The Regents of the University immediately (1851)
the academy one of the institutions to give instruction to teachers’
classes, and it has since continued to do so. During that period
of twenty-eight years, there have gone from the school, annually, an
average number of 25 teachers for the common schools. This would
make an aggregate of 700. The whole aggregate attendance of
students has been, yearly, about 450,
which would give a total aggregate of 12,600. Of course this
not be the number of different persons present, as some of them
more than year. A distinguished lecturer once remarked in our
that he was always sure of an intelligent audience in the neighborhood
an academy. Certainly, no one could visit this community without
a refinement and cultivation which have been fostered this
There is scarcely a family that has not cherished traditions of
which occurred when some if its members were connected with the “old
In 1863, an L was erected, 40 by 66 feet, and two stories high.
The lower part was divided into students’ rooms for self-boarding, and
the upper portion was fitted for a chapel. It is delightful to
hear the students of that day describe the satisfaction which they felt
in the completion
of this building. The cost was $2000. The Association paid
bills, but the scholars “raised” all the timber, after which the lady
prepared for them a supper in their best style. And now an aged
who had been from the first connected with the academy, and had marked
usefulness, began to devise liberal things in its behalf.
Chamberlain, who had, in the toilsome business of a lumberman and
merchant, accumulated a large fortune, resolved to enlarge its
and secure, beyond peradventure, by a large endowment, the perpetuity
the institution. This remarkable man was born in Mt. Vernon, Me.,
31, 1791, and died in Ellicottville, Feb. 10 1868. He was
of a tall, commanding form, rugged common sense, ready wit, and
energy. Many are the anecdotes told of him, which illustrate his
of resource, abounding humor, and vigorous understanding.
Like most marked men of strong wills, he was not without grave faults
of character; but his constant efforts in behalf of education, and his
generous provision to secure its benefits to the youth of our land, his
the church of his choice, and frequent gifts to religious and
enterprises show him to have been a man of broad views and profound
sympathies. Having, during his life, given nearly $100,000 to
this institution and Allegany College, he bequeathed to them by will
$400,000 more; thus purposing to
give to education almost $500,000; and by such liberality has placed
name with those of Peabody, Rich, Vassar, Hopkins, Cornell, and the
few who, by kindred munificence, have endeavored to pay their share of
debt which the present owes to the future generations.” Two
which are still in force in this State, and one of which, at least, is
absurd and injurious in its results, prevented the full enforcement of
will. The first is, in brief, that no man can bequeath more than
of his property to any benevolent object, and the second, that no
can hold property the net annual income of which shall exceed
The latter of these provisions is certainly preposterous, and should be
repealed. In 1869 the trustees of the institute procured an
of charter which permits them to hold property the annual income of
may be $10,000. The citizens of the place having added 30 acres
the grounds of the academy, at a cost of $6000, Judge Chamberlain
thereon a beautiful boarding-hall, at a cost of $50,000. Of the
$45,000 were finally secured by this school. The association and
in grateful recognition of Judge Chamberlain’s beneficence, petitioned
Legislature that the name of Randolph Academy, though now endeared to
by many pleasant memories, might be altered to Chamberlain Institute,
such change was at that time made. The same act gave the Erie
of the Methodist Episcopal Church power to appoint the board of
Just here the truth of history demands that honorable mention should be
made of Rev. A.S. Dobbs, D.D., who was providentially stationed at
Randolph about this time. He is was who brought the most direct
and powerful influence to bear upon the mind of Mr. Chamberlain,
conversed with him of plans, stimulated the spirit of benevolence, and
gave directions to his purposes.
Nor would this sketch be complete if it failed to record the rare
magnanimity and unselfishness which characterized the conduct of Mrs.
Benjamin Chamberlain, who freely consented to her husband’s liberal
schemes, gladly surrendering her own claim upon his property, that
nothing might interfere with his noble designs. It has been
denied to her to hear the voices of her own children making glad music
and breathing sweet sympathy in her declining years. May she feel
that the children of other mothers will gratefully remember
the educational advantages they enjoy, and rise up to call her blessed!
Five years passed away. The school had adjusted itself to the new
situation. Its patronage had widened so that now ten or a dozen
States were represented in its catalogue, the grounds were somewhat
courses of study systematized, and the scholarship improved, when
suddenly a dreadful calamity befell the institution. The
boarding-hall was burned. With it was consumed much valuable
material, furniture, the institute library, cabinet, and a large and
excellent library belonging to the principal. The building
destroyed was 40 x 140 feet, three and four stories high, with an L 40
x 140 feet, three stories high,--a noble edifice but with serious and
irremediable defects of architecture, and without which it never would
have been burned.
In less than twelve months the building, through the unprecedented
liberality of the people, was replaced with one far superior to the old
in all that
constitutes a convenient, comfortable, and admirably-arranged
The Christmas festivities were not once suspended, and, best of all,
building has been paid for without using any of the funds of the
We append the various subscriptions to this object. It is an
record, especially when we remember that there are no rich men in the
If any one thinks that our academies have “survived their usefulness”
are no longer an educational necessity, what say you to this expression
a community well supplied with common and grammar schools, but who felt
they could not for a moment dispense with the services of their
seminary? The building committee were Messrs. E.S. Ingersoll, Wm.
Brown, Stephen Burlingame, Frank Hovey, and J.H. Chaffee. The
and builder was Mr. P.B. Canfield. Stephen Burlingame, on account
his long experience in connection with schools and careful supervision
the building, greatly added to its elegance and convenience. Wm.
Brown was elected chairman of the committee, and E.S. Ingersoll
and treasurer. The principal was greatly aided in obtaining the
by Hon. Wm. H. Henderson.
The following is the list of subscriptions: J.T. Edwards, $2030; R.E.
Fenton, $750; A.G. Dow and Wm. H. Henderson, each $600; Wm. M. Brown,
T.J. Chamberlain, C.P. Adams, MA. Crowley, Amasa Sprague, A. F. Kent,
Chaffe, Thompson & Co., Benedict & Lake, each $500; E.S.
Ingersoll and Enfield Leach, each, $400; Amos Dow, $242.50; L.H.
Carter, $350; A.B. Parsons, John Kennicott, B.G. Casler, and A.B.
Harvey, each, $250; N. Saunders, $230; F.C. Hovey,
$217.50; J.V. Goodwill, $180; J.G. Johnson and Merrick Nutting, each
Nutting & Metcalf, $106.30; Alex. Wentworth, H.C. & C.C. Rich,
Stephen Burlingame, each $130; D.S. & H.K. Van Rensselaer, Mrs.
Lee, Mrs. M. and Miss C. Pierce, W.S. Sessions, S.U. Main, and E.
E. Holdridge, Wm. Shean & Co., G.E. Seager, Ivison , Blakeman &
& Co., Frank Jones, A.L. Barnes & Co., D. Appleton & Co.,
Christie, Samuel Scudder, A.J. Vandergrift, J.S. McCalmot, P.H. Jones,
Rice, John McClintock, A.F. Allen, E.W. Lee, Addison Crowley, Saml.
Jr., Amos P. Jones, A.L. Scudder, Julius Hill, J.B. Torrance, Sardius
Knapp, Cook & Knapp, C.F. Harding, W.S. Bezona, C.F. Hedman, T.A.C.
John Archer, Byron Helmes, Geo. McCapes, W.W. Welch, Silas Harkness,
Manly, and Robert Carson, each $100; P.B. Canfield, $125; G.W. Maltby,
M.R. Pingrey, G.W. Chesbro; $65; J.B. & W.W. Cornell, $56; N.
$55; James Connelly, O.H. Willard, G.A. Forman, H.H. Sawtell, Robert
T.C. Cornell, D.L. Colburn, C.T. Merchant, Mrs. L.D. Jefferds, J.
Buel Scudder, Henry Dye, Samuel Allen, W.W. Ramsey, each $50; F.A.
$43; Harvey & Smith, C.M. Faulkner, each $40; A.C. Merrill, $42.50;
Reno, $35; B. Excell and wife, $39.15; R.R. Crowley, L. Merrick, and
Thatcher, each $30; John Pierce, Frank Smith, W.A. Eddy, J.W. Billings,
Prosser, Mrs. A. Eaton, Chas. Colburn, Henry Buck, Osmer Nevins, James
Hollis Marsh, D.W. Guernsey, and Mr. and Mrs. H.O. Burt, each $25; A.
W.F. Day, E.J.L. Baker and wife, J.D. Norton, and Andrew Reynolds, each
S.C. Wigner, $19; John Peate, $17.75; A.H. Dorner, $17.25; M.V. Stone,
Cottrael & Knapp, $16; R.G. King and Silar Miller, $15; O.G.
$14.50; Wm. Rice, P.W. Scofield, each $10.75; E.F. Smith, $13; A.L.
J.E. Chapin, R.N. Stubbs, R.M. Warren, D. Latshaw, J. Akres, J.S.
F.M. Beck, J.C. Sullivan, H.H. Moore, G.W. Clark, Mr. Martsell, C.
M. Sackett, H. Henderson, B.F. Delo, J.H. Stoney, G.W. Blaisdell, R.
F.A. Archibald, William Hunter, J. Eckels, Mrs. Mendenhall, B. Heard,
Sampson, M. Mills, J. Beetham, John Perry, P.W. Sherwood, Asahel
Lorin Boardman, A.T. Palmer, S.C. Pierce, Chas. Merrill, Louis Miller,
Reeves, G.W. Staples, J.H. Snowden, R.F. Randolph, Wm. Martin, A.R.
W.M. Taylor, E.A. Squier, J.S. Card, J. Shields, O. Babcock, L.F.
J.H. Vance, Frank Brown, C.W. Foulke, W.W. Wythe, J.M. Foster, A.J.
T.P. Warner, R.W. Scott, F. Thair, J. Flower, D.W. Scofield, M. Sims,
Graham, T.D. Blinn, J.H. Dewitt, W. Branfield, Andrew Armstrong, J.C.
W.F. Wilson, A.H. Bowers, A.H. Starrett, S. Fuller, A. Bashline, W.A.
A. Falkner, R.B. Boyd, D. Wisner, Chas. Folk, S.M. Clark, Xavier
A.D. Morton, B.F. Congdon, B.K. Johnson, A.A. Hall, A.T. Copeland, J.W.
J.H. Snyder, Sundry Subscriptions, Wm. M. Bear, J.K. Shaffer, D.
J.S. Lytle, Gilbert O. Haven, W.B. Bignall, W.H. Wilson, Salamanca
E.D. McGrearry, J. Beatham, O.L. Mead, J. Graham, G.W. Snyder, M.
John Benson, H.H. Holt, A.D. Holt, J.H. Groves, J.D. Gage, A. Bashline,
$10 or under; Robert Revels, M.W. Shean, Thomas Smith, W.C. Clark, J.H.
A.E. Cook, J.F. Gastmann, S.S. Fish, James Casten, G.E. Thorp, David
A.E. Safford, Erie Hall, Erastus Hall, J.W. Sharp, C. Spangler, Wm.
C. Jeffords, Porter Sheldon, O. Hammond, John A. Carroll, Mrs. B.
Joseph Crosby, Miss E. Smith, M.C. Jay, H.C. Saxton, each $25; M.K.
$30; Adams & Hapgood, Mrs. M. Nutting, Hiram Fosdick, each $20.
It crowns a lovely hill which overlooks a landscape of unusual
beauty. Around it stretch 35 acres of fertile fields belonging to
the institute. The academy building and chapel have already been
described. The new brick boarding-hall is a model of taste and
convenience. It is 140
fee long and 4 and 5 stories high, with an L 40 x 60 feet, and 4
It is valued at $50,000, and contains apartments for teachers and
students, dining-hall, kitchen, store-rooms, cellars, laundry,
fire-proof furnace-room, office, parlor, library, cabinet, music- and
The building is hard-finished throughout, with an average height of
wall, in rooms, 10-1/2 feet.
The whole is heated with Gold’s patent low-pressure steam apparatus,
connected with direct radiators in each room. This apparatus has
been put up
with great care, at a cost of $6000.
Each room is supplied with a fixed metallic safety-lamp and lamp-shade.
The building is abundantly supplied with pure spring water.
The principal, his family, and other teachers reside in this building,
board at the same table, and are constantly associated with the
students. This part of their training is not less important than
the instruction which scholars derive from their books. It
admirably prepares them to perform their duties in society.
