Samuel W Durant.

History of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 108 of 192)
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raceway is used, and a turbine-wheel with surface capable
of taking 1840 inches of water. The average daily run is
fourteen houra, the pumps not being kept in operation
Sundays nor nights, except in case of necessity. The water
is elevated 65 feet into a circular reservoir 21 feet in
depth and 297 in diameter, having a capacity for 9,000,000
gallons. This reservoir is kept constantly full. There are
in the city about 13 miles of water-mains and a few over
100 hydrants. The original of the works, or the
amount for which borids were issued, was $160,000 ; this
has been inci-eased to about $172,000 at the present date
(July, 1878). Not more than twenty-five dollars have been
laid out for repairs. Until the winter of 1877-78 telegraphic
signals were established between the city and the water-
works; but the telephone has since been introduced, and
works very satisfactorily. William N. Mott, a man of
much experience with machinery, is chief engineer, and
has his residence at Ridge Mills, where the works are lo-
cated. The general superintendent is Charles T. Hayden,
with the office at Rome. The members of the Water
Board are Mayor E. L. Stevens, B. J. Beach, G. V. Sel-
den, John J. Parry, Theodore Comstock. The system has
proved very effective here, and although numerous alarms
of fire have been given in the city, the force of the streams
from the hydrants is such that flames are speedily extin-


was organized in 1852. Its present officers are: President,
Enoch B. Armstrong ; Superintendent, J. D. Higgins ;
Treasurer, F. H. Thomas. The capital amounts to $35,-
000, in shares of $100 each. There are about 8 miles of
gas-mains and 75 street-lamps. The coal used, principally
the Youghiogheny, amounts to from 400 to 500 tons an-


The old cemetery, deeded by Dominick Lynch to the
tiustees of the village of Rome in 1823, and bounded east

by James Street, north by Bloomfield, west by Washing-
ton, and south by an alley, in the course of years became
filled with the earthly remains of the citizens, and it was
found necessary to enlarge it or lay out another in some
other locality. Accordingly the " Rome Cemetery Associ-
ation" was organized August 7, 1851, by the election of
trustees, " and its incorporation was immediately after com-
pleted in the manner prescribed by the general law of the
State authorizing and regulating the incorporation of rural
cemetery associations; but it was not until a year later, and
after a careful examination of every piece of ground sug-
gested as suitable, that the present site was selected as
being, in view of all considerations of distance, elevation,
character of soil, convenience and safety of acccs.s, price,
and capability for improvement, the best that could be ob-
tained in the neighborhood of the village. The means
with which to purchase and improve the ground were pro-
cured by a subscription in the form of a contract between
the subscribers and the a.ssociation, providing that all sums
subscribed should be regarded as loans to be repaid with
interest whenever, after the debt to be contracted for tlie
purchase of the site should be paid, the receipts of the asso-
ciation should enable it to make such repayment, and that
each subscriber might apply any part of his subscription to
the purchase of a lot in the cemetery for himself, and should
be allowed a deduction of twenty per cent, from the estab-
lished price for so much as should be paid by his subscrip-
tion. The available subscriptions amounted to $3600."*

Twenty-five acres of land were purchased from the farm
of Thomas Williams, at a cost of $2313.50, and Howard
Daniels, of New York, was employed to lay out and im-
prove the cemetery. July 19, 1853, the grounds were
dedicated, with appropriate religious services, and a portion
of them brought into use. The present appearance of this
cemetery is most beautiful, and it is a credit to the enterprise
and taste of the citizens of Rome. It is located at the head
of Thomas Street, and now contains about thirty acres.
The present officers are the following persons, viz. ; Trustees,
Edward Huntington, A. H. Brainerd, John Stryker, B. J.
Beach, G. N. Bissell, M. C. West, A. P. Tuller, J. D. Ely,
L. E. Elmer, Francis Bthridge, Thomas G. Nock, James
S. Dyett ; President, G. N. Bissell ; Vice-President, Thomas
G. Nook ; Treasurer, Samuel Wardwcll ; Secretary, L. E.
Elmer ; Superintendent, Lysander Cole.


