George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

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present semi-courtly structure, the erection of which was clue to a corn-
pan)'' consisting of Thomas Rogers, Henry Jessup, B. Butler, Robert
C. Jackson, and others. It cost $13,000, and in 1840 was purchased and
kept by William P. Nottingham as the Palmyra Hotel. Successive
landlords were: Cleveland, Gates, Joseph E. Cochran, and Delos Cum-
mings. A few years since the present proprietor, W. A. Powers,
assumed' charge and changed its name to the Powers Hotel. In early
days Asa Lilley kept what was called Lilley's Coffee House; the build-
ing was nnalhy removed and occupied by Francis Bartles as a dwelling.
vSalmon Hathaway built and kept the Franklin House where the village
hall now stands; Kingsley Miller was later its landlord. The Bunker
Hill House was opened about 1825 by William W. Burrell, who was
succeeded by W. P. Nottingham. The present Eagle Hotel was built
by Abner F. Lakey for a cabinet shop, and opened as a public house by
William Doran. The Farmers' House was opened and rebuilt by
Butler Newton. The Cummings House was formerly a dwelling.

Palmyra post-office was established as early as September, 1806; the
postmasters, with the dates of their appointments, have been as follows:

Dr. Azel Ensworth, September, 1806; Ira Selby, June 16, 1814; Lemuel Parkhurst,
December 31, 1817; Ezra Shepardson, October 23, 1818; William A. McLane, Novem-
ber 17, 1819; Joseph S. Colt, May 5, 1824; Marlin W. Wilcox, August 6, 1829; Pomeroy
Tucker, February 13, 1839 ; David D. Hoyt, March 18, 1841 ; John O. Vorse, October
24, 1844; William H. Cuyler, January 20, 1848; Thomas Ninde, May 3, 1849; William
L. Tucker, April 1, 1853; William H. Cuyler, April 20, 1857; William H. Southwick,
May 28, 1861 ; Charles J. Ferrin, August 3, 1865 ; John W. Corning, October 10, 1866 ;
Charles J. Ferrin, April 12, 1867; Edward S. Averill, 1871; Wells Tyler, 1873; Henry
A. Chase, 1877; Frank C. Brown, 1885; Joseph W. Corning, April 15, 1889. Mr.
Corning died June 29, 1890, and his widow, Louisa N. Corning, was appointed and
held the position until September, 1894, when Daniel B. Harman, the present in-
cumbent, took charge.

Palmyra village was incorporated March 29, 1827, and the first election
of officers was authorized to be held May 1 ; there was no election, how-
ever, and the charter was amended, designating February 4, 1828, and
the house of Lovell Hurd as the time and place for the first meeting.
The presiding justices were : Alexander R. Tiffany and Frederick Smith,
and the first officers chosen were: Trustees, Joseph Colt, president,
Joel Thayer, Thomas Rogers, Nathaniel H. Beckwith, James White;
clerk, Thomas P. Baldwin; treasurer, William Parke ; assessors, George
N. Williams, Alvah Hendee, George Beckwith; fire wardens, Stephen


Ackley, Pliny Sexton, Benjamin Throop. February L9, it was voted to
purchase a fire engine and ladders, to remove obstructions from Gan-
argwa (Mud) Creek, to purchase or lease a site for a pound, and to
procure a water supply for use in ease of fire. The first street (Division )
was laid out February 22, and a fire company was organized May 2:!,
with twenty members: Thomas P. Baldwin, Giles S. Ely, Lovewell
Hurd, Martin Butterfield, Egbert B. Grandin, Hiram K. Jerome,
Joseph D. Hay ward, Philip Grandin, Dorastus Cole, Pelatiah West,
John W. M. Zuell, James F. Barker, George W. Gazely, Nathaniel
Crandall, Adolphus T. Newdand, Harry Cooley, Truman Heminway,
Jehiel Todd, Sutton Birdsall, and Homer B. Williams. The last sur-
vivor was Hiram K. Jerome. That year Franklin, Holmes, and Clinton
streets were laid out.

