated, became 
incorporated as the Niagara, 1 ockport and Ontario Power Company, 
ten members of the association being directors, and William Richmond, 

The act creating the town of Lockport was passed February 2, 1824, 
long after settlement had begun. The first town meeting was held at 
the house of Michael D. Mann on the first Tuesday of April, 1824, 
present, James F. Mason, Hiram Gardner, and Joel M. Parks, justices 
of the peace. The following officers were then elected : 

Daniel Washburn, supervisor; Morris H. Tucker, town clerk; Eli Bruce, collector; 
David Pomroy, Henry Norton and John Gooding, assessors ; Henry W. Campbell 
and Nathan Comstock, overseers of the poor; Eli Bruce, William A. Judd, Joel 
Herrington and Levi B. Pratt, constables; Jonathan Willett, Henry Gregory and 
John Williams, commissioners of highways; Jonathan Willett, Joel M. Parks and 
Oliver L. Willard, commissioners of common schools; William Van Duzer, George 
H. Boughton and Orsamus Turner, inspectors of common schools. 

An overseer of highways was chosen for each of the twenty-five road 
districts in the town, and each of them was constituted also a fence- 
viewer. The sum of $50 was voted for building a pound, and $100 for 
the support of the poor. Ezekiel Fulsom was appointed poundmaster. 
In that year thirteen entire and fractional school districts were created. 
The usual regulitions for town government were enacted. 



Following is a list of supervisors of the town of Lockport from its or- 
ganization to the present, with the dates of their terms of service: 

Daniel Washburn, 1834, 1826; George H. Broughton, 1827, 1828; Morris H. Tucker, 
1829; Henry Norton, 18H0, 1832; Samuel Works, 1833, 1834; Asa W. Douglas, 1835, 
1836; AlonzoT. Prentice, 1837; Jacob Gaunt, 1838, 1839; George W. Rayers, 1840; 
Timothy Backus, 1841; Robert H. Stevens, 1842; Timothy Backus, 1843; Benjamin 
Carpenter, 1844, 1845; Asa W. Douglas, 1846; Solomon Parmelee, 1847; Isaac C. 
Cotton, 1848; Abijah H. Moss, 1849; Rensselaer S. Wilkinson, 1850, 1851; Robert 
White, 1852; Alonzo T. Prentice, 1853; Charles Evans, 1854; Daniel Van Valken- 
burgh, 1855; John Jackson, 1856-1858; Benjamin Fletcher, 1859; Jacob Gaunt, 1860; 
Benjamin Fletcher, 1861; James Jackson, 1862; Richard B. Hoag, 1863-1865; Isaac 
H. Babcock, 1866, 1867; John W. Alberty, 1868, 1869; Ira Farnswortb, 1870; Luther 
Forsyth, 1871-1873; S. Clark Lewis, 1874, 1875; Seneca B. Frost, 1876; Nathan S. 
Gilbert, 1877, 1878, 1879; Reuben M. Randolph, 1880, 1881; Nelson B. Stevens, 1882, 
1883; Samuel A. Disinger, 1884, 1885; Leverett A. Campbell, 1886; Aimer W. 
Mitchell, 1887, 1888; John G. Freeman, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892; William F. Clark, 
1893-1894; Charles A. Warren, 1895-1896; Jacob Shinier, 1897-1898. Harvey M. 
Dysinger has served as town clerk since 1886. 

Supervisors of the City of Lockport. — First ward, Henry F. Cady, 1865-66; John 
W. Steele, 1867-68; James O. King, 1869-71; Charles Whitmore, 1872; James O. 
King, 1873; John T. Joyce, 1874; John R. Edwards, 1875; W. Wallace Steele, 1876; 
Hiram H. Wicker, 1877-78^ Edwin Le Van, 1879; Ira T. Hoag, 1880-81; David R. 
Bruce, 1882-83; C. E. Jayne, 1884-85; George L. Smith, 1886; Thomas M. McGrath, 
1887; C. W. Hatch, 1888; P. H. Tuohey, 1889; Eugene Kearns, 1890-92; Joseph W. 
Turner, jr., 1893-94; Eugene Kearns, 1895-96; Frank Maroney, 1897. 

Second ward, Horatio Kilborne, 1865-69; William R. Ford, 1870-71; Hiram Mc- 
Collum, 1872-75; Joseph W. Little, 1876; Hiram McCollum, 1877; John Hawkes, 
1878; Patrick Sharkey, 1879-80; John Lardner, 1881-82; C. A. Olmsted, 1883; Alfred 
Morgan, 1884; J. G. Norman. 1885; Thomas Laydin, 1886; M. C. Conhn, 1888-89; 
John Hawkes, 1890-91; Thomas R. Large, 1892-94; T. F. Moran, 1895-96; H. F. 
Redigan, 1897. 

Third ward, Thomas T. Flagler, 1865-66; S. RoUin Daniels, 1867; N. E. Moore, 
1868; William E. Jenney, 1869; John E. Pound, 1870; F. P. Weaver, 1871; James 
Atwater, 1882-74; Austin Dunton. 1875; Origen Storrs, 1876; E. A. Holt, 1877-80; 
Jacob A. Driess, 1881; James Atwater, 1882-94; John F. Little, 1895-97. 

Fourth ward, William Weld, 1866; John T. Murray, 1867; W. H. Ransom, 1868- 
69; F. E. Rogers, 1870; Austin Dunton, 1871; Perry G. Wadhams, 1872-73; John T. 
Murray, 1874-75; William Lambert, 1876; W. T. Ransom, 1877 ; Perry G. Wadhams, 
1878-79; Thomas Scovell, 1880-81; Oliver C. Gibson, 1882-83; Albert R. Furgason. 
1884-85; Alexander W. Nelson. 1886; Blaise Miller, 1887-88; William H. Upson, 
1889-91; William Lambert, 1892-94; L. J. Angevine, 1895-96; Norman O. Allen, 

Fifth ward, John B. Naismith, 1893; Edwin A. Doty, 1893-94; Joseph W. Little, 

Sixth ward, John McCue, 1893; Rufus Gibbs, 1893-94; Francis B. White, 1895-97. 


The little hamlet of Warren's Corners is situated on the Ridge road 
in the northwest part of the town, a portion of it lying in the edge of 
the town of Cambria. Ezra Warren was one of the more prominent 
of the early settlers here, coming in 1813, and from him the place took 
its name. He opened a tavern and kept it many years and made it 
very popular. A store and several shops were early established here 
and previous to the war of 1812 considerable business was transacted. 
A Methodist class was formed at Warren's Corners in 1825 by Rev. 
John Copeland, of which Ezra Warren, Isaac Warren, Josiah Warren, 
Edwin Warren, Thomas Carlton, German Bush, Jonathan Benson and 
Thomas Fowler were members ; tiiey were all early settlers in that 
vicinity. A church edifice was erected in 1833 on land donated to 
the society. In 1S58 the building was sold and removed and the pres- 
ent brick building erected on the site. 

Chestnut Ridge is the name applied to a closely settled farming dis- 
trict in the east part of the town. It has no business interests, but a 
Methodist church was organized there in January, 1834, with Sylvester 
Flagler, Theodore Stone, Titus Hall, Moses Rummery and Elijah 
Gibbs, trustees. Meetings were held for a time in the school house, 
district No. 3, but in 1835 a church edifice was built at a cost of $1,- 
350; it was enlarged and improved in 1866. 

The pleasant village of Rapids is situated in the southeastern part of 
the town on Tonawanda Creek, and took its name from the fact that the 
current of the stream is more rapid there than at any other point; a 
bridge was built across the creek here early in the century which was 
called the Rapids bridge. The first settlers here were Amos and S. B. 
Kinne, who purchased land from Joseph Ellicott's heirs in 1839 and laid 
out some village lots. Very little progress was made, however, until 
1849, when Orange Mansfield built a saw mill near the creek to be 
operated by steam ; it stood about on the site of tlie later grist mill. G. 
H. Utley built and conducted a good hotel and Horace Cummings 
built a store, in which he sold groceries ; in 1853 he sold out to one 
Williams, who put in a general stock. William Heroy built the grist 
mill. Among the present or recent business interests of the place may 
be mentioned Joseph Edwards, grocer and postmaster ; Oliver J. Bruce, 
merchant ; Peter Rossman, blacksmith, and Jacob Shimer, creamery. 


The Rapids Free Church Association was formed in 1850 with A. J. 
Mansfield, Robert B. Kinne (who was an early settler), Mr. Williams, 
James Kinne and Sylvester Collins, trustees. The association embraced 
persons of any denomination. A Methodist class and a Wesleyan 
Methodist society were then in existence. The association promptly 
built a church, which stood several years before it was finished The 
building is now occupied by the United Brethren church, which was 
organized about i860, and absorbed most of the religious elements of 
that vicinity. 

There are several hamlets in the town of Lockport outside of the 
city, the first settlements at which have been mentioned. Wright's 
Corners is in the north part of tiie town. The first business to be estab- 
lished at that point after the war of 1812 was a hotel which was kept 
by a man named Barber ; after his death it was kept by his family until 
it was burned, about 1820. Two of Mr. Barber's daughters were 
burned to death in the building. Another hotel a little later was kept 
by Alva Buck ; it, however, stood just across the Newfane line. Solo- 
mon Wright settled there on the Ridge Road about 1822, and from him 
the corners took the name. He also opened a public house and kept it 
many years. The post ofifice was opened thereabout 1826 and Mr. 
Wright was the first ofificial in charge. His hotel was burned in 1861. 

David Maxwell, from New Jersey, settled at Johnson's Creek in 18 19. 
besides conducting a farm of 100 acres he also kept a hotel. He was a 
surveyor and laid out the well known Hess road. In 1824 he pur- 
chased a farm at Wright's Corners and settled there. He became a 
leading citizen, opened and conducted the first store at the Corners, 
which he kept until 1840. It was through his influence that a charter 
was obtained for the road known as the Long Causeway. A few shops 
and small business interests have since existed at this point. A Presby- 
terian church was organized here in 1872, as an offshoot from the 
societies of this denomination in Lockport. 

There is a post-office with the name of Raymond on what is known 
as Raymond Hill, in the southern part of the town. Solomon Dershaw 
is the local merchant there and postmaster. In February, 1858, the 
h'irst Evangelical Society of the Town of Lockport was incorporated, 
with Adam Roeder, John Dunkelberger and Adam Schreiber, trustees. 


Services in this faith had been held in that vicinity for several years 
prior to that time. A frame cliurch was erected in 1857. 



A large part of the very early history of the territory now embraced 
in the town of Niagara has been given in preceding chapters of this vol- 
ume. The town was erected from Cambria June i, i 812, with the name 
of Schlosser, which had previously been applied to the fort and land- 
ing above the falls. The name was changed on February 14, 18 16. 
The town originally contained the territory of what are now the towns 
of Pendleton, set off in 1827, and Wheatfield, set off in 1836. It now 
includes Goat Island and other small islands in Niagara River near the 
falls (which are in the State Reservation now) and is the southwestern 
corner town in the county. 

The surface is generally level and the soil mostly clayey in character. 
In past years the various grains were extensively cultivated and con- 
siderable wheat is still produced. In later years fruit growing has be- 
come the largest agricultural industry, apples being produed in immense 
quantities and sold in their natural state or evaporated for preservation, 
and made into cider and vinegar. Ca} uga Creek rises in Wheatfield 
and flows across the southeastern part of the town, emptying into the 
Niagara River opposite Cayuga Island. Gill Creek rises in Lewiston, 
flows southwardly across the central part of the town and empties into 
the river about two miles above the falls. This town must always re- 
main celebrated from the fact thas a part of the great cataract is near its 
limits. Sufficient has already been written in this work of the great 
natural wonder, and its beauty and grandeur has formed the theme of 
gifted pens from early years. It has been, and always will be, the Mecca 
of travelers from all parts of the world, and to its existence at this point 
is largely due the founding of the village and the later city bearing the 
name of the cataract itself. 


The first permanent occupation of territory now embraced in this 
town by white men was made, doubtlesss, in 1759 or 1760, by John, 
Philip and VVilham Stedman, who came and occupied a large house at 
the upper landing. Sir William Johnson states in his journal of 1761 
that Sir Jeffrey Amherst had permitted a company of Indian traders to 
establish themselves at that landing, giving them exclusive privileges, 
and that a large house was in process of erection for their use. The 
Stedmans enlarged the clearing at the landing and also made an open- 
ing in the forest opposite Goat Island, ^ and a clearing often acres on 
the upper part of that island. Another of their improvements was the 
planting of about 150 apple trees west of the house, which constituted 
the first orchard in this region ; it was afterwards greatly enlarged and 
some of the old trees stood until recent years. John Stedman (the head 
of the family) remained here until 1795, when he left, turning his in- 
terests over to Jesse Ware, to act as his agent. He claimed all the al- 
leged rights of his principals, including ownership of the falls and 4,000 
to 5,000 acres of land in the bend of the river. Up to this time the 
portage had furnished about all the business of the locality ; it was re- 
moved to the British side in 1795. The old French saw mill, built 
many years earlier and probably rebuilt by the English, at the head of 
the rapids, was used to some extent by the Stedmans or their agent up 
to 1797, and had supplied the little lumber used here at that time. The 
property became known as the Stedman farm, although it is quite well 
settled that Stedman never had any valid title to the land. John Sted- 
man's pretended acquisition of title from the Seneca Indians, even if it 
ever existed, could not stand In 1 80 1 Stedman applied to the Legis- 
lature to confirm his pretended Indian title to lands " bounded by Niagara 
river. Gill creek, and a line extending east from Devil's Hole to said 
creek." He claimed in his petition that at the council of 1764, when 
Sir William Johnson- was present, the Indians conveyed the property 
to him, and that he left the deed with Sir William, by whom it was lost 
witli other papers of his own. The Legislature refused to grant the 
claim and subsequently the property was sold to other persons. Sted- 
man's heirs sought to establish their claims to some of this property as 

' This island received its peculiar name from the incident of Stedman putting- a number of 
goats upon it in the winter of 1779-80, most of which froze to death before spring. 


late as 1823, but failed. The insignificant improvements mentioned 
above were all that were made prior to 1805. 

In 1795 a man visited Niagara Falls who, with his family and de- 
scendants, was destined to exercise a powerful influence upon this local- 
ity. This man was Augustus Porter. He again visited the falls in 
1796, while on his way with a company of surveyors and their assist- 
ants to explore and survey the Western Reserve. In relation to those 
early visits we quote from a pamphlet published in 1876 by Albert H. 
Porter, as follows : 

His first impression of the natural advantages of this locality, were decidedly 
favorable. Taking into view its position, on what was then, and in all probability 
would ever be, the great thoroughfare from east to west, with the vast water 
power, that as settlement advanced, must become very valuable, he could not but 
regard it as a point worthy of attention whenever the lands should be opened for 
sale and improvement. These views influenced him and his associates in the pur- 
chases made subsequently, with reference to immediate occupation and improve- 
ment. In connection with his first visit in 1795 he makes the following statement: 
That he with his friend Judah Colt, made the journey on hor.seback, to Chippewa, 
U. C, and there took passage on a boat for Presque Isle (now Erie), Pa. The Brit- 
ish still held possession of the military posts of Oswego, Niagara, Detroit, and Mack- 
inaw, and no American vessels had then been built on the lakes. Of Buffalo he 
sa3 s, the only residents at that time were Johnson, a British Indian interpreter, 
whose house stood on the site of the present Mansion House; Winne, an Indian 
trader, and two other families. A large part of the ground now occupied by the 
city was an unbroken wilderness. 

In the year 1805 the State first offered the lands along Niagara River 
for sale, and Augustus Porter, Peter B. Porter, Benjamin Barton and 
Joseph Annin, jointly, purchased largely at Lewiston, Niagara Falls, 
Block Rock and elsewhere along the river. In the year just named 
Augustus Porter built a saw mill and blacksmith shop at the falls, pre- 
paratory to making further improvements. In 1806 he removed his 
family from Canandaigua to the old Stedman house before described. 
In the same year the four men above named formed the Portage Com- 
pany, they having obtained from the State a long lease of the landing 
places at Lewiston and Schlosser. with the exclusive privilege of trans- 
porting property across the portage. These men took the firm name 
of Porter, Barton & Co., which for many years was known throughout 
the State in connection with commerce between the east and the west. 
The original portage lease was for ten years, but it was extended five 


years, bringing it down to 1820. Among the lands purchased were 
lots I, 2, 3 and 4 of the Mile Reserve along the river, which lots in- 
clude the American fall and extended one and three-fourths miles 

The vicinity was still and for some years later substantially a wilder- 
ness. There were a few dilapidated log cabins near by, and the crumb- 
ling remains of Fort Schlosser. A tangled forest grew along the river 
to the water's edge and on the site of the central part of the present 
city were numerous stately oaks of great size Wild animals were nu- 
merous, especially wolves, and small game and ducks and geese were 
plentiful. In the rocks along the gorge rattlesnakes abounded. 

Augustus Porter was a native of Salisbury, Conn., where he was 
born in January, 1769. He was a practical surveyor, and after serving 
in that profession for a time on the Phelps and Gorham Purchase, he 
settled in Canandaigua in 1800, whence he moved to Niagara Falls, as 
before stated. His family then consisted of his wife and three sons, 
Albert H., Peter R , jr., and Augustus S. He is entitled to recognition 
as the most prominent of the pioneers of this immediate locality. His 
neighbors in the earliest years along the frontier were James Evring- 
ham. Jesse Ware, William Miller, William Howell, Stephen Hopkins, 
Philemon Baldwin, Joshua Fairbanks, Joseph Howell, Erastus Parks, 
Isaac Colt, James Murray, between the falls and Lewiston ; Isaac Swain 
lived on the Military road near its intersection with Gill Creek, where 
he settled in 1805. During 1807 Adoniram Evringham, a miller; John 
M. Stoughton, a cloth dresser; Joshua Fairbanks, who became the 
first tavern keeper ; and Jacob Hovey, a carpenter, all settled at the 
falls, making the beginning of a little community. At Schlosser settled 
William Valentine and John Sims, boat builders, and on the Portage 
road Gad Pierce, farmer and inn keeper. In 1807 Porter, Barton & 
Co. built the first grist mill at the falls ; it had two runs of stone. In 
1808 Augustus Porter erected a commodious dwelling. Between that 
year and 1812 considerable advancement was made, including the 
starting of a rope-walk, a carding mill, a small tannery, a tavern, and 
the building of perhaps a dozen small houses. The first school was 
opened in 1807. 

In 1809 Enos Broughton came and opened a tavern in the Stedman 



house, from which Mr. Porter had removed to his new dwelling. Wil- 
liam Chapman and David Lindsay, rope makers; James Armington, 
carpenter ; William Van Norman, blacksmith ; and Ebenezer Brundage, 
sawyer, settled at the falls and began each his respective occupation. 
In 1808 James Field settled in the town, renting a farm of Judge Por- .■ 
ter, and a little later purchased land between Schlosser and Cayuga 
Creek and moved upon it in 18 10. He kept a well known tavern 
until his death in 1823, which was afterwards conducted by his widow. 
In the early days Field's tavern was a favorite meeting place for the 
pioneers and several of the town meetings were held there. Mr. Field 
held several offices, was a respected citizen and left four sons, two of 
whom were Spencer Field and Eldad Field, both long respected in the 

In 1 8 10 James Cowing, a shoemaker; Ezekiel Hill, an early school 
teacher ; Ralph Coffin, bookkeeper for Judge Porter ; Joshua Fish, a 
carpenter; Oliver Udall, farmer, and Parkhurst Whitney became resi- 
dents. The latter purchased lot 53 of the Mile Strip and subsequently 
became one of the conspicuous figures of the town. 

Among the early permanent settlers in this town, remote from the 
river, were John Young, who came from Pennsylvania in 18 10, with his 
wife and five sons, two of whom were married, and two daughters. 
Their conveyance was a heavy wagon drawn by five horses, and their 
journey was full of interest. They settled on lot 17 in the Mile Strip 
a little east of the mouth of Gill Creek. In 181 1 Samuel Young, one 
of the married sons, purchased land afterwards owned by his son Jonas, 
and Christian Young, the other married son, purchased land adjoining. 
They were driven away by the war of 18 12, but returned after peace 
was declared. 

John Witmer and his family came into the town in 1810, from Penn- 
sylvania. After arriving at Black Rock they proceeded down the river 
to Devil's Hole, from where Isaac Swain had chopped out a road to 
his clearing where the Military road crosses Gill Creek. Swain had 
partially cleared thirty or forty acres of land and built a good log 
house. This farm Mr. Witmer purchased and became one of the sub- 
stantial citizens of the town. In 1817 he built a saw mill on Gill 
Creek, in which lumber was sawed for many years. In early times it 


supplied most of the lumber for building the dwellings in that part of 
the town. He had nine children, all born in Pennsylvania, seven of 
whom were sons. Mr. VVitmer died in 1842. His brother Abram 
came in one year later than John, bringing his wife and three sons ; 
five other children were born in Niagara county. One of the sons 
was Christian H. Witmer, who was prominently connected with the 
milling business at the falls and Suspension Bridge. He was acciden- 
tally drowned September 17, 1858. 

The reader has already learned of the events that took place in this 
town and all along the frontier during the war of 18 12. During that 
struggle immigration ceased, and most of those who had begun making 
their homes left for the interior upon the declaration of war in 1812; 
but most of these returned and remained until December, 18 13, when 
the British laid waste the whole frontier, destroying improvements and 
leaving many, who escaped with their lives, in destitution. Nothing 
was left at the falls except two or three small dwellings and a log 
tavern. With the close of the war settlement again began and pro- 
gressed rapidly. In 181 5 came among others, James Ballard, a cloth 
dresser, who settled on the river road. Samuel Tompkins, a Canadian 
volunteer, who had been banished from Canada and his property con- 
fiscated for his participation in the war against England, canVe across in 
1815 and purchased lot 52 on the Mile Strip of Parkhurst Whitney. 
Philip Tufford came that year and settled near the Lockport road. 
There were then a score or more of dwellers in what is now the town 
of Niagara and half of those were at the Falls. This was then the 
only trading point nearer than Black Rock and Lewiston, and here the 
only store was that of Judge De Veau.x, then recently opened at the 
Falls ; he was also postmaster. There were three pioneer taverns — 
General Whitney's at the Falls ; one at Clarksville kept by Gad Pierce, 
aud James Field's, before mentioned. The only school was at the Falls 
and that was open only in the winter up to 1818. There was no physi- 
cian prior to 1820 nearer than Lewiston. Most of these settlers de- 
rived a large part of their business from the carrying of freight across 
the portage. 

The so-called "cold summer " of 1816 and the great scarcity of pro- 
visions and money which continued about two years now came on with 


terrors for the pioneers little less afflicting than those of the war. All 
kinds of food products were extremely scarce and correspondingly 
high in price. Samuel Tompkins went to Canada in the spring of 1818 
and paid $36 per barrel for pork ; $22 a barrel for flour. But better 
times soon dawned, settlers came in large numbers and by 1825 con- 
ditions were greatly improved. 

In the )'ear 18 16 Eli Bruce settled on the Lockport road, and taught 
some of the early schools. Rev David Smith came that year and 
preached alternately at Lewiston and the Falls. Ferris Angevine came 
in 1818 and purchased land on the Tonawanda road a little above the 
mouth of Cayuga Creek ; later he bought on the Military road, built a 
log house and there began housekeeping in 1826 Epaphroditus Em- 
mons, one of the early justices, town clerk and tavern keeper, settled at 
Fort Schlosser about 1819, and built a temporary two-story structure 
around the old chimney which had stood at the end of the wing of the 
Stedman house ; there he kept tavern a few years. About the same 
time Isaac Smith settled on the Portage road ; Aden Gay and Nathaniel 
Bowles, both blacksmiths, located at Schlosser ; and in 1820 Thomas W. 
Fanning, tavern keeper, James Pierce, miller, and Arah Osborn, carpen- 
ter, came in ; also William Bradner, cloth dresser, and Dr. Ambrose 
Thomas, the first resident physician. Peter Cowan and Andrew Huff 
came in 1 82 1. Stephen Childs settled near the whirlpool rapids in 
1822, and Aaron Childs, who was not related to Stephen, settled on the 
site of Suspension Bridge village. Theodore Whitney, nephew of Park- 
hurst Whitney, came from Ontario county in 1823, built a cabin and 
returned for his bride; they boarded with Samuel Young until his 
dwelling was finished. 

Some of the more prominent settlers in the town between 1825 and 
1850 were Henry H. Hill, on the Military road ; James Ward and Peter 
D. Bachman, on the River road; Daniel Remington, Charles Goff, 
George Shipman, all in 1825. In 1826 Rev. Horatio A. Parsons set- 
tled on the River road between the Falls and Cayuga Creek ; he was at 
one period pastor of a Presbyterian church at the Falls, devoted much 
time to the study of scientific farming and wrote ior many agricultural 
papers. Martin Voght, who was father of a large family, came to the 
town in 1828; his son, Jacob J., was long a well known citizen. Joseph 


Graves settled within the limits of the present city at the Falls in 1833 • 
he was father of Lyman C. Graves. Henry Ortt, a mason, came also in 
1833; William Garrett in 1835, Daniel Dietrick in 1838. The names of 
other prominent citizens will appear further on. 

In 1816 Augustus Porter purchased Goat Island of the State and 
built the first bridge connecting it with the shore. This bridge was 
partially carried away in the first winter. In 18 18 another bridge was 
built on the site of the present one, which withstood the water and ice 
and was in use until 1856, when it was displaced by an iron bridge. 

Among the early improvements in the little village at the falls was the 
starting of a cloth-dressing and wool carding factory by James Ballard 
in 1816, which was soon afterward enlarged by D. & S. Chapman and 
woolen cloths were made. In 1819-20 Parkhurst Whitney built a 
large addition to his tavern, giving it the name of the Eagle Tavern ; it 
was long a popular hostelry. In 182 1 a forge, rolling mill and nail fac- 
tory were erected and operated by Bolls & Gay. In 1822 Augustus 
Porter built a large flouring mill, which subsequently passed to the 
Witmers. In 1823 a paper mill was built by Jesse Symonds near Goat 
Island bridge. In 1828 the upper race was extended and Ira Cook, 
William G, Tuttle, Chapin & Swallow, and others established works of 
different kinds upon it. In 1826 a large paper mill was built on Bath 
Island by Porter & Clark, which was afterwards purchased and enlarged 
by L. C. Woodruff. 

Samuel De Veaux was long the leading merchant of the place. He 
was descended from the persecuted Huguenots who fled to this country. 
In 1803 he entered the land office of Phelps & Gorham at Canandaigua, 
and in 1 807 was appointed commissary at Fort Niagara. Opening the 
first store at the Falls and investing in real estate, he became compara- 
tively wealthy. It was through his benevolence that De Veau.x College 
was founded, as elsewhere described. Other early merchants were 
Christopher H. Smith, Charles Parsons, and others. 

Between 1820 and 1840 the following men, in addition to those al- 
ready mentioned, located at the Falls and engaged in business of some 
nature and aided in laying the foundations of its later prosperity; Enos 
Clark, a mason ; John Bradner, a shoemaker ; Ansel B. Jacobs, one of 
the early gate keepers at Goat Island bridge ; Ziba Gay, blacksmith ; 


Solomon L. Ware, tanner; B. H. White, tailor, all in 1822. Henry W. 
Clark, Charles Clark and Jesse Symonds, paper makers, in 1823. Rich- 
ard Ayer, farmer; Timothy Shaw, cloth-dresser, in 1824. In 1824 
also Ira Cook, William G. Tuttle, cabinet maker and blacksmith re- 
spectively, and Thomas Chapin and A. M. Swallow, blacksmiths. John 
McDonald, cloth-dresser, came in 1830, with another physician in the 
person of Dr. Edwin Cook. Theodore S. Whitney came in 1831 ; 
Oramel and Lucien Johnson in 1834; Theodore G. Hulett, a black- 
smith, came at about this time and worked at his trade for a time. In 
1847 1^^ ^^'^s engaged as superintendent of the first suspension bridge, 
and in later years he superintended the construction of several impor- 
tant bridges in the eastern part of the State. He was elected justice of 
the peace of this town in 1849, and continued in public office thirty 
years. He is still living. 

Dexter R. Jerauld came to the village in 1835, well known as one of 
the proprietors of the Cataract Hotel. In 1836 came Samuel D. Ham- 
lin, Seth L. Burdick, William Griffith, F. C. Ford, James Davy, all of 
whom became identified with the business interests of the place. George 
Holland, George E. Hamlin, Joel R. Robinson and Andrew Murray 
became residents in 1837 ; and in 1838 W. E. Hulett and A. W. Allen. 
In 1840 came G. W. Holley, the well known author of a work on Ni- 
agara ; Michael Walsh, Charles Wilcox and John Doty. 

Between 1 840 and 1855 the village increased its population con- 
siderably ; among those who were connected with its business interests 
and who arrived in that period were Daniel J. Townsend, who came 
from Buffalo and established a screw factory ; James F. Trott, one of the 
firm of Whitney, Jerauld & Co.; Morris L. Fox, a groceryman ; Dr. 
Gennett Conger ; John Geagan, blacksmith ; William Sturdy, harness- 
maker ; A. K. Fassett, hardware dealer; Alva Cluck, long proprietor 
of the Spencer House ; Worthy Curtis, Dayton G. Canfield, Osborn 
Canfield, John D. Hamlin, William F. Evans, Charles H. Piper, 
Thomas Tugby, still in business, and William Pool, the veteran pub- 

Gen. Peter B. Porter, whose name has been made prominent in the 
account of the war of 1812, died at Niagara Falls in 1844. He had 
been a resident of the place only a few years, coming hither from Black 



Rock, where he had been a conspicuous personage since 18 10. He 
was a younger brother of Augustus Porter, was a lawyer by profes- 
sion ; was clerk of 0||ltario county in 1797, and was elected to the 
Legislature in 1802. In 1810 and again in 1814 he was elected to 
Congress and in 181 5 was secretary of state for New York, and secre- 
tary of war in 1828. In the war he rose to the office of major-general. 

Col. Peter A. Porter was a son of General Porter and was born at 
Black Rock in 1827. He received a university education both in 
this country and in Europe, was elected to the Assembly in 1861, 
and at the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion threw himself actively 
into the work of raising troops for the army. His career as com- 
mander of the 8th Heavy Artillery, which he raised in 1862, was 
honorable in the highest degree, and he fell at the head of his forces 
at Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864. He left two sons, Peter A. Porter, jr., 
and George M. Porter. 

Many other families of the city and town are properly noticed in 
Part III of this volume. 

The first town meeting of this town was held at the tavern of James 
Field, April 7, 181 2. The officers then elected were as follows: 

Silas Hopkins, supervisor; Ezekiel Hill, town clerk; James Field, Ebeuezer 
Hovey and William Scott, assessors; Parkhurst Whitney, Joshua Pettit and Augus- 
tus Porter, commissioners of highways; John Sims, constable and collector; Gad 
Pierce and John W. Stoughton, poormasters; Amos Park, Warren Saddler, John 
Patterson, Abuer Hull, John Witmer, William Scott and Abram Witmer, path- 

The usual ordinances and regulations were voted for the simple gov- 
ernment of the town. The supervisor was authorized to build a pound 
near Schlosser, and it was finally determined that the yard of Joseph 
Hadley, or such enclosure as he might erect, should be considered a 
legal pound. The height of fences was fixed ; a bounty of five dol- 
lars was ordered for wolves killed in the town ; the sum of $250 was 
voted for the improvement of highways, and $25 for the support of 
the poor. 

The town meeting of 18 14 was held at the house of George Burger, 
and a sum of money, the amount not recorded, was voted for the 
establishment of common schools; but in the year 1816 the school 
fund was fixed at $20. In that year also an additional pound was 

1 84 

ordered ; those institutions were very necessary in early years, when 
fences were few and domestic animals mostly ran at large. 

In April, 1827, at the annual town meeting the supervisor and town 
clerk were directed to procure a map of the town, and to prepare and 
circulate a petition for the division of the town. This action resulted 
in the setting off of Pendleton, the old town to pay two-thirds of all 
obligations and the new town the remainder. Similar action was 
taken in May, 1836, when the town of Wheatfield was erected from 

The time at length arrived when it seemed desirable that Niagara 
Falls should be incorporated as a village. This was accomplished in 
1847, '^fd the first village officers elected were as follows: President, 
Parkhurst Whitney ; clerk, Charles H. Smith ; trustees, Parkhurst 
Whitney, Augustus S, Porter, H. W. Clark, W. E. Hulett, G. Conger. 
The usual ordinances were adopted and subsequently were changed 
from time to time, as the growing needs of the place demanded. The 
population of the village in 1855 was almost 3,000, and the incresse of 
the next five years was 500. The number actually decreased during 
the period of the war. 

During a considerable part of the period from the village incorpora- 
tion to 1890 the growth of the place in population was not rapid. It was 
not sought as a place of residence to the extent that its natural advan- 
tages warranted; and while business and manufacturing increased to a 
considerable extent, the energies of very many of the inhabitants were 
devoted largely to making money through the large annual influx 
of visitors from all parts of the world to see the great cataract But the 
time was at hand when all this was to be changed. 

The great numbers of transient visitors to the falls led in early years 
to the erection of numerous hotels, and the place ultimately became the 
site of more public houses than any other village of its size in the coun- 
try, if not in the world. Many of these hotels were built to accommo- 
date an immense number of guests and were conducted on a magnifi- 
cent scale. 

John Fairchilds was the pioneer landlord at Niagara F"alls. His house 
was of logs, two stories in height and had a small frame addition, when 
it was purchased by Gen. Parkhurst Whitney in 1815. General Whit- 


ney settled at the Falls in 1810, and in 1814 opened a small tavern in 
a house belonging to Judge Porter ; in .the following year he bought 
the Faircliilds house, which stood on the site of the later Eagle Hotel. 
General Whitney enlarged and improved the house at intervals, until 
183 1, when he purchased the Cataract House, which he occupied in 
1835 ; in that year he added to it to the extent of 40 by 56 feet, four 
stories high; in 1842 he made another similar addition, and in 1845 
another 42 by 133 feet, five stories high. Other minor additions were 
also made. This house is now conducted by Peter A. Porter. 

The old Spencer House was a popular and widely known hostelry for 
many years ; it stood on the site of the present Gluck block, a location 
that had been occupied for hotel purposes a great many years. The 
Empire, the Clarendon, and the American all stood there, the latter 
having been burned January 25, 1863, was rebuilt and again burned. 
The Spencer House was opened in 1867 and was burned with a loss of 
over $100,000 March 16, 1892. 

The great International Hotel was built in 1853 by B. F. Childs. It 
was enlarged by J. T. Bush, and later by the International Hotel Com- 
pany, and for many years has been recognized as one of the finest pub- 
lic houses in the State. It is now under the management of Samuel A. 
Greenwood, who acts in that capacity for the International Hotel Com- 

Other prominent hotels of the city are the Prospect House, D. Isaacs, 
proprietor; the Hotel Imperial, C. N. Owen, proprietor; the Columbia, 
C. R. Phelps, proprietor ; and many others of less importance. 

The early mails of Niagara Falls were carried over the road from 
Buffalo to Lewiston. Augustus Porter was the first postmaster and 
Samuel De Veaux the next. The village was an early and important 
stage headquarters and Samuel D. Hamlin was long conspicuous in 
the business. He settled in the village in 1836, at the beginning of the 
era of speculation and inflation which soon brought disaster to many. 
It was at that time that Benjamin Rathbun began his operations in real 
estate here, in which he soon failed, inflicting ruin and a general cessa- 
tion of progress on the village. The coming of the railroads, which has 
been described, changed the whole aspect of travel and mail- carrying. 

The first newspaper published in the village was the Niagara Falls 

1 86 

Journal, which was issued in 1837 by Francis & Ward. It Hved only 
a few months. The publication of the Niagara Chronicle was begun 
by J. Simpson in 1838. Next came the Iris, which was published from 
1846 to 1854 by George H. Hackstafif. In 1855 the Niagara Times 
was started by W. E. Tunis, who continued it until October, 1857. 
These papers have all passed out of existence. 

On the 1 8th of May, 1854, William Pool and Benjamin F. Sleeper, 
under the firm name of Pool & Sleeper, started the Niagara Falls Ga- 
zette, which is still in existence. A daily was issued in connection 
with the weekly during a part of 1859-60. In 1864 Mr. Pool became 
sole proprietor, and continued at the head of the establishment until 
January, 1881, when he sold out to Peter A. Porter, who also published 
it semi-weekly and daily. He disposed of the establishment in 1895 'o 
the Gazette Publishing Company, which discontinued the weekly and 
semi- weekly and published only the daily. Sherman Morse and Ernest 
H. Wands are the managers. 

Sherman Morse, business manager of the Gazette Publishing Com- 
pany, of Niagara F'alls, is a son of Elihu M. and Sarah (Sherman) Morse; 
and was born January 15, 1870, in Canandaigua, N. Y., where he 
attended the Fort Hill school. He was graduated from Yale Univer- 
sity in 1 891, and afterward was successively connected with the staffs 
of the Buffalo Courier, Express, and Evening News, on the latter being 
first telegraph editor and later city editor. On September 16, 1895, he 
came to Niagara Falls, and with others, under the style of the Gazette 
Publishing Company, purchased the Daily and Semi-Weekly Gazette 
of Peter A. Porter. Mr Moise has since been a director and the busi- 
ness manager of the company, the officers of which are Tracey C. 
Becker, president; John C. Morgan, vice-president; Richard F. Ran- 
kine, secretary; and Ernest H. Wands, treasurer and editor. In July, 
1896, the semi- weekly was discontinued. The Daily Gazette is one of 
the best and brightest dailies in the county, and has been brought to a 
successful condition through the able management of its active officers. 
Mr. Morse was married November 28, 1894, to Katharine Douglas 
Lansing, daughter of Edward S. Lansing, of Burlington, N. J. 

The Niagara Courier was started by Hon. William Pool on January 
I, 1884, and has always been recognized as one of the best weekly 


1 87 

newspapers in the county. Mr. Pool still continues as its editor and 

The Daily Cataract was started soon after the incorporation of the 
city of Niagara Falls in 1892 by O. W. Cutler. It is now published by 
the Cataract Publishing Company, of which John W. Cutler is man- 

The Press was issued for several years, with more or less regularity, 
until recently, by B. H. Randolph. 

In the Mist is published daily during the summer season by W. E. 

City Incorporation. — The city of Niagara Falls has had only a 
comparatively brief existence. The subject of city incorporation re- 
ceived the customary agitation and discussion long before the measure 
was accomplished. Considerable opposition developed, the larger part 
of which was among the older and more conservative citizens ; but this 
was directed not so much against the act itself, as in favor of postpone- 
ment a year or two. The matter finally crystallized in the action of a 
committee from the Business Men's Association, which body appeared 
before the regular meeting of the village trustees on February 24, 
1892, and requested that a public meeting be called to consider 
the matter. The request was granted and the meeting called for March 
4. It was numerously attended and Eugene Cary explained the im- 
portant features of the proposed city charter and the advantages that 
would probably follow its adoption. Thomas V. Welch addressed the 
meeting as a representative of the committee who had prepared the 
charter. At the close of these proceedings a vote was taken upon the 
adoption of the city charter and there was no dissent. A similar meet- 
ing was held on the following day at Suspension Bridge, with a result 
favorable to uniting with the larger village in founding the city of Ni- 
agara Falls. One of the provisions of the new charter was in effect, 
that the village officers then in power should hold their several positions 
until after the first city election, when both boards would meet in joint 
convention and the new government take the place of the old. The 
city election was held on April 19, and the change was effected on the 
25th. The date of the incorporating act is March 17. 

One provision of the act divided the new city into four wards. The 


law was amended May 4, 1893, and again on March 21, 1894, and in 
1897. From the amended act the following are given as the boundaries 
of each of the wards : 

First Ward. — The first ward shall include all that part of said city lying within 
the following boundaries, namely: Beginning at the point of intersection of the cen- 
ter line of the Niagara river by the center line of Niagara street in the present village 
of Niagara Falls, produced westerly, running thence easterly along said produced 
center line of Niagara street to the center line of the Portage road (so called) ; thence 
southeasterly along said center line of said Portage road to the center line of the 
plank roak (so called); thence easterly along said center line of said plank road to 
the center line of the Packard road (so called); thence northerly along said center 
line of said Packard road to its intersection with the easterly boundary line of said 
city; thence southerly along said easterly boundary line of said city to its intersection 
with the center line of the Niagara river; thence down stream following the center 
line or thread of said Niagara river to the place of beginning. 

Second Ward. — The second ward shall include all that part of said city lying 
within the following boundaries, namely: Beginning at the point of intersection of 
the center line of the Niagara river by the center line of said Niagara street produced 
westerly; running thence easterly along said produced center line of Niagara street, 
and said center line of Niagara street to the center line of said Portage road; thence 
southeasterly along said line of said Portage road to the center line of said plank 
road; thence easterly along said center line of said plank road to the center line of 
the Packard road (so called); thence northeasterly along said center line of said 
Packard road to its intersection with the easterly boundary line of said city; thence 
northerly along said easterly boundary line to its point of intersection with the center 
line of La Salle street produced easterly to said boundary line, as said La Salle street 
is shown on a map made for Harry M. Clark by W. C. Johnson, and filed in Niagara 
county clerk's office ; thence westerly along said produced center line of La Salle 
street and said center line of La Salle street and said center line produced westerly, 
to its point of intersection with the center line of the Portage road; thence south- 
easterly along said center line of the Portage road to its point of intersection with 
the center line of Elm street in the present village of Niagara Falls, produced east- 
erly ; thence westerly along said produced center line of Elm street, said center line 
of Elm street and said center line produced westerly to its point of intersection with 
the center line of the Niagara river ; thence up stream following the center line or 
thread of said Niagara river to the place of beginning. 

Third Ward. — The third ward shall include all that part of said city lying within 
the following boundaries, namely: Beginning at the point of intersection of the cen- 
ter line of the Niagara river with the center line of said Elm street produced west- 
erly; thence down stream following center Hue or thread of said Niagara river to its 
point of intersection with the center line of Niagara avenue in the present village of 
Suspension Bridge produced westerly; thence easterly on said produced center line 
of Niagara avenue and said center line of Niagara avenue to its point of intersection 
with the center line of Sugar street (so called); thence southeasterly along said cen- 
ter line of Sugar street to its point of intersection with the center line of Porter road 


(so called); thence easterly along said center line of said Porter road and said center 
line produced easterly to its point of intersection with the easterly boundary line of 
said city; thence southerly along said easterly boundary lince to its point of inter- 
section with said center line of La Salle street, produced easterly ; thence westerly 
alongsaid produced center lineof La Salle street, said center line of La Salle street and 
said center line produced westerly, to its point of intersection with the center line of 
said Portage road; thence sontheasterly along said center line of said Portage road 
to its point of intersection with the center line of said Elm street produced easterly; 
thence westerly along said produced center line of Elm street, said center line of Elm 
street and said center line produced westerly, to the place of beginning. 

Fourth Ward. — The fourth ward shall include all that part of said city lying with- 
in the following boundaries, namely ; Beginning at the point of intersection of the 
center line of the Niagara river with the center lineof said Niagara avenue produced 
westerly; thence easterly on said produced center line of Niagara avenue and said 
center line of Niagara avenue to its point of intersection with the center line of Sugar 
street (so called); thence southeasterly along said center line of said. Sugar street to 
its point of intersection with the center line of the Porter road (so called) ; thence 
easterly along said center line of said Porter road and said center line produced 
easterly, to its point of intersection with the easterly boundary lineof said city; thence 
northerly along said easterly boundary line to its point of intersection with the north- 
erly line of the Lockport road (so called); thence southwesterly along said northerly 
line of said Lockport road to its point of intersection with the easterly line of said 
Sugar street; thence northwesterly along said easterly line of Sugar street to the 
northerly boundary line of said city; thence westerly along said northerly boundary 
line to its point of intersection with the center line of the Niagara river; thence up 
stream following the center line or thread of said Niagara river to the point of be- 

The act dissolved tlie village corporations of Suspension Bridge, 
which is included within the described boundaries, and Niagara Falls, 
and all their rights and property passed to the city corporation. The 
elective officers provided for in the act are a mayor, a police justice, a 
city treasurer, three assessors, an overseer of the poor, four constables, 
and three justices of the peace ; these all to be elected by the city at 
large. In each ward there are elected two aldermen and one super- 

The city charter as it now stands provides for the appointment of a 
board of public works who have control of the construction of sewers, 
paving, the erection of public buildings, bridges, culverts and reservoirs, 
and control and management of the water supply, etc. The mayor is 
ex officio president of the board and the city clerk is clerk of the board. 
The city engineer is required to perform such service as the board re- 
quires. Tiie members of this board receive no pay for their services. 

1 90 

The charter also provides for the appointment of a board of police 
commissioners, who in a general way have full control of the city police 
department. This board receives no pay for services. 

Following is a list of the mayors of the city and their terms of service: 
George W. Wright, 1892-3; IVI. B. Butler, 1893-4; David Phillips, 
1894-5; Arthur Schoellkopf, 1895-6; Arthur C. Hastings, 1896-7. 

The first city clerk was Lewis P. Dayton, who continued in office 
until February 4, 1895, when S. F. Arkush, the present incumbent, 
was appointed. 

Following is a list of the aldermen for each year : 

1892-93.— First ward, J. Mahoney, A, F. Allen ; Secoud ward, William Campbell, 
F. E. Smith; Third ward, J. E. Noblett, J. C. Strieker; Fourth ward, F. E. Eames, 
M. P. Maloney. 

1893-94, — First ward, J. Mahoney, J. B, McKinney; Second ward, William Camp- 
bell, J. V. Banks; Third and Fourth wards, same as in first term. 

1894-95. — First ward, James Mahoney, J. W. Canavan ; Second ward, F. C. Belden, 
Thomas O'Reilly ; Third ward, John Wagner, Frederick Hartmann; Fourth ward, 
M. P. Maloney, J. J. Mahoney. 

1895-E6. — First ward, J. Mahone)-, Lawrence Van Cleef ; Second ward, Thomas 
O'Reilly, A.J. Wattengel ; Third ward, John Wagner, John R. Dickson; Fourth 
ward, M. P. Maloney, Joseph Willis. 

1896-97. — First ward, J. Mahoney and James W. Canavan; Second ward, Thomas 
CJ'Reilly and Andrew J. Wattengel; Third ward, Frederick Hartmann and John 
Wagner; Fourth ward, Joseph Willis and Michael P. Maloney. 

1897-98. — First ward, Lawrence 'Van Cleef, J. Mahoney; Second ward, Thomas 
O'Reilly, A. J. Wattengel ; Third ward, John R. Dickson, John Wagner; Fourth 
ward, M. P. Maloney, Joseph Willis. 

City treasurer, C. T. Canavan ; attorney, Morris Cohn, jr. ; engineer, 
W. W. Read; police justice, John B. McKinney; assessors, Konrad 
Fink, Henry J. Delmage, James VV. Buckley; superintendent of streets, 
John P. Callahan. 

Following is a list of supervisors of the town of Niagara and city of 

Niagara Falls, with years of their service, excepting for years 1835 and 

1838, the records of which are not accessible : 

Town.—¥oT 1813, Silas Hopkins; 1813, Ebenezer Hovey; 1814, James Field; 
1815, George Burger; 1816, Silas Hopkins; 1817, James Field; 1818, Parkhurst 
Whitney; 1819, Gad Pierce; 1820, James Field; 1821, Augustus Porter (resigned and 
James Field appointed to fill vacancy); 1822, Augustus Porter; 1823-25, Alexander 
Dickerson ; 1826, Samuel De Veau.K (resigned. David Chapman chosen); 1827-30, 
Henry 'W. Clark; 1831-34, N. M. Ward; 1836, Henry W. Clark (resigned and Will- 


iam Bradner chosen to fill vacancy); 1837, Parkhurst Whitney; 1838, Henry W. 
Clark; 1840, Albert H. Porter; 1841-43, P. Whitney; 1844-1845, P. B. Porter; 1846, N. 
W. Robinson; 1847, 1848, P. B. Porter; 1849, George W. Holley ; 1850. P. D. Bach- 
man; 18' 1, Samuel De Veaux; 1852, Parkhurst Whitney; 1853, 1854, Augustus S. 
Porter; 1855, 1856, Parkhurst Whitney; 1857-60 James F. Trott; 1861, Henry W. 
Clark; 1862, James F. Trott; 1863, 1864, William S. Watson; 1865-68, H. N. Griffith; 
1869-71, H. F. Pierce; 1872-74, James B. King; 1875, O. W. Cutler; 1876-78, T. V.' 
Welch; 1878-82, Samuel B. Eshelman ; 1883, W.J. Mackay; 1884-86, J. Binkley; 
1887-90, H. H. Sheldon; 1891, A. J. Porter ; 1893-94, W. W. Tompkins; 1895-98, H. S.' 

C/'O'-— 1892, First ward Julius Krakoski; Second ward, Andrew J. Wattengel; 
Third ward, George Haeberle; Fourth ward, Thomas Gaskin. 1893, First ward, 
Edward E. Russell; Second ward, A. J. Wattengel; Third ward, George Haeberle; 
Fourth ward, Adam Kammerer. 1894-95, First ward. E. E. Russell; Second ward, 
W. H. Woodbury; Third ward, George Haeberle; Fourth ward, James Hogan. 
1896-97, First ward, E. E. Russell; Second ward, John S. Reardon; Third ward, 
Daniel Zeiger; Fourth ward, James Hogan. 

As the fame of the cataract of Niagara Falls spread and population 
throughout the country increased, the number of visitors gained from 
year to year. In view of this fact, enterprising men conceived and car- 
ried out plans for both adding to the attractions of the locality and 
incidentally making money themselves. One of the earliest of these 
projects was long known as Biddle's Stairs, which were erected at the 
precipitous end of Goat Island, between the American and the Horse- 
shoe fall, by Nicholas Biddle in 1829. The perpendicular height of the 
bank at this point is 185 feet, about 100 feet of which is descended by 
a series of steps from the level of the island, and the remaining distance 
by the staircase, which is secured to the rock by large bolts. 

In 1833 Judge Augustus Porter built the Terrapin Tower, which 
stood on the rock at the very brink of the Canadian fall. While not 
very lofty it afforded a magnificent view of the grand scenery surround- 
ing it. The tower was in use until 1843, when it was believed to be un- 
safe and was taken down by its owners. 

The elevator at the whirlpool rapids was built for its owners in 1869, 
by Prof. A. A. Smith, at a cost of $20,000. Two cars are provided, in 
which are seats, the cars being lifted and lowered by power supplied by 
a water wheel which is located at the foot of the river bank. The de- 
scent by the elevator to the reception room below is about 192 feet, and 
from there a walk leads to the water's edge. The descent at this point 
was formerly made by a long winding staircase. 


The Goat Island bridge was first built of wood in 1817. It was 
swept away in the spring of 1818 and replaced by another wooden 
structure in the same year. The present iron bridge was built in 1856 
and is 360 feet long. 

The first Maid of the Mist steamboat was built for the Bellevue Land 
Company and launched just below the falls July 14, 1844. This was 
successfully taken through the whirlpool rapids on July 5, 1861, and 
for several years did service on the St. Lawrence River. In 1884 a new 
Maid of the Mist was built and in 1892 still another of the same name 
was launched. The Maid of the Mist Steamboat Company was reor- 
ganized in February, 1892, with a capital of $50,000. Hans Nielson 
is president ; Michael Ryan, treasurer, and Frank Le Blonde, manager. 

The new Suspension bridge, as it is called in distinction from the 
older one which has been described, was opened to the public January 
I, 1869, by a stock company. It is a carriage and foot bridge and toll 
is collected for all travel across it. It is one of the longest suspension 
bridges in the world, 1,268 feet between the centers of the towers, and 
cost about $250,000. This bridge was rebuilt and again opened for 
traffic, June i, 1888, with double its original capacity, by two com- 
panies — the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company, of which C. 
H. Smyth is president, J. M. Bostwick, treasurer, and F. De W. Smith, 
secretary; and the Niagara F"alls Suspension Bridge Company of 
Canada, of which Thomas R. Merritt is president, secretary and treas- 

Schools — It has already been stated that the first school in this 
town was opened in 1807. The law establishing the common school 
system of this State was passed June 19, 18 12. The amount of 
money raised in this town for schools was necessarily small for a num- 
ber of years ; it was only $24 in 18 18. The amount was gradually in- 
creased and the number of schools correspondingly. There were only 
thirty- seven children taught in 1820. The first school districts were 
created in 1816, when there were five. In 1S60 there were seven ; at 
the present time there are five, with a school house in each. The 
county is divided into the first and second school commissioner's dis- 
tricts ; this town with Hartland, Newfane, Lewiston, Porter, Somerset 
and Wilson, constituting the second district. A school house was first 


erected by public tax in 1844 ; it stood near Cayuga Creek. Previous 
to that date the few school houses were built of logs. This new struc- 
ture was used the first night after its completion by Rev. John Cannon, 
of Niagara Flails, for a religious meeting The school was opened the 
next morning by Miss Louisa Danforth. The first school house in the 
Young neighborhood was built in 1824 by Samuel and Christian Young 
and others; Daniel Smith was the first teacher there. In 1827 the first 
building had evidently outlived its usefulness for that purpose, for the 
school was then taught in the cooper shop of Christian Young. In the 
same year a log school house was built on land of Samuel Young on 
the Military road. Subsequent to 1840 this was replaced by a stone 
building. The present school house in that district was built in 1867. 
Little is definitely known of the first schools in the village of Niagara 
Falls The place simply constituted one of the districts of the town for 
many years. The earlier school houses were finally superseded by the 
well known stone buildings of the village. The one on Third street, 
recently demolished to make room for the new brick structure, was 
completed for use in 1852" at a cost of $4,000 ; at that time about 300 
scholars were in attendance in the village. Two years later accom- 
modations were required for nearly 700 and plans were laid before the 
trustees for enlarging the building at a cost of $8,000. The sum was 
promptly voted for the purpose. The stone school building on Fifth 
street, now the High School of the city, was completed before 1855, 
and in 1888 was enlarged to its present dimensions. A local news- 
paper in the spring of 1863, contained the following: 

Our scliools have acquired a high character and it is the policy of the board to 
have it maintained by employing none but competent teachers, and pro- 
moting the efficiency of the schools. 

William Pool was at that time president of the board. It is entirely 
proper to state here that the schools of Niagara Falls have for half a 
century been kept in advance of those of many other similar places, 
tlirough the unflagging efforts and progressive ideas of the citizens hav- 
ing them in charge. Among the most devoted servants of the people 
in connection with the schools is the venerable James F. Trott.i who 

I James F. Trott, President of the Board o£ Education, was born in Boston, Mass., March S.'i, 
1815. He was educated in the Boston public schools. He came to Niagara Falls in 1841. After a 


has been prominent in this connection many years. WilHam Pool also 
served as an energetic member of the Board of Education about twenty 
years and resigned in June, 1892. 

Previous to the incorporation of the city in 1892 the village com- 
prised two districts, Nos. 2 and 7. On the 29th of March, 1892, the 
trustees then residing within the limits of the new city met and adopted 
the following : 

Whereas, School district No. 1 of the town of Niagara has become divided by the 
city line established by the city charter, and the school building being outside of 
the city boundaries ; 

Resolved, That Mr. Vogt, oue of the old trustees of said district residing inside 
of the city limits be and hereby is authorized to make arrangements with the trus- 
tees of said district for the continuation of the attendance of the children remaining 
inside of the city limits who have attended said school, until a board of education 
has been duly organized for the city. 

Similar arrangements were made with the trustees of district No. 3 
and N. L. Benham was appointed superintendent until the organization 
of a new board. The Board of Education first appointed and confirmed 
under the city charter consisted of James F. Trott, Hans Neilson, Charles 
B. Gaskill, James E. Rock, O. R. Sackett, Richard Hartigan, M. B. 
Butler, J. C. Lammerts, and Joseph C. Gruhler. This board continued 
N. L. Benham as superintendent of schools, and he has ever since filled 
this responsible position in a thoroughly efficient and satisfactory man- 
ner. A resolution was adopted by the board July 29, 1892, as follows: 

Resolved, That the academic department of the Union schools of the former 
villages of Niagara Falls and Suspension Bridge be maintained as at present, until 
such time as the growth of the city shall require a Central High School. 

In 1892 the school building at Suspension Bridge received an addi- 

residence of two years, he removed to New York city, and from there to Galena, 111., and Bellc- 
vue, la. In the fall of 1R4.5 he removed to Niagara Falls, and became one of the firm of Whitney. 
Jerauld & Co., proprietors of the Cataract House, of which firm he remained a member for fort}- 
one years, until the State Reservation was formed. In October, 1848, he was elected one of tlu- 
trustees of school district No. 2 of the town of Niagara, and continued in office until 1855, when 
the Union Free School District was formed. He was then elected one of the six original mem- 
bers of the Board of Education. He continued a member of such board by successive election, 
until 1892, when the city of Niagara Falls was incorporated. In that year he was appointed by 
the mayor as a member of the City Board of Education, and reappointed in 1895, thus making 
a continuous term of forty-eight years of service. He has been president of the board most iif 
the time since 1855. The efficiency of the schools has depended upon his efforts. He has lived i- 
see the schools grow from a small beginning to a city system. Jlost of his life in this place has 
been devoted to the cause of education, and he may justly be called "the father of our schools.' 
— {Report of Superintendent, iSqb. 


tion which doubled its capacity. The need of increased and better 
sciiool accommodations was soon felt, and in 1894 a handsome and 
commodious structure was erected on Sugar street, at a cost of $25,- 
000. Within a few years still larger accommodations were found neces- 
sary for the rapidly increasing attendance ; this led to the erection of 
two new modern school buildings, one of which is situated on the site 
of the old Third street stone building, which had been demolished, and 
the other on the corner of Whitney avenue and Eighteenth street. The 
cost of the first named structure is $12,000, and of the other $17,000. 
For the building of these new school houses bonds have been issued by 
the city to the amount of $32,500. 

The high school at the Falls was founded in 1885 and that at 
the Bridge in 1889 In 1892 the two high schools were consoli- 
dated into one high school department, with two divisions, one of 
which is conducted in the Fifth street building, and the other at 
the Bridge. These are known as the Fifth Street High School and 
the Cleveland Avenue High School. Each has a principal, R. A. 
Taylor occupying this position in the Fifth Street School, with nine- 
teen teachers under him ; T. B. Lovell is principal of the Cleveland 
Avenue School, with twenty- two teachers under him. A penman- 
ship and commercial department is maintained with William J. 
Downey, supervisor. A music department, under Lydia B. Thomp- 
son, with Katharine F. Johnson, supervisor of drawing. Norman E. 
Osgood is principal of the Pine Avenue School, with four assistants ; 
Eunice M. Shaw, principal of the Third Street School, with five assist- 
ants ; Kate F. Hanrahan, principal of the Sugar Street School, with two 

On November, 30, 1894, Thomas V. Welch, Hans Neilson, FZugene 
Laurier, with the president of the Board of Education and the mayor 
ex-ofificio, were constituted a board of trustees of the Free Public Library. 
The books of the two former libraries at the Falls and the Bridge were 
turned over to this board, and additions are gradually being made. 
There are now about 4,000 volumes in the library. The present trustees 
are James F. Trott, Hans Neilson, Peter A. Porter, Thomas V. Welch, 
and the mayor ex-officio. N. L. Benham is librarian and Adele B. 
Barnum, assistant 


Following are the several Boards of Education since the appointment 
of the first one before named : 

189y-94. — Joseph C. Gruhler, J. M. Hancock, J. Elmer Passage, James E. Rock, 
James F. Trott, Charles B. G^skill, Richard Hartigan, Hans Neilson, O. R. Sackett. 

1894-95. — James F. Trott. president, Hans Neilson, Daniel Durnin, Joseph C. 
Gruhler, James E. Rock, John Elmer Passage, Chailes B. Gaskill, Eugene Laurier, 
J. M. Hancock. 

1895-96. — Daniel Durnin, C. B. Ga.skill, Hans Neilson, J. Elmer Passage, James E. 
Rock, James F. Trott, Joseph C. Gruhler. Eugene Laurier, J. M. Hancock. 

1896-97. — Daniel Durnin, Hans Neil.son, Eugene Laurier, James F. Trott, C. B. 
Gaskill, James E. Rock, Joseph C. Gruhler, J. Elmer Passage, Eugene Gary. 

1897-98. — Eugene Gary, Joseph C. Gruhler, Hans Neilson, J. Elmer Passage, James 
E. Rock, George G. Shepard, John H. Timons, James F. Trott, C. B. Gaskill. 

The last report of Superintendent Benham shows the school popula- 
tion of the city to be 3,409, and the enrollment in the public schools of 
pupils between the ages of five and eighteen years, 2,694. The total 
number of buildings is six, with 2,335 sittings. The number of pupils 
attending the High School is 249. The expenditure for the schools for 
1895-6 was about $51,000. Four kindergarten schools are maintained 
and one evening school. 

De Veaux College. — This old and well known educational institution 
was founded by Samuel De Veau.x and endowed under his will made 
August 3, 1852. In that will, after making suitable provision for rela- 
tives and others, he left the remainder of his large estate, amounting to 
$174,652 52, to Bishop De Lancey, Rev Dr. William Shelton, Peter A. 
Porter, and Richard H. Woodruff, as trustees, "for the purpose of 
establishing, founding and maintaining a benevolent institution, to 
receive and support orphans and destitute children ; to train them up 
to industry; to teach them trades and professions; to give them a 
mental and manual, and a social and religious education." It was also 
provided that the institution should be under the fostering care of the 
Protestant Episcopal church, and it was placed in charge of the Con- 
vention of the Diocese of Western New York, with the earnest request 
that the convention would take it under its care as a dependency of the 

De Veaux College was incorporated April 15, 1853; the erection of 
the buildings was commenced in 1855 and they were completed in 
1857. The school was opened in March, 1857, with Rev. Henry Greg- 


ory, president of the institution ; Rev. Israel Foote, professor, and Ed- 
mund S. Wells, tutor. Elijah Ford, of Buffalo, while acting as agent 
for the trustees, increased the fund to about $187,000 in 1856. The 
college domain consists of 364 acres, and extends half a mile along the 
most picturesque part of Niagara River, and is devoted to the immedi- 
ate use of the institution. Tlie college building is beautifully situated, 
spacious, well ventilated, is warmed by steam and lighted by gas, has 
ample bathing facilities; it contains a chapel, study and recitation 
rooms, library and reading rooms, dormitories, common room and a 

The State Reservation. — The reservation by the State of New 
York of certain lands around Niagara Falls for the free use of the public 
liad its origin in 1869, when the subject was discussed by Frederic S. 
Church, the well known artist, Frederick Law Olmsted, Hon. William 
Dorsheimer, H. H. Riciiardson, and others of less note; but no definite 
action was taken until several years later when, at the suggestion of Mr. 
Church, William H. Hurlburt communicated with the Earl of Dufiferin, 
tiien governor- general of Canada, in relation to the creation of an inter- 
national park on both sides of the falls. As a result of this the earl 
called general attention to the subject in a speech before the Ontario 
Society of Artists on September 26, 1878. In that speech he advo- 
cated the measure and stated that he had, a few weeks earlier, met 
Governor Robinson, and called his attention to the great desirability of 
establishing such a park. 

The credit for taking the first practical step in the matter belongs to 
Governor Robinson, who strongly advocated it in his message to the 
Legislature January 9, 1879, and recommended the appointment of a 
commission to act with a similar one which he hoped would be ap- 
pointed by the Canadian authorities. This recommendation was re- 
ferred to the Commissioners of the State Survey and Frederick Law 
Olmsted, with autliority to make an examination and ascertain " how 
far the private holding of lands about Niagara Falls had worked to 
public disadvantage through the defacements of the scenery, to deter- 
mine the character of such defacements, to estimate the tendency to 
greater injury, and lastly to consider whether the proposed action by 
the State is necessary to arrest the process of destruction and restore to 
the scenery its orignal character." 

The Commissioners of the State Survey recommended the extin- 
guisliment of the private title in so mucli land as should be regarded as 
absolutely necessary for the purpose, and that the State should, by pur- 
chase, acquire a title to such land and hold it in trust for the public for- 
ever. The report further stated " that the scenery of Niagara Falls has 
been greatly injured ; that the process of injury is continuous and ac- 
celerating ; and that, if not arrested, it must in time be utterly destruct- 
ive of its value ; " that " there is no American soil from which the Falls 
can be contemplated except at the pleasure of a private owner, and 
under such conditions as he may choose to impose ; none upon which 
the most outrageous caprices of taste may not be indulged, or the most 
offensive interpolations forced upon the landscape." 

Bills to carry out the recommendations of the commissioners were 
introduced in the Legislature of 1880 and 1 88 1, but they failed to 
pass. Neither was any legislative action taken in 1882. Finally, a 
meeting was held at the home of Howard Potter in New York city, 
December 6, 1882, where steps were taken that led directly towards the 
founding of the State Reservation. An organization was perfected at 
a later meeting held in New York January II, 1883. A committee 
appointed at the first meeting reported that the best means of promot- 
ing legislation on the subject would be the formation of an association, 
its object "to promote legislative and other measures for the restoration 
and improvement of the natural scenery at Niagara Falls," in accord- 
ance with the report of the commissioners made in 1879. The Niag- 
ara Falls Association was then organized with the following officers : 
President, Howard Potter ; vice-presidents, Daniel Huntington, George 
William Curtis, Cornelius Vanderbilt ; secretary, Robert Lenox Belknap; 
treasurer, Charles Lanier ; corresponding secretary, J. B. Harrison ; and 
an executive committee often members. This association grew rapidly, 
especially in New York and Boston, and articles in leading newspapers 
soon aroused public sentiment in favor of the plan. A bill was drawn 
by the association and introduced in the Legislature January 30, 1883, 
by Hon. Jacob F. Miller, of New York city; it was passed April 30, 
1883. William Dorsheimer, Andrew H. Green, J. Hampden Robb, 
Sherman S. Rogers and Martin B. Anderson were appointed commis- 
sioners to select the necessary lands, and the reservation was defined 


in a resolution adopted at the first meeting of the commissioners held 
June 9, 1883, as follows: 

Resolved, That in the judgment of this board it is desirable to select and locate 
as proper and necessary to be reserved for the purpose of preserving the scenery of 
the Falls of Niagara and of restoring the said scenery to its natural condition, the 
following lands: Goat Island, Bath Island, the Three Sisters, Bird,lsland, Luna Island, 
Chapin Island, and the small islands adjacent to said islands in the Niagara River, 
and the bed of said river between said islands and the main land of the State of New 
York, and, also, the bed of said river between Goat Island and the Canadian bound- 
ary; also a strip of land beginning near Port Day, running along the shore of said 
river, to and including Prospect Park and the cliff and debris slope, and including 
also at the east end of said strip sufficient land not exceeding one acre for purposes 
convenient to said reservation, and also including all lands at the foot of the falls. 

