Note - You may click on any photo to view a larger imageThis town (Randolph) lies on the western border of the county, and is the second town from the south. When erected from Connewango, Feb. 1, 1826, it embraced all the territory south to the Pennsylvania line, but by the formation of South Valley, April 2, 1847, the town was reduced to its present limits, which are described by the Holland Survey as township 2, in the ninth range, containing 23,040 acres. The name of the town was bestowed by some of the early settlers in honor of their native place, Randolph, VT. The southern three-fourths of the town have a hilly and undulating surface, with some uplands several hundred feet above the valleys. The northern part is more level, and partakes of the characteristics of the Connewango flats. Here were evidences of prehistoric occupation in the shape of the usual fortifications and mounds, which have been more fully mentioned in the general history of the county.
The principal stream of the town is the Little Connewango Creek, which flows through the northeastern part of the town. The chief affluents are Mill Creek, Dry and Rodgers’ Brooks. Considering their limited volume, these streams afford good power. Nearly all of them are subject to the influence of freshets, which sometimes causes great damage. The one in 1865 was especially disastrous in its effects, destroying much property, and causing the loss of several lives. The brooks in the southern part of the town drain into South Valley. The soil is variable, and is of a clayey nature, or a gravelly loam, with a limited quantity of sandy loam. It is usually fertile, and especially adapted for grass.
The books of the Holland Company furnish a list of landowners in 1821, containing the names of Howard Fuller, Edmund Fuller, James Powell, Samuel J. York, William Eames, Howard Chapman, and Thomas Harvey.
Edmund Fuller made the first settlement in 1820, on lot 31, building a log house, which stood near where the cemetery now is. He came from Oneida County, and was accompanied by Howard Fuller. The had “booked” to them all the land along that road west to the Chautauqua line. Both removed soon after, Edmund Fuller selling his interests in 1822 to Thomas Harvey, who also came from Oneida. Fuller moved to the West, but returned to Little Valley in the course of a dozen years.
The year after Fuller’s settlement came Samuel J. York, and located on lot 55; and his brother Jeremiah came in 1823, settling in the same locality. Both moved to the West.
Jacob Vandamaker came in 1821, and settled near Fuller’s. The following year his son, John J., was born, and this was probably the first birth in town. The latter remained a citizen of Randolph many years.
In 1822, H.S. Latham, from Long Island, located on lot 31, where he purchased five acres for the purpose of establishing a tannery. He built the first frame house in town, and commenced work on his tannery, but sold out to Thomas Harvey before he got it fully in operation. C.H. Latham, a brother, made a visit to the town in the same year, but did not settle there, but since 1840 has been a permanent resident of the town.
In April 1822, Thomas Harvey located on the Fuller property. He had a family of six daughters and several sons. The former came with their husbands, named James Orton and William Miner, but all removed to the West. Harvey was an enterprising man, and did much to encourage the settlement of the town. Two of his daughters married David Salisbury and Clement Russell, also early settlers, in 1824, and these were the first marriages in town.
In 1823, Benjamin Clark settled on lot 23, where he soon after built the second frame house in town, in which he opened a tavern and a store. In 1830, he sold to Joel Scudder, and removed to Pennsylvania. A daughter married Jonathan Hodge, an early settler on lot 15.
The same year, Otis Hitchcock and a family of ten children settled on lot 46. The oldest son, George, was killed by being thrown from a horse. Truman Hitchcock, another son, lives on the old Clark place. Mr. Hitchcock died in June 1873, and the homestead is now occupied by another son, Milo.
Solomon Nichols came from Monroe County in 1823, in the month of January. In 1822 he had visited the town and articled 120 acres on lot 48, which he paid twelve years later. An adjoining tract of land, taken by David Hodge, who came with Nichols, was the first paid up in town. Hodge returned to Monroe in four or five years, and after 1830, Solomon Nichols also moved back for six years. In his absence, Abram Kierstead lived on his farm, and kept a public house, which was continued by Nichols after his return, and was kept until the railroad was built. In the days of militia training, Mr. Nichols rose from the command of a company to the rank of colonel, by which title he is still addressed. Although eighty-two years old, he presents a hale appearance and preserves his military bearing. He is one of the oldest residents of the town.
Elisha R. and Josiah Cook came in March 1823, from Monroe County, and settled on lot 62, where the former still resides. The latter removed in 1817. Both served in the war of 1812. In this locality lived as early settlers the Arnolds, Smiths, and Alex. McNull.
James Powell settled on lot 32 in 1823, and there built a house, which is still standing. A brother, Dennis, lived on lot 40. Both moved to Pennsylvania. In this locality settled the McCapes family about the same time. Silas moved to the West, James died in town, and Alfred and Major still reside in Randolph.
In 1823, Timothy Torrance, from Monroe County, settled on lot 64, where he lived until his death in 1871. The homestead is now occupied by a son, G.M. Torrance. Another son removed to Michigan.
The Sample family, composed of Frederick, John, Samuel, Jackson, and Jacob C., came from Monroe in 1823, and settled on lots 61, 62, and 63, owning large tracts of land, from which circumstance the locality has been called “Sample Hill.” In a few years, Frederick sold his land to Harry Marsh, and moved south of the present Academy lot, where he opened a pioneer tavern.
Uriah D. Wood lived on lot 60 as early as 1824, and about the same time the Gillette family settled on “Sample Hill.” Zebedee Woodworth located in the same locality about the same time; and a few years later his brother, Benjamin, settled on lot 52.
In 1825, Sylvester Caswell and Darius Bowen came from Monroe County. The former settled on the east side of lot 54; the latter on lot 44. He died here a few years ago, and the homestead is now occupied by his sons, William and Orrin.
Esau Case settled early on “Sample Hill,” and afterwards bought out David Hodge, on lot 48; from here he moved to Ohio. On this lot also lived David and Benson Archer, about 1827.
In 1825, Abraham G. Bush, from Ontario County, settled in town, and made improvements on lots 23 and 24. Here in inaugurated and successfully carried on several important businesses, and was, in his time, the most prominent man in town, and always interested himself in its welfare. He died in 1863.
The Helmes family settled at East Randolph, and were the pioneers in that locality. In March, 1825, Chauncy C. Helmes came from Monroe County, and began the improvement of his land, on lot 8. He was a very active business man, and lived at East Randolph until his death, in November, 1866. Members of his family still reside in town. His brother, Albert, came in January 1826, and settled on the northeast part of lot 16, where he yet resides, at an advanced age, one of the few early settlers left in town.
On lot 15, Josiah Ames was an early settler; and on lot 7, near by, Jerial Smith. William Thatcher lived on the same lot. Jonathan Wood lived on lot 8, coming from Monroe County in 1826, and then put up a fulling-mill soon after. He died near Pittsburgh, in 1832, while engaged in rafting lumber down the Allegany. A year later came Daniel Dixon, from Genesee County, with a small stock of goods, which he sold out in Helmes’ store. He is still a resident of East Randolph. To this point also came, about 1827, Elnathan Lewis and Dr. Benjamin Blodgett.
On lot 5 settled John N. Angle, about 1830, and is still living there with his son Nicholas. He is a native of Ontario County. Samuel Ewing came from the same county in 1831, and took up his residence at Randolph village. He now resides with Mr. Angle, on lot 5. His sons, Samuel and Robert F., are well-known citizens and surveyors.
Ezekiel Scudder, a Revolutionary soldier, came from Victor, Ontario Co., in 1827, and located on lot 14. He died in town. Joel Scudder, a son of the above, bought out the Ben Clark place in 1830. One of his sons, Samuel, is now a resident of lot 32. Marvin Scudder came in 1828, and settled in that part of the village now occupied by the business houses. He moved to Illinois. To the same State moved Freeman Scudder, who came, a single man with his father, in 1827, and afterwards married a Miss Sample. Another of Ezekiel’s sons, Enos, settled in Cold Spring at an early day, and moved from there to Kentucky. The family is one of the oldest and best known in town.
The Draper family came before 1830, and Gilbert Gorsline about the same period. In 1829, Daniel Thurston came from Oneida County, and located on lot 46, where he is still a resident. His brother, Marcus, was also an early settler.
Sanford Holbrook, from Chemung County, came in 1829, and settled on lot 64, which had been taken up first by Samuel Foote. He had two sons, Sanford F., now residing in the West, and Freeman, living on lot 55. Mr. Holbrook is now a resident of Randolph village. Here also reside Asahel and Addison Crowley, natives of Rutland Co., VT; the former coming in 1831, the latter in 1835. They engaged in merchandising and in the lumber business, doing much to promote the welfare of Randolph. Since 1843, Marcus H. Johnson has been a resident of the village. He was born at Olean, Oct 21, 1809, and is probably the second native of the county. Here, also, died Dec. 30, 1876, one of the oldest persons in the county, Nancy G. Van Rensselaer, who was born Oct. 21, 775. She was the mother Dr. D.S. Van Rensselaer, and the widow of Gen. Henry K. Van Rensselaer, of Revolutionary renown. She was married in 1793, and has her husband died in 1816, she lived a widowed life more than sixty years. She was remarkably vigorous for her age, and did not appear to bear the weight of more than seventy-five years. On her one-hundredth birthday five generations honored her by their presence. She is interred in the Randolph Cemetery.
The population increased rapidly after 1827. In 1832 the condition of the settlements and improvements was shown by the following list:
||No. of Acres||Value of Lot||Improved Buildings|
|Davis,Sears & Co||59||12||150|
|Hodges, Jonathan F||15||8||10
|Helmes, Chauncey C||8||35||550
|King, Gideon, Jr||.55||8||***|
|Lewis, Elnathan||. 8||1||12|
|McCapes, James W||.39||20||30|
|McCapes, Silas A||.32||10||***|
|McCapes, Major||. 32||10
|McCapes, Alfred||. 23||1||***|
|Sample, Jacob C.||62||8||***|
|Sample, Samuel||. 61||52||120|
|Wood, Uriah D.||.60||4||120|
|York, Samuel J||23||3||***|
The average under cultivation and the valuation of the fifty odd buildings must be considered in a comparative sense only. The real value may have been greater, yet the list shows, nevertheless, how meagre were the improvements and how small the population compared with the present. In 1860 there were in town 1954 inhabitants, and in 1875, 2433.