Experience has sufficiently demonstrated
the wisdom of educating both sexes in the same institution. The
association of young ladies and gentlemen at table, at recitation, and
public exercises, in presence of their teachers, has a salutary
upon the scholarship, manners, and morals of both. In an
like this, in which ladies and gentlemen occupy departments entirely
and meet only by permission, it is believed the greatest advantages of
education are secured.
About $1000 have recently been expended in the purchase of apparatus,
and in fitting up and furnishing the laboratory. These additions,
the extensive apparatus previously possessed, afford excellent
for illustrating the natural sciences.
The institute has also a complete supply of globes, maps, and charts
for illustrating astronomy, mathematics, physical geography, physiology
botany; also a valuable cabinet of minerals. Henslow’s Botanical
are also used. The library contains 1500 volumes. There are
connected with the institute 8 pianos and 2 organs.
The commercial department is fitted with all the appliances of the best
modern business colleges. Three rooms are occupied. These
are prepared with stores, telegraph-offices, shipping-office, and a
bank. Bank bills are used in the actual business department, and
printed forms of
drafts, bills, orders, etc., are supplied.
In addition to the common English branches which are distributed among
the different members of the faculty, there are the following regular
courses of study, and each graduate of either department receives a
graduation: 1, the literary and scientific course; 2, the classical
3, the college preparatory course; 4, the teacher’s normal course; 5,
musical course; 6, the commercial course.
The trustees (1878) are as follows: Hon. Wm. H. Henderson, President;
Hon. A.G. Dow, Treasurer; Mr. H.K. Van Rensselaer, Secretary; Hon. E.
Holdridge, Vice-President; Messrs. Seth W. Thompson, A.C. Merrill, E.S.
B.R. Johnson, Hon. R.E. Fenton, Rev. A.S. Dobbs, A.M., D.D., Rev. W.F.
D.D., Rev. J. Leslie, Rev. H.H. Moore.
The faculty consists of Rev. J.T. Edwards, A.M., D.D., Principal, Moral
Science, Natural Science, and Normal Department; Emma A. Edwards,
Preceptress, French, Painting, Drawing, and Wax-work; Frank S. Thorpe,
A.M., Latin, Greek, and German; Clark J. Brown, Bookkeeping, Penmanship
and Commercial Law; John H. Burrows, Mathematics; Joel J. Crandall,
Latin and Higher English; Adelaide B. Thorpe, Directress of Music,
Piano, Organ, and Voice Culture; Millie
Burgess, Piano; Dora A. Brown, English Branches; Luella E. Hadley,
Branches; C.J. Brown, Librarian; Martin Parsons, Steward; Lena Parsons,
The following is a list of the principals and the years of their
connection with the institution:
1850-53, Prof. Samuel G. Love, A.M.; 1853-54, Rev. T. Durland, A.M.;
1854-55, Prof. Henry S. Welton, A.M.; 1855-57, Rev. J.W.B. Clark, A.M.;
Rev. William H. Marsh, A.M.; 1858-59, Rev. O.L. Gibson, A.M.; 1859-64,
Samuel G. Love, A.M.; 1964-65, Rev. Charles H. Holloway, A.M.; 1865-67,
Prof. Erastus Crosby, A.M.; 1867-68, Rev. A.S. Dobbs, A.M., D.D.;
Prof. Ruggles E. Post, A.M.; 1870, Rev. James T. Edwards, A.M., D.D.
We believe that all of these gentlemen are living, and most of them are
still engaged in the work of education. Prof. Samuel G. Love, the
first principal, is a graduate of Hamilton College, and is now the very
efficient and popular superintendent of schools in Jamestown,
N.Y. C.H. Holloway graduated from Amherst College, Massachusetts,
and was a Congregational minister. Prof. Crosby is a graduate of
Tufts College, Massachusetts, and afterwards studied law. Rev.
A.S. Dobbs graduated from Concord Biblical Institute, now consolidated
with Boston University, and J.T. Edwards is a graduate
of Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn. Rev. T. Durland became
able clergyman of the Episcopal Church. Revs. Welton and Marsh
Baptists, and O.L. Gibson an eloquent preacher of the Methodist
Prof. Post has been for many years a successful conductor of teachers’
institutes in various parts of the State.
We have thus very imperfectly traced the history of one of the “middle
schools” in our system of instruction. Let us hope that not one
the links in that chain—the common school, academy, college, and
ever be lost.
Of the trustees, who twenty-eight years ago received their charter, one
only is still in the board,--Hon. A.G. Dow, for many years the faithful
treasurer of the institution. Three others are still living,--Mr.
Addison Crowley, the first treasurer, J.E. Weeden, Esq., and the
venerable Samuel Ewing.
In the construction of the board of trustees, or the faculty, or in the
admission of students, no sectarian or denominational tests have ever
been applied or thought of. Among them will be found all classes
of faith and religious practice; yet it is fair to say that the school
has remembered how high is the privilege “ to read in nature,” as
Kepler said, “the thoughts of God;” to see His power, wisdom and
benevolence in all His works; nor has it forgotten Him, the Great
Teacher, the entering in of whose word—whether into the heart of man or
the life of a nation—“giveth light.”
We close this brief chronicle by expressing the hope that its next
historian may find the Institute still faithfully disseminating sound
pure morals; that a multitude of noble men and women may then delight
call her alma mater, and she, looking upon them, be able to exclaim,
all the pride of a Cornelia, “These are my jewels!”
THE WESTERN NEW YORK HOME FOR HOMELESS AND DEPENDENT CHILDREN
This institution is located in the town of Randolph, on the highway,
about half-way between the villages of Randolph and East Randolph, and
was founded mainly through the efforts of the Rev. Charles Strong, the
present superintendent. This gentleman was the chaplain of the
Sing Sing Prison in 1876, and while serving in that capacity, laboring
to reform vicious men and women, he was led to see that it was easier
to prevent crime than to cure it; that the
true field of reform was to educate the child to shun the ways of
He began to turn his attention towards the neglected and vagrant
of the criminal classes, who by being neglected, are growing up in
destitution and crime, keeping our almshouses and prisons constantly
filled. Encouraged by prominent philanthropists, he resolved to
establish at some point in
the country, away from the demoralizing influence of cities, a home for
vagrant, neglected, and orphan children. With this purpose, he
home to Randolph and laid his plans before the citizens of that place
vicinity, and urged the importance of establishing such a home in their
at once. The project met with a hearty approval, and the
and cooperation of prominent citizens was promised in case such a work
undertaken. Accordingly, in the month of September, 1877, he
to give the plan a practical demonstration by opening his own home to
these neglected waifs, and on the 29th of that month two little boys
placed in his charge as the keeper of a home for dependent
These were the first inmates of the present Western New York Home,
soon began to attract the attention of those in sympathy with the
so that an effort was made to establish the institution on a permanent
The attempt was not in vain. A society was speedily formed,
among its members Wm. H. Henderson, Asahel Crowley, C.P. Adams, R.R.
T.E. Adams, Nelson Saunders, Addison Crowley, L.H. Carter, Norman M.
and 40 other prominent citizens of Cattaraugus County. Its object
incorporation are comprehensively set forth in the following articles
association, which were duly signed, on the 1st of January, 1878, by
50 members composing the society:
To all whom these presents shall come, greeting:
We whose hands and seals are hereunto subscribed and set, being of full
age and citizens of the United States, and citizens and residents
State of New York, having associated ourselves together for benevolent
and objects which are hereinafter stated, under and pursuant to the Act
Legislature of the State of New York, passed April 12, 1848, entitled
Act for the incorporation of benevolent, charitable, scientific, and
societies,” and the several acts additional to and amendatory thereof,
I. The name or title assumed, and by
which this society or association shall be known in law and to be used
in its dealings, is “The Western New York Society for the Protection of
Homeless and Dependent Children.”
II. The particular business and objects of this
society or association are to establish and maintain at Randolph, in
of Cattaraugus, and State of New York, a home for friendless and
or unprotected children, and to receive and take charge of such
under the age of sixteen years, as may be voluntarily intrusted to them
by their parents or guardians, or committed to their charge by
authority, and to provide for their support, and to afford them the
of a moral, intellectual, and industrial education.
III. The number of trustees to manage the affairs and
business of this society shall be thirteen.
IV. The names of the trustees of this society for the
first year of its existence are Wm. H. Henderson, Rodney, R. Crowley,
Nelson Saunders, Asahel Crowley, L.H. Carter, Reuben E. Fenton,
Benjamin F. Congdon, Loren B. Sessions, J.V. Goodwill, Wm. W. Hammond,
M.V. Benson, J.C. Knapp, and A.S. Lamper.
The organization of the society was fully completed shortly afterwards,
and as soon as the certificate was received from the secretary of the
State, it entered upon its work as set forth in that document.
Funds began to flow in from many sources, so that by the first of May,
1878, the board of trustees felt justified in purchasing the Strong
property for the use
of the Home. It embraces 8 acres of land, on which stand a
house and well-appointed out-buildings, and is well adapted for a
The permanence of the Home assured, many dependent little ones were
sent here, and during the past year about 40 for a longer or a shorter
time enjoyed its friendly shelter and protection; and many have been
placed in good homes in Cattaraugus and the adjoining counties.
The purpose of the Home
is not to make the children dependent by providing for them, but to
them in and aid them to lead industrious lives, and thus become
self-supporting members of society.
Although the enterprise is of recent origin, it has enlisted the
support and sympathy of hundreds of people, who are watching its
progress with interested concern. Many have become members and
in its affairs under the by-laws and conditions following:
The members of the society shall consist
1st. Of the corporate members.
2d. Of the members of the Western New York Ladies’ Society for
the Protection of Homeless and Dependent Children.
3d. Of such persons as approve its object and contribute annually
to its funds.
A contribution of fifteen dollars, or more, shall
constitute the donor a life-member of the society.
A contribution of fifty dollars, or more, shall constitute the donor a
life-director of the society.
The general affairs of the society shall be under the management of a
board of directors, which board shall be composed, 1st, of the members
board of trustees; 2d, of such life-directors, and of such members of
board of manager of the Western New York Ladies’ Society for the
of Homeless and Dependent Children, as may be present at any meeting.
The board of trustees shall appoint a superintendent of the Home and
Reformatory, who shall have the immediate charge and oversight of all
its inmates and
all the property, real and personal, belonging to the society, who
employ such assistants for the conduct of the Home and Reformatory as
may deem necessary, subject to the approval of the board of trustees.
The superintendent is authorized to present the claims of the society
to the public, etc., solicit and receive contributions and donations
for its maintenance and use, and for any special fund established by
the board. It shall be the duty of the superintendent to keep a
book in which shall
be registered the name of each child admitted to the Home, the time of
admittance, place of birth, residence, name and age, and birthplace of
parents or guardians, as far as can be ascertained. And in case
of children committed by
public authority, then all the facts showing by what authority such
is made, and the terms of such commitment, the names and residence of
families into which any inmate of the Home may be adopted or placed;
and he shall
also keep records of such facts as are required by law to be kept.
Said superintendent shall also keep, in a book provided for that
purpose, a strict and detailed account of all moneys and property
received by him
for the use of the society, in which shall be entered the name of the
and amount received from each contribution, the date when received; and
case any contributor to the funds of the society shall request that his
her contribution shall be applied to any specific purpose or use, a
record of such request shall be kept.
The superintendent shall keep a detailed account of all moneys expended
in defraying the current expenses of the Home and its management, and
shall present a full report to the board of trustees at each quarterly
of the board, showing in detail all receipts and expenditures and the
and condition of the financial affairs and property of the society; and
shall also make such report when and as often as required by the board.
It shall be the duty of the superintendent to pay over to the treasurer
of the society all moneys received by him from time to time, except
shall be needed for ordinary current expenses.
The superintendent may be removed at any time by a vote of a majority
of the trustees.
The Rev. C. Strong was appointed superintendent of the Home and
Reformatory, and has discharged the duties of that position with signal
The present organization of the Western New York Society for the
Protection of Homeless and Dependent Children is as follows: President,
W.H. Henderson; Vice-President, R.E. Fenton; Secretary, B.F. Congdon;
Treasurer, Asabel Crowley: ; Executive Committee, J. V. Goodwill,
R. R. Crowley, and W. H.
The officers of the Western New York Ladies’ Society are Mrs. Wm. H.