Matthew Hale, Luther R. Marsh and Pascal P. Pratt were chosen to 
act as appraisers of the property, and made awards amounting to $1,- 
433,429.50. The Legislature of 1885 passed an act drawn by Deputy 
Attorney- General Isaac N. Maynard, making the necessary appropria- 
tion, and on the 30th of April of that year Governor Hill gave his 
approval to the law and Niagara became forever the property of the 
people. The State Reservation was opened to the public July 15, 
1885, with imposing exercises, in which many of the most eminent men 
of the State participated, while about 100,000 persons gathered to share 
in the auspicious event. 

Immediately following the dedication of the reservation the toll gates 
were thrown open and soon about 150 buildings, large and small, which 
had long disfigured the scenery, were removed. With these changes 
the number of visitors at once increased and every passing year testi- 
fies to the wisdom of the measure. The Commissioners of the Reserva- 
tion pay into the State treasury certain receipts, mainly from the in- 
clined railway, nearly equal to one half the amount of the annual 
appropriation made for maintenance, leaving an average net amount 
expended by the State of about $12,000 a year. By the expenditure 
of this small sum the State enables about 500,000 persons each year to 
enjoy the sublime scenery of Niagara without cost. 

With the limited annual State appropriations several very important 
improvements have been made. In 1889 ^ crib-work was constructed 
to prevent the southern shore of Goat Island from being washed away. 
In 1 89 1 a road was constructed around Goat Island, the former imper- 


feet road being reserved for a broad foot path. In 1892 a conduit and 
lake to supply the inclined railway with water were constructed and the 
surface canals along the shore were discontinued and filled. In 1893 
the high artificial stone wall along the shore, with its piers and tail- 
races was removed ; the shore was graded down to a natural slope and 
planted with tree's and shrubbery. In 1894 a rustic stone arched bridge 
was built at Willow Island, and Goat Island and Luna Island were 
united with a new bridge of beautiful design and safe construction. In 
1895—6 a new shelter building was erected on Goat Island, and a ter- 
minal station built at the foot of the inclined railway. Both of these are 
stone structures and well adapted to their purpose. The shelter build- 
ing cost $6,572.94, and the station $9,749.85. 

The total amount of money appropriated by the State for mainten- 
ance of the Reservation from July 15, 1885, to September 30, 1896, is 
$205,000; for special improvements, $120,000 During that period 
the commissioners have paid to the State, $77,348.69. Andrew H. 
Green, of New York city, has been president of the Board of Commis- 
sioners almost from the first and very much of the satisfactory progress 
of the general affairs of the Reservation is due to his efforts. The 
selection of Thomas V. Welch, of Niagara Falls, for superintendent was 
most fortunate in all respects. He has held this responsible position 
from the beginning, which fact alone is silent testimony to his efficiency. 
At every stage of the improvements, of which only the more important 
are here mentioned, Mr. Welch has been the immediate guiding spirit, 
and to his unwearied labor and watchfulness must be credited the suc- 
cessful execution of all the plans for the advancement of the Reserva- 
tion to its present condition. 

The present commissioners, besides Andrew H. Green, are John M. 
Bowers, William Hamilton, Robert L. Fryer, and George Raines. 
Henry E. Gregory is treasurer and secretary. 

As has already been noted, the water power of Niagara River near 
the falls, was first utilized more than 150 years ago by the French, who 
built a saw mill in 1725. It stood near the site of the Pittsburg Reduc- 
tion Company's upper works. In 1825 Augustus Porter built a saw mill 
on the rapids, and in 1807 Porter and Barton erected a grist mill on the 
river. In 18 17 John Witmer built a saw mill at Gill Creek. In 1822 


Augustus Porter built a grist mill along the rapids above the falls. 
From that time to 1855, when the lands along the river were taken for 
a State Park, a considerable amount of power was developed along the 
rapids by a canal which took the water out of the river near the head of 
the rapids and followed along nearly parallel with the bank of the river. 
Mills were built between this canal and the river and a part of the fifty 
foot fall between the head of the rapids and the brink of the falls was 
utilized. A paper mill was also built on Bath Island. 

In 1847 Augustus Porter outlined a plan on which the present Hy- 
draulic Canal is built. In 1852 negotiations were commenced by Mr. 
Porter with Caleb J. Woodhull and Walter Bryant, and an agreement 
was finally reached with these gentlemen, by which they were to con- 
struct a canal, and receive a plot of land at the head of the canal hav- 
ing a frontage of 425 feet on the river ; a right of way 100 feet wide for 
the canal along its entire length of 4,400 feet, which is through the 
most thickly populated part of the city and about seventy-five acres of 
land near its terminus, having a frontage on the river below the falls of 
nearly a mile. Ground was broken by them in 1853 and the work was 
carried on until 1858, when a canal thirty feet wide and six feet deep 
was finished. The location of the head of this canal was the best that 
could have been chosen. From the head of the rapids it is but a short 
distance to an island (Grass Island), which extends a considerable dis- 
tance along the shore and for a considerable distance from the island the 
water is very shallow. In this short space, between the head of the 
rapids and the foot of Grass Island the entrance of the canal was located. 

Owing, probably to the disturbed financial conditions occasioned by 
the war of the Rebellion, and other causes, it happened that no mills 
were built to use the water from the canal until 1870,' when Charles B. 
Gaskill built a small grist mill on the site of the present flouring mill 
belonging to the Cataract Milling Company. In 1877 the canal and 
all its appurtenances were purchased by Mr. Jacob F. Schoellkopf of 
Buffalo and A. Chesbrough of La Salle, who organized the Niagara Falls 
Hydraulic Power & Manufacturing Company, of which Mr. Schoellkopf 

' In June, 181)8, Horace H. Day offered bypublic announcement to sell his canal and other prop- 
erty. The newspaper called it an " unsightly canal through the village, put to no practical use, 
and at present an actual damage to the village." 


is still president. Since that time the building of mills has gone stead- 
ily forward. The following is a list of mills using water from this canal : 


H. P. 

Central Milling Company (flour) ...1,000 

N. Wood Paper Company (paper and pulp) 500 

Schoellkopf & Mathews (flour mill) 900 

Pettebone Cataract Mfg. Co. (paper and pulp) 2,000 

Cataract Milling Company (flour) 400 

Niagara Falls Waterworks 200 

Thos. E. McGarigle (machine shop) , 25 

Cliff Paper Company (paper and pulp) 2,500 

Total 7,525 


H. P. 

Pittsburg Reduction Company (aluminum) 3,500 

Niagara Falls & Lewiston R. R. Co. 400 

Cliff Paper Company (paper and pulp) 300 

Lewiston and Youngstown R. R. Co. . . 200 

Buffalo & Niagara Falls Electric Light & Power Co 350 

Niagara Falls Brewing Company 150 

Rod well Mfg. Co. (silver platmg, etc.) 75 

Sundry small customers in the city 100 

Francis Manufacturing Co. (hooks and eyes) 15 

Kelly & McBean Aluminum Co. 15 

Total 5,105 


H. P. 

Oneida Community, L't'd (silver plated ware and chains) 300 

Carter-Crume Co. (check book manufacturers) 60 

Total -- 360 

Total Hydraulic Power sold 7,525 

Total Electric Power sold 5, 105 

Total Mechanical Power sold 360 

Grand total 12,990 

Mr. Porter's contract with Woodhull & Bryant only conveyed the 
lands to the edge of the high bank of the Niagara River, and did not 
include the talus or slope between the edge of the high bank and the 


river, and only granted the right to excavate down the face of the bank 
one hundred feet. At that time it was not considered that any higher 
head could ever be utilized, because it was not thought that wheels 
could be built to stand the pressure of a higher head, in fact none of 
the mills attempted to use more than fifty or sixty feet head. For this 
reason it happened that although the capacity of the canals at first con- 
structed was sufficient for some fifteen thousand horse-power, its capac- 
ity was exhausted and only about seven thousand horse- power pro- 

The flouring mills of Schoellkopf & Mathews, Cataract Milling Com- 
pany, Central Milling Company, the Pettebone-Cataract Paper Com- 
pany, the City Water Works, and the factory of the Niagara Wood 
Paper Company, leased the right to draw certain quantities of water 
from the canal and constructed their own wheel pits, and put in their 
own water wheels. 

Two different methods were adopted for constructing the pits for 
these various mills. In some cases a shaft was sunk in the rock at some 
little distance back from the edge of the bank, in which the wheels were 
placed, and a tunnel driven from the bottom of the shaft to the face of 
the bank for the discharge of the water after it had passed the wheels. 
In other cases a notch was cut into the face of the bank and the wheels 
placed in it. In all cases turbine wheels of different makes, running on 
vertical axes were used. 

In 1 88 1 the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power and Manufacturing Com- 
pany put in a power plant for the purpose of supplying water to cus- 
tomers, delivering it to their mills. The method adopted was as 
follows : A shaft 20 by 40 feet was sunk to a depth of about eighty 
feet, and about two hundred feet back from the face of the high bank ; 
from the bottom of this shaft a tunnel was driven to the face of the bank 
for a tall race. The water was conducted to the bottom of this shaft in 
iron tubes, and used on different turbines running on vertical axes. 
The power developed by these wheels (about fifteen hundred horse- 
power) was transmitted by shaft, belting or rope drive to various cus- 
tomers, all located within three hundred feet of the wheel pit. 

In 1886 the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power and Manufacturing Com- 
pany secured a deed of portions of the slope between the high bank 


and the river, and have since secured other portions, so that they are 
now at hberty to use this slope for mills and power houses. 

The advance in water wlieel construction, and especially the develop- 
ment of the possibility of transmitting power by electricity has made 
this one of the most valuable parts of their holdings. In the spring of 
1892 the Cliff Paper Company, being desirous of increasing their plant 
by adding a wood pulp mill to use about twenty- five hundred horse- 
power, leased sufficient water from the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power 
and Manufacturing Company, agreeing to take it from the tunnel 
through which the water was discharged from the outlet of the wheel 
pit just described. 

P'or the purpose of getting the machinery requiring the largest power 
near the wheels it was decided to build a mill on the lower bank near 
the water's edge, and to place the pulp making machinery in it, prepar- 
ing the wood on the top of the bank, lowering it down ready for grind- 
ing and elevating the product. To divert the stream of water flowing 
through the tunnel and confine it for use in the new mill, a short tunnel 
was driven into the face of the bank at a point about twenty feet to the 
left of the mouth of the old tunnel. From the mouth of the new tunnel, 
an iron pipe eight feet in diameter was laid along the slope of the bank 
connecting with the tube ten feet in diameter, in the basement of the 
lower mill. From this tube the water is brought to the wheels on the 
first floor. Provision is made for the discharge of water into the tunnel 
direct from the canal in case the discharge from the mills does not fur- 
nish a sufficient supply. It was decided to use two wheels to develop 
the required twenty- five hundred horse power and to couple the 
shaft of the water wheel to the shafts carrying the stones used for grind- 
ing the wood. It was therefore necessary that the wheels should be 
run at a speed of two hundred and twenty-five revolutions per minute. 
This requirement as well as the requirements of strength, precluded 
the use of an}' of stock wheels in the market and made a special design 
necessary. Under the plans and specifications of W. C. Johnson, engi- 
neer for the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power & Manufacturing Company, 
who was also engineer for the Cliff Paper Company, the wheels were 
built by James Leffel & Company, of Springfield, Ohio. 

In 1892 the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power & Manufacturing Com- 


pany commenced an enlargement and improvement of its canal. The 
plan adopted was to widen the original channel to seventy feet and to 
make the new part fourteen feet deep. The canal is cut entirely through 
rock below the water line. The power for driving the drills on this 
work was obtained from an air compresser run by water power from 
the power station and transmitted along the line of the canal in pipes. 
The excavation was done by dredges and the flow of water through 
the canal was not interfered with. This improvement is now completed 
and the canal has a capacity of about 3,000 cubic feet per second, 
giving a surplus power after supplying the old leases, of about 40,000 
horse power. 

Work is still being carried on enlarging the canal to fourteen feet 
deep and one hundred feet wide. When this improvement is com- 
pleted the canal will have a capacity of more than 100,000 horse power. 
Since this improvement has been completed a new power house has 
been built for the purpose of supplying power tenants. For this new 
plant water is taken in an open canal from this hydraulic basin to a 
forebay thirty feet wide and twenty-two feet deep, built near the edge of 
the high bank. From this forebay, penstock pipes built of flange Steele 
eight feet in diameter, conduct the water down over the high bank two 
hundred and ten feet to the site of the power house on the sloping bank 
at the edge of the water in the river below the falls. 

The site of the power house was covered with broken and disinte- 
grated rock, which had fallen from the bank during ages past, which 
covered the bed rock to a depth of from ten to seventy feet. For the re- 
moval of this loose material a Giant or Monitor, as it is termed, was 
used. This is a machine throwing a stream of water from four to six 
inches in diameter, according to the size of the nozzle used, under pres- 
sure It is very largely used in the western part of the United States 
for mining purposes, but has never been used in the east. This partic- 
ular machine was purchased in San Francisco, Cal. The water to 
supply this machine was taken from the canal and the pressure of two 
hundred and ten feet head was sufficient to give a force which readily 
washed down all the loose material into the river, uncovering a bed of 
sandstone upon which the power house is built, and from which the ma- 
terial of which it is built was quarried. 


The power house building will be i8o feet long by lOO feet wide and 
will contain sixteen wheels of about 2,000 horse- power each. One- 
third of the length of the building is now constructed and the second 
third is under construction. The wheels in this power house work 
under a head of 210 feet, which is the highest head under which water 
has ever been used for power in the quantity used in this plant. It was 
decided that water for the wheels should be supplied by a penstock 
leading from the forebay aboved described, vertically about 135 feet to 
the top of the sloping bank, thence down the slope to the side of the 
station next to the bank, eight feet in diameter, connecting with a sup- 
ply pipe ten feet in diameter, running horizontally along the center of 
the tailrace from which the wheels would draw their water, by connec- 
tions from the bottom of the wheel case to the top of the supply pipe. 
In this connection, which is five feet in diameter, valves are placed so 
that any wheel can be shut down independently of the others. The 
wheels standing directly over this trunk discharge the water through 
draft tubes running down on either side of the supply pipe. 

Under general plans and specifications of the engineer, a contract was 
let to James Lefifel & Co., of Springfield, O., for supplying the wheels 
now in use. The description of the wheels is as follows : The wheel 
runners, in case of three wheels which run the generators of the Pitts- 
burg Reduction Company and which run at a speed of 250 revolutions 
per minute, are seventy-eight inches in diameter ; in case of the other 
wheels which run at 300 revolutions per minute, sixty- five inches in 
diameter. The rim of the runner is the bucket ring and is cast solid 
from gun metal bronze. On this rim are two sets of buckets taking 
water on face and discharging it at each side of the rim. The bucket 
ring is bolted to the spokes of cast iron center, the tub of which is 
keyed to the shaft of hammered iron twenty feet in length. Surround- 
ing the outside of the runner is a cylinder in which the gates are fitted. 
The gates are about twenty per cent, less in number than the buckets. 
They are hung on steel pins and open by lifting one edge so that the 
direction in which the water enters the wheel is nearly tangential to the 
runner. Each gate has two arms which are connected to the rings by 
means of which they are opened and closed. This work is enclosed in 
a cylindrical case eleven feet in diameter and four feet long, which is 


connected to the penstock by a supply pipe five feet in diameter. On 
the side of this case elbows are fitted to which the draft tubes are con- 
nected. The shaft passes out through these elbows through stuffing 
boxes. On the inside of tlie boxes hgnum vitae steps are fastened, 
against which rings on the shaft work to prevent any motion in the 
shaft. Each end of the water wheel shaft is rigidly coupled to a direct 
current generator, capable of developing 560 kilowatts of electrical 

The officers of the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power and Manufacturing 
Company are: Jacob F. Schoellkopf, president; W. D. Olmstead. 
vice-president; Arthur Schoellkopf, secretary and treasurer. W. C. 
Johnson is the engineer. 

An enterprise of still greater magnitude has been inaugurated in 
recent years, the conception and execution of which has astonished the 
world and promoted the advancement and growth of Niagara Falls to a 
remarkable degree. The project of making use of the enormous water 
power inherent in the descent of Niagara River from above the rapids 
to the water level below the falls and applying it to industrial purposes 
through electricity, is now familiar to all. Its history, though extend- 
ing over a period of only about ten years, presents details and exhibits 
results that are a little less than marvelous, while the enterprise itself is 
the principal cause of the recent rapid growth of the city and the found- 
ation of its bright future prospects. 

The subject of using the enormous water power of the great cataract 
has received more or less attention from engineers and others in many 
past years ; but until recently those who made their speculations and 
advanced their theories were generally considered enthusiasts and vis- 
ionaries. From the old Hydraulic Canal in the year 1885 about 10,000 
horse power was derived. At that time Thomas Evershed was at the 
falls, where he had often been before, in his capacity of engineer on the 
western section of the Erie Canal. It was, therefore, natural that he 
should be consulted regarding the practical solution of the problem of 
controlling and applying such a part as seemed available of the im- 
mense water power represented in the great river as it rushes down the 
rapids and plunges over the precipice. After preliminary consultation 
with Mr. Evershed, Charles B. Gaskill and other citizens of Niagara 


Falls, secured a legislative charter under date of March 31, 1886, v.hich 
has since been extended and amended as indicated in the State laws. 
On July I, of that year, Mr. Evershed issued his first formal plan and 
estimate. Its features were discussed in many prominent scientific me- 
chanical, and other journals, as well as by eminent engineers and gen- 
erally with unfavorable comment. The corporation organized for the 
prosecution of the undertaking took the name of the Niagara Falls 
Power Company, It required three years of earnest and persistent 
effort on the part of the originators of the project to convince the capi- 
talists and any considerable part of the public, that the plans, if carried 
out, would prove commercially profitable. 

Briefly, the plans contemplated the construction of a tunnel leading 
from a point in the gorge of the river below the falls near the upper 
Suspension Bridge, westward directly under the city a distance of about 
7,000 feet, to a point above the city and near the river bank. There a 
shaft, or wheel pit, was to be built with an ultimate length of 400 feet 
and a width of twenty feet, into which great steel penstocks seven and 
one -half feet in diameter would convey the water led to them from the 
river through a short surface canal. In this wheel pit were to be 
placed turbine water wheels of great capacity, hung upon upright shafts 
and at such a depth from the surface as to give a fall of 136 feet. It 
was estimated that by the use of this tuunel there would be developed 
100,000 horse power. 

As the subject was further discussed and proofs were submitted, upon 
theory at least, that the power could be thus produced and supplied to 
consumers at a considerable less cost than it could be created by any 
other means, capitalists were found who were willing to invest in the 
undertaking. In 1889, after many preliminaries had been settled and 
wide spread interest awakened, the then existing interests in the devel- 
opment of the Niagara Falls power were combined in a corporation 
called the Cataract Construction Company whose acceptance of the 
construction contract rested upon two propositions, viz. First, that 
with proper organization and development the whole project would be 
valuable solely as a hydraulic installation. Second, that it gave 
promise of becoming in the near future vastly more valuable as a source 
of power for transmission. The last named company was the out- 


growth of the appreciative interest in these propositions shown by the 
following men : William B. Rankine, Francis Lynde Stetson, J. Pier- 
pont Morgan, Hamilton McK. Twombly, Edivard A. Wickes Morris K. 
Jessup, Darius Ogden Mills, Charles F. Clark, Edward D. Adams, 
Charles Lanier. A. J. Forbes-Leith, Walter Howe, John Crosby Brown. 
Frederick W. Whitbridge, William K. Vanderbilt, George S. Bowdoin, 
Joseph Larocque, Charles A. Sweet, and John Jacob Astor. Many of 
these men have served the corporation in some ofificial capacity and 
given freely of their time and experience in the conduct of the enter- 
prise. Edward D. Adams was chosen president of the company, and 
still retains the position. 

The general plan finally adopted (which largely followed that of Mr. 
Evershed) comprised the construction of a surface canal 250 feet in 
widtii at its mouth, on the margin of the river, a mile and a quarter 
above the falls, extending inwardly 1,700 feet, with an average depth of 
about twelve feet, serving water sufficient for the development of about 
100.000 horse power. The solid masonry walls of this canal are pierced 
at intervals on one side with ten inlets, guarded by gates which permit 
the delivery of water in the wheel pit at the side of the canal. This 
wheel pit is 178 feet in dcjjth and is connected by a lateral tunnel with 
the main tunnel serving the purpose of a tail race about 7,000 feet in 
length, with an average hydraulic slope of six feet in 1,000, the tunnel 
having a maximum height of twenty-one feet and width of eighteen feet 
ten inches, its section being 386 square feet. Its slope is such that a 
cliip thrown into the water at the wheel pit will pass out of the portal 
in three and one-half minutes, showing the water to have a velocity of 
twenty-six and one-half feet per second, or a little less than twenty 
miles an hour when running at its ma.ximum capacity. On the other 
side of the canal are wells for users of hydraulic power. Over I.OOO 
men were engaged continuously for more than three years in the con- 
struction of this tunnel, which called for the removal of more than 300,- 
000 tons of rock and the use of more than 16,000,000 brick for lining. 
The construction of the canal, and especially of the wheel pit, 175 feet 
in depth, with its surmounting power house, were works of correspond- 
ing difficulty and importance. 

After the most searching investigation by the ablest men to be found 



for the task, the turbine wheels designed by Faesch & Pickard, of 
Geneva, Switzerland, were adopted for the initial power supply. These 
wheels were built by the I. P. Morris Company, of Philadelphia, and 
three of them are now installed. 

These matters settled, it became necessary in 1890,10 decide upon 
one of the four methods recommended for transmitting power by ropes, 
by hydraulic pipes, by compressed air, or by electricity. Some of the 
most prominent engineers as late as in the year just named, had little 
faith that any method except compressed air could be successfully 
utilized. To settle this important question, one of the engineers of the 
company (John Bogart), and Francis Lynde Stetson, vice-president of 
of the company, made a tour of inspection to various points in Europe, 
England, and America, and examined th; best examples of such work 
to be found. 

The activity in discussion of all electrical problems, and the great 
development in the use of the subtle fluid during the past five or six 
years is well known ; and it may be safely stated that by far the most 
important result of such discussion and the investigation by Messrs. 
Stetson and Bogart, was the adoption of electricity for the transmission 
of power at Niagara Falls. This decision was reached in 1890, after 
the tour above mentioned was concluded — a decision based, to a con- 
siderable extent at least, on what was seen of such transmission in 
France. Later examples of transmission of power by electricity, sixteen 
miles from Tivoli to Rome, Italy, and for a long distance at Portland, 
Oregon, and elsewhere, still further strengthened faith in that method. 
In December, 1891, the company invited competitive plans and es- 
timates for development of its electric power and its transmission locally 
and to Buffalo. The result of the competition was the adoption of a 
two-phase alternating generator of 5,000 horse power capacity, develop- 
ing 2,200 volts. The form of dynamo adopted and employed was designed 
by the company's electric engineer, Prof George Forbes, of London. 
A contract for three of these dynamos was entered into with the VVest- 
inghouse Company, of Pittsburg, and after their completion they were 
thoroughly tested and installed. On April 4, 1895, Rudolphe Bau- 
mann, a Swisss engineer, who was conspicuous in perfecting the hy- 
draulic plant, moved the hand wheel controlling the first turbine, the 

21 1 

great generator at the top of the shaft began to revolve and the power 
was ready for transmission, testifying to the abihty and genius of the 
various men associated in the work of producing a 5,000 horse power 
unit of machinery, capable of transforming the energy of falling water 
into electric energy and needing only suitable conductors to carry it 
across miles of country. 

The power developed by this company is already in large and suc- 
cessful use, both at Niagara Falls and in Buffalo. The first distribution 
of electrical power was made to the Pittsburg Reduction Company, 
which has erected a plant for the manufacture of aluminum near the 
company's canal, and began using the power in August, 1895. Several 
other companies with local plants, and the Niagara Falls Lighting Com- 
pany are now successfully using the power. In December, 1895, the 
city of Buffalo granted a franchise to the power company to supply 
power to that city, under the terms of which as extended it must be 
prepared to furnish 10,000 horse-power to consumers by December 31, 
1897, and 10,000 additional horse-power in each successive year. Un- 
this arrangement the Buffalo Railway Company contracted to take 
1,000 horse-power at a rate of $^6 per horse-power per year. A pole 
line was erected consisting of three continuous cables of uninsulated 
copper, the total length of which is about seventy eight miles. Shortly 
after midnight on November 16, 1896, the power was first transmitted 
to Buffalo under impressive circumstances. Everything operated suc- 
cessfully and 1,000 horse-power is now in use by the Buffalo Railway 
Company for the propulsion of cars. The news of the event was sent 
throughout the world, making the name of Niagara Falls more familiar 
than ever before. 

One of the important auxiliary features of the plans of this power 
company is the founding of the village of Echota as a suburb of the 
city. For this purpose the company purchased a tract of land about 
3,000 feet long in a direction parallel with the river and 1,500 feet wide, 
comprising eighty- four acres of flat land that had been comparatively 
useless. The improvements here made have been effected by the 
Niagara Development Company, which is intimately connected with 
the power company, and under immediate supervision of W. A. Brack- 
enridge, resident engineer of the latter company. Without attempting 


to go into details, which is impracticable in these pages, it may be 
stated that on this tract of land is already founded a model industrial 
village, comprising thus far some seventy-four dwellings, built upon 
modern plans for perfect sanitation ; a building for stores with an assem- 
bly room above ; a handsome brick school building; a complete plant 
for sewerage disposal according to tlie latest methods ; water from the 
Niagara Falls Water Works Company ; streets paved with Telford - 
Macadam pavement, and other features. Tlie dwellings are all built by 
the company for rental to tenants. 

The power company owns about 1,200 acres of land adjoining its cen- 
tral station and the surface canal, which it is designed to lease for indus- 
trial purposes. This land has been laid out in streets and blocks and a 
freight railroad has been built connecting with the lines that enter 
Niagara Falls. This road was built by the Niagara Junction Railway 
Company, which is allied with the power company and runs through 
the whole length of the company's property, connecting with all the 
main lines of other railroads entering the city, and docks have been 
constructed on the river, making connection with the traffic of the great 
lakes. At about the same time a new water works plant was estab- 
lished with a capacity of 6,000,000 gallons per day, the water being 
taken from the river a mile above the falls. The whole city is thus 
given an excellent water supply. 

A handsome stone power house has been erected over the wheel pit, 
in which is a fifty-ton traveling crane ; the building is two hundred feet 
in length. 

The accompanying map shows a part of the city of Niagara Falls, 
with the location and comparative area of the properties of the power 
company and its allied organizations. 

There are three large corpoiations allied with the Niagara Falls 
Power Company, as follows : The Cataract Construction Company, the 
Niagara Junction Railway Company, and the Niagara Development 

The rapid development of the present street railways of the city of Ni- 
agara Falls and the immediate surrounding country has been no less re- 
markable than the growth of other important interests. At the present 
time different parts of the city itself are connected with excellent roads 

ljPR°_^ii 'li N c 





which are equipped with modern cars running at brief intervals, while 
Lewiston, Youngstown, Schlosser, La Salle, Tonawanda and Buffalo are 
all brought within short rides, some of which give the passenger glimpses 
of the grandest scenery in the country. The Niagara Falls and Sus- 
pension Bridge Railway Company was chartered October 20, 1882, 
with a capital of $750,000 This road with its equipment, as at pres- 
ent existing, has cost about $1,125,000, and owns about seventeen 
miles of track. It extends through and around the city and to the 
Whirlpool Rapids. John C. Brewster is superintendent. 

The Niagara Falls, Whirlpool and Northern Railroad Company was 
chartered March 3, 1894, with a capital of $50,000. The total cost of 
the road is $72,500; it has one and three- fourths miles of track, ex- 
tending from the city line to Devil's Hole in the town of Lewiston. 

The Buffalo and Niagara Falls Electric Railway Company was con- 
solidated May 24, 1895 ; construction on the line began May 10 of 
that year, and the road was completed September 22 of that year. The 
capital is $1,250,000, and thirty miles of track are operated. The cost 
of the road and equipment is $2,102,169. The cars are run by electric 
'power supplied by the Niagara Falls Power Company. W. Caryl Ely, 
president ; Burt Van Horn, secretary and treasurer ; C. K. Marshall, 

The Niagara Falls and Lewiston Electric Railway Company, operat- 
ing the well known Great Gorge road, which extends from the falls to 
Lewiston at or near the foot of the cliffs along the river, was organized 
and the road opened in 1896. In the same year a road was extended 
to Youngstown. 

The Niagara Falls Gas Company was organized December 21, 1859, 
with the following officers : Stoughton Pettebone, president ; James F. 
Trott, secretary ; N. Walsh, treasurer ; George W. Parsons, superin- 
tendent and constructing engineer. The original capital of the com- 
pany was $20,000 ; this amount was largely increased in later years. 
The works were constructed as soon as practicable after the formation 
of the company, being completed May i, 1S60. At a later date the 
company's mains were extended to Suspension Bridge village and in 
1866 a gasometer was erected there. The company now has about 
twenty- seven miles of mains, and L. A. Boore has been its secretary 
and superintendent since October i, 1883. 


At the present time the city is well lighted by electricity by the 
Buffalo and Niagara Falls Electric Light and Power Company, of which 
J. P. Chapin is manager. 

The first fire company of Niagara Falls was organized in 1834, with 
the name of the Belchertown Company, a peculiar title taken from the 
old hand engine then in use, which was purchased in Belchertown, 
Mass. In early years the customary devices of buckets and ladders and 
hooks were the only appliances for extinguishing fires, until the old 
engine was brought into use. Two substantial stone buildings were 
erected, the last one in 1875, for the use of the company and their ap- 
paratus, which at that time comprised Cataract Engine and Hose Com- 
pany, No. I, Niagara Hose Company No. 2, Rescue Hook and Ladder 
Company No. i,and Protection Fire Company No. i, then receirtly 

At the time of the city incorporation the department consisted of 
the following organizations: Cataract Engine and Hose Company No. 
I, Niagara Hose Company No 2, Rapids Hose Company No. 3, Belle- 
vue Hose Compan}', No. 4, Mayle Hose Company No. 5, Active Hose 
Company No. 6, Gaskill Hose Company No. 7, Excelsior Hook and 
Ladder Company No. i, R,escue Hook and Ladder Company No. 2, 
Flagler Hook and Ladder Company N6. 3. 

The city charter provided for the appointment of a chief engineer, a 
first and second assistant engineer, a superintendent of fire alarm, and 
four fire wardens, one for each ward. Herman C Hertel is the present 
chief; Herman Hertel, first assistant; Oliver M. Young, second assist- 
ant ; William C Edwards, secretary and treasurer. The department 
as at present organized comprises all of the above named companies 
and also the Electric City Hose Company , the Mill Reserve Hose 
Company, Cataract Jr. Hose Company, Emerald Hose Company No. 8, 
Independent Hose Company No. 9. 

The Niagara Falls Water Works Company was organized January 
10, 1877, with the following officers: Franklin Spalding, president; 
Benjamin Rhodes, secretary; Fr. R, Delano, treasurer; Franklin 
Spalding, Stoughton Pettebone, Alvah Cluck, Francis R. Delano, D. 
R. Jerauld, William F. Evans, and Benjamin Rhodes, trustees. During 
the year 1877 three and a half miles of water mains were laid, and 


twenty seven hydrants set, the water being taken from Niagara River 
by the Holly pump used in the Suspension Bridge Water Works. This 
company was a private corporation with a paid up capital of $25,000. 
In 1896, after the Niagara F"alls Company had purchased most of the 
stock of this company, a new pumping station .and filter plant was 
added at the Falls, with a capacity of 6,000,000 gallons daily. The 
present cost of the plant is about $308,000. There are fifteen miles of 
water mains. William B. Rankine is president of the company ; F. U. 
Wilcox, secretary and treasurer; S. T. Murray, superintendent. 


The village of Suspension Bridge, which in 1892 became a part of 
tlie city of Niagara Falls, as before described, was originally named 
l^ellevue, and was thus known until June 8, 1854, when it was incorpo- 
rated as a village under the name of Niagara City. Since about the time 
of the construction of the Roebling suspension bridge and the rapid ad- 
vancement of the place as a railroad center, it has been called Suspen- 
sion Bridge, 

The history of this village is almost wholly modern, except through 
its near relation to the important events which took place on the Niagara 
frontier prior to the close of the war of 1812-15, which have been de- 
scribed in earlier chapters. As late as 1S45 there were only two or 
three farm houses within the village limits as the)' existed at the time 
of its annexation to Niagara Falls city. There was at that time a sul- 
phur spring possessing considerable local popularity a little north of the 
end of the bridge, over which had been erected a building. The fiow 
of water from this spring was largely stopped by the erection of the 

The land on which the village stands formerly was owned by E. P. 
Graves, Orson Childs, and a Mr. Williamson, an Englishman. The 
latter owned the central part of the tract, which included the site of the 
bridge landing. In 1845 ^ speculative organization called the Bellevue 
Land Company was formed by Col. John Fisk, of Rochester ; Gen. 
Charles B Stuart, of Schenectady ; J. V. E. Vedder, of Geneva, and 
Roswell G. Benedict, of Saratoga. The principal purpose of this com- 
pany was the purchase of a large part of the village site and the inaug- 


uration and development of various improvements tliereon. Tlieir first 
important operation was the construction of a roadway from a point 
near the end of the bridge to a landing near the river edge a little far- 
ther up the stream. In 1846 the Maid of the Mist, a small steamboat, 
was built in the eddy above the bridge and began carrying pleasure 
seekers and travelers up and down and across the river. In 1854 a 
larger and better boat was built for this purpose and launched on July 
14 of that year. For a time the operations of the proprietors were suc- 
cessful and promisingof satisfactory profits, and the future looked bright ; 
but later on opposing interests and other local causes resulted in ulti- 
mate loss. 

In the settlement of aftairs the then owner of the Maid of the Mist, 
W. G. Buchanan, decided to sell the boat. Receiving an offer from 
persons who insisted on the delivery of the boat at the mouth of the 
river, the problem was presented of how to get her below the surging 
waters of the whirlpool rapids, through which no living animal had ever 
passed. Mr. Buchanan resolved to accept the offer, provided he could 
find some person venturesome enough to attempt to run the boat through 
the whirlpool and down the swift current to the mouth of the river. It 
was not easy to find a man for the hazardous undertaking and it was 
the opinion of many who were competent to judge, that if the attempt 
was made, the craft would inevitably be dashed to pieces and all on 
board perish. Finally, Joel R. Robinson came forward and offered his 
services to command the boat on the perilous trip, and James Mclntyre 
and James H. Jones volunteered to accompany him, the former to as- 
sist at the wheel and the latter as engineer A day was set for the voy- 
age and about three o'clock in the afternoon the start was made. On- 
ward swept the little craft and after a vain effort to keep her near the 
Canada side of the stream and out of the more violent plunges of the 
rapids, she darted out towards the whirlpool. For a few moments the 
boat was at the mercy of tiie tumultuous waters and was hurled hither 
and thither on the waves, but sooner than the story can be told she was 
through the most dangerous part of the voyage and in comparative 
safety, having suffered only slight damage. In seventeen minutes from 
the time she left the landing she came to the dock at Queenston. 

The Bellevue Land Company pursued its plans with energy and sent 



out broadcast propositions to capitalists to establish manufactures on 
its land, but without expected returns. The Witmer grist mill was 
built in 1846-47, and in the latter year, on August 21, the International 
Suspension Bridge Company was organized with the following directors: 
William H. Merritt, Thomas C. Street, J. Cummings, Charles B. Stuart, 
J. Oswald, Samuel Zimmerman, Washington Hunt, Samuel De Veaux, 
Charles h:vans, Isaac C. Colton, Lot Clark. William O. Buchanan was 
chosen superintendent. 

The first suspension bridge was built by the International Bridge 
Company, under the supervision of Charles Ellet, jr., of Philadelphia, 
who came here in the winter of 1847 and put up at the old Eagle 
Tavern, on the site of the International Hotel. The venerable Theo- 
dore G. Hulett was consulted by the engineer and tells the following in- 
teresting story of what followed: 

The engineer stated in detail his plan of construction. First, to provide .some 
means of crossing the gorge with men and tools without crossing at a ferrj' at Lew- 
iston — five miles below— thus saving ten miles travel for each desired crossing. His 
plan was to erect two towers, one on either side, twenty-five feet in height, and to 
suspend a wire cable of thirty-six strands of No. 10 wire from the top of these tow- 
ers, with about thirty feet deflection, and upon which to place a yoke with grooved 
rollers at either end, and from which to suspend a cage of suflScient ca])acity to 
accommodate two men, and this cage to be drawn across from side to side by means 
of a stationary windlass on either side of the bank. The first thing to be settled 
was the size, form and material of which this cage should be constructed. The en- 
gineer proposed this cage to be made of wood, and instead, I suggested iron. The 
engineer's objection to iron was its weight. In answer, I suggested that I thought 
one of iron could be made of less weight and more secure than one of wood. To this proposition, the engineer made a plan of his wooden cage, and carefully 
weighed, by figures, its weight. I then made a plan of a basket made of iron, 
which was also weighed and found to be ten pounds lighter than the wood. "We 
will have it iron," exclaimed the engineer, provided we can get it made. I assured 
the engineer that getting it made would present no difficulty, as I would make it 
with my own hands. The next interrogatory of the engineer was, "What shall be 
Its form?" We both at the time were sitting in rocking chairs of the same pattern. 
I requested the engineer to arise, and these two rockers were drawn close together, 
the engineer exclaiming, "That is just what we want and will have." Next in 
order was the construction of the cable upon which the basket was to travel. This 
cable was to be constructed of thirty-six strands of No. 10 wire, each strand to be 
subjected to a uniform strain, and the thirty-six strands bound into a round form 
by being wrapped by a transverse wrapping of a small annealed wire at intervals 
of eight inches, each wrapping being about four inches in length. This cable was 
formed around an iron yoke or clevis at either end as a means of fastening to the 


rock. After the detail of making the cable was disposed of, then came the ques- 
tion of how to get it over. The engineer suggested offering a premium of ten dol- 
lars to the first boy who should successfully fly over the gorge his kite string and 
fasten its ends to a tree on either side. This premium brought a score of lads into 
the contest, and a boy by the name of Homan Walsh (who now resides in Lincoln, 
Neb.) was the successful winner of the prize, which was paid as soon as the kite 
string was secured on the bank of the stream. The following day a stronger line 
was drawn over by the kite string, and a rope of sufficient strength to haul over the 
iron cable was substituted. By means of this rope the iron cable was hauled across 
the river and its ends secured to the solid rock and placed upon the wooden towers. 
I made the iron basket and its attachments with my own hands, and it was placed 
upon the cable. A strong windlass consisting of a wooden drum of about four 
feet in diameter, and so geared that one man at the crank could haul over any re- 
quired load. One of these windlasses was placed on each bank, the draft rope 
passing around these drums at one end, and the other attached to the yoke from 
which the basket was .suspended. This yoke was made of iron, with a grooved 
roller at either end that it ran upon, and the flanges astride the cable. 

The first passage of this basket was attempted to be made empty, but when 
almost across it suddenly stopped and the windlass on the opposite side would not 
bring it ashore. It could be drawn back, but not forward, and the basket was 
drawn back to the American shore. Engineer Ellett mounted the car, which was 
let loose from the tower, and which descended the down grade with great velocity 
until its momentum was arrested by the up grade on the opposite side, when the 
windlass on the opposite side was set in motion and hauled the basket with its pass- 
enger to the point of obstruction, which was found to be a spot in the cable that 
had been flattened when the cable was being hauled across, and to such extent that 
that exceeded the width of the groove in the roller, which caused the flange of the 
forward end of the roller to rise upon the cable and its edge to sink between the ex- 
panded strands of the cable, The engineer saw the difficulty at a glance, and he 
soon remedied it by contracting the width of the cable, and the rollers passed over 
and the first passenger landed in safety across the gorge in this fairy basket. It 
was found that the groove in the rollers was too shallow and the tread too narrow 
to prevent undue friction on the transverse wrappmg of the cable, and new and 
deeper- grooved rollers were substituted. This change made this mode of transpor- 
tation was complete, and it was used for that purpose for more than one year, and 
carried across the gorge more than two thorsand passengers. This cable was used 
until the preliminary bridge structure was completed, and then removed. 

The preliminary bridge was but a slight structure of eight feet (roadway) in width, 
with a railing made from ash wood of oval form, one and one-quarter inches by two 
inches, locked together at its ends, and the splice bound together by fine annealed 
wire and woven into the suspenders of the bridge longitudinally. There were four 
of these on either side, one foot apart, which made a strong and safe railing five feet 
in height. This bridge was only intended as a scaffolding from which to build the 
platform of the intended railroad bridge. The mode of construction of this prelimi- 
nary bridge was not only unique, but was attended by a thrilling incident, which 
will not be forgotten, by those who witnessed it, or its recital uninteresting to those 
who did not. 


The first preliminary bridge was composed of four massive wooden towers, two 
on either bank, some eighty feet in height. There were four corner posts two feet 
square, constructed of four timbers one foot square, each of different length and 
separated on their inner sides by an oak strip, and all bolted firmly together. The 
sections were united by each timber being of a different length, and thus built up to 
the top. There were cross beams twelve inches square running around the vertical 
posts at intervals ol about eight feet and bolted firmly to the corner posts, and brac- 
ing timbers from each cross beam to the corner posts. These towers were fourteen 
feet square at the base, terminating at their top at six feet square. These towers 
were mounted by a wooden roller of eighteen inches in diameter and six feet in 
length, upon which the cables were to rest. 

The cables of this preliminary bridge were four in number, two on each tower. 
They were composed of about one hundred and twenty strands of No. 10 wire each 
wire having been stretched at an equal tension on the shore, with each wire passing 
around an iron yoke at each end as a means of anchoring the cables to the rock. 
These cables were wrapped transversely by small annealed wire at intervals of ten 
inches, each wrapping being four inches in length, the cable two and one-quarter 
inches in diameter. In getting these cables across, one end was anchored to the 
solid rock, a strong rope attached to the other end, which was connected with a 
powerful windlass on the Canada side, and by it the cable was hauled across the 
chasm and the ends anchored to the rock. This left a sag in the cable below the 
cliff of about eighty feet. By means of rope tackle these cables were lifted to the 
top of the towers to their final resting place, leaving the lowest point of deflection of 
the cables some fifteen feet above the level of the surface rock on either side. These 
cables were spread upon the wooden rollers on the top of the towers, four feet apart, 
and the transverse wrappings for about four feet at their apex removed for the pur- 
pose of leaving the wires flattened to give each strand of wire an equal tensile 
strength, and to enable the oil, with which they were kept painted, to reach each 
wire to prevent any possible oxidization of the wires, this being the greatest point 
of strain on the cables. 

Next in order were placed strips of pine scantling, two by three, across the two 
cables on either side, and four feet in length, fastened with wire to the cables, so 
as to prevent the cables getting out of line, and a cross support for the suspenders, 
which' were composed of two strands of No. 10 wire, each end of the suspender ter- 
minating at the bottom in a loop to receive the cross or needle beam of the flooring. 
As these suspenders and supports were shoved out, the floor was laid, which con- 
sisted of one-inch boards of two layers, each layer breaking joints. These tempo- 
rary platforms of only four feet in width, were to be carried across from either side 
simultaneously until being united in the center, and when so united the platform at 
once assumed its intended form, a beautiful catenary curve to the cables and an up- 
ward curve to the flooring, each being governed by the calculation of the length of 
each suspending wire. 

Two separate and distinct bridges were thus thrown across, after which they were 
brought together, side by side, and lashed firmly together, thus giving the support- 
ing cables a lateral curve from twenty-four feet at the top of the towers to eight feet 
at the center of the bridge. 


It was while these prehminary platforms were being carried out as above described 
that a terrific scene occurred. The northerly platform was completed and the other 
commenced on either side, the one on the Canada side almost one hundred feet from 
the bank, and on the American side about two hundred feet. There arose a sudden 
and terrific wind storm. As a first indication of it a two-inch plank was lifted from 
the top of the tower and was being carried as a feather at the behest of the storm. 
Its efirect on the bridge was that the unfinished part was swinging to and fro for one 
hundred feet, at last throwing that part on the Canadian side over and across the 
basket cable. There were two workmen on the Canada end of the structure at the 
time of the crash, who made their escape to the tower, but on the American side 
there were four men on the structure, only one of whom reached the .shore, the three 
remaining having no other support than to firmly clutch the two No. 10 wires and 
resting their feet on the shifting flooring of the platlorm. Nothing could be done 
to rescue these men, until the violence of the gale subsided. When the gale had 
spent its violence a short ladder, twelve feet long, was attached to the iron basket 
with ropes and a request for some one to volunteer to go out in the basket to rescue 
the men. A young man named William Ellis stepped forward and said, " I am your 
man." Ellis .sprang into the basket but before starting I instructed him that he 
under no consideration should bring but one man at a time, as it was impossible to 
estimate the strain upon the basket cable, as the weight of the entire Canada end of 
the bridge was upon it, but to take off the one farthest out, and return for the others. 
Ellis's reply was "all right." Outwent the basket, passing the two unfortunates 
for the one farthest from the shore, the ladder was extended to the wreck, the un- 
fortunate was eagerly watched until safely landed in the basket. The next un- 
fortunate's appeals were so pressing to be taken in that Ellis forgot his instructions 
and the second unfortunate was soon seen crossing the ladder into the basket. The 
third was reached and the ladder was pushed out again, and he also was landed in 
the basket. The basket — the capacity of which was but for two — was slowly drawn 
to the shore laden with four stalwart men, and the four safely landed amid the 
shouts from the bystanders that silenced the raging elements. 

Under this temporary platform was built the wagon bridge of eight feet in width 
as above described. This road bridge was used as a carriage and foot way for two 
or three years, awaiting the change of hard times and the railroad it was intended 
to accommodate should be completed. At last this event happened, and Engineer 
John A. Roebling, of Brooklyn Bridge fame, was engaged as engineer to complete 
the original design — a railroad bridge. Massive stone towers took the place of the 
original ones, and a railroad bridge and a carriage track beneath was erected by Mr. 
Roebling, which was used for years, and after all the woodwork of the structure was 
replaced by iron except the floors, which took place about fifteen years since by 
Engineer L. L. Buck, who about five years after substituted the massive iron 
towers for the stone towers erected by Engineer Roebling, which began to show 
signs of decay. 

The engineering skill of Engineer Buck was manifested by the substitution of 
these present iron towers for the stone ones removed, when it is known that this 
change was made without interfering with railroad crossing for but two hours. 

The completion of the great suspension bridge marked the beginning 


of rapid development in this village and soon gave it far-reaching im- 
portance through its railroad connections. The Monteagle Hotel, be- 
gun in 1848 and finished in 1855, was one of the largest and most ex- 
pensively furnished public houses of that time. During the period of 
construction of this house, the New York Central Hotel was built and 
afterwards burned. Since 1850 ten or twelve hotels of more or less 
pretense and importance, and many places of temporary refreshment, 
have been opened here. In recent years, however, the more rapid 
growth of Niagara Falls village and city and the strong attraction of 
the cataract itself has drawn a large share of travelers to that place. 

The Niagara River Bridge Company was organized April 15, 1883, 
with capital of $ 1, 000,000. This company constructed the well known 
Cantilever bridge, which was finisiied in December, 1883. 

C. H. Witmer inaugurated the milling business in the village in 
1848 and continued to 1859, in September of which year he was 
accidentally drowned by slipping into the river above the bridge. His 
sons succeeded to the business and also established the Witmer Brothers' 
Bank in October, 1874. This mill is now operated by H. E. Wood- 
ford ; the bank was closed about ten years ago. The post-office was 
opened in 1849 with Dr. Collier postmaster, who was succeeded by 
John Fisk. 

Extensive cattle yards were here established about i860 and con- 
tinued to do a large business until the founding of the stock market and 
yards at Buffalo, after which the business here declined. In 1863 the 
port of entry was removed from Lewiston to Suspension Bridge and 
the commodious custom house was erected. 

The petition for incorporation of the village of Suspension Bridge 
was prepared in April, 1854, and was signed by Marcus Adams, Eliliu 
P. Graves, Lewis E. Glover and Rodney Durkee. A village election 
was held on May 30 to vote for and against incorporation, at which 
only two votes out of eighty-eight were against the measure. A census 
taken in the spring of that year showed the population of the village to 
be 827. The incorporation took place June 8, 1854, under the name 
of Niagara City, with the following officers: John Fisk, president; 
H. P. Witbeck, Rodney Durkee, George Vogt and James Vedder, 
trustees ; E. Stanley Adams, clerk. Soon after the completion of the 


bridge the place began to be known as Suspension Bridge and finally 
that name was adopted. 

Under the general act of 1875, enabling cities and villages to supply 
themselves with water, a public meeting was called at Colt's Hall to 
discuss the subject of establishing water works in the village. The 
matter was favorably considered and at a later meeting a majority of 
the tax payers favored the project. After some opposition on the part 
of the New York Central Railroad work was begun in the spring of 
1876 and the plant on the well known Holly system was completed in 
August of the same year. The cost was about $60,000, to raise which 
the village was bonded for $3,000 annually for twenty years. This 
system still supplies that part of the city of Niagara Falls with water, 
and has cost to the present time about $250,000. There are twenty- 
one miles of mains and 175 hydrants. H. A. Keller has been superin- 
tendent since 1889. 

In 1856 a bucket company was formed in the village for extinguish- 
ing fires and in the following year a hook and ladder company was 
organized. Before the close of that year a fire engine was purchased 
for $1,700, a bucket wagon for $150, and other apparatus costing $250. 
A company was organized called the Rapids Engine and Hose Com- 
pany. Other hose and hook and ladder companies were soon organ- 
ized and the fire department was in an efficient condition when the 
annexation to Niagara Falls took place 

The first newspaper published in this village was the Niagara City 
Herald, the first issue of which appeared in October, 1855, under edito- 
rial and business control of N. T. Hackstafif. It was subsequently sold 
to C. B Gaskill, who discontinued it after a time. 

In 1870 A. G. Liscom established the Suspension Bridge Journal. 
In 1873 he sold it to John Ransom, who greatly improved the paper 
and secured for it a large patronage. Mr. Ransom was succeeded in 
the publication of the paper by Liscom Brothers and they by S. S. 
Pomroy. He was succeeded by the firm of Pomroy & Schultz (Will- 
iam F. Schultz). In June, 1897, Pomroy & Schultz sold the establish- 
ment to Edward T. Williams, the present proprietor. 

Edward T. Williams, editor and publisher of the Niagara Falls Jour- 
nal, is a grandson of John Williams, who came from Seneca county to 



Pendleton soon after 1810, and later became a pioneer of Somerset, 
where he died in 1880. Abram C. Williams, son of John and father of 
Edward T., was born in Pendleton and now resides in Somerset. He 
married Augusta E., daughter of George K. Hood, an early settler of 
Somerset and for several years a supervisor of that town. She died 
about 1877. Edward T. Williams was born on a farm in Somerset, 
Niagara county, April 30, 1868, and was early thrown, in a measure, 
upon his own resources. He attended the Somerset schools, the Wilson 
Union School, and Cornell University, and when seventeen assumed 
the management of his father's farm. While yet a youth he began to 
write for the newspapers, and in 1889 became connected with the staff 
of the Lockport Union and Niagara Democrat. About 1890 he was 
made city editor of the Niagara Falls Journal, and in January, 1 892, was 
appointed Niagara Falls correspondent of the Buffalo Courier, which 
position he held until May. 1897. On June i, 1897, he purchased the 
Niagara Falls Journal and became its editor and publisher. Mr. Will- 
iams has always been an active Democrat, and in 1895 was his party's 
candidate for member of assembly. June 21, 1893, he married Minnie 
P., daughter of W. C. Wilcox, of Somerset. 

At the time of the city incorporation in 1892, when the village of 
Suspension Bridge had a population of about 4,500, it was absorbed by 
the present city of Niagara Falls, It has never been an active business 
or manufacturing center, but will doubtless receive an impetus in this 
respect from its close municipal connection with the larger place. 

The first banking business in Niagara Falls was conducted by Riddle 
& Co. as early as 1855. They were succeeded by White & Hecker, 
and later John D. Hamlin opened a banking ofifice in the International 
block. Soon after the war N. K. Van Husen came from Buffalo and 
started another private bank. In 1873 Dr. B L. Delano became an 
equal partner with Mr. Van Husen under the firm name of Van Husen 
& Delano, and in the same year they built and moved into a banking 
building on Main street. In November, 1874, Mr. Van Husen retired 
from the business and the firm became B. L. Delano & Co. On July 
9, 1877, the Cataract Bank was chartered, with a capital of $50,000, 


and took the business of the former firm. The first officers of the 
institution were as follows : President, Stoughton Pettebone ; vice- 
president, Dr. B. L. Delano ; cashier, F. R. Delano ; directors, Stough- 
ton Pettebone, Alvah Cluck, George S. Haines, F. R. Delano, Hiram 

E. Griffith, Dr. B. L. Delano, Moses Einstein, John Hodge. There 
were numerous succeeding changes in the officers of the institution pre- 
vious to 1893, in which year it failed, during the presidency of Peter 
A. Porter, and while Delancey Rankin was cashier. Mr. Porter was 
made receiver and the affairs of the bank are not yet wholly settled. 

With the rapid growth of Niagara Falls in recent years banking 
facilities have necessarily been greatly extended. The First National 
Bank was organized June I, 1893, with a capital of $I00,000, and the 
following officers : President, David Phillips ; vice president, David 
Isaacs; cashier, Henry Durk. On the 9th of December, 1896, Mr. 
Phillips resigned as president of this bank, and George B. Rand, presi- 
dent of the First National Bank of Tonawanda, was elected to the posi- 
tion. On the loth a meeting of the directors was held and on the 
morning of the nth it was announced that the doors of the bank would 
not be opened for business. One of the principal causes of the trouble 
in the institution was the recent failure of the Niagara Falls Glazed 
Paper Company, with which some of the bank officials were intimately 
connected. The occurrences in connection with this matter are too 
recent to need detail here. 

The Electric City Bank was organized December i, 1894, with capi- 
tal of $75,000, and the following officers: President, Jerome B. Rice; 
vice-president, F"rank A. Dudley ; cashier, George G. Shepard. This 
institution is prudently and successfully conducted and now has accu- 
mulated a large fund of undivided profits, considering the length of 
time the bank has been in existence. 

The Bank of Niagara was organized in 1882, with a capital of $50,- 
000, and the following officers: President, Henry C. Howard; vice- 
president, William C. Cornwell ; cashier, Edward J. Mackenna. Mr. 
Howard is still president; Mr. Cornwell was succeeded by Edward J. 
Mackenna as vice-president, George J. Howard taking Mr. Mackenna's 
position as cashier. The present directors are Ethan H Howard, Jacob 

F. Schoellkopf, Benjamin Hagler, Edward P. Bowen, Arthur Schoell- 


kopf, Henry C. Howard, Eugene Gary, E. J. Mackenna. This bank 
has now a surplus of $50,000. 

The Power City Bank began business June 19, 1893, with a capital of 
$100,000, and the following oflficers : Arthur Schoellkopf, president; 
Hans Neilson, vice-president; F"red I. Pierce, cashier. These with the 
following constitute the present board of directors : Eugene Gary, L. 
F. Mayle, A Kaltenbach, Alfred Schoellkopf, S. M. Clement, Henry 
Grigg, J. F. Schoellkopf. 

The Niagara County Savings Bank began business January 2, 1891. 
The first president was Thomas V. Welch, who still continues in that 
position ; the first vice-president was Francis R. Delano, upon whose 
death Andrew Kaltenbach took the position ; Mr. Kaltenbach was the 
first second vice-president, and was succeeded by C. M. Young ; John 
Mackay has been secretary and treasurer from the first; VV. Caryl Ely 
is attorney. The following persons were chosen the first trustees of this 
institution: Franklin Spalding, Charles B. Gaskill, William F. Evans, 
Lauren W Pettebane, David Phillips, Francis R. Delano, W. Gary, 
Ely, Alexander J, Porter, F"rancis G. Belden, Thomas Gaskin, Moses 
Einstein, Michael Ryan, S. M. N. Whitney, Peter A. Porter, Thomas 
V. Welch, Henry Durk, A. T. Cudaback, John S. Macklem, Andrew 
Kaltenbach, Ensign M. Clark, John C. Lammerts, G. M. Young, Henry 
S. Ware. William F. Gassier, Jacob J. Vogt. 

Of these Messrs Spalding, Delano, Einstein and Ware are deceased; 
Messrs. Gaskill, Phillips, Belden, Gaskin, Durk, Macklem, Gassier, and 
Vogt are retired from the board, and the following have been elected : 
Jacob B. Vogt, PLugene Gary, Arthur Schoellkopf, J. G. Morgan. 

The village of Suspension Bridge has two banks in successful opera- 
tion, both of which were founded prior to the citj' incorporation, the 
latest one in the same year. The Bank of Suspension Bridge was char- 
tered August 10, 1886, with a capital of $25,000, which remains the 
same. The officers of the institution from the beginning have been as 
follows : Benjamin P'lagler, president ; Henry G. Howard, vice-presi- 
dent ; Frank K. Johnson, cashier; Thomas J. O'Donnell, assistant 
cashier. The present directors are the foregoing persons with James 
Low, Louis S Silberberg, Konrad Fink, Walter P. Home, and Henry 



E. Woodford. This bank has now in surplus and earnings about $27,- 

The Frontier Bank of Niagara was organized and incorporated in 
May, 1890, with authorized capital of $200,000, of which sum $50 000 
is paid up. Jacob Bingenheimer, president; D. D. McKoon, vice- 
president ; William S. Pierce, cashier. 

Manufactures. — One of the old and important manufacturing 
industries of Niagara Falls was the Niagara Falls Paper Manufacturing 
Company, which was organized in November, 1855. The company 
erected a paper mill on Bath Island, where it obtained the necessary 
water for its purposes The original mill here, as before stated, was 
built in 1826, by Porter & Clark. This was burned August 12, 1858, 
but was immediately rebuilt with larger and improved facilities. At the 
organization of the paper company L. C. Woodruff was made presi- 
dent, and S. Pettebone, secretary. In later years this mill and its water 
power were greatly improved Lauren W. Pettebone was long officially 
connected with the company. 

The Pettebone Cataract Paper Company was organized and incorpo- 
rated October i , 1 892, with C. B. Gaskill, president ; L. W. Pettebone vice- 
president; J. J. Mclntire, secretary ; and A. J. Porter, treasurer. Slight 
changes have made the present officers to include J. T. Jones, president; 
Mr. Pettebone and Mr. Mclntire remain vice president and secretary 
respectively, with N. J. Bowker, assistant secretary and treasurer, and 
John H. Hollingsworth, superintendent. The capital is $350,000. 
This company is the successor of the Cataract Manufacturing Company, 
which was organized in 1 880 by Gaskill & Mclntire, for the manufac- 
ture of paper pulp. In 1884, the mill on Bath Island, above described, 
was removed to the main land on account of the transfer of the island 
to the State, and upon the organization of the present company, be 
came a part of its plant. The product is news paper and pulp. 

The manufacturing works now operated by the Kelley & McBean 
Company were established in 1891, and the present company was or- 
ganized in 1895, for the manufacture of silver plated ware, silver and 
aluminum souvenir goods and advertising novelties, and patent dog 
collars, chains, etc. The officers of the company are H. W. McBean, 
president; D. M. Kelley, vice-president; S.J. Devlin, secretary and 


The pulp mill originally started by John F. Ouigley was succeeded by 
the present Cliff Paper Company, which was organized in the spring of 
1889, with John F. Quigley, president; Arthur C. Hastings, secretary 
and treasurer; C. H. Gilchrist, superintendent. In connection with the 
pulp manufacture the company has established a large paper mill. The 
present officers of the company are Jacob F. Schoellkopf, president ; 
Arthur Schoellkopf, vice-president; A. C. Hastings, secretary, treasu- 
rer and manager. The capital of the company is $100,000, and the 
capacity of the plant is 50,000 pounds of newspaper and 60,000 pounds 
of pulp dally. 

The Central Milling Company was incorporated in 1884 and the 
present mill was built in 1885, to which a storehouse and cooper shop 
were added in 1888. The capacity of the mill is 2,000 barrels of flour 
daily. The capital of the company is $200,000, and the officers are 
George B. Matthews, president; A. R.James, treasurer; George W. 
Olmsted, secretary ; Henry Grigg, superintendent. 

The Cataract Milling Company, formed in 1854 by C. B. Gaskill, was 
the first to use the water of the hydraulic canal. It was subsequently 
incorporated with C. B. Gaskill, president, and G. J. Colpoys, secretary 
and treasurer; the capital is $200,000. The capacity of the mills is 
800 barrels of flour dail}-. 

The Niagara Flouring mill was built about 1877 by Schoellkopf & 
Mathews, the present proprietors. It has a capacity of 2,000 barrels of 
flour per day. 

One of the largest industries in Niagara county is the Niagara Falls 
Paper Company, which originated in 1888 as the Soo Paper Company, 
was incorporated in May, 1889, with a capital of $50,000, and with the 
purpose in view of building a mill at Sault Ste. Marie. The name of 
this company was changed in February, 1892, to its present title, and 
in September of that year a lease was signed with the Niagara Falls 
Power Company for 3,000 horse power. Immediate preparations 
were made for the construction of a power house, pits and race-way, 
and a large modern paper mill. J. C. Morgan, the efficient secretary 
and manager of the company, located at the Falls in March, 1892, and 
in May, 1893, the manufacture of paper was commenced. These mills 
now cover a frontage of 400 feet and have five acres of floor space ; 


about 1,000 hands are employed; 10,000 pounds of pulp are produced 
daily, while the immense paper machines have a capacity of 60,000 
pounds daily. The company own 50,000 acres of spruce timber land 
on Lake Superior, with saw mills for preparing the wood for shipment. 
The capital stock of the company has been increased to $1,000,000. 
Secretary Morgan is a practical paper maker and has had wide experi- 
ence in the business; he is also a man of thorough executive ability 
which enables him to fill his responsible position with gratifying success. 

The Francis Manufacturing Company was organized in June, 1893, 
with capital stock of $55,000. H. A. Francis is president, and A. C. 
Hastings, secretary and treasurer. The product is hooks and eyes and 
other dress fasteners. 

The Oneida Community has a branch of its various interests in Ni- 
agara Falls for the manufacture of silver plated ware and chains. The 
business here was established in 1880; P. H. Noyes is manager. 

The Electric City Brewing Company was incorporated in 1895, capi- 
tal, $125,000, and succeeded the Whirlpool Co-operative Brewing Com- 
pany, which was organized March 7, 1893, with a capital of $80,000. 
M. W. O'Boyle is president; John S. M.acklem, vice president; F. L. 
Lovelace, secretary; A. C. Buell, treasurer. 

The Niagara Surface Coating Company was incorporated January i, 
1897, succeeding the Niagara Glazed Paper Company, in the manufac- 
ture of coated papers. John C. Lammerts is president ; Eugene Cary, 
secretary and treasurer. The capital is $35,000. 

The Carter Crume Company, organized in 1893, manufacture ex- 
tensively check books, autographic registers and supplies, paper boxes, 
butter dishes, sign letters and silver ware. The company has depart- 
ments at the Falls, Dayton, O., Saginaw, Mich , and Toronto. About 
450 hands are employed in the Niagara Falls establishment. Thomas 
McDowell is the efficient manager of this concern. 

Other establishments that must be included in the industries of the 
city are the F. W. Oliver Company, organized in 1894, contractors' and 
builders' supplies, F. W. Oliver, president and manager. The Niagara 
Electro-Chemical Company, established in 1896. The Mathieson Alkali 
Works, manufacturers of soda ash and kindred products, established in 
1897. The Albright & Wilson Chemical Company, manufacturers of 





a chemical soda, began business in 1897. The Acetylene Light, Heat 
and Power Company ; Charles C. Adams, president, and Joseph P. De- 
vine, manager, established in 1896; the Chemical Construction Com- 
pany, F"rederlck Overbury, general manager ; the Niagara Falls Brew- 
ing Company, Arthur Schoellkopf, secretary; Thomas E. McGarigleand 
Philpott & Leuppie. machinists; the Niagara Falls Distilling and Chem- 
ical Company; tlie Colt Block Company; the Power City Lumber Com- 
pany, John M. Diver, proprietor; the Cataract Ice Company ; the Car- 
borundum Works; the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, manufacturers 
of aluminum, established in September, 1895. Several of these com- 
panies, as has been seen, are of recent origin and are directly the off- 
spring of the great power company, which, by selling them power at 
low rates, has made their successful existence here possible. While 
they are in some instances operated largely or wholly by foreign capi- 
tal, they are of great indirect benefit to the city, and an indication of 
what may be induced to follow their steps hither to secure the advan- 
tages which they are reaping. 

The Niagara Falls Tower Company was organized in 1893, with 
$200,000 capital, its purpose being the erection of a steel observation 
tower about 190 feet high over what is known as the Tower Hotel. R. 
W Jones is secretary and treasurer. 

The Dobbie Foundry and Machine Company was incorporated in 
December, 1896, and succeeded Dobbie, Stuart & Co., which was in- 
corporated in 1894, succeeding Dobbie & Stuart, who began business 
in 1892. John Dobbie is president and treasurer of the company; Ar- 
chibald Dobbie, secretary; John T. Horton, superintendent ; the capital 
is $40,000. 