In conformity with the provisions of the act of the Legislature of Feb. 1, 1826, the voters assembled on the 7th of March, of that year, to hold their first annual meeting. Thomas Harvey was chosen Moderator, and the following officers were elected: Supervisor, Jeremiah York, Town Clerk, Andrew D. Smith; Assessors, Zebedee Woodworth, Benjamin Clark, Solomon Nichols; Collector, A.G. Bush; Constable, Comfort Gillette; Commissioners of Highways, Frederick Sample, Abraham Kierstead, Alfred Smith; Poormasters, James Powell, Timothy Torrance; Commissioners of Common Schools, Jerial Smith, H.S. Latham, Otis Hitchcock; Inspectors of Common Schools, Andrew D. Smith, Henry Booth, Albert Helms.
Since 1826, the principal officers have been -
|1827||Thomas Harvey||Andrew D. Smith|
|1829||Zebedee Woodworth||Abraham G. Bush|
|1831||"||Chauncy C. Helmes|
|1833||Samuel Ewing||Joel Scudder|
|1834||Chauncy C. Helmes||Abraham G. Bush|
|1836||Abraham G. Bush||H.D. Swan|
|1838||Samuel Ewing||Horace H. Holt|
|1840||Samuel Ewing||T.S. Sheldon|
|1841||Horace H. Holt||Dwight Durkee|
|1843||Zebedee Woodworth||Robert Owen, Jr.|
|1844||Horace H. Holt||Simeon Fisher|
|1847||Marcus H. Johnson||"|
|1853||A.G. Dow||W. Boardman|
|1854||Addison Crowley||Porter Sheldon|
|1855||Wm. K. Miller||H.K. Van Rensselaer|
|1856||A.G. Dow||John C. Pierce|
|1860||Benj. McClean||Daniel W. Guernsey|
|1861||"||H.K. Van Rensselaer|
|1862||A.G. Dow||John E. Rogers|
|1863||Amos Dow||H.K. Van Rensselaer|
|1864||Samuel Scudder||C.M. Chase|
|1866||"||Chrles P. Ingersoll|
|1868||Rodney R. Crowley||John White|
|1870||James G. Johnson||James C. Knapp|
|1871||Samuel Scudder||A.P. Knapp|
|1872||"||Edgar O. Wright|
|1873||"||John E. Leach|
|1875||David T. Smith||"|
|1876||E.S. Ingersoll||E.J. Boyle|
Justices of the Peace
|1827||Benj. Woodworth||1836||Benj. Woodworth|
|Thomas Harvey||Hillis Marsh|
|Chauncy C. Helmes||1837||Resolved Sears|
||Horace D. Swan
|1831||John Sample||Abraham G. Bush
|1832||Benj. Woodworth||Cornelius N. Ballou|
|1833||Abraham G. Bush||1840||Benj. Woodworth|
|1834||Horace D. Swan||1841||Simeon Fisher|
|1835||Horace King||John Sample
|1842||Spencer Scudder||1862||Joseph E. Weeden|
|1843||Marinus Van Vlack||1863||James C. Knapp|
|1844||Abraham G. Bush||1864||Edwin McManus|
|1845||Henry L. Berry||1865||H.K. Van Rensselaer|
|1846||Spencer Scudder||1866||Rodney R. Crowley|
|1847||Marinus Van Vlack||Charles R. Dean|
|1848||Albert G. Dow||1867
||Erastus S. Ingersoll
|1849||Wm. K. Miller||1868
|1850||Spencer Scudder||Elias L. Matteson|
|1851||Alvin Lyman||1869||Enos L. Southwick|
|1852||A.G. Dow||Q.L. Guernsey|
|1853||Wm. K. Miller||1870||John Archer|
|1854||Spencer Scudder||1871||E.L. Matteson|
|1855||Norman Brown||J.V. Goodwill|
|1856||Rufus Crowley||1872||Rodney R. Crowley|
|Amos Dow||Wm. K. Miller|
|1857||Wm. K. Miller||1873||Benj. F. Congdon|
|J.C. Knapp||1874||C.W. Terry|
|1858||Spencer Scudder||1875||J.C. Knapp|
|1859||James C. Knapp||1876||E.L. Matteson|
|1860||Edwin McManus||1877||Wm. Armstrong|
|1861||Rodney R. Crowley||1878||W.K. Miller|
The records relating to the early roads are obscure. Then, as now, the principal highways were in the northern part of the town, leading to Jamestown and western points. Considerable labor was required to keep them in repair, and much money has been expended to bring them to their present condition.
In 1826 the town was districted and provided with overseers, as follows: No. 1, Jeremiah Bundy; No. 2, Major Mapes; No. 3, Lyman Hitchcock; No. 4, Benson Archer; No. 5, Zebedee Woodworth; No. 6, John Cook; No. 7, Zephemiah Yates; No. 8, Jerial Smith. These pathmasters were also appointed fence-viewers.
The appropriations in 1828 for the improvement of the roads amounted to $250.
In 1878, $700 were voted for highway purposes, and the number of districts was reported as 42.
The Atlantic and Great Western Railroad enters the town a little south of the centre of the eastern line, and passes into the town of Connewango on the north, east of the centre of that line; and, following the Connewango, again enters Randolph at the northwestern corner. It has a station at the village of Randolph, and formerly maintained a small repair-shop at that point. The road has been a great benefit to the town, affording good shipping facilities to the principal cities of the South and the East.
The failure of the New York City and Erie Railroad to build its road through the town, as had been proposed, was the cause of much vexation, and occasioned a bit of legislation which may be mentioned in this connection. The people of Randolph instructed the representative of the Western District to use every means that would hasten the completion of the road. At that time, Chester Howe was in the Assembly; and there actually secured the passage of a bill compelling the company to build its railway through the town. The news of this event reached the village of Randolph, and caused many demonstrations of joy. Unfortunately for this state of feeling, the bill was defeated in the Senate, and the company concluded not to build the road through Randolph. There was much delay, too, and inability on the part of contractors to pay the mean that had been engaged in the construction of the present road, causing, in consequence, want and actual distress in some of the families in town.
Aside from the places of burial used by the early settlers in different parts of the town, with no purpose of having them remains permanent cemeteries,
THE EAST RANDOLPH CEMETERY
is one of the oldest in the town. It was established by an association that was organized Feb. 15, 1853, and which had as corporators Samuel Barrows, Benjamin , A.G. Otis, H. Helmes, C.C. Helmes, A. Helmes, Zibee Hovey, A.J. Hovey, A. Lyman, A.C. Merrill, H. Hall, C. Davenport, E. Holdridge, S.G. Frisbie, Wm. Lockwood, J.L. Ostrum, A.S. Payne, Wm. Foy, S. Deland, W.K. Miller.
These chose as the first board of trustees Benjamin Chamberlain, A.C. Merrill, Samuel Barrows, Enoch Holdridge, Chauncy C. Helmes, and Enoch Jenkins.
Two acres of ground in the western part of the village of East Randolph were secured as a place for interment, and substantially improved the same year, 1853; and an addition of 1-3/4 acres was made in 1865. The whole has been neatly inclosed with a picket-fence, supported by stone posts. To this place many of the remains in the old burying-ground near by were transferred; and here are also the graves of Judge Benjamin Chamberlain and other pioneers, some of them marked by very fine monuments.
The present trustees of the association are John H. Graves, J.C. Hurd, A.D. Holt, M.V. Benson, Amos Dow, and C. McAllister.
The presidents have been Samuel Barrows, Wm. K. Miller, Merrick Nutting, MV. Benson, and Amos Dow. The vice-presidents: A.D. Burlingame, C.C. Helmes, E. Holdridge, M.V. Benson, and A.W. Gray. The secretaries: A.C. Merrill, Horace H. Holt, E.M. Nutting, Amos Down, M.V. Benson, and C. McAllister. And the treasurers: E. Holdridge, Calvin Davenport, W.H. Miller, H.H. Holt, and A.D. Holt.
THE RANDOLPH CEMETERY
is controlled by an association formed under the Rural Cemetery laws of the State, October 13, 1874.
The associating members were Addison Crowley, Enfield Leach, Porter Sheldon, James C. Knapp, Melzor R. Pingrey, Sylvester C. May, Alexander Sheldon, A.G. Dow, Spencer Scudder, Alexander Wentworth, Rufus Crowley, Marvin Bennett, William P. Loomer, John L. Douglas; and the first board of trustees was composed of Spencer C. Scudder, Joseph E. Weeden, Abrama V. Doxtater, Benson Archer, Alexander Wentworth, Fred. Larkin, Albert G. Dow, Addison Crowley, and Enfield Leach.
The old cemetery west of Dry Brook was enlarged by the association to embrace several acres, and has been attractively improved. The organization of the association has not been strictly kept up. Its affairs are at present managed by an executive committee, composed of Alexander Wentworth, President; Austin Woodruff, Secretary; and Josiah Wiggins, Treasurer.
The first manufacturing enterprise of any nature in the present town of Randolph was a saw-mill, put up by Thomas Harvey in 1823. It stood on Dry Brook, in the western part of the village, and was operated about a dozen years; then abandoned, as the stream was too feeble at this point to be profitably employed. After 1830, Cornelius Kierstead had a saw-mill on the Perry lot, getting his power from Rodgers’ brook. This site, too, has long since been abandoned. Uriah D. Wood had another pioneer mill on lot 60, which was driven by a flutter-wheel, but did a good deal of work in its time.
About twenty-five years ago, Walter Crowley put up a saw-mill on lot 30, to cut the pine growing in that locality. The dam was carried away by a freshet September 17, 1865, and for the next four years the site was unoccupied. Then J.V. Harvey improved the water-power and had it operate a mill until 1870, when David T. Smith was associated with him to manufacture lumber on a larger scale. Steam-power was substituted, and the cutting capacity increased to about 1,000,000 feet of lumber per year. At present it is operated on the hard woods and hemlock. Ten men are employed.
The Mighells Mills, erected near the head-waters of Dry Brook, and operated by that stream, has been worked by F.F. Mighells and David Abbey; capacity 1500 feet per day.
At the village of Randolph, Abram G. Bush put up a saw-mill soon after 1830, which was largely operated by him and Zebedee Woodworth about thirty years. The lumber was floated down the tail-race to the Connewango, where it was formed into rafts for lower points. At that time the flats were covered with a splendid growth of timer, some of the pines measuring 225 feet. In 1866, Ozro Thomas put up a new mill on this site, and three years later formed a partnership with J.W. Billings to enlarge the business. In 1870, Enfield Leach became an interested party, and the mill was still further enlarged, scroll-saws and a planer being added. Other machinery was supplied, and the establishment became known as the “Red Lion Mills.” In 1872 the manufacture of handles was begun and carried on here in a pretty extensive manner; and other work was done requiring the employment of steam in addition to the water-power. The building, at this time, was more than a hundred feet long and two stories high. In 1874 it was destroyed by fire, and the power has since been unemployed.
