BY JOHN S. MINARD.
BELFAST, as it was originally formed March 24, 1874, was called Orrinsburgh, and
was that part of Caneadea included in township 4, range 1, of the Holland Purchase. This town had a length north
and south of six miles, but lacked the width of 2 lots, or 1 1/2 miles of the regulation. width, as township 4,
range 2, had a width of 7 1/2 miles, including the two western ranges of lots of present Belfast. April 26, 1825,
the lots from 1 to 16 inclusive, of township 4, range 2, were annexed to Orrinsburgh, and lots 1 to 6, and 29,
53 and 61 were set off to Caneadea, and the name changed to Belfast. The suggestion of the name of Belfast is ascribed
to John McKeen, a native of Belfast, Me., an early justice of the peace. In 1831, the part set off to Caneadea
in 1825, was re-annexed, and since then no changes have been made in the boundaries.
The first town meeting was held, April 6, 1824 when these officers were elected: David Hitchcock, supervisor; Elijah
Reynolds, town clerk; Elisha Chamberlain, Jr., constable and collector Solomon Benjamin, John McIntosh, John McKeen,
assessor; Packard Bruce, Nathaniel Reynolds, Joseph Benjamin highway commissioners; Joseph T. Ford, Samuel Wilkinson.
John McKeen, commissioners of common schools; James Jennings. overseer of the poor; David Hitchcock, Elijah Reynolds.
John McIntosh, John McKeen, inspectors of election.
The Genesee river enters this town from the east and passes northwest into Caneadea a little east of the middle
of the town line. There are some fine flats along the river, but the surface is generally uneven, and broken into
distinct ridges by White and Black creeks which discharge into the Genesee from the west at points less than a
mile apart, and Crawford creek, which passes through the northwest corner. On the east Wigwam creek breaks down
through a precipitous defile, emptying north of the mouth of Black creek. Some of the hills reach altitudes of
500 to 750 feet above the streams. Upon the hills the soil is a clayey loam, in some places mixed with gravel.
On the narrow creek bottoms and the river flats sandy and gravelly loam appears, and the soil is very productive.
A small part of the town is profitably devoted to grain raising, but as a whole it is better adapted to grazing.
Distinct rapids in the river east of the village afford excellent water power, and the mill privileges determined
the location of the village The lateral streams also afforded many desirable mill seats, but since the forests
have been denuded, the volume of water has shrunk to insignificance, and the old mills have disappeared.
The town has three postoffices, Rockville, Frank Burlingame, P. M.; Transit Bridge, Charles Coleman, P. M.; Belfast,
B. T. Willis, P. M.
Settlement was begun in 1803 by Benjamin, Elisha, Calvin and David Chamberlain, brothers, from Pennsylvania, who
"took up" farms on the river a short distance below the "transit." Thaddeus Bennett, Nathaniel
Reynolds and David Sanford soon after appeared, and Jedediah Nobles and Benjamin Littleton, from Elmira, came in
1805, Nobles purchasing land on the river, and Littleton on Wigwam creek. Abraham D. Hendern, Isaac Sanford and
Marvin Harding were other early settlers. John Crawford, from the Susquehanna, settled in the northwest part on
Crawford creek, the first settler in that part. His sons, Benjamin, Lyndes, Harry and John, settled farther up
the creek. The roof of their first habitation was fastened on with poles and withes. This stood on one of the Indian
trails between the Genesee and Allegany rivers, and the family became well acquainted with many Indians. Other
settlers here were the Gowans and the Emerys.
Rockwell Hopper was a settler on lot 10 as early as 1812. It is probable that Jedediah Nobles was the first keeper
of a public house, as the first town. meeting for Caneadea was held at his house April 5, 1808. As Caneadea extended
south to the state line, and as New Hudson, Cvba, Friendship, Clarksville, Rushford, Genesee, Bolivar and Wirt,
though part of the town had not welcomed their first settlers, the fact shows. the primitive condition of things.
