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Full text of "The official records of the centennial celebration, Bath, Steuben County, New York, June 4, 6, and 7, 1893"

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Charles Williamson. 



1793. 1893. 

THE 

Official Records 

OF THE 

CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 
Bath, Steuben County, 

NEW YORK, 

JUNE 4, 6 AND 7, 1893. 



NORA HULL, EDITOR. 



Authorized by the General Committee, 



(S v^Z> -PRESS OF THE COURIER COMPANY (LIMITED).- <2Z>^ 



PREFACE. 



The Official Records of the Centennial Celebration of Bath, after some 
unavoidable delays, are now given to the public. 

This book does not purport to be a complete history of Bath during 
the first century of its existence, but merely a contribution of much valu- 
able material toward that history when it shall be written. The papers 
were prepared by many individuals who wrote without reference to each 
other, or without any pre-arranged plan. 

Consequently, it happens that some of the pioneers, who were fore- 
most in building up the town, have been passed over with scant mention, 
each writer presumably supposing that some other would be sure to select 
such prominent charactei-s for delineation. This has been especially no- 
ticeable in the cases of Dugald Cameron, of the McClures and of Henry 
A. Townsend. These men passed away so early in the century that their 
fame is a tradition, even to the members of the older generation now 
among us. 

That the Book is an accomplished fact is due to the Eev. Benjamin S. 
Sanderson, through whose persistence in the meetings of the General 
Committee, it was finally decided upon, and whose advice and assistance 
have been extended at every stage of its preparation for the press. The 
material as selected by Mr. Sanderson, the representative of the Gen- 
eral Committee, has been published substantially as it was delivered, with 
the exception of a few sentences too personal for permanent preservation. 

The work of the editor has been, mainly, to arrange that the papers 
should be put in fit typographical form. 

The frontispiece is a semitone, prepared from a photograph of the por- 
trait of Colonel Charles Williamson, presented to Bath by his grandson, 
David Robertson Williamson, of Scotland, (vide p. 236). 

The plate of the map of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase was fur- 
nished, at the request of Hon. A. J. McCall, by Howard L. Osgood, Esq. , 
Secretary of the Rochester Historical Society. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 

Preface 3 

Introduction 9 

Rev. Benjamin S. Sanderson. 

PART ONE. 
Historical Discourses— 

Presbyterian Church {Rev. M. N. Preston) 19 

Episcopal Church {Rev. B. S. Sanderson) 28 

Methodist Church {Rev. M. C. Dean) 38 

Baptist Church {Rev. V. P. Mather) 47 

Roman Catholic Church {Rev. J. J. Gleason) 51 

A. M. E. Zion Church {Rev. B. W. Swain) 58 

Casino Address {Prof. L. D. Miller) 64 

PART TWO. 

Address of "Welcome 73 

Reuben E. Robie, Esq. 

Centennial Poem 75 

Prof. Zenas L. Parker. 

Charles Williamson 96 

James McCall, Esq. 

Historical Address 107 

Hon. Ansel J. McCall. 

PART THREE. 
Reminiscences— 

Mr. William Howell 141 

Hon. Justin R. Whiting 151 

Hon. Irvin W. Near 154 

Rev. L. M. Miller, D. D 167 

Clarh Bell Esq 175 

Mr. E. H. Butler 193 



PAGE. 

The Schools of Bath 194 

Charles F. Kingsley, Esq. 

The Medical Profession 201 

Ira P. Smith, M. D. 

The Military History of Bath 210 

Major John Stocum. 

The Bench and Bar 216 

Hon. Charles H. McMaster. 

The Local Press 229 

Mr. George B. Richardson. 

PART FOUR. 

Our Pioneers— (Song) 235 

Oen. William W. Aver ell. 

The Williamson Memorial 236 

The Centennial Oration , 241 

Hon. Sherman S. Rogers. 
Change of Name 256 

PART FIVE. 

Appendix A (Round Robin, with Signatures) 259 

Appendix B (Correspondence) 261 

Appendix C (Business Directory, etc.) 276 



Introduction, 



INTRODUCTION, 

A brief account of the events leading up to tlie glorious Celebration of 
June 4, 6 and 7, 1893, would appear to form a fitting introduction to the 
pages which follow. 

Rome was not built in a day. Not even the proverbial smartness of 
the citizens of our village could put through, without preparation, the 
elaborate Celebration this volume describes. It was the patient labor of a 
few ; the elaborate, careful and painstaking arrangements of the General 
Committee, which made the Centennial of Bath the magnificent success it 
was conceded by all to be. Honor to whom honor is due. 

In a speech delivered before tlie local Board of Trade, at its annual din- 
ner (April 6, 1891), Mr. Anthony L. Underbill made the first pubUc appeal 
to the citizens for a becoming recognition of this important event in the 
history of the village. The seed thus sown was soon to bear fruit. Not 
many months after, the following Round Robin, numerously signed by 
leading citizens, under the inspiration of Gen. William W. Averell, was 
sent to Hon. Ansel J. McCall : 

Hon. A. J. McCall : 

Dear Sir : Your fellow-citizens, undersigned, are desirous that there 
shall be a fitting celebration of the first Centennial anniversary of the set- 
tlement of our village of Bath in 1793, and of your County of Steuben in 
1796. We are sensible that a proper celebration of these events cannot be 
f uUy and intelligently realized without a co-incident publication of graphic 
annals of our town and county from the earliest times. It is, therefore, our 
earnest desire to have available to our people on those occasions such a 
sketch of our social birth and history, in convenient form, from the earli- 
est pioneer days to the present time, in order that valued memories may 
not be lost, but cherished and perpetuated. Happily for our aspirations, 
your long and worthy life has brought from the early years of the century 
rich memories and priceless materials which enable you, better than any 
other man living, to tell the story of the first hundred years of Bath and of 
Steuben county. 

We earnestly request that you will kindly gratify your neighbors and 
friends, the people of Steuben, by tlie preparation of such a history. We 
will attend to its publication, under your permission and direction. 

Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y., Aug. 1, 1892. 



10 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

This invitation was accepted by Judge McCall. 

Notliing more than tliis historical Monograph was at first contem- 
plated. But other minds were at work, aiming at a public celebration of 
the one hundredth anniversary of the settlement of the village. From 
them emanated the following call : 

IMPORTANT MEETING OF CITIZENS. 

A meeting of the citizens of Bath is called for this (Friday) evening, 
at the Court House, at 8 o'clock, to consider the propriety of properly ob- 
serving the Centennial of the first settlement of the town. 

Per Order Committee. 

That Friday evening (.January 13) was cold and blustering, piomising 
fully to test the interest of all attending the meeting. The writer well 
remembers sitting in the Sheriff's office, with two or three others, wonder- 
ing whether any of the good people of Bath were sufficiently enthusiastic 
to brave the elements in response to the call. At 9 o'clock there were about 
twenty present, who energetically took hold of the business in hand, as 
the subjoined official minutes testify : 

" In response to a call published last week, a meeting was held at the 
Court House, last Friday evening, to consider the advisabihty of celebrating 
the Centennial anniversary of the first settlement of the town of Bath. 
General W. W. Averell was chosen Chairman of the meeting, and James 
R. Kingsley, Secretary. It was decided to celebrate the anniversary, and 
the following Committee was appointed to decide the character of the exer- 
cises and the time and place of holding them : Gen. W. W. Averell, W. 
W. Allen, R. E. Robie, A. J. McCall. H. W. Bowes, J. F. Little, O. H. 
Smith, Abram Beekraan, W. E. Howell, J. F. Parkhurst, R. R. Lyon, 
James R. Kingsley, Rev. M. N. Preston, Rev. B. S. Sanderson, Rev, M. C. 
Dean, Rev. V. P. Mather, Rev, J. J. Gleason, Rev. B. W. Swain. Gen. 
Averell is Chairman of the Committee, and James R. Kingsley, Secretary. 
The plans of the Committee will be submitted to a meeting of citizens to 
be held not later than February 10." 

With the to-be-expected set-backs, tlie preparations for a becoming 
celebration progressed favorably. The preliminary plans were endorsed at 
a public meeting of citizens held in the Court House, February 10, with a 
large and representative attendance. June 14 was fixed upon as Centen- 
nial Day. The official program was arranged as follows, power being 
given to the General Committee to alter it as they deemed wise : 

Sunrise Salute. 

9 to 10 A. M.— Parade of School Children of the Town, and Addresses to 
Them. 



INTRODUCTION. 11 

11 A. M. — Address of Welcome, Historical Address, and Oration. 

Recess. 

2 p. M. — Parade of Fire Department, Civic Societies and General Trades 
Display. 

Evening— Old Time Reception at the Casino. 

The General Committee was thus constituted : General W. W. Averell, 
Reuben E. Robie, Henry W. Bov^'es, W. H. Nichols, J. F, Parkhurst, Rev. 
M. N. Preston, Rev. B. S. Sanderson, Rev. M. C. Dean, Rev, V. P. Mather, 
Rev. J. J. Gleason, Rev. B. W. Swain. 

Believing in a division of labor, various sub-committees were appointed 
to carry out the details of arrangements, as follows : 

Invitations — A. J. McCall. 

Reception of Guests — James R. Kingsley.f 

Entertainment — Abram Beekman. 

Literary Exercises — John F. Little. 

Finance — Reuben R. Lyon. 

Decorating Village — John M. Farr.^ 

Schools — Clarence Wilhs. 

Procession and Bands — William H. Hallock. 

Evening Reception — Augustus de Peyster. 

Publication and Printing — John Underbill. 

Through the courtesy of the managers of the Steuben Club, its hand- 
some parlors were put at the disposal of the Committee, and there every 
Friday evening the members could be foimd planning for the coming Cele- 
bration. Early in their deliberations, modifications of the original plan 
were deemed advisable. The unavoidable resignation of James R. Kings- 
ley, as Secretary, resulted in the selection of Reuben R. Lyon, Esq., for 
that responsible post. It was a most fortunate choice. Zealous and ardent 
in the undertaking, doing the work of many men, at times to the neglect 
of his own private business, to Mr. Lyon every member of the General 
Committee concedes all the credit and praise for the happy outcome of our 
Centennial. Palmam qui meruit, ferat. 

The date and method of celebration were altered, a new program 
being arranged, which was substantially carried out at the appointed time. 
It may as well be inserted here as anywhere as a matter of record : 

f Augustus de Peyster, vice J. R. Kingsley, resigned. 
X John McNamara, vice J. M. Farr, resigned. 



13 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH, 

SUNDAY, JUNE 4, 1893. 

1. Appropriate Religious Services and Historical Sermons in the Local 
Churches, at 10:30 A. M. 

2. Union Religious Service, with Address by Prof. Levi D. Miller, 
L.L. D., in the Casino, at 7:30 p. m. 



TUESDAY, JUNE 6, 1893. 

IN THE CASINO, AT 2:00 P. M. 

1. Prayer, Rev. L. M. Miller, D. D., of Ogdensburgh, N. Y. 

2. Address of Welcome, by President of Day, Reuben E. Robie, Esq. 

3. Poem, Prof. Zenas L. Parker. 

4. Captain Charles Williamson; a Sketch, James McCall, Esq. 

5. History of Bath for Fifty Years, Hon. Ansel J. McCall. 

IN THE CASINO, AT 7:30 P. M. 

1. Prayer. 

2. Reminiscences — 

Mr. Wm. E. Howell, of Antrim, Pa. 

Hon. J. R. Whiting, of Eau Claire, Wis. 

Rev. L. M. Miller, D.D., of Ogdensburgh, N. Y. 

Hon. I. W. Near, of Hornellsville, N. Y. 

Mr. Edward H. Butler, of Buffalo, N. Y. (A Letter.) 

Hon. Clark Bell, of New York City. 

3. * Schools, Chas. F. Kingsley, Esq. 

4. * Physicians, Dr. Ira P. Smith. 

5. * Lawyers, Hon. Chas. H. McMaster. 

6. * Editors, Mr. Geo. B. Richardson. 

7. * Soldiers, Major John Stocum. 



WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7, 1893. 

6:30 A. M. Sunrise Salute of Cannon and Bells. 

10:00 A. M. Parade of all the Schools of the Town (directed by 
Clarence Willis, Esq.), to the Fair Grounds. [About 1000 children, headed 
by five bands of music, participated in this novel and interesting event.] 

ON THE FAIR GROUNDS, 10:30 A. M. 

1. Prayer by Chaplain, Rev. M. N. Preston. 

* The above papers had been prepared with reference to this occasion, 
but time did not permit of their being read. 



INTRODUCTION. 13 

2. Letters of Regret, read by the Secretary, R. R. Lyon, Esq. 

3. Address and Presentation of Portrait of Capt. Chas. Williamson, 
James McCall, Esq. 

4. Acceptance on behalf of Trustees, Byron L. Smith, Esq. 

5. Oration, Hon. Sherman S. Rogers, Buffalo, N. Y. 

6. Change of Name of Lake Salubria to Lake Williamson. 

7. Benediction. 

[The program was interspersed by many appropriate and patriotic songs 
excellently rendered by the school children, under the direction of Miss 
May Cowley.] 

2:00 p. M. Parade of Fire Department, Civic Societies and General 
Trades Display; Capt. W. W. Lindsay, Marshal; Messrs. L. H. Balcom, 
Hoxie W. Smith, Wm. J. H. Richardson and S. J. Wilkes, Aides. 

8:00 p. M. Old Time Reception at the Casino. 

[The following list shows the formation, the companies and the floats 
in the line of the parade : 

Capt. W. W. Lindsay, Marshal. 

Soldiers' & Sailors' Home Band, sixteen men. 

Custer Post, G. A. R., eighty men. 

General Barry Post, G. A. R., No. 248, seventy-five men. 

Keeley Club of the Soldiers' & Sailors' Home, seventy men. 

L. H. Balcom, Assistant Marshal. 

Hammondsport Cornet Band, sixteen men. 

Royal Arcanum, Chapter No. 344, of Bath, forty men. 

Knights of the Maccabees, No. 71, of Bath, forty men. 

Boys' Society, "Character Builders of St. Thomas church," forty-two 
in line, led by Rev. B. S. Sanderson. 

Wm. J. H. Richardson, Assistant Marshal. 

Prattsburgh Cornet Band, fourteen men. 

Bath Fire Department, Chief Mc Namara, First Assistant Cotton, Second 
Assistant Parker. 

Rescue Hook and Ladder Company, twenty-six men, Foreman A. L. 
Lilley. 

Hook and Ladder truck gaily decorated and carrying a log hut with 
Indians, representing 1793 at one end, while at the other end was a boat 
containing four little girls representative of the year 1898, 

Samuel E. Wilkes, Assistant Marshal, 

Cohocton Cornet Band, twenty men. 

Edwin Cook Hose Company, twenty-eight men, Foreman John Donahe. 

Hose Company's cart completely covered with flowers, and two little 
children riding on top dressed in Continental costume. 

Hacks containing Mayor Gould, Trustees Smith, Phillips, Aber and 
Sutton, City Attorney Waldo and Clerk Shannon. 



14 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

Hoxie W. Smith, Assistant Marshal. 



Steuben County Vineyard Association, mammoth wine cask. 

A. Beekman, sash and blind factory, workmen making window sash. 

T. H. Appleby's Collar Factoiy, workmen stuffing collars and making 
harness. 

Gould & Nowlen, plumbers, men soldering handles to tin cups. 

Wylie's Book Store, "History of Bath;" tall as a man, thick as a 
telegraph pole. 

E. Berkman's Bottling Works, three floats, workmen bottling beer and 
corking. 

Gregson, Dolsen & Smith, shoe factory, rack of shoes and workmen. 

John McNamara, hardware, a McCormick harvester and binder. 

S. L. Holcomb, cigar factory, men making cigars, which were thrown 
out to the crowd. 

Ferine & Davison, dry goods, etc., deUvery wagon, decorated. 

Flynn & Co., groceries, delivery wagon, decorated. 

A. Rich, clothier, men making coats. 

Fred Moris, harness factory, 116 in line; float, men making harness. 

Plaindealer, float. Black Bath in 1840. 

H. M. Jewell's Bottling Works, delivery wagon loaded with beer kegs. 

Martin Collins, blacksmith, making horse shoes. 

P. P. Tharp, clothier, advertising wagon, decorated. 

D, W. Raysor, cigar factory, men making cigars and tossing them to 
the crowd. 

S. G. Lewis, groceries, delivery wagon, decorated. 

Charles S. Allison, tailor, miniature tailor shop. 

The Banks — First National, Hallock's, and Farmers' & Mechanics', two 



S. W. Wood, groceries, delivery wagon, decorated. 

C. A. Ellas, druggist, delivery wagon, decorated. 

Rothschild & Loeb, Globe Clothing House, delivery wagon, decorated. 

Ed Sliney, groceries, delivery wagon, decorated. 

J. Stocvun & Son, furniture, wagon with furniture. 

S. M. Hewlett & Co. . furniture, wagon with furniture. 

Stansbury & Leavenworth, sewing machines, wagon with machines. 

T. P. Purdy, painter, wagon, decorated. 

Bath Canton, No. 41, I. O. O. F., twenty men, followed by the Jemima 
Wilkinson carriage, 105 years old, driven by Lewis D. Fay ; the old Mansion 
House 'bus ; a coupe nearly as ancient, and citizens in carriages. 

M. Bowes & Co., coal and agricultm-al implements, a Studebaker 
wagon gaily decorated. 



INTRODUCTION. 15 

Aber Bros., groceries, delivery wagon, decorated. 
Daniels & Carroll, groceries, delivery wagon, decorated. 
James Faucett, produce, and agricultural implements, a Johnston 
reaper. 

Geo. W, Peck, hardware, an Osborne reaper.] 

In their preparations the Committee were rendered most valued 
assistance by the Ladies' Committee, made up of the following: 

Executive Committee — Mrs. James Lyon, Chairman; Mrs. Ansel J- 
McCall, Mrs. Wm. Rumsey, Mrs. George W. Hallock,Mrs. J. F. Parkhurst, 
Mrs. B. F. Young, Mrs. M. Rumsey Miller, Mrs. Augustus dePeyster, Mrs. 
John Davenport, Mrs. W. W, Averell ; Miss Jeannette M. Hodgman, Sec'y. 

Invitations — Mrs. Thomas J. Whiting. 

Reception and Care of Guests — Mrs. William H. Nichols. 

Entertainment, Seats and Grounds — Miss Katharine Bowes. 

Literary Exercises — Miss Mamie McBeath. 

Finance — Mrs. Charles F. Kingsley. 

Decoration of Village and Grounds — Mrs. Abram Beekman. 

Schools — Miss Anna Freeman. 

Procession and Bands — Mrs. Alfred Case. 

Evening Reception — The Executive Committee. 

Publication and Printing. — Miss Cassie W. Hull. 

Confining themselves mostly to the very important department of 
finance, the ladies arranged for a Loan Exhibition. As the result of their 
labors, a most varied and valuable collection of curios and relics were ex- 
hibited in the Casino on April 25 and 26. After paying all expenses about 
$140 were put in the hands of the General Committee. The ladies also very 
effectively assisted in preparing for the Old Time Reception. 

To Mrs. James Lyon, the head of the Executive Committee, belongs a 
very large share of the credit due to the ladies for their work. 

One of the most substantial aids in the way of money was contributed 
by Miss May Cowley, who organized, drilled and presented the operetta of 
"Trial by Jury," on the evening of May 17, turning over the entire pro- 
ceeds (over $200) to the committee. In fact this, with another donation from 
some of the business men, defraying the expenses of all the bands, made it 
unnecessary for the committee to ask for general subscriptions. It is 
doubtful whether anywhere the hardest problem — the financial — was ever 
easier solved than during the Centennial of Bath. 

What was said during those eventful days the rest of this book records. 
What was done every Bathite and thousands of strangers well remember. 
For who that saw them can soon forget the happenings of those memorable 



16 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

days. Every sort of building within the corporation limits had some sort 
of holiday token upon it. Flags and bunting were everywhere. 
Enthusiasm was unstinted. Former residents renewed acquaintance with 
their home of earlier days and did their part in the general rejoicing. 
With ideal weather and under most favoring circumstances, the long ex- 
pected Celebration was gone through with and the fondest hopes of those 
who had it in charge were more than realized. How it appeared to others 
than the committee, this, from one of the local papers, may indicate : 

' ' The Bath Jubilee Celebration was a hummer in every respect. Tues- 
day and Wednesday, June 6 and 7, the days appointed on which to com- 
memorate the energy and chivalry of Capt. Charles Williamson, who set- 
tled the village 100 years ago, will fonn bright spots in the memories of 
young and old who witnessed the festivities, until memory is a blank. 
Tuesday, Nature was in a doubtful mood, but it was only to make herself 
more dazzling for the morrow, when "Old Sol" beat his brightest rays upon 
roof and steeple and people. The South Hill wore its best dress, and shone 
resplendent in green and purple hues, the bright waters of the Conhocton 
running at its base, once the carrier of forest wealth in arks and rafts to 
the Susquehanna, gleamed and shimmered as in the brave days of old ; 
Lake Salubria's "fine azure dimples curled its sparkling seas ;" the business 
portion of the village was gay with flags and bunting in every variety of 
decoration ; the private residences were in holiday attire ; Pulteney Park 
never looked in finer form ; and all tho people, Bath's sons and daughters, 
and all their friends and relations, paid fitting homage to the scene of 
beauty which met the eye in every direction. 

"From the Golden Gate of the Pacific, from the distant Rockies, from 
the mines of the South, and from the land of the midnight sun, her chil- 
dren came by the hundreds to sit once more at the old hearthstone ; to 
renew old acquaintance ; to tell a story or two, and to laugh at the visions 
of the past. 

' ' The Committee having in charge the formal exercises which were to 
crown the Celebration and tell the story of Bath from the beginning, 
brought an almost formidable program to a most happy conclusion without 
a serious flaw or hitch." 

When our descendants of a hundred years from now start out to cele- 
brate the two hundredth anniversary of the settlement of the town, they 
will find themselves considerably handicapped, if they endeavor to out- 
strip the Bathites of 1893. 

BENJAMIN S. SANDEESON. 



PART ONE, 

Historical Sermons. 



PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 

Sermon by Rev. M. N. Preston. 



SUHDAY, MAY 28. 1893. 



Text : — " Remember the days of old, consider the years of many genera- 
tions, ask thy father and he will shoio thee ; thy elders and they will tell 
thee, for the Lord's portion is his people.''' — Deut. xxxviii, 7, 9. 

It is scriptural, as well as wise, for any people occasionally to review 
the past. All honor should be given to the pioneers who have endured the 
hardships necessary to opening and settling a new country. All honor to 
those who laid the foundations on which have been builded in a century 
the goodly structure of civilization which we are now enjoying ; and those 
worthy men will receive the honor that is their due in the Centennial 
exercises of which this discourse is the opening. 

We are to consider this morning " The Lord's portion which is his peo- 
ple," as the text tells us. They, too, laid foundations, even the church of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, a structure which, though all men build upon it 
through all ages, will be only completed in Heaven when " The headstone 
shall be brought, forth with shoutings, crying Grace, Grace unto it." All 
honor to those Godly men and women who laid foundations on which men 
could build for eternity as well as time. The records of the progress of 
civilization in all its departments, of population, education, of the law and 
medicine, of manufacture and of trades in this town for a century will be 
compiled and will be highly prized by generations yet to come ; but the 
records which will stand the longest, of work which will give the greatest 
satisfaction and bring the greatest reward, will be the faith, the prayer, 
the devotion and the good works which were inspired through the church 
of Jesus Christ ; they are recorded in heaven and the record will be read 
in eternity. 

It is interesting to note in the latest history of Steuben county (pub- 
lished in 1891), in the chronological list of the fifty-five most important 



30 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

events occurring in Bath, the very first one mentioned is, " 1806, The 
Presbyterian Society was organized," and the second one, " 1808, Rev. 
John Niles was installed the first minister." These two lead the list. 

The first preaching services held in this village of which we have any 
knowledge were conducted by Rev. Seth WilUston, a traveling missionary, 
about 1803. They were held in the old school house, situated on the lot 
facing Pulteney Square on the north end of tlie west side, the site now 
occupied by the Hewlett furniture rooms. Here, also, was organized, on 
the 6th of January, 1806, under the lead of Rev. John Niles, a Congrega- 
tional minister, of Prattsburg, N. Y., "The Bath Religious Society," and 
the following trustees were elected : George McClure, J. T. Haight, How- 
ell Bull, James Turner, Dugald Cameron, Samuel S. Haight, Henry A. 
Townsend and Robert Campbell. 

Two full years elapsed before this organization was fully perfected. 
Rev. John Niles in the meantime occasionally visiting and caring for this 
vine which he had planted in this religious wilderness. 

On Sunday, January 3, 1808, after due notice, the congregation assem- 
bled, probably in the Court House, as that was their regular place of meet- 
ing thereafter until a church edifice was erected, and fourteen persons 
entered into covenant and adopted the constitution of ' ' The Church of 
Christ in Bath, Presbyterian Congregation," under the direction of Rev. 
John Niles. They were Joseph Inslee, Elizabeth Inslee, William Aulls, 
Elizabeth Aulls, James Turner, Eunice Johnson, Henry A. Townsend, 
Elizabeth Townsend, Howell Bull, Eunice Bull, Robert Campbell, Mary 
Shether, Samuel S. Haight and Sarah Haight. 

The church adopted the Congregational form of government, and 
appointed Joseph Inslee and Samuel S. Haight as deacons. 

A unanimous call was soon extended to Rev. John Niles to be their 
pastor ; he accepted and was installed by a committee of the Ontario Asso- 
ciation of Congregational churches on the 7th day of July, 1808. He 
entered earnestly upon his work with true devotion to it, as his letter of 
acceptance to the call plainly shows. On the 18th of September, 1811, the 
church completed its Presbyterial organization by electing five elders, 
namely, William Aulls, Elias Hopkins, Samuel S. Haight, Henry A. Town- 
send and Howell BuU, and removed its connection from the association and 
united with the Presbytery of Geneva. 

Of the original fourteen members who composed this church, five have 
lineal descendants residing in town, namely, Henry A. and Elizabeth 
Townsend, Howell and Eunice Bull and Robert Campbell. We are pleased 
to note that three of these are represented in the congregation which regu- 
larly worships with the church they helped to found in the wilderness a 
century ago. Mr. and Mrs. Townsend are represented by Mrs. 



HISTORICAL SERMON, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 21' 

William Rumsey and family, and Mr. Robert Campbell by his son Will- 
iam Campbell and family, and Hon. Frank Campbell. 

The health of the pastor had been for some time impaired, and after 
ministering to the church but four years he rested from his labors on Sun- 
day morning, September 13, 1812, aged thirty-five. His remains rest in 
the old cemetery, near the center of the groxmds. The church had re- 
ceived thirty-five members during his short pastorate. 

The cemetery has always been so closely connected with the church, 
being anciently called the churchyard, that we may linger here a moment. 
We find from its stone records that our city of the dead is exactly contem- 
poraneous with om- village, and both were started by members of the same 
family. The earliest burial we find is Christina Williamson, daughter of 
Charles and Abigail Williamson, who died September, 1793, aged six years. 
There could not have been more than ten or twelve famiUes in the new 
settlement. Not one of the great pines was cut in the plot which was thus 
early selected for a burial place, and we may see the little company of per- 
haps a dozen persons carrying a little cofiin into the forest, and without a 
clergyman to lead the service, amid their tears depositing the remains of 
the loved child in the first grave opened for a white person in this town. 
A well preserved stone marks that little grave now a century old. 

Near it stands a stone bearing the name of James Moore, who died 
February, 1829, aged 102. Very few are the cemeteries in which lie the 
dust of one whose age is given with three figures. 

The only monument we find in the old cemetery is one in honor of 
George C. Edwards, erected by the bar of the county, and bearing this 
inscription, " A just man, an able lawyer, a good citizen, an honest man." 
On the other side of the monument, " The richest legacy to leave to pos- 
terity is a good name." At the age of fifty he had wrought out a character 
that commanded such recognition on the part of those who knew him best. 

Following Rev. Mr. Niles, Rev. David Higgins, pastor of the First 
Presbyterian church of Auburn, N. Y., was called as pastor of this church, 
and accepted in January, 1813. He was born in Haddam, Conn.; was 
graduated at Yale college in 1785; preached at North Lyme, Conn., 
Union Springs, N. Y., and Auburn, previous to his pastorate in Bath. 
"He was a robust and stalwart man, an earnest and vigorous 
preacher, and a marked character in the community." He was quick to 
apprehend any means suggested for enlightening and improving the peo- 
ple in the community, and the people of this church were ready to follow 
his lead and second his efforts, as was manifested in the organization of 
the Steuben County Bible Society. The late Dr. Gardner Spring, of New 
York City, once said : " This government rests upon protestant Christiani- 
ty ; its corner stone is the Bible. As early as 1777 the want of Bibles in 
our country was the subject of solemn discussion in Congi-ess, and that 



23 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

body appointed a committee to advise as to the expediency of publishing 
an edition of 30,000 copies of the Bible, to meet the needs of the families 
in America." It was not done, however, and to meet this want the Ameri- 
can Bible Society was organized in May, 1816, in New York City. In less 
than nine months from this time the knowledge of this parent society had 
reached Bath, its object had been approved, an interest awakened, and the 
Steuben County Auxiliary Bible society had been formed, with the follow- 
ing officers : David Higgins, president ; Christopher Hurlbut and George 
McClure, vice-presidents ; Robert Porter, treasurer ; David Rumsey, secre- 
tary ; Rev. James H. Hotchkin, Henry A. Townsend, Elias Hopkins and 
Tliomas McBurney. managers. 

In the constitution the object of this society it is declared shall be "To 
supply those who are poor and destitute of the Bible in this county and 
vicinity with the Holy Scriptures without note or comment." • 

Then follows a list of seventy-four names of men as contributing mem- 
bers, and this Steuben County Bible Society, certainly one of the first 
auxiliaries, has continued in existence until the present time, Dr. Ira P. 
Smith being president, and Dr. Dunn being secretary. It has scattered 
thousands of copies of the sacred Scriptures, giving with a liberal hand to 
the destitute, in some years giving three times as many copies as were sold. 

At this time, 1817, the Presbytery of Geneva, of which this church 
was a part, was divided into four Presbyteries, namely : the Presbyteries 
of Bath, Niagara, Geneva and Ontario. This church, of course, belonged 
to the Presbytery of Bath. 

During Mr. Higgins' pastorate the first church edifice was erected, and 
dedicated March 2, 1825. This was an imposmg structure at the time of 
its erection, of graceful proportions, built at considerable sacrifice on the 
part of the congregation, but a house which the Lord owned by the gift of 
the Holy Spirit again and again to those within its walls. Many to-day 
hold it in precious memory as associated with the beginning of their 
spiritual life, and for fifty years it stood the sanctuary of this congregation, 
until it was removed to give place to this more stately edifice. 

Another act that shows that this pastor and people were at the very 
front in good works, is found in the record made in the minutes of the 
church on March 6, 1830. Dr. Lyman Beecherhad preached his six famous 
sermons on temperance, which were published in 1827. This was the 
beginning of the temperance reformation ; up to that date ardent spirits 
were a common beverage with all. It was those six sermons that aroused 
the religious public to the need of doing something to stay the evil of 
drunkenness. Within three years of this first movement we find this rec- 
ord in our church books : "Agreeable to a notice previously given, the 
church held a meeting which was attended by a large proportion of the 



HISTORICAL SERMON, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 23 

members, and after lengthy deliberation the following was passed vinani- 
mously : ' Resolved, That under tlie general effort in our country at the 
present time in favor of temperance, this church feels itself powerfully 
called upon to act in favor of the measure ; therefore we agree to entire 
abstinence from the use of ardent spirits and wine except as a medicine or 
at the LoitVs table.' " So early this church ranged itself on the side of 
sobriety and total abstinence. 

In the last year of Mr. Higgins' pastorate he was permitted to wel- 
come a large ingathering to church fellowship. At the last communion 
service which he led, in June, 1831, twenty -one (by far the largest number 
which had vip to this time united at once), entered into covenant to be the 
Lord's. Surely, a blessed termination of eighteen years of pastoral work ! 
At the close of his seventieth year he resigned his pastoral charge, removed 
to Norwalk, O., where he died June 18, 1842, aged eighty-one years. To 
this date the church had received 190 members. 

Rev. Isaac W. Piatt was called immediately to the vacant pastorate on 
June 4, 1831. Mr. Piatt was born at Huntington, Long Island, 1788, took 
his college and theological courses at Princeton, N. J. , was pastor at Charl- 
ton, N. Y., and Athens, Pa., before coming to Bath. He labored eleven 
years with this people. The first five years were years of great spiritual 
growth in tlie church. At every communion service a number confessed 
Christ, and ninety-two in all were received to the church in those years. 

Then began the discussions which ended in the disi'uption of the Pres- 
byterian church in 1837, in the cutting off of three Synods, nineteen Pres- 
byteries (one of which was Bath), with 444 churches and with 40,000 com- 
municants from the Presbyterian body. They were, of course, forced to 
form a separate body, holding, however, to the same confession of faith, 
the same catechism, and the same name, the General Assembly of the 
Presbyterian Church of the United States of America. The grounds for 
this excision were two ; first, that these Synods and Presbyteries were 
formed of churches, many of which were Congregational in government ; 
and second, that these ministers held grave errors. But these ministers 
denied that they held or taught these errors, but believed and upheld the 
Westminster standard. They were, however, cut off. A meeting of this 
church was at once called and a majority of those present resolved to with- 
draw from the Presbytery of Bath w-hich had been cut oil from and by the 
General Assembly, and to connect themselves with the Presbytery of Sus- 
quehanna in Pennsylvania, which was done. About a score of the mem- 
bers of the church, among whom were two elders, felt that they did not 
desire to leave the Bath Presbytery, believing that the excision was unjust, 
and so formed themselves into a church and called themselves the Presby- 
terian Cluirch of Bath (Constitutional), and secured a pastor. This division, 
of course, weakened the church and discouraged the pastor, Mr. Piatt ; 



24 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

the loss of a son also so weighed upon his spirits that in 1844 he resigned 
the pastorate. He removed in 1847 to West Farms, N. Y., where he was 
pastor till his death in February, 1858. One hundred and thirty had been 
received to this church during his ministry, making three hundred and 
twenty in all. 

Mr. Piatt was succeeded at once by Rev. L. Merrill Miller, a young 
man whose examination for licensure Mr. Isaac Piatt had chanced to hear, 
and with the ability and learning and spirit which the young man dis- 
played, Mr. Piatt was so impressed that he recommended him to the church 
as his successor. For seven years he led a successful ministry ; the church 
flourished in all departments tmder his wise administration. Sixty-four 
were added to its communion. He was then called to the pastorate of the 
Presbyterian church in Ogdensburg, N. Y. , where he has already labored 
with unwonted ability and success for more than forty-two years, and still 
preaches with strength unabated. And I desire to say there is no pastor in 
our whole Presbyterian church more esteemed for his wisdom and his pru- 
dence, and whose counsel is more eagerly sought and appreciated in all 
ecclesiastical interests and affairs than your former pastor. Rev. L. Merrill 
Miller. May he yet live long to serve the liord in his church and to guide 
in its deliberations. 

Rev. Geo. D. Stewart, having formerly preached at Fort Byron, N. Y., 
began in 1851 his ministry here. He had a special gift for interesting 
those who had not been in the habit of attending church, and the church 
had to be enlarged to accommodate the audiences that assembled. During 
the winter of '58 and '59, the revivals which were so general through our 
whole country were experienced here in great power. More than fifty 
persons united with this church in that one year. He, like Rev. Mr. Hig- 
gins, was enabled to leave his work when crowned with the richest divine 
blessing. He has since been doing good work in the western states, and is 
now pastor at Fort Madison, Iowa. 

Rev. "William E. Jones succeeded him with six years of faithful and 
successful labor, and resigned to accept a chaplaincy in a regiment in the 
war of the rebellion. Mr. Jones, by last report, was residing in Philadel- 
phia, Pa., without charge. 

Rev. James M Harlow was engaged as stated supply. His preaching 
was remarkable for the fine classical finish which characterized his dis- 
courses. After preaching five years he was called to Shorts ville, where for 
many years he has been on the honorably retired list. He still resides 
there. To this time 607 members had been received to the communion of 
this church. 

In September, 1869, Rev. James M. Piatt, son of Rev. Isaac W. Piatt, 
former pastor of this church, accepted a call to its pastorate. He was ed- 
ucated at the New York university and at Princeton Theological seminary, 



HISTORICAL SERMON, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 25 

was pastor at Zanesville, O., and Leetsdale, Pa., before coming here. He 
writes, ' ' It was a happy circumstance that on coming back to my boyhood's 
home to take the place once occupied by my father, the way seemed 
already prepared for receiving to our communion the remnant of those 
who more than thirty years before had organized a separate church." It 
certainly was fitting that the rent which occurred in his father's time 
should be repaired in the ministry of the son. 

The Bath Presbyterian church (Constitutional), composed of nineteen 
members and two elders, who separated from the parent church in 1837 
and held their connection with the Bath Presbytery, soon developed church 
life and activity. In 1841 they erected a suitable house of worship on 
Liberty street on the spot now occupied by the Purdy Opera House. The 
building was burned in 1871. The church enjoyed the ministry of the fol- 
lowing clergymen : Revs. William Strong, Orris Fraser, Hiram Gregg, 
Samuel Porter, Sabine McKinney, Loren W. Russ, Geo. Hood, Edwin 
Benedict, H. E. Johnson, C. H. DeLong and William Dewey. The follow- 
ing were elected at different times and served as elders : John Emerson, 
Ira Gould, John Dudley, Moses F. Whittemore, Daniel Seaver, Joseph 
Breck and John Rose. Two hundred and eleven were received to its mem- 
bership during its separate existence. There were times of refreshing en- 
joyed by its members, nineteen were welcomed on confession of faith on 
April 20, 1845, and there are those with us now who look back with de- 
lightful remembrance of the experiences they enjoyed in the beginning 
and development of their Christian life in that church. The reunion of the 
two general assemblies obliterated the distinction between the Old School 
and the New, and I have seen no better evidence of the good results of that 
reunion than I find recorded on the last page of the church records of the 
Bath Presbyterian church (Constitutional) as follows : ' ' Interesting inci- 
dent concerning membership. On the first page of these records we find 
that this church was first formed of nineteen members from the former 
church during the pastoral labors of Rev. I. W. Piatt. We record on the 
ninety-third page the names of nineteen members of this church, who 
united with the Old School church — or, more properly, were reorganized as 
members of that church — under the pastoral labors of Rev. James M. Piatt 
after a separation of thirty-two years; this in consequence of the action of 
the two General Assemblies, convened at Pittsburg, Pa., in 1869, g-uided and 
controlled very clearly by the kind hand of our Heavenly Father and in 
the spirit of the Gospel of Christ. We now labor together with greater 
harmony and good will than ever before. And may the act of secession in 
church or state be never repeated in this our loved Zion or this our happy 
land." Thus ends this book of records and history of the separate church. 

Mr. Piatt was a scholarly man, a faithful preacher, and one who shrank 
from no work by which he might accomplish good. The Young People's 



26 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

association was formed under his ministry, -which gave a new impetus to 
the Christian activity of the young people. 

The great work wrought under his ministry was the rearing of this 
beautiful, commodious, convenient and stately house of worship. From 
the beginning of the enterprise in 1874 to its dedication in 1877, |50,000 had 
been raised by this society and this amount expended in erecting this 
house complete, with the exception of the towers, and this church will 
stand for many years a substantial monument to the zeal, devotion, 
mitiring effort and liberality of this people under the lead of Mr. Piatt. 
For fourteen yeai-s he ministered faithfully, "And there were added to the 
church yearly of such as shall be saved," two hundred and thirty-nine 
connecting themselves during his ministry, a larger number than during 
any former pastorate. But in the midst of his days and his strength he 
was called by the great Head of the church whom he served to cease from 
his earthly labors and enter upon his' reward. April 14, 1884, he passed 
away, aged 57 years. 

In response to your call your present pastor, leaving the church at 
Skaneateles, where he had preached for twenty-two years, his only previous 
pastorate, began his labors on December 1, 1884, and after eight years he 
desires to bear testimony to the harmony that has existed, and to the 
valuable services that have been rendered by the officers and members of 
this church in every good work. In these eight years 261 have been 
received to church membership. There have been thirty elders in this 
church, namely : William Aulls, Elias Hopkins, Samuel S. Haight, Henry 
A. Townsend, Howell Bull, Finla McClure, Lyman Hopkins, Thomas 
Aulls, Phineas Warren, Peter Halsey, James G. Higgins, John Emerson, 
Samuel Rice, Ira Gould, Louis BUes, John W. Fowler, Gustavus A. Rogers, 
David Mc Master, Edward Crosby, Samuel Ensign, Z. L. Parker, A. H. Otis, 
Edwin H. Hastings, Ambrose Kasson, M. D., Tenney K. Gage, Charles 
VanWie, J. F. Parkhurst, B. F. Smith and S. G. Lewis. 

Those who have been elected and served as deacons are : Joseph Ens- 
lee, Samuel Haight, William Aulls, Elias Hopkins, Henry A. Townsend, 
John W. Fowler, Henry W. Rogers, John L. Scofield, S. G. Lewis, Will- 
iam H. Shepard, Edwin H. Hastings, Conrad Gansevoort, Eugene F. Par- 
ker, Robert J. Davison, Thomas Pawhng, M. D., CUnton W. Richardson 
and John H. Bowlby, seventeen in all. 

The trustees, who have stood nobly for the financial welfare of the 
church and brought it up triumphantly through all the straits to which it 
has been subject so that it is without indebtedness, have been, with those 
formerly mentioned : 

James G. Higgins, James May, Louis Biles, Harry W. Rogers Ezekiel 
S. Drew, David McMaster, John R. Gansevoort, John W. Fowler, Geo. A. 
Taylor, Geo, Edwards, TenEyck Gansevoort, Gustavus A. Rogers, David 



HISTORICAL SERMON, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 27 

Rumsey, Amasa Beck, Moses H. Lyon, Josiah W. Bissell, S. H. Hammond, 
Amasa B. Beckwith, Robert Campbell, Ziba A. Leland, Orrin Smith, Peter 
Halsey, James R. Dudley, Wm. A. Biles, Sylvanus Stevens, John B. Paw- 
ling, Ansel J. McCall, Levi C. Whiting, W. W. Perine, Harvey Bull, Wm. 
Davison, John Magee, John S. Schofield, John Abel, J. S. Dolson, D. M. 
VanCamp, Orange Seymour, Wm. S. Hubbell, Chas. Underbill, A. Beek- 
man, G. H. McMaster, Wm. C. Hoyt, Geo. Edwards, Wm. McFee, G. W. 
McDowell, Wm. Rumsey, Maj. D. H. Hastings, Henry Faucett, C. A. 
Ellas, Clarence Campbell, John Davenport, E. H. Hastings, John Beek- 
man, John L. Schofield, Chester Knight, J. F. Parkhurst, M. Rumsey Mil- 
ler, A. H. Otis, Frank Campbell, Wm. H. Hallock, Harry S. Hull and 
Abram Beekman. 

There have united with this church in all, 1147 persons, 665 by profes- 
sion : of them 246 have died while members of this church, and 486 have 
been dismissed, leaving 415, the present membership. 

Mention ought to be made of the remarkable success of the late 
Harry S. HuU as a worker among young men. He gathered a class of 
young men into our Sabbath school which averaged just one hundred in 
attendance each Sunday for six months, one hundred and eighty being- 
present on one rally Sunday. From that class many were pursuaded to 
begin a Christian life, and are grateful that they ever came under the 
influence of Harry Hull. 

The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was organized in 
October, 1886, and has been a power for good among the young people, 
starting them in various channels of Christian activity and benevolence. 
The Women's Missionary Association and the Ladies' Aid Society have for 
years been doing good by their charities and relieving suffering among the 
poor. 

So has the Lord blessed and helped this church in the past. The prophet 
Samuel, after a time of special blessing, set up a great stone and called 
it " Ebenezer," saying, " Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." It is certain- 
ly appropriate that we, on this Centennial year, after this long period of 
blessing, should bring together great stones — as we are doing — and with 
them rear a tower as a finishing touch of our house of God ; and let that 
tower, as it will be completed this year, be our " Ebenezer," we also saying 
with all reverence and gratitude for the goodness of God in the past, 
" Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." 



ST. THOMAS CHURCH. 

Sermon by Rev. Benjamin S. Sanderson. 



SUHDAY, JUHE 4, 1893. 



Text :— " Otiier men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours." 

—John iv, 38. 

Our Lord inculcates here a general principle, equally true in its appli- 
cation to every department of human effort. "One soweth and another 
reapeth." Thus are successive generations of men Unked together. Rude 
and barbarous ages are not complete in themselves ; they are the precur- 
sors, the seedlings, to keep to our metaphor, of those i-efined and cultured 
days which surely, if at times slowly, follow them. 

Comparison and contrast, how beneficial they are ! Only in this way 
can we either understand the present, or plan for the future. To break with • 
the past, that is to ignore it, what it is and all we owe to it— this is more 
than the disturbance of perfect continuity in growth and healthy develop- 
ment. It is the introduction of a principle of eccentricity and individual- 
ism, bound sometime to prove fatal to the perpetuation of a sound, cor- 
porate life. This at the outset. It suggests our theme and its proper treat- 
ment. 

We may count it a wise and happy thought on the part of the General 
Committee, that our Centennial anniversary should be ushered in with 
appropriate services in the churches on this Sunday morning. Also that 
while giving God thanks for His continued mercies to our beloved com- 
munity during its first century of existence, we should likewise hear 
recited the history of the churches of the town during these same one hun- 
dred years. We, as churchmen, may well be thankful for the opportunity 
thus afforded us of re-\dewing the history of our own particular parish ; 
not alone for the interest which attaches to the past, but chiefly because of 
the inspiration and hope for the present and in the future such a recital is 
bound to produce. Think where we stand. Not face to face with a fin- 
ished work and ended task. Far from it. Midway between the inception 



HISTORICAL SERMON, ST. THOMAS CHURCH. 29 

and final achievement, our part it is, knowing how the good work began, 
to carry it on towards final accomplishment. The wise workman ceases 
from the labor on the walls from time to time, consulting his drawings and 
specifications, thus assuring himself that, in his own particular task, he 
has deviated no whit from the original design. As workers together with 
God, set here in Bath to help rear this Temple of Zion, fitly do we pause 
now to make an inspection of the tasks already performed, scan foundation 
and superstructure so far as the walls are raised, noting how excellently 
the work thus far completed has been done, prepared on the morrow to 
resume our labors on the rising walls, in the spirit of enthusiasm, faith 
and fidelity, so characteristic of those gone before, who, having finished 
their course, do now rest from their labors. To such a review I now 
invite you. 

My task as historian has been made comparatively easy for me. Two 
of the former Rectors have taken pains to transcribe quite fully the records 
of the parish, from which it has not been diflBcult to arrange a pretty com- 
plete summary of our parochial existence. One of these MSS., the address 
of Dr. Howard at the Semi-Centennial in 1876, probably many present 
will recall. At any rate, I shall attempt little more than a compilation 
from records already existing. 

Bath was settled in 1793. Twenty-two years elapsed before the ser- 
vices of the Episcopal church were rendered in the newly created village. 
Just why this was, the ancient chronicles do not inform us. It is true that 
the journals of some early travelers through this region, notably that of 
old Doctor Dwight (then President of Yale), do not refer enthusiastically to 
the religious zeal displayed at the outset by the first settlers here, or during 
the first decades of our village life. Nor does the very first attempt to 
organize religious services of any sort make a very spirited tale. Dr. How- 
ard has quaintly written : " The village Fathers had been forward to pro- 
vide a Hippodrome and an Opera House for the people, but to make ready 
a place for the worship of God did not seem to occur to them as a part of 
their duty. This task, as usual, devolved upon the Mothers of the village." 
Be this as it may, one fact about a century ago we must not ignore. The 
Missionary agencies of the Church, with which we are so familiar to-day, 
did not exist at the close of the last century. There was really no organ- 
ized society, whose treasury could be drawn upon for funds to carry the 
Gospel into the wilds, as Bath could then have been termed. Nor were 
the settlers themselves in a very good way to do much for themselves 
financially. The stern task of subduing a pathless forest confronted them. 
It is but fair to remember this, lest we judge our fathers too harshly. But 
to resume. 

In 1814 there moved to what is now Cold Springs, the remarkable wom- 
an to whom, under God, St. Thomas owes its origin, Mrs. Elizabeth Hull 



m THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH, 

Townsend. She was born and bred in Connecticut, permeated with the 
churchly zeal of the people of Seabury. She had just come from Troy, N. 
Y., fresh from the successful founding of a since famous seminary for 
young ladies. In her first acquaintance with the town, Mrs. Townsend 
found matters, both temporal and spiritual, at a low ebb in Bath. The 
people were depressed through failure of crops, and the frosty seasons 
appear to have chilled whatever religious zeal they may have had. 

Mrs. Townsend had reported herself to the Rev. Mr. Clarke, of Geneva, 
the nearest Church clergyman. Her private journal tells of a horseback 
ride to that place, carrying her yoimg child to receive Holy Baptism. At 
this time she seems to have presented to Mr. Clarke the urgent claims of 
this new settlement for missionary work. He in turn spoke of it to Bishop 
Hobart, who had the whole State of New York as his Diocese. The good 
Bishop, much against his will, was compelled from dire necessity to neg- 
lect this and similar demands made upon him. His hands were tied ; he 
could do nothing. Mrs. Townsend, the meanwhile, in patience possessed 
her soul, praying and hoping for the time, soon coming, when her dreams 
for her new home were to be realized. Her heart was cheered in 1815, 
when there rode to her door the long-looked-f or clergyman. He proved to 
be the Rev. Caleb Hopkins, a veteran of the Revolutionary war, from 
Mauch Chunk, Pa. He was prevailed upon to stay over the Sunday and 
hold a service in the old Court House, wliich apparently he was only too 
glad to do. For a half dozen years this veteran of the Cross, curious mix- 
ture of soldier and priest, visited this region, as the opportunity presented 
itself, removing, in 1823, to Angelica, officiating at these two points until 
his death in the following year. 

The place of meeting in Bath continued to be the Court House, which 
was also occupied by a small company of Presbyterians, gathered through 
the care of the Rev. Mr. Niles. The stated services held by Mr. Hopkins 
in Bath produced some fruit, and his memory is justly held sacred here, 
one of our beautiful traceried windows perpetuating his name forever. 
He died in the 69th year of his age. 

At this point we may properly introduce two stories illustrative of Mrs. 
Townsend and her spirit Churchwise. At the time of the first service, it 
is said that Mr. Hopkins hesitated about the use of the Prayer Book and 
surplice, on the ground of the prejudices of the people. "But," said 
Madame Townsend, "if you do not use them, how can the people know 
what the Church is like?" It is also told of her that, before the coming of 
Mr. Hopkins, she was invited to teach in the Presbyterian Sunday school. 
She promised to do so when consent was given her to instruct her class in 
our Church Catechism. O si sic omnes! 

From such anecdotes we readily understand that nothing daunted this 
very remarkable woman. Nor are we surprised to find that in 1825, largely 



HISTORICAL SERMON, ST. THOMAS CHURCH. 31 

through her efforts, the Bishop is prevailed upon to appoint a regular 
clergyman for this field. The missionary sent proved just the man required. 
His name was William W. Bostwick, a newly ordained deacon, who held 
his fij-st service in Bath, May 23, 1825. At the outset, only a portion of his 
time was devoted to this vicinity, as Angelica, Dansville, Penn Yan and 
parts adjacent, formed a portion of his cure. 

The permanency of our Church in Bath, however, was now assured. 
At a duly called meeting, held April 19, 1826, the organization of Saint 
Thomas parish was effected. We appreciate a little the situation when we 
remember that to find another parish of our Church, a journey must have 
been taken to tlie east as far as Broome county, while on the west our near- 
est neighbor would have been found in Chautauqua, or, in a northerly 
direction, at Geneva. There were not a dozen communicants of our Church 
in the whole of this pai't of the county. 

The first vestry was gathered from almost every part of our present 
Assembly district. Its members were the following representative men : 
The wardens elected were Zalmon Toucey, of Campbelltown, and Nehe- 
miah White, of Avoca. As vestrymen were chosen Paul C. Cook, of 
Cohocton ; Selah Barnard, of Pratt's Town ; John B. Mitchell, of Wayne ; 
John D. Dent, of Campbelltown, and the following residents of Bath, viz : 
Col. W. H. Bull, Dugald Cameron, John Brown and William Gamble. 
Col. Bull, at his death, in 1883, had served continuously for 57 years in 
the vestry of St. Thomas church. In 1876, he was the sole survivor of 
the original corporation of the parish. 

In the years next following, many familiar names appear, very many 
of whose descendants are foremost in our parochial activities at the pres- 
ent day. Of the exact condition of parish affairs during these next few 
years but very little is known. The private journal of Mr. Bostwick speaks 
of labors abundant, the establishment of parishes in such places as Penn 
Yan, Hammondsport, &c., and the faithful discharge, under trying cir- 
cumstances, of the arduous duties of a pioneer of the Gospel. For con- 
venience sake at this time he made his home in Hammondsport. 

After a few years, St. Thomas had reached such a point of strength 
that it was deemed wise to consider the subject of a bviilding of its own. 
Hitherto our worship had been conducted in the Court House, or the chapel 
of- the Wesleyans. A lot was obtained on the south-east of Pulteney 
Square, on which was erected, in 1836, the first Episcopal church in Bath, 
Its completion really marks a most important epoch in our laarochial his- 
tory. Probably not a few of my hearers to-day have seen that little frame 
structure, with its Doric front and shapely cupola, whose interior was 
adorned with the then usual arrangement in the chancel of high pulpit 
and reading desk below, to say nothing of the square, high-backed pews. 
Humble and unpretentious in comparison with our present beautiful 



32 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH, 

edifice, yet it was no mean exponent of the love and devotion of our 
fathers, $4,000 being expended upon it, for those days a very large sum of 
money. The original seating capacity was a little over 150. 

In 1840, Mr. Bostwick, feeling that Bath demanded the entire, undi- 
vided attention of a clergyman, sent his resignation to the vestry, who 
accepted it with great regret. (Mr. Bostwick removed to Joliet, Illinois, 
where he died in 1845). With unusual promptness, in a very few days the 
vestry invited the Rev. Phineas L. Whipple to become their Eector, though 
at a small stipend. He accepted, and for a few years labored here with 
great acceptance until his tragic death in 1844, cut short a career of very 
great promise for the church.* He was 53 years of age at the time of his 
decease, as was my immediate predecessor, if I mistake not, who also died 
while Rector of this parish. A noteworthy incident of Mr. Whipple's 
rectorship was the acquirement by the corporation, through the liberality 
of William M. McCay, of the plot of ground in the cemetery, known as 
the "Church Plot." This has ever since been under the control of our 
vestry, being cared for by a trust fund obtained for this purpose. The 
deed of gift was presented at the last meeting presided over by Mr. Whip- 
ple. Of the eleven persons present at that meeting, not one is now living, 
the mortal remains of most of them resting in that sacred plot of ground. 
Beautiful windows in the chancel of our present church perpetuate the 
memory of these faithful servants of God, Bostwick and Whipple. 

Not more than a month after the loss of their lamented Rector, the 
vestry secured another pastor in the person of the Rev. William D. Wil- 
son, who since has occupied many a distinguished place in the councils of 
the Church. Coming to Bath in the strength of young manhood, he soon 
gave evidence of that wealth of power and learning which has made his 
name venerated wherever it is known. He was a preacher to whom all 
gladly listened, a pastor whose counsel was eagerly sought. A close and 
careful student, he must have been pursuing in Bath those lines of thought, 
the fruit of which appear in his widely circulated book, "The Church 
Identified," published in 1848, two years after he left Bath. As you know, 
he has occupied leading chairs in Hobart College and Cornell University, 
besides having been a deputy to every General Convention since 1841. 

In 1846, Mr. Wilson was called to Hobart, and the Rev. Levi H. Corson 
became Rector of St. Thomas, filling the ofiice most acceptably for four 
years, until his resignation, in 1850. Of this period of parish history the 
records say almost nothing. Upon my study wall there hangs a most 
curious and complicated " Perpetual Calendar or Almanac " (his invention), 

* In the address of Rev. L. M. Miller, D. D., delivered on Tuesday 
evening, will be found an account of the circumstances attending his 
decease. 



HISTORICAL SERMON, ST. THOMAS CHURCH. 33 

attesting alike to his mechanical ingenuity and mathematical skill. He 
died a few years ago in Michigan. 

With the next rectorship, we may be said to be coming to modern his- 
tory. In converse with my people, I have found many, who would be 
unwilling to be classed as even middle-aged, having distinct and vivid 
memories of that genial and courtly priest of the Church, Rev. Almon 
Gregory. He was in charge of the parish from 1850 to 1856. During those 
years the records show many marks of development and progress. It was 
a time of solid growth for the village, and our parish made corresponding 
strides forward. In 1850-51 the church edifice was greatly improved. A 
recess chancel was added, ten feet deep by sixteen wide, in which was 
placed a new Altar and two massive chairs, one of which I think is still in 
use in our parish room. Eight additional slips were added, increasing the 
seating capacity by about fifty. A robing room, adjoining the chancel on 
the east, was also built. In the chancel was placed a stained glass window, 
more of a rarity then than now, besides two mural tablets, in memory of 
Revs. Messrs. Bostwick and Whipple. 

In 1852, the parish was able to expend the sum of $1,450 to provide 
their minister with a suitable home of his own. The nucleus of this fund 
was a legacy of a few hundred dollars, saved to the parish through the 
vigilance of Mrs. Townsend. The f)roperty thus acquired was that now 
occupied by the present Rector, though the house to-day looks but little 
like the small and modest structure into which Mr. Gregory moved forty 
years ago. 

In 1854, the interior of the church was still further beautified by the 
gift of a font from Mr. McCay, which was used for the first time Septem- 
ber 17, at the baptism of Orilla Lucinda, wife of E. K. Potter. The records 
describe the font as "of beautiful design in alabaster." 

Mr. Gregory sent in his resignation in 1856. Something of the char- 
acter of his six years of ministry may be judged from his private journal, 
which shows that during his rectorship he baptised 98 children and 26 
adults, while he presented for confirmation 73 persons. The total of com- 
municants increased during his rectorship from 63 to 128. 

In 1857, there came to us from Dansville the faithful priest, whose quar- 
ter of a century of ministry in Bath was destined to leave such an endur- 
ing impress upon the community. You understand my reference to Oran 
Reed Howard. It was a most happy ordering that for twenty-five years 
our parish had the benefit of the learning, zeal and practical piety of this 
devoted priest. 

In 1859, $2,000 more were expended in improving the church. The 
pillared front was enclosed, the interior renovated, sixteen new pews add- 
ed, the gallery cut back, unsightly stoves and pipes giving place to a base- 
ment furnace. In 1866, at the baptisms of March 31, a beautiful new font, 



34 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

the gift of the Sunday school (costing $150), was used for the first time, 
EUen Elizabeth Ward, an adult, was the first recipient of the washing of 
regeneration on this memorable occasion. 

But why should I try to elaborate the details of Doctor Howard's rec- 
torship ? You all know the story better than I do. The pilgrim, entering 
the stately Cathedral church of London, rests his eye upon the conspicuous 
Latin inscription which runs : " Siquaerismonumentum, eircumspiee.'" It 
is the one memorial the glorious fane contains of its architect, Sir Christo- 
pher Wren. Yet how much is compressed in that single sentence. Ren- 
dered into English, the words read, " If you are searching for his monu- 
ment, look about you." The noble pile, everything in it, is the enduring 
monument of Wren. In some such way would I speak to you to-day of 
the work of him whose mortal remains we laid at rest in yonder God's 
Acre but a few weeks ago. You ask for the fruits of his ministry ? Lift 
up your eyes upon this beautiful church in which it is our joy to worship 
God to-day. Remember the inspiration, encouragement and advice 
received from him during the period of its construction. Think of the 
anxiety, of which no small share was his, involved in tlie collection of over 
$50,000, the sum required to erect and properly furnish this magnificent 
edifice. Recall the stately services, arranged by him, in connection with 
its completion and consecration. Do not these go to prove that the pres- 
ent Saint Thomas church may be justly deemed the monument of the 
sixth Rector of the parish? Yet elsewhere would I bid you look for his 
memorial. Your sons and daughters, baptised and led to confirmation by 
him, nourished with sound doctrine and built up in the way of the Lord ; 
your homes sanctified and cheered by his blessing in times of rejoicing, or 
soothed in the hour of sorrow ; the sacred ties of holy friendship woven 
with enduring strands by a quarter of a century of assiduous ministry — 
this is his monument in our midst, brighter than polished brass, more last- 
ing than granite. 

Increasing infirmities made it necessary for Dr. Howard to resign his 
position in 1882, when he was made Rector Emeritus, and the Rev. Abner 
Piatt Brush, of Dansville, was called to the active duties of the vacant 
pastorate. The material fabric of the parish was in such a splendid con- 
dition that there was nothing for the new Rector to do whereby he could 
perpetuate his name through the medium of such improvements as our 
story hitherto has contained. Yet those uneventful years, from 1883 to 
1889, notwithstanding they were filled often times with periods of intense 
bodily suffering, was a churchly growth for our parish. Men are differ- 
ently constituted. The gift of Mr. Brush was as priest and pastor. In a 
quiet way he did considerable to give to the services of our parish a dignity 
and reverential aspect they had not before attained. Faithful and assidu- 
ous, also, were his parochial ministrations, so that in many a home in Bath 



HISTORICAL SERMON, ST. THOMAS CHURCH. 35 

to-day the name of Mr. Brush is a treasured memory. Even those months 
of pain and Ungering illness preceding his lamented demise, in September, 
1889, were ordered by God as a precious example of how a good man meets 
death. So that many an one echoed the words of the Seer, " Let me die 
the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." 

Of events since then, it become us not to speak, beyond recording the 
fact that the present Rector assumed his duties May 1, 1890, never having 
seen the day when he regretted that the call of duty brought him here. 

Before closing, allow me to mention some things of interest not already 
alluded to, in tlie form of a brief summary, or index, of parochial affairs. 
Some of them have come to my notice too late for insertion in their proper 
place. But before that, there are a few words I would like to say. Do not 
imagine because this narrative makes no mention of many a faithful 
laborer that they have been forgotten, or what they did undervalued. The 
time would fail me to recite the long line of zealous men and women who 
during so many years found their greatest joy in furthering the interests 
of the parish. Graven on window and memorial, the names of many are 
preserved. Connected are their memories with many an incident in your 
lives, who were their associates and companions. Forgotten, not one, 
thank God, in the book of divine remembrance. In spirit they are with 
us now. Unheard their voices will mingle with ours as, at the Altar, with 
all the heavenly company, we laud and magnify the glorious name of our 
God. " Seeing then that we are compassed about with so great a cloud of 
witnesses, let us run with patience the race set before us." " Other men 
have laboured, and we eat of the fruits of their labour." A great responsi- 
bility feurely rests upon us in these latter days. So solidly and compactly 
have the walls been raised, so honest and true has been the material 
employed for building, we cannot, we must not, deviate from the high 
standard set by the fathers. Our duty is plain before us. We are called 
to work. Ours to raise higher the walls day by day, and in such a manner 
that with every fresh stone laid the building may approach the nearer to 
the true conception of a Temple fit for the Lord of Hosts. Which may 
God grant. Amen. ^ ^^ 

i i! /^ ooi n 

SUMMARY OF EVENTS. XX'#.^«v^y J .O 

1. First service of our church in Bath, held in the old Court House, 
in the year 1815, exact date not known. Rev. Caleb Hopkins, of Mauch 
Chunk, Pa., officiating. Mrs. Nancy Robie, an eye-witness, was wont to 
relate the intense emotion displayed on that occasion by Mrs. Townsend, 
who had not heard the services of the Prayer Book for over nine years. 

2. Occasional Bervices given by the same missionary for nine years, 
at the .last from Angelica. No existing record known of Mr. Hopkins' 
official acts in Bath. 



36 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

3. Arrival of Eev. W. W. Bostwick, in 1825, and the organization of 
St. Thomas Church the following year, 1826. Worship maintained at 
regular intervals, the Methodist cliapel being used for the most part. 

4. First recorded baptism in Bath is that of Nancy Robie and Sarah 
Whiting, adults, and Harriet Almira, infant daughter of Reuben and 
Nancy Robie. The date is given as September 12, 1826. The first recorded 
marriage was on the following day, September 13, when Franklin Whitney 
and Eliza Cameron were joined together in holy wedlock. The first men- 
tioned burial was in July, 1825, William Doty being the name of the per- 
son laid to rest. The first visitation of a Bishop to Bath was September 
14, 1826, when the Rt. Rev. John Henry Hobart, D. D., Bishop of New 
York, administered confirmation to Selah Barnard, John G. Mitchell, Sarah 
Whiting, Phebe Tousey and Betty Ann Trevour. 

5. The parish has occupied but two church buildings. The first stood 
on the south-east of Pulteney Square, adjoining the Howell estate. The 
original cost of this building, with the land, was $4,000. It was finished 
and used for the first time in 1836, having accommodation for about 150, 
ample for the time. It was twice enlarged ; in 1851 by the addition of 
chancel, &c., at a cost of $1,500; still further enlarged and changed in 
1859, at a cost of $2,000. The corner stone of the present edifice was laid 
by Bishop Coxe, at sunset, August 3, 1869, in the presence of ten of the 
clergy and over 1,500 of the laity. The plans for the church were drawn 
by Henry Dudley, of New York city, and the building contract was let to 
the Patterson Manufacturing Company, of Warsaw, N. Y. The total cost 
of the church, exclusive of bell and organ, was $55,000. Of this amount, 
one generous person* contributed $30,000. The bell, the offering of the con- 
gregation, cost $1,300, and was hung in the spire July, 1873. Its weight 
is 3,097 pounds. The cost of the organ was $2,500. The last stone in the 
building was laid and the cross put on the finished spire September 21, 
1870, in the presence of a great concourse of people. First service in the 
new church, January 29, 1871, the consecration occuring April 13, of the 
same year. A notable occasion for the parish was the meeting of the 
annual Council of the Diocese in September, 1873. Another noteworthy 
event was the Jubilee of the organization of Saint Thomas, celebrated 
with appropriate services, April 19, 1876. 

6. As a matter of record we insert here the first and existing cor- 
porations of St. Thomas Church, Bath : 

1826. Rev. WiUiara W. Bostwick, Rector ; Zalmon Toucey and Nehe- 
miah White, Wardens ; Dugald Cameron, William H. Bull, John Brown, 
William Gamble, Paul C. Cook, Selah Barnard, John B. Mitchell and John 
D. Dent, Vestrymen. 

* Hon. Constant Cook. 



HISTORICAL SERMON, ST. THOMAS CHURCH. 37 

1893. Rev. Benjamin Smith Sanderson, Rector ; Martin W. Noble and 
Benjamin F. Young, Wardens; Lansing D. Hodgman, James Lyon, 
Charles F. Kingsley, William W. Allen, Augustus de Peyster, Samuel S. 
Seely, Clarence Willis, Edwin S. Underhill, Vestrymen. 

7. Parochial report presented by the Rector to the Bishop at the 
CouncU of the Diocese of 1893 (September) : 

BATH ST. THOMAS CHURCH. 

The Rev. Benjamin Smith Sanderson, B. D., Rector. 

Wardens — Martin W. Noble, Benjamin F. Young. 

Licensed Lay Reader — Hon. Clarence Willis. 

Families, about 130; Baptisms, adults 5, infants 16; Confirmed, 10; 
Communicants, present number (actual), 214 ; Marriages, 6 ; Burials, 20 ; 
Churching, 1 ; Services, Sunday 180, weekday 97 ; Holy Communion, pub- 
lic 81, private 2 ; Sunday School Teachers (male 4, female 14), 18 ; pupils, 
175. 

OFFERINGS. 

Parochial — Communion Alms, $121.77 ; Expenses and Salaries, $2,- 
000 ; Sunday School, $17.16 ; Church Property (repairs), $100 ; Altar Socie- 
ty, $25 ; "For Parish House Fund," $356.84; Sunday School Christmas 
Tree, $87.95 ; ' ' For the Rector," $63.19 $2,801.91 

Diocesan— Missions, (Box, per W. A., $80.50), $210.78 ; Christmas 
Fmid, $31.45 ; B. and P. B. Society, $13.06 ; Assessments, Diocesan, $40, 
Episcopate, $100 ; Special at Bishop's Visitation, $14.74 $410.08 

General— Missions, Dom. $116.32, For. $61.82, Col. $30.40, Jew $5.15 ; 
Church Building Fund, $20.39 ; " Scholarship at Salt Lake City," $40 ; 
Dom. (per W. A. Box, $30.70), $66.70 ; Ind. (per W. A. Box, $122.20), $127- 
.20 ; Col. (per W. A, Box, $104.05), $110.15 ; For. (per W. A.) $6. . . .$584.13 

Total of Offerings $3,796.07 

Property— Church (Sittings 650), $50,000 ; Rectory, $4,000) ; Invested 
Funds, (2), $1,341 $55,341.00 

No debt. 

As a part of his duty, the Rector has officiated on stated Sundays at 
the Davenport Asylum and the Soldiers' Home. Seven of the burials 
reported are from the latter institution. Though the total of offerings in 
this report fails short of that of 1891 by about $150, yet there is really a 
marked increase for this year, as " special " offerings, nearly $500, swelled 
last year's total. During the past year there has been (at the lowest) a 60 
per cent, increase in the contributions for the three departments of mis- 
sionary work. This gain is largely due to the adoption and use of the 
" Systematic Offering Plan," as a substitute for the church collections on 
stated Sundays. The valuable property of the parish is kept in most excel- 
lent condition, and is well insured. 



CENTENARY M. E. CHURCH. 

Sermon by Rev. M. C. Dean. 



SUNDAY, JUHB 4, 1893. 



Text : — " There shall be a handful of corn in the earth, upon the top 
of the mountains, tlie fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon." 

— Psalms Ixxii, 16. 

The text is a prophecy of Christ's kingdom on earth. "We wish to 
apply it to the beginning and growth of Methodism in Bath. 

The handful of corn prefigured the small beginning. The unfruitful 
top of the mountain signified the unpromising moral condition of the 
human heart for receiving and propagating the seeds of Divine truth. The 
great cedars of Lebanon, with their long branches and tremulous foliage, 
which gave the mountain the appearance of being instinct with life, set 
forth the all-animating power of Christianity among men. Christ said 
that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, 
and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning him. He ordained his 
Church to set forth the truths of Christianity, as contained in the Scrip- 
tures of the New Testament, both as a history of the fulfillment of all those 
prophecies of Himself, and also as a power adequate to accomplish all that 
was predicted of His kingdom on earth. 

Every department or branch of the Church of Christ is helping to pro- 
duce the great harvest of souls, which at the end of the world will be 
gathered into the garner of the Lord. 

According to the request of the Centennial Committee, we are this 
morning to speak of the origin and growth of the Methodist Episcopal 
branch of Christ's Church in Bath. 

It is peculiarly difficult for me to meet the expectations of the Com- 
mittee. The early Methodist itinerants were so like the "Angel" of the 
Apocalypse, " flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel 
to preach to them that dwell on the earth," that they did not settle down 
in any local habitation, and make records of their evangelistic work, but 



HISTORICAL SERMON, CENTENARY M. E. CHURCH. 39 

went everywhere preaching the Word, and calling on sinners to repent and 
be converted. They did not wait to be invited, but went as they were sent 
to preach wherever they could find people to listen. 

The work of the Methodist minister a hundred years ago was very 
laborious. The annual Conference sometimes covered the territory of a 
whole state, and even more. The Conference would be divided into Dis- 
tricts, over which would be placed a Presiding Elder, who would live near 
the center of his District. These Districts would be divided into Circviits, 
and the itinerants would make their headquarters near the center of 4heir 
Circuits. There were usually two, but sometimes three, of these on a Cir- 
cuit ; and there would be preaching places enough on the Circuit to require 
four and sometimes six weeks for each itinerant to visit, and preach once 
at each place. These preaching places were often widely separated. The 
itinerants, or " Circuit Riders," as they were called, were obliged to travel 
on horseback, through extensive forests, ford streams and swim rivers. At 
that day Methodists were few and generally poor, as was the usual con- 
dition of the pioneer settlers. The few members were formed into classes, 
having a central meeting place, often five miles, and sometimes even ten 
miles distant from those living farthest away. One member was appoint- 
ed by the minister as class leader. In the absence of the minister he was 
authorized to hold prayer meetings and class meetings, and, if his "gifts 
and graces " were suflScient, he could exhort the people and stir them up 
to greater faithfulness in their rehgious lives. It was expected, at least, 
that the heads of families would every day read the Scriptures and pray 
in their families, and in secret. Once in three months, somewhere within 
the bounds of the Circuit, a Quarterly Meeting would be held. 

The Quarterly Meeting was a time of great spiritual interest. It 
always lasted two, sometimes three and four days. People went twenty 
and sometimes thirty miles and more to attend. The following, from 
the pen of Rev. F. G. Hibbard, D. D., now living at Clifton Springs, in 
his 83d year, is in place : 

"The town of Bath, Steuben County, began to be settled in 1798, in 
the midst of a vast wilderness, and in 1796, that section for eight miles 
around contained about 800 souls. Among its first sturdy occupants was 
John Chambers. He had experienced religion, and himself, wife and two 
daughters, Anna and Polly, had been members of the church before com- 
ing to Bath. These, with an elder brother, composed the family. In the 
month of May, 1795, a Quarterly Meeting was to be held in Benton, and 
Anna and PoUy, the former ten and the latter fourteen years old, ardent 
in their fust love, and hungry for the Word of life, entreated for permis- 
sion to attend. The distance was about thirty-five miles, but as boats then 
plied up the Crooked Lake about twenty miles of the way, and with their 
brother to attend them, it was deemed practicable, and parental consent 



40 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

was obtained for the journey. The brother and sisters were to meet at the 
head of the lake and embark together. Full of buoyant hope, the girls set 
out upon their journey, and reached the place of rendezvous in time ; but 
to their inexpressible grief and disappointment, all the boats had left on 
their downward trip. This was an unexpected calamity. What should 
they do? Brother had not yet arrived, and for a while they stood per- 
plexed, whelmed in sorrow. Their hearts were fixed on the Quarterly 
Meeting, and had but too eagerly anticipated once more hearing the Words 
of Life, and mingling their souls and voices with the humble, worshiping 
band. 

"To return home and thus defeat all their anxioiis hopes, was more 
than they could endure. (No preaching had ever yet been in Bath). Yet, 
to proceed by land, and on foot, seemed a rash and insufferable undertak- 
ing. A forest stretched before them of over twenty miles in length, 
through which but an imperfect path lay, and as yet but one wagon had 
ventured through— an achievement much talked of in those days. In the 
middle of the forest was a log tavern, a " Half -Way House," the only 
human dwelling that cheered the long and lonely distance. Wild animals 
and reptiles yet disputed the right of soil against the invading foot of 
civiUzation, and the equally wild Indian yet strolled along his ancient lakes 
and hunting grounds, reluctant to leave them forever for the distant West. 
Besides, brother had not arrived, and if they ventured on foot at all, his 
protecting arm seemed necessary. Yet, after weighing all the circum- 
stances in tearful and prayerful anxiety, they concluded that they were 
able to endure the fatigue, and their desire for the Word of God prevailed ; 
they resolved to start for the Quarterly Meeting. Their brother, they knew, 
would follow, and perhaps soon overtake them. 

