Incorporation of the Village of Geneva , New York
SARACUSE, N. Y., 1893


Another ten years witnessed still greater advance in municipal progress, and within that time Geneva passed beyond the stage of hamlet and became an incorporated village. The first act of the Legislature of the State of New York in relation to the village of Geneva, is an act entitled "An Act to vest certain powers and privileges in the freeholders and inhabitants in the Village of Geneva, in the County of Ontario," passed April 4, 1806.

This act was afterwards amended, but there is no record left of any proceedings under these acts, until after the passage of "An Act for the Incorporation of the Village of Geneva in the County of Ontario," passed June 8, 1812, the record of the first action being as follows:

"At a meeting of the Freeholders and inhabitants of the Village of Geneva, held at Powell's Hotel in said village, according to the form of the act in such case made and provided, on the third Monday in May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirteen, Abraham Dox, Herman H. Bogert and John Hall (Trustees of said Village appointed pursuant to the act of the 4th of April, 1806, and the act amending the same,) being present did preside as inspectors, the followofficers were elected, to wit:

"Foster Barnard, Herman H. Bogert, Abraham Dox, Samuel Colt and David Cook, Trustees for 1813. James Rees, Treasurer. David Hudson, Clerk. Jabez Pease, Collector. David Naglee, Jonathan Doane and Elnathan Noble, Fire Wardens."

In the present connection the statement may be made that the original village of Geneva, incorporated as above noted, was much less in area than at the present time. The act of incorporation has been the subject of frequent amendment, but the most important action was that taken by the Legislature in granting a charter, which act was passed March 3, 1871, and by which Geneva was advanced another step in municipal progress and became a village of the first class. The boundaries of the village were extended to their present limits by the act of the Board of Supervisors, passed May 27, 1890; and as the village within its present limits is the subject ot this chapter a description of the same is appropriate: "Beginning at a point on the Waterloo road where the present north bounds of the Village intersect the new Preemption line, running thence north along the said new Pre-emption line r,oo8 feet to a point in the center of the highway; thence in a straight line due west to a point in the center of the Carter road, so called; thence southerly along the center line of the said Carter road to the center line of North street (being the present north bounds of the corporation); thence westerly along the center line of North street, and the center line of the highway which is the continuation of North street, to the center of the Castle road at the northeast corner of the New York State Experimental Station; thence south along the center line of said Castle road to the present west bounds of the corporation, at or near the residence of William Smith."

The act to revise and consolidate the laws in relation to the village of Geneva passed March 3, 1871, and the several amendments thereto have been the most important events in its municipal history, as radical changes in former methods of local government were made. That act provided for the election of the president, six trustees (two for each ward), three assessors, clerk, collector, treasurer, and police justice, by the qualified electors of the village. The Board of Trustees was authorized to appoint all minor civil officers of the village. Under the provisions of an act passed in 1882, there was constituted a Board of Police Commissioners, in whom should be vested the necessary power and authority to regulate and control all affairs pertaining to the police of the village. Under this act Samuel H. Ver Planck, Francis O. Mason, and Philip N. Nicholas comprised the first board. The Geneva Cemetery Commissioners were constituted as such by the Legislature by an act passed in 1872, and clothed with greater powers than formerly possessed by them.

Such, in brief, is the character of the village government as it now exists. However interesting for reference might be a complete succession of village officers from the date of first incorporation, the same cannot be done for the reason that previous to the granting of the village charter in 1825, the trustees acted in concert and without a presiding officer. However, following custom, we may furnish the succession of presidents from 1825 to the present time, which is as follows.

Presidents of the Board of Trustees, appointed each year by the board:


George Goundry.


Richard M. Bayly.


George Goundry.


William Tippetts.


No record of any meeting except Charter Election.


Lansing B. Misner.


David Hudson.


William W. Watson, from May 9.


John L. Dox, from June 5.


David Hudson.


William E. Sill.


William W. Watson.


Sanford R. Hall.


Alfred A. Holly.


John M. Bradford.


Luther Kelly.


Joseph S. Lewis.


David S. Hall.


Samuel M. Morrison.


Thomas Crawford.