This house has long since been removed. It was on the west side of the road, nearly opposite the large old fashioned
building on the Byrns place. This also for many years was a public house. In 1813, Simon C. Moore walked here from
Worcester county, Mass., taught school one year, then was clerk 3 years in Alexander D'Autremont's store in Angelica.
He later settled in Cuba.
Harry Byrns was a settler just south of Belfast village in 1813. Only the saw and gristmill and log cabin of David
Sanford was at the village of Belfast. The mills were the first in town and were erected in 1809. It is said the
first birth in town was that of Deborah Reynolds. and the first marriage that of John Sanford and Mary Collar in
1806. Elijah Reynolds taught the first school in 1807. A Schoonover girl taught school on the Miles place in 1807-8,
and Susan McGray was then teaching in 'Ezra Sanford's house. Bears were numerous and the early settlers had to
securely fasten their pigs in pens made safe against their attacks, and often they were obliged to seize a firebrand
to compel their retreat. Joseph S. Raymond kept an inn near the village in 1821. The nearest place at which the
settlers could trade was Angelica. From $1.50 to $2.50 per acre was usually paid for land. The main land office
was at Batavia, over 50 miles away. Samuel S. Haight, as early as 1821, was appointed agent for the Holland Land
Company at Angelica, and this was a great convenience.
About 1830 a mill was built on the river on lot 12 at "Gougeville," later "Hopperville," a
place which attained some importance and where Rockwell Hopper kept a public house. Joseph S. Raymond built the
first mill here. The riffle or rapids in the river which afforded the power was early called "Bennett's Falls,"
from Bill Bennett the hunter. Ed. Gastin and Wm. Potter were subsequent owners of the sawmill and the flood of
1857 took it away. It, has never been rebuilt. Cabinet, blacksmith and wagon shops, etc., were once in operation
here, and the hamlet had 16 or 18 families. In 1832 or '33 Robert Renwick kept a store here for Sherman Brothers
Joseph T. and Lewis H. Ford from Connecticut came in 1818-19, settling on the east side of the river about 1§
miles above the iron bridge. Mrs. Melton Millett from Canada, settled on lot 55 in the White Creek valley in 1820.
Mrs. Ezra Tibbetts, Charles Drew and Matthew Lounsbury were settlers as early as 1824. Martin Butts and Samuel
King (who kept the first store) came that year on the east side of the river a little below the iron bridge. Settlement
had so progressed that by 1823 the people began to talk of a new town and it was erected March 24, 1824.
As early as 1827 settlements had been made along Black Creek valley by Daniel Howell, Daniel and Jonathan Gleason,
John and Thomas Bartlett, Peter Miner, Selah Bacon, Ira and Reuben Bridgeman. Lyman Tibbets, Samuel Lounsbury,
Charles Drew, Jacob Cole, Packard Bruce and a Jones. On the road from Belfast over Gleason Hill were Jonathan Gleason,
Ira Hastings and Ephraim Stewart. Packard Bruce had built a saw and gristmill, and had erected a large framed house,
the first on Black Creek. The timbers were large enough for a mill. The plates and beams were rabbetted to receive
the boards which were put on upright. One Killburn ran the Bruce mill for a time. Ira Bridgeman's barn was used
for a schoolhouse. Mrs. Bruce was an early teacher on Black Creek.
Martin Butts, from Vermont, who in 1822, had settled in Friendship, and "Col" Samuel King in 1824 opened
the first store in Belfast. This was east of the river on the main Indian trail along the Genesee below the iron
bridge; a solitary apple tree, between the road and river, today marks the spot.
Mrs. Betsy Crawford says "Dr. Hardy lived there by the apple tree also" at the same time. Col. King had
built a sash and door factory also on the east side of the river, a good business was built up, and the manufactured
products were sent as far as Chicago. In 1824 there was not a plastered house in town. In the spring of 1835 the
sash factory was burned. A large gristmill was at once built upon the ruins. It was designed for three run of stones.
