History of Amity, New York
A Centennial Memorial
History of Allegany County, New York
John S. Minard, Esq. Historian
Mrs. Georgia Drew Andrews, Editor.
W. A. Fergusson & Co., Alfred, N. Y. 1896




AMITY
BY JOHN S. MINARD.

THE TOWN OF AMITY was organized by and under an act of legislature passed Feb. 22, 1830. It was formed out of territory three miles wide by nine miles long running east and west, taken from the south part of the town of Angelica, and the same quantity of land taken from the town of Scio. It originally included all of township three in range two of the Morris Reserve, but when the town of Ward was organized in 1857 the east part of township 3 was incorporated into that town. Until that time it had been a part and parcel of the town of Angelica, and cannot be said to have had any history as an independent territory. Amity is an interior and central town. Its surface is hilly, and broken by tributaries of the Genesee river, the most notable being VanCampen's creek from the west and Philip's and Plum Bottom creeks from the east. The river enters the town about two miles west of the southeast corner, and leaves it about the same distance east of the northwest corner, its general course through the town being quite direct for the Genesee. Along the river are some very fine flats, but the valley of the creeks are for the most part narrow. The hills back from the river attain attitudes, in some cases, of 800 or 900 feet above the river. The soil along the river is mostly a vegetable loam, and clay and sandy loans appear in in different parts. The route of the Erie railway follows the Genesee valley from the south on the east side of the river to Belmont where it crosses it, and reaching VanCampen's creek crosses that stream and follows it toward Friendship. The drive afforded by the public highway from Belmont to Scio is one of the finest to be found along the Genesee river. The subdivision of the town was originally made by Moses VanCampen and prior to 1810, though the date is not positively so asserted. The town contains 21,960 acres and the population has been: 1860, 2,268; 1870, 2,087; 1880, 1,972; 1890, 1,996; 1892, 2,051. The first birth in town was that of Hannah Hyde, Nov. 4, 1804, and the first death was that of Harvey Manning in 1806. The first marriage was of Laomi Ashley and Rachael Baker in 1807.

In 1803 John T. Hyde came into the town, from Andover, and took up land on what is now known as the farm of Nehemiah Bosworth on the river road about half a mile south of "Belvidere Corners." He was a native of Vermont, and spent the remainder of his life until 1848 with the earliest settlers of the valley of the Genesee. His youngest son, Thatcher Hyde, married Polly Gorton, a resident of Belmont, who yet survives him. In 1804 Dr. Ebenezer E. Hyde built a home on the place now occupied by S. Hale Whitcome at Belvidere Corners, and practiced medicine and kept a hotel for many years, until a railroad and other forerunners of civilization and improvement did away with the necessity of the public house. Here was held the first masonic lodge in the county, which met as early as 1812. He died in 1848 in Amity.

Stephen Rogers became a resident of the town in 1804, and purchased land on lots 54 and 55. He afterwards sold and removed to the farm on the east side of the river about midway between Scio and Belmont, where he died. He lived to the remarkable age of 102 years and 2 days, and died May 14, 1895. His son, Col. D. Rogers, now occupies the farm, one of the finest in the valley.

Amos Goodspeed, Stephen Cole, Nathaniel Goodspeed, Harry Davis, Arnold Will, Jacob Manning, became settlers along from 1805 and 1806, and, from that time to 1812, Nathan Wright, John Galt, David Downing, Jeffrey Horne, Abram Aldrich and Levi Simons became permanent residents. Between 1812 and 1820, Elisha Sortore, Elijah Sortore, Jonathan Sortore, Moses Hood, John Hood and Richard Longcore joined the ranks of the pioneers, and were followed by Hiram Abbott, Isaac Newton, Geo. W. Horner, Elizur Ingraham, John and Jedediah Holmes, Luke Crandall, and others whose names are closely connected with the history of the settlement of the town. Simeon Brown came here in 1824 from Yates county. He settled on the stream bearing his name, and when he made his first clearing his nearest neighbor was three miles away. Robert Reed, the first town clerk, came from Massachusetts in 1826, and made his home here until his death, and this brings us down to 1830 when a government was organized with a population of 872 persons.