The Suspension Bridge Cold Storage Warehouse Company was or- 
ganized about 1889 by H. P. Stanley & Co., who remodeled the old 
Monteagle Hotel for the purpose of storage ; the capacity is about 35,- 
000 barrels. Willis Van Horn has always been president and manager 
of the business. 

In connection vnth the industrial interests of Niagara Falls, and 
especially for the general business advancement of the city, a Chamber 
of Commerce was organized in 1895, which at the present time consists 
of the following members, among many others: Hon. Arthur Schoell- 


kopf, Hon. VV. Caryl Ely, Gen. Benjamin Flagler, Capt. M. B. Butler, 
James Low, J. C. Morgan, Max Amberg, Augustus Thibadeau, 
City Engineer Reed, Hon. Frank A. Dudley, W. B. Rankine, W. A. 
Brackenridge, J. J. Mclntyre, C. S. Humbert, Major Hardwicke and 
John C. Lammerts. These men and other members of the organization 
are among the leading and most active citizens of the city, and the in- 
fluence of the Chamber of Commerce is already apparent. In June, 
1897, they purchased for $6,ooo the old armory building on Walnut 
avenue from the county of Niagara, and perfected plans for converting 
it into a large convention hall. This armory was erected by the county 
and long occupied by the 42d Separate Company, 

The city of Niagara Falls to day occupies a unique as well as a most 
promising position in the municipal life of the State and the country. It 
is in a transition state and men of judgment and forethought believe 
that it has before it a future of unbounded prosperity and growth. All 
material indications point to such results. The harnessing of the mighty 
power of the great cataract is alone sufficient to give the city world- 
wide fame, while at the same time it must make it the seat of industries 
without limit, which can here find the motive power needed at less cost 
than anywhere else in the country. The grandeur of the scenery ; the 
various connections being rapidly perfected by electric railroads with 
other points of interest and profit ; the improvements made annually in 
the beautiful State Reservation ; the yearly addition to the population 
of many energetic men — these are a few of the potent actors that are 
working together in shaping the hopeful destiny of the city. 

Religious services were not generally held in this county so soon after 
the first settlements as in many other localities, on account of the fron- 
tier warfare to which it was long subject. There was no church organ- 
ization until 1815, and it is an acknowledged fact that very few sermons 
were preached in the town before the war of 181 2 ; this is, of course, 
laying aside the religious work of the Jesuits. The churches of the city 
at the present time are shown in the following notices : 

Parish of Si. Mary's of the Cataract. — Before the erection of Buffalo 
into an Episcopal See, the mission was occasionally visited by the 
priest residing at Lockport. Soon after the appointment of Rt. Rev. 


John Timon to the See of Buffalo, Lewiston, Youngstown, and Niagara 
Falls were formed into a parish (1847), the first pastor, Rev. John Boyle, 
fixing his residence at Lewiston, which was at the time the largest of the 
three places. Rev. John Boyle continued to hold the pastoral charge 
until 1850 and built the old stone church on the site now occupied by 
the present one. The church lot was donated to the congregation by 
Judge Porter at the request of Bishop Timon. 

Rev. John Boyle was removed in 1^50 to another mission and died at 
Elmira (1857). He was succeeded by Father Nolan, who was suc- 
ceeded in 1851 by Rev. William C. Stevens. In 1851 Father Stephens 
changed the pastoral residence from Lewiston to the Falls, and built the 
church at Suspension Bridge. During the year 1856-7, the house and 
lot north of the church were purchased for a pastoral residence for the 
sum of $1,600. 

In 1859 Father Stephens was reriioved to Rochester, the Lazarist 
Fathers taking charge of the mission during the following three years. 
The pastors during this time were Rev, Ed. Maginnis, C. M., Rev. John 
Moynihan, C. M., Rev. Ed. M. Hennessy, C. M., and Rev. William A. 
Ryan, C. M. Rev. l<"ather Stephens returned to the Falls in the month 
of April, 1862, and after a pastorate of only five months died on Mon- 
day, September !. His body was interred behind the old church, but 
owing to the enlargement of the building, now reposes at the head of the 
centre aisle, just in front and partly under the railing of the sanctuary. 

After his return, Father Stephens had charge only of St. Mary's par- 
ish (Niagara Falls), as the mission had been previously divided. 

Rev. Patrick Cannon succeeded Father Stephens on the i6th of the 
same month. During the following summer, 1863, the enlargement of 
the church was undertaken and the addition of the sanctuary, transept 
and side chapels was made. This work was completed in the fall, and 
opened for divine service on Sunday, 13th day of December, within the 
octave of the Immaculate Conception B. V. M., by Rt. Rev. Bishop 
Timon. On the same day he administered confirmation and conse- 
crated the main altar under the title and invocation of the Immaculate 
Conception, B. V. M., and placed in the sepulchre the relics of the 
Holy Martyrs, Castus, Benignus and Innocentius. 

In the month of August, 1864, the academy property was purchased 


from A. H. Porter for the sum of $10,000. Of this amount the first 
$2,000 were paid by the parish at the time of the purchase. The re- 
maining $8,000 were paid by the ladies who took charge of the institu- 
tion and opened a day and boarding school for girls. 

In the summer of 1865 the church enlargement was resumed, and 
the nave and side aisles were added to the part of the building put up 
two years before. In the second addition the old church almost totally 
disappeared, the front only being left standing. The site and size of 
the old building was exactly that now occupied and covered by the 
nave proper of the new church, the present pillars standing where stood 
the walls of the old church. 

The church was opened for service on Sunday, the 5th day of No- 
vember, of the same year (1865), by the Rt. Rev. Bishop, who also 
administered the sacrament of confirmation to nearly one hundred per- 
sons on the same day. 

In the fall of 1866 a very successful mission was preached in the par- 
ish by two of the Rev. Oblate Fathers, M. I. The number of commu- 
nicants was about eight hundred. In the spring of 1869 a new organ 
was purchased for the church at a cost of $700 and opened with a con- 
cert on May 13. On May 30, 1869, Rt. Rev. Bishop Ryan made his 
first official visit to the church, gave first communion to the children at 
the high mass, and administered confirmation in the afternoon to 140 
persons After a pastorship of six years and ten months. Rev. Patrick 
Cannon left the parish to take charge of St. Patrick's church, Lockport, 
on July 12, 1869, and was succeeded by Rev. Patrick Moynihan, who 
entered upon his pastoral duties on the same day. 

The pastorate of the Rev. Father Cannon was replete with zeal for 
the welfare of his congregation. When we have to consider the sparse 
revenue with which he had to bring forth so many improvements, and 
the small amount of debt ($1,06900) on the church when he left the 
parish, we cannot but admire his great administrative ability and untir- 
ing energy. As he is still laboring in the vineyard of the Lord, we 
forbear saying many things in his praise ; the truth of which is attested 
by the monuments of zeal left after hini, and the kind memories still 
lingering in the hearts of the people. 

The first work undertaken by Rev. Father P. Moynihan, after paying 


off the debt {$ 1, 069 oo), was to purchase the lot south of the church 
and the two frame buildings thereon, for the purpose of a boy's paro- 
chial school. The lot owned by Jeremiah Callahan was sold to the 
church for the sum of $1,500. 

On the 8th of October, 1870, the school was opened with 120 chil- 
dren, and the ladies from the Academy took charge for a salary of $400. 
Each boy paid towards this amount thirty cents per month. In the 
spring of 1873 Father Moynihan called a meeting of the congregation 
and proposed the erection of a new school house, or the building of a 
new church front. The latter motion prevailed. A committee was 
formed and the contract of building stone front and steeples was 
awarded to Philips & Wright. The e.stimated cost of the front was 

The corner stone of the tower was laid by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Ryan 
on June 30, 1872, and the work completed by the following November. 
To meet the cost of this addition to the church, a mortgage of $3,000 
was given to the Erie County Savings Bank on the church property 
(lots 16, 18 and 20), and smaller sums were borrowed from private 
individuals, thus creating a debt of nearly $9,000. The balance was 
raised by voluntary subscription, and for extra work not covered by the 
contract, a fair was held. 

After the completion of the church front, the question of purchasing 
a bell arose, and a committee was formed consisting of S. Geyer, presi- 
dent; Matthies Fedespiel, treasurer; Thomas V. Welch, secretary, and 
Messrs Robert Joyce and William Vaney, collectors, for the purpose of 
raising the funds necessary to procure the bell. The manner of solicit- 
ing was by issuing shares of $10 each, which were sold to all persons 
indiscriminately. The cost of the bell was $1,400, but by reduction 
for cash, $1,200. 

From the year i860 there existed in the parish a very flourishing 
temperance society, founded by Rev. Father McGinnis, Henry McBride 
being its first president. The society had done valuable service in the 
cause of total abstinence, and numbered at one time over one hundred 
active members. Under its influence and direction, entertainments and 
concerts were given for the benefit of the church, and at all times the 
members of this society evinced a spirit of obedience and zeal toward 



the interests of the church. The members formed debating clubs, 
spelling bees, and such like amusements for the youth, while once a year 
the members gave a supper, to which their friends were invited, and 
thus the society helped promote social intercourse among the members 
of the congregation. 

However, some members of the parish wished to have a society in con- 
nection with the church, to which they might affiliate themselves with- 
out foregoing the pleasures of the wine cup Accordingly, about the 
time of the solemn consecration of the bell, which took place in July, 
1876, a meeting of the men of the congregation was called. At the 
meeting the idea of a society similar to the A. O. U. W. originated, and 
the Rt. Rev. Bishop approving, the C. M. B. A. sprang into existence. 
Its first president was Mr. Barrett; Matthies Fedespiel, treasurer; 
James McKenna, secretary. From its modest beginning, it has spread 
itself over a great portion of the Northern States and Canada. 

For the last two years of his pastorate, Rev. Father Moynihan felt his 
health rapidly declining, and the cares of his parish weighing heavily 
upon him. He, therefore, resolved to carry out his long cherished wish 
of visiting once more the city of Genoa, where beneath the influence of 
the milder Italian atmosphere, and amid the scene of his loved alma 
mater, he expected to regain his lost strength and renovate his shat- 
tered health. On the 7th of September, 1878, he, therefore, started for 
Europe in company with the Rt. Rev. Bishop, who was then about to 
make his second visit ad limina. Father Moynihan died in Genoa on 
the 3d of December, 1878, and his remains were brought back to his 
native town, Batavia, New York, where lived his parents, one brother 
and two sisters. The Rt. Rev. Bishop assisted at the Mass of Requiem 
in Batavia, and preached a very beautiful sermon in which he paid a 
well deserved tribute to the piety and zeal of the deceased. 

At the same moment of his interment at Batavia, the C. M. B. A., 
which he had founded, was holding its second annual convention at Ni- 
agara Falls. On behalf of the congregation of Niagara P"aIIs, Messrs. 
Michael Ryan, Jeremiah Callaghan, and Thomas V. Welch attended 
the obsequies of the deceased pastor, at which also were present a great 
number of priests from the diocese of Rochester. 

From the day of Father Moynihan's department for Italy until his 


death, Rev. James A. Lanigan, the Bishop's secretary, acted as pastor 
pro tern. On the return of the Rt. Rev. Bishop from Rome, he was ap- 
pointed permanent pastor, or rector. His first efforts were directed 
toward diminishing the debt of the church, which was then about 

On the 17th of November, 1881, a mission was begun by two Re- 
demptorist fathers, during which Holy Communion was given to about 
I 200 persons. At the conclusion of the mission, the Rt. Rev. Bishop 
administered the sacrament of confirmation to seventy-five persons. 
Tiiis was the second visit of the bishop for the same purpose since the 
advent of F"ather Lanigan to the parish, the former visit being on June 
22, 1879, on which occasion thirty-three children were confirmed. 

During the summer and fall of 1881 about $500 were expended on 
sacred vestments. A new brussels carpet was also purchased for the 
sanctuary, and the following year a new altar, designed by the pastor 
and built by Patrick Nolan, his labor being donated, was erected over 
the table of the old one. The Children of Mary presented the adoring 
Angels, and the boys of the parochial school, the large statue of the 
Sacred Heart of Jesus, which now adorns the altar. In the hand of the 
statue may be found a paper bearing the names of the boys who con- 
tributed. The brass Repositorium over the tabernacle was the gift of 
the French delegates to the Yorktown Centenary Celebration, the 
Marchioness De Rochambeau making the presentation. 

By the spring of 1883 the debt of the church had been reduced to 
$3,500, and the pastor, feeling the absolute necessity for a new school 
house and hall for church purposes, brought the matter to the notice of 
the congregation. Immediately, without leaving the church, a sub- 
scription was opened which realized promises to the amount of $2,200. 
A building committee was then formed consisting of Rev. James A. 
Lanigan, president; Miciiael Ryan, treasurer; Francis P. Lanigan, sec- 
retary ; John Maloney, Sebastian Gej'er, Robert Joyce, James Reyn- 
olds, Patrick Gavin and Robert Thompson. Accordingly as the 
money on the subscription was paid in, it was placed on interest in the 
Cataract Bank. The following spring, the money being nearly all paid 
in, two plans, one of a two story building, estimated cost, $8,000, and 
another of a three-story, cost about $io,000, were submitted to the 


men of the congregation ; the latter plan was the almost unanimous 
choice of all present. It was, therefore, adopted by the committee, and 
after the approval of the Rt Rev. Bishop had been received, bids were 
solicited for the erection of the building. Messrs. A. M. O'Brien, of 
Lockport, mason, and George E. Wright & Co., of Niagara Falls, car- 
penters, being in their respective lines, the lowest bidders, secured the 
contract. The old buildings were sold for the sum of $iio. Ground 
was broken on the 1st day of May. 1884, and by the 25th day of the 
following October, the building was completed. The ceremony of 
dedication took place on the 28th of October, at which the Rt. Rev. 
Bishop presided. 

While this work was going on the pastor undertook the renovation 
of the cemetery. About $200 were spent in building a road and plank 
sidewalk. The new ground was opened on Sunday, September 28, 
1884. This was the occasion of the regular official visitation by the Rt. 
Rev. Bishop, who, having assisted at the solemn High Mass, adminis- 
tered the sacrament of confirmation, confirmed a number of children 
and adults, performed all the duties of the episcopal visitation, conse- 
crated the old and new cemeteries, and closed the day's labors by assist- 
ing at vespers in the evening and preaching a sermon. 

Having paid off nearly all the debt on the school house with the ex 
ception of about $2,000 which were loaned by himself to the building 
committee, the pastor turned his attention to the erection of a new 
parochial residence. The house in which he lived had been purchased 
in 1850 by Rev. Father Stevens from John McAfee. It had formerly 
been a barn. At the time of which we speak it had fallen into decay, 
leaked at every angle, was in fact a veritable "cave of the winds." 
When offered for sale, no one would purchase it, so it had to be torn 
down in order to make way for the new edifice. This was begun May 
I, 1886, and the pastor celebrated the following Christmas in his new 
residence. The cost of its erection was about $7,000, but the attic was 
left unfinished ; $4,000 of this amount were raised by a fair and sub- 
scription, the balance was loaned by the pastor to the church. 

Tlie following summer Miss Nardin notified the Rev. Pastor that she 
was forced by circumstances to give up the parochial school, and it be- 
caine necessary to provide other teachers for the work. On the open- 


ng of the school, five sisters of Mercy were sent by Rev. Mother Dol- 
ores, of Batavia, to take charge of the school. 

The first Presbyterian church was organized April 3, 1824, with the 
following trustees : Augustus Porter, Isaac Smith, Aaron Childs, 
Samuel De Veaux, Ira Cook and Ziba Gay. Aaron Childs and Isaac 
Smith were the first elders. The pulpit was supplied for a time by 
Rev. D. M. Smith, of Lewiston, and the first regular pastor was Rev. 
H. A Parsons. The first church edifice was erected on the corner of 
First and Falls street, and used until 1849, when it was sold to the 
Methodist society. The present stone church was built in 1849, and in 
1863 the parsonage was presented to the society by Miss Lavinia E. 
Porter. Rev. A. S. Bacon is pastor. 

Sketches of the Protestant Episcopal churches appear in the chapter 
devoted to Lockport. 

The history of Lewi.ston shows that there was a Baptist church in 
that town in comparatively early years and many of that faith living 
in Niagara attended service there until 1841. At that time (November 
17) a branch of that society was organized at Niagara Falls with the 
following members: William B Dart, Catharine Dart, Joseph Nixon, 
Hard Munns, Elizabeth Munns, Maria VVaite, Minerva Lyon, Sarah 
Hand. Sarah Collett, Charles Patterson, Peter O. Bronson, Jane Bron- 
son and Rhoda A. Chamberlin. The first deacon of this society was 
Hard Munns, and the first trustees, Hard Munns, John Kelly and Will- 
iam B. Dart. Rev. A. Cleghorn was the first pastor. The formal or- 
ganization of the church did not take place until February 21, 1842. 
The early meetings were held in private houses, but in the spring of 
1843 the society began the erection of a church edifice of stone ; it 
was soon so far complete as to enable the congregation to use it for 
meetings, but it was not wholly finished until 1854. The property is 
now valued at $21,000. Rev. Lewis A. Mitchell has been pastor since 
December 10, 1893. A Baptist church which was organized in i860 is 
maintained on the Reservation. 

Methodism was introduced at Niagara Falls as early as 1815, in 
which year a society was organized. In 1820 a Conference was held at 
Lundy's Lane, before the division of the church in Canada and the 
United States. From that date onward there was occasional preaching 


in this faith at the Falls and in this vicinity. The meetinfjs were held 
for some time, as were also those of other denominations, in a small 
union building on the site of the International Hotel In 1849 the so- 
ciety purchased the church edifice which had been erected and used 
until that time by the Presbyterians, and occupied it until 1864, when 
the srte of the present St. Paul's Methodist church was purchased ; the 
stone edifice erected there cost about $25,000, and is still in use. 

St. James Methodist church (at the Bridge) was organized in Octo- 
ber, 1892, and a chapel was erected which was dedicated December 21, 
1S92. VV. J. West is pastor. 

The German Evangelical Lutheran Zion's church was organized in 
1850, and the old church was built soon afterward. This was in use 
until 1895, when the property was sold for $6,500 and a new site pur- 
chased for $10,000, where the present handsome edifice was erected at 
a cost of $25 000. This building is newly furnished in accordance with 
modern requirements. J. H. Asbeck has served as pastor since 1889. 

The Church of the Sacred Heart Heart (Roman Catholic) was origi- 
nally named St. Raphael's church. The edifice was erected in 1855, 
and enlarged in 1864. It was subsequently burned and the present 
church was erected nearly on the same site and the name of the society 
changed. The edifice was dedicated in 1889 and cost about $50,000. 
The incorporation of the society took place in 1891. In 1895 the 
society purchased the old stone church building of the Evangelical 
Zion's society and converted it into a school. 

The German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity church was organized and 
the edifice built in 1896; it is situated at the Bridge. Wilhelm H. 
Oldach is the first and present pastor. 

The South Avenue Evangelical church was organized in 1856, and 
soon afterward erected its first church edifice. This was superseded in 
1893 by the present structure, which was dedicated December 10 of 
that year. The first trustees were J. J. Vogt, D. Grauer, Gottlieb 
Rommel. The present church cost a little more than $12,000. 

What is known as the Church of God was organized by members of 
the Church of Christ in 1892, and the pastor of the former society 
joined with the new organization in December of that year. This de- 
nomination is strong in the west, but it has only small representation in 
this State. 


The First Congregational church at the Bridge was organized in 
March, 1855, with eighteen members, and the same year the present 
substantial stone edifice was erected. The first pastor was Rev. J. D. 

There are also at the Bridge a Free Methodist church, organized in 
1877, and a Church of Christ (Disciples). Pierce Avenue Presbyterian 
chapel was built and opened in April, 1S93. 

The little village of La Salle is situated in this town at the mouth of 
Cayuga Creek, and is a station on the N. Y. C. Railroad between 
Bufifalo and Niagara Falls. There was no settlement here of any ac- 
count until recent times, though one individual bearing the descriptive 
name of " Big Smith " is said to have lived there as early as 1806. As 
late as 1850 there were only a very few dwellings on the site and an old 
saw mill, which was owned by Henry W. Clark and Samuel Tompkins; 
a blacksmith shop owned and occupied by Andrew White; and a small 
country tavern kept by a man named McCulloch. A school house 
stood north of the village limits which was built in 1844. This little 
settlement bore the name of Cayuga Creek. The place took its present 
name about the time the post office was opened in 1852 The first 
postmaster was Henry Clark, son of Henry W. Clark. He built a new 
store and post-ofifice building. John Mason succeeded Mr. Clark as 
postmaster and held the office until 1866, when he was out for nine 
months, but was reappointed. He retired in 1868 and was succeeded 
by Ale.xander C. Leonard. The incumbent is P'rank E. Wilson, who 
also carries on a general mercantile business. Joseph H. Jones is another 
merchant there, and L. J. Quick is a dealer in coal, etc. The village in- 
creased its population very slowly and its business interests have never 
been extensive. A planing mill and lumber yard was established more 
than twenty years ago by Tompkins & Loucks ; H. S. Tompkins carried 
on brick and tile making, and a few shops and stores have been conducted 
there. A two-story town hall has lately been erected, and other im- 
provements have this year (1897) been inaugurated or projected. 

The Methodist society at La Salle was formerly a charge with that at 
the Falls, and later with the one at Tonawanda. The formal organiza- 
tion of the society took place in 1856, with John Cannon class leader, and 


A. M. Chesbrough and John Kent stewards. Prior to this time, and in 
1854, a number of persons met in the school house in district No. 4 to 
consult upon the undertaking of building a church. A building commit- 
tee consisting of A. M. Chesbrough, Samuel Tompkins and John Can- 
non, was appointed, and the building was soon erected at a cost of 
$1,100. In 1859, through a division in the church, a number of its mem- 
bers became identified witli the Free Methodists, taking the edifice with 
them, as it stood on land owned by some of the disaffected ones. It was 
repurchased in 1877 and has since been occupied by the society. 



This was the earliest town erected in Niagara county, and the mother 
of all the other towns. The act of the Legislature, passed March 8, 
1808, that created Niagara county, contained the following language: 

And be it further enacted that that part of Niagara county lying north of the main 
stream of the Tonnawanta creek, and of a line e.xtending west from the mouth of 
said creek to the boundary line between the United States and the dominion of the 
King of Great Britain, be erected inro a town bj^ the name of Cambria ; and that the 
first town meeting in the said town be held at the house of Joseph Hewitt. 

It will be seen by this language that the town of Cambria included 
precisely the territory now embraced in Niagara county. 

The first town meeting was held on the 5th of April, 1808, as above 
directed, Robert Lee presiding. Joseph Hewitt was elected supervisor; 
James Harrison, town clerk ; Robert Lee, Benjamin Barton, and Charles 
Wilber, commissioners of highways ; Lemuel Coolc, Silas Hopkins, and 
John Dunn, assessors; Stephen Hopkins, collector; Philomen Baldwin 
and Thomas Slayton, overseers of the poor; Stephen Hopkins, Ray 
March, Stephen H. Baldwin, and Alexander Haskin, constables; Enoch 
Hitchcock for the eastern district, and Thomas Hustler, for the western 
district, poundmasters. Sixteen overseers of highways were also elected. 

The second town meeting was held at the house of Stephen Hopkins. 


Among the earliest records of ordinances voted for the simple govern- 
ment of this great town was one for the erection of " one other pound 
in addition to the one ordered by a former town meeting of the then 
town of Erie, in the eastern district, near the school house, on the land 
of Gad Warner, Esquire." A wolf bounty of five dollars was provided, 
and also " that one hundred dollars be raised for the destruction of 
wolves by a direct tax on the said town " This latter was a very 
unusual proceeding and indicates that the destructive animals were very 

At the first election for State senator after the erection of the town, 
the aggregate vote was only sixteen. For member of congress, Peter 
B. Porter had 43 votes, Nathaniel W. Howell 28, and Archibald Clark 
2. In the year 181 5 the town was divided into nine school districts. 

The supervisors of the town have been as follows : 

Joseph Hewitt, 1808-09; Silas Hopkins, 1810; William Molyneaux, 1811-12; Sila.s 
Hopkins, 1813; Bates Cook. 1814; Joseph Hewitt, 1815-10; Rufus Spalding, 1817; 
.VsherSaxton, 1818; Daniel Poraeroy, 1819-20; Ephraim D. Richardson, 1831-23; Elia- 
kim Hammond, 1833-26; John Hills, 1837-38 ; William Scott, 1829-30; John Hills, 1831 ; 
William Scott, 1832; William Molyneaux, 1833-35; Charles Molyneaux, 1836; Darius 
Shaw, 1837; Hiram McNeil, 1838-40; Eli Y. Barnes, 1841; John Gould, jr., 1842; 
John Whitbeck, 1843; Moses Bairsto, jr., 1844-45; Henry Snyder, 1846; Charles 
Molyneaux, 1847-48; Hiram McNeil, 1849; John Gould, jr., 1850; Sparrow S. Sage, 
1851-53; Hiram McNeil, 1853; John G. Freeman, 1854; Thomas Barnes, 1855; Lewis 
Daggett. 1856-59; Hezekiah W. Nichols, 1860-62; Artemas W. Comstock, 1863-64; 
Lewis Daggett, 1865; Thomas Barnes, 1866-67; Artemas W. Comstock, 1868-69; 
Thomas Root, 1870-71; James A. Pool, 1872-73; Samuel Kittinger, 1874; George W. 
Gould, 1875-76; Salem L. Town, 1877-81; George L. Freer, 1882; Edward Manning, 
1883-85; Edward Harmony, 1886-88; James L. Barnes, 1889-90; Edwin Harmony, 
1891-93; Walter V. Peterson, 1893-98. 

The other town ofiicers for 1897 are: 

William D. Crozier, town clerk since April, 1890 ; Isaac B. Blackraan, Theron S. 
Elton, Franklin D. Habacker, and Willard F. McEwen, justices of the peace; 
Abrara K. Levan, Edward L). Ortt, and William J. Baker, assessors; Frank Roberts, 
collector; John Farnsworth, Edward Manning, and Joseph B. Town, highway com- 

The town of Cambria, as it now exists, lies in the interior and west of 
the center of the county. The mountain ridge crosses through the center 
of the town, and the lake ridge crosses the north part. In the northern 
and the southern parts of the town the surface is level or undulating. 



The principal stream is Twelve-Mile Creek. The soil is chiefly made 
up of alternating sandy and clayey loam. The population is about 

Philip Beach, the first mail carrier between Batavia and Fort Niagara, 
in which occupation he became familiar with this region, was the first 
permanent settler in this town, locating on Howell's Creek in 1801. 
During that season his brothers, Jesse and John, came and settled near 
by. They came from Scottsville, N. Y., where lived Isaac Scott, father 
of Mrs. Jesse Beach. These families brought with them provisions for 
a year's supply, but they ran short through aiding others, and were 
forced to return to Scottsville for more. Philip Beach was a prominent 
citizen and died in 1840, after having lived on several different farms 
and last a little east of Moiyneux's Corners. In 18 10 Jesse Beach set- 
tled finally on the farm occupied in recent years by his son, Cyrus 
Beach, west of the Corners. An older brother of these men, Aaron 
Beach, settled on the south ridge in 181 1. 

Joseph Hewitt succeeded Philip Beach on the farm first taken up 
by him, but about two years later exchanged it with William Howell 
and removed to the mountain above Lewiston. This transaction with 
Mr. Howell took place in 1808, and the farm has long been known as 
the Howell place. Mr. Howell built the first saw mill on Howell's 
Creek, and also kept a tavern which was next in succession to those 
established at Moiyneux's Corners and Warren's Corners. Nathaniel 
Cook, who came to Lockport from Onondaga county when the work 
on the rock cutting of the canal was let, purchased his farm of the 
Holland Land Company in 1824; he married a daughter of William 

Joash Taylor settled early on the south ridge a mile east of Moiy- 
neux's Corners. Harry Steadman (father of Adelia, who married 
Homer, son of Joash Taylor) purchased 190 acres of the Land Com- 
pany in 1808, on the north side of the east terminus of tlie south 
ridge; there he boarded the men working on the log road across the 
swamp between Wright's and Warren's. Mr. Steadman died in Au- 
gust, 18 1 5. 

The place known many years as Moiyneux's Corners, the name of 
the post-office now being Cambria, is situated near the northern line of 


the town. In early years it was a point of considerable importance 
and was even at one time a contestant for the location of the county 
seat. Mr. Ellicott, the surveyor, caused the survey of a lot here before 
other surveys were complete, mainfy to meet the pressing necessity 
for shelter for prospecting parties; this accounts for the irregular lines 
of the lot, which do not correspond with the section lines of the pur- 
ciiase. This arrangement is believed to have been made with two set- 
tlers named Plant and Klink. In 1809 John Gould purchased of Plant 
and opened a tavern in the original log house built here. In i8ii he 
sold to one Odell, and he to Silas Hopkins in 181 2. Gould removed 
to Cambria Center, as noted further on. Hopkins transferred his pur- 
chase to William Molyneux, from whom the hamlet took its name, 
and he continued in possession until his death, November 7, 1830. His 
sons Charles, William and Robert were associated with him in conduct- 
ing the tavern and a large farm. The log house was superseded by 
the frame hotel in 1826. In the old tavern was established the first 
post office in the town, and William Molyneu.x was the first postmaster ; 
he was succeeded by Charles Molyneu.x. Subsequent to the death of 
the latter the office was kept in various private dwellings, and was 
ultimately located west of the Corners and given its present name of 
Cambria. Another post-ofhce with the name of North Ridge was es- 
tablished many years ago and still continues, about three miles west of 
Cambria. Here at present are the stores of George Smith and Burt 
Lafler. At Molyneux Corners is the store of Wakefield Woods. 

The settlement on the site of Warren's Corners was first made by 
John Forsythe in 1805 ; in the next year he opened a tavern there. 
There were at that date only three or four settlers between the site 
of Lockport and Dunham's. The following statement was given to 
the author of the History of the Holland Purchase by the widow of 
Mr. Forsythe: 

We brought in a few sheep with us; they were the ouly ones in the neighborhood; 
they became the especial object of the wolves. Coming out of the Wilson swamp 
nights, their howling would be terrific. Two years after we came in, with my 
then small children, one day when I heard the sheep bleating, I went out to see 
what the matter was. A large wolf had badly wounded a sheep. As I approached 
him he left the sheep and walked off snarling, as if reluctant to leave his prey. I 
went for my nearest neighbor, Mr. Stoughton, to come and dress the sheep. It was 


three fourths of a mile through the woods. On my way a large gray fox crossed the 
road ahead of me. Returning with my neighbor, a large bear slowly crossed the 
road in sight of us. 

Warren's Corners took its name- from Ezra Warren, who was a native 
of Vermont and served on this frontier in the war of i8l2. His com- 
pany was stationed along the Ridge road to arrest deserters. Mr. 
Warren and a squad of his men were posted four weeks at the tavern 
then kept by the widow of Mr. Forsythe After his discliarge Warren 
returned to Vermont, but an attachment which he had formed for the 
widow brought him westward and he married her. He thus became 
landlord in the tavern ard so continued until 1825. Another early set- 
tler on the Ridge near Warren's Corners was Dr. Artemas Baker, who 
was the first physician in the town ; he came in 18 I 5. 

Early settlers in and about the site of Cambria Center, which is al 
most exactly in the geographical center of the town, were Benjamin 
and Suchel Silly, Peter Nearpass, William Scott, Enoch Hatch, Asel 
Muroy, David Waters and a family named Crowell. These all came in 
prior to 18 1 2. Mr. Scott purchased 500 acres from the Holland Com- 
pany, which included the site of the hamlet, of which he cleared sixty 
acres the first season. He also built and kept a tavern which was a 
popular resort, and was afterwards occupied as a dwelling by his son. 
Homer Scott. The father died in 1841. 

John Gould, who has already been mentioned, moved from Moly- 
neux's Corners to Cambria Center m 18 12 and purchased 240 acres of 
Nearpass, on a part of which his grandson, John B. Gould, lived in 
later times. Christopher Howder purchased 150 acres in 18 12, a mile 
and a half east of the Center. In the following year he sold a part of 
his purchase to Adam Houstater, father of Philip. 

William Campbell located in 18 17 on 138 acres purchased of Enoch 
Hotchkiss. John M. Eastman settled two miles east of the Center in 
1821 ; he was father of eleven children, among whom was Anson 

Jacob Flanders purchased 150 acres of Elias Rose in 1820, two and 
three- fourths miles west of the Center, and later bought the farm and 
stone grist mill east of Pekin. 

The first burial ground in the town was situated a mile east of the 


Center on the Lockport stone road, and was donated by William Camp- 
bell. Later another was provided a little south of the Corners, the land 
of which was given by William Scott. 

Russell Weaver and Joshua Cowell settled in the town prior to i.Sio; 
Pomeroy Oliver in 1815 ; John Hitchcock in 1816; Daniel P. Oliver in 
1817; and John Ingersoll, Jason Lane, John Miles, Hezekiah Hill, 
Elijali Smith, Coonrod Keyser and Samuel Faxon in early years in dif- 
ferent parts of the town. Col. Andrew Sutherland and Philo Cowell 
came into the town as early as 1812 ; the former served in the war of 
1812, and died in this town in 1838. Other early settlers were Reuben 
Hurd, James Barnes, John Carney and Jairus Rose, the latter two in 
the southwestern part of the town. Mr. Rose purcha.sed at first 600 
acres, to which he soon added enough to bring his tract to 2,000 acres ; 
the land lay in the extreme southwest part of the present town. In 
18 13 he planted two acres with apple seeds, thus starting the first 
nursery in the county ; the trees were later sold by him for twelve 
cents each. Mr. Rose was made a prisoner in the foray upon Lewiston 
in 1813 and was confined for a time in Canada. He was father of seven 
children, one of whom was George P. Rose, who passed his life on a 
part of the original purchase. 

Dr. Mj'ron Orton settled in Cambria in 1815, and here passed the re- 
mainder of his life ; he died in June, 1873. He was one of the founders 
of the County Medical Society, and combined farming with the prac- 
tice of his profession in tlie later years of his life. 

Among other settlers before 1820 were Jonas Chamberlin, Charles 
Trowbridge, Daniel Alvord, Obed Smith, Eli Bruce, Jabez Rogers, 
David Jeffers, Andrew Sutherland, Roderick Royce, Arthur Saxton, 
Thomas Fowler, Caleb Bugbee, Daniel Cross, Joshua Campbell, Charles 
Sweet, Ira Smith, Harvey Hitchcock, Russell Scott, Jason Lane, Abel 
Baldwin, William Carney, Philip Shaver, Aaron Rice, Alexander 

Prior to 1830 there were Eliakim Hammond, Hiram McNeal, John 
Hills, John Gould, James Burnett, Myron Orton, Jared Comstock, 
Edwin M. Clap, Ezekiel Campbell, Isaac Canfield, Moses and David 
Beach, Calvin Wilson, David Gould, Frederick Saxton, Daniel Oliver, 
William G. Hathaway, Silas Belding, Henry Springsteen, George Rose, 


Thomas C. Judd, William Prey, Ira Gregory, Warren Chaffee, Ralph 
G. Warner, James G. White, Stephen Barnes. 

William Crosier, father of William H. Crosier, was long a leading 
citizen of this town, in which he settled in 1 82 1, a little east of Pekin 
village. In 1822 a post ofifice was established on the line between 
Cambria and Lewiston, and given the name of Mountain Ridge ; 
John Jones was appointed postmaster. The name of the place was 
changed in 1 83 1 to Pekin, at which time a considerable hamlet had 
grown up. Mr. Jones had opened a store on the Lewiston side of the 
line, and in 1832 John Cronkite built a large hotel, while soon after- 
ward Benjamin Thresher erected a smaller one. Mr. Cronkite also con- 
ducted a mercantile business and had a large ashery. James McBain 
kept a grocery and dry goods store, and Josephus Taylor opened a store 
on the Lewiston side. Calvin Hotchkiss put a stock of goods in the 
store built by him, which was occupied in later years by George Beaber 
as a tavern. Peter F. Loucks was another prominent business man of 
the place, continuing in trade many years and finally removing to New 
York. E. H. Cox had a hardware store and tin shop here, and for a 
considerable period Pekin was an active business center ; in later years 
it has somewhat declined in this respect. The place now has four stores, 
kept by F. C. Williams, William Beaber, J. H. Parker, and Charles D. 
Timothy. There is also a frame church, called Church of Christ 
(Disciples), built in 1888, on the Cambria side, and an old stone M. E. 
church edifice, in Lewiston, 

The following were all residents of the town before 1850 : Sparrow 
S. Sage, S. Cady Murray, Thomas Root, John Fletcher, Hezekiah A, 
Nichols, John M. Eastman, John G. Freeman, William Elton, Josias T. 
Peterson, Josiah Pratt, Lorenzo Averill, David Gould, Calvin Thomp- 
son, Nathaniel Cook, Anson P^astman, Hunt Farnsworth, Hiram 
Flanders, Richard Hall, A. H. Houstatter, Thomas and Nelson T. 
Mighells, George W. Rose, John Williams, Erastus Weaver, Alfred 
Eddy, James Dutton, Joseph Miller, Elijah Parker, William O. Rogers, 
Gilbert Budd, William S. Howe, Samuel Saddleson, Henry Piatt, Chris- 
topher and Ransom Saddleson, Lewis Bevier, Nathaniel Brockway, 
David S. Brockway, Lewis Burtch (in 185 i), Ransom Campbell. 

Among present prominent citizens are Charles Angevine, Joseph 


Bovvers, Lewis Burtch, William H. Crosier, Anson Eastman, Albert 
G. Eighme, Albert Flanders, George S. Freer, Edward Harmony, A. 
K. Levan, Walter V. Peterson, Thomas Root, Ransom Saddleson, 
Elisha B. Swift, Paul B. Worden, Charles and Joseph Young. 

Hickory Corners is a little settlement and a post-office on the eastern 
line of the town, which will he further noticed in the history of the 
town of Lockport. 

On August 14, 181 5, the town was divided into nine school districts. 
There are now twelve, with a school house in each. The amount of 
public money received in the town is about $1,500, and a little more 
than that sum is raised by tax for school support. The first school in 
this town was taught in a log building in what is now district No. i, and 
accommodated Indian as well as white cliildien. The building was on 
the Ridge west of Howell's Creek, and had been temporarily used as a 
sort of arsenal in the war. A frame building was subsequently built on 
the opposite side of the road. District No. 2 was formed next, between 
Warren's and Molyneux's Corners, and a log school house built in 1815. 
At Molyneux's Corners the first school house was built in 18 19, within 
district No. 2 ; a disagreement caused the abandonment of this district 
and the district at Warren's Corners was setoff as No. 2, and the former 
No 2 was made No. 10. A number of other log school houses were 
built in the town, one at Pekin, in early years, but no records remain of 

The First Congregational church of Cambria was organized in 181 7, 
by Rev. David M. Smitli, then preaching at Lewiston. It was through 
Mr. Smith's influence that the Holland Company donated lOO acres of 
land to this church, under its proposition to thus favor the first church 
in the town. Tliis land was situated in what is now the town of Lock- 
port ; it was sold in 1827, and other land purchased with the proceeds 
nearer the center of this town. The first resident pastor was Rev. 
Silas Parsons, who came in 1827. Until 1836 meetings were held gen- 
erally in the school houses or dwellings, and later in the hall of William 
Scott's hotel in Cambria. The first church building was completed in 
1836, and was occupied until 1877, when a new edifice was begun and 
completed at Cambria Center in the following year. 

A Methodist society was early organized at Warren's Corners, and a 


cliurcli erected on land donated by Ezra Warren. Jolin Copeland was 
the organizer of the class The first church was a small wooden build- 
ing and was replaced by the present brick edifice about i860. 

Of the four churches that have existed on the Ridge, the Methodist 
was the first that kept up its existence. The society erected a cobble 
stone church in 1845, 01 land given by Reuben Wilson, and the organi- 
zation has since been maintained. Near the west end of the Ridge 
were established the First Universalist church, the Roman Catholic 
church and the German Lutheran church. The first named was organ- 
ized in 1867, and in the following year its brick edifice was erected on 
land given by H. C. Denison. The Roman Catholic church was erected 
on the north side of the street ; it is a small wooden building. Opposite 
to this was erected a small building by the German Lutherans. 



In carrying out the purposes of placing the histories of these towns 
in chronological order as to the date of their erection, the town of Hart- 
land comes next in order, although Porter was erected in the same year 
with Hartland. The latter was formed under legislative act dated June 
I, 181 2, and then embraced what are now the towns of Royalton, 
Somerset, and a part of Newfane, or 143,855 acres, as shown in the as- 
sessment roll of 1813. At that time there were only 126 taxable in- 
habitants in that great town The town remained with this area until 
Royalton was taken from it in 1817; Somerset in 1823, and a part of 
Newfane in 1824, leaving the existing area 31,145 acres. 

Hartland is the central one of the three eastern border towns of the 
county. Its surface is level or gently undulating, the principal inequal- 
ity being in the south part, where the lake ridge crosses. The principal 
streams are Eighteen mile and Johnson's Creeks. The former flows in 
a long and irregular bend into and out of the southern part, and the 
latter flows northeasterly across the southeastern part of the town. The 



soil south of the Ridge is a clayey loam, while north of it is a sandy and 
gravelly loam. 

The first town meeting was held April 7, 1812, at the house of Gad 
Warner, and John Dunn, a justice of the peace, presided. The meeting 
adjourned after its organization to the barn of Enoch Hitchcock, where 
the customary votes were taken to form proper regulations for the gov- 
ernment of the community. Ephraim Waldo was elected supervisor; 
William Smith, town clerk; Samuel Jenks, Harry Ellsworth, and David 
Weasner.i assessors; John Dunn, 2d, John Bates, and Benjamin Wake- 
man, commissioners of highways; Amos Brownson, collector; James 
Lyman and Stephen Wakeman, overseersof the poor; Amos Brownson, 
constable; Enoch Hitchcock, poundkeeper. A vote declared that no 
money should be raised that year for support of the poor, and that 
$150 be raised (or highways; also $100 for the destruction of obnox- 
ious animals and birds. 

Ephraim Waldo, the first supervisor, died before the close of that 
year, and at a special election James Lyman was elected to the oflfice. 
Other primitive regulations were voted at ensuing meetings. It is 
worthy of note that at a special town meeting January 20, 1818, an at- 
tempt was made for the division of Niagara county. Robert Edmunds, 
Samuel 15. Morehouse, Hiram Allen, Titus Fenn, Almon H. Millard, 
and William Smith were appointed a conmiittee to prepare and present 
to the Legislature a petition for the erection "of a new county embrac- 
ing the towns of Niagara, Cambria, Hartland, and Porter, in Niagara 
county, and Ridgeway and Gaines in Genesee county ; and firmly to 
remonstrate against any division of said Niagara county, unless such 
new county shall contain as great extent of territory as above de- 
scribed." It is probably fortunate that this arrangement was not car- 
ried out. 

The supervisors of Hartland have been as follows : 

1813, Ephraim Waldo and James Lyman; 181^-16, James Lyman; 1817, 1818, Dex- 
ter P. Sprague; 1820, 1821, Asahel Johnson ; 1822, James Wisner; 1823, Smith Dar- 
ling; 1824-27, Daniel Van Horn: 1828, 1829, De.xter P. Sprague; 1830-33, Franklin 
Butterfield; 1834, Christopher H. Skeels; 1835, Daniel Chaplin; 1836, 1837, James 
C. Lewis; 1838-4.5, Christopher H. Skeels; 1846, Daniel Seaman; 1847, John Duni- 
gan; 1848, A. H, Jameison; 1849, 1850, Christopher H. Skeels; 1851, G. L. Ange- 

'As spelled in records. 


vine; 1852, William Wheeler; 1853, F. A. Wright; 1854, G. Angevine; 1855, 1856, 
Linus Spalding; 1857, Curtis Root; 1858, William Morgan; 1859, Thomas Brown; 
1860-63, William Morgan; 18C4, 1865, Linus Spalding; 1866-68, William Morgan; 
1869, 1870, Linus Spalding; 1871, William Morgan; 1872, Edward O. Seaman; 1873, 
John L. Beardsley; 1874, Edward O. Seaman; 1875, George B. Taylor; 1876-81, John 
L. Chase; 1882-83, James Allen; 1884-86, Abram Taylor; 1887-91, John H Matte- 
son; 1892-96, James S. Rowe; 1897-98, Frederick R. Montgomery. 

The other town officers for 1897 are : 

George B. Taylor, jr., town clerk: George D. Bixler, George Clark, F. R. Mont- 
gomery and Seward Mudge, justices of the peace; John Dewhurst, highway com- 
missioner; John Slattery, collector; Albert J. Chase, John Garbut and Frederick 
Pike, assessors; Jefferson B. Landers and James Hudson, overseers of the poor. 

Charles A. Kendall was for twenty years from 1877 town clerk of 
Hartland. succeeding his father, Eber Kendall, and being followed in 
1897 by George B. Taylor, jr. Eber Kendall served from 1867 to 

The first settlements in this town were made by John Morrison, 
David Morrison, Zebulon Barnum, Jedediah Riggs, Isaac Southwell, 
and Daniel Brown; these all came in 1803 or 1804. In 1805 Abel 
Barnum came in and Oliver Castle settled about two miles southwest 
of the site of Johnson's Creek hamlet, and became the first local 
preacher on the Holland Purchase. John Morrison located on the 
farm a mile east of Hartland Corners, where R. B. Weaver lived in 
later years. 

Jeptha Dunn came into the town in 1807 and settled two miles east 
of Johnson's Creek on the Ridge road. Benjamin Cornell settled in 
1809 a little west of Johnson's Creek. A Mr. Crane settled on the 
Ridge road in 18 10, and David Van Horn at Johnson's Creek in 181 1 ; 
in the same year Benjamin H. Benson settled where he passed his long 
life, two miles south of Hartland Corners. James Shaw settled in 1812 
on the Ridge road two miles east of Johnson's Creek. Dexter P. 
Sprague came to the town in 1809 and was justice of the peace until 
1840. In 1 8 14 Col. Richard Weaver, a native of Vermont, came to 
Hartland and became eventually a leading farmer and breeder of fine 
stock. He purchased the farm on which Isaac Southwell, the pioneer, 
first settled. He was prominent in the early militia, and received his 
title from offices held therein. 

Jesse Birdsall was a very early settler and was father of Mary, who 


married Elisha Brownell. She passed lier life on the farm wliere she 
was born, on the Quaker road three miles north of Johnson's Creek. 
Her father died in 1825. 

Jesse Aldrich came with his wife, and Asa Baker and liis wife in 
June, 181 5, and were the first settlers in that part of the town which 
became known as the Quaker Settlement. They were probably the 
first settlers north of the Ridge road in the present town limits. At 
the same time, or soon after, Joseph Birdsall, Daniel Baker and Esek 
Aldrich located near by and aided in opening a road through the forest 
from the Ridge to Birdsall's land, a distance of about a mile and a half; 
they also put up a log house. This accomplished, the three last named 
men returned home, leaving the two families of Aldrich and Asa Baker 
in the lonely wilderness. In 18 16 this immediate locality was further 
settled by Joseph Baker, Hugh Jackson, Jesse Jackson, William Jack- 
son, Richard Earl, and Christopher H. Skeels, with their wives; all 
except the last two were Quakers, and the Quaker Settlement became 
a thriving part of the town. 

To accommodate travellers, Jeptha Dunn opened his house as an inn 
in 1809; it was, as before stated, about two miles east of Johnson's 
Creek on the Ridge road, and was the first tavern in the town. Daniel 
Brown also kept a very early tavern in his log house a little west of 
Johnson's Creek on the Ridge road. Samuel B. Morrfiouse, whose 
name has been mentioned as one of the committee in the county divis- 
ion matter, and who became a locally famous character, built a hotel at 
Hartland Corners about 1S13, and the place was known in early times 
as " Morehouse's; " he was postmaster of that little village in 18 16. 

The first physician to settle in this town was Dr. Asa Crane, who 
came in 18 10; Dr. Moore soon followed, and Dr. Butterfield came in 
1812 or 1813 and settled at Johnson's Creek. Drs. Crane and Moore 
located north of the Ridge near the corner of the Quaker road. Dr. 
Butterfield passed his life in the town and long had an extensive 

Among other prominent residents of the town may be mentioned 
William Smith, Dexter P. Sprague, Hiram Allen, Daniel Van Horn, 
Daniel Seaman, Thomas Bills, Truman E Pomeroy, Hiram G. Dean, 
Cyrus A. Lewis, Eber Kendall, Charles A. Kendall, Levi Hall, John 


Scovell, Absalom Ladner, James Edmunds, Otis Leland, Jeremiah 
Turner, Silas Gilbert, Orlando Bates, Chailes Williams, John VV. Davis, 
Otis B. Hayes, John Heland, John Kenyon, Michael J. King, John B. 
Robeson, C. D. Silby, William Sharpsteen, and Milo D. Pierce. 

At Hartland Corners (the name of the post-office now being Hart- 
land) the land was early owned on the east side of thp Gasport road by 
Samuel B. Morehouse, before mentioned ; on the northeast of the four 
corners it was owned by George Reynolds, and on the southwest cor- 
ner by James C. Lewis. Here Thomas R. Stewart built the first frame 
house in 1814, and Mr. Morehouse built his tavern in 181 5. A Mr. 
Carrington started a blacksmith shop here in 1816, a store was estab- 
lished in early years and there has always been a small mercantile busi- 
ness here. Michael J. King now has a store and basket manufactory 

At the point where Johnson's Creek breaks through the Ridge, in 
the southwest part of the town, a hamlet sprang up in the early years of 
settlement. The creek took its name from a family who located on its 
banks in early years. The land including the site of the village was 
formerly owned on the north side of the Ridge road, which passes 
through the place, by Henry Taylor, who settled there in 18 16. He 
built a log house and later this was superseded by a frame structure. 
Mr. Taylor spent his life here and died in May, 1870. The land on the 
south side of the road and east of the creek was owned by Thomas F. 
Stewart, John Secor and others, and west of the creek by Mr. Stewart 
and others. Stewart built the first frame house in the place, just west 
of the creek, which was used in later years by John L. Chase for a horse 
barn. John Secor opened a primitive tavern in early years and in 1812 
carried on a small grocery. James and Daniel Van Horn opened a 
general store in 1815 and in the same year George Robson and two 
others opened blacksmith shops. The Van Horns were succeeded as 
merchants in 1818 by George Reynolds; the store building was erected 
in 181 5 by George C. Pease. Marvin Miner early kept a grocery. 

In early years the grain that had to be ground for the pioneers was 
carried usually to Schlosser. About 1820, or a little earlier, some of 
the enterprising settlers built a grist mill on Johnson's Creek where it 
crosses the Ridge. In later years another was built at the creek by 


Ebenezer Seeley. As early as 1820 the first saw mill was built on the 
creek where it crosses the county line. Mr. Seeley built one at John- 
son's Creek as early as this or a little earlier. There was one tannery 
here which was built as early as 181 8, but when the bark disappeared 
the establishment went to decay. 

Among former merchants at Johnson's Creek were Shiibal Merritt, 
Uriah D. Moore, Hiram Hoag, Robert Deuel, Harvey Hoag (who 
was burned out about 1885), and A. H. Jameson, who built the 
present brick store. Others still are Parker & Goutermout and Taylor 
& Goutermout, both of which firms also had an ashery. The latter 
firm was succeeded by Jay S. Rowe, one of the present merchants. 
JohnC. Watts and John S. Chase also have stores there now. Taylor's 
hotel was originally built as early as 1830 by George Judson; it was 
enlarged first by Alexander H. Jameson and later by Lewis Gouter- 
mout, and is now owned by George B. Taylor, sr. 

North Hartland is a post-office and small hamlet in the northwest cor- 
ner of the town. A small mercantile business and a few shops have 
been conducted here many years, and the Methodists also have a church 
in the place. 

The first school in tin's town was taught by Nancy Judson in 18 13. 
In the ne.xt year Samuel Colton, James Welch, and Samuel B More- 
house were elected school commissioners, and Daniel Cornell, John 
Leach, and William Smith were chosen school inspectors. In 18 16 the 
town was divided into six school districts, and the sum of $60 was 
raised for the support of schools. The Quaker road school house was 
built about 1818, of logs, and Rachel Pease taught there first in 1819. 
The number of districts was gradually increased and for many years 
there were eighteen; the present number is seventeen, with a school 
house in each. 

The Quakers of this town built a meeting house about 1818, of logs, 
on the Ridge road at the corner of Quaker road. It was occupied until 
1835, when it was displaced by a cobble stone structure, about three- 
fourths of a mile east of the old one. 

Through the efforts of James Edmunds, Abial Tripp and a few other 
pioneers, Baptist services were held in this town in early years. In De- 
cember, 1 817, twenty- two persons of this faith organized the First 


Baptist Cluircli of Hartland, under ministration of Rev. Simeon Duicher, 
of Gaines. Tiie first regular pastor was Rev. William Harring- 
ton, who was settled there in 1820. The society was incorporated in 
1822, with James Edmunds, Otis Leland, and Holden Le Valley, trus- 
tees. During the first seven years services were held in houses or 
barns, after which the society raised $100 and added ten feet to the 
length of a school house at Johnson's Creek, and meetings were held 
there until 1833; in that year the first church edifice was erected. 
Tliis being the first church organized in the town, it received the ap- 
propriation of fifty acres of land, taking the southwest corner lot in the 
town ; this was sold and the proceeds used in building the church. In 
1868 the building was remodeled and enlarged at a cost of $6,000, and 
in 1877 the parsonage property was purchased. 

A Methodist church is situated on the Quaker road, about two miles 
north of the Ridge road, which was organized in 1842, and a wooden 
church was built in 1843; this was burned in 1872 and on the site a 
brick church was erected. A prosperous existence has since been main- 

A Methodist church is located at Hartland Corners and another at 
North Hartland. The former was built about 1862 and remodeled in 

St. Patrick's Roman Catholic church is situated on the Quaker road 
near the north line of the town. Services had been held by this denom- 
ination for some time prior to 1856 in private houses, and in that year 
under the ministrations of Rev. T. Sheehan. of Newfane, a frame edifice 
was erected; it was dedicated by the then bishop of Buffalo in 1857. 
In 1865 the building was enlarged, and again in 1872, a modern tran- 
sept, sanctuary and vestry were provided. A rededication took place 
in July, 1875. Rev. Thomas P. Brougham was the first resident pastor, 
removing thither from Newfane. 




The other one of the three towns which were set off from Cambria in 
1 812 (Niagara and Hartiand having already been described) was Por- 
ter, whicli was erected on the same date with Hartiand — June i of that 
year.' When erected this town included what is now the town of Wil- 
son which was set off in 181 8. The town was named in honor of Judge 
Augustus Porter. It is tlie northwestern town in the county and in- 
cludes Fort Niagara, Youngstown and Lewiston along its lake and 
river front — localities which, as the reader has already learned, were 
the scene of some of the most memorable early events in American 
history. The surface of this town is generally level and the soil along 
the lake shore a marly clay, while in the central and southern parts it 
is sandy and gravelly loam. Four-mile and Six mile Creeks cross the 
town in a northerly direction and the west branch of Twelve-mile Creek 
crosses the southeastern part in a similar direction. The first town 
meeting was held at the house of Peter Tower, but the date is probably 
lost. There is an existing record that the town meeting was held 
April II, 1815, two years after the erection of the town. In the old 
book with this record are meagre accounts of a few other meetings, 
but containing nothing of especial importance. It is quite probable 
that the war interfered to such an extent that these meetings were al- 
most wholly interrupted in the early years ; but there is nothing to 
indicate that the meeting of 18 15 was the first one held, while the 
absence of records for two or three years prior to 1 8 19 could scarcely 
be attributed to the war troubles. Following is a copy of the proceed- 
ings of the meeting of April II, 1815, as recorded in the old book: 

Dexter F. Sprague, supervisor; Elijah Hathaway, town clerk; Joseph Pease, 
Nathaniel McCormick and Thaddeus N. Sturges, assessors; Conrad Zittle and 
Zebulon Coates, overseers of the poor; Benjamin Kemp, John Martin and John 
Brown, commissioners of highways; David Porter, constable and collector; Thad- 
deus Mclntyre, constable; Conrad Zittle and David Porter, pouudkeepers. 


On the 20th of June of that year Reuben Wilson was chosen super- 
visor in place of Mr. Sprague, the reason not being recorded. At the 
town meeting of April 6, 18 19, the following officers were chosen: 

Michael Helms, supervisor; Tiionias Brown, town clerk; Jonathan Bell, George 
Ash and William Doty, assessors; John Dunlap, collector; Conrad Zittle and Daniel 
Kelley, overseers of the poor; Conrad Zittle, Daniel Kelley and Richard Cuddaback, 
commissioners of highways; Moses Barto, A. G. Hiuman and John A. Hyde, com- 
missioners of. schools ; Jonathan Bell and Isaac Swain, inspectors of schools; John 
Dunlap, constable; Daniel Kelley, poundmaster. 

The usual regulations for the government of the town were voted at 
this and the preceding meetings. Among them was the appointment 
of fourteen pathmasters to have charge of the road districts. 

The supervisors of Porter from 18 19 to the present time have been 
as follows : 

Michael Helms, 1819-24; Moses Barto, 1825-27; William Doty, 1828-29; no elec- 
tion, 1830; Leverett Bristol, 1831-34; Timothy Hosmer, 1835; Leverett Bristol, 
1836^1; John Porter, 1842; Ziba Henry. 1843; Jehiel C. S. Ransom, 1844; Solomon 
Moss, 1845-4T; John Porter, 1848; Solomon Moss, 1849; Ira Race, 1850-53; Peter 
Simmons, 1854; Ira Race, 1855; George Swain. 1856-59; James L. Fowler, 1860-62; 
Ezra S. Holden, 1863-64; Ira Race, 1865-66; Rensselaer Ward, 1867-70; Elton T. 
Ransom, 1871-73; James M. Foster, 1874; Elton T. Ransom, 1875-77; Richard D. 
Balmer, 1878; Peter S. Tower, 1879; Rensselaer Ward, 1880; Joseph Thompson, 
1881-83; Alonzo U. Gatchell, 1883-84; Joseph Thompson, 1885; George Swain, 1886; 
Nelson D. Haskell, 1887; A. Judson Eaton, 1888; Harvey Cudaback, 1889-90; John 
E. Reardon. 1891-93; Elmer E. Brookins, 1894-96; Edwin S. Carter, 1897-98. 

The other town officers for 1897 are : 

Edward G. Hall, town clerk; William J. Sweet, H. H. Helms and Warren Curtis, 
justices of the peace; Francis Kyte, Frederick Kelley and William Hill, assessors; 
George Parker, highway commissioner; William N. Burniaster, collector; George C. 
McCormick and John W. Haskell, overseers of the poor. 

The town has now a population of about 2,300. 

John Gould came from New Jersey in 1788 as a drover. He gave 
some of his recollections to Turner as follows: 

Col. Hunter was then in command at Fort Niagara. Our cattle and pack horses 
were ferried across to Newark in bateaux and Schenectady boats. Nothing then at 
Newark but an old ferry house and the barracks that had been occupied by Butler's 
Rangers. The Massasauga Indians were numerous then in Canada. They had no 
fi.xed habitations; migrated from camping ground to camping ground in large par- 
ties; their principal camping grounds, Niagara and Queenston. There were their 
fishing grounds. Sometimes there would be five or six hundred encamped at 


Niagara. They were small ia stature, gay, lively, filthy; and much addicted to 

We sold our cattle principallj' to Butler's Rangers. They were located mostly at 
the falls, along the Four and Twelve-mile Creeks. Oxen brought as high as /'•oO, 
cows, ^20. 

The settlement of this town which may be considered as permanent 
did not take place until about the beginning of the present century, al- 
though momentous events had preceded along the frontier. John Lloyd, 
who had been a soldier in the garrison in 1799, settled in 1801 about 
three miles from the fort. After the war he occupied a farm on lot 27. 
The following list embraces the names of all who took land from 
the Holland Company down to the j'ear 1807, and are given in the 
order of the dates of their contracts: 1803, Elijah Doty, John 
Waterhouse, Silas Hopkins, Peter Hopkins, Obadiah Hopkins, Con- 
rad Zittle, Ephraim Hopkins, John Clemmons, Robert Bigger, James 
Benedict and William McBride. 1804, Peter and Ephraim Hopkins, 
additional land, Samuel Hopkins, John Freeman and John Wilson. 
1805, William Coggswell, Jonathan Jones, Abijah Perry and Samuel 
Shelly. 1806, Peter Ripson and John Brown, and William McBride 
took additional land. A few of these men were not actual settlers, 
but bought for speculation, among them Silas Hopkins. Conrad Zit- 
tle located at what became known as Zittle's Corners, later as Por 
ter Center. Abijah Perry was father of William Perry, born 
August II, 1812, the first birth in the town after this permanent 
settlement began. William Coggswell was a man of considerable 
education and taught the first school in town in 1806. Jonathan 
Lutts settled in 1806 and afterwards bought a farm of the Holland 
Company and lived in the town thirty years or more. 

In 1808 Isaac Swain, who had previously settled on the Military 
road, in tlie town of Niagara, removed to this town and purchased 
eighty acres of John McBride, which was the southern half of lot 
3 of the Mile Reserve. He had an exciting war experience and was 
father of William and George Swain. Michael Lutts came in about the 
same time with his brother Jonathan, and William Arbuthnot came dur- 
ing or directly after the war. 

Settlement here was almost wholly stopped by the war, only two 

pioneers of importance coming in 1814; these were Rudolph Clapsaddle 


and Joseph McCulIum. The former located on lot 4, and the latter on 
lot 9. John Vrooman came in at the close of the war, having been 
stolen by In-dians during the Revolution and brought to Two mile 
Creek, where he remained a captive a number of years. He was after- 
wards rescued and taken to Montreal, whence he removed to his former 
home in Schoharie. John McLoughlin settled in town in 181 5, coming 
over from Canada. Peter Tower also came that year, he and his brother 
Otis making their way from Massachusetts with a two horse wagon. 
Peter bought 100 acres of Conrad Zittle, and Otis settled on another 
farm in this town. Michael Helms was living in town before the war ; 
Peter Tower lived with him before his marriage and worked at his trade 
of carpenter and cabinet maker. He was a prominent citizen in public 
affairs and caused the opening of the first road east from Four mile 
Creek to the Cambria line. 

William and John Clapsaddle came into the town in 18 16, John 
locating on lot 9. He built the first saw mill and grist mill about the 
year 18 17, and kept an early tavern at what is now Tryonville. In the 
same year David Baker settled in Youngstown, worked there as a car- 
penter three years, and then removed to the site of Porter Center, 
where he purchased land of Gideon Curtiss. In the next year Mr. 
Curtiss took up land within the limits of Ransomville, and cut the first 
timber in that part of the town, and helped to lay out the road through 
the village and the one from the Ridge to the lake. His brother, Capt. 
Gilbert VV. Curtiss, came in and ultimately made a home near by and 
went back to Connecticut, their native State, for his bride. They re- 
turned in a one-horse lumber wagon, and when they reached the Ridge 
they were compelled to cut a road through the woods to the site of 
Ransomville. They brought apple seeds with them, from which an 
orchard was started, which was the beginning of the large fruit growing 
interest of the eastern part of the town. He was a captain in the old 
militia, and from that position obtained his well known title. In 1825 
he opened a tavern at Ransomville in a log building which stood in 
front of the later hotel. His brother Gideon had already opened an 
earlier inn at this place, but gave up the business before 1825. The 
tavern was kept in later years by the two sons of Captain Curtiss, the J 
well known business firm of Curtiss Brothers. Captain Curtiss died in 


Other prominent settlers in the town between 1S20 and 1840 were 
Stephen Eaton, who came about 1820 and settled where his son subse- 
quently lived; Charles Ouade, who was the first settler on lot 51, and 
in 1830 built a tavern at what was then called Ouade's Corners, and 
afterwards Ransomville ; Jonathan Moss, who came from Vermont in 
1823 and took up 186 acres at Moss's Corners, a mile and a half west of 
Ransomville; David Force, who settled on lot 25, in 1825; Horace 
Munson Durand, who arrived about 1823 ; the Jeffords family, who 
came in 1826, and purchased of Richard Cuddaback the farm occupied 
in later years by James Warren ; Jehial S. C. Ransom, after whom Ran- 
somville was named, who came from Ulster county on foot about 1826 ; 
he was the first postmaster at Ransomville ; L. C. Reals, William Kyte, 
and John Hutchinson, who came in 1829; J. B. Clark, father of P. C. 
Clark, came in 1830; Charles G. Willie, who settled on lot 11 in 1831 ; 
Lyman Whittaker and Erastus Downer, both of whom settled in town 
in 1831 ; David Johnson, William C, McCormick, John Robertson, and 
David Johnson, all of whom came in 1832 ; Chester Balcom, John 
Powley, and William and John Whitfield, who settled in 1834; James 
Warren and Henry Balmer, who came in 1836. Many other families 
are represented in Part HI of this work. 

Among the prominent residents of the town are S. Park Baker, Peter 
S. Tower, Daniel Bradley, Samuel Brookins, E. S. Carter, John and 
Joseph Clapsaddle, Robert and William Clapsaddle, James M. Foster, 
Francis Kyte, Henry Lutz, Madison McCollum, Richard McCracken, 
George L. Moot, George Parker, H. B. Timothy, George P. Tower, H. 
B. Tower, John E. Reardon, William Smithson, Christopher Quade, 
George C. McCormick, N. D. Haskell, Nicholas and Frank Hoffman, 
Edward Calvert, Almeron Barker, Smith Bradley, Leander Dutton, A. 
J. Eaton, Charles R. Ayer. 

A tannery was in existence in this town before the war on lot 9 of the 
Mile Reserve, and was owned by Burton & Son. John Clapsaddle built 
a small grist mill in 1817, which was operated some years, when the 
water power failed and the town was without a mill until the building 
of the one at Youngstown in 1S40. . Mr. Clapsaddle also built a saw 
mill about the time of the erection of the grist mill ; it long ago went 
to decay. 