The stones had been hauled from Friendship and laid upon the bridge to the mill, when the "big flood"
of Oct. 19, 1835, carried the mill off bodily, and left it standing on the east side of the river on the Stephen
Rock place. There was a "paring bee" at Mr. Alexander's house by the mill race on the night of the flood.
The water came up all around the house, and the party found other business than paring and stringing apples, dancing,
or playing "snap and catch 'em." Robert Renwick's store and house stood near the west end of the bridge,
and he moved most of his goods over to the east side. The building was carried off. All the people living on the
flats moved out, the water reaching the window sills of their houses.
Martin Butts was popular, and the little village soon came to be "Buttsville." Mr. Butts in a few years
returned to Friendship. but the place retained his name for years. About 1830 a dispute arose as to a permanent
name for the village. Some insisted on retaining Buttsville, others wished to call it Antioch. The Jackson men
took one side and the anti Jackson men the other. One party would nail a board inscribed with the name they desired
upon the bridge. The other party would tear it down and replace it with one upon which was the name they favored.
Excitement ran high, but a compromise was made and the village took the name of the town. At this time (whenever
it was), according to Mrs. Crawford, there were living in the place families named Dunn, Bass and Howe. Dr. Davis
and "Bob" Renwick had been there for some time. The place was also called the Huddle, Podunk, and Poland
or Portland by some in 1833.
Col. King built a saw and gristmill under one roof (John Babcock, a. millwright, did the work), a carding mill
and a fulling mill. A mill or factory was put up by Lyman and Aikens where they made spinning wheels. The carding
mill was burned after some years. The original village was on the flats north of the eastern part of the present
village on both sides of the river below the iron bridge. Soon after the "big flood" vague intimations
of a projected Genesee Valley canal began to be heard. This was the one thing needed to stimulate settlement and
their fulfillment enhanced values and greatly improved all the interests of the people.
July 26, 1838, occurred a disastrous windstorm from which Belfast suffered most severely. Ward and Daniel Pierce
give vivid descriptions of its fury. Daniel says:
"It was in black raspberry time, for I was in a berry patch on the point of the hill between Andrew Coughlin's
and McKeanan's. This was in the center of its path, and we ran to the house which stood through it all, though
it seemed as though it would go to pieces. Oh, how it roared ! After the wind passed the rain fell in torrents.
After the shower the sun came out scorching hot. The whirlwind next struck where John D. Nellis then lived, partly
tore down his barns, unroofed the larger one, and some of the siding was blown off. The frame stood but was blown
more than its width off from its foundation. The house was low and stood." Ward Pierce was at work on the
"Billy Ashley" place, settled by Squire Baird, who was building a barn (still standing, so Daniel Pierce
thinks). He says: "We could see two great black clouds approach each other over toward Bullville,' from the
south and from the north. Starkey Gleason said, when those two clouds come together there will be a devil of a
meeting,' and he was right. I was at work for John F. Babcock as an apprentice, and we all ran to the house when
we saw the flying timber coming and falling among us. Not being in the center of the storm, which passed to the
north, the house stood. After the storm Babcock took a horse and started for home. His house was a log one standing
south of the one where Charles Bixby now lives. Babcock's house stood through the wind which tore off a corner
of the roof and unroofed his log barn. A little above Babcock's, on the present Gleason Hill road, was a hemlock
tree lying beside the track on the lower side with earth thrown against it to make the road. It was yo or So feet
long and about 3 feet through at the butt. The wind rolled this log across the road, and left it lying on the upper
side of the track. On the side of the road where the log first laid stood Scott Kinney's log house. Mrs. Kinney,
her children, and some women neighbors were in it. The wind leveled the house nearly to the floor, tumbling the
logs down upon the occupants, and some of the women had to be extricated. A son of Kinney's had his skull crushed.