Henderson, President; Mrs. Julia M. Chase, Cor. Secretary; Miss
Rec. Secretary; Mrs. L. H. Carter, Treasurer; Mrs. C. Strong, Matron.
of Managers, Mrs. J. T. Edwards, Mrs. Wm. Brown, Mrs. R. Carson, Mrs. A
Wentworth, Mrs. O. S. Martin, Mrs. H. O. Burt, Mrs. S. W. Thompson,
L. Jeffords, and Miss Emma Thompson.
The True Friend is an able monthly periodical, published in the
interest of the Home. The first issue bore date January, 1878. The
editors are the Rev. C. Strong and Miss Della Strong.
From the data at hand, we conclude that the first society in town was
organized by the Baptists. A preliminary meeting for this purpose was
held in June, 1825, at the house of Otis Hitchcock, over which Darius
On the 15th of July, 1825,
THE PARTICULAR BAPTIST CHURCH OF RANDOLPH
was formally constituted at the house of Solomon Nichols. The members
entering into covenant were as follows: Timothy Torrance, Ralph
Bowen, Otis Hitchcock, Solomon Nichols, J. Brenninsthol, Stephen J.
Josiah Nichols, Josiah Gilbert, Nancy McCapes, Lucy Ann Nichols, Zurina
Torrance, Almira Bowen, Hannah Cook, Sally Williams, Matilda Hartman,
Russell, Amelia Nichols, Almira McNull, Katy Bush, Phebe Davis, Anna
and Eliza Booth.
To this number were added other members at an early day, among them
being Elmore G. Terry, John Shango, Calvin, Oliver, and Elmore Draper,
Ira Case, Joseph A. Hamilton, Isaac Gifford, Joel Doolittle, Seymour
Torrance, John Cook, Jonathan Follett, Alanson Marcy, Esek S. Gorsline,
and Levi Howard.
The ministers present when the church was formed were Revs. E. Viney
and Jonathan Blake, the latter becoming the first pastor of the church.
Joseph Brenninsthol was appointed the first deacon and clerk. The
office of deacon has also been filled by Darius Bowen, H. H. Hull, and
May 9, 1834, a meeting was held at the house of Elmore Draper to form a
society to attend to the temporal affairs of the church. Trustees were
chosen as follows: Ralph Williams, Samuel Price, Marvin Soudder, Oliver
Solomon Nichols. The propriety of building a meetinghouse was now
strongly urged but no decisive action was taken until ten years later.
In 1845 the present house of worship was erected, and consecrated in
the fall of that year by the Revs. B. C. Willoughby, W. R. Brooks, and
Frederick Glenville. It is a frame, 36 by 54 feet, and cost about
$2000. It was remodeled and
beautified in 1874, and is now estimated worth $3000. The controlling
of trustees is composed of Franklin Nichols, J. L. Sowle, Geo. McCapes,
Rogers, and H. H. Hull.
The church was very flourishing soon after its organization, but also
had seasons of declining interest, resulting mainly from the many
the pastoral office. The clergy have been the Revs. Allen Smith, Levi
Howard, Alonzo Frink, Benjamin Oviatt, B. C. Willoughby, J. Howard, B.
A. Handy, D. F. Lockwood, J. Trowbridge, H. A. Conrad, G. W. Devoll,
C. H. Woods. In early times, E. Terry and Solomon Nichols sometimes
the pulpit. There are at present 104 members. A flourishing
organized after 1840, is maintained. It has nearly 100 members.
THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF RANDOLPH was organized Jan. 7, 1836,
by the Rev Sylvester Cowles, at the house of Dr. Luther P. Cowles. The
members were the fifteen following:
Abel C. Ward, Justin C. Marsh, Levi Steel, Harry Marsh, Luis A. Marsh,
William Ramson, Joseph Hamilton, Sanford Holbrook, Luther P. Cowles,
W. Draper, Zebediah Pierce, Martha Pierce, Samuel Wadsworth, and Louis
Hatfield. Three years later the names of Demarius Sheldon, Minerva
Minerva Wadsworth, Louis A. Taylor, Mrs. Isaiah Cross, Ester
Corintha Wadsworth, and Mary Jane Wilcox were added to the list of
The church has had an aggregate membership of 250, and at present has
46 male and 60 female members, 35 of whom are non-residents. The
families connected with the church number 56, and are under the
ministerial direction of the Rev. Charles W. Pitcher, ordained Jan 26,
1876. Others who were pastors
of the church, from the time it was formed till the above period, were
The Revs. Justin Marsh, Zachariah Eddy, E. Taylor, Sylvester Cowles, O.
D. Hibbard, E. P. Clisbie, and Charles Strong.
In 1840 the church became connected with the Association of Western New
York, and yet remains a member of that body. In June, 1848, Harry Marsh
and James Calhoun were ordained to the office of deacon, and in June,
1867, A. G. Dow and T. A. C. Everett. The first clerk of the church was
L. P. Cowles; the present is L. C. Rundell.
“The First Congregational Society of the town of Randolph” was formed
“at the school-house on the flats,” Jan. 23, 1836, and had as its first
trustees Abram Kierstead, Sanford Holbrook, and David Benson; the
present trustees are L. C. Rundell, Joel B. Torrance, and Edwin Jaynes.
The first house of worship, which is the present church edifice in the
village of Randolph, was begun in 1847, but was not completed until
In 1867, it was thoroughly repaired, and renovated in 1877. It is now
attractive church, and will comfortably seat 300 persons.
THE RANDOLPH METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Methodist meetings were held in the town as early as 1823, at the
houses of Thomas Harvey and others in that locality; but the names of
the members composing the class cannot be learned. The work flourished,
so well for the future that a legal society was formed, Dec. 16, 1830,
the purpose of building a church. Cornelius Kierstead, Squire Powell,
Richard Salisbury were chosen trustees. A few years later a plain frame
meeting-house, 30 by 40 feet, was put up on what is now know as the
Fifth Avenue, but was not immediately finished. In this condition it
was used until after 1840, when it was removed to a point nearly
opposite its present site on Main Street. In 1858 it was placed on the
foundation it now occupies, and enlarged by the addition of a chancel,
vestibule, and lower, and tower, and made to present an inviting
appearance. It has accommodations for 300 persons, and is valued at
$3000. A parsonage on Center Street was erected in 1872. It is a
comfortable home, worth about $2000.
The present official members of the church are:
Trustees, E. MC MANUS, E. J. BOYLE, C. F. HEDMAN, F. C. BATES, and H.
K. VAN RENSSELAER; Local Preachers, C. J. BROWN and J. T.
EDWARDS; Stewards, E. S. INGERSOLL, H. K. VAN RENSSALAER, J. T.
EDWARDS, F. C. BATES, and E. J. BOYLE ; Class-leaders, F. C. BATES and
The church has at present (1878) 121 members, and
supports a Sunday-school having and attendance of 100 scholars. The
school was organized in 1837 by Dr. VAN RENSSELAER, and is at present
superintended by C. J. BROWN . The pastor of the church since 1877 has
been the Rev. B. F. WADE.
In 1845, Randolph became a circuit, and has had
since that period the following ministerial appointments: 1845, Revs.
J. UNCLES, J. N. HENRY; 1846-47, Rev J. O. RICH ; 1848, Rev. A.
BURGESS; 1849, Rev. H. H. MOORE; 1850-51, Revs. J. E. CHAPIN, B. D.
HIMEBAUGH; 1852, Revs. A. BURGESS, N. W. JONES ; 1853-54, Rev. George
CHESBROUGH; 1855, Rev. John ROBINSON; 1856-57, Rev. M. STEVER; 1858-59,
Rev. O.L. MEAD; 1860, Rev. L. W. DAY; 1861-62, Rev. R. W. SCOTT;
1863-65, Rev. J. G. HAWKINS; 1864-66, Rev. A. S. DOBBS; 1867-68, Rev.
R. N. STUBBS; 1869, Rev. G. W. STAPLES; 1870-71, Rev. W. N. RENO;
1872-73, Rev. A. H. DORNER; 1874-75, Rev. R. S. BORLAND; 1876, Rev.
William MARTIN; 1877-78, Rev. B. F. WADE.
Before 1845 the preachers who served the church were
the same as those named in the sketch of the East Randolph Church, in
the town of Connewango. The preachers, prior to 1830, were Revs. Wm.
FOWLER, John W. HILL, Job WILSON, John P. KENT, Joseph S. BARRIS,
Zachariah RAGAN, David PRESTON, and William BUTTS.
THE FIRST FREE-WILL BAPTIST CHURCH OF EAST RANDOLH
This body was organized by the Rev. Hiram WHITCHER,
in 1831, at the Morrill school-house, in the town of Napoli, and its
history, form its organization until its removal to East Randolph, June
10, 1848, is noted in that town.
The church edifice at East Randolph was erected by a
society formed according to the laws of the State, and which had as its
first trustees Alvin LYMAN, Eastman PRESCOTT, and Enoch JENKINS . It
was first occupied for worship Feb. 10, 1849, and was thereafter used
regularly by the denomination for several years. But owing to removals
and other causes, the membership became so feeble that the services,
first irregularly, and finally altogether suspended. The house was
occasionally used by other denominations but in 1865 it was so much
injured by a flood that it was altogether abandoned. In this
dilapidated condition it lay until the fall of 1874, when steps were
taken to place it in repair. For this purpose a board of trustees was
elected September 9, having as members Jonathan C. HURD, Frank C.
HOVEY, Aaron B. FOX, David HUNTINGTON, and Jerome HIGBEE. Funds
were collected among the citizens of the place, and about $1000 was
expended in external repairs and inside adornment. It now presents a
handsome appearance, and has comfortable accommodations for 300
persons. The property is worth about $2500, and is controlled by the
foregoing trustees, who have opened the doors of the church to all
classes and creeds. Among other sects which have availed themselves of
this hospitality are the Adventists, Universalists, and the Unite
Brethren, but none of them have become an organic body in town. The
Free-Will Baptists also hold meetings occasionally in this house, but
do not keep up an organization.
ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH (ROMAN CATHOLIC)
St. Patrick's Church was organized in 1854, by
Father MC KANNA, with about 30 members. A plain church, capacitated to
see 300 persons, was built in the eastern part of the village of
Randolph, and was used as a place of worship until the fall of 1876,
when a new edifice near the railway depot was occupied. It is a neat
frame, 40 by 70 feet, and stands on a lot donated by John CARROLL . It
cost $2200, and has sittings for 500 persons. The members number about
400, and belong to the parish of Jamestown . They have been under the
spiritual tutelage of Fathers BYRNES, BAXTER and DOYLE.
RANDOLPH FREE METHODIST CHURCH
In December, 1877, the Rev. E. P. HART, General
Superintendent of Missions, held a series of revival meetings in the
Baptist Church at Randolph village, which resulted in the formation of
a society of Free Methodists, numbering twelve persons, which had Miss
Ella HAPGOOD as the class-leader. Preaching was held by the minister
from Jamestown until September 1878. Since that date the appointment is
served with Steamburg and Salamanca, and has Rev. J. G. MC GARY as
preacher. A house belonging to Lora WATERS has been fitted up for the
use of the society.
Connewango Lodge, No. 340, I.O. of O.F., was
instituted at East Randolph, July 11, 1850, with the following charter
members: Benjamin CHAMBERLAIN, Erastus HALL. C. T. TINNERMAN, Edward MC
NEIL, E. B. BARROWS, E. HOLDRIDGE, Freedom JEFFORD, Clark MC COLLISTER,
Horace HALL, C. VAN VLACK, N. G. OTIS, and Joseph NYE.
N. G. OTIS was elected to the office of Noble Grand,
and also held this office when meetings of the lodge were discontinued,
by Dec. 24, 1855. This action was caused by an excessive drain on the
finances of the lodge.
Odd-Fellow work was revived at this point Aug. 8,
1871, when "Connewango Lodge, No. 282," was instituted with CLARK MC
COLLISTER, Cyrus FAULKNER, F. C. HOVEY, L. L. HALL, N. G. OTIS, C. F.
HARDING, William FOY, Erastus HALL, A. J. DIXON, Jonathan ERICKS, and
Zalmon SMITH as charter members.
The Noble Grands of this lodge, in the order of
their election, have been as follows: Clark
MC COLLISTER, F. C. HOVEY, Zalmon SMITH, L. L. HALL, D. C. HEWITT, M.
E. NUTTING, S.A. BECKWITH, C.W. MOUNT, Cyrus FAULKNER, Charles W.
TERRY, D.H. HELMES, H. HALL, Jr., M.R. HALL, and W.J. MARSH.