The present steam saw-mill, in the northern part of the village, was built about 1856, by four mutes from the State Asylum, and was operated by them several years; and, subsequently, by A&A Crowley, B. Helmes, and others. It is capacitated to cut 4000 feet per day.
Gibbs’ handle-factory, on the corner of Washington and Jamestown Streets, was established in 1874, and was capacitated to make a car-load of fork, hoe, and shovel handles per day, which were shipped to European marts. It has a 35 horse-power engine, and the factory, when in operation, employs ten men. At present it is idle.
W.A. Eddy’s planing-mill and job-work shop is in the western part of the village, and is operated by steam-power, giving employment to several men. It was established in this neighborhood in 1870, and at the present location in 1874.
In early times, Thomas Harvey had a small tannery near Truman Hitchcock’s; and after it was discontinued Miner & Latham here carried on a tannery of greater capacity a number of years. In the village of Randolph are, also, several large mechanic shops and a number of smaller industries; and at the depot a hay-press is operated extensively, the power being furnished by a good engine.
At East Randolph, Chauncy C. Helmes got in operation the first machinery. Near the present grist-mill he put up a saw-mill in 1825. The following season he commenced building a grist-mill near by, but did not get it running until the fall of 1826. At first it had but one run of stones, but another run was soon after added, the material having been procured at Ellicottville, where the rock was quarried. It is said that it was capable of doing excellent work. This power is now employed to operate the “Randolph Grist-Mill,” which was erected about 1853, by Benjamin Chamberlain. It is a three-story frame, and is supplied with 3 run of stones, giving it a grinding capacity of 20 bushels per hour on custom and merchant work. The stream has a fall of 18 feet, driving a large undershot wheel. The present proprietors are J.L. Sowl & Co. Other owners have been Norman G. Otis and Brown & Southwick.
About 1832, Chauncy C. Helmes built another dam farther down the stream, and put up a double saw-mill, which was burned down in 1841. Two years later a single saw-mill was built on the site, and operated until the timber supply was exhausted, when it was allowed to go down, the ruins still remaining.
Near this mill the Helmes brothers built a pot and pearl ashery, before 1830, which was afterwards operated by A. Helmes. Before 1842 it was burned, and a second ashery put up by A. Helmes. This also was burned in 1850, and five or six years thereafter the present ashery was erected by Helmes. It was supplied with 4 kettles for making pot-ash only, and has not been operated since 1869.
In 1828, Pease & Swan got in operation a small pocket furnace, in the village of East Randolph, nearly opposite the hotel. It was operated by water-power from Elm Creek, the tail-race running right through the lot on which the hotel now stands. In 1830 the firm became Dixon, Pease & Swan, and a general foundry business was carried on, making plows, mill castings, and Dutch ovens. About 1835 it was discontinued.
In 1827, Jonathan Wood put up a small building on the site of Hall’s machine-shop, in which he fulled cloths. After Wood’s death, about 1832, Amos Hall carried on the business with increased facilities, carding and cloth-making machines having been added, and which were operated under the direction of Archibald Merrill.
When the woolen-factory was discontinued,
HALL’S MACHINE WORKS
were here established by Amos Hall, and conducted by him until 1862, when Erastus Hall became the proprietor, and has since continued the business. Power is furnished by a 12-foot fall on Mill Creek, which operates a planing-mill, match, sash, and door machinery, and other devices for doing all kinds of wood work. The shop is 34 by 66 feet, 3 stories high, with an addition 24 by 56 feet. In 1853, Erastus Hall patented a machine for manufacturing shingles, which attained a good reputation, and by the use of which 1000 shingles an hour might be cut. For a number of years this machine was largely manufactured at this shop, and formed an important business. Six men are here employed.
EAST RANDOLPH FOUNDRY AND MACHINE-SHOP
On the site of this shop a foundry was carried on about 1848 by Nutting & McCollister, which became the property, in 1855, of Samuel Allen. In August, 1857, the “Randolph Steam-Engine Company,” composed of four persons, was formed, to manufacture stationary engines and mill machinery at this foundry. Sept. 17, 1863, the works were burned down, involving a total loss. They were immediately rebuilt by Benedict & Lake, and operated by them until 1873. A part of this time they were engaged in manufacturing the Eagle Mower, making in all 125, which were sold to the surrounding farmers. Since December, 1873, the industry here has been carried on by S.J. Benedict, chiefly in the manufacture of engines for oil boring, although much general work is done. The works embrace a main building, 30 by 85 feet, and several large wings. Steam is the motive-power, and 15 men are employed.
THE EAST RANDOLPH TANNERY
occupies the site of a tannery which was erected after 1850 by Calvin Rumsey, and which was destroyed by fire. About 1865 another tannery was here operated by Dean & Son, and subsequently by Brown & Nutting. In January 1872, E.F. Smith became the proprietor, and much enlarged and improved this tannery. It now embraces a main building, 60 by 110 feet, 3 stories high, and a two-story wing, 30 by 66 feet, containing 100 liquor vats. Steam and water-power is employed. About 70,000 calf-skins and 7000 sides are tanned annually, consuming 2200 cords of hemlock bark, and giving employment to 25 men.
WILLARD & HAMMOND’S MILK PAN FACTORY
occupies a large building on the south side of Main Street, in Randolph village. It was established in 1873, to manufacture “Willard & Sawtell’s Champion Milk Vats,” which were patented March 20, 1872, by O.H. Willard and H.H. Sawtell. The principle consists of 4 pans arranged in the form of a square and resting in a wooden vat, into which water is introduced at the point of the meeting of the pans, so as to have their bottoms and sides exposed to the cooling body. The pans are from 6 to 8 inches deep, and hold from 18 to 65 gallons each. Their use increases the production of butter, and lessens the labor of handling the milk. In 1875 these pans received the first premium at the New York State Fair, for superiority as milk coolers. From 200 to 300 sets are manufactured yearly and shipped to all parts of the Union.
is on the Jamestown road, one and a half miles west of the village. It was built in 1874 by R.R. & M.A. Crowley, and was operated by them a year. Since 1875, O.C. Wood has been the proprietor. The building is 36 by 75 feet, 2 stories high, and is supplied with 3 vats and a church, holding 200 gallons, which is worked by steam-power. Sixty patrons furnish 16,000 pounds of milk daily, which is manufactured into cheese and butter, at the rate of 8 pounds of the former to 3 pounds of the latter for every hundred-weight of milk used.
RANDOLPH CREAMERY NO. 2
was built in the spring of 1878, by O.C. Wood, as a branch of the above. It is on “Sample Hill,” in a building 30 by 60 feet, and is supplied with 2 vats and a 200-gallon churn. The factor enjoys the patronage of 40 farmers, who supply 9000 pounds of milk daily. In the fall of 1878 this property was sold to G.R. Woodmanzy.
RANDOLPH DRIVING PARK COMPANY
was formed, Aug. 14, 1872, with a capital stock of $4000, in 80 equal shares. This amount was subscribed by 33 persons, who set forth in their articles of association, “that the object of the company is to train horses and to improve their speed.” A board of directors was chosen composed of Melvin A. Crowley, George W. Watkins, H.J. Woodford, E.C. Topliff, Lyman R. Barnes, and Marcus J. Benson.
Melvin A. Crowley was elected President; Milo R. Hall, Vice President; W.S. Benzona, Secretary; and Rodney R. Crowley, Treasurer.
A fine tract of land containing 25 acres, located between the villages of Randolph and East Randolph, was inclosed with a high fence, an amphitheatre erected, and a half-mile course constructed for the use of the company. Several meetings were held, but in 1874 the company disorganized, and the grounds, with some further improvements, have since been used for the fairs of the Cattaraugus County Agricultural Society.
is in the northeastern corner of the town, and partly in the towns of Connewango, Napoli, and Cold Spring, which here have a common corner. The village is on lands which were taken up by the Helmes and Amos Hall, and owes its existence chiefly to the excellent water-power here abounding. Its early improvements for milling also directed attention to the place as a trading point, and the village has had a steady and healthy growth ever since. It has an orderly and inviting appearance, and contains many fine residences, 2 churches, a good school-house, a hotel, about 20 business places, and other interests elsewhere detailed. The population is about 800.
Albert Helmes claims to have sold the first goods in the place, in 1826, in a small building near the ashery. The following year Henry Saxton opened a better stock of goods, also on the west side of Elm Creek, on the road towards Randolph. Probably the next store was kept by Benjamin Blodget on the east side of the creek, at the old tavern stand. After 1830, Chauncy C. Helmes opened a store, with a general assortment of goods, in a building which stood on the lot now occupied by Amos Dow’s residence. In 1835, H.H. Holt became a partner of Helmes, and maintained that relation until 1840, when Helmes retired from trade, selling his interest to Freedom Jeffords. In 1848, Jeffords retired from the firm, selling to Merrick Nutting. Holt has continued in trade since 1835, and since 1860 has occupied his present stand. He claims to be the oldest merchant in the county.
Merrick Nutting was in trade until 1863, then sold his interests to Edwin M. Nutting, who traded four or five years. He had the stand now occupied by Ostrum & Searle, dry-goods merchants. S.D. & James Nutting were in trade about 1850, at the stand now occupied by A.C. Merrill’s furniture-store; and about 1855, Dow & Wilder engaged in merchandizing. Amos Dow continued until 1876, when he sold to his son, Rollin, who is at present in trade, occupying a part of the Holt & Dow block. J.C. Hurd has for many years been in trade, and is one of the most active business men in southwestern Cattaraugus.
In addition to those already mentioned as being in trade, the village has at present the following business firms; Johnson & Rich, Brennigstool, Jeffords, Homer Dixon, Leonard Hall, A.B. Wells, B. Hughs, A.A. Hall, Beardsley Bros., and Welch & McAllister.
In the old Blodgett building Abram Cassler opened the first public-house, about 1835. At this place Zibee Hovey, John Converse, and Samuel Barrows were early landlords; the latter keeping one of the best known houses in the western part of the county. Among the successive keepers were French, Rogers, Shean, Wilcox, Wood, Crawford, and Lyman Barnes, the latter discontinuing the hotel in 1877.
The second hotel was originally erected for store by Abram Cassler, and was changed for its present purpose by H.H. Wheeler, in about 1850. After his retirement the landlords were A.B. Parsons, Zalmon Smith, and others. H.J. Woodford, the present proprietor, enlarged the house in 1875, and has since presided as landlord.
In 1870, T.J. Chamberlain erected the first brick block in the place (a two-story building), in which he opened a private bank, which was continued by him until 1873, when Amos Dow & Son succeeded him as bankers; and since 1876 the firm has been Dow & Thompson.