Dr. Allen removed the bone, put in a silver plate. The boy recovered. Reuben Bridgeman's log house was unroofed.
Between Paird's and Babcock's some buildings were torn down. On the farm where Charles Ford now lives Charles Amsden's
frame barn was leveled to the ground. His frame house was uninjured. There was a "linter" on the back
side of John Hank's log house. In this was a dog churn and a baby in its cradle. The churn and the cradle were
carried into the field below, where the cradle was found with the baby undisturbed. The barn was demolished."
Ward Pierce says that as long ago as he can remember Gideon Lewis and Henry Torrey were making grindstones at
the Wing quarry. Many grindstones were got out there in early days, and they were quite an article of commerce.
"In the early twenties," says William A. Benjamin, "a sawmill was built where Ralph Richardson afterward
lived by one Winters; afterward one was built at the falls on White creek at the Wing place by Mr. Arnold. No dam
was made, simply a log laid on the rocks, water being conducted by a race from above the falls. While the canal
was being built, the Cases, who were building locks and grading, put up a store and built up the village for years
called Caseville. To saw their lumber they constructed a mill on the site of the Arnold mill and put in a dam.
After the canal was built Nathan Bailey put up another mill on the site of the Winters mill. In 1822-3 the nearest
gristmill was the Cherry mill. This stood near the present gristmill. The Benjamins harvested 2 acres of wheat
in 1823 of which to sheaves made a bushel of wheat and the toll over. No other mill was nearer than Angelica and
Philipsburgh. Set out an orchard in the fall of 1822 or. 3, buying the trees at a nursery in Caneadea. Old Ben
Chamberlain then lived where John White lives. Bill Bennett on the Miles place, where the road to Angelica leaves
the river road. Old Major Reynolds lived next below Bennett, and Joseph T. Ford on the John B. Ford place. Next
below was Mr. Bridgernan. Henry J. Raymond owned the land at Gougeville and built the mill. A little way above
a fall of some two feet in the river was called Bennett's falls. Rockwell Hopper was next below. Below Hopper was
Jedediah Nobles, then one Ford, John Sellon, Wm. Sellon, Garrett Vandermark. Then came Col. King's mills. etc.
Across the bridge lived Martin Butts, and Parker Alexander kept the postoffice. He built the Mrs. Covert house
in 1843. Dr. Davis had an office between a hotel on the flats and the river. For several years there were no other
buildings in the village except 'Cherry mill' and a log house on the bank above 'cold spring,' the watering trough.
From there the land was cleared out toward the cemetery. About 1840 Henry D. Lyman from Burrville built his hotel.
Robert Renwick built his store in 1843, his house earlier. Hughes and Chamberlain came in 1842-3. The old man Petty
settled on the J. Neely farm. Christopher Jennings built a mill. Elijah Reynold lived on the Hiram Seeley places.
A log schoolhouse stood near the little old graveyard. Rufus Petty was a teacher, and soon after went to Texas
and joined Col. Farming's Texas troops and was killed. McIntosh kept a tavern on the Stephen Wilson place and had
a still.' John McKeen was on the Brown place."
When the first settlements were made, deer were very plentiful, and the rifle was as much depended upon for meat,
as was the soil for a harvest. In every house suspended by loops or laid upon hooks over or near the fire place,
was always to be found, except when in use, the trusty rifle of the settler; no sight was more familiar in the
cabin, and many became expert in its use, and in the chase. William Bennett, "Bill Bennett," was a famous
hunter, and many stories are told of his exploits. Tradition says that he drove a deer through the streets of Angelica
completely tired out, and submissive as a cow. When the bounty on a full grown wolf's scalp was $20 from the state
and $20 from the county, and $10 for "whelps'" scalps, the inducement stimulated effort. Those who knew
"Bill Bennett" say that he has been known to capture a she wolf and a litter of whelps, kill the old
one, and carefully take the young ones home and rear them with the care and anxiety of a dog fancier, to hurry
them up to the proportions of a "full grown" wolf, and thus get his $20 apiece instead of $10.