Roine Iron-Worlds. — A company was organized in 1866,
with a capital of $100,000, to establish in Rome a rolling-
mill for the manufacture of railroad iron. On Saturday,
May 26, of that year, the following were chosen trustees
of the company, viz. : Edward Huntington, John Stryker,
David Utley, Addison Day, A. H. Brainard, G. N. Bissell,
William L. Howland, B. J. Beach, E. B. Armstrong.
The organization was perfected by electing, for President,
Edward Huntington ; Vice-President, A. H. Brainard ;
Secretary and Treasurer, William L. Howland. The first
purchase of land as a site for the mill included two acres of
land near the New York Central Railroad, and between

■^' Historical pamphlet upon the cemetery, 1854.



that and the Black River Canal. A puddling-mill stand-
ing east of the rolling-mill was begun in 1869, and finished
the same winter. The rail-mill was burned April 24,
1871, involving a loss of $125,000, and throwing over 150
men out of employment. It was immediately rebuilt on
the same ground. This mill, when running in full force,
furnishes employment to' 200 men, or more, and manufac-
tures railroad iron exclusively. Its present officers are:
Trustees, G. N. Bissell, Thomas G. Nook, B. J. Beach,
James S. Whaley, Thomas H. Stryker, Francis H. Thomas,
William R. Huntington, Edward Huntington, Abijah Cur-
tLss ; Inspectors, Alfred Sandford, Judson R. Ward, John
Hook ; President, Edward Huntington ; Vice-President,
James S. Whaley.

Rome Merchant-Iron Mill. — This company was organ-
ized Thursday, July 9, 1868, and the following officers
elected, viz. : Trustees, Edward Huntington, J. B. Hyde,
S. B. Stevens, Thomas G. Nock, A. Ethridge, Enoch B.
Armstrong, B. J. Beach, David Utley, John B. Jervis.
The capital stock was fixed at $75,000. July 11, 1868,
the Board met and elected Samuel B. Stevens, President ;
B. J. Beach, Vice-President; Jabez B. Hyde, Manager,
Secretary, and Treasurer. The land for the location of the
buildings was purchased of John Stryker, and the building
erected. An addition is being built the present season
(1878), on the side next to the canal, 40 by 100 feet in
dimensions. The present capital of the company is $125,-
000. From 50 to 80 men are employed, and all classes of
square, round, and flat merchant iron ai'e manufactured.
The officers are : President, Enoch B. Armstrong ; Vice-
President, Bloonifield J. Beach ; Secretary, John B. Jervis ;
Treasurer, A. P. Rand.

The Rome Iron and Steel Bloom Company was organ-
ized in 18G8, and ten acres of ground for the location of
buildings purchased on the north side of the Erie Canal,
near the bridge of the Rome, AVatertown and Ogdensburg
Railway. The purpose of this company was to manufacture
wrought-iron and steel directly from the ore by "Jameson's
Patent Process." The mill was operated for several years,
but is at present lying idle.

An extensive boot- and shoe-factory was established in
1868, by Messrs. Kingsbury, Abbott & Hale, on John
Street, near the depot. The firm had previously occupied
rooms on Dominick Street, but, owing to increase of busi-
ness, were forced to seek larger quarters. The new build-
ing was constructed of brick ; was four stories high ; and the
institution at one time furnished employment to over 200

Fuller s Earth-Soap Company. — A large bed of fuller's
earth was discovered some years since in the town of
Vienna, on the land belonging to Hon. Chaunoey Brodock.
In the spring of 1866 a company was formed for manufac-
turing it into soap, with a capital of $400,000, in 8000 shares
of $50 each. The mine discovered varied in depth from fif-
teen to thirty-five feet. The material called " fuller's earth"
is so named from its being an almost indispensable article
in the manufacture of woolen cloths. Its cost, as imported
from Europe, was from $35 to $60 per ton. The bed in
Vienna was the second discovered, and the largest known,
in the United States. The earth is slaty in color, entirely

devoid of grit or common clay, and of a greasy, soapy na-
ture. By a chemical process it is transformed into an ex-
cellent soap. But little business is done in this line in
Rome at present.

