CITY AND TOWN OF LOCKPORT.
It is a well known fact that many villages and a few cities along the line of the Erie Canal owe either their very
existence or their growth and prosperity after 1820, to the influence of the great waterway. The city of Lockport
is one of these. If the Erie Canal had not been constructed, or if it had taken a course elsewhere than through
this county, it is quite certain there would have been no Lockport—probably no community of importance on the site
of the city.
Lockport was incorporated as a village March 26, 1829. The population had increased very rapidly during the preceding
five years, rendering such action necessary for the proper government of the community. In 1835 the population
was over 6,000. The place was incorporated as a city April 11, 1865, and divided into four wards, which number
has since been increased by subdivisions to six. The population in 1896 was 16,000, and has been the most important
manufacturing center in the county and still crowds Niagara Falls for first place. It is pleasantly situated on
the so-called “mountain ridge” elevation, through which the canal was cut, forming one of the most remarkabie series
of locks in the world, five in number. The water power created by these locks has given rise to the extensive manufacturing
operations of the city
The soil of the town is a clayey loam and stony in the north part. The Niagara limestone crops out along the mountain
ridge, and has been extensively quarried near Lockport; it is a good building material and was used in building
the locks at this place. Underlying this is a stratum of hydraulic limestone from which waterlime has been made.
Sandstone belonging to the Medina formation has been ob tained on Rattlesnake Hill, northwest of the city, and
at other points, and has been used for walks and building. There are six post-offices in the town—Lockport, Hickory
Corners, Rapids, Warren’s Corners, Raymond and Wright’s Corners. The city contains a number of churches, an excellent
school system, four banks, a street railroad system, good water supply, several newspapers, health, fire and police
departments, and numerous and varied manufacturing industries. It is a station on the Rochester and Niagara Falls
branch of the Central Railroad, a branch of which extends to Tonawanda and thence to Buffalo; a branch of the Erie
Railroad also connects it with Buffalo via Tonawanda. The city is the county seat of Niagara county.
The first settlement in this town was made at Cold Spring, about a mile east of the city, by Charles Wilbur, in
1805, nineteen years before the town was erected, and three years before the county was set off from Genesee. The
old Indian trail and later mail route early in the century passed from Canandaigua to Fort Niagara and near this
cold spring. Other early settlers were David and Joseph Canton, 1809—10, David Pomroy, Thomas Mighells and Stephen
Wakeman in 1810; Thaddeus Alvord and Alexander Freeman in 1811; the latter built the first saw mill in town; Jesse
Griswold and Jacob Loucks in 1 813; Josiah Richardson settled on what became the county farm, and Luther Crocker
in the northwest part of the town in 1816; John Gibson opened the first blacksmith shop in town in 1815, a little
east of Warren’s Corners; and Jared Tyler settled in the same year in the northeast part; Charles Smith and Oliver
L Millard came into the town in 1817; Dr. Ezekiel Webb, the pioneer physician, came in 1818, and Dr. Isaac W. Smith
in 1821; Jesse P. Haines, a surveyor, Edward Raymond and Helam and Hiram Mead were other early settlers. On the
site of Wright’s Corners a man named Barber was an early settler and kept the first hotel. A later one was kept
by Alva Buck. Solomon Wright settled on the Ridge road, at the point which took his name as Wright’s Corners in
1822, or earlier; he kept a hotel many years, and was postmaster after the office was established in 1828. David
Maxwell purchased a farm at Wright’s Corners in 1824, but had lived at Johnson’s Creek in Hartland since 1819,
where he kept a hotel and did surveying; he was a prominent citizen. It was through his influence that a charter
was secured in 1824 for the toll road from Wright’s Corners to Warren’s Corners, which became known as the long
causeway turnpike, from the fact that it was at first laid with logs when it was opened for the benefit of the
government during the war of 1812 ; the later turnpike was completed in 1825. Mr. Maxwell also laid out the well
known Hess road, from the Ridge road to the lake shore.
Tne first settlement at the village of Rapids, in the extreme southeastern part of the town, on Tonawanda Creek,
was made by Amos and S. B. Kinne in 1839, who purchased land and laid some of it out in village lots. There was
little growth in the settlement until 1849, when Orange Mansfield built a steam saw mill. G. H. Utley erected and
opened a hotel and Horace Cummings built and opened a store. The site of Warren’s Corners was settled in 1813 by
Ezra Warren, from whom it took its name; he kept a tavern there many years. Before the opening of the canal and
the diversion of business to Lockport, this was quite an important point. Sketches of many other families of this
town are given in Part III of this work.
The lands on which a large part of the city of Lockport is built were purchased from the Holland Company by Esek
Brown, Zeno Comstock, Nathan Comstock, Webster Thorn, Daniel Smith, David Fink, Almon H. Millard, Reuben Haines,
Joseph Otis, John Comstock, Asahel Smith, Nathan B. Rogers, Daniel Washburne and James Conkey. As late as 1820
there were only a few log houses on the city site, and much of the land was still uncultivated. When the course
of the canal was fully determined in 1821, and the commissioners were ready to receive proposals for building the
locks, etc., the owners of the land planned a village and arranged for the sale of lots. Among them was Otis Hathaway,
who had his land surveyed in the spring of 1821. The name of Locksborough was at first suggested for the place,
but Dr. Isaac W. Smith, it is said, suggested Lockport, which finally won the preference. Esek Brown about the
same time opened his log house as a tavern; here the canal contractors made their headquarters for a time.