" The day was wasting, and they had not a moment to lose. A friend 
instructed them to keep the lake in sight all the way, and they would not 
lose their path ; and with these slender prospects they set out for the meet- 
ing. The sun was already fast dipping the western sky, and the shadows 
of evening began to fall around before our travelers reached the Half- Way 
House. Fears and doubts would sometimes rise, and at length the fearful 
possibility of having to pass the night in the open forest, exposed to the 
prowling wolf or the stealthy panther, flashed across their minds. The 
younger, girl-like, wept, but the elder resolutely encouraged her drooping 
spirit, and they urged their weary way forward. On they went, through 
tangled shrub, and fen and fallen trees, praying, fearing, hoping. 

"At length, just at the setting in of night, the rude but welcome 
' lodging place in the wilderness for wayfaring man ' appeared in sight. 
Their spirits now revive. They approach and enter with many apologies 
for their forlorn and unprotected appearance, explain to the good landlady 
the object of their journey, and that they are daughters of Mr. Chambers, 



HISTORICAL SERMON, CENTENARY M. E. CHURCH. 41 

of Bath, and their brother is expected to overtake them. The lady wel- 
comed them in, informed them that she knew their brother, as he had 
traveled that road, and assured them that they should be hospitably enter- 
tained and protected. 

" Scarcely had her kind words allayed the embarrassment and fears of 
our young heroines when the brother himself arrived, out of breath, with 
his coat on his arm, in great agitation. As he opened the door and saw 
his sisters, he sprang forward and clasped them in his arms, exclaiming, 
' O, my sisters, I never expected to see you again ; I supposed you were 
lost !' 

"They soon, however, composed themselves to rest, and in the morn- 
ing our three pilgrims resumed their journey with renovated spirits. At 
the foot of the lake they crossed the outlet on floating logs and fallen trees, 
and arrived in good season at the humble log house of Robert Chism, a 
Methodist, residing at the north part of the present village of Penn Yan. 
There they were cordially received, and joined in the services of a night 
watch. Valentme Cook, the Presiding Elder, was there. Next morning 
they journeyed on to Benton, four miles farther, and enjoyed the long-an- 
ticipated Quarterly Meeting." 

In after years the elder of these sisters married Mr. Briggs, of Milo 
Center, Yates county, N. Y., where she and her husband hved, members 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, till removed by death. They were 
noted for piety and usefulness. He was one of the most honored members 
of the church till in 1857 he died, being 81 years old. She survived him fif- 
teen years, and departed this life, being 91 years old. Hon. William S. 
Briggs, a worthy son of worthy parents, survives them, a lawyer of note 
in Penn Yan, and for many years Judge of Yates County. 

In a recent letter, in answer to some inquiries, he makes the following 
interesting statement of his mother's faithfulness and piety : 

' ' She was a noble and faithful woman — faithful to her Master, to her 
family, and to the church of which she was so long an honored member. 
I have often heard her relate that, in an early day, when it was an unbroken 
wilderness between Milo Center, then the place of her residence, and Penn 
Yan, then without a name (a distance of four miles), she, with others, 
making a little company, would walk the whole distance to attend an 
evening prayer meeting ; and to successfully perform the journey, the 
men would bind up in bunches bark from hickory trees for torches to keep 
off the wolves which then infested the country. A faith which could 
inspire such sacrifices, I fear is seldom seen in these days." 

A hundred years ago this family of Mr. John Chambers, the first Meth- 
odist family in Bath, prized the services of God's house and the meetings 
of His saints more than do Christians in these more favored days. At that 
time, in meetuigs held by the itinerants, on their circuits, many would be 



43 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

awakened and converted. Now and then one of these converts would feel 
that he was called of God to preach the Gospel. Such would first be 
licensed to exhort, and if his gifts improved and his zeal continued, he 
would next be licensed as a local preacher ; and after he had been tried in 
this way, if he was still of the impression that God had called him to 
preach the Gospel, and if the members of his class recommended him, as 
one who in their judgment was called to the ministry, his name was pre- 
sented to the Quarterly Conference, where a further examination of his 
gifts was given, and if the members of the Quarterly Conference deemed 
him a fit person for the sacred office of the Christian ministry, they recom- 
mended him to the Annual Conference, where he would be received on 
trial and sent out as a Methodist itinerant. 

After he had traveled on the circuit and preached two years, if his 
works commended him, and if in the judgment of the Conference he was 
worthy, he was ordained deacon, and again sent out with authority to 
preach the Gospel, to expound the Scriptures, to bury the dead, to unite in 
marriage, and to assist the Presiding Elder in administering the holy sacra- 
ment of the Lord's Supper. 

After two years' further trial, if faithful, he was admitted into full 
connection Avith the Conference, ordained elder, and had all tlie rights and 
authority which belonged to every elder in the Methodist Episcopal Con- 
ference. 

The Methodist itinerant was required to surrender all worldly 
ambitions. His business was to try so to preach Christ that sinners would 
be converted. 

At that early day and later, there was a good deal of doctrinal preach- 
ing. It was sometimes, by some ministers, thought more desirable to 
prove another denomination unsound in theology, than to awaken and con- 
vert sinners. Each denomination tried to " prove his doctrine orthodox, by 
apostolic blows and knocks !" Sometimes these controversies engendered 
unkind feelings and even persecutions. Ministerial courtesy was then not 
expected, nor given, as in these days. 

Who preached the first Methodist sermon in Bath is not now known. 
No " Circuit Eider " nor preacher of any denomination had reached Bath 
a hundred years ago. We have a record that in 1792 there was a Tioga 
circuit, the center of which was Tioga, N. Y. It was an extensive circuit, 
requiring six Aveeks to travel it on horseback. Newtown, now Elmira, 
was a preaching place at tliat time, and Painted Post soon after. 

In 1793, Ezra Cole, then Living at Benton Center, went to General Con- 
ference, which met that year in Philadelphia, during the month of May. 
His object was to have a Methodist minister sent to the scattered settle- 
ments eighty miles farther west than any had traveled before. His re- 
quest was granted, and the Seneca Lake Circuit was established, and Thorn- 



HISTORICAL SERMON, CENTENARY M. E. CHURCH. 43 

ton Fleming and James Smith were the circuit preachers. In 1803, the 
Genesee District was formed, which extended as far west as the Genesee 
river. In 1810, Genesee Conference was formed, which included all of 
Western New York and part of Canada. 

In 1814, Bath was included in the regular appointments of the preachers 
of Newtown Circuit. Since then Methodism has been identified with Bath, 
There were no churches in which to hold service at that time in Bath. The 
Court House and school house were used, and when these could not be had, 
private houses were used. There is a record, showing that the Methodists 
could not have the use of the Court House nor the Academy, places usual- 
ly used for preaching, and Mr. Gaylord, who lived in a house on Steuben 
street, since occupied by Joseph Bell, opened his house to them. The ser- 
mon was probably preached by Rev. Micah Seager, who was on the Dans- 
ville Circuit, which at that time, 1819, included Bath. At a later date the 
house of John Nichols, where the Methodists were holding a prayer meet- 
ing, was stoned, the windows broken, and other damage done. Those who 
committed the depredations were under the influence of Hquor, showing 
that then, as now, the spirit of alcohol and the spirit of Christ were 
opposed to each other. 

In 1820, Revs. James Lent and Nathan B. Gordon were on the Dansville 
Circuit and preached at Bath. These ministers remained two years. In 1822, 
Rev. Benjamin Sabin preached at Bath, and during the year Rev. Loren 
Grant came from Geneva to make arrangements for building a Metliodist 
church. 

On the 3d of October, 1822, the first society of the Methodist church 
in Bath was incorporated by electing the following trustees : John Whit- 
ing, Simpson Ellas, George Wheeler, Jeremiah Baker and Darius Read, 
and the necessary papers were filed in Steuben County Clerk's ofiice, Sep- 
tember 4, 1822. 

Rev. Loren Grant and Rev. Benjamin Sabin circulated a subscription 
for building a Methodist Church. The frame was reared in May, 1823. It 
was 36 feet by 50 feet. This was the first church edifice projected in Bath. 
It was only partially completed, but sufficiently to be used for church ser- 
vices, until 1826, when it was finished with galleries and bell-tower by John 
Whiting and Mr. Degolier, and was dedicated by Rev. George Lane, of 
Berwick, Pa., then Presiding Elder of Ontario District. 

When completed, remembering the difficulties the Methodists had in 
getting a place in which to hold their meetings, and true to the generous 
impulses which characterized the denomination, the trustees freely gave 
the use of their church to other denominations. The Protestant Episcopal 
church occupied it for their services until they built a house of their own, 
and later the Baptists used it. 



44 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

The trustees under whose supervision the church was built were John 
Whiting, John Donahe, George Wheeler, Moses Dudley and Lewis Biles. 
Rev. Henry Rowe and Rev. Asa Orcutt were the pastors. In 1824 and 1825, 
Rev. R. M.* Evarts was preacher in charge ; in 1827, Rev. John Arnold and 
Rev. Levi Castle. In 1828 and 1829, Rev. Cyrus Story, Rev. Zina Buck and 
Rev. Menzer Dowd were the preachers on the circuit. In 1830, Rev. 
Samuel Parker and Rev. Samuel Stebbins. In 1831 and 1832, Rev. A. How- 
ard and Rev. Augustine Anderson. In 1833 and 1834, Rev. Edmund O'FIuag, 
Rev. John Shaw and Rev. John Dennis. 

In 1835, Bath was taken from the Circuit and made a separate charge, 
having Hammondsport as an out appointment, with Rev. J. G. Gulick as 
pastor. In 1836 and 1837, Chandler Wheeler was in charge. At this time 
there were reported only 44 members of the society in Bath. In 1838 and 
1839, Rev. Wilham Hosmer was pastor. In 1840, Rev. E. Dowd. In 1841 
and 1842, Rev. Daniel B. Lawton. The following is the list of official 
members of the church at that time : 
Local Preacher— Loren Bennett. 
Exhorters—AYery Nixon, William H. Ongley. 

Class Leaders— Timothy Whiting, James McBeath, William H. Ongley, 
S. H. Crane, Avery Wixon, John G. Taylor, James T. Johnson. 

Stewards— John Whiting, Timothy Whiting, D. B. Lee, S. H. Crane, 
William W. Foster, WiUiam Hildreth, John Neill, James T. Johnson, 
Stephen Wixon, James McBeath. 

At this time there were 51 members of the church. In 1842 and 1843, 
Rev. Philander Powers was pastor. There was an increase in membership 
during his pastorate from 51 to 109. The official list was the same as the 
previous year, except that Johnson Durham was local elder. Worthington 
Secor and Elijah Barton were added as stewards, and James McBeath was 
made recording steward, which office he retained while he lived ; and there 
were four additional leaders, viz : Hiram Brundage, Thomas Barton, Will- 
iam Sedgwick and John Brown. 

1844 began with 160 members, and Rev. David Ferris, pastor. In the 
revised list of members given at the close of the year he reported only 131. 
In 1845 and 1846, Rev. Earl B. Fuller was pastor, and at the end of his sec- 
ond year he reported a membership of 123. During his last year (1846) the 
church building was remodeled, the galleries were taken out, and basement 
formed, with audience room above. The work was done by John Kennard. 
In June, 1846, it was rededicated by Rev. John Copeland, of Lima ; and 
Rev. O. R. Howard, then pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church at 
Painted Post, preached in the evening. In 1847 and 1848, Rev. S. W. Alden 
was pastor. 

At the General Conference held in Pittsburg, Pa., May, 1848, Genesee 
Conference was divided, and East Genesee Conference made out of the 



HISTORICAL SERMON, CENTENARY M. E. CHURCH. 45 

eastern half. Bath was within the new Conference. Rev. S. W. Alden 
remained pastor, and reported at the close of the year a membership of 
165. 

In 1849, East Genesee Conference was held in Elmira, and Bath Dis- 
trict was formed, with Rev. David Nutten as Presiding Elder, and Rev. J. 
K. Tuttle, preacher in charge. At the close of the year a membership of 
177 was reported. In 1850, Rev. Augustus O. George was pastor, and 
reported at the close of the year 163 members. At the Conference of 1851, 
Rev. E. G. Townsend was sent to Bath. He remained one year. In 1852, 
Rev. Nathan Fellows was pastor, and in 1853 and 1854, Rev. Andrew 
Sutherland. I have no report of Rev. Nathan Fellows, but Rev. Andrew 
Sutherland reported at the close of his second year 100 members. In 1855 
and 1856, Rev, C. M. Gardiner was pastor, and he reported, at the close of 
his second year, 121 members. In 1857 and 1858, Rev. M. N. Beers was 
pastor, with a membership, at close of his second year, of 124. In 1859 
and 1860, Rev. George E. Havens was pastor, and reported 133 members. 
In 1861 and 1862, Rev. W. C. Mattison was pastor, and reported 121 mem- 
bers. In 1863 and 1864, Rev. William Manning was pastor, and reported 
200 members. In 1865, Rev. A. F. Morey was sent to Bath, and remained 
three years. 

It was found necessary at this time either to enlarge or rebuild the 
church. A subscription was circulated, and the sum of $6,000 was sub- 
scribed to build a nesv brick church on the ground occupied by the old one. 
The subscriptions were mostly obtained through the efforts of Rev. A. F. 
Morey and Aaron R. DePuy. Liberal subscriptions were obtained 
from some outside the Methodist congregation. It was then resolved to 
proceed immediately to build. A. R. DePuy, J. Carter and P. S. Donahe 
were elected a building committee. A plan of a building 41 by 90 feet, 
with audience room and basement, and spire on the corner, was adopted. 
On the 3d day of April, 1866, the job of building the church was let to 
Ebenezer W. Buck and Andrew J. Barton, who were to furnish all the 
materials and erect and finish the building for $8,300. 

At a meeting of the officers of the church, it was resolved that the 
new building to be erected should be known as " Centenary Methodist Epis- 
copal Church." May 16th, 1866, the corner stone was laid by Rev. J. G. 
Gulick, Presiding Elder of Penn Yan District, assisted by Warner Gil- 
bert, the mason, in the presence of a large concourse of people, among 
whom was Rev. J. W. Lindsay, D. D., President of Genesee College, by 
whom the assembly had been addressed. At this time, P. S. Donahe, R. 
Hardenbrook, A. R. DePuy, J. M. McBeath, Nelson Barney and A. Wells 
were trustees, under whose administration the temporal affairs of the 
church were directed, and the church finished. 



46 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Eev. J, T. Brownell succeeded Rev. A. F. Moray, and was pastor in 
1868 and 1869. Rev. S. McGerald was pastor in 1870, 1871 and 1872. Rev. 
E. T. Green succeeded him and remained two years — 1873 and 1874, 
and reported a membership of 180. Rev. R. D. Munger was pastor in 1875, 
1876 and 1877. At the close of his pastorate he reported 236 members. Rev. 
George Stratton was pastor in 1878, 1879 and 1880. He reported 213 mem- 
bers. Rev. James Moss was pastor in 1881. In 1883 and 1883, Rev. E. E. Cham- 
bers, D. D. , was pastor, and reported a membership of 236. Rev. K. P. Jer- 
vis was pastor in 1884 and 1885. He reported 209 members. Rev. T. E. Bell 
was pastor three years. At the end of the iirst year he reported a mem- 
bership of 300, and 100 probationers ; at the end of the second year a mem- 
bership of 315, and 45 probationers ; at the end of the third year, a mem- 
bership of 350, and 60 probationers. He was succeeded by Rev. E. G. Piper, 
who was pastor three years— 1889, 1890 and 1891. At the end of the first 
year he reported a membership of 390, and 40 probationers ; at the close of 
his second year a membership of 444, and 30 probationers ; at the close of 
his third year a membership of 405, and 40 probationers. 

During the three years of Rev. E. G. Piper's pastorate, through his 
energy, perseverance and wise management, with the liberal co-operation 
of the church, one of the best parsonages in Genesee Conference was built 
and suitably furnished. The present pastor has a happy realization of the 
saying of our Saviour, "One soweth and another reapeth. Other men 
labored and ye are entered into their labors." 

At the Conference held in Albion, N. Y., October, 1892, Mitchellville, 
which for six years had formed part of Bath Charge, was taken from Bath 
and added to Wheeler Charge, and Rev. M. C. Dean was appointed pastor 
to Bath. There is now a membership of 350. The following named per- 
sons constitute the officiary of the church at the present time : 

Trustees — C. S. Allison, President ; W. Sutherland, Secretary ; T. H. 
Campbell, Treasurer ; T. J. Whiting, W. Calkins, A. W. Abbott, M. H. 
Gillett, G. W. Peck. 

Stewards — A. R. DePuy, Geo. Hollands, E. S. Hardenbrook, O. Ken- 
nedy, H. A. Fritcher, Dr. J. Dunn, Charles Royer, L. D. Overhiser, D. R. 
Shepard, W. Sutherland, Hulda Sutton, Cordelia Smith. 

Class Leaders — Wm. Crow, E. S. Hardenbrook, F. O. Gay, Edward 
Spraker, Frank Smith, M, H. Gillett, Alfred Case, T. D. Burke, James 
Spraker. 

President of Epworth League — Wheeler Fuller, 

Local Preachers— GrsLixt McChesney, Clarence Sutton. 



BAPTIST CHURCH. 

*Sermon by Rev. V. P. Mather, 



SUHDAY, JUHE 4. 1893. 



Text : — "And thou shall remember all the way which the Lord thy God 
led thee these forty years.'' — Deut. viii. 2. 

Israel was commanded to profit withal, not from the blessing alone 
which was conferred upon her, but from her chastisements as well. 

And so may our reviewing the past and rejoicing in the blessings 
which God has conferred upon this church, not prevent our profiting 
from any mistakes or transgressions which may have been made. 

In order that we may profit from a review of our history as a church 
in this town, for that portion of the century past, in which we as a church 
are identified, it becomes us to look a trifle farther back than this century 
to that history of Baptists which, I trust, is dear to each of us — how 
through the path of persecution God has led us on to the present time. 
We find that, nevertheless, our denomination has been stigmatized as being 
illiberal, yet it was the first in this country to advocate religious freedom, 
for which our noble Roger Williams was banished. 

We find, also, that in the year 1651, three Baptists, by the names of 
Clark, Crandall and Holmes, were fined £5, £20 and £30, respectively. Not 
having the fine in readiness, they were brought naked to the whipping 
post, where some friends paid the fines of Clark and Crandall ; Holmes, 
refusing to accept of this, was given thirty lashes. Bancroft says that he 
"was whipped unmercifully." Gov. Robinson says, "for many days he 
could take no rest but upon his knees and elbows," so lacerated was his 
flesh. All this punishment was solely because they refused to baptize their 

* The above, furnished by Rev. Mr. Mather, is but a summary of his 
Centennial sermon, the larger part of the discourse being deemed by him, 
because of its purely local character, not suitable for publication in this 
book.— Ed. 



48 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

infants. After this thirteen others were severely punished for sympathiz- 
ing with Hohnes in his affliction. This kind of punishment was very com- 
mon in those days, because Baptists would not sprinkle infants. 

It was in this persecuting soil that the Baptists of these United States 
had to plant their seed. Whatever may have been the faults of Baptists 
in the past, they have received much persecution, but have never perse- 
cuted. 

The Baptist church has never sought popularity, has never been arro- 
gant, but has tenaciously held to the Bible as an infallible guide to faith 
and practice. Its growth has been against much opposition and prejudice 
in the past. Some of the commands of Christ have ever been mortifying 
to human nature, and Baptists, insisting upon these, have been at a disad- 
vantage with some, and at an advantage with others. 

The great theological discussions of the past have disturbed the Bap- 
tists but little. It would be almost impossible to imagine a council of Bap- 
tists trying one of her sons for breaking her creed. 

Some have said, " How is it that Baptists hold so solidly together as a 
denomination, without a creed ?" The truth is that our strength is found 
in the size and strength of our creed, which is no more nor less than the 
entire Word of God. Baptists have ever been afraid to formulate a creed 
outside of the Word of God. 

So thoroughly do Baptists believe in certain things in the Bible, such 
as regeneration, and Scripture baptism, and so generally is this understood 
that but few ever seek her fellowship, who are not sincerely in sympathy 
with her principles ; when once within her fellowship, these find the great- 
est liberty in the exercise of their individuality, and in the interpretation 
of the Holy Scriptures. Our people have insisted on a regenerate member- 
ship, knowing that if this be lacking, all compliances to creeds would fail 
to moralize the life, or prevent reproach to the cause. With Jesus Christ 
in the heart, men will not go very much amiss in the interpretation of the 
fundamentals of the Christian faith as presented in the Holy Scriptures. 

Passing over the church at large, allow me to say that during the last 
half century our growth has been phenomenal, and that during the past 
decade it has surpassed that of any of our sisters. From the banishment 
of Williams and the " whipping post," we have grown to nearly 4,000,000. 
To-day finds us the most strongly identified with foreign missions of any 
denomination in the world, and with a great publishing house, and a large 
body of home missionaries ; also with over $22,000,000 invested in schools 
and colleges, more than have any two of our leading denominations put 
together. 

It is not with a spirit of boasting that I say this, nor at the expense of 
others who have wrought so nobly ; but considering ovir early persecution 
and continued opposition, and even present day prejudices, if any class of 



HISTORICAL SERMON, BAPTIST CHURCH. ' 49 

people may be justified in entertaining denominational pride, it is the 
Baptists. 

We will now notice briefly our history as an individual church in this 
town, which has been one of ups and downs, with more downs than ups. 
Many opportunities have been thrown away because of unwise manage- 
ment and bad counsel, and also because of policy methods. I would to 
God that all of these mistakes of the past were of the past, and that the 
future may find this church enjoying the prosperity which ever follows 
obedience to doctrines which she holds so dear to her belief and polity. 
To-day finds us not numerically strong, neither financially ; but finds us 
never better united, with a goodly number of earnest young members, 
backed by the prayerful experience of many older ones who have rendered 
valuable service in the past. 

Dear Brethren, you are permitted to start out on another century's 
work. You have a great Master to serve, the greatest of creeds, a great 
history behind you, mistakes to warn you, blessings and promises to 
prompt you, and a great eternity of rewards to await you ; with these, 
surely, you ought to do better in the future. 

(Here Mr. Mather read the Covenant of the church, and spoke of the 
officers and deacons who had served the church.) 

Statistically our history is as follows : On the 16th of March, 1843, a 
few brethren and sisters of the Baptist faith, living in Bath and vicinity, 
met in the Methodist meeting house, together with an ecclesiastical coun- 
cil, and were organized as "The Bath Village Baptist Church." The con- 
stituent members were twenty-one in number, as follows : Rev. M. Row- 
ley, S. Shattuck, C. Copeland, H. Vosburg, G. Williams, J. Hedges, J. 
Pike, H. Holliday, E. Frink, H. Lucas, Mary Robinson, Sarah Woodard, 
Phebe Vosburg, Mary Vosburg, Mrs. Frink, Mary Ann Smith, Lucy Lucas, 
Phehe Cooper, Polly Aber, Mr. Tarney and William Woodard. 

The first pastor was Rev. M. Rowley. He remained with the church 
from 1842 to 1845, and tlie others are as follows : Rev. H. Spencer, from 
1845 to 1846 ; Rev, B. F. Balcom, from 1847 to 1848 ; Rev. B. R. Swick, 
from 1848 to 1851 ; Rev. J. Parker, from 1852 to 1858 ; Rev. E. C. Brown, 
from 1853 to 1855 ; Rev. P. Colgrove, from 1855 to 1858 ; Rev. E. F. Ciane, 
from 1859 to 1860 ; Rev. D. B. Olney, from 1860 to 1861 ; Rev. E. J. Scott, 
from 1861 to 1862 ; Rev. J. D. Barnes, from 1862 to 1864 ; Rev, E, Savage, 
from 1864 to 1866 ; Rev. H. H. Cochrane, from 1866 to 1867 ; Rev. J. W. 
Taylor, from 1867 to 1870 ; Rev. I. W. Emery, from 1871 to 1881 ; Rev. J. 
C. Cubberly, from 1882 to 1885 ; Rev. P. S, Vreeland, from 1885 to 1890. 
The present pastor. Rev. V, P, Mather, settled with the church in 1890. 
Thus eighteen pastors in all have served the church ; the longest pastorate 
being that of Rev. I. W. Emery, 



60 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

The first edifice of this church was built in 1844 ; it was enlarged in 
1859 ; extensive repairs were made in 1870 ; it was destroyed by fire in 
1887, and was rebuilt the same year at an expense of $13,000. 

There have been added to the church by baptism, since its history, 
601, and over 400 by letter, thus making over 1,000 members who have been 
identified with the church. 

In 1877, its membership was 256 ; its present membership is 155. While 
its membership in the past has been larger, it is doubtful if the church has 
ever been in better condition for work, or ever had a better outlook. Con- 
sidering the peculiar organization of the town, this church is worthy of 
great credit for what it has wrought. 



ST. MARY^S CHURCH. 
Sermon by Rev, J, J. Gleason. 



SUHDAY, JUHE 4, 1893. 



Text : — " Therefore I say to you, he not solicitous for your life, what 
you shall eat, nor for your body what you shall put on. Is not the lifemore 
than the meat, and the body more than tJie raiment ? Behold the birds of 
the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns, and 
your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than 
they ? And which of you by taking thought can add to his stature one 
cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous 9 Consider the lilies of 
the field how they groio ; they labor not, neither do they spin. But I say to 
you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. 
And if the grass of the field, which is to-day, and to-morrow is cast into 
the oven, Ood doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith 9 Be 
not solicitous, therefore, saying : What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, 
or wherewith shall we be clothed 9 For after all these things do the heathen 
seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. 
Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of Ood and his justice ; and all these 
things shall be added unto you.'" — Matt. vi. 24-33. [Douay Version.] 

Beloved Brethren : — The providence of God spoken of in the text is 
aptly illustrated in the Columbian celebration of this year, and in the com- 
memoration among us of the Centennial of our pretty village. A grateful 
nation of freemen spreads a halo 'round the memory of a Christian hero 
who led the way for suffering man to a better land — a land flowing with 
the milk of civic liberty and the honey of religious tolerance. An aureole 
— all too late in its placing — encircles the brow of Moses-like Columbus. 
Four hundred years rounded their slowly-pacing footsteps adown the cor- 
ridors of time ere the fame of America's discoverer was wholly freed from 
the casings of degradation into which prejudice had thrust it. But now 
every true man who breathes this air of ours is proud, nay, is importunate, 
to do homage to him who sailed the unknown seas to have the gospel 



52 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

preached to a benighted people who, his scientific researches taught him, 
inhabited the far-off, undiscovered land. We now recognize in him who 
planted the cross for the first time upon the sward of San Salvador, and 
there knelt in prayer of thanksgiving, whilst the first mass was being said 
upon these shores — we recognize in him a true instrument of Providence. 
We feel that the all-seeing eye of God had then mapped out a course 
which should lead our forefathers to this land, which we love so well. We 
feel that Europe had become congested ; we feel that tyranny beyond the 
seas had become unbearable, and, kneeling before the omniscient throne, 
we praise the God of nations, who told by the lips of His Divine Son how 
He would have a care for His children. "And if the grass of the field, 
which is to-day, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe : 
how much more you, O ye of little faith." 

It was three centuries after the first Catholic anthem was wafted 
heavenward on the western breeze, that our fathers here clustered 'neath 
the overlapping hills in the valley of the Conhocton to stand sponsors to 
the beauteous hamlet which we now occupy. Others will tell this week 
from the rostra of our village the story of its formation and dwell upon 
its growth. They will tell of its founders ; they will rehearse the biogra- 
phies of the noble and great men whom it sent to make the laws of the 
state and of the country. They will dwell upon the charitable, civil and 
military institutions of which it was the parent. It is mine to-day to 
speak, by request, upon the foundation and financial growth of St. Mary's 
parish. I believe I cannot do this pleasurable duty better than by giving 
you a succinct record of the church as it appears in the historical book kept 
by my predecessors. From it I take the following facts : 

St. Mary's church history dates back some years before 1846. At that 
time. Rev. Thomas McEvoy, who held the charge of the parish of Java 
Centre, Wyoming county, N. Y., visited Bath in the capacity of officiating 
priest. He found about ten families of the Catholic faith settled here- 
abouts. 

The following year, the diocese of Buffalo was formed, and Rt. Rev. 
John Timon was consecrated its first Bishop. Bishop Timon placed Father 
Sheridan, then pastor of the Owego church, in charge of the Catholic 
families along the Conhocton river to Dansville. Father Sheridan offered 
up mass on several occasions in the different houses of the Catholics here, 
heard confessions, baptized and administered the other sacraments to the 
faithful. 

In the year 1850, when the Erie road was built from Corning to Buf- 
falo, Rev. Edward O'Flaherty, who was stationed in Dansville, had added 
to his charge the congregation of Bath. All these years there was no 
church building. The priests who came to officiate usually read the divine 
service in the house of James Manley. Bath people well know the location 



HISTORICAL SERMON, ST. MARY'S CHURCH. 53 

of the house, as it was situated on "Washington street, then known as St. 
Patrick street, now occupied by Mr. B. McMenamin and family. 

In 1850, Mr. Bartholomew Wilkes erected a building suitable for church 
purposes. A small payment was made on it by the Catholic congregation, 
and it was turned over to them, a mortgage being taken by Mr. Wilkes for 
the balance, to be paid in easy installments. The building was a commo- 
dious one for the then small number of Catholic families who assumed the 
debt. That structure was about 60x30 feet. It took years to liquidate the 
amount due on the mortgage, not to say anything of the interest. 

From the years 1851 to 1855, diiferent clergymen officiated in the new 
church, visiting here at regular intervals. In 1851, Rev. Charles Tierney 
was the visiting priest ; in 1853 and 1853, Rev. John Donnelly ; in 1854, Rev. 
Joseph McKenna. During these years, the principal families were those 
of Anthony Finnegan, since dead ; Thomas Collins, father of Martin, 
Samviel and Henry Collins and Mrs. B. McMenamin, all of Bath ; John 
Rafferty, John O'Loughlin, James Kavanaugh, Patrick Collins, Michael 
Tigue, Arthur McGuiggan, Patrick Howley, and some few others. 

From 1854 to 1860, the mission of Bath was attended by Rev. T. Cun- 
ningham, then stationed at Corning. All the older people of this vicinity, 
Protestant as well as Catholic, remember and revere Father Cunningham. 
He died four years ago last February, at Elmira, where he was in charge 
of SS. Peter's and Paul's church. We quote from the Latin of the " Acta 
Romano Catholicae Congregationists, in Oppido, Bath," as penned by Rev. 
Michael Steger, in the year 1861. Speaking of Father Cunningham, he 
says : "He did Avonders here for the good of the congregation ; he paid 
off a great deal of the debt on the sacred building in order that it might 
not be sold at sheriff's sale. But he did this with great hardship to him- 
self and at the sacrifice of his own personal effects. He had two col- 
leagues in the sacred ministry who in turn visited this place with him — 
Rev. Patrick Burns, born in Uruguay ; and Rev. John Castaldi, born in 
Italy." 

In the year 1860, the first mission was given in the church of Bath ; 
the exercises were conducted by the O. M. I. Fathers. Rev. Michael Ste- 
ger was ti-ansferred, December, 1860, from the English speaking parish of 
Dansville to Bath, as the resident priest of this place. The congregation 
now had a clergyman of its own faith residing in its midst. It was a time' 
for even more energy and more religious enthusiasm than heretofore. 
Father Steger was given chai-ge, also, of the missions of Hammondsport 
and Liberty (now Cohocton). The parochial residence was built in 1861. 
It was a one story building, cheaply constructed, and with few accommo- 
dations. But it was the best that could be erected with the limited re- 
sources at hand. 



54 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

In 1862, the congregation tried the experiment of a Catholic school. 
Work was started in the basement of the church ; excavation was com- 
menced ; the walls and ceilings were plastered ; desks were put in place, 
and teaching was begun in 1863, About twenty-five children attended the 
school. The ladies who taught in the school were Misses Kate O'Loughlin, 
Ellen Kavanaugh, and others. The school in the basement was continued 
for about five years. 

For the first time in the history of Bath, a CathoUc Bishop vie ited the 
community in May, 1863. At that time, Rt. Rev. John Timon admin- 
istered confirmation to nineteen persons, and gave the people the Papal 
benediction. The census then taken shows the number of families to be 
fifty-four. 

In June, 1864, Father Steger was transferred to another charge, and 
Rev. J. M. McGlew attended to the spiritual wants of the people until No- 
vember, of the same year. November 9, 1864, Rev. P. Mazuret was sent 
to take charge of the parish. He remained here until August, 1868. Dur- 
ing his time, what is known as the Catholic cemetery was bought of Hon. 
Robert Campbell. It consisted of four acres. The first body interred in 
the plot was that of the mother of John O'Loughlin, of this place. 

From August to December of 1868, Rev. L. Vanderpool, now of LeRoy, 
N. Y., presided over the parish as its pastor. During that time a small 
school building, about 14x20 feet was erected, and the scholars were trans- 
ferred from the basement of the church to the new structure. In this 
school the teachers were the late Mrs. Hassett and Mrs. Wolf. About 
January 1, 1869, Rev. M. Darcy took charge of St. Mary's church. Father 
Vanderpool having been promoted to a larger sphere of labor in the parish 
of LeRoy, N. Y. In May, 1872, the mission of Campbell was added to 
that of Bath, and in the same year the people of Campbell commenced the 
erection of the very neat little church which adorns that village to-day. 
The church building cost in the neighborhood of four thousand dollars. 
The presbytery here was considerably enlarged in 1872, the roof being 
raised and the house being made into a two-story building. 

Rev. M. Darcy was transferred to Lockport, N. Y. , June 6, 1874. Rev. 
J. J. Baxter, then pastor of Jamestown, succeeded him here. Father 
Baxter labored zealously for nearly fifteen years among the people in Bath. 
Whatever debt there was on the church of Campbell was wiped out, and 
the floating debt of some $350 on the Bath congregation was paid. The 
old church was enlarged some fifteen feet in length, and a new iron ceil- 
ing was placed in the church at Campbell, and the presbytery of Bath some- 
what extended. August 1, 1886, the property adjoining the church estate 
at Bath was purchased of Hon. W. B. Ruggles, for a consideration of $3,- 
300. A payment of six hundred dollars was made upon the same, and the 



HISTORICAL SERMON, ST. MARY'S CHURCH. 55 

church congregation assumed a mortgage for the balance. During Father 
Baxter's pastorate, $3,200 of the $3,300 were paid to Mr. Ruggles. 

February 24, 1889, Rev. J. J. Baxter was transferred to the Church of 
the Annunciation in Buffalo. He was succeeded here by the Rev. J. J. 
Gleason, the present incumbent. 

In the spring of 1889 the presbytery was refitted and refurnished at a 
cost of $350. In the summer of 1890, the cemetery was laid out, roads 
and paths formed, a new survey made, all at a cost of some $600. In 
January, 1891, the balance of the mortgage on the Ruggles property, $1,100, 
with interest on same, was liquidated. The debt outstanding against the 
iron ceiling in the Campbell church was paid in 1890, and in 1891 the 
church was painted and the interior frescoed. 

In the summer of 1891, the Bath congregation held several meetings 
to devise means for building a more commodious temple. There was some 
difference of opinion as to the site to be selected, but the majority ruled 
for the placing of the new stnicture on the Ruggles site. 

You will remember, beloved Brethren, the rejoicings in the parish 
when our new church was opened for divine service, on last St. Patrick's 
Day. At that time the Advocate, of this village, printed the following 
anent the occasion : 

"St. Patrick's Day, 1893, will be a memorable one for the Roman 
Catholics of Bath and vicinity. And well it may. A new church, some- 
thing which has been a necessity for that congregation for many months, 
is now a present reality, and its many attendants and our people in general 
are glad at its completion. That such a sentiment prevails in the town was 
shown by the many, not members of the church, who attended the services 
last Friday as an attestation to their interest in the advancement of church 
work in our vicinity. 

" October 11, 1891, ground was broken for the new church and the work 
commenced, in accordance with the plans prepared by Thomas Fogarty, 
one of the members of the church, and a capable architect and builder. 
The contract for enclosing the building was let to the Davison Brothers. 
The corner stone was laid Sunday, May 8, 1892. From that time the work 
has been steadily going on until now the church edifice is ready to lend its 
aid in the good work which the parish has been carrying on for more than 
forty years. 

"This building, which is 48x96 feet, is built of brick and stone, and 
supports a tower on the northeast corner over 100 feet in height. The 
building is well back from the street, and has three front entrances which 
open into the roomy vestibule. From this, access is had to the body of the 
church and also to the gallery. 

"The main body of the church has been provided with seats for 400, 
and ICO more covdd easily be accommodated when the growth of the church 



56 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

demands more sittings. The center aisle is seven feet wide, affording an 
easy passage for the many funeral processions wliich enter and leave the 
church. The side aisles, too, are broad, and the seats are cushioned and 
separated by comfortable distances. The pews are of black walnut. The 
gallery will easily accommodate 100 people. The ceiling is of hard wood, 
and from it are suspended elaborate brass fixtures for both gas and electric 
lighting. 

" The plastered side walls are elaborately frescoed in a pleasing and 
artistic manner, and correspond beautifully with the coloring of the 
windows, wliich deserve more than passing notice. These windows are 
all of stained glass from Davis' Sons, of Utica, N. Y. Some of them are 
appropriate memorials of dear ones gone before, while all are the gifts of 
members of the church. The most striking window is the large one in the 
gallery, which portrays in beautiful coloring Christ's gift to St. Peter of 
the keys of the church. This window was given by the members of the 
New York State Soldiers' and Sailors' Home. The large window in the 
south end, over the Altar, is the gift of Mrs. Mary E. Moran, and is a 
representation of the Virgin Mary. The other large windows in the center 
on either side were presented by John Hoffman and Miss Mary Bigelow, 
The former shows St. Joseph and the Christ child ; the latter is symbolical 
of the resurrection. 

"The smaller windows were presented by the Altar Society of the 
parish, the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, Mrs. Bridget Collins, Rev. J. J. 
Gleason, Rev. James O'Loughlin, of Hornellsville, Rev. J. C. O'Reilley, of 
Buffalo, R. R. Flynn ; and memorial windows for WilUam Delaney, Miss 
Louise Futherer, Margaret O'Neil, John Fitzpatrick, Anthony Finnigan. 

" The chancel is spacious, and the velvet carpet of green sets off the 
altar in a striking manner. It can be reached from the vestry rooms on 
either side. 

"The church, as it stands to-day, cost nearly $15,000, of which about 
$13,000 has been already raised. Since the commencement of Father 
Gleason's pastorate, about three years ago, two very successful church fairs 
have been held, which have furnished $4,000. The remaining $9,000 has 
been raised by private subscriptions, both in and out of the church." 

Now, beloved Brethren, kneeling here before the holy of holies in our 
new and spacious temple, let our hearts beat fast with love for the God 
who has watched over His church. Let our minds bear us back to the past, 
to give our meed of gratitude to those who were the pioneers of our faith 
in the valley of the Conhocton. Pray God that He may bless this land of 
ours, and pour His benediction upon our village and its inhabitants. Ask 
the Paraclete to keep the whole Church from out the hands of her enemies 
and deign to look with favor upon our humble efforts here. Remember 
the words of the text— whatever may befall in church or state, whatever 



HISTORICAL SERMON, ST. MARY'S CHURCH. 57 

trials may be gone through, whatever tempests surge against the rock of 
Peter, or whatever storms threaten tliis land of religious liberty — remember, 
" Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all things 
shall be added unto you." 



A. M. E. ZION CHURCH 

Sermon by Rev. B. W. Swain. 



SUHDAY, JUHE 4, 1893. 



Text :— " Princes shall come out of Egypt ; Ethiopia shall soon stretch 
out her hands unto God."— Psalms Ixviii. 31. 

Christian Friends : — We have assembled here this morning, after the 
lapse of years of joy and sorrow, seasons of peace and happiness, coupled 
with grief and lamentation, to begin the celebration of Bath's first Cen- 
tennial. We cannot say that through these years there has not arisen any- 
thing to mar our happiness ; and yet when we reflect upon the past 
achievements of our town, the patriotism of her sons, her loyalty to what 
is right, pure and good, her boldness to condemn what is wrong and sus- 
tain what is right, we must, to a degree, be filled with holy animation. 

We, as a people, have much to praise our Maker for ; in a retrospec- 
tive view we see the hand of Providence has been working for us. 

The history of Bath had nothing to mar its beauty previous to the year 
1803. The struggle for liberty from British tyranny was over ; peace and 
happiness reigned supreme ; and not a human slave could be fovmd in the 
township of Bath, then embracing all the territory now included in the 
towns of Urbana, Pulteney, Prattsburgh, Wheeler and Avoca. The illus- 
trious and sagacious Charles Williamson, Thomas Pees, John Johnston, 
Hector McKenzie, William McCartney, Charles Cameron, and many others, 
too numerous to mention now, were settled here, and a beautiful town 
had been sui'veyed in the center of a wilderness, comprising nine hundred 
thousand (900,000) acres of land. These first settlers were thriving, ener- 
getic, far-seeing men — men who did not disdain the idea of being pioneers, 
breaking their way into the wilderness, cutting timbers, building houses, 
clearing lands — earning their bread by the sweat of their own brows. 

But there lived a man in Prince William county, in the State of Vir- 
ginia, whose name was William Helm. Mr. Helm was a noted sportsman, 
a veritable prodigal, and an unquestionable spendthrift ; but more than 



HISTORICAL SERMON, A. M. E. ZION CHURCH. 59 

all, he was a slave-holder. Sometimes in his sporting amusements Mr. 
Helm was a great loser. On one occasion he was playing cards with a 
Mr. Graham. During the game, betting ran high, even as high as $2,700, 
and Captain Helm was the loser. On another occasion, at a horse race, he 
bet $10,000 on his favorite horse, " Mark Anthony," and again lost. 

These repeated failures had a tendency to open the eyes of Mr. Helm 
to his extreme extravagance, and he resolved to seek for himself and fami- 
ly a new home in a new country. He had heard much of the famous 
" Genesee Country," and he resolved to see it ; which resolution he short- 
ly thereafter put into eifect and came to the "Pine Valley." He sojourned 
here for about three weeks, and then returned to Virginia, in good health 
and much delighted with the country which was to be his future home. 

Shortly after his return to Virginia, preparations were made for the 
change of homes. The large plantation, on which were raised many of 
the luxuries of life, and all his chattels, except his slaves, were sold. All 
things being ready for the journey, the poor slaves are given a short time 
in which to bid their friends "good-by." Oh ! who can describe the sad- 
ness which existed among them as they went from one plantation to an- 
other to bid their fellow-slaves a final farewell. Melancholy, mis- 
ery and distress might have been read on every face. Hope was 
their only consolation in their deplorable condition. O, hope I O, gift of 
God ! O, divine torch which comes to clear up darkness ! how necessary 
art thou to the enslaved ! O, pillar of fire ! at the same time so obscure 
and so luminous, of what importance is it, that thou shouldst always direct 
the camp of the Lord, and the tabernacle and the tents of the slave, 
through all the perils of the desert ! These people thought it a very hard 
thing to be taken from their homes and carried to the "wilds of New 
York." 

Some of them knew the pangs of being separated from loving and 
dear mothers and fathers. Mothers and fathers knew what it was to have 
their children taken away trom them, for parental and filial love united 
them in one common bond, even though they were slaves. Humbolt's 
story of the ' ' Mother Rock " clearly and explicitly illustrates this fact. 
Amidst great emotion, shedding of tears and the offering of prayers for 
Providential protection, they started on their journey. 

Upon their arrival in this state they went to Sodus Bay, bought land 
and commenced to farm. This was about the year 1800. They remained at 
Sodus about three years, when Captain Helm became dissatisfied, sold out 
and came to Bath. This was in the year 1803. Upon his arrival here 
Captain Helm bought several farms and placed his slaves upon them, and 
attempted to cultivate them by means of their labor, but it was a failure. 
Some of his slaves ran away, others the sheriff seized for his debts, and 
finally his whole estate was closed out, and he died a pauper in 1825 or 1826. 



60 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

I have resorted to almost every possible means to ascertain the names 
of those who were brought here as slaves, and of those who brought them. 
After much research I have obtained the following names and information 
connected with them : 

In the year 1803, Captain William Helm came to Bath and brought the 
following named slaves with him : Moses and Frances Alexander, King 
Thomas, Edward and Frances Watkins, Harry Lucas, Daniel Cooper, Harry 
Jarvis, Edward Tapkin, Austin Stewart, Stephen Alexander, Jack Brown 
and Edward Diggings. It is known that Captain Helm brought with him 
more slaves than we have named here, but their names have been 
consigned to oblivion, and it seems impossible to resurrect them. Some of 
the old residents say he brought about one hundred, and others say 
probably not more than fifty. 

Some of Mr. Helm's slaves, after their emancipation, accumulated some 
property. Simon Watkins, "Bath's City Mayor," did quite an extensive 
business here and enjoyed the implicit confidence of this community, and 
even of the governor of the state. He was more popular among his 
constituents than any other colored man of the community in his day. 

Daniel Cooper, another ex-slave, attempted the purchase of a tract 
of land on Bonny Hill, but before it was paid for he died, leaving a widow, 
Mrs. Phoebe Cooper, and two daughters, the late Mrs. R. T. Henry and Mrs. 
Eliza Bryant, who died on the 1st day of April. 1893. Mrs. Cooper was a 
valetudinarian at the time of the death of her husband. Mrs. Henry was 
weakly constituted, and hence the burden of the support of the family 
fell upon Mrs. Bryant, who, of course, was not able to support it and fin- 
ish paying for the land, so the land went back to its original owner. 

Thomas Watkins was another ex-slave of Captain Helm. His descend- 
ants are, Mrs. Mary Nelson and "Aunt" Sophia Wilson. Mrs. Nelson's 
vocation has been that of a laundress, while Mrs. Wilson has followed that 
of a caterer. She is known throughout Western New York and Northern 
Pennsylvania for her ability in her chosen vocation, and has been sent for 
from far and near to get up wedding dinners and party suppers. 

Harry Lucas was also one of Captain Helm's slaves. His descendants 
are, Marcus Lucas, of Corning, and Harvey P. Lucas, who died in 
Butte City, Montana, on the 19th of November, 1891, and Mrs. Emeline 
Story, the proficient caterer of the Read House, in this village. 

The descendants of Harry Jarvis are, Selah Jarvis, who died very sud- 
denly, January 17th, 1879, William H. Jarvis, the soldier, who enlisted 
when he was but thirteen years old, in the o8tli regiment, United States 
Volunteers, and his brother James. 

Dugald Cameron was the owner of Edward Dorsey and Phoebe Cooper. 
After he obtained his freedom, Mr. Dorsey accumulated a good deal of real 



HISTORICAL SERMON, A. M. E, ZION CHURCH. 61 

estate, and it is said he died a wealtliy man. His descendants are, Henry, 
Edward, Daniel and Garret Dorsey. 

Major Thornton came to Bath about the year 1803, and brought with 
him Jerry Diggs, Lucinda Lucas, Jennie Cooper and Jeremiah Butler. 
Their descendants, if they had any, cannot be found. John Fitzhugh came 
to Bath in 1803, and brought with him a man named George Alexander. 
The following were slaves, but their owners cannot be learned with cer- 
tainty : Aaron and Mitta Butcher, Juba and Mima Butler, Robert Labor, 
John Crook, WiUiam and Nancy ToUiver. The Tolliver family took its 
name from the white faaiily of Taliaferro, whicli is pronounced Tolliver. 

The census of 1890 shows that there were 138 colored people in Bath at 
that time. Of that number there are twenty-five families who own or are 
buying homes. Some of them are very valuable and are in good localities. 

Our present church was organized about the year 1838 or 1839, by Rev. 
John Tapkin, who used to walk from Canandaigua, Elmira, Owego and 
Binghamton here to preach. Those were the days which tried men's souls. 
Not only did he preach the gospel, but he helped fugitive slaves to find 
their way into Canada. Among the early pastors who have served this 
church may be mentioned Rev. J. A. Logan, who rose to the Bishopric ; 
Rt. Rev. J. P. Thompson, D. D., as general superintendent, who is our 
present Bishop, and lives in Newburgh, N. Y. ; Rev. John Thomas, of Au- 
burn, N. Y., "whom to know is to love ;" Rev. M. H. Ross, of Elmira, N. 
Y., and Rev. C. A. Smith, of Binghamton, N. Y. 

From various causes, the interest the public had in our church when 
the present incumbent took charge of it, three years ago the 21st of this 
month (June), was at its minimum. I found here at that time but two per- 
sons who would acknowledge themselves members of the church, very 
few friends for it, and no Sunday School whatever. There was not any- 
thing in the situation to encourage a young man in the ministry. I was 
just from Southport, N. C, where I was accustomed to seeing from 300 to 
450 people in church two times each Sunday, and a Sunday School with 
300 happy boys and girls, who were anxious to find out the ways of God 
through His Holy Bible, with 45 teachers to explain the same to them each 
Sabbath afternoon ; and then to be placed here with a people much dis- 
couraged and dissatisfied with the management of the connection to which 
I belonged, I found the situation very discouraging. But I went to work, 
by the help of God, to bring peace out of confusion, if it were possible 
that such could be done. I saw that public sentiment was against the 
church, the people so much disgusted with the deportment of some of my 
predecessors that they were trying to get the church from under the man- 
agement of the connection, and discord and confusion abounded every- 
where. No man ever had to work harder than I did at that time. I 



ba THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

attempted to hold revival meetings, hoping by that means to bring the peo- 
ple together, but it was a failure. A few would come, take the back seats, 
and laugh me to scorn. No man's pen can describe the many bitter tears 
shed and prayers then made by myself for the restitution of peace in the 
church. 

I next turned my attention to the Sunday School, and attempted to re- 
organize it, but before I could effect any real good the annual Conference 
met at Saratoga Springs, September 10, 1890, and I went away to the Con- 
ference. Conference adjourned on the 15th, and, as I had been returned 
to the charge at Bath, I started immediately for my work. After the 
arrangements for my salary were made, I resumed the work of organizing 
the Sunday School. One meeting after another was called, but it seemed 
that all attempts to effect an organization were destined to be a failure. 
This was very grievous to me. Then I set out on a campaign through the 
town, to solicit the attendance of parents and children, showing the neces- 
sity of parents attending Sunday School, and the influence they would 
thus have in shaping the destiny of the rising generation, and saving them 
from the predominant influences of the saloons and other places of degra- 
dation. 

On the 17th of October a few of us came together to consider the mat- 
ter, and the organization was consummated. But another mistake was 
made. One was elected superintendent who was not able to adequately 
fiU the place. Many of those who started with us in the organization 
dropped out, some of the children began to stay at home, and the situation 
was very discouraging. Things seemed to go on "from bad to worse," 
untU I had the burden of the whole affair on my shoulders. Many times 
have I gone to the Sunday School and no one else came ; but, as you know, 
I continued to hold meetings and to talk Sunday School from the pulpit, 
and to-day we have enrolled twenty-three scholars, eveiy one of whom are 
quite good Sunday School workers. I earnestly hope that you, my colla- 
borators, will keep this branch of the church of God alive, for on it her 
future depends. 

As for the congregation, we had almost none. Our congregation was 
very small at all times, and there appeared to be a general dissatisfaction 
everywhere. No one for a while seemed willing to do anything for the 
support of the church. Almost all the singing, and public praying, and 
the lifting of collections, were left entirely to the pastor to do, which made 
the work very burdensome, and the financial part very embarrassing. 

I went to work the best I knew how under the conditions, and soon 
there was a change in affairs. Many who had said that they would not 
aid us any more changed to be our friends, and the few who had not for- 
saken us became enthused with new life, and the church soon threw off 
that old lethargy which had hung over it for such a long time, and went 



HISTORICAL SERMON, A. M, E. ZION CHURCH. 63 

to work ; and now we have a membership of fifteen, and a large congre- 
gation, so much so that the present church edifice is far inadequate for its 
use. On any special occasion it is filled to overflowing, and oftentimes 
many are compelled to leave for want of room. 

The influence which the church has had in shaping the future of the 
young to make them peaceable, law-abiding citizens, cannot be estimated. 
Her uncompromising opposition to the deplorable things, such as the sa- 
loons, which have sought and even obtained a place in our town ; her un- 
swerving aim to build up Christian character ; her opposition to vice and 
immorality and the general influence which she has used for the up-build- 
ing of all that is right, pure, healthy and good, have long been felt. 

As the oriental church was an important factor and force for good to 
the people of the East, to enlighten them in the ways of God, to save them 
from the miserable thraldom of idolatry, from barbarian plunder and 
slaughter, their children fi'om deplorable habits of degradation, and to set 
an inestimable value on human life — so the modern church is to perpetuate 
those principles which have been committed to her trust by the fathers ; 
to build up moral character and virtue, and to help shape the destiny of 
the rising generation. 

The Church must grope her way into the alleys, courts and purlieus 
of the city, and up the broken staircase, and into the bar-room, and beside 
the loathsome sufferer. She must go down into the pit with the miner, 
into the forecastle with the sailor, into the tent with the soldier, into the 
shop with the mechanic, into the factory with the opperative, into the 
field with the farmer, into the covmting-room with the merchant. Like the 
air, the Church must pass equally over all surfaces of society ; like the sea, 
flow into every nook of the shore-line of humanity ; and, like the sun, 
shine on things foul and low, as well as fair and high ; for she was organ- 
ized, commissioned and equipped for the moral renovation of the world. 
The Church must continue to do its work until " the world is filled with 
the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." * 
, t 

* The Rev. Mr. Swain, at the request of some leading citizens, dwelt 
in this sermon at some length upon the present outlook of the negroes in 
the South. It is to be regretted that the demands upon our space prevent 
the publication of this portion of the discourse, containing, as it does, many 
original and valuable suggestions. We have had to confine our selections 
to matters of purely local interest. — Ed. 



THE CHURCH IN THE COMMUNITY. 

Address by L, D, Miller, Ph, D„ 

Principal of Haverling Free Academy. 



SUHDAY, JUHE 4. 1893. 



Delivered at a Mass Meeting at the Casino. 

When a bountiful harvest has been gathered, thousands of millions of 
bushels, it may be, of wheat and corn and oats and barley and rye, when 
the garners of a nation are full of the fruits of the earth which only 
Mother Nature in her best of moods can give, if one should inquire for the 
cause that has prodviced all this munificence, for the cause that has pro- 
duced all this abundance to feed the hundreds of millions of people upon 
the surface of the globe, he would find it difficult to name it ; he would be 
told that perpetual sunshine would produce only a Sahara ; he would be 
told that perpetual rain, so absolutely necessary to the growth of vegeta- 
tion, would produce only barrenness ; he would be told that a fertile soil, 
however fertile, unaided by other influences, would produce little, or if it 
produced, the product would be only thorns and briars ; he would be told, 
if he assigned only one cause, that the work of the husbandman, unassisted 
by other causes, would produce only that " hope deferred that maketli the 
heart sick." And so when a civilization, beginning a hundred years ago 
in an unbroken forest, produces wealth and prosperity such as smile in 
this valley, when it produces a deep religious feeling and a high Christian 
character, when it produces an intelligence that embraces the world, and 
education, and refinement, and culture, and all the arts that go to beautify 
and make up the highest civilization, when it refines and cultivates and 
purifies the home — the man who assumed to assign any one reason for all 
this would be mistaken. 

The influences which produced the civilization that we contemplate 
to-night, the civilization which appears in this audience, the civilization 
which we see all around us, among these hills and in this valley, has been 
produced by more causes than one ; and yet it is fit, it is proper during this 



ADDRESS AT THE CASINO UNION SERVICE. 65 

week when many causes will be spoken of, that that one cause which per- 
haps more than any other has produced this high state of civilization, this 
wide-spread fear of God, this wide-spread honor of man, this intelligence 
and purity in the home life, should be spoken of, and that cause I mention 
as the Christian Church, 

The four corner stones of human society are the family, the school, the 
Church and the State. Many other organizations there are that help in 
this great work, and I would not speak ill or speak derogatorily of any of 
them. Many other organizations there are that do great work, but I 
think I am safe in taking the four corners for the family, the school, the 
Church and the State ; and each of these in its influence on the others is 
both a cause and an effect. Good homes produce good schools ; good 
schools produce good homes ; good schools and good homes produce good 
churches ; and good churches produce good schools and good homes ; and 
good homes and good schools and good churches produce a good State, for 
the State is no more nor less that the tree-top which grows out of the roots 
and the trunk below it. 

The first way in which I shall speak of the Church as having this marked 
influence (and when I use the word Church I mean all the churches repre- 
sented in this town and any others that have in view the elevation of man 
and the glory of God), the first I call attention to is the influence of the 
Church in making the good family, in protecting the family, in elevating 
the family. The very foundation of all that is good in this world is laid 
in the homes as they are scattered through this valley, as they exist among 
these hills and other valleys in this town. And this is done very largely 
by the influence of the Church upon women. It has been sneeringly said 
that "our modern churches are institutions for women." The charge is 
false, but if true it would be an honor rather than a reproach to tliem. There 
is no other influence in this world that tends so much to make a good home 
as a well educated, sensible, Christian woman ; and if the churches did 
nothing else than educate our daughters, our wives, our sisters, our mothers, 
and they in turn educated us, society would be elevated in consequence, 
as it has been elevated by this process of education going on for so many 
years. The home has been protected by the Church because it has pro- 
tected it from that evil which would come in and separate husbands and 
wives. The position of the Church against divorce, the position of the 
Church against those isms that would break up our homes, making indis- 
soluble, except for the greatest cavise, the marriage tie, is a position that has 
produced the best consequences. I am not surprised that the Greek civili- 
zation failed ; I am not surprised that the Roman civilization failed. They 
educated their sons, they neglected their daughters ; and until the great 
Constantine forbade it, divorce was almost as common as people's desires ; 
and it has not been until within the last three hundred and fifty years. 



66 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

since the council of Trent, that the position of the Church, on the ques- 
tion of marriage, has been such as to make it certain that the Church is 
forever against, for any but the greatest cause, the dissolution of the mar- 
riage tie. Woman was emancipated by Christianity. It was fit and pro- 
per that Mary Magdalene should be first at the sepulcher. It was fit and 
proper that she should be there with other women. It was fit and proper 
that she should wash the Savior's feet with her tears, and wipe them with 
the hairs of her head, because for women Christianity and the Church 
have wrought out a salvation both temporal and eternal. 

The second thing that I would mention as being an influence of the 
Church which has done a great deal for our civilization, which everywhere 
does a great deal for civilization, is its position in preserving the sanctity 
of the Christian Sabbath. Why is it that our streets are so quiet? Why 
is it that so large a percentage of our population resort every Sabbath to 
these churches for instruction ? Why is it that the children are gathered 
in the Sunday School, and that recreation and games are not seen on the 
streets of a Christian Sabbath? It is because there is a great organized 
army of fifteen hundred members who are against it, and not only fifteen 
hundred communicants, but the brothers and fathers of many more, mak- 
ing probably a force of 2,500, and may be 3,000, who are in favor of order 
and law, and the proper observance of the Christian Sabbath. The attacks 
on the Christian Sabbath are very covert. One proposition may be to open 
this, another proposition is to open that, another proposition is to open 
something else. I am reminded, by these attacks, of the covert way in 
which a pestilence comes down upon the people. In 1853, in the city of 
New Orleans, it was whispered about by those who were informed that 
here and there were cases of yellow fever, though the whole surface of the 
city was as smooth and gay as though nothing had happened. Every day 
newspapers were published, business was going on, the theaters were open, 
all things were as usual. The next day there were more deaths, and so on 
until the numbers ran up to ten, to fifteen, to twenty, to twenty-five, to 
thirty, to thirty-five a day, and then there began to be a panic ; and the 
death rate went up to fifty, to seventy-five, to 100, to 200, to 300, until the 
population of the city was almost one-third taken. At first no attention 
was paid to it, but as the fever became a great epidemic, people started — 
those who were able to leave the city, left it in fiight. Who remained? 
The representatives of the churches stayed there by those sick beds, and 
to their honor be it said, a great many others remained there. But a 
great many of the representatives of all churches stayed there and nursed 
the sick and gave their lives to help those who were unable to help 
themselves. 

Now I say error in regard to Sabbath desecration creeps in among us 
just as that fever crept into that population, and it was only when the fever 



ADDRESS AT THE CASINO UNION SERVICE. 67 

became epidemic, when its ravages became terrible, that they saw it. So 
these httle covert attacks on the Christian Sabbath come so secretly, come 
so quietly, that they are scarcely seen, and yet their effects, if they are not 
met, will be as dire in the moral world as these epidemics are in the physi- 
cal world. And in this time in our history, in this Centennial year of our 
own town, and this four hundredth year of the discovery of our continent, 
comes a proposition from a great city to break down the walls of the Sab- 
bath ; and it well becomes the Churches to lift up their voices against it. It 
is not merely what will happen in Chicago in the year 1893 that we fear, 
but it is that influence which will be shed over this great nation ; it is the 
influence that will be shed upon the young for the next thirty-five or forty 
years, unless a protest is raised that shall be heard, unless an influence 
shall be brought to bear that will tell against this attempted desecration. 

Another influence to which I would call attention as being something 
that the Churches have done for this and are doing for all communities, is 
that the Church is a great educational force. I remember, and you remem- 
ber, that the oldest college in this country is named after the Christian 
minister, John Harvard. You remember how, in the early history of our 
country, almost the first thing that men. Christian men, in every com- 
munity would do was, not merely to establish churches, but to plant 
schools ; and the school and the Church have gone on side by side during 
all the periods of our history, and the triumphs which have been won for 
the one have been triumphs also for the other ; and learning and religion, 
purity and elevation of thought, have been going on and are going on, hand 
in hand, the churches supported to a large extent by the schools, and the 
schools supported by the churches. 

Another influence of the Church is as a great organized force always 
in favor of law and order. By an organized force it is well to remember 
what we mean. An organized force is always a tremendous power. There 
is a great deal of strength in organization ; there is a great deal of weak- 
ness in disorganization. 

More than 2,200 years ago, on the field of Marathon, 10,000 Greeks, 
organized, disciplined, obeying the mind of one man, swept through and 
through and broke into pieces the ranks of 100,000 Persians, and turned back 
the tide of barbarism from overwhelming Greece. This success was found 
largely in organization. At a later period, you remember how Frederick 
the Great engaged for seven years with France and Austria, and part of 
the time with Russia, with his little Kingdom of seven millions in number, 
organized until he was called the " Drill Sergeant of Europe," turned back 
the tide and saved the autonomy of Prussia. In our time, or in the time of 
some of us, we remember how the little organized army of General Scott 
marched from Vera Cruz and captured the city of Puebla with 80,000 
inhabitants, the city of Mexico with 200,000 inhabitants, and yet that army 



68 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

at no time numbered more than 14,000 men. Such is the power of organi- 
zation. And I speak of it liere because the Church is a great organized 
force in favor of law and order. Our sheriff in this town knows that 
were a mob to start in Bath to-night, every sheriff that has held the office 
in the county of Steuben since the county was organized knew, that if a 
mob was started he would have at his back the moral support and the 
physical support, so far as they were able, of every church member in the 
community. This renders the influence of the Church on society very 
powerful. 

Another mighty power for good is the influence of the Church in the 
temperance cause. The one great evil of the time, now that slavery has 
been wiped out, perhaps the greatest evil which confronts us, is this great 
evil of intemperance. Many things are tried, many ways are resorted to 
to meet it, many things are done to parry its baleful influence, and yet the 
fact remains that it is taking away our young men and our boys, and that 
it is sweeping through the land with a tide of desolation that is appalling 
to the hearts of Christian men and women. But now I see arrayed against 
this great evil what was not so thoroughly arrayed against it a hundred 
years ago, the whole moral influence of all these churches, and the great 
body of church members to-day, of all denominations and of all per- 
suasions, are total abstainers themselves. Members of these churches have 
seen this evil ; they have seen that there must be a great moral force 
raised up to stem the tide, and the consequence is, that moi'e than ever 
before the Christian Church to-day is an organization of those who abstain 
from the use of intoxicating drinks ; and see what has been the influence 
of this in one hundred years, in two hundred years. History tells us that 
Leisler and Millburn were executed in New York city, in 1692, because a 
governor was persuaded, in his intoxication, to sign the death wan-ant. 
What would be said in this latter part of the nineteenth century, if a gov- 
ernor of the State of New York were to be found guilty of intoxication ? 
To the honor of our governors, to the honor of our religion, to the honor 
of the Church and of Christian public opinion, we are never disgraced by 
such a thing. And yet our own state— or what is now our own state — two 
hundred years ago was disgraced by two political murders because Gov- 
ernor Slaughter, sent out by William the Thii'd, is said to have signed the 
death warrants when under the influence of intoxicants. 

Another thing to which I would call your attention is the elevating 
and inspiring influence of the doctrines of the Church. What can make 
such heroes of men and women as the belief that after the trials and temp- 
tations, after all the sorrow and all the suffering and all the happiness of 
this world, there is a great hereafter, where they shall know and be known ? 
When, one hundred years ago, the French were in their revolution, when 
public opinion was seething and boiling, and the guillotine was doing its 



ADDRESS AT THE CASINO UNION SERVICE. 69 

bloody work, they thought they must blot out the Church ; they must blot 
out men's belief in a future ; they must blot out men's ideas that there is 
another life; so they wrote on the gravestones, "Death is an eternal 
sleep." And under the influence of that error, under the influence of that 
teaching, the blood of sixty thousand of France's best flowed in the gutter 
to appease the idol that they set up when they declared that there is no 
God. Think of the pioneers of our country, think what they endured 
here in our own community, think what they endured where the Pilgrims 
landed, think what they endured in Virginia, think what they endured 
everywhere in doing this pioneer work, and you will see that they were 
inspired by something more than the love of gain, something higher than 
the idea of getting a hoine for a few years, they were inspired with the 
idea of a life hereafter ; and I think there is no other belief in the world 
that compares with it — the belief of a future life. 

And the greatest lesson of the Church, which is put into the minds of 
children, which is put into the minds of young men and young women 
when the world has its greatest attractions for them, which is a solace to 
men in business and men engaged in worldly affairs, which is the great 
support and stay of those in the decline of life, is this doctrine of a future 
life. The belief in that state that is to come after this, a consciousness 
that we have something to live for more than this world can give, that 
there is something in integrity and purity and loftiness of thought, that 
love is of God and takes hold on God, and will be satisfied only with God, 
this idea inspires men with the highest and noblest purposes, with the high- 
est and noblest courage, with the highest and noblest fortitude to bear all 
the ills that may come to them. 

And now as we stand here to-night, with the door of a new century 
just ajar, just a little we can see through into that century. vVhat are we 
to see ? what are we to do ? 

At the beginning of the great Wilderness campaign President Lincoln 
wrote to General Grant, " And now, with a brave army and a just cause, 
may God defend the right." So I say to-night to all these churches, with 
all their organizations, the church organization, the Sunday School organi- 
zation, the home organization, the Society of Christian Endeavor, the Ep- 
worth League, the Altar Society, the Character Builders— so I say to you, 
with a brave and noble organization and a righteous cause, may God speed 
the right. And as we stand at this open door of the new century, what do 
we see as we look around us ? "We see our churches built, we see our village 
in great prosperity, we see this village smiling with its homes, we see our 
school houses built and endowed, we see a great deal of material prosperity. 
All these things our fathers have done for us. And now the great task 
before us is a task of intellectual and moral building. There is something 
in this world grander than church edifices, however grand ; there is some- 
thing in this world better than church building, however excellent, and 



70 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

that is character building, the building up of men and women into the 
similitude of God. I was thinking to-day that the great church of St. 
Peters forever commemorates the genius of Michael Angelo ; that St. 
Pauls is the monument to Sir Christopher "Wren ; but I could not help 
thinking that the Christian world would not name St. Peters after Michael 
Angelo, nor would the Christian world in England, name St. Pauls after 
Sir Christopher Wren. The one bears the name of that man who is said 
to have been crucified with his head down that he might, if possible, suf- 
fer greater indignities than his divine Master, and it is called, not the 
church of Michael Angelo, but the church of St. Peter. And the great 
and beautiful edifice planned by Sir Christopher Wrean is called, not the 
Wren church, but the church of that immortal Christian, St. Paul. 

And now, at the beginning of a new century, with all these material 
resources around about us, with all these organizations ready to do our 
work, what may we not expect ? It should be our business as Christians, 
it should be our business as churches, to set up standards as we have the 
standard set up by St. Paul, as we have the standard set up by St. Peter, 
as we have the standard set up by St. John. Let us remember that he who 
sets up the highest Christian standard does more for the world than he who 
builds a church. The example and life of Joseph are worth more to-day 
than they ever were before ; and I say to young men, when you want to 
read something of value, go to your homes and sit down and read the 
story of Joseph. And the man or the woman who, in our own time, as 
life shall go on, shall set up the highest standard in Bath, will be the most 
honored in the future. 

And as I have thought of this opening century, of all the things that 
will transpire here in the next one hundred years, as I thought of the 
beginning in that wilderness one hundred years ago, and of all the trials 
of those early pioneers, I could not help thinking that I would like to be 
here one hundred years from to-night to hear someone speak at the next 
Centennial. I have often felt the spirit of that hymn which you sing, 
"I would not live always, 
I ask not to stay." 

But I would like to be here one hundred years fi'om now to see what 
standards of Christian character, what standards of manhood and woman- 
hood will be set up, on what tableland, 10,000 feet higher, some moral 
plateau higher than that on which we stand, the generations to come may 
be. It seems to me as we start out, that what time there is left to us, a 
united effort should be made here that the first five years, that the first ten 
years, the first fifteen years of the next century, shall receive such an im- 
petus from those who are here to start it, that its influence will be felt 
clear down through to the next Centennial. 



PART TWO, 

Exercises at the Casino, 

Tdesday Afternoon, June 6, 1893, 



ADDRESS OF WELCOME. 
By Reuben E, Robie, Esq, 



Ladies and Gentlemen : — We have assembled this afternoon to com- 
mence, in some befitting manner, the literary exercises attendant upon the 
celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the first settlement of our 
town ; to live over again, as it were, the years which have passed, 
since that event in our history occurred, and to recall the names and inci- 
dents in the lives of not only those who have helped to build up and make 
our town and village what they are to-day, but also the names and lives of 
all those others whom the town and village of Bath have the right to claim 
as their sons and daughters. 

As that noble band of hardy pioneers, who first landed here on an 
April day of one hundred years ago, undoubtedly often turned their 
thoughts retrospectively to the homes and friends they had left across the 
great waters, to brave the hardships of a life in this then Western wilder- 
ness ; so our thoughts will be turned backward as we listen to the story of 
those early scenes in our town's pioneer history, and to the review of the 
roll of those sons and daughters who have helped to make up that history, 
as it shall be given to us by the many gentlemen to whom it may be our 
privilege to listen during these commemorative exercises. 

In doing all this, in preparing a careful record of all those events and 
incidents, as they are told us, we shall make a history, which will not only 
prove to be a source of great pleasure and benefit to all those whose privi- 
lege it shall be to attend these exercises, but also of priceless value to the 
generations yet unborn. 

While in these one hundred years we have not realized, in some par- 
ticulars, the expectations of those early pioneers and of many of their 
contemporary writers ; while our village never grew to be the " Western 
Metropolis," as they predicted it would ; yet, as a town and village, there is 
nothing in the past for us to be ashamed of ; we have nothing to apologize 
for, nothing to regret, and we can confidently assert that no town nor com- 
munity has ever reared sons and daughters who have made better citizens 
and members of society than the town of Bath has. 

Of the long line of her sons who have won distinction upon the bench, 
at the bar, in federal and state legislative halls, in the pulpit, in the army 



74 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

and in the navy, and in all the other walks of life ; and of her large num- 
ber of noble, self-sacrificing, pure, earnest, Christian women and mothers, 
I should love to speak at length, were I not reminded that in so doing I 
should encroach upon the field allotted to the many gentlemen who will 
address us during the continuance of these exercises. 

The pleasant privilege has been assigned to me, to welcome home all 
those who have at this time come back to revisit the scenes of their birth 
and early manhood and womanhood, to renew their youth, and to join 
with us in these observances ; and to all such, on behalf of the Centennial 
Committee and our citizens generally, I give you, one and all, a most cor- 
dial and hearty greeting of welcome. 

As you go about our streets you will miss the forms and faces of many 
of those with whom you were familiar in your youth — and many of you 
may search in vain for more than a score of familiar faces — those who are 
not here to extend to you a warm and heartfelt greeting ; their names you 
will find recorded in yonder village cemetery. You will miss the old Court 
House, the old Churches, the Eagle Tavern, the Clinton House, the old 
Red School House, the old pumps upon the Square, the old Union School 
House, and countless other of the material friends of your childhood, but 
thanks to the noble generosity of two of our citizens, if you will but turn 
your eyes to the old South Hill and to Mossj^ Bank, the oldest of you will 
recognize a familiar landmark, which still remains undisturbed in its 
grandeur, still clothed in all its primitive verdure and loveliness. 

To all those who are not to the manor born, who shall honor us with 
their presence, whether their homes be in sister towns, neighboring cities, 
or elsewhere, we extend a welcome none the less cordial and hearty, and 
we bid them also to join us in showing all homage to those men who sought 
out this beautiful valley those men who hewed their way here through 
the primeval forests, and to those who, coming after, populated and built 
up our town and village, for in so doing we, one and all, shall honor our- 



CENTENNIAL POEM 

By Zenas L, Parker. 

A hundred years ago, 

The spot on which we stand was Nature's wild domain. 

No white man's foot 

Had pressed its Winter snows, or Summer sands. 

No wiiite man's axe had felled a tree, 

Or blazed a track in all these forest lands. 

No cultured eye 

Had feasted on the beauty of these crystal rills. 

Or on the glory of these wood-crowned hills. 

Old Father Time had wrapped them in his kind embrace 

Through centuries now past. 

But the echoes of the woodman's axe 

Must come at last ; 

The time for action, and for toil. 

The time to utilize God's virgin soil. 

Charles Williamson, a man of Scottish birth, 

A subject of the British Crown, 

Believed he saw, down through the lapse of time. 

Fortune and fame in this wild Western clime. 

At once he planned to cross the trackless sea. 

And swear allegiance to the Banner of the Free. 

He made the venture. 

And in December, Seventeen Hundred Ninety-one, 

This Scotchman's feet stood on Columbia's plains, 

And pure Scotch blood 

Coursed through another freeman's veins. 

Before six months had passed away, 

A man, from whom our Morris street took name. 

Conveyed to Williamson these chosen lands, 

Of Baron Steuben fame. 

On June the third of that historic year. 

He led a party on his first survey 

Of hill and vales and streams, 



76 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

His eyes had never seen, except 

Through mystic visions and fairy midnight dreams. 

A land where red-skinned hunters slept, 

Or chased the bounding buck or wily doe. 

And with unerring aim, laid many a victim low. 

As up he passed through fair Gahata vale. 

Where cars now swiftly glide along the rail, 

Do-na-ta-guenda caught his anxious gaze, 

And inspiration tuned his tongue with praise. 

Two valleys met and joined in fond embrace. 

And joy seemed radiant on his glowing face. 

He paused to view this panoramic scene. 

With swelling heart and anxious mien. 

Down through the vista of the years 

With true prophetic eye he peers. 

And on this lovely plain, where we in peace abide, 

He saw a thriving city in its luxury and pride. 

Surrounded by majestic hills. 

Like Bath of English fame, 

The home of Pulteney and his friends. 

He gave it that laconic name. 

His course from thence was plain and clear. 

This unborn child. 

Conceived in June the nineteenth day, 

Must be a living fact, without prolonged delay. 

Returning to Northumberland, his chosen rendezvous. 

He organized a band of men, with settlement in view. 

With needed help, and full suppUes 

To warrant such an enterprise ; 

With trust in God, and in each brawny arm, 

At Captain Williamson's behest. 

They launched two boats upon the river's breast. 

With human muscle for propelling force. 

They bared their bosoms toward the river's source. 

The Susquehanna's rocks and shoals 

Were passed successfully in turn, 

But difficulties multiplied. 

And grew at length so great. 

They found it quite impossible 

Two boats to navigate. 

Hence one was left in care of few, 

And one passed on with double crew. 