The village of Youngstovvn is one of the oldest on the frontier, as the 
reader has learned in earlier pages of this work. At the establishment 
of the Niagara customs district in 1799, the port of entry was located at 
P'ort Niagara and remained there until 181 i when it was removed to 
Lewiston. Only a very small settlement was gathered at Youngstown 
at the time of the devastation of the frontier by the British in 18 13, and 
that was wholly destroyed. After the war the locality again assumed 
considerable importance and activity ; the cutting of the fine oak timber 
in this section gave employment to many of the early settlers, and the 
shipment of large quantities of the timber to England for use in shipbuild- 
ing was a source of a considerable commercial interest here for some 
years. Later on a good deal of wheat was shipped from here to Oswego, 
and other business interests came into existence which contributed to 
the growth of the place. 

Robert Grensit kept the first tavern in this town on the site of 
Youngstown, and the house was conducted by his widow after his 
death Colonel Hathaway, a prominent early resident, kept a tavern as 
as early as 181 5 on the site of the present Ontario House; a small gro- 
cery was connected with the house. Peter Tower, before mentioned, 
opened a small public house hereabout 1819-20. John Young, who 
came from Niagara, Ont., probably kept the first store, and the village 
received its name from him ; he was identified prominently with the 
early public interests of the place. A school was opened in the village 
in 1806 by William Cogswell, and the first school house was built 
about 1823. The village was a small and quiet hamlet until towards 
1825, after which the business interests were extended more rapidly. 
The following decription of the place in 1823 is taken from another 

The woods grew down to the rear of the lots on Main .street, aud between this 
place and Lewiston the road passed through the forest that extended to the east- 
ward and to the edge of the river on the west. There were not more than a dozen 
frame houses within the limits of the present corporation, There was only one 
store, which from the color of the building in which it was kept, was called the " red 
store." It was conducted by two young men named Chittenden and Woodruff, but 
John Young furnished the merchandise, and the business was carried on in his 
interest. Of taverns there seems to have been more than the business of that time 
demanded, there being no less than three. The first was located at the north end 
of Main street and was kept by Phillips & Williams; the second about midway of 


the street, was that of Col. Elijah Hathaway, aud the third, which stood at the end 
of the street, was conducted by Robert Campbell. The accommodations were good 
for that day. There was one wagon .shop and one blacksmith shop, the first being 
the property of two men named Squires & De Wolf, and the second that of Nathaniel 
Brown. Judge A. G. Hinman was the postmaster, the post-office being in his house, 
near the center of the settlement. Mail arrived daily by stage from Lewistou and 
points east and south 

The foregoing gives a clear picture of Youngstown in its early busi- 
ness existence, and is sufficient evidence that as late as 1820 the village 
was not one of great importance or bright prospects. Gordon Davis 
came from Connecticut in 1823 and soon afterward began business 
in the shoe and leather trade. David Burge came from New Hamp- 
shire to the village the same year and afterwards was a partner with 
Mr. Davis; they addid other goods to their stock and for some years 
carried on a large trade. Mr. Davis retired from the firm in 1830 and 
Mr. Burge continued it. 

Jason Davis, brother of Gordon, came to Youngstown in 1835, with 
his sons, Bradley D. and Nelson R. Davis. They had previously in 
1830 spent one year in Levviston, and returned to New Hampshire 
Soon after their arrival in Youngstown the father and Bradley D. Davis 
opened a grocery under the firm name of J. Davis & Son. A general 
stock of goods was later added and for twenty years the firm did a 
large trade for the times; the firm was dissolved by the death of the 
senior member. Bradley D. Davis, and later the firm of B. D. Davis & 
Co. carried on the business. 

Dr. John A. Hyde came to Youngstown in 1818, and for many )-ears 
was the only physician there. 

W. H. Doyle, who later became a member of the business firm of W. 
H. Doyle & Co., merchants, came to the village in 1835. Alfred Emer- 
son, at one period a member of the firm of Alfred Emerson & Co , 
settled early in the village, became a leading merchant and buyer of pro- 
duce. Alexander Barton, a painter, came to the village in 1823, 
worked at his trade for a time and afterwards opened a hotel, which 
was burned with other structures on the night of April 19-20, 1863, 
and was rebuilt by him. Ira Race settled in the place in 1826, followed 
farming until 1833, when he was chosen deputy sheriff and held the 
position three years; after that he held various local offices, and for 


about forty seven years was a justice of tlie peace. He is still living 
(1897), with his wife, both being over ninety. 

Judge A. G. Ilinman was a conspicuous citizen of Youngstown for 
many years, was respected for his high character exhibited in his official 
life and his activity in promoting the early religious and educational in- 
stitutions of the town. George Swain was a son of Isaac Swain, the 
pioneer, and became a prominent citizen. He was born in the town in 
1819, was a successful farmer and held various public offices; his brother 
William, born in 1821, also was prominent as a farmer and fruit grower. 

The stone grist mill in the village was erected in 1840 by Heze- 
kiah H. Smith ; it was burned on the night of February 22, 1851, but 
was soon afterward repaired and was operated by Jason and Nelson 
R. Davis, and still later by B. D. Davis. It is still standing, though 
used for other purposes. 

In 1855 B. D. Davis & Co. erected their large brick block. The 
stone hotel (the Ontario House) was built in 1842 by Alexander Lane, 
near the site of the old Hathaway tavern; it subsequently became the 
property of Robert McKnight, and later of his heirs, and has been con- 
ducted under the name of the Ontario House by H. C Root and oth- 
ers. It is now kept by Timothy J. Murphy. The El Dorado Hotel, 
of which Frank C. Steele is proprietor, was built about 1891. 

A saw mill was built in Youngstown in 1866 by W. D. Clark. A 
foundry was established and long conducted by William Ripson & Co. ; 
it is now conducted by Julius Ripson. D. & J. Onen manufactured 
barrels for a time. The present business interests of the village con- 
sists of Edward G. Hall, shoes, etc.; Charles L. Taylor, drugs; John A. 
Haskell, George M. Carter, and L. C. Beals, groceries; William A. 
Hutchinson, general store; F. C. Thompson, dry goods; and W. R. 
Robinson, hardware. 

The Youngstown News was started March 4, 1881, by Nelson D. 
Haskell, who on January i, 1889, was succeeded by G. Oliver Frick, 
the present editor and publisher. It is an eight-page weekly. 

G. Oliver Frick, editor and proprietor of the Youngstown News, is 
the son of Joseph A. and Clara Elizabeth P. Frick, and was born in 
Pittsburg, Pa., January 26, 1872. He came to Wolcottsville, Niagara 
county, in 1880, and in 1884 removed to Youngstown, where he finish- 


ed his education, which was supplemented by attendance at the public 
schools of Bufifalo. When thirteen he began learning the printer's trade 
on the Youngstown News, then owned by Nelson D. Haskell, and he 
also spent one year in Buffalo in the book department of Matthews, 
Northrup & Co. On January i, 1889, he purchased the Youngstown 
News, of which he has since been the editor and proprietor, and which 
he has placed in the front rank of Niagara county weekly newspapers. 
He was married in September, 1893, to Sarah W., daughter of Aaron 
Winchester, of Youngstown. 

The village of Youngstown was incorporated April 18, 1854, upon 
the presentation of a petition to the Legislature prepared by the follow- 
ing persons: Ira Race, A. G. Skinner, W. H. Doyle and L. P. Babcock. 
The boundaries of the village were made to include lots i and 2 and 
parts of lots 3 and 4 of the Mile Reserve. The first village election was 
held on the 4th of October, 1854, and the following officers chosen : 
President, George Swain ; trustees, George Swain, Samuel F"osdick, 
Nelson R, Davis, Lewis C. Beals, and Alfred Emerson ; clerk, S. Olney; 
assessor, David Burge; collector, Paul Durfee ; treasurer George C. 
Hotchkiss; poundmaster, John Hart. 

The present (1897) village officers are Frank C. Steele, president; 
Charles Ripson, August Turner, and Patrick Fitzpatrick, trustees; John 
W. Thompson, clerk. 

The settlement on the site of Ransomville was of little importance 
until after the location there of Jehial C. S. Ransom in 1 826, and the estab- 
lishment of the post-office. He 0[>ened a store and established a good 
business. Other pioneers here were Lambert Hall and Leverett Bris- 
tol In 1839 William H. H. Ransom, a nephew of the. pioneer, settled 
in the village and worked at his trade of carpenter until 1843, when he 
bought out his uncle's store, and was the leading merchant until his 
death ; his son, Elton T. Ransom, was associated with him under the 
firm name of W. H. H. Ransom & Son, which is still retained. 

The Curtiss Brothers, before mentioned, have long been prom- 
inently identified with the business interests of the village. Besides 
conducting the hotel, the Ransomville House, they, in 1877, built 
the Excelsior elevator and grain storehouse with a capacity of 25,- 
000 bushels, and are engaged largely in the handling of grain and 


W. H. H. Ransom & Son built a large brick store in 1872, and in 
1877 erected a brick storehouse on a side track to the R., W. & O. 
Railroad, which runs through the village. They carry on an extensive 
grain, produce and general mercantile business. 

Fowler & Ilarwick built a brick store building, which passed to 
possession of James Bullock, who carried on mercantile business there. 
Other old merchants were C. A. Barnes, Clark Ransom, A. U. Gatchell, 
S. D. McCracken and George I. Eaman. The present merchants are 
W. H. H. Ransom & Son, William T. Gentle, Corwin & Hubbell, F. 
D. McCormick, A. J. 15arry, Dwight Sanger and A B. Thompson & 

David Bagley also has a cider and vinegar works. The Ransom- 
ville Basket Manufacturing Company was started in 1894 and gives em- 
ployment to a number of hands S. H. Morris is president and W. T. 
Gentle secretary and treasurer. 

East Porter, Tryonville and Porter Center are hamlets in this town, 
the latter having a general store kept by C. C. Clapsaddle. 

Fort Niagara is situated at the moutli and on the east bank of the 

Niagara River, and its historic periods are recorded in Peter A. I^orter's 

book as follows : 

Recognizing the title to the spot where Fort Niagara stands as vested in the Sen- 
ecas after their conquest of the Neuters in ](;51, we may divide its history into the 
following periods: Indian ownership, 1651-16(i9; Indian ownership, French in- 
fluence predominating, 1669-1725; Indian ownership. French occupation, 172.'5-1T59; 
Indian ownership, English occupation, 17r)9-1764; English ownership and occupa- 
tion, 1759-1788; American ownership, English occupation, the hold-over period, 
178ii-17U6; American ownership and occupation (excepting December 19, 18K!, to 
March 37, 1815), 1796-1896. 

Tiie hi.story of the fort has been noticed in detail in earlier pages of 
this volume. It has been garrisoned, with the exception of a brief in- 
terim, since March 27, 1815, and the last defensive work of conse- 
quence — the brick facing of the bastions, facing east, dates from 1 86 1. 
It is now the regimental headquarters of the 13th U. S. Infantry, Col. 
Alfred T. Smith commanding. 

The village of Youngstown and vicinity in late years has attracted a 
nnmber of summer residents, whose pretty homes have added much to 
the beauty of the place. In 1896 an electric railroad, known as the 


" Old Fort Route," was built by the Lewiston and Youngstown Fron- 
tier Railway Company, of which Laurence D. Rumsey is president ; 
Henry C. Howard, vice president; Kari Evans, secretary; George R. 
Teller, treasurer ; and Robert B. Goodman, superintendent. The main 
line, opened August 11, 1896, is eight miles long; a branch extends to 
Rumsey Park and Beach on Lake Ontario. 

The first school in this town has been mentioned. The town was 
early divided into districts and school houses gradually built, to accom- 
modate the growing population. The first school house in Youngstown 
was built about 1823, and was subsequently moved away and a stone 
structure erected in its place. The first school house was used for re- 
ligious meetings until churches were built. P'or the last fifty years the 
number of districts has been eleven, and there is now a comfortable 
school house in each. The town with six others of the county consti- 
tutes the second commissioner's district. A graded school building was 
erected of brick in Youngstown about two years ago. 

The first religious services in the town were held in very early years 
at the fort, but there was little attempt ti) hold regular meetings else- 
where until 1S23. Methodist itinerants came into the town with more 
or less regularity and held meetings. In 1823 a preacher named 
Everett visited Youngstown and finding a few persons who were in- 
clined to CO operate in the formation of a church, he appointed a meet- 
ing at the house of Judge A. G. Hinnian for that purpose. The society 
was organized in the Presbyterian faith in 1823, with the following 
members: Mr. and Mrs. Bartol, Mr. Kelly, Mrs. Lutts. Mrs. Mc- 
Cormick, Mrs. Rebecca Hathaway and her daughter Pauline, and 
Judge Hinman. A churcli was built in 1836 under direction of 
Hezekiah H. Smith, John A. Hyde, Gordon Davis and David Burge. 
The building was enlarged in 1844 to accommodate the increasing 
membership. In 1896-97 this was replaced by the present structure. 

The Baptist church at Ransomville was organized in March, 1834, 
with thirty seven members. The first pastor was Rev. Samuel J. 
Olney. The first church was built in 1 840, of wood ; it was remodeled 
in 1870. 

A Methodist church was organized at Porter Center, a hamlet in the 


central part of the town, in March, 1838, with forty members. A church 
edifice was built in 1851. The first pastor was Rev. William Buck. 

Another Methodist church was organized at East Porter, the class of 
which was formed in 1821; but the church (Fillmore chapel) was not 
built until 1852. The original members numbered fourteen. This 
society was in the Porter Center charge. 

The Methodist church of Youngstown was regularly organized in 
June, 1852, with twenty members; meetings were held in the school 
house until 1854, when the church edifice, begun in the previous 
year, was finished. Through the prevailing division in this denomina- 
tion, which took place in 1869, this church was sold at auction, and 
was purchased by John Carter for the purpose of having services con- 
tinued. Regular meetings were held until 1869 after which no stated 
services were held. In July, 1872, regular meetings were renewed and 
in that year the conference united the Youngstown and Porter Center 
churches in one charge ; they were again separated in 1876, in which 
year Mr. Carter deeded back the church building to the society under a 
favorable arrangement. It was re opened in May, 1877, and has since 
continued active. 

St. John's Episcopal church at Youngstown is noticed in the chapter 
devoted to Lockport. 

St. Bernard's Roman Catholic parish was organized in Youngstown 
about 1830, when a chapel was instituted, and services were conducted 
by priests from Suspension Bridge or Lewiston. 

The Free Methodist church of Ransomville was built about 1880. 
The Wesleyan Methodists also have a church there. 




There uere two towns set off from Hartland after its erection in 1 8 1 2 ; 
these were Royalton in 1817, and Somerset in 1823. Royalton was 
erected on April 5, 18 17, and was a little reduced in its area by setting 
off a portion to Lockport in 1824; it now contains 38,820 acres. It is 
the southeastern town of the county, and the most populous, excepting 
Lockport and Niagara, which include the two cities. The population 
as given by the census of 1892 was 4,768. There are at the present 
time seven post-offices in the town, as follows: Dysinger, Gasport, 
Middleport, McNalls (Corners), Orangeport, Royalton (Center), and 
Wolcottsville. The surface of the town is generally level or undulating, 
except the northern part, where the mountain ridge crosses it. The 
soil is principally a clayey loam and very productive in most parts. 
Tonawanda Creek forms the southern boundary, and Eighteen-mile and 
Johnson's Creeks, flowing northwardly, and Mud Creek, flowing south- 
west, have their sources in this town. 

The first town meeting was held on the first Tuesday in April (the 
7tli), 1818, at the house of Almond H. Millard, a justice of the peace, 
who presided. The first officers, elected on that day, were : 

Almond H. Millard, supervisor; William Smith, town clerk; Warren Rosenkrans, 
Henry Elsworth, and Asher Freeman, assessors; James Lyman and Nathan Com- 
stock, overseers of the poor ; Allen Williams, Robert H. Henderson, and Benjamin 
H. Packard, commissioners of common schools; William Smith, Nathan Comstock, 
and Noah Brooks, commissioners of highways; Solomon Richardson and Samuel 
White, constables and collectors; Almond H. Millard, Burroughs Holmes, Nathan 
Comstock, Joel Amsden, and William Green, inspectors; and fifteen fenceviewers 
and overseers of highways; 1, Phalarius Russell; 2, James Williams, jr. ; 3, Demas 
Hart; 4, Ezra Harwood ; 5, Cyrus Tripp; 6, James Webb; 7, Solomon Mead; 8, Wil- 
liam Letts; 9, Nathan Comstock; 10, Samuel White; 11, John Griswold; 12, Paul 
Sawyer; 13, David C. Culver; 14, Barney Allen; 18, Reuben Hayes. 

The supervisors of the town have been : 


1818-20, Almond H. Jlillard ; 1821, Nathan Comstock ; 1822-23, Daniel Washburn; 
1834-27, John Garnsey; 1828-30, Asher Freeman ; 1831, D. S. Fenn; 1832, Asher 
Freeman; 1833, Ethan Fenn; 1834-37, James Baldwin; 1838-40, David Hurd; 1841, 
John McNall; 1842, David Hurd; 1843, Peter P. Murphy; 1844-^5, Samuel Z. Ross; 
1846, Grandus Davenport; 1847, William S. Fenn; 1848-49, Alfred Colwell; 1850, 
Samuel Z. Ross; 1851-52, Alonzo W. Newcomb; 1853, John Thorn; 1854-55, Oliver 
R. Brown; 1856-59, Alonzo W. Newcomb; 1860, Alfred Colwell; 1861-62, Rufus W. 
Briggs; 1862-65, Robert F. Pierson; 1866-67, Orrin L. Hudnut; 1868, Chauncey Shel- 
don ; 1869-70, Marcus Mabee; 1871-72, Elijah H. Woodworth ; 1873-74, Orrin L. 
Hudnut; 1875-76, John P. Brown; 1877-79, Francis Hunter; 1880-81, Ruthven Kill; 
1883-84, George B. Holdridge; 1885-87, Racine C. Clark; 1888-90, Francis Hunter; 
1891-92, William W. Johnson; 1893-94, Caleb C. McNair; 1895-96 John L. Sheldon: 
1897-98, Arza G. Sherwood. 

The other town officers for 1897 are: 

William E. Graham, town clerk since 1885, excepting one year; W. H. Rhinehart, 
J. A. Good, George F. Thompson, and George Savers, justice of the peace; Peter T. 
Turrell, Edward J. Behe, and Jacob Behe, assessors; Henry Siegler, highway com- 
missioner; Charles W. Schubel and George H. Baker overseers of the poor; F. S. A. 
Coon, collector. 

The first settlement within the limits of this town was the result of 
an accident, if tradition may be believed. Joshua Slaton was on his way 
from Vermont, his native State, to Canada, with his family, when his 
wagon broke down about two miles east of the Cold Springs. What he 
saw of this locality during his necessary delay pleased him and he took 
up land in the northwest corner of the town, cleared a part of it, and 
built a log house; that was in the year I 800. His land included the 
site of Orangeport hamlet, and also of Slaton Settlement, about half a 
mile north of Orangeport. Thomas Slaton, brother of Joshua, came in 
with him or very soon after and was instrumental in founding the set- 
tlement. The Erie Canal and the Central Railroad both pass through 
land formerly owned by these men. Joshua Slaton was an able and in- 
fluential man, and generous in his efforts to promote the settlement. 
He gave land to Mr. Gaskill, the first blacksmith in town, on which to 
build a shop ; he donated, also, land on which was built the first church, 
and land for the earliest graveyard. 

The little settlement was augmented in i 802 by the arrival of Stephen 
Bugbee and Andrew Brown, and in 1803 by Varney Gaskill and Will- 
iam Smith. In 1804 Benjamin Hale, Varnum Treadwell, and Marvin 
Harwood came in, all from the same town in Vermont. Stephen Bug 


bee built the first frame house in 1804 at the settlement, and Marvin Har- 
wood opened a store there in the same year. 

In 181 1 Asher Freeman, sr., purchased 500 acres of land about one 
and a half miles south of the site of Middleport, paying $3.25 per acre. 
He cleared a tract, sowed it to wheat in 18 13, and in 18 15 moved upon 
it and built a log house. He built his later brick house in 1824. 
Stephen Bugbee had already built one a little earlier at Orangeport. In 
181 5 there was no house between Mr. Freeman's and the Buffalo road. 
He was father of Asher Freeman, long a respected citizen. 

Severus Swift came into the town early and located in the southern 
part on the farm afterwards owned by his son, J. C. Swift, half a mile 
north of the site of Wolcottsville, the old Indian trail crossing the farm. 
He came about 1818, at which time all south of hini to Tonawanda was 
a wilderness. Other settlers now came in more rapidly, the clouds of 
war having passed away. Daniel Benedict settled on Tonawanda Creek- 
soon after Mr. Swift's arrival, and Chauncey McKie located in i8i6north 
of the Lewiston or Niagara road on Griswold street. Eliphalet Edmunds 
and John Griswold came to that vicinity about the same time. In 18 16 
Benjamin Barlow was keeping a tavern half a mile south of Middleportsite, 
what was early known by half a dozen names of Corners, but finally 
settled down to Freeman's Corners. Carrington Fisk opened a tavern 
in 1808 at Royalton Center, which was probably the first in the town. 
In 1818 John McNall opened a tavern west of Royalton Center, at what 
is now McNall's Corners, on the old Niagara road, and a little hamlet 
grew up there. ^ 

The old Indian trail that was used during the Revolution, and prob- 
ably long before, in approaching or leaving Niagara from the east, 
passed through this town, entering near the southeast corner in the 
Tonawanda Reservation, and running in a northwesterly direction, 
passing just north of the site of Wolcottsville. A little farther on the 
trail divided, the two branches going on either side of a swamp and 
coming together again just south of McNall's Corners. A little farther 
on it struck what became the Niagara road, and so passed on out of the 
town and through Lockport town. One of the earliest roads laid out in 
Royalton ran through Slaton Settlement in the northwest corner of the 
town. The most prominent highway in the town, or in this region, in 


early years, was the well known Military Road, or the Niagara Road, 
as it is frequently called. 

In 1820 Alexander Lafferty was keeping a tavern southeast of Roy- 
alton Center, on the road just mentioned. About the same time Levi 
Cole opened a hotel in a log house on the corner of what are now Main 
and State streets in Middleport. Soon afterwards a frame house was 
built on an opposite corner and Mr. Cole moved into it and kept a 
tavern until after the beginning of the canal. In 1S04 Marvin Harwood 
opened a small store at Slaton Settlement. He came from Vermont 
and found great difficulty in hauling into the wilderness his small store 
of merchandise. About 18 18 stores were opened at McNall's Corners 
and Freeman's Corners, and formed trade centers around which small 
settlements gathered. James Northam, the first merchant at Middle- 
port, began business in 1822. 

In early years saw mills were scattered about several localities in the 
town, where a little water power existed ; most of them were aban- 
doned long ago. Asher Freeman had an early mill, and there were 
two on Johnson's Creek at Middleport. At Mabee's, a little east of 
Gasport, was located what was probably the first grist mill in town, 
and there was also an early saw mill there. It is claimed by some that 
the first one was on the site of Middleport, while others claim that the 
first one was on the farm owned in recent years by J. Richardson. F. 
B. Lane and James Northam operated early grist mills. Many of 
these were started about 1820-25. I" '828 a carding mill was estab- 
lished at Middleport, and another on the Richardson farm just men- 
tioned. In 18 17 Benjamin Barlow built and started a distillery at Bar- 
low's (Freeman's) Corners ; he had also an ashery with which he did a 
large business. John Mabee also had a distillery about 1821. Asa 
Scott was an early settler and a blacksmith with a shop at Freeman's 
Corners in 1817. 

William Smith was the first surveyor in this immediate locality and 
after settlement became active; he was constantly employed in his pro- 
fession. The first resident physician was Dr. Packard, who came about 
1 8 17 and settled about a mile southwest of Middleport. Dr. Chatter- 
ton soon followed him. In 1820 Dr. John McLoth settled in the south 
part of the town on the Niagara road, and in 1835 Dr. Peter P. Murphy 



located at Royalton Center, where he practiced many years. The first 
couple married in the town was Henry Ellsworth and Polly Cornish in 
1810. The first white male child born in town was Daniel Vaughn, in 
1 806. 

Among other early settlers prior to 1830 were Spellman Underwood 
(in 1819), Erastus L. Williams (born in Royalton in 1814), Joseph H. 
Otis, Asa Carrington. Alanson Doty, Jeremiah Westgate, John Mc- 
Nall, Elias Saftbrd, William Depue, Levi Leonard, Simon Bixby, Hiram 
B. Smith, Timothy Paige, Amos Bronson, James Fisk, Jeremiah Tur- 
ner, Daniel W. Crapsey, George R. Benedict, Lemuel Foster, Richard 
J. McLeland, John Timmerman, Noah Wheeler, John Woodworth, 
George Mitchell, Benjamin Hale, George Bugbee, John W. Stone, Ira 
Weatherby, Jacob Hutchins, Richard Mackey, Thomas Roberts, Asa 
Westcott, William Adams. 

Other early settlers were Avery S. Delano (miller and lumber manu- 
facturer in Middleport), Henry Dysinger, John Ernest, William Ewing, 
John Weyand, Oliver L Wilcox, Gotlob D. Witterman, and Dr. P. 

At this point mention should be made of present or more recent 
residents of the town, as follows: Joseph and George Arnold, O. D. 
Bates, Andrew J. and Edward J. Behe, R. H. Bennington, Fred C. 
Berner, George W. Bowen, John Bowers, Rufus S. Brackett, Nicholas 
Bowers, B. F. Brownell, Henry H. Bugbee, Arnold Button. Nathan 
Campbell, William H. Chase, Chauncey Childs, Martin J. Dale, William 
Dewey, Thomas Dobbins, George Dunbar, Aaron W. Dysinger, Henry 
Dysinger, Chauncey A. and William Dj'singer, George W. Eggleston, 
Henry Ernest, Isaac N. Ewing, Charles H. Francis, B. F. Freeman, 
James and John Freeman, William Fritz, William B. Gardner, George 
W. Good, Washington Good, George B. Holdridge, Solomon Hollen- 
beck, Charles and John J. Jackson, Cornelius and James R. Ketcham, 
Hon. Ruthven Kill, John W. La Bar, jr., George W. Lewis, Daniel and 
Reuben Long, William Luckman, John Mack, John S. Maynard, Jacob 
Miller, Uriah H. Mitchell, Robert Pearce, Conrad and Christopher 
Ramming, William W. Ross, John P. Sawyer, John L. Sheldon, Joseph 
Sheldon, Alfred J. and Pitt H. Smith, George D. Swift, Leroy Sybrandt. 
Cortez Taylor, F"rank Terry, William and Kelsey Todd, William Tur- 


rell, Theodore Van Wagoner, F"rederick Walter, J. M. Williams, James 
Compton (formerly county clerk). 

The villages in this town were mostly brought into existence by the 
construction of the Erie Canal. Royalton Center is an exception, where 
Carrington Fisk opened his tavern in 1808. He owned the land on 
which the hamlet stands east of the corners, and a Mr. Dewey on the 
west. The first post-office in the town was removed from what is now 
Reynale's Basin (formerly Royalton) to Royalton Center soon after its 
establishment, another office being established at Reynale's Basin at a 
later date. A small mercantile business and a few shops have since ex- 
isted here. 

An academy was established at Reynale's Basin in 1837, ^"<^ <i build- 
ing erected with funds raised by subscription. The first trustees were 
Dr. Peter P. Murphy, Anson Baldwin, and William Sibley, all leading 
citizens. Donald G. Frazer was principal, and an attendance of about 
ninety pupils was secured. The institution continued about ten years, 
when it was given up and the building demolished. 

The present business interests of Royalton Center consist of two gen- 
eral stores kept by Norton E. Davison and Chauncey C. Bixby, the 
harness shop of William E. Graham, a large frame hotel, and a post- 
office with George W. Good, postmaster. 

Wolcottsville, also, does not owe its existence to canal influence. It 
is situated in the southeast corner of the town, near the Tonawanda 
Reservation, which extends over the line into Royalton. The land on 
which Wolcottsville stands was a part of 2,000 acres bought of the Hol- 
land Company by Anson Wolcott. He settled there in 1847-48. Ehr- 
ick Sutherland had "squatted" on a part of this tract at an early date. 
When Mr. Wolcott was located he built a steam saw mill, where Charles 
H. Schad's store stood in recent years. The mill employed a large num- 
ber of hands while timber was left to saw. After a few settlers had 
come in there, Mr. Wolcott, in 1851, deeded his whole tract to four 
trustees, viz., Frederick Moll, Christian Moll, Frederick Welland and 
Carl Martins, who laid it out in small lots and in 1872-73 seventy -five 
families from Prussia settled here, drawing their locations by lot. This 
gave rise to the name, Prussian Settlement, which has been applied to 
the immediate section thus settled. After this transfer was made Mr. 
Wolcott removed his saw mill across into Erie county. , 


Joseph Rhodes opened tlie first hotel in tlie place in 1866, and a con- 
siderable trade and shop interest soon came into existence. In 1875 
there were in the place seven hotels of all kinds of pretension, five stores, 
a cigar factory, five wagon and blacksmith shops, a saw mill, two 
churches, and about 1,000 inhabitants. The present merchants are 
Albert RetzlofI', William Luckmann, W. H. Rhinehart (also postmas- 
ter), and Mrs. John Hoepsal. Henry Siegler is a hardware dealer and 

Middleport is the largest and only incorporated village in Royalton. 
It is emphatically a canal village, for previous to the opening of the 
great waterway there was no settlement here, the business of the north- 
eastern part of the town being done at Freeman's Corners, half a mile 
to the southward. When the canal was opened business interests rap- 
idly gathered where Middleport stands. The village takes its name 
from its being about midway between the canal villages of Lockport 
and Albion (formerly Freeport). The land on which the village stands 
was formerly owned by Arunah Bennett on the west side of Main 
street, south of the canal ; by William Taylor on the east side, south 
of the canal ; by Gad Mather on the east side of Vernon street, north 
of the canal ; and by F. B Lane on the west side of Vernon street, 
north of the canal. 

The opening of Levi Cole's tavern here in a log house soon after 
1820 has been noticed. Mr. Cole was imprisoned for a short time for 
killing a workman on the canal, who was one of a party in his tavern, 
and who had insulted Mrs. Cole. The man was knocked down by Cole, 
when the whole party attacked him and in the ensuing struggle he 
struck one of his assailants with a club and killed him. This was the 
first homicide in this locality. 

James Northam opened the first store in the village in 1822, in a small 
frame building erected by him about where Main street crosses the 
canal and near the canal bank. A. S. Baker was his clerk. At that 
time the canal was not cut through and the trees along the canal line 
had been cut only recently and the brush was still piled along Main 
street at that point. Mr. Northam subsequently sold out his business 
to John Craig and Thomas Dunlap, and they were succeeded by Lane 


& Baker. Mr. Craig was the father-in-law of Daniel W. Powers, of 

G. and E. Mather established a small tannery in 1824 and also car- 
ried on a boot and shoe business. Smith & Calkins were blacksmiths 
about 1820 and later. John Macker began here as a tailor in 1830, the 
first in the place. He was followed by Messrs. Bridgeman, Stone, 
Snell and Charles Wilcox. In 1840 John Van Brocklin established a 
blast furnace, the first and only one ever in the village ; it was later 
operated by his son. 

Among other old-time merchants of Middleport were Timothy Bray, 
grocer; A. G. Taylor, drugs; James P. Compton, hardware; Alden S. 
Baker, who was also a justice of the peace ; Roswell Kelsey, Albert 
Day, David Gardner (of Gardner & House) L. T. Mather, B. P. Barnes 
(afterward the owner of the flouring mill now operated by John F. Little 
& Son), Peirce & McClean, Linus Spalding, Mason & Son, Jonas P. 
Lane, William S. Fenn, Harvey Francis, Ferdinand Hinchey, S. N. 
Spalding, Daniel Van Brocklin, and Davis Brothers (lumber) A. D. 
Rich has been a hotel keeper here for about twenty- three years; he 
built his present brick hotel in 1884 on the site of a frame house, which 

The present (1897) business interests of Middleport are carried on by 
M. E. Dobmeyer and F. M. Smith, dry goods ; E. F. Lahey and Max 
Harpuder, clothing; W. H. Garland and G. A. Wickham, shoes; A. K. 
Laird, L. H. Spalding, C. W. Platts, Joseph Lewis and Carey Brothers ; 
Edgar B. French and W. I. Van Brocklin, hardware; Compton & Ben- 
nett, furniture; C. R. Dunkin, jewelry; Jerry Tracy, bakery; C B. 
Taylor, drugs and banking ; L. S. Freeman, banking; William D. Hoyt 
and W. J. Hinchey, notions ; Lee Compton, meats ; Robert Pearce, 

William J. Sterritt located in Middleport in 1867 and established a 
cooperage business, which still continues. In 1878 he purchased a 
heading mill. In 1884, with Messrs. Eddy and Rowley, he bought the 
Middleport paper mill property and in 1886 became sole owner. In 
1 891 he organized the Hartland Paper Company for the manufacture of 
box boards; the capacity is 2,500 tons per annum. 

The Royalton Door Company succeeded the Middleport Manufac- 


tuning Company in 1896, and does a large business. The Batavia Pre- 
serving Company, of which Charles H Francis is manager, is another 
important concern in Middleport. 

The Middleport Union School District No. i was organized August 
II, 1 89 1, with the following Board of Trustees: H. A. Wilmot, presi- 
dent; George D. Judson, clerk; William J. Sterritt, Linus S. Freeman 
and George A. Wickham. The present (1897) board consists of 
William J. Sterritt, president; George F". Thompson, clerk; Rev. James 
J. Roche, George G. Judson, Linus S. Freeman and Dr. John B. Hoyer. 
The principal is Frederick R. Stevens. The old stone school house was 
enlarged by a brick addition in 1893 at a cost of about $6,500. 

The Middleport Library Association was formed in 1873, by Rev. 
James H. Dennis, with the following officers : President, C. W. Gould ; 
secretary, E. L. Downey ; librarian and treasurer, E. A. Phillips. The 
first collection of books was donated by citizens of the village ; these 
were added to by funds obtained from several lecture courses. The 
institution, after several years of usefulness, finally went down. 

The Middleport Mail was issued as a weekly newspaper for several 
years by S. H. Clark. In September, 1888, J. E. Cooper established 
the Middleport Herald, which in September, 1885, was sold by him to 
W. John Hinchey, the present editor and publisher. 

W. John Hinchey, editor and publisher of the Middleport Herald, is 
a son of Ferdinand and Emeline (Horsfallj Hinchey, and was born Feb- 
ruary 8, 1869, in Middleport, N. Y. , where his parents settled at the 
close of the civil war. His father was a cigar manufacturer, postmaster, 
and merchant in that village, and died December 23, 1889. Mr. Hinchey 
was educated in the Middleport Union school and the Clinton Liberal 
Institute at Fort Plain, N. Y., graduating from the latter in 1889. After 
teaching school for two years he engaged in mercantile business in his 
native village, and in September, 1895, became the editor and publisher 
of the Middleport Herald, which he has made one of the leading papers 
of the county. 

Middleport has always been an excellent market for produce, not 
only during the period when it all had to be shipped by canal, but also 
since the completion of the branch of the Central Railroad. This was 
the chief factor in its rapid growth during the first twenty }ears of its 


existence. The population had become so numerous and public affairs 
of so much importance, tiiat village incorporation at length seemed de- 
sirable. Accordingly a village election to vote upon the proposition 
was held February 26, 1859, and a vote favorable to the change was 
polled. The first election of village officers was held March 22, 1859, 
and the following were elected trustees : A J. Baker, B. P. Barnes, 
Horace Pierce, Thomas F. Smith, and F. S. Taylor. The first official 
meeting was held March 28, and Francis S. Taylor was chosen president 
of the board. Since that time the successive presidents have been as 
follows : 

1860, Milton Seaman; 1861, Francis S. Taylor; 1863-3, Allen H. Pierce; 1864, A. 
S. Baker; 1865-67, Milton Seaman; 1868, Avery S. Delano; 1869, John Todd; 1870, 
John N. Dunn; 1871, A. H. Pierce; 1872, Henry McClean, jr., who was appointed 
March 26 and served to June 3, 1872, when a new village charter went into force 
under which the president was elected by the people and Avery S. Delano was 
chosen. The number of trustees was also reduced to three. 1873, C. R. Blakslee ; 
1874, Henry McClqan, jr., 187.J, Charles H. Francis; 1876, J. H. Dunn; 1877-78, 
Charles H. Francis; 1879, C. W. Laskey; 1880, Benjamin F. Freeman; 1881-82, 
Henry McClean ; 1888, Charles H. Francis; 1884-85, Henry McClean; 1886-88, Will- 
iam J. Sterritt; 1889-90, Charles H. Francis; 1891, Thomas W. Jackson; 1892, Ezra 
B. DeLano; 1893, George W. Eddy; 1894, Edward J. Tuttle; 1895, William J. 
Sterritt; 1896, Edward J. Tuttle; 1897, Michael E. Carey. 

The other village officers for 1897 are : 

Everett A. Pearce, clerk; Alfred J. Lewis, Romiro E. Hunt, and Michael O'Shaugh- 
nessey, trustees; Truman Jennings, collector; Lewis H. Spalding, treasurer; N. L. 
Wallace, street commissioner; William D. Aldrich, light commissioner. 

The fire department of Middleport was organized in 1884, and con- 
sists of the W. J. Sterritt Fngine Co., the L. H. Spalding Hose Co., 
and the A. D. Rich Hook and Ladder Co. Dr. Eli Clark is chief; 
James Brath, first assistant ; Clark D. Brewer, second assistant. In 
1888 a reservoir was built for fire purposes ; later another was added, 
and this year (1897) two more are being constructed. In 1895 a new 
steam engine gave place to an old horse power engine. Prior to the 
organization of the present fire department the village was protected 
from fire by a few hydrants supplied with water from private sources. 

Gasport is a small village the existence of which is largely due to the 
canal. It is situated about midway between Lockport and Middleport. 
It has been stated that Samuel Hitchcock built the first house here 


about 1824, and kept the first tavern. He owned a good deal of the 
land on which the village stands, other portions being formerly owned 
by Col. Jonathan Mabee and a Mr. Melick. The village derives its 
name from the fact that inflammable gas formerly rose from certain 
springs that were subsequently destroyed in digging the canal. After 
some experimenting, the gas from these springs was confined and sent 
into pipes which were laid to a store and warehouse in the village, 
which were well lighted for a time. The first flouring mill here was 
built h^ Col. Jonathan Mabee a little northeast of the village on Eight- 
een-piile Creek, and about the same time Andrew and Amos Brown 
had a saw mill south of the village. The first store in the place was 
opened in 1823 by Sextus Shearer. A Mr. Wool worth was an early 
wagon maker, and a Mr. Marcy a blacksmith. Dr. Timothy Y. G. Page 
was the first physician. A. Colwell was the first postmaster. The 
present merchants are Caleb C. McNair and Blakeman & Pease, general 
stores, Samuel G. Barton, grocer and postmaster; and Mesler & Pease, 
hardware. Charles L. Wilson is proprietor of the hotel here. 

To promote education in Gasport an academy was founded in 1850, 
through the organization of a stock company, and a brick building 25 
by 40 feet in size and two stories high was erected. William Crocker 
was chosen principal and about seventy pupils attended. The institu- 
tion received a fair patronage during nearly twenty years, when it was 
closed and the building sold to the Congregational church for a par- 

After the opening of a store and John McNall's tavern at McNall's 
Corners, in 1818, on the Niagara road, a little hamlet grew up about it 
and for a time small business interests were maintained there. In 
recent years a post-office has existed there under the name McNall's. 
The hamlet is about two miles west of Royalton Center. 

The hamlet of Reynale's Basin, is situated on the canal about five 
miles west of Middleport. It was formerly a point of considerable im- 
portance for shipping produce and the first post office in the town was 
established here ; it was subsequently removed to Royalton Center, as 
before stated. When Middleport and Gasport began their rapid devel- 
opment, business at this place declined and has almost disappeared. 
The place derives its name from George Reynale, who located here as 


soon as the canal was completed and built a frame structure on the 
north side of the canal and west of the road crossing there. He opened 
a grocery and soon began buying staves and heading and other prod- 
ucts of the locality. Cornelius Mock has a general store there. John 
W. Shafer came here about 1857, from Johnson's Creek, and engaged 
in the mercantile business for nine years, when he built his present cold 
storage plant. 

Dysinger, in the central part of the town, is a post-office estab- 
lished in recent years. The place derives its name from the teljsinger 
family, who have lived in the neighborhood for many years. Thjre is 
a Baptist church there, but no business of account. * 

Orangeport, a post office and hamlet in the northwest part of the 
town, on the Erie Canal, was originally settled by Joshua and Thomas 
Slaton. The former was the real founder of the place, and gave the 
sites for the first church, blacksmith shop, and burying grounds, the 
latter of which is the oldest in town, the first burial in it being that of a 
Mr. Elsworth in 1804. The post-office was established about 1850 
with a Mr. Hart as postmaster. There is now a hotel and the store of 
Mrs. M. E. Atwood. 

South Royalton is a locality in the south part of the town, and be 
sides a few houses contains a frame M. E. church. 

The Mountain Ridge Cemetery Association was organized June 16, 
1848, with Alanson T. Odell, president; Philip Freeman, M. W. Bal- 
dwin, Oliver Brown, James Culver E. Odell, Franklin Knapp, and 
Stephen Green, trustees. The cemetery is located four and one half 
miles southwest of Middleport. 

Of the early schools in this town there is not much record. The first 
one was probably established in or near the Slaton Settlement, where 
the first comers located. There was a school house in district No. 23 as 
early as 18 18, which was at that time the only one south of the Military 
road. The first teacher there was Margaret Fixley, and Dr. John Mc- 
Loth taught in the following winter. April 20, 18 18, the commissioners 
of common schools, Allen Williams, Robert H. Henderson, and Benjamin 
H. Packard, met and divided the town into eight school districts; on 
May 16 of the same year this number was increased to nine. As the 
population increased the town was divided and subdivided into school 



districts and better school buildings superseded the first ones, which 
were generally of logs. For the past forty years or more there have 
been twenty-four districts, which is the present number, with a school 
house in each. With Cambria, Wheatfield, Lockport and Pendleton 
the town constitutes the first commissioner's district. 

The first religious services and the first church organization were in- 
stituted at or near the site of Orangeport. Prayer meetings were held 
at first until considerable interest was awakened, when the first 
preacher, Oliver Castle, came to the neighborhood. In June, 1813, 
Elders Joel Doubleday and Joel Nathaniel Brown came and baptized a 
number of persons. In August, 1817, a memorable revival began, and 
during that year seventy-three persons were baptized. In the sum- 
mer of 18 18 a frame church was built, but it was not wholly finished 
until six years later; it is believed to have been the first house for 
public worship on the Holland Purchase. On the 5th of P'ebruary, 
1821;, a society was incorporated with the title. The First Christian 
Society of Royalton, with William Smith, Benjamin Hale, and Nathan 
Stone, trustees. In that year the church building was painted red and 
it was always known as the "red meeting house on the hill." In the 
winter of 1845 it was burned and the new church built on the site. In 
the spring of 1861 the society purchased the property adjoining on the 
south for a parsonage. 

The Congregational church of Royalton, situated at Gasport, was or- 
ganized October 5, 1817, by Rev. Eleazar Fairbanks, a missionary, 
with seventeen members. The present church edifice was built in 1848, 
from which time the church was without a settled pastor for many years ; 
but the pulpit was supplied with considerable regularity. In 1877 Rev. 
Edward Harwood was settled with the church. The society purchased 
the brick academy building in 1870 for a parsonage. 

The Methodist Episcopal church of Royalton was organized through 
the work of a class formed in April, 18 18, by Daniel Shepherdson and 
Cyrus Story, circuit preachers; Joel Bixby was the first leader. There 
were sixteen members and meetings were held every four weeks at the 
house of the leader. The first trustees were elected in 1836, and the 
original church edifice was erected in 1838 ; it was rebuilt in 1862, is 
of brick and originally cost $3,000. The society has had a flourishing 


The First Baptist cluiich of Royalton is situated four miles south of 
Gasport and near Dysinger. The organization was effected August 20, 
1822, by eleven members, and the first meeting was held in the school 
house of district No. 13. From 1822 to 1836 Elders Parsons and 
Waterbury were the pastors, after which to 1847 there were no stated 
services, but the church was supplied by surrounding societies. A 
church was in 1823 erected which was burned and replaced by another 
in 1866. riic parsonage adjoining the cluircii was purchased at a cost 
of $2,000. 

The Presbyterian church of Middleport was organized June 1 1, 1833, 
and was received into the Presbytery of Niagara in the same month. 
The society had a fairly prosperous existence, the services being usually 
held by stated sup])lies, until 1875, when the church property was sold 
to the Roman Catholics. There were at that time about eighty mem- 
bers and the society was nearly free from debt. The price received for 
the property was $1,700. In 1888 the present frame church was 

The Catholic mission which purchased this projjcrty immediately im- 
proved and repaired the edifice and have since used it for their services. 
This is known as St. Stephen's Roman Catholic church, and Rev. J. J. 
Roche is the pastor. 

The Middleport Methodist church was organized April 18, 1827, with 
Francis B. Lane, James Williams, John Bickford, Arunah Bennett, and 
Abijah Terry, trustees Rev. John Copeland was then preaching and 
the large wooden church edifice was built in the same year. The society 
owns also a comfortable parsonage 

The Universalist church of Middleport was formed as the result of 
preaching in that faith which was begun by Rev. Linus S. Everett, whose 
services were secured by Judge A. S. Baker. Mr. Everett continued to 
preach in the school houses for some time, and finally a society was or- 
ganized and a church building erected of stone and brick in 1841. The 
building was extensively improved in 1871. 

A Free Will Baptist society was organized in early years and in 1839 
a church was built about two miles south of Middleport. Elder Oilman 
was the first pastor. In after years the building was occupied by other 
denominations also. 

28 I 

Trinity church (German Lutheran) is in Wolcottsville and was organ- 
ized in 1854. The present brick church was built in 1S67, the brick being 
made on the lot where the chnrch stands, the work being done by the 
members. The society is largely made up of the German residents of 
that part of the town. 

In 1858 the Evangelical Association was organized at Gasport, with 
about thirty members. For nearly thirty years meetings were held in 
the old school house. In 1S78 a new wooden church was erected. 

The German Lutherans also have a frame church in Wolcottsville 
that was built more than twenty-five years ago. 

St. Mary's Roman Catholic church was organized in 1858, with about 
fifty members. A frame church was built the same year in Gasport. 

Trinity (Episcopal) church at Middleport, is noted at length in the 
chapter devoted to Lockport. 



The town of Lewiston was erected from Cambria on February 27, 
1 8 18, and has always retained its original area, which is 22,231 acres. 
The town is the central ore of the three western tier and borders on 
the Niagara River. The mountain ridge divides the town into two 
nearly equal parts, and the surface is broken and rolling along the base 
of the ridge, while elsewhere it is comparatively level. The soil is 
generally a productive sandy loam. Four-mile, Six mile and Twelve- 
mild Creeks rise in this town and flow northeasterly to the lake ; Fish 
Creek flows westerly to Niagara River in the southern part, and several 
small streams help to drain the town. The Devil's Hole, the scene of 
the terrible massacre in the French war, is on the bank of the river in 
the extreme southern part of the town. Five miles above Fort Ni- 
agara and bordering the river is a peculiar flat of several acres which 
is more than sixty feet lower than the surrounding territory and bears 
the name of F"ive-mile Meadow. It was here that the British landed 



the night before the capture of Fort Niagara, in December, 1814, as 
described in earlier chapters. This town possesses scenery of great 
beauty and grandeur, and its history in early years is replete with 
tales of stirring events. 

Upon the erection of the town the first town meeting was ordered 
held at the house of Sparrow Sage, and the second was held at the 
house of John Gould. The date of the first meeting was April 7, 
1 8 18, and it was presided over by Rufus Spalding and Gideon 
Frisbee, justices of the peace. The following officers were then 
elected : 

Supervisor, Rufus Spalding; town clerk, Oliver Grace; assessors, Benjamin Bar- 
ton, Amos M. Kidder and William Miller; highway commissioners, John Beach, 
Aaron Childs, Reuben Reynolds; overseers of the poor, Jacob Townsend and Arthur 
Gray; school commissioners, Joshua Fairbanks, William Miller and Rufus Spalding; 
inspectors of schools, Amos M. Kidder, Reuben Reynolds and William Hotchkiss; 
constable and collector, Eleazer Daggett ; sealer of weights and measures, Amos S. 
Tryon. Eleven overseers of highways were also chosen, one for each of the districts 
into which the town was divided. 

The usual ordinances for governing the town, regulating the restric- 
tion of domestic animals, placing a bounty on bear scalps, raising $200 
for improvement of roads, and $75 for support of the poor, were voted 
at the first town meeting, and added to at subsequent meetings, as 
necessity demanded. 

The supervisors of Lewistown have been as follows : 

Rufus Spalding, 1818; Benjamin Barton, 1819-27; (Nathaniel Leonard filled out 
an unexpired term of Mr. Barton's in 1823); Jacob Townsend, 1828-30; Sheldon C. 
Townsend, 1831; Lothrop Cook, 1832; Alexander Dickerson, 1833-41; Sherburne B. 
Piper, 1842-45; Benjamin Hewitt, 1846; Seymour Scovell, 1847^8; Benjamin Hewitt, 
1849; Arthur Gray, jr., 1850; Leander K. Scovell, 1851; Andrew Robinson, 1852-53; 
John L. Whitman, 1854; John Robinson, 1855; Reuben H. Boughton, 1856; Frank- 
lin Spalding, 1857; Benjamin Hewitt, 1858; Franklin Spalding, 1859-60; Isaac C. 
Cook, 1861-62; Moses Bairsto, 1863-66; Silas S. Hopkins, 1867; Moses Bairsto, 1868; 
Sherburne B. Piper, 1869-74; William J. Moss, 1875-77; William P. Mentz, 1878-80; 
Galen Miller, 1881-85; William J. Cooke, 1886-90; Galen Miller, 1891; Wilber T. 
Pool, 1892-98. 

Thomas P. Scovell served as town clerk for forty consecutive years, 
from 1852 to September 29, 1892, when he resigned, and Milton Rob- 
inson was appointed to fill the vacancy. The present town clerk is 
•William C. Townsend. 


This town is the permanent abiding place of the Tuscarora Indians, 
whose reservation occupies about a third of the area in the central and 
northern part. The history of this tribe is well known. In the war of 
the Revolution such of the Tuscaroras and the Oneidas as joined the 
British forces and fled before the approach of Sullivan in his expedition 
westward, sought refuge with the British garrison at Fort Niagara. In 
the ne.xt year a part of these returned to their former haunts in Central 
New York, and the remainder took up their abode on a mile square of 
land on the mountain ridge here, which had been given them by the 
Senecas. At a later date the Holland Company granted them two 
square miles adjoining their former possessions, and in 1808 they pur- 
chased of the company an additional tract of between 4,000 and 5,000 
acres. These lands constitute the present reservation, which has been 
brought under good cultivation, and the occupants have so far advanced 
in civilization that they form a respectable element in citizenship. They 
have two churches, Baptist and Presbyterian, the latter having been in 
existence since 1805. There are also good schools and the council 
house. The nation was long ruled by Chief John Mountpleasant, 
son of Captain Mountpleasant, who was born on the island of Mack- 
inaw in 1779 and came to the reservation two years later. He was 
an officer in the British army in 18 12 and participated in the battle 
of Queenston ; he also served as interpreter, being versed in the 
language of various tribes. After the war lie returned to the reserva- 
tion, where he died October 9. 1854. John Mountpleasant, the son, 
was born January 18, 1810, and was elected chief in 1827, when only 
seventeen years old. In 183 1 he was married to Jane Green, a daugh- 
ter of the tribe, who subsequently died and he married Caroline G. 
Parker, a Seneca woman and sister of Gen. Ely S. Parker, who was 
General Grant's military secretary. This chief was possessed of a good 
degree of intelligence and executive ability and was a representative 
Indian ; he served as one of the delegates of the Six Nations at the 
obsequies of Red Jacket in Buffalo ; he was one of the trustees of the 
Thomas Indian Orphan asylum, and a corresponding member of the 
Buffalo Historical Society. His administration of the affairs of his peo- 
ple was marked with ability, judgment and kindness. He successfully 
cultivated a large farm, and lived in a large and handsome dwelling 


where tlie most liberal hospitality always prevailed. Chief Mount- 
pleasant died May 6, 1887. 

The first permanent white settlement in this town was made at 
about the beginning of the present century on the site of Lewiston 
village. Among the few who were located here in 1800 were the 
families of Frederick Woodman, William Gambol, Thomas Hustler, 
Henry Hough, Henry Mills, Joseph and John Howell, and two others 
named Middaugh and McBride. Thomas Hustler was an early tavern 
keeper, his house standing on a corner of what is now Center street 
opposite its junction with Portage street. His house was long well 
known and popular. Middaugh was keeping a tavern as early as 
1788, and McBride built a tannery here in 1799. The History of 
the Holland Purchase states that Silas Hopkins said he spent most 
of the summer of 1788 in Lewiston, buying furs, and that the only white 
inhabitant then was Middaugh. In published reminiscences of John 
Mountpleasant it is stated that the Middaughs were from the North 
River, and that when they came here they occupied one of the old 
houses left by the Mohawks. Hough had a Mohawk wife and lived in 
a house that had been occupied by Brant. 

In 1802 Lemuel Cooke settled here and was conspicuous in the early 
history of the place, and his sons were afterwards leading citizens. Mr. 
Cooke had been a surgeon in the army. One of his sons was Bates 
Cooke, who held the office of comptroller of the State, and was a member 
of congress with Daniel Webster; he died in Lewiston May 31, 1841. 
Another son was Judge Lothrop Cooke, who died in July, 1855. A third 
was Isaac Cooke, who died earlier. 

Jesse Beach settled in the town in 1801, and two years later located 
on a farm two miles east of Lewiston village. Later he owned the 
farm occupied at one period by Colonel A. Dickerson at Dickersonville 
and there built the first dwelling and blacksmith shop. Silas Hop- 
kins, before mentioned, settled in the town in the first year in which 
the lands of the Holland Company were offered for sale. He was 
afterwards a colonel in the American army in 18 I 2, and subsequently 
was one of the judges of this county. John Robinson, from Pennsyl- 
vania, settled on the west third of lot 11, in 1806. Asahel Sage came 
into the town and located on his farm in 1 807; his neighbors were 


John Gould, and two families named Rragbill and Smith, who had lo- 
cated on the first tier of lots east of the Mile Reserve. There were then 
no settlers father east on the mountain. Solomon Gilbert was an early 
settler in the town, and Joseph Hewitt came in several years before 
the war, having removed from Connecticut to Genesee county in 1803, 
and later to the town of Cambria, until he exchanged farms with Wil- 
liam Howell and became owner of the place occupied subsequently by 
his son, J. P. Hewitt. Isaac Colt came in from Sussex, N. J., in 1809, 
bringing his wife and si.x children, making the journey with two yoke 
of o.xen; he lived a short time on lot 24, on the Military road, but soon 
located on lot 25, where he opened a tavern. In the same year Aaron 
Childs came with his wife and four children and settled on the Ridge 
road, where he kept a tavern a number of years, and finally removed to 

Dr. Alvord was the first resident physician, but it is not known just 
when he arrived. He was followed by Dr. VVillard Smith in 18 10. A 
school was opened in 1806 by a Scotchman named Watson, and the 
following year Jonas Harrison, who was a pioneer lawyer, opened an- 
other in a log building on what is now Center street. One of the two 
rooms in the building was used for a dwelling and the other for the 
school. The village has been described as it appeared in 1807, when 
"it contained two small frame and five or si.x log houses. The ground 
on either side of Main (now Center) street, for a short distance, was 
cleared and fenced in, and corn and other grain was grown on it. 
There were many old dry trees standing, and thick woods bounded it 
on the north and south sides." 

Joshua Fairbanks, long a resident of Lewiston, made his first visit to 
Western New York in 1791, and narrated to Mr. Turner his experiences 
on his journey and after his arrival as follows: 

We coasted up Lake Ontario ; going on shore and camping nights. We were sev- 
enteen days making the journe)' from Geneva to Qiieenston. The only person we 
saw on the route, from Oswego to Niagara, was William Hencher, at the mouth of 
Genesee river. We made a short call at Fort Niagara, reporting ourselves to the 
commanding officer. He gave us a specimen of British civility, during the "hold- 
over" after the Revolution. If was after a protracted dinner-sitting, I should think. 

He asked where I was going. I replied to Chippewa. "Go along and be d d to 

you." was his laconic verbal passport. There was then outside of the garrison, 
under its walls, upon the flats, two houses. No tenement at Youngstown. 


I landed at Queenston — went into a house, partly of logs and partly framed, 
and commenced keeping tavern. There was then a road from Fort Niagara to 
Fort Erie. At Queenston, Hamilton had a good house built, the rest were small 
log huts. 

Benjamin Barton settled in Levviston in 1807, but had previously be- 
come interested in business with General Porter. As soon as the Mile 
strip on the Niagara River was surveyed into farm and village lots, he 
attended the sale at the office of the surveyor-general in Albany; that 
was in 1 805. While there he met General Porter and their long friend- 
ship began. They purchased several farm lots, including the property 
around the falls, and bid oft" at public auction the landing places at Lew- 
iston and Schlosser, for which they received a lease for twelve or thir- 
teen years. In 1 806, under the firm name of Porter, Barton & Co. 
(which has been noticed in the history of Niagara), they commenced 
the carrying trade around the falls on the American side ; they were 
connected with Matthew McNair, of Oswego, and Jonathan Walton & 
Co., of Schenectady; and this was the first regular and connected line 
of forwarders that ever did business from tide water to Lake Erie on 
that side of the Niagara. After the war of 1 81 2 Mr. Barton moved 
with his family to Lewiston, his favorite place of residence, and com- 
menced rebuilding and repairing the property which had been injured 
in the war. During the last fifteen or twenty years of his life he re- 
tired from business, excepting agriculture, to which he was much at- 
tached. He died in Lewiston in 1842, at the age of seventy-two years. 

In May of 1801 Gen. James Wilkenson arrived on the frontier, com- 
missioned to open a road between Lakes Ontario and Erie. He 
ordered General Porter, then at P'ort Niagara, to aid in the work with 
the soldiers in the garrison. Of this work Turner says: 

In the season of 1802 it was opened as far west as the brow of the mountain at 
Lewiston; and from thence to a mile west of Tonawanda creek, the timber was cut 
down, but not removed. The work of the season included the erection of bridges 
over the Tonawanda and Cayuga creeks. The road was left in this condition until 
1809, when an appropriation was made by the Legislature for its further improve- 
ment, of SI, 500; the sum to be collected from the debtors to the State for land pur- 
chased upon the Mile strip. Joseph Landon, Peter Vandeventer, and Augustus 
Porter were appointed commissioners to lay out the money. It was used to make a 
passable wagon road from Black Rock to the Falls. This was the end of govern- 
ment appropriation. 


Judge Silas Hopkins narrated some of his reminiscences to Turner, 
in which is found the following: 

[ spent most of the summer of 1788, at Lewiston, purchasing furs. I bought prin- 
cipally beaver, otter, muskrat, mink. The Indian hunting grounds for these animals 
were the marshes along the Ridge road, the bays of the Eighteen, Twelve, and Four- 
mile creeks. The marsh where I now live (six miles east of Lewiston), was then, 
most of the year, a pond or small lake. The only white inhabitant at Lewiston, 
then was Midpaugh. He kept a tavern— his customers, the Indians, and travellers 
on their way to Canada. I caiTied back to New Jersey about four hundred dollars 
worth of furs, on pack horses. At that period, furs were plenty. I paid for beaver, 
from four to six shillings; for otter about the same; for mink and muskrat four 
cents. There were a good many bears, wolves, and wild cats ; but a few deer. Im- 
mediately after the defeat of St. Clair, the Indians were very insolent and manifest- 
ed much hostility towards the whites. 

Asahel Sage settled on a farm in Lewiston in 1807. He gave the 
following reminiscences to Turner : 

I moved upon the farm in Lewiston, where I now reside, in 1807. John Gould, 
Bragbill, Smith, were then settled on the first tier of lots back of the Mile- 
strip; no other settler farther east up the mountain. Sanders, Doty, Goodwin, Web- 
ster, Hawley, were the pioneer settlers in Sanders' Settlement. Jairus Rose, 

Defoe, Springsteen, the Carneys, went in west of Pekin after the war. The Rey- 
nolds and Carneys were the first settlers at Pekin. Beamer, Wilson, Bridge, Dr. 
Ortan, Bliss, Earls, were among the earliest settlers between ridge and mountain 
west of Scott's. 

Besides those already mentioned there are known to have been sev- 
eral other settlers in Lewiston village before the war. John Latta be- 
came a settler a few years before the war and built a tannery which he 
operated until the burning of the place. Caleb W. Raymond and a 
man named Hull were blacksmiths, and a man named Dorman was an 
apothecary. It is likely that there were a few other residents. 

Achish Pool, with his wife and two sons, Thomas and William, made 
the journey from Massachusetts in 181 1 and arrived at Lewiston Oc- 
tober 13. Their conveyance was a covered wagon which was drawn 
by a yoke of oxen and one horse. The Gillette family were also early 
settlers at Lewiston. 

A list of other prominent though later residents of the town includes 
Joseph P. Hewitt, a contractor, farmer, and lumberman ; Hetzel Colt, 
born here in 1809; Walter Lotta, born in town in 1826; Jeremiah G. 
Campbell, many years assessor, who came here from Vermont in 1S19; 


Robert and A. J. Nichols, fruit growers and natives of Lewiston ; Ziba 
A. Downer, who arrived in 1832 ; James Buckley, who came herewith 
his parents about 1835 ; and John A. Cleghorn, Edgar W. Barber, 
Lewis W. Hull, James Kelley, Leander K. Scovell, Samuel Treichler, 
Capt. James Van Cleve, Charles McConnell, William P. Mentz, William 
Legg, Miles Parker, J. N. Babcock, James Johnson, William Patterson, 
Charles and George Hotchkiss, Samuel Burns, Philip Bechtel, Asa 
Thompson, Isaac N. Jack, Samuel B Russ, Charles A. Bairsto, W. S. 
McCollum, J. O. Hooker, J. W. Murray, and others. 

The war came and with it all the attendant terrors of hurried flight 
by the inhabitants, destruction of property and cessation of industry. 
There was a rude arsenal building in Lewiston at this time which stood 
near the site of the later American Hotel, in which were stored arms 
and other munitions of war. A small battery was built on the brow 
of the mountain opposite Queenston Heights in 1812, which was called 
Fort Gray, after the man who superintended the work. Some years 
before the war, even, the inhabitants had a foretaste of what was in 
store for them. In 1808 the 41st British Regiment was stationed in 
Fort George, some of whom deserted and came over to this side. The 
British employed Indians to arrest the deserters and return them to 
their command. An incident of these proceedings is thus related by 
an early resident : 

I have seen a large number — twenty or more — British soldiers sent over the river, 
tramping with impunity up and down the Main street of Lewiston, inquiring and 
searching for deserters. The Indians caught two and took them past Lewiston in 
the night, over the river. They were severely flogged, and it was reported that each 
received five hundred lashes. The feelings of our people became aroused at this 
insolent manner of capturing deserters, and they determined to stop it. For two or 
three miles on the road running east of Lewiston the people had ten hours to give 
notice to each other of trouble. I remember that one bright moonlight night we 
were all aroused by the blowing of the horns, and men armed came rushing in with 
the information that the Indians had got some deserters and were coming in with 
them. The alarm proved false. About the same time Sergeant McDonald, who 
had charge of some twenty-five men at Queenston, came over with three or four men 
to hunt for deserters. This party the citizens captured, and were about starting 
them off to jail at Batavia, when a committee of some of the leadmg men in Canada 
came across the river, and an agreement was made with our people that no more 
soldiers should be sent to our side, or Indians employed to catch deserters. 

Another incident that took place in connection with the embargo on 
trade, was thus related : 



Mr. Dorman, who has been mentioned as an early apothecary in the village, had 
goods and potash that were of great value in Canada, but the embargo prevented 
their being taken over. On town nieetmg day, which was the first Tuesday of April, 
when every man in the place was attending the meeting, some twelve miles distant, 
Dorman had three boats come from Queenston with twenty or twenty-five men, 
armed with clubs swinging at their wrists. They opened the store, and rolled the 
ashes and carried the other property down the hill and took it over the river. Hav- 
ing so much to do, they did not quite get through until the men began to return from 
the meeting, where they had got information of what was going on. As a conse- 
quence the Canadians had to leave a large .share of the property, which fell into the 
hands of the citizens of the village. 

The following interesting notes on the local situation on the frontier 
in this immediate locality, were contributed to a county newspaper re- 
cently : 

At the junction of the Portage road with Main street, there was a public house for 
many years, which, during the war of 1813, was kept by a man named Gad Pierce, 
who was an active frontier partisan. When hostilities commenced between the two 
countries, there was a very small number of troops on the American side of the 
river, and oLly a single company to garrison Fort Niagara. It was expected every 
night that the Fort would be attacked by the British, who had a large force at Fort 
George. Mr. Pierce, aware of this state of affairs, one day raised all the inhabitants 
in the surrounding country, and had them assemble at Lewiston. Horses of every 
kind were brought into requisition, and when the citizens were mounted, they ap- 
peared at a distance like a formidable troop of cavalry. Among them, too, were 
several Tuscarora Indians, who entered with spirit into the maneuvre. Instead 
of swords they used walking canes, sticks and ramrods Several of the ramrods 
were polished Steel or iron, which made a very bright and fla.shy appearance. 
The cavalcade moved from Lewiston, along the river road, in sight of the enemy, 
and entered Fort Niagara, the blankets of the Indians fluttering in the wind, and 
the various habiliments of the farmers, the limping and overstrained plow horse, 
the nibbling gait and twitching head of the wild pony, with now and then a 
noble looking horse, formed, to those who were near, a most ludicrous spectacle. 
In the fort they dismounted and performed some slight evolutions in the most 
laughable manner. At the command to mount some of the Indians executed the 
order in such a masterly way as to throw themselves entirely over their ponies. 
To the British, the imposing appearance of the troops with their steel ramrods, 
which glittered in the son like broadswords, had the desired effect; the contemplated 
attack was not made. At the time of the general invasion Mr. Pierce had his family 
removed to a place of safety, but would not himself quit the premises. He and four 
others formed the little garrison, with which he determined to defend his home. 
They waited for the approach of the enemy. At length a company of British regu- 
lars appeared and a fire was opened on them. They continued the defence for some 
time, but as their opponents were numerous, it was impossible to keep them at a 
distance. A part advanced upon the front of the house and succeeded in breaking 


down the door, firing the guns as they entered. The defenders effected their escape 
in an opposite direction without any of their number being wounded. 