The East Randolph post-office was established in 1850, and had as the first postmaster Merrick Nutting. In 1852, A.C. Merrill succeeded, holding the office until 1853, when he was followed by H.H. Holt, who held the office eight years. In 1861, Enoch Holdridge was appointed, serving until April, 1864, when A.A. Hall became postmaster, who made way, the following year, for Horace Hall; but surrendered the office in 1871 to his predecessor, A.A. Hall, who is the present incumbent. The mail supply is from Randolph village—distant one and a half miles—several times daily, and daily from Little Valley; stage lines running to both points.
The first physician to locate at East Randolph was Dr. Benjamin Blodgett, who came in 1829 and practiced until his death, a few years later. Dr. Nelson Sanders followed his profession eight years in the east village, then removed to Randolph, where he still continues. Dr. Alson Leavenworth was here a number of years prior to 1850, and in 1851 Dr. A.B. Parsons became a practitioner at this point, obtaining a wide reputation for his skill. In 1875 he removed to Jamestown. The present physicians are Drs. O.A. Tompkins, since 1872; E.M. Cheney, since 1874; J. McLoughlin, since 1876; and John Sackrider, since 1877.
Among the attorneys at East Randolph, M.T. Jenkins was one of the first. He came in 1854 and remained until 1873. B.F. and Joseph Congdon followed next, the latter removing to Fredonia in 1871, and the former to Randolph, where he yet follows his profession The law has at present the following representatives: J.V. Goodwill, admitted in 1862; Frank W. Stevens, admitted in 1871; is at present district attorney for Cattaraugus County; and M. Van Benson, admitted in 1869.
In September, 1873, O.M. Jeffords and A.H. Holt began the publication of an amateur paper, --The Boys’ Argus, --containing 4 pages of 4 columns each, devoted to literature and amateur news. In March, 1874, the paper was enlarged to 8 pages, and the name changed to Empire Herald. In September, 1875, Holt sold his interest to Jeffords, who afterwards discontinued the paper, and has since devoted himself to job work, having at East Randolph one of the most complete offices in the county.
This beautiful and flourishing village is situated mainly on the west bank of Little Connewango Creek, east of the centre of the town, and near the Connewango line, on land which was originally owned by Edmund Fuller, Jacob Vandawaker, Thomas Harvey, and Abraham G. Bush. Along Dry Brook, in what is now the extreme western part of the village, the place had its beginning. The site was too low, and poorly adapted to afford security against the freshets which sometimes swell the brook to enormous proportions, causing great damage to property. The business centre was, therefore, changed to its present place about 1835. Soon after a scheme was formed to found a city on the ground which is now occupied by the village. Staley N. Clark, the Wheelers, and others entered into a compact the general terms of which were of such a nature that no persons composing the company could dispose of his interests without the consent of all concerned; and, as the railroad was not built through the place when projected, there was such a depreciation of real estate that matters were at a stand-still until about 1849, when the county court decreed a partition of the property, which was sold in small parcels to such as wished to improve the land. The opening of Randolph Academy and the completion of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad, which has a station at the village, assured the future of Randolph to such an extent that it has had a substantial growth ever since. It contains Roman Catholic, Baptist, Congregational, and Methodist Churches; a fine public hall, a commodious school building, several very handsome business blocks and residences, banks, stores, and other interests, fully noted in the following pages. The attractive village forms a picture of striking contrast with the forest surroundings fifty years ago. Some of the old citizens remember the time when the village site was covered with pines and hemlock of gigantic proportions, the height of some being 300 feet, among which herds of deer roamed. The first buildings were log houses of small dimensions. Dr. Oliver Guernsey put up the first frame house, where the principal part of the village now is, chopping down trees to keep them from crushing his building. This building stood east of Elder Cowles’ residence, and has been demolished. The population of the village is about 1500.
Randolph was incorporated by a special act of the Legislature, May 21, 1867, with limits embracing all that part of the town of Randolph situate as follows: “ Beginning at the northeast corner of the lands of the Chamberlain Institute, to the centre of the highway leading from West to East Randolph; thence east to the east bounds of the lands of the institute; thence south 12 chains to the southeast corner of said incorporation; thence southwest 54 chains, south 11 chains, north 77 chains; and so on, with somewhat irregular bounds, to the place of beginning at the lands of the institute.”
The charter provided the time for the election of officers, which should consist of a president, five trustees, three assessors, a collector, a treasurer, a clerk, and a fire-warden. The justices of the peace of the town of Randolph residing in the village were to be the justices of the village.
The trustees were to render gratuitous service, and were empowered to enact ordinances for the government of the village; to form fire companies, and be a board of health. Nor more than $1000 was to be raised the first year, nor more than $800 in subsequent years, to defray the expenses of the corporation.
On the 7th of April, 1868, the electors of the village, to the number of 92, assembled at “Camp’s Hotel,” to hold their annual meeting. Warren Dow and James C. Knapp, trustees of the old board, presided, and S.O. Lockwood was appointed clerk of the meeting.
The officers elected were: President, Warren Dow; Trustees, Charles P. Adams, James C. Knapp, Charles F. Hedman, Matthew R. Cheney, David S. Swan; Assessors, Charles P. Ingersoll, Addison Crowley, Ladwick H. Carter; Clerk, Alexander Wentworth; Collector, Albert Marsh; Treasurer, Erastus S. Ingersoll; Fire-Warden, Lafayette Carter.
John Carroll was appointed poundmaster of the village; and Harvey S. Jones police constable, to hold his office during the pleasure of the board.
Since this period, 1868, the principal officers of the village have been as follows:
1869—President, Wm. H. Henderson; Trustees, Erastus Ingersoll, John Trowbridge, Wm. A Shewman, Ezekiel J. Scudder, Thaddeus C. Cornell; Clerk, Edgar O. Knight.
1870—President, Addison Crowley; Trustees, Albert G. Dow, M.C. Caskey, Jesse T. Fosdick, Christopher C. Helmes, Timothy A.C. Everett; Clerk, Charles C. Sheldon.
1871—President, M.A. Crowley; Trustees, Nelson Saunders, James White, Jesse T. Fosdick, Theodore E. Adams, Christopher C. Helmes; Clerk, Charles C. Sheldon.
1872—President, E.S. Ingersoll; Trustees, C.P. Adams, S.W. Thompson, W.S. Bezona, B.G. Casler, John Carroll; Clerk, A.P. Knapp.
1873—President, Alexander Wentworth; Trustees, Austin Woodruff, M.H. Johnson, M.R. Pingrey, M.A. Crowley, W.S. Bezona; Clerk, A.P. Knapp.
1874—President, W.H. Henderson; Trustees, Samuel Scudder, Charles P. Adams, R.R> Crowley, C.C. Helmes, E.R. Babbitt; Clerk, John E. Leach.
At the annual meeting held this year the voters, by a majority of 51, decided to avail themselves of the provisions of the general act of the Legislature of 1870, relative to incorporated villages, and on the 4th of May, 1874, a new board of officers was elected under that act, as follows:
President, W.H. Henderson; Trustees, Nelson Saunders, R.R. Crowley, Samuel Scudder; Clerk, John E. Leach.
1875—President, H.C. Rich; Trustees, Asahel Crowley, H.H. Sawtell, John Carroll; Clerk, John E. Leach.
1876—President, J.C. Knapp; Trustees, Charles Sheldon, L.H. Carter, Asahel Crowley; Clerk, Eugene J. Boyle.
1877—President, Charles Merrill; Trustees, C.C. Sheldon, L.H. Carter, William S. Bezona; Clerk, E.J. Boyle.
1878—President, Charles Merrill; Trustees, William S. Bezona, John Hammond, John D. Pierce; Clerk, D.A. Sackrider; Treasurer, Hiram Fosdick; Collector, Harvey D. Litchfield; Street Commissioner, L.H. Carter.
of the village demand particular attention. About 1830 the first goods in the place were sold in the Clark building, near Dry Brook, a tavern being kept in the other part of the house. A man by the name of Spaulding served as clerk for the proprietors of the tavern, who also kept the goods. In the summer of 1831, A.G. Bush put up the first regular store on the south side of Main Street, and sold goods there about three or four years. The building still remains, and is known as the “Shean” store. The second store was put up in 1833, by Arnold & Tousley, of Springville, and occupied by them about a year. It was the small building near Dow’s Bank. The same year Asahel Crowley commenced selling goods in a dwelling-house in the upper part of the village.
In the fall of 1835, A.G. Bush opened a store in a new house expressly built for this purpose, on the Ruttledge road. He continued in trade about three years, carrying a good stock of goods. The building was afterwards removed to the west side of the creek, where it is at present used as a dwelling. In the Shean building, Wheeler & Van Rensselaer began trade in 1835, remained several years, and were succeeded by Swan & Scudder.
In 1836, T.S. Sheldon engaged in merchandising in a small building which stood on the site of the present “Buzzell House,” a part of the building being incorporated in the present structure. After some changes, Sheldon erected a fine business block on the lot now occupied by the “Randolph House,” where he was for many years a leading merchant, and one of the most enterprising men of the county.
In 1836, Addison and Asahel Crowley erected a business house, 24 by 50 feet, on the site of Asahel Crowley’s present residence, in which they were actively engaged in trade until the store was burned in 1846. In 1839 this firm established a branch store which became known as the “Exchange,” and after their old store was destroyed the Messrs. Crowley here made their headquarters for a very extensive business, which was continued in one form or other until 1868. Both of these gentlemen now reside in the village as retired merchants.
In 1839, Bush, Woodworth & Co., began a business which was shortly after continued by Chamberlain & Johnson, and in 1843 by Johnson & Leach; after 1846, Johnson, Leach & Boardman. Since 1860, Enfield Leach has carried on this business, occupying at present a very large building which was erected in 1849 by George Van Campen, who was a merchant here before this period. In 1848, Johnson & Leach transacted a business aggregating nearly $200,000.
About 1840, D.S. Van Rensselaer became a merchant in his own name, and a few years thereafter associated with him Marvin Scudder; and about the same time L&B Giles opened a store in a building near Dry Brook, intending to make that locality the centre of trade, but without success. Another brother, William Giles, opened a drug-store in the village at an early day, which is now continued by L. Rundell.
In 1843, A.G. Dow and James Nutting engaged in trade in the Weeden block, and in 1847, A.G. Dow opened the first hardware store in the village, on Jamestown Street. He remained in trade until 1863, when his son, Warren, succeeded him. In 1867 the store was destroyed by fire. This branch of trade is now carried on by H.C. Rich, established in 1872, and C.H. Cottrael, established in 1876. The former also carries on a furniture trade, established in 1871 by C.C. Sheldon. C.H. Latham was in the cabinet and furniture business from 1846 to 1873.