Behold that clumsy oarless craft, 



THE CENTENNIAL POEM. 77 

Upon this narrow highland stream, 

Fettered with rocks and fallen trees 

That in its channel lies, 

And zigzag as the lightning's track 

Athwart the midnight sky. 

With poles and ropes and dauntless hearts, 

From morn till evening gray. 

They force their tiny ship along its winding way. 

See ! now she's fast upon some rift or tree ; 

Hark ! hear the Captain's " All together, now, heo-he /" 

And she lifts as if by magic power, 

And hastens on the long expected hour. 

Thus ere the fifteenth April sun 

Had closed its daily round. 

Their eyes had seen and feet had pressed 

This consecrated ground. 

They had not come for rest and leisure ; 

They had not come to seek for ease and pleasure ; 

They had not come to picnic for an hour, 

And hurry back if clouds began to lower ; 

They had not come to war with native or wild beast, 

Nor had they come on luxury to feast. 

They came prepared to struggle and to toil, 

To battle with the giant trees that occupied the soil ; 

They came a town to build 

Where these two charming valleys kiss the adjacent hills. 

And on that graceful slope just south of Pulteney Square 

They laid the sills. 

Beneath their heavy blows, with blades of steel, 

The giants of the soil began to reel. 

And from the logs then cut from trees they fell. 

They built for Williamson a house in which to dwell. 

'Twas there, amidst the pains and throes of frontier strife, 

This child political was ushered into life. 

It had no garments trimmed and frilled, as babies have of late. 

And hence they wrapped it tenderly in swaddling clothes. 

And laid it in the lap of State, 

A hundred years ago. 

To-day, a full grown century crowns it 
With civil stars, all burnished bright, 
And girds it round with golden bands 
Of genial Christian light. 



78 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Now as we enter on the century's domain, 

Prepared to strike the chords upon a harp 

That has ten thousand strings, 

We come with tender, loving words. 

Because men's characters are sacred things. 

We come not here to torture, but to comfort ; 

We come to tell you how the good has triumphed 

With majestic power. 

Despite the evil of the past or present hour ; 

We come to strike the symphonies 

Upon that princely harp. 

Whose strings attach to earth. 

Yet reach to Heaven above. 

In consonance with Nature, 

And Nature's God of love. 

The Poet's license has no limit, 

In speaking of the dead ; 

But when he deals with living men. 

Their names must not be said. 

This proverb now must be the Poet's guide, 

And by it, in the main, he must abide. 

Bath's infancy was short and sharp. 

The star of empire shone brightly on its forest bed. 

And Eastern sages to its wildwood shrine were quickly led. 

Her pioneers were men of push and pluck, 

Who came to win, but not by chance or luck ; 

And when they sought, but found no way, 

They went to work, and made a way. 

The first decade was pregnant with their power and skill. 

They molded mind and muscle, almost at will. 

The names of Wilhamson, Cameron, McClure and Harry McElwee, 

Though long since numbered with the dead. 

Are written still upon the very soil we tread. 

Nor was the soil the only element 

Developed by their Scotch and Irish blood ; 

Every vein and artery of trade and social life. 

Was made a channel in which this power was rife. 

They, with their noble compeers in the race, 

Left an impress on mind and matter. 

Which time itself will not efface. 

In every prosperous, thrifty town, 

A business center there must be, 



THE CENTENNIAL POEM. 79 

Where men of every class can mingle in their deal, 

And each the other's business pulse can feel. 

Where bankers, merchants, farmers, all meet on common ground. 

Where doctors, lawyers, workmen, in sympathy are found. 

As such a center, they chose this charming spot. 

And in the main, they drew the present village plot. 

I need not tell you how apropos was the choice, 

Nestling down upon this lovely plain. 

Walled round with hills, a sheltering chain. 

Cook's Hill, Mount Washington and Mossy Bank, 

Romantic pictures of Baths immortal wall. 

To lovers of the beautiful, they never fade or pall. 

Placed there by Him who gave the mountains grace, 

Built by His hand upon their solid base. 

These pictures hung there when the pioneers 

First glimpsed the beauty of Gahata vale. 

And will remain, till morning stars forever pale. 

What owner of a home in Bath 

Looks out across the stream, 

And views that now enchanting pine-clad steep, 

Where violets bloom and velvet mosses creep, 

Forgets to thank the generous hand 

That plucked it as a burning brand. 

That drew the check, and bought the deed 

Which saved it from the insatiate woodman's greed, 

When axe was raised to fell those pines and oaks, 

And leave to Bath but graceless pictures of its naked rocks. 

Thus saved from conflict 

With Bath's famed lumber mills. 

It proudly stands to-day. 

The matchless glory of her wood-crowned hills. 

Childhood goes there to leap and shout. 

Where joy is unconstrained ; 

Artists go there with practiced eye, 

To sketch the scene and show the skill they've gained; 

Nature's admirers cUmb its rugged side. 

And gaze with rapture on the landscape wide ; 

Students go there to rest the weary brain 

From 'classic toil and pungent thought. 

Scholastic truth to gain ; 

Parties go there with honored guests. 

And find that lofty goal 



go THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

To be the acme of delight, 

The dream-land of the soul ; 

Lovers ascend that rock-bound front, 

Nor dream the pathway steep ; 

Then glancing down on scenes below, 

They view the spot where hallowed memories sleep. 

They talk together of congenial bliss, 

And wonder at the magic of a stolen kiss. 

Back of these hills on either side, 

And through the valleys rich and wide, 

Ai-e cultured farms, Bath's greatest source of wealth, 

Where well-read farmers live in luxury and health. 

A few examples only can be brought. 

When we must pass to other fields of thought. 

The veteran hackman of the town is Uncle Joe, 

Joe Tharp, for short, will take us to and fro. 

He's coming now behind his iron-grays. 

Upon the hack he used in ancient days. 

The time is Autumn, when we pass the city's bounds, 

The " Noble" farm is quickly brought in view. 

And charms the eye of him who passes through. 

The fields are flush with corn and golden wheat. 

All ready now the harvester to greet. 

No foot of ground escapes the farmer's toil, 

No noxious shrub is seen upon the soil. 

Comfort and thrift seemed walking arm in arm. 

As we passed through the " Noble" farm. 

The " Miller" farm was next in line. 

Though not so plainly seen. 

Just out across the way in front 

Lies Lake Salubria's sparkling shores, 

A fount of crystal water. 

The angels might adore. 

Methinks the servants of the gods. 

With blessings to deUver, 

Had filled this hollow in the earth 

From Heaven's celestial river. 

Just on the eastern slope there stands 

A grove of native trees, 

Where picnics gather for their annual feast 

And quaff its healthful breeze. 

The " Wilkes" farm next appears in sight. 

Stretching from hUl to hill. 



THE CENTENNIAL POEM. 81 



Displaying to the passer by- 
Delightful lands to tiU. 
Then " Bowlby " wins a special prize, 
For history's brightest page, 
By marks of thrift and industry. 
Becoming to the age. 
The " Campbell " farm 
Exemplifies the use of bowlder stone. 
Once on the fields 
In useless heaps they piled them, 
Or by the road-way they were thrown ; 
Farmers deemed them but a nuisance — 
Had no use for them at all. 
Campbell makes them serve a purpose, 
Builds them into fencing wall. 
We enter now upon John Smith's domain. 
And close with him this visiting campaign. 
On every hand the evidence is clear and full 
That industry and prudence have had supreme control. 
Clean fields, good crops, fine stock, 
And buildings all in modern style — 
Prosperity puts on her blandest smile. 
A hundred farmers in the town, 
Are worthy of the same renown. 
But time forbids, and hence the few, 
Are thus held up to public view. 
That farmers all may fully reach 
The lesson we desire to teach. 
No craft or trade, we venture here to say, 
WiU profit more by taking science as its guide, 
Than will the farmers, 
When you place them side by side. 
When God in wondrous love, 
Dropped the round earth down from above, 
For man to occupy. 
He knew that every dollar 
Gained by sweat and toil, 
Must issue from the virgin soil. 
He never thought to give men farms. 
And do the work Himself, 
And man, Ms glorious image, 
Be but a wandering elf. 
He gave us brain power, mind and thought, 



82 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Blessings which gold could ne'er have bought, 

To use in drawing from the ground 

The coin that makes a Nation great and sound. 

These men have gained good name and wealth, 

By honest labor, not by tricks or stealth. 

They knew the drunkard and the glutton 

Would come to want and shame ; 

They knew that sobriety and industry 

Were certain roads to fame. 

When farmers' clubs or institutes 

Are held within their reach, 

You'll find such farmers there. 

Ready to learn or teach. 

They know just what and when and where to sow, 

And on what soil each crop will grow, 

Because they've gained a liberal store 

Of useful facts and agricultural lore. 

These are not the men to say. 

That farming does not pay. 

Have you never thought, my brother, 

That no other occupation. 

Brings you in such close relation 

With your Father up above ? 

Adam and Eve, the first pair on the land. 

Were recipients of a farm from his own hand. 

And wei-e told to tiU and dress it. 

What other avocation 

Takes its origin direct from God, 

And finds approval in his sacred Word ? 

Farming draws its aid and comfort 

From the fact of human need 

While many trades and some professions 

Find their life in human greed ; 

They fatten on the vices and neglects of life. 

But die when vices cease, and men forget their strife. 

God made our parents guardians of the soil ; 

They had no option of their own, 

But were required to toil. 

That duty has been handed down along the line. 

As centuries passed away, 

Until the nineteenth century came. 

And left it binding on the farmers of to-day. 

How well the duty is performed in Bath, 

We here decide at this Centennial hour. 



THE CENTENNIAL POEM. 

A hundred years ago, 

One solitary cabin built of logs 

Composed the village and the town ; 

Now at its close, we place upon the century's head 

A most befitting crown. 

No prettier county seat adorns the State's domain, 

Than nestles here to-day upon this charming plain. 

These splendid business blocks of solid brick and stone 

Are proof of earnest work in years now past and gone. 

They tell us of the Cooks, Magees and Robies of the past. 

And many more, who here built fortunes in their prime. 

And left deep footprints on the wasting sands of time. 

Across the stream, beneath the shadow of those towering hills, 

A monument of love is seen that every bosom thrills. 

Large blocks of stone, hewn from that mountain's base. 

Here do their loving work and find a resting place. 

None knew, save Colonel Davenport, the problem there involved, 

And many sought, in vain, to get the mystery solved. 

'Twas in the time of war, 

When civil strife the Union rent in twain ; 

On bloody fields the blue and gray 

Were falling 'neath the leaden rain. 

For widows and maimed veterans 

The Union would provide ; 

But who would care for orphan girls. 

Whose sires had fallen in the deadly strife ? 

Must now these household pearls 

Be left a prey to poverty and fallen life ? 

His heart, who built that monument to Christian love, 

Said, " No ; I will for them an Orphans Home provide ; 

My princely wealth I will with these divide." 

That philanthropic thought was father to the deed, 

And on that graceful slope above the fairy mead. 

Where morning light in matchless splendor shines. 

And evening zephyrs whisper through the pines, 

The site was laid. 

The walls appeared in beauty all their own ; 

The cap-stone sat in silence on its modest throne 

And yet it seemed to say, " This is the Davenport Orphans' Home, 

All cap-a-pie from base to stately dome." 

Behind it stands Bath's lovely moss-clad steep, 

Before it crystal waters glide and smiling meadows sleep. 

When here in Bath you have a leisure hour, 



84 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Go to that mountain gap, that charming forest bower ; 
Look upon those plain but massive walls, 
Go through those clean and tidy halls, 
Visit the chapel school room in its pride, 
Where science and religion drop their blessings side by side 
Behold the happy faces of the group now gathered there, 
And listen to the songs that up to Heaven they bear- 
Now draw a picture on the tablet of your soul, 
Of what they are and what they would have been. 
Had they not found this Christian goal. 
Then tell me if patriot, philanthropist or sage. 
Has ever done a wiser, holier thing in any age, 
Than he who builded and endowed that Orphans' Home. 
His name is not more deeply chiseled 
In that modest granite shaft on yonder plain. 
Than 'tis engraven on the hearts of men. 
WhUe Heaven remains. 
And justice reigns. 

Such deeds of philanthropic love can never die ; 
Should earth refuse to them a home. 
They back to Heaven would fly. 

The business interests of Bath, 

All through the century's years. 

Have been conducted weU 

By men who had few peers. 

The competition consequent 

Upon successful trade 

Has put our dealers to a trying test. 

And made them show their grade. 

Some fine examples of success 

Have thus been brought to view, 

And to that sharp and trying test. 

Success is largely due. 

While these have well adorned the front. 

And gained the loudest cheer. 

Those who were distanced in the race, 

Have not disgraced the rear. 

We will not pass the doctors by ; 
(Too oft we need their aid) 
We owe them debts of gratitude 
That never will be paid. 



THE CENTENNIAL POEM. 85 

They yield their comfort, peril health — 

Not simply for the fee, 

"Which after all, we are informed, 

They sometimes never see — 

They come at noon, or dead of night, 

As we, their patrons, call, 

And oft they save our tearful eyes 

From witnessing the pall. 

Our knowledge of their history, 

Spans scarcely five decades. 

In which no lack of skilled M. D.'s, 

Has marked the passing years. 

Many of whom have done their work, 

And crossed the stream that bounds this vale of tears. 

Of those whose honored heads wear locks as white as snow, 

Two only now remain to practice here below. 

These doctors — Grant and Cruttenden — 

So long upon life's active stage. 

Have honored their profession 

And made their mark on Bath's unwritten page. 

An Allopath and Homeopath (we take our choice, you see). 

When they are called from earth. 

As they, with us, must be, 

"We trust they'll find a peaceful shore, 

"Where doctors will agree. 

A class of younger men, skillful and true 

To every trust make up the residue. 

Some unborn bard, with wrinkled brow, 

"Will write their startUng history 

A hundred years from now. 

The next fraternity which here we call in line. 

Is that in which the lawyers and the judges shine. 

In the dawning of the century 

Bath had greater need of choppers and sawyers, 

Than it had for judges and lawyers ; 

Hence if they came or grew here. 

They were of little use. 

And as a natural consequence, 

AVere quiet and recluse. 

The people were too busy then, 

Against the law to sin. 

So lawyers had but little chance 



86 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

To litigate and chin. 

This simple recipe for keeping lawyers still 
Might well be followed in these days, 
And save us many a bill. 
But down along the cycles, 
As the whirling years advance, 
This numerous class of citizens 
Has had a better chance. 
In truth, though right or wrong, 
It leads the van amongst the busy throng. 
The legal and judicial branch 
Of Government to-day. 
Is in the saddle— holds the reins- 
Dispute it, you who may. 
Their grasp upon judicial power 
Has crowned them masters of the hour. 
All down the line of years Bath's bench and bar 
Have been an honor to the town. 
On every page bright names appear. 
That clothe it with renown. 

We point you to a few of the living and the dead. 
Whose most deserving names will long be sung or said. 

Far back within the century's years. 

The Howell name stood out in bold relief ; 

Edward and William held long and high 

The legal banner of the town, 

And left a record that will never die. 

Contemporary with the last, another name 

Gave credit to the records of the bar. 

That time will not efface. 

Nor history its luster mar — 

That name is Robert Campbell, 

Around which cluster bright memories of the past, 

And its reflected honor 

Upon his worthy son is cast. 

The name McMaster 

Is not alone engraven on this gUttering roll. 

But with the masses long ago, 

'Twas written on the tablet of the soul ; 

Attorney, judge, historian, poet, man, 

'Tis interwoven with half the years 

That through the century ran. 

It twined its tendrils round the grand old tree, 



THE CENTENNIAL POEM. 87 



And history will pass it down, 

Through centuries yet to be. 

The Rumsey name 

Was entered in this bright array 

In eighteen thirty-one, 

And stronger grows with each revolving sun. 

Few brighter lights have ever graced the bar, 

Than shone there in our senior Rumsey's star. 

In County, State and Nation, 

An honored name he won, 

And linked it with the fortunes 

Of his thrice honored son, 

Whose marked ability and growing fame 

Are crowning glories to his father's name. 

The oldest living lawyer of the town 

Is Ansel J. McCall, historian of to-day, 

Who holds a volume of unwritten trutli 

In his memory stored away. 

For more than fifty years of his industrious life, 

His eyes have seen, and mind acquired 

The marked events that in these years transpired. 

Long may he linger on the shores of time, 

And hold the mental vigor of his prime. 

The present bench and bar of Bath 

Are holding good the records of the past ; 

In number and in quality 

They stand a careful test. 

We have the keen acumen 

That puts the witness to his trumps ; 

We have facetious sarcasm. 

The lawyer's stock in trade. 

Which shows of what material 

The fraternity is made ; 

We have the shrewd defender 

Of the prisoner being tried, 

When the fact that he is guilty 

Can scarcely be denied ; 

We have the astute discerner 

Of the motive for the deed. 

Whether done in self defence, 

Or to satisfy his greed ; 

We have the flow of graceful eloquence, 

That brings conviction near, 



88 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

And the melting glow of pathos, 
That starts the scalding tear ; 
A judge with quick perception, 
To catch the bearings in the race, 
And give them to the jury. 
For their verdict in the case. 

When treason raised her guilty hand 

To rend in twain our Union land, 

Bath's noble sons said promptly. " No, 

Though into battle we must go. 

That dear old blood-bought flag, 

Saluted all the world around. 

Shall never trail on Freedom's holy ground." 

That stately monument, in yonder square. 

Silent since first we placed it there. 

Will speak to-day through Captain Stocum's pen, 

And tell the story of Bath's soldier men. 

We have bankers, men of honor. 
Men with whom we ti-ust our cash, 
Messrs. Allen, Hallock Campbell, 
Who, when we ask for honest money. 
Never give us worthless trash. 
If we need accommodation. 
Cash to meet an obligation, 
" For thirty, sixty or ninety days?" 
The banker asks, in current phrase ; 
Then promptly, and without excuse. 
Counts out the cash we need for use. 
Five mills we have to do our grinding, 
Each with a paying trade ; 
Two roller mills amongst them, 
Producing flour of finest grade. 
We have builders and contractors. 
Who bear an honored name ; 
By competence and sterling worth. 
They've gained a State-wide fame. 

Our manufacturing plants 

Are hives of industry and gain. 

Where busy hands are earning daily bread, 

And nimble feet learn virtue's path to tread. 



THE CENTENNIAL POEM. 

We are glad we have the fire lads, 

The intrepid " Hook" and fearless " Hose" men, 

The nerve and muscle of the town, 

Whose active work and daring deeds 

Have earned them true renown. 

The fire alarm brings out their flying feet. 

Ready the dreaded foe to meet ; 

At morn, or noon, or dead of night, 

They seek the thickest of the fight, 

And save our cherished homes. 

That cost so much, and are so dear ; 

They shield our fives from harrowing fear. 

All honor to our fire brigade, 

The veteran " Hooks," 

And " Edwin Cooks." 

Our splendid public schools, 
By well trained teachers taught. 
Are ornaments of priceless worth. 
With richest blessings fraught. 

Our fourteen churches in the town, 

With spires that point above. 

Are silent monitors of grace. 

That tell us " God is Love." 

Those consecrated bells 

That hang within their towers, 

As with a living voice. 

Peal out the churchman's hours ; 

While pasLors, faithful to their trust. 

Make plain the pathway to the Throne ; 

The man who fails to walk therein. 

Will find, at last, the fault was all his his own. 

Five Christian pastors, in the last decade, 

Have closed their life-long work of love. 

And entered service of a higher grade, 

In fairer fields above. 

The faithful Emory, the gifted Piatt, 

The earnest Brush, the bright young Hosie, 

And the sainted Howard, gone before, 

Have left sweet memories on this mortal shore. 

Three quarters of a century ago, and more, 
The Farmers' Advocate began its grand career. 



00 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

A rather unique citizen, Ben Smead by name, 

Devised the scheme, and editor-in-chief became. 

This journal had the pole, as trotting sportsmen say, 

And in straight heats, it nobly won the day. 

In later years, Rhodes, Donahe and McCall, 

Put shoulders to the wheel, and pushed the rolling ball. 

In eighteen hundred sixty, 

Our honored A. L. Underbill assumed the place, 

And trimmed his ship. 

To win, if possible, the editorial race. 

In eighteen hundred eighty-four, 

Still worthy of the roughest sea. 

She dropped her anchor in the port, 

And set her gray-haired captain free. 

Then with his enterprising son in editorial charge, 

She started out on her present voyage : 

She spread her sails, but not on untried seas : 

May she return with top-mast colors flying in the breeze. 

In eighteen hundred forty-three. 

The Steuben Courier stepped out upon the stage. 

And filed its claim for public patronage ; 

With Henry Humphrey Hull to wield the pen, 

Fresh from the roll of bright young men. 

It had not long to work and wait. 

But soon took rank with country journals of the State. 

He lived to see the hour 

When it was noted for its editorial power ; 

And when he died, just in the vigor of his mental prime, 

Held high degree amongst the pungent writers of his time. 

He left his paper to his frail, but energetic son. 

Whose early manhood had but just begun ; 

And then the query ran from lip to lip through all the town, 

Can Harry Hull bear up the standard that his sire laid down ? 

For fifteen years his editorial pen was thrown, 

Till Harry Hull was well and widely known. 

To champion what he thought was right, 

Became the editor's supreme delight. 

He left his own identity on every weekly sheet ; 

Without that impress there, the Steuben Courier was not complete. 

At thirty -six, he dropped the editorial roll. 

And entered on the higher mission of the soul, 

Leaving behind the family, the friends, the class he loved so long. 

To watch and wait their coming, in the land of hallowed song. 



THE CENTENNIAL POEM. 91 

But the Courier still survives, 

With J. F. Parkhurst in the editorial chair, 

And bears its usual message to its patrons far and near. 

Long may it hold the vigor of its youth, 

And furnish men with intellectual truth. 

On May the first in eighteen hundred eighty -three, 

The Bath Plaindealer, a rather modest sheet. 

Made its graceful courtesy, and was sold upon the street. 

Its editor and proprietor is A. Ellas McCall, 

Who had chosen this profession, in which to rise or fall. 

Without the least experience in the journalistic trade. 

It seemed a bold adventure that young McCall had made. 

But the people were enamored with the boldness of the start, 

And they gave the spicy journal a generous support. 

It is growing and improving, as it presses on its way, 

And we'll tell you of its future, on next Centennial day. 

A numerous class of noble citizens. 

To whom no reference has been made before, 

Within your memory and mine, 

Have crossed the silent stream. 

And live again upon the other shore. 

Did time allow. 

The Poet would delight their names to caU, 

And speak in detail of them all. 

For pure integrity, 

The name that Peter Halsey bore 

Would tip the scales 

'Gainst Ophir's golden ore. 

The Christian pearls that ornament his name 

Are brighter, far, than diadems of kingly fame. 

Take this example of the good men gone to rest, 

And fill the class at memory's behest : 

To them in large degree we owe 

The standing of the Church below. 

One more long catalogue, akin to this I know, 

Who linger with us yet, but they, too, soon must go ; 

They are listening now, the muffled oar to hear. 

For well they know the boatman must be near. 

And as the Poet's eye sweeps now the canvass through, 

Such names as D. B, Bryan, L. D. Hodgman, 

Flash up across the view. 



93 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

This active class, so soon to graduate, 

Have made their mark upon the Church and State. 

A dash of gloom, like cloud-spot on the sun, 

Comes o'er the Poet's mind. 

When he is told their race is nearly run. 

Peace to then* ashes, whene'er they pass away 

From earth and earthly toil, up through tlie Gates of Day. 

We are glad we have a Soldiers' Home, 

Where twelve hundred veterans find 

Peace, comfort, beauty— all combined. 

When we remember what they had to do and dare. 

We honor every thread of Blue they wear. 

They hungered once and in damp prisons pined 

To save for us a government, 

The best on which the sun has ever shined. 

'Tis fitting, then, in these declining years, 

That we should guard their lives 

From needless want and tears. 

We are glad the Home Trustees 

Have furnished them the Keeley Cure, 

That they may crush the strong drink foe, 

As they crushed rebellion long ago. 

And when they're carried to their rest, 

By tender hands and gentle feet. 

The mantle of a Nation's love. 

Shall be their winding sheet. 

We are glad we have the G. A. R. 

To keep alive the customs of the war : 

To tell the tales of victory and defeat ; 

To tell us of the clash of arms 

When bitter foes in deadly battle meet ; 

To gather garlands for each Memorial day, 

And on their comrades' graves these sweet mementoes lay. 

May they enjoy their jolly camp-fires 

And their feasts of soldier love. 

Till Blue and Gray together 

Shall bivouac on the plains above. 

Our hearts are very glad to-day, not proud, 

But gladness comes weUing up within. 

That we have lived to see another Century begin. 



THE CENTENNIAL POEM. 

No rivalry within our hearts is found ; 

We're glad our neighbors prosper all around, 

Glad we have two prosperous cities in Steuben, 

Where live a class of noble-hearted men. 

We are glad the county does honor to the Baron's name. 

And casts a halo of respect around his fame. 

We are glad to meet and kindly greet 

The wanderers from our fold, 

Back to the scenes they loved of old. 

Back from the great wheat fields of tlie West, 

Back from the humming spindles of the East, 

Back from the thriving cities of the North, 

And fruit clad ranches of the fertile South ; 

Back to the homes of childhood days, 

Of budding hopes and youthful plays. 

Where first they saw a mother's smile and bliss 

And felt the pressure of a mother's hand and kiss. 

Where first they leai-ned to walk and leap, 

And sweetly whisper, " Now I lay me down to sleep." 

That you have found the latch-string out, 

We fondly hope, and do not doubt. 

May you return safely to the homes you love. 

And make them symbols of the Heavenly home above. 

But one thing yet remains for me to do — 

Young men, young women of the Century here begun, 

We now bequeath this Bath to you ; 

Our work is nearly done. 

We took the germ from God's own hand ; 

We give to you the cultured land. 

We took the Indian's wigwam, and the eagle's nest ; 

We give to you a city and a town, in peaceful rest. 

We heard the wild wolf's howl, the Indian's yell ; 

You hear the engine's whistle, and the Sabbath bell. 

Our homes were cabins built of logs, 

Hard by yon wild-wood stream ; 

In bright palatial halls, 

You'U eat and sleep and dream. 

We made our journeys in the ancient two-wheeled cart. 

Or " paddled our own canoe " upon the stream ; 

You'll fly with wind-like speed along the rail 

In Pullman cars, propelled by modern steam. 

Our corn was in a mortar placed, 



94 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

And with a pestle beat ; 

We give to you the roller mill. 

To grind your golden wheat. 

We labored hard with calloused hand, 

To meet our every want ; 

Machinery will do your work, 

Run by the manufacturing plant. 

We used the fat pine torch, 

In battling with the darkness of the night ; 

We give to you a powerful flame 

Of pure electric light. 

Water to quench our conflagrations, 

By hand power only rose ; 

We give to you a gushing torrent, 

From the nozzle of the hose. 

We had no place to gather. 

When for knowledge we would search ; 

We give to you on every hill, in every vale, 

The school house and the church. 

We had the slow coach mail, 

At best but fifty miles a day ; 

We give to you the fast express — 

At fifty miles an hour 

It whirls the mails away. 

We were charged in cents, from ten to twenty-five, 

For distance less or more ; 

For two cents, now, we send your mail 

From East to Western shore. 

We sent a post-boy, when hasty news we had to bear : 

Yoiu^ will fly with lightning speed 

Along the electric wire. 

Or better still, by telephone 

Your friend a thousand miles away 

Will tell you what he has to say, 

And you'll respond with equal grace. 

As though you met him face to face. 

We stooped to cut the ripened grain, 

With tiny sickle in our hand ; 

You run the reaper and the binder 

Athwart the grain-clad land. 

With wooden flail, we threshed our grain and corn. 

And then by horse-power, of man's invention born ; 

We give to you the powerful piston rod 

Harnessed to the mighty enginery of God. 



THE CENTENNIAL POEM. 95 

Then, we repeat, this Bath we now bequeath to you, 

And to your children, who may live the century through. 

Think not the love of fashion or walks of social bliss 

Are paths that lead a town to permanent success ; 

Think not that dissipation of any kind or grade 

Can be an elemental part of what true worth is made ; 

Think not that wealth alone or pride of education 

Will be a lasting crown of honor to any town or nation ; 

But if to these you Christian virtue add. 

And in purity of life are trulj' clad, 

So shall a halo of undying fame 

Begird Bath's future name. 

There is a fame that flashes like a rocket on the evening sky, 

Then bursts in golden bubbles there, that fall and fade and die — 

Beware of such delusion. 

Let reminiscence keep the past forever bright. 

And forecast on the future turn her signal light ; 

The spiritual will hold its vigor, strong and hale, 

Though flesh and blood still weep within the vale. 

Let " God is Love" be written just above the tears 

On this mighty scroll of unborn years ; 

Plant well your feet upon the eternal rock of truth. 

And you shall find the blush and bloom of early youth 

On Bath's fair brow, 

A hundred years from now. 



CHARLES WILLIAMSON. 
By James McCall, Esq. 



Charles Williamson was the son of Alexander and Christian Robertson 
Williamson, of Balgray, Dumfrieshire ; he was born at Edinburgh, Scot- 
land, on the 12th day of July, 1757. We are at present ignorant of the 
events of his early life, but as his father was a landed proprietor, he 
undoubtedly divided his time between an active outdoor life and the pur- 
suit of a thorough education, both of which were characteristic of his 
native heath, and stood him in good stead in the channels he later fol- 
lowed. 

At an early age he entered the army, and April 10, 1775, was gazetted 
as ensign by purchase in the 25th Regiment of Foot, called the Cameron- 
ians. Later he rose to the rank of captain ; and while on his way to join 
his regiment, which had been assigned to duty in the war of the Revolu- 
tion, the vessel which carried him was captured by a French privateer, and 
he was taken as a prisoner into Newburyport, and later transferred to Bos- 
ton. This incident, possibly unimportant in itself, led to some of the most 
important events in his life. 

For while Charles tarried in that fighting, literary center, he was a 
boarder in the family of a certain E. Newell, of Roxbury, who had a wife, 
Margaret, and a charming daughter, Abigail. As the story goes, the cap- 
tain fell ill, and the daughter either bottled up her animosity, or showed 
her colors, by devoting herself so thoroughly to nursing the invalid that 
each grew to love the other's presence. Consequently, in the fall of 1781, 
when an exchange of prisoners had been arranged and the captain set out 
for New York, Abigail accompanied him. And at New London, Conn., 
on December 2, 1781, they were married by a justice of the peace 
whom we know only by the name of Green. Abigail was born in 1756, and 
was, therefore, slightly his senior. Old residents repeat this bit of gossip as 
to the occurrence : That the captain and his future wife, on their arrival 
at the New London inn, were received by an important landlady of enquir- 
ing mind, who immediately gave notice that the young lady should not 
leave the house except under the wing of a legal protector. And the Brit- 
ish redcoat, mindful of Lexington, made an honorable surrender to the 
Yankee rebel who presided over the hostelry. Where the young couple 



CHARLES WILLIAMSON. 97 

went, where they lived and what the captain was engaged in for the next 
ten years, we are now unable to ascertain, except that he obtained a pass- 
port to travel in Germany, in 1784, is said to have made a tour of Europe, 
and, as Charles Stewart testifies, came to Balgray, in the neighborhood of 
Locherbie, Scotland, in 1787, with his wife and one or two children, and 
remained there two or three years ; and that on September 17, 1790, he was 
elected Burgess of Loch Maben. 

The observant captain had not wasted his time when first in the States, 
and the capitalists of Europe, whose attention was then being drawn 
from the crowded land ownership of the old world to the opportunities in 
the vast unsettled regions of the new, eagerly sought his opinion and 
drew upon his stock of information. 

His intellectual and social qualities attracted the attention of William 
Pitt, then Prime Minister, and Patrick Colquhoun, Sheriff of Westminster ; 
their acquaintance ripened into an intimacy which continued until the 
death of both. So, when Robert Morris, the financier of the Eevolution, 
sold on contract to an "Association," consisting of William Pulteney, 
William Hornby and Colquhoun, the tract of land in Western New York, 
consisting of over 2,000,000 acres, or 3,500 square miles, stretching from the 
Pennsylvania line to Lake Ontario, and from Seneca Lake to the Genesee 
River, they turned at once to Captain Williamson as the man to carry out 
the scheme of settling the country and disposing of their purchase in 
smaller parcels. Desirous of a further acquaintance with America, Will- 
iamson readily accepted the appointment of agent of the association. 

He repaired to Scotland and arranged his own affairs ; he selected a 
party of brave, ambitious and intelligent Scotchmen to assist him in his 
new field ; among them were John Johnson and Charles Cameron, whose 
uncle, Mr. Stewart, had smoothed the family frowns that greeted William- 
son and his Yankee wife, and claimed his nephew's preferment as a 
reward. 

Late in the fall of 1791, with his wife, children and assistants, he 
sailed for Norfolk, Va., which he reached in December ; thence he went 
by packet to Baltimore and on to Philadelphia, where he must have first 
made the acquaintance of Robert Morris. January 9, 1792, he appeared 
before the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, took 
the oath of allegiance, and was made a citizen of the United States. 

Anxious to obtain some idea of the work before him, and of th,e lands 
of which he was about to take possession, he went, via Albany and the 
Mohawk Valley, into Western New York. He gives us this graphic des- 
cription of the condition of the route he traveled : "The road, as far as 
Whitestown, had been made passable for wagons, but from that to the 
Genesee was little better than an Indian path, sufficiently opened to allow 
a sledge to pass, and some impassable streams bridged. At Whitestown I 



9» THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

was obliged to change my carriage, the Albany driver getting alarmed for 
himself and horses when he found that for the next one hundred miles we 
were not only obliged to take provisions for ourselves, but for our horses, 
and blankets for our beds. On leaving Whitestown we found only a few 
straggling huts, scattered along the path, from ten to twenty miles from 
each other, and they affording nothing but the conveniency of fire and a 
kind of shelter from the snow." 

Hastily exploring the northern part of the territory, he selected a town 
site at the junction of the Canaseraga and Genesee rivers, to be called 
Williamsburg, probably in honor of both Pulteney and Hornby. It is a 
strange commentary that Williamsburg, the first creation of the English 
land speculators, which in the beginning seriously threatened to rival 
Bath, and which existed for over fifty years, can not now boast any other 
landmark than waving fields of grain, while our lovely village, with the 
vigor of youth, celebrates its hundredth birthday. 

Returning to Philadelphia, on the 11th day of April, 1792, Williameon 
received in his own name, from Robert Morris and wife, for a stated con- 
sideration of £75,000 sterling, a deed of what was thereafter known as the 
Estate of the English Association. After long consultations with Morris, 
having concluded that the most feasible route to the lands was from the 
southward, he made Northumberland, Pa. , then the largest settlement near 
the state line, the base of his operations and moved his family to this 
frontier town. 

He says, '"Sensible of the advantages this new country would reap 
from a communication with Pennsylvania, his first object was to trace out 
the possibility of opening a communication across the Allegany Mount- 
ains ; discouraged by every person he enquired of for information relative 
to the route, he determined to explore the country himself, and on the 3d 
of June, 1793, taking leave of the inhabitants on the west branch of the 
Susquehanna, entered the wilderness, taking a northerly course. After a 
laborious exertion of ten days he came to the Cowanesque creek * * pro- 
ceeding thence towards the north-north-west, after six days more travel- 
ing, the party pitched their tents in an Indian clearing, where Williams- 
burg stands," 170 miles from the Susquehanna. Resolved that a road was 
practicable and necessary, his vigor and pvish are demonstrated by the fact 
that in November he had thirty miles of it made, and the whole made pas- 
sable fol- wagons in August of the next year. 

It is probable that it was upon that exploring tour that he selected the 
site of our handsome village. Until the first of the year he was busy in 
Northumberland, along the line of his new road, and in different parts of 
the Genesee tract. In January, 1793, he went to Philadelphia and to New 
York, where he staid until February 6, when a courier from the midst of 



CHARLES WILLIAMSON. 99 

the wilderness brought him news of a mutiny among the Germans in Janu- 
ary. He hurried back to Northumberland, and went on to the Lycoming 
to confer with one Berezy, who had charge of the 129 Germans. Colqu- 
houn, without consulting Williamson, had arranged with this same Berezy 
to collect a colony of steady German farmers to be settled in the Genesee 
country, whither they were to be carried free, and where they were to be 
supplied with twenty-five acre farms at reduced rates. When the greater 
number of them arrived in Philadelphia, instead of New York, where it 
was agreed to land them, they proved to be a motley crowd of loafers and 
malcontents which poverty, laziness and necessity had gathered together 
in that pestilential port of Hamburg. Robert Morris concluded that the 
only way out of the dilemma was to use them in cutting the road to 
tlieir future settlement. They were lazy and mutinous on the way ; they 
were shiftless, ungrateful, gormandizing dead-beats while they remained 
at Williamsburg, and in a year or so all straggled over into Canada on 
the invitation of Governor Simcoe. They were the poorest investment the 
Pulteney Estate ever made. 

In a letter of November 3, 1793, Williamson washes his hands of the 
whole business, and says he has expended £8,000 currency, or about $21,- 
000, tor them since they landed. Many pages of his account book are filled 
with items of drafts drawn on him by 'Berezee"; and the entries for 
moneys paid out between July 21, 1792, and March 26, 1793, for the Ger- 
mans who came through Northumberland, show an outlay of $13,241.60 ; 
while the second party, who landed in New York and went via the Mo- 
hawk, are charged in the same time with $10,570.60. The trial of the riot- 
ous ones at Canandaigua in September, 1793, cost more money, and other 
expenses and litigation followed. 

April 15, 1793, Cameron reached Bath, and the Captain, who had fol- 
lowed two days later and gone on to Canandaigua and Williamsburg, 
returned a few days afterward to give his personal attention to the foun- 
dation of his forest city. Turner says he then suffered some of the hard- 
ships and privations of the wilderness, and quotes an unknown authority 
that, ' ' He would lay in his hut with his feet to the fire, and when the cold 
chills of ague came on, call for some one to lie close to his back, to keep 
him wai-m." In July his wife and two children joined him at Bath and 
brought cheer to his home in the midst of stumps and rattlesnakes. Mrs. 
Williamson deserves praise in thus helping her husband in his enterprise. 
For undoubtedly he had her bring the family into the heart of the woods 
to show other families that they could do the same. But he must have 
had little time then for the pleasures of the family fireside. For in Sep- 
tember he was compelled to go to Canandaigua to attend the trial of some 
of his German rioters, and after that to the cattle fair and races at Will- 
iamsburg, for which he gave one fifty-pound purse, besides subscribing two 



100 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

pounds to another, and spending £15 in entertaining those in attendance. 
If he had any political aspirations that year, they must have suc- 
cumbed to the advice of Robert Morris, who writes him in April, 1793 : 
" My own opinion is that you and Tom (the writer's son) might be better 
employed than you would in going as members of the Assembly. He is 
too young, and you ought to be always at the receipt of customs in Ontario 
county for the sale of lands. * * I think you can't be judge and representa- 
tive." But the next year Tom represented Ontario county in the legislature, 
and Captain Williamson was appointed a Judge of the Coui-t of Common 
Pleas and General Sessions of the same county. Whether he anticipated 
this, April 23, 1794, when he expended, at New York, the sum of $16 for a 
sword, I know not ; but it is also certain that on the same day he invested 
in one hundred quills, foolscap and Queen's folio, besides a dozen spelling 
books. His judicial labors were probably not onerous, and were chiefly 
confined to taking acknowledgements. In July he was at Whitestown, in 
attendance before the Commissioners who were endeavoring to conclude 
a treaty with the Indians. 

Early in the same year (1794), the Captain had begun a settlement at 
Sodus, on the shore of Lake Ontario, and arranged for the erection of mills, 
a tavern, a storehouse and a wharf. It seems that the British authorities 
in Canada had not lost the hope of renewing the Revolutionary struggle 
and invading New York ; consequently they had retained possession of 
many forts which the treaty of peace required them to surrender and 
looked with an evil eye on this settlement at Sodus ; and Governor Simcoe, 
then in control of the Canadian government, even threatened to send 
Williamson to England in irons. 

By Simcoe's orders. Lieutenant Sheaffe, commanding at Fort Oswego, 
on the 16th day of August, 1794. visited Sodus, left a protest against the 
prosecution of the settlement, and appointed a meeting with the Captain 
ten days later. The Captain was not afraid of all this blow and bluster, 
and kept the engagement. But with a brace of loaded pistols on his table 
he received, in the log cabin, the representative of Simcoe, who landed 
with great military display ; and the following lively dialogue, which is 
worthy of the loyal captain, took place : 

Sheafife — ' ' I am commissioned by G overnor Simcoe to deliver the 
papers (the protest), and require an answer." 

Williamson — " I am a citizen of the United States, and under their 
authority and protection I possess these lands. I know no right that his 
Britannic Majesty, or Governor Simcoe, has to interfere or molest me. The 
only allegiance I owe to any power on earth is to the United States ; and 
so far from being intimidated by threats from people I have no connection 
with, I shall proceed with my improvements ; and nothing but superior 



CHARLES WILLIAMSON. 101 

force shall make me abandon the place. Is the protest of Governor Sim- 
coe intended to apply to Sodus exclusively ?" 

Sheaffe — " By no means. It is intended to embrace all the Indian 
lands purchased since the peace of 1783." 

Williamson — "And what are Governor Simcoe's intentions, supposing 
that the protest is disregarded ?" 

Sheaflfe — " I am merely the official bearer of the papers ; but I have a 
further message to deliver from Governor Simcoe ; which is, that he repro- 
bates your conduct exceedingly for endeavoring to obtain flour from Upper 
Canada, and should he permit it, it would be acknowledging the right of 
the United States to these Indian lands." 

This was a bold answer from one who had not consulted the war office ; 
but the Captain at once notified the government at Washington, prepared 
for war, and sent a letter detaiUng all the insolence of Simcoe to WiUiam 
Pulteney to be shown to Prime Minister Pitt. But Mad Anthony Wayne 
taught the Indians and their British friends a lesson, and prevented our 
seeing how bravely the Captain could take up arms against his native land. 

In 1795, Captain Williamson entertained at Bath the Duke de laRoche- 
foucault de Liancourt, who t us describes his manners, his wife and his 
life in the backwoods : "And here it is but doing him common justice to 
say, that in him are united all the civility, good nature and cheerfulness 
which a liberal education, united to a proper knowledge of the world, can 
impart. * * We spent four days at his house, from an early hour until 
late at night, without ever feeling om'selves otherwise than at home. Per- 
haps it is the fairest eulogium we can pass on his free and easy urbanity to 
say that all the time of our stay he seemed as much at his ease as if we 
had not been present. He transacted all his business in our presence, and 
was actively employed all day long. We were present at his receiving per- 
sons of different ranks and descriptions with whom the apartment he 
allots to visitors is generally crowded. He received them all with the same 
civiUty, attention, cheerfulness and good nature. They came to him pre- 
possessed with a certain confidence in him, and they never leave him dis- 
satisfied. He is at all times ready to converse with any who have business 
to transact with him. He will break off a conversation with his friends, 
or even get up from dinner, for the sake of dispatching those who wish to 
speak to him. From this constant readiness of receiving aU who have busi- 
ness with him, should any conclude that he is influenced by a thirst for gain, 
this surmise should be contradicted by the unanimous testimony of all 
who have had dealings with him, those not excepted who have bought 
land of him, which many have sold again with some considerable advan- 
tage to themselves. But were it even imdeniable, that money is his lead- 
ing or sole object, it is desirable that all who are swayed by the same 
passion would gratify it in the same just, honorable and useful manner. 



102 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

His way of living is simple, neat and good. Every day we had a 
joint of fresh meat, vegetables and wine. We met with no circumstances 
of pomp or luxury but found ease, good humor and plenty. * * * She 
(his wife) is yet but a young woman, of fair complexion, civil, though of 
few words, and mother of two lovely children, one of whom, a girl, three 
years old, is the finest and handsomest I ever saw." 

In the fall of 1796, after the erection of this county, he was elected a 
member of the Assembly from Ontario and Steuben, and held the same 
oflBlce for four successive terms. On March 23, 1797, John Jay, Governor 
of the State of New York, commissioned him a " Lieutenant Colonel, com- 
manding a regiment of militia in the county of Steuben." 

And it seems that in the midst of his judicial, legislative and military 
duties, which sometimes interfered with the extensively advertised fairs 
and races, he was called upon to entertain in a most regal manner the fas- 
tidious speculators in land and hoi-se-flesh ; but in the midst of all that, he 
turned his versatile talents into the realm of architecture ; and Maude, who 
visited him in 1800, says : "Here (that is, on his Springfield farm) Capt. 
W. has built an excellent mansion, much superior to the one in Bath vil- 
lage, and which he proposes as his future residence. The plan is original, 
Capt. W. being his own architect. I have seen no plans for country dwel- 
ling houses that I would more readily adopt than Captain "Williamson's ; 
this is a single house, with two stories and wings. The Americans have a 
great antipathy to wings ; they invariably hold to the solid column, the 
cellar kitchen and the dormer windows." In this house, with its high 
ceilings and heavy mouldings, Colonel Williamson dispensed his generous 
hospitality on a liberal scale. For years it was famous for the brilliant 
assemblies which gathered the beauty, wit and fashion of the Genesee 
and Susquehanna valleys. But he did not devote himself entirely to 
races and social gatherings, which were only some of the many means he 
employed to malce this district attractive to settlers who boasted family 
and fortune. He found time in 1798 to write a very readable little pam- 
phlet of thirty-seven pages, being a " Description of the Genesee Country; 
its Rapidly Progressive Population and Improvements." He was a be- 
liever in the merit of printer's ink, and this offshoot of his pen is well 
done. 

More than that, he improved the navigation of the Conhocton and 
Canisteo, built bridges, hotels, jails, court houses, school houses, mills 
and theatres, placed boats on Lake Ontario, and built or contributed to the 
building of the State road from Fort Schuyler to Geneva, the "Niagara 
Road," the one from Lyons to Palmyra, the one from Hopeton to Towns- 
ends, the one from Seneca Falls to Lyon's Mills, and the one from Cushong 
to Hopeton ; and he was a heavy stockholder in the great bridge across 
the outlet of Cayuga Lake. All these required money ; his principals 



CHARLES WILLIAMSON. 103 

declined to advance any more, and decided to take advantage of an act 
authorizing aliens for three years to take title to lands, and placed a new 
agent in charge. Accordingly, there was an accounting and appraisal ; 
Williamson assigned to his principals $551,699.78 worth of bonds, mort- 
gages and notes, and on March 31, 1801, conveyed to them the unsold 
lands which were valued at $3,547,494.58 ; besides the original purchase, 
he conveyed over 5,000 acres of land just west of the Genesee, the Cottinger 
tract in the Morris Reserve, six hundred acres in the Military tract, besides 
thousands of acres in Otsego, Herkimer, Chenango, Clinton, Albany and 
3Iontgoinery counties. Under his administration he had expended in pur- 
chasing lands, making improvements and other expenses, $1,374,470.10 ; 
he had received for lands sold, $147,974.83 ; besides this there was an 
indebtedness outstanding of about $300,000, the most of which was the 
unpaid purchase price of land outside of the original purchase. It showed, 
I believe, a better condition of affairs than either party anticipated. For 
the Pulteney Estate spent but little after that, and has ever since kept up 
the sale of lands at continually advancing prices. 

The Colonel's integrity was unquestioned, and the English syndicate 
should thank him for his devotion to his trust and for many shrewd finan- 
cial moves. A large part of his payments he made in drafts ; and when 
his principals were slow in remitting funds he raised money by drawing 
on Morris, or some other friend at a distance, and hazarding the loss of 
three or four per cent, interest and twenty per cent, damages for non-ac- 
ceptance, in the hope of getting money by the time the draft should be 
presented to meet it. 

Colonel Williamson must have experienced great disappointment in 
relinquishing the trust at a time when he believed he was about to bring 
it to a successful issue ; and it is not strange. We are ignorant of the 
exact state of the feelings he bore toward his principals and they toward 
him, except such as is thrown on the canvas by letters of Troup on the 
subject of settlement, and the following from Sir William Pulteney to Dr. 
Roneayre, under date of Weymouth, October 10, 1804 : 

"I am much obliged to you for sending me that part of Mr. Troup's 
letter which relates to Mr. Williamson. * * He supposes that I have 
instigated some persons to resentment against him, which I can assure you 
is not the fact. I disapproved of the large sums Mr. WilUamson had 
drawn for, but I never entertained any doubts of his integrity, ability or 
good intentions, and I shall certainly be very glad to see him when he 
comes over. Some persons in America, he says, had impressed him in a 
belief that he had everything to apprehend from me, if he came to Eng- 
land, than which nothing could be more untrue, and I can in no way 
account for it. I feel myself much obliged to Mr. Troup for the letter he 
took the trouble to write me on my affairs, and the interest he takes in Mr. 
Williamson is very satisfactory to me." 



104 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

After his settlement with his principals, Williamson fomid himseK in 
possession of several farms, village property in Geneva and Bath, wild 
lands, bonds, mortgages, and much personal property. He owned the 
whole of Bluff Point, and once contemplated erecting a magnificent castle 
on its towering heights. There is a legend among the "oldest residents" 
that he was wont to ride on horseback along the west shore of Keuka Lake 
to about Gibson, and then swim his steed bearing him on his back across 
the lake to his commanding domain. 

He maintained his headquarters on the Springfield farm, upon which 
he had put Major Thornton and his charming wife. Williamson's wife 
was in Albany much of this time. He busied himself with his personal 
affairs, and for pleasure or business was a frequent visitor at New York 
and the large cities of the country ; once he made the journey from New 
York to Bath within one week. It would seem from some letters written 
about the time of his retirement from the agency, that his domestic rela- 
tions were somewhat strained, probably owing to the difference of tem- 
perament and breeding of himself and his wife. He was fond of enter- 
taining and attending all social gatherings. He joined the Masons ; and 
his personal account book shows that on November 16, 1802, prior to a visit 
to England, he gave a supper to the society of Masons, at Metcalf's Inn, at 
an expense of $45.34. That was the same year that all his taxes in the 
town of Bath were only $8.14, and that he gave $500 to Canandaigua 
Academy. 

About January 10, 1803, he sailed for Falmouth, England, and spent 
the summer on the British Isles. By December of that year he returned 
to this country, where he remained until at least the close of 1806 ; for 
Charles Williamson Dunn, the first white child born in this town, has re- 
lated that he saw the Colonel at Major Thornton's funeral in December, 1806. 
About that time he again crossed the Atlantic, and left the Genesee Coun- 
try for the last time. It must be that it was at this period of his life that 
he was sent by the EngUsh Government to Egypt to investigate the con- 
dition of affairs in that illy -governed monarchy, over which Great Britain 
finally established her protectorate. His report was so carefully and justly 
drawn that he was publicly thanked in the House of Commons ; and not- 
withstanding it ran counter to his interests, its truthfulness was acknowl- 
edged by the Pasha of Egypt, who presented him with a jeweled sword. 
In 1808, he was sent on some governmental mission to Cuba ; and on the 
return voyage from Havana he died of yellow fever, in the 51st year (1808) 
of his age. And so he died, as he had lived, in the midst of danger, hard- 
ship and toil. 

George McClure, who had known him intimately in the early days of 
Bath, passed this well rounded eulogium upon his character : "He was a 



CHARLES WILLIAMSON. 105 

perfect gentleman, high-souled, honorable man, generous, humane, oblig- 
ing and courteous to all, whether rich or poor." 

And Turner, who made a thorough study of the early history of the 
Phelps and Gorham Purchase, adds : "Well educated, possessing more 
than ordinary social qualities, with a mind improved by travel and associ- 
ation with the best classes of Europe, his society was sought after by the 
many educated and intelligent men who came to this region in the earliest 
settlement ; and he knew well how to adapt himself to circumstances, and 
to all classes that went to make up the aggregate of the early adventurers ; 
changing his habits of life with great ease and facility, he was at home in 
every primitive cabin, a welcome, cheerful and contented guest, with 
words of encouragement for those who were sinking under the hax'dships 
of pioneer life ; and often ready with substantial aid to relieve their neces- 
sities ; when found prostrated with disease he would furnish some bracing 
tonic or restoring cordial." 

In 1830, the Penn Yan Democrat said of him : " Col. Williamson was 
a gentleman of great worth and enterprise ; and his memory will be cher- 
ished by the early settlers of this country with every demonstration of 
respect to which the character of a great and good man is entitled. 
Under his agency the settlers experiercei the benefits of a liberal and 
enlightened policy. He was not restrained by those narrow views which 
covetousness creates in sordid and avaricious men. The rapid settlement 
and development of the country under his direction was beheld with won- 
der and admiration. Mills were erected, roads constructed, and every 
avenue to market opened of which the nature of the country admitted. 
These, with many other improvements, are both an evidence of his zeal 
for the prosperity of the settlers, of his unwearied exertions to increase 
the value of the property confided to his care, and form a striking feature 
in the history of his administration. No wilderness ever disappeared and 
became the abode of a numerous population in so short a period as did 
this, under his agency. Oppressing the settlers by exacting the perform- 
ance of hard and ill-judged contracts, or driving them to despair by inces- 
sant demands of compound interest formed no part of his system. The 
remuneration of the proprietors from the future ability of the settlers to 
pay was the leading feature of his policy." 

G. H. McMaster, in his " History of Steuben County " (published in 1853), 
says : " Captain Williamson was a man of talent, hope, energy and ver- 
satility, generous, brave of spirit, swift and impetuous of action, of un- 
questionable discretion in business, a lover of sport and excitement, and 
well calculated by his temperament and genius to lead the proposed 
enterprise." 

Colonel Williamson had two brothers, John Hope, who was born 
September 5, 1755, and died December 4, 1796, and David, who was also a 



106 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Captain in his Majesty's service, and became Lord Balgray, The Colonel's 
wife died at Geneva, N. Y,, August 31, 1824. The childi-en born to them 
were, (1), Christian, born November 1, 1786, died at Bath, September 27, 
1793 ; (2), Ann, born about 1792, married D. S. Buchanan, and died after 
1826 ; (3), Charles Alexander, born November 12, 1794, died May 14, 1849. 
Charles A., in 1825, married a Miss Clark, of New York, and resided for a 
time in Geneva, N. Y., and then removed to Scotland. He had several 
children. His eldest son, David Robertson Williamson, Esq. , was bom in 
Geneva, February 13, 1830, and now lives at Crieff, Scotland, where he 
occupies the Robertson estate, containing fifty square miles of land. 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 

By Ansel J, McCall, Esq, 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen :— A century has closed since 
the settlement of our town and village. We have assembled to-day to 
commemorate the event and pay our homage to the memory of the noble 
pioneers from whose toils and privationswe have derived so fair a heritage. 
For one who had witnessed them, to narrate these interesting occurrences 
in their order from the beginning would be an easy task. But to gather 
from such meagre materials as stray newspapers, old account books, musty 
letters, moss-covered tombstones and vague traditions the history of a town 
and that of its denizens for three generations is no trifling labor. To con- 
dense and collate even the events 'that are notable and present them in an 
address of reasonable length is also an arduous and delicate undertaking. 
You will, therefore, pardon me for any short-coming in the chronicles 
which I have endeavored to present in as simple and truthful manner as 
possible. 

The settlement of our village came not about in the ordinary way, 
was not the work of chance, but the result of a fixed and definite purpose. 
A brief review of the transactions which led to it seems necessary to be 
given. 

It is well known that the colonies of North America derived their 
political existence from Royal Charters with grants of territory of uncer- 
tain extent and indefinite boundaries, sometimes overlapping and cover- 
ing the same domain. There had been many and serious controversies 
between them about their respective rights, threatening to result in open 
hostilities. The Revolutionary "War temporarily composed these sisterly 
quarrels, but as soon as peace was declared, their independence established 
and measures taken for a more perfect union, these differences loomed up 
again. It was insisted that the glorious result was due to the joint efforts 
of the whole confederation, and that, as a consequence, the unoccupied 
and disputed territory should become the property of the National Gov- 
ernment, to be disposed of for their joint benefit. 

May 27, 1784, Massacliusetts presented a petition to Congress setting 
forth her claim to land embraced within the bounds of the State of New 
York, and asking for the appointment of commissioners to adjust the dif- 
ference ; but it resulted in nothing. In 1786, the legislatures of New York; 



108 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

and Massachusetts respectively provided for the appointment of commis- 
sioners to compromise the dispute. They met at Hartford in November of 
that year, and on the 16th of December, esiecuted a compromise agree- 
ment embracing mutual cessions, grants, releases and provisions, whereby 
all interfering claims and controversies between said States, as well in 
respect of jurisdiction as of property, were finally settled and extinguished, 
and peace and harmony established between them on the most solid foun- 
dation. 

By the settlement thus effected, New York retained the right of gov- 
ernment, sovereignty and jurisdiction over all the lands in dispute, and to 
Massachusetts was ceded the rights of soil or preemption of the soil from 
the sole occupants, the Seneca Indians, of 240,000 acres between the Owego 
and Chenango Rivers, commonly known as the Boston ten townships, and 
also of all the lands in New York west of a line beginning at the 83d mile- 
stone on the north boundaiy of Pennsylvania (now the south-east corner 
of Steuben county), and running on a meridian line due north to Lake 
Ontario, excepting one mile in width on the Niagara River. If you veill 
stop and consider its situation, its soil, its climate and its products, you will 
agree that it is the fairest portion of the earth that the sun shines upon. It 
was a noble and generous act on the part of New York to agree to this 
cession. Without a doubt, she could have successfully resisted the claim ; 
but when such patriots as Clinton, Livingston, Yates and Benson advised 
the compromise for the sake of peace and harmony, we know that it was 
wise to do so. 

Notwithstanding the bestowal of so munificent a gift, without an ade- 
quate consideration, Dutch skill and Scotch thrift made New York the 
Empire State of the Union. For her generosity attracted to her domain 
the best blood of Massachusetts, so that whatever the latter State gained in 
money she lost in men. It is men that make a State. Massachusetts saw 
in these lands only a means of liquidating the heavy indebtedness which 
oppressed her. Having quickly disposed of the ten townships to a Boston 
company, on the 1st day of April, 1783, she contracted to sell to Nathaniel 
Gorham and Oliver Phelps her rights in the residue of the territory for 
£300,000, Massachusetts currency, payable in three equal annual install- 
}nents, with interest, in consolidated securities of her State. These obli- 
gations at that time were only worth 20 per cent, of their face value, so 
the actual price was only £60,000, or $'300,(lOO— a small sura for nearly six 
millions of acres of land. 

Phelps and Gorham at once opened negotiations with the Seneca In- 
dians, and at a council held at Buffalo Creek, a treaty was concluded on 
the 8th of July, 1788, by which tliey obtained title to the eastern portion of 
the tract, estimated to contain 2,200,000 acres, agreeing to pay therefor 
five thousand dollars in hand, and an annuity of five hundred dollars. 



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CI- 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 109 

This portion was bounded on the north by Lake Ontario ; on the east by 
the preemption line, so-called ; on the south by Pennsylvania, and on the 
west by the following boundary : Running along a meridian line from the 
Pennsylvania line to the confluence of the Canaseraga with the Genesee 
River, thence northerly along said river to a point two miles north of Can- 
awagus village (near Avon) ; thence west twelve miles ; thence northerly, 
and twelve miles from the Genesee River to Lake Ontario. This territory 
became known as the "Genesee Tract," and included what is now Steuben 
couDty. Phelps and Gorham immediately caused the same to be surveyed 
into ranges of townships six miles square. This was the commencement 
of a system of surveys which has been adopted by the Government in all 
the western states and territories. The surveyor who devised this most 
simple and admirable plan is not known. 

Phelps and Gorham opened an office in Canandaigua, and commenced 
the sale of the townships thus surveyed. The distance of these lands from 
the inhabited districts and the difficulty of reaching them for the want of 
feasible highways and water communication, necessarily retarded the 
sales, and in consequence of a rise in the value of the securities in which 
payment was to be made, the proprietors found themselves unable to keep 
their engagements. In their embarrassment they applied for aid to Robert 
Morris, of Pennsylvania, the Revolutionary financier, who purchased from 
them the unsold lands, except tYv^o townships reserved by them, and the pre- 
emptive right in the western portion, and assumed their obligations. For 
the nominal consideration of five dollars, on November 18, 1790, they exe- 
cuted a conveyance to Morris of such lands. Morris forthwith directed 
his agent in London to offer these lands for sale. In a short time a con- 
tract of sale of the lands ceded by the Indians was made with an English 
syndicate, consisting of William Pulteney, a capitalist, William Hornby, 
late Governor of Bombay, and Patrick Colquhoun, an advocate of Glas- 
gow, for the sum of $333,333.83. Pulteney "s interest was nine-twelfths ; 
Hornby's two-twelfths, and Colquhoun's one-twelfth. 

At this time aliens could not legally hold title to land in the State of 
New York. It \^'as, therefore, necessary that the syndicate should select a 
person who could take the title and convey such lands as they deemed it 
advisable to sell. Captain Charles Vv^iUiamson was chosen — a most fortu- 
nate selection. [The data of the foregoing abstract of title is gleaned 
from the papers of George S. Conover and Howard L. Osgood, well-known 
local historians.] 

Provided with the requisite authority from his principals to cany out 
the purposes of his appointment, in December, 1791, he sailed for Norfolk, 
Va., accompanied by his family and several reliable young Scotchmen as 
assistants. Upon his arrival he proceeded at once to Philadelphia to meet 
Robert Morris. On the 9th of January, 1792, he was duly naturalized by 




The Phelps and Gorham Purchase, 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 100 

This portion was bounded on the north by Lake Ontario ; on the east by 
the preemption line, so-called ; on the south by Pennsylvania, and on the 
west by the following boundary : Running along a meridian line from the 
Pennsylvania line to the confxuence of the Canaseraga with the Genesee 
River, thence northerly along said river to a point two miles north of Can- 
awagus village (near Avon) ; thence west twelve miles ; thence northerljs 
and twelve miles from the Genesee River to Lake Ontario. This territory 
became known as the " Genesee Tract," and included what is now Steuben 
eouDt3^ Phelps and Gorham immediately caused the same to be surveyed 
into ranges of townships six miles square. This was the commencement 
of a system of surveys which has been adopted by the Government in all 
the western states and territories. The surveyor who devised this most 
simple and admirable i^lan is not known. 

Phelps and Gorham opened an office in Canandaigua, and commenced 
the sale of the townships thus siuweyed. The distance of these lands from 
the inhabited districts and the diiSculty of reaching them for the want of 
feasible highways and water communication, necessarily retarded the 
sales, and in consequence of a rise in the value of the securities in which 
payment was to be made, the proprietors found themselves unable to keep 
their engagements. In their embarrassment they applied for aid to Robert 
Morris, of Pennsylvania, the Revolutionary financier, who purchased from 
them the unsold lands, except two townships reserved by them, and the pre- 
emptive right in the western portion, and assumed their obligations. For 
the nominal consideration of five dollars, on November 18, 1790, they exe- 
cuted a conveyance to Morris of such lands. Morris forthwith directed 
his agent in London to offer these lands for sale. In a short time a con- 
tract of sale of the lands ceded by the Indians was made with an English 
syndicate, consisting of William Pulteney, a capitalist, William Hornby, 
late Governor of Bombay, and Patrick Colquhoun, an advocate of Glas- 
gow, for the sum of $333,333.33. Pulteney "s interest was nine-twelfths ; 
Hornby's two-twelfths, and Colquhoun's one-twelfth. 

At this time aliens could not legally hold title to land in the State of 
New York. It was, therefore, necessary that the syndicate should select a 
person who could take the title and convey such lands as they deemed it 
advisable to sell. Captain Charles Williamson was chosen — a most fortu- 
nate selection. [The data of the foregoing abstract of title is gleaned 
from the papers of George S. Conover and Howard L. Osgood, well-known 
local historians.] 

Provided with the requisite authority from his principals to carry out 
the purposes of his appointment, in December, 1791, he sailed for Norfolk, 
Va., accompanied by his family and several reliable young Scotchmen as 
assistants. Upon his arrival he proceeded at once to Philadelphia to meet 
Robert Morris. On the 9th of January, 1792, he was duly naturalized by 



110 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and became a citizen of the United 
States. Tliere being no direct road leading from Philadelphia to the Gene- 
see countr}^, he proceeded, by \va\ of New York and Albany, to make an 
examination of the purchase before completing the contract, and left 
Albany on the 15th of February for the Genesee. He confined his explora- 
tions to the region of the Lakes and the Genesee River. He was charmed 
with the country and satisfied of its value. He determined to locate his 
headquarters on the Genesee River at the mouth of the Canaseraga. Many 
years of cultivation by the Indians had prepared these broad and rich 
river bottoms for the white settler. Captain Williamson returned to Phila- 
delphia, and on the 11th of April, 1793, received from Morris a deed of 
the tract in pursuance of the agreement. 

Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey were well populated and more 
contiguous to his purchase than New England ; he saw the necessity of 
opening a more direct communication to the Genesee from those States. 
He moved his family to Northumberland, a frontier town at the junction 
of the north and west branches of the Susquehanna. On the 3d of June, 
with a small party of surveyors and woodsmen, he set out to explore a 
route to the Genesee River. He proceeded with his party up the west 
branch to the mouth of the Lycoming, now the site of the city of Will- 
iamsport, and up that stream to the mouth of Trout Run, thence up that 
stream to its source ; then taking a northerly course, crossing Laurel Hill 
to the headwaters of the Tioga River, he came down that stream to its 
junction with the Conhocton at Painted Post. The party followed up the 
Conhocton to the head of Springwater Valley, about six miles south of 
Hemlock Lake, and thence made their way over the hilLs to the inlet of 
Conesus Lake ; crossing the valley and continuing westward along the 
southerly base of Groveland Hill, they pursued their course down the Can- 
aseraga to its junction with the Genesee, the point selected for a settle- 
ment, and given the name Williamsburg. Captain Williamson was satis- 
fied that a good highway was practicable by this route — the distance being 
less than one hundred and seventy miles and shorter by one hundred than 
any other from the west branch of the Susquehanna. 

The exploration of this route led him to change his plans. He dis- 
covered that the south-east portion of the tract was rough and hilly, much 
of it timbered with pitch-pine and scrub-oaks, and by no means to be com- 
pared with the rich bottoms of the Genesee or the smooth slopes surround- 
ing the Lakes. It was at once apparent to him that if he put upon the 
market the best lands first, the poor and broken lands would remain on 
his hands unsold for a long time. He also saw that this forbidding part 
of the coimtry had some advantages ; it was nearer the southern settle- 
ments, more healthful and abounded in purer streams ; so he resolved to 
make his headquarters and chief settlement in their midst, saying, ' ' As 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 11! 

nature has done so much for the northern plams, I will do something for 
the southern mountains." 

As he proceeded through the valley of the Conhocton, he was struck 
with the beauty of the intersection made by a broad valley extending 
north to Lake Keuka ; the Senecas had given it the name of Dona-ta-gwen- 
da (an opening within an opening). As it was near the centre of the south- 
ern part of the tract and at the head of navigation on the Conhocton 
River, with its abundant water power, lie determined to locale there his 
chief town and the headquarters for the sale of his lands. The site bore a 
striking resemblance to that beautiful valley in England where the Avon 
winds gracefully around the base of a hill and encircles a charming plateau 
upon wiiich has stood for centuries the ancient city of Bath — the seat of 
the Pulteney family. This fact led him to adopt the name for his embryo 
forest city. It was, also, a delicate c<)mpliment to the cliief proprietor of 
the territory, his patron. 

Captain Williamson made application to tlie Governor of the State of 
Pennsylvania for aid in opening the part of the road in that State along 
the line he had surveyed : but that Commonwealth refused to grant any 
assistance ; and he was lucky in getting even permission to build it at his 
own expense. The Captain was a man of action, and resolved to do it 
liimself . He employed a corps of stout Pennsylvania woodsmen early in 
the fall and commenced the work vith vigor. Hammond & Brown had 
charge of his English hands and Benjamin Patterson, of the German con- 
tingent — a band of a hundred or more scalawag's picked up in the German 
slums by one Bej-ezy, who had induced Patrick Colquhoun to agree to fur- 
nish them farms on the Genesee River. Instead of being a help in the 
work they proved an incumbrance, and in addition caused Williamson a 
world of trouble. Early in November, about thirty miles of it, sufiicientlj^ 
wide for wagons, had been opened, and by the last of December the work- 
ing party had completed it to Dansville, Livingston county. By the fol- 
lowing August it was completed to Williamsburg. It was a wonderful 
undertaking for a single individual, independent of State aid, to push a 
highway through a wilderness without an inhabitant to furnish encour- 
agement and labor, and devoid of food and the materials of construction. 
It has ever since been known as the Williamson Road, and was subsequent- 
ly adopted as the post route. 

The great road having been finished as far as the point selected for the 
new town, in March, 1793, as soon as navigation was opened, Captain W^ill- 
iamson organized a party of thirty woodsmen, surveyors and settlers, to 
proceed at once to clear the ground and lay the foundations of his new 
town and settlement on the site previously selected by him. He placed the 
same in charge of his faithful henchman, Charles Cameron, who pushed 
out with the party in two Durham boats— which may be called the May 



112 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Flower and Speadwell- -laden with tools, provisions and necessaries, and 
made his way up the north branch to Tioga Point. These boats carry from 
five to eight tons, and are poled up the stream, or where there is a strong 
current or rift are cordelled, or " warped," up by the passengers and crew 
by means of long ropes. From the Point the navigation was more diffi- 
cult ; so Mr. Cameron left there one of the boats, with much of the freight, 
in charge of a few men, and proceeded with the other up the Chemung 
and Conhocton, and on April 15, made a safe landing on the banks of the 
latter stream at Bath, near the present location of the Delaware & Lacka- 
wanna depot, a little more than thirty rods from Pulteney Square. 

Let us for a moment contemplate the scene here presented to these 
bold pioneers, whose mission it was to prepare homes for themselves and 
build a city. The broad valley was covered with a dark and dense forest 
of oak and pine ; there was not a break in any direction, save the narrow 
opening cut out for the great road on the ridge, now the line of Morris 
street. The hilltops were crowned with magnificent white pines, dark and 
sombre, adding at least a hundred feet to their apparent elevation. The 
work before them would have appalled less adventurous spirits. But they 
were made of sterner stuff, and fell to with a will to accomplish their pur- 
pose. The resounding blows of the axemen, the crash of falling timber, 
and the crackling of burning brush, joined with the cries of the master 
builders, so frightened the denizens of the forest that they betook them- 
selves to South Hill ; even the terrible rattlei's sought their holes. When 
night came on and the camp-fires were blazing dimly, they tell us a pack 
of wolves sent up the most unearthly howls ; moping owls from every tree- 
top answered, " Whoo-Whoo !" while the ill-boding ravens from their high 
perches croaked dismally their disapproval of the invasion of their 
domain. All were unheeded and the work went on. The wolf, the raven 
and the owl have disappeared. The forest of pines has vanished. The 
crowning glory of the hill-tops is gone. Rich farms, cottages, villas and 
churches have taken their places. All is changed save that the gentle 
slopes to the north and west present the same general contour, the grand 
old South Hill, now partly bald and bare, still overlooks the valley, and 
the same silver stream flows at its base on its winding way to the Susque- 
hanna and the sea. 

The first comers were not romancers, but stem workers who braced 
themselves for the toils and privations before them. Thomas Rees, Jr., the 
surveyor, with his corps of assistants, commenced at once to plot the vil- 
lage, locate the streets and squares, and number the lots, while Cameron 
and his helpers, after clearing the ground and making rustic cabins in 
which to shelter themselves, proceeded to erect a log building on the south 
side of Pulteney Square, of sufficient capacity for the accommodation of 
Captain Williamson's family and the transaction of his official business. 



/ HISTORICAL ADDRESS. ll^ 

On the north side of Morris street, about twenty rods west of the Square, 
they next erected a log structure for John Metcalf's hostelry. James 
Henderson, the mill-wright, sought out a mill site on the Conhocton River, 
now owned by John Baker and occupied by his flour-mill, and with his 
crew commenced building a saw-mill to furnish boards for floors, doors 
and roofs for the new land office, hotel and other structures being put up. 
It was the first saw-mill in the town, and was completed on the 25th of 
August. These were stirring times. Every man was working with a will. 
The axes of scores of choppers resounded in unison, and the boom of the 
falling pines echoed from mountain to hill. The shouts of the ox-drivers 
and the "heave-yo" of the house buildei's made merry music. Captain 
Williamson in a few days was on the ground in person, superintending 
operations and cheering the faint-hearted by his presence and stirring 
words. All was life and activity where he showed himself. 

It would seem, from a memorandum in Captain Williamson's accovmt 
book, that his family arrived in Bath from Northumberland about the 10th 
day of July, and were duly installed in the log palace prepared for them. 
Some other families occupied rude cabins in the neighborhood. James 
Rees, of Philadelphia, had been placed in charge as chief clerk in the land 
office, and Metcalf's grand hotel had flung its gay banners to the breeze , 
and there nightly gathered roystering woodsmen to recount their labors 
and forget their toils in deep potations. Even then whiskey was plenty ; 
but their fare was coarse. The same account book shows that the chief 
supplies purchased were pork, flour and corn meal. True, there was an 
abundance of game in the forest and fish in the river, but the workmen 
were too busy to take them. Charles Cameron, in 1848, in referring to his 
expedition, states, among other things, " We suffered from hunger and 
sickness a great deal. I am now the only survivor of those merry Scotch 
and Irish boys who used to be so happy together." Turner, in his history 
of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase, adds, "These pioneers had a distinct 
view of the elephant. Provisions failed and they were at one time three 
days without food ; as they cleared away the forest, the fever and ague, as 
it was wont to do, walked into the opening, and the new-comers were soon 
freezing, shaking and then burning with fever in their hastily constructed 
cabins." 

CAHIERON'S PARTY. 

It is greatly to be regretted that Mr. Cameron did not give us the names 
of his associates and something of their personal history. Old letters and 
account books render it quite certain that the following named persons 
were of the party, viz : Andrew Smith (known as " Muckle Andrew," from 
his size and strength), the grandfather of John L. Smith, now occupying 



114 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

part of the ancestral estate three miles below this village ; William Mc- 
Cartney, the first settler in Dansville, and one of its most prominent citi- 
zens ; Hector McKenzie, Avho removed to the West Indies about 1802, and 
there died ; Henry Tower, the builder of the mills at Alloway, a large 
dealer in produce, once a merchant in Elmira, where he entertained Louis 
Phillipe and his brother — these four were young men from the neighbor- 
hood of Williamson's home near Balgray, Scotland : Thomas Corbett, the 
first settler at Mud Creek : Thomas Rees, Jr., the surveyor who surveyed 
and made a plot of the village, which is the standard now in use ; Alexan- 
der Ewing, who subsequently settled at Mt. MoitIs, and had a daughter 
who married John H. Jones, of that place ; William Ewing, a surveyor, 
who later remoA'ed to Ohio, and became the progenitor of a distinguished 
family of that State ; John Metcalf , the fii'st innkeeper, the father of John 
Metcalf, who served for years as county clerk, and Thomas Metcalf, a for- 
naer merchant and innkeeper in Bath ; James Henderson, the mill-wright, 
later a prominent citizen of Ontario county : Samuel Doyle, a Revolution- 
ary soldier, the great-grandfather of Miss Nancy Smith, of this village ; 
his brother-in-law, Joseph Arbour, Richard Armour, John Scott, Charles 
McClure, Peter Loop, Mr. Upton, Benjamin Patterson, the hvmter, and 
Joseph Bivens, who kept the first inn at Bloods, now Atlanta — most of these 
were Scotch-Irishmen from the west branch. 