After the investment of Fort George and F'ort Erie by the Americans 
in the spring of 1813, and when the frontier was in their possession, 
they estabhshed a ferry just below the site of the later Lewiston suspen- 
sion bridge. It is related that on occasion a party of Canadians gathered 
at the ferry wharf and attempted to kidnap or otherwise harass our 
people as they crossed the ferry. Thereupon a squad of boys, with the 
assistance of one man, secured a four-pounder gun, dragged it to a 
point commanding the Canadians, loaded it with grape sliop, fired upon 
the intruders and drove them away. 

During the battle of Queenston, which was, of course, seen from this 
side, balls from the heights came across into the settlement, some of 
which passed through or partly through buildings. It will be remem- 
bered that the American militia refused to cross the river in that battle, 
for which conduct they were charged with rank cowardice. Miles 
Gillet, a son of Solomon Gillet, was one of a number who did cross 
with the intention of taking part in the battle. He hid behind a stump 
and placing his hat on its top, drew the fire of some of the British In- 
dian allies. His hat was riddled with bullet holes, and he returned the 
fire. The experiences of the elder Gillet have been detailed on an 
earlier page. 

When the invasion was made no place on the frontier suffered more 
than Lewiston. The attack was a surprise. The Indians, preceded by 
the British a few minutes and under the license given them by Rial), 
their commander, they began the indiscriminate shooting of the people. 
The little force under Major Bennett, that was stationed at the settle- 
ment, were soon compelled to retreat after losing a number of men. A 
few days earlier a small force of Americans and friendly Indians had 
been gathered for the defense of the frontier between Lewiston and 
Five mile Meadow; but they were likewise surprised in an unorganized 
condition and forced to flee. It was in this party that the elder Gillet 
was engaged, as before related. Soon the only thought on the part of 
the inhabitants was how to reach a place of safety. An " Old Pioneer" 
wrote the Lockport Journal a few years ago, as follows : 

At one time when the red-coats were seen landing at Lewiston, every owner of a 


a horse hitched up to his sleigh and piled in their goods and escaped to the moun- 
tain. But one woman was left alone in her cabin. As two "reds" came to the house 
they seized her infant child which happened to be outside and threatened to kill it if 
she refused to let them in. But she persisted, when they dashed the child's brains 
out against the corner of the house, and then mounting the roof began descending 
the chimney. With quick presence of mind she emptied her straw bed into the 
fire which smothered them so that she easily finished them with her axe. After 
washing the soot off their faces she recognized two of her neighbors who were tories. 

The killed at Lewiston numbered about twelve, among whom was 
Dr. Ah'ord. the pioneer physician, Thomas Marsh, Jarvis Gillet, v^ho 
was only seven years old and who was shot while trying to escape with 
his mother, and two others named Tiffany and Finch. All but one 
were scalped and that one was beheaded. Dr. Alvord had just mounted 
his horse before his dwelling to ride away, but was shot before going 
far. The escape of Lothrop Cooke and his brother. Bates Cooke, has 
been narrated. 

Reuben Lewis lived at the foot of the mountain on the outskirts of 
the present village, and having agreed with a neighbor that he would 
never be taken alive, he fought after he was wounded until the enemy 
came up and killed him. For other details of the invasion the reader 
is referred to the earlier chapter treating upon this war. 

The Tuscarora village shared the fate of Lewiston. We quote from 
Turner as follows : 

The Ridge road presented one of the harshest features of the invasion. The in- 
habitants on the frontier, en masse, were retreating eastward, men, women and 
children, the Tuscarora Indians having a prominent place in the fight. The resi- 
dents upon the Ridge who had not got the start of the main body, fell in with it as it 
approached them. There was a small arsenal at the first four corners west of 
Howell's Creek, a log building containing a number of barrels of powder, several 
hundred stand of arms and a quantity of fixed ammunition. Making a stop there, 
the more timid were for firing the magazine and continuing the retreat. The braver 
counsels prevailed to a small extent. They made sufficient demonstrations to turn 
back a few Indian scouts who had followed up the retreat to plunder such as fell in 
the rear. The mass made no halt at the arsenal, but pushed on in an unbroken 
column, until they arrived at Forsythe's, where they divided, a part taking the 
Lewiston road and seeking asylums in Genesee county and over the river, and a 
part along the Ridge road and off from it in the new settlements of what are now 
Orleans and Monroe counties, and Wayne and the north part of Ontario counties. 
All kinds of vehicles were put in requisition. It was a motley throng, flying from 
the torch and the tomahawk of an invading foe, with hardly a show of military or- 
ganization to cover their retreat. 


The enemy pressed on up the river, destroying everything of vahie 
on the way. Isaac Colt was wounded at his tavern on the main road 
toward Niagara Falls. Major Mallory, who seems to have been in 
command at Fort Schlosser, made a little resistence, but in vain, and the 
settlement at the falls suffered the fate of Youngstown and Lewiston. 
Late in the month (December) a strong force of British went from Fort 
Niagara east to Wilson and as far as Van Horn's mill in Newfane, de- 
stroyed the mill and most of the buildings on their way. During the 
following summer, the Hritish being in possession of Fort Niagara, small 
marauding parties, mostly Indians, paid unwelcome visits to the settlers 
who had ventured back to their homes. An Indian who was passing 
through the woods came out on the Ridge road at the house of Sparrow 
S. Sage. Mr. Sage was absent and the house was occupied by his wife 
and another woman. The Indian took them prisoners and started 
towards the fort. Before they had proceeded far the companion of 
Mrs. Sage escaped, found Mr. Sage and told him of the outrage. He 
pursued and caught the Indian, wounded him severely and rescued his 
wife. The concluding events of the war, as far as they related to this 
frontier, have been sufficiently described in the chapter before re- 
ferred to. 

It must be borne in mind that the sufferings of the refugees from 
the frontier were much greater than they would have been if the settle- 
ment was an older one. Few of them had much money and many had 
very little property. What they did possess was in many instances 
abandoned in the hurried flight and was cariied off or destroyed. The 
whole country was in a state of poverty. Prices of the necessaries for 
life were high and money hard to obtain Trade was at a stand-still 
and settlement in new localities had ceased. But the pioneers who 
had begun their homes in this town, as well as others elsewhere, were 
a courageous, hardy and determined class; otherwise they would not 
have been there in the first place, and when the terrors of near-by con- 
flicts had given way to peace, they hastened back to rebuild their 
homes, and were rapidly joined by others. 

Many of the settlers returned in 1815. Isaac Colt, the tavern keeper 
who was wounded, brought back his family and bought lots 24 of the 
Mile Reserve and 30 of the Holland Purchase. Aaron Childs, John 


Robinson, Achisli Pool, Silas Hopkins, Joseph Hewitt and their fami- 
lies, and others, returned before the close of 1816. Among the new- 
comers at about that time were Richard Ayer on the Ridge road ; 
Jairus Rose, the Carney family, the Defoe and the Springsteen fami- 
lies settled at and near Pekin ; the Bliss, Earl, Bridge, Balmer, Wilson, 
Dr. Orton and other families located between the ridge and the moun- 
tain early after the war. 

Between 1815 and 1825 settlement advanced rapidly. G. P. Nichols 
settled in 18 19; Andrew A. Farley in 1823 and Thomas Balmer in 
1825. Later comers were Abel White in 1826; the Pletcher families 
in 1829; Peter Spickerman in 1835; Joseph Shippy, Sanford White, 
and John Cleghorn in 1836; James Buckley in 1838; Erastus Downer 
in 1 841 ; Charles McConnell and Reuben M. Doty in 1842 ; and many 
others who will be found properly noticed in Part III. 

At the close of the war the only structures left standing in Lewiston 
village were the stable belonging to Solomon Gillet, which was built of 
logs, and the walls of the stone house of Jonas Harrison, which he 
erected in I S09. The village had been surveyed into lots and a few 
streets in 1805 by Joseph Annin. and in 1822 it was chartered. When 
the troubles were over the warehouses of Porter, Barton & Co. were 
rebuilt and transportation between the village and Schlosser was re- 
sumed. Thomas Hustler returned to the place as soon as he could and 
began keeping tavern again. A man named Hart kept a tavern in the 
place in 1816; Josiah Shepard in 1817; Solomon Herseyin 1823; Sam- 
uel Chubbuck at. the riverside in 1S24, and Thomas Kelsey in the "Kel- 
sey Tavern" in the same year. Here La P"ayette stopped in [825. The 
Frontier House, built by Benjamin and Samuel Barton, opened in 1826, 
is still standing and occupied as a hotel. The American Hotel, at the 
boat landing, built by Nelson Cornell on the site of his old Steamboat 
Hotel, was opened about 1850. But in spite of what would seem an 
unusual number of public houses in the early years, the village did not 
grow rapidly. It was a port of entry from 1811 to 1863. 

Joshua Fairbanks returned and began his mercantile business. Amos 
Tryon opened a store in 1815 ; Solomon Hersey and Crosier & Parish 
in 1816; Fairbanks & Thompson in 1817; Calvin Hotchkiss in 1818 ; 
Townsend, Bronson & Co., in 1819; John Wyner, druggist, in 1820; 


N. Tryon & Co., in 1823 ; Norton Tiebout and L. & A. Woodruff in 
1S25 ; Joseph A. Norton, 1826; William Hotchkiss, jr., F. J. Hotchkiss 
and Guy Reynolds about 1830; Hugh Fraser, 1838. Other business 
men of the village during this period were Samuel Mackin, wlio had a 
tannery about 1820 ; Joseph Tryon, a tailor, who began as early as 1825; 
Harvey Shepard and Leonard Shepard, blacksmiths in early times; and 
Benjamin Barton, who was nearly or quite the first postmaster. Later 
merchants were Nelson Cornell, Burr & Belden, John L Whitman, 
Cady Murray, and Sanford White. The present merchants are C. C. 
Whitney, John Fleming, Mrs. Eugene Rlurphy, Mrs. John Hamilton, 
Murphy & Townsend, and Powell & Welch. The St. Elmo was built 
as a residence by Shurburne B. Piper and in 1895 converted into a 

Drs. Alvord and Willard Smith, tlie early physicians, have been men- 
tioned. Dr. Smith came back after the war and continued in practice, 
dying in 1835. He had as a partner for a time, Dr. P'risbee, who was 
the next physician to arrive here. Dr. William McCoIium came from 
Porter in 1834 and became a partner with Dr. Smith, and removed to 
Lockport after the death of the latter. Dr. Ambrose Thomas, a pioneer 
physician at Niagara Falls, settled in Lewiston about 1837 and re- 
mained to about 1855. In 1843 Dr. George P. Eddy, sr., came; he 
subsequently removed to the Falls. Dr. Edward Smith, son of Dr. 
Willard Smith, practiced in the place in later years, as also did Dr. 
George P. Eddy, son of the senior physician of that name, and Dr. 
Milton Robinson, son of John Robinson, the pioneer. Drs. Coon, 
Whittaker, Cole and Thomas were also physicians of past years. 

Jonas Harrison was the first lawyer in Lewiston and was here before 
the war. Judge William Hotchkiss settled here in 18 10 and remained 
until his death in 1848. Bates Cooke, before mentioned, probably 
studied with Mr. , Harrison, and became a prominent official. Ziba 
Colvin practiced at one period as partner of Judge Hotchkiss. Sher- 
burne B. Piper settled in Lewiston in 1833. Other lawyers of former 
times were Judge Birdsall, James H. Paige, Leonard Bennett, John V. 
Berry, and Judge Horatio J. Stow, who was once recorder of Buffalo. 

Immediately after the war the citizens of Lewiston, as well as of the 
other parts of the town, adopted measures for the establishment of 


schools. A few log school houses had been built and schools taught 
before that event, the first one in 1806. In this village a stone school 
building was erected and finished in 18 16, in which Jonas Chamberlain 
was teacher. It stood in what was afterwards known as Academy 
Square. This was superseded by a brick building on the public school 
lot, and that by a more commodious one which was erected about 1845. 

The Lewiston Academy was an incorporated institution, the corner 
stone of which was laid by Niagara Lodge, No. 345, F. & A. M., July 4, 
1824. It participated in the general school fund and also was endowed 
by the Legislature with the proceeds of the Lewiston ferry license, 
which yielded in some years nearly $1,000. The academy building 
was erected under the supervision of Benjamin Barton, William Hotch- 
kiss, David M. Smith and Robert Fleming, building committee. The 
first principal was Rev. David M. Smith, The institution was prosper- 
ous for a number of years and drew many students from Canada These 
were mostly lost after the time of the Navy Island afiair, and seriously 
reduced the receipts. It continued in existence, however, until 1851, 
when the building of the Lewiston suspension bridge caused the dis- 
continuance of the ferry and the consequent failure of that endowment, 
when it was closed. During the life of this old academy many young 
men were educated within its walls who in later years became promi- 
nent in public or private life. 

Lewiston was connected with Rochester by a stage line as early as 
1816, and the business continued until it was displaced by railroads. 
A survey was made for the Lewiston and Junction Horse Railroad, to 
connect with the Lockport and Niagara Falls Railroad in 1835, ^"d 
work on the line soon began. The organization was named the Lewis- 
ton Railroad Company, which was incorporated under the names of 
Bates Cooke, Jacob Townsend, Oliver Grace, Leonard Shepard, Joshua 
Fairbanks, Calvin Hotchkiss, Amos S. Tryon, Seymour Scovell, Ben- 
jamin Barton and Lothrop Cooke. The route of the road was from the 
river bank at the landing along the course of the river to a little above 
Tuscarora street ; thence it turned, crossed that street, followed up 
Fourth street to Center, which it followed to its intersection with 
Portage, whence it crossed several farms to a point of junction about 
two and a half miles from the landing. The road was finished in 1837, 


and though a primitive affair in all respects, it served its purpose more 
than ten years. When in 1851 the Rochester and Niagara Falls Rail- 
road was built, the charter of the horse railroad company was sold to 
the Buffalo and Niagara Falls Railroad Company. 

The Lewiston suspension bridge was built by two incorporated com- 
panies, one on each side of the river; these were the I.ewiston Suspen- 
sion Bridge Company and the Queenston Suspension Bridge Company. 
The board of directors of the Lewiston company were James Van 
Cleve, president ; Joseph E. Ways, Calvin Hotchkiss, Seymour Scovell 
and William Fitch, directors; A. V. E. Hotchkiss, secretary and treas- 
urer. Edward W. Serell had charge of the construction as engineer, 
and Thomas M. Griffith was the builder. The bridge cost $56,000 
and was opened in the spring of 185 1. The bridge was partially 
destroyed in January, 1864, and was not used after that time. Its 
ruins are still visible. 

The business growth of Lewiston seems to have been most active 
between 1845 ^"d the close of the war of the Rebellion, and a num- 
ber of enterprises were projected which promised to aid in the growth 
of the village. In 1851 the Legislature granted a charter for the con- 
struction of the Lewiston Water Works, the purpose being to con- 
struct a small canal to bring water from the Niagara River above the 
falls to a convenient point on the brow of the mountain near Lewiston, 
where a heavy fall could be secured for manufacturing purposes. This 
canal was projected twelve feet wide and four feet deep, and would 
have cost $175,000. The survey was made and estimates calculated ; 
but the difficulty of obtaining so large a sum of money for the purpose 
killed the enterprise. 

A large steam stone grist mill was erected on the bank of the river at 
the foot of Center street in 1824, but it had been in operation only 
about a year when it was burned. A water power mill was afterwards 
built on the river between the steamboat landing and the suspension 
bridge, but it was carried away by ice in 1844. 

The most destructive fire in the village was that of about 1867, which 
burned the Lewiston Hotel, in which it originated, and all the build- 
ings between that point and the tunnel on the railroad, with the cabinet 
shop and dwelling of Lemuel Cooke on the west side of the hotel and 
the buildings beyond. 


The village has always been very inadequately supplied with appa- 
ratus for extinguishing fires, and the place has suffered severely on 
several occasions on that account. A fire company vvhicii had charge 
of a small hand engine was organized about 1838. At the present 
time there is no organized fire department. 

The first newspaper published in Lewiston was the Niagara Dem- 
ocrat, which was established in 1821 by Benjamin Ferguson ; it was re- 
moved to Lock-port in the following year, when the chances of Lewiston 
being the county seat began to diminish. The paper was renamed the 
Lockport Observatory, The first number of the Lewiston Sentinel 
was issued September 20, 1822, by James D. Daly. In the following 
April it passed into the hands of Oliver Grace and was continued by 
him a few years. The Lewiston Telegraph and Ship Canal Advocate 
was established in the spring of 1837 and had a brief existence under 
management of Harrison & Mack. The Lewiston Review was pub- 
lished here for a time by Edward and William Rayment. 

Lewiston was incorporated as a village under an act of the Legisla- 
ture dated April 18, 1843. It was divided into two wards, the first 
comprising the territory east of the middle of Fifth street, and the sec- 
ond that west of that line. The first village election was held on May 
2, 1843, and the following officers elected : 

President, William Hotchkiss ; clerk, Jonathan Bell; collector, George W. Sliockey; 
treasurer, Carlton Bartlett ; constable, John T. Beardsley; trustees, Lothrop Cooke, 
E. A. Adams, R. H. Boughton, Nelson Cornell. The present (189T) officers are 
Wesley J. Bedenkapp, president; John Carter, Robert Pendergast, Charles A. 
Howell and J. W. H. Kelly, trustees; John C. Hooker, clerk. 

The Lewiston and Youngstown Frontier Railroad (the Old Fort 
route) was opened in 1896, as was also the Niagara Falls and Lewiston 
Railroad (the Great Gorge route). Both are electric lines, connecting 
the points indicated, and afford easy and quick communication with all 
the historic spots along the Niagara River. 

In 1855 Rev. J. J. Lynch, C. M , afterwards archbishop of Toronto, 
conceived the plan of erecting on the shore of Lake Erie an educational 
institution for the young of Catholic parents, and to accommodate 
those purpose it was to study for the Catholic ministry. Subse- 
quently a site for the institution was chosen on the Niagara River about 
two miles below Suspension Bridge. The institution, which was given 


the name, Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, had begun its existence 
on the lake sliore and later was removed to Buffalo for a short time, 
where it had a feeble existence, until May i, 1857. Father Lynch was 
now a'ded by generous persons to purchase an old inn which stood on 
the highest point of Monteagle Ridge and there the institution was 
opened in May, 1857. Other priests were associated in its manage- 
ment and it entered on a career of prosperity. On the 20th of April, 
1863, a charter was obtained. On December 5, 1864, the building was 
almost wholly burned, one student perishing in the flames. Prompt 
measures were adopted for rebuilding. Pope Pius IX contributing 
$[,000, and the Seminary reopened with 150 names on the roll in Sep- 
tember, 1865. At that time only one wing of the present main build- 
ing was completed. In 1866 the main structure, with a front of 214 
feet, was erected; in 1868 another wing was added. In 1874 the build- 
ing of the college chapel, 78 by 120 feet, was commenced and soon 
finished. The buildings are handsome stone structures. 

In 1883 it was erected into a university, under the present title of 
Niagara University, by the Regents of the University of the State of 
New York; its original name and individuality, however, are still pre- 
served in the department of arts and theology. In the same year a 
medical department, located in Buffalo, was organized. 

Facility of the College. — Very Rev. P. McHale, C. M., president; Rev. J. W. 
Hickey, C. M., professor of French; Rev. C. J. V. Eckles, C. M., professor of Latin, 
trigonometry and rhetoric; Rev. E. L. Carey, C. M., professor of mental philosophy, 
chemi.stry and natural philosophy ; Rev. J. V. O'Brien, C. M., professor of Latin, 
Greek and rhetoric ; Rev. J. P. Cribbins, C. M., professor of mental philosophy; 
Rev. J. J. Brady, C. M., professor of astronomy and elocution; Rev. J. F. Kennedy. 
C. M., professor of Christian doctrine; Rev. J. A. Tracy, C. M., professor of Greek; 
A. L. Kraegel, professor of music; J. E. Fitzgerald, A. B., professor of differential 
and integral calculus; W. J. Kuellertz, professor of German ; A. F. Veit, professor of 

Board of Trustees. — Rt. Rev. James E. Quigley, D. D., chancellor ; Very Rev. 
James McGill, V. C. M. ; Very Rev. P. McHale, C. M., president; Rev. J. O. Hay- 
den, C. M., vice president and treasurer; Rev. L. A. Grace, C. M., secretary and 
librarian; Rev. J. W. Hickey, C. M., Rev. C. J. Eckles, C. M., Rev. R. F. Walters, 
C. M., Rev. E. L. Carey, C. M.. Hon. T. V. Welch. 

Rev. Patrick Vincent Kavanagh, C. M., whom Rev. P, McHale suc- 
ceeded as president in 1894, was born in Ireland in 1842, came to Buf- 
falo in 1849, was graduated from this seminary in 1866, and the same 


year was ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop John Tinion. 
He became connected with the institution soon afterward, was elected 
vice-president in March, 1871, and in 1878 succeeded Rev. Robert 
E. V. Rice, C. M., as president, which position he held till 1894. He 
is now pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Baltimore, 

There are a number of societies connected with the university, notably 
the R. E. V. R. Literary, organized September 20, 1866; the Basilian 
Literary, October 20, 1869; the S. O. L. A. Literary, October 26, 1869; 
the Niagara Cecilian Association, November 20, 1869; the Sodality, 
1870; the P. V. K Shakesperian Society, October 22, 1887 ; and the 
League of the Sacred Heart, September, 1892. The first attempt at a 
college journal was Niagara's Tribute, which appeared January i, 1870. 
In 1 87 1 this sheet gave place to the Index Niagarensis, which on De- 
cember 15, 1884, became the Niagara Index, which is issued semi- 
monthly. It is edited and conducted by a staff of students appointed 
by the president, and printed in the university. 

The village of Sanborn is situated in the extreme southeastern part 
of the town on the Falls branch of the New York Central Railroad. It 
takes its name from Rev. E. C. Sanborn, an enterprising man who lo- 
cated there in 184-6. The first settler here was Seth Lyon, who took 
up lot 33 in 1826. In 1863 Rev. Griffin Smith came to the town and 
located at Pekin on the eastern town line. In 1864 he associated him- 
self with Lee R. Sanborn, son of Rev. ¥,. C. Sanborn, in the purchase 
of land on the site of Sanborn village. The purchase included ninety 
acres lying on both sides of the railroad, and in the following year tlie 
tract was divided, Mr. Sanborn taking about thirty- five acres, Mr. 
Smith ten, the remainder being deeded to Ryan Smith, a brother of the 
minister. The part going to the Smiths was fenced as farm land, while 
Mr. Sanborn carried out his previously formed plan of laying his tract 
out in village lots and placing them in market. John Dutton was the 
first purchaser. Lee R. Sanborn built a saw mill here in 1854, which 
was burned July 3, 1 86 1, and immediately rebuilt on a larger plan. 
He was a member of the Legislature in 1 870 and 1 87 1. The first post- 
master was John Starr. Sanborn Union Hall was built in 1865. A 
cheese factory was started in 1867 by a stock company, which for many 


years did a large business. In 1868 Mr. Sanborn built a steam grist 
mill, which was purchased in 1875 by John Mower, who improved and 
enlarged it. It finally passed to Charles G. Sanborn, who sold it in 1 894 
to Hudson Brothers (Benjamin and James), the present owners, who 
came here from Virginia. Its daily capacity is about sixty-five barrels 
of flour and 125 bags of feed. The present merchants in the place are 
Andrew Riegel, A. L. Pierce, and I.. B. Pike & Son. There is also a 
hotel kept by William D. Subberra and a few shops and artisans. 

The hamlet of Dickersonville is in the northeast part of the town and 
in early years was of considerable business importance. It took its name 
from Col. Alexander Dickerson, who has been noticed as an early set- 
tler and tavern keeper there. Its business interests have almost wholly 
disappeared in more recent years. William Pool was appointed the first 
postmaster in 1850, and in 1852 was succeeded by Alexander Read, 
who was followed by Rev. Sheldon C. Townsend under whom it was 

Pekin is a post-office and hamlet which is divided by the Lewiston 
and Cambria town hne, and has been noticed in the history of the latter 

Model City is a recent production of the modern " land boomers' " 
enterprise. Its chief promoter was William T. Love, who about four 
years ago conceived the idea of founding, in the north part of this town, 
a city on scientific and artistic principles. He received options on 
large tracts of land, surveyed them out into city lots, and for two or 
three years "boomed" the place. He also obtained franchises from 
the State Legislature for an unlimited water supply from Niagara 
River, and projected a gigantic canal for this purpose upon which about 
$40,000 were expended. A few buildings were erected, including a 
union church in 1895, and streets were laid out and some grading done. 
On December 19, 1896, F. W. Moore started a newspaper called the 
Model City Power, which on April i, 1897, passed to John E. Strayer, 
who removed the outfit in June to Lewiston. Model City is now a 
station on the R. W. & O. Railroad. 

The first religious society organized in this town was the later First 
Presbyterian Society, which effected its organization in June, 18 17, as 
the First Religious Society of Lewiston. The first trustees were Eras- 




tus Park, Josiah Shepard, Aaron Childs, Augustus Porter, Rufus Spald- 
ing, Elijah Ransom, and Benjamin Barton. The first preacher was 
Rev. David M. Smith, who came in August, 1817; he resigned in 1821. 
Between the years 1825 and 1835 the structure known as "the stone 
church " was erected which has remained in good condition to the pres- 
ent time. The church was reorganized in 1854. Rev. L. G. Marsh is 

St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church of Lewiston is noticed with 
other churches of the denomination in the chapter devoted to Lock- 

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church of Lewiston was organized as 
early as 185 i, when the first records in existence were commenced, and 
when Rev. W. C. Stephens was the resident priest. He remained till 
1856 or later. Rev. Patrick Thomas MuUaney is the present rector in 
charge, coming in June, 1885, as Father Morris O'Shea's successor. 
The society owns a frame church and rectory. 

The Methodist church at Sanborn was organized February, 8, 1868, 
with Rev. George Kittenger as the first pastor. Meetings were held in 
various places until 1873, when a handsome church edifice was finished 
at a cost of about $6,000. 

The Methodist church at Dickersonville was organized about 1850 
or 1855, and an edifice was built on land donated by Rev. Sheldon C. 
Townsend, who was the first preacher. 

A Universalist church had a flourishing existence at Lewiston for 
several years, but finally ceased as an organization. Their old frame 
edifice was converted into business uses about ten years ago. 

There is a Baptist church at Sanborn which was built about twenty 
years since. 




This town was erected in the same year with Lewiston, but a little 
later, the date being April lo, 1818, when it was set oft" from Porter. 
It is one of the northern tier of towns in the county and borders the 
lake shore. It received its name from Reuben Wilson, one of the most 
prominent pioneers of this locality. The surface of the town is gener- 
ally level and productive. The east branch of Twelve-mile Creek 
crosses the town near the center, and the west branch crosses the north- 
west corner. 

The first town meeting was held April G, 18 19, at the house of David 
Porter, and the following officers elected: 

Supervisor, Reuben Wilson ; town clerk, Daniel Holmes; assessors, David Bur- 
gess, John Carter, and Henry Lockvyood; collector, Oramel Hartwell; overseers of 
the poor, Abner Grossman, and Burgoyne Kemp; commissioners of highways, James 
McKinuey, Joshua Williams, and John Carter; constables, Oramel Hartwell and 
Joshua D. Coller; excise commissioners, Alexander Douglas, Reuben Wilson and 
Joshua Williams; fenceviewers, Jeremiah Whipple, Hiel Bixby, and Burgoyne 
Kemp; poundmaster, Elisha Stevens. 

Reuben Wilson was then a justice and presided at this meeting. In 
1824 a portion of the original town was set off to form Newfane. 

The first meeting voted $250 for bridge purposes, and $25 for the 
support of the poor. Bounties were placed on wolves killed, and other 
usual regulations were voted for governing the community. 

The following is a complete list of supervisors since the organization 

of the town: 

In 1819-39, Reuben Wilson; 1830-32, John Carter; 1833-42, Luther Wilson ; 1843- 
45, Robert L. McChesney; 1846-47, Samuel R. Merwin ; 1848. Alexander Pettit; 
1849, Russell Robinson; 1850, R. L. McChesney; 1851, Reuben F. Wilson; 1853, Cur- 
tis Pettit; 1858, Alexander Pettit; 1854, Orsemus Ferris; 1855-56, Luther Wilson; 
1857, Orsemus Ferris; 1858, Henry N. Johnson; 1859-61, Ralph Stockwell; 1862-G3, 
Tunis Outwater; 1864, David O. Jeffery; 1865, Benjamin Farley; 186G, Alexander 


Pettit; 1867, Richard C. Holmes; 1868-70, William Hamblin; 1871-74, Benjamin 
Dearborn; 1875-77, Ralph Stockwell; 1878-80, Edward Baker; 1881, Stephen C. 
Wakeman; 1882, A. Douglass Pease; 1888-84, Martin S. Clifford; 1885-86, O. S. 
McChesney; 1887-90, Samuel H. Petit; 1891-93, William H. Holmes; 1893-96, Sam- 
uel H. Petit (resigned January 1, 1896, and T. A. Blake appointed to fill vacancy); 
1896-98, J. W. Hackett, 

The other town officers for 1897 '"'^ • 

Charles N. Markle, town clerk; John C. Miller, Warren A. Bush, Jacob D. Irish, 
and Jay K. Johnson, justices of the peace; Samuel O. Isdell, George L. Griffin, and 
Walter E. Wetmore, assessors; Edward M. Woodcock, collector; Charles Deitz, 
highway commissioner; E. A. Johnson, and Edward Barker, overseers of the poor. 

There were only a few settlers in this town prior to the war of 1812. 
Henry Lock wood came from Canada in 1808 and took 100 acres of 
land from the Holland Land Company on lot "]"], in the extreme north- 
east corner of the town. He built his log house near the mouth of a 
small stream that long bore his name, and there lived until the breaking 
out of the war. At the close of the war the place was transferred to 
John Cudaback who lived there, as also did J, S. Cudaback. 

In the same year (1808) Robert Waterhouse came from Connecticut 
and settled on lot i in the extreme south part of the town. In 1809 
Stephen Sheldon, from Jefferson county, N. Y., came with his large 
family and located on the east branch of Twelve- mile Creek, half a 
mile from its mouth, where he built a rude dwelling place. Lots 8 and 
9 had previou.sly been assigned to him by the Holland Company. In 
the spring of 181 1 he built a better house at the mouth of the creek, 
moved into it and there died in the fall of 1812. His family remained 
there until the house was burned by the British. They afterward re- 
built near by and lived there many years. In the summer of 1814 
Smith Sheldon, the third son of the pioneer, was working with four 
others for a Captain Brown, near Four-mile Creek, when Brown and all 
of his help was captured by British troops and taken to Quebec, where 
Mr. Sheldon died on a prison ship. 

The settlements in the town were considerably increased in 1810. It 
was in that year that Reuben Wilson, John Eastman and Gilbert Purdy 
left the Canadian shore near Toronto in April, the two former accom- 
panied by their families, with household and farm utensils They 
rowed aroimd the head of Lake Ontario in open bateaux, camping on 


the shores at night, and in the early part of June they arrived at the 
mouth of Twelve-mile Creek. A mile and a half east of there they 
landed, unloaded their effects, and by the aid of the boats turned bot- 
tom up and enclosed at the sides with bark, made a temporary abiding 
place. They lived thus three months, during which time Wilson and 
Eastman had each completed a substantial log house. John Eastman 
had in 1809 taken an article for 100 acres on lot 82, and there resided 
until 18 18, when he exchanged places with James Cole and removed 
into the eastern part of Hartland. 

Reuben Wilson gave the following among other reminiscences to 

When I came in (1819), there was scarcely an acre of ground cleared in what is now 
Wilson. There was no road up and down the lake. In the fall of 1811 there was a 
road opened from Fort Niagara to Somerset; it was generally along the lalce shore, 
though deviating at the streams; at its termination, a foot path continued on to 
Johnson's creek on the Ridge road. . . The first year after I came in I had my 
provisions to procure from Canada; the second year, I raised my own ; at the end 
of two years, I had fifteen acres of improvements. When I first began to raise grain 
I had to go across to Port Hope and Hamilton for my grinding. Even after mills 
were built upon the Purchase, it was easier to go across the lake, than to travel the 
new roads. . . . Previous to the war myself and neighbors did our trading at 
Niagara. Dr. Alvord and Dr. Smith, of Lewiston, were our early physicians. We 
had no meetings or schools previous to the war; after it, and up to 1820, we had but 
occasional preaching in the neighborhood by missionaries. We organized a school 
in 1815, built a log school heuse; Dr. Warner was our first teacher. He was both 
teacher and physician. Our school commenced with only 12 or 15 scholars. A 
saw mill was built in 1815 at the mouth of Twelve-mile Creek, by Daniel Sheldon 
and Joshua Williams. I purchased the jiroperty in 1816, and built a grist mill in 

Reuben Wilson was a native of Massachusetts, migrated to Otsego 
county, N. Y., in 1805 and went thence to Coburg, Canada, in 1807. 
After his arrival in Wilson he took up 170 acres of land on lot 82 for 
which he paid $2.50 per acre. Besides erecting his buildings he cleared 
ten acres the first year and in the second raised a crop of wheat which 
more than supplied his family, which then consisted of seven persons. 
To get his grain ground he had to cross the lake to Port Hope or 
Hamilton. Niagara was the nearest trading point. In 18 16 Mr. Wil- 
son purchased a saw mill which had been built the previous year, 
probably by Joshua Williams and Daniel Sheldon ; it was situated on 
Twelve- mile Creek, and his son Luther took charge of the mill. He 


erected a dwelling near this mill into which he moved in 1818. In 
1825 he associated his son Luther with himself in business and in the 
same year completed the first grist mill in the town ; it stood near the 
saw mill, and was a great convenience to the settlers. Prior to that 
time and in 18 17, or thereabouts, a great oak stump had been hollowed 
out and a spring pole and pestle attached, to which the people brought 
corn to pound into course meal from a wide district ; this primitive mill 
was on the Lake road, and was the only means of grinding until the 
Wilson mill was completed. The Wilsons also opened a store in 1825, 
and the family took a leading part in all town affairs. Reuben Wil- 
son's son Owen was the first white child born in the town. The first 
marriage was that of Luther Wilson to Sarah Stephens, and the first 
death was that of Stephen Sheldon. 

The Lake Shore road was the first one opened and improved in this 
town, extending east from Fort Niagara ; it was cut through in i8n 
and the earliest settlements were made along its course. The road ex- 
tending from Youngstown to Van Horn's mill was laid out in July, 
1 8 16, by Abner Grossman and George Sheldon, road commissioners, 
and was surveyed by Joseph Aiken. The .so-called Town Line road, 
running between the seventh and eighth ranges of townships from Lake 
Ontario to the Pennsylvania line, was the first opened extending south 
from the lake, and was surveyed in May, 18 16. It originally ran south 
from the lake two miles and then southwest to that corner of this town. 
It was straightened on the old line in November, 18 19. The road 
running south from the lake between lots 72 and 82 was laid out in 

The Wilson house was not burned by the British through the fol- 
lowing narrated occurrence : 

At the time of the raid George Ash was staying at the Wilson home with his 
family, and starting for his farm in Porter on horseback he met a party of the en- 
emy about six miles west of Wilson's. He was leading his horse and the animal was 
frightened and escaped. He fled homeward on foot and arrived in time to alarm part 
of the neighborhood. The few cattle in the immediate vicinity, about 25 head, were 
speedily collected and started down the lake, driven by Reuben Wilson, then a boy 
of fifteen years, who pressed them on in advance, passing Van Horn's about sun- 
down, with the enemy then in sight. A few of the cows had bells which Reuben, 
fearing they might be heard, stuffed with dried leaves and continued on five miles 
beyond, where he rested for the night. The next day he returned after the destruc- 


tion of the mill and the retreat of the invaders. The British upon coming up to 
Mr. Wilson's made him their prisoner, but paroled him upon his word that he would 
remain at home until their return. Captain Scott, who was in command of the 
troops, was a very humane officer and seeing the scanty supplies of the settlers and 
reaHzing the utter destitution which a strict fulfillment of his instructions would 
cause, sent his orderly sergeant with George Ash back from Mr. Wilson's to the fort 
to portray to the officer in command the situation of the inhabitants and induce him 
to countermand the orders in a measure at least, but he could not be influenced to 
relent. Mr. Ash was retained as a prisoner and the sergeant was sent back to his 
company with word to Captain Scott to carry out his orders to the letter. On the 
return of the troops the next day, a small squad who were in advance of the 
main body, driving some cattle which had been picked up, called at Mr. Wilson's 
and forced him to go with them. The main body coming up, Mrs. Wilson had no 
little trouble in convincing the officers that her hnsband had not forfeited his word 
and voluntarily left. The officers I'emained at Mrs. Wilson's house over night, par- 
taking of food prepared by Mrs. Wilson. For this hospitality, and the fact that the 
house stood about 20 rods from the main road, it was not burned by them. Mr. Wil- 
son was kept at the fort about ten days, when he was released on parole and re- 
turned to his family. He afterwards received many favors at the hands of the 
British officers at the fort. 

Gilbert Purdy, before mentioned, after assisting Wilson and Eastman 
to build their houses, went westward up the lake, and in the fall of 1810 
obtained an article for 100 acres of land on lot 26. In the following 
winter he built a house there and in the spring moved his family from 
Coburg. He died there in 18 13. His family were burned out by the 
British and soon thereafter abandoned their home and returned to 

Erastus Barnard came from Royalton in the summer of 18 10 and 
lived for a time with Stephen Sheldon, who was his father-in-law. He 
took up land on lot 16, made slight improvements, but sold it soon after 
the war and removed to Porter. A German named May settled in the 
same year on lot 41, where the late Lawrence Thompson resided. He 
left the place in 18 12, fearing depredation by the Indians, and never 

Dexter P. Sprague and Robert Edwards came from Vermont in the 
fall of iSlO and settled on lot 63. At the commencement of the war 
Mr. Sprague removed his family to the Ridge, in Hartland, and in 181 5 
sold his land to Adam Stevens, who resided there until his death. Mr. 
Edwards was a captain in the militia and remained on his place until the 
first day of the raid, when he fled with his family to the home of an 


acquaintance on the Ridge. His place soon afterward passed to David 
Porter. James Meeker settled in the same fall on lOO acres on lot 91, 
and Andrew Loys, from Canada, on lot 75. Both these pioneers 
erected buildings, but fled through fear and did not return. 

Three Germans from the Mohawk Valley, named respectively Vos- 
beck, Wood and Gray, came into the town together in 18 10. Each had 
previously taken an article for a quarter section of land, Vosbeck and 
Gray on lot 25, and Wood on lot 24. The anticipated terrors of coming 
war, of which they had heard from their forefathers in the Revolution, 
drove them away after making considerable improvements. Their 
farms were afterwards purchased by Stephen, John and David Tower, 
three brothers, who moved on them from Massachusetts in 1818 and 
became prominent citizens. 

Elijah Mallory, of Coburg, Can., settled on lot 82 in 181 1. As he 
owned a team of horses, he was required by the government to aid in 
constructing the log causeway from Wright's Corners to Warren's Cor- 
ners ; he was afterwards detailed to haul supplies from Williamsville, 
which was a military depot, to Buffalo, and died while in that service. 
His family remained in Wilson many years. 

With the outbreak of the war immigration almost wholly ceased for 
about three years, but was actively renewed in 1815- 16. Daniel and 
George Sheldon, sons of Stephen Sheldon, were residing in Kingston, 
Can., at the beginning of the war, and were drafted into the British 
service; but they succeeded in escaping and in 1814 came to this town. 
George afterwards located on lot 17, and Daniel in company with 
Joshua Williams, built the first saw mill in 18 15. It stood on the west 
bank of Twelve-mile Creek about half a mile from its mouth. 

Richard and William Knowles were also drafted into the British 
service, and escaped to come to Wilson, the former locating on the west 
part of lot 8 and the latter on the north part of lot 7. Henry Barber 
and Nathan Pratt left Canada to escape the draft and in 18 15 settled in 
Wilson, the former on lot 89 and the latter on lot 7. John Carter set- 
tled on the southwest part of lot 72 in the same year. 

Abraham Hutchins came from Livingston county in 1816, took up 
the whole of lot 88, on which he settled. He was a soldier in the war, and 
had an exciting experience. In 1817 John Haze, from Coburg, settled 



on lot 7 ; Nathan Sherwood on lot 9, the northeast part, and James Cole 
on the east part of lot 82 ; he had previously located on the Ridge. From 
this time onward settlers came in rapidly and the lands were soon all 
taken up. Many of these families are noticed in Part III. 

T. T. Upton opened the first tavern in the town in 1818 ; it was situ- 
ated a short distance west of the site of Wilson village. Benjamin Douglas 
is said to have set up the first ashery in the town in 1S17 and opened a 
small store on Twelve- mile Creek near the grist mill site. He died soon 
afterward and his business passed to Reuben and Luther Wilson. Peter 
Furrow, the first mason to locate in the town, came from Massachusetts 
and settled on lot 25 ; he did most of the mason work in Wilson village 
up to 1840. 

The post office in the town was opened about 1825, with Reuben 
Wilson, postmaster, his son Luther acting as deputy. Daniel Holmes 
was the first contractor to bring the mail through from Olcott to 

The first and only tannery established in the town was that of Simon 
Sheldon, which was built about 1825. It stood on the northwest corner 
of lot 7. The business was suspended after four or five years. Jere- 
miah Whipple built a distillery about 1826, two miles west of Wilson 
village ; it was operated only a few years. 

Among other prominent residents of Wilson, past and present may 
be mentioned : 

Jared H. Ackerman, on lot 58; Hiram K. Burton, on lot 30; Gilbert Brown on lot 
72; Andrew Brown on lot 90; Ozro Bachekler on lot 17; William Burton on lot 20; 
F. F. Barnum on lot 5; Elmer A. Bickford, produce dealer; Erwin Burton on lot 49; 
Calvin Bowker, on lot 15 ; Daniel Carter on lot 81 ; Grant Cuddeback ; John J. Gush- 
ing on lot 08; Daniel Dwight on lot 26; Benjamin Farley on lot 48 (he was sheriff of 
Niagara county in 1857 and member of assembly in 1867-08); Orsemus Ferris 
on lot 14; R. A. Ferris, on lot 53; Enoch Fitch in the west part of the town; 
Nathan Gallup; Hiram H. Goodenough; Hiram Gififord on lot 3; William Hamblm 
and son Eli N ; John Hill; Daniel Holmes, the first town clerk, on lot 73, and his son, 
Richard Holmes, the first mail carrier, on lot 72, and later on lot 31 ; J. C. Hopkins 
on lot 38; Abrara Hutchings, a soldier of 1812, and his son J. Harvej'; John John- 
son and his sons Joseph F., Levi L. and Harvey N. ; William A. Knowles son of 
Richard, the pioneer, on lot 8; Guy W. Loomis on lot 70; James M. Morse on lot 69; 
Capt. Sewall B. Miller on lot 81 ; David H. McDonald; William H. Miller; William 
H. Mudge; Capt James M. Newman on lot 03; Curtis and Alexander Pettit on lot 
71 ; William O. Pettit, son of Samuel, on lot 72; George T. Parker on lot 21; Cal- 
vin Pratt and son Lorenzo N. on lot 82; Enoch Pease on lot 91; Christopher Palmer 



on lot 38; Reuben Palmer on lot 39; Enoch Sanborn, son of Hon. Lee R. Sanborn, 
on lot 14. where he built the first cheese factory in town; Homer Swick, Samuel 
Adams, Perrin C. Bailey, T. A. Blake, James G. O. Brown, William Brown, Will- 
iam Dailey, Cephus Eaves, Frank B, Farley, P. W. Folger, William Goodfellow, 
Justus W. Hackett, John A. Hamblin, John S. and Sanford Hague, William H. 
Holmes, Eugene Loomis, Stephen H. Morris, James M. Morse, Delos Nelson, Clin- 
ton and George Pettit, John and Thomas Pettit, Rufus W. Pratt, James Reynolds, 
Guy M. and Perry W. Saulsbury, Edward Stacey, Wilbur C. Stacey, Ralph Stock- 
well, Benjamin Sutherland, Augustus W. and Harvey P. Swick, Homer and Herbert 
G. Swick, Arthur E. and C. Edgar Swick. Alexander and Charles Thompson, 
Frank H. Tower, Salem and Peter Tower, Stephen C. Wakeman, Elisha Wilcox, 
Charles A. and Frank Wilson. Benjamin Wilson. 

There was no resident physician in Wilson until 1824, when Dr. 
Jonathan Thayer came from Dutchess county and purchased of Reuben 
Wilson 100 acres of land on lot 73, where he lived and practiced his 
profession many years. Previous to his coming Drs Alvord and Smith 
of Lewiston, and Dr. Warner, of Olcott, visited this town as needed. 
The first lawyer in this town was Sylvester Parsons, jr., who located at 
Wilson village in 1840. 

Wilson, the only considerable village in this town is beautifully situ- 
ated on the lake shore at the mouth of Twelve mile Creek. The village 
takes its name, of course, from its founders, Reuben and Luther Wil- 
son, whose early mills here have been noticed. The place was laid out 
originally by Luther Wilson in 1827, and then consisted of only a tier 
of lots on the north side of Young street, from Lake street to the creek. 
On these streets a little hamlet gathered around the first mills and the 
store opened by the Wilsons. No extension of these streets and lots 
was made until 1847, when Mr. Wilson made what was called the 
Wilson addition, and in the same year Simon Sheldon added the so- 
called Wood plat in the south part. Other additions were subsequently 
made by Andrew Brown and John Onderdonk. 

Wilson was made an incorparated village by act of the Legislature 
passed May 11, 1858. The corporation boundaries were made to in- 
clude 416 acres, and the population at that time had reached a little 
more than 700. The first village officers chosen were as follows: 
Luther Wilson, president ; Luren D. Wilson, Reuben F. Wilson, Henry 
S. McChesney, and William P. Grout, trustees; John Hosmer, clerk. 

In 1837 Luther Wilson enlarged his grist mill and added steam 


power for its operation. It was later a distillery, operated by Thomas 
T. Martin, and was burned about 1888 The village in its early history 
was very largely indebted to Mr. Wilson's enterprise for its prosperity. 
He opened the first tavern in 1829, and in 1844 built a large stone 
hotel on the corner of Young and Lake streets, which burned in July, 
1894, and with it the First Presbyterian church. 

In 1846 he obtained permission from the secretary of war at Wash- 
ington to extend piers into the lake at the mouth of Twelve- mile 
Creek; in that year he constructed two piers 200 feet long. The har- 
bor thus begun was greatly improved after that, and all the work down 
to 1867 was under Mr. Wilson's supervision. An act of the Legisla- 
ture passed May 9, 1867, incorporated the Wilson Harbor Company, 
with a capital of $10,000. Some further improvements were made by 
this company, but work was suspended in 1870, when it passed into 
the control of the government. Since about 1878 the piers have been 
slightly extended, a breakwater built, and some dredging done, at an 
expense of between $30,000 and $40,000 

In 1846 Mr. Wilson built a storehouse at the harbor, and began buy- 
ing and shipping grain and fruit, which was of great benefit to the 
farming community. In the same year he also established a ship yard 
where he built for his own use the vessel R. F. Wilson, which was em- 
ployed in carrying freight between this port and Oswego. Through 
the influence of diimself, William D. Grout, and Vincent Seeley the 
place was made a port of entry in 1848, and Abram Vosburgh ap- 
pointed collector. Mr. S Vosburgh is the present incumbent. 

The village in past years has been quite a boat building point, about 
sixteen vessels having been built here. Among former merchants 
were William P Grout, Benjamin Dearborn, Hezekiah Seeley, and Lu- 
ther Wilson. The first lawyer was Sylvester Parsons, jr., whose par- 
ents came here from Maine in 1S40. The first blacksmith was Henry 
Johnson, about 1824. 

The present business interests of the village are in the hands of 
Charles N Markle and A. L. Welch, general stores; Edward Whittle- 
ton and George W. Perrigo, hardware; L. Eugene Henry, Elmer A. 
Johnson (also postmaster), Warren A Bush, O. E. Vosburgh, and 
J. W. Hackett, groceries; Charles O. Storrs and J. S. Burgess, shoes, 



etc., Mrs. E. A. Jones and Eliphalet Swain, drugs ; A. H. Reed, furni- 
ture and undertaking; L. A. and S. A. Perrigo, millinery; A. N. 
Dwight, lumber; the Barnum iron foundry; E. F. Barton, harnesses; 
Chapman & Litchards (successors to Bush & Chapman), steam grist 
mill. There are also two handsome hotels — Hotel Sutherland, built in 
1895 on the site of the Ontario House, which was burned, and the 
Tower Hotel, erected in 1896 where the American House had stood. 

The Wilson Creamery Company was organized in 1894 with S. H. 
Pettit, president; C. N. Markle, secretary; and J. W. Eggleston, treas- 
urer. Butter was manufactured until 1897, when the manufacture of 
cheese was substituted. The present ofificers are Hervey Sanford, pres- 
ident, and Charles N. Markle, secretary and treasurer. 

The Star, a bright weekly newspaper, was started in Wilson in Octo- 
ber, 1878, by Tower & Betts, who in November of the same year sold 
it to Charles E. Honeywell, the present editor and proprietor. 

Charles E. Honeywell, editor and publisher of the Star, was born in 
Toronto, Canada, March 2, 1852, and is a son of Joiin Honeywell and 
Isabella Bridgford, his wife. His father was a lieutenant and his great- 
grandfather, David Honeywell, was a colonel in the English army. His 
maternal great grandfather, John Stegman, was the first surveyor in 
Niagara county, and acquired Goat Island at the Falls from the Indians. 
Mr, Honeywell was educated in his native city, and learned the trade 
of printer there, first on the Toronto Leader and afterward on the Tele- 
gram. He was then a journeyman for several years, and in 1878 came 
to Wilson, Niagara county, and purchased The Star, of which he has 
since been the publisher and editor. Mr. Honeywell has one of the 
best equipped country printing offices in the county, and has placed his 
paper among the leaders of Niagara journals. He is a member of On- 
tario Lodge No. nt, F. & A. M., and of other organizations. March 
3, 1879, he married Sarah, daughter of Charles Myers, of Wilson. 

The officers of Wilson village for 1897 are Jay K. Johnson, president ; 
Arthvir Ackerman, and L Eugene Henry, trustees; Charles O. Storrs, 
clerk ; John S. Wilson, collector; Justus W. Hackett, treasurer; William 
Albright and Fred M. Tabor, assessors; Lorenzo S. Wilson, Thomas 
Moore and John Nelson, street commissioners. 

As far as is now known the first school in this town was taught 


evenings in 1817 by Luther Wilson, for the benefit of adults. It was 
continued through the months of January and February in a dwelling 
about a mile south of the site of the village. The first school house 
was built of logs in 1 8 19 on the Lake road about a mile and a half 
east of Wilson village. Dr. Warner taught the first day school there 
in that year. Another log school house, the first in the village, was 
built in 1820, on the site where was subsequently erected Luther Wil- 
son's stone residence. Almira Welch was the first teacher there, and 
was succeeded by David Murray. The town was divided into dis- 
tricts as seemed to be needed, the number in i860 being seventeen; 
there are now fourteen with a school house in each, and the schools 
are well maintained. 

In 1845 a number of persons who were deeply interested in the 
cause of education adopted measures to establish in Wilson an institu- 
tion for higher education. A subscription paper was circulated which 
was generously headed by Luther Wilson with $500. A considerable 
sum was soon pledged and in that year a large two-story stone struc- 
ture was built on a site donated by Simon Sheldon. The institution was 
incorporated by the Regents of the University February 19, 1846, under 
the name of the Wilson Collegiate Institute. It was opened with Ben- 
jamin Wilcox, principal, and David H. Davis, assistant. The institute 
was moderately successful for a number of years, but ultimately the re- 
ceipts for tuition upon which it depended for support, became inade- 
quate, and in the fall of 1869 the institution was merged in Union 
School District No. I, which consisted of four school districts of the im- 
mediate vicinity. The trustees of the institute deeded to the union dis- 
trict trustees the property of the former, in accordance with a legislative 
enactment, thus making it a free school. The first board of education 
of the union school was composed of H. N. Johnson, president; Syl- 
vester Parsons, Vincent Seeley, J. G. O. Brown, Jerome Gifford, Henry 
Sanford, Henry Perry, W. Richardson and Lorenzo Pratt. An aca- 
demic department was opened in this school in 1870. The first princi- 
pal was Prof S. C. Hall. The present principal of the school is H. C. 

The board of education consists of Hervey Sanford, president ; Charles 
N. Markle, secretary ; George L Grifiin, James J. Harrington, L. Eu- 


gene Henry, Samuel O. Isdell, Benjamin Sutherland and David Morse. 
Elmer A. Johnson is president. 

Besides Wilson village there are in the town three other small ham- 
lets and post offices, viz , East Wilson, formerly called Beebe's Corners, 
in the southeast part of the town. It has also been known as the Marsh 
Settlement, from Joseph Marsh, one of the pioneers of the locality. 
Other early settlers there were Reuben Streeter, William Woodcock, 
Potter Roberts, John Pollard and Barnabas Whitney. A steam saw mill 
was formerly operated here, and burned in 1897. The place contains a 
grocery store, two cooper shops, one blacksmith and one wagon shop, a 
cider mill, etc. 

South Wilson is in the southern central part of the town ; it is a mere 
hamlet and post office. 

Maple Street is a post office in the east central part of the town. 

In I 812 a burial ground was opened just northeast of Wilson village 
and later another on Reuben Wilson's land near the grist mill. In 1846 
a regular burying ground was established on the Town Line road. 
Luther Wilson, in 1851, donated a site of seven acres to a legally con- 
stituted board of trustees ; this is known as Greenwood Cemetery. 

The first church organized in this town was of the Presbyterian faith 
and was largely the result of effiarts of John Holmes and his son Daniel. 
The organization was effi;cted at a meeting held at the house of Mr. 
Holmes (then in Kempville in what is now the town of Newfane) on 
January 18, 1819, with six members. John and Daniel Holmes were 
made ruling elders of the church, by Rev. David M. Smith, who was 
then pastor of the Lewiston church. Within the ne.xt five years the 
membership of the society was considerably increased. The first regu- 
lar pastor was Rev. Ebenezer Everett, who came in 1823. Up to 1834 
the meetings vyere held principally in the school house south of Wilson 
village, but in that year a church edifice was erected in the village on a 
lot donated by Reuben Wilson. A revival followed and the society in- 
creased rapidly. This church, as the first organized in the town, re- 
ceived 100 acres of land from the Holland Company. This was sold 
about 1833 and the proceeds used for the purchase of property near 
the school house before mentioned, the dwelling thereon being used as 
a parsonage and for meetings until 1838; it was then sold and a lot on 


Lake street, in the village, purchased and a parsonage built. This was 
sold in 1855, and the present brick parsonage on Mechanic street pur- 
chased, The church, together with the stone hotel, was burned July 
10, 1894, and in 1896-97 the present handsome brick and stone edifice 
was erected on about the same site at a cost of about $8,000. 

Meetings of Baptists were held in this town as early as December, 
1833, in the house of Russell Robinson, and later in the school house in 
District No. 4. As a result of labors of Rev. Amos Reed, then of New- 
fane, about forty persons experienced religion in 1834. In May, 1834, 
a branch of the Newfane church was formed with about ten members. 
This branch was recognized as a separate organization at a meeting 
held October 23 of that year. It was received into the Niagara Bap- 
tist Association June II, 1835, with twenty-one members. Meetings 
were held in various places until April 21, 1838, when the first one 
gathered in the school house at " Wilson Four Corners," which was the 
beginning of Baptist services in Wilson village. In March, 1847, ^ site 
on the west side of Lake street was purchased of Luther Wilson and a 
house built for the pastor, who was then Rev. B. F. Burr. This prop- 
erty was sold in 1866 and a more commodious parsonage bought in the 
west part of the village. In the early part of 1843 ^^he erection of the 
stone church was commenced on a lot donated by Luther Wilson. 
This was torn down and in 1880 the present wooden edifice was 
built on the site. There have been a great number of changes in 
the pastorate, but the society is now in a reasonably active condition. 

A Methodist class was formed in Wilson probably as early as 1820. 
The first quarterly meeting of the Lewiston Circuit, of which this 
class formed a part, that was held in Wilson took place July 8, 
1826. Wilson remained in that circuit nineteen years. In August, 1842, 
Wilson village was set apart as a separate station. The society was in- 
corporated December 28, 1836, with John Haze, Daniel Terry, Samuel 
R Merwin, Cyrus Case, Luther Wilson, Samuel Healy and Sylvester Hos- 
mer, trustees. The erection of a frame church was begun in 1837 on a lot 
donated by Andrew Brown. The parsonage was erected in 1846. The 
old frame church was finally removed and is now used as a town hall, 
and in 1883-84 the Exley M. E. church was built, of brick, on the site. 

A Free Methodist class was organized at Wilson, as a branch of the 


Porter church, about 1865, with a small membership. In 1874 a lot 
was purchased in Wilson village, on Washington street, through the 
generosity of a few men, on which was a dweUing and a large wagon 
shop. The latter was rebuilt and converted into a church and is used 
by the society. The church belonged to the Porter and Wilson Circuit 
until 1877 when it was transferred to the Lock-port and Newfane 

In the southeast part of this town was formed what was known as the 
Chestnut Street M. E. church. It is situated on lot 56 Marsh road. A 
church building was erected in 1871. 

There is also an Evangelical Lutheran church on the Beebe road, in 
the southeast part of the town, and a German Lutheran church about 
one-half mile north. St. Peter's Lutheran church, located on the Nel- 
son road, was burned in July, 1893, having been abandoned some time 



The town of Somerset was erected February 8, 1823, from Hartland. 
It was reduced in its area by the setting ofifofa part of the present town 
of Newfane. It lies in the northeast corner of the county and is bounded 
on the north by Lake Ontario. The surface is generally level and the 
soil a sandy or clayey loam. Golden Hill Creek crosses the town in a 
northeasterly direction in the central and eastern parts, and Fish Creek 
in a similar direction in the western part. A small salt spring was dis- 
covered in early years near the mouth of Fish Creek, from which salt 
was made to a limited extent. The town contains about 23,314 acres. 

The first town meeting was held April i, 1823, at the house of Silas 
Meade, and the following officers elected : 

Supervisor. James Wisner; town clerk, Samuel Palmer; assessors, Nathaniel Pond, 
jr., Ezra Reade, and James Hess; collector, John Sherwood; overseers of the poor, 
Samuel Coleman, James Stevens; commissioners of highways, James Hess, Samuel 



Coleman, and Joseph S. Bailey; commissioners of schools, David Barker, Heman 
Pratt, and Jacob Albright; inspectors of schools, Peter Hess, William Mosher, and 
Josiah Bullen ; constables, John Sherwood, William Palmer. 

The supervisors of Somerset have been as follows : 

In 1823, James Wisner; 1824-3G, Samuel Palmer; 1837-28, John Sherwood; 1839- 
33, Rosvvell Downer; 1834, David Barker; 1835, John McNitt; 1836, John Sherwood, 
1837-38, David Barker ; 1839-42, Jeptha W. Babcock ; 1843-44, Morgan Van Wagoner ; 
1845, Johnson Aldrich ; 1846-48, Charles B. Lane; 1849, Samuel S. Rising; 1850, 
Stephen T. Peckham ; 1851, Emnior K. Gardner; 1853, Samuel S. Rising; 1853, 
George K. Hood; 1854, Morgan Van Wagoner; 1855, Pixley M. Humphrey; 1856, 
Vernon D. Bateman ; 1857, Morgan Van Wagoner; 1858, Guy C. Humphrey; 1859, 
Samuel S. Rising; 1860, 1861, Guy C. Humphrey; 1862-64, George M. Swain; 1865, 
Henry B. Miller; 1866-69, Oscar E. Mann; 1870-72, George K. Hood; 1873, Oscar 
E. Mann; 1874-75, George M. Swain; 1876-80, Guy C. Humphrey; 1881-82, Charles 
W. Wilcox; 1883, Andrew M. Armstrong; 1884-88, Charles F. Ackerson; 1889-90, 
Andrew M. Armstrong; 1891-93, Charles F. Ackerson; 1893-96, Andrew M. Arm- 
strong; 1897-98, Wallace E. Peacock. 

Henry H. Frost was town clerk in 1868-70 and from 1872 to 1881, when he was 
succeeded by his son, S. W. Frost, who has filled the office ever since. The other 
town officers for 1897 are Loren Church, William L. Atwater, William P. Hoffman, 
and Eldridge Lewis, justices of the peace; George B. Hood, Prentice Fox, and Elmer 
Perry, assessors; Charles N. Taylor, collector; Bennett Eaton, highway commis- 
sioner; and Richard Ray and Curtis G. Lum, overseers of the poor. 

The first settler within this town was Jacob Fitts, who came with his 
family in i8iO to what is now Olcott, in the town of Newfane, where 
his wife had a relative then living. This relative was one of the Kemp 
family, and when Mr. Fitts reached what is now Wright's Corners, they 
turned northerly to the lake. In locating Mr. Fitts, his relative guided 
him along a road which he had cut along the lake shore for the Holland 
Company to a point opposite what is now Somerset Corners, and about 
a mile and a half distant from it. The farm there settled long remained 
in possession of the Fitts family. 

Mr. Fitts soon had neighbors in the persons of Archibald VVhitton, 
Philip Fitts, Truman and David Mudgett, and Zachariah Patterson. 
These constituted the population until after the war of i8i2. One of 
these, Philip Pitts, was drafted into the army, was taken sick, and re- 
turned only to die. The little community were compelled to endure 
much suffering, often wanting for food, living sometimes on leeks and 
a little wild game. But with the close of the war came more settlers 
and better times in every respect. 


Among the first settlers after the war were James Matthews, Samuel 
Palmer, David Barker, Adam Pease, Samuel Coleman, Asa Coleman, 
Ezra C. and Ezra Meade, Masten and John Sherwood, Heman Pratt, 
Francis N. Albright, Peter Hess, and a few others. In writing of those 
early times an early settler said : 

Humphrey Sharpsteen, then just married, came in with his wife and his wife's 
sisters; Isaac Starbuck with his family ; then young Capt. Ezra Meade, two sisters, 
young women, and some other very respectable ladies who were not afraid or 
ashamed to rough it in the woods, for the sake of being independent, and several 
young unmarried men, helped to make up an assortment. We were all brothers and 
sisters and friends. . . . The worst for us was when we got out of flour and 
meal and no mill to grind short of Niagara Falls. John Flavington carried eighteen 
bushels of wheat to Olcott and gave it for a barrel of salt. . . When I commenced 
clearing, which was just after the war, and the cold season of 1816 came on, wheat 
was worth twenty shillings a bushel, and pork thirty-five dollars a barrel. When 
I had raised some wheat to seU, in was worth only twenty -five cents a bushel. I 
once had a tax of twenty shillings to pay, and I carried butler si.xty miles and sold 
it for one shilling per pound to pay the tax. 

In 1817 John Sherwood was married to Rebecca Meade; this was the 
first wedding in the town. The first birth was that of Delilah Pitts, 
daughter of Jacob Pitts, who was born in 181 i. Philip Fitts, before 
mentioned as having been drafted into the army, died in 1814, the first 
death in the town. In the course of time a little hamlet gathered at 
what became known as Somerset Corners, the name of the post-office 
now being simply Somerset. About 1820 James Matthews opened a 
small store there in the first frame building in town ; this building is 
still standing. The first tavern was opened by Josiah S Bailey in 18 17 
at what was then called Bailey's Corners, about a mile and a half east 
of Somerset Corners; while two and a half miles west of the latter 
place James Stevens had a blacksmith shop in 1825 and continued the 
business a number of years. In 1825 Archibald McDaniels built and 
operated the first grist mill ; it was situated on Fish Creek two miles 
northeast of the Corners, and was afterwards burned. In the same year 
Guy Griswold built a small tannery at the Corners; it was operated 
several years. In 1S22 John Randolph built the first saw mill in this 
town, about three-quarters of a mile north of the Corners. With other 
early mills it went to decay in course of time. Near this site the first 
bridge in town was built across Fisk Creek in 1822. In later years a 


steam saw mill was built at Somerset and one at South Somerset, in 
which staves and headings were also made. Both have been burned. 

Among other early prominent residents of Somerset were John Sher- 
wood, Rosvvell Downer, David Barker, Jeptha W. Babcock, Morgan 
Van Wagoner, Albert M. Hastings, Silas Meade, Daniel Landers, Gor- 
man Bush and others. 

Previous to 1825 mail came into this town by the hand of some per- 
son who might be going to Buffalo, Rochester or Batavia. The first 
post-office was established in the year named with James Matthews, 
postmaster. The post-office at West Somerset was established in 1844, 
with Marvin S. Hess, postmaster The post-office of Lake Road, in the 
northwest part of the town, is of more recent existence; the first post- 
master was Jeptha W. Babcock. The other post-offices are South Som- 
erset, Barker and County Line, the latter being a mere hamlet on the 
line between this town and Yates in Orleans county. 