The first town meeting was held at one of the first schoolhouses on the 6th day of April, 1830. John Simons and William D. Easton were the election inspectors and justices of the peace who had charge of the polls. The officers elected were: Supervisor, John Simons; town clerk, Robert Reed; assessors, Chas. P. Perry, Jesse Rogers, Abram Aldrich; commissioners of highways, David Walworth, David Downing. Jr., John Hood; justices of the peace, Hiram Abbott, Elijah Sortore; school commissioners, Samuel Wadsworth, Wm. Van Campen, Hiram Abbott; school inspectors, Azel French, Francis Norwood, Batman Fitz Simmons; overseers of the poor, Jacob Gillett, Arnold Hill; collector, George Waldorf; constables, Aaron D. Brown, George Waldorff, William Sortore. $250 was voted to be raised for highways, to be distributed among the thirty one road districts of the town.

One of the most conspicuous landmarks of the town is the old stone gristmill, built in 1823 on the east side of the river. It was erected in 1823 by Jeffrey Horne and Philip Church, Mr. Horne being the general manager of the work. The millwright was Capt. Higgins, who resided a short distance below Belvidere on the river road. Richard Longcore was the boss mason, and the stone with which it was built was taken from the bed of the river near the site of the mill. Col. Jas. Mapes and Henry. Sortore were two of the workmen on the mill, both of whom were well known in after years as prominent and esteemed citizens of the town. Some changes have been made in the mill by way of additions, etc., but the same stone work stands today a monument of the enterprise of its founders, and it was patronized for many years by the farmers and woodsmen who came from a cir cuit of twenty five miles to get their corn and other grain ground for their families. It was a common thing to have men with ox teams drive from twenty to thirty miles through a dense wilderness to get to this mill, and from two to three days was often taken for the journey.

The first schoolhouse was erected on what was then the Jonathan Sortore farm, afterwards owned by Henry Sortore, and now by Mrs. Emily Wilcox. The town records say that the first town meeting and election was held at the schoolhouse near Arnold Frill's, which was built on land just south of the so called Norton cemetery.

In 1830 Alvan. E. Parker opened the first store in the town on the bank of the river at the east end of what is now the Schuyler street bridge in Belmont. He put in a general stock of such plain and staple goods as were suited to the time and place, and continued the business until about 1858, when he was succeeded by his son-in-law, Charles S. Whitney. Mr. Parker was one of the most careful, methodical business men that ever lived in the town, and in his business career he accumulated a fortune estimated at from $200,000 to $250,000. He was intimately acquainted with the wants and responsibility of his customers, and although he drove close bargains, yet in all business matters he was what the world would call rigidly just in all his dealings. Ebenezer Norton came to Amity in 1831, was a farmer and practitioner of law in justices' courts.

Amity, like some other towns of the county, had a mine of wealth in pine timber, which was not appreciated, however, until after the cream of it had been used up, destroyed or manufactured. Many of the early settlers avoided land that was covered with pine because it required so much hard work to get rid of it. The timber was large, making it difficult to handle, and land covered with smaller hard wood was usually first taken up. After sawmills were put in operation, lumber was drawn from forty to eighty miles to Dansville, Canandaigua, and even Buffalo, and exchanged for salt, flour, and other necessaries of life. "Salts" or pearlash was made from hardwood ashes, and drawn "north" to exchange for commodities. On one occasion a resident of the town went with a load of lumber on the top of which were piled packages of salts. His faithful dog followed the team and at night slept with the load, and happened to make a bed of the salt packages. When the teamster returned home the dog had no hair, the potash having completely tanned the animal.

But the fact is patent that the first settlers of this town and the county incurred all of the hardships and braved all of the dangers of frontier life for a compensation that would seem now a mere pittance. About 1850 outside parties began to realize the worth of the pine forests that were yet standing in the town and surrounding country, and erected two large mills at the center of the town, one for sawing boards, plank and lath, and the other for shingle. The Shongo mill as it was called, was erected about half a mile above the present site of the old stone mill, where an immense pond was formed, furnishing a valuable water power. The timber that was sawn there came principally from the towns of Wellsville and Alma, and was trucked on a tramroad.

Belmont is a beautiful name and no doubt was suggested for the village by the grand old hills in the neighborhood; not rugged, precipitous or abrupt, not cragged and repulsive to the sight, but gracefully receding from the widened river bottom, they ascend by easy gradations to heights majestic in their lofty altitudes. They are as beautiful in their appearance as the name is beautiful in significance, the word Belmont is derived from belle, beautiful, and mont, mountain, Belmont, the beautiful mountain.

Belmont was incorporated as a village under the name of Philipsville, Feb. 21, 1853, and the railroad station also bore the name. The postoffice was later changed to Belmont, and village and station soon were under the same name. In 1870 the population was 795; in 1880, 804; in 1890, 950. The village owes its location to the fine water power which the fall of several feet in the river with rock bottom affords. Its facilities were to some extent utilized as early as 1806-8, and the water power has from that time been such an element of promise as to attract capital and enterprise. and its recent manufactures have made its name known all over the world.