Petroleum Excitement. — In 1865-60 the people of Cen-
tral New York became much interested in the oil dis-
coveries in Pennsylvania, and great excitement was conse-
quent upon the assertion that oil could be found here as
well as in the latter State, and in paying quantities. Several
companies were formed for the purpose of testing the mat-
ter, and real estate in suppased ''oil districts" commanded
wonderful prices. One company, known as the " Rome
and Maple Creek Oil Company," had a large capital, and
expended it in a vain attempt to find " paying'' quantities
of the great money-making material. Occasional " symp-
toms'' were seen, but it is at this time well known that
petroleum cannot exist in this locality in quantities suffi-
cient to pay the expense of boring wells.

Steam Planing-Mill. — One of the oldest institutions of
this kind in the State was torn down in tlie spring of 1870,
upon the completion of the new one by Messrs. Selden &
Sanford. The old mill was built in 1845, by Messrs. Albert
Soper, Woodman Kimball, and Adam Van Patten, and was
80 by 50 feet in dimensions. The first engine used was one
of 25 horse-power. The mill was located a few rods east
of South Washington Street, between Front Street and the
Erie Canal, and immediately east of the new one.

sink's opera-house.

This fine building is located on the south side of Domi-
nick Street, east of James, and was built by A. J. Sink, in
18G9, at a cost of $50,000. The audience-room is designed
to seat 1400 persons. The building is of brick ; contains
two store-rooms on tiie ground-floor and offices and dwel-
ling-apartments above, besides the audience-room. It was
opened to the public on the evening of Sept. 27, 1869, the
play of " Nita, or Woman's Constancy," being produced by
M'lle Zoe and her New York company.

Among the other prominent buildings in Rome is the
" Commercial Hotel," which was opened April 1, 1868, by
Messrs. Thomson & Rowe, and known then as the " Thom-
son House."

One of the finest blocks in the city is the " Ethridge
Block," on the southeast corner of Dominick and AVashing-
ton Streets. It was built in 1863, by Alfred Ethridge ; is
120 by 42 feet in dimensions, three stories and a basement,
and constructed of brick.


was established about 1798, and Matthew Brown, Jr., ap-
pointed first postmaster. He kept the office in his store on
the east side of James Street. Joshua Hatheway was ap-
pointed about 1807-8, and held the position until his death
in 1836. He was succeeded by his son. Jay Hatheway,
who remained in office until 1849, when R. 6. Savery was
appointed ; the latter was succeeded in 1852 by A. J. Row-
ley. D. E. Wager succeeded Mr. Rowley in 1857, and the
place was filled in 1861 by the appointment of E. H. Shel-
' ley. Mr. Shelley's successor was S. P. Lewis, appointed in
August, 1866, by President Johnson. Mr. Shelley was



re-appointed in the spring of 1867, and was succeeded in
1870 by B. Whitman Williams, the present incumbent.
The office is pleasantly located in the north end of the fine
McHarg Block, corner of Washington and Dominick Streets.

Furt Slanicix National Bank. — This is the oldest bank-
ing institution now in existence in the city. It was organized
as a State bank in 18-t7, and began business in February,
1848, with David Utley, President; W. W. Nellis, Cashier;
and H. G. Utley, Teller. It was organized as a National Bank
in 1865, with a capital of 1150,000, the same it had under
the old management as a State Bank. Its present officers
are : President, David Utley, who has held the position con-
tinuously since 1848 ; Vice-President, H. G. Utley; Cashier,
George Barnard ; Directors, David Utley, E. B. Armstrong,
N. H. Leffingwell, B. J. Beach, Daniel G. Donance, H.D.
Spencer, Squire Utley, James S. Wlialey, H. G. Utley,
Thomas G. Nock, G. V. Selden, P. V. Rogers, E. A.

