Harlo Hakes.

Landmarks of Steuben County, New York online

. (page 28 of 123)
Online LibraryHarlo HakesLandmarks of Steuben County, New York → online text (page 28 of 123)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


E. B. Seymour, 1893-94; W.J. Cheney, 1895.

Corning Chapter, No. 190, R. A. M., was chartered February 7, 1866,
and now numbers about 125 members. The past high priests have
been as follows: Charles H. Erwin, 1866; C. S. Cole, 1867-70; Ed-
ward Clisdell, 1871 ; G. W. Fuller, 1872-74; J. H. Hitchcock, 1875-76;
T. S. Pritchard, 1877-82; C. E. Greenfield, 1883; A. D. Robbins, 1884;
J. S. Earle, 1885 ; W. A. Wicks, 1886; G. B. Hill, 1887; W. E. Van-
derhof, 1888; W. F. Sheehan, 1889; T. S. Pritchard, 1890; James
Hoare, 1891 ; T. S. Pritchard, 1892-93 ; John Comosh, jr., 1894-95.

Corning Council, No. 53, Royal and Select Masters, was instituted
June 5, 1871. The Thrice Illustrious Masters have been as follows:
H. A. Balcom, 1871-74; C. H. Thomson, 1875-77; A. D. Robbins,
1878-81; T. S. Pritchard, 1882-84; G. B. Hill, 1885-86 ; W.A. Wicks,
1887 ; J. S. Billington, 1888 ; C. V. Hutchins, 1889; John Comosh, jr.,
1890; H. C. Austin, 1891 ; C. E. Greenfield, 1892; Hugh H. Ken-
dall, 1893-95.

The Masonic bodies of Corning also include four Scottish Rite organ-
izations, to which we may also briefly refer in the following order :

Corning Consistory, S. P. R. S., 32', instituted September 14, 1866.
Post Commanders — Charles H. Thomson, 33', 1866-78; Frank D.
Kingsbury, 32°, 1879-81; George W. Fuller, 33°, 1882-84; Truman
S. Pritchard, 32", 1885-87; A. D. Robbins, 32°, 1888-90; Charles E.
Greenfield, 32°, 1891-93; Hugh H. Kendall, 33°, 1894-95.

Corning Chapter, Rose Croix, A. A. S. Rite, was instituted Septem-
ber 14, 1866. The past masters have been as follows : Austin Lathrop,
32°, 1866-67; Frank D. Kingsbury, 32°, 1868-79; Charles H.Thom-
son, 33°, 1880-82 ; Daniel F. Brown, 32°, 1883-85 ; George W. Fuller,
33", 1886-89; Truman S. Pritchard, 32", 1890-95.

Corning Council, Princes of Jerusalem, A. A. S Rite, was institnted



280 LANDMARKS OF STEUBEN COUNTY.

September 14, 1866. The past M. E. Sov. P. G. M's. have been as fol-
lows: George M. Smith, 32°, 1866-68; Robert J. Burnham, 32°, 1869-
71 ; Frank D. Kingsbury, 32'', 1872-73; Daniel F. Brown, 32°, 1874-
82; Charles H. Thomson, 33°, 1883-85 ; Frank D. Kingsbury, 32°,
1886-89; Hugh H. Kendall, 33°, 1890-94; George B. Hill, 33°. 1895.

Corning Lodge of Perfection. A. A. S. Rite, was instituted Septem-
ber 14, 1866. The past T. P. G. M's. have been as follows: Henry A.
Balcom, 32°, 1866-79; Joseph H. Hitchcock, 32°, 1880-82; Ahaz D.
Robbins, 32", 1883-85; Daniel F. Brown, 32^, 1886-90; Joseph C.
Moore, 33°, 1891-94; Egbert Shoemaker, 32^*, 1895.