George Barkley, resigns July 2.


George Merrill, from July 2, 1855.


Charles J. Folger.


Thomas Hilihouse.


John M. Page.


George W. Nicholas.


J. Clark Rogers.


William P. Hayward.


Sidney S. Mallory.


George B. Dusinberre.


Samuel H. Ver Planck.


Sidney S. Mallory.


James M. Soverhill.

Presidents of the Village, elected at annual charter election, for the term of two years:

April 1871 to April 1873.

Samuel Southworth.

April 1873 to April 1875.

George S. Conover.

April 1875 to April 1877.

Matthew Wilson.

April 1877 to April 1879.

George S. Conover.

April 1879 to April 1881.

William B. Dunning.

April 1881 to April 1882.

William B. Dunning.

April 1882 to April 1883.

Matthew Wilson, appointed April 18, 1882.

April 1883 to April 1885.

Matthew Wilson.

April 1885.

Stephen H. Parker, resigned June 30, 1885.

July 7, 1885 to Feb. 1, 1886.

Roscoe G. Chase, appointed to fill vacancy.

Feb. 1, 1886 to April 1889.

William B. Dunning.

April 1889 to April 1891.

William B. Dunning.

April 1891 to April 1893.

Daniel F. Attwood.

April 1893.

Millard F. Blame.

Officers for 1893 (elective). Millard F. Blame, president; Thomas W. Hawkins, George F. Ditmars, trustees first ward; James Hill, James R. Vance, trustees second ward; Daniel E. Moore, James Taney, trustees third ward; Wm. A. Smith, clerk; M. S. Sanford, treasurer; Delos W. Colvin, Stephen Coursey, Thomas Henson, assessors; John M. Smeizer, police justice.

At the time of organization Geneva had become a village of much importance among the municipalities of Western New York, and had, among other properties and institutions, a system of water works, a fire department, three churches (Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, and Episcopal), four schools, a printing office, a good hotel, a large number of stores and shops, about one hundred and thirty houses, and a total population of about eight hundred persons. The center of trade and business at this time and for several years afterward was on the "hill," principally along Main street, the park being the central point, while all business and other enterprises extended in various directions therefrom. For many years this part of the village held supremacy, and it was only when the locality became crowded that the "bottom "vicinity assumed any local importance. In 1824 a large hotel was built at the foot of Seneca street (the present Franklin House), and business gradually moved in that direction; and still later, with the construction of the Auburn and Rochester railroad, Seneca and Exchange streets gained a complete ascendency over the "hill" region, and rapidly drew trade from the latter to the former locality. However, the old landmarks of the hill have been preserved to a considerable extent, and in passing along Main street, south of Seneca, the observer is at once struck with the peculiar and generally old architectural appearance of the buildings, which were constructed in "rows," generally two stories in height, and according to a mixture of colonial and English styles, the former predominating.