In 1846, F.F. Mighells opened a general stock of merchandise in the Griggs’ building, continuing in trade a number of years; and about 1850, Wm. H. Camp established a business, to which Charles P. Adams succeeded in 1858. In a few years T.E. Adams became a partner, and afterwards the firm became Adams & Hapgood. T.E. Adams is yet in trade.
In 1865, E.S. & C.P. Ingersoll began a successful trade in dry-goods, which, since 1868, has been continued by the former. In 1870 he united with J.H. Chaffee, N. Christie, and S.W. Thompson in erecting the Park block, a very fine three-story structure, the lower story of which contains Ingersoll’s and Cottrael’s stores.
Harvey’s Hall was erected in 1872 by A.B. Harvey. It is a brick block 32 by 100 feet, and is well heated and ventilated. It will seat 650 persons.
In 1850, Austin Woodruff began a grocery trade, which he continued about ten years; and about the same time Knapp & Carter engaged in the same trade, being succeeded by J.C. Knapp & Son, and afterwards by Knapp, Cook & Knapp. John Shean & Co., J.M. Smith & Co., and J. Rathbone are the present grocers. In addition to the foregoing firms at present engaged in trade, are C.C. Van Deusen, C. Latham, O. Taylor, George N. Shedd, S. Cudney, E. McManus, and George W. Fenton.
Benjamin Clark opened the first public-house near Dry Brook about 1825. In the fall of 1830, Joel Scudder moved in and kept the house until about 1838. It was soon afterwards abandoned as a tavern, but the building still stands, and is the second oldest frame in the town.
A part of the present “Buzzell House” originally stood on the site of the Park block, and about 1832 Marvin Scudder lived in it as a tavern-keeper. A few years later it was moved to its present location, and better adapted for tavern purposes by Hartwell Bent, an early keeper. It has since been enlarged, and has been kept by Aaron Pingrey, M.R. Pingrey, H. Tyrell, Horace Fox, William H. Camp, and since 1872 by L. Buzzell.
On the west side of the square Marvin Scudder opened a public-house about 1835, in a building which is now used for shops and other purposes. The landlords, besides the foregoing, were Horace King, Charles D. Foote, George Sheldon, and others. In 1840, it was called the “National Hotel,” and in 1846 the “Union House.”
On the east side of the creek A.G. Bush erected a large building for hotel purposes about 1840, and was the keeper of it several years. Other landlords have been William K. Miller and Byron Helmes. It is now called the “Brooklyn House,” and is kept by C. Helmes.
The present “Randolph House” was built by Alonzo A. Miller, and has been conducted by him, Edward Babbitt, John Shean, and at present by Byron Helmes.
Near the “Chamberlain Institute,” Fred. Sample had a tavern after 1831, which was a favorite place for travelers passing on this highway, and was always filled to the extent of its capacity.
The Randolph post-office was established abut 1830, and had Abraham G. Bush as the first postmaster. In 1844, Charles D. Foote was appointed. The subsequent appointees have been in the order named: M.H. Johnson, T.S. Sheldon, Enfield Leach, Addison Crowley, H.K. Van Rensselaer, William Giles, Frank C. Jones, E.O. Knight, Albert Marsh, and Mrs. J.C. Owens.
The office was designated a postal money-order office, Oct. 1, 1867. It has three mails per day by railroad, one from Little Valley by stage, and three mails per week from Leon and Connewango.
A.G. Dow & Son’s banking office was established in February 1860, by A.G. Dow, and has been in charge of the present firm since 1875. A regular banking business is transacted in a one story brick building, erected for this purpose in 1866. Charles M. Dow is the junior partner.
THE STATE BANK OF RANDOLPH
was organized under the general banking laws of 1838, and the amendatory acts thereof, to commence business July 1, 1874, and to continue one hundred years. The stockholders were Charles P. Adams, Nelson Saunders, R.R. Crowley, Alexander Wentworthy, Thomas J. Wheeler, Addison Crowley, Melvin A. Crowley, J.C. Hurd, Anna E. Lee, Robert Carson, William H. Henderson, Asahel Crowley, Emma F. Crowley, and A.S. Kellogg. The capital stock was fixed at $65,000, in 650 shares at $100 each, with privilege to increase the stock to $100,000. On the 1st of January, 1877, the capital stock was increased to this amount, and has since been maintained at $100,000.
The first officers were Thomas J. Wheeler, President; Addison Crowley, Vice-President; and Charles P. Adams, Cashier. With the exception of the president, these are the present officers. The president is William H. Henderson.
The bank building was erected in the summer of 1874 by the association, expressly for the use of the bank, and was occupied in November of that year. It is a two-story brick block, 23 by 60 feet, containing fire-proof vaults and safes, and cost, to build and furnish, about $10,000. The bank is in a prosperous condition, and proves a great convenience to the people of western Cattaraugus County.
The first physician located at Randolph was Dr. Oliver Guernsey, from Vermont, who came in 1831, and remained in practice several years. Dr. K.V.R. Lansingh came, in 1834, from Albany, and practiced until 1845, when he returned to his old home. In 1835, Dr. Luther P. Cowles settled here, followed his profession a few years, and then removed to Ripley. From 1841, for many years following, Dr. William Giles was in the place as a physician, though not always in active practice. In 1845, Dr. A.H. Davis, an eclectic, came to Randolph, and remained about three years. Dr. Isaac Hill came about the same period, and remained until he death, about 1860. About 1850, Dr. A.P. Jones located in the village, and is still a practitioner. A year or so before, Dr. E.G. Cook, a homeopathist, located for a two years’ practice in the place; and after he had left, Dr. D.S. Van Rensselaer commenced the practice of medicine according to the homeopathic school, and continued until he was enfeebled by age. He is yet a resident of the village, at the age of eighty-one years. In 1872, Dr. Henry Neville and his wife commenced a homeopathic practice, which after a few years has been continued by Drs. O.S. Martin and A.A. Whipple. In the regular school, Dr. Nelson Saunders has for many years been a prominent physician, having come to this place from East Randolph.
In 1843 Dr. F. Larkin engaged in the practice of dentistry; in 1853, T.A.C. Everett; and in 1855, H. Morgan. From 1871 to 1877, J. Danforth, from Jamestown, followed this profession at Randolph.
The pioneer attorney of the village is Joseph E. Weeden, who was admitted to practice in New York City in 1836, and located here the same year. With the exception of one term’s service in the Legislature, in 1847, he has been in practice ever since. Other members of the legal profession now residing in the village are: Wm. H. Henderson; Alexander Wentworth, since 1859; James G. Johnson, since 1860; Rodney R. Crowley, since 1861; Elias L. Matteson, since 1867; Benjamin F. Congdon, since 1872; William Armstrong, since 1877; and Daniel A. Sackrider, since 1878. The following were in practice, and attained an eminent position in the profession: Robert Owen, who died in the village; Alexander Sheldon and Porter Sheldon, who removed to Jamestown; Alson E. Leavenworth, who removed to Chicago in 1867; and Chester Howe, deceased.
The Randolph Register, a lively local paper, is issued weekly at Randolph. A full history of the press appears elsewhere. The churches and societies are also noted under appropriate headings in the following pages.
It was said that the first school in town was taught by Sally Morton, in 1822, near the present village of Randolph. Other schools were taught soon after in the western part of the town. At the first town-meeting, in 1826, double the amount of money received from the State was voted for the support of schools. In 1827 two districts were formed, No. 1 in the east part of the town, and extending west to a line drawn nearly through the middle of the lots from 33 to 40. District No. 2 took in nearly the remainder of the town, some of the lots along the west line belonging to districts in Chautauqua County. In 1829, District No. 4 was formed to embrace all of Township No. 1,--the west half of the present town of South Valley.
Randolph has at present 9 districts and as many school buildings, valued at $13,795. Twelve schools were taught a total of 261 weeks in 1878, at a cost of $2598.56 for teachers’ wages; the sundry expenses were about $600 more. The total enrollment of children of school age was 658, and the average attendance was 295.
At the village of Randolph was, in early times, a school-house painted red, where Asahel and Addison Crowley each taught schools. The present school building was erected in 1869. It is a substantial structure of brick, 2 stories high, containing 4 rooms, and a well-proportioned tower and vestibule. Four teachers are employed in teaching the 273 pupils attending daily. The expenses of this district are about $1700 per year.
In 1837 a select school was taught at Randolph, in the old Methodist meeting-house, by Damon Coates, which bore an excellent reputation in the village and surrounding towns, and was well patronized. Calvin Kingsley, afterwards a bishop in the Methodist Church, continued the school after Mr. Coates had left. In 1841, John Fosdick was the teacher, and was assisted by Samuel Ewing, Jr., at present a citizen of the village. Other principals followed for short periods, among the number being Margaret Van Rensselaer and Mary Broadhead; but a short time before the Randolph Academy was established the school was discontinued.
THE ECLECTIC MEDICAL COLLEGE OF RANDOLPH
In the summer of 1848 the project of establishing a medical school at Randolph was so strongly urged by Drs. A.H. Davis, B.S. Heath, and F. Larkin, that the citizens gave it favorable consideration, and promised material encouragement if the attempt were made. Accordingly, in the fall of that year, the above institution was opened in the Sheldon block, with a regularly organized board of trustees and a full faculty of instructors. T.S. Sheldon was the president of the former; and other members were J.E. Weeden, F. Larkin, and Samuel Ewing; addition members lived abroad.
The faculty was composed of J.R. Bush, M.D., Professor of Anatomy; C.J. Kenworthy, M.D., Professor of the Principles and Practice of Surgery; S.H. Potter, M.D., Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine and Pathology; B.S. Heath, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children; F. Larkin, M.D., Professor of Physiology; A.H. Davis, M.D., Professor of Materia Medica and Pharmacy; J.E. Weeden, Professor of Medical Jurisprudence.
The first term was attended by about 40 students, and the college was very prosperous, when a local feeling, arising from a misconception of the purposes of the school, cause it to be removed to Syracuse, where it was successfully continued for several years. It was afterwards moved to New York City, and merged with the Eclectic College there.
Could the history of the academies in this State be truly written it would form a very valuable record. How far they have shaped public opinion, elevated personal character, and advanced all the best interests of the commonwealth is little understood by the casual observer, and cannot be fully realized until we carefully consider the work in which they have been engaged. They sprang from the necessities of an intelligent, liberty-loving people, who had themselves early felt the value and shared in the benefits of higher learning, and who desired to extend the same blessings to others. “Educate” has been the motto of most eminent rulers. Educate, said Pericles, the Prince of Athenian statesmen; educate, said Justinian, the law-giver of Rome; educate, said Charlemagne, the founder of the Western Empire; educate, said Alfred of England, as he established his university; and educate all, said the Republican rulers, who came here to create a State possessing all the virtues of those in the Old World, and, if possible, free from their vices. In a few years, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and other colleges, quietly but effectively, like the forces of animate nature, were scattering the germ truths which, anon, should yield a bountiful harvest.