The City of Hornellsville — When pioneer Benjamin Crosby
and his immediate followers came into the Upper Canisteo country
they little thought the lands on which they settled would ever become
the site of a prosperous village, and mufh less a thriving metropolitan
city ; and it is equally doubtful if even those enterprising early settlers
George Hornell, Dugald Cameron or Ira Davenport ever contemplated
such a substantial growth and development as the locality enjoyed as
the result of their first efforts. "Yeoman " Benjamin Crosby purchased
from Solomon Bennett, " gentleman," great lot No. 8, for three hundred
pounds, and George Hornell bought of John Stephens lot No. 7, for one
hundred and eleven pounds, each tract containing 1,600 acres of land
and lying, in part at least, within the present city limits.

However, the earlier growth of this locality was by no means rapid,
but rather by steady yet sure advances did the village succeed the
hamlet and the city in turn supersede the village. The first beginning
in this direction was made by Judge Hornell when he built the grist mill
on the site of the now called Thacher mill, followed by the erection of
the tavern which he maintained as a public house. Yet we are told
that when Mr. Hornell came to the place there were about seven or
eight dwellings on the village site. In 1809 the turnpike road from
Ithaca to Olean was opened, thus giving an impetus to local growth ;
and about the same time, possibly before, several flat boats and arks
were built:; laden with grain and other products of the region, and trans-
ported to Baltimore and other available markets. This led to the con-
struction of several warehouses along the river front in the hamlet. In
18 1 5 Col. Ira Davenport came to the settlement and opened store in a



CITIES, VILLAGES AND HAMLETS 281

building constructed by him for that purpose, and he has been men-
tioned as the first merchant of the town, Soon afterward, in 1816,
Dugald Cameron built a saw mill on the island, near the old stone quarry,
just above the bridge, which locality, it is believed, became known as
" Cameronia." The statement has also been made that a post-office was
established here under that name with Mr. Cameron as postmaster, but
much doubt exists regarding the accuracy of the name. So near as can
be determined at this time the first post-office was established here soon
after the completion of the turnpike, under the name of " Canisteo," and
was so continued until February, 1823, and then changed to " Hor-
nellsville." In confirmation of this assertion, we quote from Judge Hul-
burt's description of the place in 1812, in which he says : "The settle-
ments are of recent date and still retain their first local names. At
Hornell's Mills, on the Canisteo, is a ferry and a road of pretty exten-
sive travel ; here is located the Canisteo post office." (See Spaffbrd's
Gazetteer, ed. 1813). In a later edition the same authority says : " There
are two post offices, Hornellsville, as it will soon be called, but now Can-
isteo post-office, and Ark Port post-office;" also "There is a small
village at Ark Port of some fifteen or twenty houses, and another at
Hornellsville of about the same number, a store, a grist mill and a saw
mill."

According to Deacon Thacher's reminiscences, the residents of the
hamlet in 1823, were Amasa Thacher, Rufus or Bulrock Mason, Du-
gald Cameron, Thomas Bennett (tavern keeper), Squire Livermore,
Truman Bostwick (who kept a stage house), Ira Davenport (merchant),
Andrew L. Smith (tanner), William B. Bostwick, and the Hornell prop-
erty — the tavern and grist mill. At that time there were eleven houses,
including the mill, on the village site. The Cameron mill was located
farther north, about half a mile. Mr. Adsit's recollections are no less
interesting, and he remembers the village when it contained only twenty-
six houses. The first brick building was erected by Colonel Davenport
in 1828, followed soon afterward by others. Mr. Adsit built a large
brick building in 1841.