Conspicuous among the very early settlers were Benjamin, Elisha, Calvin and David Chamberlain, brothers. Their
descendants are scattered not only all Western New York, but in other states. Benjamin had two sons, Gen. Calvin
T. Chamberlain of Cuba, and Judge Benjamin Chamberlain of Randolph, who became noted public men. David Sanford
was no ordinary man, and Jedediah Nobles, Nathaniel Reynolds, Thaddeus Bennett, Benjamin Littleton, Thomas Mapes,
Rockwell Hopper, Simon C. Moore, William and Harry Byrns, Joseph T. and Lewis H. Ford, were men well fitted for
the work of the pioneer. Others could be named. These are only specimens of the early settlers. Later came the
Gleasons, the Wilson, the Browns, Lounsbury, Jenkins, Millett, Tibbetts, Jennings, Athertons, Gullfords, Crawfords,
Drews, Pierces, Howells and of others a host. The forrests disappeared, and the green fields were opened to the
In the thirties the pine timber of Allegany began to come into notice. No better pine was to be found, but Rochester
and Buffalo were the nearest places of market. Rafting and "bull frogging" then came into play. During
the fall and winter all hands were engaged in cutting logs and drawing them to some suitable place on the river
bank. Large quantities of logs would thus be ready to be rolled into the river in the first suitable spring flood,
to float to the mills at Portage, Mt. Morris and Rochester. "Booms" were constructed to hold the logs
near the mills where they were sawed during the summer. But some of the logs would lodge, and these would be left
high on the land after the flood unless again rolled into the water. So gangs of men called "bull froggers
would follow these logs with boats, axes, pikes, canthooks, etc. A man with a yoke of oxen quite frequently accompanied
the bull froggers. It often became necessary to wade into the water, and at night these men would come into quarters
with their clothes dripping wet. In this way they would chase the logs to their destination. This was "bull
frogging." Lumber sawed at Belfast and above would sometimes be made into rafts and run to Portageville, then
taken out and hauled over the hill past the lower falls, again rafted and the journey resumed. Sometimes the booms
would break, and the logs would be "chased" down to another mill. If any passed Rochester they would
be lost in Lake Ontario. Ebenezer Kingsley informed the writer that he had once found some of his logs on the Canadian
shore. William Stephen and James Atherton were prominent among those lumbermen. John Gleason, Asahel N. Cole, Ebenezer
Kingsley, John McWhorter were others in the business. Millions and millions of feet of lumber and logs have been
sent to market from Belfast in this laborious, exciting and hazardous way, and Belfast was distinguished over any
other river town for the amount of its business in this line.
Rafting was abruptly ended when the Genesee Valley canal was opened. (See pages 123 and 124 for history of the
building of the canal). The canal opened to Oramel in 1851, but Belfast had to wait two years longer. Through this
town the work was heavy (mostly through an original forest), and a reservoir was constructed at Rockville which
when filled covered many acres. When the canal was opened the logs were made into rafts in the canal and went through
this to the mills below without loss, and the home manufactured lumber was sent to market on canal boats.
In June, 1842, Joseph Miller, the inventor of the "Miller car coupler," here constructed a one horse
machine for cutting grass, with the cutter bar in front of the horse, which did not prove a success, as, after
cutting one swath of about 20 rods, the horse ran away and broke it to pieces. In 1852 or 53 the mowing machine
however came to stay, making its first appearance on the old Chamberlain farm near the transit.
Tanneries. - Belfast has had her share of tanneries. Half a century ago one was built at Rockville. Not far from
the same time Hiram Seeley operated one on his farm near the Junction, southwest of the village. Lewis Ford and
Hiram Seeley built one at the "Huddle" and also ran a shoeshop. Afterward Lewis Ford built one on South
Main street, which was later operated by Fred Sheeley. There was also once one at Black Creek on the river road.
