Hunt for a Lost Man. - The most thrilling episode in the early history of Wellsville
was the organized hunt for Job Straite, Sr., in 1833. The pioneers were a close body of brothers, deeply interested
in each other's welfare. Settlements were few and isolated, and men were friends, not merely acquaintances. It
was not remarkable that when the old man Straite 90 years of age, wandered into the forest that the settlers, for
a radius of nine miles or more, united in a search for the lost man. One Sunday in April, 1833, the old gentleman
started to visit his grandson. The path was a narrow one through the forest. Nothing was thought of the old man's
absence till Monday afternoon when the son discovered that he had never reached his destination. An alarm was immediately
sounded through the neighborhood and a searching parry organized, but no trace of the wanderer could be found.
The search on Tuesday was also unsuccessful. Excitement became intense. On Wednesday men gave up their usual work
and made a business of the search. The man had been out three cold nights. Whispers of foul play circulated, out
of the way places were searched for his remains, for it was believed that he must certainly have been murdered.
None could suggest an incentive for the dark deed however, and many did not believe its commission possible. Thursday,
Friday and Saturday they searched continuously. On Saturday, the eighth day, hope of his discovery while alive
was given up. Excitement grew apace. Men from Scio, Andover, Willing and Independence joined the hunt. Parties
were organized and 200 or more men systematically scoured the country. A line was formed reaching from Wellsville
to Andover on the south side of Dike's Creek. About 8 o'clock Sunday morning companies began to move slowly and
cautiously forward scanning every foot of ground. Men were in speaking distance of each Other and armed with guns
and horns. The country was a perfect wilderness in which it was very easy to lose one's way. Toward the close of
the afternoon three sharp shots and a blast of horns woke the echoes of the hills south of Dike's Creek, about
half way between Andover and Wellsville. The man was found and found alive. At least he breathed, but his mind
was gone, and he sat unconsciously digging with his band a hole in the ground. His mouth was filled with earth
and roots which he had attempted to eat. His condition was indeed pitiable, but not so for long. Kind friends took
turns carrying him to the road. At John Harvey's, the nearest house (where Emory Cook now lives), a blanket was
procured and rigged to poles. On this the old man was carried to Shoemaker's Corners (now Elm Valley). Here Dr.
Rice resuscitated Mr. Straite who eventually recovered and lived for several years. Manson Rice of Andover discovered
the lost man. Erastus Baker first answered the glad blast which Rice blew on discovering the wanderer. One shot
followed another down the long line, the sound of conchshells and horns and hilarious shouts mingled in the valley
until the joyful news was carried miles away and all the searchers were informed: "The lost is found !"
"The lost is found!'
The Village in 1837, and the Brewster Survey. - Mrs. Joanna Coats, widow of Welcome H. Coats, remembers the village
of 1836 and 1837. In November, 1836, she came with her husband from Alfred. It was the proposed construction of
the Erie railroad that brought them. In '37 they built a frame house on the site of the present Coats homestead
next to the city building. Mr. Coats was a cabinet maker and in. 1838 established a small shop in his house. The
turning lathes were run by horse power. In 1852 the first steam engine used in the village was put in the shop,
which had been moved from the dwelling, and occupied the site of the present brick store. W. H. Coats was the villages
pioneer manufacturer. The present Coats Furniture Company, of which he was the founder, is our oldest manufacturing
concern. Other than the early settlers already mentioned Mrs Coates remembers that Stephen Taylor, E. A. Smith,
Jno. F. Goddard, Samuel Shingler and A. E. Bronson were here in '37. "Eph." Smith soon after his arrival
in '37 purchased the Mill street grist and saw mills and conducted them for a few years. He afterwards owned the
greater portion of lot 3 as well as considerable property along Main street farther down the river. He built the
homestead now remodeled and occupied by E. C. Bradley. The river road then ran directly by the house. The highway
then was not as straight as Main street; for instance, the road took a sharp turn to the north near Furnace street
and ran through about where the lane is in the rear of the business blocks. After passing around the deep gully
which lay between Furnace and Pearl, the street swung back toward the river again. The ravine was not "filled
in" for years after the street was straightened. Ambrose Coats, who was born at Riverside in 1837, says, that
as a boy he remembers a valley between two hills on Main street. The sides seemed steep and precipitous. Today
on either side of the street the gully remains unfilled. Where O'Connor Bros. store was erected it was not necessary
to excavate for the cellar. Not till L. D. Davis became the first street commissioner of the village was the road
made really level. Mr. Davis' efforts at that time (1867) were saluted with these verses from the pen of the versatile
Dr. H. M. Sheerar;
Davis! spare our street,
Touch not a single stone
Where oft our children's feet
Have trampled in mud alone.