The following were also prominent early settlers of the town : 

Loren Fitts, Albert M. Hastings, Francis O. Pratt, Solomon Morse, Jonathan M. 
Shurtliff, Samuel Kemp, Albert Van Wagoner, William Sherwood, Oscar E. Mann, 
a Mr. Benson (the first carpenter). Dr. Brown (the first physician, in 1826), C. H. 
Akley, William L. Atwater, Edwin E. Arnold, George Badgely, Samuel Barry 
(whose son Chester F. was the first man to enlist in the Rebellion from Somerset), 
Vernon D. Bateman, Nathan Pond, jr., and Wiliam H. Hyde. Loren Church was 
born in this town' in 1837 and has served as a justice of the peace for about ninteen 

Other residents, many of whom are living, are 

I. J. Gardner, John and Samuel Coates, Philip and Thomas Hoag, Hardy Fitts, 
Aaron Coleman, Jacob S. Haight, Jared T. Aldrich, Andrew M. Armstrong, S. E. 
Armstrong (keeper of the lighthouse), Henry and Lewis Arnold, Stephen Atwater, 
Gaston J. Bangham, Calvin S. Bateman, Arthur M. and George W. Bennett, Will- 
iam and Franklin Bowen, George H. and Frank M. Bradley, Lewis A. Bradley, 
John Brigham, Aaron Bullen, Arthur T. Burgess, Frank Button, Minor T. and 
William Cartwright. Edward Coon, James Cronkhite, Edwin O. and George W. 
Denton, Henry W. and John K. Denton, John Fitts, Matthew Fitzgerald, George 
and Prentice Fox, Hiram and Isaac J. Frost, Albert H. and Joshua J. Haight, H. 
Nelson Harrington, Lemuel Hayes, Charles E. and George Higgs, Guy C. and 
Simeon N. Humphrey, Andrew Hungerford, David and George A. Huntington, 
Albert and Gurdon Huntington, William Henry Hyde, David H. Hyde, James 
Liddell, Silas Lum, Willis T. Mann, Homer D. and William A. C. Meade, Harvey and 
Stephen Meade, Michael Morrissey, Romyne W. Nobles, Henry F. Peacock, L. W. 
Pettit, Frank B. and George W. Porter, Ely C. Rising, William A. Sawyer, Benja- 



inin F. and John Sherwood, Austin Skutt, E. L. and I. W. Smith. George M. Swain, 
John P. Townsend, Cornelius Treat, Andrew R. Webb, John Whitlam, Charles W. 
Wilcox, Charles and S. E. Zoss. Many others are noticed at length in Part III of this 

The land on which Somerset Corners stands, which is one of the most 
prosperous hamlets in the town, was formerly owned by Samuel Palmer 
on the northeast corner of the streets ; Isaac Lockwood on the northwest 
corner ; Isaac Starbuck on the southwest corner; and William Harring- 
ton on the southeast corner. Here around the early store, tavern, 
and a few shops gradually gathered a little village. Among the 
old-time merchants were Onion P. Wright, a partner with James 
Matthews, under the firm name of Matthews & Wright ; Francis 
O. Pratt, Samuel Kemp, James Matthews, jr., Stephen B. Starbuck, 
Daniel P. Holt, Jotham M, Aldrich, John N. Pease, Cyrus Aldrich (who 
was succeeded by Henry H. Frost), and Samuel S. Rising (who was 
succeeded by Sidney Smith). Henry H. Frost & Son now have the 
only general store of importance in the place. A steam grist mill was 
erected and put in operation here by Stephen Peckham in 1845, and for 
many years did a flourishing business. 

The Somerset Siftings, under the proprietorship of W. H. Warren and 
E. T. Williams, was established May 4, 1888. Mr. Warren retired from 
the firm in July of that year. E. T. Williams continued the paper 
until May, 1889, when it was suspended. The Reveille was established 
by W. H.Warren, May 26, 1894 It was a success financially, but the 
proprietor's business in the line of commercial printing and advertising 
specialties grew to such an extent he discontinued the publication of 
the paper in October, 1896. 

Barker (Somerset Station) is a post office and station on the R., W. 
& O. Railroad, and the chief shipping point in town. It is of recent 
growth, dating from the opening of the railroad, and contains the stores 
of Jay L. Taylor, general merchant and postmaster ; Compton & Ben- 
nett, furniture ; Jesson Brothers, hardware ; Reed & Cartwright, fur- 
niture ; and John O'Malley, general merchant. In July, 1895, a fire 
burned all the stores, etc., along the street west of the depot, but the 
structures were soon mostly rebuilt. 

The government lighthouse, known as the Thirty-mile Point Light- 



house, was completed and lighted in April, 1875. It cost about $90,- 

A small log school house was built about a mile and a half west of 
the Corners in 181 7, and there Masten Sherwood opened the first school 
in Somerset. In 1823 the town was divided into six school districts, 
and in 1826 the number of scholars taught was 165. By 1 860 the 
number of districts had increased to fourteen ; at the present time there 
are thirteen, with a comfortable school house in each. 

The first church organized in this town was the Methodist, the class 
being formed in 1817 at the house of Silas Meade. Masten Sherwood 
was leader. After two years of meetings at Mr. Meade's house they 
were held in the school house five years, on Mr. Meade's farm. Rev. 
Daniel Shepherdson was the first preacher on this part of a large cir- 
cuit A site for building a church was purchased in 183 i, at Somerset 
Corners, and a small edifice erected, in 1839, the money for which was 
raised by subscription. In 1870 the society built a parsonage. In 1878 
the old church was sold to Dr. Irving Hotaling, and the present edifice 
built on the site. 

In 1843 a meeting was held preliminary to organizing the West Som- 
erset Baptist church. It was there determined to purchase a certain 
house with one acre of land of S. J. Colby, which was done for $200. 
A little later the society made an addition to the house for the use of 
the pastor and there services were held for seven years. The first 
covenant meeting was held April 12, 1845, ^t^ on May 28 of that 
year a reorganization was effected as the West Baptist Church of Som- 
erset. Thomas Briggs was the first deacon, and he with Marcus Noble 
and Reuben Raze, were the first trustees. The first ordained minister 
was Elder Harvey Pettit, who began in 1846. The present brick 
church edifice was completed in 1850, the site having been donated by 
Elder Jesse Colby. Rev. L. VV. Gross has been pastor for several 

The Baptist Church of Somerset was first recognized by an ecclesias- 
tical council in January, 1 820, at the house of James Stevens. During 
the next three or four years meetings were held in various dwellings, 
itinerant preachers holding the services. In June, 1S30, a council was 
held and Elder R. L. Wilson was ordained pastor. In 1832 the society 

32 1 

was granted fifty acres of land by the Holland Company, the proceeds 
of which were devoted to building a Baptist church edifice in Somer- 
set village, the first church erected in town. It was extensively re- 
modeled in 1857. The society became weak in numbers and finally 
ceased holding meetings. About 1894 the church was purchased by 
Dr. I. W. Houghtaling and converted into business uses. 

The Presbyterian church, Somerset, was organized January 26, 1824, 
at the house of Stephen Sherwood, with six members. Rev. E. Everett 
was present and officiated. From that time to 1840 the pastors were 
Revs. David Pratt, David Page and Truman Baldwin. The first church 
edifice was erected and dedicated October i, 1840. Previous to that 
time meetings had been held in the upper rooms of James Matthews's 
store and in the brick school house in Somerset. In 1852 the society 
purchased a house and lot for a parsonage, which was remodeled and 
improved in 1870. The church was rebuilt and enlarged in 1878. 

The M. E. church at Barker is a neat frame edifice, and was built 
in 1894. 

A society of Friends was organized in this town in 1821, with twenty 
members, and in 1836 a brick church was erected. The first settled 
preacher was Mrs. Miriam Winslow, who died in 1828; she was fol- 
lowed by David Gardner, and he was succeeded by David Haight. 







Tliis town was erected on March 20, 1824, its territory being taken 
from the older towns of Hartland, Somerset and Wilson. It lies on the 
lake shore and centrally in the northern tier of towns in the county. 
James Van Horn, a prominent citizen, gave the town its name. The 
surface of the town is generally level, and the soil mostly a sandy loam, 
with claj' in some parts. Eighteen-mile Creek flows northward across 
the town, dividing it into two nearly equal parts. 

The first town meeting was held at the house of James Van Horn, 
April 6, 1824, and the following officers elected : 

Supervisor, James Wisner; town clerk, Jonathan Cooraer; assessors, Cornelius 
Van Horn, Solomon C. Wright, and Jacob Albright; collector, John B. McKnight; 
poormasters, Ezra Barnes, Zebulon Coates; commissioners of highways, Robert 
McKnight, Archibald McDonald, and Jacob Albright ; commissioners of common 
schools, Alexander Butterfield, John Warner, and Archibald McDonald ; school in- 
spectors, Simon Newcomb, jr., Peter Hess, Heman Pratt; constables, John McKnight. 
George Bennett. 

These were nearly all prominent residents of the new town at the 
time of its erection, many of them having settled in its early years. At 
the general election held in 1824, 119 votes were cast in this town for 
governor. The customary regulations were voted, among which was 
the imposition of a fine of $5 upon any person who might let Canada 
thistles go to seed on his land. 

The supervisors of Newfane have been . 

1825-27, James Wisner; 1828, Stephen Hays; 1829-31, James Van Horn; 1832, 
Stephen Hays; 1833, James Wisner; 1834, Cornelius Van Horn ; 1835, John U. Pease; 
1836-40, James Wisner; 1841, David Kemp; 1843-44, Henry A. Reynolds; 1845. 
James Wisner; 1846, John W. Pulver; 1847, James Van Horn, jr. ; 1848, John Hen- 
ning; 1849-50, Peter McCollum ; 1851, John Henning; 1852, Walter Shaw; 1853, 
John Henning; 1854, James Van Horn, jr. ; 1857-60, James Van Horn ; 1861-62, John 
McCollum ; 1863-65, Marcellus Washburn ; 1866-67, Alexander Campbell ; 1868-69. 
Charles S. McCollum; 1870. Ziba Richardson ; 1871, John McCollum ; 1872, Benjamin 


S. Laughlin; 1873-74, Anthony McKie; 1875-77, William V. Corwin; 1878, James 
A. McCollum; 1879, William V. Corwin; 1880-81, Phineas H. Corwin; 1882-83. T. 
Webster Hoyt; 1884-86, J. Marville Harwood ; 1887, James D. Lockwood; 1888-90, 
James A. McCollum; 1891-94, William Shaw; 1895-98, George E. Shaw. 

The present (1897) town officers are : 

John F. Beers, town clerk; L. A. Myers, C. B. Tompkins, A. H. Lee, and James 
D. Lockwood, justices of the peace; James A. Martin, overseer of the poor; John 
Dowding, highway commissioner; William T. Wilson. Edward A. Mix. and Charles 
Anderson, assessors; Charles B. Enderton, collector. 

The territory of this town was the theater of important hi.storical 
events that took place long before the town was erected, and h"ke ail of 
the lake shore territory, was settled early in the present century. Will- 
iam Chambers and John Brewer came from Canada in 1807 and settled 
at or near the mouth of Eighteen-mile Creek. In 1825 Mr. Chambers 
attempted to cross Niagara River above the falls in a skiff and was drawn 
into the rapids and carried over the precipice. A man named Cotton, 
of whom little is known, also came into the town in 1809. 

In 1808 Burgoyne Kemp and Peter Hopkins arrived in tiiis town ; 
James Wisner, the first supervisor, and William and James Wisner, in 
18 10, and Levi Lewis in 181 1. There were a number of other settlers 
in the northern or central parts before the war broke out, as noticed 
further on, most or all of whom fled before the British and their red 
allies. In the raid of the enemy along the lake shore in 18 13 an inci- 
dent took place in which the bravery of a woman saved her furniture 
and part of the flour in the Van Horn mill, which structure was burned. 
A sergeant with a squad of men was sent up Eighteen-mile Creek to 
burn the mill and the dwellings of the few settlers. Arriving at the 
house of Joseph Pease, a little north of the mill, the officer told Mrs. 
Pease to move her furniture out of the house, as he was ordered to de- 
stroy the building. She was forced to comply and after carrying out 
their little store of household articles, .she asked the officer to aid her in 
removing two barrels of brandy which were concealed in a potato hole 
under the floor. The officer consented and in doing so, he and his men 
took a drink from a barrel and followed it with seveial others. The 
fumes of the brandy, as they frequently do, inspired feelings of gener- 
osity toward the woman who had given them access to the barrels, and 
they went away leaving her building standing, and also at her request 


released her son, Enoch, who was their prisoner, and also permitted his 
brother to save several barrels of flour from the burning mill. 

With the close of the conflict, some of those who had fled returned to 
continue the improvement of their homes, and new settlers arrived in 
many localities. Among these were Benjamin Coomer, who settled in 
the western part, where a hamlet and post-office perpetuates the name 
of the family at the present time. Benjamin Halsted, Benjamin Stout 
and others settled in the north part; James McClew and the McKie 
and Patterson families along Eighteen-mile Creek ; Alvin Ruck and 
Solomon C Wright in the south part ; James Hess and Ira Tompkins 
in the east part. The official list of the town contains the names of 
several other prominent citizens of early years, among them Jonathan 
Coomer, Elisha and Almeron Newman, Nathaniel Church, James D. 
Cooper, Stephen Hays, James Van Horn and Cornelius Van Horn, John 
Pease, David Kemp, Henry A. Reynolds ; many others are noticed in 
Part HI. 

To facilitate communication several important highways were opened 
across the territory of this town The so-called Coomer road was 
established very early by Benjamin Coomer; it extends south from the 
lake, about parallel with the west line of the town. It is on this road 
that the post office of Coomer is situated. Mr. Coomer died in 1817. 

The well known Hess foad was laid out in 1821 by the highway com- 
missioners, and Peter Hess assisted in clearing the roadway, as also did 
his brother James Hess. The road extends from the lake road on the 
north nearly parallel with the east line of the town southward to the 
town line, and about three-quarters of a mile from the east line. 

What is known as the Creek road extends from Wright's Corners, in 
the town of Lockport near the southern boundary of Newfane to near 
the central part of the latter town where it strikes Eighteen mile Creek, 
which it follows to Olcott, on the Lake road in the north part of the 
town. This road was opened as early as 1809. 

The Ewing road extends along the west side of Eighteen-mile Creek 
from the Lake road southerly, following the creek a few miles and on in 
a southerly direction into Lockport. 

The Lake road extends across the north end of the town, nearly par- 
allel with the lake shore, and on eastward across the county. 


A bridge of wood was erected across Eighteen- mile Creek at Olcott 
in 1825 by contract with Gen. James Wisner; it cost $500. It was 
taken down in 1878 and the present iron bridge substituted. There are 
many other minor bridges across that stream in the town. 

The land on which a part of the pretty village of Olcott stands, near 
the mouth of Eighteen -mile Creek, was owned in 1808 by William 
Chambers, who later sold to Benjamin Halsted. On the east side of 
tiie stream it was owned by Burgoyne Kemp, who gave the hamlet that 
gathered there the name of Kempville. J. D. Cooper was a later owner 
on thi«; side of the creek, and he was instrumental in laying out the early 
village and selling lots. William Chambers and John Brewer built their log 
houses of 1807 at what became the corner of Lockport and Main streets, 
and the next year Burgoyne Kemp built a double log structure a little 
northwest from the site of the later Grove House in Olcott. Up to I 810 
Chambers's, Kemp's and Brewer's were the only buildings east of the 
creek. In that year Albright, the Wisners and others settled on that side 
on the lake road. Between this road and the Ridge was then still a 
dense wilderness and no settlers had located for some miles to the east- 
ward excepting Mr. Pitts, of Somerset. 

In 1809 Mr. Hopkins built his log house near the mouth of Hopkins's 
Creek, and about 181 i Benjamin Halsted built at the mouth of Eight- 
een-mile Creek. Martin Burch, one of the pioneers, built the first 
frame house in town, which stood on the Lake road. James Van 
Horn built the first brick house on the Creek road, one and a half miles 
south of Olcott. The first frame barn was built opposite the Cooper 
House in 1814. 

In 18 12 Asa Douglass opened a small store at Olcott, then called 
Kempville, and in 1816 was succeeded by John Eddy. Another early 
store was conducted by Boyce & Falwell. In 1S21 Archibald McDon- 
ald opened a store. Soon after the building of the Van Horn mills he 
opened a store at that point. 

Benjamin Halsted opened the first tavern at Olcott (Kempville) about 
181 2, in the double log house before mentioned. It stood on the site 
of the present Cooper House. He was succeeded as landlord by 
Brady, Harris, Nichols and William D. Cooper, who built the Cooper 
House. In 18 19 Dr. Alexander Butterfield, who was the first resident 



physician and settled at Olcott in 1814, kept a tavern in a building op- 
posite the Cooper House site. Dr. Butterfield was an early justice of the 
peace, had a large medical practice during his long life, and died in 
1867. Asa Douglass also kept a tavern for a time in the early years. 

The well known Van Horn mills of early times were begun in 1810 
by Levi Ellis, who came in from Seneca county. Before he had com- 
pleted the dam Mr. Ellis and nearly all of his workmen were attacked 
with fever and ague and returned to their homes. James Van Horn 
then finished the mills and placed them in operation ; these were both 
saw and grist mills. The British learned of the existence of the mills 
and set up the claim that they were being operated for the benefit of 
the government. A sergeant and a squad of soldiers were sent to de- 
stroy them, which they did, as before related. The mills were rebuilt 
in 1817 by Mr Van Horn, only to be burned in 1839. They were 
promptly rebuilt on the site and in recent years were fitted with im- 
proved machinery for flouring business. About 1894 the mills were 
torn down. 

Ira Tompkins built a grist mill on Eighteen-mile Creek, about six 
miles from its mouth, in 1869 ; this site was occupied in early years by 
a more primitive mill, which went to ruins before the Tompkins mill 
was built. This mill was washed away in a freshet. The site is now 
occupied by the Anderson grist mill, which was also built by Mr. Tomp- 
kins. The grist mill at Charlotte (Newfane post-office), about four 
miles south of Olcott and in the central part of the town, was built in 
1835. It is now operated by William Collins. Burgoyne Kemp built 
a grist mill in 1814 near the mouth of Honeoye Creek, east of Olcott; 
it went to decay and out of use about 1835. 

A saw mill was built in 181 1 by Jacob Albright, on Keg Creek, a 
little south of the Lake Road. It was burned by the British in 18 13 
and rebuilt by Mr. Albright. In 1827 there was a saw mill on Honeoye 
Creek, east of Olcott. Shubal S. Merritt had a saw mill on Keg Creek 
north of the Lake road in 1827. There was a saw mill also at the 
grist mill of Ira Tompkins and another at Charlotte. 

The only tannery ever operated in this town was owned by John D. 
Cohler about 1820; it stood on the west side of Eighteen-mile Creek. 
It was not operated long. 


Among other prominent residents of the town, past and present, may 
be mentioned the following: 

Nathanial Swartwout, Jonathan Coomer, Elisha Newman, Nathaniel Church, 
Almeron Newman, James Van Horn, jr., Abraham Smith, George Mann, Daniel 
Dix, I. B. Ransom, Anthony McKee, Daniel T. Odell, I. W. Allen, Jeremiah Ange- 
vine, Henry Betzler, Jacob and Moses Bixler. O. C. Boardwell, William Bradshaw, 
George W. Brown, Alvin and Fernando Capen, Josiah Chapman, George Chase, 
George E. Clark, Peter Collins, P. H. Corwin, William V. Corwin, John Coulter, 
William S. Dailey, David Demorest, James Dickinson, P. T. Dix, John Dowding, 
Herman S. Earle, William H. Haight, Irving Halsted, Morris and Oliver Halsted, 
John Henning, Walter S. Hill, M. H. Jaques, Michael Kinsella, Peter and Henry 
Krupp, Albert H. Lee, Jacob Lentz, Charles W. Lindsay, James D. Lockwood, 
William H. and Jesse O. Lockwood, Charles and Eugene McClevv, J. A. and Charles 
S. McCoUum, T. J. McKee, Frank A. McKnight, Philip H. Meseroll, Henry and Peter 
D. Miller, Charles Newman, Peter Phillips, Andrew H. and Charles Rood, Franklin 
and Homer D. Shaver, Horace C. Smith, C. J. Spalding, William H. Staals, Martin 
V. and Dolphin E. Stout, James A. Tice, Benjamin C. Warren, Daniel and Edward 
Wilson, Robert D. Wilson, Stephen S. Wilson, William T. Wilson, R. M, Matthews 
(keeper of the lighthouse at Olcott.) 

The village of Olcott (formerly Kempville) is pleasantly situated at 
the mouth of Eighteen-mile Creek on the lake shore. No more attrac- 
tive site could be found for a village than this. It has one of the best 
harbors on the lake, is a port of entry, with a custom house. Two ex- 
tensive piers, one on either side of the mouth of the creek, have been 
built out into the lake, by the United States government, to a distance 
of over 800 feet, providing safe harbor facilities for large vessels. This 
work was done between 1870 and 1877, ^^ ^ cost of about $200,000. 
Mortimer C. Swarthout, who has been postmaster at Olcott since 1893, 
was for nine years inspector of the harbor improvements here, at Wil- 
son, and other points along the lake front. The improvement of this 
harbor was due originally to the enterprise of James D. Cooper, who 
built a pier and warehouse on the east side. On the outer end of the 
present west pier is situated the government lighthouse, the light in 
which is fifty feet from the water. A line of steamers running to 
various lake ports stops at this place. The early settlement of this 
village was promoted by James D. Cooper, who came into possession 
of the land on the east side of the creek, which he surveyed into lots 
and sold at prices that brought in settlers. Nearly all the business of 
the village has always been conducted on that side of the stream. The 


first post-ofifice in tlie town was opened here as early as 1817, with 
Dr. Alexander Butterfield postmaster. The early mails were brought 
from Hartland Corners by any one who happened to be going there on 
other business. Besides the early business places in this village, which 
have been mentioned, Thomas Armstrong began blacksmithing here in 
1814. Although the business operations of James Van Horn were not 
directly in this village, they were near by and closely identified with it. 
He established a woolen factory in 1842, on the creek south of his 
mills; this was closed in 1874. He also operated a distillery in 1825, 
near his home. The first physician in Olcott was Dr. Alexander But- 
terfield, who located there in 1814 and died November 19, 1867. His 
wife died about thirty minutes afterward. Dr. John Warren came in 
very early and died May 24, 1834. Henry Reynolds was a merchant 
here many years. The present merchants are Lombard Brothers 
(George F. and Charles L ), Charles F. Shaw, Silas Noble (succeeded 
recently by Nelson Shaver), and Abram Diamond. 

The hamlet of Charlotte, now Newfane post-ofifice, was named by 
George R. Davis, the former owner of the land on which it stands, 
from his daughter Charlotte. It is situated four miles from Olcott on 
Eighteen-mile Creek Arthur Patterson opened a hotel here in 1823. 
The early mills here have been noticed. The Charlotte Woolen 
mills were built in 1863 by Niles & Van Ostrand, who operated them 
until 1866, when they were succeeded by H. B. Gulick. Swift, Osgood 
& Co. purchased the property, and it subsequently passed through the 
possession of several persons and firms. It is now used for manufac- 
turing felt goods by the Lockport Felt Company. 

The business of manufacturing baskets was started here a number of 
years ago by Shaw & Vincent, and is now conducted on quite a large scale 
by the Newfane Basket Manufacturing Company, of which S. D. Red- 
man is president, R. D. Wilson, secretary; and C J. Miller, treasurer. 
The company also has a saw and planing mill. 

Among the old merchants of the place were L. A. Bristol, J. J. B. 
Spooner, William S. Pike, Amelia Follett, and Charles Mason. The 
latter was succeeded by E. M. Dutton. Mr. Dutton and Beers & Shaw 
now have general stores and D. R. Maxwell is postmaster. 

Coomer post ofifice (formerly Coomer Road), is situated in the west 



part on the Coomer road, and was established in February, 1863, with 
Theodore M. Titus, postmaster. 

Newfane Station post office is on the railroad one and a half miles 
south of Olcott, and was established in August, 1876, with J. H. Man- 
deville, postmaster. 

The post-office of Appleton, situated at the junction of the railroad 
with the old Hess road, was originally established as Hess Road. In 
1896 it was changed to Appleton. F. H. Ferguson was one of the 
earliest postmasters. John G. Swigert has a general store ; among 
other business men of the place are Frederick Ferguson, Ira Dickson, 
and Henry Betzler. 

Ridge Road post-office is located on the Ridge road in the southeast 
part of the town. The merchants there are William Reed and Harvey 

Wright's Corners is a hamlet in the south edge of the town, lying 
mainly in the town of Lockport. Alvin Buck opened a log tavern 
there in 1817. and in 1823 was succeeded by Solomon C. Wright, who 
served as postmaster for forty- five years. 

The first school in this town was opened at what is now Olcott in 
1815, and was taught by Bezaleel Smith. In 1816 a log school house 
was built in what later became district No. 4, and Martin Burch taught 
there. There were educated among others of this town, F. Newton 
Albright, Benjamin Stout, Asa Coates, Shubal S. Merritt, Charles Hal- 
sted. Ransom Halsted, Silas Mead, and others. 

A meeting of the first school commissioners of the town was held 
April 19, 1824, at which the town was divided into eight school dis- 
tricts. This number was gradually increased until i860, when there 
were sixteen. At the present time there are eighteen with a school 
house in each. 

The first burial place in the town was located on the west bank of 
Keg Creek, on what became the farm of Stephen Wilson. A burying 
ground was opened at Olcott as early as 18 17. 

It was known that there were religious services held in this town as 
early as 18 16 by a Methodist itinerant named Mairs, and that Baptist 
services were held in 18 12 by Rev. Jehiel Wisner, who was later con- 
nected with a church here. The Methodist services were generally held 



in the house of Silas Mead, until church buildings were erected. Proba- 
bly the first church society organized in the town was the Methodist at 
Olcott, where a class was in existence in 1815 ; Samuel Lockvvood is 
believed to have been the first leader. On the 29th of October, 1832, 
Nathaniel Church deeded to the society the lot on v/hich the church 
edifice was erected in the next year. The first trustees were William 
Henderson, Samuel Lockwood, Nathaniel Pease, Enoch Pease, Abram 
Phillips, Nathaniel Corey and Talcott Merwin. 

The Methodist church at Charlotte was organized April 22, 1844, a 
class having been formed at Adams's Mills twelve years earlier ; James 
Matthews was the leader of that class. Meetings were held in the log 
school house in that locality until 1842, when they were transferred to 
Charlotte, with Rev. W. D. Buck in charge. Upon the full organiza- 
tion of the church the trustees chosen were James McKinney, George 
Steele, Walter Shaw, Reuben Godfrey, Samuel C. Brown, Oliver Lewis 
and Daniel Shaw. The present stone church edifice was erected in 
1844, the site having been donated by George R. Davis. 

The First Baptist Church of Newfane was organized May 27, 1829, 
with twenty- five members, and with Elder Jehiel Wisner as pastor. 
The early meetings were held at the school house near Judge Van 
Horn's and in private houses. The pulpit was supplied for about a 
year, when Elder Amos Reed became the settled pastor. In 1835 the 
public services were transferred to Olcott, which caused a temporary 
division in the society ; the factions were reunited in 1839. The pres- 
ent cobblestone church edifice was erected in Charlotte during the pas- 
torate of Elder Burtt, who came in 1842; the building was repaired 
and improved in 1856. 

A society of Wesleyan Methodists was organized at Olcott in 1849 
with about ten members, and William Henderson as the first class 
leader. In the next year a modest church edifice was built of cobble- 
stone. The first regular preacher was Asa Warren. 

The First Universalist church of Olcott was organized in April, 1858, 
with forty-two members. The present brick church building was 
erected in the same year. The first pastor was Rev. R. H. Pullman, 
and the first trustees were James D. Cooper, Benjamin Stout and A. T. 


St. Bridget's Roman Catholic church, on the Ewing road in the 
southwest part of the town, was organized in June, 1859, under direc- 
tion of Rev. Thomas Sheiian. An acre of land was donated to the 
society by John Mulloy and the edifice was dedicated November 30, 

The Roman Catholic church at Olcott was built about 1884. It is a 
frame structure. 

The Free Methodist church at Charlotte was erected about 1886, a 
society having been organized a few years before. 

The VVesleyan Methodists have a frame church on the Hess road, be- 
tween Appleton and Ridge Road, that was built more than twenty 
years ago. 

The Methodist church, situated on the west side of the creek in Ol- 
cott, was erected about 1834, the builders being Ira Tompkins and 
Nathaniel Swarthout. 

The Presbyterian church of Wright's Corners was organized May 12, 
1872, with thirty members. In 1873 the society erected a brick edifice, 
which was dedicated January 29, 1874. The site was donated by Miss 
Janette Henning. 



The town of Pendleton was erected April 16, 1827, pervious to which 
date it constituted a part of Niagara. It is bounded on the south by 
Tonawanda Creek, and is the central one of the six towns that touch 
the southern bounds of the county. Much of the surface of the town is 
level or gently undulating, with the exception of Beech Ridge and Bear 
Ridge, in the northern part. These two ridges extend about three 
miles in length and are nearly parallel and three-fourths of a mile wide. 
They scarcely deserve the name of ridges, and form a part of the best 
farming land in the town. The soil in that section is gravelly and 
sandy loam, fertile and well adapted to grains and fruits ; in other parts 


the soil is clayey loam. Roads running northeast and southwest 
traverse both ridges. Sawyer's Creek crosses the western part of the 
town, but neither that nor Tonawanda Creek supplies water power. 

Pendleton received its name from the village at the junction of Tona- 
wanda Creek and tlie Erie Canal, which was in existence long before the 
town was erected ; the village took its name from Sylvester Pendleton 
Clark, one of the earliest residents. 

The first town meeting was held in May, 1827, and the following 

officers elected : 

Supervisor, Lyman E. Thayer; town clerk, Garrett Van Slyke; assessors, Nathan- 
iel Sykes, David Candler and James C. Hawley; collector, Kimball Ferrin ; com- 
missioners of highways, Willard Sykes, Lawrence Pickard and John Baker ; overseers 
of the poor, Bailey Curtis and Russell Richards; school commissioners, Henry Keyes, 
Alanson Sykes and John Schuyler; school inspectors, James Henderson, Abel Rug 
and Asa Milliken ; constable, Horvice Thacher. 

This first town meeting adjourned to the house of David Chandler, 
for the year 1828. The amount of property taxed in the town at that 
time was $572.5 I. 

There was little settlement on the territory in this town before the 
war of 18 12, and much of it was a wilderness fifteen years later. Mar- 
tin Van Slyke and Jacob Christman settled on Tonawanda Creek in the 
western part of the town in 1808. John and Adam Fulmer settled in 
the southern part in 1812, purchasing 252 acres of land of the Holland 
Company. A few others had probably located along the creek. After 
the war settlement progressed more rapidly. Hartman Pickard and his 
son Lawrence came in 18 16 and in later years were prominent citizens. 
The latter married a daughter of Philip Woolever, who had a farm three 
miles from Tonawanda in 18 16, and another on which he settled a mile 
west of Pendleton in 1823. Mr. Woolever was contractor on the first 
improvement of Tonawanda Creek. 

Conrad Rickard resided on Tonawanda Creek as early as 18 16; he 
was the father of Henry Rickard. James Van Slyke was an early set- 
tler and married Alargaret Christman ; this was the first marriage in the 
town. Garrett Van Slyke settled in the west part of the town in 1822, 
where his son John B. afterwards lived. The father, who died in 1824, 
had been a captive of the Indians in the Revolutionary war and was 


adopted by Molly Brant. An uncle afterwards purchased his freedom 
for a gallon of rum. 

Sylvester Pendleton Clark settled early on the site of Pendleton vil- 
lage, and built and opened a log tavern there in I 82 I. The post-office 
was established in 1S23 and he was appointed postmaster. The com- 
pletion of the canal and its junction at this point with Tonawanda 
Creek drew together the nucleus of a village. The first log tavern was 
superseded by a frame structure in 1822. Jerry S. Jenks came in 
about that time and brought the first goods for sale ; he died soon 
afterwards. Austin Simons located at the village about 1830, and for 
thirty- five years was prominent as a merchant and buyer of staves, 
lumber, etc. William B. Lewis settled in the village in 1834 as a 
merchant, and was postmaster sixteen years and a justice of the peace 
thirty years. 

At about the close of the first quarter of the century Beech and Bear 
Ridges began to attract attention from the newcomers. One of the 
first settlers on Beech Ridge was Asa Andrews, who purchased his 
farm in 1824. Luther Leland settted there in 1827. Thomas Leonard 
settled on Bear Ridge in 1833 and ten years later moved to the hamlet 
of Mapleton, in the northwest part of the town. Henry Tripp settled 
 on Beech Ridge in 1S24, and Alfred Pool in 1826 on the farm where 
he died in 1870. Silas Hall settled on the northern limit of Beech 
Ridge in 1835; at that comparatively late date it was still a wilderness 
in that section. He cleared a farm of 240 acres. Bears and wolves 
still roamed about his settlement and dear were killed there ten years 

k later. 
W. C. Andrus settled in Pendleton in 1824, having then lived one 
year in Royalton. George E. Andrus settled with his father, Warren 
Andrus, in 1838, on what was later known as the Wort farm. James 
H. Andrus settled in Pendleton village in 1837 and later removed to 
Beech Ridge. 
Hon. A. H. Pickard was born on the farm where he long resided; he 
served six years as supervisor of the town and was also a member of 

t Henry Rickard came into the town with his grandfather in 18 16; held 
the office of postmaster at Pendleton Center twenty- five years, and was 
town clerk. 


A large area in the southern and eastern parts of this town is popu- 
lated by a German element, who represent excellent citizenship and 
have brought their farms into a high state of cultivation. One of the 
pioneers in that section, Philip Woock, settled on Tonawanda Creek in 
1832, coming from Batavia. John Adam Koepfinger and Joseph 
Schimp settled about the same time in that locality. Orin Fisk located 
on the east side of the canal in 1844, his father having been an early 
settler in Royalton. John Baker, William Woods, and Henry W. 
Goodian were other early comers. 

Among other settlers, past and present, are James Tripp, Henry 
Tripp, 2d, Lyman Goodridge, Rev. R. C. Foote, A. H. Ellis, Adam and 
Jacob Art, Jacob Bayer, Philip Bayer, Andrew Beiter, Jacob Blum, sr., 
Wesley C. Briggs, Benjamin B. Bush, John 15ush, James J. Carr, John 
W. Connan, Frank and Mathias Donner, Joseph and Peter Donner, R, 
C. Foote, jr., Adam Hoffman, Willis A. Levan, Charles Lureman, Mar- 
tin Mayer, Patrick McDonald, Anthony Meyer, John Miller. L. A. 
Pickard, M. L. Pickard, Alvin Van Slyke, David J. Wells, Martin and 
Mathias Wendel, Martin Woock. Many other families are noted in 
Part ni. 

The supervisors of Pendleton have been as follows : 

Lyman E. Thayer, 1837-28; Asa Millikin, 1839; John Pratt, 1830-33; Lawrence 
Pickard, 1833; John Pratt 1834; Nathaniel Sykes, 1835; Anthony Ames, 1836-37; 
Silas Ohnsted, 1838; Lawrence Pickard, 1839-47; Cyrus F. Williams, 1848; Law- 
rence Pickard, 1849-53; Elisha B. Swift, 1854; George Kelsey, 1855-56; Linus J. 
Peck, 1857; Hiram Pomroy, 1858; Lyman Goodridge, 1859-61; Hartman Rickard, 
1862; Albert H. Pickard, 1863-65; Morris Wire, 1866; Albert H. Pickard, 1867; 
Alexander H. Ellis, 1868-70; Frederick S. Parsons, 1871-72; Gilbert C. Richards, 
1878-75; Albert H. Pickard, 1876-77; Amos A. Brown, 1878; Herman J. Leland, 
1879; Martin Wendel, 1880-82; Lawrence A. Pickard, 1883; Herman J. Leland, 1884; 
Martin Wendel, 1885; Joseph C. Rickard, 1886-88; Aaron D. Thompson,, 1889-90; 
Alvin Van Slyke, 1891-92; William Babel, 1893-94; Alvin Van Slyke, 1895-96; Mathias 
L. Rickard, 1897-98. 

The other town officers for 1897 are: 

Jacob Blum, town clerk; Linus J. P. Richards, R. C. Foote, jr., Emery W. Wire 
and Anson Kinne, justices of the peace; Jacob Bayer, Charles Lureman and Irving 
W. Stowell, assessors; Adam J. Wehner, highway commissioner; Patrick Collins, 
collector; Charles Hill overseer of the poor. 

Pendleton village has enjoyed considerable business activity in past 

-> -5 r- 

years. The first merchant was Jerry S. Jenks. William B. Jenks was 
for sometime a leading merchant there, beginning in 1834; he was 
postmaster sixteen years and a justice of the peace for more than thirty 
years. Austin Simons was another prominent merchant from 1831 to 
about 1865 Sylvester Pendleton Clark's log tavern, built in i82i,was 
fo'lowed by his frame hotel erected in 1822. The Sulphur Springs 
Hotel was built by Reuben Fuller and Marshall Martin in 1850, and 
was long kept by Truman Nichols. The present merchants are Martin 
Woock, Mathias Donner (who is postmaster), and Jacob Blum. 
The hotelkeeper is Anthony Roskopf The post-office was established 
as early as 1823 with S. P. Clark postmaster. 

Pendleton Center is a station and post-office near the center of the 
town, on the Erie Railroad. Ellis & Graft' have a general store there. 
Near the place is also an M. E. church. 

Mapleton is a post-office and milk station on tlie New York Central 
Railroad, in the northwest part of the town. Burt N. Thompson is 

Hodgeville and Hoffman are stations on the Erie Railroad, the 
former in the northeast and the latter in the southwest part of the 

Wendelville is a small hamlet on the canal, or Tonawanda Creek, 
and owes its existence to Martin Wendel, the first merchant. John 
Wurtenberter has a general store there and is also the postmaster. 

Beech Ridge (formerly Hall's Station) is a postal hamlet on the New 
York Central Railroad, in the extreme west part of the town. The 
land on which it stands was owned by Silas Hall, whose name long 
clung to the place. Philip Miller was formerly a merchant and post- 
master there; the office was established in 1853 with William M. Beebe, 
postmaster. The present merchants are George Rundel and Charles 
Hill. An M. E. church, a neat frame building, was erected here about 

The first school in Pendleton was opened in the winter of 1816 by a 
man named Dawson. In 1827 the town was divided into eight school 

J The first steps taken towards the organization of a Presbyterian 
church in this town was in 1835 at Beech Ridge. Only four families 


were then interested in the movement, and their meetings were held in 
private houses and the school house at Mapleton. Rev. Samuel Leon- 
ard was the first pastor In 1844 a church was formed at Shawnee in 
Wheatfield and the members at Beech Ridge joined in it ; it was under 
charge of Rev. Russell Brooks A church edifice was erected at Ma- 
pleton in 1847-48. The society took the name of The First Presbyte- 
rian Ciiurch cf Pendleton and Wheatfield, The first trustees of the 
Mapleton society were James Thompson, Silas Hall, and Isaac H. 
Smith ; the number of members was eighteen. 

The Roman Catholic Church of the Good Sheperd at Pendleton was 
organized ,and the brick church edifice completed in 1854. Among 
the first officers were Martin Woock, Michael Mayer, John Staebel, 
John Adam Koepfinger, and Jacob Danna. 

St. Paul's German Lutheran church, situated at Wendelville, was 
built in 1859. 

The Methodist church of Pendleton village was organized in March, 
1858, with Rev. John B. Jenkins as pastor, and Morris Wire, Francis 
King, Miranda Root, William Blowers, and Lewis Abbott as trustees. 

The Church of the United Bretheren was organized in March, 1874. 
Both societies occupy the union church, which was erected in i860, on 
a lot donated by Willett Clark for the use of all evangelical denomina- 



Wheatfield is the last town organized in Niagara county, and was set 
off from Niagara May 12, 1836. It lies on the southern boundary of 
the county, west of the center, and extends farther south than any other 
town. The Niagara River forms its southwestern boundary and Ton- 
awanda Creek its southern. Its surface is level or gently undulating. 
The soil is generally a clayey loam, not easy of cultivation, but pro- 
ductive of grains and especially of wheat ; this latter fact gave the town 
its name. Cayuga Creek flows across the northwestern part of the town 
and empties into the Niagara River, and Sawyer's Creek flows south- 
easterly across the southeastern part and empties into Tonawanda Creek. 
The town contains four post-offices — Martinsville, Bergholtz, St. Johns- 
burg, and Shawnee, besides the city of North Tonawanda, and the 
hamlet of Walmore, in the northwestern corner. 

The first town meeting was held on the 6th of June, 1836, in the 

school house of district No. 7, on the north line of the town, and the 

following were elected as the first ofificers : 

Supervisor, N. M. Ward; town clerk, Edwin Cook; assessors, Isaac H. Smith, 
James Sweeney, Hiram Parks; justices of the peace, L. B. Warden, John Sweeney; 
commissioners of highways, Elias Parks. Matthew Gray ; collector, Stewart Milliman ; 
overseer of the poor, William Towsley; constables, Stewart Milliman, Daniel C. 
Jacobs, Calvin F. Champlin, Seth F. Roberts; commissioners of schools, Isaac L. 
Voung, James Sweeney, Loyal E. Edwards. 

These were all esteemed citizens of the town at that comparatively 
late date. 

The following have been supervisors of the town : 

In 1836, N. M. Ward; 1837, Benjamin McNitt; 1838, N. M. Ward; 1839, William 
Vandervoort ; 1840, John Sweeney ; 1843, Isaac L. Young ; 1843, N. M. Ward ; 1844-45, 
Lewis S. Payne; 1846, N. M. Ward; 1847-48, L. S. Payne; 1849, Sylvester McNitt; 
1850, L. S. Payne; 1851, Seth F. Roberts; 1852, Sylvester McNitt; 1853-54, Peter 
£ Creiner; 1855, Joseph Hawbecker; 1856-57, George W. Sherman ; 1858, N. M. Ward; 


1859-61, L. S. Payne; 1862, Peneuel Schmeck; 1863-66, George W. Sherman; 1867 
H. H. Griffin; 1868, James Carney; 1869, H. H. Griffin; 1870, Edward A. Milliman 
1871-73, Joseph D. Loveland; 1874-75, Thomas C. Collins; 1876, L. S. Payne; 1877 
1878, Christian Fritz; 1879-81, Charles Kandt; 1883, Daniel Sy; 1883, C. F. Goerss 
1884-88, Peter Heim ; 1889-94, Chauncey Wichterman ; 1895-96, William Tompkins 
1897-98, Herman Rosebrook. 

Charles Hagen, a veteran of Co. D, looth N. Y. Vols., has served as 
town clerk since about 1874. 

Since the incorporation of North Tonawanda as a city, Charles Koh- 
ler was elected supervisor of the First ward ; Conrad J. Winter, Second 
ward ; and John H. Bollier, Third ward. 

Although this town was erected so many years later than most of the 
others in the county, and its settlement in the interior and western parts 
was so comparatively recent, it still bore a close relation to the impor- 
tant events that took place in early years on the frontier. The banks 
near the mouth of Cayuga Creek, as the reader has learned, constitute 
a historical locality and witnessed stirring scenes when this town was a 
part of Niagara. 

The first settlements were made on the Niagara River on and near 
the site of the city of North Tonawanda. Even in that vicinity progress 
was slow, except in the direction of improving farm lands, until after 
the completion of the Erie Canal. There were few settlers within the 
limits of the town previous to the war of I 81 2, and when these learned 
of the destruction of Youngstown and Lewiston, they shared in the 
general consternation along the frontier, gathered in haste such prop- 
erty as they could carry, and fled eastward beyond immediate danger. 

Probably the earliest settler on the site of North Tonawanda was 
George N. Burger, who came in 1809 and built a log tavern on the 
river ; he remained a resident until about 1825. Joshua Pettit came in 
1810 and settled near the Niagara Iron Works, where he opened a 
tavern. He was the father of Mrs. Daniel C. Jacobs and Mrs. Whitman 
Jacobs. Stephen Jacobs, a soldier at the battle of Bunker Hill, located 
on the river two miles below in 1817, where he purchased 196 acres of 
Augustus Porter, paying eight dollars an acre. He died in Niagara Falls 
in January, 1840. William Vandervoorte settled here in 1825, occupy- 
ing a log house which tradition says was the only one then in existence. 
It was his intention to make a business of purchasing staves and timber 


for the Boston market, and ultimately to open a mercantile business. In 
1828 he finished the first public house in the place, which was called the 
Niagara; it was burned in 1844. Later he purchased 1,000 acres of 
land of the Holland Company and sold to Prussian immigrants the 
largest part of their possessions on Tonawanda Creek and its vicinity. 
He established the first bank in 1836. As before indicated, little 
progress of a business nature was made here until the opening of the 
Erie Canal. The interior of the town was still almost an unbroken 
wilderness and as late as 1850 a large part of the area of the town was 
unimproved. The prospects at Tonawanda in 1824, as viewed by in- 
terested persons, is indicated in the following advertisement : 


This village is located at the confluence of the Niagara and Tonawanta rivers, 
where the Erie canal from Buffalo enters the Tonawanta, and where boats pass from 
the canal into the Niagara river by a lock. At this junction of the rivers and ad- 
joining the village, is a safe and spacious harbor, as well for canal boatsas for vessels 
navigating Lake Erie. 

These advantages cannot fail to render the village of Niagara the depot of the 
products of the West, destined to the city of New York, and of return cargoes of 

A dam of four or five feet high will be thrown across the Tonawanta, at the vil- 
lage, so as to raise the river to the level of Lake Erie, and the river will be navigated 
for the distance of eleven miles, and be united with the canal between Niagara and 
Lockport. The surplus water from the dam will afford an abundant and steady 
supply for mills and other hydraulic works. 

The village is 12 miles from Buffalo, 8 from the falls, 15 from Lewiston, and 16 
miles from Lockport. A line of stages passes through from Buffalo to Lewiston 
daily, and another from Lockport to Buffalo every other day. Travelers to the Falls 
will leave the canal at this place. 

A bare inspection of Vance's or Lay's map of the western part of this State will 
at once show the advantageous position of the village for trade, market and manu- 

Building lots are now offered for sale to actual settlers. A map of the village may 
be seen by application to James Sweeney, at Buffalo, or to George Goundy at the 
Land Office in Geneva ; and the former will enter into contracts of sale. 

The title is indisputable, and good warranty deeds will be executed to purchasers. 

George Goundy, ] 
James Sweeney, v Proprietors. 
John Sweeney, ) 

July 5, 1824. 

The James Sweeney, whose name appears above, settled first in Buf- 



falo in i8ii. He became one of the proprietors of the site of North 
Tonawanda village, and as such settled there in 1828 and built one of 
the very early frame dwellings. The land owned by him and his asso- 
ciates was cleared to supply timber for the Buffalo pier and breakwater, 
and at the same time to prepare the tract for sale in small lots. The 
sites on which were erected the First M. E. church (1837) and the first 
school house were donated by Mr. Sweeney, and largely through his 
energy, activity and generosity the village received its early impetus. 
He died in January, 1850, aged fifty-seven. John Sweeney was his son 
and long a prominent citizen ; he superintended the building of the first 
railroad depot and was long the station agent. He caused the building 
of the first dock on the creek next to the bridge, and subsequently ex- 
tended it 250 feet. He built the first grist mill, which was burned and 
not rebuilt, and also the first saw mill. 

James Carney settled as early as 18 19, with his father, Edward, on 
Tonawanda Island, which was known for many years as Carney Island. 
His purpose was to gain pre emption rights to the island if the boun- 
dary settlement should leave it within the United States. In 1854 the 
State caused a survey to be made and ordered an assessment valuation 
of $4 50 per acre. In the next year the island was directed to be sold 
at auction in Albany and required one-eighth of the purchase money to 
be paid down. Mr. Carney placed the requisite sum in the hands of 
Judge Samuel Wilkinson, of Buffalo, to make the purchase. But the 
spirit. of speculation awakened by the operations of Mordecai M. Noah 
and his associates, on Grand Island, created a spirited contest for this 
island and it was sold to Samuel Leggate at $23 an acre. After that 
Mr. Carney became one of the most active and energetic of the pion- 
eers ; engaged extensively in clearing lands ; was employed as a team - 
ster by Porter, Barton & Co. ; boated salt and other produce up and 
down the river; and was otherwise a useful member of the young com- 

Among other early settlers of the town were Heman A. Barnum, 
James A. Betts, Wilhelm Dornfeld, Albert Dornfeld, C. F. Goers, Her- 
man F. Stieg, Nelson Zimmerman, John Grey. 

In 1824 Harvey Miller came from Rochester and settled on the Lock- 
port and Niagara Falls road, in the north part of the town, where he 



purchased lOO acres of the Holland Company at $5 an acre. He was 
young and energetic, and although without much means, he soon be- 
came independent. During the first winter he was in this town he, 
with the assistance of one young man, cleared twenty-five acres. In 
that summer he sowed eighteen acres of winter wheat and raised 800 
bushels ; this he sold to other incoming settlers at seventy-five cents a 
bushel. He was long a road commissioner and aided in laying out all 
the first roads in the town. He lived to an old age. 

Among the first settlers in the extreme northeastern part, where the 
post-ofiice of Shawnee is located, were Timothy Shaw (from whom the 
place is named) and Volney Spalding, who opened a store and estab- 
lished an ashery there in 182S. John Grey settled about a mile south 
of Shawnee in 1825; he purchased eighty- four acres of the Holland 
Company at $5 an acre. 

In the course of time certain influences brought into this town a 
largely preponderant foreign element, mainly of Prussian nativity, who 
settled at first mostly on small tracts of land, but finally became in 
many instances large owners. By far the greater portion of the terri- 
tory of the town was finally occupied by them, and the same is true to- 
day of them or their descendants. They developed into excellent 
farmers, frugal and industrious, and patient in overcoming adverse con- 
ditions in their surroundings. They cleared the lands, drained the 
swamps, and rendered the town one of the most productive in this re- 
gion. Settlements by this element were about simultaneous in sepa- 
rate localities. In 1843 Carl Sack, Erdman Wurl, and Fred Grosskopf 
purchased of William Vandervoorte 400 acres at $15 an acre; the tract 
was situated on the Tonawanda Creek, in the southeast corner of the 
town, and the settlement made there was given the name of Martinsville, 
through the veneration felt by the inhabitants for Martin Luther. The 
original purchase was subdivided into small tracts of three or more acres, 
to suit the wishes of purchasers, and about thirty families came in the 
first season. Ten log houses were completed in the fall, and into these 
the families moved, three or four in a house, in some cases, until addi- 
tional buildings could be erected. 

Christian Dornfeld settled here in 1843, purchasing six acres of Van- 
dervoorte, and lived to old age, leaving a family of children. His sons 


William and Albert became prominent business men in the place. 
William Dornfeld and Christian Fritz purchased, in 1856, the first saw 
mill, which had been built by Joseph Hewitt. Mr. Fritz built a saw 
mill and planing mill in i860, and established a lumber yard. William 
Dornfeld also carried on a considerable store, which he opened in 185 i. 
He was associated with Krull Brothers in operating another planing 
mill and sash and door factory, which was built in 1876, and was also 
postmaster of the place for some time. The present postmaster is 
Charles A. Graf, who is also a harnessmaker. Other later and present 
merchants are William F. Fritz, lumber; Charles Grosskopf and Ernest 
G. Jaenecke, general stores ; Ferdinand Ziehl, hardware ; and Christ- 
Martin, grocery. John G. Jaenecke is proprietor of the Martinsville 
Hotel, and Charles Rogge is a blacksmith and cider manufacturer. 

Eugene De Kleist began the manufacture of church and other organs 
in Martinsville in 1892, and in 1893 erected a large factory, in which he 
employed about fifty hands. He has been eminently successful in this 
enterprise, and enjoys a trade which extends all over the country. 

Martinsville became a part of the city of North Tonawanda on April 
24, 1897, but still maintains its own post office. 

New Bergholtz (Bergholtz is the name of the post-office) is in the 
central part of the town and was settled almost exclusively by Prussians. 
The place is named from one in Germany whence many of the settlers 
came. In 1843 Frederick Moll, John Williams and John Sy, as trus- 
tees, purchased a tract of land for a German Evangelical Lutheran con- 
gregation consisting of 120 members. The tract contained 820 acres 
and was conveyed by deed from the Farmers' Loan and Trust Company ; 
176% acres, deeded by William L. Marcy and wife; 118 acres deeded 
by Washington Hunt ; 200 acres deeded by John J. DeGraff" (the two 
latter tracts including the site of the village); 456 acres conveyed by 
Blandina Dudley ; and 349 acres by the Farmers' Loan and Trust Com- 
pany. These transfers were all made in October, 1843. The whole 
quantity of land conveyed comprised 2,1 \g]4 acres and cost the settlers 
a little more than $16,000. A map of the lands was made arid 121 
village lots laid out, with proper streets and a large public square. By 
a general deed executed by the trustees October 12, 1843, they con- 
veyed to Augustus Manske and 1 18 others each a lot of one acre. The 



first of these comers found temporary quarters in a large barn that had 
been previously built for some purpose, until houses could be erected. 
Washington Hunt presented the community with their first ox team to 
aid in building log houses, and during the first season a building was 
completed on nearly every one of the lots deeded. With the commu- 
nity came a carpenter, a blacksmith, a mason, a tailor, a shoe- 
maker and a cabinet maker, which enabled them to live almost wholly 
upon their own resources. Some of them had considerable money, one 
of the wealthiest being John Salingre, who brought over about $20,000. 
His kindness and generosity to his less fortunate neighbors in the new 
country are gratefully remembered. He died in 1871. 

The first dry goods store started at Bergholtz was that of Christian 
Wolf, one of the pioneers. The first post-office was established in 
1850 with John Sy, postmaster, who died in 1861. 

These Lutherans left their own country chiefly on account of the 
determination of the king of Prussia to force a union of the Lutheran 
and Reformed churches. Hundreds of families left their country on 
that account. Rev. J. An. A. Grabau of Buffalo, preached to these 
people for about a year from 1S43, when their former pastor, Rev. Mr. 
Ehrenstroem, arrived from Germany. He was succeeded a year later 
by Rev. Henry von Rohr, formerly a captain in the Prussian army, who 
remained until his death in 1874. A church was erected in 1848, and 
was called The Holy Ghost Church. A school was opened and taught 
by one of the pioneers, and later by G. Renwald. In 1845 the Luthe- 
ran Synod was organized in Buffalo and the Bergholtz church became 
a part of it. In 1866, through dissension, the synod divided into three 
parts, and in consequence the Bergholtz congregation was divided into 
two parties, one of which, consisting of fifty-two families, renounced its 
old pastor, Mr. Von Rohr, and called Rev. W. Weinback. This party 
had a majority of the members and remained in possession of the 
church property, consisting of about twelve acres of land, the church 
parsonage, cemetery, and school buildings. The other party, about 
thirty-seven families, remained loyal to Mr. Von Rohr, held services in 
a private house, which was later fitted up for a school house, and soon 
built a new brick edifice, taking the name of Trinity church. Mr. Von 
Rohr died in 1874, and about two thirds of the Trinity congregation 


now wished to join with the Buffalo synod ; but as the remainder were 
not willing, they separated, called another pastor, and in 1875 organ- 
ized the Lutheran St. Jacob's Congregation. A lot was purchased, 
and in 1876 a new church, parsonage, and school house were erected. 

Bergholtz now contains the stores of Charles W. Kandt and August 
Lange, the latter being also postmaster, and the store of August 

At Shawnee, in the northeast corner of the town, a Baptist church 
was organized in July, 1830, but the large influx of Lutherans caused 
the abandonment of that organization and the substitution of the other. 
Land for the church was donated by I.saac Carl and the building was 
erected in 1847. 

Shawnee was named from Timothy Shaw, who with Volney Spald- 
ing opened a store and ashery there in 1828. In 1863 an M. E. church 
was erected. Harmon H. Grififin is postmaster and general merchant, 
and Carl E. Eddy, blacksmith. 

St. Johnsburg is an outgrowth of Bergholtz, and lies to the south- 
west of the latter place on the 820 acres deeded by the Farmers' Loan 
and Trust Company, before mentioned. It has had very little business 
interest. A brick church was erected by St. John's German Lutheran 
Society in 1846, to which was attached a school. A store was opened 
and a few shops established. William C. Krull is the postmaster and a 
general merchant, and Lewis Holland is a harness dealer and proprietor 
of the hotel. 

New Walmore, in the northwest corner of the town, was so named 
from a village in Prussia, whence the settlers came about 1843. A Lu- 
theran church was built there, of brick, in 1853. The place is merely 
a rural hamlet. 

North Tonawanda formed one of the wards of Tonawanda from the 
incorporation of the latter village to 1857, when it withdrew, and for 
eight years was simply a part of the town of Wheatfield. The village 
of North Tonawanda was incorporated May 8, 1865, with the following 
trustees: David Robinson, Jacob Becker, George W. Sherman, Alex- 
ander G. Kent, Clark Ransom and J. D. Vandervoorte. At that time it 
contained a population of 440 and an area of 681 acres. The village 
government was established with its variou.'^ departments of fire, police, 

W. L. ALLEN, M. D. 


schools, etc., and during the thirty-two succeeding years was brought 
to its present efficient condition. 

The village presidents were as follows : 

James Carney, 1868; Franklin Warren, 1869; John M. Rockwell, 1870; A. G. 
Kent, 1871; Franklin Warren, 1872-73; C. W. Watkins, 1874-75; Franklin Warren, 
1876; C. W. Watkins, 1877-78; F. S. Fassett, 1879; Alexander McBain, 1880; John 
Taylor, 1881-83; William Gombert, 1883; Conrad Backer, 1884; J. S. Thompson, 
1885-87; Fred Sonimer, 1888-89; Joseph Pitts, 1890; Benjamin F. Felton, 1891 ; John 
E. Oelkers, 1892; James S. Thompson, 1893-94; George Stanley (resigned, and E. 
C. McDonald installed), 1895; Levant RA'andervoort, 1896; Albert E. McKeen, 1897. 

On April 24, 1897, by a special act of the Legislature, North Tona- 
wanda was incorporated as a city with the following boundaries : 

All that part of the county of Niagara, in the State of New York, comprised 
within the following boundaries, to wit: Beginning at the junction of the middle 
line of the Tonawanda Creek with the Niagara River, the same being on the south 
bounds of Niagara county; thence running up said Tonawanda Creek, following the 
middle line thereof, the same being the boundary line between the county of Erie 
and the county of Niagara, to a point opposite the mouth of the Sawyers Creek, 
where Sawyers Creek empties into said Tonawanda Creek; thence northerly along 
and following the middle line of Sawyers Creek, to the junction of the east and 
west branches of said creek, in farm lot four, lying along Tonawanda Creek; thence 
northwesterly along the middle line of the westerly branch of said creek, to the in- 
tersection of said middle line with the north line of lot 12, in township 13 of range 8 
of the Holland purchase (so-called); thence westerly along the north line of said lot 
12, and lots 21 and 28 of said township and range, to the northwest corner of lot 28; 
thence continuing the same course westerly along the projection of said north line of 
said lot 28 to the point of intersection of said projected line with the north line of 
lot 73 of the New York State mile reserve; thence northwesterly along the said north 
line of said lot 73 and along the north line of lots 71 and 70 and 69 of the said mile 
reserve, to the intersection of the west line of said lot 69 with said north line thereof; 
thence southerly along the west line of said lot 69 to the easterly shore of the Niag- 
ara River; thence at right angles to the shore line of said river at that point, south- 
erly to the middle line of the east channel of Niagara River, being the boundary 
between Niagara and Erie counties; thence up the said middle line of said east 
channel of Niagara River and along said boundary line between said Niagara and 
Erie counties, to the southerly point or angle of said Niagara county, in the middle 
of said east channel of said Niagara River; thence easterly and northeasterly in the 
waters of said river along the boundary line between said Erie county and Niagara 
county, to the place of beginning; shall be known as the city of North Tonawanda, 

The city, by this act, was divided into three wards, and the village 
officers became and held over as officers of the new city, as follows : 

Albert E. McKeen, mayor; Thomas E. Warner (who had been village clerk since 


1886), citj' clerk; John Kaiser, William M. Gillie, Peter D. Hershey, William Nellis, 
William Ostwald, Frederick F. Wagenschuetz, Leonard Wiedman, and Martin Wurl, 
aldermen; Hector M. Stocum, treasurer; James F. Davison, superintendent of pub- 
lic works; Stillman C. Woodruff, superintendent of water works; Augustus F. 
Premus, city attorney. John Kaiser was elected the first president of the Common 

A special election was held June 8, 1897, fo"" ^''^ purpose of electing 
supervisors, and resulted as follows; First ward, Charles H. Kohler ; 
second ward, Conrad J. Winter; third ward, John H. Bollier. 

The city is provided with well organized police, fire, and health de- 
partments, the mayor being president of the latter. The police depart- 
ment is under the control of three commissioners, appointed by the 
mayor, the first (1897) incumbents being Lewis E. Allen (president), 
George McBean, and John Mahar. The chief is John Ryan, who has 
under him one sergeant and six patrolmen. 

The fire department was organized about twenty years ago, the first 
company being Columbia Hook & Ladder Co., which is still in exist- 
ence ; there are seven other companies, viz.: Rescue Fire Co. (stationed 
in Martinsville), Alert Hose Co , Active Hose Co., Hydrant Hose Co., 
Live Hose Co., Gratwick Hose Co. (in Gratwick), and Sweeney Hose 
Co. The chief is Louis J Wattengel. 

The water system originated with the Tonawanda City Water Works 
Company, which was incorporated in 1885 with a capital of $50,000. 
The works were located on Tonawanda Island, and water was obtained 
by the Holly system from the Niagara River. The company supplied 
both Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, but the former finally built a 
plant of its own About 1894 the village of North Tonawanda pur- 
chased these works at a cost of $275,000, and the city now operates it 
through its Board of Public Works. 

Public improvements, such as the laying of pavements and sewers, 
were commenced by the village about 1889, and up to the present time 
about $150,000 have been expended for the former and $161,000 for 
the latter. 

The Standard Gas Company was incorporated August 21, 1888, with 
a capital of $25,000, for producing and piping natural gas, which is ob- 
tained at Getzville in Erie county. George P. Smith is president. 

The Tonawanda Lighting and Power Company was incorporated 



February 23, 1897, with a capital of $150,000, and is the successor of 
the Tonavvanda and Wheatfield Electric Light Company, which was 
organized in 1890 The company supplies both Tonawanda and North 
Tonawanda, and operates in all about 290 arc and 2,400 incandescent 
lamps. Frank M. Gordon is local manager. 

The Tonawanda Street Railroad Company was incorporated in 1891 
with a capital of $50,000. George P. Smith is president. Besides this 
the city is connected with Buffalo and Niagara Falls by electric lines, 
and with Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Lockport by the New York Cen- 
tral and Erie Railroads. 

Much of the early history of North Tonawanda has been detailed in 
preceding pages of this chapter, and the reader has doubtless observed 
that no marked impetus was inaugurated until about 1875. The Swee- 
ney and Vandervoort families were the first resident owners of land in 
the old village limits. James Sweeney bought farm lots 81 and 82 
June 14, 1824, and later conveyed a one-third interest to his brother, 
Col. John Sweeney, and one-third to George Goundry, an uncle of the 
latter's first wife. William Vandervoort, a brother in-law of James 
Sweeney, bought farm lot 80 June 7, 1826. These three lots comprise 
three-fourths of the old corporate limits. As stated, development and 
settlement were slow until recent years, when an impetus was inaugu- 
rated that afforded an unprecedented growth and marked North Tona- 
wanda as one of the most enterprising cities in the State. One of the 
first to effectually promote the business and shipping interests of the 
place was Col. Lewis S. Payne, who settled in this town in 1841. In 
1845 lie engaged in the lumber business and in 1847 erected the first 
steam saw mill here. He was a lieutenant-colonel in the Rebellion, 
served as county clerk, assemblyman, and State senator, and was long 
one of the most enterprising of citizens. 

Beginning within a few years after the completion of the Erie Canal 
and continuing to the present time. North Tonawanda has been one of 
the most important lumber markets of the great lakes. A great many 
energetic business men, both resident and non-resident, have been as- 
sociated in this business, whose names even cannot be mentioned here. 
The rafting of logs from Canada and other lake points was commenced 
during the war of the Rebellion by Hon. H. P. Smith, but the great 


lumber business properly dates from 1873. Since then it has grown to 
enormous proportions. The following tables have been prepared by 
the Tonawanda Herald: 

Lumber, feet. Lath, pes. Shingles, pes. 

1873—104,909,000. 1,258,000 1,113,000 

1874—144,754.000 1,506,000 10,822,500 

1875—155,384,805 ...6,559,300 13,088,500 

1876—307,738,337... 6,137,700 18,007,500 

1877-221,897,007 5,126,000 23,249,400 

1878—206,655,122 ....3,639,800 31,435,500 

1879—250,699,043 5,606,400 30,022,000 

1880—323,370,814 1,249,600 22,920,000 

1881—415,070,013---- 282,000 25,271,000 

1882—433,241,000... 418,000 38,312,000 

1883—398,871,853 _ 6,031,850 55,217,000 

1884—493,268,223.... 16,367,000 66,185,000 

1885—498,681,400 7,652,000 52,004,000 

1886—505,425,000 11,883,000 52,825,000 

1887—501,387,850 4,076,000 .53,435,000 

1888—569,522,200 16,617,000 64,903,000 

1889—676,017,200 11, .506,000 68,712,000 

1890-718,650,900 13,039,600 52,282,300 

1891—505,512,000 8,209,800 53,561,000 

1892—498,005,000 6,343,345 42,809,300 

1893^30,249,000 13,383,600 35,257, 400 

1894-406,.'^.88,000.. 8,495,4.50 81,478,700 

1895—421,382,500 8,547,000 41,310,650 

1896—469,249,500. 7,195,350 85,823,300 

Year. Feet, Lumber. 