It is undoubtedly true that many of the most earnest friends of learning have been those who greatly felt the need of it themselves; yet, it is also true that our schools have usually sprung up under the fostering care of a few minds that have tasted the sweets of knowledge; and frequently, perhaps, one guiding, liberally-educated man has given direction and inspiration to the whole enterprise. Many of our academies from the first enjoyed the advantage of having principals possessed of a collegiate training. Thus the academy borrowed strength from the college, just as afterwards the common schools, by receiving teachers from them, were nourished by the academies. The higher schools have been the fountains whence have flowed down the streams which fertilized the valleys and filled the lakes below; while they, in turn, have sent back their showers to make the supply perpetual. Education more frequently works downward than upward: from the college to the common school, rather than from the latter to the former.
The southwest corner of this State was settled somewhat late. The settlers were largely from the centre of this State, and from the States of New England. Vermont, especially, was well represented, the town being named after a place in that State. Here, between two villages, while the country was yet covered with a magnificent growth of timber, on the breast of a beautiful hill, on which, however, the large black stumps were still conspicuously standing, the intelligent and enterprising farmers and villagers erected a large building and started a school of high grade, to the end, as they declared in their first catalogue, that it might “render untold benefits to the youth of our land.” The building was 44 by 80 feet, three stories high, and cost $5000.
The architect and builder was Mr. Joseph Ditto, who was a Christian gentleman, and executed his task so well that the old inhabitants have never ceased to speak well of him. The efficient secretary of the trustees, Thaddeus Sheldon, and the treasurer, Addison Crowley, together with Asahel Crowley, his brother and business partner, were indefatigable in their efforts to complete the work.
The enterprise was inaugurated on the 4th of July, 1849, by calling together, on Academy Hill, the people of all the neighboring country. A most enthusiastic response was given to the call. Large numbers were present; speeches were made; an ample repast was spread for all in the grove; plans were discussed, money was subscribed, and the best of feeling prevailed. This was a Fourth of July celebration that did more by far than fill the air with idle boastings. It adopted the sure way to perpetuate what their fathers by their valor had won.
Randolph Academy and Female Seminary, which is the name upon the early catalogues, opened in August, 1850, but was not chartered until the January following. The trustees under the act of incorporation were Hon. Benjamin Chamberlain, President; T.S. Sheldon, Secretary; Addison Crowley, Treasurer; and Rufus Crowley, J.E. Weeden, A.G. Dow, Samuel Ewing, David Benson, Wm. K. Miller, Spencer Scudder, Samuel Barrows, and Merrick Nutting. Eight of this number have died, and four remain to note the admirable results which still flow from the enterprise which they then inaugurated. Prof. Samuel G. Love was the first principal, and he at once opened with a flourishing school, showing how great a necessity for it already existed. The fall term numbered 184 students. There was not at this time, nor for several years, any other chartered seminary in the county. A glance at the first catalogue gives us a fair idea of what the institution has been doing ever since that time. I count the names of 6 lawyers, as many ministers, 3 doctors, several teachers, 2 prominent civil engineers, bankers, merchants, and those of useful men and women in many other walks in life. At this time the land of the academy (about 7 acres), building, apparatus, library, and other appliances were owned by an association, the members of which had purchased the “shares,” which were $25 each. The records do not show that any dividends were ever declared, yet we venture to say that few investments ever made a community better returns. Money was scarce here then, but the people could not afford to let their children grow up in ignorance. The following is a list of the original stockholders of the Randolph Academy, with the number of shares owned by each:
|Name of Shareholder
||Name of Shareholder
||No of Shares Held|
|Altenbergh, E.||1||Harvey, S.||2|
|Allen, Samuel||2||Johnson, M.H.||4|
|Aldrich, F.||1||Jeffords, F.||2|
|Barrows, S.||2||Jenkins, E.||1|
|Bush, A.G.||2||Jones, M.W.||1|
|Bush, Geo. A.||2||Knight, D.||1|
|Benson, David||2||King, H.||1|
|Boom, Wm.||1||Larkin, F.||1|
|Boardman, N.F.||1||Leach, Enfield||1|
|Butler, Hiram||1||Litchfield, O.||1|
|Brown, Norman||1||Latham, O.H.||1|
|Barton, Leonard||1||Lyman, A.||1|
|Benoit, X.||1||McNiel, E.||2|
|Booth, Alden||1||McAllister & Nutting||1|
|Cox, George||1||Marsh, M.||2|
|Chaplain, Wm. M||1||Marsh, P.||1|
|Crowley, A.||8||Marsh, H.||1|
|Congdon, B.||1||Mighells, F.F.||2|
|Champlain, Jesse||1||Myers, G.||1|
|Camp, Wm. H.||1||Machrus, S.A.||1|
|Chamberlain, Benj.||14||Morrill, M.||1|
|Culver, Lyman||1||Merrill, J.N.||1|
|Cottrael, N.||1||Merchant, A.||1|
|Caswell, S.||1||Nutting, M.||3|
|Cook, E.R.||1||Nutting, V.R.||1|
|Chesbrough, J.||5||Nutting, James||2|
|Dow, Isaac||5||Nutting, E.M.||1|
|Dow, A.G.||5||Northrop, J.B.||1|
|Draper, E.||1||Nichols, D.||1|
|Doolittle & Leach||1||Nichols, Solomon||1|
|Doolittle, Joseph||2||Prescott, E.||1|
|Devereaux, N.||1||Price, E.C.||1|
|Davis, A.H.||1||Price, Samuel||1|
|Darling, J.W.||1||Ried, B.F.||1|
|Ewing, Samuel||1||Ried, William||1|
|Ewing, R.F. & S||1||Ralston, John||1|
|Fosdick, J.T.||1||Sheldon, T.S.||10|
|Fisher, Simeon||1||Sears, R.||4|
|Flagg, Elzi||2||Scudder, F.||1|
|Fitch, C.L.||1||Scudder, B.||1|
|Frary, John, Jr.||1||Scudder, S.||2|
|Fuller, H.||1||Spaulding, R.||1|
|Fenton, G.W., Jr.||1||Sawtell, H.H.||1|
|Fox, Franklin||1||Sample, S.||2|
|Gillson, G.C.||1||Sample, John||2|
|Guernsey, Oliver||2||Stewart, J.||1|
|Glover, H.W.||1||Sadler, S.||1|
|Green, S.C.||1||Sheldon, G.A.||1|
|Green, S.A.||1||Thorp, L.P.||2|
|Giles, Lyman||1||Treat, F.||1|
|Hitchcock, O.||1||Torrance, F.||1|
|Hill, J.W.||1||Van Vlack, M.||2|
|Huntington, D.||1||Van Campden, G. & B.||2|
|Hall, Amos||1||Woodford, N.S.||1|
|Hall, Erastus||1||Woodford, A.||2|
|Hall, Horace||2||Wentworth, A.||1|
|Hovey, Z.M.||1||Wheeler, H.N.||1|
|Hovey, A.J.||1||Wheeler, R.B.||1|
|Helmes, B.||2||Worden, M.L.||2|
|Helmes, M.||1||Wilcox, S.S.||1|
|Helmes, Albert||1||Wilcox, L.B.||1|
|Hawley, A.||2||Washburne, H.||1|
|Hawley, J.D.||2||Wheat, J.D.||1|
|Harmon, E.||2||Weeden, J.E.||4|
|Holt, H.H.||2||Young, Horace C.||1|
The Regents of the University immediately (1851) appointed 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 would not be the number of different persons present, as some of them attended more than year. A distinguished lecturer once remarked in our hearing that he was always sure of an intelligent audience in the neighborhood of an academy. Certainly, no one could visit this community without discovering a refinement and cultivation which have been fostered this school. There is scarcely a family that has not cherished traditions of incidents which occurred when some if its members were connected with the “old academy.”
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 the bills, but the scholars “raised” all the timber, after which the lady students prepared for them a supper in their best style. And now an aged trustee who had been from the first connected with the academy, and had marked its usefulness, began to devise liberal things in its behalf. Benjamin Chamberlain, who had, in the toilsome business of a lumberman and lumber merchant, accumulated a large fortune, resolved to enlarge its capabilities and secure, beyond peradventure, by a large endowment, the perpetuity of the institution. This remarkable man was born in Mt. Vernon, Me., July 31, 1791, and died in Ellicottville, Feb. 10 1868. He was possessed of a tall, commanding form, rugged common sense, ready wit, and indomitable energy. Many are the anecdotes told of him, which illustrate his fertility 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 love for the church of his choice, and frequent gifts to religious and benevolent 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 his name with those of Peabody, Rich, Vassar, Hopkins, Cornell, and the noble few who, by kindred munificence, have endeavored to pay their share of “the debt which the present owes to the future generations.” Two statutes which are still in force in this State, and one of which, at least, is most absurd and injurious in its results, prevented the full enforcement of the will. The first is, in brief, that no man can bequeath more than one-half of his property to any benevolent object, and the second, that no academy can hold property the net annual income of which shall exceed $4000. The latter of these provisions is certainly preposterous, and should be repealed. In 1869 the trustees of the institute procured an amendment of charter which permits them to hold property the annual income of which may be $10,000. The citizens of the place having added 30 acres to the grounds of the academy, at a cost of $6000, Judge Chamberlain erected thereon a beautiful boarding-hall, at a cost of $50,000. Of the endowment $45,000 were finally secured by this school. The association and people, in grateful recognition of Judge Chamberlain’s beneficence, petitioned the Legislature that the name of Randolph Academy, though now endeared to them by many pleasant memories, might be altered to Chamberlain Institute, and such change was at that time made. The same act gave the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church power to appoint the board of trustees.