Capitalists now foresaw the propable importance of the place and invested their money. Before that summer was over
considerable improvement had been made. Morris H. Tucker opened a store, the first in the place. The nearest other
store was at Hartland Corners. House & Boughton soon built another store and sought a part of the trade. Lebbeus
Fish, also, opened a third store. Esek Brown’s farm was rapidly reduced in extent by the sale of village lots,
many of which passed to possession of Jesse Hawley, and John G. Bond. Associated with J ared, Darius and Joseph
Comstock were Otis Hathaway and Seymour Scoville, who were actively interested in selling lots east of Transit
street. Zeno Comstock had purchased in that vicinity from the Holland Company, as Esek Brown had west of that street,
but had reconveyed it before the village was founded and invested a mile and a half to the westward, believing
the canal would be located there. Before the close of that year George W. Rogers, the poineer blacksmith; Shepard
& Towner, the first shoemakers, and Elliott Lewis, harness maker, were settled in their respective shops, while
John Jackson conducted a bakery. The post office was established early in 1822, the mail at first being brought
from Molyneux’s Corners; in the following year a road was opened through the forest to Wright’s Corners, connecting
there with a stage route. Bartemus Ferguson started a newspaper, the Lockport Observatory (previously published
at Lewiston), which passed into possession of Orsamus Turner in August, 1822. Work was at that time progressing
on the canal at this point. In July, 1822, the place received another impetus through its selection as the county
seat, and two acres of land were deeded to the county as a site for county buildings, by William M. Bond.
The village now advanced rapidly. The greater part of the business of the place was done on the west side of the
canal in 1823—25. In the former year there was a small store on the northeast corner of Main and Transit streets.
A few small buildings stood on the north side of Main street before reaching the Lockport Hotel, then kept by Samuel
Jennings. East of that Dr. Maxwell had his office and next was the blacksmith shop of Allen Skinner. Then came
the store of House & Boughton, where the post-office was situated, with George H. Boughton in charge as postmaster.
A primitive bridge crossed the canal. Wil11am Parsons & Co. had a store in a yellow building about on the site
of the Moyer block, and adjoining it was a stone building, part of which was occupied for a store by Sidney and
Thomas Smith. Lyman A. Spalding kept a store on the site of the Savings Bank, and next east was the law office
of James F. Mason, who acted as county clerk and kept the records in his office Adjoining that was a store kept
by H. Kimberly & Co. Other stores of that time were kept by Nathan B. and George W. Rogers, for the sale of
groceries; the “red store,” kept by William Kennedy, and Morris H. Tucker’s store. There were several other groceries
and small places of business, with shops of various kinds and several hotels. It will be seen that this was a considerable
business to spring up within two or three years.
The pioneer lawyer of Lockport was Elias Ransom. James F. Mason and Hiram Gardner came on afterwards and were subsequently
appointed justices. The following persons came on prior to or during the year of 1823: Elias F. Pierce, Dr. Isaac
Southworth, Asa W. Douglas, Geo. W. Douglas, George W. Rogers, John Jackson, George Richardson, John Gooding, Hiram
Gardner, Elliott Lewis, Chauncey Leonard, Joseph Pound, John Pound, Harvey W. Campbell, Gillet Bacon, William Parsons,
L. A. Spalding. B. S. Davenport, Orin Fisk, A. T. Prentice, E. A. Wakeman, A. G. White, J. G. Gustin, Orsamus Turner,
Job Layton, Jacob Hall, Jacob Bolard, Justus Jenney, James Harris, Samuel Lamed, James F. Mason, Dr. Henry Maxwell,
David Fink, Warren Sadler, Col. W. M. Bond.
The cut through the Ridge at Lockport was the last part of the canal to be completed. On the 29th of September,
1825, William C Bouck announced to the canal commissioners that the water way would be ready for the passage of
boats on the 29th of October, and steps were taken to celebrate the event. On the evening of the 24th the guard
gates were raised and the level was soon filled with water. A salute of cannon was fired at daybreak on the 26th,
and under direction of General Whitney, marshal of the day, a procession was formed at nine o’clock and marched
to the foot of the locks and there embarked on boats, one of which, the William C. Bouck, was selected to take
the lead in passing the locks. On board of this boat the officials and some prominent citizens made the passage.
At ten o’clock the firing of the series of guns along the canal from Buffalo reached this place, the lock gates
opened and the boats started on their upward passage. The following description of the scene is recorded:
As it ascended the stupendous flight of locks, its decks covered with a joyous multitude, it was greeted with
a constant and rapid discharge of heavy artillery, thousands of rock blasts, or explosions, prepared for the occasion,
and the shouts of spectators that swarmed upon the canal and lock bridges, and upon the precipices around the locks
and basin. As soon as the two forward boats had passed out of the upper locks they were drawn up side by side,
and after a prayer by the Rev. Mr. Winchell, an address was delivered by Judge Birdsail. Stepping upon an elevated
platform upon the deck of one of the boats, in the stillness that had succeeded the earthquake sounds and shouts
of human voices, he exclaimed: The barrier is passed We have now risen to the level of Lake Erie and have before
us a perfect navigation open to its waters. When his address, glowing with cheering prophecies of prosperity in
the future, was concluded, the boat movcu westward to meet the fleet approaching from Buffalo, and act as an escort
in passing through Lockport.
The village continued to flourish and in 1827 measures were adopted for building up what became known as the Lower
Town, or East Lockport. Nathan Comstock sold 300 acres of land in that vicinity to Joel McCollum, Otis and S. R.
Hathaway and Seymour Scoville, who had it laid out in village lots and streets. The promoters recommended it to
purchasers on account of its eligible situation “below the locks and the grand natural basin,” and its already
having a grist mill, three saw mills and other shops located there. A considerable sale of lots was soon made,
and several buildings were erected. The proprietors of this section soon afterwards sold out to Lot Clark and others,
who constituted what was known as the Albany Company. They began vigorous action to develop and sell their lots.
It was represented among other things that the surplus water of the canal would be brought there and the upper
town deprived of it— a condition that did not seem especially improbable at that time. The rivalry that was engendered
in those early years between the two sections of the village disappeared with the lapse of time and the practical
uniting of the two.