Not one is in existence today. All swept away by the irresistible tide of centralization and consolidation, which
has not only wiped out the small tanneries, but the shoeshops and wagonshops and coopershops, which, in the old
days, were a distinguishing feature of country villages.
Cheese Factories. - Though some parts of the town are well adapted to dairying it was never prosecuted, further
than a few isolated individual dairies, till Kinney & Gunn in 1869 erected the "Belfast Cheese Factory,"
for several years one of the most important of those institutions in northern Allegany. It stood north of the village,
and is no longer used for its original purpose. Mr. Justus H. Neely came from Herkimer county in 1844 and brought
with him Herkimer county knowledge, notions and ideas about cheese and butter making, and was the first in town
to manufacture cheese in quantities. In 1872 he built the "White Creek Cheese Factory" (now owned by
Warren Wilkinson). There are now three other factories in town, all owned by A. E. Perry, who to the one in Belfast
village has lately added a creamery. He also owns the Oramel and Marshall factories. The four factories use the
milk of about 1,800 cows, and have reputation for excellence of work fully up to the high standard of Allegany.
SUPERVISORS - David Hitchcock, 1824 William Bennett, 1825-26; Lyman Tibbetts, 1827-30, 1836,1841; Selah Bacon,
1831-32; John McKeen, 1833-34; Robert Renwick, 1835; Stephen Wilson, Jr., 1837-40; William A. Kirkpatrick, 1842-43;
Isaac Miles, 1844-46; Jacob Searl, 1845, 1847, 1848; Joab B. Hughes, 1849; Joseph D. Beard, 1850; Samuel C. Wilson,
1851; Hazen Hughes, 1852-53; D. A. Knapp, 1854-55; Sidney Stowe, 1856; John W. Eldridge, 1857-58, 1865; O. W. Story,
as; Robert Snow, 186o; Charles M. Crandall, 1861; Christopher Jennings, 1862, 1864; C. W. Saunders, 1866-68, 1877-8o;
Thomas Miller, 1869-70; Benjamin Willis, 1871; J. H. Saunders, 1872; James M. Davis, 1873-74; Eaton Kinney, 1875-1876;
B. T. Willis, i88r-85, J. M. Davis, 1886-87; A. P. McIntosh, 1888-90; M. L. Brainard, 1891-92; I. S. Hunt, 1893-95.
OFFICERS FOR 1895. - I. S. Hunt, supervisor; J. D. Shuart, town clerk; R. R. Seeley, W. B. Renwick, Newton Sumner
and F. S. Burlingame, justices of the peace; William M. Gleason, Henry Guilford, Eaton Kinney, assessors; F. C.
Hastings, commissioner of highways; Lyman Stanton, collector; Michael Burke, overseer of the poor; Addison G. Weaver,
George Wilson, inspectors of election, 1st district; R. Bradway Renwick, George I. Fisk, 2d district; Lyman Stanton,
W. E. Vaughan, Almond Burlingame, Michael Garvin, John Farnum, constables; Henry Gleason, Charles P. Bixby, Charles
English, commissioners of excise.
BELFAST VILLAGE. - Mention has been made of the settlement on the low flats near the dam and bridge, northeast
of the present village. One effect of the "big flood" of 1835 was a movement to change the business places
and residences from the low flats to the plateau, or table land, then. covered with an immense growth of timber,
and the building of the new village soon began. The growth for the first few years was slow. Henry D. Lyman about
1840 built a hotel, and Robert Renwick a store. It was not however until the completion of the Genesee Valley canal
was made reasonably certain that sufficient confidence was inspired to promote a vigorous and substantial growth.
Judge Benjamin Chamberlain was quick to discern. the trend of things material, and so (as was his custom in such
cases) he purchased all the purchasable land where the village is, and in the fall of 1849 employed Charles Williams
to lay it out in lots and streets and make a village map preparatory to offering lots for sale. He also included
in this village plat a public park which he deeded "to the people of the town of Belfast." A cemetery
then existed on the present village lots of Mrs. Hattie Johnson and John Holden, but early in 1850 the bodies were
removed, mostly to the cemetery in the eastern part of the village.