Although the saw and gristmills of Philip Church were erected in 1806-8, there were no attempts, excepting the "Mansion House" begun by Church in 1808, and the old Mill House," at anything like building up a permanent settlement, a few log houses and board shanties, scattered here and there, being sufficient for the mill hands, teamsters, etc.

In 1828 Francis Parker from Vermont built a small house near the river on the lot which was owned by Mr. John Russell in 1879, a small space in the woods being "cleared off." Close by a clearing of four or five acres had been made, and these. with the small opening around the mills, were all the improvements within the limits of the village as we know it today. All else was covered by the native forest in which lofty pines largely predominated. Francis Parker had already started a carding mill, dignified by some by the name of woolen mill, and in the upper story of this building Alvan E Parker exhibited a few hundred dollars worth of the goods most in demand by the settlers. This was an event of great importance, as, before this, "going to the store" involved a trip through the woods and deep mud of the primitive roads to Angelica or Friendship. Mr. Parker was the first postmaster of the village, and the name of the office was Philipsville.

The lumber manufactured in those early days was drawn over to Cuba, there made into small sized rafts, and when the swollen waters of spring came were floated down to the Allegany at Olean. then doubled up, then on to Warren, where they were again doubled and sent on down to the Ohio. Some lumber was drawn to Buffalo and exchanges made for goods, and thus hauling was afforded each way. The stone mill now owned by Mr. Frank Van Cam pen was completed in 1827, superseding the old pioneer mill of 1808. It is said however that some portions of it were in operation earlier.

About 1832 the possibilities of the water power became so apparent as to attract attention, and the "Washington Company" was formed, so named because ally its members. except Judge Church. were Washington county men. Their names were Philip Church, John Norton, Benjamin Norton, Ellis May, and Timothy H. Burbanks. (Mr. Burbanks soon sold his interest to Ebenezer Norton). The later prosperity of the place is thought to be directly traceable to the directing enterprise of this company. A survey of a part of the tract, called the "Phillipsburg Mill Reserve." into village lots, streets, public square and sites for public buildings, churches and schoolhouses, was made, and the public spirit and enterprise thus manifested attracted settlers, so that in a few years a thriving village grew up, many branches of trade and industry being well represented. At one time the Philipsburgh Mill Reserve was in the possession of Walter S. Church, who made a contract with Daniel Crabtree to erect a sawmill at the mouth of Philips Creek, with the privilege of taking water from the river by means of a canal from the Genesee, just above the dam to the creek. Mr. Church was to furnish the power and Mr. Crabtree was to build the mill, and the two be joint and equal in ownership. The property soon passed to J. Langdon & Co., and pine timber being considerably enhanced in value, the company purchased large tracts of pine lands in Amity, Scio, Wellsville. Alma and Bolivar, tram roads to the river were constructed, and the logs floated to the mill. Another mill was constructed by the same firm near where the Carter Package mills now stand, which ran a large gang. This was operated for a long series of years. It was known as the Shongo mill and its capacity was from 50,000 to 75,000 feet of lumber per day.

The Crabtree mill was purchased in 1876 by Messrs. Hall, and Wier, who greatly increased its capacity by the introduction of improved machinery and labor saving devices. About 1887 or '88, Mr. Hall sold his interest to Mr. Wier, and soon after Mr. J. H. Bissell bought in with Mr Wier. and they continued in partnership till Jan. 1 1893, when E. I. Davis bought Wier out. The business, which includes a shingle and planing mill, is conducted by Davis and Bissell. It cuts about 20,000 ft. per day. The firm sells about 1,000,000 ft. of lumber per year, to home customers and neighboring towns. When running, the business employs about 20 men, and during good sleighing 100 teams are sometimes employed.

About 1840 John Milton, a son of Ellis May, bought that part of the Mill Reserve lying east of the river, and north of Philip creek, and shortly after laid it out and offered village lots for sale. Quite a number were purchased and houses and barns erected, forming a settlement which came soon to be called Miltonville. Some of the older people still persist in calling it by that name. In 1852 a tannery was established by Samuel S. Watson. Three years later he died, and his son R. M. Watson conducted the business for some time. At the present no business of the kind is done.

A steady conservative growth of the village continued up to 1850, when work, which had a short time before been resumed on the Erie railway, was being prosecuted with great vigor, causing an influx of transient population, which made itself felt in increased trade at the stores, shops and public houses, and upon the completion of the railroad a year later, gave a very perceptible impulse to business, and opened new enterprises and avenues of industry.