In 1813 the once famous Geneva Academy was incorporated, and in the following year a large schooner, the Robert Troop, was launched upon the lake. In 1813, also, the Seneca Lake Navigation Company was incorporated, the purpose being to improve and make navigable the outlet of Seneca and Cayuga Lakes; the canal and locks contemplated by the act of April 6, 1813, were constructed, owned, and used by the company until 1825, when, under the act of April 20, authorizing the Cayuga and Seneca Canal, this enterprise became State property. The work was finished in 1828, having eleven locks and eighty-three and one half feet lockage The construction of this canal was one of the factors in drawing trade from the "hill" to the "bottom." The estab-. lishment of this and other public enterprises, coupled with the natural advantages offered by this locality as a desirable place of abode and business, had the effect of increasing population quite rapidly, and the year 1820 found Geneva with a population of 1,357; two years later it was 1,723. 'In the latter year the village contained 251 dwellings, twenty-six stores, two newspapers and printing offices, a bank, a land office, about fifty shops of various kind; the Geneva Academy, the Presbyterian, Episcopal, Dutch Reformed, and M. E. Churches, and daily stages coming and leaving in all directions. The newspapers at this time were the Gazette and the Palladium, and from an old "file" of the latter we learn the names of some of the advertising business men of Geneva in 1816 and 1817, and also the kind of business conducted, as follows: William Tippetts was a general merchant, whose stock consisted of all kinds of dry goods, dress goods, "lion skins and coatings," brandy, spirits and wine, plug tobacco and snuff, glass, crockery and hardware, "approved family medicines," and numerous other wares. Field & Grannis were general dealers in dry goods, groceries, crockery, glass and hardware, boots and shoes, and other goods, all of which they "are determined to sell uncommonly low for ready pay," at their store two doors north of T. Lowthrop & Co. William Powell had a stock similar to those described, and which, "having been purchased low, he has it in his power to sell as cheap as can be purchased in the county." In the same manner we may also mention the firm of H. Newton & Co., which comprised William, Daniel L and Henry Newton, which was dissolved June 20, i8i6. Mountjoy Bayly advertised to collect claims for persons who suffered loss of property during the "late war," 1812, and made his office in the store of Colt & Bayly. Henry Newton succeeded H. Newton & Co., and in May, 1816, occupied the building on Seneca street, formerly the store of Burns & Bros., two doors west of" Church's Inn." Norris & Chapman were boot and shoe dealers two doors west of the post-office in Seneca street. Smith & Noble kept a general store a few doors west of the post-office and opposite Church's Inn. Carter & Bannister were local druggists. Hart & Allen were general dealers. John Sweeney advertised to pay a premium for Spanish dollars and gold coin, also to cash prize tickets in the "Medical Science Lottery No. 1." Abraham Dox "recommenced" busines in this year at "the most reduced prices." Philip Rupert dealt in boots and shoes. A "New Establishment" was the copper, tin, and sheet-iron manufactory of Lewis Miller & Co., on Seneca street George Hemiup likewise began "chairmaking" in the shop "lately occupied by F. Backenstose." At the corner of Main street and Canandaigua turnpike (Hamilton street) Seth Chapin had a stonecutting and monument works. Wm. Hildreth, Root & Co. advertised a mail stage from Geneva to Pittsford.

In addition we may mention the names of other early merchants of Geneva, among whom were Thomas Lowthrop & Co., Darius Bonnel, Herrick & Bliss, Carwell & Fitzhugh, Lucius Warner, Wrn. Cary, James Gerry (brewer). David S. Skaats, J. Van Valkenburgh, Bank of Geneva, John Nicholas, J. B. & Robert Rumney, H. Hastings, Wm. S. De Zeng, David S. Hall, Phineas Prouty, James Carter & Co. The list might be continued indefinitely throughout a long period of years, but the foregoing mention is thought to be sufficient to bring to mind the names of some of the prominent business men of Geneva during the interesting years of early history. Many of the old names are still preserved, but the pioneers are all gone and new generations have taken their places and enlarged upon the original beginnings. As a business locality "the hill" has lost all prominence, yet its substantial buildings, well preserved and maintained, are all occupied, many of them as dwellings, and others as offices of professional men. The old hotel has passed through some changes and enlargements, and is now a famous institution, of which futher mention is made in this chapter; the old Bank of Geneva, after a life of many years, is now a thing of the past, yet its descent can be traced to the present Geneva National Bank. This is also true of many other of the village institutions, each of which had a small and humble beginning, and have been gradually- improved and enlarged by later generations of actors in every field of life until the present satisfactory condition of things is attained; and in noting the history of these institutions, and the persons connected with them, we have in the result the history of the village itself. To these, therefore, the reader's attention is next directed.