The period of greatest growth and prosperity in the early history of
the village was that between 1820 and 1840, although it is impossible
to recall the one thousand and one events that contributed to local ad-
36



282 LANDMARKS OF STBTJBEN COUNTY.

vancement during that time. The town authorities at this period
showed a commendable zeal in helping to build up the village, and in
1832 purchased from Major Thomas Bennett two and three-fourths
acres of land on the south side of Main street, for the purpose of a
public square. In 1834 the town voted $100 to improve the square,
and in 1836 William Bostwick was paid $11 for digging the stumps out
of the same tract. This was the origin and inception of Hornellsville's
present beautiful park, the most attractive spot, perhaps, within the city
limits. The later improvements, the pagoda, the fountain, and tasteful
arrangements of walks, together with other adornments, are due to the
generosity of local government and the liberality and public spiritedness
of the citizens.
I The most fortunate event in all the history of Hornellsville, and that
I which has contributed most largely to both early and more recent pros-
; perity, was the construction of the Erie railroad, with its attendant
shops and business departments. Rumors that a railroad was in con-
templation became current in this locality soon after 1830, and within
the next year or two the surveyors appeared in the valley, though the
people here were in much anxiety lest the road should be actually built
through the Conhocton rather than the Canisteo valley ; and it was not
until the coming of the famous old " pile driver " that the inhabitants
of Hornellsville were fully assured that the line through this valley had
been accepted by the company. The preliminary surveys were made
in 1832, and in 1833 the company was organized. The work of con-
struction was begun in this vicinity in 1841, but not until the first day
of September, 1850, did the first locomotive appear in the village.

The line of road then built was what is now locally termed the Sala-
manca or Western division of the N. Y. L. E. & W. railroad. The At-
tica and Hornellsville railroad, now known as the " Buffalo road," was
incorporated May 14, 1845. Other companies were allowed to pur-
chase its stock, and in April, 1851, the name was changed to Buffalo
and New York City railroad. Still later, through various transfers and
processes of law, this line, with the western branch, became merged in
the present Erie system. The Attica and Hornellsville road was built
in 1852.

It was not the mere building of a railroad through the village that



CITIES, VILLAGES AND HAMLETS. 283

contributed so much to its early welfare, although that consummation was
an important factor in advancing local interests ; but the greatest bene-
fit was derived through the establishment of a division terminus at the
place and the erection of shops for purposes of construction and repairs
to railroad equipment. There is now paid out monthly in Hornellsville
by the Erie company an aggregate of about $6o,000, three-fourths of
which remains in the city ; and there are generally employed here in
one capacity or another from 800 to 1,000 men, while the terminal fea-
ture materially makes this place the temporary home of perhaps 200
more men.

Incidentally we may mention the fact that construction of the first
railroad through the village was due largely to the persevering efforts
of Judge Hawley, Rufus Tuttle, Martin Adsit, T. J. Reynolds, John K.
Hale, T. J. Magee, Walter G. Rose, Charles N. Hart, and others asso-
ciated with them in promoting local interests. Within the last half
score of years the city has been given the advantage of still another line
of railroad, from which the merchants and manufacturers of the locality
are the greatest beneficiaries. We refer to the construction and opera-
tion of the road built by the Rochester, Hornellsville and Lackawanna
* Company, now known, however, as the Central New York and West-
ern. This road proper runs from this city to Hornellsville Junction,
thence over the line of another company to Wayland, where it connects
with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, thus affording direct
connection with Rochester on the west, as well as important points
east. The road was built and completed during the fall of 1887, and
was brought about through the unselfish efforts of Judge Hakes, Benton
McConnell, George N. Orcutt, Irving W. Near and Charles Adsit.

Returning again to the subject of early history, the fact may be noted
that in 1832 the Presbyterian and Methodist Episcopal churches were
organized, each of which, together with all other religious societies are
more fully mentioned on later pages of this chapter. In 1833 the "little
red school house " was built and stood near the site of the Tribune
building. The Park School property was secured by the district in
1844, and soon afterward a school was opened there. This subject,
however, will be fully treated in a later portion of this chapter.

Soon after the completion of the railroad the inhabitants began to



284 LANDMARKS OF STEUBEN COUNTY

discuss the subject of incorporation. In this matter Dr. John H. Lillie
(was a leading spirit, and as he found a local population of 1,814, when a
^short time before there were only 700, it was evident that the people
were entitled to advance from the hamlet to the village character.
James B. Finch made the necessary surveys, and on the 28th day of
June, 1852, the "Village of Hornellsville " became a body corporate
and politic, through the order of the court of sessions of Steuben
county.