Stimulated by the public works and the prospects of the canal the village grew quite rapidly. The headquarters
of the engineer corps for this portion of the canal was established here, and contributed toward enlivening things,
and general prosperity ensued which has continued with occasional brief interruptions to the present. By 1852 the
village had a newspaper, A. N. Cole starting the Genesee Valley Free Press, soon removing it to Wellsvillefr For
felicity of situation no village on the Genesee river equals Belfast. It is above the highest water. The ground
is dry, good springs are abundant, and the well water is pure. A high order of interest is taken in religious and
educational matters, and the morals of its people are of a high standard, with school, churches, societies, etc.,
of a corresponding character.
BUSINES INTERESTS, 1895. - The leading dealers. in general merchandise are N. C. Saunders & Co., and I. S.
Hunt, in hardware; Thornton and Freeborn. E. Carter & Co., manufacture and deal in harnesses, etc.; the Tarba
Manufacturing Company conducts milling in all branches and saw and planing mills, and R. G. Young deals in flour
and feed. V. I. Cook and Mr. Dort are watchmakers and jewelers; and "Norm" Holden runs the Belfast House.
The village has the usual accessories of shops and mechanics and a bank. With many natural attractions and many
monied citizens who are proud of their home, the future of the village is a promising one.
Banks and Exchange. - Until the latter half of this century no regularly established banks were nearer Belfast
than Bath, Olean, Warsaw and Geneseo. About 1852 Joab and Hazen Hughes established here a branch of the Millford
Bank of New Jersey. The bills were issued and signed by the Messrs. Hughes, as president or vice president and
cashier. Business was conducted successfully until 1856 or 57, when it went down in the general financial crash
of the country. It seems well established that A. J. Lewis was the next to conduct the purchase and sale of exchange
and the best informed fix the time as 1863. For eight years from 1865 B. T Willis & Bros. did private banking,
and before they ceased to operate, J. M. Davis opened an account in New York, and bought and sold exchange and
THE BANK OF BELFAST was organized March 25, 1882, as a co-partnership in which the several stockholders are individually
liable to the extent of their means, and all are directors. The first officers were: James M. Davis, president;
Charles W. Saunders, vice president; W. B. Manley, cashier. The bank represents a capital of $200,000. Present
stockholders are: J. M. Davis, I. S. Hunt, Mrs. Emma J. Davis, Miss S. S. Jennings, David Kinney, Alfred Spring,
Mrs. Sophia Jennings, G. Fisk, Mrs. Eliza Saunders, and W. B. Manley. The present officers are: J. M. Davis, president;
I. S. Hunt, vice president, and W. B. Manley, cashier. R. Bradway Renwick is employed as bookkeeper. For the fourteen
years of its existence, the business has been conducted upon a sound financial policy. By careful and conservative
management and fair treatment to its customers the bank has steadily grown in public favor and is one of the reliable
financial institutions of the county.
One of the best business institutions of Belfast is the M. B. Tarba Manufacturing Company's plant, consisting of
a custom and merchant flouring and gristmill and a saw and planingmill. The present structure of the gristmill
was built about 1852, by Parshall and Eldridge. About the same time H. and C. Rich put in a sawmill and sash, door
and blind factory. The gristmill occupies nearly if not quite the site of the old "Cherry mills," The
property now combined has frequently changed hands Some years since it was owned by George B. Knickerbocker; later
by L. F. Hull, who enlarged and improved it, introducing the full roller process, and other improved machines and
devices, enabling it to successfully compete with any mill in this section of the state. The Tarba Manufacturing
Company are the present owners and the mill and connected industries are doing a successful business.
[Continued in History
of Belfast, New York Part 2]
[Also see Belfast,
N. Y. Townsmen]