We have reason to believe that the following named persons, or some 
of them, were also of the party, as they were here during the summer of 
1793, their names appear on Captain Williamson's books and they had 
been residents on the west branch in the neighborhood of Northumber- 
land : Hector McKay, WiUiam Lemon, Samuel Ewing, John Evvart, Sam- 
uel Ewart, George More, George Baittie, Francis Conway, William Carol, 
Robert Biggers, the tanner, who in 1793 purchased thirteen acres lying on 
the south side of Morris street, west of the cemetery, where he erected a 
tannerj' (some years ago Jared Thompson discovered the remains of tan- 
vats in the edge of the swamp, but there was no one living who could 
remember the tanner or his works) ; Obadiah Osborn, the mill builder, who 
subsequently purchased a farm in Addison ; George McCuUough, a black- 
smith, who became the purchaser of the mills below Corning, and died in 
that town ; Robert Hunter, the schoolmaster ; Jacob Glendening, Andrew 
Shearer, Dr. Schott, Gottleib Dougherty and one Paul. 

Captain Williamson, it would seem, had previously advised Mr. Pat- 
rick Colquhoun, who had the management of the affairs of the syndicate, 
of the name and location of the town, for under date of June 15, 1793, he 
writes the Captain as follows : "I am glad you are so much pleased with 
your new town of Bath. I hope it may prove a healthy spot, for on this 
much depends. It is certainly a position infinitely more convenient than 
Williamsburg, and on this account I am glad you mean to fix your resi- 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 115 

tlence there." The Captain, out of compHment to his fiiend.s and patrons, 
had named the principal street running east and west, Morris ; the public 
square, Pultenej' ; the broad street parallel to it with a similar square, St. 
Patrick; the street between them, Steuben; and that connecting them, 
Liberty— names which they have ever since borne, except St. Patrick, 
which was foolii^hly changed to Washington a few years since. 

On the 37th of September, Christian, the eldest daughter of Captain 
Williamson, died, aged eight years, and lies buried in the old cemetery on 
Steuben street. It was the first death in the settlement. According to 
tradition, the first birth was a daughter of Samuel Doyle. The Captain 
states in his published narrative that previous to the setting in of winter 
a grist-mill and saw-mill located across the Conhocton (at the end of the 
bridge) were nearly completed, and that already fifteen families had set- 
tled in the town. Besides his own, the only families tliat are known to 
have been living here at that time were those of Metcalf, Doyle, Dunn, 
Corbett, Turner, AuUs, Paul and a German family named Gottleib. 

1794. — A stalwart young Scotch-Irishman, Henry McElwee (always 
called Harry), made his entry into the new town on New Year's day, 1794, 
and tells us: " I only found a few shanties in the woods. Williamson 
had his house near the site of the present land oflice, and the Metcalfs kept 
a log tavern upon Morris street nearly opposite the Mansion House. I 
went to the tavei n and asked for supper and lodging ; they .said they could 
give me neither, for their house was full. I could get nothing to eat. An 
old Dutchman was sitting thei'e, and he said to me, ' Young man, if you 
will go with me, you shall have some mush and milk and a deer skin to 
lie on, with your feet to the fire, and another to cover yourself with.' We 
went up through the woods to where St. Patrick Square now is. There the 
Dutchman had a little log house ; there was no floor to it. I made a sup- 
per of mush and milk, and laid down by the fire and slept soundly." In 
the spring, under the direction of Williamson, McElwee made the first 
substantial clearings, being the Pulteney Square and four acres behind the 
agent's house for a garden, for the cultivation of which the Captain 
imported a gardener from England. His name was Dominic Quinn. He 
was the father of Edward Quinn, a prominent attorney who resided at 
Watkins forty years ago, and married the eldest daughter of General Will- 
iam Keman. He further states that the trees on the square were carefully 
chopped close to the ground. A single pine was left standing in front of 
the agency house for a " Liberty Tree." It was trimmed so as to leave a 
tuft on the top, and bid defiance to the elements until after 1820. It was 
blown down not long after that. 

In the spring of "94, George McClure, another Scotch-Irishman, in 
company with his uncle, James Moore, from Northumberland, after vari- 
ous adventures reached the new town and thus describes his advent : "We 



116 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

put up at the only house of entertainment in the village — if it could be 
called a house. Its construction was of pitch-pine logs, in two apartments, 
one story high, kept by a kind and obliging family by the name of Met- 
calf. This house was the only one in town, except a similar one for the 
temporary abode of Captain Williamson, which answered the purpose of 
parlor, dining-room and land office. There were besides some shanties for 
mechanics and laborers. I called on Captain Williamson and introduced 
myself as a mechanic. I told him that I had seen his advertisement, and 
in pursuance of his invitation had come to ask employment. ' Very well,' 
said he, ' young man, you shall not be disappointed.' He told me I should 
have the whole of his work if I could procure as many hands as were nec- 
essary. We entered into an agreement. He asked me when I should be 
ready to commence business. I replied, as soon as I could return to North- 
umberland, engage some hands and send my tools and baggage up the 
north branch to Tioga Point, that being then the head of boat navigation." 
As agreed, he went back, shipped his baggage and tools, and forthwith 
returned to Bath on foot, procured his effects at Tioga Point, boated them 
up, and commenced with a will to build up the town. 

A large number of settlers came in this year ; and among them were 
Isaac Mullender, with his wife, three sons and three daughters, direct from 
Scotland (One of the daughters afterwards married Charles Cameron. 
Mr. Mullender removed to Geneva in 1797. A grand-daughter. Miss Jane 
Mullender, now resides in Waterloo), Richard Cuyler, John Shearer, Rich- 
ard Carpenter, Dr. William Pretre, the surgeon of the settlement, John 
Weyman, William McElwee, Frank Scott, Gustavus and Brown Gillespie, 
Joseph and Robert Dunn, Robert Sterret, James McFarland, Samuel and 
John Metier, Samuel Baker, Amos Stone, WilUam Barney, William and 
Eli Read, who with their families settled in Pleasant Valley near William 
AuUs, and Daniel McKenzie, a carpenter direct from Scotland. 

THE DISTRICT OF WILLIAMSON. 

The previous winter, Charles Williamson had been appointed one of 
the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of Ontario 
county. As yet there were no towns with prescribed boundaries in the 
county. The act of the Legislature erecting the County of Ontario pro- 
vided that the Justices of the Sessions should proceed to divide the new 
county into two or more districts for town purposes. They had, in 1791, 
made the " District of the Painted Post," which embraced the entire ter- 
ritory of the present County of Steuben. All the then settlers were 
located on the Chemung, Tioga and Canisteo Rivers. In 1793, Jedediah 
Stephens, of Canisteo, was elected Supervisor of the district. At the Janu- 
ary session, 1794, through the influence of Captain Williamson, there was 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. lit 

made a new district, embracing all the territory west of the second range, 
under the name of "Williamson, as appears by the adjustment of certain 
accounts between the district of Erwin, or Painted Pest, and the district 
of Williamson, made by Eli Mead and Eleazer Lindsley, of the first part, 
and Jedediah Stephens and George Horneil, of the other, on April 26, 1794, 
recorded in the minutes of the district of Painted Post, by E, Lindsley, 
Jr., town clerk of that district. There is no record of this division to be 
found in the Clerk's office of Ontario county. Bath was included in the 
new district ; but when and where its town meetings were held is not now 
known. The records of the town clerk have been destroyed, or lie mould- 
ing in the rubbish of some garret. If they could be brought to light they 
would furnish a rare treat to the local antiquarians. 

As yet there were but few post-roads or postoffices in the country. The 
nearest place for deposit of letters on the south was at Northumberland, 
one hundred and forty miles distant. To meet the want. Captain William- 
son employed his own post- riders to and from that place, who made the trip 
once a fortnight. Tommy Corbett rode to the Block House and exchanged 
packages with Alexander Smith, of Lycoming, who filled the route from 
that place to Northumberland. Charles Cameron was the local distributor 
of the letters here. After his removal to Sodus, William Kersey performed 
tlie duties until the Government office was established, January 1, 1801. 
with Dugald Cameron postmaster. 

THE SIMCOE IMBROGLIO. 

In mid-summer, while McClure, with his deft workmen, was busv 
erecting new dwellings and McElwee, with his stout woodsmen, was 
mowing down the green forest and the gallant Captain was dashing here 
and there pi-ojecting settlements and improvements, a real war cloud 
loomed over his new possessions and caused much alarm. The Indians in 
Western New York were sullen and by no means pleased with the rapid 
intrusion of white settlers upon their old hunting grounds. The British 
Government still held their posts at Niagara and Oswego. Colonel Simcoe, 
the Canadian Governor, who himself had no good feeling toward the 
intruders, hearing of Captain Williamson's newly formed settlement at 
Sodus Bay, in hot haste dispatched a trusted Lieutenant, on August 16, 
to notify the Captain to "vamose the ranch " forthwith, or suffer the con- 
sequences. Fortunately, the Captain was absent, or tliere would have been 
a genuine casus-helli. 

The whole country was aroused. An express was forthwith sent to 
Governor Clinton, informing him that the sovereignty of New York was 
denied. His Scotch-Irish blood was up. On September 11, he issued 
orders to Colonel Gansevoort to prepare immediately for the defence of 



118 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

the new settlements. The Colonel commissioned Captain WiUiamson to 
build a suitable block -house in Bath, as well as at Sodus, for protection. 
The Captain was not idle ; he called for proposals to prepare the timber 
and prosecute the work. Young McClure, aching to get a blow at the 
bloody prelatists who had so bitterly persecuted his covenanting ancestors, 
dropped his hammer, girded on a rusty sword, recruited a company and 
commenced drillmg them at once. 

The United States Government took the matter in hand ; negotiations 
were opened ; the British relinquished their arrogant demands, offered ade- 
quate apologies, and the threatened storm blew over. The old suords 
were turned into plow-shares ; the timber for the block-house was used for 
better purposes ; and the stockades for Pulteney square made capital fence 
posts. News was first received here of Wayne's great victory over the 
Western Indians in August, resulting in the absolute submission of the 
whole race, and was transmitted to Albany. 

In the fall, Colonel Pickering held a treaty with the Six Nations, at 
Canandaigua, and settled all differences with them and buried the hatchet 
forever. William Savary, a Quaker minister from Philadelphia, selected 
by the Indians to look after their interests, attended the conference. He 
passed over the Williamson road as far as Blood's Corners, going and 
returning from the treaty. We learn from his published journal that there 
was not a settler between Bivin's (now Atlanta) and Bath, and that Tommy 
Corbett's tavern, at Mud Creek, was the only house between Bath and 
Painted Post. He tells us that Captain Williamson entertained him right 
royally at his mansion for the night, on his way home, but makes no men- 
tion of the growth or size of the town. 

1795. — Peace being assured and all apprehensions from Indian raids 
having been allayed, 1795 opened brightly for the Genesee country, and 
Captain Williamson was on his '-high-heels," as they sa5\ and pushed 
improvements vigorously. Strangers came pouring in from far and near 
and the Captain sometimes was put to it to entertain them ; but he did it. 
McClure tells us that the Captain said to him one day that he expected 
much company shortly and had not the room to entertain them. " He 
asked me how long it would take to erect and complete a house forty by 
sixteen feet, a story and a half in height, all material delivered, no plaster- 
ing, all ceiled. I repUed, * Three days.' He said, ' Do it.' Working night 
and day, the work was accomplished to his satisfaction in forty-eight 
hours. He paid me $400 for the job.'" In June the Captain was visited by 
the Duke de la Rochefoueault Liancoui-t. a French exile, and several of 
his companions, and sumptuously entertained them for many days. From 
the Duke we learn that some settlers had recently established themselves 
at Kanona, but their names are not given. 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 119 

This year the sales of land were brisk, emigration heavy, the crops 
promising ; and the Captain resolved to commemorate the same in this 
town by a grand fair and elaborate races. A race course of regulation 
standard was carefully cleared and graded east of May street, upon the 
farm now occupied by Freeman D. Hopkins. It was a half-mile track ; 
David W. Lyon remembers well the line of it near the foot of the rising 
ground upon which Mr. Hopkins' house now stands. That that grand aflfair 
was widely advertised is clear from a notice inserted by the Captain in the 
Western Sentinel, of August 11, 1795, a paper published at Whitestown, 
Oneida county, which states that the " Fair and races at Bath were post- 
poned to the 21st day of September, on account of the meeting of the 
Court of Oyer and Terminer and Cii-cuit at Canandaigua, of which he, as 
Judge, was compelled to attend on the first Monday of September." 

Among the new settlers will be found the names of Robert Campbell, 
the father of Lieut. -Governor Campbell, Alexander McDonald, John Mor- 
rison and Dugald Cameron, the grandfather of Messrs. John and Ira Dav- 
enport — all Scotch ; also Daniel Cruger, father of General Cruger ; Dr. B. 
B. Stockton, from New Jersey, and William Kersey, the Quaker, a sur- 
veyor, for years employed by Williamson. 

COUNTY OF STEUBEN. 

1796. — March, 1796, a new County was erected from the south part of 
Ontario, and named Steuben, through the influence of Colonel Benjamin 
Walker, a close and intimate friend of Captain Williamson. The Colonel 
had been the aide of Baron Steuben, who had just died, leaving the Col- 
onel his residuary legatee. It was provided in the act as follows : 

" That it shall and may be lawful to and for the Justices of the Court 
of General Sessions for the said County of Steuben, or a majox'ity of them, 
at any General Sessions of the peace, to divide the county into as many 
towns as they shall deem necessary, and that the said Justices, at any such 
General Sessions, shall fix and direct the place or places, in each of said 
towns so made, at which the flrst town meeting for electing town officers 
shall be held, and all future meetings in any such town shall be held at 
such place as a majority of tlie inhabitants thereof shall by open vote at 
any town meeting appoint." 

The county officers were appointed by the Governor and were as fol- 
lows : Charles Williamson, first judge : William Kersey, Abraham Brad- 
ley and Eleazer Lindsley, judges ; Stephen Ross, surrogate ; George D. 
Cooper, county clerk : William Dunn, sheriff. All of them duly qualified 
except Charles Williamson. 

On June 21, 1796, in pursuance of the act, the Court of Common 
Pleas and General Sessions of the peace met in the land office, at Bath, 



130 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

William Kersey presiding, assisted by Judges Bradley and Lindsley, and 
some of the justices of the peace in commission, and an order was made 
and entered that the said Justices report upon the erection and division 
of towns at the next October term of the Court. At that term the min- 
utes show that all the justices of the peace of the county were present, 
and it is presumed tha^t they then and there performed their duty, but no 
report can be found. The Albany Gazette contains the following state- 
ment : 

' ' Agreeablj^ to a provision in the law erecting a part of Ontario into a 
new county by the name of Steuben, the Court of Sessions have divided 
that county into the six following towns, viz : Bath, Painted Post, Fred- 
erickstown (afterwards Wayne), Middletown (afterwards Addison), Canis- 
teo and Dansville." 

Bath was bounded on the north by the county line, east by Lake 
Keuka and Frederickstown, south by Painted Post and Middletown, and 
west by Dansville, as subsequ 3nt records and the exercise of municipal jur- 
isdiction show. 

Bath was now the capital town of Steuben count3^ Captain William- 
son determined to make it all the name implies. His first move was to 
establish a newspaper. William Kersey, the newly appointed Judge, an 
attache of the laud office, was dispatched by him in the spring to 
Pennsylvania to procure the necessary material. Kersey, from Yoi-k, Pa., 
under date of April 18, 1796, writes the Captain : "The printing press is 
not yet completed, but the workmen tell me they will have it done in a 
few days." James Edie, of Northumberland, a practical printer, was 
engaged to bring on the press and material, which he did early in the sum- 
mer, and formed a partnership with the Judge, under the style of "Ker- 
sey & Edie," and set up their press in a log building on the south-west cor- 
ner of St. Patrick Square, where now stands General Averell's residence. 
It was there, on October 19, 1796, that was issued the fii-st number of the 
" Bath Gazette and Genesee Advertiser, published by William Kersey and 
James Edie, Bath, Steuben county, N. Y., $2.00 per year." This was the 
first newspaper printed in the State west of Oneida county. It was print- 
ed as a small folio sheet, fifteen inches by nine, with three broad columns, 
and was fairly done. According to Turner, it was running in 1799, It 
was probably discontinued in 1800, on the retirement of Captain William- 
son from the agency. What became of the press is not known. 

He erected this year a frame building on the north-west corner of Pul- 
teney Square for scbool purposes. It was there the late Colonel W. H. Bull 
used to say that he attended school and received his preliminary education. 
During the summer he directed his men to put the race track in thorough 
order, and caused a flaming advertisement to be published in the New 
York and Pennsylvania newspapers, announcing that a fair and races would 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 121 

be held at Bath on the twentieth of September. It is said that not less than 
two thousand persons were gathered in tlie new capital to witness them. 

Judge G. H. McMaster, in his history, gives the following graphic 
account of the affair : "On the day and at the place appointed for the 
race in the proclamation, sportsmen from New York, Philadelphia and 
Baltimore were in attendance. The high blades of Virginia and Mary- 
land, the fast boys of Jersey, the wise jockeys of Long Island, men of 
Ontario. Pennsylvania and Canada, settlers, choppers, gamesters and hunt- 
ers, to the number of fifteen hundred or two thousand, met on the pine 
plains to see the horses run — a number as great, considering the condition 
of the region where they met, as now assembles at State fairs and mass 
meetings. * * The races passed off brilliantly. Captain WilUamson, 
himself a sportsman of spirit and discretion, entered a Southern mare, 
"Virginia Nell. High-Sheriff Dunn entered Silk-Stocking, a New Jersey 
Iiorse— quadrupeds of renown even at the present day. Money was plenty, 
and the betting lively. The ladies of the two dignitaries who owned the 
rival animals, bet each three hundred dollars and a pipe of wine on the 
horses of their lords, or as otherwise related, poured seven hundred dollars 
into the apron of a third lady who was stake-holder. Silk-Stocking was 
victorious." 

Captain Williamson's object in these displays was to attract attention 
to his purchase and new metropolis. He was anxious to make rapid sales 
of the land in his charge ; and he knew that it was necessary to create 
some excitement which would bring strangers to look at them. If a Meth- 
odist camp-meeting like that at Ocean Grove had promised similar results, 
he would have resorted to that device. 

Weld, an English traveler, who visited the town in the fall of 1796, 
writes: "Bath is a post and principal town in the western part of the 
State of New York. Though laid out only three years ago, yet it contains 
about thirty houses ; it is increasing very fast. Among the houses are 
several stores and shops, well furnished with goods, and a tavern that 
would not be thought meanly of in any part of America. The town of 
Bath stands on a plain, surrounded on three sides by hills of moderate height. 
The plain is almost wholly divested of trees, but the hills are still uncleared 
and have a very pleasing appearance from the town. At the foot of the 
hills runs a stream of pure water over a bed of gravel, which is called Con- 
hocton Creek. There is a very considerable fall in the creek just above the 
town, which affords the finest seats for mills possible. Extensive saw and 
flour mills have already been erected upon it." 

He also says that speculation w^as at a fever heat (as in Chicago in 
183&-7), and gives us the following letter : 



123 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

To the Printers of the Wilkes-Barre Gazette : 

Gentlemen — It is painful to reflect that speculation has raged to such 
a degree, of late, that honest industry and all the humble virtues that walk 
in her train are discouraged and rendered unfashionable. It is to be 
lamented, too, that dissipation is sooner introduced in new settlements than 
industry and economy. 

I have been led to these reflections by conversing with my son, who 
has just returned from the Lakes or Genesee, though he has neither been 
to the one or the other ; — in short, he has been to Bath, the celebrated 
Bath, and has returned both a speculator and a gentleman ; having spent 
his money, swapped away my horse, caught the fever and ague, and what 
is infinitely worse, that horrid disorder which some call the terrapliobia. 
We can hear notliing from the poor creature (in his ravings) but of the 
Captain, Billy (Williamson and William Dunn meaning), of ranges — town- 
ships—numbers — thousands — hundreds— acres — Bath — fairs— races— heats 
— bets— purses— Silk-Stockings— fortunes — fevers— agues, &c. My son has 
a part of a township for sale, and it is diverting enough to hear him nar- 
rate its pedigree, qualities and situation. In fine, it lies near Bath, and the 
Captain liimself once owned and for a long time reserved it. It cost my 
son but five dollars an acre, he was offered six and a half a minute after 
purchase, but he is positively determined to have eight, besides some pre- 
cious preserves. One thing is very much in my son's favor — has six years' 
credit. Another thing is still more so — he is not worth a sou nor ever 
will be at this rate. 

Previous to his late excursion he had worked well, and was contented 
at home on my farm, but now work is out of the question with him. 
There is no managing ray boy at home, these golden dreams still beckon 
him back to Bath, where, he says, no one need either work or starve, 
where, though a man may have the ague nine months in the year, he may 
console himself in spending the other three fashionably at the races. 

Hanover, October 5, 1796. A Fakmer. 

Some of the settlers this year were Dr. B. F. Young, Dr. Shults, Philip 
Gilman, George D. Cooper, William Cook, Daniel Curtis, James Edie, 
James Miller, Fisher Whitney, John Woodard, Josiah Wright, David 
Jones, James Love, Leonard Beaty, George Dixon and Finla McClure, the 
father of the General. 

The Federal Gazette, of Baltimore, under date of April 18, 1798, says : 
" The obvious route to market for produce of the Genesee country is by 
the river Susquehanna." 

erection of the court house and jail. 

1797. — In 1797, the town organization was completed and preparation 
made for the annual town meeting. Bath embraced all the territory now 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 123 

included in the towns of Urbana, Pulteney, Prattsburgh, Wheeler and 
Avoca. The following is a copy of the first minutes in the town records : 

"At a town meeting held at the residence of John Metcalf, in the 
town of Bath, for town officers to serve in said town, on the 4th day of 
April, 1797. After the votes were taken by ballot, it appeared that the 
following gentlemen were duly elected, viz ; Charles Cameron, Esq., Super- 
visor ; James Edie, Town Clerk ; William Aulls, Patrick McKell, Hector 
McKenzie, Commissioners of Highways; Gustavus Gillespie, Collector; 
Amos Stone, George Dixon, Abijah Peters, Constables ; Daniel Cruger, 
Patrick McKell, Overseers of the Poor ; Amos Eggleston, Joseph Inslie, 
William Read, John Woodard, Henry Bush, Henry McElwee, Jacob Pliil- 
lips. Overseers of the Highways ; Eli Read, Andrew Smith, James McKell. 
Thomas Streeter, Fence Viewers ; Robert Biggar, Samuel Miller, Samuel 
Baker, Assessors ; Samuel Baker, Silas Beers, Pound-Masters ; George D. 
Cooper, John Sheather, Charles Williamson, Benjamin F. Young, Commis- 
sioners of Schools." 

The Supervisor elected at that meeting having resigned, a special town 
meeting was held on the 19th day of June of that year, and George Mc- 
Clure was elected to fill the vacancy. The number of road districts was 
seven, and two hundred and thirty-five persons were assessed for highway 
purposes. 

There were a number of ordinances passed with regard to fences, 
estrays &c., as well as giving a bounty of twenty shillings, in addition to 
that given by the State, for every wolf and panther killed within town. In 
1810, the bounty was extended to Indians, which shows that these wild 
foresters were still prowling in this vicinity. In 1828, ten dollars was the 
bounty for the scalp (written " sculp" on the record), of a full grown wolf. 
At that period our youthful citizens were frequently startled in the night 
time with the frightful howls of these destructive animals from South Hill. 

The Court House and jail were completed this year. The Court House 
was a wooden structure, a story and a half high, with a portico, flanked 
by wings, and located on the east side of Pulteney Square. It was built at 
Pulteney's expense. It was a neat and commodious structure, and well 
fitted for the purposes for which it was intended. The first record we have 
of its occupancy by the court was at the June term in 1798. One of the 
wings of the old one, when the new Court House was built in 1827, was 
moved to the lower part of Morris street and fitted up for a dwelling on 
the property of the late Matthew Shannon, where it stood till a few years 
ago. The jail was constructed of squared timber, and stood on the lot in 
the rear of the Hewlett cabinet shop. 

A splendid regiment of militia was organized, and Captain William- 
son was appointed its Lieutenant-Colonel. He was ever afterward styled 
Colonel Williamson. To give notoriety to his new metropolis he built a 



124 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

theatre at the junction of Steuben and Morris streets, where now stands 
Major Stocum's residence. In the Bath Gazette of December 2, 1797, a 
flaming programme appears of a tragedy, comedy and songs to be give 
on January 1, 1798. " Doors to be opened at half- past five ; tickets to be 
had of Captain George McChire and Andrew Smith. Pit, six shillings ; 
gallery, eight shillings." The town continued to improve in appearance 
and population. The annual fair and races were held, but with less pomp 
and circumstance. 

1798. — In the early settlement of a wooded country, the roads, as we 
all know, are exceedingly bad and difficult to travel. One hundred years 
ago no other mode of transportation than that by natural water ways was 
regarded with favor. Great eft'orts, therefore, v/ere made hereabouts to 
remove obstructions from the smaller affluents of the great rivers, so that 
navigation would be open from the interior to the sea. In the spring and 
fall the Conhocton from Bath, with little labor, was fairly navigable for 
rafts, boats and other craft. All the products of the north-western part of 
the State (which were principally lumber and grain) were expected thus to 
reach the great marts of Philadelphia and Baltimore. In the spring (1798) 
Bartles started from Mud Creek two rafts of boards, which in a very brief 
time and at a very small cost were landed safely in Baltimore. This 
settled the question of navigation for that species of craft. Immigration 
was so great into the town and surrounding country that as yet there were 
no surplus farm products for export. As Bath was then at the head of 
navigation, it is not strange that a man with Colonel Williamson's sanguine 
temperament overflowed with bright anticipations of its growth and 
greatness, and believed that it was bound to become the great commercial 
metropolis of South-western New York. The first river bridge in the coun- 
ty was constructed across the Conhocton this season, at Bath. Henry A. 
Townsend, Joseph Grant, William Howe Cuyler, John Wilson, James 
Woodruff and Daniel Bennett were the new comers. 

1300, — In March, 1800, Messrs. Swing and Patterson built an ark eiglity 
feet in length by twenty in width, at White's saw-mill, on the Conhocton, 
five miles below the village of Bath, loaded it with wheat and lumber, and 
on the fourteenth of that month started for Baltimore, which port they 
reached in due time with their freight. Two others with like freight, in 
the month of April, followed from Bartles' mills, on Mud Creek, and met 
with similar success. They were the first ventures of the kind, and cre- 
ated quite a sensation throughout the country. This species of craft was 
the invention of a Mr. Kryder, who, in 1792, built one at Standing Stone, 
on the Juniata, loaded it with wheat and whiskey, and ran it down the 
Susquehanna to Baltimore. It was constructed as follows : A frame was 
made of three sticks of square timber, eight by twelve inches ; the two 
outside timbers, fifty-five feet long, were placed eight feet from the center 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 139 

stick, which was seventy-five feet long. These were securely framed 
together by means of shorter ties, or girths, mortised into them. At the 
bow and stern a similar timber extends from the ends of the outside pieces 
uniting at the end of the center piece, so as to make the extremities sharp 
enough to aid in giving direction to its movements, and to meet with less 
resistance. This frame was then completely planked and calked as tight- 
ly as possible. It was then turned over, the planked side being under, and 
the whole shoved into the water. Studs or studding four or five feet long 
and five feet apart were mortised into the outside timbers, and planked up 
on the outside. The inside was ceiled so as to make a tight, rectangular 
box or hold. In the solid posts, at the terminal points, was firmly 
imbedded a stout wooden pin to hold the oars, which directed the coui-se 
of the craft, but did not propel it. The oars were made from small, straight 
white pines, light, dry and tapering, some thirty feet in length and eight 
inches in diameter at the butt, in which was cut a gain for about five feet 
to receive the blade. This was made from a plank about fifteen feet long 
and eighteen or twenty inches in width, sawed for the purpose, tapering, 
being about two and a half inches thick at one end, an inch at the other, 
rounded at the thinner end and fastened securely in its place in the oar- 
stem with wooden pins. At a point where the oar will balance, a hole is 
bored and a slot made to give play vertically to the oar when it is placed 
on the oar pin, and so balanced that the blade will just dip lightly in the 
water. The small end of the oar was whittled down to a convenient size 
so that it could be readily grasped by the hand. The ark, except at the 
bow and stern, and a small space in the center where the cabin was built, 
was securely covered with boards, as well to protect the cargo as to fur- 
nish a smooth walk for the oarsman. 

Captain Williamson was greatly elated at these ventures ; rafting and 
ark building became a lively business upon all the streams in the spring- 
time, Bath was now boomed all over the country. It was at the head of 
navigation and the shipping point to market for grain, lumber and other 
products. In 1804, Wilson, the poet, in The Foresters, when he reached 
Newtown (now Elmira), gives this graphic picture of the river navigation 
during the spring freshet upon the Susquehanna : 

"Here, when soft spring dissolves the wastes of snows, 

And wide and deep the roaring river flows. 

Huge loaded arks rush down the boiling tide, 

And winding through wild woods triumphant ride. 

Hills, towering steeps and precipices high, 

Rich plains and hanging rocks behind them fly ; 

The watchful pilot every eddy eyes, 

As down the torrent's foaming course he flies ; 



136 THE CEiNTENNIAL OP BAtH. 

Views, with stern look, the frightful falls disclose, 
And down the outrageous breakers headlong goes ; 
A thousand toils, a thousand dangers past, 
Columbia's harbor shelters them at last." 

Storehouses were built at convenient places for storage. Two stood 
near Davenport's office, and three at the foot of Ark street. During the 
winter, loaded sleighs came crowding in from Geneva and Genesee with 
produce to be shipped, and business was lively in the village. When the 
spring freshets came, the arks were floated to the storehouses, the grain was 
poured into them in bulk, and the pilots, with their jolly helpers, cut loose 
the cables and began their returnless voyage to Chesapeake Bay. Their 
course was down the Conhocton and Chemung to the Susquehanna, and 
down that noble river to tide-water. These frail vessels did not always 
reach their destination. About one in ten emptied its contents into the 
river, as it was dashed upon some unknown obstruction, or was stranded on 
the shore. Thousands upon thousands of bushels of grain found their way 
to market through this precarious channel. A quarter of a century later, 
when Bath was on the eve of realizing Williamson's expectations, the 
canals were constructed ; and lo ! its glory departed. The ark of the Con- 
hocton passed into history ; the rats took possession of the storehouses ; 
the roofs caved in ; the beams rotted away, and what was left of tliem 
tumbled into ruins. 

1801. — Tlie Legislature of New York, having passed an act authorizing 
aliens for three years to take the title to real estate, in 1801, Colonel Will- 
iamson conveyed the unsold Genesee lands to his principals, and resigned 
his trust. Colonel Robert Troup was appointed his successor. The resig- 
nation of Colonel Williamson was a sad blow to Bath, and was deeply 
deplored by all the settlers in the country. He was greatly loved and 
respected. He promoted education and the establishment of religious 
societies, and was earnest in pushing improvements that promised benefit 
to struggling humanity. When he gave up the agency, many of his old 
friends and associates sought homes in other places. The Bath Gazette sus- 
pended publication ; the theatrical company disbanded and the old theatre 
fell into ruins ; the famous race-course, for a time, was abandoned, and 
pines and scrub oaks covered its track. 

Colonel Williamson had commenced building, in 1799, a grand country 
seat on his Springfield Farm, so-called, a mile and a half below the village, 
near Lake Salubria. It was the largest private dwelling in Western New 
York, and calculated to dispense hospitality on a princely scale. Although 
constructed of wood, it was considered magnificent, with its spacious par- 
lors, broad halls and grand assembly room, with their high ceilings and 
heavy mouldings, all finished and furnished exquisitely after tiie latest 



HISTOEICA.L ADDRESS. 127 

style. It was flanked by two wings, each as large as an ordinary dwelling 
house, set off with piazzas and porticoes. The grounds about were artistic- 
ally laid out and graced with ornamental trees and shrubs, and the then 
rare Lombardy poplars. On its completion, in 1801, he placed it in charge 
of Major Presley Thornton, a kinsman of Washington and an officer in the 
Revolution, who had just come from Virginia with a young wife of rare 
wit and beauty. She was long known as " The Madam," from her grace- 
ful and commanding ways. The Colonel made his home with them after 
he retired from the agency, maintained the establishment, and dispensed 
its hospitality with a generous hand. The place became famous for its 
brilliant assemblies. For there gathered on such occasions all the beauty 
and aristocracy from all the Genesee country, and even the distant Sus- 
quehanna. 

The Major died in 1806, and the Colonel soon after left for Europe and 
never returned. The Springfield Farm, with the appurtenances, passed 
into other hands. The purchaser failed and it fell to his creditors, and 
soon the famous mansion, with its gardens and walks, showed signs of 
decay and became a picture of desolation— the abode of the owl and the 
bat and other uncanny things. Thirty odd years ago it was taken down to 
give place to the present farm house of Mrs. R. B. Wilkes. 

The Major brought with him a few slaves as household servants. He 
was followed the next year by Captain William Helm, a wealthy planter 
from Prince William county, Va. , with his family and a retinue of about 
forty slaves. He purchased a number of farms and set these colored peo- 
ple cultivating them. He built a fine mansion on the present site of the 
First National Bank, and lived there in great splendor, says Austin Stew- 
art, his born thrall. He purchased and rebuilt the old grist mill erected by 
Williamson, near the bridge, and engaged John Richardson, the grand- 
father of Clinton Richardson, as miller, who ground the first superfine flour. 
He entered into large speculations. His wife died, and on the death of 
Major Thornton he married his widow. His money soon gave out and his 
enterprises failed. Some of his slaves ran away ; some were seized by the 
sheriff and sold to satisfy his creditors, and his whole estate vanished. He 
became intemperate ; the Madam left him, and, in 1826, he died in penury 
in this village, cared for only by one of his former chattels. 

John Fitzhue and Samuel Hanson Baker came here from the South 
witli a few slaves soon after the advent of Captain Helm. From the 
slaves brought by these families sprang our colored population. In 1800, 
there were only twenty-two in the county, all slaves ; in 1810, only one 
hundred and sixteen, of which eiglity-seven were slaves. Since 1860, the 
race here seems to be gradually diminishing. 

Owing to the large amount of business transacted at the Land Office, 
the long and frequent sessions of the Courts, and the better cultivation 



laS THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

and improvement of the lands in the vicinity, Bath was enabled to hold 
its own during the commercial depression of the first ten years of the nine- 
teenth century. 

In 1804, William H. Bull came, with his father, Howell Bull, from 
Painted Post, and has furnished the memoranda from which has been 
made a bird's-eye view of Bath in that year. He may have omitted some 
dwellings, but of those given there are now standing only three, viz : the 
residences of Mrs. James Lyon, Miss Jennie Wilkes and Mrs. Samuel 
Balcom. 

The Presbyterians, in 1806, organized in the village the first religious 
society. The fii'st church edifice of the society was dedicated in 1825. 

1808. — In 1808, the stone jail was erected on the north-west corner of 
Pulteney square, and was regarded quite impregnable ; yet now and then 
an expert fellow would manage to dig his v/ay out. It was taken down 
in 1846. 

In 1811, Edward Howell and his brother William came to Bath, and 
about that time William Woods, Moses H. Lyon and John W. Fowler. 
Mr. William Howell has left us an accurate description of the town at that 
date, which we copy verbatim : 

" In the year 1811, the only streets in Bath were Morris, Liberty and 
West Steuben from Pulteney Square to its junction with Morris street. 
There were nine dwelling houses on the north side of Morris street, extend- 
ing from the square to Stewart's Hill, as follows : On the McCay corner a 
dwelling house, formerly occupied as a tavern ; then tlie Cuyler house, 
Warden house, three small houses, a blacksmith shop, a log house and the 
Campbell house. There was only one house on the south side of the street. 
On the south side of Pulteney Square there was the agency house, where 
the agent of the Pulteney estate lived, and the land ofiice, and back of 
them were several long, low houses, built of logs and sided up with clap- 
boards, which had been used as servants' quarters. 

" On the south side of West Morris street, from the land office to 
where the Erie depot now stands, there were four or five dwelling houses, 
one of which was constructed of squared logs, and stood on the lot where 
Abram Beekman now resides. Near the depot, where A. S, Howell now 
lives, there was a small frame dwelling hovise and a blacksmith shop. On 
the north side of Morris street (west of the park) there were six dwelling 
houses, five of them occupied as follows : Ira Pratt, Metcalf Tavern, John 
McCalla, D. Cruger ; on the corner, Spiing's Tavern. On the opposite cor- 
ner on Steuben street, was the county jail, a stone building, and on the 
south side of the jail a small frame building which had been occupied as a 
store. On the north side of the park there were two dwelling houses on 
the opposite corners of Liberty street, the one on the east corner being the 
Townsend house, on the west corner the Captain Hehu hovise, and there 




Village of Bath in 1804, 



-Log house, formerly printing office of the 

Bath Gazfttc. 
-Bull's Tavern. 
-Log house. 
-Helm's residence. 
-Frame house, afterwarrls occupied bv Rev. 

J. Niles. 
-Log house. 

-H. A. Townsend's house. 
-McClure's house and store, 
-(xrocery. 
-Court House. 
-Turner's house. 



12 — .Tonathan T. Haiglit, lawyer. 

13 — Log house. 

14— Pulteney Land Agent's residence. 

1.5— Land oftice. 

16— Liberty tree (blown down in 1825). 

17-Bath JaiL 

18— School house. 

19— D. Cameron's house. 

20— Metcalf's Tavern. 

31 — Blacksmith shop. 

22— Theatre. 

23— Helm's grist and saw mills. 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 13§ 

were some small buildings and a barn extending up to the old cemetery. 
East from the Townsend house and extending as far as where Beekman's 
factory now stands, was a row of small frame buildings, occupied for shops 
and groceries. On the east side of the park there was the Court House and 
a small frame building used for a school house, which stood where the 
building now is which is occupied by the Misses Hafford (now the site of 
the Surrogate's office). There were two small log houses, which had been 
sided with boards and painted red, which stood on or near the old Episco- 
pal church lot. 

" There were no buildings on the south side of Steuben street except 
the old log jail, which was on the west side of the new jail, and used for 
a barn. On the north side of the street, west of the old cemetery, were 
several small houses, and near the junction with Morris street, on the north 
side of Steuben, there was quite a large house built of squared timbers, 
and near the point of the triangle between the streets, at their junction, 
there was a large frame building which had been erected for a theatre, and 
was known by the name of the ' Old Theatre.' There were no other build- 
ings on either side of the street until you come to where Judge Cook's 
house now stands, and there was a frame house, partly finished, which had 
been built by Mr. Taylor, who was the father of the first Mrs. Cameron. 

"There was a bridge across the river where the present one now 
stands, and a frame house, the same which is now occupied by Mrs. Cam- 
eron, and farther up the road and near where Esquire Lindsay now lives, 
was a grist-mill and distillery, and two or three small houses. The water 
for the mill was taken out of the river a Uttle below where Cook's mill 
now stands, and carried in a ditch to the mill, and then back to the i-iver 
down below the bridge. 

" On the east side of Liberty street was a dwelling owned by Henry A. 
Townsend, next north a log house, for years occupied by " Billy" Edwards, 
above a small house afterwards used as a hat shop, and the Niles house, 
near where the Episcopal church now stands. Nearly opposite, on the 
west side of the street, stood the old Gazette printing office, where Dr. 
Higgins long resided. Then came the Howell Bull tavern, and next south 
a log house on the ground subsequently owned by the late Reuben Robie," 

THE WAR OF 1812, 

During the war of 1813, there was much excitement in Bath, situated 
as it v.'as in proximity to the Canadian line and the Indian reservations. 
It was the chief rendezvous of the newly organized regiments of the coun- 
ty. Several of her citizens played pi'ominent parts on the frontier. Gen- 
eral McClure, Majors Cruger and Gaylord, Captain Read and Lieutenant 
Kennedy rendered efficient service. Two companies were drafted on Pul- 
teney Square in 1813. When Buffalo and Black Rock were burned, on the 



130 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

30th of December, 1813, and the British threatened to invade the country, 
a great alarm arose, and expresses were sent flying through this region 
calling for re-enforcements instanter. Another draft was ordered. It was 
mid-winter. The proceedings on the occasion are thus graphically report- 
ed by Judge McMaster : ' ' One batallion was mustered on Pulteney Square. 
The snow was deep, the wind keen, but the soldiers stood formed in a half- 
moon with the fortitude of Siberians. Colonel Haiglit, mounted upon a 
charger, rode up with great circumstance and made a vigorous and patri- 
otic speech, calling for volunteers and exhorting every man to go forth to 
battle. If half the corps volunteered a draft would not be necessary. 
Nearly half the number offered themselves at once. Then the deluding 
drum and fanciful fife began to utter the most seducing melodies. The 
musicians again and again made the circuit of the regiment. Drummers 
pounded with marvelous energy, and the fifers blew into their squeaking 
tubes with such extraordinary ardor that if the safety of the Republic had 
depended upon the active circulation of wind through those ear-piercing 
instruments, all apprehension of danger from the invaders might have 
been instantly dismissed. Occasionally a militiaman broke from the line 
and fell in behind the musicians ; but most of the legionaries who had 
resisted the first appeal stood in the snow, proof against drums and fifes 
and the Colonel's rhetoric. The draft to complete the corps was finally 
made, and the batallion started for the seat of war in high spirits." 

1816. — In 1816, there was something of a boom, the village was incor- 
porated and a seal adopted ; but, so far as is known, no steps were taken 
to complete the organization. General McClure had again taken up his 
residence here, purchased the property lately owned by Constant Cook, and 
erected mills. In the spring he ran to Baltimore a million feet of pine, 
one hundred thousand of cherry, and five hundred barrels of flour ; but 
not meeting a favorable market, he shipped his cherry to Boston and 
exchanged it for machinery necessary for a woolen factory, which he 
erected on the mill property. If he had had money to carry out his groat 
enterprises, he would have made Bath a great manufacturing as well as 
commercial centre. 

He performed a feat that attracted world-wide notice. Upon a wager 
of $50, he proposed in ten hours to take the wool from a sheep's back and 
manufacture it into a dress suit. He performed the feat in less than nine, 
and wore the suit that evening at a party. There was a gay time in the 
village on the occasion. Captain Bull, with his ear-piercing fife, and Billy 
Edwards, with his thundering bass drum, discoursing martial music, fol- 
lowed by a mellow crowd of revelers, escorted McClure to the entertain- 
ment. 

Vincent Mathews, the most prominent attorney in Western New York, 
took up his residence in the village and occupied the dwelling since the 



fllStOfelCAL ADDRESS. Isi 

property of Mrs. Franz Wolf. William B. Rochester, afterwards Circuit 
Judge, became his partner. Capt. Benjamin Smead, the veteran editor, 
brought his printing press from Albany and commenced the publication of 
the Steuben and Allegany Patriot ; he subsequently clianged the name to 
the Farmers^ Advocate. John Magee came to the village soon after. 
Dr. Simpson Ellas and William Woods arrived here the previous year, 
William W. McCay and Peter and John Gansevoort followed tlie next year. 

Professor Joseph Henry, the distinguished scientist, in a conversation 
had with him many years ago, stated that duiing the year 1816, he was a 
member of a corps of surveyors who were engaged in running the line of 
State road from the Hudson to Lake Erie by the way of Bath. When they 
reached this village they were received with quite an ovation from the 
citizens, and Dugald Cameron gave a grand ball in their honor. They 
were anxious to attend, but they were somewhat travel-stained and their 
linen was sadly defective, and there was no chance to correct it by pur- 
chase or otherwise. In their dilemma they bethought themselves that 
their drawing paper, with the aid of knife and shears, could be transformed 
into cuffs, collars and bosoms, which was speedily done, and they made a 
respectable appearance. This was the first introduction of paper collars. 

On a quiet and balmy day in the spring of 1818, when but few were on 
the street, startling outcries brought to the doors and windows all the 
villagers, who saw an immense covered Canastoga wagon drawn by five 
horses with mounted driver, followed by a brawny fellow with a great 
whip in his hand. It contained living freight that sent out yells and 
screeches which woxild have frightened Pawnee Indians. Captain Helm, 
with confederates, had seized a number of his old slaves and their families, 
pitched them into his great wagon, and was now on his way to Clean 
where he expected to ship them to Kentucky for sale. There was no in- 
terferance here, but before their arrival at Glean most of them had es- 
caped. He, however, succeeded in getting off with two of the children of 
Harry Lucas. Helm was indicted for kidnapping, and, in 1820, was tried 
and convicted. He was imprisoned a short time in the county jail and 
fined a small sum— which he never paid. Thomas McBurney, first Judge 
of the county, was tried the same year in the Court of Gyer and Terminer 
for a similar offense, was convicted and fined $1,000. 

1820. — Erastus Shepard issued the first number of the Western Repub- 
lican, in Bath, on the 18th of July, 1820. It was the organ of the Buck 
Tail party, so called, and made things hot for Captain Smead's Patriot, 
The factions of the Democratic party having coalesced, in 1823, it was 
suspended. 

1821. — Stephen B. Leonard, a newspaper man of Gwego, had a con- 
tract for a weekly mail from Gwego to Bath in 1816. In 1821, in company 
with a Mr. Bacon, he established a semi-weekly stage line over the same 



iSi THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

route. The' stage was a two-seated lumber wagon drawn by two horses, 
and was the only public conveyance to and from Bath, until John Magee, 
in 1825, started his magnificent four-horse Troy coaches to be run daily to 
Owego, Rochester and Angelica. The hour of departure from Bath was 
four o'clock in the morning. These grand carriages, resplendent with 
plush and paint, drawn by four mettlesome steeds, as they rattled at early 
dawn in summer over Pulteney Square and up and down the streets to pick 
up passengers and mails, were a sight that richly repaid the loss of a few 
hours of sleep. The drivers' horns heard from a distance gave early notice 
of their arrival in the evening. The rumble of the loaded coaches and the 
rhythmical tread of the steeds, as they quickened their pace under the 
startling crack of the coachman's whip, broke the quiet of the closing day. 
The villagers then were all a-stir, as well to hear the news as to observe the 
dust-covered and perhaps distinguished passengers who came in such state ; 
and the town put on the appearance of a wide-awake commercial center. 
This mode of conveyance was regarded a great advance, for passengers 
could now reach New York by these stage coaches in three days and nights 
so comfortably, as was then thought. Colonel Williamson, a bold rider, 
could make the journey to that city on horseback in less than seven 
full days, which he did many a time, out-stripping all the then public 
conveyances. 

Perhaps no event in the village during the past century made so 
marked an impression upon the people at large as the trial and public exe- 
cution, April 29, 1825, of Robert Douglass for the murder of Samuel H. 
Ives, of Troupsburgh. The gallows was erected on the first elevation north 
of the village on the south side of Geneva sti'eet, ever since known as 
Gallows Hill. The execution was attended with much ceremony. The 
culprit, seated on his coffin, was drawn in a wagon by a white horse to the 
place of execution, guarded by several military companies. John Magee 
was the sheriff. An immense crowd was gathered from far and near to 
witness the affair. Douglass was the first person- to pay the penalty of the 
Divine as well as civil law in this county, and his execution and the at- 
tendant circumstances furnished household gossip for years. It was an 
epoch from which the citizens of that day measured time and counted years. 

1826. — The most notable event occuring the next year was the trial of 
Sundown and Curly-Eye, two Seneca Indians, charged with the murder of 
Joshua Stephens, of Canisteo. The famous Red Jacket and other promi- 
nent chiefs were gathered here at the time with their interpreters, Horatio 
Jones and Jellees Clute. A rough element from the Canisteo was also 
on the ground, having no friendly feeling toward the red men. The In- 
dians had a camp in a grove near the cemetery. One night, Mr. D. W. 
Lyon says, there was a gun fired into their camp, causing great alarm 
amongst the Indians, and leading them to fear that the Canisteo men 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 138 

might do them some injury. Immediately upon the acquittal of the pris- 
oners the whole party departed at once, and no Indian has been seen in this 
vicinity since. 

Colonel Bull had erected the first brick house in the village, as well as 
in the county, in the summer of 1824. In 1825, P. C. and J. R. Gansevoort 
began to erect, and finished the next year, the first block of brick stores on 
the east side of Liberty street, generally designated as the Masonic Hall. 
It was three stories in height, and arranged for three stores. J. G. Hig- 
gins and John R. Gansevoort occupied two of them as variety stores, and 
Dr. Gansevoort kept some hardware and drugs in the other. The Masons 
had their lodge room in the third story. The building stood upon the 
ground now occupied by the Davison and Wilkes blocks. Later, Under- 
bill & McBeath occupied the portion abutting upon the alley for a book- 
store and bindery. It was burned during their occupancy. The abduction 
of Morgan by the Masons, in 1826, created great excitement and intense 
feeling against the fraternity, which lasted foi several years and eventual- 
ly led to an abandonment of the lodge. It was Lodge No. 57, and was 
organized in 1797. 

1827.— In 1827, the old wooden Court House erected by Colonel William- 
son, on the east side of Pulteney Square, was removed and replaced by a 
large two-story one of brick. On April 17, 1828, David Rumsey, Sr., issued 
the first number of the Steuben Messenger, the organ of the Anti-Masonic 
party. Judge David McMaster was for some time its editor. In August, 
William M. Swain commenced the publication of a campaign paper called 
the Steuben Whig. It opposed the election of General Andrew Jackson. 
Swain removed to Philadelphia and established in that city the Public 
Ledger, which was a success, and is now owned by G. W. Childs. 

In 1831, our citizens, having abandoned the project of opening a canal 
from the Conhocton to Crooked Lake, procured a charter for a railroad 
instead. Surveys were made, but the scheme failed. The Steuben County 
Bank was incorporated March 9, 1832, under a charter running tliirty years, 
with a capital of $15", 000. On its organization it met with great oppo- 
sition from a portion of the residents, growing out of the distribution of 
the stock. Notwithstanding, it succeeded financially, and during the period 
of its existence paid annual dividends of 11 per cent, and accumulated a 
surplus of $96,000, or thereabouts. In 1833, William P. Angel bought the 
good will of the Steuben Messenger and established the Constitutionalist 
as the Whig organ in the county. 

1836.— In 1836-37, a spirit of speculation similar to that of 1796-97 pre- 
vailed throughout the country. Buffalo was the centre of it in this region. 
Many of our citizens caught the fever. Some took up their residence in 
that city, and remained long enough to reap a profit ; but those who lived 
here suffered sorely from its fruits. For several years after, the village felt 



134 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

the effect and few or no improvements were made. With the hope of 
checking this decadence, a new act incorporating the village was obtained 
from the Legislature, May 6. 1836. The first election under it was held at 
Gould's Hotel (the old Clinton House), June 7, following, and John D. Hig- 
gins, TenEyck Gansevoort. Benjamin Smead, Moses H. Lyon and John T. 
Andrews were elected Trustees ; Ziba A Leland, John M. Campbell and 
Henry Brother, Assessors ; Robert Campbell, Treasurer ; Levi C. Whiting, 
Clerk ; Elisha Hempstead, Collector, and O. W. L. Warren, Constable. By 
that charter, as amended from time to time, the village is still governed. 
The political campaign of 1840 was an exciting one ; commencing in 1839, 
it continued even after the election had passed. Business was almost 
entirely suspended. Mass meetings, pole raisings and mammoth parades 
took place. It is still known as the Log Cabin and Hard Cider Campaign. 
There were in it many amusing episodes that would make an interesting 
chapter, but we must pass them by. 

After the canals had been opened (to the north), diverting the cur- 
rents of trade from this place, its people looked to the constiniction of the 
Erie railway, which was then in progress and approaching, for relief ; but 
unfortunately, some would say, the line was diverted to the Canisteo val- 
ley ; so Bath was left out in the cold, and Corning and Hornellsville 
received the benefits that would otherwise have been hers. 

We will give a picture of our village at that time (1841), with the story 
of its wonderful resurrection, and how came about its present beautiful 
appearance : 

In 1841, the public squares and streets were open pastures, ungraded, 
unenclosed and unadorned— they lay just as they were when first cleared. 
There was not a shade tree, except a few scraggly Lombardy poplars on the 
south-west corner of Pulteney Square. That now beautiful piece of groimd 
was then rough and uneven ; well trod paths crossed it in every direction. 
Vagrant cows grazed thereon ; " mendicant swine " (as a learned counsel- 
or designated them) rooted and wallowed in soft places, and squawking 
geese, even, at times pastured there. It also served as parade ground for 
the militia floodwood, at their annual trainings. Captain Ralph K. Finch 
there drilled his ragged Invincibles. Caravans and circuses spread their 
ample t'^nts, where the ground was smooth enough to admit of it. Politi- 
cal gatherings and parades found ample scope for evolutions upon it. 
There were no sidewalks. The streets were as uneven as a rail-fence, and 
intersected by mud-holes and bordered by ponds. Such was our village in 
1841. 

A few country villages in the State had commenced to beautify their 
public grounds and streets by grading and planting shade trees. Ours 
caught the infection, but the old fogies opposed the innovation, lest it 
should interfere with their surplus. And at last it became an issue at the 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS. 186 

charter election. The bachelors of the village, of which there were a 
goodly number, resolved quietly to take a hand and set tlie ball in motion. 
The night before the election they secretly organized and made the fol- 
lowing ticket : For Trustees, John McCalla, Amos Babcock, James Shan- 
non, Robert Oampbell, Jr. , and Levi C. Whiting ; Assessors, Addison F. 
Ellas, George Edwards and Marcus C. Warren ; Treasurer, Lewis Shoe- 
maker ; Clerk, Chax-les W. Campbell ; Constable and Collector, Thomas 
Hess. The ticket was successful, and there was great excitement. The 
veteran editor, Captain Smead, in his Democratic Bugle, the next w-eek, 
gave the following account of the result, Avhich we copy verbatim : 

" BACHELORS TRIUMPHANT." 

OUR GOVERNMENT UNDER THEIR CONTROL. 

" Our Charter election was held on Tuesday last (May 6), a day to be 
remembered in the annals of our village. A keen-eyed politician would 
have discovered early on that day, from the patrolling of our streets and 
the marshalling of troops, that a contest was approaching — that an impor- 
tant event was at hand. We filled an extra pipe and sat down quietly in 
our editorial chair to reflect on our favorite doctrine of equal rights, and 
to admire its beauties, until the hour of battle should arrive. We mar- 
shalled the Democratic Phalanx, and marched from the Advocate oflJice to 
the polls, to slaughter their ancient foes, the Federalists ; judge then of our 
astonishment, when the announcement was made to us, ' The Bachelors 
are in the field with a ticket of their own !' We rallied aU our viatri- 
monial forces, and called upon the ' Blue Light Federalists ' of the Consti- 
tutionalist, to come forward and aid us once more in ' saving the coun- 
try !' But then, our labors were in vain ; we were routed — horse, foot and 
dragoons !" 

The Board of Trustees at once organized by electing John McCalla, a 
typical bachelor, President, who forthwith issued the following inaugural, 
explaining the movement, and the reasons therefor : 

'• Brothers and Citizens: 

Like all rebels against constitutional, as well as petticoat govern- 
ments, the Bachelors of Bath feel called upon to give this explanation : 
We can now with propriety state some of the reasons which have impelled 
us to make Bachelor and Anti-Bachelor the distinctive parties in the late 
contest. It is not necessary to notice the many contemptible flings by 
which the opposition endeavored to lessen us in the estimation of the com- 
munity. A single instance will suffice. ' A few years since, a prominent 
and distinguished gentleman, General George McClure, who claimed to 



136 THE CENTENNIAL, OF BATH. 

represent us in the Legislature of this State, had the audacity to propose a 
repeal of the tax on dogs, and place it on old bachelors. The insults on 
insvilts, wrongs on wrongs, which have been heaped upon us, we have 
borne with patience, and could still bear, but we believe there is a point 
where patience ceases to be a virtue. We resolved, therefore, to say to our 
opponents in a manner not to be misunderstood, ' Thus far, and no farther !' 
Notwithstanding our corporation taxes have been very considerable here- 
tofore, our village, beautifully situated, and possessed of great natural 
advantages, presents none but a dilapidated and somber appearance, ten- 
fold worse than any bachelor's wardrobe ; our public squares are an eye- 
soi-e — lumbered with rubbish— our main streets defiled with mud-holes, 
floating old hats and drowned cats. We propose to make a change in the 
condition. Under the auspices of the present Board of Trustees we antici- 
pate our beloved village will rise Phoenix-like, and become the admiration 
of all beholders — a spot where the traveler would love to dwell. This is 
about sirnilic.'" 

Aroused by this stirring appeal the trustees threw off their coats, took 
Jiold of the plow, the hoe and the scraper, and the work of grading the 
Square was prosecuted with such vigor that the results will be found re- 
corded in the Constitutionalist of October 6th, 1841, as follows: "Our 
bachelor corporation have commenced the promised improvements in good 
earnest under the supervision of the President of the Board. The work of 
grading the Square has been completed. In the last two weeks, plows, 
scrapers and wagons have been in active service and the trustees with 
hoes, shovels and spades, contemplating the piles of earth, reminded us of 
so many deputy grave-diggers. To a countryman inquiring, "V/hat on 
earth are they digging?" a wag replied, "Digging the grave of bach- 
elorism." And so indeed we trust it may be ; not that we wish them to die 
off, but that they may be joined to their idols. 

President McCalla was a rare character — famous for his dry jokes, 
quaint sayings, and queer catch- words. Every villager and countryman 
always called him "Uncle John." His residence was on Morris street, and 
his maiden sister, Nancy, kept his house for him. Edward Hubbell, when 
a callow youth, scarcely nine years old, made him a theme of one of his 
extemporized ballads, commencing thus : 

" ' Uncle John ! ' he was a hatter by trade. 

He lived with Aunt Nancy, Aimt Nancy, a Maid," 

He took great pride in his office, and during his term Pulteney Square 
was graded, fenced and ornamented with those beautiful trees which have 
added so much to the adornment of the village, and furnish a lasting mon- 
ument to the Bachelors of Bath. In this country, however, parties and 
politics are very changeable. The Bachelor party proved no exception. 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS, 18? 

Self-interest or passion induced most of its members to desert its ranks, 
and ''go over to the enemy." It is even hinted that it was to win the 
favor of tlie ladies, who always encourage improvement and adornment, 
that the major part engaged in the movement. All, with tlie exception of 
"Uncle John" and Tom Hess, the alpha and omega of the ticket, joined 
the army of benedicts ; these two were true to their colors to the end. Not 
one of the goodly company of bachelors is now living. Reforms never go 
backward. From the work tlius begun has been evolved our two beautiful 
parks, and the embellishment of our avenues and streets with a magnificent 
border of most beautiful shade trees that charm every beholder, realizing 
the promise of the Bachelor President, that by these improvements, Bath 
would become "a spot whex-e the traveler would love to dwell." 

1843.— April 15, 1843, rounds out the first fifty years of the existence of 
this village, and your chronicler proposes liere to close his narrative with a 
general description of the village and its residents at that time, as the 
newspaper files and public records from that date are full and complete, so 
that any future historian will have at his hand all the material facts neces- 
sary to write up its history. Besides, it is expected that there will be present 
to-day many gentlemen who can give you from memory all the px'incipal 
occurrences since that period, whom all desire to hear, and for that reason 
the field should be left open to them. The village then seemed gradually 
improving and new buildings and blocks were going up. Colonel Bull, in 
1842, surveyed and plotted William street, now one of the most beautiful 
avenues in the whole village. It was not fully opened for some years on 
account of legal complications. For preservation we give below the names 
of the leading men and firms then doing business in the village : 

William S. Hubbell represented this district in Congress. Will- 
iam W. McCay was the Pulteney agent; John W. Fowler and James 
Read were his assistants. Mr. McCay was president and John Magee 
cashier of the Steuben County Bank ; Constant Cook, County Judge ; David 
Runisey, Surrogate ; William Hamilton, County Clerk ; Hiram Potter, 
Sheriff ; Edward Howell, District Attorney ; Ralph K. Finch, County 
Superintendent of Schools ; Levi C. Whiting, Postmaster. The settled 
clergymen were. Rev. Isaac W. Piatt, Rev. P. L. Whipple, Rev. O. Frazier 
and Rev. Mr. Powers. The law firms were E. & W. Howell, McMaster & 
Read, Rumsey & VanValkenburgh, Barnes & McCall, Leland & Ferris, and 
James Shannon ; the physicians, J. D. Higgins, G. A. Rogers, E. B. Pull- 
ing, J, C. Morse, Daniel Seever ; druggist, Alexander Hess ; book-sellers, 
R. L. Underbill & Co. and Frank Metcalf ; newspaper publishers, Benjamin 
and Henry D. Smead and Whittemore & Co. ; merchants, Magee «&_ Cook, 
W. S. Hubbell, Henry Brother, Robie & Hunter, Amos Babcock, Dudley & 
Edwards, Tilman & Woodruff, John R. Gansevoort, George S. Ellas, Tim- 
othy & Levi Whiting ; grocer, E. L. Piatt ; flour-mill, B. Hallock ; shoe- 



138 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

makers, Orrin Smith and Secor & Rose ; saddlers, Moses H. Lyon and 
John Abel ; carriage-makers, Disbrow & Ward ; tailors, Briggs & Hess, 
William Woodward and T. A. Wilcox. Nichols & McPherson kept the 
Clinton House ; R. Brower, the Eagle ; James Lewis, th ■ Mansion House, 
and James French, the Farmers' Inn. The only survivors of them all are 
Jolm Abel, Simon Bovier, Caleb R. Disbrow, S. D. Hunter, M. F. Whitte- 
niore and myself. 

The office of the great Pulteney Estate stands to-day where it was 
originally located a century ago, in full operation, untainted with embez- 
zlements or defalcations, a monument to the integrity and wise policy of 
the various agents wlio have controlled the management, during a period, 
unaffected by foreign and civil wars, anti-rent and other domestic con- 
vulsions. 

On the doctrine of compensation, Bath can console herself, if she has 
not become famous or blossomed into a city, that she has escaped the ills 
that usually follow such advancement. No destroying flood, devastating 
fire, death-dealing cyclone or wasting pestilence in one hundred years has 
visited her border. 

In this narrative it has been my aim to give a ti-uthful, plain and 
unvarnished statement of the history of our village, that can be verified. 
No facts have been distorted for the purpose of embellishment or to round 
out periods. 

In conclusion, let me say that the object of this celebration has been, 
in a great measure, attained — securing Colonel Williamson's portrait, and 
widely advertising Bath. Much valuable historical material has been 
gathered which in a short time would have been lost forever. An interest 
has been aroused in the young, as well as in the old, in local historical 
study which will extend to that of the country and of the world at large. 
It has also awakened a desire in our citizens to learn something of their 
noble pioneer ancestors who left them so precious a patrimony, and must 
induce them, if they possess a spark of patriotism, to revere their names 
and memory, and preserve them untarnished forever. 



PART THREE, 

Symposium at the Casino, 

Tdesday Evening, June 6, 1893. 



REMINISCENCES. 
By William Howell. 



[Before commencing the duty assigned to me, I desire to pay a kindly 
tribute to the memoiy of one who has doubtless been in the thoughts of 
many of those here present ; one who would have felt the greatest interest 
in this anniversary. We have known him as a poet who had brought 
honor to his birthplace, and whose labor and research had constituted 
him an authority in all matters pertaining to the early records of the 
county ; indeed, it would seem difficult to mention the history of Bath or 
Steuben county without calling to mind the name of Guy Humphrey 
McMaster,] 

The practical requirements of life, at the present time, seem to leave 
but little opportunity for sentimental reflections on the past ; but, in assem- 
bling here to-day, we are testifying to a desire to turn aside for once, at 
least, and to permit ourselves on this occasion the free indulgence of retro- 
spect. We will soon go back to the routine of life that Providence has 
marked out for us, but to-day we will give ourselves up to the past, and, in 
turning over the torn and worn pages of the old book, endeavor to bring 
back again the life and the spirit of one hundred years ago. 

A great writer of history has said that the circumstances which have 
most influence on the happiness of mankind, the changes of manners and 
morals, the transition of communities from poverty to wealth, from igno- 
rance to knowledge — these are, for the most part, noiseless revolutions. 
Their progress is rarely indicated by what historians are pleased to call 
" important events." If this be true, the materials at our hand to-day are 
not unworthy of our attention as a study in social progress and develop- 
ment. Our pursuit will not be diverted by any so-called great events ; 
there are no wars and tumults to record, no long descriptions of battles 
and bloodshed ; whatever we may find to interest us must be drawn from 
uneventful, every -day life ar.d experience. 

I shall not attempt to refer at length to the individual history of those 
whose names stand out prominently in the course of events beginning 
with the year 1793, but my endeavor will be confined merely to a brief ref- 
erence to points that may illustrate life and character, in the effort to 
awaken your further interest in the subject. 



143 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

It may at first be stated that the country around us was a part of the 
territory ceded to the State of Massachusetts by the State of New York on 
the 16th day of December, 1786, and conveyed by the State of Massachu- 
setts to Nathaniel Gorham and Oliver Phelps, on the 31st day of March, 
1788. Two townships of the same, lying on the Canisteo River, No. 3 in 
the fifth, and No. 4 in the sixth range, containing 23,040 acres each, were 
conveyed to Arthur Erwin, Solomon Bennett. Joel Thomas and Uriah Ste- 
vens, on the 17th day of September, 1790. These persons, and others who 
came in the spring of 1791 to settle on tlieir lands, were the fii-st white 
inhabitants of the territory afterwards comprised in the county of Steuben. 

Messrs. Phelps and Gorham sold a large part of their purchase to Rob- 
ert Morris, the financier of the Revolution, by whom it was conveyed to 
Sir William Pulteney, and others, of England. The Phelps and Gorham 
purchase extended about forty-five miles from east to west, and eighty- 
four from north to south, and contained about 3,200,000 acres. In the year 
1790, the New York Legislature formed a county, named Ontario, from all 
that part of the State lying west of a meridian line drawn from the 82d 
milestone on the Pennsylvania line to Lake Ontario. The whole of this 
territory was then called the "Genesee Country" which name, in the 
Indian language, signified a pleasant valley. 

The purchase made by Sir William Pulteney, and the commencement 
of operations under the direction of his agent. Captain Charles William- 
son, were the beginning of wonderful changes in the Genesee country. 
Williamson made his first journey to the southern part of the territory in 
the summer and fall of 1792. He came through the forest from Northum- 
berland ; thence thirty-eight miles to the place where Williamsport now 
stands ; thence twelve miles to Trout Run ; then crossing the Laurel Ridge 
mountains to what is called the Block House ; then passing on to points 
where are now located the villages of Blossburg, Canoe Camp, Tioga, Law- 
renceville and Painted Post, and thence eighteen miles towards the head- 
waters of the Conhocton, where he selected the site for his city in the forest, 
and here, named in honor of his patron's only daughter, he planted the 
town of Bath, in the center of a wilderness of 900,000 acres. 

It may be of interest to the antiquarian to note here that Henrietta 
Laura Pulteney was created Baroness Bath, County of Somerset, July 26, 
1792, and Countess of Bath, October 26, 18.'i3. She married Sir James 
Murray, who assumed the name of Pulteney, and she died without issue, 
August 14, 1808, when her titles became extinct. 

Captain Williamson's plan for his new settlement was comprehensive 
and far-reaching. He well knew the advantnges of concentration, and 
believed that if he at once laid the foundations of a town and could bring a 
small number of operators to the ground, he would soon have something 
visible to attract a larger emigration. The advantages of concentration 



REMINISCENCES. 143 

were shown by some of the French settlements in Canada, on the St. Law- 
rence, where farms were laid out with narrow river front-^, and the houses 
built within a short distance of each other. Captain Wiliiamson, in his 
letters, urges the advantages to be secured, in the settlement of all new 
countries, by having the farms so located that the dwellings would not be 
far separated ; but in many instances this method was not followed, or was 
found impracticable under the existing conditions, so that in numerous 
cases settlers would commence their clearings and erect their log houses 
miles away from their nearest neighbors. 

The first necessity of the infant metropolis was a saw-mill ; and we are 
told that one was finished early in the season of 1 793, and before winter a 
grist-mill and another saw-mill, nearer the town, were nearly ready for 
US3. Several other settlements were begun this year, the principal of 
which were Sodus, Honeoye Lake, Canaseraga and Pleasant Valley, and 
roads were opened in many directions. 

The County of Ontario was now divided, the northern part retaining 
the old title, and the part set oflf was called Steuben, after the Baron of 
that name. 

Captain Williamson, in the effort to induce emigration to the country, 
published several enthusiastic letters, from which I will now make a few 
extracts, giving his description of the many attractions offered by the new 
settlements a few years after the founding of Bath. He says: "The 
rapid progress of this new country in every comfort and convenience has 
not only caused the emigration of vast numbers of substantial farmers, 
but also men of liberal education, who find here a society not inferior to 
that in the oldest country settlements in America. The schools are far 
from being indifferent, and even the foundations for public libraries are 
already laid. The gentleman fond of a rural life, or the amusements of 
the field, may here gratify himself ; he may find a situation for a country- 
seat that will please the most romantic fancy ; the excellence of the cli- 
mate and soil will afford him every ceitainty for a great return for his 
trouble and expense as a farmer, and with little care his garden may equal 
any gentleman's in England. Indeed, with the advantages of soil and 
climate, t!ie great variety of situations can only be equaled in the finest 
parts of England. 

"You will find that the climate of the Genesee country not only forms 
a very interesting part of its advantages, but also of its natural history ; 
those parching heats that on tlie south side of the Allegany mountains 
seem to dry up every particle of nourishment from the plants, are never 
known in this country ; in almost evt'ry instance a hot day is succeeded by 
a plentiful shower, which preserves throughout the summer a constant 
verdure, and afi'ords to us the finest pastures and meadovv's on the conti- 
nent ; the nights are proportionally cool, and a traveler from the sea-coast 



144 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

is surprised to find, in the dog-days, a couple of blankets a comfortable 
covering. The frosts have never been so severe as to stop the operation of 
the mills, provided very trifling precaution is used. So remarkable was 
this circumstance in 1797, that a number of sleds came from Pennsylvania 
to the Bath mills, a distance of seventy miles. All this is owing to the 
relative situation of the Genesee country. It is bounded on the north and 
west by great bodies of water which do not freeze, and in this direction 
there is not one mountain. The northerly and westerly winds which 
scourge the coast of America by blowing over the Allegany mountains, 
covered with snow late in the spring and early in the fall, are tem- 
pered by passing over these waters ; and these mountains to the south 
of us do, at the same time, prevent the destructive effects of the southerly 
breeze in winter, which by suddenly thawing the frozen wheat fields would 
destroy thousands of bushels. While the Lakes and the Allegany moun- 
tains are in existence, so long will the inhabitants of the Genesee country 
be blessed with their pleasant, temperate climate. The town of Bath has 
this season increased considerably, and much improvement has been made 
on the different roads leading to it. The opening a market to Baltimore 
for our lumber and fat cattle has also raised a spirit amongst the inhabi- 
tants to improve the navigation of the Conhocton. A handsome Court 
House, and a very secure and convenient gaol are added to the nvmaber of 
our buildings, and the inhabitants have recently encouraged a clergyman 
to settle amongst them." 

He also states that in that year, 1798, the printer of the Bath Gazette 
" dispenses weekly not less that five hundred papers." It may be interest- 
ing to us to examine briefly the contrasting conditions of life as shown here 
one hundred years ago, and as we see it around us to-day. It is a well- 
known fact that the occupations and daily experiences of men have exert- 
ed great power in moulding and stamping their charactei-s, and that the 
influence of natural surroundings has been by no means an insignificant 
factor in shaping the destinies of nations. The mountains and hills, the 
desert and the ocean, are cited in numerous instances in the Sacred Scrip- 
tures as showing their wonderful power over the minds of men, and we 
may readily trace the development of character in the pioneers of this 
country, as influenced by their conditions and surroundings. 

And first, their experience, filled as it was with new and peculiar 
obstacles, hopes and fears, tended to produce an alert and resourceful char- 
acter. We are apt to forget that the life was often one of continual 
anxieties, and, even here, not the least of them was the possibility of an 
Indian outbreak. When General St. Clair was defeated by the Indians, in 
the year 1791, it is said that many of the Genesees were in that battle 
fighting against our forces, and that the fact was well known that some of 
them were in the battle of the next year, when they were defeated by 



EEMimsCKNCES. 145 

Wayne. Although, after this defeat of the Indians on the Miami by Gen- 
eral Wayne, in the summer of 1793, it was not generally supposed that 
there was much danger of another outbreak, yet the savages came to this 
country in great numbers for the purpose of hunting and making sugar, 
and so little confidence was felt concerning them as to keep the settlers con- 
tinually on their guard. I have been told by an old resident that as late as 
1796 or 1798 some of the settlers left the county on account of their fears 
of another Indian war. 

These apprehensions, together with the feeling of isolation, the heavy 
labor of clearing away the forest and subduing the soil, and the conflict 
with obstacles unknown at the present day, tended to form a character 
differing in many interesting traits from that of any other people. It is 
not surprising that one prominent characteristic of the pioneer was self- 
confidence, and that he was brave, hardy and enterprising. 

It has been held by students of moral philosophy that as the refine- 
ments and luxuries of society increase, there is a corresponding diminution 
in active sympathy between man and man, and in the personal services 
rendered by each to the other. However this may be, it is certain that in 
the primitive condition of the pioneers there was an unwritten law that 
men were bound to help each other ; and their raising bees, logging bees 
and chopping bees gave evidence of their hearty willingness to assist their 
neighbors without money or price. 

Nor did these gatherings fail to exercise a considerable influence on 
their lives and characters. They were important means of maintaining 
social intercourse and exchange of ideas, while to men whose lives were 
for the most part solitary and uneventful, these musters of the widely- 
scattered settlers inspired a feeling of strength and confidence. But while 
his virtues are fully recognized, the pioneer is sometimes criticised for not 
attending as carefully as he ought to matters of religion, and particularly 
in paying too little attention to the observance of the Sabbath day. But 
it must not be forgotten, in a broad view of the question, that if his 
peculiar virtues were fostered, so were his shortcomings nurtured by his 
environment. He was often compelled to be a law unto himself ; there 
was no public opinion to influence him and the forest, like Crusoe's island, 
gave no sound of the "church-going bell." 

Strictly speaking, the pioneer life within the boundaries of the village 
itself was of short duration ; for although much of the surrounding coun- 
try remained for a long time in forest, and more than forty years after the 
first settlement the wolves would occasionally be heard of an evening, 
howling among the classic shades of Mossy Bank, yet from the first clear- 
ing away of the timber from Pulteney Square, Morris, Liberty and Steu- 
ben streets, the appearance of Bath, we are led to believe, was very dif- 
ferent from that of the ordinary frontier settlement. The plan from the 



146 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

first was to provide for the growth of an important city ; and although the 
failure of the Conhocton's water supply, the building of the Erie canal, 
and the invention t.»f the steam locomotive seriously interfered to destroy 
commercial relations with Baltimore, and the dream of WiUiamson has 
never been fully realized, yet there has always been much to stimulate the 
pride of the dwellers in this beautiful town, and I believe that all of them 
have ever felt a peculiar interest in its character and associations that time 
and distance have never effaced. 

The trades and professions were well represented at an early day, and 
the first newspaper in Western New York, the Bath Gazette, already re- 
ferred to, was established under the auspices of Captain Williamson, in 
1796. During the next thirty years or more, many enterprises flourished 
that have since become extinct. Pure medicinal whiskey was distilled 
from the native corn ; John McCalla, the hatter, on Morris street, manu- 
factured the genuine old-time regulation beavers ; a few years later books 
were printed and published at the old Bath bookstore, the press work by 
George Richardson, and the binding in good, honest sheepskin by James 
McBeath. 

But to reach the Baltimore market by means of the turbulent waters 
of the Conhocton was the absorbing question for many years. The most 
romantic episode during the period of maritime prosperity was the wonder- 
ful voyage of Deacon Hopkins. He loaded a raft with lumber, and one 
fine morning, in the spring of 1798, he bade farewell to his friends and 
stepped on board. The steering oars at bow and stern was manned, the 
hawser was cast loose, and the ponderous craft swept out on the broad 
bosom of the Conhocton at high flood. The difficult preliminary naviga- 
tion of Campbell's Hole and Hunter's Bottom were safely passed and, after 
perils by rock and shoal in the foaming Chemung and the mighty Susque- 
hanna, the Jong voyage to tide-water was accomplished. 