In 1860 or 1861 a large flourishing mill was erected on the west side of the river on the water power of Messrs. W. W. Ballard & Co. The mill has passed through several hands, been added to, repaired and improved to keep pace with modern methods of manufacture. It has been for some years owned by Hood and Bradley, who have put in an engine of 65 H. P. and 10 pairs of rollers for wheat, 4 for buckwheat, and 2 "runs" of stone for grinding feed, and are doing a large custom and flouring business.

In 1866 the Belmont Manufacturing Company was organized. It was a stock company and David Rawson, the inventor of a popular mowing machine, was the inspiring genius. F. N. Whitcomb was also interested. The business was conducted by the company for two or three years, when it passed into the hands of D. Rawson & Co., and was in charge of David Rawson until his death. In 1874 Mr. A. W. Miner, of Friendship, became the owner, and in 1875 the firm of A. W. Miner & Co. was organized and the business established on a solid foundation. In 1879 the shops were partially burned. William P. and Charles E. Clark, from Brookfield, Madison Co., N. Y., bought the plant, rebuilt the shops and devoted them to the manufacture of agricultural implements and sawmill machinery. In 1889, when 60 men were employed, the plant was again burned. Upon hearing of the fire, Mr. J. Adsit of Hornellsville, wired them, placing his shops in that place at their disposal, and four days later the men were at work in Hornellsville. They were then manufacturing sawmills and electric light plants. Fears were entertained that the shops might not be rebuilt at Belmont, and the people and business men of Belmont determined to secure the re-establishment of the business here, and in a short time raised from $10,000 to $11,000 to insure it. Work was resumed on new buildings in 45 days after the fire, and in four months' time the present buildings were completed, over the heads of the shop workmen, and with the machinery running. Clark Bros. employ about 100 men. Sawmills, mill machinery, electric light plants, and engines for street railways are here manufactured at these shops. Practically, all the different parts which enter into the construction of a sawmill are made by Clark Bros., and they claim to come the nearest to furnishing the entire outfit for such a mill of any manufactory in the United States. Their mills have been sent into nearly every state in the Union, and Mexico and Canada. One of their specialties is the Pelton set works. The business now amounts to $150,000 yearly.

In 1870 Charles T. Silsby and a Mr. Cady removed a business of manufacturing butter pails, firkins and tubs from Seneca Falls to Belmont, in order to be near to the raw material. This employed from 20 to 25 men. Early in the eighties the plant was devoted to the manufacture of tooth picks. Finally that business ceased and the plant was idle for a few years, when John Dean bought the property, and in 1894 sold it to the citizens of Belmont, Chas. S. Whitney, Wm. P. Clark and W. J. Richardson holding the title as trustees. It is now contracted to the Carter Package Company, which employs from 30 to 40 men. All kinds of wooden packages are manufactured. Its capacity is 1,000 or more packages per day. E. M. Harrison is president, Harold Harrison treasurer, F. C. Carter secretary, and H. C. Carter manager of the Carter Package Co.

About 1887 F. M. Babcock and Isaac Averill started a stock farm in the northern outskirts of the village for the raising of blooded horses, which were then so much in demand. The business was conducted a few years, the partnership dissolved, and Mr. Babcock started another farm just south of the village. The business ceased to be profitable in a few years.

In February, 1888, the American Hotel an old landmark was burned. For two years there was no hotel accommodation in the village. In the spring of 1890 a company was organized to build a hotel which should cost $15,000. Charles S. Whitney, L. F. Willetts, Isaac Willetts, Henry Wier, Wm. P. Clark, E. I. Davis and W. J. Richardson were the corporators. More land in addition to the old site was bought, and the capital increased to $30,000. Work was commenced, and as it progressed capital to the amount of $45,000 was found to be required; and The Belmont was finally finished and furnished at an expense of $57,000 or $58,000. Before completion however a mortgage was placed upon it to secure the necessary money. Isaac Willets furnished the funds, took the security, and his estate now owns the property. The Belmont is the best hotel building of the county, is lighted by electricity and has all the modern hotel conveniences and appliances. Besides the hotel, the building includes the State Bank of Belmont, the postoffice, the drug store of Mills & Green and other business rooms and offices.