'Twas our forefather's hand
That laid it near our lot,
There, Davis, let it stand,
Thy spade must harm it not.
That old familiar street,
Whose mud and pumplog down
Below the surface neat,
Take water through the town.
Davis! forbear thy stroke,
Spoil not the rugged grade.
I tell you 'tis no joke,
Your army with a spade.
In '37 and for many years afterwards the village extended down the river only to Furnace street. When in 1842 a
school house was built upon the Academy site its location was said to be "out in the country in the woods,"
though the site was in the village as surveyed by Sheldon Brewster in '37. The Baptist church site was not then
in the village. The Brewster survey plotted the settlement into village lots and located 15 streets. The village
comprised about 75 acres and lay entirely within great lot 3 of the Willing and Francis Tract, Morris Reserve.
The south line began at the junction of Dikes' Creek with the river at State street bridge and crossed Main street
and took in the Hanrahan blacksmith shop. The west boundary was the river. The east line was nearly parallel to
Main street and about 56 rods distance therefrom. The present central business section lies within these boundaries.
Main street extends from the south to the north line of lot 3. Broad, Harrison, and Washington streets were parallel
to Main. Clinton and Lafayette were south of present State street and 10 degrees off from a right angle to Main.
Franklin, Mineral, Jefferson, Genesee, Nelson and Pine were on the east side of Main State and Mill crossed Main.
Clementina Square of 1 1/2 acres was bounded north by Washington, east by Jefferson, south by Harrison and west
by Genesee. Capt. Geo. H. Blackman's residence is on this square.
Old Residents and an early Wedding. - In the spring of 1839 Mr. John B. Clark stopped at the VanBuren tavern. He
says: "There were few buildings on Main street then. Gardiner Wells, James Fosbury, H. VanBuren, A. M. Taylor
and Nelson and Cornelius Seely I remember well. The night I reached Wellsville 16 couples attended a dance at the
VanBurens '. The pretty girls at that dance had much to do with my settling here," said the old man with a
twinkle in his eye. "In '40 I purchased some timber land of Judge Bartlett and also the John F. Godard farm."
In 1848 Mr. Clark married Miss Anna L. Knight who, of all our residents, has had the longest continuous residence
here. She was born in 1832 in a log cabin which stood on Genesee street near the Clinton House. Their wedding on
Nov. 22, 1848, was a great event. The ceremony took place in the Thompson Castle" at Riverside, the finest
mansion within a radius of many miles,* where Mr. Clark's mother was living. The mansion this night presented a
gay appearance. It was illuminated not only with hundreds of wax candles, but with lamps, in which whale oil at
$1.00 a gallon was burned. One hundred guests were present. They came from the whole surrounding country. One room
of the castle was set apart for the liquid refreshments which were furnished the guests. Costly wines and old liquors,
such as a new country seldom tasted, were free as water, yet it is said there was no intoxication. Elder Hammond
of the Congregational church performed the ceremony. The "castle" was certainly not haunted with ghosts
that night. The last bit of this interesting structure formed a part of the Riverside Sanatorium which burned a
few years ago. The DePeyster house, built by a friend of Captain Thompson's below the "castle" is still
standing, and owned by Dr. E. V. Sheerar.
The Erie Railroad. - In 1839 the New York and Erie Railroad Co. began to build the road through this section. The
original plan of construction was to raise the rails some distance above the ground. A few of the timbers used
for this purpose are now in use as sills under the Z. H. Jones residence, built in 1840. Horace Riddle had the
construction contract for this section. He boarded his men in a rough shanty on the corner of Genesee and Loder
streets. From 1840 the growth of the town was remarkable. The railroad was coming and the canal had come to Dansville.
Pine lands now had a value. Settlers came in rapidly. A new era dawned. Sawmills sprang into existence and a spirit
of activity and prosperity resulted. Wellsville began to feel sure of its future. It remained however a typical
lumber town for many years. In the summer its streets were piled full of lumber and in the sleighing season it
was not at all unusual for 100 teams to start in a day for Dansville. The decades preceding and following the completion
of the Erie, in '52, saw this town outstrip its neighbors in population; there were a great many new comers.
