TOWN OF BETHANY.
Bethany is one of the four towns in the southern tier. It is bounded on the north
by Batavia and Stafford, on the east by Stafford and Pavilion, on the south by Middlebury, Wyoming county, and
on the west by Alexander. Bethany, like Alexander, is perfectly square in form. Its northern half is gently undulating,
while in the southern section it is somewhat hilly. Black creek passes in a northerly direction through the town,
east of the centre. White creek rises in the southeast corner, and flows northeasterly. Little Tonawanda creek
passes northwesterly through the southwest corner. The soil is ferMie and well adapted to the culture of fruit
and grain, and to grazing. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad passes through the northern part of the
town and a branch of the Erie Railroad crosses the southwest corner.
Bethany was first settled in 1803 by John Torry, who came from Cayuga county. During the same year Orsamus Kellogg,
Lyman D. Prindle, Samuel Prindle, Charles Culver, John Dewey, Jedediah Riggs, Nathaniel Pinney, Horace Shepard,
M. Scott, David Hall, Captain George Lathrop, Solomon Lathrop, Richard Pearson, and 0. Fletcher purchased farms
in town and either settled there or declared their intentions of doing so. The first grist mill is believed to
have been that built by John Wilder for Judge Wilson, in 1810, on the Little Tonawanda creek, in the southestern
part of the town. That stream furnishes a good water power at that point. A carding and woolen mill was built in
1809 by Calvin Barrows. A saw mill was built even earlier in 1808 by a Mr. Coles. The first tavern at Lindenthen
known as Gad-Pouchwas conducted by Joseph Chamberlain in a house built by Mr. Lusk. Sylvester Lincoln had a tavern
near by as early as 1805. In later years Nathaniel Eastman had a stone distillery there, W. H. Barrows a cabinet
shop, Mr. Webster and Mr. Gardner had asheries, Mr. Towner a grist mill. The Freewill Baptist church, organized
in 1809, was the first in town.
Bethany was formed from Batavia, June 8, 1812. But there are in existence no official
town records prior to 1847, excepting the list of supervisors since 1831, which are to be found in the office of
the county clerk. Following are the names of the supervisors of Bethany:
1831, Nathan Rumsey; 18321833, Ira Wait; 1834, Josiah Churchill; 1835-1837, Ira Wait; 18381840, John Jenne; 18411843,
Charles Kendall; 1844, William W. Rumsey; 18451846, Jesse Norton; 18471848. John Jeune: 18491851, William W.
Rumsey; 1852, Reuben Kendall; 1853, John Jenne; 1854. Daniel L. Worthington: 1855 1856, Orlando R. Croff; 18571859,
Carlos A. Huggins; 18601861. Lemuel F. Lincoln; 1862, Ahnon Smith; 18631865, Robert S. Fargo; 18661867, Lyman
Brown; 18681869, William L. Hamilton; 18701871, Charles A. Lathrop; 18721873, Benjamin F. Peck; 18741875, Carlos
A. Huggins; 18761881, Benjamin F. Hamilton; 1882, John Markley; 1883, Joseph Crawford: 1884, John Markley: 18851888.
Collis H. Sammis; 18891890, James H. Gifford; 18911892, Daniel Harris; 1893, Charles W. Hamilton; 1894-1898,
John R. Bennington.
The names of the town clerks as they appear on the records in the possession of the town clerk are:
Charles Kendall, jr., 1847; Erastus Northrup, 1848; ira R. Gifford, 1849; Erastus Northrup, 1850; Ira R. Gifford,
18511852; Solomon B. Lathrop, 1853-1855; Cyrus R. Nichols, 18561859; Ebenezer W. Lincoln, 18601871; Ganson W.
Croff, 18721873; Charles W. Cone, 1874; Ganson W. Croff, 18751886; Charles W. Rumsey, 18871888; Charles M. Stebbins,
18891890; Orra R. Croff, 18911893; Cary B. Hoxie, 1894-1895; Henry Webster, 18961898.
The records of the election of justices are not complete. The names as they appear are as follows:
1847, Mason Blood, Luman Stevens, Charles S. Cone, Daniel L. Worthington; 1849, Dr. Orlando R. Croff; 1851, John
C. Cranston; 1852, Alexander G. Perry; 1853. Carlos A. Huggins; 1854, Carlos S. Cone, 1. t., Jabin W. Bosworth,
s. t.; 1856, Peleg H. Cornell; 1857, Charles Sprague; 1858, Jabin W. Bosworth; 1859, John F. Perry; 1860, Alexander
G. Perry: 1861, Dr. Orlando R. Croff; 1862, Peleg H. Cornell; 1863, Charles Sprague; 1864, Alexander G. Perry;
1865, Charles W. Rumsey; 1867, Charles Sprague; 1868, Peleg H. Cornell; 1869, Charles W. Rumsey; 1870, Jabin W.
Bosworth, 1. t., Henry C. Adgate, s. t.; 1872, Abram J. Voorhees, l. t., Henry C. Adgate, s. t.; 1873. Charles
W. Rumsey; 1874, Henry 0. Bostwick; 1875, William G. Peck; 1876, Nelson Blood; 1877, John M. Webster; 1878, Henry
O. Bostwick; 1879. James H. Gifford; 1880, Nelson Blood; 1881, John M. Webster, 1. t., Frederick W. Hamilton, s.
t; 1882, Frederick W. Hamilton; 1883. J. H. Gifford, 1. t., Charles A. Norton, s. t.; 1884, Nelson Blood; 1885,
John M. Watson; 1886, Charles A. Norton; 1887, G. M. Peck; 1888, Alexander G. Perry; 1889, J. M. Webster; 1890,
Walter Brown; 1891, G. M. Peck; 1892, H. M. Smith, 1. t, William Carson, s. t.; 1893, J. M. Webster; 1894, William
Carson; 1895, G. M. Peck, 1. t., Charles A. Norton, s. t.; 1896, H. M. Smith; 1897, Charles A. Norton; 1898, William
Carson, 1. t., Thurman A. Hart, s. t.
Bethany contains the Genesee county almhouse, which is located in the southern part of the town. Richard Pierson
has been a superintendent of the poor for twenty years. Connected with the house is a farm of two hundred acres.
The .Genesee Manual Labor Seminary, long since extinct, was founded in 1832, with a capital of twenty thousand
dollars. Its first principal was R. Whiting.
Linden, the most important - village in Bethany, is located in the southwestern part of the town on the Erie Railroad.
It has a good school, a grist mill, built by George Perry in 1881, a sawmill, and one or two other small industries.
East Bethany is in the northeastern section, on the D., L. & W. Railroad. It has one church (Presbyterian),
a school, a hotel, two stores and a mill.
Bethany Centre is a short distance south of the centre of the town, has two churches (Presbyterian and Baptist),
two stores and a school.
Little Canada (formerly known as Bennetts), is located in the northeastern part of the town, has a Free Methodist
church, a school, a grist and saw mill.
West Bethany is a hamlet on. the western bounds of the town. It has a church (Freeville Baptist), a school and
Bethany is an agricultural town, and has had and now has few industries aside from farming.