The County Seat and buildings. - Between 1855 and 1858 the removal of the county seat from Angelica to some point on the line of the Erie railroad was seriously discussed, and some political infelicities occurring about the same time the times were considered ripe for such a movement. The legislature was invoked, and a bill was passed appointing a commission to make selection of a site for the new county seat and the necessary buildings. Belvidere laid claim to its location, but Belmont was adjudged by the commission to be the new county seat. No time was lost in appointing building commissioners and putting the work under contract. The work was prosecuted during 1859, and completed in 1860. A half shire enterprise soon took form and resulted in the passage of an act providing that the courts be held alternately at Belmont and Angelica, which continued in operation until the fall of 1892, since which time Belmont has been, and is now adjudged by the courts to be, the sole county seat of Allegany county.

The erection of the county buildings at Belmont, though somewhat shorn of its importance by the half shire act, still afforded an added impetus to building up and beautifying the town, and the village took on new life. The buildings comprised a court house, clerk's office and jail. The jail had been used but little, however, before the half shire act went into operation, whereby the old jail at Angelica became the only place for the incarceration of county criminals. The new jail was therefore unused till about ten years ago when the structure was made the office of the county clerk, and the old clerk's office became the office of the surrogate. In 1894 a new jail building was constructed northwest of the court house, and now that there is no half shire all the county buildings are located on "Table knoll" in Belmont. a most beautiful location.

The Town Cemetery. - Interments were early made in various localities. Many of the older citizens believe that the first burials were in the old burying ground on the Dea. Harry Davis farm south of Belmont, and it is the opinion of the venerable Jesse Sortore, that Deacon Davis' father was one of the first there buried. Another burying ground was on the road on the east side of the river, on the Thibou farm, another on the same road on the Ethan Rogers farm, and still another near Belvidere. Early in 1866 initial measures were taken toward the opening of the beautiful cemetery which now reflects so much credit upon the town. It was determined to make it a town affair, and the first meeting of town officers to take action concerning it met April 20, 1866; when there were present, E. F. Willetts supervisor, Leander Gorton and V. A. Willard justices of the peace, and J. H. Browning town clerk. The offer of Mark W. Pike to sell 8.37 acres of land for $650 was accepted. May 29, 1866, the town board voted to pay J. C. Averill $400 for clearing the ground of stumps and building a certain amount of fence. This work was completed July 28, 1866, and the ground plowed and sown to wheat, which matured and was sold to E. F. Willetts for $2.25 per busheL Leander Gorton and E. F. Willetts were appointed to lay the grounds out as a cemetery, and the tract was divided into five sections and 250 lots, with convenient walks and driveways. The ground being elevated, and considerably broken by knolls and depressions, it afforded favorable conditions for the exercise of skill and taste in the arrangement of roadways and other features, which have made it one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the county. In 1873 a vault was constructed at an expense of $500, and by 1879 nearly $2,000 had been expended in the purchase and fitting up of the grounds, which still continue to receive proper attention, and show the tasteful skill of Mr. M. W. Sortore who has for many years been a very efficient superintendent. The first one buried here was Peter Reynolds, Jan. 13, 1868. The town is legally authorized to purchase additional grounds to the extent of 30 acres.

Banks. - Prior to 1861 the nearest banking facilities were at Hornellsville and Cuba; Olean and Bath were sometimes visited on such business. About that time, possibly not until 1862, Andrew Langdon, now president of the Empire State Savings Bank of Buffalo, opened a banking office in Belmont. With his father, J. LeDroit Langdon, he had in 1856 opened the first hardware store in the village, on the south side of Main street. The store was burned in 1861. the father dying a few weeks later. The banking office was opened in the new brick block, part of which Mr. Langdon built, which stood on the opposite side of the street from the hardware store. Mr. Langdon writes: "The volume of business I cannot state from memory, but it was not very large. It was during the period of wild cat' banks, numerous counterfeits and high premium on gold." During the time of Mr. Langdon's banking business, John Thompson & Co. conducted an exchange and banking office about a year, when it was succeeded by C. S. Whitney & Co. Mr. Langdon discontinued the business probably prior to 1865, for in September of that year E. W. Chamberlain & Co. suceeded Whitney & Co. and, until they went out of business in June, 1875, this was the only institution of the kind in the town. Then C. M. Marvin conducted banking for a year or so when M. E. Davis succeeded to the business and conducted a private bank and exchange office for about ten years. The necessity for an institution capable of doing a more extended business becoming more and more apparent a state bank was organized and a charter secured bearing date June 25, 1888. The bank was soon in operation. The first officers were Elmore A. Willetts president, and W. J. Richardson cashier. The present officers are E. A. Willetts president, W. K. Paul vice president, W. J. Richardson cashier. The directors are E. A. Willetts, M. W. Pike, W. J. Richardson and M. E. Davis. The State Bank of Belmont has a capital of $25,000 (authorized capital $100,000), affords all the banking facilities needed by the town, does a conservative, safe business, is located in The Belmont hotel building, and is an institution which the people fully appreciate. The condition of the bank Dec. 18, 1895, was: Resources. Bills discounted $90,452.80, national bank $2,924.56, Buffalo bank $2,212.51, United States bonds $1,000. furniture $3,100, expenses $2,467.87, cash $7,941.94, total $110,099.68. Liabilities. - Capital $25,000, surplus $5,000, profit $5.656.33, deposit account $74,443.35, total $110,099.68.