1873 89,373,285 

1874 115,752,111 

1875 120,650,742 

1876 :...... 165,545,742 

1877 188,400,335 

1878 .173,085.467 

1879.. 306,443,,542 

1 880 391 , 000, 000 

1881 838, 886, 395 

1883 836,800,681 

1888 ..824,528,266 

1884 .384,455,535 

1885 355,230,891 




Year. Feet, Lumber. 

1886 .348,932.815 

1887 ...341,925,473 

1888 820,149,423 

1889 350,220,300 

1890 393,599.620 

1891 ..293,211,898 

1892 286,339,300 

1893 216,116,532 

1894 202,110,900 

1895... 155,886,000 

1896 ....185,550,352 

The following is the official schedule of canal and railroad shipments 
for 1 896 : 


Lumber, feet 185,580,353 

Timber, cubic feet ....>_"V. ; 364,600 

Wheat, bushels 1...... 25;714 

Corn, bushels .~)00 

Oats, bushels .' 5,000 

Apples, barrels ..'.'.-.".^ .«.-... 1 253,292 

Domestic spirits, gallons ...''....■.'..:' 1,208 

Pig iron, pounds 49,068,826 

All other mdse, pounds 4,312,500 

Stone, Lime and Clay, jiounds 45,538,000 

Total clearances issued, 3,062 

1890. Tons. 

N. Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co 205,000 

N. Y. L. E. & W. R. R. Co 270,187 

Lehigh Valley R. R. Co 55,000 

Following are the condensed reports of the custom house at this port 
for 1 896 : 


Lumber, feet 304,031 , EOO 

Shingles, pieces 35, 133, 200 

Lath, " 7,195,3.50 

Posts •. .._ 155,687 

R. R. Ties 43,166 

Telegraph Poles 3,394 

Cross Arms 133,000 

Staves, pieces , 530,000 


Cord Wood, cds _ 60 

Iron Ore, tons _ 134,428 

Pig Iron " 9,097 

Stone 4, 770 

Coastwise vessels entered 830 

" cleared 809 

Foreign vessels entered 51 

cleared 33 

Total vessels entered 871 

cleared 843 

Tonnage, Domestic, entered 325,184 

cleared 318,503 

" Foreign, entered 14,135 

cleared 9,150 

Among the leading lumber firms of North Tonawanda are the follow- 
ing : Smith, Fassett & Co., Huron Lumber Co., Calkins & Co., Rum- 
bold & Alliger, Kelsey & Gillespie, James B. Huff, F. A. Myrick, A. K. 
& W. E. Silverthorne, Rumbold & Bellinger, Dodge & Bliss Co., Oille 
& McKeen, Robinson Brothers & Co. Ltd., Robertson & Doebler, John 
Godkin, Thompson Hubman & Fisher, J. & T. Charlton, Merriman & 
Merriman, Export Lumber Co., Willoughby & Hathaway, W. H. 
Cooper & Co., Skillings, Whitneys & Barnes, Harrison W. Tyler, Wis- 
consin Lumber Co., A Weston & Co., W. H. Sawyer Lumber Co., 
David G. Cooper, Fassett & Bellinger, Frost, Rider & Frost, Monroe & 
McLean, Cornelius Collins, George H. Damon. 

Among former lumber concerns were J. S. Bliss & Co , formed in 
1 886, whose mill, which was burned recently, was built as a grist 
mill by John and James Sweeney in 1853; The Tonawanda Lum- 
ber and Saw Mill Company, incorporated in June, 1891, with a capital 
of $300,000, which succeeded the Tonawanda Lumber Company, 
whose predecessor was the New York Lumber and Wood Working 
Company, which was incorporated by George P. Smith and others in 
1885; the Hollister Brothers Company, Ltd., organized in January, 
1889, with a capital of $450,000, which on September i. 1890, was in- 
creased to $600,000 ; the L. A. Kelsey Lumber Company, organized in 
1886, which established the first hardwood lumber trade in North Tona- 
wanda; W. E. Marsh & Co., organized about 1888 ; W. H. Kessler & 
Son, formed in 1887 ; Plumsteel, Gillespie & Himes, organized in 1890. 



A. M. Dodge & Co. began business here in 1883, erected a planing mill 
in 1885, and were succeeded by the Dodge & Bliss Co. 

The firm of McGraw & Co., consisting of John McGravv, T. H. Mc- 
Graw, C. B. Curtis and Ira D. Bennett, was for many years heavy deal- 
ers in lumber, their yards and docks covering more than six acres of 
land, with a main dock 400 feet long and two slips of 600 feet each. 

W. H. Gratwick & Co., about two miles below the city, established 
an immense lumber interest several years ago. Others connected with 
this company were Robert S. Fryer, in Albany, under the style of 
Gratwick, Fryer & Co., and Edward Smith, in Michigan, under the firm 
name of Smith, Gratwick & Co. These companies owned more than 
30,000 acres of Michigan pine lands, where their mills were capable of 
turning out 28,000,000 feet annually. Their docks had a frontage on 
the river of 2,000 feet, with every facility for handling and shipping 
lumber economically. William H. Gratwick came here and established 
a lumber business in 1870. In 1880 the Gratwick, Smith & Fryer 
Lumber Company was incorporated, P. W. Ledoux built a sash, door 
and blind factory about 1876 and Mr. Gratwick erected a planing mill 
in 1879 

J. & T. Charlton's wood working mill was built by Charles Williams. 
John Charlton came here in 1862 and was soon followed by Thomas. 

Grand Island was purchased for the white oak timber in 1833 by the 
East Boston Company for $i6,000. A large mill with gang saws was 
built and Stephen White, the manager of the company, purchased Ton - 
awanda Island for his home and erected the mansion there. The com- 
pany did an extensive business until 1837-38. Later William Wilke- 
son, of Buftalo, became the owner of the island, and from him Smith, 
Fassett & Co., who had been in the lumber trade since 1872, purchased 
it in 1882. The island comprises 85 acres, and is one of the largest 
lumber centers in the world. 

The W. H. Sawyer Lumber Company was organized in January, 
1887. Skillings, Whitneys & Barnes succeeded to the plant of Hall & 
Buell in June, 1890, and have a dockage of about 1,300 feet on Tona- 
wanda Island. Robertson & Doebler began business here in 1888 and 
erected a large planing mill in 1889. 

These and many other lumber concerns have brought the city of 


North Tonawanda into the front rank of lumber centers of the world 
during the past quarter century, and it is safe to say that no place in the 
country has had a more wonderful and sudden development in this re- 
spect. With unexcelled harbor facilities, dpon which the government 
has expended thousands of dollars in improvements, and with the great 
lakes as a feeder and the Erie Canal and numerous railroad lines as out- 
lets, the city has recently forged ahead with an unusual bound, and 
enjoys extraordinary prospects for the future. Much of the recent 
prosperity of the place is due to the eftbrts of the North Tonawanda 
Business Men's Association, which was organized in May, 1888, and of 
which Edward Evans is president While the great lumber business has 
brought capital and fame to the place, other interests have equally 
shared in promoting its growth and prosperity, and to the most impor- 
tant of these the reader's attention is now directed. 

The Niagara River Iron Company was organized in 1872 with a 
capital of $400,000. The company purchased real estate at Nortli Tona- 
wanda to the extent of 165 acres, and in 1873 completed the plant and 
began operations. The blast furnace was built to turn out fifty tons of 
pig iron daily, and all of the structures necessary for the business are 
models of strength and architectural harmony. Early officers of the 
company were Pascal P. Pratt, president; Josiah Jewett, vice-president; 
S. S. Jewett, H. H. Glenny, George B. Hays, F. L. Danforth and B F". 
Felton, trustees. This company was finally succeeded by the Tona- 
wanda Iron and Steel Company, which tore down the old stack and 
erected a modern furnace at a cost of $250,000, and which subsequently 
doubled the capacity of its plant. William A. Rogers is president of 
the compan)'. 

The Armitage Herschell Company had its inception in a small brass 
and iron foundry established by James Armitage and Allan and George 
C. Herschell about 1872. Their shop was burned in 1874, rebuilt, and 
again burned in 1875. Afterward the present site was secured on Oli- 
ver street,- and the manufacture of engines, boilers, and machinery 
was conducted on a large scale. In 1887 they added the manufacture 
of steam riding galleries, or "merry- go rounds," which has become a 
leading industry of the Lumber City and the largest of the kind in 
the country. James Armitage is president; Allan Herschell, vice- 
president ; and George C. Herschell, treasurer. 

T. P. c. BARNARLj, m. d. 


The flouring mill of McDonald & Ebersole was started by C. C. 
Grove and L. D. Ebersole in 1883. The capacity is over 200 barrels 
per day. 

PVanklin Getz established his present feed mill in North Tona- 
wanda in 1883, coming here from Getzville, Erie county. 

The carriage and wagon works of Mclntyre & Miller were started in 
1876. The Tonawanda grain elevator, of which Louis Pick is pro- 
prietor, was erected in 1882 by L. G Fuller. The Niagara brewery 
was started by George Zent in 1867, <ind early in 1883 passed into 
the possession of the Niagara River Brewing Company, who in June, 
1892, were succeeded by the Bush Brewing Company. 

The first permanent banking business was founded by Edward Evans 
on June i, 1872. He was succeeded May i, 1877, by the firm of 
Evans, Schwinger & Co., with James H. De Graff, president; Edward 
Evans, vice-president ; William McLaren, cashier. This concern was 
followed by the State Bank, which was organized May i, 1883, with a 
paid up capital of $100,000, and with James A. De Graff, president; 
Edward Evans, vice president ; Benjamin L. Rand, cashier. The pres- 
ent capital, undivided profits, and surplus is about $165,000, and the 
officers are J. H. De Graff, president ; C. Schwinger, vice-president ; 
Benjamin L. Rand, cashier. 

The Lumber Exchange Bank was organized May i, 1886, with a 
capital of $100,000; Edward Evans, president; Joshua S. Bliss, vice- 
president; James H. Rand, cashier. In 1889 the capital was doubled, 
and in 1890 Mr. Evans was succeeded as president by James S.Thomp- 
son. The bank discontinued business in April, 1897. 

George F. Rand started a private banking business in 1 890. 

James H. Rand established his present private bank in 1894. 

Frederick Robertson & Co. began a private banking business in 1897. 

The various journalistic enterprises have been so intimately identified 

with both Tonawanda and North Tonawanda that it seems advisable to 

mention them briefly here. The first in the field was the Tonawanda 

Commercial, which was started by S. Hoyt on May 2, 1850, and lived 

a little more than a year. In September, 1853, S. S. Packard began 

the publication of the Niagara River Pilot, which was sold by him in 

1855 to S. O. Hayward, who started the Niagara Frontier in Novem- 


ber, 1857, and, after an absence, the Enterprise, which was continued 
till about 1 89 1. 

The Tonawanda Herald was started July 19, 1875, by Jay Densmore, 
who a year or two later was succeeded by Warren & O'Regan. On 
October 14, 1877, Thomas M. Chapman bought out John O'Regan and 
in 1880 George Warren sold his interest to Thomas E. Warner; since 
then the firm has been Chapman & Warner. During six months in 
1890 a daily edition was published; otherwise the paper has been suc- 
cessfully continued as an able, influential Democratic weekly. 

Thomas M. Chapman, of the firm of Chapman & Warner, editors and 
publishers of the Tonawanda Herald, of North Tonawanda, is the son of 
Thomas and Margaret Chapman, and was born in Oueenston, Canada, 
November 17, 1844. His father was a native of Hull, England. Mr. 
Chapman moved with his parents to St Catharines, Ontario, where he 
received an academic education under Rev. T. D. Phillips. When six- 
teen he was apprenticed to the printer's trade, which he learned thor- 
oughly. In 1877 he came to North Tonawanda, and on October 14 of 
that year purchased the interest of John O'Regan in the Tonawanda 
Herald, thus becoming a partner with George Warren in the publica- 
of that paper. In 1880 Mr. Warren sold his interest to Thomas E. 
Warner, and since then the firm has been Chapman & Warner. Mr. 
Chapman is one of the oldest and ablest editors in Niagara county, and 
during a successful journalistic career has always stood in the front rank 
of his profession. He is a terse, ready writer, a good judge of litera- 
ture, and an enterprising, public spirited citizen. In politics he has 
always been a prominent Democrat. He was deputy collector of cus- 
toms four years and clerk of the village of North Tonawanda three 
years, and is a member of Niagara River Lodge, No. 527, I. O. O. P., 
and other social and fraternal organizations. January 27, 1 870, he 
married Cecelia J., daughter of the late James Stephenson, of Canan- 
daigua, N. Y., and they have two children, James Alfred and Alice M. 

Thomas E. Warner, of the firm of Chapman & Warner, publishers of 
the Tonawanda Herald, and the first clerk of the city of North Tona- 
wanda, is the son of Hon Ulysses Warner and Eliza Ann Jones, his 
wife, and was born in Orleans, Ontario county, N. Y., March 23, 1844. 
His father was member of assembly in 1858 and 1859, served as justice 





















of the peace for many years, and was a prominent and influential citi- 
zen. Mr. Warner was educated in the common schools of his native 
town. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to the printer's trade 
in the office of the Geneva Gazette, where he remained three years. 
Afterward he spent some time as a journeyman, principally in Detroit, 
Chicago and New York, and while in the latter city was one of four or 
five compositors who put into type the first dispatch that came over the 
second Atlantic cable. He was also warden of the Jersey City (N. J.) 
Charity Hospital for four years. In iS8o he came to North Tona- 
wanda and purchased George Warren's interest in the Tonawanda 
Herald, with which he has since been connected under the firm name of 
Chapman & Warner. He is an able writer, a man of energy and 
ability, and one of the most public spirited of citizens. He served as 
village clerk of North Tonawanda from 1886 until it became a city, 
when he became the first city clerk, which office he now holds. He is 
a past master of Tonawanda Lodge, No. 247, F. and A. M., and the 
present high priest of Tonawanda Chapter, No. 278, R. A. M. 

The Daily News, of North Tonawanda, was commenced about 1880 
by George S. Hobbie, who had been employed in the office of the 
Index, which was started in 1875 by J. A. L. Fisher. The News was 
originally a diminutive two-column sheet. George W. Tong became a 
partner in 1884, and soon changed it to a weekly, taking the name of 
the Standard, which was leased to J. W. Works in 1886. In 1887 Mr. 
Works resumed the publication of the Daily News, having as a partner 
his brother Arthur. Other owners following them were Hepworth & 
Lane, George P. Smith, and M. J. Dillon, who sold it on December 4, 
1894, to Harlan W. and Walter S Brush; the News Publishing Com- 
pany was incorporated in May, 1895, ^^'th a capital of $12,000, and 
with H. W. Brush, president, and W. S. Brush, secretary and treasurer. 
A weekly edition was added April i, 1897. 

Harlan W. Brush, president of the News Publishing Company of 
North Tonawanda, is a son of James A. and Amelia A. (McCall) Brush 
and was born in Nelson, Portage county, O., May27,i865. Hesoon mroved 
with his parents to Alliance, Ohio, where he attended the public schools 
and Mount Union College, which he left at the age of fifteen on account 
of his father's death. He spent one year in the office of the Alliance 


Weekly Standard learning the printer's trade, which he finished with 
F. W, Lordan, a job printer of that place. In December, 1884, he pur- 
chased Mr. Lordan's establishment, and in 1887 also bought the Stand- 
ard, and combined the two plants. In 1S88 he added the Alliance 
Weekly Review and consolidated the two papers under the names of 
the Daily Review and Weekly Standard, forming a stock company, of 
which he was the manager and has since been the principal stock- 
holder. In 1S94 he came to North Tonawanda, and with his brother, 
Walter S., purchased the Daily News. In May, 1895, the News Publishing 
Company was incorporated with a capital of $12,000, and Mr. Brush 
has since been its president. Mr. Brush has always been active in poli- 
tics, as a Republican, and was president of the first McKinley club ever 
organized (1887) — this was in McKinley's own county (Stark) in Ohio. 
As a journalist he is progressive and enterprising, and has been emin- 
ently successful in this profession. He has made the News one of the 
liveliest and best dailies in the county. 

Walter S. Brush, secretary and treasurer of the News Publishing 
Company, of North Tonawanda, is a younger son of James A. and 
Amelia A. (McCall) Brush, and was born in Alliance, Ohio, September 
25, 1868. He was educated in the Alliance public schools and Mount 
Union College, was for two years a clerk for the Solid Steel Company 
of his native city, and then took a course of short hand in Oswego, N. 
Y. He became chief clerk in the train master's office of the West Shore 
Railroad in Syracuse and later bookkeeper and manager of the Minne- 
apolis branch of the Hall Safe and Lock Company. In 1894 he came 
to North Tonawanda, and with his brother, Harlan W,, purchased the 
Daily News, of which he has since been the secretary and treasurer. 
Mr. Brush is an efficient business manager, as the prosperous condition 
of the News shows. 

The North Tonawanda Cemetery Association was incorporated in 
1868 with Hiram Newell (president), Benjamin J. Felton, Garwood L. 
Judd, Selden G. Johnson, Franklin Warren, and John Simpson, trustees. 

The first bridge over Tonawanda Creek in the village was erected 
chiefly for military purposes soon after 1800. It was a temporary 
structure and soon went to ruin. Passage of the stream was then made 
by ferry until 1824, when a toll bridge was built under a legislative char- 





ter, which gave it an existence of twenty-one years. Prior to the ex- 
piration of the charter the shares were bought by the Buffalo and 
Niagara F"alls Raihoad Company, which rebuih the bridge to accom- 
modate its tracks. When the charter expired the bridge became a 
county and town charge. The third structure was built by Niagara and 
Erie counties and stood until J 875 when the present one was erected. 
In 1891 another iron bridge was built across the Tonawanda Creek to 
connect Delaware and Main streets, and still another was erected over 
Ellicott Creek on Delaware street. 

Within recent years a number of land enterprises have been inaugu- 
ated in North Tonawanda, giving the city an impetus commensurate 
with its business growth and development. The fronton addition was 
replatted and placed on the market in 1890; the North Tonawanda 
I^and Company was incorporated in June, 1891, with a capital of 
$100,000. One of the moving spirits in each of these incorporations 
was George P. Smith. 

At this point mention should be made of a number of business men 
and residents of North Tonawanda, past and present, who have been 
instrumental in developing the resources of the city and imparting to it 
that degree of prosperity which has brought it into prominence through- 
out the country. Among these are: 

John Schulineister, Lehou & Warren. .4. & E. M. Kraiiss, L. G. Stanley, Dr. C. C. 
Smith, Nice & Hinkey, WilHam J. Kage, M. F. and G. F. Myers, (who succeeded G. 
L. Faulkner in the coal business in 1890), John O. Ball, John T. and William Bush, 
W. W. Thayer (afterward governor of Oregon), B. H. Long, Hon. Garwood L. 
Judd, Lewis T. Payne, Frederick Sommer, Dr. R. G. Wright. Dr. W. L. Allen, Dr. 
W. V. R. Blighton, Levant R. Vandervoort, George P. Smith, A. F. Premus, James 
S. Thompson, J. H. De Graff, James Sweeney, jr., Frank Batt, Benjamin F. Felton, 
William Tompkins, Albert Dornfeld (postmaster), George O. Miller, Henry Ho- 
mey er, C. F. Goerss, Thomas H. Tulley, John T. Hepworth, Edward C. Praker, 
.August M Wendt, James H. Rand, Albert E. McKeen, Fred F. Wagenschuetz & 
Co., Mundie & McCoy, Charles Hagen, William Allen, Edward Evans, Hon. Henry 
E. Warner, John E. Oelkers, John P. Christgau, Batt, Kopp & Co. (manufacturer.s 
of church and school furniture), John H. Bollier, L. G. Fuller, Gillie, Godard & Co. 
(manufacturers of steam riding galleries), August H. Miller, C. F. Oelkers, Christian 

Among other prominent citizens of the town of Wheatfield may be 
mentioned : 

Edward A. Milliman, William KruU, Frederick and Martin Kopp, William Boen- 


ing, William Fritz, Frederick Wurl, William Mauth, Gottlieb Walck, William Beutel, 
James Briggs, L. B. Bullard, John Chadrick, William Deglow, William Devantier, 
Frederick Geutz, F. 1). and B. A. Habecker, Henry Hall, Peter Heim, Dennis G. 
Hoov'er, Martin Klemer, Ferdinand Lang, William Lehon, William Mavis, Oliver 
and John Miller, William Pfuhl. Christ Radlaflf, Charles Rogge, George Schenck, 
Joseph Schenck, William Schmidt, John H. and William Schnell, Henry Treichler, 
William Vandervoort, Henry F. Wagner, Albert and August Walk, Christopher 
Walk, Gottlieb Walk, William Watt, Fred Weinheimer, William Wendt, August 
and Charles Werth, Chauncey Wichterman, August and Gustav H. Williams, Will- 
iam Williams, George M. Warren, Christian George Krull, J. D. Loveland, Daniel 
Sy, William Clark, Martin Reisterer, Calvin Jacobs, J. S. Tompkins, Thomas Col- 
lins. Daniel Treichler, Harvey Miller. 

More extended notices of some of and many others appear in 
Part III of this volume. 

Schools and reUgious services were among tiie first institutions to be 
inaugurated by the early settlers. The history of the beginnings of the 
former, however, is meagre. The first school in the north part of the 
town was taught by Ira Benedict in 1826, while the pioneers in the 
south part evidently sent their children over into Erie county, a school 
having been started there, near the creek, as early as 1 8 16. In 1836, 
soon after the formation of the town, Wheatfield was conveniently 
divided into school districts, which in i860 numbered seven ; the pres- 
ent number is eight. In 1866 a portion of the Union School building 
in North Tonawanda was erected; this is a fine brick structure, known 
as the Goundry Street school, and was rebuilt in 1882, bonds to the 
amount of $14,500 being issued for the purpose. There are three other 
substantial brick school houses in the city, viz., the fronton School, 
erected in 1889, and the Pine Woods and Gratwick Schools, built in 
1892 ; the former cost $15,000 and the latter two $20,000 each. One 
of the most successful teachers and superintendents was Prof Alexan- 
der D. Filer, who came to North Tonawanda from Middleport in 1 881 
and remained until his death, about 1 89 1, being succeeded by Prof. 
Clinton S. Marsh, the present incumbent. The principal of the High 
School is ¥. J. Beardsley. Benjamin F. Felton has been connected 
with the Board of Education since 1876 and has served as its president 
since 1877 ; James H. Rand has officiated as clerk since 1882. 

Religious services were held in this section as early as 1816-20, 
when Rev. John P'oster was a preacher on the Tonawanda circuit, but 



no church was organized until many years later. Some of the earlier 
churches of the town have already been mentioned. The inhabitants of 
Tonawanda worshiped for some time in a union church which was 
erected about 1830, on a lot on South Canal street donated by A. H. 

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of North Tonawanda was 
built in 1842, on the corner of Main and Tremont streets. One of the 
prime movers in this as well as in the original movement was John 
Simson, who on July 4, 1867, presented the lot, edifice, etc., to the 
society free of debt. The present church was completed in 1882 

A Baptist church was organized about 1852, but a few years later 
succumbed for lack of support. The First Baptist cliurcli of North 
Tonawanda was organized September 6, 1885, with eighteen members, 
and in 1887-88 an edifice was erected on Vandervoort street at a cost 
of about $8,000. 

St. Mark's Episcopal church, organized February 17, 1869, is noticed 
in the chai)ter devoted to Lockport. 

St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran church, of North Tonawanda, was 
organized October 31, 1887. by Rev. H. Kaufman, who also instituted 
a parochial school in connection therewith. Tlie church was built 
about 1888. 

The Church of Christ of North Tonawanda was organized in 1888, 
and the next year an edifice was built on the corner of Christiana street 
and Payne's avenue ; with the lot it cost about $12,000. 

The Church of the Ascension (Roman Catholic), of North Tonawan- 
da, was organized by Rev. Father Bustin in 1888, and a church ami 
parsonage were erected soon afterward. The present pastor is Rev. 
Patrick Cronin. 

St. Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran church, on the corner 
of Wheatfield and Bryan streets, was built in 1888-90, the church or- 
ganization being effected in January, 1890. The first pastor was Rev. 
W. C. Koch. Connected with the church is a flourishing parochial 

The Evangelical Frieden's church was organized by Rev. Paul Ditt- 
nian in 1889, and an edifice was built the same year on the corner of 
Schenck and Vandervoort streets at a cost of $8,000. 


The North Presbyterian cliurch was organized April 30, 1891, with 
seventy-five members, and purchased the building erected by the Ger- 
man Methodists in 1887. 

The Central Methodist church on Oliver street near Fifth avenue, 
North Tonawanda, was built about 1893. 

The Young Men's Christian Association of North Tonawanda was 
organized largely through the influence of the late Rev. I. P. Smith in 
December, 1886. In 1892 a handsome brick building was erected on 
the corner of Main and Tremont streets. One of the principals in fos- 
tering this institution was Dr. F. M. Hayes, the first president. 

There are two churches of the Lutheran faith in Martinsville, viz., 
St. Martin's, erected in 1846, and St. Paul's, built in 1861. Connected 
with each church is a flourishing parochial school. 



The old county of Niagara which then included Erie, was organized 
March 11, 1808, and judicial jurisdiction extended over the whole of 
that territory until Erie county was set off in 1 82 1, taking with it the 
county organization, and leaving Niagara with little else than the orig- 
inal name. The county seat of the old county was in Buffalo, and 
there the first courts in Western New York were held, none having 
been held prior to that time west of Batavia ; the opening of the first 
term in Buffalo was, therefore, an event of considerable importance and 
interest. It was held in the public house of Joseph Landon, which 
stood on inner lot No. I, on the south side of what is now Exchange 
street. Augustus Porter, of Niagara Falls, was first judge, and Erastus 
Granger, of Buffalo, was one of the puisne judges. Judge Porter was 
succeeded by Samuel Tupper in 181 2, and he by William Hotchkiss, of 
Lewiston, in 1818. Samuel Wilkeson was chosen in November, 1820, 

1 Prepared under the supervision of Hon. David IVIillar. 



and held the office at the time of the division of the county, when he 
was succeeded by Silas Hopkins, of Lewiston. 

There were few lawyers in Niagara county before the war of i8i2, 
and nearly or quite all of these were located in Buffalo. Ebenezer 
Walden, Jonas Harrison, John Root, Heman B. Potter, and Jonathan 
E. Chaplin constituted the bar of Buffalo in 1812. There were only 
seven lawyers in Lockport as late as 1823. They were John Birdsall, 
Hiram Gardner, J. F. Mason, Elias Ransom, Harvey Leonard, Zina H. 
Colvin and Theodore Chapin. There were only thirteen lawyers in 
Buffalo when the county was divided in 1 82 I. 

The first court house erected for the original county of Niagara was 
built by the Holland Company in 1806-9 It was a frame building 
and stood in the center of half an acre of land laid out in circular form, 
the center of the circle being in the middle of what is now Washington 
street, Buffalo, just east of La Fayette Square, and immediately in 
front of the site of the new court house. The erection of these build- 
ings by the Holland Company was made an obligation by the Legisla- 
ture as a condition of the erection of Niagara county. The building 
was probably accepted by the judges of the County Court in 18 10, the 
deed of the lot bearing date November 21 of that year. Even then 
the building was referred to as "an unfinished wooden court house." 
A stone jail was also erected by the company, on the east side of Wash- 
ington street, between what are now Clinton and Eagle streets. When 
Buffalo was burned by the British in December, 1813, the court house 
went with the other buildings in the village ; but the jail withstood 
the flames and was afterwards repaired and used for nearly twenty 
years. The Legislature passed an act in March, 18 16, authorizing the 
supervisors of old Niagara county to raise $4,000 with which to build 
a new courthouse. This act was not carried into effect for some reason, 
and on April 17, 18 16, another act was passed authorizing a loan of 
$5,000 by the State to the county, for the same purpose, and appoint- 
ing Samuel Tupper, Joseph Landon, and Jonas Williams, commis- 
sioners to superintend the construction of the building. Neither of 
these men was from the present Niagara county. The court house was 
built in 1 8 16, and was in use when the present county of Niagara was 
erected by the setting off of Erie. 



When Niagara county was reduced to its present limits, in 1821, 
Lewiston was made the county seat, and there the first Circuit Court 
was held in a stone school house which stood on the academy lot. That 
building was used for the purpose until 1823, when Lockport was made 
the county seat. 

The act creating Niagara county as at present bounded, appointed 
Lothrop Cooke, sheriff; Silas Hopkins, first judge; James Van Horn 
and Robert Fleming, judges ; Oliver Grace, clerk. Erasmus Root, 
Jesse Hawley, and William Britton were appointed commissioners to 
decide the question of locating a permanent county seat, but before the 
matter was consummated Mr. Britton died. Mr. Root favored Lewis- 
ton (or Molyneu.x's) in Cambria. Mr. Hawley favored Lockport, and 
as the two could not agree, nothing was then decided. Another com- 
mission was appointed by the Legislature of 1822, consisting of James 
McKown, Abraham Keyser, and Junius H. Hatch. In July this com- 
mission agreed upon Lockport as the county seat. Steps were at once 
taken to provide a court house by the purchase of two acres of land of 
William M. Bond, and the building was commenced. It was not com- 
pleted and ready for use until January, 1825, when the first courts 
were held within its walls. 

The settlement of the location of the county seat was not effected 
without a serious and bitter rivalry between the eastern and western 
portions of the county. The towns of Lewiston and Niagara worked 
together, and their efforts resulted in February, 1823, in the appoint- 
ment of Silas Hopkins, Robert Fleming, Samuel De Veaux, James Van 
Horn and E. D. Richardson as judges — Hopkins and De Veaux from 
Niagara, Fleming from Lewiston, Van Horn from Newfane, and Rich- 
ardson from Cambria. Soon afterward the judges and supervisors met 
in Lewiston and appointed justices of the peace for the different towns: 
for Niagara, James Field, Alexander Dickerson, George Rogers, and 
Jerry S. Jenks ; for Lewiston, Rufus Spaulding, Gideon Frisbie, James 
Murray, and Asahel Sage; for Cambria, E. D. Richardson, Andrew 
Sutherland, John Gould, and Myron Orton, and like numbers whose 
names are not now obtainable for the other towns. 

An act of the Legislature passed in 1823 made it the duty of the 
judges of the Court of Common Pleas to lay out, " in as square form as 


convenient, gaol limits for said county, in such a manner as to embrace 
the site for the public buildings as determined by the commissioners 
appointed by the Legislature in August last, and to remove the said 
Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace to the house 
of James McKovvn, in the said village of Lockport." The act contin- 
tinues : " And be it further enacted, that Nathan Comstock, with Benja- 
min Barton and Robert Fleming, be, and they are hereby declared, 
commissioners to superintend and cause to be erected a court house and 
gaol in said county of Niagara, at the site determined on by James 
McKown, Abraham Keyser, and Junius H. Hatch." 

On the 5th of May the County Court officials met in Lewiston to 
hold court, when it was discovered that the words, "by the first Mon- 
day of May next," had somehow been interpolated in the act. It is not 
known who perpetrated this deed. No court could, therefore, be held 
until the following September. The judges then proceeded to Lockport 
to lay out the jail limits. 

The court house completed in 1825 continued in use until the year 
1885 when, in response to a demand created by increased business and 
the insufficiency and incompleteness of the old structure, the Board of 
Supervisors decided upon the erection of a new county building. The 
old court house was torn down, and the present jail erected on the site. 
The land on which the present court house and jail stand was deeded 
to Niagara county by William M. Bond in 1822. The town of Lockport had 
not been created, and the town of Cambria adjoined the town of Royalton, 
the Transit road being the dividing line ; thus the lot lay in the town of 
Cambria. By the terms of William M. Bond's deed the land could not be 
sold by the county, and could be used only for county purposes. The so- 
called "seminary lot," which is the court house site, has a history of itsown. 
It was for many years the recognized play ground. General Butler visited 
Lockport in 1872 and was one of the speakers at a large Republican 
ratification meeting. The speaking was from a platform erected on this 
lot. There was a great crowd in town, mostly animated by a desire to 
see " Ben." When he arose to speak a large delegation of boys on the 
outer edge of the stage almost prevented the general from moving with- 
out danger of stepping on some of them. This annoyance he endured 
for a time, and then calmly stooped down and began brushing away the 


intruders with smart slaps freely distributed. The bo\'s fled in dismay 
from this assault by the hero of New Orleans. 

The Board of Supervisors on May 7, 1885, awarded William J. 
Blackley the contract for building the new court house, the contract 
price being $68,000. In less than a year the structure was finished. 
It is an imposing example of modern architecture. It is one of the 
largest and most convenient court rooms in the State, with offices for 
the county officials excepting the county clerk. The building commit- 
tee were A. R. Furgason, Alfred IVIorgan, A. U. Gatchell, H. J Le- 
land and J. Binkley. 

On Monday, November 20, 1886, the supervisors took possession of 
their new room and were the first to transact public business in the 
building. The formal dedication of the building took place on Decem- 
ber 13, 1886, when the County Court and Court of Sessions first con- 
vened there. Hon. Alvah K. Potter, county judge, presided ; Gordon 
Rowe and Duncan R. Maxwell, justices of sessions, were on the bench. 
The occasion was one of much interest and importance and a multitude 
of people from all parts of the county were present. Nearly every 
member of the bar in Niagara county, many ladies, and the Board of 
Supervisors in a body were in attendance at the exercises. County 
Clerk John A. Merritt administered the oath to the grand jury, and 
after they were sworn Major James Franklin Fitts delivered an appro- 
priate address, from which extracts are here given. Extempore re- 
marks were made by ex-Judge Levi F. Bowen and ex-Judge Alfred 
Holmes, after which Judge Potter delivered the charge to the grand 
jury. The court then adjourned until afternoon, when the dedicatory 
exercises were held. From the address then delivered by Major James 
Franklin P^itts the following extracts are made, which are eminently 
worthy of permanent preservation in these pages in connection with the 
history of the courts and bar of the county: 

Upon the material structure that we thus unostentatiously dedicate we look with 
exceeding pride and satisfaction. It is at once the outward and visible sign of ag- 
gregated wealth and prosperity, and the firm pledge of public order and private 
security. Within its spacious chambers the people's servants find ample means and 
facilities for their labors. Its massive proportions, its graceful architecture, its soar- 
ing tower may well represent the strength, the dexterity, the ambition of the people. 
Surmounting all, we behold the imposing and emblematic figure of that divinity 
whose rule within these halls has now begun. Too long have we scantly housed 


here; too long have we been unmindful of shabby exteriors and cramped accommo- 
dations. But the stride of progress in material things as in ideas is sure, if slow; 
and bidding farewell to the old, we greet the new with the fervent hope, that, as the 
centuries roll on. the scenes here to be enacted may realize the spirit of the poet's 
aspiration : 

■' For Justice— All place a temple, and all seasons summer." 

The occasion is not at all obituary in its character; but it is impossible to express 
our sense of the greatness of the work, now happily accomplished, without some ref- 
erence to the beginnings and progress of the rule of law in Niagara county. In the 
year 1821 this county was reduced to its present territorial limits. Its courts were 
organized in May of that year. Justice, proverbially blind, and to the popular ap- 
preciation somewhat lame, was then locally houseless and homeless. No county seat 
had been designated; no temple, however humble, had been provided. Her first hab- 
itation was a stone school house on the academy lot in Lewiston, long since demol- 
ished, but which some present, besides your speaker, may recall as the after scene of 
their struggles and discipline in the way of knowledge. In this building was held 
the first Circuit Court of the county, Jonas Piatt being the presiding Judge. 

In 1823 the first Circuit Court was held in Lockport by Judge Rochester in an up- 
per room of the Mansion House, on West Main street. In January, 1825, the now 
venerable building across the way was completed and first occupied by a court. The 
square of three acres intersected by Niagara street upon which stand both court 
houses, jail and clerk's office, was conveyed in 1822 by William M. Bond and wife, 
to the supervisors of Lockport for a nominal consideration of one dollar " fortheuse 
of the county of Niagara." Scant was the population, as I have said; the primeval 
forest was everywhere ; the war whoop of the savage and the red coat of the British 
soldier had but lately vanished; yet the settlers were enjoying some of the blessings 
of civihzation, the lawyers among them. At that early day the bar of the county 
numbered ten persons. Let the names of those fathers of the local barlje mentioned 
with reverence at this time; they were John Birdsall, William Hotchkiss, Z. H. 
Colvin, Bates Cook, J. F. Mason, Elias Ransom, Hiram Gardner, Theodore Chapin, 
Sebride Dodge, and Harry Leonard. 

Upon a greater occasion than this, the most illustious of American orators said, 
" human beings are composed not of reason only, but of imagination also, and sen- 
timent." Our minds are naturally turned to a brief retrospect of the life of the old 
temple that we vacate to day. We look upon it in all its homeliness and dwarfed 
proportions, and two generations pass before us. The population of the county has 
been ten times augmented. Our fathers and our grandfathers have taken the rule 
of their private and public conduct from what has occurred within it. 

A long procession of honored and learned public servants has passed from its por- 
tals into the larger life beyond ; grave contests over life and reputation and property, 
which have shaken the community, have been there decided. To merely mention 
memorable names and causes would make my words a mere catalogue; but I cannot 
forbear to remind you that yonder mouldy walls have witnessed controversies that 
have passed into national history ; have heard from bench and bar the voices now 
long silent, of men of national repute. Trials have occurred connected with the 
disappearance of William Morgan which not only agitated the Empire State, but 


largely affected the national policies of that day. They witnessed the preliminary 
proceedings in the international questions arising in the case of the people against 
Alexander McLeod, which in 1841 brought us to the very verge of war with Great 
Britain. They echoed the words there spoken by William L. Marcy, by John C. 
Spencer, by Abram Stewart, by Washington Hunt, by Daniel S. Dickinson, by San- 
ford E. Church. And, therefore, it is that not alone with shining example, but with 
national history localized, we take the new departure. •' Lockport, Niagara county," 
once remarked the venerable and illustrious John Quincy Adams to amember of this 
bar. " Why, that is classic ground. There were the Morgan trials, there McLeod 
was imprisoned, and there you have the combined locks on the Erie canal." 

In regard to the first Circuit Court held in Lockport in 1823 the fol- 
lowing taken from an address recently delivered by Hon. John E. 
Pound, will be of special interest: 

The judge who presided at that term, his associates on the bench, the sheriff, the 
clerk, the jurors, the, and the litigants, all have gone to appear before the 
higher court from whose judgments there are no appeals. The members of the bar 
then were John Birdsall, William Hotchkiss, Zina H. Colvin, Bates Cook, John F. 
Mason, Elias Ransom, Hiram Gardner, Theodore Chapin, Sebridge Dodge, and 
Harvey Leonard. Of John Birdsall history says in connnection with the building of 
the locks in the Erie canal at Lockport: "Oratorical John Birdsall stood upon the 
foundation stone of the locks in 1823, the echo of his voice returning from the sur- 
rounding wilderness cleft, and announced the commencement, and on the deck of a 
canal boat at the head of the finished locks October 26, 1825, proclaimed to the as- 
sembled populace, ' the last barrier is removed.' " He became judge of the Supreme 
Court and Member of Congress, and held other high positions. 

William Hotchkiss and Zina H. Colvin became district attorneys: Elias Ransom 
became district attorney, and he and Hiram Gardner worthily held the office of 
County Judge, and are still remembered in honor by many. John F. Mason was 
the second county clerk of the county. Bates Cook became comptroller of this State 
and Member of Congress. Theodore Chapin was justice of the peace and father-in- 
law of a lawyer named Hart, who am^used the boys of his days by wearing high shirt 
collars which they thought cut his ears. Sebridge Dodge was a great Nimrod. The 
names of Chapin, Dodge and Leonard do not appear in the civil list, but the success 
of the seven out of the ten shows that the first bar of Niagara county was composed 
of able men. 

What a commentary upon the health, the security, and the prosperity of this 
county is the fact that neither war, pestilence, nor famine have interrupted the reg- 
ular terms of its courts. Judges have come and gone, the scenes have been changed, 
and new lawyers, new suitors, new officers, and new jurors have appeared, but the 
courts have been regularly held, and the dignity of the law has been maintained. 
The public have looked on and witnessed the struggles of the young attorneys and 
rewarded many of them with office ; the proportion of the first bar so rewarded has 
been kept up, and about seven out of ten have at some period of their lives held pub- 
lic position. 


The principle of the sovereignty of the American people over the law 
of the country, as well as their dominance in other governmental re- 
respects, had a slow, conservative, yet steadily progressive and system- 
atic growth. In the colonial times in this State the governor was in 
effect the maker, interpreter, and enforcer of the laws. He was the chief 
judge of the court of final resort, while his councillors were usually his 
obedient followers. The execution of, the I'^nglish and colonial statutes 
rested with him, as did also the exercise of royal authority in the 
province ; and it was not until the Revolution that he ceased to contend 
for these prerogatives and to act as though the only functions of the 
court and councillors was to do his bidding, while the Legislature should 
adopt only such laws as the executive should suggest or approve. By 
the first constitution the governor was stripped of the judicial power 
which he possessed under colonial rule, and such powers were vested in 
the lieutenant-governor and the Senate, the chancellor, and the justices 
of the Supreme Court ; the former to be elected by the people, and the 
latter to be appointed by the council. Under this constitution took 
place the first radical separation of the judicial and the legislative pow- 
ers, and the advancement of the judiciary to the position of a co-ordi- 
nate department of the government, subject to the limitation consequent 
upon the appointment of its members by the council. This court, called 
the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors, 
was continued by the second constitution, adopted in 1821. 

It was not until the adoption of the constitution of 1846 that the last 
connection between the purely political and the judicial parts of the 
State government was abolished From this time the judiciary became 
more representative of the people through the popular election of its 
members. The development of the idea of the responsibility of the 
courts to the people, from the time when all of the members were 
at the beck and nod of one well nigh irresponsible master, to the 
time when all judges, even of the court of last resort, are voted 
for by the people, has been very great. Through all of this change 
there has prevailed the idea of having one ultimate tribunal from whose 
decisions there can be no appeal. The judicial plan, if that term may 
be used, in this State, embodies now a trial before a court or a court and 
jury — arbiters respectively of law and fact ; then a review by a higher 


tribunal of the facts and the law ; and, ultimately of the law alone by the 
court of final resort. 

To accomplish this last purpose there has been established our present 
Court of Appeals, perfected in its present form by the conventions of 
1867, 1868, and 1894, and taking the place of the old Court for the 
Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors, to the extent of cor- 
recting errors of law. As first organized under the constitution of 1846, 
the Court of Appeals was composed of eight judges, four of whom were 
elected by the people and the remainder taken from the justices of the 
Supreme Court having the shortest time to serve. As organized in 1869, 
and now existing, the court consists of the chief judge and six as- 
sociate judges, who hold office for a term of fourteen years from the first 
day of January next after their election. This court sits in Albany con- 
tinually, except during recesses and when otherwise prescribed by itself. 
It has full power to correct or reverse the decisions of all inferior courts 
when properly before it for review. Five judges constitute a quorum 
and four must concur to render judgment. If four do not agree the 
case may 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 by statute what, how, 
and when proceedings of inferior tribunals may be revised in the Court 
of Appeals, and may in its discretion amend and alter the same. Upon 
the reorganization of this court in 1869 its work was so far in arrears, 
that a Commission of Appeals to aid the court was provided for by the 
constitutional amendment of that year. Still more recently, in 1888, 
the Legislature adopted a concurrent resolution that section 6 of article 
6 of the constitution be amended so that upon the certificate of the Court 
of Appeals to the governor of such an accumulation of causes on the 
calendar of the Court of Appeals that the public interests required a 
more speedy disposition thereof, the governor may designate seven jus- 
tices of the Supreme Court to act as associate judges, for the time being, 
of the Court of Appeals, thus constituting a second division of that 
court, to be dissolved by the governor when the necessity for its services 
ceased. Such a division of the Court of Appeals was organized and 
began its session March 5, 1889. It completed its work and was dis- 
solved in October, 1892. No citizen of Niagara county has held the 


office of judge of the Court of Appeals, except that Levi F. Bowen, while 
a justice of the Supreme Court acted ex-officio as judge of the Court 
of Appeals from January, 1857, to January, 1858. 

Second to the Court of Appeals in rank stands the Supreme Court. 
It was originally created by an act of the Colonial Legislature May 6, 
1691, and finally fully established by ordinance of the governor and 
council May 15. 1699, empowered to try all issues to the same extent 
as the English Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, 
except the exercise of equity powers. It had jurisdiction in actions in- 
volving $100 or over, and to revise and correct decisions of inferior 
courts. Appeal lay from it to the governor and council. There were 
originally five judges, who annually made a circuit of the counties under 
commission giving them nisi prius, oyer and terminer, and jail delivery 
powers. Under the first constitution this court was reorganized, the 
judges being then appointed by the council of appointment. All pro- 
ceedings were directed to be entitled in the name of the people, instead 
of that of the king. 

By the constitution of 1821 many and important changes were made 
in the character and methods of this court. The judges were reduced 
in number to three and were to be appointed by the governor, with con- 
sent of the Senate, to hold office during good behavior, or until sixty 
years of age. They were removable by the Legislature when two-thirds 
of the Assembly and a majority of the Senate so voted. Four times 
each year the full court sat in review of their decisions upon questions 
of law. By the constitution of 1846 the Supreme Court, as it then ex- 
isted, was abolished and a new court with the same title and having 
general jurisdiction in law and equity, was established in its place. This 
court was divided into General Terms, Circuits, Special Terms and 
Courts of Oyer and Terminer. Its members were composed of thirty- 
three justices to be elected by the people and to reside, five in the first, 
and four in each of the other seven judicial districts into which the 
State was divided. By the judiciary act of 1847 General Terms were 
to be held at least once in each year in counties having more than 40,- 
000 inhabitants, and in other counties at least once in each two years; 
and at least two Special Terms and two Circuit Courts were to be held 
yearly in each county, excepting Hamilton. By this act the court was 


authorized to name the time and place of holding its terms and those of 
Oyer and Terminer ; the latter being held by a justice of the Supreme 
Court and two justices of sessions. Since 1882 the courts of Oyer and 
Terminer have been held by a single justice of the Supreme Court. 

One of the old courts, the powers of which have been vested in the 
Supreme Court, is the Court of Chancery, an heirloom of the colonial 
period, which had its origin in the Court of Assizes, the latter being in- 
vested with equity powers under the Duke's laws. The court was 
established in 1683, and the governor, or such person as he should ap- 
point, was chancellor, assisted by the council. In 1698 this court went 
out of existence by limitation ; was revived by ordinance in 1701 ; sus- 
pended in 1703 ; and re-established in the next year. At first this 
court was unpopular in the province, the assembly and the colonists 
opposing it with the argument that the crown had no authority to estab- 
lish an equity court in the colony, and they were doubtful of the pro- 
priety of constituting the governor and council such a court. Under 
the constitution of 1777 the court was recognized as still in existence, 
but its chancellor was prohibited from holding any other office, except 
delegate to Congress on special occasions. In 1778 the court was re- 
organized. Masters and examiners in chancery were to be appointed 
by the council of appointment ; registers and clerks by the chancellor. 
The latter licensed all solicitors and counselors of the court. Under the 
constitution of 1 82 I the chancellor was appointed by the governor and 
held office during good behavior or until si.xty years of age. Appeals 
lay from the chancellor to the Court for Correction of Errors. Under 
the second constitution equity powers were vested in the circuit judges 
and their decisions were reviewable on appeal to the chancellor. This 
was soon changed and general equity jurisdiction devolved upon the 
chancellor, while the judges alluded to acted as vice-chancellors in their 
respective circuits. 

By the radical changes made by the constitution of 1846 the Court of 
Chancery was abolished and its powers, duties and jurisdiction vested in 
the Supreme Court as before stated. 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 com- 
mencing and conducting them was concerned and one uniform method 


of practice was adopted. Under this act appeals lay to the General 
Term of the Supreme Court from judgments rendered in mayors', re- 
corders' and county courts, and from all orders and judgments of a court 
held by a single justice of the Supreme Court. 

The judiciary article of the constitution was amended in 1869 au- 
thorizing the Legislature not oftener than once in five years to provide 
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 Term was abrogated and the 
State divided into four departments, and provision was made for hold- 
ing general terms in each. By the same act the governor was directed 
to designate from among the justices of the Supreme Court a presiding 
justice and two associates, to constitute a General Term in each de- 
partment. Under authority of the constitutional amendment adopted 
in 1882, the Legislature in 1883 divided the State into five judicial de- 
partments and provided for the election of twelve additional justices, 
to hold office from the first Monday in June, 1884. Niagara county, 
with Erie, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Orleans, Genesee and 
Wyoming have, since 1847, constituted the Eighth Judicial district of 
the State. The following have been the only residents of Niagara 
county who have held positions on the Circuit and Supreme Court 
bench; Nathan Dayton, appointed circuit judge February, 1838 ; Levi 
F. Bowen, elected justice of the Supreme Court, 185- ; George D. La- 
niont, appointed justice of the Supreme Court in 1868 and elected in 

Next in authority 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 Ses- 
sions and, like that court, had at first criminal jurisdiction only. By an 
act passed in 1663 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 in each of the counties of this province, twice in each year, 
with an additional term in Albany and two in New York. By the act 
of 1 69 1 and the decree of 1699 all civil jurisdiction was taken from 
this court and conferred upon the Court of Common Pleas. By the 
sweeping changes of the constitution of 1846, provision was made for a 


County Court in each county of the State, excepting 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 authority of 
tliat constitution, tlie County Courts have from time to time been given 
jurisdiction in various classes of actions, which need not be enumerated 
here, and have also been invested with certain equity powers in the 
foreclosure of mortgages ; the sale of infants' real estate ; the partition- 
ing of lands ; admeasuring dower and care of persons and estates of 
lunatics and habitual drunkards. The judiciary act of i 869 continued 
the then existing jurisdiction of the County Courts and conferred upon 
them original jurisdiction in all actions in which the defendants lived 
within the county and where the damages claimed did not exceed $1,- 
000; this sum has since been increased to $2,000. Like the Supreme 
Court, the County Court now has its civil and its criminal sides. It is 
in the criminal branch of this court that most minor criminal offenses 
are disposed of All indictments by the grand jury, excepting for 
offenses not punishable by death, may be sent to it for trial from the 
Supreme Court. By the codes of 1848 and 1877, the methods of 
procedure and practice in it were made to conform as nearly as possible 
to the practice in the Supreme Court. This was done with the evident 
design of attracting litigation into these courts, thus relieving the Su- 
preme Court. In this purpose comparative failure has resulted, liti- 
gants much preferring the shield and assistance of the broader powers 
of the higher court. By the judiciary act the term of office of county 
judges was extended from four to six years. Under the codes the 
judges can perform some of the duties of a justice of the Supreme Court 
at chambers. The County Court has appellate jurisdiction over actions 
arising in justices' courts and courts of special sessions. Appeals lie 
from the County Court to the appellate division of the Supreme Court. 
County judges were appointed until 1847, since which year they have 
been elected. By the constitution of 1894 the jurisdiction of the 
County Court is continued. By it, also, since December i, 1895, Courts 
of Sessions, except in the county of New York, were abolished and 
their jurisdiction transferred to the County Court. 

Following are the names of the first judges of the Court of Common 
Pleas and the county judges of the county : 


First Judges Court of Common Fteas for Niagara CV?/«/)'.— (Appointed by the 
governor), Silas Hopkins, February 8, 1823; Robert Fleming, April 22 1828; Nathan 
iJayton, March 13, 1833; Washington Hunt, January 30, 1836; Elias Ransom, Janu- 
ary 19, 1841 ; Jonathan L. Woods, April 29, 1846. 

County Judges.— ti\Ta.m Gardner, June, 1837; Levi F. Bowen, 1851, resigned and 
Elias Ransom appointed December 11, 1852; Alfred Holmes, 18 7; George D. La- 
mont, 1S05, resigned and Hiram Gardner appointed November 19, 1868; Levi F. 
Bowen, 1874-77; Frank Brundage, 1878-81; Cyrus E. Davis, appointed vice Brun- 
dage, resigned, January, 1883; Alvah K. Potter, November, 1884-89; David Millar, 
1890-95; Charles Hickey, 1890. 

A Surrogate's Court exists in each of the counties of this State and 
are now courts of record having a seal. Their special jurisdiction is 
the settlement and care of the estates of persons who have died either 
with or without a will, and of infants. The derivation of the powers 
and practice of the Surrogate's Court in this State is from the Ec- 
clesiastical Court of England through a part of. the colonial coun- 
cil which existed during the Dutch rule and exercised its authority 
in accordance with the Dutch Roman law, the customs of Amsterdam 
and the law of Aasdom ; the Court of Burgomasters and Scheppens, 
the Court of Orphan Masters, the Mayor's Court, the Prerogative 
Court and the Court of Probates. The settlement of estates and the 
guardianship of orphans, which was at first vested in the director- 
general and council of New Netherlands, was transferred to the burgo- 
masters in 1653, and soon after to the orphanmasters. 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 Legislature all probates and granting of letters of 
administration were placed under control of the governor or his dele- 
gate ; and two freeholders were appointed in each town to take charge 
of the estates of those dying without a will. Under the Duke's laws 
this duty had been performed by the constables, overseers, and justices 
of each town. In 1778 the governor was divested of all this power 
excepting the appointment of surrogates and it was conferred upon 
the Court of Probate. Under the first constitution surrogates were 
appointed by the Council of Appointment; under the second constitu- 
tion, by the governor, with the approval of the Senate. The constitu- 
of 1846 abrogated the office in all counties having less than 40,000 
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 re- 
quirements of the ofifice. 

Following are the names of those who have held the office of surrogate of Niagara 
county: Rufus Spaulding, April 2, 1821; Willard Smith, February 25, 1822; Hiram 
Gardner, March 31, 1831: Joseph C. Morse, January 30, 1886; Henry A. Carter, 
February 38, 1840; Josiah K. Skinner, February 28, 1844; Thomas M. Webster, 
1851; Mortimer M. Southworth. 1855; George \V. Bowen, 1859; Henry D. Scripture, 
1863; John T. Murray, 1867; Joshua Gaskill, 1871; George P. Ostrander, 1877; 
William J. Bulger, 1883; Chauncey E. Dunkelberger, appointed, vice Bulger, re- 
signed, 1888-95. In the year 1896, by vote of the people of the county and under a 
special act of the Legislature, the office of county judge and of surrogate were 
merged in one, which is now filled by Hon. Charles Hickey. 

Previous to the constitution of 1821, modified in 1826, justices of 
the peace were appointed ; since that date they have been elected. The 
office and its duties are descended from the English office of the same 
name, but are much less important here than there, and under the 
laws of this State are purely the creature of the statute. These courts, 
though occupying much less of public attention than the higher courts, 
in fact dispose of by far the greater number of the controversies that 
courts were established to decide. It is impossible to recall and name 
the men who have honored themselves by filling the office of justice of 
the peace satisfactorily in this court, but they are numerous and to be 
foimd in every town. 

Under the act of February 12, 1796, this State was divided into seven 
districts, over which an assistant attorney-general was appointed by the 
governor and council to serve during their pleasure. The office of dis- 
trict attorney was created April 4, 1 80 1, the State being divided into 
seven districts, as before, but subsequently several new ones were 
formed. By a law of April, 1818, each county was constituted a sep- 
arate district for the purposes of this office During the period of the 
second constitution district attorneys were appointed by the Court of 
General Sessions in each county. Following are the names of those who 
have held this office in Niagara county : 

Charles G. Olmsted, 1818; Heman B. Potter, 1819; Zina H. Colvin, 1821; Elias 
Ransom, jr., 1830; William Hotchkiss, 1833; Joseph C. Morse, 1836; Robert H. 
Stevens, (May) 1836; Jonathan L. Woods, 1839; Alfred Holmes, 1843; Sherburne B. 
Piper, 1845 and 1847; George D. Laraont, 1850; John L. Buck, 1858; Andrew W. 



Brazee, 1856; Mortimer M. Southworth, 1859; Frank Brundage, 1874; Ben J. Hunt- 
ing, 1877; Eugene M. Ashley, 1880, (re-elected); Daniel E. Brong, 1886; Patrick F. 
King, 1890; AbnerT. Hopknis, 1896. 

The following is a list as nearly complete as it has been possible to 
make it of Niagara county attorneys with post-ofifice address and date 
of their admission to the bar. It was prepared by John E. Pound of 
Lockport, and will be valuable for future reference : 

Eugene M. Ashley, 
Harry I. Benedict, 
George W. Bowen, 
William W. Brim, 
Daniel E. Brong, 
Myron L Burrell, 
Artemas A. Bradley, 
Nathan M. Clark, 
Richard Crowley, 
Charles C. De Lude, 
S. Wallace Dempsey, 
Joseph Donelly, 

C. E. Dunkleberger, 
Henry M. Davis, 
Timothy E. Ellsworth, 
R. A. Feagles, 
Amos H. Gardner, 
Joshua Gaskill, 

L. P. Gordon, 
Selden E. Graves, 
William C. Greene, 
E. C. Hart, 
Montford C. Holley, 
Charles Hickey, 
M. S. Hunting, 
Abner T. Hopkins, 
Augustus H. Ivins, 
Edwin L. Jeffrey, 

D. Elwood Jeffrey, 

Lockport, January, i88o. 

" November, 1848. 

" January, 1882. 
" January, 1839. 
" January, 1883. 

" December, i860. 
" September, 1872. 

January, 1886. 
" October, 1875. 

October, 1887. 
'• January, 1882. 

December, 1858. 

June, 1875. 

" December, i860. 

May, 1876. 

March, 1866. 

April, 1 88 1. 
" April, 1873. 


October, 1884. 

May, 1842. 

April, 1885. 

June, 1881. 
October, 1883. 


Patrick F. King, 

Garrett G. Lansing, 

George C. Lewis, 

John H. Leggett, 

William E. Lochner, 

John E. Lillis, 

David Millar, 

Charles Molyneux, 

Fred D. Moyer, 

John T. Murray, 

John McDonough, 
Lawrence McParlin, 

John A. Merritt, 
Charles L. Nichols, 
Augustus Morris. 
George P. Ostrander, 
William L. Olmsted, 
Edward G. Parker, 
Alvah K. Potter, 
John E. Pound, 
Cuthbert W. Pound, 
George W. Pound, 
Q. G. T. Parker, 
H. Gardiner Richardson, 
Washington H. Ransom, 
Frank A. Ransom, 
Charles M. Southworth, 
E. H. Southworth, 
William W. Storrs, 
Burt G. Stockwell, 
Burt A. Smith, 
J. Frank Smith, 
William M. Saraw, 
Edward J. Taylor, 
David Tice, 
E. J. Turner, 

Lockport, June, 1886. 
March, 1889. 


May, 1869. 

January, 1887. 
May, 1842. 

October, 1875. 
June, 1887. 

January, 1872. 

June, 1 88 1. 
October, 1865. 
November 18, 1867. 
June, 1886. 
September, 1888. 
June, 1889. 

May, 1867. 

October 14, 1881. 

January, 1888. 

June, 1883. 
March, 1880. 
January, 1884. 
October, 1889. 


October, 1875 
October, 1889. 

June, 1884. 

Homer J. Upson, Lockport, 

William H. Vicary, " 

Fred M. Ackerson, Niagara Falls. 

William E. Carr, " 

Eugene Cary, '• 

T. F. C. Clary, 

Frederick Chormann, " 

Morris Cohn, jr , " 

Charles E. Cromley, " 

W. E. Dunlap, 

F. A. Dudley, " June, 1886. 

W. Caryl Ely, " May, 1881. 

H. N. Griffith, 

Frank H. Innes, " 

J. G. Kirkpatrick, '• 

Spencer J. Lawrence, " 

Wyllys Lyman, " 

Franklin J. Mackenna, " 

Andrew C. Morgan, " 

C. H. Piper, jr., 

Spencer B. Parker, " 

Augustus Thibaudeau, " 

George M. Tuttle, 

Carl Tucker, " 

Harry Van Horn, " 

W. C. Wallace, 

B. F. Wallace. 

Leonard Baldwin, North Tonawanda. 

Norman B. Fish, " 

Edward B. Harrington, " March, 1889. 

Garwood L. Judd, " Fall of 1850. 

Charles S. Orton, " 

Lewis T. Payne, " April, 1886. 

John K. Patton, " 

Albert R. Smith. 

Augustus F. Premus, North Tonawanda. 



P. M. Sullivan, North Tonawanda. 

H. E. Warner 

George W. Judson, Lockport, October, 1882. 

C. W. Laskey, Middleport, June, 1874. 

G. W. Thompson, 

M. H. Clark, Royalton. 

R. N. Campbell, Suspension Bridge. 

C. W, Johnson, " May, 1876. 

George W. Knox, " 

H. H. Sheldon, 

W. E. Willey. 

S. Park Baker, Youngstown. 

J. Boardmaii Scovell, Lewiston. 


Washington Hunt was born in Windham, Greene county, N. Y., Au- 
gust 5, 181 1. His youth and young manhood were passed in his na- 
tive place, where he obtained the foundation of his education. In 1828 
he settled in Lockport and began his life work in the humble capacity 
of clerk in the general store of Tucker & Bissell. Two years later he 
determined to adopt the study of law, for which purpose he entered the 
office of Lot Clark. After his admission to the bar, however, he be- 
came heavily interested in real estate and other business operations, 
and never practiced his profession. In 1833 he became a member of 
the firm of Hunt & Walbridge, who purchased from the Albany Land 
(Company 32,000 acres of land in this county, which was the foundation 
of a considerable fortune. When only twenty- four years old he was 
appointed first judge of the county (l 836-41) and filled the station with 
dignity and ability. In 1840 he left the Democratic party on financial 
issues, joined the Whigs, and was elected to Congress, serving from 
1843 to 1849. He was next honored with appointment as comptroller 
and in 1850 received the Whig nomination for governor, in opposition 
to Horatio Seymour, over whom he was elected by a majority of only 

' Sketches of most of the living members of the bar of this county will be found in Part 111 of 
this volume. 


262 in a vote of 428,966. Receiving a renomination at the next term 
he was defeated by his former opponent. In these various official posi- 
tions Governor Hunt exhibited characteristics that gave him the confi- 
dence of his fellow citizens and enabled him to perform the duties ihat 
devolved upon him with a good measure of success. Governor Hunt 
died in New York city February 2, 1867. 

Hiram Gardner was born in Dutchess county, N. Y., February 9, 
1800. He carved out his own fortune with his own hands. After pur- 
suing his academical studies as far as circumstances would permit, in 
1818 he became a student of law in Rensselaerville, where he studied 
about two years, and removed to New York, where he finished his law 
course. In 1822, about a year after he began to practice in the lower 
courts, he was admitted as a practitioner in the Supreme Court. In 
October of the same year he came to Lockport. The next year he was 
appointed to the office of justice of the peace, and in his official capacity 
he took cognizance of nearly all the business transacted in the Court of 
Common Pleas. In 1825 he was appointed associate judge of the Court 
of Common Pleas. In 1827 he was appointed Supreme Court commis- 
sioner, and was admitted as a master in chancery. In 1831 he was ap- 
pointed surrogate, which office he held for five years, and then resigned 
it that he might represent his district in the State Legislature, to which 
position he had already been elected. In 1845 '^^ was elected a mem- 
ber of the Constitutional Convention which revised the second and 
framed the third State constitution. In 1847 he was elected county 
judge and surrogate; in 1858 canal commissioner for the term of three 
years. In the fall of 1868 he was appointed to the office of county 
judge to supply a vacancy and was elected in November, 1869, to the 
same position. Judge Gardner was for more than half a century a legal 
practitioner, and his conspicuous ability and talent were successfully 
directed to the elevation of the judicial office and of the legal profession. 
He was not a politician. His ideas of political honor were of the most 
elevated character, and though holding public offices more than twenty- 
five years, he never sought official preferment or solicited the vote of 
any man. Judge Gardner's benevolence, and devotion to the interests 
and prosperity of Lockport during his fifty years of citizenship, endeared 
him to the entire community. In the church he was a pillar of strength. 


reflecting in his life the beauty and power of Christianity. He died at 
his residence on Niagara street March 13, 1874. 

George D. Lamont was born in Orleans county, N. Y , in 18 19, and 
was graduated from Yale College in 1837. ^^ the following year he 
settled in Lockport and began the study of law in the office of J. L. 
Curtenius. In 1 841 he was admitted to the bar, and his energy and 
ability soon brought him a good practice. His natural qualifications of 
earnestness in whatever he undertook, keenness of intellect, and breadth 
of judgment enabled him to take a position in the front rank of his pro- 
fession. Upon the organization of the Republican party he allied him- 
self with its interests and ever after upheld its doctrines and supported 
its candidates for office. His first public office was that of school com- 
missioner. In 1859 he was elected State senator to fill a vacancy for 
only thirty days, but in that brief time he found opportunity to dis- 
tinguish himself and gain a State reputation. In 1862, when President 
Lincoln created a provisional court for New Orleans, Judge Lamont 
received the appointment of United States district attorney to hold that 
court, with very broad jurisdiction. He held the position until the 
necessity of the court ceased to exist on account of the close of the war 
and returned to his home. In 1865 he was elected judge of Niagara 
county, but before the close of a year was appointed a justice of the 
Supreme Court in his judicial district to fill the vacancy caused by the 
resignation of Noah Davis, and in 1871 was elected to that high oflfice 
for the full term of fourteen years. 

Alfred Holmes was born in Berne', Albany county, N. Y., August 5, 
1804, and at the time of his death was the oldest practitioner at the bar 
of the Eighth Judicial district of this State. After the death of his father, 
the widow and children settled in 181 5 on a tract of land a little east of 
Lockport, where he remained with his brothers clearing and cultivating 
the farm until April, 1827, when he entered the law office of Elias Ran- 
som in Lockport as a student and clerk. Admitted to practice in 1832 
he was taken as partner by Judge Ransom, and the firm became known 
as one of the most reputable and successful in the county. In his po- 
litical affiliations he was a Whig and later a Republican. He served as 
a master in chancery several years prior to the abolishment of the office 
in 1840. In 1841 he was elected district attorney, in which office he 


demonstrated his possession of many of the natural attributes that com- 
bine to make the successful attorney. In 1857 he was elected judge of 
the county and served two terms of four years each to the eminent sat- 
isfaction of the bar and the general good of the county. Only one of 
the great number of his decisions made during the eight years was re- 
versed by a higher court. A volume compiled by the secretary of state 
giving the results of indictments for violations of criminal law for one 
year in each county of this State, shows that Niagara led all others in 
the number of convictions in proportion to the number of indictments. 