First National Bank. — This was incorporated as the
"Home Exchange Bank" in, and began business in
August of that year, with R. B. Doxtater as president and

F. H. Thomas cashier. It was organized as a National
Bank in 1865, with a capital of 1100,000. Its present offi-
cers are : President, Edward Huntington ; Vice-President,

G. N. Bissell ; Cashier, F. H. Thomas ; Directors, E. Hunt-
ington, G. N. BLssell, F. H. Thomas, Thomas G. Nock,
David Utley, Israel DejfoT*. H'- Brainordj Edward Bar-
nard, B. J. Beach. It occupies the premises of the old
Rome Exchange Bank, No. 37 DWiinick Street.

Central National Bank* organized in 1854 as the
" Oneida Central Bank," and changed to a National Bank
in 1865, with a capital of S100,0U0. Its present officers
are: President, Samuel B. Stevens; Vice-President, Alfred
Ethridge ; Cashier, C. S. Griffin ; Directors, S. B. Ste-
vens, Stephen Van Dresar, S. S. T. Smith, M. C. West, D.
P. McHarg, Solomon Tuttle, E. L. Stevens, Alfred Eth-
ridge, Henry Patrick, F. D. Fifield, John Halstead, Phineas
Abbe, Henry Johnson, Albert Orton, E. B. Armstrong.

Bank of Rome. — This was the title of an institution
which flouri.^ilied fur many years, until 1863, when its
charter expired and its affiiirs were wound up. John Stry-
ker Was its president for many years ; George R. Thomas,
present easliier of the Second National Bank in Utica, was
long cashier of the old " Bank of Rome," and held that posi-
tion when its. business was closed up. The present " Bank of
Rome" was organized under the State law in 1875, with a
capital of §100,000. Its officers for 1878 are: President,
W. J. P. Kingsley ; Vice-President, R. M. Bingham ;
Cashier, Samuel Wardwell ; Directors, W. J.. P. Kingsley,
R. M. Bingham, E. L. Stevens, A. P. Tuller, H. M. Law-
ton, E. Comslock, J. C. Smith, T. B. Slingerland, A. Sand-
ford, Charles Rathbun, S. Wardwell, T. D. Roberts, Wil-
liam Brill, W. J. Lasher, H. J. Hitchcock.

Rome Savings Bank, located in the same building with
Fort Stanwix National Bank, was organized in 1851. Its

» The building oceupioa by thiB banking house was erected in 1S71,
at a cost of about ?32,000.

officers are: President, G. N. Bissell; Vice-President, N. H.
Leffingwell; Trustees, E. B. Armstrong, J. S. Whaley,
N. H. Leffingwell, H. D. Spencer, George Barnard, P. H.
Thomas, Squire Utley, Alex. H. Brainerd, Israel Denio
(2d Vice-President), John J. Parry, Samuel Wardwell;
Treasurer, Bloomfield J. Beach. The number of open
accounts, January 1, 1878, was 2425 ; largest account due
any depositor, exclusive of interest, or of any deposits made
by order of a court of record or of a surrogate, $8401.41 ;
number of such accounts exceeding $5000, eight; total
resources, $1,082,337.57; amount due depositors, $968,-

Oneida County Savings Bank. — In same building with
Central National Bank. Organized in 1869. Number of
depositors, over 1000. Officers for 1878: President, S. B.
Stevens ; Vice-President, Alfred Ethridge ; Treasurer, G.
H. Lynch.

General Insurance, Real Estate, Banking, and Brokers^
business is carried on by J. H. Searles & Co. and Charles
T. Hayden, the latter one of the original firm of C. Hayden
& Son, the senior member of which is now deceased.


The diffi3rent bands which have had organization in
PlOuic are many in number, and it is next to impossible to
enumerate them at this time. There is at present but one
organization of the kind in the city, and that is known as
the Old Rome Band. It was organized about 1867-68,
and contained sixteejj|Kistrunients in July, 1878. During
^gjtliis sea.son the OlcWKonie Band and the Rome Musical
Association consolidated their forces, and are together
under the leadership of George C. Schillner. An orchesti'a
of fourteen members is connected with the band, and is
directed by Mr. Schillner. The members of the orchestra
are all Germans except four. The present organization is
an excellent one, and its music is surpassed by that of few
bands in the State.


The police force, though small, is very efficient. It
numbers five men, as follows : Chief of Police, Thomas C.
Wilds: Captain of Night- Watch, Thomas Burns; Patrol-
men, Michael Shortall, John Doyle, and William Guilfoil.