Business Houses. - The principal enterprises are a cheese factory; Clark Bros. foundry and machine shop; Davis & Bissell's saw, shingle and planing mills; Amity Mills, Hood & Bradley, full roller process; Belmont Mills, W. H. Van Campen & Son, patent "straight grade" flour and feed; Carter Package Co., buttertubs, etc.; Davie & Green and M. E. Davis dry goods; John Nicholson, hardware, carriages, sleighs, etc.; Geo. Peck & Son and H. W. Farwell, watches, jewelry, etc.; J. W. Bartlett, merchant tailor and undertaker, J. H. Bissell, furniture; Mills & Green and C. G. Anderson & Son, drugs, medicines, etc.; M. N. Sammet & Bro., clothing; J. Sortore & Sons, grocers; Adams & Newcomb, bakers and grocers; Ostrander & Co., boots and shoes; Allen & Pease, Wier & Co., M. D. Leilous, T. & D Margeson, meat markets; George L. Tucker, laundry; H. E. Davis and C. L. Slafter, livery.

Hotels. - The Belmont, E. D. Clark; Cottage Hotel, E. N. Black; Allegany House. F. Broadbent.

Insurance. - E. W. Chamberlain, Reynolds, Ackerman & Tefft, R. A: Whitcomb.

Dentists. - C. B Newton, P. D. Greene.

Attorneys. - Reynolds, Brown & Reynolds, V. A. Willard, S. H. Tracy, E. W. Chamberlain.

Physicians. - C. G. Anderson, H. A. Barney, W. J. Hardy.

Dispatch Printing Co. - C. L. Stillman & Co.

Photographer. - E. L. Lewis.

Belmont is supplied with lights and fuel by the Allegany Gas Company. Electricity is also used for lighting to some extent. Mr. Frank Van Campen has a dynamo in his mill, which lights his residence and two or three street lamps. The Belmont, and Clark Bros. also use electricity for lighting.

The Samuel VanCampen Family. - One of the best remembered of the very early settlers of Amity was Samuel VanCampen, who settled on the east side of the river on the farm now owned by Thomas Emerson as early as 1806. He was a younger brother of Major Moses VanCampen, and in moral character, physical courage, strict integrity and religious inclinations, he strongly resembled him, but little can be learned of his early life. To show the material out of which was made those invincible spirits and domestic heroes who made the first openings in our forests, cut the first roads and built the first rude habitations, the following, a copy of Samuel VanCampen's indenture as apprentice, is given as it gives an idea of the typical better class pioneer of Allegany. The copy is literally verbatim. Where the stars occur the paper is so worn as to be illegible.

This Indenture, made this Twenty Fifth Day of February, and in the year of our Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Two, Witnesseth that Samuel Van Campen. Son of Cornelius Van Campen Deceased hath of his own Free and Voluntary Will, or by and With the Consent of his Mother Winnifred Van Campen, Placed and Bound himself Apprentice unto Joseph Heaton of Lower Smithfield township, Northumberland County and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Blacksmith, to Learn the Art and Mistery of the Black Smith's Trade after The manner of an Apprentice, to serve him and his Heirs from the Day of the Date Hereof, For and During the Full Term of Eight Years & two months, During all Which Term, Said Apprentice, his said Master Faithfully Shall Serve, His Secrets Keep, his Lawful Demands Gladly Every Where Obey, he shall Doo no Damage to his Said Master. Nor See it to be Done by Others Without Leting or Givin Notice to his Said master, or his; he Shall not Waiste his Said masters Goods, Nor Lend Them Unlawfully to Others; he Shall not commit Fornication, Nor contract Matrimony Within the Said Term; at cards Dice or any Other unlawful game he Shall not play, whereby his Said master may have Damage With his own Goods, or the Goods of others, he Shall not Absent himself Day or Night From his Said master's Service Without his Leave, Nor haunt Taverns or play houses, but in all things Behave himself as a faithful apprentice ought to doo During Said Term and the Said master and his Shall Use the utmost of their Indeavours to teach him his Said Apprentice the Said Trade Science or Ocupation of Black Smith With all things thereunto Belonging, and Shall and Will Teach and Instruct or cause to be Well and sufficiently Taught and Instructed after the Best way and manner that he can and Shall and Will also Find and Allow unto the Said apprentice Meat Drink Washing and Lodging And Apparial both Linen and Wollen and all other Necessarys fit and convenient for Such an apprentice During the Term Aforesaid, and the Said master Shall also give the Said apprentice his Every Day Wearing Apparil as Also One Intire New Suite of Decent Clothing fiting For A freedom Sute For Said Apprentice in Witness Whereof I have Hereunto Set my hand and Seal the Day and Year Above Written
Signed Sealed &
Delivered in the presence of us
John Chambers
John Camden
Samuel Van Campen
Winifred Van Campen
Joseph Heaton