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 beautified, the 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 structure. The Christmas festivities were not once suspended, and, best of all, the building has been paid for without using any of the funds of the academy. We append the various subscriptions to this object. It is an honorable record, especially when we remember that there are no rich men in the list. If any one thinks that our academies have “survived their usefulness” and are no longer an educational necessity, what say you to this expression from a community well supplied with common and grammar schools, but who felt that they could not for a moment dispense with the services of their time-honored seminary? The building committee were Messrs. E.S. Ingersoll, Wm. M. Brown, Stephen Burlingame, Frank Hovey, and J.H. Chaffee. The architect and builder was Mr. P.B. Canfield. Stephen Burlingame, on account of his long experience in connection with schools and careful supervision of the building, greatly added to its elegance and convenience. Wm. M. Brown was elected chairman of the committee, and E.S. Ingersoll secretary and treasurer. The principal was greatly aided in obtaining the subscriptions 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 $150; Nutting & Metcalf, $106.30; Alex. Wentworth, H.C. & C.C. Rich, and Stephen Burlingame, each $130; D.S. & H.K. Van Rensselaer, Mrs. A.E. Lee, Mrs. M. and Miss C. Pierce, W.S. Sessions, S.U. Main, and E. McManus, E. Holdridge, Wm. Shean & Co., G.E. Seager, Ivison , Blakeman & Taylor & Co., Frank Jones, A.L. Barnes & Co., D. Appleton & Co., N. Christie, Samuel Scudder, A.J. Vandergrift, J.S. McCalmot, P.H. Jones, A.G. Rice, John McClintock, A.F. Allen, E.W. Lee, Addison Crowley, Saml. Ewing, Jr., Amos P. Jones, A.L. Scudder, Julius Hill, J.B. Torrance, Sardius Stewart, Knapp, Cook & Knapp, C.F. Harding, W.S. Bezona, C.F. Hedman, T.A.C. Everett, John Archer, Byron Helmes, Geo. McCapes, W.W. Welch, Silas Harkness, John Manly, and Robert Carson, each $100; P.B. Canfield, $125; G.W. Maltby, $80; M.R. Pingrey, G.W. Chesbro; $65; J.B. & W.W. Cornell, $56; N. Norton, $55; James Connelly, O.H. Willard, G.A. Forman, H.H. Sawtell, Robert Newland, T.C. Cornell, D.L. Colburn, C.T. Merchant, Mrs. L.D. Jefferds, J. Danforth, Buel Scudder, Henry Dye, Samuel Allen, W.W. Ramsey, each $50; F.A. Fitch, $43; Harvey & Smith, C.M. Faulkner, each $40; A.C. Merrill, $42.50; W.N. Reno, $35; B. Excell and wife, $39.15; R.R. Crowley, L. Merrick, and S.L. Thatcher, each $30; John Pierce, Frank Smith, W.A. Eddy, J.W. Billings, D. Prosser, Mrs. A. Eaton, Chas. Colburn, Henry Buck, Osmer Nevins, James Moore, Hollis Marsh, D.W. Guernsey, and Mr. and Mrs. H.O. Burt, each $25; A. Wheeler, W.F. Day, E.J.L. Baker and wife, J.D. Norton, and Andrew Reynolds, each $20; S.C. Wigner, $19; John Peate, $17.75; A.H. Dorner, $17.25; M.V. Stone, $16; Cottrael & Knapp, $16; R.G. King and Silar Miller, $15; O.G. McIntire, $14.50; Wm. Rice, P.W. Scofield, each $10.75; E.F. Smith, $13; A.L. Kellogg, J.E. Chapin, R.N. Stubbs, R.M. Warren, D. Latshaw, J. Akres, J.S. Yeomans, F.M. Beck, J.C. Sullivan, H.H. Moore, G.W. Clark, Mr. Martsell, C. Prindle, M. Sackett, H. Henderson, B.F. Delo, J.H. Stoney, G.W. Blaisdell, R. Smith, F.A. Archibald, William Hunter, J. Eckels, Mrs. Mendenhall, B. Heard, Mrs. Sampson, M. Mills, J. Beetham, John Perry, P.W. Sherwood, Asahel Crowley, Lorin Boardman, A.T. Palmer, S.C. Pierce, Chas. Merrill, Louis Miller, A. Reeves, G.W. Staples, J.H. Snowden, R.F. Randolph, Wm. Martin, A.R. Rich, W.M. Taylor, E.A. Squier, J.S. Card, J. Shields, O. Babcock, L.F. Merritt, J.H. Vance, Frank Brown, C.W. Foulke, W.W. Wythe, J.M. Foster, A.J. Merchant, T.P. Warner, R.W. Scott, F. Thair, J. Flower, D.W. Scofield, M. Sims, S. Graham, T.D. Blinn, J.H. Dewitt, W. Branfield, Andrew Armstrong, J.C. Scofield, W.F. Wilson, A.H. Bowers, A.H. Starrett, S. Fuller, A. Bashline, W.A. Clark, A. Falkner, R.B. Boyd, D. Wisner, Chas. Folk, S.M. Clark, Xavier Benoit, A.D. Morton, B.F. Congdon, B.K. Johnson, A.A. Hall, A.T. Copeland, J.W. Stoney, J.H. Snyder, Sundry Subscriptions, Wm. M. Bear, J.K. Shaffer, D. Prosser, J.S. Lytle, Gilbert O. Haven, W.B. Bignall, W.H. Wilson, Salamanca S.S., E.D. McGrearry, J. Beatham, O.L. Mead, J. Graham, G.W. Snyder, M. McGrary, John Benson, H.H. Holt, A.D. Holt, J.H. Groves, J.D. Gage, A. Bashline, each $10 or under; Robert Revels, M.W. Shean, Thomas Smith, W.C. Clark, J.H. Smith, A.E. Cook, J.F. Gastmann, S.S. Fish, James Casten, G.E. Thorp, David Hopkins, A.E. Safford, Erie Hall, Erastus Hall, J.W. Sharp, C. Spangler, Wm. Hall, C. Jeffords, Porter Sheldon, O. Hammond, John A. Carroll, Mrs. B. Davis, Joseph Crosby, Miss E. Smith, M.C. Jay, H.C. Saxton, each $25; M.K. Willer, $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 stories high.
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 society-rooms, drying-room, and bathroom.
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 daily association of young ladies and gentlemen at table, at recitation, and other public exercises, in presence of their teachers, has a salutary influence upon the scholarship, manners, and morals of both. In an institution like this, in which ladies and gentlemen occupy departments entirely separate, and meet only by permission, it is believed the greatest advantages of associated education are secured.
About $1000 have recently been expended in the purchase of apparatus, and in fitting up and furnishing the laboratory. These additions, with the extensive apparatus previously possessed, afford excellent facilities for illustrating the natural sciences.
The institute has also a complete supply of globes, maps, and charts for illustrating astronomy, mathematics, physical geography, physiology and botany; also a valuable cabinet of minerals. Henslow’s Botanical Charts 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 diploma upon graduation: 1, the literary and scientific course; 2, the classical course; 3, the college preparatory course; 4, the teacher’s normal course; 5, the 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. Ingersoll, B.R. Johnson, Hon. R.E. Fenton, Rev. A.S. Dobbs, A.M., D.D., Rev. W.F. Day, 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, English Branches; C.J. Brown, Librarian; Martin Parsons, Steward; Lena Parsons, Stewardess.
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.; 1857-58, Rev. William H. Marsh, A.M.; 1858-59, Rev. O.L. Gibson, A.M.; 1859-64, Prof. 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.; 1868-70, 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 an able clergyman of the Episcopal Church. Revs. Welton and Marsh were Baptists, and O.L. Gibson an eloquent preacher of the Methodist Church. 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 of the links in that chain—the common school, academy, college, and university—may 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 learning and pure morals; that a multitude of noble men and women may then delight to call her alma mater, and she, looking upon them, be able to exclaim, with 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 vice. He began to turn his attention towards the neglected and vagrant children 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 came home to Randolph and laid his plans before the citizens of that place and vicinity, and urged the importance of establishing such a home in their midst at once. The project met with a hearty approval, and the influence and cooperation of prominent citizens was promised in case such a work was undertaken. Accordingly, in the month of September, 1877, he determined to give the plan a practical demonstration by opening his own home to receive these neglected waifs, and on the 29th of that month two little boys were placed in his charge as the keeper of a home for dependent children. These were the first inmates of the present Western New York Home, which soon began to attract the attention of those in sympathy with the movement, so that an effort was made to establish the institution on a permanent basis. The attempt was not in vain. A society was speedily formed, embracing among its members Wm. H. Henderson, Asahel Crowley, C.P. Adams, R.R. Crowley, T.E. Adams, Nelson Saunders, Addison Crowley, L.H. Carter, Norman M. Allen, and 40 other prominent citizens of Cattaraugus County. Its object and incorporation are comprehensively set forth in the following articles of association, which were duly signed, on the 1st of January, 1878, by the 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 within the State of New York, having associated ourselves together for benevolent purposes and objects which are hereinafter stated, under and pursuant to the Act of Legislature of the State of New York, passed April 12, 1848, entitled “An Act for the incorporation of benevolent, charitable, scientific, and missionary societies,” and the several acts additional to and amendatory thereof, do hereby certify:
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 the county of Cattaraugus, and State of New York, a home for friendless and destitute or unprotected children, and to receive and take charge of such children, under the age of sixteen years, as may be voluntarily intrusted to them by their parents or guardians, or committed to their charge by competent authority, and to provide for their support, and to afford them the means 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 spacious house and well-appointed out-buildings, and is well adapted for a reformatory.
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 gather 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 development and progress with interested concern. Many have become members and participate 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.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 of the board of trustees; 2d, of such life-directors, and of such members of the board of manager of the Western New York Ladies’ Society for the Protection of Homeless and Dependent Children, as may be present at any meeting.
A contribution of fifty dollars, or more, shall constitute the donor a life-director of the society.
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 shall employ such assistants for the conduct of the Home and Reformatory as he 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 commitment 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 donor and amount received from each contribution, the date when received; and in case any contributor to the funds of the society shall request that his or her contribution shall be applied to any specific purpose or use, a full 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 meeting of the board, showing in detail all receipts and expenditures and the state and condition of the financial affairs and property of the society; and he 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 such as 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 success.
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. Henderson.
The officers of the Western New York Ladies’ Society are Mrs. Wm. H. Henderson, President; Mrs. Julia M. Chase, Cor. Secretary; Miss Mary Cowles, Rec. Secretary; Mrs. L. H. Carter, Treasurer; Mrs. C. Strong, Matron. Board 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, Mrs. 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 Bowen presided. 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 Williams, Darius Bowen, Otis Hitchcock, Solomon Nichols, J. Brenninsthol, Stephen J. Davis, Josiah Nichols, Josiah Gilbert, Nancy McCapes, Lucy Ann Nichols, Zurina Torrance, Almira Bowen, Hannah Cook, Sally Williams, Matilda Hartman, Arevilla Russell, Amelia Nichols, Almira McNull, Katy Bush, Phebe Davis, Anna Davis, 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 George McCapes.