Civil History of Township. - The importance and rapid growth of Wellsville, the extent of territory of the township
of Scio, and the great inconvenience caused our residents thereby led to the formation of Wellsville township,
Nov. 22, 1855. It was set off partially from Willing and Andover, but mostly from old Scio, and is bounded north
by Scio and Andover, east by Andover and Independence, south by Willing and Alma and west by Scio, with an area
of 22,647 acres.* At the first town meeting, held at the house of Harmon VanBuren, March 4, 1856, were elected:
Supervisor, J. Milton Mott; town clerk, Jonathan Wyatt; justices of the peace, Zenas H. Jones. Samuel Sturgess,
Levi S. Thomas and Alanson Holt; assessors, E. W. Wells and W. H. H. Wyllys; collector, Hiram Parish; constables.
Hiram Parish, David G. Sterling, Geo. A. Farnum, Clark C. Abbott and E. E. Enos overseers of the poor, Harmon VanBuren
and Elijah Stowell; commissioners of highways, C. L. Farnum, S. O. Thomas and David Jones. In 1855, before Wellsville
was erected, Scio had a population of 3,184; in 1860 it had but 1,631. In 1860 Wellsville had 2,432 inhabitants;
in 1865, 3,070; in 1870, 3,781; in 1875, 4,243; in 1880, 4,259; in 1890, 4,765. The state enumeration of 1892 recorded
5,000 residents. It was said at the time that it was not growth as much as inaccuracy in the federal census of
1890 accounted for the difference. The town has had a steady and prosperous growth during every decade. From 1865
to 1875 there was a considerable boom, in the first 5 years after the war 711 people were added to our population.
From 1870 to 1875 there was little growth but no backward tendency, from 1869 to 1875 was our era of building and
substantial improvement. The census of 1890 gives the assessed valuation of real and personal property of the town
as total, $1,277,472; per capita $268.09; total tax levy $27,478, rate per $100, $2.15, per capita $5.77, true
value of real estate $1,928,582, assessed value of real estate taxed $1,142,722. The state, county and town tax
laid upon the town in 1895 is $13,296.13. With the return and non resident taxes. the total amount to be collected
is $13,929.70. The assessed value of real estate is $1,266,755; of personal property $322,500. Total equalized
value $1,426,746. Amount assessed to corporations $410,670.
* (The story of how and why we of present Wellsville bold right and title to the soil on which we live is of great
interest. It demonstrates how indissolubly the history of all places on the earth's surface is connected. It shows
conclusively that to appreciate local history one must read it in the light of broader knowledge. The story, not
considering at all the early claims of the Dutch, carries us back to the early part of the 17th century, when,
by alleged right of discovery, King James L of England, on Nov. 3, 162o, granted the Plymouth Company all that
vast and unexplored tract of land extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans between the Both and 48th parallels
of latitude. By force of arms the English maintained possession of the eastern part of this grant against the claims
of France. By the success of the American armies against the British in the Revolutionary War the title of the
soil passed to the several states and a serious dispute arose between Massachusetts and New York regarding the
lands in what is now Western New York. Massachusetts claimed the title by virtue of the Royal Charter to the Plymouth
Company whose preemptive right had been passed to that state. New York claimed title by virtue of the grant of
Charles I. to the Duke of York, dated March 12, x664, and the voluntary submission to the crown of the Iroquois
Confederacy of Indians in 1634. There was justice in the claim of each state, for the grants had been carelessly
made and unquestionably conflicted. Happily the historic dispute was amicably adjusted and by a compact made Dec.
x6, 1786, New York secured the sovereignty and jurisdiction which meant the right to govern, and Massachusetts
the title to the soil on condition of purchasing from the native Indians. On April x 1783, Massachusetts agreed
to convey to Phelps and Gorham, who were acting for themselves and others, all its right and title to 6,000,000
acres of land for $x,000,000, if the purchasers would buy of the Indians. Phelps and Gorham, at the treaty of Buffalo
Creek, July, 1788. purchased the natives' title to about 2M million acres of the eastern portion of their purchase.
This tract is what is known as the Phelps & Gorham purchase and included Independence and a part of Andover,
the eastern boundaries of Wellsville. Phelps and Gorham were unable to fulfill their contract with Massachusetts,
and on the 10th of March, 1791, induced that state to resume its right to that portion of Western New York to which
the Indians still held title. This tract included all the land that is now comprised in the town of Wellsville.