Northumberland County february the 28th 1782.
This day the * * * before me and acknowledged This Indenture to be thier Voluntary Act and Deed
given under my hand the day and year above written. Nicholas Depew
This indenture is endorsed.
" A Cancelled Indenture 28 May 89, of
Samuel Van Campen from
Joseph Heaton."

The indenture was cancelled about a year ahead of time, and so the conclusion is warranted that he was a faithful apprentice and became thoroughly learned in "the Art and Mistery of the Black Smith Trade." The original document is owned by Mr. Frank VanCampen, of Belmont, by whom the writer was greatly favored in the preparation of this sketch. As early as 1816 Mr. VanCampen was a justice of the peace, and a member of the court of common pleas, and the court of general sessions of the peace. Samuel VanCampen was the first postmaster keeping the office in his house on the farm. Its name was Genesee Valley, and it was instituted soon after the town was organized. From the marble slab in the cemetery, which marks the place of his burial, we learn that this worthy pioneer died June 30, 1849, at the age of 80 years.

Samuel VanCampen's children were William, born in 1790, married Harriet Ingraham who died in 1843. He married second, Nancy Byrns of Belfast; Sarah married John Rathbun of Almond, whose family consisted of or 3 children, one of whom married Mrs. B. B. Clark, one of the early merchants of Belmont, and who some say built the first brick store in town; Moses, born in 1800, married Caroline Wilkins. Their children were William, Ambrose, Addison and Lovinia, who married Elias Rogers; William has been in the employ of the Standard Oil Company at Corry, Pa., for a number of years; Ambrose went to Bay City, as long ago as 1860, where he died some ten years since; Addison is living in Belmont occupying a responsible position in the Clark Bro's foundry and machine shops.

William VanCampen whose entire mature years were spent in the town of Amity, died on the 3d of May, 1875, at 85 years of age. Many are still left who were personally acquainted with him. Those who knew him best say his was a noble life, and he a domestic hero, meeting manfully every duty, and though his career was not marked by exceptional incidents, nor made brilliant by wonderful exploits, his life was one of untiring industry and painstaking toil, which was so characteristic of his Dutch ancestry, industry and toil, that were as essential to the development of our national resources as were the soldierly characteristics and deeds of his uncle Moses, and those who fought by his side, were to the achievement of our national independence." Though frequently importuned to become a candidate for official honors and emoluments, his only public services were those rendered as United States marshal, as town clerk and occasionally as assessor for his town. He was a consistent member of the Baptist church for many years, and for a good share of the time a deacon. He was twice married and lived happily with the partners of his choice. He had three sons and four daughters. Julia Ann the eldest married Jesse Sortore a respected citizen and lifelong resident of Amity. Hiram became a worthy preacher of the Universalist faith, and is now an insurance agent at New Bedford, Mass.; William Hanford, passed his life in Amity, principally on the farm, though for the last twenty years he was in the milling business, with his son Frank, who. still conducts the business in the stone mill, the oldest in town; Mary married William Pettibone; Caroline became the wife of Dr. John Norton; Samuel It married a daughter of T. J. Rathbone, of Elmira, and died some two years since in London, Eng., whither he had gone to prosecute historical researches in the British museum. Samuel R. was an enthusiastic student of Holland history and in many matters connected therewith was an acknowledged authority with the scholars. He had published a work on some historical subject and was engaged in the preparation of another when he died very suddenly. Two sons of his are now living in Elmira, Samuel R., a lawyer, and John R., engaged in business; Harriet (dec.) married Dr. Hulbert, who now lives in Bay City, Mich. William Hanford VanCampen had two children; Carrie who married Dr. F. O. Gilbert of Bay City, Mich., and died there some ten years since, and Frank, the well known and highly esteemed business man of Belmont.