But disappointment awaited the Deacon on his arrival at Baltimore, 
for he found that there had been a great decline in the value of his cargo. 
He was told, however, that lumber was in great demand in the island of 
Cuba, and he forthwith chartered a schooner, to which he transfei-red his 
freight and sailed for Havana. On this voyage he vvas overtaked by a hur- 
ricane, and was compelled, amid much grief and tribulation, to throw 
overboard a large part of his cargo. At length, on his safe arrival at the 
islands, he found that the hurricane had so befriended him in blowing 
down nearly all the houses that his remaining stock of lumber sold for 
more than he had expected for the whole, an<l he found himself realizing a 
handsome profit. But he was not satisfied with this result. He sailed for 
Rio Janeiro, where he purchased a load of mules, and returned with his 
cargo to Havana ; but another decline in prices rendered this operation a 
failure, and after closing up his books he voyaged back to Baltimore, and 



REMINISCENCES. 147 

from thence traveled by horseback to Bath, returning, after his long- 
absence, square with the world but rich in experience. 

Among the names of those living in the early times, whose strong 
individuality and exceptional characteristics have been impressed upon the 
society of their day, and who have lived in tradition for generations after, 
may be mentioned that of Madam Susan Thornton. Many of us remem- 
ber her in her old age, when she resided on East Morris street, and an old 
gentleman once related to me his impressions of her appearance, some 
years after her marriage with Captain Helm, one morning when he saw 
her walking across Pulteney Square from the Agency House to that of her 
husband. Their residence then stood on the corner, afterwards occupied 
by the Clinton House, and now by the Bank of Bath. He described her 
stately and graceful carriage, the brightness of her eyes and her hand- 
some, attractive face. She was prominent in that period of festivity and 
lavish hospitality, when the old customs of Virginia were transplanted to 
the banks of the Conhocton, and many interesting events occurred in the 
life of this lady, to whom was always given the title of " Madam." 

I have no record of the schools of Bath previous to the year 1813. In 
that year the village school was taught by Mr. William Woods ; in 1815, by 
Mr. Welles, afterwards Judge of the Supreme Court, residing at Penn 
Yan ; in 1817, by Mr. S. Hull, a nephew of Mrs. Townsend ; in 1820, by 
Mr. George Huntington ; in 1833, by Mr. Plumley. In a Farmers' Advo- 
cate of December 14, 1831, appears the following advertisement by Mr. Eli 
Eddy: 

" Bath Select School. — Subscribers to this school are hereby notified 
that the winter term has just commenced under arrangements highly 
favorable to the improvement of the scholars. The school is furnished 
with Holbrook's apparatus and various other srticks for illustrating the 
subjects of education ; besides globes, maps and drawings on subjects of 
natural history. Patrons of the school are respectfully invited to call 
every Wednesday P. M. to witness the performances of the scholars in read- 
ing, speaking and writing lessons in their respective studies." 

The opening of Haverling Union School, in the year 1847, was con- 
sidered a very important event. It has ever since been the pride of the 
people of Bath, and for many years has ranked among the first schools in 
the State. As a monument beside which the sculptured marble appears 
insignificant, it will carry down through the ceaseless round of j'ears the 
name of Adam Haverling. His most devoted occupation during the latter 
part of his life was the promotion of its success, and he left behind him 
a liberal provision for the continuance of his bounty. His bust, it will be 
remembered, used to be seen over the bookshelves of the old school 
library, until destroyed, with all the other contents of the first building, 
when it was burned some thirty years ago. At his funeral, when he was 



148 THE CENTENNIAX OF BATH. 

buried in the new cemetery, the school attended in procession, and the old 
banner, carried by Thomas Faucett, was brought out for the last time. 

The first principal of the school was Mr. Hathaway, followed by Mr. 
Samuel Hallett (afterwards prominent in Pacific Railroad affairs), and then 
by Mr. E. J. Hamilton. The last named gentleman came to Bath from 
Wellsboro, Pa., and vmder his administration the school maintained a most 
remarkable reputation. His talents as a teacher were indeed exceptional, 
and he was ever held in the highest esteem by all who came under his 
influence. No Rugby boy ever felt greater respect and veneration for Dr. 
Arnold than is, even to this day, yielded to Professor Hamilton by his for- 
mer pupils, and widely scattered as they are, and many of them filling 
important and responsible positions in the world's work, I believe that 
each one still feels a sentiment of pride in the thought that Mr. Hamilton 
had once been his instructor. Of his accomplished wife, who occupied the 
position of preceptress, it is difficult for us to express our highest admira- 
tion for her character. The memory of her kindly influence and the 
brightness of her intellect will always live in the hearts of those who were 
permitted to know her. 

No old Haverling boy will forget to pay a kindly tribute to the patience 
and watchful care of Miss Melinda Hull, who for so many years presided 
in the primary department, and who is still living among us in the enjoy- 
ment of a peaceful old age. 

These recollections are doubtless of little value to the genei-al public, 
but they may perhaps awaken an interest in some of those veterans among 
us who can boast of having passed through all the grades of Haverling 
school, from the time when they were matriculated in the basement, until 
the day when they proudly stepped on the upper platform and roused the 
hearts of admiring friends by "Rienzi's Address to the Romans," "The 
Vulture of the Alps," or " Bingen on the Rhine." 

At the present luxurious time, when every hamlet is favored with a 
brass band and drum major, it is difficult to realize the exalted station 
occupied by the music makers before the war. He must be degenerated 
indeed, and dull to all the finer emotions, who can now recall without a 
thrill of excitement th.- sound of the pealing fife and the rattling, boom- 
ing drums, as the old " Bath Artillery," under the stern command of Cap- 
tain Whiting and Lieutenant Bonham, left their armory in Congress Hall 
and wheeled out of Orchard street into Liberty, with their white and scar- 
let plumes waving in the wind ; their ponderous muskets, with glittering 
bayonets pointing to the sky ; each man carrying at his belt a sheathed 
cheese knife, modeled after the swords used by the Romans at the battle of 
Pharsalia. But it was the head of the column— the music dressed in their 
blue frock-coats with scarlet facings, and "buttons all over 'em," that 
roused tlie enthusiasm of the street. First came the fifer, Juhus Smead, a 



REMINISCENCES. 149 

master of the art. I can see him now, wheeling round at intervals to 
mark that the drummers kept step and maintained the proper distance, 
his eye frequently lifted to the zenith in the effort to bring out a high note 
of the " White Cockade " or " The Girl I Left Behind Me." We shall not 
see his like again, and well he deserves a niche beside the great Antony 
Van Corlear, the trumpeter of New Amsterdam. 

Next appeared Miles Terrill and Merlin Graham, expert manipulators 
of the snare drum, and under whose skillful strokes that instrument was 
capable of producing effects that would be vainly imitated by the degen- 
erate pounders of sheep-skin of the present day. Last, but far from least, 
in fact the groundwork and foundation of the whole, came the ponderous 
bass drum booming and roaring under the fierce and well-tmied blows of 
Ira Edwards. 

Such was the " Martial Band " of our younger days, and many of us may 
often doubt whether any combination of brass or reed has ever fully sup- 
plied its place, although for the finer purpose of a moonlight serenade, we 
confess to many tender recollections of the " Bath Cornet Band," in the 
days of Jefferson French and Samuel Van Pelt. There are now probably 
but few members of the Rescue Hook and Ladder Company who are 
aware that the organization once possessed an ambitious brass band of its 
own, but the older members, who used to enjoy its rehearsals, will never 
forget it ; and while memory lasts they will recall with melancholy pleas- 
ure the spirit-stirring strains of " Number Six," 

There were not wanting, even in the early days, certain amenities of 
life, which, though not characteristic of the Puritan Fathers of New Eng- 
land, are yet interesting as proving to us that our progenitors were not 
always engaged in grinding toil to the exclusion of occasional relaxation ; 
for, as we all have heard, there occurred in September, 1796, the great race 
between the thoroughbreds, Silk-Stockings and Virginia Nell, in which the 
former won the Steuben sweepstakes and a fame that has lasted even to 
this day ; and as the old play -bill tells us, on New Year's night, 1798, the 
beauty and fashion of the forest city were assembled in the old theatre at 
the corner of Morris and Steuben streets, to see the curtain rise on the 
comedy of the " Sultan," as given by the actors imported from Baltimore. 
We must conclude that the performance was exceedingly lengthy, or else 
that the Bath society of that day was really not given to late hours, for 
the programme announces, ''Doors opens at half -past five; curtain will 
rise at precisely half-past six." 

But they have all long since finished their work and played their play, 
and the last lingerer of their generation has gone. If you walk a short 
distance up Steuben street, from the corner of Liberty, you will see where 
some of them are quietly sleeping in the old cemetery, and many others 
are now lying under the oaks in what was once called " Campbell's Grove." 



150 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

* * Verily, they do rest from their labors ;" and to their toils and sacrifices, 
their battles with the forest and endurance of hardships and exposures, we 
owe the smiling fertility of these broad acres around us, and whatsoever is 
now spread out to charm us in this beautiful valley, which they redeemed 
from the wilderness and prepared for our occupation. 

" "We tread the paths their feet have worn. 
We sit beneath their orchard trees, 
We hear, like them, the hum of bees 
And rustle of the bladed com ; 
We turn the pages that they read, 
Their written words we linger o'er, 
But in the sun they cast no shade. 
No voice is heard, no sign is made, 
No step is on the conscious floor." 

But their works do live after them. And as for us, standing in the 
rising dawn of a new century, and realizing the debt we owe to those who 
laid the broad foundations of our prosperity, let us yield them to-day their 
full meed of praise ; let us honor the virtues of a type of men and women 
that, together with the old days, have passed away forever. 



REMINISCENCES. 

By Hon, Justin R. Whiting, 



Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen -.—When I received the invita- 
tion from your President to visit you on this occasion and address you, I 
was somewhat surprised, but I was more greatly pleased. I at once decided 
to accept the invitation, not witli the idea that I had anything to say that 
you wished to hear, but I wanted to see and I wanted to hear. 

As I left Bath when only two years of age, I practically knew nothing 
of it or its people ; but when I first Iearne<l to talk, or at least when I was 
asked to tell where I was born, I was proud of the fact that I was born in 
old Steuben. 

When I grew older and had occasion to record, as I have at various 
times, my birthplace, I was again proud of the fact that I was born at 
Bath, in old Steuben. 

I very early developed a great desire to visit my birthplace. My father, 
who was a merchant and often went to New York to buy goods, finally 
brought me East to visit my uncles and aunts and cousins. I think I was 
only ten years of age when I made this, my first visit. We arrived here in 
the evening. On the next morning, my father having gone on to New 
York, I got up bright and early to see what the place was like. The sight 
that charmed me most was Mossy Bank. To me it was the highest moun- 
tain in the world. I had never even seen a hill, for I had been reared in 
Michigan where, in early days, dry places were called mounts. The very 
day after my arrival, for my especial pleasure, my cousins planned an ex- 
cursion to the top of Mossy Bank. Well do I remember how hard I 
struggled to keep up with the rest, sometimes hesitating with fear. Well 
do I remember the pride and satisfaction I experienced when I looked 
down on the pleasant valley below me. It was the first time that, from an 
elevation, I had ever viewed the habitations of man. It did not lessen 
man's greatness to me, but it increased my awe for the Creator. We spent 
a most delightful day, until when, on our return, in order to save distance, 
we were crossing a planted field, we were startled by the shouts of the 
owner. To say that I was frightened feebly indicates my condition when 
I saw the man with a dog, and I was told also with a gun, making hastily 
for us. I didn't stop to see whether he had a gnu or not, but I heard the 



152 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

dog bark and I started for the river ; I think I led them all, although the 
youngest of the party. When I reached the river I hardly knew what to 
do, for I had always lived on the bank of a river that was three-quarters of 
a mile wide and sixty feet deep ; but the dog was close behind, and I 
plunged in regardless of consequences. I assure you that I can remember 
well the satisfaction I felt upon reaching the other side. I think my 
cousins were not as frightened as I was, and I am now disposed to believe 
that they were somewhat responsible for my fright. The next day my 
cousins arranged another tour, and we went on a picnic to the lake near 
where my cousin, James Lyon, then lived. The boys, on this occasion, 
brought along a double-barrelled shot gun, which they, after some persua- 
sion, induced me to shoot. The gun was leveled across a large stump, and 
I was told that it was aimed at a flock of ducks. I didn't see any ducks, 
but I was induced to pull the trigger and shoot. From the way that I was 
kicked over, I believe that an extra large charge was put in for my benefit. 
I was assured when I regained my feet, that I had killed two ducks. 

Each day brought new revelations. I had uncles, aunts and cousins 
in every direction, boys and girls, and I visited them all. I remember 
that I fell desperately in love with one of my girl cousins. Although she 
was much older than I, I was charmed with her beauty and amiability. I 
staid here about two weeks and had as delightful a time, I think, as ever 
a boy had in his life. I went home with pleasant recollections of Bath, 
and they have never been effaced from my memory. 

From time to time I have returned to Bath, but I have not kept track 
of the social and commercial changes that have occurred, yet I know that 
great changes have taken place here similar to the changes that occur in 
other places. The surroundings of Bath have changed but little. Mossy 
Bank looks the same to me that it did when I was ten years old. I pre- 
sume that the country roads leading into Bath are unchanged and most of 
the environments are as they were, but I imagine that if some one were to 
return to Bath to-night, who lived at the time of the anniversary which we 
are now celebrating, that he would discover great changes, not only in the 
habits but even in the faces of the people assembled here to-night. To 
bring to mind the sturdy manhood of the people of that day, and to call 
up the memories of those who have more recently passed away will well 
repay for all the labor and expense of this celebration and reunion. From 
the struggles, the hardships and the sacrifices of the pioneers has come the 
general intelligence of to-day, and has made the American people the 
foremost people of the world, the most intelligent and most independent 
people. 

I used to think a few years ago that all depended upon political or- 
ganizations ; that one party would save the country and that another 
party would ruin it. A little practical public experience has convinced me 



REMINISCENCES. 153 

that that is all wrong : it is intelligence that controls both or either par- 
ties. The party that cannot live up to or fulfil the demands of intelligence 
to-day in the United States must pass out and give way to the party that 
will. ' 

And as to-night we are the recipients of blessings bestowed on us by 
those who appreciated the value of an education, so to-day devolves on us 
a great responsibility for the well-being of those who will follow us. 

In conclusion, I desire to express my appreciation of the motives and 
arduous labors of those who have so successfully managed this reunion. I 
believe it will reflect great credit upon Bath, and it will be of lasting bene- 
fit to the young people here, who soon must come up and take the places 
of the older ones in the city and Nation. It will broaden their minds ; it 
will give them a higher appreciation of the responsibilities they owe to each 
other and to their country ; and so Bath will continue to maintain the 
high rank it has ever held in the great Empire State, in the greatest Na- 
tion of all civilization. 



REMINISCENCES- 
By Hon. Irvin W. Near, 



History of Kennedyville. 

My contribution to this occasion is such facts, circumstances and 
statements as relate to and are connected with the early settlement, his- 
tory and progress of that part of the town of Bath, which was embraced 
in and formed school District No. 3 of this town, at the beginning of 
and during the early and middle portion of the present century, and par- 
ticularly the part that was first known as Kennedy's Corners, Kennedy- 
ville, and later on and now, as Kanona. 

School District No. 3 began on the easterly, near what was known as 
the "Half-Way House," and extended westerly and up the Conhocton 
River, nearly to the "Eight-Mile Tree" and almost a mile and a half on 
each side of the river. This territory now lies in the three towns of 
Avoca, Bath and Wheeler. 

The first school house was located at the central point, now known as 
Kanona, at the confluence of the Five-Mile Creek from the north, and 
Campbell Creek fi-om the south, with the Conhocton River, which here 
flows from the north-west, in a south-easterly course, forming three wide, 
productive and luxuriant valleys, so that at this place of the meeting of 
the waters was. in location, an attractive place for the early pioneers and 
tourists, and it has been ever since and now is unsurpassed in that resi'-ect. 

The first mention of Kanona comes from the memoirs of the Duke de 
la Rochefoucault Liancourt, a Frenchman, who made a tour of this 
country in 1795. He says that in that year there was a small settlement 
at Kennedyville. 

At the time of the opening of AViiliamson's road from Batli to near 
Tuscarora in Livingston County, in 1793, an inn was kept at this point by 
one John Mahon. It is said that at the time of the completion of this 
road, Mahon, who had kept an inn at the mouth of the Five-Mile Creek. 
located in Sparta. 

All of the streams on the northerly side of the Conliocton River, 
crossed by this road, were designated by the number of miles they were 
from Bath— as Five-]Mile, Ten-Mile, Twelve-Mile Creeks, and so on. 



REMINISCENCES. 155 

Bath was then the great central point — the expected future metropolis 
of Western New York — from which all distances were measured and com- 
puted ; the proximity of any point to Bath, then, determined its value as 
a place to locate. I do not know that longitude was ever reckoned from 
Bath, but presume it was, because all other known measurements began 
there. 

The first real settler at Kanona was Col. Heniy Kennedy ; he came in 
1800, and purchased the land where the village is now located. Col. Ken- 
nedy was born in Scotland, in 1765, of Scotch-Irish parentage ; he was the 
first of the family to settle in America. He first located in Johnstown, in 
Fulton county. New York, shortly after he attained his majority, doubtless 
attracted thither by others of his countrymen who, through the aid and in- 
fluence of Sir William Johnson, had formerly located there, and had founded 
a rich and prosperous community, and from which the Johnson Greens, 
who so largely contributed to desolating the Mohawk Valley during the 
Revolution, were recruited. Kennedy came from Fulton, then Mont- 
gomery county, to Herkimer county, and from thence to Kanona. He 
built the first saw-mill, on the site of the ruins of a later mill, near the D. 
L. & W. R. R. station. He also kept a tavern on the spot where is now 
located a brick hotel, and from this circumstance the place became known 
as Kennedy's Corners and Kennedyville. The name of the first clergyman 
is forgotten, while that of the first to minister to the physical necessities 
and provider of entertainment survives. It is so in many localities. Is the 
judgment just ? 

Henry Kennedy held a colonel's commission at one time in the State 
militia. It is asserted that he served in the Revolutionary Avar ; of this I 
have not sufiicient evidence. He held several local offices, among them 
that of Justice of the Peace. He had a family composed of the following 
children : sons — John, Hiero, James and William : and daughters — Anne, 
Sarah, Hannah, CorneUa, Susan and Dolly. He was a man of undoubted 
honesty and integrity, of stern and tja-annical disposition, and in his family 
rigorous and exacting, enforcing obedience to his mandates witha "Penang 
lawyer." He died at Kanona, April 26, 1826, aged 61 years, leaving his 
widow, Anne Kennedy, and the above-named children. John, better 
known as Colonel John, and of whom more will be said, was born in Her- 
kimer county, and died in the tovvni of Dansville, in Steuben county, 
October 8, 1833. WiUiam died in 183-1 ; Hiero, in 1836 ; James died at an 
early age. Of the daughters, Anne became the wife of Daniel Raymond. 
Sarah the wife of Joseph Wheeler, Cornelia the wife of Franklin Glass, 
Susan the wife of Chauncey Sackett, and Dolly or Dorinda the wife of 
Bernard Fox ; Hannah never married. 

John Kennedy served with distinction in the war of 1812 with En-^- 
land. He was an Ensign — a rank now know-n as Second-Lieutenant — in a 



156 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

1 

company of drafted men ; this company was on the Niagara frontier ; they 
volunteered to cross the river and make the attack on Queenstown Heights. 
The Captain sought shelter in a place of safety ; the First-Lieutenant, John 
Gillet, was severely wounded ; the company became confused and demora- 
lized ; Ensign Kennedy with great enthusiasm and intrepidity reorgan- 
ized his scattering comrades, reformed the column, placed himself at its 
head and, with other American forces led by Lieut. -Col. Winfield Scott, 
made a gallant and brilliant assault upon the British and Indians on the 
Heights, and drove them to the woods. Ensign Kennedy was personally 
complimented upon the field by Gen. Wadsworth, upon whom the com- 
mand of the Americans had devolved, for his bravery. It was in the at- 
tempt to rally his retreating forces, caused by this attack, that the British 
General Brock fell mortally wounded, perhaps by a bullet from a musket 
of one of Kennedy's men. British reinforcements coming into action 
drove the Americans down the bank to the river's edge, but as Kennedy's 
Captain and others of a like mind, in their discretion, had taken most of 
the boats to save themselves, a large number of Americans, of whom Ken- 
nedy was one, were taken prisoners, sent to Halifax and from thence were 
paroled and sent home for exchange. Before his parole had expired, we 
find Kennedy, now Capt. Kennedy, in command of a company at Fort 
Erie, in Canada, in defiance of his parole ; in his patriotic enthusiasm he 
prominently participated in that brilliant sortie from Fort Erie, which re- 
sulted in the raising of the siege of that Fort by the British. 

At the close of military operations on that frontier, Kennedy returned 
home, and to peaceful avocations. It is said that Col. Kennedy's parole 
had not expired at the time of his death— he was never exchanged. 

Col. Kennedy was a member of Assembly from Steuben County in 
1825, and was sheriff of the county in 1826-29. Col. Kennedy married 
Flora, a daughter of Maj. Asa Gaylord, of Cold Springs. 

Brigham, Elijah and John Hanks settled at Kanona in 1804 ; Elisha 
Hanks and Jeremiah Wheeler in 1805. All came from Vermont. 
Brigham Hanks was a blacksmith ; his first shop stood upon the spot 
where the brick stores now stand. He was a man of considerable educa- 
tion. He was the first postmaster, appointed when the office was first 
created in 1820, during the administration of President James Monroe ; he 
was also clerk of School District No. 8. and secretary of the various meet- 
ino-s of which any record is preserved. He removed to Illinois many 
years ago and died there. Elisha Hanks settled on the Bradley farm and 
Elijah and John Hanks and Jeremiah Wheeler located and lived nearly a 
mile south of the village, up the Campbell Creek valley. 

In a letter from Brigliam Hanks to his brother Elisha Hanks, then in 
Vermont, dated August 21, 1805, urging him to come to this locali- 
ty, after recounting the cheapness of land, its amazing fertility, the 



REM1NISCE^X'ES. 157 

abundance of crops and the ease with which they could be raised, the 
plentifulness of game, he added "You, can get good whiskey here, they 
sell a gallon of it for a bushel of rye." Think of this, ye candidates for 
" jag cures," with what frugality these pioneers enjoj^ed a spree! Elisha 
could not resist these allurements. He died at Kanona, May 14, 184S. 
EUjah Hanks died at the same place, Sept. 36, 1853. A peculiarity of 
these Hankses— they each had a family of seven children. One of the 
daughters of Elisha Hanks became the wife of John Ostrander, of Kanona, 
another married Job Goff , of Horuellsville. Brigham Hanks, a valued and 
respected citizen of Wellsville, N. Y., is a son of Elijah Hanks. 

Finla McClure, Jr., shortly afterwards settled on the river above 
Kanona, on what is known as tlie Snell farm, now in the town of Avoca. 

Edward Howell, early in life, and about this time, lived on the farm 
later occupied by Henry and Alexander Shaver, still later by Ambrose 
Gray. Here Mr. Howell first undertook to be a farmer. He afterwards 
moved to Bath, and became one of the learned and honored lawyers of 
the State. 

Col. John Taylor, of Trenton, N. J., came to Bath in 1797, and settled 
on the farm, on which the " Half -Way House" was built; a part of the 
present house was built by him. Col. Taylor was a soldier of the Revolu- 
tion in the New Jersey line. He served seven years ; he was with Wash- 
ington during most of the service and was his intimate friend during and 
after the war. While the patriot army occupied New Jersey, in the dis- 
mal winter of 1776-77, Washington made the home of Col. Taylor his 
resting place. Col. Taylor lived to be ninety years old. Of his children, 
a daughter was married to Dugald Cameron in this Half -Way House. A 
son, George W. Taylor, named for George Washington, by whom he was 
held at baptism, located and settled on Five-Mile Creek in District No. 3, 
nearly a mile above and north of Kennedyville. Here in 1820, he built a 
large grist-mill, the only one in the vicinity at that time ; this mill did a 
large business for a number of years. Taylor, about the same time, built 
and operated a distillery at the same place ; for a long time it did a flour- 
ishing business and, with the mills, supplied victuals and drink to all the 
country about. After this grist-mill ceased to be operated, it was taken 
down and the timbers sold to Mr. W. W. McCay, by whom it was removed 
and converted into a barn, now standing on the Soldiers' Home farm, on 
the hill southerly from the principal buildings. Col. Taylor married, for 
his second wife, the widow of Col. Eleazer Lindley, who was the proprie- 
tor of the town of Lindley. Mr, Wm. B. Taylor, of Canisteo, is the son of 
George W. Taylor. 

Erastus Glass came about 1806. He built a saw-mill below Kanona, 
about three-fourths of a mile, on the site now occupied by Baker's Mills. 
Thomas, better known as " Tommy" Moore, an honest, jolly, good-natured 



138 THK CENTENNIAL 01' BATH. 

Irisliman, the son of James Moore, who was born in Ireland and came to 
this county with George BIcClure. hved and died on the farm cleared by 
his father, above Kanona. on tlie nortliern side of the river nearly oppo- 
site to ]Mr. Howell's early home. A daughter of Thorn as ]!.Ioore married Isaac 
H. Hill Esq., whose memory is loved and respected by all who knew him. 
Another daughter, Jane, a kind and noble woman, died a few j^ears since ; 
like one I have before mentioned, she never married. "Some one had 
blundered." 

In 1830, Clinton Nixon, who was a merchant and trader, built a saw- 
mill and a tannery in the eastern part of the present village, nearly oppo- 
site to the late residence of ex-sheriff Oliver Allen. 

John Ostrander came about 1812, at an early age ; he was a hotel keep- 
er, merchant and lawyer ; he was a man of broad and comprehensive 
views, quick and keen preceptions, of good habits and excellent business 
ability. He spent the remainder of his life at Kanona and died there in 
1865. Four of his five sons volunteered, and did splendid service in the 
Union army, in the War of the Rebellion. Ostrander had an extensive 
acquaintance in all the coimtry about, and a great reputation for his skill 
and success in trying " horse suits"' in Justice Court ; his ser^dces were in 
constant demand, for horse-trading was then, more than now, a legitimate 



The following is told : A man who had the blood of half a dozen 
different races in his veins— a sort of a polyglot — traded horses and got 
cheated ; he resorted to the law for redress and started to retain John 
Ostrander. On his arrival he found that his adversary had secured Ostran- 
der. Finally he secured the services of John Van Loon, then a rising 
young lawyer of ability. The cheated horse-trader, upon being teased by 
the fellows who hung around the taverns, upon his disappointment in ob- 
taining the lawyer of his first choice, retorted, that "Loon could not open 
his mouth as wide as 'Strander but he could hop on to the law." 

Kanona was the favorite stamping ground for the horse-traders of a 
generation ago — a class of men who made their living by swapping 
horses or any thing else — they combined traits of boldness, cunning, 
shrewdness and general knowledge — 

" A smack of Lord Waterford, reckless and roUicky, 
Swagger of Roderick, heading his clan ; 
The keen penetration of Padding-ton Pollaky ; 
Genius of Bismarck, devising a plan ; 
The spirit strategic of Csesar or Hannibal, 
Skill of Sir Garnet in thrashing a cannibal ; 
The dash of a D'Orsay, divested of quackery ; 
Narrative powers of Dickens and Thackeray ; 



REanNISCENCES. 159 

Victor Emmanuel, peak-hunting Peveril ; 
Thomas Aquinas and Doctor Scheverell, 
Tupper and Tennyson, Daniel Defoe, 
Anthony Trollope, and Mr. Guizot." 

I have known one of tliis guild, to start out, with a spavined, vv-ind- 
broken, weak-backed horse, harness, old sulky, a silver watch, and poor- 
ly appareled, to return, after a couple of weeks' raid through the countrj', 
with a good pair of horses, harness, a fine top buggy, gold vratch, and 
clothed in broadcloth and fine linen. 

Among these traders "Jim " Dejo, " Nub " Barker, " Jo " Rice, " Jim " 
Covert were expert artists. These nomads, and the horse-law-suits bred 
and nourished by their skill, have disappeared from this locality. 

Samuel W. Burnham, who at an early day, lived on the Campbell 
Creek road, between the river and Wheeler's, was an intelligent, keen and 
active man. He had a great reputation as a successful pettifogger, and his 
services were eagerly sought for by those who were in want of his 
assistance. 

Upon one occasion, before a Justice of the Peace in the then town of 
Howard, Burnham was engaged on the trial of a law-suit for trover and 
conversion. He represented the defendant ; Dan H. Davis, of Liberty, a 
man of fit calibre for Burnham, was for the plaintiff. After wrangling 
all day and a greater part of the night, varied with an occasional scrap, 
such as pulling hair and kicking shins, Burnham moved the Court that the 
action be discontinued, and made a long and ingenious argument in support 
of his motion. Davis responded with confidence, stating that there was 
no foundation, right or authority for the motion. The Court, believing 
what Burnham said was true, and being tired and worn out by the conten- 
tion of counsel, and not having the ability to comprehend the position of 
either, granted the motion and discontinued the action on the application 
of the defendant, who at once got out of the county with the property in 
dispute. 

Kusseli Kellogg, George Dawson, Samuel Fyler, Zera Bradley and 
Oliver Allen, all of whom are now dead, were active and prominent resi- 
dents of Kanona, and contributed to its prosperity. Of Oliver Allen more 
than a passing notice is due ; he was elected sheriff of the county, he then 
residing at Hcrnellsville, in 1849. His term was one of great activity, and 
he discharged the duties of the office with credit. He was truly a leader of 
men and, in the Canisteo Valley no man was more esteemed or had a 
larger following. He was possessed of remarkable personal strength and 
courage, and was always ready for any emergency, regardless of the con- 
sequences to himself. During his term as sheriff, a great deal of lawless- 
ness and annoyance prevailed in the towns bordering on Pennsylvania, 



160 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

caused by a gang of thieves, who woiild come into this county, steal 
horses, cattle, sheep and other property and run them over the state line 
into the Pennsylvania wilderness. The local officers and Allen's deputies 
had not succeeded in arresting any of these malefactors. Sherift" Allen 
resolved to visit the infested districts alone, so, taking several pairs of hand- 
cuffs, he started out, and arri^^ug unsuspected in the locality, he soon got 
on track of the evil doers. He followed two of them to ahouse, rapping for 
admittance. A man came to the door, Allen immediately siezed him, 
hand-cuffed him to an apple tree by drawing his arms arotrnd the tree and 
putting the handcuffs on his wrists, leaving the prisoner embracing the 
tree in this manner ; then, with the help of some residents who had been 
aroused, pursued and captured the second, and shackling them together, he 
brought them both to Bath and lodged them in jail, remarking that it 
would "be some time before they would again eat butter on their 
potatoes." 

After the expiration of his term of office as sheriff, he moved to 
Kanona, purchased a farm just east of the village and lived there for more 
than ten years. Shortly after the time his office ended, the American or 
" Know Nothing " Party was formed, and rapidly assimied such magnitude 
as to threaten the existence of the two great parties — the Whig and Dem- 
ocratic. The Canisteo Valley was a fertile field for the growth of the new 
and mysterious party, whose transactions were carried on in lodges to 
which none but those invested with the pass-v^^ord could gain admission. 

Allen was appealed to by his old party associates in Homellsville for 
help; he went over and made the tour of the valley and, by personal ap- 
peals to his old acquaintances succeeded in staying the further growth of 
the new party in that locality. In a short time throughout the Northern 
States a like result prevailed and upon the demoralization and discontent 
then prevailing, the Republican party, like a young giant, sprang into be- 
ing, and in this county such men as Robert Campbell, William M. Hawley 
and Oliver Allen were the foremost champions of its principles. For a 
number of years after this, ex-sheriff Allen was prominently connected 
with the management of the canals of this state. He died in the town of 
Canisteo about 1866. 

About the year 1836, a new class of people emigrated to the locahty 
that I am now considering, and its vicinity; they came from the Mohawk 
Valley ; their fathers and grandfathers were among the makers of Ameri- 
ca. They were the associates of, and co-laborers with Philip Schuyler, 
Peter Gansevoort, Nicholas Herkimer, Douw and Jellees Fonda and Sir 
William Johnson. They were with Col. Marenus Willett in August, 1777, 
at Fort Stanwix, when the stars and stripes were then and there for the 
first time flung to the breeze. This first flag was made by this garrison ; 
the blue of the Union was from Capt. Swarthout's camlet cloak, the white 



REMINISCENCES. 161 

stars and stripes were out of the officers' shirts and the red stripes were 
furnished by the scarlet cloak of one of the women of tiie fort. It was in 
the free and pure air of the Mohawk Valley and by these patriots that 
•' Old Glory ^ was baptized — '' by Angel liands to valor given." 

They participated wnth Herkimer in the bloody and decisive battle of 
Oriskanjs the turning point in the War for Independence, the conflict 
which in fact made America free. 

Among these settlers were the Snells, the Grays, the Wagnei-s, tlie 
Shavers, the Billingtons, the Bellingers, the Shultses, and the Dygerts. 
By their industry, steady habits, frugality and thrift, fearing nothing but 
sin, they greatly improved the farms and villages, and added immensely 
to the moral and material wealth of the county. The first settlers had di- 
rected their attention to lumbering and taking the product to market ; the 
land was only valuable to them for its timber. For the well attended 
churches, thriving schools, fine cultivated farms, comfortable and pleasant 
dwellings, prosperous and happy homes, the credit must be given to the 
Mohawk Dutch. 

The first school teacher in this district was Ann Parker. She lived in 
the westerly part of the district; this was in 1800. She taught by going 
around from house to house, imparting instruction in the same manner as 
shoemakers and tailors performed their work at an early day. It was 
called "whipping the cat." Her qualifications were her good moral char- 
acter, retentive memory and great physical strength and endurance. She 
was able physically to enforce her precepts and teachings upon the 
children and, occasionally, upon adults. She was unable to write, claiming 
that none but the highly educated possessed that qualification, and con- 
sequently it was not embraced in the branches taught by her. 

The first school house in District No. 3 v^as built, in 1810 upon the site 
now occupied by the brick stores, and was next to the blacksmith shop of 
Brigham Hanks. At a school meeting held on the 23d of November, 1813, 
Reuben Montgomery, Henry Kennedy and Finla McClure were elected 
trustees, Brigham Hanks was elected clerk and John Hanks collector. 
"It was voted that where the school house now stands be the site for the 
school." It was also voted that "there shall be no tax raised in this district 
this year." The meeting adjourned until the 27th inst. at 5 P. M. At this 
adjourned meeting, the views of those present were different from those 
that prevailed at the original meeting, for it reconsidered the former 
action in relation to no tax, and voted to raise $50 for the necessary repairs 
of the school house and for fire- wood. 

On the 4th day of May, 1814, the before-named trustees made a con- 
tract in writing with Dauphin Murray, whereby, in consideration of |180, 
he agreed " to keep and teach a common English school, to- wit : reading, 
writing and common arithmetic, for the term of one whole year, in said 



162 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

school district, in the school house next adjoining the blacksmith shop of 
Esquire Hanks, to commence on that day and from thence next ensuing 
and to be fully completed and ended ;"' the said sum was to be paid, $90 
on the first day of May next ensuing, and the remaining $90 on the fourth 
day of May, 1815. The modern teacher and scholar would not enjoy this 
solid year of school, at this figiire, without any vacation. It appears that 
Dauphin Murray gave satisfaction, for by a contract dated May 5. 1815, 
signed by Elisha Hanks. Jareu Spalding and Erastus Glass, who were then 
trustees of this school district, and Dauphin Murray, he agreed to teach 
the " Three R's," one whole year, but at the increased sum of $275. Mur- 
ray appears to have been a man of some parts ; he wrote a good hand, was 
good in figures and fair in composition and grammar. He was alternate- 
ly pedagogue and publican. He kept an inn at Kennedyville about the 
same time. He left the country and went west in 1824. 

Among the later teachers in this district were Hon. George Hunting- 
ton, afterwards a state senator ; Hon. Edward J. Farnum, now living at 
Wellsville, N. Y.; Andrew J. Brundage, Esq.: Captain Henry S. Wood 
and Captain Manley T. Matthews, both good soldiers in the Union army. 
The former died in the service of his country during the War of the Rebel- 
lion, the latter died after the close of the war. 

The schools at Kanona have always maintained a good record for 
efficiency, order and instruction ; none of its pupils need be ashamed of 
the instruction received there. The patrons were people who were intelli- 
gent, critical, always ready to investigate, and were familiar with the cur- 
rent literature of the day. I do not claim that it is classic ground, yet 
several of the songs of a generation ago, among them, " Minnie Clyde," 
"Kittle Clyde" and "The Old House at Home," were written in District 
No. 3. 

The first religious organization was that of the Universalists, of which 
Henry Smith, Elijah Hanks, Joseph D. Shuart, Royal Knight, Simpson 
Ellas and Christopher Rowe were prominent members. The Christians 
organized a society about the same time, composed, in part, of John K. and 
Daniel Towner, Franklin Glass, Shepard Spalding and Vestus Chapin ; 
this was about 1826. These two organizations united and built a church 
at Kanona, in 1833, and maintained religious services therein for a long 
time. So ' ' free grace and undying love " here early found an abiding place. 
The church building was quite recently burned. The early UniversaUst 
clergymen who lived and labored for this community were Rev, Ehjah 
Smith, who died here, and Rev. Morgan L. Wisner, a brother of the late 
Col. R. P. Wisner, of Mt. Morris, a well-known and able lawyer. 

The Presbyterians, who came here early, were affiliated with the 
church at Bath until 1831, when they built a church at Kanona. I do not 
think that the resolution to build this church was prompted by the same 



KEIIINISCKXCES. 163 

inflaence that led to the building of tlie parent church. Those prominent 
with the Presbyterian organization here then were George W. Taylor, 
James A. Otis, Brigham Hanks and David Tilton. Rev. Mr. Everett was 
an early pastor of this church. THe celebrated revivalist, Littlejohn, fre- 
quently conducted services in this church. The Presbyterian meeting- 
house was, after a number of j^ears, transferred to the Methodist Episcopal 
organization ; they still maintain religious sei^vices in this building. The 
Wheelei-s, Henrj' Pier, a Justice of the Peace for many years, the Norrises 
and Cases were prominent Methodists. Among the early clergymen of 
this denomination located at Kanona were Revs. J. C. Stevens, Charles T. 
Gifford and John T. Canfield. 

The general religious sentiment of the people of Kanona has always 
inclined to liberal views. They were critical, yet honest and intelhgent in 
their ideas. It has been said by a number of Presiding Elders of the 
Methodist church, that at no place did they take so much care, and expend 
so much labor and thought upon their sermons as at Kanona, because of 
the intelligent and fearless criticism of their audiences. 

I do not think Kanona was in its earlier days a very good field for 
j)hysicians ; for some reason they remained but a little time. Among these 
were Drs. Brown and Patterson. 

Besides Mr. Ostrander, the following lawyers, all of whom are now 
dead, were located at Kanona, and there laid the foundations for the 
achievements and good record of their after lives : Andrew J. Brundage, 
who moved to, lived and died at Monroe, Wis.; John C. Van Loon went 
to New York and died there ; Peter M. Tolbert located at Rochester, Minn. , 
and died there ; George S. Jones, a lawyer of more than ordinary ability 
and a gentleman in all things, went to Belmont, Allegany county, N. Y. , 
was associated in business with Hon, Wilkes Angel, and died there. Of 
those who are living, j'-ou can conclude from the sample before you. 

Before the building of a railroad through the Conhocton valley, the 
transportation of produce, live stock and goods through Kanona, by reason 
of its location, was immense. I doubt if there was another place in the 
State, west of the Cayuga Bridge, that equaled it. On many occasions, 
from 150 to 250 wagons and other vehicles stopped over night tliere. The 
accommodations of three large taverns, including beds, tables and floors, 
were insufficient for the throng. Truly, the dream of Williamson was in 
part realized, but instead of the products and wealth of Western New York 
seeking Bath for market and shipment, by way of the Susquehanna sys- 
tem of communication, these caravans passed on through Bath to Ham- 
mondsport, and sought markets by an intruder of the St. Lawrence system 
of waters, and the canals. 

Teamsters from Coudersport, Pa. , from Cattaraugus, Allegany, Living- 
ston, the western and northern portions of Steuben county, made calcu- 



164 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

lations to sta^ over night at Kennedyville, and by an early start the next 
morning reach Hammondsport by sunrise, unload their burdens, and load 
up with merchandise and other goods that had come as far as possible by 
water — then the only means of transportation — get back to Kennedyville, 
remain again over night, and in the morning resume their homeward jour- 
ney. This was the route and means of travel and transportation for years. 
During the season of marketing grain, the highway from Kennedyville to 
Hammondsport was as thronged as the roads now are at the time of the 
Steuben County Fair. 

Great droves of cattle were driven from what was then the far west — 
from " clear on to Ohio and Michigan " — to market, through Kennedyville. 
About 1850, a plank road was completed from Hammondsport through 
Bath to Kennedyville ; when these droves reached the plank road, they 
were alarmed at the unusual soimd produced by their feet. Many a time, 
mischievous boys and frequently adults would make some unusual noise, 
shake a paper at or shy a stick or stone into the drove ; thus started, and 
being imused to the plank road, away they stampeded in a manner that 
would do credit to a herd of Texas steers of the present day, carrying 
everything before them, until stopped by the toll-gate, unless sooner 
rovmded up by the cowboys of that day. 

Ark building was a thriving industry at Kennedyville for a long time ; 
it was the ship-yard for Bath. The Hanks Brothers were largely engaged, 
with George W. Taylor, Matthew Neely, with his sons William and Samuel, 
and others, in building the crafts that were to navigate the waters of the 
Conhocton, Susquehanna and its tributaries. The principal point where 
arks were built and turned or launched into the waters was on the bank of 
the river in the rear of the present residence of W. A. Dawson, Esq. Some 
of them were loaded at Kennedyville, but they were principally taken to 
Bath for their cargoes. When these arks, with their cargoes, arrived at 
their place of destination, they were broken up and sold for lumber. The 
rxinning or navigating of arks and rafts, made of pine lumber, was a 
favorite occupation of the early settlers of our county. They were hardy, 
courageous men, full of Ufe and fun, and possessed of great physical 
endurance, as the following incident will show : McElwee, of Mud Creek 
(now Savona), James French, of Bath, Hopkins, of Kennedyville, and Ira 
Lane, of Howard, had all been down the river with a June "fresh." They 
returned together by some public conveyance and on foot over the Laurel 
Mountains as far as the " Block House," near Blossburg, Pa., where they 
remained over night. They concluded to walk to their sevei'al homes ; so 
starting at daylight the next morning, they began their journey. McEl- 
wee reached his home, fifty-three miles from the starting point, in the 
afternoon. The others reached Bath, fifty-nine miles, the home of French, 
later on. Hopkins, or " Hop," as he was called, and Ira Lane thought they 



REMINISCENCES. 165 

would go on to Kennedyville, sixty-three miles, before stopping ; arrived 
there, Lane, refusing the earnest invitation of "Hop" to stay overnight 
with him, drcided to go home, which he reached at midnight, a distance 
of seventy-one miles from the "Block House." This was a fair walk. 
How would some of our modern college athletes enjoy a walking-match 
with Ira Lane ? 

In the early days, the general election was held three days. In the 
town of Bath, it was held the first day at Mud Creek ; the forenoon of the 
next day at the Eight-Mile Tree (Avoca) ; in the afternoon at Kennedyville, 
and the third and last day at the village of Bath. These polls were attend- 
ed by the candidates, or their supporters and heelers, providing the induce- 
ments and munitions of war, for the support of their choice. Then, there 
was no registration of voters ; booths and voting machines were unknown ; 
nor were there any city offices, the holding of which disqualified a candi- 
date from serving as a legislator. 

The name of the postoffice was changed from Kennedyville to Kanona 
in 1852, through the exertions of Brigham Hanks, the younger, assisted by 
Hon. Reuben Robie, then the member of Congress from this Congressional 
District. The reason for the change was because of confusion in the 
prompt transmission of mail matter by reason of the existence of a post- 
office called Kennedy in Chautauqua county. The name adopted was the 
Indian name of Five-Mile Creek, and signifies rusty water, by reason of 
the fancied resemblance of the waters of this creek, at times, to iron-rust. 
The change was proper and appropriate ; other localities should do the 
same. As far as possible, localities and all civil divisions of the country 
should bear the name given by the Indians to some stream, lake or moun- 
tain of the vicinity. 

The first railroad— the Buffalo & Conhocton Valley railroad, now the 
Rochester Division of the N. Y., L. E. & W. R. R.— was built through the 
town of Bath, passing through Kanona, in 1853. From that time on every- 
thing relating to transportation and ti-avel became changed ; the old 
thorough-braced stages went Avest, and have disappeared with the days 
when they were necessary. The D., L. & W. R, R. and the Kanona & 
Prattsburgh railroad are later enterprises, adding largely to the facilities of 
this locality. 

When the War of the Rebellion broke upon the country, there was no 
more loyal response to the call to arms from any section than was made 
by the people of old School District No. 3. The blood that ran in the veins 
of those who had participated in the siege of Fort Stanwix, in the battles 
of Oriskany, Saratoga and Bennington, of Queenstown Heights, Lundy's 
Lane and Fort Erie, of Palo Alto. Bueua Vista and Chapultepec, was on 
fire with patriotic enthusiasm, for the preservation of the Union. Of 
those who went, and of those who died on the battle-field, in hospitals or 



166 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

in prisons, and those who returned, and their loyal and gallant services, a 
comrade and companion in arms wiU fully detail their names and glorious 
deeds ; for this reason, I reluctantly forego the grateful task. 

Since the war closed, the era has been " modern times ;" with that I 
do not propose to further weary your patience. I have been asked to tell 
you something of ' ' Old Bath ;" how well or how faithfully I have done it, 
you will determine ; the mistakes you will correct, and I am sure that for 
my many sins of omission or commission, you will grant me indulgence, 
and, I hope, a full pardon. 

The history of the town of Bath is proud, noble and prosperous. Her 
sons have been prominent in the State and in the Nation, their examples 
beckon on the youth of to-day to lead pure, useful and noble Uves. In this 
history. School District No. 3 has borne as conspicuous and as noble a place 
as any other locality of this town. Its sons and daughters have well sus- 
tained their parts and added to the credit, by their good citizenship and 
obedience to duty, of the glories of the first century of the town. If the 
records of the second century can show as well, at its close, then indeed 
will the m.eeting place of these beautiful valleys, 

" Where loving memory tenderly and fondly clings," 

justify the good judgment and sagacity of those who selected, planted, 
nourished and cultivated it in these hundred sleeping years. 



REMINISCENCES.- 
By Rev, L, Merrill Miller, D. D, 

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentleihen :— When I first received an 
invitation from your committee to be present here and say a few words 
to-night, I said to Mrs. Miller, " To be sure, I must go to Bath and see what 
of the old faces are left, and if possible renew some old acquaintances I 
made a great while ago ;" although to-day, if I had acted as I had been 
appointed, I would have been at Saratoga Springs, making an address 
before the Presbyterian Congress connected with the missions of this State 
and the missions of the United States. 

But my first love was here, in connection witli the dear people of my 
youthful pastoral charge. Not only that, but many of you understand 
very well that my first love was here in another direction, and for which, 
like Jacob of old, I labored seven years, and got her and I have her still. 

Mr. Chairman, a century is a short time, as we read it in the history 
of the great nations of antiquity. They arose, as you know, from very 
stnall colonies and, advancing by slow growth, became powerful among 
the nations and accomplished the deeds that have rendered them famous 
tlirough the hundreds of years following. Since then things have changed. 
The slow coach which carried those years has disappeared. Improvements 
come upon us with tlie magic of steam and electricity, and even as we 
talk of them they are done. 

It is only four hundred years since Columbus gave this western hemis- 
phere to the east ; some of the nations of antiquity have numbered near- 
ly three times as much before tliey reached the acme of their pre-eminence 
and their glory. 

Our own Republic is only a little over one hundred years of age. In 
1783. at the close of the Revolution, we were declared a free and inde- 
pendent people, and our mother country admitted our right to be a nation. 
It was ten years after that, 1793, that the settlement of Bath began. A 
tide of improvements, slowly at first, flowed into this quiet valley, as well 
as throughout our broad domain, that enable us to celebrate this Centen- 
nial day with the acclaim, "Behold what God hath wrought." As you 



* Two or three items are printed in this report which were not given 
in Dr. Millers speech on account of limited time.— Ed. 



168 THE CENTENMIAL OF BATH. 

look back over this one hundred years to-night and recall the events which 
have been detailed to-day. you are justly amazed when you compare them 
with the great events of the past the doing of which spread over so many 
hundreds of years. Visit now the distinguished capitals of the old world ; 
look at their ornate and massive cathedrals ; survey the miles of paintings 
at Versailles, Florence, Rome and Berlin ; view the monuments so wonder- 
ful in their artistic beauty and grandeur, the stoiy of deeds accomplished 
and you must gaze at them with the remembrance that they were hun- 
dreds of years in the perfecting, and also that hundreds of years ago some 
of the cathedrals were commenced which are not entirely finished at this 
time. 

Returning to the events the story of which has just been repeated to 
us, and looking at the significent tokens of wealth and taste and charity, 
the substantial churches and the homes of elegance which adorn this vil- 
lage, we may well wonder and congratulate one another. 

Forty-nine years ago last month, introduced by the Rev. Isaac W. 
Piatt, one of the noble names of Bath, I came here a boy preacher. On 
the 12th of May, my first Sabbath, I preached three times in the old white 
church, with a tall, sightly spire on the south side of Pulteney Square- 
having ever green Mossy Bank in the back ground. That old wooden 
building was, for that period, a very pleasant and commodious structure, 
but a very different thing from the substantial and ornate church which 
fills its place to-day. The high pulpit, reached by long flights of stairs 
was in the north end of the church. A lofty gallery ran around three 
sides and a number of square pews furnished prominent sittings to the old 
established families. I remember well my arrival by the old stage coach in 
Bath at midnight. Coming from Rochester, my former home, up the 
Genesee Valley we climbed over the hills this side of Dansville and then 
wound along down the valley of the Conhocton. The first thing I said the 
next morning as I came out on the veranda of the old Clinton House, 
was, to a friend who stood there : ' ' How did I get into this cup, and how 
in the world do you get out of it ? " 

The only face that I knew, except that of Rev. Isaac W. Piatt, who 
persuaded me to come here, was that of my friend Ansel J. McCall, whom 
I met as I left the hotel. We became acquainted with each other in Ham- 
ilton College. Of course I was glad to see him, and now as pleased to ac- 
knowledge the many kindnesses and introductions I received at his hands 
and at the hands of his sainted mother, Mrs. McCall. 

Already has been detailed, in the papers read, many names that need 
not be repeated. I shall only add a few and specify some particulars. 
Four elders of my church. Dr. G. A. Rogers, Messrs. Lewis Biles, JohnW. 
Fowler and Peter Halsey were not only my strong coadjutoi-s but were 
marked men in the community. Messrs. Edwards, Gansevoort, McCay. 



REMINISCENCES. 169 

Rumsey, VanValkenburg, Hubbell, Howell, Campbell, Lyon, Magee, Mc- 
Master, Cook, Hull and Robie were leading citizens and gave me tokens 
of their friendship. Col. Davenport, one of our most successful business 
men. was ever unostentatious, though liberal, in his charities and gifts. 
We, as well as others, w-ere the recipients of many favors from him, of 
which the world knows nothing. 

Pulteney Square in those days was a cheerful place. The south side 
had the white church in the center with green tields bej'ond, watered by 
the Conhocton and flanked by one of the most beautiful of the "everlast- 
ing hills,"' The old Woods place, occupied by Mr. L. C. Whiting, son-in- 
law to ]\Irs. Woods, was next east of the church, then the Howell resi- 
dence and office, beyond which was the Episcopal church. 

To the west of the church was the old land office, the noted Hubbell 
store and a harness establishment. Beyond these rested tlie genial resi- 
dence of Mr. Moses Lyon, one of the most solid, honest and successful 
early residents of Bath. Steuben County Bank and the attractive home of 
Mr. John Gansevoort were on the west side ; on tlie east, the residences of 
Judge Leland and Mr. W. W. ]\IcCay (either side of the old Court House 
and County Clerk's Office) opened their welcome doors to cheerful and 
winning social life, where many of us were pleased to gather. The north 
side was full of active life at the Clinton House and the Eagle Tavern and 
business places beyond. This pictui-e would not be perfect, however, to 
me should I fail to add that there was near the old church a cheerful study 
and parlor, formerly the office of Judge Woods, which Mrs. Woods kind- 
ly gave into my possession, during the early part of my ministry, and, at 
the same time, Mrs. Gansevoort gave to the young minister a free home 
with many comforts and attractions. 

The Rev. Mr. Whipple was the excellent pastor of the Episcopal 
church. He was the type of a good and noble man. Closely associated 
with him in many ways, I found him a genial and loving friend, anxious 
to be of service in any desirable way. The veiy summer after my settle- 
ment. Dr. PulUng, a very worthy physician, was called to perform a danger- 
ous operation in a critical case. A slip of the knife slightly wounded the 
thumb of his left hand, from the poison of which he speedily died. Mr. 
Whipple was faithful in his attendance upon Dr. Pulling and his patient, 
who also died, and contracting the same ^disease, the clergyman and two 
others died. During Mr. Whipple's illness my ordination occurred ; after 
which I visited him, when putting his hand upon my head, he added his 
blessing and wished me great success in the work of calling souls to 
Christ and in building up His Church among you. 

There is no accounting for the intelUgence sometimes found in dogs of 
famous story. I have one for you. My friend, Mr. Fowler, and his fami- 
ly wei-e punctual and constant attendants on our church services. They 



170 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

had a dog who was for a time a regular visitor at the services, until once, 
left shut up in the house, he broke through a closed window and found his 
way to the sanctuary as usual. He used to come into the pulpit and seat 
himself beside me until at the last singing he would quietly and sedately 
march out and start for home. A remarkable thing about it was that the 
next Sabbath after I was married, he ceased coming and never came again. 
I have never satisfied myself whether he left me in disgust because I was 
married, or because he thought I had some one sharp enough to look after 
me. 

That others thought I was a young man when I first came here is suf- 
ficiently evident as I tell you that, with a Byron collar and a ribbon neck- 
tie, I was often mistaken for one. On a certain occasion, going rapidly, as 
I usually walked, I came to the turn to cross the Davenport bridge. A 
teamster driving fast from the opposite direction, reined in his horses with 
a loud " Whoa !" and shouted, " Boy, can you tell me which of these roads 
I shall take to go to Cooktown?" " Yes, sir ; that is the way." As I 
rushed on and he drove away, I had the impression, " Well, I must be a 
boy, as others see me." 

The first marriage at which I oflficiated was in the Dudlej^ settlement, 
at Mr. Peter Hunter's dwelling, when Mr. Hiram T. Baker, of Warren, 
Pa., was married to Miss Mary A. Hunter. I was put to the blush on that 
occasion. There was a pier glass on one side of the room, before which 
the couple stood. Being a little shy of each other, they slipped apart 
sovi^ewhat and left me watching myself in the glass to see how I looked 
talking. That was an embarrassing introduction to the marriage service 
in which I pronounced them man and wife under difficulties. Tlie last 
marriage service I performed, just before coming here, numbered 1,598 
couples which I have united in wedlock. It is only necessary to add that 
I have passed being afraid of pier glasses or anything else in that direction. 

I was early introduced to Captain Smead, a man witli a strong char- 
acter, not easily forgotten. At once he began talking poUtics to me, which 
I warded off the best I could, for in that day and until this, I have never 
been in the habit of disputing in such matters, although most people know 
my political preferences and the way I would be likely to vote. Nobody 
ever encountered Captain Smead without finding that he thought nothing 
in the world was like the Advocate, his and his party's paper. He beli ved 
in it and in its sentiments then, and held to them strongly as long as he 

lived. 

Another character in that day was my unique friend. Captain Bidwell, 
who was a member of my congregation. When present, he sat in one of 
the square pews at my left hand, watching the gallery as well as the pul- 
pit. Should the choir fail, as occasionally it did, in those days, he was on 
hand with his tuning-fork, and loudly calling out, " Portugal," or " Mear," 



REMINISCENCES. 171 

would with his uplifted avm beat time to his singing, leaving others to fol- 
low as best they could. 

The boys and girls here to-night would have been glad to have been 
acquainted with the simple-minded, good-natured "Old Story," who, with 
his horse, a moving rack of bones, with ropes for harness, and a tumble- 
down rig, used to visit us with large quantities of the ripest and most 
famous black and thimble berries. The only drawback in the eyes of the 
purchaser was the allegation that he always picked them into his old boots 
and shoes. His great ambition was, as he said, "to get a pair of good 
nags, if I have to pay twenty shillings for them." 

Mrs. John Magee, to whose strong character, good sense and helping 
hand, Mr. Magee was wont to attribute much of his success, was a Virginia 
lady of position, and widely known. A warm friend of mine, and an 
essential help to the Presbyterian church, she left to my trust several thou- 
sand dollars, which, according to her wishes, were distributed to the mis- 
sion work of our boards, as well as in other work. Mr. Magee gave to me, 
in her memory, for my new church in Ogdensburg, a marble font of large 
proportions and of ornate design and finish. It is prominent amo)ig the 
beauties of that pleasant sanctuary. 

I remember very well Madam Thornton, respecting whom several 
things have been said here to-day. I am glad to add one word more. 
Past her prime a little, as I first saw her, she was still stately in her 
uprightness and queenly in her movements. With all her singularities arid 
unique use of language, which many of you understand, she had also won- 
derful and sterling qualities. In the great reverses which came to her, 
from being the owner of many slaves and much property, and holding a 
high position in society, and thence down to real poverty and need through 
severe experiences, she manifested singular patience and fortitude. The 
nearest to complaint, which I recall, was once her saying, "I should be 
very content, while I staid here, were I sure of the same fare my old ser- 
vants always had in my kitchen." She came to Ogdensburg, where I saw 
her to the last. Supported by simple faith in Christ, and trusting to him 
as the Resurrection and the Life, she calmly waited her decease. To 
friends, telling her death was near, she replied, "Hush." She wished to 
go quietly and silently. I am glad to add this simple testimony concern- 
ing Madam Thornton to all that has been said about her to-day. 

There was a notable colored man here, whose name was Simon Wat- 
kins, who was Major-domo in a good many things, and was called the 
Mayor of Bath. At that time Mr. Hubbell was our Representative in Con- 
gress. Mr. Hubbell and Mr. Watkins were great friends. Simon was a 
Democrat of the strongest kind, and, getting a picture of himself, he hand- 
ed it to Mr. Hubbell, as he was leaving Bath for Washington, with the 
request that, with his respects, he would give it to His Excellency, Jamea 



173 THE CENTE>'NIAL OF BATH, 

K. Polk, the President. Our Congressman executed his commission. On 
his return, Simon asked him, " What did tlie President say?" Mr. Hub- 
bell, with that naivete which belonged to him, a quirk in his eye and a 
smile on his face, replied, "He said, 'Ah; that is a splendid nigger; I 
would give a thousand dollars for him.' " That was enough for Simon. 
He was a Democrat no more, and ever after that was a first-rate Repub- 
lican. 

Our fi-iend, Hon. I. W. Near, has been telling us of Kennedyville. I 
had an experience there myself which I must mention. The occasion was 
a marriage in high life between Mr. D. T. TolUver and Miss Elizabeth 
Nichols, well-known colored people and acknowledged leaders in their 
best society life. Simon Watkins was Major-domo on this red-letter day, 
November 39, 1848. A carriage was sent to convey me in state to the most 
popular hotel in Kennedyville. I found the hotel in complete possession 
of my colored friends, and all under the lead of Mr. Watkins. Several 
white waiters and myself were the only white faces allowed there that 
day. By and by the hour of the wedding came, and the doors of the 
dining-room were withdrawn. In the centre stood the bride and groom 
and, on either side, six bridesmaids and six groomsmen, making a great 
circle, and flanked with a large crowd, in which the dresses were resplend- 
ent indeed — why ! the rainbow was outshone, and all of the colors in this 
room could n't begin with the glimmer and sheen of that occasion ! The 
ceremony proceeded just as faultlessly as I could make it, and closing as 
effectively as possible, I made a polite bow. Quickly Simon stepped out 
before me and smilingly exclaimed, " Mr. Miller, very nicely done! But 
vou no kiss the bride." "Simon," I retorted, " it is the minister's privi- 
lege to kiss the bride first ; and did n't you see that man who stole the kiss 
almost before I had the words out of my mouth, making them man and 
wife ?" " Oh," said he, " you got out of that very nice." 

Mr. McCall, this afternoon, told us of two executions. There was a 
third, that of Nero Grant, of Hammondsport, June 25, 1846. I was called 
as a clergyman to ofticiate. It was conducted privately in the hall of the 
old jail, and the impression created by it was apparently greater and more 
lasting on the commimity than either of the others, with all the publicity 
which attended them. 

Among the ninety -one funerals at which I oflSiciated, while here, those 
of two of our young people were particularly sad. The first occurred Oc- 
tober 20, 1844, a few days after my ordination, and the service was con- 
ducted in our church. Miss Sarah Wood, our skillful organist, a sweet 
singer and lovely young lady, died very suddenly. Her decease was a 
general surprise throughout the village as well as to her friends and the 
church. The large funeral and general mourning indicated her estima- 
tion among the citizens and the extent of the loss to all. 



REMINISCENCES. 173 

By the presence of the Hon. Sherman S. Rogers here to-night I am re- 
minded of the death of Robert C. Rogers which occurred in California, 
October 17, 1850. He was buried at Sacramento City. My own brother, 
as well as Ansel J. McCall, were associated with him in California. The 
unexpected news of his death reaching here, stirred deep regret through- 
out the town at his decease and aroused wide-spread sympathy for the be- 
reaved family. Possessed of acknowledged talents, great frankness and 
integrity, as well as a loving and forcible nature, he gave promise of a 
useful and successful life, and for him it was easy to cherish great expec- 
tations. The spontaneous desire to give expression publicly to our sorrow 
resulted in a largely attended and impressive funeral service on December 
1st, jiist after the arrival of the news of his decease. As the funeral of 
Miss Wood occurred just after my coming here, so that of Mr. Rogers was 
among the last that closed my pastorate here. 

Advancement is the order of the age in which we live. We are not 
content to live without changes and an essay of improvement. Its inspi- 
ration enters into everything, even into changes of names of places. It 
leads us to attempt the classic. There is no more "Mud Creek" in our 
beautiful valley; it is Savona. There is no more " Kennedy ville ; " it is 
Kanona. There is no more " Blood's Corners " it is th e mighty Atlanta. 

We have been called by our chroniclers to behold and admire what has 
been accomplished during the past hundred years. Can you anticipate 
one hundred years yet to come ? If you can, you must have a very fervid 
imagination. Think, for a moment, of what has transpired during the 
last hundred years. The continent from ocean to ocean, has been spanned 
and threaded by railroads. From a little more than three millions of 
people we have increased to almost seventy millions. In everything essen- 
tial to our prosperity the progress has been simply marvelous, and unpre- 
cedented in the history of nations. It is one century we have been talking 
of. The existence of the great nationalities, held up in contrast, has spread 
over many centuries. Give to this Republic another hundred years of 
growth and what may we not expect ? 

The marvels of electricity are with us. The lighting up of such a 
room to the brightness you have here to-night is one of the new tilings. 
Wonderful as are the rates of speed in traveling, it is debated whether 
one hundred miles an hour shall limit the flight of the iron horse. The 
talk is now of a flying machine that shall cross the ocean with wings 
more speedy than the rate over the rail. 

When you look at the amazing revelations which were made last year 
in the Columbian Celebrations of New York City and in the churches and 
school houses of our broad domain, and consider the presence of the great 
nationalities of the earth in the magnificent war ships which passed peace- 
fully up and down the water-ways of our Metropolitan city in the very 



174 THE CENTENNIAL OF BAM. 

heart of the Nation ; and then come on to the great Columbian Exposition 
of the whole world at Chicago to-day, where the mass of wonders is so 
mighty that more than a hundred and fifty miles in and around the 
" White City" must be traveled over, and months taken, to examine the 
exhibits minutely — then, and only then, can you begin to imagine the grand 
future that is to come. 

Look at Bath, as it is, after striding along at its moderate rate. You 
can call to mind the small churches and the unpretentious residences of 
1844, the period of my coming here. We had pleasant, though small, con- 
gregations in our churches, and pleasant people in the dwellings, and in 
many a cheerful parlor happy gatherings of a social, charitable company 
of citizens who lived kindly together. And looking back yet farther, it 
is not a hundred years since Rev. Seth Williston , D. D. , a relative of the 
H. H. Hull family, preached the first sermon heard in Bath in the old 
Court House — spoken of to-day— to a congregation of about thirty persons, 
while at the same time the rest of the town, numbering about sixty, were 
on the green in Pulteney Square, around a gaming table. That was the 
beginning. Now, what elegant churches you have, supplied with a com- 
petent ministry, and supported by a large number of communicants 
and intelligent and appreciative congregations. To-day, beside elegant 
residences and large business facilities, you have a superior educational 
institution, a valuable free library, a royal home for the orphans, richly 
endowed, and an extensive home for the soldiers, with all needed facilities 
for cheerful protection, adequate support and a wide range of comfort. 
Anticipate, if you can, one hundred years, and you can only conclude that 
greater and better things are yet to come. 

What great and good things we may expect! Oh, yes, friends, we 
were made in the image of God. His image intellectually, morally and 
spiritually is impressed upon us. We came from God. He has given to 
us all the goodness that blesses and cheers our homes. And as He inspires 
us with a sense of right and truth, we cherish, with all hope and faith and 
expectation, the result that the kingdoms of this world shall become, 
according to His promise, the kingdoms of our blessed Lord, the abodes of 
righteousness and peace. In that assurance there come all the achieve- 
ments of the highest civilization possible ; there come aU the best improve- 
ments for which we can hope, and the realization of the dream of the cen- 
turies — the true Golden Age. These verities are in the wake of the Chris- 
tian life ; and as we come to their increasing experience, and wonder at 
every thing, we continually say, " Behold what God hath wrought." 



REMINISCENCES. 
By Clark Bell, Esq. 



The Early Pioneers of Bath and Its Vicinity, 

The centuries are the mile-posts of human history. Since the birth of 
Chi-ist, only eighteen have marked the march of events upon the earth, to 
which we of this generation are about to add another. They stand like 
sentinels, with far outstretching arms, touching midway, silent but elo- 
quent witnesses of the rise, the progress, and the fall of nations. 

It has been said that one-third of a century is the fair average of 
human life, or a generation, but there are men now living on the earth 
who, more than one hundred years ago, touched living hands as old then as 
theirs now ; so that two lives thus in actual contact extend often more than 
two hundred years. How few men, thus connecting the age of the closing 
century with the infancy of the coming, could form a line which would 
reach from us back to the very cradle of our Lord, 

The Nation now occupying this western continent is now celebra ting 
its discovery, only four hundred years ago, and has invited all peoples to 
witness the phenomenal advance made by this new, cosmopolitan race 
(called Americans, after the coiintry in which they live), in the recent past, 
indicative of a future unparalleled in the history of the world. The Rt. 
Hon. William E. Gladstone, in estimating our probable population at the 
middle of the next century, is under, rather than beyond the mark. 

It is natural, in the reminiscences incident to a review of our National 
progress, that every section of the common country, and the people in 
each section of a state, should recall the part its locality has played in the 
progress that now excites the wonder and admiration of the civilized 
world. 

At the termination of the Revolution of 1776, when success had 
crowned the efforts of the American patriots, and the Republic was estab- 
lished upon those lines that have widened and broadened into the Ameri- 
can Nation of to-day, Western New York was a wilderness. Of the Indian 
tribes, the Iroquois, the most powerful and warlike of them all, had set- 
tled at the head of the chain of lakes, which embellished the loveliest por- 
tion of the State, now called the Lake Country. 



176 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATB. 

There was here and there an outpost settled by the white man, like 
the old fort in the valley of the Schoharie, the settlements at CheiTy Val- 
ley, those in the valley of the Wyoming, those on the Canadian frontier, 
and the points nearest in touch with the settlements on the sea-coast, where 
the adventurous pioneei-s had entered the wild unbroken wilderness of the 
West. 

The struggle for mastery between the French and the English along 
the Canadian frontier, in which the Indians were sometimes allies of thf; 
one flag, and sometimes of the other, had left the white settlers of the 
colonies, sufferers at the outset of our Revolutionary struggle with the 
mother country, victims of the terrible massacres of Wyoming, of Cherry 
Valley, and that near Niagara, and had roused the most intense feeling 
among the early pioneers against the Indians who had been an-ayed 
against the white settlers by the alternating successes of the early French, 
English and Indian wars. 

The Iroquois, as called by the French, and the Six Nations, by the Eng- 
lish, were the owners of all that magnificent domain west of the Hudson 
River, north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi. On the north, their 
lines reached into Canada ; far south into the lands where are now the 
Southern States, they held unlimited sway, and many tribes paid them 
tribute. Originally, there were five of these tribes — the Mohawks, dwell- 
ing near that river ; the Oneidas, on that lake : the Cayugas, around the 
Cayuga, and the Senecas, the most powerful of all, held all that lay 
west of the Seneca Lake. In 1713, a tribe of southern Indians were driven 
by their enemies north, and were received by the Iroquois, named the Tus- 
caroras and given a home between the Oneidas and Onondagas, thus form- 
ing the Six Nations. 

The headwaters of the Susquehanna River reached back past the city 
of Harrisburg, past Wilkes-Barre and Sunbury, water-ways which, travers- 
ing the mountain ranges and fed, by its east and west branches, the 
Tioga, the Chemung, the Canisteo and the Conhocton, led throtigh the 
hundred silvery lines of their tributaries into the extremest spurs of the 
Allegany Mountains, and opened to the canoe of the red man, for centuries 
before Columbus was born, from the south-east, an enormous empire of 
this continent over which the Six Nations held imperial sway. This river 
and its tributaries drained a vast area of country, and much of the verj-- 
waters which made the bulk of its deposit into the Chesapeake had come 
from the moimtains and valleys of Steuben. 

Here on these grand camping grounds, at the head of the central lakes 
of New York, sat the most powerful and war-like of the aboriginal tribes ; 
and here met in councils, and were the homes of the Six Nations, who 
could reach by canoes, with only slight carriages, their allies or their 
enemies, from the Chesapeake Ba3% on the Atlantic, to all the remotest 



BEMINISCfiNCES. lit 

tributaries of the Great Lakes of the north and northwest, the Father of 
Waters, the Mississippi, in the west, and tlie Ohio on the south. 

The Indian chieftain warriors of the early days, who occupied these 
commanding points, could send their messengers by canoe to the very 
headwaters of the tributaries of Lakes Huron, Superior and Michigan, 
with slight portages at a few points ; with the tributaries of the Delaware 
on the east, the Allegany and the Ohio on the south. The natural and 
commanding advantages of this position, upon the divides that sepa- 
rate the water-ways of the continent, held and controlled by the Iroquois, 
have been lost sight of by us in the marvelous changes wrought by steam 
and electricity in the brilliant onward march of our civilization in the cen- 
tury just closing. 

The Phelps and Gorham purchase, and the contracts by which the Pul- 
teney Estate became possessed of that princely domain in Western New 
York, was the moving and impelling power that opened the way for the 
settlement and development of this wilderness to the early pioneer settlere 
of this region. Deeper down, however, than the impetus lent by the own- 
ers of this great estate, was that spirit of push, progress and adventure 
that has characterized the American name throughout all periods of its 
National life. 

Bath became from the beginning the centre for the early settlers, the 
headquarters, the point from which the products of the section were float- 
ed down through the rivei-s, in arks and rafts, to the great cities upon the 
lower Susquehanna and the sea. All grain, lumber and products were thus 
borne to the world's markets from the interior of the State before the age 
of steam, and to run the rivers on the freshets was the universal ambition 
of all the younger men for the first half of the present century in Steuben. 

All this region was covered by that magnificent growth of timber, 
especially the white pine, that now lies in the early stnictures of the great 
cities. The raftsmen of the Canisteo rivalled, and perhaps excelled, those 
of the Conhocton as carriers by the rivers. The timbers of the Astor 
House, in New York, came from the shores of Lake Keuka, as I was told 
by my old client, Merrit Potter, famous as a raftsman and dealer in lum- 
ber in the early days. 

The era of steam railways was not inaugurated until the first tliird of 
the century had passed. In 1793, the Western Inland Lock Navigation 
Company, of the city of New York, was incorporated, with Philip Scluiy- 
ler as president, to open communication between the Seneca Lake and 
Lake Ontario. The Erie Canal, proposed in 1808, started in 1811, througli 
the efforts of DeWitt Clinton and his confreres, was completed and opened 
October 26, 1825 ; and the Ci'ooked Lake Canal Company, connecting the 
Lakes Keuka and Seneca, made the head of Lake Keuka, eight miles from 
Bath, the head of canal navigation for that part of Western New York, 



Its THE CENTENNIAL Ot BATH. 

commenced in 1830, was opened and completed in 1833. The era of trans- 
portation by canal superseded, to some extent, that of the ark and raft on 
the rivers, except for lumber and timber, and the Erie canal did the carry- 
ing trade of the State in 1833, when the fierce whistU of the locomotive 
was first heard here and there by the early settlers. 

When my father moved to Hammondsport, in 1835, there were only 
two railroads completed in the State, the Mohawk & Hudson, from Albany 
to Schenectady, fifteen miles in length ; the Saratoga Springs & Schenecta- 
dy, twenty-one miles in length, and the New York & Harlem Railroad was 
in process of construction, and had completed seven miles in 1834, from 
Prince street to Eighty-Fourth street, then called Yorkville (vide Williams 
New York Annual Register for 1834). 

The same authority gave, in 1834, thirty-two lawyers in Steuben Coun- 
ty, of whom twelve were in Bath, viz: Robert Campbell, Jr., Daniel 
Cruger, George C. Edwards. Edward Howell, William Howell, Ziba A. 
Leland, Joseph G. Masten, D. McMaster, Sr., Henry W. Rogers, David 
Rumsey, Jr., George Woodruff, J. William Woods; and at Hammonds- 
port, four — B. W. Franklin, M. L. Schemerhorn, W. G. Angell and Morris 
Brown, in whose office at Hammondsport, I read law in 1850. 

It is a notable fact that every one of these men are now dead, 
having mainly finished their careers in the Courts of Steuben. I knew 
these all personally save Daniel Cruger, Joseph C. Masten, William Woods, 
George Woodruff and M. L. Schemerhorn. 

In 1834, a line of stages ran daily from Bath to Rochester, seventy- 
four miles, theie connected with lines running to Clean, Cattaraugus Coun- 
ty, seventy miles, which line connected with the great through stage line 
from Bath to Geneva, and with the first through line established by Col- 
onel Williamson at the commencement of the century. These stages were 
the old-fashioned four-in-hands, mounted on thorough-braced leather 
springs, and the horn of the driver on the Bath and Geneva line sounded 
near Cornelius Youn glove's farm, a mile before the stage stopped at Ham- 
mondsport to change horses, to notify passengers of its coming in advance, 
and across the valley at the head of the lake for the stage coming from 
Geneva. A line of stages then also ran from Catskill to Portland Harbor, 
on Lake Erie, 324 miles, via Ithaca, Catherine's, Mud Creek, Bath, Canis- 
teo, Angelica, etc. , and the lines of packet boats on the Erie canal were 
then in full operation. Three daily lines from Schenectady to Utica, 
eighty miles, through in eighteen to twenty hours, fare, $3.50. A daily 
line from Utica to Rochester, 160 miles, through in thirty-eight hours ; one 
from Utica to Oswego, ninety-nine miles, in twenty hours ; one from Roch- 
ester to Buffalo, ninety-three miles, in twenty-four hours ; and a daily 
packet from Geneva to Montezuma, connecting with the through lines. 
Then came the era of railways, dividing the carrying trade with the canals. 