Soon after the first lodge at East Randolph went
down, a lodge of Odd-Fellows was formed at Randolph, and is yet there
continued. An application for data respecting this lodge failed to
elicit the desired information, and no particulars can here be given in
In 1852, a lodge of Freemasons was established at
the east village, bearing the name of Elm Creek Lodge, No. 359. Its
charter members were Samuel BARROWS, Benjamin CHAMBERLAIN, David WARD,
Rufus DAVENPORT, A.B. PARSONS, Edwin MC MANUS, and Isaac L. OSTROM.
Edwin MC MANUS was elected Master; Samuel BARROWS,
Senior Warden; David WARD, Junior Warden.
In 1864, the lodge was transferred to Randolph
village, where it was successfully continued until 1874, when the hall
and all its contents were destroyed by fire.
Since December, 1874, the present hall, erected and
furnished at a cost of nearly $3,000, has been occupied. The main room
is 24 by 45 feet, the remainder of the 85 feet of the building being
used for the reception and committee rooms of the lodge. The hall forms
the third story of the Park block, and is one of the most elegant in
In 1875, the name of the lodge was changed to
"Randolph," the number remaining the same. It has 130 members and is in
a flourishing condition. The present officers are Alexander WENTWORTH,
M.; O.H. WILLARD, S.W.'; A.B. WELLS, J.W.; George E. SEAGER, Sec.;
Charles N. DOW, Treas.; Hiram FOSDICK, S.D.; D.T. SMITH, J.D.
Randolph Chapter No. 267, R.A.M., was instituted in
June, 1872, with about 10 members, A.D. Sample, H.P., and J.H. CHAFFEE,
K. It was very prosperous until the fire in 1874, having at that time
30 members. The chapter was not revived after the loss of all its
records and property, and Arch Masons here are now connected with the
Jamestown and Salamanca Chapters.
Oasis Lodge No. 154, A.O.U.W., instituted May 9,
1878, with 28 members, had, December 5th, 38 members. The first
officers were the following: Clark J. BROWN, P.M.W.; Charles C.
SHELDON, N.W.; Frank S. THORP, F.; David T. SMITH, O.; O.H. WILLARD, R.
Sec.; John E. LEACH, F.; Thomas SMITH, R.; E.L. WEEDEN, G.; Charles
KAUTZ, I.W.; Emmet PIERCE, O.W.
The meetings are held in Odd-Fellows; Hall in
Randolph village. There have been in the town other secret orders,
mainly temperance societies, but nothing more definite than the
statement of their having been in successful operation for short
periods can here be given.
Among the most eminent and
successful members of the Cattaraugus County bar, none have attained a
more elevated position, deservedly so, than has Judge Henderson. For
more than a quarter of a century, he has adorned the profession by his
scholarly attainments and judicial knowledge, and by close and
unremitting application to the duties of the profession has long ago
secured an extensive and varied practice in the highest courts of the
State, and a seat upon the bench of its most important court.
William H. HENDERSON is the son of John and
Mary (HUNT) HENDERSON, and was born at Tully, Onondaga County, N.Y.,
December 4, 1828. In 1840, he removed with his parents from Onondaga to
Cattaraugus County. He received his literary education at the Fredonia
Academy, which was then one of the best educational institutions in
this part of the State, at that time under the management of the
distinguished and talented educator, F.A. REDDINGTON. Young HENDERSON
remained at Fredonia for about three years, leaving there in the spring
of 1847, to enter the State Normal School, at Albany, then recently
founded by Legislative enactment as a school for the preparation and
education of teachers. During his attendance at the school, it was
under the superintendency of David P. PAGE, the first principal of the
institution, and a man of fine educational ability. In the spring of
1848, he (HENDERSON) was honorably graduated, and soon thereafter
became a resident of Randolph, where he engaged in teaching as required
by the rules of the school, remaining thus engaged for almost two
years. He then turned his attention to the study of law, entering the
office of the late Hon. Alexander SHELDON, at Randolph, and finishing
his office studies with Joseph E. WEEDEN, the veteran lawyer of that
place. On the 27th of April, 1852, Mr. Henderson was admitted to
practice as an attorney and counselor-at-law in all the courts of the
State, at a general term of the Supreme Court of the State of New York,
held at Buffalo by Justices TAGGART, MARVIN, HOYT, and MULLETT, and has
since practiced his profession at Randolph where he still resides.
In 1851, Mr. HENDERSON was nominated by the
Democratic County Convention for the office of county treasurer, but
was defeated by the Whig candidate, Hon. John P. DARLING, now of
Cattaraugus. Although never seeking official position, he has been
several times honored with nominations for important offices by the
Democratic party, but owing to the large majority of the Republicans in
the county, it has been impossible to elect the regular Democratic
nominees, although Judge HENDERSON has succeeded in materially reducing
On the death of Judge S.S. SPRING, Mr. HENDERSON was
appointed by Governor Samuel J. TILDEN to complete the unexpired term
of the county judgeship, his commission bearing date Aug. 18, 1875. The
duties of this position were discharged by him to the satisfaction
alike of the bar and of the people.
The most important recognition of Judge HENDERSON's
legal ability and general worth was his nomination by Gov. TILDEN, and
unanimous confirmation by the State, as a justice of the Supreme Court
for the eighth judicial district of the State of New York, in place of
George D. LAMONT (deceased), which honor was conferred upon him by a
commission dated March 21, 1876. His ripe experience in all the various
contested litigations into which a busy practice extending over a
period of twenty-four years had thrown him, had eminently fitted him
for his new and responsible position. This fitness was fully recognized
and commented upon by the press and by his friends before the
convention which nominated him for election to the same position on the
completion of the term for which he was appointed. He carried to the
bench the same habits of careful study and of painstaking research
which had characterized him at the bar. His opinions soon began to
attract attention. They were logical, learned, and exhaustive, critical
in analysis, and comprehensive in reasoning. He shirked no labor,
slighted no cause. Kind and courteous to all, yet ever fearless and
unswerving in following his convictions, he became known and honored as
an impartial and upright judge. His brief administration was
universally satisfactory and successful. The young men of the bar found
in him a judge who heard them patiently and respectfully, and from
whose presence they went away satisfied that, whatever might be the
fate of their cases, they had a fair and respectful hearing, and would
have an honest, intelligent decision. His entire service disarmed
criticism and won universal commendation.
In speaking of Judge HENDERSON during his
candidature for the position he had, for the balance of an unexpired
term, so ably filled, the Buffalo Courier says:
Among the old residents and prominent scientists of Randolph, Dr.
LARKIN holds a foremost position. Coming here nearly forty years ago,
by his enterprise he has added largely to the material progress and
development of the village, having been as extensively interested in
real estate here and elsewhere, for the past twenty-five years, as any
one within the corporate limits of the
Frederick LARKIN was born in Thomson, Windham
County, Conn., Feb. 12, 1814. His father was Edmund LARKIN, a prominent
physician and surgeon of Thompson, and a man of the highest
respectability and intelligence. Young LARKIN was early sent to the
district school, where he obtained the rudiments of his education,
which he has greatly augmented by self-study and observation, both in
literary and scientific learning. He studied medicine with his
father for some time, but subsequently abandoned it to learn the
watchmaker's trade, having considerable aptitude for mechanics. This he
followed, at intervals, for a quarter of a century, most of the time
having a regular jewelry establishment. He left Connecticut in 1837 and
removed to Chautauqua County, where he continued to reside until his
removal to Randolph in 1841. He was made professor of physiology of the
Randolph Eclectic Medical College, afterwards merged into the New York
Central Eclectic Medical College, at Syracuse, which institution
conferred an honorary degree of M.D. upon him. The doctor is an
eloquent and able lecturer on scientific subjects, particularly
physiology and archaeology, upon the former of which he once delivered
a regular course of sixty lectures of one hour each. He has also
written profusely upon these and kindred topics. Dr. LARKIN has been
twice married, first to Lois Ann MESSINGER, of Ellery, Chautauqua
County, July 8, 1838, she died in December, 1849. He married his second
wife, Minerva C., daughter of Benjamin WOODWORTH, June 12, 1850. Five
children, two sons and three daughters, were born to them. Ada A., born
December 19, 1852; married Miles A. DAVIS, editor and proprietor of the
Naples (Ontario County) Records; Fredericka B., born December 14, 1854;
Frederick, Jr., born December 24, 1858; Minnie S. W., born September
30, 1862; Gerrit SMITH, born December 12, 1864; all living. The
venerable mother of his wife resides with him at the age of
As an evidence of the doctor's enterprise, we state
the fact that he has erected, directly or indirectly, fifteen buildings
in Randolph, many of which remain as monuments to his business capacity
Politically, Dr. LARKIN is a Democrat, an
intelligent voter, but not an aspirant for political perferment. He is
an avowed free-thinker, believing more in the antiquities and beauties
of nature, as shown in geology and archaeology, than in religious
sectarianism and theological cant. He is candid in his belief, and has
held several debates with prominent divines of the orthodox
denominations upon the relative merits of scientific research and
biblical lore. He is a man of extensive reading and deep study. He is
remarkable for going to the bottom of things, and never affirms a
proposition that he cannot maintain by logical deductions. He is
versatile in the application of his varied knowledge, and is always
ready and willing to expound the doctrines he holds, without undue time
spent in preparation. He lucidly argues the prominent features of his
belief, and no one who hears him fails in recognizing the ideas he
wishes to convey. In short, Dr. LARKIN is pre-eminently a practical man.
The retrospection of a busy professional life - one extending over a
period of more than forty years - offers an interesting and instructive
study. The learned professions have always had a charm for youth when
making a life choice, that exists today, notwithstanding the laxity
that characterizes the admission to practice law or medicine. In the
former of these professions, the pettifogger is ever present, as the
quack and empiric is in the latter. To such an extent was this the case
in the legal profession in times past, that a sage philosopher once
said, "Never expect lawyers to settle disputes, or justice from the
decisions of lawyers." Therefore, when a legal career, the principles
of which have been based upon honest judgment, wise counsel and a
desire to prevent rather than to advise vexatious litigation, is
presented for criticism on the pages of history, it becomes a
pleasurable duty for the biographer, and an interest to the general
reader. Such a career has been that of the subject of this sketch.
Joseph E. WEEDEN was born at Norwich, Conn., July
27, 1809. He was the first-born child of Caleb and Civil (LATHROP)
WEEDEN, respectable citizens of Norwich, and subsequently of Vermont,
whither they removed in 1810. Caleb WEEDEN was a farmer, as his
forefathers had been before him, and upon moving into Vermont, he
settled on a small farm in the town of Chelsea, in Orange County, and
after remaining there about four years, he removed with his family to
what is now the town of Pike, in the county of Wyoming, N.Y. He was
among the pioneers of that locality, settling in the midst of a
wilderness, and almost one mile from any neighbor. The town was
literally covered with a forest, destitute of roads other than paths
made by clearing away underbrush and winding among the trees. There
existed no improvements whatever, so that he had to cut away trees to
make a clearing to erect his humble log cabin, around which he at once
proceeded to clear a small farm. On the same day that they removed to
their new habitation in the wilderness, a daughter was born to them,
being their second daughter and third child. Their son, of whom we
write, was prostrated by a severe and prolonged sickness, which at that
time it was thought by the physician and friends of the family would
terminate fatally; he recovered his health, but never enjoyed a robust
constitution. The facilities for an education were meagre, but the
settlers evinced a desire to do all they could for the establishment
and maintenance of regular schools. Availing themselves of a log
cabin of small size, they converted it into a schoolhouse, and placed
in it a young lady teacher, whose education and capacity for teaching
compared favorably with the dimensions of the schoolhouse. It was under
such circumstances that young WEEDEN commenced his common school
education, he and his sisters going a distance of a mile through the
woods daily during the summer. The father and mother having been
educated in the common schools of Connecticut, and the father having
himself been a teacher, imparted to their children while at home much
valuable instruction, and endeavored to inspire them with a love of
After occupying the new home about one year, the
mother fell victim to consumption, and was among the first consigned to
the tomb in the rude burying ground of the new settlement. Thus were
the children, at a tender age, deprived of a mother's care, and the
father, being in moderate financial circumstances, was obliged to
manage matters along as best he might, and being compelled to devote
himself almost wholly to the task of providing sustenance for the
family, little time could be spared for their educational advancement,
and for several years it was much neglected, especially as there was no
school within convenient distance. At the age of eighteen, young WEEDEN
was allowed to term at a select school taught by Rev. Anson TUTHILL, a
well-qualified and competent teacher. Prior to that, he had assisted
his father on the farm as much as his impaired health would permit,
with intervals of attendance at the common schools. And from this time
until he attained his majority, his time was divided between the farm,
attending the select school, and teaching a common school. It was at
the select school that a foundation for a solid and efficient education
was laid. He obtained the rudiments of a classical, and some of the
higher branches of mathematics, after making improvements in the
English and correcting many of the errors of his earlier education. At
the age of twenty-two, he commenced the study of law with the late Hon.