The village was incorporated March 26, 1829, the charter defining the boundaries of a parallelogram of about a
mile and three quarters in length, which was divided into two wards. The charter provided for the election of five
trustees, a treasurer, a collector, two constables, five assessors and five wardens. The first board of trustees
was composed of Joel McCollum, Levi Taylor, Levi E Rounds, Joshua G. Driscoll and James F. Mason. Henry R. Hopkins
was chosen clerk, and on the 18th of May Eben Griswold was appointed poundmaster; Samuel Learned and Luke Draper,
fence viewers; N. W. Gardner, surveyor; George W. Rogers, chief engineer of the fire department. The board appointed
sixteen men each in a fire company and a hook and ladder company.
In early years there was considerable rivalry between the Upper and the Lower Towns, as they were distinguished,
with the Lower Town far in advance. Here the first bank was opened and the more prominent business establishments
conducted. Of Lockport from 1838 to 1848 John H. Dickey has written some interesting and valuable reminiscences
from which are taken the following extracts:
I first saw Lockport in the summer of 1838, then a thriving village of a few thousand inhabitants. No school system
but the common school of the period except two select schools where a limited number of pupils were instructed.
Lower Town, as it was then called, was the leading business part of the village. The railroad running from there
to Niagara Fails by way of Pekin about two miles north of Sanborn came to the river bank near where Suspension
Bridge now is. At that time there was no bridge there, and no buildings but now and then a farm house until you
arrived at the Falls. This railroad did not go to Lew-iston, as one of your late correspondents has it. Then there
was the cotton factory at the corner of Exchange and Garden streets, and the land office on Market street. The
then ex-Judge Hunt, Hiram Walbridge, J. J. B. Spooner, G. W. Germain, Samuel Works, Lott Clark and others, were
engaged in the business interests of the Lower Town. Judge Hunt in 1838 and a few years thereafter was a Democrat
in politics, but about 1844 or a little before he united with the Whig party and they gave him the nomination for
Congress. He had sharp opposition in the convention that nominated him by an old Whig, Joseph Center, a lawyer
of Upper Town, and he was so incensed at his defeat, that he left the Whigs and joined the Democrats but the Whigs
as it proved got the best of the bargain. Governor Hunt proved to be not a mere politician but a high minded and
eloquent statesman. The Whig party elected him twice to Congress, comptroller of the State of New York, and also
its governor. He died at the early age of fifty-six years greatly lamented by all. Samuel Works was State senator
from this Senate district. J. J. B. Spooner was cashier of the Lockport Bank. Some of the business men of Upper
Town were Lyman A. Spalding, grain dealer arid flouririg wheat for eastern market. He had a savings bank, and was
postmaster when the office was in the Arcade Charles and Elias Safford were engaged in the same business. Asa W.
Douglas and Gen. John Jackson were partners in the grain trade and flouring for the eastern market and other mills
of less note busily engaged in the manufacture of flour and grinding grist for the farmers. Thomas Flagler was
editor and proprietor of the Niagara courier. It was then printed on an old hand press. Early in the forties he
sold out the paper to David S. Crandall, one of the jolliest and most jovial men that ever lived in Lockport. He
was clerk of the county one term. He published the paper a while, and then sold it to the late M. C. Richardson,
when the name was changed.
A few years after this the Hon. T. T. Flagler was elected to Congress from this district, and then re-elected.
Mr. Flagler served his constituents faithfully and well and with honor to himself and all interested. He has served
in other public stations equally as well.
The late Benjamin and James Carpenter were owners of extensive stone quarries and contractors for fancy building
stone. They have had contracts in New York and many large cities for their stone. The Gargling Oil building, the
county clerk’s office and the old jail are built of stone from their quarries. Benjamin Carpenter was mayor of
Lockport when President Lincoln was assassinated by J. Wilkes Booth. William O. Brown and William Keep were dry
goods merchants. Their store was about the second block west of the Simmons & WaIter jewelry store and the
Keeps kept a hardware store in the block now kept by J. S. Woodward & Son. The late Chauncey Keep was the manager,
ably assisted by the late Rowland Sears as head clerk and bookkeeper. Just across the street, Francis N. Kelson
kept a first-class dry goods store. J. L. Breyfogle and the late Jacob M. Chrysler were the clerks in Mr. Nelson’s
store. They afterwards became the leading dry goods merchants in the city and both gentlemen held the office of
county treasurer. Silas H. Marks and Mr. Harvey were dry goods merchants of that time. Some of the physicians were
Drs. McCollum, Southworth, Skinner, Chase, Fassett and Shuler. The latter owned a house and grounds where the Hodge
opera house and Gargling Oil works now stands, and lived there when the late Dr. Gould was a student in his office.
I first knew Dr. Gould when he was attending the Medical College in Buffalo, knew him to be a rising young man
in his profession, and he always maintained a leading position among the physicians of the county. His counsel
was always eminently wise and judicious under all circumstances whether pertaining to church affairs of which he
was a prominent member, or in consultation with his professional brethren in trying and difficult cases. He always
reminded me of his relative, Gen. David Gould,whom he strongly resembled. General Gould was a very popular officer
in the State militia of that time.
The population of Lockport increased from a little more than 6,000 (in the town) in 1835, to over 9,000 in 1840,
and to about 12,000 in 1850. At the same time a large manufacturing interest came into existence. By an act of
the Legislature, passed April 20, 1825, the canal commissioners were authorized to sell surplus water from the
canal whenever it was practicable. To supply the Genesee level of more than one hundred miles in length eastward
from the foot of the Lockport locks, water is drawn from Lake Erie, rendering it necessary to pass a large volume
around the locks at Lockport. While this fact was generally known, it was not thought the power thus created could
be of great value, chiefly on account of the anticipated obstruction caused by working the locks. Darius Comstock
owned the land around the locks and canal basin at the time the water was advertised for sale. His bid was only
fifty dollars. A few days previous to the opening of the canal he sold to Lyman A. Spalding for $3,500 all the
land on the southeastern side of the canal owned by him, excepting a small reservation. When the canal was finally
opened and the water for the first time passed around the locks in the raceway prepared for it, it was at once
seen that an immense power was at hand. On January 25, 1826, the surplus water at this place was sold to William
Keriney, of Lockport, and Junius
H. Hatch, of New York. The bid was $200 per annum. In the winter of 1825—6 Mr. Spalding built a fiouring mill,
and about the same time J abez Porneroy and William Bass erected a building near by and put in carding and cloth
pressing machinery. These mills were the first driven by water from the canal.