REMINISCENCES. 170 

The packet boats superseded the stage coaches in my boyhood, as they 
also ran night and day, served meals on board, had berths, and made bet- 
ter time. The introduction of the railway, however, drove the packet 
boats out of the water, and they are now, only after a half a century, 
almost entirely forgotten, and probably not one-quarter of my hearers ever 
saw one. 

From the beginning, the settlement at Bath occupied the most con- 
spicuous position in the settlements of this portion of Western New York. 
The original charters of the companies and States were so loosely 
drawn on their western boundaries that Massachusetts and Connecticut 
were each granted a portion of the land covered also by that held by the 
State of New York, which included the present boundaries of that State. 
The controversies over these charters were amicably settled by State Com- 
missions, in December, 1786, at Hartford, Conn., confirming the sovereignty 
of New York to the territory of the State, but yielding to Massachusetts 
the right of pre-emption of the soil from the Indians to all lands west of a 
line that ran, starting eighty-two miles west of the north-west corner of 
the State line of Pennsylvania, and running due north through the Seneca 
Lake to Lake Ontario, excepting a mile wide the whole length of the Ni- 
agara River, reserved by the Indians as portage grounds. Massachusetts 
also obtained the pre-emption rights to ten townships. 

The Connecticut claim was not settled till 1800, when Congress passed 
a law authorizing the President of the United States to release to Con- 
necticut 3,300,000 acres, known as the Western Reserve (now within the 
State of Ohio), on condition that Connecticut ceded all claims lying west, 
north-west or south-west of the old boundary line of 1733, which was 
accepted by Connecticut, and New York's title confirmed. 

At the Declaration of American Independence, probably no white 
man dwelt in Western New York. The depredations of the Indians upon 
the frontier settlements at Cherry Valley and Wyoming aroused such 
indignation that Sullivan's expedition to check these invasions and punish 
the Indians was sent out in 1779. He followed the Susquehanna and Tioga 
Rivers to Elmira, then crossed to the head of Seneca Lake, and passed 
between Lakes Seneca and Keuka, around the foot of Canandaigua Lake, 
and thence to the Big Tree, on the Genesee River, destroying their villages, 
fruit trees and corn fields, and killed all that came in his path. 

In 1784, 1785 and 1786, we made treaties of peace with the Six Nation 
tribes, by which we obtained the Indian title to a few reservations. In 
1789, New York obtained its cession from the Cayugas. The Legislature, 
in 1782, set apart what was known as the military tracts of 1,680,100 acres, 
divided into twenty-eight townships of one hundred lots, each of six hun- 
dred acres. Each private soldier and non-commissioned officer of the 



180 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

State troops had one lot assigned him, and the officers larger awards in 
proportion to their rank. 

The pre-emption rights of Massachusetts to 6,000,000 acres were sold to 
Phelps and Gorham, in 1787, for $200,000, or, more exactly, £300,000, 
Massachusetts currency, payable in consolidated securities of the State, 
worth at the time two shillings English in the pound. The purchasers 
were Massachusetts men , and they went through the wilderness and made 
their headquarters in Canandaigua, in 1788 and opened a treaty with the 
Indian chiefs. Red Jacket and Farmer's Brother. July 8, 1788, they con- 
cluded a treaty for 2,000,000 acres, which the Legislature of Massachusetts 
ratified, November 21, 1788, and Phelps and Gorham relinquished the rest 
of the tract to the State of Massachusetts. They opened a land-office at 
Canandaigua, surveyed their land and cut it into ranges and townships, 
the former six miles wide, and the townships in each range were four- 
teen, cut into lots of one hundred and sixty acres each. They commenced 
selling, and in 1790, sold nearly all that remained then unsold (1,264,000 
acres), at eight pence an acre, to Robert Morris. Mr. Morris sold his con- 
tract to Charles "Williamson, who conveyed his title to Sir William Pul- 
teney, an English gentleman. Colonel Williamson then acted as the agent 
of Sir William Pulteney and his associates, and commenced the sales to 
actual settlers. The property was called afterwards the Pulteney Estate. 
Colonel Williamson opened a land-office at Bath, and one was also opened 
at Geneva, N. Y. 

March 12, 1791, the State of Massachusetts sold to Samuel Ogden 500,- 
000 acres lying west of the Phelps and Gorham purchase (except one-six- 
teenth sold to Robert Morris), and this tract was conveyed to the latter, which 
extended from the north line of Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario, and was 
bounded on the west by a line twelve miles from the south-west comer of 
the Phelps and Gorham purchase to Canada. The residue of the lands 
were sold by the State of Massachusetts to Robert Mori-is, which covered 
all the residue of the State west, and was known as the ' ' Holland 
Purchase." 

Bath was founded on the great divide which separated the higher 
water-sheds of the great American rivers. From three miles down the 
valley road to Lake Keuka is the Cold Spring, whose waters, flowing 
through Lakes Keuka, Seneca and Ontario meet the sea, thus passing the 
gateway of the grand St. Lawrence River. A few miles from Bath on the 
Mitchellville road along the same divide, I remember a barn from the eaves 
of which on the one side the water ran through the Wheeler Creek and 
Conhocton to the sea by the Susquehanna, and from the other by the 
Lakes to the St. Lawrence Gulf. Bath was, by natural selection, the cen- 
tre of the early pioneer settlers of the head water navigation by the rivers 
to the sea. 



REMINISCENCES. 181 

Lake Lamoka at Wayne is within cannon shot of Lake Keuka, 395 
feet below the water level of the former, whose waters flow into the Con- 
hocton at Savona, passing through Lake Waneta which, via Bradford, 
was head of river navigation for ark and raft before the age of steam. 

Lake Waneta is a most beautiful sheet of water. The mounds on its 
shores are full of reminiscences of the red man. It is the finest fishing 
grounds of the State even to this day, and I have picked up arrow heads 
and stone implements and weapons there, where I have for years wet my 
fishing lines in its waters, and the farmer turns them up continually now 
with his plow. 

It is to commemorate the men who came here and wrested this region 
from its former masters, who transformed the wilderness into the fer- 
tile fields and farms and homes of to-day ; and to speak of them and their 
descendants, who, since the Revolutionary War have borne any part in the 
wondrous changes, that we are met to-day. 

The settlement of the Genesee VaUey commenced in 1788, and it is 
probable that the first settlement was made at Geneva at the foot of Lake 
Seneca in the same year, six or seven families locating there. There are 
records of a settlement at Canandaigua, at the foot of that lake, in the year 
178i). They came in up the Mohawk from Schenectady by boat, and by 
Wood Creek and Oneida Lake to and through the Canandaigua Outlet. 

Colonel Charles Williamson settled in Bath in 1793. A company from 
Berkshire, Mass., had settled the year before, 1791, at Naples at the head of 
Canandaigua Lake. Colonel Williamson transported his flour from North- 
umberland, in Pexmsylvania, and his pork from the city of Philadelphia up 
the rivers by canoe. This whole country was then called the County of 
Ontario. From the census of 1790, it would seem that all of the present 
County of Steuben was embraced within the towns called Painted Post, 
containing ten families and fifty-nine souls, Wayne, one family and nine 
people, Erwin, eleven families and fifty-nine souls, Canisteo ten families 
and fifty people. In the whole County of Ontario, including the settle- 
ments in the Genesee country and around Canandaigua and Geneva, 205 
famiUes and 1081 population. In all of the present County of Steuben 
there were twenty-one families and 118 people, and not one in the present 
township of Bath. 

The construction of roads was the most successful means of opening 
and starting the settlements. The State Road from Utica to Avon was the 
first road through Bath. It was perfected in 1794. The first stage passed 
over it from Utica to Genesee, starting its first trip upon September 30, 
1799, and run thence regularly. In 1800, this road was established by law 
as a turnpike road. Colonel Wilhamson was quick to see the value of the 
construction of roads. He said that fifty families settled on the State Road 
in the space of four months after it was opened, and he and his company 



182 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

constructed many roads, opening the lands for sale to the early settlers as 
a matter of public policy. In May, 1799, the Manhattan Company, of New 
York City, commenced building the long bridge across the Lake Cayuga, 
completing it in September, 1800. I have driven across it when a boy, and 
its old timbers are still, some of them, standing in the lake. Five years 
before it was built there was hardly a white settler there, and the timber 
used in its construction was in the forest in undisturbed possession of the 
Indian. 

In 1796, Steuben County was created. Prior to 1789, Montgomery 
County embraced all Western New York west of the pre-emption line. 
When Steuben was first created, Barrington and Starkey and part of Jeru- 
salem were in Steuben, but now form part of the County of Yates. The 
western tier of towns was afterwards taken off the west side and attached 
to the County of Allegany, and part of a township and the village of Dans- 
ville detached and added to Livingston. Later, Dix and Tyrone and part 
of Wayne were taken off Steuben to help form the new County of Schuy- 
ler. The population of Steuben in 1796 was 1,788 ; in 1810, 7,346 ; and 1830, 
21,989 ; 1830, 33,975 ; in 1840, 46,138 ; in 1845, 51,679. 

I have been requested by the Committee to say something regarding 
a few of the prominent men connected with the early history of Bath and 
its vicinity within my own time and those I have personally known. My 
father emigrated from Jefferson County, N. Y., to Hammondsport, then 
the head of canal navigation on Lake Keuka, in 1835, attracted by the 
excitement incident to the founding of a village at the head waters of that 
lake, where I spent my early life and resided until 1861, when I removed 
to Bath, at or near the outbreak of the Rebellion ; and I shall speak of some 
of the men I knew who were prominent actors in the early Uf e and history 
of Bath and its immediate vicinity. 

If I were asked to name four men outside of the learned professions 
who were foremost in influence in Bath in early days, who, in my judg- 
ment, were n^ost conspicuous and influential in its development and pro- 
gress, and who most impressed me, I should name John Magee, Constant 
Cook, William S. Hubbell and WiUiam W. McCay. In speaking of these 
men, I shall divide the group, and place in contrast Mr. Magee and Mr. 
Cook, who by their joint action played so important a role in the develop- 
ment of this region, especially in constructing the railways, which revolu- 
tionized the trade and commerce of the State and overthrew all precon- 
ceived ideas of men as to its future. John Magee was the elder of the 
two, born September 3, 1794, near Easton, Pa., the son of Irish parents, 
Henry and Sarah Magee, who emigrated about 1784. His father was a 
cousin of the prelate Archbishop William Magee, of DubUn, who died 
April 5, 1868, in his seventy-fourth year. Constant Cook was born three 
years later in Herkimer County, November 10, 1797, and was the son of 



REMINISCENCES. 183 

Philip and Clarissa (Hatch) Cook, a farmer in that county. His boyhood 
was spent on a farm until his marriage in 1819 ; he moved in 1820 to Co- 
hocton, N. Y. His early life was one of severe manual labor and he told 
me, as a boast, that he shod two pairs of horses all around upon his wed- 
ding day. 

In 1812, John Magee, with his father and his brother Hugh, enlisted in 
the war, and served in a Michigan regiment, and lie was one of the army 
surrendered by General Hull to General Brock in November of that year. 
Released in January, 1813, young Magee joined Major Chapin's command, 
and in June, 1813, was again taken prisoner at the Battle of Beaver Dams, 
near St Catherine. He escaped at the imminent risk of his life, by secur- 
ing a horse and running the guard under a shower of bullets. He distin- 
guished himself in the service. Attracted by the prospects of Bath, in 1816, 
he settled there with his brother Jefferson, at 22 years of age, and com- 
menced life at chopping cord- wood, and the severest kind of manual labor. 
He did not marry until January 6, 1820, when he was 26 years of age, a year 
after Mr. Cook had married his wife. In 1818, he was constable and collec- 
tor of Bath, and in 1819, was appointed deputy sheriff by Henry Shriver, 
sheriff, whom he succeeded as sheriff in February, 1821, on the death of 
that officer. So successful was his official course that he was elected by 
the people in 1822 and held the office the constitutional term. This office 
brought out the sterling qualities of Mr. Magee and brought him also into 
great prominence, and he early gave attention to the establishing of stage 
lines from Bath. It was in these enterprises that John Magee and Con- 
stant Cook met as business associates, and in the development of which, and 
in the subsequent construction of a section of the Erie railway from Bing- 
hamton to Corning, of which Mr. Cook took the active management, as- 
sociating with them his cousin, Charles Cook, of Havana, John Arnot, of 
Elmira, J. S. T. Stranahan and John H. Chedell. Mr. Magee was elected 
to Congress in 1826 at the age of 32 years, and served in the 20th, and wa« 
re-elected and served in the 21st Congress. 

Mr. Cook, in 1840, was made one of the Judges of the County Court, 
serving three years, and, although not a lawyer, took, and always there- 
after kept, the title of Judge Cook, in Steuben County. The success of the 
joint efforts of Cook and Magee in the Erie Railway construction was fol- 
lowed by like results on the Buffalo, Corning & New York, from Corning 
to Buffalo, and later the Blossburg Coal Company at Arnot, near Bloss- 
burg. Pa. The Steuben County Bank was organized in 1831, in which Mr. 
McCay and Mr. Magee were associated for many years. 

Both Magee and Cook were typical and representative Americans. 
They had strong characters ; each was eminently the architect of his own 
fortune. Trained by hardship and privation in early life to habits of 
labor, thrift and strict economy, they each amassed enormous private for- 



184 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

tunes. Positive and aggressive men, they each made enemies, and each 
had great obstacles to overcome in the way of success. 

They were firm and fast friends to those whom they liked, and the 
man who opposed either, or sought to thwart or overcome them i*ecog- 
nized, before he finished, that his hands were full. Uneducated in the 
learning of the schools, they were profound students of human nature, of 
men and of affairs. It was a common saying, especially of Mr. Magee, 
that he was ilUterate and could hardly write his name. It seems incredi- 
ble how such an idea should ever have obtained currency. 

Mr. Magee was all his life immersed in accounts and financial trans- 
actions, frequently of enormous magnitude. While not an accountant, he 
thoroughly understood accounts, and from his earliest duties as constable 
and deputy sheriff to his bank presidency and railway construction, through 
a long life, no day ever passed in which he was not engaged in accounts, 
often intricate and difficult, save in his public life and in his relaxations. 
His acts of generosity were many. 

I regard these two men as the truest, best types of successful, honor- 
able men the county of Steuben has ever produced, for I rank them both 
as Steuben county men. And it will be difficult to find in the State or 
Nation two lives more honorably or notably devoted to the development of 
a section of the State than those of John Magee and Constant Cook. 

William W. McCay and WilUam S. Hubbell were men in every way 
as remarkable, but men of a different type. William W. McCay was the 
son of John S. McCay, who emigrated from Ireland to Geneva in 1800, and 
who died in Pittsford in 1819. ]Mr. McCay was born April 9, 1790, being 
four years older than IVIr. Magee, seven years older than Constant Cook, 
and nearly eleven years older than Mr. Hubbell. In business life they 
were, however, contemporaries. He died November 21, 1852, at the age 
of sixty-two years, being of shorter Ufe than either of the four men. He 
was a clerk in the Land Office at Bath in 1828, and had been since 1817 or 
1818, when Dugald Cameron, the agent of the Pulteney Estate, died. 

Through the courtesy of Hon. A. J. McCaU, I have the draft of a let- 
ter to Colonel Robert Troup, in the hand-writing of Hon. Edward Howell, 
recommending William McCay for that position in the land office at Bath. 
I give it to show, not only the estimation in which Mr. McCay was then 
held, but the vast importance to the early settlers of a proper selection of 
a man for that position : 

Bath, June 8, 1828. 
To Colonel Robert Troup, Chief Agent of the Pulteney Estate : 

Sir— The death of Dugald Cameron, Esq., who was so long the instru- 
ment of dispensing your patronage and favor to the settlers on that part 
of the Pulteney Estate laying in this county, has produced among its 



REMINISCENCES. 185 

inhabitants feelings of the deepest regret and apprehension ; regret for the 
loss of a man so long honored by your confidence, and through whom so 
much of your liberality and kindness has been extended to them, and 
apprehension that a successor, equally qualified to advance the prosperity 
of the county and carry into eflfect those enlarged and liberal schemes for 
the prosperity of your Agency which have so eminently characterized your 
administration, could not be found. Having so deep an interest in the 
appointment to be made, we have been led to consider the character and 
qualifications of every person within our acquaintance, and encouraged by 
the candor and affability with which you have uniformly received allcom- 
mvmications on subjects affecting the interests of your Agency, we beg 
leave to submit the result of our reflections upon the subject. It appeared 
evident to us, upon the first view, that the candidate must possess, in 
addition to that high standing and character for talents and integrity 
which we knew requisite to obtain so important a trust at your hands, an 
intimate acquaintance not only with the affairs of the Estate, but of the 
settlers, individually, to enable him to discharge the duties of the station 
with the greatest usefulness. And among all our acquaintances, there is 
no other person who so entirely unites in himself all the qualifications 
requisite to a correct discharge of the duties of sub-agent in this county as 
William W. McCay, Esq. We have most of us been personally acquainted 
with him as a clerk in your land office at this place for ten or eleven 
years past, and all of us have had business with your Agency during the 
last three or four years, have necessarily transacted a great part of it with 
him (owing to the many engagements of Mr. Cameron from the office, in 
the care of his private concerns, or in his inability to transact business by 
reason of the feeble state of his healtli), and the indefatigable industry, 
undeviating integrity and evident devotion to the affairs of the Agency 
have at all times excited our admiration and obtained our entire confi- 
dence. 

"While we submit for your consideration the decided advantage which 
Mr. McUay possesses over every other candidate, who can be named, in the 
intimate acquaintance which he has acquired, as well of the interests of 
the Estate and the system of business pursued in the land office, as of the 
circumstances and character of almost every settler upon that Estate, we* 
cannot forbear to add that he has acquired that knowledge by ten or eleven 
years of devoted and laborious exertions to recommend him to you as in 
every respect qualified for the station, and can add, with the most perfect 
confidence, that his appointment would give to the settlers upon the 
Estate, and inhabitants of the county at large, entire satisfaction." 

Mr. McCay was a contemporary of Mr. Magee, of Mr. Cook, and this 
flattering recommendation was signed by the former, and, I thinK, by the 
latter, and by the leading men of Bath, led by Edward Howell, of the Bar, 



186 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

He was appointed and held the position until his death, in connection 
with his duties in the Steuben County Bank. Mr. McCay was a highly 
cultured, polished gentleman of most agreeable presence and manners. 
His complexion was fair, his eyes blue, and his hair light. He was one of 
the most agreeable and handsome men in Bath. Socially, Mr. McCay was 
a universal favorite. If asked to describe him to those who never saw 
him, I should say he was a typical Irish country gentleman of the present 
day, in the higher circles of the Irish gentry. 

He had a large famUy of sons and daughters. He dispensed a gen- 
erous hospitality, and entertained in a style far excelling any other gentle- 
man I knew in Bath. He paid great attention to dress and personal ap- 
pearance, and while in no sense a fop, was always well dressed, always a 
thorough high-toned, courteous gentleman. He usually wore a ruffle in 
his shirt and was usually in f uU dress at dinner at his own table, and main- 
tained the old English habit of keeping the gentlemen for nuts and wine 
after the ladies had left the table. As an agent of the Estate he was admi- 
rable. He well understood the policy of the Estate, was master of the 
subject of the causes of difficulties with the settlers, and helped in a most 
conspicuous and successful way to maintain with the community that 
respect for and confidence in the administration of the Pulteney Estate 
and its probity, honesty, fairness and Liberality of dealing, which have ever 
characterized its management since my earliest recollection. In my 
judgment, no wiser selection could have been made of an agent, and I feel 
sure the owners must have entertained this opinion. 

His favorite daughter, Fanny, married the son of N. H. Howell, the 
celebrated lawyer of Canandaigua, and I am indebted to her for glimpses 
of his private and domestic life, which showed him to be one of the most 
lovable of men. 

William S. Hubbell was bom January 17, 1801, and died November 
16, 1873, at 72 years of age. He was one of the most magnetic and 
charming men I ever knew. I feel sure no man in Western New York 
was his equal in personal beauty, grace of manner, or ability to please, 
especially for those he Uked or sought to win. Lord Chesterfield would 
have been glad to have accepted him as a model in grace, address and 
charming manners. 

The leading trait of Mr. Hubbell's character and career may be said to 
be his unconquerable cheerfulness and amiability of temper. No obstacle 
daunted, no impediment overcame or thwarted him. Disaster and reverse 
only sharpened him for future contest and future victories. I doubt if a 
man in Bath ever saw him discomfited, or met him without his constant 
and perennial smile ; it was not assumed, it was a part of his nature. He, 
after the death of his wife, gave the wealth of his great affectionate heart 
to his daughters. 



REMINISCENCES. 187 

Mr. Hubbell was a Democrat, and represented his district in the 28th 
Congress. His eye was black and brilliant, and his hair as black as the 
raven's wing. He was a perfect foil in complexion to Mr. McCay, but for 
charm of manner and magnetic personality William S. Hubbell was my 
youthful beau ideal of a high-toned, polished gentleman and a thorough 
man of the world. I could give many examples of his kindness of heart 
and acts of generosity, especially to the young men, as I could of Mr. 
Magee and of Mr. Constant Cook ; but I group these four lustrous, lumin- 
ous names, not so much with the pioneer history of Bath, but as a view of 
that middle distance which we admire in the contemplation of a picture, 
between the far background and the present view. 

Joseph Fellows was born at Redditch, in Worcestershire, England, 
July 2, 1782. His father emigrated, with his wife and seven children, in 
September, 1795, to Luzerne County, Pa., where the city of Scranton now 
stands. At fourteen he commenced the study of the law with Isaac L. Kip, 
was admitted to the bar, and shortly after entered the office of Col. Troup, 
then the general agent of the Pulteney Estate. In 1810, he came to 
Geneva as a sub-agent in the Pulteney Land Office, and the detail duties 
there were discharged by him until the death of Col. Troup in 1832, whom 
he succeeded as general agent, which position he held until his death. 

As I recall Mr. Fellows, he was tall, slender and ungraceful in his 
habits, and lacked the polish and culture of Mr. W. W. McCay, the sub- 
agent at Bath. He was a bachelor, very modest and retiring in manner, 
had few intimates, and was not a popular man with the settlers, being 
regarded as eccentric and peculiar by those who knew him but slightly. 
He was always honorable, exactly just and fair in his dealings. He con- 
ducted the business of the Estate with strict integrity, and was really, as I 
believe, as indulgent and liberal as his predecessors had been. There are 
many of the old settlers who could testify to the kindness he had shown 
them in extensions and acts of leniency, kindness and sympathy. 
Regarded by many as miserly, he was, on the contrary, really a man 
of charitable impulses and of a good heart. He died at Corning in 
1873, two years after he had surrendered his agency. 

THE BLACKS. 

Slavery existed by law in New York when Steuben county was first 
settled, and at the commencement of this century. Among the leading 
men who came, many were slaveholders in feeling, and many in fact. 

In 1803, Captain William Helm came and settled in Bath. He was a 
wealthy planter from Prince William county, Virginia, and brought with 
him a large number of slaves, with whom he attempted the management 
of farms and mills. Tradition says that he brought one hundred slaves, 
but it is beyond doubt that he brought only about fifty. John Sh ether, 



188 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

who took up the land from the Pulteney Estate where the village of Ham- 
mondsport now stands, in 1796, was a Captain of Dragoons in the Revo- 
lutionary army, and enjoyed the confidence and favor of General Washing- 
ton. He was from Virginia, and brought a few slaves in, as did other 
planters and settlers from Maryland and Virginia, among whom I can 
name Major Thornton and Captain John Fitzhugh, who subsequently 
married a daughter of Captain Helm. From an early day there was a 
large black, or colored, element in the population of Bath. 

The Rev. John Smith, a Presbyterian divine, who lived at Hammonds- 
port, N. Y., from 1845 to near the time of his death in 1856, was born in 
Virginia, in 1776, and was married in 1808 to Mary Laird, of Virginia. 
She was the daughter of a Revolutionary ofiicer and a slaveholder. The 
bridal party traveled from Virginia to Cherry Valley, N. Y. , (where he was 
called to preach) in the saddle, the young clergyman, mounted on horse- 
back, with his bride riding on a pillion behind him ; and her favorite slave, 
Hannah, who refused to be separated from her mistress, riding another 
horse beside him. 

Hannah lived in his family till after his death, and that of his wife, 
her mistress, and in the family of their children, one the wife of Morris 
Brown, serving both Mrs. Brown and her children, and later in the family 
of another of Mr. Smith's daughters, the wife of Fletcher M. Hammond, 
M. D., of Penn Yan, and the grandchildren of each, until lier quite recent 
death at the advanced age of ninetj^-five years. 

General Samuel S. Haight, grandfather of Governor Haight, of Cali- 
fornia, and father of Mrs. Henry Welles, bought of Captain Helm a negro 
lad named Simon Watkins, whom he held as a slave until 1813, when he 
was manumitted, as appears from a record filed in the office of the town 
clerk of Bath, dated April 25, 1815, signed by Elias Hopkins, one of the 
Judges of the Steuben Common Pleas. 

The town records of Bath show that Captain Helm filed a list of the 
birth of his slaves' children in 1805, and William Dunn registered the birth 
of his slaves' children in the town clerk's office in 1800. 

Mr. John Fitzhugh, who came from Virginia, sold a slave to General 
Howell Bull, who filed a certificate of the manumission of the slave, Aaron 
Butcher, November 24, 1813. The act freeing slaves was passed April 9, 
1813. The act of emancipation brought the black race into immediate con- 
tact with the whites, politically and socially, and this colony and their 
descendants formed no inconsiderable part of the population in Bath, 
much more than in any other town of Western New York. 

Simon Watkins was the most distinguished, and ablest of the colony of 
blacks. Born a slave, in 1785, he was in his nineteenth year when Captain 
Helm brought him to Bath. He was, by universal acclaim, the uncrowned 
king of his race in Bath, from the date he had purchased his freedom from 



REMINISCENCES. 189 

General Samuel S. Haight to the day of his death. Unable to read or write, 
he was a man of extraordinary power, both physical and intellectual. 
He engaged in business as a butcher and purveyor, for which he showed 
great adaptiition and ability. He was, at the same time, although black as 
night, one of the leading and most conspicuous figures in Bath, as long 
as he lived, in many respects. 

As one who enforced the laws without judicial powers, quieted disturb- 
ances without writs, punished small offenders without the trouble of trials, 
and compelled among his people observance of the laws by the force of his 
example and his strong wiU— Simon Watkins exercised nn)re power and 
influence than any Justice of the Peace in Bath for forty years. He was 
always an aid to the Sheriff on extraordinary occasions, and when Sheriff 
John Magee took the condemned murderer, Douglass, to Albany, before 
the Supreme Court. Simon Watkins had him in charge. He performed 
the same service for Henry Brother, Sheriff, in the case of Nero, convicted 
of the murder of Jim Pease, at Hammondsport. 

He ruled the refractory and turbulent of the colored element of Bath 
with a rod which, while it was as of iron, was always for their and the 
public good. He had the confidence and the esteem of every prominent 
man, not only in Bath, but in the towns around it, and until the day of his 
death was a unique and a conspicuous feature in Bath, and a power and 
factor in its civilization. 

There were several men in this colony of Blacks who, deprived of the 
benefits of any education, demonstrated their ability to succeed and over- 
come obstacles in a marvelous way. I may mention among these, Pratt, 
whose family showed good traits ; Harry Lucas, so long a resident and 
barber at Bath, and universally respected ; the Shethars, who settled at 
Prattsburgh, and who were successful and respected farmers. 

Old residents of Bath wiU recall Simon Watkins, his brother. King 
Watkins, Old Black George, and Jimmy, who lived up by the foot of 
Magee'e HiU. The most polite of the negro colony, by a large majority, 
was Stephen Henry, who was attached to and very devoted to the Cameron 
family. 

I recall two famous men among the negro race, whose origin I am 
unable to state, but whose ancestors, I think, came in as slaves with the 
early settlers. Peter Gilbert was a giant physically. I would match him 
against three Indians in a fight, and I don't recall any white man of his 
day who would wish to tackle him in a rough and tumble fight. He could 
chop, easily, double the usual amount of cord-wood in a day, and cradle two 
acres of wheat as easily in a day as an ordinary man would one. Peace- 
able, kind-hearted, time to his friends, and devoted to those he loved, Peter 
Gilbert was a warm friend of mine when a lad, and his own worst enemy. 

Sol Perry lived at Prattsburgh, when I was a boy attending school 



190 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. . 

there at Franklin Academy, in 1849 and 1850. He was tall, coal-black, 
powerful, and in all ways a conspicuous man of his type. He had an 
insurmountable and almost unparalleled taste for rum, which he never 
overcame, never outgrew. He had the rare faculty of getting outside of 
it without seeming to swallow. This gift furnished him with untold drinks 
among the students of Franklin Academy when I was a student there. 
No matter what you gave him, he would put the bottle to his lips, and 
it would run down his throat like a rivulet, without a gurgle, and without 
any perceptible swallow. It was a most unique physiological mystery. 
I do not quote it on hearsay. I have repeatedly, in my school days, wit- 
nessed the phenomenon, which he seemed to enjoy as much as I did. He 
was a successful farmer.notwithstanding his love for grog, and bought and 
paid for his farm, which he left to his children, and was quite successful 
as a man of business and affairs throughout his life. 

I recall the woman Hannah, who lived with Rev. John Smith, at 
Hammondsport, and with his children and grand-children. She was 
a straight-forward consistent. God-fearing woman and devoted her 
life to the comfort and welfare of her mistress, Mrs. Smith, during her 
life, and was as devoted, as affectionate and as much trusted by her 
children and grand-children, whom she had known, loved, and most of 
whom she had nursed in their infancy. Thoroughly aware of her rights to 
freedom, she never exercised or considered it in that family, and in her 
case, slavery ought to be said to present the least repulsive aspect possible 
imder our civilization. 

Judge Lazarus Hammond brought Jim Pease into Hammondsport. He 
lived with his wife, Dolly Pease, in a small cottage next door to the school 
house, where I went to school, when a boy, when Darius Read was a 
teacher. He was a very successful fisherman for trout in the lake, which 
avocation he followed as a calling when not at work for Judge Hammond, 
and he was also a good man for work when required, when the trout were 
not in season. Whether he was ever a slave, I do not know. He paid for 
the house and lot in which he lived, and had the deed made to his wife. 
He always called himself "Judge Hammond's nigger." He was most 
devoted to the Judge and his family. 

He was killed by Nero, who cut his head open with an axe in a quarrel. 
Judge Hammond, as I recall the circumstance (and I saw Pease when 
dead, the day of the homicide), was present and incited Pease against 
Nero, to compel Nero to be quiet. Nero seized the axe and struck Pease in 
an encounter, after Pease had twice knocked Nero down with his fist. It 
was not a deliberate murder, and Nero had been drinking and was quite 
intoxicated. Public sentiment was strongly against him, and so was 
Judge Hammond, and he was executed in the county jaU, having been 
convicted of murder in the first degree. 



REMINISCENCES. 191 

Peter Howell was the slave of Edward Howell's father. He had his 
freedom after the act of manumission. In 1833, he gave a power of at- 
torney to Edward Howell, Esq., of Bath, to bind out his son, Charles 
Howell, to Albertice Nixon, as an apprentice to learn the trade of a tanner 
and currier. Peter Howell, who had assumed the name of his old 
master's family, then lived in Unadilla, Otsego county, New York. 

Through the courtesy of William Howell, Jr., Esq., son of the late 
Edward Howell, Esq., I am enabled to give a copy of the power of attor- 
ney, under which Edward Howell was authorized to sign articles for 
Charles, the son of his father's old slave: 

Know all men by these present: — Tliat I, Peter Howell, of the Town of 
Unadilla in the County of Otsego, and State of New York, have made, 
constituted and appointed, and by these presents, do make, constitute and 
appoint Edward HoweU, Esquire, of Bath, in the County of Steuben, and 
State aforesaid, my true and lawful attorney for me, and in my name to 
execute an indenture of Apprenticeship binding my son, Charles Howell, 
a minor, an apprentice to Albertice Nixon, of the said Town of Bath, for 
the purpose of learning the tannery and currying business, and for what- 
soever my lawful attorney shall do in or about the premises, these presents 
shall be to him, a sufficient warrant. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this eleventh 
day of September, in the year 1833, 

PETER HOWELL. 

Signed and sealed in presence of 

Henry Ogden. 

I copied the letter in which the power was enclosed: 
Dear Sir :— Peter is in good health and gets along comfortably, and 
feels gratified by your kind attention, and friendly regard. He is much 
obliged by your offer to bind his son Charles in his behalf, and is glad to 
find Charles willing to be bound, and that he is pleased with his situation 
and business. He is anxious that Charles should stick steadily to the busi- 
ness, and become master of his trade. Himself, also family, are in good 
health. He desires to be affectionately remembered to you, etc. 

Respectfully yovirs, etc., 

H. Ogden. 



REMINISCENCES. 
Letter By E, H, Butler, 



[Mr. E. H. Butler, of Buffalo, was to have been the next speaker. On 
account of illness in his family he could not be present. The following 
letter, however, from him was read by the Chairman :] 

Hon. J. F. Little, Bath, iV. F. 

My Deab Mr. Little : — Your letter of April 29th, inviting me to 
attend the celebration of the Anniversary of the settlement of your town, 
is at hand. I will certainly be present if I can be ; I am always interested 
in anything that concerns Bath's welfare, and it will do me good, I know, 
to see you all enthusiastic over the progress, socially and politically, your 
town has made in the past one hundred years. 

I cannot contribute anything, though, unless I prevail on someone to 
give me the points, and to whom could I turn but yourself — the walking 
encyclopedia of Steuben? I might contribute lots of things, but would 
they take? I might, like the average historian, tell the people that Mossy 
Bank and Spaulding Bridge were contiguous once upon a time, that where 
the Methodist church now stands and the site of Perry Breen's cafe were 
identical before the volcanic eruptions of years ago which changed the 
old landmarks and wiped out the Corning gravel train. I might go 
further and say that the bounds of Hodgmanville extended to the artistic 
knoll upon which Gov. Campbell placed his mansion where he studied 
statecraft, and the inheritance of which by his son is just now the talk of 
the country, according to the New York World. 

To deal with personages would be beyond me. Do you think I could 
tell them that Judge McMaster was a merry soul, and that " Nub" Barker 
was the Chesterfield of the early days? Could I say that our modern 
hotels were nothing compared with that of "Abe" Yost? Could I say 
that Judge John Butler, of Cohocton, was' the Beau Brummel of later 
days without directing the glances of the assembled multitude to the con- 
firmed bachelor, Capt. John Little ? In fact, I do not know what I could 
tell them, unless I pointed out the prospects of the place during the next 
one hundred years. I might picture Editor Parkhurst as sitting on the 



ftflMINISCEKfCES. 193 

bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, "Tony" Underhill as Post- 
master-General, the ^descendants of all the old soldiers comfortably 
ensconced in the Soldiers' Home, voting for Bath's village trustees, Mr. 
Davenport sitting in the Presidential chair at Washington, a bronze and 
gold statute erected to the memory of your Ward McAllister, Mr. DePeys- 
ter, and one of ivory to commemorate the greatness of that apothecary, 
Sam Seeley. What could I tell them ? I will try to be with you on that 
occasion, but as for the paper, I fear I will have to be excused. With best 
wishes I am, 

Very truly your friend, 

E. H. BUTLEK. 



THE SCHOOLS OF BATH 
By Charles F, Kingsley, Esq. 



In the very first year of the settlement of the town of Bath, 1793, a 
school was established here, and Robert Hunter was the school master. 
This fact is authenticated by Charles Williamson's cash book, which is 
now in the hands of Hon. A. J. McCall, in this village. In this cash book 
we find the following original entries : 

"1793, Jmie 13. To cash advanced Mr. Hunter as schoolmaster at 
Bath, $20. 

" 1794, February 7. Robert Hunter, on acct. of salary, $1.61. 

"1794, April 23. 1 doz. spelling books and i ream cartridge paper, 
1 shilling, 1 pence." 

The first school house was built on the north-west corner of Pulteney 
Square, where Mr. Hewlett's furniture store now stands. In the picture of 
the village of Bath in 1804, from personal recollections of W. H. Bull, 
which is printed in the History of Steuben County, published in 1879, * 
locates the site where this first school house stood. This school house was 
probably erected before 1800, as Colonel Bull states he went to school in 
that building in 1805, and that it had been built some years then. A Mr. 
Dixon was then the school master. This school house was removed when 
the old stone jail was built, in 1808. 

A school was kept in a small frame building on the east side of Pul- 
teney Square, a little south of the old Clerk's ofiice, and was taught by 
Elara Bridges, of Prattsburgh, in 1811. This building was not on property 
owned by the District, nor was it built for school purposes. 

The first conveyance for school purposes was on October 4, 1803 ; Sir 
William Pulteney to Samuel Baker, William Read and Eli Read, of fifty 
acres of land in Pleasant Valley, for the use and benefit of public schools. 
This was then in the town of Bath. Afterwards, by an Act of the Legis- 
lature, chap. 115, laws of 1815, the grantees in said deed were directed to 
convey the fifty acres to Cornelius Younglove, Amos Stone and Lazarus 
Hammond, Trustees for School District No. 7 of the town of Bath, which 
was done. 

* This map is reproduced in this book. 



THE SCHOOLS OF BATH. 195 

1815, February 1, the Duke of Cumberland, and others, conveyed to 
Thomas Aulls, William Holmes and Otto F. Marshall, Trustees of School 
District No. 5, of Bath, two acres in lot No. 33, of Kersey's allotment, on 
the west bank of Canoni Creek. This is now in the town of Wheeler. 

The first conveyance I find on record of land in the present boundaries 
of this town was on December 29, 1812 — Henry A. Townsend, and wife, to 
Dugald Cameron, Howell Bull, Luman Hopkins, and Samuel C. Haight, 
Trustees of Bath school ; consideration $50 ; conveyed sixty feet on the 
north side of Steuben street, where the most easterly building of Abram 
Beekman's sash and blind factory now stands. In 1813, a two story-build- 
ing was erected on these premises, the lower story of which was used for 
a district school, by District No. 5 of tiiis town, and the upper story for 
the society of Free Masons, and it was known as the " Old Academy." 

In the spring of 1824, the Old Academy was burned down, and what 
was known as the "Red School House" erected in its place ; and on October 
8. 1824, Henry Townsend, who had conveyed the same lot in 1813, as before 
stated, conveys the same to George C. Edwards, Lewis Biles and Daniel G. 
Skinner, Trustees of School District No. 5, in the town of Bath, as a site 
for a school house, and for no other purpose. 

Henry W. Rogers, in a letter published in the Steuben Farmers' Advo- 
cate, January 17, 1879, states that this was the first school organized 
under the District system, which commenced in 1824 ; that he was the 
first teacher ; that his salary was $250 for twelve months ; had no vaca- 
tions except January 1, July 4, and Christmas ; and while he was teach- 
ing he made " liberal use of the ferule and rule," with satisfactory results. 
He also, in this letter, states that prior to this time "schools were main- 
tained by private enterprise." 

And I was fortunate to find one of the first subscriptions, which is 
still in a good state of preservation, and reads substantially as follows : 

"Bath, 20th November, 1812. — James Read agrees to take charge of 
the school and teach reading, writing and arithmetic (and surveying to 
those who wish it), for space of four months, commencing 1st Dec, at $2 
per quarter for each scholar, surveying to be extra." 

This was signed by the following persons : 

Samuel S. Haight, $4 

Dugald Cameron, paid 3 

Robert Campbell, paid 5 

Daniel Cruger , 1 

Samuel Nixon 2 

Elisha Hanks, paid 1 

Henry A. Townsend, paid 2 

William Helm 8 

Benjamin Roberts 2 



1^6 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

Ira Pratt, paid 1 

James Clark 2 

Samuel Marther 2 

Russell True 1 

George W. Hyde, paid 1 

W. Feenthmer, paid 1 

John Smith... 1 

The Red School House was burned down September 11, 1849, and the 
lot upon which it stood wjis afterwards the cause of an expensive law-suit, 
brought by Reuben Robie, et al., Trustees, against William Sedgwick and 
Richard Hardenbrook, anil was decided in favor of the Trustees, and is re- 
ported in 85 Barb. , 319, and 4 Abb., Ct. App. 73. Judge Johnson, in deliver- 
ing the opinion of the General Term, states that the evidence in the case 
shows that no record of the original organization of this District can be 
found ; that corporations of this desciiption may exist by prescription. 

After a very thorougli examination of all the records in the Town 
Clerk's office and in the County Clerk's office, I have been unable to find 
any records of the formation of our school districts prior to 1847. At the 
first Town Meeting held in the town, April 4, 1797, at tht' tavern of John 
Metcalf , the following persons were elected Town Commissioners of Com- 
mon Schools : George D. Cooper, John Sheather, Charles Williamson and 
Benjamin F. Young. And while such Town Commissioners and Town 
Inspectors of Schools were annually elected, there is no record of their 
proceedings, and it is fair to presume that they have been lost, or destroyed 
by fire. 

Said Commissioners were to divide the town into school districts, each 
to have three Trustees. The Trustees were to report to the Town Commis- 
sioners, and they to the County Clerk, and the County Clerk to the Super- 
intendent of Common Schools ; and by act. Chap. 152, laws of 1815, the 
Town Clerk to be Clerk of Town Commissioners. 

In 1784, the Regents of the University was formed. Governor George 
Clinton was the first Chancellor, by Chap. 242, laws of 1812, a Superin- 
tendent of Common Schools, to be appointed by Council of Appointment, 
at a salary of $300 a year. Under this act, Gideon Hawley, of Saratoga 
county, was appointed such Superintendent, without any clerk, and held 
the office until February 22, 1821, when the office was abolished, and the 
Secretary of State was to be, exofficio, Superintendent of Common 
Schools, which state of things continued to April 4, 1854, when the first 
Superintendent of Public Instruction was elected ; salary $5,000 a year. 
The total expenses of his department for 1892 were $37,220.42, a very large 
increase over the $300 paid to the Superintendent of Common Schools in 
1812. 



THE SCHOOLS OF BATH. 197 

In February, 1844, Town Superintendents of Schools were elected at 
the annual Town Meeting, the olfices of Town Commissioners and Town 
Inspectors having been abolished ; and at the Town Meeting in 1844, Peter 
Halsey was first elected such Town Superintendent, and this system con- 
tinued until 1856; Dr. Joseph S. Dolson, who is now living in Hornellsville, 
being the last Town Superintendent, having been elected in February, 1855, 
In 1856, Town Superintendents were abolished, and the Board of Super- 
visors was authorized to appoint County School Commissioners, to hold 
office until January, 1858. In the fall of 1857, George McLean, of Pratts- 
burgh, was the first one elected School Commissioner for this school 
district. 

In the old District No. 2 was what was known as the " White School 
House," where the colored church now stands, on the east side of Pine 
street. William Howell taught school there in 1826. Mrs. Sally Ann 
Woodruff taught there in 1838. At this time the white and colored chil- 
dren went to this school without regard to " age, sex or previous con- 
dition." Marcus Banter followed Mrs. Woodruff as teacher. John Emer- 
son also taught a number of terms in this same school house. After the 
law was passed allowing colored people to have a school by themselves, 
women teachers were generally employed, among whom were Misses 
Helen G. Pawling and Maria Faulkner. 1867, March 1, the district leased 
this building to the colored people for a church, and it has been used as 
such ever since. 

There was a school established at Kanona at a very early date. We 
find the following records among some of the old papers which are still in 
existence : 

" At a school meeting, November 23, 1813, Reuben Montgomery, Mode- 
rator, and Brigham Hanks, Clerk, Voted that where the school house 
now stands be the site for the school,"— showing that a school house was 
built before 1813, but the site was not owned by the district. "May 5, 
1815, Dauphin Muri'ay entered into a contract with Elislia Hanks, Jared 
Spaulding and Erastus Glass, Trustees of School District No. 3, in the town 
of Bath, to keep and teach a common English school, to-wit : reading, 
writing and common arithmetic, for the term of one year, in the school 
house next adjoining the blacksmith shop, owned and occupied by Brigham 
Hanks, Esq." It also appears that said Dauphin Murray taught this school 
in 1814. He was also one of the early hotel keepers in the place. 

The first school house erected in the south-eastern part of the town 
was built of logs, near the four corners where the Marshall Stewart house 
stands. John Wicks was one of the earliest teachers in that section. He 
made his home with Andrew Smith, grandfather of John L. Smith. Re- 
ligious meetings were held in this school house. 



198 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Among the earliest preachers was Father Fish, of Campbelltown. On 
a beautiful Sunday morning in the spring of the year, he announced that 
he should hasten through the sermon in order to get home to take care of 
the sap, which he feared would go to waste if he were not there to attend 
to it. He usually brought his gun with him for it frequently occurred 
that a deer would cross his path and he must needs have some other 
weapon than " the sword of the Gospel" to procure food for his family in 
those days. 

The following report, made by Hon. Edwin L. Church, Superintend- 
ent of Common Schools, in the town of Bath, in August, 1847, gives a 
very good history of the schools at that date, and is as follows : 

" Number of entire school districts in the town is sixteen, and the 
number of parts of districts is eleven. That the number of joint districts, 
the school houses of which are situated wholly or partly in said town, is five. 
And one school for colored children. That the whole amount of money 
received by the Superintendent for that year was $1,020.69. That the 
school books mostly in use in said town are as follows: Sanders' First,Second, 
Third and Fourth Readers, American Manual, Smith's, Olney's and Mitch- 
ell's Geographies ; Davies', Adams', Daboll's and Smith's Arithmetics; Brown's 
and Kirkham's Grammars ; Davies' and Day's Algebra ; Comstock's Phil- 
osophy ; Sanders' Spelling Book. Number of children taught, 1382. Num- 
ber of children over five and under sixteen, 1526." 

July 8, 1846, a Union School was fonned by the consolidation of Dis- 
tricts Nos. 2 and 5 in this village and forms the present School District 
No. 5. G. A. Rogers, Washington Barnes and Richard Brewer were 
elected Trustees. 

Adam Haverling donated to this Union District the site on which the 
present Haverling Union Free School stands, which was accepted by a 
meeting of the taxable inhabitants of the District in the following resolu- 
tion, passed March 6, 1847: 

Resolved, That we accept with feelings of respect and gratitude Mr. 
Haverling's generous offer of a lot adjoining St. Patrick's Square for the 
site of the Union School house, and tender to him for ourselves and child- 
ren, for his providence and care for their comfort and happiness, our 
grateful sense of his kindness and our wishes for his prosperity and hap- 
piness. 

Resolved, That the moderator and clerk sign and transmit to Mr. 
Haverling a copy of the preceding resolution. 

April 13, 1847, a contract was made by W. S. Hubbell, Constant Cook 
and John D. Higgins, as Trustees of District No. 5, with Sylvanus Stephens, 
to build a school house on the lot, which was to be tliree stories, including 
basement, the outside walls to be of stone and brick, for the sum of 



THE SCHOOLS OF BATH. 199 

$3,180.66. And this building was fii-st used for school purposes May 15, 
1848. 

This building burned down Jan. 29, 1866, and the present beautiful 
and substantial school house was built in its place, at a cost of about 
$35,000, including $900 paid for a lot in front of it on Liberty street. Sam- 
uel S. May was the builder and David Rumsey, Robert L. Underbill, L. P. 
Hard were the Trustees. 

In 1887, Hon. Ira Davenport gave to the District a lease of an acre of 
land lying north of the old school grounds. So we have now very large 
and commodious grqunds for the school children. 

The Principals of the Union School from 1848 to 1868 were as follows: 

Hathaway, Emerson J. Hamilton, Charles W. Gulick, James 

Buell, James A. Broadhead, William S. Hall, C. C. Wheeler, J. H. Strong, 
J. C. Higby, Henry A. Smith, Z. L. Parker, and J. Horace Crum and 
Edward Wilson, (joint Principals). 

At a meeting of the legal voters of this District held August 6, 1868, 
the present Union Free School was formed, and G. H. McMaster, L. P. 
Hard, L. D. Hodgman, R. Hardenbrook, Abram Beekman and S. Ensign 
were dvdy elected members of the Board of Education. And it is a 
remarkable fact that L. D. Hodgman and Abram Beekman have been duly 
re-elected members of the Board of Education ever since, and they are 
the only persons now living who were elected in 1868, making a continu- 
ous service of a quarter of a century. 

September 7, 1868, Haverling Union Free School with its Academic 
department was opened to the public. And it at once took rank with the 
leading union free schools of the State. Prof. Z. L. Parker, our poet of 
this day, was the first Principal and continued to the end of the spring term 
of 1869, when he was succeeded by Prof. L. M. Johnson, who taught one 
year, and was succeeded by Rev. E. H. Lattimer, who taught to the close 
of the spring term of 1873. He was succeeded by Dr. L. D. Miller, the pres- 
ent Principal, who has had the charge of the school from September 1873, 
to, the present time, a period of twenty years, and by his earnest and efii- 
cient efforts has brought our school up to its present high and noble 
standing. 

The following are the names of the teachers in Haverling Union 
School: L. D. Miller, Ph. D. , LL. B. .A.M., Principal ; Miss Rebecca L. Leeke, 
A. M., Preceptress ; Charlotte Sedgwick, Anna Freeman, Lillian Ostrander, 
assistants in the Academic department. Miss Freeman has charge of the 
drawing, and Miss May Cowley of the music ; Miss E. Faucett, No. 8 ; 
Margaret Smith, No. 7 ; Harriet Bushnell, No. 6, Mary Wilkes, assistant ; 
Margaret DeLano, No. 5, Anna D. Kysor, assistant ; Hattie Hawe, No. 
4 ; Cornelia Hardenbrook, No. 3 ; Mary McMuster, No. 3 ; Mary McNam- 
ara. No. 1, Frederica Henica, assistant. 



200 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Board of Education:— L. D. Hodgman, Chairman; C. F, Kingsley, Sec- 
retary ; Abram Beekman, William S. Burns, Wm. P, Sedgwick and 
Clarence Willis. 

The total expense of the school for 1892 was $10,174.33, of which 
$4,500 was raised by tax upon the District which had an assessed valuation 
of $1,853,317.03. The number of children over five and under twenty-one 
years of age living in the District, 874. 

The following are the numbei-s of the Districts with names of the 
Trustees: No. 1, Board of Education, Savona, organized in 1891, A. F. 
Burt, President ; J. E. Bedell, W. E. Joint, C. J. Tomer and D. M. Coll- 
ier. No. 2, Harrisburgh Hollow, Charles Morse; No. 3, Irish Hill, Samuel J. 
Faucett ; No. 4, Unionville, Ed. Moore ; No. 5, Bath, Board of Education, 
before given ; No. 6, East Union, Isaac Dudley; No. 7, Chamberlain's, 
Robert Robinson, Jr. ; No. 8, Kanona, Matthew McCormick, Henry Wheel- 
er, Daniel Shoemaker, Jr. ; No 9, Mt. Washington, Wykoff Wixson; No. 
10, Wolf Run, Frank Moss ; No. 11, Babcock Hollow, Philip M. Little : No. 
12, Eagle Valley, Duel F. Ward ; No. 13, Spaulding's Bridge, Frank Car- 
penter ; No. 14, Sonora, Atwood Labar ; No. 15, Freeman Hollow, James 
Stinson ; No. 16, Veley District, Amos Blunt ; No. 17, A. O. Sutton ; No. 
18, Oak Hill, James B. Gilmer ; No. 19, Cossville, George K. Bowlby : 
No. 20, Campbell Creek, John H. Walker; No. 21, West Union, William 
Carrigan ; No. 22, Knight's Settlement, Melvin Snell ; No. 23, Buck's Set- 
tlement, John McAndrew; No. 24, Moore Settlement, J. K. Peters; No. 25, 
Bowlby District, John L. Smith. 

The amount of public money appropriated for last year was $5,803,35, 
The number of scholars in this town over five and under 21 is 1877. 
Resident pupils attending school, 1474. Foreign pupils attending school, 
153. Number of schools twenty-five, and the number of teachers, forty- 
three, employed for a period of thirty-two weeks at least. 

Text books in general use: Robinson's Arithmetic, Robinson's Algebra, 
Wentworth's Geometry, Brown's Gi'ammar, Swinton's Readers, Warren's 
Spellers, Montelth & McNally's Geography, Steele's Philosophy, Barnes' 
History, Barnes' Penmanship, Steele's Physiology. 



THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. 

By Ira Pond Smith, M. D. 



On the battle-fields of our country are many small tablets, with this 
pathetic inscription, "Unknown." These men fell where they fought, 
and died where they fell. Are they less worthy than he over whose last 
resting place rises the storied urn or the sculptured marble ? They gave 
for their imperilled country all they had to give— their lives. So, also, it 
might be written over the last resting place of many of those who fall on the 
greater battle-fields of civil life, and especially is this true of physicians — 
men who in their day were men of ability, education and influence. Their 
names are unknown to the younger generation, and are but vague mem- 
ories to the older. Verily : 

" Little of all we value here. 
Wakes on the morn of its hxmdredth year." 

This reflection came to the writer after a well-nigh vain attempt to 
secure some facts in relation to the physicians of the town of Bath during 
the first century of its history, they having been very meagrely treated by 
the chronicler and the historian. 

First, a word as to the nature of the diseases and injuries which the 
early physicians had to treat. It is believed that the pioneer was in greater 
danger from the forest itself than from its denizens. While the animals 
of settlers were in danger from the thieving bears and hungry wolves, he 
was safe. In fact, the first case of injury from these animals has yet to 
be reported. While their voices from the dark and gloomy forest fright- 
ened the timid, they were not dangerous. The settlers were on good terms 
with the Indians. The most dangerous foe with which the early settlers 
had to contend was the concealed reptile, of which both history and tra- 
dition agree that Bath was v/ell stocked. But in the falling trees, and roll- 
ing and floating log^!, and the illy-constructed mills, there was real danger, 
and they caused mucli sungery for the early practitioners of this section, 
which, with the malignant fevers common to all new countries, made the 
life of the early physicians one of great labor and i-esponsibility. 

I can do but little more than give a list of the prominent physicians of 
the town for the century. 



202 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

There came to what is now Bath, with Captain Williamson, two phy- 
sicians, Dr. Benjamin B. Stockton, from New Jersey, and Dr. Daniel 
Schultz, from Germany. Dr. Stockton became the owner of a large 
tract of land in the vicinity of Morgan's bridge. He gave the name to 
what is known as Stockton Run, sometimes erroneously called Stocking 
Run. He returned to New Jersey after a residence here of a number of 
years. 

Nothing is positively known of the history of Dr. Schultz. There 
was a Dr. William H. Pretre here in 1794-95 ; also a Dr. B. F. Young, of 
whom no dates can be given. This is about all that is known of the phy- 
sicians of Bath for the first quarter of the century. 

Seventy-five years ago, in 1818, the Steuben County Medical Society 
was organized, being one of the oldest organizations in this section. The 
first name on the roll of this society, from Bath, is that of Dr. John D. 
Higgins. To write correctly of men with whom we are well acquainted 
is attended with difficulty ; to write of those belonging to a former genera- 
tion, the difficulty is much greater. The date of the coming of Dr. Hig- 
gins to Bath, I am unable to fix. He was a nephew of the noted " Parson " 
of the same name, and, like him, was a marked character. He was some- 
thing of a politician, always carrying a copy of the Constitution in his 
hat. He was a prominent member of the Medical Society, being its Presi- 
dent in 1828 and 1849. He was also a member of the first temperance 
society organized in the town, in 1828. He lived and died on the lot on 
which the residence of General Averell now stands, the date of his death 
being May, 1854, He was a good physician and a good man. 

Dr. James Faulkner, the second name on the roll of the Society, and a 
"Charter" member, lived at Mud Creek, now Savona. He stood high as 
a physician, and was renowned as a surgeon throughout this section. He 
was an uncle of the late Dr. Faulkner, of Dansville, the banker. 

Measured by what a man stands for in the community there is in the 
list of physicians of Bath no name superior to that of Gustavus A. Rogers. 
He v/as born at Unadilla. Otsego county, N. Y., in 1798. He was a student 
of Dr. Knapp, of Guilford, Chenango county, and attended lectures at Yale, 
by which institution he was licensed to practice. The degree of Doctor of 
Medicine was also conferred by the Buffalo Medical College, of which 
institution he was a Curator. He came to Bath as early as 1823, having 
joined the County Medical Society that year, and was its President in 1826, 
'3.3 and '37. He married a daughter of RobeH Campbell, one of the ]'io- 
neers of Bath. He had a family of nine children, of wliich Sherman S. 
Rogers, of Buff.ilo, i man of National reputation and of influence in the 
affairs of tlie State, is ':ne. Harry \V. Hug^rs of (Chicago, a man of worth 
and standing, is also a son. Dr. Rogers removi^d to Buffalo in 1856, and 



THE MEDICAL PROFESSION, 203 

died in Chicago in 1873. He was a tall, fine-looking and cultured man. 
He was universally admitted to be a good physician and surgeon, and above 
all, he was a high-toned. Christian man. 

In the list of physicans of Bath is one name that has been prominent 
in the histoiy of the State for many generations — that of Gansevoort. Ten- 
Eyck Gansevoort was born in Montgomery county, in 1803, a son of Conrad 
Gansevoort, of Albany, and a relative of Col. Peter Gansevoort, of Revo- 
lutionary fame. He was educated at Union College, graduated in medicine 
at Philadelphia in 1825^ and came to Bath the same year. He married 
Helen R. Lyon, a sister of Moses Lyon, in 1828— a woman of culture and 
refinement, one of Bath's worthies. They had four children— Conrad G., 
of this village, and Mrs. B. F. Angel, of Geneseo, being the only ones liv- 
ing. The Doctor was in afiiuent circumstances, kind to the poor, univer- 
sally esteemed as a citizen, and was one of the leading surgeons of his day. 
He and Dr. Rogers were the surgeons in the celebrated Morgan case. He 
died in Bath in 1842, in the prime of life, being but thirty-nine years of 
age. 

Simpson Ellas was born in New England in 1784, and came to Bath in 

1814. He was regarded as a skilled physician, but having many other inter- 
ests consumed much of his time. The late Colonel George Ellas and Addison 
F. Ellas were his sons, and Mrs, A. J. McCall is his daughter. Charles A. 
Ellas, the druggist, is his grandson. He died in Bath in 1867. One writes 
of him as a tall, erect, well-dressed and most exemplary man. 

David Henry. — The date of this physician's coming to Bath I am 
unable to state. He bought the Seely lot (his residence for many years), in 

1815. He had both legs amputated as the result of freezing. He was 
popular as a physician. He died in 1839, aged fifty years. 

James Warden, a prominent physician of the olden time, was a mem- 
ber of the Medical Society in 1820. I am unable to say when he came to 
Bath, or when he removed. He was a man of wealth for his day. He had 
a kind and benevolent face. He died at Mead's Creek. 

Thomas Shannon was a native of Ireland, and was born in 1819. He 
came to Bath when eight years of age, where he was educated. He taught 
school for some time. He was a student of Dr. Terry, of Savona, a gradu- 
ate of the Geneva Medical College, and a member of the County Medical 
Society. He was esteemed as a physician, and with good reason, as he 
devoted a long and laborious life to the public service, a large part of which 
was spent at Savona. He died at Campbell in 1881, and his remains rest 
in Grove cemetery. He was a good and faithful physician, and a genial 
companion. 

Andrew Baker came to Bath from Howard. He became a member of 
the Medical Society in 1843. He removed to Norwich, Chenango county, 



204 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

where he died. He made a good record while here, as all the older people 



Daniel H. Shipman, another name in the list, practiced here for a time, 
joining the Medical Society in 1835. He died at Syracuse. He was a pro- 
fessor in the Geneva Medical College for a time. He is also very favorably 
mentioned. 

Addison Niles came to Bath from Prattsburgh in 1843. He was a son 
of Dr. Noah Niles. He was a thorough student, but a theorist. He was 
the President of the Medical Society in 1848. He lived many years on the 
place where the Advocate building now stands. I^ removed to Quincy, 111. 

John C. Morse, another prominent name in Bath's medical annals, 
came to Bath in 1843. He married a daughter of Robert Church. He had 
a son and daughter. He went West in 1857. He was regarded by all as a 
good physician. Though sedate and reserved, he was social in his nature, 
and, as one said, always a gentleman. 

Henry C. May, a native of Bath, was born in 1830. He belonged to 
the old Red School House era, an era that produced many good men. He 
attended the Franklin Academy, was a student of Dr. Niles in 1853, and 
was graduated at the University of Michigan in 1856. He began business 
in partnership with Dr. Dolson the same year. In 1857, he removed to 
Corning, where he remained (save about four years, wh. n he was a Sur- 
geon in the war), until 1890, when he was appointed to a position in the 
Pension Office, at Washington, D. C. Dr. May has been prominent in the 
profession of town and county, and in the church. He was President of 
the County Medical Society in 1875, and was prominent in the organization. 

Ebenezer B. Pulling came to Bath from Hammondsport in 1824. He 
died as the result of a post-mortem wound, in 1844, the particulars of 
which it is unnecessary to state, save to say that he was in no way respon- 
sible for it. He was regai'ded as a man of honor, and a good physician, by 
his contemporaries. His untimely death was universally mourned. 

John H. Read was born in Bath in 1820. He was a student of Dr. 
Church, of Hammondsport. He practiced here several years. His widow 
and two daughters, Mrs. James H. Scott, of Bath, and Mrs. Keeler, of 
Hammondsport, survive him. He died in Bath in 1864. 

Among the physicians of Bath in ante helium days was Ira L. Bab- 
cock. He was an active member of the Methodist church, having been 
sent as a missionary by that church to Oregon in early life. He lived here 
for a number of years, on the Hagadorn lot. He removed to Norwalk, 
Ohio, in 1859. where he died. 

Samuel Ensign, a conscientious, pains-taking, cautious physician, and 
a worthy Christian man, succeeded Dr. Babcock. He removed to Tipton. Ta. 



THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. 205 

Stephen H:igadorn came to Batli from Cohott<>n, prior to the war. At 
the first battle of Bull Run, having a son iu the ranks, whom he was visit- 
ing, he was taken prisoner. After spending Siiiue time in Libby prison, he 
returned to Bath, broken in healtli, and he never recovered. He was prized 
as a phj'sician and esteemed as a man. His residence was .it wluit is known 
as the Hagadorn place. He died in 18(j3 or 1864 at Bath. 

A prominent name in the medical history of B^th is that of Joseph S. 
Dolson. He was born at Campbell, in 1825, the son of a Methodist clergy- 
man. He was left an orphan at five years of age. He was educated at 
Elmira and the Oazenovia Seminary. He was a student of medicine 
with Dr. Terry, of Savona. He attended lectures at Geneva, New York 
City and Albany, from which institution he was graduated in 1848. 
The major part of a long and active life has been spent in Bath. Dr. Dol- 
son has held many positions, both professional and political, among 
them. President of the County Medical Society, Coroner (a position he 
now holds), an Assistant Surgeon of the 161st Regiment, New York Volun- 
teers, Surgeon of the Soldiers' Home, a member of the Bath Pension Ex- 
amining Board. He was also Superintendent of Common Schools, Post- 
master at Bath, etc. H3 contributed liberally to public enterprises — the 
Soldiers' Home, the church, the soldiers' monument, &c. He has often 
said to the writer that it gave him pleasure to make money, for the satis- 
faction of spending it for a worthy cause. The struggling young man had 
a friend in Dr. Dolson. He is now, all regret, an invalid, residing at Hor- 
nellsville, where he has two sons, Charles A. and Edwin L., in the prac- 
tise of law.* 

Mrs. Amelia A. Dolson, the wife of Dr. J. S. Dolson, a reserved, sedate 
and dignified woman, was licensed to practice by the Steuben County 
Medical Society, which she has done, in company with her husband. She 
did a large business in her specialty. She is now devoted to her invalid 
husband. 

The last thirty-seven years of the century, a tall, erect man, latterly 
with a snow-white beard, has been a marked figure on the streets of Bath. 
Dr. Alexis H. Cruttenden was born at Morris, Otsego county, in 1822. He 
was educated at the common schools and at Albany, and was graduated in 
medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of New York. He 
came to Bath in 1856, where he has remained to this time — being the long- 
est continuous practice in our history. He was Coroner for a term. He 
was a Pension Examiner for a quarter of a century, and a member of the 
Bath Pension Board from its organization to a recent date. He married 
Miss JuUa M, Stephenson. He had four children, two of whom are living. 



* Dr. Dolson died at his home in Homellsville, July 10, 1893. 



206 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

He has held a prominent place in the medical, and especially in the surgical, 
history of the town, and is entitled to a prominent place in its annals. 
His recreation has been in his garden among his flowers, he being an expert 
in their culture. 

Among the prominent j^ost helium physicians is the name of Farrand 
Wylie. He was born in Covington, Wyoming County, in 1819, He was 
graduated in medecine in 1847, at Geneva. He entered the army as an 
Assistant Surgeon, in 1861, in tlie 86 N. Y. Vols. He was promoted to Surgeon 
of the 155 N. Y. Vols; served three years and three months. He came to 
Bath at the close of the war. in 1865, where he remained to his death, 
which occurred in February, 1893. Dr. Wylie was a fine-looking man, 
strong in body and in mind. He held a number of public and civil oflSces; 
having been Coroner and Surgeon of the Soldiers' Home, and a member 
of the Bath Pension Board. 

Agnes Seely Wolf was born in Orange County, N. Y. She was 
educated at the Elmira Female College. She was graduated in medicine 
at the Woman's Medical College, New York City, in 1876, when she came 
to Bath, where she practiced until failing health caused her to retire. She 
died in 1892. She was Vice-President of the Medical Society. She was a 
bright, educated woman. 

The writer of this article, Ira P. Smith, was born at Dansville in 1835. 
He attended school at the Rogersville Union Seminary, and the University 
of Michigan; was a student of medicine of Dr. Chas. S. Ackley, at Rogers- 
ville; graduated in medicine at Albany in 1859; practiced at Avoca 
until August, 1862, when he entered the service as an Acting Assistant 
Surgeon in the regular army, where he remained two years. He came to 
Bath; in 1866, was married to Harriet A. Smith a daughter of John J. 
and Jane Rutherford Smith, and a grand-daughter of Andrew Smith, 
who came from Scotland with Capt. Williamson. He has three children. 
He has held a number of ofiices both professional and civil, that of Presi- 
dent of the County Medical Society, Coroner, Member of the Board of 
Pension Examiners, President of the Bible Society, etc. 

James W. Black was born 1829, was educated in Bath, graduated at 
the Geneva Medical College and was a Surgeon of the 144 N. Y. Vols. He 
practiced many years at Almond, when he came to Bath, where he died, 
in l:i74. He was a genial man and a popular physician. 

Dr. William B. Brown was born at Bath in 1858. He was educated at 
Haverling and the Buffalo Medical College. He went abrodid in 1881. 
He was an able, bright and generous man. He died in 1889, in early man- 
hood, universally mourned. 

J. Stratton Harlow, the son of a clergyman, came to Bath in 1864, 
from the army, and went into business with Dr. Dolson. Dr. Dolson 
retiring, he remained at the old office. After a term of a few years, he 



THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. 207 

went into practice in New York City, when his health failing, he returned 
to Bath, where lie died in 1875. He married Sarah Dudley who, with one 
son, Augustus, survives him. Dr. Harlow and Dr. Brown, had in a remark- 
able degree, that undefinable something that, for want of a better term, 
we call magnetism. 

The following physicians were in practice here during the latter part 
of the century. They had good reputations but I have not suflScient data 
to make other mention than their names: David Ward, John B. Flem- 
ming. Dr. Sibley Daniel Seber, Lewis Haws, Andrew Black, and John W. 
Dorr. 

Drs. A. Da Wolf and Dr. B. F. G-raiit have been prominent homoeopathic 
physicians during the latter part of the century. Dr. De Wolf came 
from Dundee and was in business many years. Dr. B. F. Grant was born 
in Bath in 1827. He was educated here, and was gra<luated at the Cleve- 
land Homoeopathic College in 186(5. He is now a member of the Bath 
Pension Examining Board. He has been President of the Homoeopathic 
Medical Society for the Southern Tier. He has been popular as a physician 
and is a genial man. 

Dr. Truman H. Purdy was born and educated in Bath. He was a 
graduate of a New York Homoeopathic College. He practiced for seven 
years. He failed in health and died August 15, 1886. 

I will add a list of the younger physicians who are now here: 
Drs. Ambrose Kasson, Thomas H. Pawling, George C. McNett, Chester 
T. Stewart, John O. Aldrich and Orlando W. Sutton, of Bath. Drs. Tomer 
and Gillett, of Savona, and Dr. Franklin Lawrence, of Kanona. Drs. Sut- 
ton, Aldrich and Lawrence are Eclectics. 

This comprises a list of the physicians of Bath for the century. While 
these men were fair exponents of the science of medicine for their day, 
and some of them very able ones, marked and radical changes have taken 
place, not only in the practice, but in the trend of thought — in the 
object to be attained. The old-time physicians allowed the enemy to get 
posession of the citadel of life, then he did his utmost to expell him. 
While the modern physician exerts himself to keep the enemy out ; that is 
to say, in the first half of the century, sanitary science was unknown; in 
the last half, it has grown to an importance second to none. In our day, 
not only physicians, but all intelligent persons, are as much concerned in 
the prevention as the cure of disease. The case only need be stated to 
make the advance apparent. 

Until a late date in this century the insane were regarded as possessed 
of an evil spirit, and were to be shunned. Now they are regarded as the 
victims of disease, to be treated with kindness and sympathy — a position 



208 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

much more in accord with the teachings of Him who spake as never man 
spake. 

In the early part of the century chloroform was unknown. The 
surgeon was forced to operate with his patient in great suffering, and his 
friends suffering little less: now the victim of the surgeon's knife i# made 
"to sleep, perchance to dream," at will. 

Then the science of dentistry was unknown; now the turnkey has 
given place to the elaborate paraphernalia of the dentist's office. The sad- 
dle bags of the old-time physician, filled with compounds, more efficient 
than palatable, has given place to the delicate preparations of the modern 
pharmacist. While much has been gained by the segregation of medical 
learning, something has been lost. The modern specialist has not the 
breadth of learning of the old-time physician. 

Some of these men were doubtless charged by their contemporaries 
with being harsh and unfeeling. A word, not in apology, but in explana- 
tion. The physician is often misjudged; being often called where all is con- 
sternation and dismay, he is forced to assume a bold and determined man- 
ner, else he would be as nervous and unmanned as the bystanders, and, at 
once, be in contempt. The lawyer will sit facing a jury with countenance 
unmoved, and listen to evidence that he well knows will be fatal to his client. 
If he became nervous, it would be a confession of weakness. As well charge 
him with lack of interest in his patron, as to charge the physician with lack 
of sympathy, when he assumes a bold and determined manner, where all is 
confusion, sorrow and dismay. Under a brusque exterior is a sympathetic and 
kindly heart. I make no apology for the coarse and unfeeling man, though he 
be a physician. The man who can thrust the surgeon's knife through the 
limb of his fellow, without feelings of sympathy and sorrow, if he is not 
on the wrong side of the bars of the penitentiary, is fit only for the society 
of those within. 

A word as to the phy.«icians of Bath in the Civil War. The great crisis 
of the century on this side of the world, and one of the great crises 
of history, occured between 1861 and 1865. A great responsibility devolved 
on the medical profession during that time. It was borne, and well borne. 
No physician need be ashamed of the record of his profession during that 
time. The science of military surgery was greatly advanced throughout 
the world by the American War. The following were army surgeons 
during the time: Dr. Farrand Wylie, Dr. Joseph S. Dolson, Dr. Henry C. 
May, Dr. Ira L. Babcock, Dr. Samuel Ensign, Dr. James W. Black, Dr. J. 
Stratton Harlow, Dr. Lewis Hawes, Dr. Seeley Brownell, and Dr. Ira P. 
Smith. 

Much has been truly said of the trials and privations of the pioneers 
of this section, but what may be said of the heroism, courage and self- 
sacrifice of the early physicians, who in the darkness of the night, its 



THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. 209 

stillness broken only by the sighing forests and howling wolf, wended his 
way tlirough well-nigh trackless forests, and across bridgeless streams, 
trusting to the sagacity of his faithful horse, until he reached the log 
house of the struggling settler. Tliere, unaided by consultation and illy 
provided with instruments, he fought a brave fight with disease and death. 
While it is not asserted that these physicians were faultless, or worthy of 
imitation in all respects, it is claimed that they were brave, self-reliant 
and determined men, doing a lahorious, important and often unrequited 
duty, and that they are worthy of a prominent and honorable place in the 
annals of the first century of the town of Bath. 



MILITARY HISTORY OF BATH. 

By Major John Stocum,* 



The honor has bten conform d upon me. by your General Committee, 
of compiling a history of the Militia of Bath, which I will endeavor to do 
to the best of my ability. 

First, let me note something cone, rning tl»e earlier days of our town 
in a military way. In Peck's History of Steuben County, we read of a 
former distinguished citizen of Bath: "In May, 1812, John Magee, with his 
father and brother, Hugh, enlisted at Detroit, in the rifle company of 
Capt. A. de Quindra. This company went immediately into active service, 
had several skirmishes with the Indians, and took part in the battle of 
Brownstown, on the 8th of August of that year. His company, belonging 
to the command of Gen. Hull, was surrendered, with his army, to the 
British forces, under Gen, Breck, the 16th of the same month. Magee 
was a prisoner until March of 1814." On his release from Fort George he 
re-entered the service and still further distinguished himself, especially as 
government messenger between Fort Niagara and Washington. 

Daniel Cruger, a citizen whose abilities have shed lustre upon his 
adopted home, was Major during the war of 1812, where he served with 
distinction upon the staff of Gen. McClure in Canada. 

In the Mexican war there is a record of prominence to be accorded to 
our village. Early in the summer of 1846, President Polk decided to send 
a force of volunteers by sea to the Pacific coast. A regiment, to be known 
as the 7th New York Volunteers (to contain ten companies, of one hundred 
men each, rank and file), was designated for this service, Col. J. D. Steven- 
son, of San Francisco (then a resident of New York city), being em- 
powered to muster in the new regiment. It was decided to draft one com- 
pany in Steuben county, and William E. Shannon, of Bath, at once vol- 
unteered to raise Company A. In a very brief space of time it was done, 
and the complement of one hundred men ready for the front. The offi- 
cers of the company elected were : Captain, W. E. Shannon ; 1st Lieut., 

* In the preparation of this article, the writer would acknowledge the 
great assistance rendered by the Rev. B. S. Sanderson, who kindly wrote 
out and put in shape the notes of the author. — J. S. 



MILITARY HISTORY OF BATH. 211 

Henry Magee ; 2d Lieut., Palmer V. Hewlett ; Sergeants, J. C. Van Loon, 
H. D. Alden. Melvin Boch and J. E. Crandall. Among the names of pri- 
vates we find Warren S. Hodgman, John C. Emerson, John Magee, H. S. 
Biles, Finley M. Pawling, Elijah M. Smith, Henry M. Osgood, and many 
others. 

Leaving Bath, August 1, 1846, upon its arrival in New York city the 
company was accepted as Company I of the Regiment, and put in camp 
on Governor's Island, where it remained for some weeks^. Sailing, with 
three other companies, in the Susan Drew, after a prosperous voyage of 
six months, in March, 1847, they were landed in what is now San Fran- 
cisco ; soon transferred to San Diego, where they remained until mustered 
out of service m 1848. Capt. Sliannon died of cholera, in Sacramento, 
September 25, 1850, and but very few of the company from the immediate 
vicinity of Bath are known to be living. 