Luther C. PECK, then of pike, but more recently of Nunda, Livingston
County. He continued his studies for about five years, supporting
himself by intervals of land surveying and teaching school. At the May
term of the Supreme Court, held in the city of New York, in 1836, he
was admitted to practice in the courts of this State. In the summer of
the same year, he located in Randolph, for the practice of his
profession, where he has ever since remained, and was the second lawyer
who settle din that part of the county, the Hon. Geo. A.S. CROOKER,
then of Connewango, being the first. The state of his health and
naturally feeble constitution have at times retarded that devotion to
business which might otherwise have been expected, yet his exertions
have been attended with more than average success.
On the 27th of September, 1836, he was married to
Margaret, third daughter of Gersham and Marion WAIT, then of Sherman,
in the county of Chautauqua. Five children have been born to them; four
sons and one daughter: Lyman F., born September 19, 1837; married Mary
C., daughter of David and Catharine BENSON of Connewango, May 6, 1863.
Frances L., born November 10, 1839; married George A. NEEDLE, now
proprietor of the Parker City Daily, a newspaper published at Parker's
Landing, PA. Henry C., born February 10, 1842, died suddenly by being
thrown from a horse, September 12, 1851. Ebenezer L., born March 29,
1845; married Lucelia V., daughter of Capt. George W. and Elvira
WATKINS, December 4, 1857. Joseph E. WEEDEN, Jr., born April 7, 1850;
died November 25, 1862.
Mr. WEEDEN was one of the original founders of the
Randolph Academy (now the Chamberlain Institute), and was a member of
the board of trustees until it was transferred to the Methodist
Conference and its name changed. He opposed the transfer on the ground
that he was unwilling that it should be controlled by or managed in the
interest of a religious sect, claiming that the institution should
confine itself to the promulgation of science and literature, entirely
free from religious sectarianism and clerical bias, and that such was
the intention at the time of the organization.
He has never been an aspiring politician, but has
always taken an interest in prominent political issues. He acted with
the old Whig party during its life, and was a member of the lower house
of the State Legislature in the year 1847. This was a long session,
continuing about eight months of the year, the then recent adoption of
a new State constitution rendering a large amount of legislation
necessary in order that the statutes might conform thereto. He was
placed upon some important committees, among them one for dividing the
State into Senatorial and judicial districts, which division
substantially remains to this day. After the dissolution of the Whig
party, he united with the Republicans, with whom he continued until
after the close of the war, when he disagreed with some of its
principles, and especially with its policy towards the South and the
colored people, and since that time has acted with the Democrats. In
1840, he was appointed by Gov. SEWARD to the office of Supreme Court
commissioner. Under Gov. YOUNG, he was appointed loan commissioner for
Cattaraugus County, had held the office of justice of the peace, and
several minor offices in the town government.
After a long and busy professional life, Mr. WEEDEN
still manages and practices law, in connection with Elias L. MATTESON,
under the law firm of WEEDEN & MATTESON, and is generally
considered an able lawyer, a good advocate, and a conscientious
adviser. The success that has attended him during his professional
career has been due to untiring energy, constant industry, and close
application to business. His personal integrity is irreproachable. He
is not a member of any sectarian organization, but is found among the
vast and increasing multitude of three-thinkers, whose investigations
of the relative merits and consistencies of science and theology, are
awaking an interest that is becoming as general as it is important.
Fifty-five years ago, when the present town of Connewango was for the
most part a dense and unbroken wilderness, and when the influx of
emigration was quite small and the arrival of a pioneer was an
important event, Peter INGERSOLL, who was born in Chenango County,
N.Y., in 1799, settled in this town, where he remained for about two
years, and then became a resident of the now town of Ellington,
Chautauqua Co., N.Y., where he continued to reside until his death,
which occurred March 5, 1871. He became at an early period intimately
identified with the interests of his town and county, and was highly
respected by his fellow-pioneers, holding several important offices,
which he filled with fidelity to the trusts imposed on him. He was
married to Lois M. Smith who, by her endowed intellect and excellence
of Christian character largely influences the home of the
Erastus S. INGERSOLL, son of the above
parents, was born at Ellington, Chautauqua Co., N.Y., April 24, 1837.
He was educated at the Ellington Academy, and followed teaching school
during the years 1856-59. He entered the store of A.F. KENT, of
Jamestown, in 1860, with who he remained about a year. From the latter
part of 1860 to 1865, he was engaged in mercantile business at
Cattaraugus, in connection with N. CHRISTIE, his father-in-law, under
the firm-style of CHRISTIE & INGERSOLL. In April, 1865, he removed
to Randolph, and there continued the dry-goods business, first in
connection with his brother, under the firm-title of E.S. & C.P.
INGERSOLL, which partnership having expired prior to 1873, he has
continued in the same business along since the latter date.
Mr. INGERSOLL is a man of enterprise, and has
erected several of the better stores and residences of the town, and
has always lent his aid and influence to the improvement of the village
in which he lives. His opportunities for the general advancement of the
material prosperity of the place have been greatly enhanced by his
connection with the municipal government of the village, having
frequently been elected one of its trustees, and several times its
On the founding of the Chamberlain Institute and
Female College, in 1865, he was elected one of the trustees of that
institution, and holds that position at the present. At the erection of
the buildings, after the fire in 1872, he was appointed a member of the
building committee and was chosen the secretary and treasurer of that
body. He was president of the board of trustees during the years
1874-76, and was succeeded in that position by Judge W.H. HENDERSON.
In politics Mr. INGERSOLL has always been a
Republican, and the party honored themselves by electing him supervisor
for the town of Randolph, in 1876, and keeping him in that office the
two following years, he being the present incumbent.
On the 22nd of August, 1860, Mr. INGERSOLL married
Miss Lizzie J., daughter of N. CHRISTIE, Esq., of Cattaraugus County.
They have two children viz., N. Christie INGERSOLL, born May 9, 1868;
Ralph E. Born July 19, 1877.
Inquiry among the friends of Mr. INGERSOLL as to his
general characteristics, leads us to assert that he is a man of good
business abilities; of great personal integrity; of more than ordinary
intelligence, and of unblemished reputation. In public life, he has
been honest and upright; his business career based upon a reliable
foundation; he enjoys self-acquired and excellent credit, which he has
succeeded in sustaining at all times, no matter under what difficulties.
In private life he is the Christian gentleman.
Strongly attached to domestic affiliations, and ever mindful of his own
excellent early training, he imparts to his own children, and to those
of others whose tuition in the Sunday school is intrusted to him, the
grand old maxim, "the way to be happy is to be good." And by his own
example, both within the hallowed precincts of home and in the
avocations of business life, offers the criterion of an honorable life,
which is worthy to be followed alike by his own household and by his
business acquaintances and friends.
Mr. INGERSOLL is an active and exemplary member of
the Methodist Episcopal Church; president of the Cattaraugus County
Sunday school Association; an ardent and consistent advocate of
temperance, and by a faithful maintenance of these principles, being
true to his own convictions, and having respect for the opinions of
others, present additional testimony to his unusually fine record.
It has been said that no one is competent to judge a busy life under a
hundred years from its close. Certain it is that to impartially
criticise a fully-rounded career,- to study both the influences it
derived from, and those it exerted upon, contemporary matters, the
reviewer must await the relapse of many years from the beginning of its
activity, to enable systems and principles to become either established
as practical and true, or dissolved as erroneous and unwise. A life
extended to the verge of the allotted span, the major portion of which
has been spent in active business pursuits, offers at least a fair
criterion of what the chronicles of its principal events would say of
it a hundred years from its close. For more than half a century the
subject of this brief narrative has been practically engaged in the
arduous duties of life, and for four-fifths of that time in some
regular business, which latter period offers a fair opportunity for
regular notice on the pages of local history.
Albert G. DOW was the eighth child of a family of
ten children of Captain Solomon and Phebe DOW, and was born at
Plainfield, Cheshire Co., N.H., August 16, 1808. When quite young, he
removed with his parents to Pembrooke, Genessee Co., N.Y., which was
then a wilderness, and even the semblance of its present prosperity did
not exist. The old log schoolhouse was there, for those of paramount
importance; hence the early establishment and maintenance of public
schools. Here young DOW procured his primary education, which was
augmented by a few months' attendance at a private school, and largely
so by subsequent self-study and observation.
When in his eighteenth year, he removed to Panama,
Chautauqua Co., N.Y., and after remaining there almost six months he
went to Silver Creek, in the same county, where he engaged at the trade
of shoemaking, which he had previously learned. He became a good
practical tradesman, for his early as well as later life was
characterized by great thoroughness in everything he undertook to
perform. While at Silver Creek, his fellow townsmen honored him with
the office of justice of the peace, which he filled faithfully and well
four year. On the 1st of January, 1840, he entered a copartnership with
George S. FARNHAM, in the hardware business at Silver Creek, which
continued about a year. On the dissolution of the above partnership,
Mr. DOW went to Sinclairville, Chautauqua Co., where he conducted a
hardware store alone for about a year and a half. In the fall of 1842,
he became associated in the hardware business with Horatio N. FARNHAM,
at Silver Creek, which continued until 1845. In the meantime, during
the year 1843, Mr. DOW established a dry goods store at West Randolph,
in connection with James NUTTING, a nephew of his, and they conducted
that business jointly until 1841. From 1845 to 1863, Mr. DOW had a
hardware store in West Randolph, which was an individual enterprise. In
1860, Warren DOW became a partner with his father, and in 1863
succeeded to the business. He is now residing at Limestone, where he is
extensively engaged in the production of oil.
In 1860, Mr. DOW commenced a private banking
business, and three years later turned his entire attention to that. In
October, 1875, his son, Charles M. DOW, became a partner in the bank,
and the style of the house is now A.G. DOW & Son.
From 1848 to 1856, Mr. DOW held the office of
justice of peach for Randolph, and was also a member of the Board of
Supervisors, in all ten years. In 1862, he was elected a member of
Assembly, and re-elected to the same position in 1863.
In 1873, he was chosen by the Republicans, with whom
he has affiliated since 1861, to represent the Thirty-first (now
Thirty-third) District in the State Senate. His record as a legislator
is one of singular merit. His entire service, both in the House and
Senate, was characterized by an honesty and intelligence which
reflected honor upon his constituents and redounded to his personal
credit. In public as in business life, he was always actuated by a
desire to do right, and evaded everything partaking of the semblance of
fraud or corruption. He neglected no duty, but cheerfully lent his
influence where questions for the general good were involved,
regardless of opposition, and without fear or favor.
On the 4th of October, 1829, he married Miss
Freelove MASON, daughter of Wheaton MASON, Esq., of Batavia. This union
was blessed with five children, namely: James, born July 1, 1830;
married Lucy O. STEPHENS, of Rochester; died February 15, 1859; Warren,
born January 14, 1833; married Josephine, daughter of John J.
GUERNSEY. Sarah, born January 22, 1837; died February 6,
1840. Mary, born June 13, 1842; married James G. JOHNSON, and
resides at Randolph. Albert G., Jr., born April 17, 1844; married
Frances SHELDON, September 17, 1868.
On the 29th of August, 1847, he sustained the loss
of his wife, who had shared his early toils and cares, and had been a
"help-meet" indeed to him for about eighteen years. After remaining a
widower for about two years, and on the 23rd of April, 1849, he married
Lydia Ann MASON, a sister of his first wife. They had one son, Charles
M., born August 1, 1853; married Ella, daughter of E.L. JONES, January
12, 1875, and resides at Randolph, now the junior member of the
banking-house of A.G. DOW & Son, as before mentioned.
Mr. DOW was one of the original members of the board
of trustees of the Chamberlain Institute, and is now its treasurer. He
is an exemplary ember of the Congregational Church. From those who have
known Mr. DOW longest, and those who know him best, we gather
information touching his general characteristics. A summary of these
shows that he is a man of indomitable energy, industry, and enterprise;
that his entire business career has been a peculiarly honest and
upright one; that his political life was remarkable for its purity of
motive and intelligence of action; that in the familiar relation of
friend, he holds a warm place in the hearts of many, while in the home
circle he enjoys that filial regard that the affectionate father and
the kind husband always retains in the hearts of his children and wife.