As the magnitude and value of the water power became better understood, there developed a strong rivalry to secure
its control. In 1829 the lease of the water from the State was transferred to the Albany Company before mentioned,
who then owned more than half of the Lower Town. To improve the real estate prospects in the Lower Town it became
necessary to carry the water thither, but an obstacle existed in the fact that Mr. Spalding had previously purchased
lands (as before stated) through which the water must necessarily pass in order to reach that section. One of the
commissioners is said to have been interested in the schemes of the Albany Company, and an order was finally issued
by the board putting the sole control of the canal and locks here into the hands of the lessees A party of laborers
were now set at work digging a ditch for the water along the side of the canal. A body of citizens, indignant at
this usurpation, drove away the laborers. When the canal closed for the winter of 1829, the commissioners cut off
the water from the race, thus stopping the mills. The controversy continued to the great detrIment of business
advancement until a year or two later, when the necessary land was purchased by the Albank Company, who thus commanded
a right of way for the power.
When the State sold at auction the right to the surplus waters of the canal, Richard Kenney and Junius Hatch were
the purchasers at $200 per annum. The raceway was already excavated as far as Spalding's mill, and in 1828 it was
extended to the Douglas & Jackson mill, and in 1832 to the old factory mill. The lease of the water was subsequéntly
held by William L. Marcy and Washington Hunt, and in 1858 the Lockport Hydraulic Company was organized with the
following trustees: Washington Hunt, William L. Marcy, W. P. Daniels, Charles A. Morse, Daniel A. Van Valkenburgh,
and Willard J. Daniels. Through leases of power to consumers at reasonable rates this company was instrumental
in establishing a large number of milling and other enterprises. Out of it grew also the Manufacturers' Building
Company, organized in 1858, with the following trustees: Hiram Gardner, Silas H. Marks, Thomas T. Flagler, Ezra
P. Wentworth, James Jackson, jr., Stephen Hopkins, and John W. Steels. The capital was $15,000, but was subsequently
increased. The chief purpose of this company was to erect buildings for manufacturers. Frank N. Trevor is now president
of the company, and Charles T. Raymond, secretary and treasurer.
In October, 1887, the Hydraulic Company leased to the city of Lockport for a term often years, at $1,500 per annum,
sufficient water "for seven and one half twelve horse powers," which is used for the operation of the
pumps which supply the city with water. The first fourteen firms named in the list on a subsequent page also lease
water from this company.
By the year 1835 the manufacturing interests of the place had assumed considerable importance. In the First ward
was Spalding's flouring mill with a capacity of 120,000 barrels annually; a wool carding mill employing six persons;
an iron foundry with capital of $3,000; two saw mills employing twelve persons; a turning and a machine shop; a
sash factory; a tannery turning out $30,000 worth of leather; a hat factory, two harness shops, four cabinet shops.
two newspapers, a book bindery, various other small shops and fifty to sixty stores of various kinds. In the Seoond
ward there were three flouring mills making about $1,000,000 worth of flour yearly; seven saw mills; a cotton factory,
a woolen mill, two distilleries, one furnace, a tannery, a hat factory, harness, tailor and shoe shops, and five
mercantile establishments. During recent years, the character of the manufactures of Lockport has been greatly
The opening of the railroad in 1852 gave Lockport a further impetus. The extent of early travel over the line between
Rochester and the Falls may be inferred from the fact that the receipts amounted to more than $1,000 daily before
the close of the first year. General Winfield Scott was one of the carly passengers on the road, visiting Lockport
in the fall of 1852, where he received a public welcome befitting his rank.
At the risk of repeating some of the names mentioned in the foregoing pages the following prominent early settlers
of the town are given at this point: Daniel Pomeroy, Daniel Alvord, Webster Thorn, Daniel Smith, Stephen Hoag,
Lyman Liscomb, the Norton, Williams. Harringtori and Weaver families, John Smith, James Conkey, Jonathan Rummery,
Joseph Otis, John Comstock, Isaac Titus. Isaac Mace, Charles Freeborn, Nathan Comstock, John Jngal]s, Alexander
Freeman, David Carlton, Conrad Keyser, Franeis Brown, Deacon Croker, Zeno Comstock, Asahel Smith, Reuben Haines
and Jesse P Haines. Nearly all these became settlers prior to the opening of the canal in 1825, previous to which
only about 6oo acres were cleared in four square miles, with Lockport village as the center. In 1820 there was
not a frame building within five miles of Lockport, and about this time the later village corporation contained
less than 100 souls.
The population of the village reached in 1865 13,523, and the place was becoming unwieldy to be governed as a village.
After the usual preliminary discussion an act was passed by the Legislature April 11, 1865. incorporating Lockport
city, with four wards. The officers elected by ballot under the charter were a mayor, clerk, police justice, treasurer
tax collector, superintendent of streets, one chief and two assistants of the fire department; and in each ward
two aldermen, a supervisor, three inspectors of election, a constable, assessor, poormaster and fire warden. The
principal officers elected the first year were Benjamin Carpenter, mayor (re-elected 1866) ; Isaac Allen and M.