On May 11, 1791, Robert Morris, the illustrious financier whose services were of such vital importance to the nation
during the Revolution, bought this land of Massachusetts for $333,000 3,750,000 acres in all Phelps and Gorham
retained the property to which theIndian title had been extinguished at Buffalo Creek. In 1792 and 1793 Morris
sold this land excepting the eastern portion, which became the Morris Reserve, to the Holland Land Company, agreeing
to extinguish the Indian title by purchasing of theSeneca Nation of Indians their native right. This was done at
the Treaty of Big Tree at Geneseo in September, 1797. The "Morris Reserve ' was a strip of land, six miles
in width, extending through the state from north to south. It included two ranges of Allegany county townships
beginning with Alma and Willing on the south. Wellsville was entirely within its confines. The present village
is mostly included m the Willing and Francis tract and the Morris Reserve, though on the northwest the Church estate
owned some of itsacres and a part of lot 24 of the Schermerhorn tract embraced a bit of it. The business portion
of the village is all in the Willing and Francis tract. Let us follow (not considering the early Dutch claims)
the title to the soil on which the Union School building on Main street stands: 1. Indians, Seneca Nation of Iroquois:
2. English Royal Charter to Plymouth Company; 3. English Royal Charter to Duke of York, claims conflicted; 4. New
York and Massachusetts, claims conflicted; 5. Massachusetts; 6. Phelps and Gorham; 7. Massachusetts; S. Robert
Morris, purchased the native Indian right as well as Massachusetts title; 9. Willing and Francis; 10 Gardiner Wells;
ix. E. A. Smith; 52. School Trustees.)
Business Men. - Between '50 and '60 there came to Wellsville scores of men the effect of whose lives are indelibly
impressed on the character of our town. Julius Hoyt and Henry N. Lewis succeeded Conklin & Lee in the dry goods
and grocery business. E B Tuner, Frank and George Russell, H. G. White, Samuel and John Carpenter,*' Alexander
Smith, Libbeus Sweet, Daniel Dobbins, Dickenson Clark, H. M. Sheerar, R. & J. Doty, O. L. Mather, A. A. Howard,
H. G. Taylor, A. S. French, Harvey Alger, Alfred S. Brown, James Swift, L. D. Davis, I. W. Fassett, A. A. Goodliff,
Duncan McEwen, A. N. Cole, Thomas L. Smith, Wm. F. Jones, Henry L. Jones, Dr. H. H. Nye. W. H. Stoddard, Joseph
Macken, and later his sons, and many who came before the war expended their energies in establishing prosperous
professions or branches of trade, which, though perhaps not now conducted under the original firm names, will continue
so long as the village exists.
War Times. - Fron '60 to '65 local events were overshadowed by the awful War of the Rebellion. The intense excitement
of the presidential campaign of '60 was followed by the firing on Fort Sumter in the spring of '61 and the defeat
at Bull Run in July. Within Wellsville were felt and enacted the tragedies of the times Men went wild and there
were many volunteers, boys and men, rich and poor; Capt. J. A. Brown raised the first Wellsville company which
joined the 85th N. Y. The gallant Capt. Hiram A. Coats went out as a lieutenant and Charles Farnum was one of the
non commissioned officers. President Lincoln's call in '62 for 300,000 men was handsomely responded to. Companies
of the 27th and 64th N. Y.; the 130th N. Y. or 1st Dragoons, 93d N. Y., 5th N. Y. cavalry, and the 13th artillery
were in, part composed of our people. Public meetings were held, the news of battle was received with bated breath,
wounded, dying and dead men were brought home, fathers, brothers and lovers languished at Libby, Andersonville
or Belle Isle. One night a "copperhead" was carried through the streets on a rail. The windows of another
were painted black. Enlistments were made in the Baptist church, where the Deity was implored to favor the armies
of the North against slavery and secession. In '61 and '62 General McClellan was cursed for his inactivity. In
'63 and '64 Sheridan was applauded and blessed for devastating the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Such was war. It
purged us of the National disgrace of slavery and maintained our Union, but it awoke the beast in man. America
will never again see such a struggle. The news of the final surrender of Lee, though anticipated, came like an
electric shock of joy to the North. Bells were rung, guns fired, parades organized, meetings held, speeches made,
and, most delightful and enjoyable of all, the "Boys in Blue" were welcomed home. Welcomed, however,
with decimated ranks, ruined in health, and blasted fortunes, and yet today there lives a class of unpatriotic
agitators who begrudge the volunteers of 35 years ago a pension from the richest, most prosperous and most powerful
government on earth, which owes its life to the heroes of the Rebellion.