Having passed the age allotted to humanity by the psalmist, he yet
enjoys good health and the retention of all his faculties. Indeed, his
is a vigorous old age, which is the inevitable reward of a temperate
youth and a discreet manhood.
Rodney R. Crowley, son of Rufus and Parmelia CROWLEY, was born at Mount
Holly, VT., November 12, 1836. In April, 1841, he accompanied his
parents to Yorkshire, Cattaraugus Co., and in 1848 to Randolph, at
which latter place he has since resided. His rudimentary education was
received at the public schools, which he attended until about thirteen
years of age, when he entered the Randolph Academy, remaining there
four years, principally under Prof. S. G. LOVE. After completing his
literary education, and in the spring of 1855, he commenced the study
of law in the office of WEEDEN & HENDERSON. Owing to the impairment
of his eyesight by a too close application to study, he became a clerk
in the store of W.H. LOWRY, of Jamestown for a limited period. He
afterwards resumed reading law, and finished his legal studies with
Hon. Porter SHELDON, at ROCKFORD, ILL., and with Hon. Alexander SHELDON
at Randolph, N.Y. He was admitted to practice in all the courts
of the State of New York in May, 1861.
Within a few days of his admission to the bar, Mr.
CROWLEY enlisted as a private in Company B, 64th Regiment New York
Militia, which regiment attempted to be included in the first call for
volunteers, but failed to be accepted. He again enlisted as a private
in the same company and regiment, August 17, 1861, and shortly
thereafter was promoted to sixth corporal, and subsequently to
quartermaster-sergeant of the regiment. In February, 1862, he received
the first promotion by commission made after the regiment was accepted,
as second lieutenant of Company B, 64th New York Volunteers. In March
following he was promoted to first lieutenant and quartermaster of the
same regiment, and served as such until immediately before the battle
of Fair Oaks, when, by order of the colonel of the regiment, he was
transferred to Company H, as first lieutenant, and participated as such
in the battle of Fair Oaks, June 1, 1862, and was wounded in the left
arm. After a two months' leave of absence, he returned to the front,
and was restored to the position of regimental quartermaster. He served
as such, with occasional detail as brigade quartermaster, until about
January 1, 1863, when he was promoted to the captaincy of Company B in
his old regiment. He afterwards served as brigade quartermaster, and
also as brigade commissary, on the staff of Brig. Gen. CALDWELL for
several months, after which he took command of his company, and served
in such command through the campaign and battle of Chancellorsville,
the campaign and battle of Gettysburg, in which latter he was severely
wounded in the knee, on account of which he resigned his commission
November 7, 1863. In the fall of 1862, Lieut. CROWLEY was elected major
at the regimental election, but the Governor appointed a stranger,
instead of confirming his election. On returning from the army, Capt.
CROWLEY resumed the practice of law at Randolph, for that purpose
forming the firm of JOHNSON & CROWLEY. December 6, 1864, he
was appointed provost-marshal for the thirty-first Congressional
District of New York, which position he occupied until October 15,
1865. He afterwards practiced law under the above firm-name. In May,
1869, he was appointed collector of internal revenue for the
thirty-first New York District, which position he held until June,
1871, when he resigned in favor of W.W. HENDERSON, of Sinclairville,
N.Y. From this time until January 1, 1876, he practiced law alone
In 1872, he received the nomination of the Liberals
and Democrats for Assembly in the second district of Cattaraugus
County, and though he ran about six hundred ahead of his ticket, he was
defeated by the Republican candidate. In 1875, he was nominated without
his attendance at the convention, or consent, as State Prison Inspector
at Syracuse, N.Y., on the regular Democratic ticket, and was elected by
about twenty-one thousand majority, being from seven to eight thousand
votes ahead of the average majority on the ticket. About March 1, 1877,
he, with two other inspectors, was superseded by appointment under the
amended constitution of L.D. PILLSBURY, Superintendent of Prisons. Mr.
CROWLEY has reason to congratulate himself that within two months after
he became a member of the Board of Prison Inspectors, the prison
deficiency began to decrease, and that during the last year of his
term, the deficiency has been cut down one hundred and fifty thousand
dollars and upwards, thus preparing the way for the success Mr.
In 1860, Mr. CROWLEY was elected a justice of the
peace in Randolph, and was twice re-elected, serving in all twelve
years, though never officiating as a trial justice, except when
In 1868, and again in 1869, he was elected a member
of the board of supervisors, resigning in the latter year in favor of
James G. JOHNSON, who was appointed at Mr. CROWLEY's request. He was
one of the original incorporators of the State Bank of Randolph, of
which he is at present a stockholder. He is also one of the trustees of
the Western New York Home for Friendless and Homeless Children, and a
member of the executive committee. He is now the senior member of the
law firm of CROWLEY & ARMSTRONG, of Randolph.
It is due to Mr. CROWLEY to state that in the
various offices to which he has been elected, he has faithfully
discharged the incumbent duties thereof, and has been peculiarly happy
in the satisfaction he had given in all his public positions. His
military record is an honorable one, and taken all in all, his industry
and general ability has received a reward as just as it is well
On the 2nd of September, 1861, Mr. CROWLEY was
married to Miss Jeanie MUSSEY, of New London, Conn. They have two
children, one son and one daughter, -Fred B., born August 19, 1865, and
Mary G. CROWLEY, born March 6, 1872.
||MRS. CLARISSA (JOHNSON)
Among those who were prominently identified in the early
mercantile history of the village of Randolph, none have followed trade
for a longer period, or with greater general success than he of whom we
write. Coming here more than forty-five years ago, at a time when what
now constitutes the village of Randolph was a straggling settlement of
a few dwellings, he has witnessed the development to its present
prosperous condition, and has himself, by his energy and enterprise,
been largely instrumental in its growth and prosperity. Mr. CROWLEY
arrived at a time when business ability was much needed to lay the
foundation for successful commercial interests, and to him and his
coadjutors in trade is mainly due the present flourishing status of the
village as a mercantile centre.
Asabel CROWLEY was born at Mount Holly, VT.,
February 14, 1809. He is the son of Walter and Mary (TODD) CROWLEY, and
inherits from both his parents the essential elements to business
success. It was in the fall of 1831 that Mr. CROWLEY removed to
Randolph, where he has ever since resided, now enjoying the
distinguished honor of being the oldest resident living within the
corporate limits of the village. On first settling here, the people
feeling the need of a teacher in the then infant public school, he
engaged in that capacity, in which he continued two winters, turning
his attention to lumbering on the close of his school All the members
of the family came here previous to 1847, where his father and mother
died, at an advanced age. Walter, the elder brother, came in 1835, and
is still living at the age of seventy-nine years.
In 1833, he first embarked in the mercantile
business, and three years later formed a copartnership with his
brother, Addison CROWLEY and Joseph STANLEY, and conducted a general
business. They erected a store building, which at that time was the
largest and most pretentious establishment in this section of country.
In addition to their regular business, they purchased cattle and lumber
quite extensively. This copartnership existed about four years, when
Mr. STANLEY retired from the firm, and the remaining members conducted
its interests alone, under the name and style of A. & A. CROWLEY.
They subsequently associated with them a younger brother, Alvin
CROWLEY, and changed the name of the firm to A. CROWLEY & Company.
On the 10th of July, 1846, their store buildings and contents were
destroyed by fire, involving a loss of $5,500, which was a serious
drawback to their general prosperity. Nothing daunted, however, by that
calamity, they rebuilt and continued the business jointly until 1860,
when Alvin retired, and for the ensuing eight years, the concern was
conducted under the old style of A. & A. CROWLEY. In 1868, a
general division of the business was made, and Asahel CROWLEY has since
transacted a business consisting of lumbering, cattle-buying, and
In 1836, Mr. CROWLEY returned to his old home in
Vermont, and on the 6th of October of that year was united in marriage
with Miss Clarissa M., daughter of Marvel and Julia (MASON) JOHNSON, of
Mount Holly. She was born on the 3rd of May, 1815. Immediately after
the wedding, the happy couple proceeded to their new home in the then
far West, where, amid privation, toil, and cares, they made for
themselves a home and by industry and economy accumulated a well-earned
independence. They have raised a family of five children as follows,
namely: Julia M., born September 1, 1837; married Charles M.G. CHASE,
May 16, 1860; has one daughter, Mary, born July 26, 1862. Ellen A.,
born August 26, 1839; married Alexander WENTWORTH, October 10, 1859;
has one daughter Belle, born September 13, 1860; and a son, Crowley,
born May 8, 1868. Marvel J., born August 3, 1841; married Addie,
daughter of William F. WEED, August 29, 1865. Mary L., born February
16, 1844; married Theodore E. ADAMS, December 14, 1865; has one
daughter, Theodora, born June 23, 1867; and one son, Percy, born April
4, 1969. Genevieve, born October 31, 1858; single and resides with her
Mr. CROWLEY was one of the original incorporators of
the State Bank of Randolph, of which he is at present one of the
directors. He was among the founders of the Western New York for
Homeless and Dependent Children, and is now the treasurer of that
He has always exercised the extensive influence he
enjoys by virtue of his long residence, wealth, and respectability, in
promoting the best interests of the village of which he is the
recognized parent. His reputation is blameless, while his business
career has been characterized by an integrity and uprightness that
alike excites admiration and defies calumny. And now, as he stands upon
the confines of the allotted "three-score years and ten," with the
satisfactory retrospection of a busy and blameless life, and the
knowledge that he will leave to those near and dear to him the
priceless legacy of an honorable name, he can indeed console himself
with the fact of having achieved the grand consummation of the best
hopes and of the highest aspirations of mankind.
Among the representative
men of Cold
Spring, those who, by their own exertions, have succeeded in
establishing a creditable reputation and an honest name, William M.
BROWN holds a conspicuous place. His father before him possessed many
of the requisite qualities that lead to business success, which are
reproduced in his son. William M. BROWN, Sr., was born at New Haven,
Conn., January 15, 1781. He removed with his family to the town of
Portland, Chautauqua Co., N.Y., more than half a century ago; and about
the year 1838 to the town of South Valley; and subsequently, in 1852,
to Cold Spring, where he died May 3, 1863, well advanced in years, and
enjoying general respect. He was a prominent citizen, and a good,
practical farmer. His wife was Eliza MERRILL, who is a native of
Canand; and now resides with her son, who forms the subject of this
William M. BROWN was born at Portland, Chautauqua
Co., N.Y. December 18, 1830. The country where he was born was then,
and during his youth, comparatively new, and thinly settled. Schools
were few and far between, so that his educational advantages were not
such as to warrant the easy acquisition of learning. True, he attended
the public schools of Cattaraugus County, and there laid the foundation
of an education which self-study, observation, and practical
application have developed into a sound business knowledge. At the age
of fifteen years, he left his father's house, and went to work for an
elder brother, Norman BROWN, now deceased, with whom he was connected
in business for several years. He remained with him at that time almost
three years, and then returned to Cold Spring, where they engaged
jointly in the lumber business. This copartnership existed almost three
years, when it was dissolved by mutual consent by the retirement of
Norman. A division of the property was made, William M. taking that in
the town of Cold Spring, and his brother that in South Valley, on the
opposite side of the river. He has continued in the lumbering and
farming business from that time until the present, although not
residing in the town all of the time. At two different periods he has
lived in Randolph, where he now resides. His farm is located in Cold
Spring, about five miles southeast of the village.
In 1852, Mr. BROWN embarked in the mercantile
business at Cold Spring village, and remained in trade there about
eighteen months. The interest he established there still remains, and
adds materially to the material prosperity of the place. His principal
businesses, however, have been lumbering and farming, in both of which
branches he has been eminently and deservedly successful.
On the 13th of September, 1866, Mr. BROWN was united
in marriage with Emeline M., daughter of Madison WOODWORTH, an early
settler and prominent farmer of Cold Spring. They have had four
children born to them, of whom three survive. Their names and the dates
of their births are as follows: Frank A., born December 23, 1856; now
resides at Bradford, PA., where he is engaged in the real estate
business. Gracia E., born March 15, 1859; died March 30, 1862.
Minnie M., born July 17, 1864. Louise L., born January 26, 1869.