M. Southworth, aldermen of the First ward; William H. Fursman and David C. Huff, aldermen of the Second ward; J.
L. Breyfogle and S. R. Daniels, aldermen or the Third ward; A. W. Brazee and H. C. Pornroy, aldermen of the Fourth
ward. The mayors of Lockport have been as follows:
Benjamin Carpenter, 1865-6 ; James Jackson, 1867-8 : Albert F. Brown, 1869; John Van Horn, 1870 ; Origen Storrs,
1871 ; Elisha Moody, 1872 : Peter D. Walter, 1873; John H. Buck, 1874 : Freeman H. Mott, 1875 Samuel R. Daniels,
1876 Hiram D. McNeil, 1877; Richard B. Hoag, 1878; ; John E. Pound, 1S79-S0 ; Ambrose S. Beverly, 1881: Edward
W. Rogers, 1882 William Richmond, 1883; ; John Hawkes, 1S84 ; William Spalding, 1885-87 : Thomas Oliver. 1888-89
; Tames S. Liddie, 1890-91 ; John T. Darrison, 1892-93 ; James Atwater, 1894-95 Charles Peterson, 1896-97.
The original city charter was amended in many important features by the laws of each year from 1886 to 1890 inclusive
and in 1892, to which the reader is referred. By the laws of 1892 the city was divided into six wards instead of
four, making the Board of Aldermen twelve and giving some sections of the city better representation. To accommodate
the various city officials and departments, the Stone build. building which had been occupied as a mill by W. K.
Moore & Co. was secured in 1893 and such changes made in it as would adapt it for its purpose; it was given
the name of the Water Works building. In 1894 a stone addition was erected for the council chamber and the structure
is now known as the City building.
Some interesting incidents took place in connection with the early mail service of Lockport and its vicinity.
A daily mail service was established between the village and Wright's Corners, Sundays included. This practice
called out determined opposition, and when it was demonstrated that moral suasion was not sufficient to cause a
discontinuance of the Sunday business, an opposition line of stages was started, running only six days in the week,
and called the Pioneer line. This proceeding developed the fact that there were in the village a number of prominent
citizens who desired Sunday mail and traveling facilities, who called a meeting to remonstrate against the efforts
of the new stage line. This meeting was held on the 9th of December, 1828, and the call was quite numerously signed;
it declared among other things, that at the time there were within the village four or five hundred buildings of
various kinds, a population of about 2,000, and twenty-five respectable mercantile establishments. It also emphatically
denied that a majority of the business men favored the discontinuance of the Sunday mail. However, the Pioneer
line of stages was operated about two years, but did not pay and did not prevent the receipt of mails on Sunday.
In this connection the following sketch by Thomas Scovell, printed in the Lockport Journal, is worthy of preservation
in these pages. After notIng the fact that John L. Wright was an early mail carrier in the vicinity of Lockport,
Mr. Scoveil continues thus:
I will say the late Col. Hezekah W. Scovell was postmaster 3 or 4 terms from 1835 and 1845. I have now in my office
three commissions given him in 1S35 and 1840 and 1845 signed and sealed by Martin Van Buren and John Tyler as president
and John C. Calhoun secretary of the state and by the postmaster general, and in the winter of 1841 and 1842 I
boarded with my uncle and went to select school in the basement of the old frame Episcopal church on Buffalo street
whee the German Church now stands and worked night and morning in the post-office and carrying the mail to Lower
Town nights and mornings, as a large part of the business letters were taken or sent from Lower Town.
Among my schoolmates that winter was the lamented Col. D. Donnelly, the late Roilin Daniels, and man others long
gone. Only Windsor Trowbridge, now of this city, and myself are left living that I now remember. In the spring
of 1842 I was appointed post-office clerk in lace of W. S. Towle, who went to Buffalo. I remained in office during
'42, '43 and most of '44, when I resigned and went out to Cambriato help my father on the farm, Chauncev Wolcott
taking my place in the office.
The post-office in 1842 was in a small one story white building on Canal street, just east of the Grand, where
is now the grocery store owned by Mr. Smith, and in 1843 the post-office was moved into a brick building next east
of the old Eagle Tavern, where the Grand now stands. The first news stand in the city was opened in the front hall
or porch of the post offlce that season by Lockhart R. Carswell, a Scotchman, who slept under his counter the first
year and afterwards moved up on Main street. As there was no railroads at that time, the mails were carried only
by stages on the different routes. Mr. Isaac Dole and his son, the late Daniel E. Dole, in connection with a man
in Brockport, ran a line of tally-ho coaches with four horses daily each way on the Ridge Road between here and
Rochester. Another line with covered wagon went the canal route to Rochester daily each way; another line daily
each way from here to Batavia; also one to Buffalo, the Falls, and Lewiston; other side mails once or twice a week.
When the roads was good the mails all got in before night; but with bad roads they came at all times of night and
left very early in the morning. I did all the work alone in the office except occasionally an hour or two a day
by the postmaster. The rates of postage were then 5. 6¼, 10, 12½, 18 3/4 and 25 cents each, according
to distance, and each letter or as many as u-as going to one place, had to have a bill made out and entered in
the book and the package done up separately and plainly directed, and each package received, when opened, the bill
accompanying it had to be entered in an account book for that purpose. The mail used to average about 150 to 175
letters daily; occasionally 200 each way, besides, a large amount of papers, daily and weekly Even that number
of letters, with the form of keeping the accounts and w-aiting on delivery, kept one clerk very busy.
The year 1886 saw the completion and opening of what Lockport citizens usually term " the big bridge,"
which superseded the old structure which had been in use for more than half a century. The new bridge was not secured
without a prolonged and energetic effort, and upon its completion its opening was inaugurated with one of the largest
and most enthusiastic celebrations ever held in the place. This occurred on the 2d of September, 1886. A great
crowd, two or three brass bands, lavish illumination and fire-works and many speeches from prominent men were features
of the event. A platform was erected on the bridge on which were Mayor Spalding, Aldermen Crosby, McGrath, Heary,
Ashford, Darrison and Gaskill, with A. Stewart Gooding, M. C. Richardson, 0. W. Cutler, H S Servoss, W. W. Henry,
L. P. Gordon, Richard Crowley, W. C. Olmsted, J. A. Ward, John G. Freeman, Henry HueshDff, Joseph Rainor, D. F.
Stevens, T. M. McGrath, William E. Tuttle, A. R. Brooks, George F. Smith. Col. W. E. Palmer was master of ceremonies.