In 1829 Division and Fayette streets were extended, Washington,
Cuyler, Jackson, and Carroll streets were laid out, and May 4, the
charter was amended. In 1832 it was voted to build an engine house,
and August 22, 1835, a tax of $125 was authorized for the purchase of
a horse and harness for the village. In 1830 $500 was voted for a new
engine, and April 10, 1836, a legislative act increased the number of
firemen to thirty-four, which act was supplemented by another, April
•i4, 1837, adding twenty more. In 1839 an engine and hose house were
authorized, and in 1842 a night watch was established. May 9, 1843-,
$500 were voted to buy a burial place and fence it, and in 1S44 the
present cemetery was opened. In 1846 anew fire engine was purchased
for $1,000. Fires burned Anderson's barn, etc., November 2'.); and
February 7, 1S4T, the Methodist chapel and Jenner's chair factory were
destroyed. March 13, 1 S52, the village was divided into three fire
districts, and a fire alarm attached to the Presbyterian church ; May 21,
Red Rover Engine Co. No. 1 was organized. May 25, 1853, $l,r>o<)
were voted to improve Railroad avenue, which was laid out August 1.
May i, L855, the fire department was reorganized; the old companies
were disbanded, and Continental Fire Co. No. 1 was formed with thirty-
six members. September 18, a tax of $2,800 was voted to purchase
lots and erect engine houses. In August, 1857, the Franklin House
was purchased, and November 2, the old engine houses were ordered
sold at auction. In 1S58, Joseph W. Corning was appointed the first
police justice. January 1 :!, I860, the fire department was again re-
organized, with G. C. Williams, foreman of Eagle Fire Co. No. 1, and
C. |. Ferrin,' f orman of No. 2. May 11, L869, a Silsby steamer and 950



feet of hose were purchased for $6,000. October 25, L802, the steel
flag- pole was dedicated.

July 5, L876, the Jarvis Block was burned and at once rebuilt of brick.
The fire losses in 1876 aggregated about $60,000.

In 1838 the following advertisements appeared in the local papers :
Arnold E. Rice, Bunker Hill House; Williams & Filmore, livery and
exchange; Higby & Coleman, D. S. Aldrich, and C. W. White, dry
goods, etc. ; J. K. Cummings, J. & L. Thayer, and Beech er & Glossen-
den, forwarding; Ely & Delamater, Butler & Williams, Seaman &

Eastern View in Main St., Palmyra. — From on old print, 1840.

Thompson, tailoring and clothing; James Jenner, cabinet warehouse;
Ely & Beckwith, looking-glasses and frames; E. Williams, Richmond
& Brown, plow factories and furnaces; S. Jackson, Palmyra rifle fac-
tory; E. S. Townsend, Elihu Durfee, formed a partnership for manu-
facturing rope ; W. B. Tilden, Linus North, copper, tinware, etc.; Wil-
liams's mills, on the Outlet, ground plaster and cash paid for wheat;
Jessup, Smith & Co. and Cyrus Leonard, shoes and leather; C. Terry,
groceries; A. P. Crandall, Sherman & Crandall, carriages; W. W.
Gordon and Z. Williams, dissolution notice ; Lyman W. Post, Higby &
Coleman, general stores; Sexton & Butterfield, cash paid for flax seed;
D. Hotchkiss, jeweler; Hoyt & May, E. A. Jackway, drugs; S. & T.
T. Birdsall, hatter; H. Linnell, chair manufacturer; Warren & Rob-




bins, marble factory; C. B. Bingham, H. Armington, blacksmiths;
L. G. Buckley, saddler; H. K. Jerome, Pomeroy Tucker, lawyers;
Wayne County Bank, J. S. Fenton, cashier; Wells Anderson, shoes;
Miss H. L. Putnam, select school; High School, H. K. Jerome, sec-
retary; A. Evans, D. D. Hoyt, physicians.