The 10 years succeeding the war period witnessed a very great change locally. Values shot rapidly upward. Many
business men of energy, intelligence and honesty became citizens. Among them was C. H. Simmons, who came in April,
1864, from Oswayo, Pa., where he had been in business. His goods came via. the Erie to Wellsville and thence by
the old plank road to Oswayo. For 15 years this road had been in use, extending down the present Plank road street
(better called West Main) and up the river. It was of immense benefit to Wellsville. In '64, however, it was getting
out of repair and Simmons, who always acted on impulse, decided one day that there was no use carting goods over
a bad road when he could do more business by moving to Wellsville. He came and conquered. The volume of his trade
became remarkable. Tke first day's business aggregated $400, and it was not long before he had made a $3,000 sale
in one day. In April, 1874. the month's business was $25,000, and in the year $200,000 worth of goods were sold
by him. "Charlie" Simmons, as he was familiarly known, did more for the town than any other man who has
ever lived here. Though his career was short, only 10 years in length, for he died in April, 1875. his business
influence and his name will live forever. As public spirited as he was shrewd and sharp in business. he made the
interests of the municipality his own. After the great fires of '67, which swept away at least 40 buildings, in
fact almost the entire Main street, Simmons was the first to begin to build. He erected Pioneer block, a two story
brick building. This was not completed however so soon as the York and Barnes block (the Beever meat market), which
was the first brick store finished in the village. Simmons built the 3 story Opera House block in 1871, and several
other brick buildings about the same time. He purchased considerable property at Riverside and began a systematic
"boom" of that locality, erecting a. splendid residence and other dwellings, and contemplated building
a street railway to Riverside from Wellsville. He was the founder of Riverside Collegiate Institute, which had
a prosperous and useful existence for many years. Simmons was certainly a man of extraordinary business ability.
He amassed a large fortune, which after his death disappeared as rapidly as he had made it. But the marks his career
left in this community will never disappear. His energetic life erected his monument.
In 1870 the Howard tannery employed 75 men and was our principal industry. Will's tannery employed about 40 men
and the Baldwin tannery 15 hands. Hatch's tannery was the smallest, though the oldest in the village. In '70 the
principal industry was lumbering, though the forests were rap idly disappearing. In 1854 Carlton Farnum noted in
his diary that the yearly shipment of pine was 50,000,000 feet. E. J. Farnum, I W. Fassett and A. A. Goodliff were
extensive lumber dealers. L. D. Davis, E. J. Walker, Clark & Easton ran planing mills. Coats Bros. cabinet
shop employed 13 hands. The McEwen machine shops and Swift's grist mill did a good business. James Thornton, who
had come to Wellsville directly after being mustered out of the service at the close of the war, employed 10 men
in the manufacture of harness. R. & J. Doty kept a wagon shop which employed several men and the L. Sweet machine
shop did a large business. In 1868 the amount of freight forwarded from here via. Erie railroad was 12,553 tons
against 7,478 received. An article published in the Free Press, April 29, 1868, says:
Wellsville, though one of the youngest towns in this section, is already the largest town in the county, and today
contains more inhabitants than any village between Hornellsville and Dunkirk. There are more goods sold here than
at any other point on the Erie between Elmira and Dunkirk. It is not likely that trade will ever be diverted from
this point. It is peculiarly adapted to manufacturers, and should a railroad ever open to the cheap fuel lying
south of us, we should become a large manufacturing town. We now have one of the best markets for all kinds of
farm produce. The town has suffered severely from fire and presents a ragged and rather mare appearance, but we
soon shall have sidewalks, shade trees and graded streets. We now have churches, a good school, two daily mails
each way, and daily lines of stage to the country south of us.'