The first -election of officers was held on August 30 following, at
which time John H. Lillie, Thomas Snell, J. T. Wilbur, Richard Durbin
and William R. McCormick were chosen trustees. The board elected
Dr. Lillie president, and Horace Bemis, clerk, together with all other
officers authorized by law.

" The first board of trustees," says Mr. Tuttle's article, " was enter-
prising and progressive. It legislated for a turbulent element and had
to build everything ' from the stump.' Sidewalks were the first enter-
prise undertaken, and on September 27, a special election was held,
which voted to build walks on Main, Canisteo, Genesee, Cass, Taylor
and Albion streets."

However, in the course of the next fifteen years following the first in-
corporation, the growth in population and the advancement of all local
business interests demanded that broader powers be accorded the munici-
pal government. Therefore, recourse was had to the Legislature, and
on the 9th day of April, 1867, an act was passed, entitled "An act to
amend and consolidate the several acts relating to the village of Hornells-
ville."

This charter fixed the village boundaries as they had previously ex-
isted under the former government, and divided fhe territory into five
wards. The officers provided under the act were a president, a trustee
frofti each ward, police justice, three assessors, a collector, clerk, treas-
urer, superintendent of streets and not more thati three policemen ; the
clerk, superintendent of streets and policemen to be appointed by the
board, and all other officers elected by the people.

Under this charter government the affairs of the village were con-
ducted for a period of about twenty years, when, in accordance with
an express demand, the Legislature in 1888 passed an actincorporating




E. F. WILLETS.



CITIES, VILLAGES AND HAMLETS. 285

the " City of Hornellsville," thus advancing our once little hamlet to a
municipality of the highest grade. Subsequent amendments have been
made to the city charter, providing for contingencies and improvements
not contemplated in the original act.

At the first city election held in i8b8, these ofificers were chosen:
Mayor, James B. Day ; aldermen, Patrick Broderick, Robert Carberry,
George H. Dove, Edward F. Houser, E. H. Lanphear, Thomas C.
McCarthy, Charles F. McGuire, Thomas Ryan, T. J. O. Thacher,
Edward Tolan, Charles D. Walters, and Otto Walther ; city clerk,
Harris C. Sawyer ; recorder, Wm. C. Bingham ; chamberlain, Wm. K.
Smith ; overseer of poor, Aaron Ross ; commissioners of excise, Eda
N. Alden, Frank Tanner and Wm. H. Reynolds ; sealer, Nicholas
Schu. Mayor Day was re-elected in 1890, and was succeeded in 1892
by Edward F. Willets, the latter being also re-elected in 1894.

The city officers for the year 1 895 are as follows : Edward F. Willets,
mayor ; Henry L. Nash, city clerk ; Winfield S. Newman, recorder ;
E. L. Dolson, city attorney ; M. V. Sherwood, chamberlain ; J. W.
Shelley, overseer of the poor; J. M. Harding, street commissioner;
aldermen, T. H. Coleman, E. Y. Butler, First ward^; E. H. Lanphear,
G. A. Waldorf, Second ward ; E. Powers, John McDougall, Third
ward ; John Haire, E. H. Nelson, Fourth ward ; W. E. Curtiss, G. A.
Prentiss, Fifth ward ; Charles Conderman, Frank A. Jones, Sixth
ward ; supervisors, George B. Elwell, Alfred E. Bowen and Charles J.
Clark ; justices of the peace, Frank Kelly, Lewis H. Clark and Frank
J. Nelson ; assessors, David Wellever, Wm. B. Van Dusen, Hiram H.
Carney.

The Police Commission was'established under the charter and is one
of the efficient departments of government. The present commissioners
are Morris Smith, president; and G. H. Dore, Matthew Dewey and
D. E. Fleming. Chief of police, Michael Hickey ; captain, Edward B.
Shepard.