"11" Troop of Cavalry, 4th Brigade, 6th Division, N.
G. S. N. Y. — This body was organized in 1876, and was
formerly the First Separate Troop, belonging to the 21st
Brigade. The brigades were subsequently re-numbered,
and the Troop was given a letter. June 29, 1878, there
were sixty-three names on the company-roll. The present
officers are: Captain, W. L. Ames; Senior 2d Lieutenant,
D. C. Swortfiguer ; Junior 2d Lieutenant, Glen Petrie.

The Fort Stanwix Guards were organized in 1875, as
the Second (now Sixth) Separate Company of Infantry.
It numbers about sixty-five members, with the following
officers, viz. : Captain, Charles Northrup ; 1st Lieutenant,
Martin ; 2d Lieutenant, Charles N. Grain.

There was also, until recently, a company known as the
" Armttrong Guards," organized in 1875, which has been



disbanded. The militia companies which have existed in
Rome are many in nirmber, and tlie early " general train-
ing" days wore great and exciting events in the history of
the place. For eighteen years the militia of the village
was kept up by the exertions of Colonel Louis Roth, who
finally resigned. The two companies now organized make
a fine appearance, and arc a credit to the city.


Roman Lodge, No. 223, F. and A. M.* has a member-
ship of 194. Stated communications for 1878 on first and
third Wednesdays of each month. Oflncers for 1878:
W. M., J. J. Barber; S. W., W. N. Trumpour ; J. W.,
Edwin Evans; Treasurer, M. W. Smith; Secretary, Wil-
liam H. Davies ; S. D., Ed. Jones ; J. D., J. A. Owens ;
Chaplains, Revs. J. W. Lawton and G. B. R. Clarke ; S.
M. C, J. Pj. Brownson ; J. M. C, J. D. Archer; Organist,
C. S. Hill ; Marshal, C. Hurlburt ; Trustees, F. B. Mitchell,
John Groves, John Reifert ; Tyler, John Jackson.

Fort Slaiiwix Chapter, No. 153, R. A. M., was organ-
ized Dec. 3, 1855, at which time the first stated convocation
was held with nine members. The membership, June 26,
1878, was 100, and the officers are as follows, viz. : H. P.,

F. E. Mitchell, M. E. ; K., M. W. Smith, E. ; Scribe, John
Groves, E. ; Treasurer, John Reifert ; Secretary, L. E.
Elmer ; C. H., C. H. Nicholson ; P. S., William Thorn ; R.
A. C, W. D. Sandford; M. 3d V., George Batchelor; M.
2d v., L. B. Sherman ; M. 1st V., John Jones; Chaplain,
Rev. H. L. M. Clarke; Organist, G. P.; Tyler, John

Rome Commandcry, No. 45, K. T., was organized in
18C9. The membership, by the last report, was 91. Its offi-
cers for 1878 are the following, viz. : E. C, P. E. Mitchell ;
G., Ira L. Reed ; C. G., C. H. Nicholson ; Recorder, W. H.
Davies ; Treasurer, F. B. Beers ; S. W., F. M. Orton ; J.
W., William Thom ; S. B., Louis Gleisman ; S. B., John
Jones; W., F. K. Jones; C. G., P. A. Wheeler; Organist,

G. P. Russ ; Prelates, M. W. Smith, H. L. M. Clarke ;
Com., B. Neiss.

The room.s of the Masonic fraternity are in the building
on James Street, near the Sentinel office, erected by S. B.
Stevens, and were fitted and furnished for Masonic pur-

Ror)ie Lodge, No. 206, L 0. 0. F., instituted Jan. 19,
1S71. The present member.ship is 84 (July, 1878), and
the following are the officers : N. G., Cyrus D. Prescott ;
V. G., George C. Seidell ; Recording Secretary, John R.
Monroe ; Permanent Secretary, Louis Roth ; Treasurer,
Orson Knowlton ; Representative to Grand Lodge, Louis
Roth ; Proxy Representative, P. X. Greenia.