The Geneva Water Works Company- The present water supply company traces its history back almost an hundred years, to the time when the energetic action of Captain Williamson and a few of his associates laid log pipes from the White Springs, and thus furnished the village with wholesome water for all domestic purposes. The organization of this primitive company was accomplished in August, 1796, and in the next year the water supply was furnished. On the 31st of March, 1803, an incorporated campany was formed, among whom were Herman H. Bogert, Jacob Hãllett, Jacob W. Hallett, Samuel Colt, Nathaniel Merrill, David Cook, David Naglee, Ezra Patterson, Charles Williamson, Thomas Powell, John Johnston, Polydore B. Wisner and Joseph Annin. This company for some time operated the old system provided originally, cast iron pipes with a bore of two and one-half inches being substituted in 1846, but the rapid growth and extension of the village finally necessitated a more substantial equipment and a greater supply; consequently new pipes were laid and the storage reservoir increased in capacity. In 1875 the works of the company were a second time enlarged, and again in 1887 and '88, the latter increase in capacity being the cause of much discussion and some feeling throughout the village. At this time a pumping station was established on the lake to increase the natural reservoir supply, and this was the occasion of the criticisms upon the action of the company. There have been established at various convenient points throughout the village 125 fire hydrants, from which water is taken in case of fire, the same being paid for by the village. There are about fifteen miles of from four to twelve-inch main pipe. The capital stock of the company is $20,000, and the officers are Stephen H. Hammond, president; A. L. Chew, treasurer; Edward Kingsland, secretary; Samuel S. Graves, superintendent. Cost of the works has been $150,000, and in the present year, 1893, the works are again being enlarged.

The Fire Department.- In 1816, at a time when Geneva had a population of about one thousand, the trustees decided to organize a fire company, whose services, with "good leather buckets," hooks, axes, pikes, ladders and ropes, would be available in case of fire. The act of incorporation authorized the purchase of an engine, but some time passed before one was secured. The first company comprised these village residents: William Giffing (captain), Silas Chapin, James Lawson, A. McNab, Phineas Prouty, Francis Day, Wm. Powell, Peter Thomas, Daiiiel Cook, David Field, jr., A. B. Hall, Hiram Walbridge, Castle Sutherland, Bostwick Noble, Nathaniel Noble, Gaines Clark, Roswell Baker and Eli Bannister.

This company, among whom the reader will recognize many familiar names of old times, constituted the village fire department about two years, when the trustees determined to organize three companies, numbered in order, whose members should "man the brakes," handle the hose, and attend to the ladders. By this time it seems the department passed the condition of bucket brigade and partook of more formal organized character; however, the buckets were retained and held in readiness for an emergency. Reference to the organization of the three companies also recalls the names of early inhabitants, hence we reproduce them as follows: No. 1, Daniel L. Skaats, Jabez Pease, David Field, jr., James Black, Wm. Tippetts, Richard Hogarth, Comfort Hawley, D. L. Lurn, Matthew Lum, A. P. Tillman, Joseph M. Davinny, Silas Chapin, Samuel Jacobs, Moses Hall, Francis Nares, Wm. Alcock, John Wilson, Samuel P. Hall, George Mumford and Wm. W. Watson.

No. 2, Wm. Field, Jno. Singer, Truman Smith, Jno. Dox, Perez Hastings, Jno. Staunton, Stephen Brock, Jas. G. Dorchester, Orson Brice, Elias Beach, Peter R. Thomas, Hiram Walbridge, A. B. Hall, Jas. Radliff, David Fulford, Wm. Cortelyou, Fred Haas, Wm. Goff, Daniel Cook and Jonathan Keeney.

No. 3, G. P. Griffith, Jas. R. Rees, Andrew McNab, Roswell Baker, G. Clark, Jno. Springstead, Eli Bannister, Wrn. Sutton, Jas. Hayes, Seth Chapin, Anthony Hemings, E. Northam, Burton Monroe, Chris. Campbell, Wm. Nutting, Bowen Whiting, Chas. A. Cook, Castle Sutherland, Aaron Young, David Wilson.

These companies were equipped with what was then modern apparatus, comprising hand engines, and hose and hook and ladder companies, which rendered efficient service for many years. In fact this comprised the department equipment until 1866, when a "Silsby" steamer was purchased, also a "Button "engine in 1868, but in the mean time the personnel of the organizations had materially changed, new and younger members entering the department, thus adding to its activity and efficiency. However, in July, 1870, the entire department was reorganized, its number very much reduced, and those retained in the service were, paid for duty performed. Instead of drawing the engines "by hand," horse were procured, and Geneva thus inaugurated the paid system, being one of the first villages in the State to do so.