The Free Press had good reasons to thus wax eloquent, for Wellsville was at the time growing more rapidly than
ever before or since. In 1871, 12 brick stores and the Fassett House were erected and 150 buildings put up in various
parts of town. From '66 to '71 inclusive the town added 1,000 inhabitants, and enumerated 4,000 people. It has
taken near five times as long since '71 to gain another thousand. The growth, however, has been sure and steady
with never a backward step. The decade from '70 to '80 was both ushered in and concluded with a boom. Business
activity, lumbering and farming made things hum until the panic of '73 which quieted, though it did' not seriously
affect, our business. In June, 1879, petroleum was discovered in paying quantities in Scio, 44 miles away. Great
things were predicted and there began an era of excitement and speculation. In the production of oil much money
was made, but in the speculative exchange hundreds of thousands of dollars were lost by our business men. There
was a considerable influx of monied men, and, though we were only on the border of the oil field, the oil business
did much for us in many ways. The era of substantial improvement, the decade from '80 to '90, was one of the most
remarkable in the history of Wellsville, characterized as it was by the erection of a number of brick blocks, the
purchase of our beautiful park, the construction of water works, the introduction of natural gas, the building
of a fine theatre, a new church and two new railroads.
Railroad Boom. - The location of Wellsville on the direct line of the New York & Erie railroad, which was in
its early days the greatest railroad in the world, gave a wonderful impetus to the growth of the town. The coming
of the railroad had been heralded since the early thirties, but bankruptcy and misfortune had overtaken it so many
times that the people had despaired of its final completion, and, so when in 1851 the line was formally opened
with a jubilee at Dunkirk at which the great Daniel Webster was the orator, all the Erie towns in Southern New
York went suddenly wild with ideas of their importance. The boom, however, had a substantial foundation. Wellsville
became the shipping point and general market for the country south of here and has so remained. Carlton Farnum
wrote in his diary in 1850, that "Our village, under the expectation of the early completion of the New York
& Erie. is growing rapidly. The census for '49 gives us a population of 400. Village lots are selling briskly
and many cheap buildings are being erected." In March, 1851, he wrote, "Pine lands are changing hands
and Eastern lumbermen are erecting mills and building roads, etc., in order to manufacture the pine. Tradesmen
are rushing in and stores and wooden blocks are springing up like mushrooms in all parts of the village."
The Wellsville, Coudersport & Pine Creek R. R. was chartered Nov. 14, 1881. The company was capitalized at
$100,000. and stock to the amount of $68,554 in actual cash, was sold in and about Wellsville. The road was constructed
along the west bank of the Genesee, 10.45 miles to Genesee Forks, Pa., and later to Perryville. The road began
immediately to do a paying business. In 1894, 25,512 passengers were carried, earning the road $5.809. Freight
receipts amounted to $19,899, making the total net income, $10,234. Six per cent. annual dividends were declared.
The officers were John McEwen, president and general man ger; W. B. Coats, vice president; E. C. Bradley, secretary;
Oak S. Duke, treasurer; Chas. E. Davis, auditor and general freight agent; C. A. Farnum, attorney. In September,
1895, F. H. and C. W. Goodyear of Buffalo purchased the road for $110,000. It makes a northern extension of the
Buffalo & Susquehanna system and affords a direct connection with the Erie at this place. In the fall of 1895
25 miles of road were constructed, connecting Galeton with Perry vale, and Jan. 1, 1896, the new system was opened
to the public. Wellsville was thus made the northern terminus and Erie connection of a line of railroad tapping
the rich forest lands and mines of Potter county, and connecting Gold, Austin, Gaines, Galeton, etc., and Ulysses
and Coudersport by an intersecting line. This road may ultimately run to Buffalo. The Buffalo & Susquehanna
affords the best connections for all points south via. Williamsport, and the shortest, though not the quickest,
route to New York City, and restores the old supremacy of Wellsville as the business supply point for Potter county.
The Bolivar, Eldred & Cuba narrow guage railroad, chartered May 11, 1881, connecting Wellsville with the oil
field became a source of considerable profit to the merchants in bringing trade this way. The main line was originally
from Cuba to Little Genesee. The line from Wellsville to Petrolia, Allentown, Bolivar and Ceres (24 miles) came
at length to be the main division. The company owned 58 1/4 miles of road, including branches and sidings, costing
$600,000. In 1883 the road was abandoned and the iron removed.
United Pipe Line Station. - Three miles from the village, on the Andover road, the Standard Oil Company, as the
National Transit Company, in 1883, erected a station of the United Pipe Lines. Hundreds of men were employed that
summer in putting up the 35,000 barrel iron tanks The 70 tanks now standing have a storage capacity of 2,500,000
barrels. Oil from the Allegany field and from the main pipe line is received.