Belvidere village, in the northwest part of the town, was named from Judge Church's residence about a mile distant in Angelica. It is situated near the mouth of Van Campen creek and is the northernmost point in the county reached by the original New York and Erie railroad. From this fact, and also from its being centrally located in the county, it was at one time favored by many as the site for the county buildings. When the postoffice at Belvidere was established about 1835, it was named Hobbyville, from the postmaster general, whose name was Hobbie. The little hamlet around the corners was also called by the same name until about the time the railroad was completed, when it was changed to Belvidere. Belvidere is now a station on the Erie railroad, has two hotels E. P. Sanborn and L. C. Scott are dealers in general merchandise. James Moran is postmaster. A cheese factory here is well patronized.

Withey is a little hamlet and postoffice on Philips creek, in the eastern part of the town. A schoolhouse and the Wesleyan Methodist church are all the public buildings. Two stores, one kept by Simeon Brown, the other by W. H. Button, afford all the facilities for trade the place demands. Alvin E. Hall conducts a cheese factory at this place. The postoffice was established in 1887 and the present postmaster is W. H. Button.

About 1835 or 6, John B. and Philip Church, Jr., determined to utilize the water power a half mile east of Belvidere (about that time named Hobbyville) and erected a dam and a large mill which they called the Triana mill, and for a while prosecuted an extensive lumber business. The buildings they used have tumbled down and scarce a vestige is left of its former importance.

The present town officials are: Supervisor, Melvin E. Horner; town clerk, P. K. Holden; justices, O. F. Morehouse, Eldyn E. Reynolds. C. E. Whitcomb, B. P. Mapes; highway commissioner, Henry Weir; overseers of the poor, George Benjamin, Peter Reynolds; collector, Delos A. Van Campen; inspectors of elections, 1st district, Bernard B. Ackerman, Geo. Peck, L. W. Ely, I. J. Elliott; 2d district, Charles Wallace, Wallace H. Windus, Paul Cussack, John Henry; constables, James Johnson, James D. Crawford, G. N. Cline, S. P. Weaver. D. A. Van Jampen; excise commissioners, Alexis R. Halbert, Charles H. Norton and Luman Lewis.

Sufiervisors. (Furnished by Charles Stillman) - John Simons, 1830-32; Alvan E. Parker, 1833-34; Benjamin Aldridge, 1835-36; Walter S. Church, 1837; Moses Van Campen, 1838; Benjamin Aldridge, 1839-40; Batman Fitz Simmons. 1841-42; Francis Norton, 1843; Benjamin Aldridge, 1844; Noah C. Pratt, 1845; Randall Reed, 1846; Batman Fitz Simmons, 1847-48; Geo. W. Horner, 1849-51; Frank Leach. 1852; G. M. Cooley, 1853-54; Consider Ellis, 1855; J. Rathbun, 1856-57; Benjamin Norton, 1858; Lucius C. May, 1859-60; Silas Richardson, 1861-65; E. F. Willetts, 1866-67; Benjamin Norton, 1868-69; E. F. Willetts, 1870: Wilkes Angel, 1871; D. S. Lanphear, 1872-73; V. A. Willard, 1874-75; Rufus Scott, 1876-78; A. C. Hall, 1879-81; Geo. H. Blackman, 1882; Elba Reynolds, 1883-4; Win. P. Clark, 1885-6; Elba Reynolds, 1887; T. S. Tefft, 1888-9; C. S. Whitney, 1890-92; M. E. Horner, 1893-95.

List of soldiers buried in Amity. - In the Belmont cemetery: Bela Bartlett, Peter Reynolds and James Sackett, of the war of 1812-14. A. G. Cartwright, Orson Andrews, Robert H. Tucker, Elisha Sortore, Bradley Bowers, William Pettibone, Riley Utter, Anson T. Lawton, Byron D. Southworth, Timothy Eddy, Lucius Ward, David Crocker, Frank Van Orsdale, Charles Barnes, Samuel McGibeny, Wilbur F. McGibeny. Frederick Scribner, Jefferson Gorton, George Weaver, Henry Davis, Col. A. J. McNett, of the war of 1861-5. In the Norton cemetery: Col. Jedadiah Nobles, Zebulon Nobles, of the war of 1812-14, and John Rathbun, Henry Hungerford, of the war of 1861-5. At Belvidere: Jerry White and William Higgins of war of 1812-14, and William Comstock, Charles Ouesterhout, George Barnard and James White of war of 1861-5. Ira Weaver buried on the battlefield.

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