This system continued in operation about ten years, but the results accomplished by it were hardly satisfactory to the people, and especially the business community, and a demand was consequently made for a return to the old volunteer organizations of earlier years. In this, however, the trustees were slow to act, but at last permission was granted to organize one company as an experiment. Hydrant Hose Company was the first to be organized, and its work proved so entirely satisfactory that the old paid department was compelled to yield. In the mean time the water works system had been enlarged and increased in efficiency as a fire fighting factor, the pressure on the mains being sufficient for ordinary use in the case of conflagration, but the steamers have ever been retained and held ready for an emergency. Thus in 1880 the present department was virtually organized, though some important changes have been made during the fourteen years of its existence.

According to the present arrangement and disposition- of this branch of local government, the Geneva Fire Department comprises Hydrant Hose Company, whose building is on Linden street. The company equipment consists of a "jumper," a combination parade and duty carriage, and a protective carriage. The office of the latter is to protect and preserve property rescued from burning buildings. This company receives from the village $500 annually.

The C. J. Folger Hook and Ladder Company is located on the north side of Seneca street, and has a well equipped "truck" and other auxiliary apparatus. The village pays this company $300 per annum, as its owns the building in which the apparatus is.

Nestor Hose Company occupies comfortable quarters on Exchange street, and owns a handsome parade carriage, also a "duty cart" or jumper. It was named in honor of S. K. Nestor, who has every duly appreciated the compliment thus shown him. The sum of $500 is paid this company by the village.

Ogoyago Hose Company was independently organized, but is recog nized by the village as a part of the fire department proper. Its rooms are at the corner of Pulteney and Hamilton streets, the company having been formed to protect property in the south part of the village. This company receives $350 annually from the village.

The Holtz Protectives were formed in 1892, and have rooms on Castle street. The organization is similar, in purpose, to the protective department of Hydrant Hose. To this company the village annually pays $300.

From the old steamer companies selections of men were made to form Kanadesaga Steamer Company, whose duty it is to operate the steamers in case of fire. The "Button" engine is ever ready for service and attends all fires, while the "Silsby" is held in reserve for an emergency. The principal department officers are chief engineer (\AT. P. O'Malley), first assistant (Chas. Hennessy), and second assistant (James Tracey), who are elected annually by the trustees on the recommendation of delegates from each company.

Cemeteries.- The lot whereon now stands Trinity chapel was the original place of burial for the first white inhabitants of Geneva, but when and by whom founded there appears no record. The first burial in the village, of which there is a record, was that of the child of pioneer Polydore B. Wisner, the death and burial taking place in the latter part of 1797, and the body being laid at rest in the Pulteney street burial ground. During the preceding yearsdeaths were infrequent, and the lands in the south part of the village were then unoccupied by habitations, hence were put to use for burial purposes.

The Pulteney street burial ground is the oldest of the recognized burial gounds of the village, and is believed to have been laid out and donated for the purpose by Charles Williamson soon after he became settled in the matter of the title to the lands in the gore. The oldest tombstone in this cemetery was erected "in memory" of Martha, wife of Sanford Williams, who died May 9, 1794, but the first burial was that noted above.

Referring briefly to some of the earlier interments in this cemetery, mention may be made of the death and burial of "An Infant, died 31 July, 1798, aged 5 weeks," and of two other infants who died in 1801 and 1803, and were the children of Frederick and Eliza Backenstose. In the same manner may be noted the fact that James Green, born in New Jersey, 1774, settled at Canandarqua, 1795, and died in Geneva in 1801; Betsey, wife of Joseph Cole, died November, 1801; Amelia, daughter of Dr. Cyrenius Chapin, died August 15, 1818; Rev. Jedediah Chapman died May 22, 1813; Margaret, wife of Jedediah Chapman, died September 9, 1812; Lucius Crittenden, died October i, 1807; Rev. Orin Clark, D. D., rector of Trinity Church, died February 24, 1828, his first wife, Eliza Ann, having died May 4, 1821, and Susan R., his second wife, in 1826. James Rees, March 17, 1837, private secretary to Robert Morris during the Revolution, moved here in 1798. These are but a few of the hundreds of burials in the old Pulteney street cemetery made during the first thirty years of its existence.