The Duke Lumber Company's mill, a mile and a half up the river, manufactures great quantities of hemlock timber.
This firm employs 22 men in this mill, and many more in their other plants, doing one of the largest hemlock lumber
business in the Empire State. Wm. Duke of this place and Charles Duke of Duke Centre, Pa., comprise the company.
A mill on the site of this mill and the Hull & Morse plant at Riverside were very early sawmills. Of the score
or more of these mills once doing a thriving business but one other than the Duke remains, the Matthew Mess plant
on Brimmer Brook, where several hands are employed. The days of remunerative lumber manufacturing here are about
ended, as the hemlock, like the pine of long ago, has been pretty thoroughly cut from our forests. Hakes &
Williams' mill on Dike's Creek; Mead's mill 3 miles east of the village; Lewis' mill and the Johnson mill, all
established at quite early dates, cut at least 5.000,000 feet annually in the seventies.
Crowner Cheese Factory, situated on Dike's Creek, was built in 1892 by Samuel Cornelius. It is owned by William
Wahl. The milk of 250 cows is used.
Riverside. - Our beautiful residence suburb, appropriately called "Riverside," is an ideal place for
a home. Located on high ground above the river, hills rise yet hundreds of feet above and beyond giving a grand
view. Riverside extends practically from the western boundary of the village corporation to and beyond Scio line.
Central Riverside is one and a half miles from the postoffice. It lies along the river road, comprises rich farms,
many comfortable homes, and several elegant residences. The Robertson mansion, valued at $30,000. one of the finest
houses in the county, the Barnes' home with its well tilled acres and pleasant house and grounds, the Baldwin,
Wilcox, Coats, King, Woodward, Sheerar and Burt places and scores of other houses make up the settlement. Prosperity
began when the energetic Charles H. Simmons purchased the district, erected a house and began to systematically
"boom" the neighborhood. In 1873 he built and endowed the Riverside Collegiate Institute. Rev. J. S.
Bingham, the first president, was succeeded by Prof. A. G. Slocum. In 1877 Rev. A. W. Cummings purchased the institution
and successfully conducted it for several years. The buildings burned in 1888 and were not rebuilt. At intervals
there has been a sanitarium at Riverside. Dr. Dargitz conducted one with a goodly number of patients for some years.
Destroyed by fire in '92 it was not rebuilt.
We have had three great and many lesser floods. Sept. 20, 1861, the river and tributaries rising rapidly tore out
dams and bridges. Half Brooklyn was under water. Cattle and horses were drowned, Dike's Creek bridge carried away
and water filled the road from Hanrahan's shop to the Advent church. The water cut a channel 93 feet in width beyond
the State street bridge. The awful flood of 1865 occurred March 17th. A warm rain melted the four feet of snow.
The State street and lower bridges and several dams were swept away. Jacob Weaver lost his life while trying to
cross the rope and one plank footbridge temporarily strung across where the lower bridge had been. In June, 1889,
the storm that produced the Johnstown, Pa., disaster caused the most disastrous flood in our history. Both our
railroads were greatly damaged, crops and many cattle were destroyed, numerous buildings carried away or injured
and dams swept down the river. The water covered the fairground and park, marking 14 feet above the stream's bed.
Edmond Fitterer was drowned in the rear of his residence opposite "Brooklyn" schoolhouse.
Supervisors. - J. Milton Mott, 1856; Zenas H. Jones, 1857; C. L. Farnum, 1858; Wm. S. Johnson, 1859-1861; I. W.
Fassett, 1862; Hiram York, 1863; Adolphus Howard, 1864-5-6; Sumner Baldwin, 1867-8; Tie vote, 1868; Sumner Baldwin,
1869-70-1-2; John Carpenter, 1873; Sumner Baldwin, 1874; Wheeler Hakes, 1875-6; Dickinson Clark, 1877-8-9; Wm.
R. McEwen, 1880-1; Hiram A. Coats, 1882; Thomas O'Connor, 1883; A. A. Almy, 1884-5; Wm. Duke, Jr., 1886; E. A.
Osborn, 1887-8; Harry W. Breckenridge, 1889: O. D. Browning, 1890-1-2; G. H. Witter, M. D., 1893-4-5.