The presidents of the village have been as follows:

Joseph Colt, 1828,

Frederick Smith, 1820, (resigned, and

James White, elected),
James White, L830,
M. W. Wilcox, 1831,
Draper Allen, 1832,
Truman Heminway, 1833,
Joseph Colt, 1834,
R. C. Jackson, 1835-36,
Martin W. Wilcox, 1837.
Frederick Smith, 1838-39,
Pomeroy Tucker, 1840.
Truman Heminway, 1841,
Isaac E. Beecher, 1842,
Draper Allen, 1843,
Augustus Elmendorf, 1844-45,
David Hotchkiss, 1840,
O. H. Palmer, 1847,
David Hotchkiss, 1848,
A. C. Sanford, 1849,
Augustus Elmendorf, 1850,
A. G. Myrick, 1851-52,
George G. Jessup, 1853,
Thomas Ninde, 1854,
D. Glossender, 1855,

J. W. Corning, 1856,
A. G. Myrick, 1857-59,
W. H. Southwick, 1860,
A. G. Myrick, 1861-63,
P. P. Huyck, 1864-66,
George W. Cuyler, 1867,
A. P. Crandall, 1868,
G. W. Cuyler, 1869,
F. C. Brown, 1870,
William M. Smith, 1871-72,
Samuel W. Sawyer, 1873-74,
Henry H. Haile, 1875,
William S. Phelps, 1876,
Mark C. Finley, 1877,
Charles D. Johnson, 1878,
Pliny T. Sexton, 1879-83,
Edwin B. Anderson, 1884,
Oliver Durfee, 1885-86,
Aaron P. Seeley, 1887,
Charles H. Brigham, 1888,
Albert S. Rogers, 1889,
Lewis M. Chase, 1890,
William W. Williamson, 1891,
Henry P. Knowles, 1892,

S. Nelson Sawyer, 1893-94.

The village officers for 1894-5 are: S. Nelson Sawyer, president;
Eugene Nichols, George L. Clark, Larue A. Olvitt, R. A. Vanderboget,
trustees; Henry D. Sanders, clerk; Alexander P. Milne, treasurer;
Charles H. Chapman, Peter H. Ford, George H. Crandall, assessors;
M. C. Finley, police justice; J. Morrison Ford, street superintendent;
Eugene Conant, chief of police; George C. Williams, chief, and W. A.
Fowers, assistant chief of fire department.

The Palmyra village hall, a brick structure, was erected in 1867 and
completed in January, L868, the contractor being Elon St. John, and the
building committee A. P. Crandall and Carlton H. Rogers. It cost
about $20,000, and contains the post-office, village offices, fire appara-
tus, lockup, and a large auditorium.


In 1853 permission was given Messrs. Jones and Osborne to erect gas
works and lay pipes in the street. They failed to carry out the fran-
chise, and October 29, 1856, the Palmyra Gas Light Company was or-
ganized, comprising George W. Tyler, president; William F. Aldrich,
secretary; Franklin Williams, treasurer; and William H. Bowman,
James E. Walker, A. C. Sanford, A. P. Crandall, William B. Crandall,
Stillman Jackson, and Joseph C. Lovett, of whom the only survivor is
A. C. Sanford. A plant was erected on the present site, north of the
canal, and the first gas distributed in the fall of 1857. The works have
twice been burned and rebuilt. The capital has been increased from
$12,000 to $20,000. A. P. Crandall was, until his death in 1893, prin-
cipal officer and manager. The present one is Charles McLouth, presi-
dent, secretary, and treasurer.

In March, 1882, a franchise was granted W. W. Williamson, Fred-
erick W. Griffith, W. A. Powers, and Frank H. Brown, to establish an
electric light system in the village. They were unsuccessful.

The Palmyra Electric Light and Power Company was incorporated in
March, 1891, by B. H. Davis, president; W. J. Morrison, vice-presi-
dent; G. T. Tinklepaugh, secretary; L. P. Nichols, treasurer; and C.
C. M. Hunt. The capital is $10,000. The company obtains the elec-
tric current from the plant at Littleville, Ontario county, about eight
miles south from Palmyra. The system was placed in operation in the
fall of 1894.

The Wayne County Bank of Palmyra was chartered April 30, 1829,
with a capital of $100,000. The president was A. Strong, who was suc-
ceeded by Thomas Rogers; the cashier was J. S. Fenton. The institu-
tion finally wound up its affairs and passed out of existence.

The Palmyra Savings Bank was incorporated April 12, 1842, but after
a brief career it went down.