After introductory remarks by Colonel Palmer the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:
WHEREAS, The structure lately within the city of Lockport called by its citizens the "Big Bridge," which
for more than half a century has carried in safety the traffic of the town and afforded to the citizens of the
County of Niagara a public market for their produce, has now been replaced by a better and more durable one of
like character and capacity, of design and detail most satisfactory and pleasingto our citizens, in that its similarity
of form and uses to the one which it replaces, affords us a guarantee that one of the valned landmarks of our city
is not to he obliterated, hut that it shall stand to bear the weight of a thriving and progressive community in
the future as it has in the past sustained the steps of those who formed the nucleus and basis of a city destined
by its natural advantages and the public spirit of almost all of its citizens to become one of the fairest and
most prosperous in the Empire State; and
WHEREAS, The erection and completion of the present structure was obtained through the intelligent efforts in that
behalf of certain public officers, both State and local, and we are desirous of expressing in some public manner
our acknowledgment of the service they performed; therefore, Resolved, That the citizens of the City of Lockport
are under obligations for the aid and enconragement afforded the enterprise by Hon. Elnathan Sweet, state engineer;
Hon. James Shanahan, superintendent of public works, and Mr. Horace H. Servoss, superintendent of locks at Loekport;
and hereby assure them individually of our appreciation of their public spirit and good judgment.
Resolved. That the thanks of our citizens are particularly due to Hon. Edward C. Walker, State senator from this
district; Hon. Lewis P. Gordon and Hon. Peter A. Porter, members of assembly from Niagara county, for action and
zealous effort in behalf of the enactment which secured an appropriation for this work sufficient in amount to
ensure the proper and satisfactory completion of it.
Resolved, That the citizens of Lockport, contemplating the skill and good jndgment of the State officers having
control of the erection of bridges over the Erie Canal, as displayed in the form and convenience of the structure
now completed, are led most earnestly to hope and believe that the design for a high truss bridge over said canal
at Cottage street. in this city, may be changed so as to correspond to that of the one upon w-hich we now stand,
and thus a most serious obstruction to view and travel be obviated, and the well-earned reputations of those officials
for sound and practical administration of the affairs of the canal be sustained.
D. F. STEVENS,
T. M. McGRATH,
Committee on Resolutions.
Hon. Richard Crowley was the first speaker and gave a brief history of the old bridge, stating that when the canal
was first built, sixty five years earlier, it was bridged with logs, and that a few years later the bridge demolished
to make way for the new one was erected. Other addresses were made by M. C. Richardson, L. P. Gordon and others
with music at intervals. The exercises closed with a display of fireworks.
Lockport had a fire service before its incorporation as a village in 1829, and before the organization of the department
was effected Lyman A. Spaiding purchased a rotary engine, which he named Tuscarora, and for which a company tvas
subsequently organized. It required sixteen men to operate this engine and it was soon displaced by the Niagara.
The company for the Tuscarora was formed soon after the incorporation of the village, with John G. Gustin foreman.
The first hook and ladder company was organized in 1833. In 1836 a company was formed in the Lower Town with the
name of Tuscarora No. 2, with William Dixon foreman. Some years later Osceola Engine Company No. 1 was organized
and continued until 1873, when it was reorganized as Spalding Hose Company No. 1 and still exists. At about the
same time that Osceola Company was organized another was formed with the title of Rescue Engine Company No 3; this
company was disbanded in 1868, and Washington Hose Company No. 2 was organized from it and is now in existence.
In 1853 Tuscarora Company No. 2 was reorganized and became De Witt Clinton Engine Company. Protection Hook and
Ladder Company was organized in 1863 with thirty-five members. Hydrant Hose Company No 1 was organized in November,
1865, and Washington Hose Company No 2 in January, 1868. The present department comprises Active Hose Company No.
(formerly Active Engine Company and organized in 1878); DeWitt Clinton Hose No. 6; Hydrant Hose No. 1 ; Spalding
Hose No. 3; Washington Hose No. 2, and Protection Hook and Ladder Company No. 1.
Chief Engineers of the Fire Department.- The Board of Trustees of Lockport on May 13, 1829, was composed of Joel
McCollum, president; Levi Taylor, Levi F. Bounds, Joshua Driscoll, James F. Mason, and Henry K. Hopkins, clerk.
It was ordered that sixteen firemen and sixteen hook and ladder men be appointed. George W. Rogers was appointed
chief engineer, and a small engine was purchased at a cost of $650. The list of chiefs and dates of service from
1829 to 1897 as far as known is given below:
George W. Rogers, 1820, 1831, 1832, 1833 and 1849; Lewis Godard, 1830-31: Benjamin Carpenter, 1833-38; B. S. Pease,
1838, 1839, 1840; Isaac Dole, 1840-41 Robert White, 1850; John Jennev, 1850-52; Alexander Eastman, 1852-53; Dudley
Donnelly, 1853-61 L. Austin Spalding, 1855-58; B. H. Fletcher, 1861-62: Joseph T. Bellah, 1862-63; John E. Mack,
1863-64; M. Dempsey, 1864-65; James Jackson, jr., 1865; Henry F. Cady. 1865-67; L, W. Bristol, 1867-69 and 1874-76;
William Spalding, 1869-74 and 1878-79; Robert Madden. 1876-77 and 1890-91; John Hodge, 1877-78; H. D. McNeil, 1879-80;
William E. Jenney. 1880-81: Max Starck, 1881-82; H. K. Wicker, 1882-91; H. L. Cleveland, 1891-03; C. H. Carnall,
1893; Dr. William E. Jenney, 1897.