The city Fire Department was first organized on September 25,
1852, under the village government. Charles Mcllvaney was chief en-
gineer, E. J. Richardson and Charles Strawn, assistants. From this
primitive organization the present department has grown and developed,
and at this time is better equipped and trained than ever before in its



286 LANDMARKS OP STEUBEN COUNTY.

history. This branch of city government was placed on secure basis
by the act of incorporation, passed April 29, 1875. The present de-
partment consists of Maple City, Emerald, Prindle, and Erie Hose
companies, each well housed and equipped ; also Babcock Hook and
Ladder Company, who operate the " truck," and one good Silsby
steamer. The latter, however, is not frequently called into service, as
the excellent water supply system of the city affords all needed pressure
for both fire and domestic purposes. The officers of the fire depart-
ment are Frank L. Howard, chief engineer; John J. Baker, first assist-
ant; and Henry Lundrigan, second assistant; F. A. Jones, secretary.

The Sewer commission was created by special act of the Legislature,
for the purpose of constructing and maintaining a complete system of
sewers for the city. The commissioners are J. B. Kennelly, president ;
G. P. Rishel, secretary ; and F. G Babcock, W. A. Stephens, S. E.
Brown and F. T. McConnell.

The Park commission was also constituted by special act of the
legislature, and the electors voted for the park scheme on May 6,
1 89 1. The first commissioners, F. G. Babcock, F. D. Sherwood,
Patrick Enright, R. K. Faulkner, Benton McConnell, and Charles Adsit,
purchased the Jones Driving Park property, some twenty- one acres,
and subsequently added to its area by other purchases. This property
is located on Seneca street, and is leased to the Farmers' Club. The
present park commissioners are C. Cadogan, president ; J. W. Nichol-
son, secretary ; E. S. Brown, P. Enright, M. E. Page and J. O. Adsit.

The city excise commissioners, provided by statute, are W. H. Pran-
gen, president ; H. R. Wagner, secretary, and P. Houck, treasurer.

The City Hall was built in 1877, on Broad street, and here all the
business of . the municipality is transacted. Hornellsville is bonded to
the extent of $162,500, of which $100,000 is for sewers, $12,500 for
pavements, and $50,000 for the park. The first pavement was laid in

1893-

St. James Mercy Hospital receives annually from the city excise
funds the sum of one thousand dollars. This mention naturally leads
us to refer at some length to this most praiseworthy institution, its origi-
nator and founder, and the persons connected with its management.

The Rev. Father James M. Early was appointed to the pastorate of



CITIES, VILLAGES AND HAMLETS. 287

St. Ann's church and parish in November, 1879, and from that time
until his death was one of the most earnest and unselfish Christian
workers in this field. Soon after his pastorate began Father Early
often expressed a desire to establish a hospital in Hornellsville, and in
his will made generous provision for that purpose. However, during
the month of February, 1890, through the assistance of F. G. Babcock,
Father Early purchased the once known Van Scoter property, on Can-
isteo street, south, for which he paid $5,000 cash. The necessary im-
provements and modifications were at once made to the building, and
soon afterward the property was deeded to a board of trystees, consti-
tuted and incorporated for that purpose, under the name of trustees of
St. James' Mercy Hospital. According to the provision made by the
founder, the board shall be composed of, ex officio, the bishop of this
diocese of the Roman Catholic church, the rector of St. Ann's parish,
two Sisters of Mercy, and the mayor of the city ; also four citizens of
Hornellsville. The first trustees were designated by Father Early, and
comprised the ex officio members and Harlo Hakes, Joseph Cameron,
James M. Welsh, and Dr. J. G. Kelly. The trustees organized on
March 3, 1890, and elected Judge Hakes, president; Sister Dolores,
vice-president ; Joseph Cameron, secretary, and Mr. Welsh, treasurer.
These officers, except the vice-president, have been continued in their
respective positions to the present time. The first matron was Sister
Mary Catherine ; the present matron is Sister Angela.