In politics, Mr. BROWN is a Democrat; and,
notwithstanding the fact that the Republicans have a large majority in
the county, he has been honored with one of its most important and
responsible offices, -that of sheriff,-to which he was elected in 1870,
overcoming a majority of upwards of fifteen hundred. He served the term
for which he was elected in a manner quite satisfactory to the people
at large, and highly creditable to himself.
Mr. BROWN has also served six years as a member of
the board of supervisors, representing the town of Cold Spring in that
body. His practical business knowledge and ability rendered his term of
service flatteringly successful; and few, if any, have filled the
position with greater general worthiness.
Mr. BROWN is a man of good principle, moral
rectitude, and uncommon worth. A business career of more than a quarter
of a century has developed his adaptability to carry out successfully
the various plans he has laid; and honestly of purpose and a desire to
do right having been the chief factors in his undertakings, the result
of them has been favorable to his enterprise, his industry, and his
ingenuity. He naturally occupies a leading place in the respect and
esteem of the community in which he is best known.
The assertion has been made, and we believe
successfully maintained, that the life and services of a good man
constitute the brightest and best page in the annals of history. The
career of a self-made man, with the narrative of the most salient
events that led to the successful issue of his various enterprises, to
the fulfillment of his hopes, the consummation of his aims, and the
realization of his aspirations, affords a record at once interesting
and instructive; interesting because rare, instructive because true and
worthy of emulation. Indeed, a busy life offers many lessons that youth
should cherish, and is a fitting criterion for
the young to
follow. Therefore, personal history, with its manifold changes, trials,
troubles, and vicissitudes, forms the most valuable as well as the most
interesting part of our work. Nor is the life and character of he of
whom we write devoid of its interesting features, but offers an
excellent example of what well-directed features, but offers an
excellent example of what well-directed energy, industry, and business
talent clan and almost invariably does accomplish.
Addison CROWLEY was born in Rutland Co., VT., March
8, 1811, and was the third son of Walter and Mary (TODD) CROWLEY, who
were natives of Connecticut, from whence they emigrated with their
parents to Vermont long before it became a State. There they carved out
a farm from the then almost unbroken wilderness on the summit of the
"Green Mountains." They raised a family of four sons and three
daughters; leaving the farm and coming to Randolph in 18390, settling
among their children, where they passed the remaining years of their
lives; the former dying in 1851, and the latter in 1855. They
were eminently respectable, and the close of their venerable lives was
gladened by the filial and affectionate attentions of their children.
The early years of Addison CROWLEY were spent on his
father's farm in Vermont, where with his brothers, he followed
agricultural labor during the summer months, and in the winter,
attended school until he reached his twentieth year, when he entered
the Chester (Vermont) Academy, and there completed his education. After
leaving that institution, he engaged in teaching school and
merchandizing until 1835, when he removed to Randolph, and there
resumed the vocation of teacher, which he followed for about one year.
In 1836, he embarked in the mercantile business at Randolph, in company
with his brother Asahel, and also engaged in the purchase and
manufacture of lumber, running the same down the Allegany and Ohio
Rivers to the Southern market, establishing a lumber yard at
Cincinnati, Ohio, the management of which devolved upon the junior
member of the firm, Alvin CROWLEY, who had then recently been admitted
to the partnership, having the lumber furnished from Cattaraugus
County. The firm were also extensively engaged in farming and in the
purchase of cattle from the farmers, and driving the same to the
eastern market; and also engaged in the erection of various buildings
for themselves and others, in all over thirty--among them the
Congregational church and the Randolph Academy (now the chamberlain
Institute), thus giving employment to a large number of workmen.
Mr. Crowley has been twice married, first on the
10th of January, 1839 to Mary E., daughter of William SHATTUCK of
Warren, PA. They had two children,-Ella M., born January 18,
1840; married B.G. CASLER, now undersheriff of Cattaraugus County,
January 12, 1871, resides at Randolph. Melvin A., born May 5, 1843;
married Emma FENTON May 30, 1864; died November 21, 1876.
In November, 1843, Mrs. CROWLEY died, regretted by
her friends and sincerely mourned by her surviving family. After the
lapse of eight years, and in May, 1851, Mr. CROWLEY was married to
Arvilla, daughter of William M. CHAMPLIN, a pioneer and respected and
wealthy farmer of the town of Napoli. This union was blessed with seven
children, as follows: a son, born March 31, 1855, and died in infancy.
Addie M., born June 12, 1856, married Eric W. FENTON, October 9, 1878.
Sarah M., born March 6, 1858; died March 27, 1861. Frank CHAMPLIN, born
March 2, 1860; died April 3, 1861. Kate born February 12,
1863. Jerome A., born November 19, 1865. Libbie E., born
February 11, 1872. These residing at home and attending school.
In politics, Mr. CROWLEY is a Republican. He was an
Old Line Whig, and took an active part in the organization of the
Republican party. In 1840, he subscribed for Horace GREELEY's "Log
Cabin" paper, and when the New York Tribune was started, he became a
subscriber to that and has since continued one of its steady patrons.
He has held nearly every town office in the gift of the people, notably
that of supervisor in 1846 and 1847, and again in 1854. In 1849, he was
elected sheriff of the county, and re-elected in 1854, holding the
office two terms of three years each. He was appointed postmaster of
Randolph by Abraham LINCOLN, and resigned the office immediately on the
assumption of the Presidency by Andrew JOHNSON. He was trustee and
treasurer of the Randolph Academy until it passed to the Methodist
Conference. He was largely instrumental in the organization of the
Chamberlain Institute, and took a commendable interest in the
subsequent erection of the institute building.
After an extremely active life, owing to the
impairment of his health occasioned by close application to business,
he gave up everything except farming, to which he still adheres as his
principal avocation. At the organization of the State Bank, in 1874, he
was elected vice-president and one of its directors, both of which
positions he holds at present.
Mr. CROWLEY is one of the oldest citizens of
Randolph as he is also one of its most prominent and influential. His
public life has been such, that it naturally won the approval and
respect of all parties. In the various positions of trust to which he
has been called, he performed the duties incumbent upon him in the same
honest and able manner with which he transacted his private business
operations. In his domestic life, he is the kind husband and the
PROF. JAMES T.
EDWARDS, A.M., D.D.3
James T. EDWARDS was born in Barnegat, Ocean County,
N.J., January 6, 1838. His parents were influential, well-to-do people,
and among his large connection are many names of men whose influence
has been felt as a power in moulding the character of society and the
church. James EDWARDS, his great-grandfather, fought with Washington at
the time of BRADDOCK's defeat, and afterwards during the whole of the
Revolutionary War, in which he was
His parents were Job and Susannah
EDWARDS. The former was well known as an eloquent local preacher, and
also served several terms as a member of the State Legislature. To the
unselfish efforts of the latter, who is a woman possessed of unusual
energy and love of learning, Prof. EDWARDS attributes his success in
securing a liberal education. He is a graduate of Pennington Seminary,
in New Jersey, also of Wesleyan University at Middletown, CONN., of the
class of 1860.
After his graduation, he filled the chair of Natural
Science in Amenia Seminary, Dutchess County, N.Y. When he had
served one year in this institution, he took the same department in
East Greenwich Seminary, better known as Providence Conference Seminary
of Rhode Island. The profession of law had many attractions for him,
and he decided to make the law a study. Arrangements were made for him
to enter the office of Hon. William L. DAYTON of New Jersey, but when
they were completed, Mr. DAYTON was sent as minister to the Court of
The professor's plans were thus frustrated, and
before any new arrangement was made, he found the work of teaching so
congenial that the idea of practicing law was permanently abandoned.
His favorite departments of instruction were the sciences of
belles-lettres, and to this work he soon found himself devoted with an
unfailing enthusiasm which was contagious and inspiring. Besides
training his classes in the lecture room, he was constantly delivering
lectures before institutes and teachers' associations throughout the
State. For a long time, he was a member of the executive committee, and
at the time he left Rhode Island, was present of the State Association.
He was married in 1862 to Miss Emma A. BAKER,
daughter of Rev. Charles BAKER, who by her varied accomplishments and
unfailing interest in his studies and work, has been to him a
"help-meet" indeed. They have three children,-Grace, Laura, and
Florence,-born respectively, March 8, 1964, October 31, 1967, and
February 5, 1876.
Prof. EDWARDS is a many-sided man, and the people
intuitively look upon him as their man; his history illustrates how
they sometimes monopolize a man, and change the whole plan of life that
had marked out for himself. In 1862, he enlisted in the Eleventh Rhode
Island Volunteer Regiment as a private, but immediately received a
commission from Gov. SPRAGUE as a second lieutenant, and was shortly
afterwards elected first lieutenant of a company of volunteers made up
of members of the Young Men's Christian Association. Afterwards, he was
made adjutant of the parole-camp near Alexandria, VA. It was in
this position that he rendered valuable service by his humane treatment
of the paroled prisoners, who when he entered upon his duties, were
being shamefully neglected.
When he left the army, he was elected principal of
the seminary at East Greenwich. For more than sixty years, this school
had done excellent work in educating the youth of Rhode Island and
other States, but when Prof. EDWARDS was made its principal, a
burdensome debt of twenty thousand dollars hung over it, to the great
annoyance of its friends. It was not long until Prof. EDWARDS made an
earnest effort, and lifted the entire debt by subscription.
In addition to his duties as principal of the
seminary, he was elected and served as State Senator when he was
twenty-six years old, being the youngest member of that body. During
this session, he distinguished himself as a ready debater in an
exciting discussion on the military record and expenditures of the
State during the war for the suppression of the Rebellion.
He was elected to the Senate the second time, and
was chosen as a Presidential Elector on the ticket which elected Gen.
GRANT President for his first term. Prof. EDWARDS took an active part
in the discussion of the fifteenth amendment, which was carried in the
Senate, but defeated at that time in the House.
He was elected the third time to the Senate, and
made chairman of the committee on education. During this session, the
temperance question was pressed to the front, and legislators were
called upon to give it attention, whether they were in sympathy with
the cause or not. The professor was an earnest advocate of a
prohibitory bill, which was triumphantly carried in the Senate, but
failed to become a law because it was defeated in the House. It was
during this session that he made a speech upon "the just limitations of
the pardoning power," which attracted general attention, and many
believe that it exercised a marked influence in effecting a wholesome
reform in the use of that prerogative by the Governor of Rhode Island.
It cannot be said that Prof. EDWARDS is a
politician. Positions have sought him. He has been called to places of
trust by the people because they judged him to be a man fitted by
intelligence, a broad statesmanship, purity of life, executive
abilities, and eloquence as a public speaker, to represent them as a
lawmaker. He has always taken an active interest in public affairs, and
served as a member of the State central committee, besides occupying
various other places of responsibility.
In 1870, Prof. EDWARDS moved to this State and
became principal of Chamberlain Institute and Female College, located
at Randolph. This is one of our strong and successful seminaries,
having been endowed by the late Hon. Benjamin CHAMBERLAIN. It ranks
fifth in amount of property among the two hundred and fifty seminaries
in the State, while it is among the first in its number of students and
Five years ago, its fine brick boarding hall,
erected at a cost of $50,000 was destroyed by fire, being insured at
the time for only $10,000. Through the exertions of Prof. EDWARDS and
the liberality of its friends, it was rebuilt by subscription in less
than a year, and stand sin its beautiful proportions free from debt. In
1876, Allegheny College at Meadville, PA., honored itself by conferring
the degree of Doctor of Divinity upon Prof. EDWARDS.
The doctor is an incessant worker in his seminary,
besides performing a vast amount of labor on the platform, delivering
addresses frequently before the County and State teachers'
associations, before temperance organizations, and on agricultural and
He preaches frequently, and always receives a hearty
welcome from the people when he appears in the pulpit or on the
platform. He is an eloquent, scholarly speaker, with a pleasant voice,
well balanced by a graceful style of delivery.
3 By Rev. Theo. L. Flood,
Marcus Hamilton JOHNSON was born in the town of Olean, October 21,
1809, and is accredited with the honor of having been the first white
male child born within the present corporate limits of the village of
Olean. He is the son of James G. and Sophia (STONE) JOHNSON, and a
brother of Col. James G. JOHNSON, the latter a prominent pioneer of
Olean. The opportunities for educational advancement in the days of Mr.
JOHNSON's youth were quite limited, hence he received only such
education as was afforded in the common schools of his native village.