List of Fire Organizations of Lockport from 1829.- Niagara Fire Company No. 1, organized December 25. 1834.
Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, organized September 18, 1834.
Tuscarora Fire Engine Company No. 2, organized November 28, 1838.
Protection Fire Engine Company No. 1, organized 1850.
Osceola Fire Engine Company No. 1, organized September 27, 1860.
Rescue Fire Engine Company No. 3, organized February 23, 1852.
Bucket Company, organized December 20, 1852.
De Witt Clinton Fire Engine Company No. 2, organized 1854, from Tuscarora Company above named.
Protection Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, organized June 15. 1863, from Hook and Ladder Company No. 1.
Hydrant Hose Company No. 1, organized November 24, 1865, first hose company in the State to use hydrants of the
Holly Water Works system.
Washington Hose Company No. 2, organized January 27, 1868, from Niagara Fire Engine Company No. 1 and Rescue Engine
Company No. 3.
Spalding Hose Company No. 3, organized May 26, 1873, from Protection Fire Company No. 1 and Osceola Company No.
Active Hose Company No. 5, incorporated, organized February 5. 1878.
De Witt Clinton Hose Company No. 6. organized April 1, 1879, from De Witt Clinton Engine Company No. 2
The Exempt Firemen's Association of Lockport was organized December 16, 1893, with the following officers: H. K.
Wicker, president; T. James McMaster, vice president; Charles F. Foley, secretary; John R. Mahaney, treasurer;
H. L. Cleveland, marshal; Charles B. Long, Charles E. Carnall, trustees; Richard Smith, steward.
The object of the association is stated as the promotion of friendly and social intercourse, to provide a headquarters
for the transaction of all business connected with the association, together with a reading room where the members
may meet and renew their old-time friendship, to collect and preserve relics, pictures and implements used in olden
times, and to provide for and establish a mutual aid or funeral fund for the benefit of its members. Only such
persons as served as firemen of the late volunteer fire department can become members.
On the 1st of January, 1897, this association had 174 members, and the following are the present officers: President,
George W. Mann; vice-president, W. R. Scott; treasurer, J. R. Mahaney; financial secretary, Fred R. Oliver; marshal,
W. J. Quinlan; steward, Richard Smith. The association has just purchased a building at a cost of $3,000 which
will be used for general club purposes.
The water supply of Lockport had its inception in a reservoir on the site of the later American Hotel: the water
being pumped into it by a pump which Lyman A. Spalding had procured to use in case of fire in his early mill. From
the reservoir the water flowed by gravity. This inadequate establishment did not long suffice. Fires were frequent
and many of them were destructive in spite of the efforts of firemen. This condition of affairs led Birdsall Holly,
whose name became famous in connection with his system of supplying water to communities, to turn his attention
to devising a remedy. As a result of his genins the Lockport Water Works were constructed in 1864, by a company
organized for such undertakings. The system, as now well known, consists briefly in setting up pumping machinery
to raise water to a sufficient height and to supply it under pressure, and so regulated by the pressure of the
water in the mains that the machinery will respond to the demand. About 6,000 feet of pipe were laid in thc village
(then soon to become a city) and twenty-seven hydrants were set, the highest of which was seventy-two feet above
the pumping station. The machinery was pro.. pelled by a turbine wheel under a head of nineteen feet. The contract
between the village and the Holly Company stipulated that from a hydrant fifty feet above the pumping station a
stream could be thrown through one hundred feet of hose one hundred feet high. At the test the stream was thrown
175 feet under those conditions, and the works were promptly accepted. In 1882 the water works were taken under
municipal control. About twenty four mites of mains are now in use, with one pump of 3,000,000 and one of 5,000,000
gallons daily capacity. George H. Drake was the first superintendent, and was succeeded by R. J. Sterrett. The
present superintendent is B Burroughs who assumed the office in 1893.
THE L0CKPORT PRESS- The history of newspapers in Lockport furnishes an illustration of the consequences of changed
business and industrial conditions, frequently enabling new communities to spring up and outstrip older and apparently
more permanent ones. A newspaper was born in Lewiston many years before Lockport was mare than a canal settlement;
but it was soon removed to the younger community. The Niagara Democrat was started in Lewiston in 1821, by Bartemus
Ferguson; but in the ensuing winter some of the enterprising citizens of Lockport purchased the printing office,
removed it to their little village and the editor with it. The name of the paper was at the same time changed to
The Lockport Observatory. In August, 1822, the establishment passed to possession of Orasmus Turner, who for about
thirty years thereafter was prominently identified with Niagara county journalism) Meanwhile, another paper, the
Lewiston Sentinel, was started in Lewiston in 1822 by James O. Dailey. It soon passed into the hands of Oliver
Grace, who read the signs of the times and also removed it to Lockport, changing the name to the Niagara Sentinel.
In 1828, for business reasons, the Observatory and the Sen.. tinel were consolidated and published with the name
of the Democrat and Sentinel. In the same year the establishment was purchased by Peter Besancon, who changed the
name of the paper to the Lockport Journal. In 1829 another change of name was made to the Lockport Balance.
In 1833 the Lockport Gazette was started by Pierpont Baker, and one year later the two papers were consolidated
and issued as the Lockport Balance and Gazette; the last part of the title was soon dropped and the Balance was
published a short time by D. C. Coulton, and later by T. H. Hyatt. In 1835 Orasmus Turner started a new journal
with the name of the Niagara Democrat, and in 1837 purchased the Balance, and continued the publication of the
Niagara Democrat and Lockport Balance as one paper; the last part of the title was soon dropped. Mr. Turner remained
as editor and publisher until 1839, when it passed into the hands of Thomas P. Scoville, who continued the publication
until 1846. It was then sold to Turner & McCollum, who were succeeded by Ballou & Campbell, who transferred
it to its former publisher, Mr. Turner; he continued the paper until his death in 1855. John Campbell was the next
publisher, continuing until f858, when the establishment was purchased by A. S. Prentiss, who had for about five
years been conducting the Lockport Daily Advertiser, a free advertising medium. After purchasing the Democrat he
enlarged the Advertiser and continued its daily issue, while the weekly issue was named the Democrat and Advertiser.