The good work accomplished by this institution, the outgrowth of the
generosity, and philanthropy of Father Early, needs no recital here.
The rich and poor alike receive the same kind treatment and attention
at the hands of the devoted sisters who have direct control of the hos-
pital. The institution is supported by popular contribution and the
city fund referred to. The annual expense of maintenance amounts to
about $3,000. The staff of medical attendants has been organized
through the efforts of Dr. Kelly, and comprises the physicians of the
city.

Another of the important and interesting departments of municipal
government is the educational system, at present perfected to a degree
that places it in favorable comparison with that of any city in the
State, and far in advance of many of them. We are told that the first



288 LANDMARKS OF STEUBEN COUNTY.

school of the then hamlet was opened through the efforts of Judge
Hornell about 1810, and that Sarah Thacher was its first teacher. The
building stood near the corner of Main and Arkport streets. The next

\school was that of district No. 7, predecessor to the Central school, and
was maintained in a log house on lower Canisteo street.

The first building erected for school purposes was also a log struc-
ture, and stood at the lower end of Main street. Here at one time
George Hornell, jr., taught. The third school stood near the "Canisteo
block," and among its early teachers were Rev. Samuel White, James
Osborne, Mr. Case, Mary Morris, Pamelia Stephens, Deacon Thacher,
and later John S. Livermore, Dr. Thomas, Orange McCay and others.
In 1833 the " little red school" was built on the Tribune building site,
and was burned in the gregt fire of 1868. The early pedagogues here
were Washington Cruger, Samuel Porter, H. V. R. Lord, Samuel
Street, Hiram Bennett and others of later date.

In 1844 the district purchased the Park school site, and the first
school house built there was also used for town hall and theatrical per-
formances. But notwithstanding its various uses here were taught
youths and misses who are now our best business men and most cul-
tured women. Recalling a few of the many names possible of mention,
let us note Judge Solon O., T. D wight, Safford M. and T. Scott Thacher ;
also Col. Frank B, Doty, Martin and Levi Doty, Emmett and Charles
Reynolds, Maxwell Cameron, Scott Belden, Matthew Hale, Russell M.
Tuttle, the Prindle boys, and the Bennetts, Stephenses, Caldwells, Mor-
rises, Browns, Popples, Hawleys and a host of others. The first teacher
here was Rev. O. B. Clark who opened his school in February, 1845.
The old building was modified, enlarged, and in fact replaced, but to-

, day the site is occupied with one of the most modern, convenient and
attractive school buildings in the southern tier. It is known as the
Park School, and bears the year mark " 1886."

The present educational system was adopted in 1872, and the affairs
and management of schools is vested in a Board of Education,
authorized to levy and raise a tax sufficient for all purposes of main-
tenance, additions, repairs and equipments, independent of any other
branch of city government. The plan of naming each school was
adopted in 1888. The city now has five public schools, viz.: The Park



CITIES, VILLAGES AND HAMLETS. 289

School, built 1 886, having 213 pupils; the Lincoln School, on Canisteo
street, attendance, 400; the Columbian School, built 1893, cost $20,000,
located on Pearl street, 319 pupils; the Irving School, formerly First
ward school, 265 pupils ; the Bryant School, formerly Sixth ward, 249
pupils.

The present Board of Education is comprised of J. E. B. Santee,
president; Stephen Hollands, J. W. Nicholson, F. C. Prindle and Cass
Richardson. The secretary of the board is Joseph Cameron. Members
of the board are elected from the city at large, and hold office for a
term of five years. The city schools are under the superintendence of
W. R. Prentiss, appointed in 1887 as successor to Robert Simpson.

In this connection we may also properly mention some of the past
and present private schools which have been opened in the village and
city ; among which were those of Rachel Bennett, Hannah Wilbur,



Online LibraryHarlo HakesLandmarks of Steuben County, New York → online text (page 28 of 123)