Qaeen Esther (Reliecca Degree) Lodge, No. ,

L 0. 0. F., instituted in July, 1878.

Fort Stanwix Encampment, No. 73, I. 0. 0. F., in-
stituted with nine members, September 27, 1872. The
membership in July, 1878, was 35, with the following of-
ficers, viz.: C. P., Egbert E. Carr; H. P., William H.

* A sketch of this lo Igc was to have been furnished us, but failed
to luiike its .appcurance. The present lodge is a re-organizalion.
The charter of the old lodge was surrendered during anti-Masonic
times, and its records cannot be found.

Atkinson; S. W., David Aldridge; J. W., Thomas Cad-
dick ; R. S. and F. S., Louis Roth ; Treasurer, F. Louis
Roth ; Representative to Grand Encampment, Louis Roth ;
Proxy ReprcFentative, E. E. Carr.

The lodge-rooms are over the Central National Bank, on
the south side of Dominick Street, and are tastily and conve-
niently fitted for all purposes required of them.

Skillin Post, No. 47, G. A. R., was organized in 1872,
with about twenty members, and named after Lieutenant-
Colonel Charles H. Skillin, of the 14th New York Infantry
(" First Oneida Regiment"), who was killed at Gaines'
Mills, Virginii, June 27, 1862. The present membership
of the post is about 80, and its officers are : Commander,
J. I. Sayles ; Senior Vice-Commander, D. C. Swortfiguer ;
Junior Vice-Commander, Charles Northrup ; Quartermaster,
P. A. Wheeler; Adjutant, Elias Van Slyke ; Officer of the
Day, Charles Swortfiguer; Chaplain, G. M. Palmer. The
post holds regular weekly meetings. Decoration Day (May
30) is always observed with proper ceremonies.

I'lie Young Men's Christian Association, of Rome, was
incorporated in June, 1872, and at present has a member
ship of about 200, with very neat rooms in the McHarg
Block, corner of Dominick and Washington Streets. The
officers for 1S78 are: President, H. Hannahs; Vice-Pres-
ident, E. E. Carr ; Recording Secretary, H. S. Graves ;
Corresponding Secretary, G. BI. Palmer ; Treasurer, E. M.
McChesney. The association possesses a library of 1500
volumes, and about 60 periodicals are on file in its reading-
room. A monthly paper, entitled Once a Month, is published,
and has a circulation of 2000 copies. Classes in book-keep-
ing, penmanship, etc., are conducted by the Association, which
has charge of from three to five Sunday-schools, besides
having religious services at the jail. Religious literature
to the amount of 150,000 pages is distributed annually.
Montlily social receptions are held, also religious meetings,
at the rooms of the Association, the attendance at the latter
being from 400 to 600. The sustaining membership is
adopted, an annual admission fee of ?10 being required of
members. The new rooms in the McHarg Block include
reading- and reception-rooms, library, gymnasium, and hall;
the latter having a seating capacity of 350. The aim of
the Association is to improve the religious, educational,
social, and physical conditions of the community. A gen-
eral secretary is employed.

Rome Christian Temperance Union. — Organized Feb.
8, 1876, through the efforts of Professor W. M. Evans,
the eminent temperance reform orator. It has rooms in
the McHarg Block. Present membership over 100. Its
officers are: President, Rev. James H. Taylor; First Vice-
President, G. W. L. Cheney; Treasurer, Z. R. Evans;
Financial Secretary, Charles Ellis; Corresponding Secre-
tary, Virgil Kingsley. A reading-room and library are
owned by the association, which holds its meetings every
Tuesday evening.


The bar of Rome at the present day sustain.s the reputa-
tion which has been established for it in previous years.
The names of Judge Beardsley, Joshua Hatheway, Judge
Denio, Judge Wardwell, and others, are prominently known

Photo, by Hovey & Brainerd.


One of the most responsible occupations in life is that of
a physician ; he is daily called upon to aid the suffering
and helpless public ; not only the rich but the poor, often
working without a hope of any remuneration, and is often-
times the possessor of family secrets which, if divulged to
the world, would prove detrimental to the character of his

Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 108 of 192)