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 Draper, and 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 board of trustees is composed of Franklin Nichols, J. L. Sowle, Geo. McCapes, George 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 changes to the pastoral office. The clergy have been the Revs. Allen Smith, Levi Howard, Alonzo Frink, Benjamin Oviatt, B. C. Willoughby, J. Howard, B. Brahman, A. Handy, D. F. Lockwood, J. Trowbridge, H. A. Conrad, G. W. Devoll, and C. H. Woods. In early times, E. Terry and Solomon Nichols sometimes filled the pulpit. There are at present 104 members. A flourishing Sabbath-school, organized after 1840, is maintained. It has nearly 100 members.
THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF RANDOLPHwas 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, Sarah W. Draper, Zebediah Pierce, Martha Pierce, Samuel Wadsworth, and Louis A. Hatfield. Three years later the names of Demarius Sheldon, Minerva Holbrook, Minerva Wadsworth, Louis A. Taylor, Mrs. Isaiah Cross, Ester Cook, Corintha Wadsworth, and Mary Jane Wilcox were added to the list of members.
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 as follows:
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 1849. In 1867, it was thoroughly repaired, and renovated in 1877. It is now an 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, and promised so well for the future that a legal society was formed, Dec. 16, 1830, for the purpose of building a church. Cornelius Kierstead, Squire Powell, and 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 Rufus DAVENPORT.
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 consequence.
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 the county.
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 that majority.
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:
"The candidate opposed to Mr. HAIGHT is Judge William H. HENDERSON, the present incumbent of the office to be filled. Our inquiries into the facts of Judge HENDERSON's life, his standing at the bar, and the general estimation in which he is held, have been such as to entitle us to make the plainest statement.
It need scarcely be said that his integrity is without blur; he stands among men upright and clean-handed. His whole manhood before he was placed on the bench was spent in the diligent pursuit of his profession. For nearly twenty-five years, he worked steadily in his office and in the courts. His abilities and his zeal won for him a large and complex practice. He was widely known among men by his achievements as a broad-minded, capable lawyer. His life has been one of incessant contact with the problems which the lawyer has to study and solve...... He became a lawyer with an established reputation based on solid grounds, the proof of which lies in his success."
To those unacquainted with Judge HENDERSON has always exercised a leading influence. He ever evinces a desire to promote the welfare of philanthropic and education institutions. He is now president of the board of trustees of the Chamberlain Institute and Female College, and was for many years attorney and adviser of the founder of that admirable establishment. He is also president of the board of trustees of the western New York Home for Homeless and Dependent Children. He was largely instrumental in the organization and incorporation of the State Bank of Randolph, and has been its president since the death of the late Hon. Thomas J. WHEELER, the first incumbent to that office, who died in February, 1875.
On the occasion of the Centennial Celebration of American Independence at Olean, July 4, 1876, Judge HENDERSON was chosen chairman of the day, and ably presided over the largest and most enthusiastic gathering that ever assembled in Cattaraugus County.
On the 3rd of June, 1858, Judge HENDERSON married Ann M., daughter of Rev. Thomas MORRIS, who for many years was the rector of St. John's (Episcopal) Church, at Ellicottville, and who now resides in Philadelphia. They have two children, namely,-Mary M., born June 15, 1859; and Willie R., born March 10, 1867.
In closing this brief sketch of the life and character of Judge HENDERSON, it is only necessary to add that in the various walks of life-student, lawyer, judge-the same perfection has characterized his endeavors, and made for him a reputation as enviable as it is well deserved. In his private and domestic life, also, Judge HENDERSON combines the attributes of the gentleman with the noble qualities of husband, father, and friend. His career has been singularly free from ostentation, and it is, perhaps, the absence of vainglorious display that lends a charm to his character, and sustains, despite all obstacles, his ever-increasing popularity.
Very prominently identified with the early history of Cattaraugus County, and bearing a conspicuous part in its social, civil, and political history, was he of whom we write. He was also a grand example of a self-made man, and from the general results of his active and useful life valuable practical lessons may be drawn.
Benjamin CHAMBERLAIN was born in the State of Maine, in the town of Mount Vernon, Kennebec County, July 31, 1791. When he was ten years of age, his parents and family removed to Allegany County, N.Y., locating in the town of Belfast1. Thus was the early life of Judge CHAMBERLAIN passed in the wilderness of Western New York, with humble parentage, and his lot destined to be cast among the toiling, suffering, obscure, but brave pioneers of that new country. It is scarcely needful to state that educational advantages were extremely limited, schools being scarcely known. The instruction imparted by parents to their own children, or acquired by their own unaided efforts, had to make up for the deficiencies in scholastic training. Stern necessity made this the rule with young Benjamin. He was compelled, by want of both opportunity and means, to start out in life without these or other adventitious aids.
He left home in March, 18076, when but sixteen years of age, thus early commencing "a career seldom equaled in its leading features among the self-made men of the country. Without money or clothes, except such as were upon his back, barefoot and alone, he went to Olean in search of employment." There he commenced working for Maj. Adam HOOPS, the founder of the village, then, and for a long time, known as HAMILTON. He labored by the month, diligently, for a space of five years, employed in sawmills and in lumbering, then almost the only business of the country. This period yielded him small profits, but largely in discipline and preparation for the future. Business chances in such a wilderness, even for men of capital, were rare; yet young CHAMBERLAIN's ambition was to set up for himself. To do this without capital, without friends or influence, surely manifested a brave determination. He felt that his own mind and energies, his stout heart and iron will, would make up for the deficiencies of money and friends. Nor was he mistaken. Associated with Mr. MC KAY, since deceased, he erected a sawmill in Great Valley, and there carried on a successful lumber business all his lifetime. But it was not all "smooth sailing,"- the mill was only a short time completed when it was destroyed by fire, together with a large amount of sawed lumber, by which he lost all he had in the world. He was left without a dollar, somewhat in debt, and his partner was found to be insolvent. Yet, nothing daunted, he determined to go on, greatly encouraged by the warm affection, calm judgment, and wise counsel of his faithful companion. Her faith in the future was supreme. "She called his attention to the fact that they were still young, blessed with health and vigor, and that with industry, perseverance, and economy, they could overcome the loss they had sustained, and yet secure a competence." He obtained a credit of one thousand dollars of Capt. Henry DE FOREST, and rebuilt the mill. This was no small undertaking, when it is remembered that all the iron work of the mill had to be transported from Pittsburgh, in canoes, on the Allegany River.
From this time his business prospered. He was largely engaged in lumbering on the Allegany, and for nearly a half-century, enjoyed a degree of prosperity and an unbounded credit seldom equaled by any individual. "In conducting his business his office was not alone that of a mere overseer. His hands were alike familiar with the axe and the oar, and during the earlier years of his career he labored as constantly
and as hard as any workman in his employ. In his operations he received essential aid from his wife, who was no less remarkable in her sphere than he in his. While absent at market with his lumber, she directed the management at home,-employed hands, prepared and dispatched the boards at every freshet, and maintained the same vigilant and successful care over the operations of business as though it were her proper place in life. To her should be given a large share of credit for the achievements of her husband, whose vast wealth was the result of their joint industry, intelligence and perseverance." His business interests were varied as extensive, embracing not only farming and lumbering, but dealing in lands, mercantile and banking operations, -giving all a personal supervision. He was president and principal stockholder of the Cuba (N.Y.) Bank.
Judge CHAMBERLAIN was prominently connected with the political history of Cattaraugus County. He held by appointment the office of sheriff in 1820, and from Feb. 12 1821, to Dec. 31, 1822; and in November, 1825, he was elected to the same office, serving until December, 1828. He served as associate judge of the Court of Common Pleas, with Hon. Alson LEAVENWORTH as first judge, and was appointed by Gov. MARCY as first judge of the Common Pleas of Cattaraugus County, Feb. 15, 1833; re-appointed in 1838 for a second term of five years, and again appointed for a third term in 1843. He served until June, 1847. Judge CHAMBERLAIN, "to an intuitive knowledge of the motives and character of men, united a sagacity that penetrated clearly the forensic myths of the bar, enabling him to dispel the legal fogs, sift conflicting evidence, and present every case in a plain, intelligent manner to the jury. His "charges' to juries are remembered as models of directness, brevity, and perspicuity; and, although not bred a lawyer, while on the bench, it was often remarked that 'he had it the natural way.'" Politically, he acted with the Democratic party, and frequently was selected as their standard bearer. In 1842, he was a member of the Electoral College of the State of New York, which cast the presidential vote of the State for Pierce and King.
For many years, and at the time of his death, he resided at East Randolph, where his elegant home was the abode of a warm-hearted and generous hospitality.
Judge Chamberlain was active in all efforts of a public character aiming to improve society and advance the standard of morality and education in the community. He manifested a substantial interest in schools, and his liberal contributions to the Randolph Academy are well known in this section. He was the first president of its board of trustees. This institution and Allegany College he aided and encouraged during his lifetime to the extent of nearly one hundred thousand dollars, and in his will bequeathed them four hundred thousand dollars more. In grateful recognition of this benevolence, the name of the Academy was changed by act of the Legislature to that of the "Chamberlain Institute."2
Judge Chamberlain possessed an "iron constitution," united to large mental capacity and enduring energy. He had a tall form and commanding presence; yet was affable, and possessed of a ready wit. His name stands not only as a representative man of this county, but as one of the remarkable personages of the State, and one whose memory will be cherished through all the future for the great good he has done.
He died in Ellicottville, February 10, 1868.
- Benjamin Chamberlain, father of our subject (and of Gen. C.T. Chamberlain, of Cuba, N.Y.) Was a Revolutionary soldier, being present at Lexington, Yorktown, Bunker Hill, Stillwater, White Plains, Monmouth, Stony Point, and many other scarcely less exciting scenes of the struggle for American Independence. At Quebec, he was one of the immortal three hundred who scaled the walls, and was there captured and confined in irons, the marks of which he carried to his grave. He was with Washington at Valley Forge, and lost an eye by exposure to the weather. He died at Great Valley, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., February 4, 1847, aged ninety-one years and eleven months.
- See history of this institution in another portion of this work.
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 village.
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 eighty-three years.
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 and energy.
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 learning.
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 family.
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 president.
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 at Randolph.
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. PILLSBURY achieved.
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 circumstances compelled.
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 deserved.
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.
ASAHEL CROWLEY MRS. CLARISSA (JOHNSON) CROWLEY
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 farming along.
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 parents.
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 admirable institution.
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 sketch.
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 affectionate father.
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 severely wounded. 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 France.
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 general usefulness.
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 political subjects.
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, A.M.
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 Allegany Reservation.
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 breaths;
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 in glorious 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 1853.
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 sincerely.
"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.