December 25, 1865, Lyman Lyon and S. B. Gavitt began a private
banking business in an upper room of Williams's store. Mr. Lyon pur-
chased Gavitt's interest in June, 1867, continued alone until his death
in August, 1887, when the affairs of the bank were closed up. Mr. Lyon
was county clerk two terms.

The Firsi National Bank of Palmyra is the successor and outgrowth
of the earlier banking business, conducted for man3^ years in its present
offices by the late Pliny Sexton and the late George W. Cuyler. In 1844
Pliny Sexton established, under the then new free banking law, the
" Palmyra Bank." Sometime afterward George W. Cuyler also estab-


lished under the same law the " Cuyler's Bank." The business of both
parties was later merged, and as partners they continued the business
of banking, under the organization of the ''Cuyler's Bank," until the
incorporation in January, L864, by the same parties and their associates,
of the First National Bank of Palmyra, soon after which time their
former State bank was wound up. The incorporators of the First Na-
tional Bank were George W. Cuyler, Pliny Sexton, Pliny T. Sexton,
William H. Cuyler, Charles McLouth, and David S. Aldrich, and they
also constituted its first board of directors. Its first officers were:
George W. Cuyler, president; Pliny Sexton, vice-president; Pliny T.
Sexton, cashier. The officers remained unchanged until the death of
Mr. Cuyler, in July, L876. The vacancy thus occasioned was filled on
December 30 of that year, by the election of Pliny T. Sexton as presi-
dent of the bank. At the same time Robert M. Smith, who had been
its teller for several years, was made cashier of the bank, and Stephen
P. Seymour was chosen its second vice president. The three last named
officers still(1894) retain their respective positions. On March 26, L881,
Pliny Sexton, the first vice-president, died, and on the Pith of the fol-
lowing month Harriot II. Sexton succeeded him as a director of the
bank, and was also, on January is, L882, chosen his successor as vice-
president. The capital of the bank at its organization was $100,000,
with the privilege of increasing the same to $1,000,000, to which latter
amount, by three separate additions, it attained in September, L882.
The building in which the bank is located was erected in L830 by the
Wayne County Bank, an institution which soon afterward passed out of
existence. It was remodeled in 1S70, ami is now occupied by the of-
fices of the FirSt National Bank, and also includes the family residence
of Pliny T. Sexton, its president and principal owner. It is a hand-
some building and is situated on the corner of Main and William streets.

H. P. Knowles & Co. (William Scott) opened a private banking office
in L866. Mr. Scott was succeeded by P. R. Rogers and he by George
W. Knowles, a brother of IP P. The firm also conduct the express
business of the village, which is contemporary with the establishment
of their bank.

The Wayne Building, Loan, and Accumulating Fund Association,
the only concern of the kind in the count}-, was incorporated March 8,
L888, with a capital of $5,000,000, which in L891 was increased to $1.00,-
000,000. The first officers were George R. Brown, president; 1). A.
Aldrich, vice-president; A. C. Hopkins, secretary; S. P. Nichols,

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treasurer; S. E. Harkness, L. M. Chase, W. W. Williamson, S. N.
Sawyer, F. E. Ryckman, trustees; all of whom constituted the Board
of Directors. The successive secretaries have been Frank H. Hale and
J. O. Shipman; the other executive officers have remained the same.
The present trustees are S. N. Sawyer, L. M. Chase, W. W. William-
son, W. A. Powers, and John C. Coates. Shares are $100 each, and
from $1,080. «J0 of assets January 1 , 1 889, the business has grown to $1 1 I ,
403.37 to June 30, 1894.

The Globe Manufacturing Company. — In 1864 J. M. Jones patented
the "Globe" job printing press, began its manufacture, and in lsi;;
formed the Jones Manufacturing Company, of which Henry Johnson
was president, George Bowman vice-president, and Mr. Jones superin-
tendent. In 1870 the firm was reorganized, Mr. Jones giving place to
W. I. Reid. In 1873 the name became the Globe Manufacturing Co.,
incorporated, with A. P. Crandall, president; Geo. Bowman, secretary;
W. I. Reid, superintendent. The capital was $152,000. The present
officers are Henry R. Durfee, president; B.H.Davis, treasurer; A. P.
Seeley, secretary. They manufacture job printing presses and paper
cutters, giving employment to a large force of skilled mechanics. This
is one of the largest printing press factories in the United States, and
the goods are sold throughout this country, Mexico, South America,
and Europe.