While not properly a part of my subject, a word may be said here con- 
cerning what was known as the " Trainings." Soon after the organization 
of Steuben county (in 1796), in common with the rest of the State, all our 
male inhabitants between the ages of seventeen and forty-five were en- 
rolled as State Militiamen, and had to spend one day in the year at " Gen- 
eral Training," as it was called. Personally, as a boy, I well recall the 
impression made upon my youthful mind by the wonderful appearance and 
eccentric evolutions of these citizen-soldiers as they "trained" in and 
about the old park of our village. At the outset this general training was 
somewhat sporadic in character, but with the increase of population, defi- 
nitely organized companies were formed. Among the earliest of these 
seems to have been a company of light artillery, under the command of 
Col. William H. Bull. It was organized, I believe, as early as 1823, and 
was in active service for many years, at least eighteen or twenty. Its one 
gun, a brass six-poimder, at the disbanding of the company, was ordered 
by the State officials to Dansville. A rifle company was also conspicuous 
in these early days. In 1825, while John Magee was Sheriff, both of these 
companies formed a guard around the gallows at the execution of Robert 
Douglass. The early town records mention, also, a Light Horse Troop, 
conspicuous in that famous procession which accompanied the remains of 
Dugald Cameron from Hammondsport to Bath, in 1828. 

Among the early ofiicers prominent in these and less definitely organ- 
ized companies of the then militia, we find such prominent citizens of this 
section as Gen. O. F. Marshall, Col. Tyler (who acted as Marshal at the 
execution of Douglass), and Col. Barnard. Later on appear as leaders on 
training days such men as Phineas Warren, Stephen Grant, L. H, Read, 
R. L. Finch, David W. Lyon, Capt. Cross and "Parson" Higgins. Major 
John W. Whiting was Brigade Inspector at this time (namely, during the 
" Forties,") and John Kennard a staff officer under him. 



212 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

At their "trainings" the rank and file did nut present the soldierly 
appearance of the National Guard of to-day. They had no I'egular uni- 
form, nor were all equipped with muskets, but niiiny of them were sol- 
diers at heart. Such men as Col. W illiams, of Prattsburgh, or Jacob Van 
Valkenburgh (way back in '35 or '3G), the e rliest mounted officers I can 
recall, either on horse or afoot, presented ahvays the gallant bearing of 
true warriors. Training in Bath died out forty-five years ago. Tlie move- 
ment cre.iting a more definite State Militia had started, its impulse being 
feJt in this section of the St.tte, as elsewhere. To Levi C. Whiting belongs 
the credit of the work in this direction done in Bath. At this date (1852- 
1857) he was Foreman of the Champion Fire Company. In this he saw the 
nucleus for his company of soldiers. Through his energy were mustered 
in seventy-five men. forming a company of the 60th Regiment of the 27th 
Brigade of the N. Y. S. V. 

Our Armory Hall was in the old Arcade Building.* in Orchard (now 
Buel) street, and there we met weekly for drills, so that on great days, like 
the Fourth of July, and the like, we could make our appearance upon the 
streets of Bath to fascinate all beholders with our display of the martial 
spirit. The original complement of officers was : Capt. , L. C. Whiting ; 
1st Lieut., William E. Bonham ; 2d Lieut., Theodore Schlick ; Orderly 
Sergt., John Stocum. Of the seventy-five originally enlisted, my memory 
recalls only the following as now living in Bath : J. P. Hand, Ira P. Ed- 
wards, T. P. Purdy, Jerry Van Loon, C. E. Hopkins, D. D. Chapin and A. 
Butler. Gen. Robert B. Van Valkenburgh was in command of our Brig- 
ade. Every year our company attended the brigade encampment. Once 
we went to Avon, again to Elmira, and twice, I remember, the tents of 
the brigade were pitched upon the slopes of Robie Hill, in this village. In 
1855, Capt. Whiting was promoted to be Colonel of our regiment, and I 
was honored with the Captaincy of the company, my commission being 
signed by Hon. Myron H. Clark, Governor of the State. The company 
continued its organization until 1858, the interest being well maintained 
during the whole period. 

With the outbreak of hostilities, in 1861, the call to arms in defence of 
the flag was most nobly responded to by the loyal citizens of Bath. The 
Elmira Rendezvous, as it was known, gave to this section gi'eat celebrity. 
Bath men were to the front there. Fifteen regiments — the 22d Cavalry, 
1st Light Artillery, 50th Engineers, 12th. 13th, 21st (commanded by Col. 
now Gen. William F. Rogers, the present Superintendent of the State Sol- 
diers' Home), 23d, 24th, 26th, 27th (whose Colonel was the present Presi- 
dent of the Board of Trustees of the Home, Gen. Henry W. Slocum), 33d, 

* The Fred Moris Factory occupies the site. 



MILITARY HISTORY OF BATH. 213 

25th, 64th. 85th, 86th and 89th N. Y. Volunteers, were all centered at El- 
mira, under the command of our old Brigadier-General, Robert B. Van 
Valkenburgh, of Bath. Another Bath man, Capt. William Rumsey, was 
his A. D. C. and Assistant Adjutant General until September, 1861, when 
his place was filled by still another Bath man, Capt. Ira Davenport. 

Gen, Van Valkenburgh afterwards raised the 107th N. Y. Volunteers, 
which he commanded until December, 1863, leading it at the battle of An- 
tietam. 

The requirements of the service are that volunteers be mustered in by 
an officer of the Regular Army. By a curious coincidence, one of the 
officers detailed for this duty at this Elmira rendezvous was a Bathite, 
the sole representative of our town (if we mistake not), in the Regular 
Army, Lieut. Wm. W. Averell. This officer deserves special mention at 
our hands, since to him is accorded the distinction of attaining the high- 
est rank during the war of any officer from this county. 

Graduated at West Point in 1855, he served with distinction upon the 
frontier in the 1st Regiment of Mounted Rifles, U. S. A., achieving promi- 
nence in the wars against the Indians in 1857 and 1858. His service on 
the frontier was terminated by a severe fracture of the hip, which kept him 
home on sick leave for the next two years. He was Adjutant-General of 
Col. Andrew Porter's Brigade in the First Battle of Bull Run. Soon 
after he was appointed Colonel of the 3d Pennsylvania Cavalry, and imme- 
diately thereafter, in September, 1861, to the command of the 1st Brigade 
of Cavalry organized during the War, of which he was at the head during 
the campaign of the Peninsula, in 1863. After the withdrawal of the 
army from the Peninsula, Col. Averell was given the command of a 
Division of Cavalry. In 1862, he was appointed Brigadier-General, serving 
with distinction in the Army of the Potomac, in West Virginia and in the 
Campaign of Sheridan. He was six times brevetted for gallantry in par- 
ticular actions, in one of which he was severely wounded. 

At the time of his retirement fiom the Service he held the rank of 
Brevet Major-General of the Regular Army. Since the War, Gen. Averell 
has held the important post of U. S. Consul General to British North 
America (1866-1869), and is now the Inspector General for the Board of 
Managers of National and State Homes for disabled veterans of the Army 
and Navy, 

Another well-known citizen of Bath alluded to above, deserves a men- 
tion here, Major William Rumsey. now one of the Supreme Court Judges 
of the State. After recovering from a serious wound received at the 
Battle of Fair Oaks, Va., he served witli General Averell as liis Adjutant 
General during tlie greater part of the War. He was a dashing cavalry 
officer, a thorough soldier, and obtained the deserved promotion of Brevet 



214 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Lieutenant Colonel for conspicuous acts of gallantry during the cam- 
paign of 1864. 

The first company to leave our village for the seat of war was a com- 
pany recruited and commanded by Theo. Schlick, attached to 23d N. Y. 
Infantry, Col. Hoffman, of Elmira, commanding. This was the first regi- 
ment going from our Congressional District (the 27th), and Company A. 
was entirely composed of Bath men. Cornelius F. Mowers and George E. 
Biles were the Lieutenants. Th e enlistment was for two years , during which 
time the company saw considerable active service, participating in the 
engagement at Chantilly, the Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam and 
Fredericksburg. It was mustered out of service May 23d, 1863. In the 
late summer of 1861, it was my privilege to recruit Battery E., 1st N. Y. 
Artillery, one hundred men. Chosen as Commander, my Lieutenants were 
Charles G. Wheeler and Robert H. Gansevoort. Relieved of my command 
soon after reaching Washington, Lieut. Wheeler became Captain and 
Edward H. Underbill, 2d Lieutenant under Capt. Wheeler. The Battery saw 
gallant service in the Peninsular, at Antietam, Yorktown, Chancellors ville, 
Gettysburg, Wilderness and many other notable encounters. It was 
mustered out of service June 16th, 1865. Lieut. Underbill was in the 
Battery during all its service, being remarkable for reckless bravery, nota- 
ble among daring soldiers. When the Battery was mustered out of ser- 
vice, he commanded it as Captain. The first gun fired on the Peninsular, 
as the Army of the Potomac advanced on Yorktown, was fired by this 
Battery. Last summer (1892) the major part of the survivors were my 
guests for a day at Ruby Cottage, Lake Keuka. 

In the fall of 1862, the 161st N. Y. Infantry was recruited, in which 
Regiment, I commanded company F. On reaching the front, we took part 
in the famous Banks expedition to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, thence 
to the surrender of Port Hudson in 1863. John F. Little and James Fauc- 
ett, of Bath, were my Lieutenants. 

In 1863, severe illness incapacitated me, compelling my return home. 
The company, under the command of Capt. Little, continued in active 
service, participating in Sherman's celebrated march through Georgia 
from "Atlanta to the sea." and in other prominent actions until the close 
of the war. While we were in the field, Schlick's company returned to 
Bath, having served their original time of enlistment. But Uie call of 
duty was too imperative for any who could go, to stay at home. So urgent 
was the necessity that Capt. Schlick and Lieut. Benj. Bennitt found no 
diflaculty in recruiting a company from this vicinity in the summer of 
1863, with which they returned once more into active service. This com- 
pany was one of the 22d Cavalry, N. Y. V.; while serving in which each 
of these gallant officers was made a Major. Major Schlick fell on the 



MILITARY HISTORY OF BATH. 315 

field of battle. Major Bennitt, after active service as a lawyer after the 
war, died but two or three years ago at Hammondsport. 

In 1864, President Lincoln issued his memorable last call for three hun- 
dred thousand volunteers. Among the regiments then mustered in was 
the 189th, New York, of which I commanded Company A., two other 
companies being recruited, also, from this village and its immediate 
vicinity under the command of Capt. Burrage Rice and Walter Crosby, 
the latter at the time Principal of Sonora Academy. This regiment was 
in active service until the close of War. My own company was recruited 
in nine days. The gallantry of the men under me, notably on one occa- 
sion, demands particular mention. On Sunday, April 9, 1865, while de- 
ployed as skirmishers, we drove back into Appomattox the last Rebel Bat- 
tery Gen. Lee ever sent out. Mustered out of service at the close of the war, 
we reached home and separated, to pursue the avocations of peace, May 
13, 1865. Brief and imperfect as this sketch has been, enough has been 
said, I trust, to show the whole-souled way in which the sons of Bath 
fought valiantly for country and freedom. 

My story need not be continued much longer. Military operations 
in Bath for the past twenty-eight years have not been considerable. A 
company was recruited by me in 1867, as a part of one of the regiments 
of the 20th Brigade of the National Guard S. N. Y. We served for seven 
years, performing the usual duties of militiamen. In 1874, we were mus- 
tered out of service and since then no company of soldiers has taken our 
place. It may not become me to say it, yet in closing my paper, I must 
express my regret that for a score of years Bath has not counted among 
all its organizations a company of soldiers. Military drill and discipline 
do so much for a man, that their absence is a distinct loss. As a veteran 
(do I not speak, also, for my soldier comrades?) I do wish that, among 
other beneficial results, there should flow from our Centennial Celebration 
the formation of a company of soldiers. The young men of our village in 
peace would acquire the habits and virtues of men of arms, that in war 
they could stand in the forepart of our Country's defenders, prepared to 
protect the glorious liberty and freedom of these United States of America. 

[Note. — Captain Stocum has prepared with considerable industry full 
and complete lit-ts of the survivors of all the regiments mustered from 
Bath for the Civil War. We regret that lack of space prohibits their 
appearance in this book. — Ed.] 



THE BENCH AND BAR. 
By Charles H, McMaster, Esq, 



The evolution of judicial procedure in this State has been one of the 
remarkable political phenomena of the past century. In the early days of 
the Republic, disputes were determined by the old English law of battle. 
Then miglit made right. The contest was short, sharp and decisive. This 
procedure had its origin among the rude German tribes ; it was transplant- 
ed into England by William the Conquerer, and, among other English cus- 
toms and rules of law, was adopted by our forefathers in this country. 
It was employed in military, as well as civil affairs, and in both criminal 
and civil actions. In criminal actions, the accused and his accuser joined 
battle in person and determined the guilt or innocence of the prisoner by 
physical prowess and skill. 

In civil actions, the procedure was applied principally to suits involving 
the title to real estate. The parties to the action appeared before the pro- 
per tribunal, and each selected a champion. Tlie champion of the plaintiff 
marched into the ring prepared for battle and threw down his glove, or 
gage. The defendant's champion then came forward and picked up the 
glove and the issue was joined, and hence the name for the procedure, 
" wager of battle." 

The issue having been joined, the action was forthwith determined by 
the champions in battle. It is worthy of note that in that early day, if one 
preferred a charge against another affecting his honor, then he must hazard 
his pei-son to sustain the charge, if the accused so required ; but where 
property only was concerned, each party had the right to select a profes- 
sional Sullivan or Corbett to take the risk for a proper fee. In these de- 
generate days the fighters, when not training for a contest for a big purse, 
elect to pose their burly forms on the Vaudeville stage, in company with 
clowns, burlesquers and jugglers. In ancient times they determined im- 
portant civil rights and discharged the functions of the most learned and 
dignified profession of the ages. The law of battle was formally repealed 
in England in 1819, but it had long been in disuse. 

Here in Bath, the chronicler says, " For two years after the first set- 
tlement (1793) no lawyer appeared in the village, but litigations were set- 
tled by compromise or according to the English law of battle." 



THE BENCH AND BAR. 217 

Possibly in the course of those two years, when the gallant Captain 
Williamson and his brave pioneers had cleared away Pulteney Square and 
had erected his own rude mansion, the settlers living in cabins of logs 
along openings in the forest already marked out for Morris, Steuben and 
Liberty streets, a dispute arose between two settlers as to the title to a 
tract of land. Settler Pine laid claim, by virtue of superior title, to a 
tract upon which Settler Spruce was located. Settler Spruce declined to 
yield, and no compromise could be reached. The gallant Captain is 
appealed to ; a Scotchman by birth, and well versed in the forms of English 
legal procedure, he directs that the issue shall be determined by "wager of 
battle." Blackstone says that for the place of contest, "a piece of ground 
sixty feet square is selected, enclosed with lists and on one side a court 
erected for the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, who attend in scar- 
let robes. When the Court sits, which ought to be by sunrising, proclama- 
tion is made for the parties and their champions; the champions are 
dressed in a coat of armor, with red sandals, bare-legged from the knee 
downwards, bare-headed and with bare arms to the elbows. The weapons 
allowed them are only batons, an ell long, and a four-cornered target, 

" When the champions thus armed with batons arrive within the lists, or 
place of combat, the champion of the tenant, or party in possession, then 
takes his adversary by the band and makes oath that the tenements in dis- 
pute are not the right of the demandant (plaintiff), and the champion of 
the demandant then taking the other by the hand, swears in the same 
manner that they are. Next an oath against sorcery or enchantment is to 
be taken by both the champions in this or similar form; ' Hear this, ye 
Justices, that I have this day neither eat, drank, nor have upon me neither 
bone, stone or grass; nor any enchantment, sorcery or wiljchcraft, whereby 
the law of God may be abased or the law of the devil exalted. So help 
me God and his saints.' The battle is thus begun and the combatants are 
bound to fight 'till the stars appear in the evening; and if the champion of 
the tenant can defend himself 'till the stars appear, the tenant shall prevail 
in his cause; for it is sufficient for him to maintain his ground and make 
it a drawn battle, he being already in possession; but if victory declares 
itself for either party, for him judgment is finally given." 

We may imagine that on a certain fine June day in the year 1795, the 
lists having been duly set up in Pulteney Square, the boundaries thereof 
being duly marked by stumps and logs, at day break the parties and their 
champions appear to determine the issue. In lieu of Judges, Captain Will- 
iamson and a fair retinue of retainers attend to preside at the battle. All 
the settlers in the clearing turn out to witness the contest and occupy such 
vantage stump? as they can find for a good view of the contestants. 

The necessary preliminaries having been performed, the battle begins. 
Instead of armor the champions are encased in stout buckskin suits. Their 



218 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

long staves swish and whack; and, with such intermissions as the Court 
permits, the contest lasts until the stars appear, and results in a draw, 
which is a victory for Mr, Spruce, the tenant, and final judgment is entered 
in his favor. Thus may have been determined a hundred years ago the 
title to the most valuable piece of property in Bath to-day. 

In the year 1795, a few lawyers settled in Bath, the advance guard of 
a brilliant company to follow. But it was not till the year 1796 that the 
lists were finally broken up, the champions and their staves made their 
exit, and trial by wager of battle became a past procedure. 

Then the Steuben County Bar was formed, judges were appointed, a 
Court House and jail were built, and another system of jurisprudence was 
established. The forensic period in the history of ovu- Bench and Bar 
dawned, A period in which many able counselors and eloquent and bril- 
liant pleaders appeared upon the scene and played leading parts in the 
Courts of Western New York, The Court House became the lists, the 
lawyers the combatants ; the rules prescribed were rules for debate and 
examination, instead of the conduct of a fight in the arena. Upon these 
lines the affairs of justice have been administered down to our own time. 
During the forensic period, which extended to the adoption of the new 
State Constitution and the first Code, in 1847, he was the greatest Judge 
who could banter the lawyers with the keenest wit, who could annihilate 
a witness with a look, and proved himself the greatest terror to unfortu- 
nates, whom he sentenced, often with severity, and always with copious 
and eloquent instructions upon the heinousness of wrong-doing and the 
terrors of a future state. The most successful lawyer was the brilliant 
advocate who held the audience spell-bound by his lofty eloquence, made 
the jurors tremble at the awfulness of their responsibility, and caused the 
prisoner to weep like a penitent before the altar. This period, too, has 
passed. The adoption of the various Codes, the consolidation of the laws, 
the definite rules laid down by tlie Judges for every form of procedure, 
have eliminated, to a great degree, the spectacular business common to our 
Courts of justice during the forensic period. 

The study of the codes and the rules of practice has taken the place of 
the study of the arts of the orator and the tragedian. The extension of 
the right of appeal has made the race, in almost all great legal battles of 
this day, to the slow and not to the swift. Few cases of importance in our 
day reach a settlement within ten years. 

Our modern procedure is a machine, good in some parts, weak in 
many, slow and cumbrous. Tlie spirit of romance and chivalry that once 
pervaded our halls of justice has vanished, and the atmosphere of the 
counting-house now prevails. Of the three methods of procedure — the 



THE BENCH AND BAR. 219 

battle, the forensic and the mechanical — the first possessed that great vir- 
tue in matters of justice, promptness of decision, and the twin merit that 
the decision was final. 

In the field of the exact sciences, the artists and builders of the past 
century have held fast to principles known at its beginning, have amplified 
and developed them, imtil in the matter of locomotion, in the matter of 
heat and light, and of nearly all the material things that administer to our 
peace of mind and comfort of body, we enjoy blessings that our forefathers 
did not dream of. In legal jurisprudence, however, our legislators have 
well-nigh abolished the most important feature of an issue at law between 
parties ; viz, a final decision. They have extended the right of appeal and 
multiplied the rules of procedure, until, in this day, in the State of New 
York, it is possible for a wealthy and determined litigant to postpone 
settlement for a wrong for a term of years, and even beyond the natural 
life of the injured party. 

Now, as one hundred years ago, the safeguard for litigants lies in a 
compromise. A trial at Circuit before Judge and jury, and an appeal to 
Greneral Term, and an appeal to the Court of Appeals — the course which the 
Code nas staked out for the parties to a civil suit in the Supreme Court to 
travel — has proved almost as hazardous to litigants, and far more expensive, 
than the old form of trial by champions in the lists "from sunrise until 
the stars appear in the evening." 

Macaulay says, "Religion is not an exact science." When we observe, 
as we constantly do, our Court of the General Term laying down the law 
applicable to certain facts brought out in the trial of an action under the 
Code as thus and so, and the Judges of the Court of Appeals laying down 
a different rule as the law, we are forced to the conclusion that the admin- 
istration of the law of the land is not yet an exact science. The remedy 
would seem to be to sliorten mightily the staked course which litigants 
must run. 

In criminal cases a decided improvement has been made. In the con- 
duct of the trial, the pvmishment of offenders and, in capital cases, the 
execution, the methods of procedure are far better than ever before. The 
rights of the accused, no matter how poor or vile he may be, are now 
assured. Justice in nearly every case is tempered with mercy and, except 
for notorious law-breakers, the sentence is reasonable and humane. 

One of the most remarkable executions of the past century, in this 
State, occurred at Gallows Hill, now within the corporate limits of the 
village, on Friday, the 29th day of April, 1825. On that day, near the 
hour of noon, Robert Douglass, a young man twenty-three years of age, 
who had been convicted of the murder of Samuel H. Ives, of Troups- 
burgh, was taken from the Bath jail for execution. " At the hour ap- 
pointed six companies of militia, armed and equipped," says a writer of 



220 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

the period, " paraded in front of the stone jail on the north-west corner of 
Pulteney Square." The prisoner was brought out, draped in the habili- 
ments of the grave, to be placed in an open wagon containing his coffin, 
but choosing to walk, he was placed between two officers and marched to 
the place of execution. Sheriff John Magee, mounted on a milk-white 
horse, gave the order to march and the procession, headed by a military 
band playing the Dead March, moved up Liberty and Geneva streets to 
Gallows Hill, where Douglass was hung in the presence of 10,000 eye wit- 
nesses — a scene worthy of the dark days of the French Revolution, a 
spectacle that happily is no longer possible with us. 

The first term of the Court of Common Pleas, in and for the County 
of Steuben, convened on the 21st day of June, 1796, in the frame Court 
House on the east side of Pulteney Square. In 1829, a brick Court House 
was erected on or near the same site. In 1859, this building was de- 
stroyed by fire, and in the following year the present Court House was 
built. At the first term of Court the Honorable William Kersey was the 
Presiding Judge. "Judge Kersey," says the chronicler, "was a grave and 
dignified Friend from Philadelphia. He performed the duties of Lord 
High Chancellor of the county for several years, when he returned to 
Pennsylvania, greatly esteemed by the people whom he judged." Abraham 
Bradley and Eleazer Lindley, Esqs. , of Painted Post, were the Associate 
Judges. George Hornell, Uriah Stephens and Abel White were qualified 
as Justices of the Peace: Stephen Ross, as Surrogate. 

The following attorneys and counselors appeared in due form: Na- 
thaniel W. Howell, Vincent Mathews, William Stuart (who presented a 
commission under the Great Seal of this State to perform the duties of 
District Attorney in the Counties of Onondaga, Ontario, Tioga and Steu- 
ben), William B. Verplanck, David Jones, Peter Masterson, Thomas Mor- 
ris, Stephen Ross and David Powers. 

The first Court of General Sessions was held in the autumn of the same 
year. In addition to the Judges of the Common Pleas, offenders 
encountered the following array of Justices of the Peace: John Knox, 
William Lee, Frederick Parties, George Hornell, Eli Mead, Abel White 
and Uriah Stephens, Jr. 

Since that year three generations of the disciples of Blackstone have 
come and gone in Bath. Here, as elsewhere, they have been leaders of 
men and their influence upon the social as well as legislative affairs of 
the village, the county and the State has been most potent. They have 
been men of superior education, of marked ability in their chosen pro- 
fession, and faithful to the trusts confided to them. 

The first lawyer to arrive in Bath was George D. Cooper, of Rhine- 
beck, on the North River, who settled here in 1795. He was appointed the 



THE BENCH AND BAR. ««! 

first Clerk of the county. Others who came a few years later were Samuel 
S. Haight, Esq., and Willian Howe Cuyler. The chronicler says: "Gen- 
eral Haight had an extensive practice, and a numerous and interesting 
family of sons and daughters." He afterward removed to Allegany 
county. 

Mr. Cuyler came to Bath from Albany. He is described as a "fine, 
portly young man of very fashionable and fascinating manners of the 
Chesterfield order." He was killed by a cannon ball from Fort Erie while 
acting as Aid-de-camp to General Amos Hall in the War of 1812. Daniel 
Cruger, William B. Rochester, "William "Woods, Henry "Welles and Henry 
"W. Rogers, members of the Steuben County Bar, and, for a time at least, 
practitioners in Bath, studied law in Mr. Haight's ofiice. 

General Daniel Cruger was a leading member of the Bar and an influ- 
ential politician. He was elected a member of the Legislature in 1812, 
and was chosen Speaker of the Assembly, In 1813, he served with credit 
as Major of Infantry under General McClure on the frontiers. In 1816, he 
was elected a Member of Congress. In 1833, he removed to Virginia where 
he died in 1843. 

Hon. "William B. Rochester, who presided at the trial of Robert Doug- 
lass, for murder, practiced law for a time in partnership with Hon. "Will- 
iam Woods. He was elected a Member of the XVIIIth Congress, in 1822, 
and, in 1833 was appointed Circuit Judge for the Eighth Judicial Circuit. 
He subsequently removed to Buffalo. His health failing, he took passage 
for Florida in the steamer Pulaski. The steamer was wrecked and Ji^dge 
Rochester, with a large number of passengers, was drowned. 

The following is an extract from his eloquent exhortation to the pris- 
oner when on March 22, 1825, he sentenced Douglass to be hung: "Think 
not, deluded man, that by paying the penalty inflicted by human laws, 
your sins will be thus washed away. O, no! there is something within us 
that intimates to the impenitent sinner a dread of eternity. Independ- 
ently of Revelation all Nature declares that there is another and a higher 
tribunal, before which we must all render a fuU account of the deeds done 
in the body. Yet it is a tribunal which tempers jvistice with mercy. Re- 
member you can hope to avert the vengeance of an offended God. Watch, 
then, and pray without intermission or reference to worldly objects, dur- 
ing the few days which remain in store for you. Lose not, for the sake of 
your immortal soul's salvation, a single moment in making lively prepara- 
tion for the hour of death and day of judgment. Avail yourself of relig- 
ious instruction and pious admonition which will never be withheld in 
this, our Christian land, from the most degraded culprit, and bear in 
mind, until your latest breath, that your offense is rank, and will be fatal 
to all your hopes of eternity imless atoned for in this life by the severest 



322 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

upbraidings of an excruciating conscience, and by repentance and faith 
the most sincere, devout and unceasing." 

Hon. Ziba A. Leland was educated at Williams College, Mass. He 
came to Bath in the year 1822. He was a lawyer of much force and learning, 
and became eminent as a practitioner. In 1838, he was appointed Judge of 
the old Court of Common Pleas, as the successor of Judge Edwards, who 
died in office. He died at Mechanicsville, Saratoga county, about 1873. 

Hon. Edward Howell came to Bath from Sidney, Delaware county, in 
the spring of 1811. He studied law with Daniel Cruger. In 1818 he was 
appointed County Clerk, and soon after was made postmaster. In 1829, he 
was appointed District Attorney. He was subsequently elected to the 
Assembly, and was a Member of Congress. "Mr. Howell," says aeon- 
temporary, "stood for many years at the head of his profession in this 
section of the State." He possessed the confidence of a numerous clien- 
tage and the respect of the people to an unusual degree. He died in 1871, 
at the age of 76 years. 

Schuyler Strong came to Steuben from Orange county. In 1822, he 
formed a partnership with William Woods. Soon after he became associ- 
ated in practice with Edward Howell. He took a leading part in the 
defence of Robert Douglass, tried for murder in 1825. His associates were 
Edward Howell and Ziba A. Leland. The fact that Douglass was tried 
twice, his conviction at the first trial having been set aside for irregularity, 
shows the zeal with which he was defended. 

Hon. William Woods was one of the early and distinguished lawyers 
of Bath. He was a native of Washington county, and studied law with 
Hon. Samuel Nelson, late Justice of the Supreme Court of the United 
States. He had a very large practice, and was one of the most popular 
men of his time. He was a Member of the Legislature in 1823 and in 1828; 
a Member of Congress from 1823 to 1825, and Surrogate of the county 
from 1827 to 1835. Mr. Woods, although only 37 years of age at the time 
of his death, which occurred in 1837, had been for a number of years 
known to his many warm personal friends by the familiar sobriquet of 
" Old Uncle Billy Woods." 

Hon. David McMaster was born in Unadilla, Otsego county, 1804. He 
was graduated at Hamilton College in the class of 1824. He commenced the 
practice of the law in Bath in partnership with Hon. Henry W. Rogers in 
1827, and continued in active practice in this village until 1847, part of the 
time as the partner of Judge Leland and of L. H. Read. Mr. McMaster 
was the first Coimty Judge and Surrogate of the county elected by the 
people under the new Constitution. In 1856, he was re-elected. The fol- 
lowing story is told of him by one who witnessed the closing scene. Dur- 
ing Judge McMaster's last term in office, one Totten was tried before him 
for forgery. A. P. Ferris, the District Attorney, and Samuel H. Hammond 



THE BENCH AND BAR. 323 

prosecuted, and David Rumsey and Luther C. Peck, of Nunda, appeared 
for the prisoner. Hammond and Peck were both men of high temper, 
and through several days that the trial lasted, wrangled and abused each 
other without cessation. The Judge protested and expostulated without 
avail. Finally, says my informant, Judge McMaster lost his temper. He 
stopped the progress of the trial, and leaning far over the bench, shook his 
finger at the irate lawyers, and said in loud tones: " I have talked to you, 
I have remonstrated, I have addressed you as a gentleman should address 
gentlemen, but without effect. Now, if this conduct is repeated, I will 
send you both to jail." As the record does not show that the lawyers went 
to jail, the trial doubtless proceeded smoothly thereafter. The anecdote is 
interesting chiefly as showing how fractious lawyers can pester a mild- 
tempered Judge. 

Hon. Henry "Welles, one of the ablest of the early practitioners in this 
county, was born in Klinderhook, N. Y., Oct. 17, 1794. He enlisted in a 
military company recruited in Steuben county during the "War of 1812. 
He distinguished himself as a brave and gallant soldier in the fighting 
about Fort Erie. In November, 1814, he returned to Bath and studied law 
in the office of Vincent Mathews. After his admission to the Bar, Judge 
Welles opened an office in this village, and practiced his profession most 
successfully for a number of years. In 1824, he was appointed District 
Attorney, and, as such, he prosecuted Douglass. In 1829, he resigned the 
office of District Attorney and continued in active practice at Bath until 
about ten years later, when he removed to Penn Yan. He was elected one 
of the Justices of the Supreme Court for the Seventh Judicial District 
under the new Constitution, in 1847. 

Henry W. Rogers came to Bath from Sidney Plains about 1827. He 
taught school, and read law with Hon. Henry Welles. He formed a part- 
nership and practiced law with David McMaster, and afterwards with Hon. 
Joseph G. Masten. Messrs. Rogers and Masten removed to Buffalo about 
the year 1836. Mr. Rogers was made Collector of the Port and Prosecuting 
Attorney, and Mr. Masten became Mayor of the city and a Judge of the 
Superior Court. Mr. Rogers was a polished and courtly gentleman, a law- 
yer, well-read and of sound judgment. He was a capital speaker, and pos- 
sessed a wit as bright as a flash of sunshine ; though keen, it was not cut- 
ting ; it excited pleasure and not annoyance among his hearers. He died 
at Ann Arbor, Mich., a few years ago. 

Hon. George C. Edwards was born in Stockbridge, Mass., September 
28, 1787. He came to Bath and engaged in the practice of law in 1818. 
In 1825, he was appointed Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, which 
office he held until his death in 1837. He published, in 1830, "A Treatise 
on the Powers and Duties of Justices of the Peace," which had a large 



224 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

circulation at that time. Judge Edwards was a familiar figure in early 
days in Bath, and was universally esteemed. 

The following is quoted from an old manuscript by General McClure, 
one of the first settlers in Bath : " General Vincent Mathews resided for 
many years in Bath. He was said to be at the head of the Bar for legal 
knowledge, but was not much of an advocate. Judge Edwards, Schuyler 
Strong, Jonas Clark, Jonathan Haight, John Cook, and Leland and Mc- 
Master are all that I remember of the old stock. Ah, yes ; there is one 
more of my old friends, Cuthbert Harrison, a Virginian — a young man of 
good sense, and whether drunk or sober he was a good-natured, clever fel- 
low." Mr. Harrison is said to have been a man of fine talents, and one of 
the most eloquent advocates in the western part of the State. 

Robert Campbell. Jr., son of Robert Campbell, one of the first settlers 
in Bath, was born in 1808. The senior Campbell is described by one who 
knew him as "one of Nature's noblemen, kind, genial, honest and true." 
The son was educated at Hobart College, Geneva. He studied law with 
Cruger and Howell, and was admitted to practice in 1829. For a year or 
two he practiced his profession at Auburn, but returned to Bath within a 
short time. He was a partner of General Cruger and afterwards of Sam- 
uel H. Hammond and Guy H. McMaster. He is described by a contem- 
porary as a scholarly, laborious, conscientious and successful lawyer. In 
1846, he was an influential member of the Constitutional Convention. He 
was elected to the second highest office in the gift of the people of the 
State in 1858, when he was chosen Lieutenant-Governor. He was re-elect- 
ed in i860. Ml-. Campbell, although not an eloquent speaker, was a law- 
yer of keen perceptions, and so steady in his application to the duties of 
his profession that his clients were often better served than they would 
have been by a more brilliant but less painstaking attorney. 

Hon. L. H. Read, who practiced law in Bath for a number of years, 
was a descendant of one of the early settlers of Pleasant Valley, now in 
the town of Urbana. He studied law with Edward and William Howell. 
In 1839, he formed a partnership with David McMaster. In 1850, he was 
appointed Chief Justice of Utah. After serving on the Bench one year 
in Utah, he resigned his office and returned to Bath, where he died soon 
after. 

Hon. Samuel H. Hammond formed a partnership with Robert Camp- 
bell and practiced law in Bath from 1836 to 1842. He is thus described by 
a contemporary: "Though gifted with rare powers, he disliked the 
routine and drudgery of a law office, and books of reference were his 
abhorrence. The scenes of Nature, the wild solitudes of mountain and 
glen, the sports of hunting and fishing, were, on the contrary, his delight, 
and he often found them so tempting a pastime as to seriously interfere 



THE BENCH AND BAR. 225 

with anything like a systematic attention to professional duties." He was 
a son of Lazarus Hammond, the founder of Hammondsport. He was ad- 
mitted to practice in 1831. In 1843, he removed to Albany, but returned to 
Bath in 1857, and became the law partner of A. P. Ferris. In 1859, he 
was elected to the State Senate from this district. He died, in 1878, at 
Watertown, where he resided after 1864. As a boy, some of the pleasant- 
est hours of the writer of this sketch were spent in thumbing a volume of 
which Mr. Hammond was the author, " Hills, Lakes and Forest Streams," 
a story of the woods, told in a style more charming, one cannot find, even 
at this day. 

Hon. David Rumsey, one of the most skillful and successful prac- 
titioners in the history of the Bath Bar, was born in Salem, Washington 
county, N. Y., on December 25, 1810. He studied law with Hon. Henry 
Welles. He was admitted to practice in 1832, and formed a partnership 
with Hon. William Woods, which continued until the death of the latter. 
In 1842, he was associated with Robert B. Van Valkenburgh in the prac- 
tice of his profession. In 1846, Mr. Rumsey was elected to Congress, and 
was re-elected in 1848. In January, 1873, he was appointed, by Governor 
Dix, a Justice of the Supreme Court, and in the autumn of that year was 
elected to the office. He continued to perform the duties of that office 
until disqualified by age, in 1880. A notable feature in connection with 
the history of his law office is the fact that it was the training school of 
five Justices of the Supreme Court. Besides himself, there were R. B. 
Van Valkenburgh, who became Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida ; 
James M. Barker, Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts ; Lloyd 
Barber, Judge of the Circuit Court of Minnesota, and William Rumsey, 
who succeeded his father as Supreme Court Ju^Jge of this district. With 
a thorough knowledge of the law. Judge David Rumsey possessed the rare 
faculty of grasping the thoughts of jurors and leading them along by plain 
methods of logic and reasoning to the conclusion he desired. 

William HoweU, a brother of Edward Howell, practiced law in Bath 
for more than fifty years. He was a man of culture, and a successful 
practitioner. 

Hon. Washington Barnes settled at an early day in Painted Post. He 
was elected County Judge and Surrogate in 1860, when he removed to 
Bath. He afterwards practiced law, in company with Hon. Ansel J. Mc- 
Call, for a number of years. A friend says of him: "He was a very 
earnest and conscientious man in all his dealings." 

Alfred P. Ferris, Esq., was educated at Franklin Academy, Pratts- 
burgh. He came to Bath in 1840. He studied law with Ziba A. Leland 
and Samuel H. Hammond. He was admitted to the Bar in 1843, and con- 
tinued in the px'actice of his profession in Bath till his death in 1888. At 



328 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

the special election in June, 1847, he was elected District Attorney, and 
held the oflSce until January 1, 1851. Mr. Ferris was well known to the 
present generation of lawyers, and was ever most courteous to the yovmg 
men of the Bar. 

Hon. Guy H. McMaster was born in 1829. He was graduated at Ham- 
ilton College, in the class of '47. He was admitted to practice as a lawyer 
in 1852. In 1863, he was elected County Judge and Surrogate, and was 
re-elected in 1867. He was again elected to the same office in 1877. In 
1883, he was elected Surrogate, the office of County Judge and Surrogate 
having been separated. He was the author of the " Old Continentals " 
and a " Pioneer History of Steuben County." Speaking of him as a Judge, 
the *' Historical Gazetteer of the County " says : " His rulings were given 
with promptness, and so accurate was his judgment and so great his knowl- 
edge of the law, that during the fourteen years that he was County Judge, 
no new trial was ordered by the Supreme Court in any case tried by him." 

Hon. William B. Ruggies was born in Bath, May 14, 1837. He was 
graduated from Hamilton College in 1849. He was for many years one of 
the ablest practitioners at the Bar in the county. In 1876 and 1877, he 
was a member of Assembly from this district. In 1877, he was appointed 
Deputy Attorney General of the State, and was afterwards elected Super- 
intendent of Public Instruction by the Legislature. In 1883, he was ap- 
pointed Deputy Superintendent of Insurance. Mr. Ruggies was an earnest 
student, and a man of extensive range in literary knowledge. He always 
took an active interest in the local affairs of the village, especially in edu- 
cational matters. He was for a number of years a member of the Board 
of Education, and took a leading part in establishing the Bath Library. 

Hon. William E. Bonham read law with Hon. Washington Barnes, 
with whom he practiced for a number of years in this village. In 1864 
and 1865, he was a member of the Legislature from this district. "Judge " 
Bonham, as he was called by his friends, possessed a rare legal mind. He 
was most courteous in manner to all with whom he came in contact. When 
he left Bath for HornellsviUe, where he lived the last years of his life, his 
departure was generally regretted, not only by his clients but by the com- 
munity at large. He was deeply attached to Bath, and was never hap- 
pier, while a resident of HornellsviUe, than when seated in company with 
any old friends from the First District, he recalled memories of the years 
that he had spent here. 

Perry S. Donahe came from Avoca to Bath in the early forties. He 
studied law with A. P. Ferris. After gaining admittance to the Bar, he 
practiced law in the village until his death, in 1879. He was Town Clerk 
from 1845 to 1851. In 1851 he was elected Coimty Treasurer, and re-elect- 
ed in 1854. Mr. Donahe, in the early years of his residence in Bath, varied 



THE BENCH AND BAE. 227 

the monotony of legal practice, by teaching school. He taught for a time 
in the old red school house which stood on the present site of the Beekman 
factory. His influence on the present generation of lawyers in Bath Avas 
fully as great as a teacher as it was as a lawyer. He did not spare the rod 
and he did not spoil the child. 

Hon. Robert Van Valkenburgh was born in Prattsburgh in 1821. He 
was educated at Franklin Academy Ln that village. He took an active 
part in the political campaign of 1840 as the editor of the Constitutionalist. 
He was then a student at law in the office of Hon. David Rumsey. He 
was admitted to the Bar in 1841, when he formed a partnership with Mr. 
Rumsey, which continued until 1862. He married, in 1842, Catherine F. 
Rumsey, a sister of his i^artner. Mr. Van Valkenburgh was a stirring, 
active man, a great favorite with all who knew him. He was a member 
of the Champion and Eagle Fire Companies, a prominent figure in the State 
Militia from 1855 until the breaking out of the War, and was a member of 
the State Legislature for four years. He was Captain of the old Bath 
Artillery, organized by himself. In 1855, he was made Colonel of the 55th 
Regiment of New York State Militia. He had command of the rendezvous 
for volunteers at Elmira from the day after the call for troops by Presi- 
dent Lincoln until the year 1862. He was elected Member of Congress in 
1860, and re-elected in 1862. During the darkest days of the War he was 
called upon, together with Gen Diven, of Elmira, also a Member of Con- 
gress at that time, by the President to raise a regiment for service in the 
field. They raised the 107th Regiment N. Y. Volunteers. Mr. Van Valken- 
burgh was made Colonel, and commanded the regiment at the battles of 
South Mountain and Antietam. His wife was taken seriously ill at that 
time, and he soon afterwards resigned his command in the army to care 
for her. She died not long after. In 1867, Col. Van Valkenburgh was 
appointed, by President Johnson, Minister Resident to Japan. He re- 
turned from Japan, in 1871, with a second wife, Mrs. Anna Schoyer. He 
went to Florida, and, in 1872 he was appointed a Justice of the Supreme 
Court, which office he held until his death in 1887. 

Such, in brief outline, were the men who, during the past one hun- 
dred years have been the representatives of the Bench and Bar of Bath. 
The list does not include a Seward, a Conkling or a Folger, but I will ven- 
ture the assertion that there is not another village in this State that can 
claim as her sons so many lawyers who have been eminent for their ability 
on the Bench and at the Bar. The English author, James Bryce, says: 
" The lawyers are the aristocracy of America." A hasty glance at the fee 
bill may tend to confirm this view. However, Mr Bryce bases his opinion 
upon other grounds, viz: their intelligence and patriotism. He finds that 
much of the success of our complicated system of government, with its 



838 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

numerous checks and balances, has been due to the wise direction and 
paramount influence of the la^^'7ers of the country. 

As in the old wars, the lawyers of Bath were well represented, so in the 
last great war, several of Bath's attorneys bore a brave part. Besides Gen. 
VanValkeuburgh, Col. William Rumsey, now Justice of the Supreme 
Court, and Captain John F, Little, formerly Surrogate of the county, went 
to the front for the Union cause. 



THE LOCAL PRESS. 
By George B. Richardson. 



I stand here to-day in answer to an invitation from the Centennial 
Committee of Bath "to prepare an article on the Local Press." 

The first pioneer of this section of the country was the hunter with his 
trusty rifle ; the next, the sturdy woodsman with his ponderous axe, and 
close behind these came the great lever of civilization, the Printing Press. 

Not many years ago the people of Prattsburgh held a loan exhibition, 
and among the articles exhibited was an old writing-book, made up of 
several sheets of foolscap paper, tacked together and covered with a news- 
paper. Upon examination, the cover proved to be a newspaper printed in 
Bath village nearly ninety-seven years ago. The name of this sheet was 
the Bath Gazette and Genesee Advertiser. This was unquestionably the 
first paper printed in Bath. William Kersey and James Edie were the 
publishers, and the first number was issued early in October, 1796. The 
materials for the production of this paper were brought from Northum- 
berland, and the printers were from the same place. The publication of 
the Gazette was continued some four years. In 1798, Colonel Williamson 
said : " The printer of the Ontario Gazette dispenses weekly not less than 
one thousand papers, and the printer of the Bath Gazette from four hun- 
dred to five hundred." 

In 1816, Captain Benjamin Smead was setting type in Albany, and in 
the latter part of that year made arrangements with Daniel Cruger, of 
Bath, to establish a printing press at the county seat of "Old Steuben." 
In pursuance of this agreement, he purchased an outfit for a printing 
office and came to Bath, and near the first of December, 1816, issued the 
first number of The Steuben and Allegany Patriot. This was the second 
paper printed in Bath. The Patriot, under different names, remained in 
the Smead family up to April 4, 1849, when it passed into the hands of 
William C. Rhodes, who continued its publication as the Steuben Farmers^ 
Advocate. On January 30, 1857, the office took fire, and the establishment 
was entirely consumed. 

Mr. Rhodes sold the good will of the concern to P. S. Donahe, who, on 
the 31st of May, 1857, resumed the publication of the Steuben Farmers^ 
Advocate, A, J, McCall, editor. In the summer of 1860, Mr. Donahe sold 



230 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH, 

out to A. L, Underbill. Up to this time the Advocate had been printed, 
first on a " Ramage," and afterwards on a " Washington " hand-press. 
Soon after Mr. Underbill took possession, be introduced a power press, 
driven by a steam engine ; since then he has added more presses and other 
materials, laid aside bis engine and introduced a water-motor in its place, 
and to-day has one of the best equipped printing offices in this section of 
the State. The Advocate has been in the Underbill family for a third of a 
century, and from present indications it looks as though it might remain 
there down to the " third and fourth generations." 

Erastus Shepherd commenced the publication of the Western Republi- 
can at Bath, in September, 1819. In November, 1822, he changed the name 
to the Steuben Republican, and in February, 1823, its publication was sus- 
pended. 

The Steuben Whig was published in Bath during the political campaign 
of 1828, by William M. Swaine, who afterwards established the Philadel- 
phia Ledger. 

The Steuben American was started in Bath, January 1, 1856, by A. L. 
Underbill, and published until the summer of 1857, when it was sold to 
P. S. Donahe, who used the materials when he commenced the publication 
of the Steuben Farmers' Advocate. 

The Steuben Messenger was commenced in Bath by David Rumsey, the 
first number of which was issued on the 17th day of April, 1828. On the 
second day of December, 1830, Mr. Rumsey sold out to S. M. Eddy, who 
continued its publication for a time, and sold out to W. P. Angel. When 
Mr. Angel got control of the paper, he changed the name to The Consti- 
tutionalist, and continued its publication until sometime in 1834, when it 
passed into the hands of Charles Adams. On the 10th day of February, 
1841, Mr. Adams sold out to R. L. Underbill, and the paper was continued 
in the name of M. F. Whittemore & Co., R. B. Van Valkenburgh, editor, 
until the spring of 1843, when it passed into the hands of George B. Rich- 
ardson and John Dowe, who continued it as the Steuben Democrat until 
some time in 1844, when its publication was suspended. In 1848, the 
Democrat was revived by L. J. Brush, and in 1849 it passed into the hands 
of George H. Bidwell, by whom it was continued until 1852. 

The Primitive Christian was printed in the office of Richardson & 
Dowe, in 1844. Rev. Jabez Chadwick was the editor and publisher. It 
was an octavo, and issued monthly. It lived less than two years. 

The Temperance Gem was printed in the Advocate office, for Jennie 
and Caroline Rumsey, in 1854. It was afterwards printed in Elmira. 

The Rose, a literary monthly, was published in the office of Richardson 
& Dowe, for J. C. Vincent, in 1844, and was discontinued when the editor 
enlisted as a soldier in the Mexican War. 



THE LOCAL PEE6S. 2ai 

In the spring of 1843, when the firm of M. F. Whittemore & Co. dis- 
solved, the Constitutionalist went down ; this left the Whigs without an 
organ. At this time Henry H. Hull was at Corning, publishing a small 
paper called the Corning and Blossburg Advocate. The leading Whigs of 
the county wanted an organ at the county seat, and therefore gave Mr. 
Hull a call to move to Bath — an offer he gladly accepted, and soon after 
came on with his printing materials. He took in Moses F. Whittemore, a 
practical printer, as a partner, and commenced the publication of The 
Steuben Courier, with the name of Henry Clay at the mast-head as a can- 
didate for President. The Courier was for a long time printed on a Wash- 
ington hand-press, but after a time Mr. Hull added a Potter newspaper 
power press, and soon after connected it with machinery, by means of a 
wire cable in the sash and blind factory of A. Beekman. The Courier 
was at first a six-column paper, 21 x 31 inches, and was the only Whig 
organ in the county. Mr. Whittemore retired in two years, and Mr. Hull 
conducted it alone until 1856, when Charles G. Fairman, of Eimira, was 
taken into partnership for nine months. In 1854, upon the formation of 
the Republican party, the Courier became, as it is to-day, the exponent of 
Republican principles. In 1864, Mr. Hull formed a partnership with Enos 
W. Barnes, and the fii*m of Hull & Barnes existed, with the exception of 
six months in 1868, until July 1, 1875, when Mr. Barnes retired, and Harry 
S. Hull, son of the senior partner, took his place, and the firm name was 
H. H. Hull & Son, for a year, when the partnership ended by the death of 
the senior member. Harry S. Hull conducted the paper alone until his 
death, July 9, 1890. Some months after, the Courier was bought by the 
Courier Company, Limited, which is now conducting the business. The 
form of the Courier has recently been changed to a quarto, the job depart- 
ment enlarged, and it is to-day a first-class establishment, with most of the 
modern improvements. J. F. Parkhurst is the editor-in-chief, and H. 
Oliver Elkins is the assistant editor. 

The Saturday News was estabhshed by Enos W. Barnes, who issued 
the first number on April 25th, 1868. It only lived some five or six months. 

The Tri- Weekly Conservative. Chas. Clute commenced the publica- 
tion of this paper in August, 1868, and continued it for about six months. 
It was a spicy little sheet. 

The Bath Echo was published by Clute & McCall for four or five 
months, in 1874. 

The Bath Sunday News was published about six months, in the year 
1881, by L. R. Smith & Co., A. Ellas McCall, editor. 

The Bath Plaindealer was started May 5th, 1883, by A. Ellas McCall, 
Orson L. Drew and William Black, with office in the basement of the 
Opera House Block. It was afterward moved up stairs and now occupies 
a store in the Ives Block. Mr. Drew retired in May, 1884 and Mr. Black in 



232 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

December the same year. It has since been run by Mr. McCall alone. It 
is an eight page paper, containing forty-eight columns, and has recently 
entered upon its eleventh year. It is said to be established on a sound 
financial basis. 

The Savona Rustler, issued weekly, was established May 19th, 1888, by 
S. L. Ward, and is at present published by Claude Wall as the Savona 
Weekly Review. 

I will here correct a few en-ors which have been published in regard 
to the " Local Press" of Bath. J. H. French who issued a Gazetteer of the 
State of New York in 1860, in speaking of Bath, says: ''The Steuben and 
Allegany Patriot was started at Bath in 1815, by Benj. Smead." I have a 
letter in my possession, written by Captain Smead, addressed to General 
Gruger, of Bath, dated Albany, July 28th, 1816, in which he says : "My 
residence in this city during the last session of the Legislature, enabled me 
to learn your character and influence in the Assembly and in your county." 
This letter was written with a view of establishing a paper in Bath, as will 
be seen by Captain Smead's letter to General Cruger, dated at Albany, 
September 25, 1816, in which he says: " I received your reply to my propo- 
sition for establishing a Republican paper in Bath." He further adds: "I 
beg you to write to Judge Buel, editor of the Argus, Albany, and to Mr. 
John A. Stevens, editor of the Messenger, Canandaigua, for any knowl- 
edge you may require of my moral and political character, and mechanical 
and editorial ability. With the former I have assisted to complete the 
laws and journals of the last Legislature, and with the latter have had 
about two years' intimate acquaintance. Since completing the laws, I am 
upon Smollett's and Hiime's History of England." Mr. French says: 
" The Farmers' Gazette was commenced in Bath in 1816, by David Rum- 
sey." This statement also lacks confirmation. He further says of the 
Constitutionalist: " Its publication was continued successively by R. L. 
Underbill, Whittemore & Van Valkenburgh, etc.," when the truth is R. L. 
Underbill owned the materials, M. F. Whittemore was the printer and R. 
B. Van Valkenburgh the editor. 

In 1868-69, one Hamilton Child, published a Gazetteer and Business 
Directory of Steuben county, and as he copied from French instead of 
ascertaining facts for himself, we have these same errors brought down as 
truth. If these pretended historians would work half as hard to get facts 
to put into their histories as they do to get dollars out of them, they would 
probably get just as many shekels and the people would get much more 
authentic history. 



PART FOUR, 

Exercises at the Fair Grounds, 

Wednesday Morning, June 7, 1893, 



OUR PIONEERS. 



[The exercises on Wednesday morning took place upon the Fair 
Grounds, no building in the village being sufficient to accommodate the 
thousands of citizens and strangers present to participate in them. A unique 
feature of the occasion, and one worthy of more than passing mention, was 
the presence of the school children of the town (fully a thousand in num- 
ber), who had marched in procession to the Grounds, and completely tilled 
the Grand Stand, each carrying a small flag. The children added much of 
enjoyment to the exercises by their excellent and hearty rendering of 
patriotic songs. After prayer by the Chaplain of the Day, Rev. Marcus 
N. Preston, the following song, written by the Chairman of the Centennial 
Committee, General Averell, was rendered by the children.— Ed.] 

Where pioneers undaunted 

Left homes and kindred dear, 
Sought wilds with danger haunted, 

Now happy roof -trees rear, 

Our homes belov'd are here. 

Where perils aye beset them 

And toils untried, severe, 
Shall we for aye forget them ? 

Not while our homes are here, 

Our homes belov'd are here. 

Their legends shall not perish. 

Of trials, want and care. 
Their relics proudly cherish 

And keep like jewels rare. 

In homes belov'd while here. 

And as each generation 

Shall pass with smile or tear, 
Let every consecration 

Exalt the pioneer. 

In homes belov'd then here.' 



TPiE WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL. 



[Not the least interesting feature of the Wednesday morning exercises 
at the Fair Grounds, was the presentation of a portrait of Captain Charles 
Williamson, the founder of our village, the gift of his grandson. After a 
graceful introduction by the President of the Day (R. E. Robie, Esq.), the 
gift was presented to the village by James McCall, Esq., and accepted on 
behalf of the Corporation of Bath, by Byron L. Smith, Esq. The full 
remarks of each follow. — Ed.] 

Mr. Robie : 

Two gentlemen of Bath, while traveling abroad, last season, visited 
the ancestral home of the WiUiamson family, and there met the 
present head of the family, the grandson of the first settler of this vil- 
lage. Colonel David R. Williamson. As a result of that visit, Colonel Will- 
iamson has sent to them a portrait of his noted grandfather, with the 
request that it be presented to and preserved by the corporate authorities 
of the village of Bath. That portrait will now be presented on behalf of 
Colonel Williamson to the village of Bath, by James McCall, Esq., and 
accepted on the part of the corporate authorities of the village by Byron 
L. Smith, Esq. 

Mr. McCall : 

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen :— Go back to 1793, June 7. 
It is I'riday. The busy villagers are still discussing the news of the second 
inauguration of George Washington, the coalition formed by Pitt against 
France and the violent death meted out to Louis XVI. by the French revo- 
lutionists, accovmts of which are contained in a well-thumbed New York 
newspaper brought Ln last evening by Benjamin Patterson. From the 
broad-mouthed chimney of the small log house, which dots the little clear- 
ing south of Pulteney Square, rises a curling blue column of smoke deli- 
cately outUned against the dark green background of South HiU. The sun 
cannot yet shoot his rays into the clearing, and the odor of pine and fir 
sweetens the air. The rough-hewn door of that log building opens, and 
out of it walks a tall, slender man of thirty-five. He is erect, and has the 
manly bearing of a soldier and the carriage of a courtier. Beneath a 
broad-brimmed felt hat looks out a smooth-shaven coimtenance that would 
remind you of Robert Burns. Upon his brow is the mark of Scotch frank- 
ness, Scotch vigor and Scotch grit. Across his features is the play of 



THE WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL. 287 

humor and the smile of gentihty. Clad in a cutaway coat, velvet waist- 
coat, buckskin knee-breeches and high-topped boots, whip in hand, he 
strides toward the well-groomed bay mare which, saddled and bridled, 
stands in charge of faithful Michael. With the grace and agility of a 
cavalier he vaults hghtly into the saddle, and, casting an eagle eye over 
the busy woodsmen and builders, gallops off through the cuttings of Mor- 
ris street for Canandaigua. 

That man is the Pole Star of the great Genesee country. It is his head 
that has planned the development of this new region. It is in pursuance 
of his orders that these men are laboring in this clearing ; others checking 
the Conhocton with a dam two miles above ; those working in that high- 
way between Dansville and Williamsburgh ; and others still building Dur- 
ham boats at Northumberland. To him apply all strangers searching for 
new homes ; upon him are poured the complaints of those whose lack of 
thrift and hatred of work have led to bad harvests ; in him is to be found 
the sympathy of a fellow Scotchman and the generosity of a comrade in 
the British service ; and upon him depends the success of all indiistrial 
improvements and all social gatherings. He must be in New York or Al- 
bany this week buying new supplies or settling with his banker ; next week 
he must be in Bath entertaining some English traveler or French exile ; 
the week after he must go to "Williamsburgh to paiiey with the Indians or 
remonstrate with the Germans ; and before the month is out he must in- 
spect the improvements on his farm at Geneva, and write long letters to 
his principals in England. To successfully accomplish all this required a 
man of wonderful versatility and endurance. Such this young man we 
have just seen dashing through the woods proved himself to be. 

His position as agent, with the fullest of powers, was indeed unique 
and important ; his opportunities for experiments with men and nature 
were many, and his manner of life exceedingly fascinating to one of his 
make-up. In his enthusiasm, Rochefoucault of him exclaims: "He is 
here universally respected, honored and beloved. How glorious in my 
esteem is his career ! How fortunate and enviable his situation 1 How 
much more important than that of a dissipated courtier or a mercenary 
stock-jobber !" 

Gerome has wrought on canvass a wonderful picture of Napoleon 
standing alone in the African desert and contemplating the herculean 
labor represented in the Sphinx and the pyramid of Cheops. And it has 
been said that he who makes two blades of grass grow where one grew is 
mightier than the conqueror of armies. Have you ever thought what a 
stupendous work it was to transform "Western New York from a dense for- 
est into fertile farms ? 

This same young man sternly braved the dangers and stoutly bore the 
toils that he might lay the foundation of this pyramid of industry. Ere 



238 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

this you must have guessed the name of this " Baron of the Backwoods." 
It is Captain Charles Williamson, and his features are now before you. 

As a matter of explanation and a condensation of the remarks of yes- 
terday, I will simply add that Colonel Charles Williamson had two chil- 
dren who survived him, Charles A. and Ann. Charles A. Williamson 
resided in this country for a long time, and married a Miss Clark, of Roch- 
ester. They had several children, the oldest of whom was David Robert- 
son Williamson, of Crieff, Scotland. 

In the foot-hills of the Scottish Highlands, in that fair county of Perth, 
where the broad and fertile valley of the Earn leads from Crieff to the 
gray-topped mountain of Ben Vorlich, which looks down into the clear 
waters of Loch Earn, stands Lawers House, a handsome white building, 
the ancient seat of the Robertson family. Set in a background of beeches 
and oaks, which fill to the top the sloping hillside, the ancestral home looks 
to the southward down a broad avenue of greensward bordered by stately 
oaks, and extending unbroken across the valley. From the hospitable 
porch we see sleek cattle grazing in the meadows ; swans are floating in 
the curling pond below ; a small lodge is to the left ; a handsome little fami- 
ly house to the right ; trim hedges of thorn ; a few maples whose seed 
came from the Genesee valley ; pretty drive-ways which circle through the 
grounds ; a neat chapel in the distance ; while a clock in the quaint belfry 
at the western extremity of the big house marks the hour of day. That 
is now the home of David Robertson Williamson, Esq. He is a worthy 
scion of a most distinguished grandfather — a leading gentleman of his 
county, foremost in every industrial enterprise, honored and revered by 
the country wide, a good shot and an expert horseman. When I saw him, 
last October, he appeared greatly interested in hearing of the present con- 
dition of Steuben, and pleased to learn that his grandfather and himself 
were not forgotten in the land of his birth. 

In this little pocket-memorandum, which has bravely stood the 
ravages of ninety years, is a short entry made in the small handwriting of 
Charles Williamson, just as he was about to saU for England. It reads : 
"Jny 5, 1803. Paid Mr. Robinson for my miniature, $30. Paid for 
setting same, $30." That little miniatm-e was a farewell gift to his charm- 
ing friend, "Madam" Thornton, and remained in her possession in this 
village until 1810, when she kindly presented it to his daughter, Ann, in 
Scotland ; and the country for which he had done so much, and to which 
he had given the best years of his life, was left without an image of his 
kindly face. That Little miniature now hangs among the ancestral por- 
traits in the grand staircase of Lawers House, and opposite is a large bust 
portrait in oil, painted, probably, about 1790. We endeavored to obtain a 
photograph of this, and the genial Mr. Williamson promised to assist us. 



THE WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL. 239 

Imagine my surprise when, after some correspondence, the following let- 
ter, teeming with tlie politeness and generosity of the author, was received. 
It reads as follows : 

Lawers, Perthshire, Scotland, 

Tredegar Lawers, Crieff, N. B. 
1st May, 1893. 
To James McCall, Esq., Bath, U. S. A. 

My Dear Sir.— I send from this place to-morrow, as my gift to the 
Trustees of the village of Bath, an oil painting copied from the portrait of 
my grandfather, Colonel Charles Williamson, The said painting I hope 
the Trustees will place in the Free Library or the Court House or in any 
similar building that the Trustees may consider suitable. I may remind 
you that you saw the original portrait of my grandfather within Lawers 
House. And I pointed out to you the valuable sword presented to my 
grandfather by the Pasha of Egypt of that day, for the important service 
given ; and for the satisfactory political results following my grandfather's 
mission to Egypt, he received the thanks of England's House of Commons. 
My grandfather had the reputation in this country of being a brave and 
chivalrous soldier ; his regiment was the 26th — the Cameronians (and one 
of his great-grandsons is now an officer in that regiment and was wounded 
in the last Egyptian War.) 

My grandfather was last sent on a commission by the British Govern- 
ment to report on the State of Havana, and, while returning to England, 
he was smitten with yellow fever and died at sea, A. D. 1808. My grand- 
father was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on July 12, 1757. I showed you 
my grandfather's watch, which I generally wear. I will look over some 
of my grandfather's papers, and, if I find memoranda of interest, I will 
send you copies of the same. I have before me a work of two volumes : 
" Travels through North America," by the Duke de la Rochefoucault. In 
that work my grandfather is most honorably mentioned, published A. D. 
1799. Of my gi-andfather's life in America you know probably more than 
I do. In answer to your complimentary suggestion in letter of 21st March, 
1893, you must excuse me saying anything about myself. I am, 
Very truly yours, 

David R. Williamson. 

Would that the distinguished donor were standing in my place to 
charm you with his manners, as I know he would, and to observe the 
wide-spread feeling of gratitude which I am sure is welling up in your 
breasts, to be thus honored by his gift. I confidently trust that you will 
treasure it as a precious souvenir and place it in some safe depository, where 
the men, women and children of this generation, and those that come 
after, can look upon those manly features and draw inspiration, energy and 
reverence from that good face. 



240 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Without further remarks, I therefore have the honor, on behalf of 
David Robertson Williamson, Esq., to present to the Trustees of the village 
of Bath, the portrait of its founder, its citizen and its friend, 

Mr. Smith : 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen :— It gives me great pleasure 
on behalf of the Trustees of this village, and on behalf of the citizens of 
Bath, to accept from Mr. McCall, the representative of David Robertson 
Williamson, this splendid painting and memorial of his ancestor and the 
founder of this village. Captain Charles Williamson. 

We have assembled here today to commemorate his work and its 
results, and to hear from others fitting tribute in historical detail to the 
fruits of his great imdertaking, and to listen to a recital of the perils he 
encountered and the difficulties he overcame. Surrounded by the monu- 
ments of a new civilization, the wide streets, the brick blocks, the com- 
fortable dwellings of our citizens, it is hard to conceive the courage and 
powers of endurance which the founding of a settlement in the heart of a 
wilderness required a hundred years ago. 

The example set by the man whose lineaments are traced upon this 
picture may well encourage us all to beautify, to build up and make more 
prosperous this village of Bath. We accept this friendly gift in the same 
warm spirit with which it is tendered to \is. We honor the ancestor, and 
extend most hearty greetings to his generous descendant who has so kindly 
remembered us on this occasion. 



THE CENTENNIAL ORATION 
By Hon, Sherman S. Rogers. 



Mr. Chairman and Fellow Citizens:— I accepted the invitation to 
address you on this occasion with pleasure, for this is my native town. 
Robert Campbell, my maternal grandfather, was one of the pioneers in 
Captain Charles Williamson's wilderness -settlement. Here my mother was 
born. My father began his professional life here, and for more than a 
quarter of a century was a resident of this village. My brothers and sis- 
ters, eight in number, were all born here. Here I spent my early man- 
hood, and began the serious work of life. Here I married my wife, her- 
self the granddaughter of an early settler, Dugald Cameron, and, although 
it is almost forty years since I ceased to reside here, I have always kept in 
touch with the old village, and if I can hardly claim now to be a Bath boy, 
I have never for a moment forgotten or been sorry that I once was one. 

This little river tripping lightly through the meadows is as familiar to 
me as to the lad who has just escaped for the day from the school yonder 
that bears the name of Adam Haverling. Since my boyhood there have 
been many changes in hill and valley, but I have little difficulty in finding 
the old landmarks. Magee's HiU, where the sun went down, is not greatly 
altered. Doubtless, in due season, the sumacs will blaze across its front as 
they used to fifty years ago. The pine " thicket," whence " Tom " Hess 
and his hounds chased deer and foxes, and which then stretched miles 
away down the valley towards Hammondsport, has nearly disappeared. 
The deep woods which, in my early years, half encircled the pretty lake, 
whose rechristening you are to witness to-day, and stretched unbroken over 
the crest of Mount Washington, has given way to smiling farms ; but the 
lake remains pure and crystal as of yore. Veterans of the War have pos- 
session of the Eldorado farm, and the solid encampment that the State has 
there provided for them lends to it an aspect as strange as it is gratifying, 
but I can yet point out there, at the sharp bend of the river where it rushes 
against the steep rocks, the mysterious " Burke's Hole," to which " all the 
boys " said " no bottom had ever been found." The old storehouses at the 
" Basin," where it was said the arks used to lie, and those on the south side 
of the Bridge, too, have long since disappeared, but the Old Elm that was 
in its prime in Dugald Cameron's time, and many years before, still stands, 



243 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

wearing again its noble coronal, and promising to bud and blossom for 
other generations. Yonder is the grand South Hill with its primeval for- 
est, bearing a foliage of maple and ash and elm, of linden and birch and 
hemlock, as varied and as full and beautiful as it did when the ten plat- 
form rafts were a common sight on the river, swollen and impetuous with 
the spring freshets, at its foot. There, at least. Nature has kept her gentle 
seat quite undisturbed. There the partridge drums and the hermit thrush 
whistles its exquisite note as they did long years before the surveyors plant- 
ed the village, or Patterson, the hunter, led the first settlers into these pine 
plains. The "roll ways" from "Lyon's" down to " Baldhead " are no 
longer visible, but an old boy can yet discern their places by the younger 
and fresher growth that has reverently covered their nakedness. 

There have been greater changes in the people. I might look in vain 
to-day for even one representative of many families well-known here in 
my boyhood, and here, too, is a great concourse of strange forms and faces. 
I am grateful, however, that there are also here some friends and neigh- 
bors, and many sons and daughters of the friends and neighbors whom I 
knew as the best of Bath in the years long gone by. 

To a people young as that inhabiting this Western Continent a hun- 
dred years covers a vast tract of time. To older nations it is but a hand's 
breadth, but tons, viewing it from some standpoints, it seems a great part 
of eternity ; and when any community arrives at the dignity of a century's 
life it is not surprising that the impulse is irresistible to gather in the 
familiar places and recount the history of tlie past with its achievements 
great and small. The fittest do not always survive in the conflicts of men 
or nations, but the fact of survival is instinctively recognized as some indi- 
cation of worthiness. There mingles, therefore, in such a celebration as 
this, together with the neighborly instincts and a sense of kinship — be- 
cause so many of us feel that this town is our Common Mother — a becom- 
ing civic pride. In the "Genesee Country," just beyond your western 
borders, the Scotch captain who planted this village founded also what he 
supposed would be the city of Williamsburgh. Long years ago it ceased 
to be. Few at this day know that it ever existed, even in the imagination 
of its founder. He builded better here, and, remembering its early trials, 
Bath seems to be a true survival. 

This history of the settlement of new countries is always interesting. 
Few things are more strongly stimulant to the imagination. The spec- 
tacle of great bodies of men and women turning their backs upon their 
old homes and every familiar object in search of more fruitful lands and a 
larger life ; the story of a brave and determined few, who, in search of 
spiritual liberty, dare the dangers of a stormy and unknown sea and every 
peril of a wild and inhospitable land ; what more than these can stir the 
blood and quicken the imagination and arouse the sentiments which most 



THE CENTENNIAL ORATION. 243 

exalt and ennoble ? In a less degree the same is true of that pioneer life 
which the ancestors of many of us led. The family traditions of young 
men and women, strong only in the possession of sound bodies and stout 
hearts and mutual affection, parting from the homes of their youth and 
seeking new homes in the unbroken forest, braving the perils of wild 
beasts and wild men, of storm and flood, devoting their lives to the sever- 
est labor and undergoing privations of every sort, this is the story of the 
pioneer's life, and this is the story of the first white men and women who 
broke in upon this wilderness. 

It is not my purpose to dwell upon it. With it you are familiar, and 
in the order of these Centennial exercises it belongs to others. I would, 
therefore, if I may be permitted to do so, address you more in tlie vein of 
reminiscence, and that, too, chiefly of Bath as I knew it before the rail- 
road invaded the Southern Tier. In doing so I may now and thenjmport 
from one period into another, for it is difficult to speak with perfect 
accuracy on such themes. One need not be a lawyer to be impressed with 
the unreliability of human memory. 

To the great majority of my hearers, probably, most of what I have 
to say in this vein will seem ancient history, for it is a fact of common 
observation that the measurements of time are most unreal if they far 
transcend the limits of personal experience. It is only a hundred yeai-s 
since Charles Williamson built the first log cabin in the Conhocton wilder- 
ness, but to every young person present the story of that early settlement 
seems as far remote as the pitching of Abraham's tents on the plains of 
Shinar. I beg you, therefore, to believe that I shall not attempt to ex- 
haust my subject. 

* * « * '** » * * * » 

Before the dawning of my memory of men and things in Bath, the work 
of the pioneer had been substantially done. All that strange and pictur- 
esque life that Captaim Williamson initiated in the backwoods, which Mc- 
Master in his little volume has described so well, and with such wealth 
and felicity of illustration— a sort of pioneer advance on horseback, as it 
were, which, after Williamson's departure from the scene, was compelled 
to dismount and go on foot— had long passed. The log theatre had disap- 
peared. The race course, for the most part, was grown up with small 
pines and oaks. The distillery near the foot of Magee's Hill had been dis- 
mantled or had fallen into a state of "innocuous desuetude." At the 
south end of the old wooden bridge across the river one or two, and a 
little further down two other old store-houses were still standing, relics of 
the time when the commerce of the West, — meaning the Phelps and Gor- 
ham Purchase and the outlying districts, — was expected to seek the sea- 
board by the Conhocton, the Chemung and the Susquehanna, but their 
uses had been almost forgotten. 



244 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

The hill sides, with the exception of the clearing on Magee's Hill were 
still covered with forest, but the river valley was well cleared and culti- 
vated, while to the north, as far as Gallows Hill, there were fields grown 
up here and there to small oaks. Beyond that on the main road were 
heavy woods of yeUow pine, with here and thei-e a clearing and here and 
there a farm, till the Cold Springs were reached, and there were grist and 
woolen mills, a saw mill, and the mansion and farm known as Uncle 
Harry Townsend's. Thence on to Hammondsport was a well settled 
country. On the Marengo road were the Haverling farm, the Marengo 
farm, and still further on the farms of the Brundages and John Faulkner. 
Following the River Road west, as it now lies in my memory, the valley 
was cleared and cultivated as far as Avoca, but the hillsides, in the main, 
were still crowded with forests, out of which, however, as well as from 
the hill land bordering the valley, had been cut most, but by no means all 
of the great white pines. The hemlocks had not yet come into their estate 
and were a humble and uncared-for multitude. 

Below the village the most notable object was the Springfield mansion, 
a relic of early grandeur, with its long semi-circular avenue of Lombardy 
poplars. 

A little farm house on the west side of the Lake, near the highway, 
was the property of the village watchmaker, Elisha Hempstead, and sixty 
rods or so farther towards the village the farmstead of George Newcomb. 
There are a few here to-day who will recall the delusive sign over his 
horse-barn : " Entertainment for Man and Beast." 

Between Newcomb's and the village there was no other building until 
upon Morris Street was reached the residence of my grandfather, Robert 
Campbell. It is still standing ; but the great wood-colored weather-stained 
bams, which made the place notable in those days, have long since disap- 
peared. You will bear with me, I am sure, if I hold your attention for a 
few moments in the discharge of a piovis duty to the memory of this mod- 
est and excellent man, whom not only the whole village loved and 
respected, but who was in those days "Uncle" to the entire county. He 
was an old man as I first recollect him. Born in Galston Parish, Ayrshire, 
about the year 1765, he was left an orphan at a tender age, and, as he has 
told me, not very kindly cared for by a kinsman, he often sought tempo- 
rary solace at the house of William Burns, and well remembered Robert, 
the gudeman's gifted son. 

After serving a seven years' apprenticeship to the trade of a joiner, he 
emigrated in his early manhood to this country, and found his way, from 
Philadelphia I think, to Bath about the year 1793. Here he became a 
prosperous mechanic ; built many of the early mansions of the village ; 
and bought a large farm on its eastern border, the remnant of which is 
now the property of your distinguished townsman Judge Rumsey. Of his 



THE CBNTENTOAL ORATION. MJT 

Bons, the youngest, William, an old and worthy citizen of this town, alone 
survives. The late Lieutenant-Governor Robert Campbell was his second 
son, and the present Comptroller of the State of New York, the Hon. 
Frank Campbell, a grandson. My mother was his only daughter. He 
died at his residence in this village in June, 1849, and was, I think, almost 
the last survivor of the earliest group of settlers in this town. 

The village at the time of which I speak must have had, I should say, 
a population of about twelve himdred people, of which, perhaps, two hun- 
dred were blacks. 