Mr. JOHNSON's career has been principally a
mercantile one, for, as early as 1835, we find him in partnership with
Bethuel MC COY at Ellicottville, this county. He continued thus until
1843, when he retired from the co-partnership and removed to Randolph
where he has since resided. On arriving at Randolph, he entered a
business partnership with Judge Benjamin CHAMBERLAIN, which continued
about one year. One the retirement of Judge CHAMBERLAIN, Zebedee
WOODWORTH purchased a half-interest, and the business was continued
under the firm-name of JOHNSON & WOODWORTH. From that time to the
present, Mr. JOHNSON has been actively engaged in the mercantile
business at Randolph. His career has been marked by close application
and sterling personal integrity.
In 1841, Mr. JOHNSON was appointed treasurer of
Cattaraugus County by the board of supervisors, and re-appointed in
1842. In the fall of 1843, he was elected a member of Assembly, and
re-elected for a second term in the fall of 1847, for the winter of
1848. While we do not claim for Mr. JOHNSON a successful political
life, yet it is a self-evident fact that he filled the various
positions to which he was elected with marked ability and a
conscientious regard for the best interests of his constituents,
scarcely, if ever, evinced by regular politicians. In 1855, Mr. JOHNSON
was appointed United States Indian agent for the New York Indians,
which office he held for four years.
On the 12th of February, 1833, he was united in
marriage with Miss Sophronia WILLOUGHBY. This union was blessed with
much happiness and one son,---James G. JOHNSON, now a successful
attorney of Randolph,-who was born June 28, 1836.
Perhaps it is only necessary to say that the general
popularity which Mr. JOHNSON enjoys is not attributable to political
influence, for he has been a life-long Democrat, and having been
frequently elected to office in this county, which is largely
Republican, his success is purely personal, and well deserved.
"Only the actions of the just smell sweet and
blossom in the dust."
Chester HOWE, one of a family of ten children, was
born in Wells, Rutland Co., VT., March 22, 1812. His father, Jaazaniah
HOWE served his country in the Revolutionary army, entering as a common
soldier in 1779, being then seventeen years old and served through the
remainder of the war; suffering with his fellow soldiers untold
hardships from hunger, cold, and exposure of various kinds, having
nothing to eat at times for days together but soup made of dry bones
pounded up and boiled. He died in 1838 at age seventy-six years. His
son Chester had a sickness in his twelfth year, which left him with an
enfeebled constitution and curvature of the spine, from which he never
recovered. But this delicate and feeble child, with very limited
advantages for an education, was enabled by his own exertion and inborn
worth, to step forth in his early manhood and take a place in the front
ranks. Endowed with wisdom, a good degree of learning, and an
indomitable love of right which governed all his actions, these
recommended him to his fellows, and were his stepping-stones to
advancement and success.
The family moved to Lodi (now Gowanda) in the year
1828. In 1829, he entered, as a student, the law office of Albert G.
BURKE. He was admitted as an attorney and counselor January 31, 1833,
and in June of that year, went into the office of Hon. Chauncey J. FOX
of Ellicottville. September 23, 1835, he was married to Miss Harriet D.
FOX, a sister of Chauncey J. FOX, and returned to open his law office
in Lodi. In April, 1839, his wife died, and in November following, a
little daughter, their only child, followed the mother to the other
shore. The first of July 1840, he was married to Miss Matilda E.
TORRANCE of the town of Persia. By this marriage there were three
children,-Victor A. HOWE, Victoria A. HOWE, and Asher Tyler HOWE, which
last named died in infancy.
These incidents of life, worldly honor, successes,
failures, and death seem of little consequence; they are mere matters
of gossip, and may be told and written of anyone. But that which I
would call up and lay before my readers is the moral and intellectual
development of the inner man; to that success and wisdom which is not
all earthly, but enters into that within the veil, and which remains
crowned when mere worldly success and wisdom shall have sunk into
insignificance. The memories awakened and cherished in the hearts of
the young men employed in his office, those associated with him in
business and social life, and the love of his owned household are not
the worldly honor and successes he attained to; but to the more
enduring and worthy example of his everyday life, his kindly manners,
his instructive conversation, his quaint wit, his retiring modesty, his
appreciation of right and wrong, and those high and ennobling qualities
that go to make up the character of a good man.
He believed in the moral philosophy, taught by the
early philosophers, repeated by the later, and verified by human
experience, "Not to rely on heavenly favor, or on compassion too fully,
or on prudence; on common sense, the old usage and main chance of men;
nothing can keep you,-not fate nor health, nor admirable intellect,
none can keep you,-but rectitude only, rectitude forever and ever."
thus he believed and practiced.
February 1, 1840, Mr. HOWE was appointed Supreme
Court commissioner; and again appointed to the same office, February 9,
1842. In the fall of 1840, he was elected to the Legislature of the
State. June 30, 1847, he was appointed attorney for the Seneca nation
of Indians, on the Cattaraugus and Allegany Reservations; a position
which he held until his election as judge of Cattaraugus County. In
this same year the Legislature passed an act provided for the education
of the children of Indians on these reservations, naming Chester HOWE
as receiver of all appropriations, to be applied by him to the
maintenance of Indian schools.
Under this act, Mr. HOWE established schools upon
both reservations. These schools were successful, and have ever since
been continued, until there are but few Indians unable to read and
write. The internal affairs of these Indians had been managed by a body
of irresponsible chiefs, who appropriate to their own benefit, or as
they saw fit, in a large measure, the annuities and goods provided for
this people by the general government. Mr. HOWE drew for them a new
constitution, providing for a president and twelve councillors, to be
annually elected, in place of the government by chiefs. His
constitution was adopted December4, 1858, and is still the constitution
of government for the nation, with but slight changes. Mr. HOWE
was the attorney and agent for the New York and Erie Railroad Company
for the purchase of the right-of-way for their railroad through
Allegany County, and through all of Cattaraugus County east of the
Mr. HOWE was of great assistance to the road and to
the Indians, in respect to the right-of-way for the road through the
reservation, securing just compensation to the Indians for said right,
which the company by law could take; also obtaining consent of the
Indians to the location, without useless resistance by them in the
courts. Mr. HOWE continued until his death the trusted counselor and
adviser of this people in all important matters.
He was elected county judge of Cattaraugus County,
in the fall of 1851, and commenced upon the duties as such January 1,
1852. His knowledge of law, together with his keen sense of justice and
humanity, rendered his eminently suited for this office. His term of
office expired January, 1856. Though in the meridian of man's allotted
years, his earthly labors were fast drawing to a close. But we
"Live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest acts the best."
During the two remaining years of his life, he
suffered much from the disease of which he died (consumption of the
bowels). Still he continued to labor on eases which were constantly
referred to him. But the end soon came. He died at the Elmira
Water-Cure, March 16, 1858. The author of this sketch knew him well and
intimately from his sixteenth year, and never heard a syllable uttered
derogatory to the boy or the man; and as is recorded on his tombstone,
"He entered upon the battle of life, and bravely fought his way to a
desirable eminence, leaving no blot or stain upon his reputation."
Among the pioneer preaches of this section, who for
nearly half a century have labored for the cause of Christ, and the
results of whose labors stand forth
array, none have been actuated by purer motives, or have labored more
assiduously for the Presbyterian faith, than the subject of this
sketch. Away back in the early history of Cattaraugus County,
when to preach the gospel required real and earnest hard work, Dr.
COWLES preached at various points. He also organized and helped to
sustain various churches,---notably those at Randolph, March 26, 1836;
at Olean, January 6, 1836; at Portville, June 16, 1847; Allegany, about
During his early ministry, he found an earnest
assistant and zealous coadjutor in his estimable wife, and to her he
owes much of the real success that attended his youthful efforts as a
minister of the gospel. His first wife was an intelligent lady and a
consistent Christian, a fine educator, and possessed many extraordinary
intellectual and spiritual fits. Perhaps, we can no better do simple
justice to her memory than to quote briefly from a historical sketch of
her educational labors, prepared by one who knew her well and loved her
"Miss Mary HAYES excelled as a teacher in the higher
branches of female education, in the central and eastern parts of New
York. Having acquired notoriety as lady principal in one or two
academies, when the Brooklyn Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies was
incorporated by the Legislature (the first ladies' college ever
organized in this State), she was invited to become the head lady
principal or professor in its corps of instructors. She accepted it,
and for several years was the guiding spirit in the education of the
daughters of lawyers, of judges, and of men of wealth, as well as those
of clergymen. The institution became exceedingly popular. Resigning
this desirable position in the spring of 1831, the August following she
was married to the Rev. Sylvester COWLES, who immediately started for
Cattaraugus County, and arrived at Napoli on September, 17. She
had her plans of usefulness laid for education in this new part of the
State. Being settled in the framed addition of a log house, she
immediately developed her plan by proposing to take a class of young
lady school teachers, and those who wished to become such, whom she
drilled for their duties and employments the next season. In this, she
was also very successful. In the fall of 1835, this esteemed lady
removed with her reverend husband to Ellicottville, then the county
seat, where she secured the services of Miss Mary LYMAN, a teacher from
the Brooklyn Institute, and opened a school of high order, known for
more than ten years as Ellicottville Institute for Young Ladies. There
was comparatively little general interest felt in such a school by the
community at large. Many there were who encouraged it, and at the close
of the first term, when it was seen what remarkable progress the young
ladies made in the higher branches, the institute grew in favor, the
community being more than pleased. Young ladies from the best families
all over the county and from the city of Buffalo afterwards attended,
and received a thorough and extensive education, including the sciences
and fine arts. It is not saying too much to affirm that Mrs. COWLES's
institution, by furnishing the best of teachers, did more for education
than all other causes put together in the county, that it did more for
civilization, elevation, and refinement of society in Ellicottville,
and that its good effects are still felt in the social, intellectual,
and religious state of society in that village and its surroundings."
Sylvester COWLES was born in Otisco, Onondaga
County, N.Y., January 28, 1804. He was the son of Amos and Dolly (FORD)
COWLES. He received his preliminary education at the Homer Academy, and
in 1825, entered Hamilton College from which he was graduated with the
degree of A.B., in 1828. In September of that year he commenced his
theological studies at Auburn Theological Seminary, and September 5,
1831, was regularly ordained by the Onondaga Presbytery. Immediately
thereafter, he removed to Napoli, where he preached one-half of the
time in the old Congregational church, organized there by the venerable
Father SPENCER. In 1835, he removed to Ellicottville, as before stated,
and included in his circuit West Otto, East Otto, Ashford, and Great
Valley, He married his first wife in Clinton, August 25, 1831. She
died, after a life of peculiar usefulness, January 8, 1846. He married
for his second wife, Frances W. WOOD, of New Haven, Conn., who was a
granddaughter of Chief Justice ELLSWORTH, on the 17th of September,
1846. She died from the effects of a railroad accident received on the
Northwestern Railroad, In Illinois, January 8, 1873,---dying the 29th
of March following. On the 4th of August, 1878, he married Sophia M.
PHILLIPS, who was a missionary among the Indians on the Allegany
Reservation when he became acquainted with her. Of eight children, only
one---Mary V.---survives. She resides at home, and is a lady of
intelligence and culture. Dr. COWLES has been peculiarly fortunate in
the choice of his wives, and, as he reverently says, "they were all
gifts from the Lord."
One of the chief characteristics of Dr. COWLES is
his benevolence and desire for the development and progress of
education. He was largely instrumental in the founding of the old Olean
Academy in 1852. He obtained subscriptions to the enterprise amounting
to $2,360.50, all of which he collected, and holds the receipts of John
FOBES, then treasurer of the academy, for the same. He spent more than
eight years of hard work in the interests of that institution. By
practical economy, extending over many years, he accumulated enough to
purchase two perpetual scholarships of Hamilton College, which he keeps
filled by worthy young men.
He takes a great interest in general scientific
research, particularly in geology. He has a well-selected and valuable
cabinet of geological specimens.
His alma mater,---old Hamilton
College,---recognizing the worth of scholarly attainments of her child,
conferred the degree of D.D. upon him in the summer of 1874.
As early as July 4, 1831, Dr. COWLES preached for
temperance, and has been an earnest and consistent advocate of the
cause ever since.
He was also one of the first to espouse the
principles of abolition in this county, and fought earnestly and well
for the maintenance of the same.
His long and eminently useful life in the ministry,
and in the cause of education, intelligence, and morality, though
receiving but a meagre remuneration here, will be plenteously rewarded
in the Heavenly kingdom, wither at the close of his earthly career he
will gain a triumphant admission there to rest from his labors, and
after which his works will follow him forever. Amen.