J. M. Jones & Co., in 1871, established another printing press and
paper cutter factory opposite the above works, in which from fifteen to
twenty-five hands are employed. They manufacture goods almost ex-
clusively from Mr. Jones's inventions.

The Garlock Packing Company had its inception about 1880, when
O. T. Garlock, a practical engineer, invented and afterwards patented
a packing for steam engines. He began its manufacturing about 1884,
and for a few months was in partnership with T. V. Garlock. In the
fall of 1885 the firm became Garlock & Crandall and in December of
that year Eugene Nichols became a partner under the name of Garlock,
Crandall & Co. In September, 1887, F. W. Griffith purchased Crandall's
interest and the present firm was organized. In 1888 a branch factory
was started in Rome, Ga. The company has branch offices in the larger
cities, and employ from fifteen to twenty men here. The extensive
business has been built up from a capital of less than $500.

The Crandall Packing Company was started as Crandall & Chase in
1887, and in June, 1891, the present firm was incorporated, the officers


being George H. Crandall, president; W. J. Hennessey, vice-president;
C. H. North, secretary; B. H. Davis, treasurer. The present officers
are: A. S. Downing, president; B. H. Davis, vice-president; C. H.
North, secretary; W. J. Hennessey, treasurer. The capital is $15,000,
and ten or fifteen men are employed. Packing for steam engines is

Palmyra village in 1828 had eighteen dry goods stores and three tan-
neries, and the usual complement of shops, mills, etc. It now contains
three dry goods stores, ten groceries, three hardware stores, three
printing offices and weekly newspapers, three clothing stores, three
millinery shops, three furniture and imdertaking establishments, four
drug stores, two jewelry and two shoe stores, two banks, a bakerv, five
variety stores, five hotels, three liveries, seven lawyers, five physicians,
three dentists, six churches, a classical union school, two printing press
and two packing manufactories, a second-hand store, two cigar factories,
a laundry, two agricultural implement dealers, two carriage shops, a
harness shop, one warehouse, two coal dealers, a lumber yard, two
produce dealers, three malt houses, two grist mills, several small shops,
and a population of about 2,100. While the canal was depended upon
as a means of transportation, the village grew and prospered, but the
construction of the New York Central Railroad, with a station at some
distance from the business center, had a blighting effect. The worst
blow to its activity, however, was the opening of the Lake Ontario
Shore (now the R. W. & O.) Railroad, which shut off a large territory
that had long been a field of tributary trade.

East Palmyra. — This is a post village on the New York Central Rail-
road, near the east border of the town. It was settled by Humphrey
Sherman in 1794, in which year he buit an ashery and a blacksmith
shop, the former near the subsequent shop (erected in 1837) of his
grandson, D. A. Sherman. In 1795 he started a distillery, which in
1812 passed to his sons Alexander and Stephen; Stephen Sherman died
in 1823, and in 1831 it came into the hands of Charles Curtis, and in
1842 to D. A. Sherman, with whom it went down. Humphrey Sher-
man erected on the site of the old log cabin a large brick building in
L801, which he opened and kept many years as a tavern; Stephen and
Gideon Sherman were his successors until the death of the latter in
1825, when the structure was converted into a dwelling, and finally
passed into the possession of Caleb Heals. In 1 SO*'; Sherman built a
brick storehouse, which was kept by a Mr. White; it eventually became


a dwelling and was occupied by John Beals. In 1811 the Shermans
erected a dam and grist mill, of which Erastus vStacey was proprietor
several years. In 1835 Moore & Stacey built a second grist mill.
Jacob Sherman was an early shoemaker, and J. Girard a groceryman;
the former lived in the old house near the railroad and was postmaster
for forty years. In 1830 a school house was built, in which Dexter
Clark was an early teacher; later the present stone school house was
erected. The village now contains two stores, a blacksmith and wagon
shop, an evaporator, a peppermint still, two churches, a district school,
and about 180 inhabitants. The postmaster is Andrew P. Gambell,
who succeeded William H. Cronise.