John Magee's fine new house at the head of Morris Street, Robert 
Campbell's at the foot of that street, my father's house on Steuben Street 
(the lot corners now on Campbell Street), the old McClure house with a 
Grecian front just above the junction of Steuben and Morris streets, and 
Col. Bull's brick house at the head of Liberty Street, marked, with suffi- 
cient definiteness for my purpose, the limits of the village, except that be- 
tween the junction of Morris and Steuben, on the road to Belfast Mills, 
there were a number of little half-tumbled-down houses occupied by col- 
ored people, and at the mills General George McClure had erected the fine 
mansion which afterwards, for many years, was occupied by the late 
Judge Constant Cook. This house is now held, I believe, by Judge Cook's 
youngest son, Mr. Edwin Cook. St. Patrick's Street (now "Washington) had 
been laid out a broad avenue, but was little more than a cow pasture. I 
think Dr. Simpson Ellas and Thomas Pawling, the carpenter, then lived 
on the sites occupied by them and their descendants for many years. John 
Thomas, the colored man, had a cabin not far west of Dr. EUas's. These, 
as I remember, were the only houses between General McClure's and the 
farm house on the old race course, so long occupied by that worthy man, 
James May, and between that point and the place where the McMaster 
house now stands was an extensive forest of yellow pines. In effect, Mor- 
ris. Steuben and Liberty streets included the entire village. In the center 
was Pulteney Square, on the east side of which were built the Court House 
and Clerk's Office, substantially on their present sites, and the residence of 
Mr. McCay, the local agent of the Pvdteney Estate ; on the west side, at 
the south-west corner, was the stone jail. Then came the Steuben County 
Bank and the residence of John R. Gansevoort, formerly Dugald Came- 
ron's, on the corner of the Square and Morris Street. On the south side, 
at the westerly corner of the Square, was the saddler-shop of that gener- 
ous and hearty citizen Captain Moses H. Lyon, and close at hand the store 
of William S. Hubbell, and, I think, also that of Henry Brother. Then 
came the Land Office, the Presbyterian Church, a symmetrical wooden 
structure of the conventional New England type, then the residence and 
law office of William Woods, and the residence of Edward Howell and 
the law office of the brothers Edward and William HoweU. On the north 



246 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

side at the corner of Liberty Street were, on the east, the Eagle Tavern 
and on the west the Clinton House. But I must not further particularize 
these descriptive facts. They are interesting to the survivors of that 
early time, for at the mention of these old places a thousand memories 
come crowding to their minds. 

It was an attractive and significant little village that sat here among 
the hills. Small as it was it had a distinct and distinguished individuality. 
The time has passed for such villages. It is not probable another will ever 
be planted or grown. The railroad and the electric telegraph with what 
they represent make it impossible. In those days Bath was almost as far 
from New York as it is now from Hawaii. Few of its citizens had ever 
seen a half dozen consecutive copies of a daily newspaper, and yet they 
were intelligent men. It was a stage center, but the stage routes for the 
most part stretched away into regions still more remote from the cities, 
centers of intelligence and incident. The great events of the village da}' 
were the arrivals of the northern and eastern stages. " Is the Geneva in?" 
" Is the Owego in?" were the evening salutations of the mildly inquisitive 
citizens. The stage driver's horn was the music of the setting sun. The 
day's work over and the evening chores done, the more earnestly intelli- 
gent citizens wended their way to the post-office and sat on the counters 
imtil the mail, with its handful of city weeklies and semi-weeklies and its 
scant tale of letters, had been distributed ; but the majority did not in- 
dulge in a taste so vigorous. The next day, or even later, when some 
neighbor should have told them that there was a letter in the post-office for 
them, would do very well. 

There were no "hustlers" in Bath in those days. If not beneath the 
dignity of the subject and the occasion I might perhaps say that Capt. 
Williamson must have been one — and died without knowing it. But I can 
personally recall none (vmless it were Simon Watkins) in that decorous and 
deliberate village until the locomotive had invaded the Southern Tier. 
That was the opening of the new era, and Levi C. Whiting, Postmaster, 
Captain of the Eagle Fire Company, Captain of the Bath Artillery and 
Commander of the "People's Barge" — the favorite "store" of the village 
—was " on deck" to receive it. 

But to return. In this little village was every essential element of dig- 
nity. If it had not great age, full forty years had ripened it, and it was 
distinctly at the head of the forces of civilization for a large territory. 
Corning had not picked the shell; Hornellsville was little more than a 
backwoods lumber camp ; Avoca, a cluster of houses with a tavern and 
blacksmith shop ; Penn Yan was a comparative parvenu many miles away ; 
Elmira, or Newtown as the ancients called it, still further distant, had not 
yet begun to feel the gracious impulse of commerce on the Chemung 
Canal. Bath sat among the hills in quiet self-possession and stateliness. 



THE CENTENNIAL OKATION. 247 ' 

There was the seat of justice. Nowhere in this or any other land was jus- 
tice administered with greater decoruna and dignity than by Judge Robert 
Monell at the Circuit and Oyer and Terminer, and George Cunningham 
Edwards in the Common Pleas. There, too, was the land proprietor's rep- 
resentative. About the stiff rooms of the Land Office there was a seclu- 
sive chilliness that spoke of English aristocracy and a plethora of capital 
that must seek relief by investment in countries far remote. Far up the 
little valleys, where the farmer's wife weaned her child on vension and 
hominy, and the little clearing was in throes with its first wheat and pota- 
toes ; over the hills in the lumber camps, everywhere through Steuben and 
Allegany counties, the agent of Sir William Pulteney and his successors 
was a dread potentate who wielded more than Jovean thunderbolts. 

Here, too, was the Steuben County Bank, with the great gilded eagle 
and half eagles on the pediment of its Grecian front, and its power over 
financial life and death— bearing on the face of its bills the figure of the 
famous German baron, and the signatures of those solid men, John Magee 
and William W. McCay as Cashier and President. 

Here, too, was the seat of political power. John Magee, one of the 
most remarkable men the county has produced, had represented the dis- 
trict twice in Congress. Daniel Cruger had been representative in Con- 
gress and Speaker of the State Assembly. Captain Ben Smead, typical 
Jeffersonian-Jacksonian editor, from the snuffy seclusion of his little 
sanctum in the Eagle Tavern Block, with the consciousness of power and 
its responsibilities, instructed the unterrified Democracy of the region in 
the duties of citizenship through the Steuben Farmers^ Advocate ; while 
Charles Adams, in the Constitutionalist, carried on a plucky but losing 
fight for the W^higs— for Steuben was nothing if not Democratic, as that 
term was then understood — and it was only when the Democratic brethren 
were not in harmony that a Whig had the least prospect of success at the 
polls. It was, indeed, a great political event when that popular gentle- 
man, Henry Brother, made his first winning contest for Sheriff. 

Nor were the citizens of Bath, at the time of which I speak, unmind- 
ful of the dignity of learning or unskilled in the conventional amenities 
of social life. From the traditional period of the early glories of the vil- 
lage the women of Bath had been noted for their beauty and the generous 
hospitality of their homes, and who that ever saw Madam Thornton, even 
in the stately decadence of her fortunes, will doubt that the minuet and 
cotillion in Bath would answer the most rigorous demands of the Eastern 
cities ? 

There was a generous scholarship, too, in Bath. I recall Dr. Francis 
More, an accomplished scholar and gentleman, who taught here a gram- 
mar school, and who left Bath to take part in the struggle of Texas for inde- 
pendence. His successor for a brief period was a Mr. Fitch— but who that 



248 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

ever saw Ralph K. Finch, who followed soon after, as he sat upon his 
schoolroom stage or dais and presided over the Classical School from early 
in the thirties, nearly or quite a whole decade, will ever forget him ? Mr. 
Finch was a graduate of Dartmouth, a ripe scholar, and a teacher who 
magnified his profession. In his youth or early manhood he had made 
some voyages, the reminiscences of which he liked to recite on Wednesday 
afternoons to the school. He was the type of an English master, and as 
those were the days of heroic discipline, I can testify from a personal ex- 
perience, the memory of which, after the stress of many years, has not 
yet become indistinct, that no English pedagogue ever more conscientious- 
ly and vigorously applied the ferule. I do not know whether he com- 
manded the affection of his scholars, but he certainly did their respect, 
and laid the foundation of much excellent scholarship. Mr. Finch was 
the first County Superintendent of Common Schools, and gave up for that 
office his own private school. He was accidentally drowned in the river 
about the year 1844 or 1845. After Master Finch's retirement the village 
was never long without a good private school, until the establishment of 
the Haverling Union School, upon a scale so Uberal that its function 
seemed no longer required. I remember well an amiable young teacher 
named Herkimer ; Curtis C. Messerve, a graduate of Dartmouth or Bow- 
doin, a strapping son of New England, who had the power of inspiring his 
scholars with some of his own enthusiasm for learning ; James F. Cham- 
berlain, a graduate of Union, a conscientious and dignified man, and a dis- 
ciplinarian to the very tips of his and the boys' fingers ; and Isaac H. HiU, 
the last of my schoolmasters, also a good scholar and a most amiable gen- 
tleman. I do not know if he be living to-day, but living or dead I shall 
ever remember him with affection. 

The village, too, had many ripe scholars ; among the earlier ones I 
recall David McMaster, and the Rev. Isaac W. Piatt, Edward HoweU and 
Robert L. Underbill ; the last two were not college bred, but no one could 
question the right of either to the title of scholar. 

As my memory recalls one by one these men and scenes, the tempta- 
tion to dwell upon them more fully is almost irresistible. Form after fonn 
among the lads with whom I went to school rises before me, but the time 
forbids even the mention of their names, and yet there are a few that I 
cannot pass by. There was Edward Shannon. He was the son of Robert 
Shannon, a venerable Irish gentleman, who in my youth owned and occu- 
pied the old Springfield farm. He was father of the late Mrs. Bartholo- 
mew Wilkes, so well known by all the old residents here. Edward was 
his youngest son. Though many years my senior, my recollection of him 
is so vivid that I am sure I am not mistaken in describing him as a young 
man of brilliant talents and attractive character. Master Finch had 



THE CENTENNIAL ORATION. 249 

great pride in him, and to the entire school he was a young hero — a marvel 
of literary accomplishments. 

He read law, but had hardly entered upon the practice of his profes- 
sion in Bath during the last year of the Mexican War, when his adventur- 
ous spirit led him to take the captaincy of a company of soldiers in what 
was known as Stevenson's regiment. The company was raised here and 
in this vicinity. The regiment was intended for service in California, and 
embarked for that then far distant country in the fall of 1846, arriving 
there in March, 1847, but though the treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo was 
not made until more than a year afterward, the regiment saw but little, if 
any, more than garrison service. With it went DeWitt Clinton French, 
Calvin Emerson and that manly, generoiis-hearted young man, Elijah 
Martin Smith, and others of the Bath boys. They all remained in Cali- 
fornia. Shannon entered upon the practice of his profession there, and 
his name will live in its history as the mover in the convention which 
formed the first constitution of that State of the clause which forever for- 
bade in aU its borders slavery or involuntary servitude, except for crime. 
He died of cholera in October, 1850, at Sacramento, and was buried there 
by the side of Robert Campbell Eogers, my elder brother, whom he had 
tenderly cared for in his last iUness a few days before his own decease. 

At Finch's school in the old Brick Block (there was but one brick block 
in those days), at a little side seat on the platform, sat the best boy in the 
school, James Piatt. He occupied that conspicuous seat because he was a 
model scholar and an example to all the room. A lad younger, and much 
smaller, sat by his side. If I were to say that the yoimger pupil held this 
place partly because of the good influence exerted over him by Piatt, and 
partly because Master Finch desired to have the small boy within close 
inspection and easy reach, no violence would be done to the truth of his- 
tory. Never was the saying that the boy is the father to the man better 
exemplified than in the case of James M. Piatt. Studious, thorough, 
faithful, respectful, orderly, no teacher ever had occasion to reprove him. 
With his fellows, too, he was as much a favorite as he was with the mas- 
ters. Generous, accommodating, unpretending, merry ; we all loved him. 
His manhood was what his boyhood promised ; it could not have been 
more or better. 

When after many years of absence from his boyhood's home the old 
church called him to the pulpit which his revered father formerly occu- 
pied, it seemed as if every condition of fitness had been most happily an- 
swered. When the pastorate upon which he then entered, with all the 
devotion of a sincere and sympathetic nature, was closed by death, Guy 
McMaster, the friend of all others who knew him best, wrote these words : 

" On the morning of the second Sunday of March, the Rev. James M. 
Piatt, D. D., pastor of the Presbyterian church in this village, after 



250 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

performing the public ministrations of his office before the congregation, 
' closed the book,' commended his people to the Divine love, and departed 
from the house of God on earth to enter, after a few days of suffering, the 
mansions of the Majesty on High, in sure expectation of that eternity of 
service vphich, to his mind, was the only conceivable form of an eternity 
of rest. 

" He was but fifty-seven years of age. The powers of his intellect had, 
perhaps, reached their full development ; but the enriching influences of 
study, of experience, of inward communion with his Lord and Master, 
combined, year by year and day by day, to build him up to ever broader 
and higher spiritual proportions. Truly, in the words of a brother in the 
sacred ministry, uttered over his coffin as it rested at the pulpit steps on 
the passage from the home to the tomb, here was ' a noble man of God.' 
That sums it all up. The three words nobleness, manliness, godliness, need 
but a fourth, loveliness, to build all sides of a character ' which stood four- 
square to all the winds that blew.' " 

Probably the most brilliant man the county ever produced was Guy 
Humphreys McMaster. From his earliest years he was easily foremost. 
Here was no other such mind — clear, strong, logical, as true as the un- 
swerving scales of justice. What store of brilliant fancy, what power of 
imagination, what wide grasp of knowledge were his ; and beneath a cold 
and shy exterior what unfeigned and all-embracing sympathy. I dare not 
trust myself to speak of him as I would, for, from our earliest years, he 
was my most intimate and best-beloved friend. Green be the turf above 
him ! 

********** 

It is unquestionable that Captain Williamson's village at an early day 
bore the reputation of a somewhat unruly and riotous character. The 
Virginia and Maryland gentlemen, who, attracted by Williamson's free- 
handed and generous methods, came here with many slaves, probably 
found it none too straight-laced for their own liberal views of social life. 

McMaster says, "It has often been flung in our faces as a reproach 
that when the first missionary visited Bath on a Sunday morning he found 
a multitude assembled on the public square in three distinct groups. On 
one side the people were gambling, on another they were witnessing a bat- 
tle between two bulls, and on the third a fight between two bullies. We 
are happy to say that the truth of this rascally old tradition is more than 
doubtful. Aside from the manifest improbability that men would play 
cards while bulls were fighting, or that bulls would be trumps while men 
were fighting, the evidence adduced in support of the legend is vague and 
malicious." So far McMaster. I have quoted the passage to give point to 
a reminiscence of my own. 



THE CENTENNIAL ORATION. 251 

There must have been a strong infusion of staid and decorous Puritan- 
ism in the early village or the labors of the Rev. John Niles, hired in 1807 
to divide his time equally in missionary work between Bath and Pratts- 
burgh, and of the Rev. David Higgins and the Rev. Isaac Watts Piatt, his 
successors, pastors of the Presbyterian church in Bath, must have been 
specially prospered, for the village, as I first remember it, would do no dis- 
credit to a staid New England community. About the stage barns, there 
were, naturally, some boisterous doings, and now and then in other places 
through the village was somebody who gave little heed to the sacred char- 
acter of the day, but the observance of the Sabbath was general and faith- 
ful. The churches were well attended, and the pulpits provided strong 
meat for the Ustening congregations. I have in my mind now a scene 
which would greatly surprise my young hearers. At the corner of the 
Square, near the present Nichols House, I see a half dozen or so of boys, 
most of whose parents belonged to the Presbyterian church, playing ball 
on a fine spring Saturday afternoon. There were the McMaster boys and 
Robert Leland, the younger Platts, the Rogers boys, and perhaps others. 
It seems to me that I was behind the bat, when suddenly a large, impres- 
sive looking man stalked across the baU-ground. It was the Rev. Mr. 
Piatt going to the school-room to catechize the boys in the Westminster 
Confession. It would hardly be true to say that it was a gleeful crowd 
who followed the pastor ; but the game of ball was at an end and there 
were no absentees from the Catechism lesson. 

I have already spoken of Judge Edwards. Let me sketch in a few 
words his personal appearance, for, though I was not more than seven 
years old at his decease, I believe I am not mistaken in thinking him one 
of the most notable men who ever filled judicial station in this county. 
He was about six feet in height, spare, of dark eyes and complexion. His 
daughter, Mrs. Dudley, greatly resembled him. He dressed hke a gentle- 
man of the old school, in a sober suit of brown, always wearing a large 
white cravat without collar, and as he walked carrying his right hand 
thrust into his vest across his breast. No other human being has ever 
seemed to me so much like George Washington— so grave and so awful. 
His monument in the old burying ground — the first effort in the county up 
to that time, I think, toward anything more imposing than the white 
marble or gray sandstone slab— shows the estimate in which this just 
judge and good man was held by his fellow lawyers. The late David Mc- 
Master, who married his eldest daughter, and whom you all so weU re- 
member, was a man and a judge of similar type— sedate, modest, firm, 
and as true to duty as the needle to the pole. 

A pious affection has preserved to this day the old law office of Edward 
and William Howell. I have said that no more villages hke Bath of the 
ante-railroad day could ever again appear. Imagine, if you can, two men 



252 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

like those Howell brothers in any Western village or city at the present 
day. But in Bath during the first half of this century they were not 
wholly misplaced. They were simply, in stately dignity, in formal but 
sincere courtesy, in unaffected homage to learning, gentlemen of the old 
school, indeed ; the finest product of an unhurried and thoughtful period 
which was passing away. The elder brother was at the head of the Steu- 
ben Bar — and a very respectable body it was — when I first remember him. 
He held the place for many years until physical infirmity compelled him 
gradually to yield the primacy to younger men. William Howell never 
entered Court, but was the model of a painstaking and faithful attorney 
and conveyancer. 

Among the institutions belonging to the period of which I speak, but 
which has passed with it, never to return, is what I might call the Countiy 
Store Club. There was some opportunity for social conversation, for in- 
terchange of news and ideas, at the village inns— the Eagle Tavern and 
the Clinton House. There, a citizen sociably inclined, miglit meet, per- 
chance, by the wood fire in the public sitting room an interesting traveler 
sojourning for the night, or two or three of his fellow townsmen, and 
under the inspiration of the last Albany Evening Journal or Argus have 
a political tilt that helped to relieve the tedium of the long evening. But 
the moral atmosphere of the village forbade much visiting so near the bar- 
rooms, and grave citizens with boys to bring up felt that precept and prac- 
tice would harmonize better if the elders sought their social intercourse 
somewhere else. So the Country Store Club was a natural evolution. 
When the nights grew long and it was comfortable to gather about the 
box stove, without notice to members from Dean or Secretaiy, the nightly 
sessions of the club began. They were continued through the winter and 
spring until the lengthening days and warm weather made protracted 
sidewalk-intercourse pleasant. There were no initiation fees or dues, no 
constitution or by-laws, no entertainment of meat or drink, no proposal of 
members. The club was free to all, and in one evening you might some- 
times meet a roving member in all the symposiums. When the night 
came and with it the mails, and the oil lamps were lighted, the members 
came drifting in until half a dozen or more filled the chairs and the more 
convenient places on the counters, and remained until nine o'clock, when 
the village curfew rang from the steeple of the old Presbyterian church, 
and immediately along the little street there was a clang of bars and clos- 
ing shutters and the club separated for the night. Through the evening a 
little trade over the counter went on, adding a not unpleasant variety to 
the interest of the habitues, and giving to the principal debaters of the 
evening temporary rest and refreshment for the discussion that had not 
yet been fought to a finish. There were several of these clubs on Liberty 
Street. Those that I remember best held their nightly convocations— one 



\ THE CENTENNIAL ORATION. 253 

at the store of Reuben Robie, another at that of Dr. Rogers, and a third at 
the store of George S. Ellas. This last named was rather a younger body 
than the others. George EUas himself was a man of much wit and read- 
ing, as well as business thrift and energy, and conversation never lan- 
guished when he was present. But the men who gathered at the stores of 
Reuben Robie and Dr. Rogei-s were of graver and more sedate character. 
At Robie's the talk was cliiefly of the old settlers, of politics and busi- 
ness, of farming, of the crops and the freshets, of the frosts and the 
droughts. At the Rogers symposium the debate took wider range. Dr. 
Higgins was often there, especially when the constitutional rights of the 
States were under discussion. Between his brown wig and the top of his 
hat, gently cushioned by his red bandana, he always carried a small copy 
of the Constitution of the United States. No man could advance wild 
views upon the Constitution in the Doctor's presence, with impunity. The 
appeal was always and at once to the text as written by the fathers. 

How well I remember the face and form of George Huntington, 
worshiper of Thomas Jefferson, ex-State Senator and afterwards Justice of 
the Peace, as, tramping up and down in the ecstasy and fervor of debate, 
he denounced Nicholas Biddle and the " rascally banks," or defended with 
hot eloquence the doctrine of Universal Salvation against the assaults of 
his relentless Calvinistic opponents ! William Hamilton, grave and silent 
as an Iroquois chief, sat by with only an occasional grunt of assent or dis- 
sent. James May often came in from his farm and was a good listener. 
Uncle Eli Bidwell, the oldest blacksmith in the village, badly bent from 
the shoeing of horses and oxen, but still vigorous, sat by ruminant, always 
preferring as a seat the mild end of a nail keg. Norman Daniels, the big 
carpenter, often filled a place on the counter. Once in a while one of the 
village pastors or Edward Howell dropped in and gave the talk a more 
elevated tone than usual, and now and then Lazarus H, Reade, after 
finishing the newspaper at the "Eagle" and exhausting the combative 
powers of such antagonist as he might find there, dropped in to give a 
final fillip of interest to the proceedings of the evening by his brilliant 
conversational audacities. Now and then — oh, rare delight ! — the conver- 
sation turned upon the early time, — the wolves that invaded the sheep- 
fold, the panthers that lurked in the tree tops and dropped upon the trav- 
eler with unpleasant unexpectedness, the bears that sought out the prom- 
ising pigs, the deer the farmer found browsing in his little wheat field in 
the early dawn, and that most interesting and fearsome of all reptiles 
since the fall of our first parents — the rattlesnake. On such an evening 
there was general amity, and Squire Hamilton took an extra charge in his 
long white clay pipe. 

There was always perfect decorum. No matter how heated the debate 
might be, it was by self-respecting citizens, and never violated the 



254 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

conditions that made it proper to be heard by the little lads who sat on 
the counter listening with eyes and ears. Men in those days studied the 
Constitution, and discussed political topics with each other seriously ; more 
seriously, I think, than now, when the business seems to have been turned 
over to the daily papers. Sometimes I am inclined, also, to think the same 
or something worse has been done with their patriotism ; and the agnos- 
ticism of the time has driven out religious debate. 

To the early settlement of Bath two things lent a picturesqueness 
that was peculiar. The first was the personality of Captain Williamson, 
the other the immigration hither of Southern gentlemen with their slaves. 
My earliest memory recalls a succession of negro houses filling all the 
space between the old village graveyard and the forks of the road above, 
and many more, besides the house of Simon Watkins, between that point 
and the Belfast Mills. On the plains between Gallows Hill and Epaphras 
Bull's were the little clearings of 'Zekle and Cato Thompson ; and John 
Thomas, chief hog killer to the village, adorned upper St. Patrick's Street. 
Among the gray-haired colored people were King and Sam and Simon 
Watkins, George Alexander, Cooper, Uncle Billy Tolliver, Ned Tompkins, 
Juba, Scipio Af ricanus Johnson and Aaron Butcher, the barber, who, tra- 
dition said, shaved Governor Clinton and assured him that " the beard was 
sure to come if the handle of the razor did not break." And there were 
Aunt Nancy and Mammy, Minty, and Julia, and Jinny Alexander and 
many others whose names I do not recall. Edward Dorsey and Stephen 
Adams were in their early prime. I mention their names especially be- 
cause they were men of high personal character, a credit to any race. 
These freed men and women and their decendant were, for the most part, 
of course, a poor and humble people but with all the gentle and winsome 
qualities of the race. They had a pastor in those days, the Rev. John 
Tappan, a very respectable man, who had but a slight infusion of negro 
blood in his veins ; and at the ' ' White School House " they had the advan- 
tages of the common school. Few of them accumulated any property, 
though they had reasonable opportunity to do so, and their numbers have 
gradually decreased. Of what value, as an object lesson, the more than 
sixty years' history of the freed colored people in Bath may be is an inter- 
esting subject for examination and discussion, but can hardly be entered 

upon here. 

********** 

But I must pass on now from these memories of the early time. 

When the New York & Erie locomotive came rushing west, with its 
Cyclopean eye looking for the Great Lakes, and found the way to them 
through the Tioga and Canisteo vaUeys, it did not require a prophet's vision 
to foresee that the old Shire-Town would have to fight for its primacy with 
ambitious Addison and crafty Corning. Indeed, the conflict was not long 



THE CENTENNIAL ORATION. 255 

delayed, and it was little consolation to Bath to know that Addison's vic- 
tory had been a barren one. See, too, what a rent the envious Schuyler 
made! 

Perhaps still further dismemberment awaits old Steuben, but there can 
be little doubt that Bath will continue the seat of county dignity so long 
as the State and its county system shall remain. The physical proportions 
of the county will be much less than in the period of which I have been 
speaking, but not its power as an instrument of civilization. 

The Bath of that early day was a little country place, secluded, self- 
contained, provincial. The beautiful village of to-day has become in some 
sort a suburb of the great cities, sharing with them most of the good 
which they possess, but happily exempt from most that is bad, and is in 
touch with the entire continent. 

In the transition from the Old to the New something may seem to 
have been lost, but it is certain that far more has been gained. There is 
not a boy or a girl in all this assembly to whom the whole world — and I 
use the expression in its largest sense — is not now open. Every original 
thought, every beneficent invention, every true work of art, is in some 
sort the property and possession of all. The barriers of time and space 
are disappearing so rapidly that we may well enough say that they are no 
longer hindrances to civilization. No one need now complain that he can- 
not get out to sea. If he prefers to loiter by the little mountain stream far 
up among the hemlocks and dream away his life there, he can do it : but 
the open valley is close at hand, and there are many ways thence to the 
broad oceans that flow round the world. 

Every sound-minded and sound-hearted man loves to think he has 
done something worthy of grateful remembrance. It is a solace for the 
years that need consolation. Every good citizen loves to think that the 
place where he was born is Ulustrious, or, if not illustrious, that its record 
is honorable. The citizen of Bath is not without this satisfaction. The 
record of the past one hundred years is one of public order, of reverence for 
law, of sincere regard for the institutions of religion, of devotion to the 
duties of citizenship, of a pure and healthy social life. The second cen- 
tury opens with greater opportunities and greater responsibilities. You 
are citizens of America Majora. It will be well if your descendants gath- 
ering here — as we hope they wiU— in the Second Centennial Celebration 
shall be able to repeat the eulogium which of the first century we pro- 
nounce today. 



CHANGE OF NAME. 



At the close of Mr. Rogers' oration, the Rev. Benjamin S. Sanderson 
arose and said : 

Mr. President — It is to be regretted that in the selection of names for 
the various landmarks of our beautiful village, that of our founder should 
have been passed over. I am authorized by the General Committee of the 
Centennial, to propose the following resolution, as the formal close of our 
public literary exercises : 

Resolved, That, in grateful recognition of the well planned labors of 
Colonel Charles Williamson, the name of Lake Salubria be hereby 
changed to Lake Williamson. 

The resolution was received with hearty applause, and was unani- 
mously carried. With the Parade in the afternoon, and the Old-Tim e Re- 
ception in the evening, both of which are fully described in the Introduc- 
tion, the Celebration of the First Centennial of Bath terminated. 



*»C« FINIS •D«4 



PART FIVE. 

Appendices, 



APPENDIX A, 



[We reprint here the Round Robin sent to Hon. Ansel J. McCall {vide 
Introduction, p. 9), adding, as a matter of permanent record, the signa- 
tures which were attached thereto. To obviate any captious criticism as 
to the omission of these signatures from the Introduction itself, the writer 
of that portion of the Book desires to make a personal explanation. If the 
Introduction is read carefully it wiU be found that, as tracing the growth 
of the Centennial spirit and the evolution of the enthusiasm which became 
wide-spread June Gth and 7th last, the text of the letter itself was of first 
and sole importance, and the mention, "numerously signed," was suf- 
ficient. The letter is reprinted here, and the signatures appended, as a 
matter of historical record. There will thus be put, in a convenient place 
for those who have to submit the literary program of the second Centen- 
nial of Bath, let us say, a list of names which is fairly representative, we 
suppose, of those who were prominently identified with the professional, 
commercial and social life of our village at the close of its first century of 
existence. — B. S. S.] 

Hon. A. J. McCall : 

Dear Sir — Your fellow citizens, undersigned, are desirous that there 
shall be a fitting celebration of the first Centennial Anniversary of the set- 
tlement of our village of Bath in 1793, and of our County of Steuben in 
1796. 

We are sensible that a proper celebration of these events cannot be 
fully and intelligently realized without a coincident publication of graphic 
annals of our town and county from the earliest times. It is therefore our 
earnest desire to have available to our people on those occasions such a 
sketch of our social birth and history, in convenient form, from the earli- 
est pioneer days to the present time, in order that valued memories may 
not be lost, but cherished and perpetuated. Happily for our aspirations, 
your long and worthy life lias brought from the early years of the century 
rich memories and priceless materials, which enable you better than any 
other man living to tell the story of the first hundred years of Bath and of 
Steuben county. 

We earnestly request that you wiU kindly gratify your neighbors and 
friends, the people of Steuben, by the preparation of such a history. We 
will attend to its publication, under your permission and direction. 

Bath, Steuben county, N. Y., August 1, 1893. 



THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 



WM. W. AVERELL, 
GEO. W. HALLOCK, 
C. F. KINGSLEY, 
REUBEN E. ROBIE, 
REUBEN R. LYON, 
MOSES DAVISON, 
S. G. LEWIS, 
AUGUSTUS DE PEYSTER, 
A. L. UNDERBILL, 
J. CARTER ROBIE, 
SAMUEL S. SEELY, 
FRANK CAMPBELL, 
J. F. PARKHURST, 
GEORGE S. HAVERLING, 
A. H. CRUTTENDEN, 
M. N. PRESTON, 
CHAS. A. ELLAS, 
Z. L. PARKER, 
H. W. BOWES, 
W. W. ALLEN, 
A. R. DEPUY, 



JNO. F. LITTLE, 

M. RUMSEY MILLER, 

D. M. McMASTER, 
B. F. YOUNG, 
WM. H. SHEPARD, 
W. P. SEDGWICK, 
WM. E. HOWELL, 
JOHN BEEKMAN, 

E. S. UNDERBILL, 
W. H. HALLOCK, 
E. BERKMAN, 

H. W. FERINE, 
A. C. BRUNDAGE, 
BENJ. S. SANDERSON, 
A. BEEKMAN, 
JAMES LYON, 
GEO. HOLLANDS, 
L. D. HODGMAN, 
J. J. GLEASON, 
J. DUNN, 
WILLIAM RUMSEY. 



APPENDIX B. 

CORRESPONDENCE. 

[In response to the invitations sent out by the General Committee of 
the Celebration, many responses were received. The reading of them 
constituted a pleasant feature of the weekly meetings of the Committee. 
A few from the authorities of State and Nation, were read to the public at 
the exercises on the morning of June 7th. The compass of this volume would 
be unduly extended were all this mass of correspondence to be printed in 
these pages. Nor would it serve any useful purpose, as the majority of 
them are simply polite regrets on account of the writer's inability to par- 
ticipate personally in the proposed exercises, accompanied with express- 
ions of interest in the Centennial contemplated. In addition to those from 
officials (which of course are printed, having been read in public and 
thus forming properly a part of the record of our Centennial), we include in 
this book a few others, selected mainly for one of two reasons ; either be- 
cause of the personality of the writer, or because in the letter itself there 
is some additional data bearing upon the early history of Bath. At the 
close of the printed correspondence will be found a complete list of the 
writers of letters turned over to to us, with the other manuscript from 
which this volume has been compiled. — Ed.] 

1.— from the president of the united states. 

Executive Mansion, ) 
Washington, D. C, May 19, 1893. \ 
Mr. A. J. McCall, Bath, N. Y. : 

My Dear Sir — The President directs me to acknowledge the receipt of 
your favor of the 15th instant, inviting him to be present at the celebra- 
tion of the Centennial Anniversary of the settlement of your town, which 
will occur on the 6th and 7th of next month. It would give him great 
pleasure to join you in so interesting an occasion as that contemplated, but 
the pressure of public duties is such that he does not see how it would be 
possible for him to leave Washington at that time. He directs me, how- 
ever, to thank you heartily for this continued evidence of your thoughtful- 
ness and regard. Very truly yours, 

HENRY T. THURBER, 

Private Secretary. 



263 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

2.— FROM SENATOR HILL. 

Albany, N. Y., May 19, 1893. 
Mr. Ansel J. McCall and Others : 

Dear Sirs — I am in receipt of your letter of a recent date, inviting 
me to attend the Centennial Celebration of Bath on the 6th and 7th of 
June. 

I thank you for the invitation but regret that engagements out of the 
State at that time will prevent my acceptance of the same. I remain. 
Very respectfully, 

DAVID B. HILL. 



3.— FROM THE GOVERNOR. 

STATE OF NEW YORK, ) 

Executive Chamber, v 

Albany, May 18, 1893. ) 

Messrs. A. J. McCall, George W. Hallock, and others, Committee, Bath, 
Steuben County, N. Y.: 

Gentlemen — Governor Flower is in receipt of your letter of recent 
date, and regrets exceedingly that he is unable to accept your invitation 
for the 6th and 7th of June next. He expects at that time to be in Chi- 
cago, and it will therefore be impossible for him to attend your celebration. 
Assuring you of his appreciation of your courtesy, I remain, 
Very truly yours, 

T. S. WILLIAMS, 

Private Secretary. 



4.— from gen. w. vt. averell. 

[Telegram.] 

Tacoma, Washington, June 6, 1893. 
Hon. A. J. McCall : 

Please present my greeting to our people and children to-day. 

W. W. AVERELL. 



5. — FROM GEN. GEORGE J. MAGEE. 

Corning, N. Y. May 3, 1893. 
Hon. John F. Little, Bath, N. Y. : 

My Dear Sir — I am in receipt of your favor of the 29th inviting me to 
participate in the Centennial Celebration of your town which is to take 



APPENDIX B. 268 

place on the 6th and 7th of June. I accept the invitation with pleasure 
and shall try to arrange to be present one of those days. I regret, how- 
ever, that I shall not be able to prepare any sketch, either historical or bio- 
graphical of the events or men connected with the history of Bath, as I 
practically left the place when I was thirteen years old, going to school 
and afterward to college — although I was a student at the "Haverling 
Academy," when I was fifteen years of age, for a time, and I remember 
that you were there and on one occasion came to ray rescue when Mr. 
Gulick was about to ill-treat me. I am not sure that this occurred in 1855 
or 1852 or 1853. I mention the little incident to show that my recollections 
of Bath are, as to dates, somewhat obscure. After leaving college and re- 
turning from Europe, I went to Watkins and lived there, and since that 
time my relations, socially, have not been intimate ; and the only business 
relations sustained have been with the old Steuben County Bank matters. 
Still, I am with you in wishing success for the undertaking, and as above 
written, shall expect to be on hand for the Centennial — but please excuse 
me from any address or written article. With kind regards. 
Yours very truly, 

GEO. J. MAGEE. 



6.— from c. h. berry. 

Winona, Minnesota, May 13, 1893. 
Hon. A. J. McCall, and others, Committee, &c. : 

Gentlemen— Your invitation to attend the celebration of the first 
Anniversary of the settlement of Bath is received. I would be glad to 
attend, and more especially, perhaps, could I claim ever to have been a 
citizen of that part of Steuben county. Bath was, when I came to the 
county in 1828, the Mecca to which all pilgrims from the " Pulteney " 
lands, and all lands, went to pay their dues, if not to pay their devotions. 
Of course its history is practically the history, or associated with the his- 
tory, of the whole county, and still more than that ; and such, I think, 
will be the general view. 

If I could be with you on that occasion, it would be my wish, not only 
to recall local history, the acts and plans of Colonel Williamson and his 
contemporaries, the broad schemes of inter-state navigation and transpor- 
tation, of which Bath, by position, was thought to hold the key, and other 
like considerations— but I would also, so far as I could, bring back those 
white men, hunter and farmer combined, who first settled along the 
rivers, and hunted in the then pathless forests, blazed the paths, and 
opened the roads for the use of others. Those persons had not all disap- 
peared when I came there, but few remained, and the lives of all of them 



264 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

were fast becoming mere traditions. All of them were soon retired. Time 
has now run until those men are to this generation as though they had be- 
longed to a pre-historic age. Even with those who followed them so close- 
ly as I did, their names fall faintly on the ear of memory, as the report of 
the hunter's rifle then from time to time reached the listener, from the 
recesses of those dense and distant woods. They are being forgotten. 
Not even the little green hillocks which usually mark the beds of their im- 
mediate successors, tell their resting place, much less recall their names. 
In the objects of your notice, I bespeak for those " heralds of the day " 
a deserved remembrance. 

With kind regards and earnest wishes for the success of your celebra- 
tion, I am. Yours truly, 

C. H. BERRY. 



7.— FROM WILLIAM ROCHESTER MONTGOMERY. 

City of Hillsdale, Mich. , June 3, 1893. 

To Messrs. Ansel J. McCall and Others, Committee of Bath, N. Y., Cen- 
tennial Celebration, June 6 and 7, 1893. 

Gentlemen — I had a slight hope that I might be with you agreeably to 
your request in the printed circular of April 15, 1893. I am obliged, how- 
ever, to write to you thanking you for your kind consideration and sending 
you the following synopsis of my humble life. 

My father. Harvey Montgomery, was born in the City of Philadelphia, 
Pa., 1789, and died in Detroit, Mich., in 1869. 

My mother, Mary Eleanor Rochester, daughter of Colonel Nathaniel 
Rochester (who gave his name to the City of Rochester), was born in 
Hagerstown, Maryland, April 27, 1796; died at Rochester, N. Y., March 2, 
1849. My father and mother were married May 19, 1812, at DansviUe, N. 
Y. , where my mother resided with her parents. My father was then resid- 
ing in Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y., where he kept a store two or three years. 
My parents moved to Rochester in 1816. 

I was born in Bath, March 12, 1813, before my mother completed her 
17th year. I am Colonel Rochestei-'s eldest grandchild, and the eldest 
child of my father, and the eldest grandson of my father's father, William 
Montgomery, of Philadelphia, bearing the family name of Montgomery. 
I was named William after my grandfather Montgomery, and Rochester 
after my grandfather Rochester, which entitles me to my long name. 

I have not seen my birthplace but once since I left there in 1815 or 
1816. In 1824, my father went from Rochester to Philadelphia with a horse 
and gig, taking me with him, then eleven years of age. From Philadel- 
phia he drove to Doctor John C. Rudd's school, Elizabethtown (now Eliza- 
beth City), N. J., where he left me in the tutelage of Doctor Rudd and his 



APPENDIX B. 265 

esteemed wife, and of the Rev. Edward Ballard, classical tutor. One of 
my class-mates was Henry J. Hartstene, afterwards Commander in the 
United States Navy, and another was Joseph Nabbett Warren, now living, 
eminent for his virtues, in Troy, N. Y. 

I left Geneva (Hobart) College, in 1830, where I was intimately 
acquainted with my father's friend, Joseph Fellows, also a Bath man. I 
met, too, in Geneva a dancing master by the name of Shepard, whom 
my father had known in Bath. I availed myself of this dancing master, a 
gray-headed man. I studied law with my uncle, Henry E. Rochester, and 
Judge Samuel Seldon, of Rochester, and with John C. Spencer, of Canan- 
daigua, in 1832. I was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court in law 
and equity, in May, 1835. My licenses were signed by Chief Justice Sav- 
age and by Chancellor Walworth. I practiced law in Rochester till 1844, 
acting as Clerk and Attorney for the city from March, 1839, to March, 1842, 
three terms. 

In 1844, I moved onto a half-section of wild land (320 acres), in Cam- 
den, the southwest township of this County of Hillsdale. There I 
remained till 1855, clearing up heaA^y timbered land. I cleared and fenced 
150 acres of this one-half section. I then accepted the office of Register of 
Deeds, to which office I was elected in November, 1854, and held the office 
four terms — eight years. 

I have also represented this county in the Legislature in 1851 and 1852. 
I was also elected Supervisor (ex-officio Assessor, of this county) for Cam- 
den and Hillsdale City, twenty-five years, and was chosen Chairman of 
the Board of Supervisors thirteen times. 

I am now past eighty years old and doing business as an Attorney in 
the special calling of Conveyancer and Abstracter of land titles, etc. I 
write this manuscript with my own hand. 

All my aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters of my father, are dead. 
All my aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers of my mother, are dead, save 
the youngest, Mrs. Louisa Lucinda Rochester Pitkin, widow of Hon. Wm. 
Pitkin, of Rochester, N. Y. I append a list of the children of Colonel 
Nathaniel Rochester and Sophia Beatty Rochester, his wife : 

Judge William Beatty Rochester, born 1789, died 1838 ; Nancy Barbara 
Rochester, born 1790, died 1792; John Corneliue Rochester, born 1792, died 
1837 ; Sophia Eliza Rochester, born 1793, died 1850. She died the wife of 
Jonathan Child, first Mayor of Rochester. Mary Eleanor Rochester (my 
mother), born 1796, died March 2, 1849; Thomas Hart Rochester, born 
1797, died 1874 ; Catharine Kimball Rochester, born 1799, died 1835. She 
was the wife of Doctor Anson Colman. Nathaniel Thrift Rochester, born 
1802, died 1883 ; Anna Barbara Rochester, born 1804, died 1805 ; Henry 
Elie Rochester, born 1806, died 1889 ; Ann Cornelia Rochester, born 1808, 
died December 31, 1892. She was the widow of William S. Bishop, 



266 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

Attorney at law, and subsequently of Seth Gates, ex-Member of Congress. 
Her step-son, Dr. L, Merrill Gates, is President of Amherst College, at whose 
home she died. Louisa Lucinda Rochester, born September 23, 1810, still 
survives (the only surviving child of the twelve children), in the city of 
Rochester, N. Y. 

Please accept this as a labor of love from an octogenarian who was 
born in your oft-remembered city, with greetings and aspirations for your 
prosperity and that of the one hundred years old city you represent. 
Very respectfully, your congenital brother. 

WILLIAM ROCHESTER MONTGOMERY. 



8. — FEOM PERRY P. ROGERS. 

BiNGHAMTON, N. Y., June 5, 1893. 
Messrs. A. J. McCall, Oeo. S. Haverling, and others, Committee : 

Gentlemen — I have an invitation to attend the Centenary of your 
beautiful village, which I hoped to accept, but am obliged to decline. I 
was a resident of the town of Bath from my fifth to my ninth year— 1831- 
1835. In the former year my father, Jabez J. Rogers, bought of one Mc- 
Beth the "article" and "betterments" for a farm on Goflf's Brook. Of 
that period I have only pleasant memories. It was a day of small things ; 
houses were small, many built of logs, but the latch-string was always out ; 
honest, open-hearted hospitality greeted the visitor, even the stranger 
within the gates. Ceremony was ignored, modern etiquette an unknown 
quantity ; a hearty bonhomie I have never seen equaled, characterized 
social intercourse ; none were rich, and a man's worth was not gauged by 
his possessions. All were workers, almost without regard to age or sex ; 
raiment was homespun, of wool or flax, patched as occasion required, and 
every farmhouse could have furnished the original of the good Quaker 
poet's " Barefoot Boy." 

Educational advantages were limited, and not every child could fully 
enjoy such as they were; but no one was spoiled by sparing the rod. Boys 
and girls " made their manners," on entering and leaving the school-room, 
and to the " wayfaring man " on the highway. And as 
" Buirdley chiels and bonnie hizzies 
Are bred in such a way as this is," 
they grew up to be strong, useful men and women, with a purpose in life. 
Many have followed the Star of Empire in its Westward course, and every- 
where, at home and abroad, have honored themselves, their parentage, and 
the good old county of their birth. Lumbering was the leading industry, 
but much wheat, of excellent quality, was grown, marketed at the mills 
along the Conhocton, or drawn (often by ox teams) to " Pegtown," as 
Hammondsport was then profanely called. 



APPENDIX B. 267 

I remember a few of the early settlers between "Kennedy's Comers" 
(now Kanona) and Howard. Among them, Finla McClure, Jonathan 
Clisbee, Reuben, Henry and Allen Smith, brothers, from Sheshequin, Pa.; 
D&niel and David Tilton, John Donahe, James and Francis Otis, Russell 
Bouton, William Goff, the Hoaglands, Wheelers, Chamberlains, Bradleys, 
Neelys, and many others — good men and true, each and every one of them, 
serving well their day and generation, loyal, honest and brave. They 
caused the desert to blossom like the rose, the wilderness and solitary place 
was glad because of them. They labored, and others have entered into 
their labors. They blazed the way for our advances ; their faithful toil, 
patient self-denial and sore privations made possible the progress of to-day. 

Our fathers, where are they ? All have departed, entered into the rest 
that remaineth, " each in his narrow cell forever laid," sleeps in God's acre, 
somewhere, and their children and grandchildren, gray-haired men and 
women, rise up and call them blessed. 

We do well to honor the memory of the pioneers, and as we reverence, 
so let us emulate their virtues. Very resp'y yours, 

PERRY P. ROGERS. 

9.— FROM HENRY C. MAY, M. D. 

Washington, D. C, June 5, 1893. 
Hon. Ansel J. McCall, Bath, Neiv York, Chairman, Committee, etc: 

Sir— I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor invit- 
ing me to participate in the festivities commemorative of the one hundreth 
anniversary of the founding of the village of Bath. As a native of that 
beautiful village, nothing would afford me greater pleasure than to accept 
your invitation, if it lay in my power to do so. 

You do yourselves great honor in thus honoring the memory of the 
pioneers, who pushed their way in flat-boats from the Susquehanna up the 
rivers to that beautiful country, and laid deep the foundations on which 
rest the fair fabric of your beautiful village. The forests conquered, the 
fields yielding their bountiful harvests, the stately old mansions, your 
churches and schools and hum of industry, are all monuments of the 
patience, heroism, patriotism and virtues of the fathers who have pre- 
ceded us. 

May the memory of the " olden times," which you will recall in these 
anniversary days, be the pride of the old and young of to-day, and prove 
a stimulus and encouragement of the generations yet unborn, as, coming 
on the stage of future activities, they read and rehearse the records you 
now make and transmit to our descendants. Wishing you every success in 
your worthy endeavors to honor the past and encourage the future, I am. 
Very sincerely yours, 

HENRY C. MAY. 



268 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

10.— FROM J. C. STEPHENS. 

Canisteo, N. Y., May 29, 1893. 
Hon. A. J. McCall, of Bath, N. Y. 

Dear Sir — Having received your invitation, to-day, to attend the 
Bath Centennial Celebration on the 6th and 7th of June next, I avail, or 
take the opportunity to write you of an occurence that took place vehen 
there were but five families in Bath, of which your fathers was one, viz : 

That Rachel Gilbert, the daughter of EUsha Gilbert, then of Addison, 
N. Y., who was born November 19, 1782, being but eleven years old, 
rode on horse-back from Addison to Painted Post and thence up the Con- 
hocton Valley to Bath, nearly all woods then, and did the housework 
for a Mr. Taylor and his four men (who built the saw-mill for Captain 
Williamson), and remained there thirteen weeks, your kind mother as- 
sisting her daily (the child woman). In 1804, she married Nathan Ste- 
phens, of Canisteo, by whom she had five sons, all of whom passed 
their three-score years and ten. 

Yours, 

J. C. STEPHENS. 



11.— FROM M. RUMSEY. 

St. Louis, June 2, 1893. 
Mr. Ansel J. McCall, and other Gentlevien of the Centennial Committee, 

Bath, N. Y. : 

Gentlemen — I am in receipt of your kind and thoughtful favor invit- 
ing me to participate in the due celebration of the Centennial of Bath. I 
indeed regret that circumstances will not permit that I be with you in per- 
son. You may, however, rest assured in spirit I will be present, and with 
you rejoice that our little town of fifty years ago has grown to such mag- 
nificent proportions. " Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never 
to himself hath said, this is my own, my native land ?" was born from a 
poetic inspiration which strikes a responsive chord in the heart of every 
man. What feelings, then, of veneration, of joy and of congratulations 
must animate us on that day, when, for the first time, our native town 
celebrates with eclat the one hundredth anniversary of her birth! A cen- 
tury of vigorous growth from the swaddling clothes of the bye-way town 
to the sturdy city of commercial manhood. Many years, though days they 
seem, have passed since I, with youth's ambition fired, bade friends and 
Bath good-bye. I have waged with the world beyond, the suns of many 
climes, and the frosts of many lands have warmed or chilled my brow. 
The waves of many waters have cradled me to sleep ; cares and responsi- 
bilities weighty, the consequence of a busy life, have often well-nigh over- 
whelmed me. The moments of rest free from mental toil have been few ; 



APPENDIX B. Zbi) 

few and brief though they have been, to me they have been most refresh- 
ing, for an enjoyment, than which none is greater, has been mine, for in 
those seldom moments the pleasures of memory have proven a rejuvenat- 
ing tonic. Then, reminiscences of the past, long gone by, yet vividly 
present as of yesterday, crowd my weary brain and lull me as a child to 
rest. The pleasures of childhood's days, thoughts of boyhood's sports and 
boyhood's friends, made the man a child again— and I lived in Bath. Full 
many well known and well beloved faces arising amidst those memories 
have passed away from earth to e'en brighter homes beyond ; others in 
lands far off abide. These will join with us, and in joy acclaim the one 
hundredth birthday of om* natal town. And those of whom first I spoke, 
if the celestial spirits of the departed dead think aught of those whom they 
have left behind, may we not hope that even they, touched by the magic 
sounds arising from the echo of the inspiring words of liberty and hfe, 
native land, native heath, will, in accord with our souls, hail thee, Bath, 
wishing thee a thousand, yea, ten thousand returns of this festal day. 
May thou and thine advance in wisdom, wealth and commercial supremacy, 
until Bath, prosperous though she be to-day among her sisters of the Em- 
pire State, shall shine illustrious among the fairest cities of our fair land. 
I have the honor of remaining, Gentlemen, 

Yours truly, 
M. RUMSEY. 

13.— prom fanny mccay howell. 

60 North Lafayette St., ) 
Grand Rapids, Mich., June 3, 1893. j 
Mr. John F. Little : 

Dear Sir — It would have given me pleasure to contribute to the pro- 
gram of literary exercises for your Centennial Celebration at Bath, this 
week, but your letter of May 8d has been wandering, and probably would 
not have reached me at all, had it not been advertised. Mrs. F. B. Gilbert 
has received a "bidding to the past," and if the Gilbert name had been 
upon my letter, it would have come to me without delay, as the family is 
large and long resident in this city. 

However, there are so many left of the old set, that you will not miss 
what I might have said. As it is, I can only send my best wishes for a 
successful occasion, and my kindest regards for each and every participant 
in the same. My filial sentiments to the dear old town are sent herein : 
" Where'er I roam, whatever 

Realms to see. 
My heart untram'ld fondly 
Turns to thee." 
With thanks for your letter, and many regrets that I did not receive 
it earlier, I am, Very truly yours, 

FANNY McCAY HOWELL. 



270 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

13.— FROM HIRAM POTTER. 

Chattanooga, Tenn., May 25, 1893. 
Centennial Committee, Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y. 

Dear Sirs — I would gladly avail myself of your invitation to be pres- 
ent at the Bath Centennial Celebration, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 6th 
and 7th, were it in my power to do so. But my ! my ! what memories it 
calls up, inside, of Old Steuben, even to me whose experience was not very 
extensive within her borders, and notwithstanding I have not the proud 
distinction of being a Centenarian. And yet your invitation well-nigh 
makes me feel like one. Soon the roll-call of my early days in Bath and 
elsewhere in the county, will meet with no response, save from the grave. 

But when I recall how, when a boy, I was all night long, on a cold 
winter night, making the trip in an old-fashioned four-horse stage coach 
(no railroad through that region then), over a rough and rugged road of 
mud-hubs (there was no snow at the time), from Painted Post to Bath, 
stopping at Cooper's Plains, Besley's Tavern, and " Mud Creek,*' to warm ; 
while now the rushing railroad accomplishes the distance, I suppose, in 
less than a half hour. Is it not naturally pardonable, in consideration of 
such changes, if one feels that he must be at least bordering on centena- 
rian gi-ounds? 

But I am falling into dreams. I wish you all conceivable happiness at 
your Centennial, and only regret that I cannot be with you bodily, as I 
certainly shall be in spirit. 

Yours sincerely, 

HIRAM POTTER. 



14.— prom l. d. fay. 

Wellsboro, Pa., May 25, 1893. 
A. J. McCall : 

Dear Sir — I have received a notice from your Committee of the Cele- 
bration of the Centennial of the village of Bath, to come off the 6th and 
7th of June. I shall surely be there if health permits. I would be more 
than pleased if there could be found an old stage coach that I could hitch 
up four horses to, and drive it through the village as I did in 1840 — the year 
that I commenced driving stage — I don't think there is any one of the 
drivers that drove that year that are living now, but myself. I am in quite 
good health now, running my train every day ; have not lost but three or 
four days from sickness for the past two years. 

Yours very truly, 

L. D. FAY. 



APPENDIX B. 271 

15.— from mrs. louisa l, r. pitkin. 

156 South Fitzhugh Street, | 
Rochester, N. Y., May 15, 1893. \ 
Committee : 

The following trifling reminiscences are sent, not for their value, but as 
an acknowledgment of the courtesy of an invitation for June 6th and 
7th prox : 

Possibly there are not many (if any) among the residents of Bath, 
who recall Mrs. Thornton-Helm as a personal acquaintance so early as 
1817. I spent the summer and fall of that year in my brother's family, in 
my 7th year. School life in B. is among my most pleasant recollections. 
A gentleman teacher, whose name I do not retain, daily intercourse with 
Virginia Thornton, Amelia Helm and Washington Helm furnished my 
recreation. Mrs. Thornton is a historical personage Her seat at the left 
of the preacher, on the platform, was a weekly observation of my child 
Hfe. 

Her stately form, brunette complexion, with the invariable "turban" 
upon her head, made her a fair representation of her distinguished ances- 
tress, Pocahontas. 

Mrs. Thornton's hospitality was proverbial. Next door neighbor to my 
sister, Mrs. M. E. (Harvey) Montgomery, she was the source of helpfulness in 
many ways during Mrs. M's. extreme youth fulness as a housekeeper. She 
married at 16 years of age, going from Dansville to Bath, and always felt 
unbounded gratitude for Mrs. Thornton's kindness. Mr. Montgomery's 
two eldest children were born in Bath — Wm. Rochester Montgomery in 
1813. He now Uves in Hillsdale, Michigan. The second, Sophia Harriet 
Montgomery, died in her 21st year in this city. 

My brother, Wm. B. Rochester, was some years a resident of your 
beautiful town — beautiful for its surrounding hills, etc., etc. He married 
for his second wife, while there, Miss Amanda Hopkins, of the adjoining 
village of Springfield. Her only remaining child is Gen. Wm. B. Roches- 
ter, of Washington, D. C, ex-Paymaster of the United States Army. 

The antique view on your program with its back-view of hill, is well 
remembered by me. 

Respectfully, 

LOUISA L. R. PITKIN. 



16.— from F. C. JOHNSON. 

Wilkes-Barre, Pa., May 16, 1893. 
My Dear Mr. McCall— I have yours of the 29th ult., and have 
delayed answering, hoping to get some information. Though people from 
this region settled around Bath later, I don't believe any of them were in 



372 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

the early movement of 1793. Matthias HoUenback had a branch store 
there, but I don't know how early. I have an Invitation to be present at 
your Centennial, and should greatly enjoy attending, though I fear I can- 
not. 

Yours very truly, 

F. C. JOHNSON. 



17.— FROM R. K. WARREN. 

Portland, Oregon, May 24, 1893. 
Capt. John F. Little, Chairman Entertainment Committee, Bath Centen- 
nial, Bath, N. Y. : 

Dear Sir — Deeply do I regret the impossibility of participating in the 
exercises and enjoyments of the Centennial Anniversary of my native 
town. 

The revival of memories which have been slumbering for years, the 
recollection of incidents, which, half-forgotten, come back to us but dimly, 
is most delightful at any time ; but to be present when such reminiscences 
are made the special object of the occasion, and more especially to mingle 
with friends united by the ties of a common birthplace, of a common asso- 
ciation and of a common pride, is a privilege which, though I must bring 
myself to forego it, I would consider one of the highest to enjoy. 

Allow me to express my high appreciation of your kind remembrance, 
and through you to extend to your Committee, and to all who shall be pres- 
ent that may remember me, my most cordial greetings, with the sincere 
wish that it may be a most delightful occasion. 

Sincerely yom-s, 

R. K. WARREN. 



18.— FROM CATHARINE MC CLURE WHEELER. 

Elgin, June 2, 1893. 
Mr. Otis: 

Dear Sir — In a wakeful hour of last night, I found myself meditating 
on Bath and the Centennial. Bath and its early inhabitants are very dear 
to me, and associated with the earliest recollections of my childhood days. 
My parents were married in Elmira, in 1808. My mother was the daughter 
of General Matthew Carpenter, of that place. My father was a brother of 
General George McClure, of Bath. Their bridal trip was made, in com- 
pany with young friends, on horseback, to their future home, about forty 
miles. Railroads had not become fashionable, and the new roads of the 
country were too rough for carriages, even if one were fortunate enough 
to possess them. 



APPENDIX B. 27S 

My first attendance at church was in the old Court House, the Rev. 
David Higgins, pastor (Presbyterian). We came every Sabbath, summer 
and winter, and heard two profound sermons. Stoves were a kixury un- 
known, except small foot-stoves, which answered a good purpose keeping 
the feet from freezing. Early in the century a Deacon Hopkins lived a 
short distance below Bath, I think near a small pond. Charles Howell 
married one of the daughters, and a man named Rochester married an- 
other. Rochester moved to Rochester, N. Y. , and if I am not very much 
mistaken, gave the name to that place. At one time there were slaves in 
Bath ; I forget the year slavery was abolished in New York State. Samuel 
Haight (my uncle) owned a man named Simon Watkins. He married and 
became a very respectable citizen. At one time, I recollect, slave-catchers 
came from the South, caught half -grown boys, tied them hand and foot, 
threw them into large covered wagons and drove off with them. Simon 
stood at his door with a shot gun in his hand, and threatened to shoot the 
first man that entered his house. It is my opinion that at that time the 
slaveholders must have had friends in Bath. I can give no dates, only 
what I remember as a child. 

I was in Bath and helped to celebrate her Fiftieth Anniversay when 
a young girl. I was born in 1811. My husband. Rev. C. Wheeler, 
preached in Bath in 1837-38. 

It tires me very much to write, or I would try to do better. Someone 
sent me an invitation to visit Bath. I should be very glad to do so. Do 
what you think best with this. Love to your family. 

CATHARINE McCLURE WHEELER. 



19.— JOHN P. MEGINNESS,* 

WiLLiAMSPORT, Pa., May 23. 1893. 
A. J. McCall and Others, Committee : 

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your invitation to attend the 
Centennial of the founding of Bath in 1793. It would afford me much 
pleasure to be present on the occasion as it will doubtless be very interest- 
ing, but I fear that business engagements will prevent me. The story of 
the founding of Bath, coupled with tlie history of Charles Williamson, 
and " the horse races in the wilderness," is ever an interesting one. In the 
land office at Harrisbui-g, Pa. , is a well preserved draft of his famous road 
which he cut through from the Loyalsock to the New York State line, in 
1792, and over which he conducted his company of emigrants. They were 
the founders of Bath. Yours, 

JOHN F. MEGINNESS. 

* Author of the " History of the West Branch Valley, Pa." 



274 THE CENTENNIAL OF BATH. 

FULL LIST OF WRITERS OF CENTENNIAL CORRESPONDENCE. 

1— John A. McCall, President N. Y. Life Ins. Co. 

2 — Harriet Maxwell Converse, New York City. 

3— Robert L. May, Denver, Col. 

4— Henry C. May, M. D., Washington, D. C. 

5— William Rochester Montgomery, Esq., Hillsdale, Mich. 

6— Mrs. Fanny McCay Howell, Grand Rapids, Mich. 

7— H. R. Haight, San Diego, Cal. 

8— Gen, W. W. Averell (sent from Tacoma, Wash.) 

9_Pi-esident of the United States. Washington, D. C. 
10— David C. Robinson, Elmira, N. Y. 
11 — Grattan H. Wheeler, Tacoma, Wash. 
12— E. H. Butler, Buffalo. N. Y. 
13— Senator Hill, Albany, N. Y. 
14 — Governor Flower, Albany, N. Y. 
15— Commander J. A. Howell, U. S. Navy. 
16— H. B. Plumb. 

17— Rev. W. D. Wilson, D. D., L. L. D., Syracuse, N. Y. 
18— L. D. Fay, Wellsboro, Pa. 
19_William H. Engle, M. D., Harrisburg, Pa. 
20— L. B. Proctor, Albany, N. Y. 
21— J. R. Selover, M. D., Applegate, N. Y. 
22— Rev. Almon Gregory. 

23— Mrs. Louisa L. R. Pitkin, Rochester, N. Y. 
24— M. Rumsey, St. Louis, Mo. 
25— R. K. Warren, Portland, Ore. 
26— Charles T. Blood, Ithaca, N. Y. 
27— Jas. F. Howell, Fishkill Landing, N. Y. 
28— Hon. James C. Smith, Canandaigua, N. Y. 
29— J. C. Stephens, Canisteo, N. Y. 
80— Hiram Potter, Chattanooga, Tenn. 
31— Rev. George D. Stewart, Fort Madison, Iowa. 
32— Hon. J. Sloat Fassett, Elmira, N. Y. 
33— A. F. Barnes, Wellsboro, Pa. 
34— "Steuben Club," Bath, N. Y. 
35— James McCall, Esq., Bath, N. Y. 
36— Thomas Hassett, Albany, N. Y. 
37— Hon. Justin R. Whiting, St. Clair, Mich. 
38— Hon. George J. Magee, Watkins, N. Y. 
39— Hon. Sherman S. Rogers, Buffalo, N. Y. 
40_Rev. L. M. Miller, D. D., Ogdensburg, N. Y. 
41— Hon. James M. Barker, Pittsfield, Maes. 



APPENDIX B. 275 



42— Irvin W. Near, Hornellsville, N. Y. 

43_William Woods Whiting, Pittsfield, Mass. 

44 — Harry C. Heermans, Corning, N. Y. 

45 — James Roblee, Canisteo, N. Y. 

46— Hon. William Rumsey, Bath, N. Y. 

47— William Howell, Antrim, Pa. 

48— John S. Minard, Fillmore, N. Y. 

49— Clark Bell, Esq., New York City. 

50— F. C. Johnson, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 

51 — C. H. Berry, Esq., Winona, Minn. 

52— Prof. Z. L. Parker, Bath, N. Y. 

53 — George P. Humphrey, Rochester, N. Y. 

54— A. R. Scott, Geneseo, N. Y. 

55— Gen. N. M. Crane, Hornellsville, N. Y. 

56— A. C. Knapp, Chicago, 111. 

57— Hon. Harlo Hakes, Hornellsville. N. Y. 

58— Mrs. Catharine McClure Wheeler, Elgin, 111. 

59_William A. McCall, North Cove, N. C. 

60 — Perry P. Rogers, Binghamton, N. Y. 

61— J. M. Dudley, New York City. 



APPENDIX C 



A fitting close of this Centennial Record would be a summary of the 
official, professional and business activity of Bath, as it existed in June, 
1893. As accurately as possible it is appended : 

village officers. 

President— H. W. Gould. 

Trustees— O. W. Sutton, M. D.; E. E. Aber; W. H. Phillips, D, D. S.; 
B. L. Smith, Esq. 

Treastirer — William A. Dutcher. 

Clerk — Thomas Shannon, Esq. 

Attorney — L. A. Waldo, Esq. 

Assessors— C. A. Ellas, H. S. Bennett, Thos. Fogarty. 

Police Justice — Clarence Willis, Esq. 

Chief of Police — David Ormsby. 

Street Commissioner — Nelson Covell. 

Chief of Fire Department — John McNamara, 

Ass't Chiefs of Fire Department — Cameron Cotton, Geo. H. Parker. 

Fire Wardens — John Wager, Morris Rothschild. 

TOWN OFFICERS. 

Supervisor — William H. Nichols. Esq. 

Town Clerk — William W. Lindsay. 

Justices of the Peace — William W. Lindsay, Clarence Willis, Esq., 
Frank Hardenbrook, Edwin R. Fuller, John K. Bancroft. 

Assessors — William V. Longwell, James Little, John R. Hedges. 

Commissioner of Highioays — Royal C. Clark. 

Collector — Harvey W. Cowan, 

Overseers of the Poor — John L. Stocum, William M. Wagner. 

Constables — Emory W. Hardenbrook, Chas. Dudley, Robert B. Wilkes, 
William S. Gray, Jerome H. Froeman. 

CHURCHES, 

The Presbyterian Church — Rev. M. N. Preston, Pastor, 

St, Thomas Church (Episcopal), Rev. B. S. Sanderson, Rector, 

Centenary (M. E.) Church, Rev. M. C. Dean, Pastor. 

Baptist Church of Bath, Rev. V. P. Mather, Pastor. 

St, Mary's Church (Roman Catholic), Rev. J. J. Gleason, Pastor, 

Zion (A, M, E,) Church, Rev, B, W. Swain, Pastor. 



APPENDIX C. 277 

THE BAR OF BATH. 

Miller, M. R., Surrogate. McMaster, C. H. 

Klingsiey, C. F. McCall, James. 

Eangsley, Jas. R. Nichols, W. H, 

Kingsley, Chas. L., Parkhurst, J. F. 

Little, Jno. F. Robie, R. E. 

Lyon, Reuben R. Rumsey , Wm. , Justice Svipreme C't. 

Lyon, Robert M. Smith, B. L. 

McCall, A. J. Shannon, Thomas. 

Miller, L. D. Willis, C. 

McMaster, Humphrey, Waldo, Lucius A. 

THE PHYSICIANS OF BATH. 

Alexis H. Cruttenden, M. D. B. F. Grant, M. D. 

Ira P. Smith, M. D. Geo. C. McNett, M. D. 

Ambrose Kasson, M. D. Thomas H. Pawhng, M. D. 

Orlando W. Sutton, M. D. Chester T. Stewart, M. D. 

E. P. Stuart, M. D. 

SOCIETIES AND ORDERS. 

Grand Army of Republic (2 Posts), Masons, Odd Ftllows, Knights 
of Maccabees, Royal Arcanum, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Good 
Templars, Patrons of Husbandry, Edwin Cook Hose Co., Rescue Hook and 
Ladder Co. , Catholic Mutual Benefit Association, Steuben Club. 

BUSINESS DIRECTORY. 

Liberty Street. 

Nos. 2-4 — Ferine & Davison, H. W, Ferine, agent, and Moses Davison, 
dry goods, etc. Second floor, J. F. Parkhurst, law office ; Thos, Has- 
sett, stenographer. Third floor, Odd Fellows Hall. 

No. 8— Isaac Adams, grocery. Second floor, W. H. Shepard, insurance. 

No. 8 — Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank ; A. Beekman, Prest.; Frank Camp- 
bell, Cashier. Second floor, Reuben R. Lyon, law office. 

No. 10— Daniels & Carroll, grocers ; Norman Daniels, Ward Carroll. Sec- 
ond floor. Dr. M. F. St. John, dentist. 

No. 12— Dr. Dunn & Co., druggists and stationers ; J. Dunn, E. A. Baulch. 
Second floor, O. H. Smith, insurance. Third floor, G. A. R. rooms. 

No. 14 — J. M. Ringer, jewelry and stationery. Second floor, J. M. Ferris, 
insurance ; John Abel, harness. 

No. 16 — Chas. S. Allison, merchant tailor. Second floor, Thos. Craig, shoe 
shop. 

No. 18— G. W. Peck & Co. , hardware. 

No. 20 — W. J. Jones, druggist. Second floor, Cameron Cotton, billiard 
parloi. Third floor. Cotton & Davison, machinists. 



278 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

No. 22 — Sliney & Hoffman, grocers. Second floor, Phillips & Lantz, dentists. 
No. 24 — W. P. Sedgwick, jeweler. Second floor, A. Osgood, dentist. 
No. 26— A. Rich, merchant tailor and clothier. 
No. 28 — S. G. Lewis, grocer. Second floor, Lindsay & Fay, milliners ; Mrs. 

Carrie Fay, Miss Helen Lindsay. 
No. 30— F. J. Richards, barber shop. 
No. 32 — J. M. Collins, saloon. 

No. 34-36 — J. M. Messerschmitt, hotel and restaurant. 
No. 38— Rothschild & Loeb, clothiers. Second floor. Dr. B. F. Grant. Third 

floor. Catholic Temperance Society. 
No. 40 — Flynn & Co., grocers; R. R. Flynn, A. L. Underbill. Second 

floor, Dr. Geo. C. McNett. 
No. 42 — Post Office and Telegraph office. Second floor, Steuben Farmers' 

Advocate. Third floor, A. B. DeGroat, photographer. 
No. 52 — N. Ingersoll, second-hand store. 
No. 1— First National Bank; H. H. Cook, Prest.; "W. W. Allen, cashier. 

W, H. Nichols and M. R. Miller, law office. Basement, Geo. Johnson, 

barber shop. Second floor, C. F. Kingsley, law office ; Policy Boiler 

Cleaner Co. ; Clarence Willis, justice ; Wallace Orcutt, pension agent. 

Third floor, Rescue Hook and Ladder Company. 
No. 3— S. S. Seely, druggist. Second floor, Dr. O. W. Sutton. 
No. 5— Geo. W. Hallock Bank ; Geo. W. Hallock, Prest. ; W. H. Hallock, 

cashier. Second floor, B. L. Smith, law office ; Bath Gas Company's 

office. Third floor, Edwin Cook Hose Company. 
No. 7 — Berkman Bottling Co. Second floor, Geo. Landers, tailor. Third 

floor, dancing hall. 
No. 9 — Simon Bovier, hat store. Second floor, W. W. Lindsay, justice ; 

Castle & Son, shoemakers. Third floor, John Coumbe, photographer. 

Basement, Chas. Longwell, meat market. 
No. 11— Star Clothing House ; P. P. Tharp. Second floor, Jennie Clark, 

millinery ; Misses Shoemaker, dress makers. Third floor, Grange Hall ; 

Hannah Parker, dress maker. 
No. 13— Church & Alden, dry goods ; E. L. Church, E. D. Alden. 
No. 15 — S. Engleman, notions, etc. 

No. 17 — Brownell & Co., hardware ; C. S. Brownell, W. W. Allen. 
No. 19— Wylie's Book Store. Second floor. Dr. C. T. Stewart. 
No. 21 — Robie's, dry goods ; J. C. Robie, agent. Second floor, R. E. Robie, 

law office. 
No. 23 — S. W. Wood, grocer. Second floor, James McCall, law office. 
No. 25— C. A. Ellas, druggist. 

No. 27 — John McNamara, hardware. Third floor, Masonic Hall. 
No. 29 — A. Kausch, jeweler ; J. H. Scott, agent, boots and shoes. Second 

floor, Dr. T. H. Pawling. 



APPENDIX C. 279 

No. 31— M. H. Tharp, shoe store. Second floor, J. F. Little, Thos. Shan- 
non, law ofl&ce. 

No. 33 — Read House, J. B. Touzeau, prop'r. 

No. 35 — Robinson's Liquor Store, E. L. Robinson, agent. 

No. 43 — Jos. Maloney, barber shop. 

No. 45 — Stetson's meat market. 

No. 47 — Bath Plaindealer office. Second floor, Steuben Club. 

No. 49— F. H. Olin & Co., bakery. 

No. 55 — Miss Dyer, dressmaker. W. M. Hyde, laundry. 

No. 57 — A. D. Boileau, wagon shop. 

No. 59 — John Boileau, blacksmith. 

West Steuben Street. 

No. 7-9— Hewlett & Co. , furniture. 

No. 15 — A. Beecher, restaurant. 

No. 17 — T. H. Appleby, collar and harness factory. 

No. 21— Bath Tubular Hame Co. 

No. 25 — Robert Stewart, blacksmith. 

No. 29— Joy's Steam Mill. 

No. 47-51 — Stocum & Son, John Stocum, John L. Stocum, furniture. 

No. 26— A. Butler, planing mill. 
Fred Niver, blacksmith. 

No. 48 — Gregson & Smith, shoe factory. 

No. 2— T. P. Purdy, Ag't. paint store. 

No. 4 — W. V. Longwell, meat market. 

No. 6 — Stansbury & Leavenworth, sewing machines and stationery ; Mrs. 
R. L. Sutton, music store. Second floor, telephone office. 

No. 8 — Aber Bros., E. E. & G. M. Aber, gi-oceries. Second floor, Miss 
Jennie Richardson, ladies' shoes. E. A. Page, tailor. 

No. 10— John Hoyt, meat market. Second floor, Geo. Quackenbush, har- 
ness shop. 

No. 12 — G. H. Ferris, jeweler ; T. W. Barber, groceries. Second floor, E. 
A. Hines, barber. 

No. 14 — E. B. Hodges, baker and grocer. Second floor, Henry Bradt, shoe- 
maker. John Gould, picture frames and upholstery. 

No. 16 — Ulrich's Hotel, Chas. Ulrich, proprietor. 

No. 18 — Edward Conley, hardware. 

No. 20— Mrs. Delia Boyle, saloon. 

No. 22 — Frank Lee, laundry. 

No. 24 — F. J. Johner, saloon. 

No. 30— Philip Plough, shoe shop. 

East Steuben Street. 

No. 7 — R. Seager, billiard parlor. Second floor, Dr. A. Kasson. 

No. 9 — Seymore Miller, barber shop. 



380 THE CENTENNIAL OP BATH. 

No. 11-17 — Nichols House, J. R. Laidlaw, proprietor. 
No. 19-23 — A. Beekman, sash, doors and bhnds. 
No. 25 — Fred Smallidge, livery. 

D. B. Boileau, carriage shop. 
Miss Hannah Dudley, florist. 

Buel Street. 
No. 5 — The Steuben Courier. Second floor, Davenport Free Library. 
No. 7. — Gould & Nowlen, plumbers. 
No. 9. — Charles Haley, barber shop. 
No. 11 — Fred Moris, harness factory. 
No. 13-15 — Cornwell House, J. F. Gleason, proprietor. 
No. 25 — Jos. Tharp & Son, Uvery. 
No. 6— Andrew Crook, marble dealer. 

No. 10 — J. Futherer, shoe shop. Second floor, Miss Futherer, millinery. 
No. 12-16 — Robinson House, Mui-phy & Shoch, proprietors. 

Howell Street. 
John Brewster, grocery ; Lloyd Woodbury, meat market. 

Morris Street. 
East — S. L. Holcomb, cigar factory ; E. E. Carrington, ice dealer. 
West — James Faucett, grain, produce, coal, etc. ; Bath Mills, S. Packard. 

Cameron Street. 
Fluent Bros., wagon shop ; Geo. W. Murray, paint shop ; M. Bowes & Co., 
coal, oil and produce ; James Poole, malster ; Joseph White, feed and 
cider mills ; W. M. Smith, apple distillery. 

East Washington Street. 
M. V. Barton, blacksmith shop ; Richardson M'f 'g. Co. ; M. Fenton, grocery. 

Halsey Street. 
Utopia Cigar Factory, D. W. Raysor, proprietor. 

Haverling Street. 
S. E. Van Scoter, florist. 

Fxchange Street. 
M. ColUns, Carregin«& Thorp, blacksmiths ; E. D. Chapman, wood j-ard. 

East William Street. 

Davison Bros., planing mill; G. H. Hardenbrook, foundry and machine 

shop ; E. S. Hardenbrook, tin shop ; H. M. Jewell, bottling works. 

Pine Street. 

Ward Carroll, cooper shop. 

Lackawanna Street. 
Steuben Co. Vineyard Association, wines and brandies ; L. H. Balcom, coal. 

East Liberty Street — Rear. 

Jacket Can Factory, H. Cooley, Supt. ; W. H. Loomis,' wagon shop ; Thos. 

Fogarty, builder ; Frank Lindsay, livery ; J. F. Beekman, livery. 

Chestnut Street. 

E. Aulls, foundry.