John L. Buck, father of John H. Buck, was long a respected member 
of the Niagara county bar. He was a native of Reading, Vt. , and was 
born in 1801. After studying law he was admitted to practice in 1825. 
In 185 I he settled in Lockport, and by his natural and acquired qualifi- 
cations for his profession he soon gained a large practice. In 1853 he 
was elected district attorney and filled the office with distinction. He 
served as a member of the Board of Education twelve years and for sev- 
eral years was a United States commissioner. His death took place in 
1880, while associated with his son, John H. Buck, in law practice. 

Judge Silas Hopkins, the first to hold the office in Niagara county 
after Erie was set off, and at the time of his death the oldest living 
settler in the county, came westward with his father from New Jersey in 
1787, driving cattle for sale. He came again on the same business in 
1788 and in that year purchased a lot of furs which he carried back to 
the eastern markets. He settled in what is now the town of Porter in 
1802. He served in the militia in the war of 18 12 and held the post of 
colonel. He was successful as a farmer and administered the office of 
county judge with integrity and fair ability. His death took place on 
the home farm about seven miles east of Lewiston, August 26, 1862, at 
the age of ninety j'ears. He left a son named Silas S., who was also a 
successful farmer and father of two sons, \Villard,of Lewiston, and Silas. 

Burt Van Horn, is a son of Judge James Van Horn and was born in 
the town of Newfane, Niagara county, October 28, 1823. His grand- 
father (also named James) was a native of New Jersey, where his son 
James was born in 1770. He settled in Newfane in 1815, was a black- 
smith, a farmer, and a miller ; he built the first grist mill, which has been 
described in earlier pages of this volume, and which was burned by the 


Britisli in 1813. It stood on Eighteen -mile Creek on the site of the 
Lake Shore mills. He also built the first woolen mill in this county, 
When Niagara county was organized he was chosen as one of its judges 
and performed the duties of the office with intelligence and probity. 
His son, Burt Van Horn, is one of the prominent citizens of the county. 

Cyrus E. Davis was born at Queenston Heights, August 29, 1827. 
In 1837 he removed with his father to Lewiston, finished his academic 
education there, and studied law in the office of S. B. Piper of that vil- 
lage. In 1847 'is removed to Buffalo, entered the office of Dyer Till- 
inghast, and a year later was admitted to the bar. He practiced in 
Buffalo until 1857, when he removed to Niagara Falls and successfully 
followed his profession. While he was repeatedly brought forward as 
a candidate for public office, the strong Republican majority in the 
county and district almost always prevented the election of a Democrat, 
however worthy. He was nominated in 1859 for the office of district 
attorney of Niagara county; in 1861 for member of assembly and again 
in 1862 and 1863. In 1870 he was nominated and elected, but the 
Court of Appeals in its construction of the new judiciary article of the 
constitution, decided that no vacancy e.xisted at the time of election. In 
1873 Judge Davis was prominently mentioned for the office of attorney 
general of the State and in the same year was again nominated for 
county judge. In 1874 he was supported by many leading journals 
throughout the State for the nomination for lieutenant-governor, but 
when the convention assembled and evinced its probable preference for 
a "liberal" candidate, Judge Davis withdrew his name. In 1878 he 
received the nomination for Congress and ran largely ahead of his ticket. 
In June, 1883, he received the appointment of county judge from Presi- 
dent Cleveland (then governor), and ably filled the position until Janu- 
ary I, 1884. As a lawyer Judge Davis was an eloquent pleader, a 
close reasoner, and won many signal victories at the bar. His death 
took place December 8, 1891. 

Sherburne B. Piper, who was a graduate of Dartmouth College, studied 
law and located for the practice of his profession at Lewiston. He was 
prominent at the bar, a leader in the Democratic party, and three times 
received the nomination for Congress ; he served a number of years as 
supervisor, was twice elected to the Legislature and once as district at- 


torney. He died at Lewiston in 1885 at the age of seventy-seven years. 

Charles H. Piper, sr., son of Jonathan Piper, was the first and oldest 
lawyer at Niagara Falls, and was born in Nortlnvoods, N. H., April 2, 
1824. He received his education in Lewiston Academy and studied 
law with his brother, and later in Lockport. He was admitted to 
practice in i S49 and in the following year settled as the first attorney 
in Niagara Falls. He married a daughter of Judge T. G. Hulett, and 
was father of Charles H. Piper, jr., a practicing attorney at the Falls. 

It is a difficult as well as a delicate task to recall and relate the rec- 
ords of the many prominent lawyers who have in times past been mem- 
bers of the bar of Niagara county, but who are now either deceased or 
have removed to other places and there continued and increased their 
enviable reputation. Sketches of some of them have already been 
given, but aside from these there have been many others whose records 
it would be most agreeable to recall This we cannot do. We must 
content ourselves with giving their names. Among them there may 
be mentioned as at present living not now residing in the county, Hon. 
George C. Greene, Hon. George W. Cothran, John M. Chipman, Charles 
K. Robinson, Don A. Porter, Hon. Jacob A Driess, A. A. Boyce, 
Isaac C. Colton, Edward C. Graves, Frank M. Ashley, William J. 
Bulger, Elias Root, W. Byron Simson, Henry D. Scripture, Alfred S. 

Among those who have deceased we recall the names of Luman H. 
Nichols, Henry K. Hopkins, Samuel Brown, Mark Hopkins, Samuel 
Wisner, Joseph Centre, Dewitt Chapin, Seth C. Hart, Andrew W. 
Brazee, William S. Farnell, John S. Williams, Charles Williams, De 
Forest Porter, Sherburne B. Piper, Horatio J. Stowe, Samuel DeVeaux, 
Sparrow S. Sage, Joseph C. Morse, Elias Safford, Milton Seaman, Sul- 
livan Caverno, John B. Heroy, Freeman J. Fithian, Charles D. Metz, 
Frank A. Ransom, Robert H. Stevens, Albert Stevens, Homer H. 
Stewart, Alvin C. Bradley, John H. Buck, R. Hudson Bond, James F. 
Fitts, Lafayette Chaffee, Schuyler Reynolds, Sylvester Parsons, Volney 
Simson, Ben J. Hunting, S. Cady Murray. 

Sheriffs. — Sheriffs during the colonial period were appointed an- 
nually, in the month of October, unless otherwise provided. Under the 


first constitution they were appointed annually by the Council of Ap- 
pointment, and no person could hold the office more than four succes- 
sive years ; neither could a sheriff hold any other office, and he must be 
a freeholder in his county. Since the constitution of 1821 went into 
effect, sheriffs have been elected for three years, and are ineligible for 
the next succeeding term. The following persons have held this office 
in Niagara county: 

Asa Ransom 1808; Samuel Pratt, jr., 1810; Asa Ransom, 1811 ; Nathaniel Sill, 
1813; Cyrenius Chapin, (March 26) 1813; Asa Ransom, 1814; James Cronk, 1818; Al- 
mond H. Millard, 1831 ; Eli Bruce, 1825 (removed September 26, 1827, and new 
election ordered): John Phillips, 1827; Hiram McNeil, 1830; George Rynall, 1833; 
Tamerlane T. Roberts, 1836; Theodore Stone, 1839; James A. Cooper, 1842; 
Frank Spaulding, 1845; Alvah Hill, 1848; Elisha Clapp (appointed vice Hill de- 
ceased), 1851; Chester F. Shelley, 1854; Benjamin Farley, 1857; George Swain, 1860; 
James D. Ames, 1863; Alfred Ran.som, 186G; Oscar E. Mann, 1869; Norman O. 
Allen, 1873; Joseph Batten, 1875; S. Clark Lewis, 1878; Thomas Stainthorpe, 1881; 
George W. Batten, 1884; Albert H. Pickard, 1887; Nathan D. Ensign, 1891; Patrick 
H. Tuohey, 1894; John F. Kinney, 1897. 



Prepared under the EDrroRiAL Supervision of John Foote, M. D., 
By Eugene N. S. Ringueberg, M. D. 

We who live in the midst of the conveniences of modern civilization 
can have but a faint and shadowy conception of the hardships and pri- 
vations endured by the early pioneers, and what hardihood, strength of 
character, and self reliance, was required of those who went off by them- 
selves to literally, as well as figuratively, hew out their fortunes from the 
heart of the primeval forest; with nothing to depend upon but a robust 
constitution and a reserve of indominatable courage and resolution ; 
with no human sound save the ringing echo of their axe cast back from 
some distant hillside, they had no friendly aid of a helping hand in time 
of need or of a physician in time of sickness. 


I'ollowing soon after came the pioneer physician whose practice ex- 
tended over wide ranges of wood and field, with liere and there a settler's 
cabin, or commencinggrouping of houses, which, if they exceeded a half 
dozen, acquired the dignity of being called settlements, and still 
farther apart, embryo villages. In those days nearly all of his calls 
were made on horseback, for most places were not easily accessible in 
any other way ; and often he would start out to go twenty, thirty, or 
even forty miles distant on some urgent call to relieve suffering, possibly 
to be gone several days from home before he had made his round ; 
stumbling over cordoroy roads, picking his way through trackless 
forest, fording streams and climbing up and down hill in the mean time, 
and partaking of whatever fare that might be offered at his stopping 

And as to his remuneration in reward for his skill and the hardships 
undergone, we can only surmise as to that from the nature of many of 
the things which were current in lieu of money in those days, and his 
credits in his cash book — if he kept one — were probably as often for a 
portion of corn or some other product of the soil or for some staple fur, 
as for cash. 

Of course should we choose to go further back still — back to the time- 
before the advent of the earliest white pioneer — we would find as physi- 
cian here the Indian medicine man, with his masks and gourd rattles to 
frighten away the evil s])irit or devil who was supposed to possess the 
body of the patient. Hut besides this they possessed some knowledge 
of simple herbs and rude surgery. 

In regard to the Indian Medicine men and Indian knowledge of 
medicine, we find it recorded^ that one settler's family who were sick 
with the influenza were greatly relieved by Indians and squaws coming 
to their house and giving them an " Indian sweat," and that they dug 
holes in the earth, put in hot stones, poured water over them, and placed 
the patients under the influence of the steam by covering them over 
with blankets and giving them warm drinks. 

Of the Indian doctors who practiced among the whites as well as 
Indians at a later date were Dr. Patterson ; and following him came Dr. 

* History HolUintI I'urcliase, p. ."jlil. 


Hewitt, a half breed, who attained coDsiderable reputation for medical 
skill and was called to go long distances all over the country. Dr, Foote 
says of him that though he was not a regularly educated physician, that 
he had considerable knowledge of drugs, their properties and applica- 

The first settled physician of the Holland Purchase, of which Niag- 
ara county was a part, was Dr. McCracken, who located on what is 
known as McCracken's Flats, two miles west of Batavia (probably 
somewhere near 1800). Who was the first physician to settle within that 
territory which we now know as Niagara county we have been unable 
to determine; the earliest being probably somewhere along the frontier, 
Youngstown (Fort Niagara) or Lewiston. Before that time there were, 
of course, the military surgeons stationed at the fort from time to time, 
but their residence was merely a temporary one, depending upon the 
company to which they were attached Of these Dr. Joseph West is 
of special note as having remained there from 1805 to 1 8 14, and his 
family remained in the county after his death. 

According to Reuben Wilson,' of the town of Wilson, the pioneer of 
that place in 18 10, the physicians of that section were Dr. Alvord and 
Dr. Smith, both of Lewiston. Dr. Alvord was killed three years later 
in the massacre at Lewiston by the British and Indians on December 
19, 1813. He also notes that a school was organized in 181 5 with Dr. 
Warner, a Scotchman, who was also a practicing physician, as teacher. 

In Lockport the first physician of whom note is to be found was Dr. 
J. K. Skinner, of Lowertown, Lockport ; the other early physicians 

were Drs. Isaac W. Smith, Webb, Stephen W. Potter, Lloyd 

Smith, Martin Johnson, George W. Palmer and Henry Maxwell. 

In Middleport Dr. Packard was the pioneer, followed a little later by 
Dr. Hurd. 

Dr. David Dunn was the first physician at Slayton's Settlement in 
the town of Royalton. 


At the annual meeting of June i, 1852, Dr. Henry Maxwell was ap- 
pointed a committee to write a history of the Niagara County Medical 

' History of Holland Purchase bv O. Tui-nei'. 



Society, to report at the next semi-annual meeting. Reported January 

7. 1853- 

The society was organized at Lewiston, in June, 1823, two years 
after the final division of the old county, under the name of the Niag- 
ara County Medical Society. Its organization at that time was due 
largely to the efforts of Almon H. Millard, esq., the then sheriff of the 
county, who conceived the idea of summoning all the physicians to 
convene at the holding of court on the first Tuesday in June of that 
year. Those persons at that time in response to the call were : 

Willard Smith, Myron Orton, 

Lloyd Smith, Henry Maxwell, 

John Warner, Stephen M. Potter, 

Darius Shaw, Martin Johnson, 

William H Reynale, Alexander H. Butterfield, 

Gideon PVisbee, Edwin Arnold. 

The election resulted as follows: Willard Smith, president ; John 
Warner, vice-president; Myron Orton, treasurer; Darius Shaw, secre- 
tary ; Henry Maxwell, Martin Johnson, Stephen M. Potter, Lloyd 
Smith and W. H. Reynale, censors. 

At first the annual meetings were to beheld the first Tuesday in 
I'"ebruary, and the semi-annual the first Tuesday in June. 

The next meetings till February 25 were held at Lewiston, and at 
that time they adjourned to meet at the court house in Lockport, which 
was then completed. 

Dr. Willard Smith held the presidency till 1827, when Dr. Henry 
Maxwell was elected. The following named physicians presided over 
the meetings from that time till 1850: 

Franklin Butterfield, Olcott, Luke Woodworth, Johnson's Creek 

Josiah K. Skinner, Lockport, David S. F'assett, Lockport, 

Sherman McLean, Reynale's Basin, B. L. Delano, Lockport, 

Eli Hurd, Middleport, John S. Sliuler, Lockport, 

Peter P. Murph}', Royalton, Edwin Arnold, 

Hugh Gillis. North Ridge, William B. Gould. 

In 1830 Dr. Henry Maxwell was sent as the first delegate to the 


New York State Medical Society. At that time there had been an in- 
crease of membership to thirty-three, as follows: 

I'ldwin Arnold, 

Franklin Butterfield, Olcott, 

Alexander Butterfield, Olcott, 

Asa B. Brown, Hartland Corners, 

Abner Barnard, 

I'Ldvvin Cook, Shawnee, 

Asa Crane, 

Jonathan Chase, Lockport, 

Alexander R. Chase, Lockport, 

Jacob Chatterton, 

George W. Graves, 

Eli Hurd, Middleport, 

Robert Henderson, 

B. Henderson, 

John A. Hyde, 

Benjamin Hardy, 

Roswell Kimball, 
Henry Maxwell, Lockport, 
Myron Orton, Cambria, 
B. V. Peterson, 
Washington Ritter, 
T. Ross, Royalton, 
Luther S. Robbins, 
Josiah H. Skinner, Lockport, 
Isaac Southworth, Lockport, 
Benjamin Sayre, 
Lloyd Smith, Royalton, 
Isaac W. Smith, Lockport, 
Willard Smith, Lewiston, 
Darius Shaw, Cambria, 
Ambrose Thomas, 
John Warner. 

Later, in 1831, the names appear of Abraham Hogeboom, Pekin ; 
John S. Shuler, Lockport; and Luther Cross. 

The members not mentioned in the foregoing lists who became mem- 
bers between the years 1823 and 1850 were; 

Peter P. Murphy, Royalton, 
William Henderson, 
Cornelius Paling, Gasport, 
Timothy Johnson, 
Charles Martin, 
George P. Palmer, 
Milton W. Taylor, 
Royal Sharp, Lockport, 
Caleb Hill, Lockport, 
I. B. Barnes, 
W. H. Thomas, 
A. H. McKenzie, Lockport, 
Nathan Way, 

W. H. Henderson, Reynale's Basin, 

William B. Gould, Lockport, 

Charles H Greene, Lockport, 

L. S. Robbins, 

John Campbell, 

O. Hill, 

Ambrose Thomas, 

William McCollum, Lockport, 

G. P. Eddy, Lewiston, 

G. W. Pope, 

John A. Hyde, Youngstown, 

Thomas G. Catlin, Youngstown, 

Almeron Hyde, Youngstown, 


M. M. Mills. William Wilkins, 

C. H. Burgess, Ransomville, A. Baker, 

l\. S. McChesney, Wilson, William Wheeler, 

A. H. Taylor, John A. Benjamin, Pendleton, 

Jonathan Sayre, William HoUoway, 

W. W. Van Huren, Pendleton, Young, 

Alfred M. Leonard, Lock-port, Clark, 

I'.lectus Cole, Middleport, George Conger, 

Pratt, James C. May, 

Isaac Kidder, Pekin, E. Parmelee, Cambria Center, 

Joseph M. Tefft, J. P. Kaynor, Pendleton, 

George Mann, Olcott, John Root. 

The records of the Niagara County Medical Society were destroyed 
by fire November 7, ICS50. P'ollowing are the names of subsequent 
members arranged chronologically : 

Alfred M. Leonard, Lockport, June 3, 1851. 
E. Cole, Middleport, January 4, 1853. 
Martin S. Kittenger, Lockport, June 7, 1853. 
|. H. Helmer, Lockport, Jan. 10, 1854. 

Eddinmueller, Lockport, June 6, 1S54. 

Peter Paling, Gasport, Jan. 2, 1855. 
John Foote, Pekin, " " " 

Rexford Davison, Lockport, Jan. 2, 1885. 
Charles Storck, " Jan. 1, 1856. 

Addison Niles, " " " 

C. C. Tyrrill, Niagara P"alls, Jan. 6, 1857. 
P. J. Kaner, Pendleton, " " " 
S. S. Thorne, Lockport, Jan. 5, 1858. 
William Greene, " June i, " 

A. S. Butler, " ' 

D. H. Murphy, Royalton, June 7, 1859. 
A. M. Helmer. Lockport, " " " 
George P. Murphy, Royalton, June 3, i860. 
M. F. Regan, Lockport, " " 
Andrew R. Ferguson, " " " " 
Charles V. Watson, Jan. i, 1861. 


No meetings of this society were held from the above date until Jan- 
uary 6, 1863, all of the officers having entered service in the war. 

S. T. Clark, Lockport, Jan. 6, 1863. 

William S. Babbitt, " " " 

D. W. Harrington, " Jan. 2, 1866. 

A. W. Tryon, " 

Daniel Winters, Pekin, June 4, 1867. 

James T. Kinsler, Lockport, " " " 

J. A. Gillett, Youngstown, ' 

C. N. Palmer, Lockport, June 4, 1867. 
Lafayette Balcom, " " " " 

William S. Watson, " " 

K. H. Elliott, Hartland Corners, Jan. 7, 1S68. 

A. D. Atwood, June, 1869. 

J. B. Hartwell, Lockport, June, 1869. 

A. H. Flood, Sanborn, Jan. 4, 1870. 

H. McG. Wilson, Ransomville, Jan. 4, 1870. 

W. O. Huggins, Sanborn, June 7, " 

K. J. Barnum, Lockport, " " " 

Oscar T. Sherman, Hartland, June 6, 1871. 

Pyles, Pekin, June 6, I 87 I. 

Hinman, Hartland, June 6, 1871. 

J. W. Grosvenor, Lockport, June 6, 1871. 
W. C. Earle, Pekin, September 5, 1871. 
W. C. Raymond, Cambria, April, 1872. 
C. W. Gould, Rliddleport, 

E. A. Pyle, Pekin, June 4, 1872. 
C. Turner, Hartland. Sept. 3, 1872. 
Talbot, Jan. 7, 1873. 

J. M. Duff, Royalton, June 2, 1874. 

Wheeler, Somerset, Jan. 4, 1876. 

M. L. Lang, Susp. Bridge, June 5, 1877. 
Clinton A. Sage, Pekin, " " 

James R. McFadden, Olcott, ' 

Walter T. Ransom, Lockport, June 5, 1877. 
H. A. Wilson, Johnson's Creek, " " " 


John W. Carmon, Beach Ridge, June 5, 1877 
Charles A. Reed, Wilson, " " " 

Cook, " " " 

George H. Saddleson, Newfane, " '■ " 

Lane, Charlotteville, " " " 

D. S. Campbell. Wilson, Jan. 7, 1878. 
1'". J. Baker, Youngstown, June 4, 1878. 
II. C. Hill, Lockport, " " " 

J. W. Falkner, Youngstown, " " 

Francis W. Gallagher, Lockport, June 4, 1878. 

T. B. Cosford, Lockport, April i, 1879. 

I*". A. Rice, Niagara Falls, June 3, 1878. 

A. N. Moore, Rapids, 

G. P. Richardson, Hartland, Sept. 2, 1879. 
(iardner Clark, Niagara Falls, ' " " 
Robert T. Paine, Lockport, " " " 

W. W. Bradley, Lockport, June i, 1880. 
h^rank Brockway, Royalton, Sept. 7, 1880. 

Paulding, April I, 1881. 

George P. Eddy, Lewiston, June 7, 1881. 

Chamberlain, Lockport, June 6, 1882. 

J. W. Bickford, Lockport, 

\V. C. Wood, Lockport, Sept. 5, 1882. 

M. H. Cole, Newfane, June 5, 1883. 

Samuel Long, Ransoniville, June 5, i88j. 

Walter McChesney, Barker P. O., June 5, 1883. 

Karl G. Danser, Wilson, June 4, 1884. 

John B. Hoyer, Middleport, " " " 

William B. Rice. Lockport, Jan. 6, 1885. 

F. Gaskill, Wilson, June, 7, 1887. 

C. M. Garlock, Middleport, June 7, 1887. 

E. B. Manchester, Royalton, June 5, 1888. 
C. C. Schmidt, Tonawanda, " " " 

L. J. Hixson, La Salle, Jan. 8, 1889. 
E. J. Foote, Lockport, April 2, 1889. 
Talbot, Susp. Bridge, Sept. 4, 1889. 


W. H. Hodson, Lockport, Jan. 7, 1890. 

O. F. iJurand, Lockport, 

John Ready, Lockport, June 3, 1890. 

R. M. Elliot, Gasport, " " 

Alfred Poole, Pekin, " " " 

E. N. S Ringiieberp;, Lockport, June 2, 1891. 

Jacob E. Hellwig, Wheatfield. Jan. 5, 1891. 

E. A. Wollaber, Cambria, April 5, 1892. 
W. H. Loomis, Lockport, June 7, 1892. 
\V. P. Sawyer, Lockport, June 7, 1892. 
H. H. Mayne, Lockport, June 6, 1893. 

F. A. Kittenger, Lockport, Jan. 2, 1894. 
C. A. Ring, Johnson's Creek, ' 

W. L. Bosserman, Ransomville. Jan 8, 1895. 
M. H. Cole, Charlotteville, June 4, 1895. 
Allen T. Leonard, Toiiawanda, Oct I, 1895. 
1*". T. Carmer, Rapids, Jan. 7. 1896 
J. W. Hartwell, Lockport, June, 1896. 
Alex. McNaniara, Lockport, Sept. 16, 1896. 

The following names appear in the records, but with no dales of 
joining : 

A. H. Koon, H. K. Tabor. Wilson, 

W. C. Earl, Pekin, A. G. Skinner, Youngstown. 

Nathan Cove, Ransomville, 

The Homeopathic Society of Niagara and Orleans counties was or- 
ganized in 1857 or 1858, and was continued till 1885 when it was dis- 
continued. The then members afterwards affiliated with the Homeopa- 
thic Society of Western New York Among the members were Drs. A. 
J. Evans, D. F. Bishop, Wm. B. Rice; Sarah Morris, of Lockport ; F. 
L Knapp, of Gasport ; R. S. Bishop, of Medina 

Among other homeopaths in the county at present are Drs. Wilson 
M Petitt, W S. Hurd, Fowler Watters, G. J. Petitt, Champlain F. Buck, 
of Lockport; John Hodge, Wm. Hodge, of Niagara P'alls ; W. Level] 
Draper, of Wilson ; Scott, of Medina. 

Complete records are unobtainable, as the transactions of the society 
are not to be found. 





The ancient order of Free and Accepted Masonry has always been 
conspicuously represented in Niagara county, where it has an interesting 
history. Lodges were early established, and were actively maintained 
until a wave of anti- Masonry swept over the country in 1826, causing 
a suspension of a large part of the lodges in this State. This phase of 
the subject has been treated in the early pages of this volume. When 
this misguided movement died out the old lodges renewed their exist- 
ence and new ones were organized to meet the demands of increasing 

The counties of Niagara and Orleans constitute the 37th Masonic 
district of the State of New York, its number having been changed in 
June, 1897, from the 24th. The district deputy is Hervey Sanford, of 
Wilson, who was appointed in June, 1897. 

The first Masonic lodge organized in Niagara count_\- was Niagara 
Lodge, No. 345, F. & A. M., which was chartered June 7, A. D. 1822, 
at Lewiston, the Grand Master of the State at that time being Joseph 
Enos. The first officers, who were installed August 8th, were William 
King, VV. M. ; Gideon Frisbee, S. W. ; Julius F. Heileman, J. W. ; 
William Hotchkiss, treasurer ; Oliver Grace, secretary. Records ex- 
tant show that this lodge held regular communications up to and includ- 
ing May 10, 1827; after that nothing further appears relating to it. 
Its masters were John A. Webber, chosen December 11, 1823 ; Tim- 
othy Shaw, December 2, 1824, and probably re-elected in 1825 ; Gus- 
tavue N. Pope, December 14, 1826. 

A meeting of Lewiston Frontier Lodge, No. 132, was held at the 
Lewiston Hotel in the village of Lewiston on April 5, 1848, after hav- 
ing received a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of the State of New 
York. It was chartered June 10, 1848, Hon. John D. Willard, of Troy, 


being grand master. Caleb W. Raymond was the first master and 
James H. Page, secretary. On July 5, 1848, the first officers under the 
charter were installed, as follows : John T. Beardsley, W. M. ; Ambrose 
Thomas, S. W.; AsahelLyonJ.W.; Wm.Miller.treas.; James H. Page, sec. 
On March 22, 1853, the lodge removed to Niagara Falls, where a com- 
munication was held April 20, the officers being John T. Beardsley, W. 
M. ; Mr. Drew, of Albion, S. W. ; Mr. Lusk(?), J. W. ; G. H. Hack- 
stafi", secretary. The name at this time appears as Frontier Lodge. 
The name Niagara Frontier Lodge first appears in the minutes July 18, 
1854. The lodge now has about 300 members, and the officers for 1897 
are James G. Shepard, W. M. ; A. H. G. Hardwicke, S. W. ; D. F. 
Bentley, J. W. ; C. M. Young, treasurer ; Michael Topping, secretary. 

Lockport Lodge No. 73, F. & A. M., one of the oldest Masonic lodges 
in Western New York, was organized under a dispensation from the 
Grand Lodge of this State at the Niagara Hotel in Lockport, the charter 
bearing the date of June 5, 1824. There were at that time twenty-one 
members, prominent among whom were Harvey W. Campbell, Hiram 
Gardner, Orsamus Turner, Joel Gould, William Buell and Eli Bruce. 
The first leading officers were Daniel Washburn, Alfred Barrett, Norman 
L. Southworth, Joel M. Parks, Stephen M. Potter, L. E. Rounds, Lloyd 
Smith and L Gould. During the anti- Masonry era in 1826 this organi- 
zation continued its existence and annually elected officers. On the 4th 
of September, 1839, when the lodges of the State were renumbered ac- 
cording to their ages by the Grand Lodge, this lodge became No. Jl. 
The officers for 1897 are as follows: John A. McLaughlin, jr., W. M.; 
John N. Pound, S. W.; Edward Whitting, J. W.; John McCue, treas- 
urer; Warner H. McCoy, secretary; D. R. Bruce, George D. Green- 
wood, E. W. Bright, trustees. 

Ames Chapter No. 88, R. A. M., of Lockport, was organized under 
a charter issued by Ezra Ames, grand high priest of the Grand Royal 
Arch Chapter of this State, under date of February 6, 1824. There were 
twenty-three petitioners for the charter. The first officers were as fol- 
lows : Harvey W. Campbell, H. P.; Almon H. Miller, K.; Seymour 
Scovell, S.; Oliver Culver, treasurer; John G. Bond, secretary; Ezekiel 
Colburn, captain of host ; Paul Hawes, Tiler. Regular convocations are 
held in tiie Masonic Hall, Lockport. The officers of the chapter for 


1897 are: Edward Beck, H. P.; James R. Compton, K.; Myron D. 
Clapsattle, S.; William Cocker, treasurer; Van Ness Douglass, secre- 
tary ; Harry H. Moore, captain of host ; Frank W. Travis, P. S.; J. Adam 
Koon, R. A. Capt.; William L. Beck, M. 3d Vail ; Frank L. Vandeuser, 
M. 1st Vail; Joseph H. Rainer, organist; Weston N. Osgood, sentinel. 

Genesee Commander)' No. 10, Knights Templar, was organized un- 
der a letter of dispensation granted November 21, 1825, by Dewitt 
Clinton, who then held the office of most eminent grand master of the 
Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of this State. The letter was 
granted to Henry Brown and eighteen others, giving them authority to 
open and hold an encampment in the village of Le Roy with the name, 
Genesee Commandery. Mr. Brown was appointed the first grand com- 
mander, and the following were the remaining first officers: Orange 
Risdon, generalissimo; Frederick Fitch, captain general ; Calvin Hal- 
brook, prelate; James Brown, senior warden ; Cephas A. Smith, junior 
warden; James Ganson, treasurer; John Hascall, recorder; James Bal- 
lard, standard bearer; Hollis Pratt, warden ; Anthony Cooley, sword 
bearer; Gideon Sniith, sentinel. On the i6th day of December, 1825, 
it was chartered under the name of Genesee Encampment No. 10, and 
on January 28, 1826, was duly consecrated. Some time during the 
anti Masonic crusade the encampment was removed to Batavia, where 
it remained until 1839 ; in that year it received proper authority to re- 
move to Lockport. This commandery celebrated its semi-centennial 
anniversary on the 28th of January, 1876, with appropriate and inter- 
esting exercises. The officers for 1897 are as follows : Frank E. Smith, 
eminent commander; William E. Wicker, generalissimo; E.". Harry H. 
Moore, captain general ; Edward Beck, prelate; J. Adam Koon, senior 
warden; Myron D. Clapsattle, junior warden; E.'. William Cocker, 
treasurer; E. '.Van Ness Douglas, recorder; Henry C. HulshofT, standard 
bearer ; Harrison S. Chapman, sword bearer ; John H. Craddock, warder ; 
James H. Wilson, third guard ; Frank W. Travis, second guard ; John 
W. Bickford, first guard; Joseph H. Rainer, organist; Dan Roden- 
bach, commissary; Weston N. Osgood, sentinel; E. '.Perry Stowell, 
Harrison S. Chapman, James S. Liddle, trustees. 

Hartland Lodge No. 218, F. & A. M,, was the second Master Mason's 
lodge organized in the county. It was instituted at Hartland Corners 


in 1825, but soon succumbed to tlie wave of anti-Masonr)', and the mas- 
ter's gavel was not heard again until 1850, when labor was resumed at 
Johnson's Creek, where it has since held regular communications. The 
charter officers in 1850 were B. K. Cornell, VV. M.; Robert Dixon, S. 
W.; Richard Weaver, J. W. The officers for 1897 are F. A. Feather- 
stone, VV. M.; J. E. Van Ortwick, S. W.; A. M. Armstrong, J. W.; 
Frederick R. Hays, secretary ; Jay S. Rowe, treasurer. 

Cataract Lodge No. 295, F. & A. M., of Middleport, was organized 
June II, 1853, with Charles Craig, W. M.; Avery S. Delano, S. W.; 
William S. Fenn, J. W.; in October twenty- two members appear on the 
roll. There are now about eighty members, and the officers for 1897 
are Truman Jennings, W. M.; Charles W. Laskey, S. W.; George W. 
Thompson, J. W.; Edward J. Tuttle, treasurer ; Amos A. Castle, secre- 

Niagara Lodge No. 375, F. & A. M., of Lockport, was organized 
January 27, 1855, and chartered by the Grand Lodge of the State July 
7, 1855. The original members were Myron I^. Burrell, E. D. Shuler, 
Ora S. Howe, J. B. Chase, Charles J. Fox, G. W. Gould, N. S. Ringue- 
berg, Jacob Ringueberg and W. W. Douglas. The first officers were 
Myron L Burrell, W. M.; Elisha D. Shuler, S.W.; Ira S. Howe, J.W.; 
Nicholas S. Ringueberg, treasurer ; W. W. Douglas, secretary ; George 
W. Gould, senior deacon ; Jacob Ringueberg, junior deacon ; Beloste 
Bunnell, tiler. Regular communications are held twice in every month 
at Masonic Hall. The officers for 1897 are as follows: J. Franklin 
Gill, W. M ; William L. Beck, S. W.; William H. Killborne, J. W.; 
Myron D. Clapsattle, treasurer ; Van Ness Douglas, secretary ; Emmet 
Belknap, S. D.; Anderson Crowforth, J. D.; Hugo P. Lindsey, S. M. C; 
A. Raphael Beck, J. M. C ; Rev. G. S. Burroughs, chaplain ; Joseph 
H. Rainer, organist; Weston N. Osgood, tiler; H. K. Wicker, Charles 
N. Palmer, W. J. Jackman, trustees. 

Ontario Lodge No. ^i^Q, I". & A. M., of Wilson, was organized and 
chartered July 8, 1855, with seven charter members. The first officers 
were George L. Moote, master; R. I. McChesney, senior warden; 
Thomas Lyons, junior warden. Their first meetings were held in the 
second story of the brick building on the northwest corner of Young 
and Catharine streets. An uninterrupted prosperity enabled them in 


April, 1866, to purchase this building, which they remodeled, fitting up 
convenient rooms for their accommodation. The lodge now has about 
fifty members, and its officers for 1897 ^re Charles N. Markle, W. M.; 
S. A. Miller, S. W.; VV. L. Draper, J. W.; Elmer E. Giftbrd, secretary ; 
M. L. Campbell, treasurer. Hervey Sanford, a member and past mas- 
ter of this lodge, was appointed district deputy of the 37th Masonic 
district in June, 1897, by the Grand Lodge of the State. 

Bruce Council No. 15, R. & S. M., of Lockport, was organized in 
December, 1859, and chartered June 5, i860, with nine charter mem- 
bers. The first officers were Charles H. Piatt, thrice illustrious master; 
Charles Craig, deputy master ; Daniel A. Knapp, principal conductor 
work; Elisha D. Shuler, treasurer; W. W. Douglas, recorder; William 
Gould, captain of guard ; Richard S. Hoag, conductor ; J. R. Edwards, 
steward ; P. Murphy, sentinel. Regular assemblies are held at Masonic 
Hall. The following are the names of the officers for 1897 : Edward 
J. Taylor, thrice illustrious master; W. J. Jackman, deputy master; C. 
N. Palmer, principal conductor work ; Myron D. Clapsattle, treasurer ; 
Van Ness Douglas, recorder ; Harry H. Moore, captain of guard ; 
Cyrus D. Ormiston, conductor of council ; J. Pierce Bishop, steward ; 
William Cocker, chaplain ; John H. Craddock, marshal ; Charles N. 
Palmer, physician; Joseph II. Rainer, organist ; Weston N.Osgood, 

Ransomville Lodge No. 551, F. & A. M., was chartered June 8, 1865, 
with thirteen members, the first master being T. D. Miller. The lodge 
has about seventy- five members, and meets on the second and fourth 
Wednesdays of each month, in Ransomville. The officers for 1897 ^""c 
as follows; James M. Foster, W. M.; Stephen II. Morriss, S. W.; Will- 
iam R. Leggett, J. W; Lawrence Harwick, treasurer; R. D. Richard- 
son, secretary; Wilber T. Pool, chaplain; W. A. Curtiss, marshal; 
Isaac B. Henry, S. D.; James S. Townsend, J. D.; William Richardson, 
S. S.; Emmett Cornell, J. S.; S. H. Frederick, tiler ; W. A. Curtiss, 
W. T. Pool, Lawrence Harwick, trustees. 

Somerset Lodge No. 639, F. & A. M., of Somerset, was organized 
in 1866 and chartered in 1867, with twenty-two charter members and 
the following officers: C. P. Clark, W. M.; H. C.llill, S.W.; Irving W. 
Hotaling, J. W. Some of the members formed a stock company, pur- 


chased a lot, and erected a two- story brick building at a cost of $i,- 
490. Later the lodge purchased this property. The lodge has about 
forty- five members, and its officers for 1897 '"'^ George M. Nellist, 
worthy master ; George S. Bennett, senior warden ; Fred E. Bennett, 
junior warden ; Charles O. Longmate, treasurer ; John Webber, secre- 
tary ; Allan A. Huntington, senior deacon; Peter P. Landy, junior 
deacon ; Samuel J. King, S. M. C.; Thomas E. Grout, J. M. C; Rev. 
L. J. Gross, chaplain ; James A. P'isk, tiler; William I^, Atwater, Allan 
A. Huntington, William G. Sprague, trustees. 

Niagara Chapter No. 200, R. A. M., of Niagara Falls, was organized 
under dispensation May 8, 1866, with the following officers; James 
McFeggan, M. E. H. P.; Samuel L. White, E. K.; F. H. Johnson, E. S.; 
J. B. Clark, C. of H ; George I.-. Brown, P. S.; Stoughton Pettibone, 
R. A. C; C. W. Williams, M. 3d V.; George Skipper. M. 2d V.; 
George E. Brock, M. ist V.; C. Weston, tiler. 

The chapter was instituted March 5, 1867, with the following as 
charter officers: James McP'eggan, E. H. P; Samuel L. White, E. K.; 
Frances H. Johnson, E. S. The high priests have been James McFeg- 
gan, 1866-67; Samuel L. White, 1868-70; James McFeggan, 1871-75 ; 
Samuel L. White, 1876; George W. Wright, 1877-87; Robert H. 
Wait, 1888-92; Walter Jones, 1893-95; Joseph V. Carr, 1S96-97. 
The membership of the chapter is 158, and the officers for 1897 are 
Joseph V. Carr, H. P.; C. M. Young, K.; James G. Shepard, S.; Fred 
P. Pierce, treasurer; Michael Topping, secretary; Rev. Albert S. 
Bacon, chaplain; N. B. Chamberlain, C. of H.; Frederick Chorman, P. 
S.; George F. Diemar, R. A. C; A. D. Wilson, M. 3d V.; Amos L. 
Schafter, M. 2d V.; Charles R. Phelps, M. ist V.; John G. Broughton, 
organist ; C. H. Kugel, sentinel. 

Red Jacket Lodge No. 646, F'. & A. M., of Lockport, was organized 
in February, 1867, and chartered on the i6th of July of that year with 
the following as the first officers: Jason Collier, W. M.; Samson H. 
Robbins, S. W.; James D. Ames, J. W.; B. H. Fletcher, treasurer; J. R. 
Crampton, secretary ; S. T. Clark, senior deacon ; E. B. Weaver, junior 
deacon. The officers for 1897 ^""^ ^s follows; Eugene H. Ferree, 
worthy master; J. Hittenmeyer, senior warden ; \V. A. Mackenzie ; jun- 
ior warden; James R. Compton, treasurer; Henry C. Hulshoft", secretary; 


Robert K. Howard, senior deacon ; E. C. Rocklin, junior deacon ; F. L. 
Van Deusen, S. M. of C; Orrin D. Prudden, J. M. of C; Dr. Champlin 
F. Buck, chaplain ; Joseph H. Rainer, organist; Frank E. Smith, mar- 
shal ; Weston N. Osgood, tiler; trustees, James R. Compton, J. Adam 
Koon, Abner T. Hopkins. 

Lock City Lodge of Perfection, A. A. S. Rite, of Lockport, was char- 
tered December i8, 1875, with the following as its first officers: John 
Hodge, thirty-second degree, T. P. G. master; Otis Cole, thirty-second 
degree, deputy master; Charles Craig, thirty-second degree, ven. sen. 
gr. warden ; Charles Mitchell, thirty-second degree, ven. jr. gr. warden ; 
S. A. McKinney, fourteenth degree, grand orator ; Charles E. Young, 
thirty-second degree, grand treasurer ; Charles E. Ailing, thirty second 
degree, gr. sentry; A. H. Robinson, thirty-second degree, gr. M of 
ceremonies ; J. M. Showerman, thirty-second degree, gr. capt. of 
guard ; W. B. Flint, fourteenth degree, gr. hospitaler ; S. Taylor, four- 
teenth degree, gr. tiler. The number of'charter members was eighteen. 
The following are the names of the officers for 1897: George A. 
Newell, thirty-second degree, T. P. grand master ; C. N. Palmer, eight- 
eenth degree, deputy grand master; W. J. Jackman, thirty-second de- 
gree, ven. sen. grand warden; John McCue, thirty-second degree, ven. 
jr. grand warden; Harry H. Mo'ore, thirty-second degree gd. treas- 
urer; V. N. Douglas, fourteenth degree, gd. secretary; Irving L'Hom- 
medieu, G. M. of C; H. C. Hulshoff, sixteenth degree, gd. capt. of G. 
Hiram Flanders, fourteenth degree, grand orator; H. Buddenhagen, four- 
teenth degree, hospitaler; Weston N. Osgood, fourteenth degree, tiler. 

In Lockport there are also Lockport chapter, No. "]},, Order of the 
Eastern Star, and the Masonic Veterans Association, the latter of which 
was organized April 23, 1884. 

Niagara River Lodge No. 785, F. & A. M., of Niagara Falls (Sus- 
pension Bridge), was organized February 15, 1882, and the first meet- 
ing was held on the 22d of the same month, when the following officers 
were installed: VV. M., W. P. Mentz ; S. W., M.S. Langs; J. W., 
R. D. Wing; treasurer, lidwin Terrill ; secretary, Charles F. Lisconi ; 
S. D., O. W. Cutler; J. D., R. A. Perry ; chaplain, Edward Gilbert. 
The officers for 1897 are as follows: VV. M., O. E. Dunlap; S. W., 
Fred J. Coe ; J. W., J. Fred Neff; treasurer, N. E. G. Wadhams ; sec 


retary, J. N. Kitt ; S. D., John G. Woodcock; J. D., Hart Slocum ; 
chaplain, Gus. J. Silberberg ; tiler, William M. Blake; S. M. C, W. W. 
Johnstone; J. M. C, Edward R. Day; organist, John J. Broughton. 

Gasport Lodge No. 787, F. & A. M., began work under dispensa- 
tion granted August 26, 1882, with Andrew Hayner, W. M.; George 
A. Hoyer, S. W. ; Ellis S. Richardson, J. W. The lodge met for 
organization September 4, 1884, when the following officers in addition 
to the above were elected : Nathan D. linsign, treasurer ; David R. 
Richie, secretary; Louis K. Sawyer, S. D. ; William F. Richie, J. D., 
Charles A. Terwilliger, S M. C. ; Jay W. Hunt, J, M. C. ; Thomas A. 
Lusk, tiler. The lodge was chartered June 7, 1883, and now hasabout 
si.xty-five members The following are the officers for 1897: E. J. 
Richie, W. M.; David Wilson, S. W.; A. J. Underbill, J. W.; John Gra- 
ham, secretary ; John H. Maynard, treasurer. 

Niagara Commandery No. 64, K. T,, had its inception in a meeting 
held at the Columbia Hotel in Niagara Falls, Sir J. V. Carr, proprietor, 
on the 8th of November, 1893. Sirs O. W. Cutler, George E. Wright, 
and J. V. Carr were appointed a committee to prepare a petition and 
apply to Genesee Commandery No. 10, of Lockport, as this territory 
was in their jurisdiction. On November 25 a second meeting was 
held at the same place and Niagara Commandery organized with O. W. 
Cutler, E. Com.; Walter Jones, generalissimo; James G. Shepard, cap- 
tain general. The petition signed December 16 bore the following 
names: J. V. Carr, A. Schoellkopf, George Barker, R. A. Schuyler, 
Thomas McDowell, C. M. Young, D. F. Bentley, F. C. Belden, James 
T. Dow, George E. Wright, William C. Edwards, James G. Shepard, 
H. N Griffith, Waiter Jones, O. W Cutler, George H. Salt. L. Van 
Cleef, L. A. Boore, Charles Zeiger, and John M. Pickett of Batavia. 

On January l, 1894, a dispensation was received from the Grand 
Commandery, K. T., of the State, and on the 8th, at the first conclave 
of Niagara Commandery, the following officers were chosen: O. W. 
Cutler, E. com. ; Walter Jones, gen.; James G. Shepard, capt.-gen'l ; 
C. M. Young, prelate ; George E. Wright, S. W. , James T. Low, J. 
W. ; J. V. Carr, treasurer; R. A. Schuyler, recorder; L. A. Boore, 
standard bearer ; William C. Edwards, sword bearer ; D. F. Bentley, 
warder ; T, McDowell, sentinel. 


On September 14, 1894, Niagara Commandery No. 64, K. T., was 
duly chartered, and on the 30th of November it was regularly consti- 
tuted and dedicated with imposing ceremonies by Very Eminent Sir 
Horace A. Noble, deputy grand commander of the State, assisted by 
eleven officers of the Grand Commandery. Tiie officers for 1897 are as 
follows: Walter Jones, eminent commander ; A. H. G. Hardwicke, gen- 
eralissimo; N. B. Chamberlain, captain-general; C. M.Young, prelate; 
D. F. Bentley, senior warden; G. E. Wright, junior warden; J. V. 
Carr, treasurer ; R. A. Schuyler, recorder ; E. D. Very, standard 
bearer; N. J. Bowker, sword bearer; C. J. Doherty, warder; A. A. 
Oatman, W. J. Robedo, J. M. Pickett, guards; C. H. Kugel, sentinel; 
A. H. G. Hardwicke, A. W. Cutler (P. C), N. B. Chamberlain, trustees. 

The Masonic Board of Trustees of Niagara Falls was organized in 
1894, and consists of three members from each of the three Masonic 
bodies of the city. These members for 1897 are as follows: O. W. 
Cutler, N. L. Chamberlain, and A. H, G. Hardwicke from Niagara 
Conmiandery ; Chris. Young, George W. Wright, and J. V. Carr, from 
Niagara Chapter; Hans Neilson, Benjamin Flagler, and Major S. M. 
N. Whitney from Niagara Frontier Lodge. 

Members of the fraternity in North Tonawanda and vicinity have 
connection generally with two bodies in Tonawanda, Erie county, 
namely Tonawanda Lodge, No. 247, F. & A. M., and Tonawanda 
Chapter No. 278, R. A. M., both of which are outside the 37th Ma- 
sonic district. These organizations have so many members resident of 
this county that mention of them should be made here. 

Tonawanda Lodge No. 247, F. & A. M., was organized under a dis- 
pensation in 185 I and chartered in 1852, with Emanuel Hensler as first 
master, who served till 1854. The present (1897) officers are John G. 
Wallenmeier, W. M.; George H. Calkins, S. W.; Albert R. Smith, J. W.; 
Ale.xander C. Campbell, treasurer ; Edgar C. McDonald, secretary ; E. 
C. McDonald, Thomas E. Warner and Arlington A. Bellinger, all past 
masters, trustees. 

Tonawanda Chapter No. 278, R. A. M., was organized in April, 1884, 
and chartered in February, 1885. The first council under the charter 
was composed of Andrew R. Trew, H. P.; William R. Gregory, king; 
Lyman G. Stanley, scribe. The high priests have been Andrew R. 


Trew (deceased), 1885 ; William R. Gregory, 1886-88; Lyman G. Stan- 
ley, 1889-90; James H. Barnard, 1891 ; George W. Millener, 1892-93 ; 
Edgar C. McDonald, 1894-5 ; Thomas E. Warner, 1896-7. The other 
officers for 1 897 are Robert L. Turk, king; George H. Calkins, scribe; 
Alexander C, Campbell, treasurer ; Ransford C. Taber, secretary ; Dow 
Vroman, captain of the host; Albert E. McKeen, principal sojourner; 
Max H. Schroeder, R. A. Capt.; Thomas P. C. Barnard, master third 
vail ; George C. Herschell, master second vail ; George L. Berkrich, 
master first vail ; Benjamin M. Treat, sentinel. 




gp:n. parkhurst whitney. 

Although descended from one of the oldest families of New Eng- 
land's early settlers, tlie subject of this biographical sketch won dis- 
tinction entirely his own, and his prominence as a citizen whose public 
spirit and energy largely contributed to the material prosperity of the 
community in which he passed his busy, useful life, is even more sub- 
stantial than his ancestral greatness. He was one of the pioneers of 
Western New York, having settled at Niagara Falls in 1810, and was 
fifth in a direct line of descent from John Whitney, who settled at 
Watertown, Mass., in June, 1635, of which place he was a selectman, 
town clerk and constable. W. C. Whitney, ex-secretary of the United 
States navy, Professor.s Whitney of Yale and Harvard, and Eli Whit- 
ney, the inventor of the cotton gin, are lineal descendants from this 

John Whitney was baptized in St. Margaret's church, Westminster, 
England, July 20, 1592, and with his wife and five children sailed 
from London in April, 1635, in the ship Elizabeth and Ann, Roger 
Cooper, master, landing at Boston in June, and settling in Watertown, 
Mass. John Whitney was the son of Thomas Whitney, gentleman, 
and his wife Mary, nee Bray, and a great-grandson of Sir Robert Whit- 
ney. John Whitney was descended from the Whitneys of the Parish 
of Whitney in Herefordshire, the family name being derived from that 
of the parish, where the castle and church then stood, but now repre- 
sented by a group of mounds. Here stands the church in which the 
Whitneys were baptized from the eleventh century. The parish was 


one of several granted to Turstin the Fleming, a knight of William 
the Conqueror, and his son Eustace took the name Whitney in 1086. 

After the arrival of John Whitney in America there were two sons 
born to him, from the younger of which Gen. Parkhurst Whitney was 
descended. Jonathan, the son of Benjamin, settled at Milford, Mass., 
and his son, also named Jonathan, was a captain in the French and In- 
dian wars, and Captain Whitney's son, likewise called Jonathan, was the 
father of Gen. Parkhurst Whitney, and married Esther Parkhurst in 
1760. With a few others he laid out and settled the town of Conway, 
Mass., where he lived until 1790. He was captain of the 7th Co., 5th 
Regt., Massachusetts militia, during the Revolutionary war and ren- 
dered valuable service in the cause of the colonists. 

In 1789 he came to Ontario county, N. Y., and with others purchased 
township 10, range I of the Phelps &: Gorham purchase. He subse- 
quently purchased the interests of his copartners and brought his fam- 
ily there, being one of the earliest settlers in Western New York. He 
died in 1792 leaving nine children to survive him, of whom Gen. Park- 
hurst Whitney was the youngest, having been born September 24, 1784. 
After the death of his parents, he lived with his brothers and sisters till 
he was nineteen years of age, when he moved to the property his father 
had devised to him. He married Miss Cowing of Rochester, Mass,, 
October 10, 1805, and soon after moved to " Old Castle," near Geneva, 
N. Y. In 18 10 he came to Niagara county, and lived on a farm about 
four miles above the Falls, and in 18 12 he came to the village of Niag- 
ara Falls, and rented Porter's saw mill situated on Canal street, op- 
posite the head of Main street. He made the first survey of Goat Is- 
land, and made other surveys for the Holland Land Company and for 
the State of New York. 

When war against England was declared in 18 12, he sent his family 
to Ontario county, and was foremost among the brave defenders of the 
frontier He was appointed captain and served under General Scott. 
At the battle of Oueenston he was sent as a bearer of dispatches to the 
officer commanding the American forces and was taken prisoner, but 
was speedily released on parole. In 1814 he leased the Eagle Hotel, 
which stood where the International now .stands, and in 1 8 17 he pur- 
chased the entire block from Augustus Porter and Peter Barton. In 


I S3 I he purchased the Cataract Hotel property, and assumed control 
of the hotel in 1838. The following year the firm of Parkhurst Whit- 
ney & Sons was organized, and in 1846 he leased the property to the 
firm of Whitney,Jerauld & Co., which was composed of S. M. N. Whit- 
ney, D. R. Jerauld and James F. Trott ; at the expiration of the lease 
the firm purchased the property. 

In the spring of 1834 General Whitney's three daughters — Asenath 
B., who married Piote De Kowalewski, a Polish exile ; Angelina P., who 
married D. R. Jerauld and Celinda Eliza, who married J. F. Trott — 
crossed the river to the first of the Sister Islands, Asenath B. going to 
the second. As they were the first white women who ever stood upon 
these islands, they were, in honor of these brave sisters, named the 
Three Sisters Islands. A guide book of that year states tin's fact. The 
" Maid of the Mist " was so named at the suggestion of Mrs. James V. 
Trott when the first trip was made by the little steamer below the falls. 

In building up Niagara Falls as a pleasure resort, General Whitney 
was active and prominent. He donated the first building erected at 
the Falls for church purposes, and was always liberal and energetic in 
every movement having for its object the general welfare of his fellow 
citizens. He bought the first piano that was brought to the Falls, and 
the instrument is now in possession of his son, S. M. N. Whitney. In 
1812 General Whitney was commissioned by Gov. Daniel D. Tomp- 
kins as a captain of the 163d Regt, N. Y. militia, and in May, 1818, 
Gov. De Witt Clinton signed his commission as colonel of that regi- 
ment. He was appointed by Governor Clinton brigadier-general of 
the 5th Brigade, June 10, 1820, and on the 4th of March, 1826, he was 
commissioned major-general of the 24th Division. A very handsome 
sword was presented to General Whitney by the field and staff officers 
of the 5th Brigade and the officers of the 169th Regiment, as a testi- 
monial of respect, September 29, 1S23. This sword is now in the 
possession of his son, S. M. N. Whitney. 

In 1825 General La Fayette was entertained by General Whitney as 
his personal guest, and he took the distinguished French general to 
Lockport in his carriage at the celebration of the opening of the P^rie 
Canal. On October 10, 1855, General Whitney and his estimable 
wife celebrated their golden wedding in the parlors of the Cataract 


House. The ceremonies on this occasion were touching and imposing, 
and were conducted by Rev. E. W. Reynolds of Buffalo. General 
Whitney lived for many years at the old homestead, which was located 
between the Falls and Suspension Bridge. The house, which was 
burned down in i860 and was rebuilt, was bequeathed to the general's 
daughter, Mrs. James F. Trott, whose family still occupies it General 
Whitney died here April 26, 1S62, his wife having died two years 

Few men in Niagara county more fully enjoyed the public confidence 
and regard of fellow citizens than General Whitney, and yet the only 
position he ever accepted outside of iiis military offices was that of 
supervisor. He was a man of rare virtue, independent, self-reliant, and 
of unquestioned integrity; one of those sturdy, indomitable, energetic 
men who made this section, once a wilderness, to " blossom as a rose." 
General Whitney was an old and eminent Mason, and a distinguished 
Knight Templar. He was buried with Masonic honors, and prominent 
Masons from all parts of W'estern New York participated in the cere- 
monies. The funeral was the largest ever held in Niagara Falls, fully 
three thousand people paying their last tribute to the worth of this 
honored, upright citizen b}' their attendance. 


Wa.S born at Niagara Falls, N. Y., October 7, 1815, and is a son of the 
late Gen. Parkhurst W'hitney, who died on his estate at Niagara Falls 
in 1862. S. M. N. Whitney was educated in the Lewiston Academy 
and Canandaigua Academy and after leaving school engaged with his 
father in the management of the Cataract Hotel. In 1830-31 they built 
the present stone hotel After his father's retirement he continued in the 
hotel business until 1889, when, upon the death of Mr. Jerauld, he sold 
out to Peter A Porter and retired to private life. Mr. Whitney is the 
oldest living native citizen of Niagara Falls and has aKvays been prom- 
inent in promoting the interests of that place. He was president of 
the Niagara Falls Gas Company many years, having assisted in estab- 
lishing the works, and a director of the Cataract Bank. During the 



"Patriot War" in 1837 he was made quartermaster with the ranlc of 
captain, having charge of all siipphes and rations for troops ; later 
he was made aid-de-camp to the major-general with the rank of major, 
giving him his well known title, and received a grant of 160 acres 
of land from the United States government. The Three Sisters Islands 
were named in honor of Major Whitney's three sisters. He and 
his father accompanied General La Fayette to Lockport in 1825 to 
witness the opening of the Erie Canal, and he remembers many dis- 
tinguished persons who stopped at their hotel on their travels, among 
tiicm being Clay, Webster, Calhoun and many others of renown. He 
is a man full of years and equally full of honors and has the respect and 
esteem of all who know him. On May 12, 1840, Major Whitney mar- 
ried Frances Drake and they have had three sons: Solon, Drake, and 
Solon 2d. Drake is the only son living. Mrs. Whitney died in 1883. 
Major Whitney and his wife early became members of the Episcopal 
church, and he has been a warden more than a quarter of a century 
and was prominent in the building of St. Peter's church. In politics 
he was formerly a Whig and subsequently a Republican. 


Son of Abraham and Sarah (Thorn) Flagler, was born at Pleasant Valley, 
Dutchess county, N. Y., October 12, 181 1. His education from 
schools was meagre and limited to the elementary grades. At a very 
early age he was apprenticed to the printer's trade in the office of the 
Chenango Republican, at Oxford, N. V. Upon the death of Daniel 
Mack, his employer, Mr. Flagler purchased an interest in the paper and 
was for several years its editor and publisher. In 1836 he disposed of 
his interest in the journal to his partner, W. E. Chapman, and removed 
to Lockport, where he iias since resided. In 1838 he became the ed- 
itor of the Niagara Courier and continued the publication of that paper 
until 1S43, when he resigned that position and engaged in the hard- 
ware business, in which he continued until 1859; at that time and 
through his efforts the Holly Manufacturing Company was founded and 

he was elected president, which office he still holds, although now in 


his eighty- sixth year. Aside from his interest in this company Mr. 
Flagler has been president of the Niagara County National Bank since 
i860. He is also president of the Fond du Lac Water Company. Po- 
litically Mr. Flagler was in early life a Whig ; he aided in organizing 
the Republican party in this State and for many years has been an influ- 
ential member of the same. He represented his district in the Legis- 
lature of this State in 1842-43 and again in i860. In 1848 he was 
elected clerk of Niagara county and held the office three years. He was 
elected a member of the 33d and 34th Congresses, in which body he 
made a record of which any man might well feel proud, for he was re- 
cognized as one of the strongest men who had ever sat in the legisla- 
tive halls. He also served as a member of the New York State Con- 
stitutional Convention. Mr. Flagler is a man of splendid presence and 
courtly manners — a " gentleman of the old school." As a business 
man he has always ranked high, while in the field of religious effort he 
has been an active and conscientious worker. His integrity has never 
been questioned, and in his old age enjoys the respect of the whole 
community. Mr. Flagler was married in 1831 to Huldah M. Barrett, 
and six children have been born to them, three of whom are living. 
One son, H. H. Flagler, is treasurer of the Holly Manufacturing Com- 
pany ; a daughter, Lucy, is the wife of J. S. Helmer, of Lockport ; an- 
other daughter, Clara, is the wife of William H. Farnsworth of Buffalo. 
Mrs. Flagler died December 3, 1895. Mr. Flagler has been a member 
of the Presbyterian church since 1839 and since 1840 has been an elder 
of that church and president of the Board of Trustees of the Niagara 


Col. Lewis S. Payne was born in the town of Riga, Monroe county, 
N. Y., January 21, 18 19, the son of Stephen and Ruth A. (Smith) 
Payne. The Payne family is of honorable New England ancestry and 
its founder in the New World was of Puritan stock. His paternal 
grandfather, Aepba Payne, was a native and lifelong resident of Massa- 
chusetts. He was a soldier in the war of 18 12. His son, Stephen 


Payne, father of Colonel Payne, was born in 1790, in Hinesdale, Mass., 
settling in Monroe county when a young man. He died at the resi- 
dence of his son, Colonel Payne, at North Tonawanda, February 11, 
1880, in the ninetieth year of his age. Col. Lewis S. Payne was edu- 
cated in the common school and High School in Monroe county. At 
the age of sixteen he became a clerk in a mercantile house in Tona- 
wanda, and five years later he and a fellow clerk purchased the business 
in which they had been employed. Four years afterward the partner- 
ship was dissolved and Mr. Payne accepted a position as clerk in Buf- 
falo, remaining there four years. In 1847 h^ built the first steam saw 
mill in North Tonawanda, which he operated for nine years, after which 
he engaged in the lumber business for several years. 

In the fall of 1861 Mr. Payne, at his own expense, raised a volun- 
teer company, of which he was made captain, and which was attached 
to the 1 00th N. Y. Vol. Regiment, later becoming a part of Case)''s 
Division of the Army of the Potomac. The looth N. Y. Regiment, 
with Colonel Payne leading his company, participated in the battles 
of Williamsburg, Seven Pines, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill among 
others. Later on he and his company made many daring expeditions 
from the vicinity of Charleston, and the information thereby gained was 
of great value to the Union cause. On the night of August 3, 1863, 
while engaged on Morris Island in intercepting communication with 
Fort Sumter, he was attacked by a superior Confederate force. A 
desperate engagement followed, in which Colonel Payne was wounded 
in the head by a musket ball, taken prisoner and conveyed to Charles- 
ton, where he was confined in the Queen Street Hospital Later he 
was removed to Columbia, S. C, and February 14, 1865, he was sent 
to Wilmington, N. C, where he was exchanged March 5. Soon after 
his imprisonment ended he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel. 

In 1840 Colonel Payne married Mary Tabor, of Ithaca, N. Y., and 
they have six children: Emily R., wife of George Crandall, of Will- 
iamsport, Pa.; Eugene R., who resides in Williamsport ; Ida, Mrs. 
George McCray, of Buffalo; Edward C, of Decatur, Ala.; Lewis C, 
a lawyer at North Tonawanda, and Cornelia R., wife of Lyman Stanley. 
Col. Payne is a member of Tonawanda Lodge No. 247, F, & A. M., 
and a vestryman of St. Mark's P. E. church. Politically Colonel Payne 


is an aggressive Democrat, and has served in nearly every office in tlie 
gift of his town. In 1 850 lie was elected clerk of Niagara county on 
the National Whig ticket and in 1859 was nominated for State senator 
in the Twenty- ninth New York district, but was defeated. In 1865 he 
was again elected county clerk on the Democratic ticket, and in 1869 
was elected to the Assembly. In 1877 he was elected State senator 
from the Twenty-ninth district. In ,1883 he was the Democratic can- 
didate for Congress in his district, but was unable to overcome the big 
Republican majority in his district. Colonel Payne has always stood 
high in the esteem of his fellow townsmen and ranks as one of the fore- 
most citizens of Niagara county. 


Linus Spalding, irreproachable in private and efficient in public 
life, was born in the town of Hartland, Niagara county, N. Y., June 13, 

The grandfather of Linus Spalding, whose name was Jacob Spalding, 
fought for freedom in the Revolutionary war. 

Linus Spalding, sr., the father of the subject of this sketch, moved, at 
the age of fourteen, from Vermont to Broome county, N. Y., where he 
married Lydia Shepherd. In 1811 he joined the pioneers of Hartland, 
Niagara county, where he became the owner of a section of valuable 
land. Linus Spalding, sr., fought for his country in the war oi 1812, 
assisted in building the first bridge across the Genesee River ; and 
in many other ways socially, politically, and religiously, he was useful 
to the community in which he lived. 

The Spaldings, of Niagara county, descended from Edward Spalding, 
who came to this country from P-ngland, in 1 619. He settled in Vir- 
ginia, wliere he remained till about 1640, when he moved to Massachu- 
setts Bay. 

This large and illustrious family, scattered throughout many States, 
has comprised, among its various branches, noted members of the learned 
professions ; one bishop, a general, and other officers in the Revolution- 
ary war"; besides several scientists and inventors, one, by his originality, 
giving to the world the useful lucifer match. 



Linus Spalding received an academic education in tlie village of Mid- 
dleport. At different times in his life he has engaged successfully in 
farming, stock-raising, and the mercantile business. 

He was formerly a Whig, but commencing in 1856, he served seven 
successive terms as the Democratic supervisor of the town of Hartland. 

He is a consistent member of the Universalist church, and by unusual 
kindness and tender sympathy he has endeared himself to a large circle 
of friends and acquaintances. 

January 22, 1 85 I, he married Cordelia H. Compton, of Middleport, 
town of Royalton, Niagara county. His children are Mary E., who 
married William J. Sterritt, one of the prominent paper manufacturers 
of Western New York, and Louise C, wife of Kdgar R. French, who 
resides in Middleport, and is engaged in the hardware business. 

The grandchildren of Linus Spalding are Linus, Frank, Louise and 
Robert Sterritt, of Middleport, Niagara county. 


Hon. David Millar was born in Lewiston, Niagara county, Sep- 
tember 30, 1842, and is a son of Alexander Millar, jr., who was a son 
of Alexander Millar, sr., who was born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1762, 
and came to America in 1804, settling in Lewiston in the following 
year. Judge Millar received his education in the public schools of his 
native place, at the Lewiston Academy and at the Lockport Union 
School. In 1867 he began the study of law in the office of L. F. & G. 
W. Bowen ; he finished his legal studies with Farnell & Brazee, and 
was admitted to practice in 1889. He is a prominent Democrat, and in 
1889 was elected judge of Niagara county for a term of six years. As 
a lawyer and jurist Judge Millar has achieved eminent success, and is 
widely recognized as a man of ability and integrity. July 12, 1871, he 
married Miss Horten&e, daughter of Peter Valleau, of Shannonville, 
Ontario, Canada. 


Hon. Alvah K. Potter is a grandson of Joseph and Lydia (Drake) 
Potter and a son of Thomas D. Potter (born in January, 1796) and 
Eunice Marden, and was born March 31, 1840, in Concord, N. H., 
where his pat