However, during this same period nearly all the lots in this cemetery were taken by purchasers, and the village authorities were soon compelled to secure another tract of land for burial purposes. By a deed dated September 13, 1832, the village acquired title to a four acre 'lot on the south side of Washington street and west of Monroe street, which was laid out in 162 lots, and which has always been known as the Washington Street Cemetery. The first interment, here was that of Augusta Matilda, wife of H. H. Merrell, whose death took place September 28, 1832. The lots in this cemetery were subdivided, but at last the grounds became so crowded that still another place of burial must be provided by the authorities. In 1871, at the request of many prominent citizens, the trustees appointed commissioners to investigate and report upon a desirable tract of land to be used for cemetery purposes, and upon the report made by these men the taxpayers voted to issue bonds to the extent of $21,000 to pay for the lands selected, being fifty-four acres situated in the south part of the village, and in part including the old Walnut Hill Seminary property. The transaction was completed early in 1872, and the name "Glenwood Cemetery" was given to this beautiful "city of the dead."

On the 20th of January, 1872, the trustees appointed "Cemetery Commissioners," in whom should be vested the care and management of village cemetery property; and on April 6, following, the Legislature confirmed the appointments and constituted the board of "Geneva Cemetery Commissioners,' composed of Phineas Prouty, Wrn. E. Sill, Corydon Wheat, George W. Nicholas, Samuel S. Graves, George B. Dusinberre, Thompson C. Maxwell, Stephen H. Parker and Angus McDonald. The present commissioners are Thompson C. Maxwell, president; Stephen H. Parker, secretary; Samuel Southworth, treasurer; and Solomon E. Smith, Wm. B. Dunning, Joseph S. Lewis, O. J. C. Rose, P. N. Nicholas and Thomas Mc Blain.

Banks of Geneva.- On March 28, 1817, the Legislature chartered the Bank of Geneva, the legal title of which was. "The President, Directors and Company of the Bank of Geneva." The capital of this bank was $400,000, 20,000 shares of $20 each, and upon its organization meeting (held at Griffith's Hotel) the directors were Robert Troup, Septimus Evans, Wilhelmus Mynderse, Charles Thompson, George McClure, Herman H. Bogert, Truman Hart, Jacob Dox, Elnathan Noble, Thomas Lee and Leman Hotchkiss. Mr. Troup 'was elected the first president, but very soon resigned in Qrder that Rev. Henry Dwight might succeed to the office, the latter having then become the owner of 14,100 shares of the bank's stock. This measure was adopted in order to give the banka standing among similar institutions in the East, and the name of Mr. Dwight in connection with the local concern was itself a guarantee of stability and soundness.

The first place of business occupied by the Bank of Geneva was in the house, now the rectory of Trinity church, from which it was soon moved to the south side of the park, two doors from Main street. About 1837 another removal took place, this time to the large and commodious building now standing at the head of Seneca street (now occupied by R. G. Chase & Co.), which was built for its own use. The charter of the bank expired January 1, 1832, but being a successful institution, its officers in 1829 had secured an extension to January 1, 1853. At the latter date, having had a prosperous life of thirty-six years, it closed its business and went into liquidation. During its history, the most serious loss suffered was in the failure of the Canal Bank of Albany, 1848, with which the Geneva bank had a deposit of $93,000, only fifteen per cent. of which was recovered. This great loss, however, did not injure the local bank or impair its standing.

The presidents of the Bank of Geneva were Robert Troup, Henry Dwight (twenty-two years), and Charles A. Cook (thirteen years). The cashiers were James Rees, Benjamin Day, Charles A. Cook, Edmund Dwight and William E. Sill, each serving in the order named.

Immediately following the dissolution of the old Bank of Geneva, another bank of the same name was established, being what was known as a banking association, having a capital stock at the beginning of its business (January 1, 1853) of $200,000. In 1855 the capital was increased to $205,000; in 1864 reduced to $200,000, and in 1885 still further reduced to $150,000.