Churches. — Religious services in the present town of Palmyra were
first held in private houses among the members of the Long Island
colony in 1692. They were of the Presbyterian order, and in 1793 were
moved to the annex of David H. Foster's house, which had been used
as a school room, where, on December 5, a church was organized under
the Congregational form of government. The organizer was Rev. Ira
Condit, and the constituent members were : David H. Foster and wife
Mary, Stephen Reeves and wife Mary, Howell Fort, Mrs. Sarah Starks,
Nathaniel Terry and wife Anna, Moses Culver, Jonah Howell, sr.,
Benjamin Hopkins and wife Sarah. James Reeves was clerk; Stephen
Reeves and David H. Foster, elders; Elias Reeves, Stephen Post, and
Benjamin Hopkins, trustees. This was the first church organized in
the State west of the pre-emption line. Meetings were held in the
school house and in private dwellings until 1807. November 10, 1806,
fifty-one members subscribed $1,026 for the erection of a house of wor-
ship, and March 23, 1807, Gideon Durfee and Humphrey Sherman
deeded the site at East Palmyra to the trustees, who were: Arnold
Franklin, Samuel Soverhill, Paul Reeves, Benjamin Hopkins, James
Reeves, and Howell Post. Paul Reeves had charge of the work, and
the raising of the frame occupied a day and a half. A recent number
.of the Palmyra Dispatch contains a history of this church, and it is
stated therein that the frame was not raised until a few gallons of
whisky had been supplied to the men. In September, 1807, the edifice,
having been inclosed, was opened for services, but its dedication did not
occur until September 11, 1810, when Rev. Benjamin Bell was pastor.
Rev. Howell Powell, of Phelps, officiated. The building was inclosed
with basswood boards and contained doors on the east, north, and west.
It had galleries on three sides and the pulpit resembled a goblet. It


was taken down in IS 10, and the present edifice erected on the old site;
the new structure was dedicated January 12, 1843, by Rev. Ira Ingra-
ham, of Lyons. This was remodeled, and on January 12, 1870, was re-
consecrated by Rev. Horace Eaton, D.D. In 1807 this church adopted
the Presbyterian form of government and was attached to the Geneva
presbytery. In February, 1817, two churches were formed, this one
taking the name of the Presbyterian Church of East Palmyra. The
society has about 130 members, and the pastor is Rev. M. G. Henry.

The Western Presbyterian church of Palmyra was "set off" from the
parent society at East Palmyra on February 2(3, 1817, with fifty-six
members, the organizer being Rev. Francis Pomeroy. The first pastor
was Rev. Jesse Townsend, who was installed August 29, of that year,
and who died in Palmyra in August, 1838. Other pastors took charge,
and in November, 1828, Rev. G. R. H. Shumway w r as ordained and
remained seven years; he was subsequently pastor in Newark for a
quarter of a century, and died in Pennsylvania in 1874. Services were
held in the Union church (the town hall, built in 1811, and destroyed
by fire) until 1832, when the present brick edifice was erected on the
northeast corner of Main and Church streets. It was dedicated in ] 834.
This society is the second daughter of the East Palmyra church, the
first or oldest being a union of all creeds at Lyons on October 23, 1809,
from which the Lyons Presbyterian church was organized in 1816.
Rev. Horace Eaton, D.D., began his pastorate in the Palmyra church
in 1849, and died here in October, 1883. The society has about 350
members, under the pastorship of Rev. Stephen G. Hopkins.

The First Baptist Church of Palmyra was organized May 29, 1800, at
the house of Lemuel Spear, with nineteen members. In 1808 a frame
meeting house, 40x50 feet, was built at Kent's Corners in Macedon, and
the society continued worship until 1835. November !), 1832, another
Baptist church was organized at the house of Rev. John D. Heart in
Palmyra, with forty-seven members; on December 13, it adopted articles
of faith and covenant, and January 16, 1833, the church was formally
recognized by council. Rev. Mr. Heart was pastor, William Parke and
Erastus R. Spear were the deacons, and Josiah Francis was the clerk.