This banking association was in fact organized in November, 1852, although its business began on January 1 following. The first directors were Charles A. Cook (president), John L. Eastman, John S. Prouty, George C. Seelye, Horace Devereux, Jedediah Smith and Robert C. Nicholas. In 1854 Mr. Cook died, and was succeeded as president by Wm. E. Sill, who served until January, 1856, when his resignation was followed by the election of Wm. T. Scott to the vacancy. The latter resigned in January, 1860, and was succeeded by Samuel H. Ver Planck, who has filled the responsible office of president for a period of more than thirty three years.

The Bank of Geneva began business in the building on Main street, at the head of Seneca, formerly occupied by the old banking institution, and in 1862 Mr. Ver Planck erected the elegantly appointed building at the corner of Exchange and Seneca streets, which was at once occupied. In 1865, without material reorganization or change in the personnel of the corporation, this bank, under the laws of Congress, became known as "The Geneva National Bank," having a capital of $200,000, which was reduced to $150,000 in 1885. The first cashier of the National Bank was Samuel Southworth, succeeded in 1868 by Montgomery S. Sandford, who still continues in that capacity.

This bank has now an accumulated surplus of $75,000, with $20,000 of undivided profits; and another fact worthy of note in connection with its history is that from its direction there has been furnished one secretary of the treasury of the United States (Charles J. Folger), who also served as assistant treasurer, and chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals. Likewise, Thomas Hillhouse, a former director, has been assistant United States treasurer, and is now president of the Metropolitan Trust Company of New York city. The present directors of the Geneva National Bank are Samuel H. Ver Planck, president; Montgomery S. Sandford, cashier; and Joseph Lewis, Samuel K. Nestor, Francis O. Mason, Solomon E. Smith and Thos. McBlain.

The First National Bank of Geneva was organized November 20, 1863, with a capital of $50,000, its originators and active officers being Wm. Richardson, president; Thomas Raines, cashier; and Henry J. Messenger, Benj. H. Woodworth and J. H. Tripp. On the 29th of March, 1866, a large proportion of the stock of this bank was purchased by Alexander L. Chew, Phineas Prouty, Corydon Wheat and Thomas Raines, which was followed by a partial reorganization and the election of new directors, as follows: A. L. Chew, Phineas Prouty, Corydon Wheat, Thomas Raines, Thomas Hillhouse, Joshua I. Maxwell, John W. Smith, W. Foster and Thos. Smith. Mr. Chew was at once elected president of the bank, an office he has continued to hold to the present time. Thomas Raines was the first cashier, succeeded by J. B. Hart, and the latter in turn by Wm. T. Scott. The present cashier, Thomas H. Chew, was appointed May 1, 1887.

On January 17, 1888, the capital of the bank was increased to $100,000. It has a surplus of $40,000, and the undivided profits amount to nearly $15,000. The present directors are A. L. Chew, president; Thos. H. Chew, cashier; and Joshua I. Maxwell, Wm. Smith, Thomas Smith, Roscoe G. Chase and O. J. C. Rose, directors.

Samuel Southworth, banker, was clerk in the Bank of Geneva in 1855, and afterward cashier of the Geneva NationalBank. In 1868 he purchased a real estate and insurance business and in connection therewith established a private bank, his partner for a time being Major John S. Plattner. In December following, Mr. Southworth became sole proprietor, and has ever since conducted a conservative, safe and successful banking business.

Prominent among the banking institutions of Geneva, was the associate corporation known as "The Farmers' Bank of Geneva," which began business July 18, 1839, with a capital of $100,000. Its first and only president was William K. Strong, while the cashiership was filled by William N. Clark. Both of these officers were men of integrity and worth, and the affairs of the bank were almost wholly entrusted to their management. However, the institution was never abundantly successful, hence its career was comparatively brief. It did not fail, but not meeting with expected success, it went into liquidation. The Farmers' Bank occupied the building then recently vacated by the 'Bank of Geneva, standing on the south side of the Park, near Main street.

Nathan B. Kidder will be remembered by the older residents of Geneva as the one time head of a private bank. He began business about 1851 and continued till 1854, then making a disastrous failure.

Schell & Hemiup were private bankers in the Kidder building on Seneca street, following in business the banker last mentioned, and, like him, also failed, in 1862.

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