In r86o the establishment was transferred to Gaylord J. Clark.
On April 9, 1859, the Lockport Chronicle was started by S. S. Pornroy & Co., a weekly, and in the following
year the Lockport Daily Union was issued from the same office by the County Democratic Committee. In 1862 a consolidation
was effected by the Democrat and Advertiser, and the Chronicle and the Union, the new daily taking the name of
the Lockport Daily Union, and the weekly that of the Niagara Democrat. At the time of the consolidation Pomroy
& Chamberlain became proprietors and editors. In 1863 Mr. Pomroy retired from the business, and in the next
year Mr. Chamberlain sold out to Henry E. Shaft, who had already begun the publication of the Lockport Bee, which
was then merged with the Union and 1)emocrat. Mr. Shaft soon transferred the establishment to Wolcott & Chamberlain,
who continued until June, 1867, when Mr. Chamberlain sold his interest to R. M. Skeels; in 1876 he bought Wolcott's
interest also. On the 1st of October, 1876, a stock company was formed, for the publication of the paper, with
John Hodge, president; James Jackson, jr., treasurer, and Mr. Skeels remained as editor. Early in the eighties
O. W. Cutler acquired a controlling interest in the company stock and continued in the management of the business
until 1895, when Fred W. Corson became an equal partner with him. At the same time the plant and papers of the
Lockport Sun Company were taken into the Union Company. In February, 1896, Mr. Cutler's interest was acquired by
Walter P. Horne, and in July, 1897, the business was incorporated and the present organization effected as follows:
Walter P. Horne, president; Fred W. Corson, treasurer and manager; George S. Palmer, secretary.
The Lockport Daily Sun, referred to above, was founded by Messrs.
M. H. Hoover and Fred Relvea, June 19, 1891. The plant was located on Market street. After the paper had been published
a few months Mr. Relyca between two days quietly slipped away and has never since returned. On May 30, 1892, the
paper and plant passed into the hands of Democratic politicians, under the company name of the Sun Printing and
Publishing Company, William C. Greene, president ; F. H. Pomroy, secretary ; A. F. Hoyt, treasurer and managing
editor, and C. N. Seabury, business manager. It was proving to be a most successful party rival of the Democratic
Lockport Daily Union, and that concern thought it policy to buy up the Sun, and subsequently did so, as related
On May 1, 1827, M. Cadwallader began the publication of the Niagara Courier, and was succeeded for a short time
by George Reese, who sold to Hon. T. T. Flagler. Under his direction the paper was successlul. In 1843 it was purchased
by Crandall & Brigham, who transferred it to David S. Crandall. In 1847 lie began the issue of a daily, the
first of a permanent character in the village. In 1851 the establishment was sold to C. L. Skeels and John Williams.
In 1846 Robert H. Stevens began the publication of the Niagara Cataract, which he soon sold to Humphrey & Fox;
they were succeeded by Charles J. Fox, who continued until June, 1851, when Moses C. Richardson, who had been for
three preceding years editorially associated with the Courier, purchased the plant of the Cataract for the purpose
of using the material on a Free Soil paper. With additions to the material he started the Lockport Journal in June,
1851. The paper was liberally received, and in 1852. at the solicitation of his friends, Mr. Richardson began publishing
the Lockport Daily Journal. It was an up-hill struggle for a few years, on account of the limited population of
the district. In 1852 Cornelius Underwood, a practical printer, acquired an interest in the business. He had no
capital and was soon discouraged with his prospects and retired. Mr. Richardson continued alone and in 1853 introduced
the first power printing press to the village. In November, 1854, tfle establishment was nearly ruined by the great
fire. Undismayed, Mr. Richardson purchased new material and continued the issue of the paper, and in course of
time the establishment was placed upon a secure basis. In the year (1851) that Skeels and Williams purchased the
Niagara Courier, as before stated, S. S. Pomroy assumed its editorship, and in 1855 became its owner. In 1857 John
G. Freeman acquired an interest in the office and a little later became sole owner. The Courier and the Journal
now occupied substantially the same political held and the friends of each urged a consolidation. Accordidgly in
February, 1859. the two were united by the firm of Richardson & Freeman, the daily issue being called the Journal
and Courier, and the weekly the Niagara Intelligencer. The name of the weekly was afterwards changed to the Niagara
Journal, and the daily to the Lockport Daily Journal. In 1861 Mr. Freeman sold his interest to A. Holly, who a
few months later sold to James W. Barker. On the night of May 3, 1863, the establishment was destroyed by fire,
causing a heavy loss. The proprietors then purchased the lot on which the Journal building was erected. New materials
were purchased and the paper prospered more than before. In July, 1864, Mr. Barker sold his interest to M. C. Richardson,
who continued sole proprietor, and in 1869 erected the present Journal building. In 1870 Joseph A. Ward purchased
a quarter interest in the establishment and became business manager. In the spring of 1871 Willard A. Cobb, for
several years previous proprietor of the Dunkirk Journal, purchased of Mr. Richardson a quarter interest and became
associate editor of the paper.
Messrs. Ward & Cobb purchased Mr. Richardson's interest in the plant in 1880, and since that time they have
been and still are sole proprietors of the Journal.
While the firm's interests are mutual, Mr. Ward has special charge of the business department. Mr. Ward was formerly
connected with the Niagara County National Exchange Bank of Lockport and has always enjoyed the reputation of being
an unusually successful business man.
Hon. Willard A. Cobb, one of the owners of the Lockport Journal, was born in Rome, N. Y., was educated in Rome
Academy and Hamilton College, graduating from the latter institution in 1864. He immediately entered upon editorial
work, first as a reporter on the Chicago Post, and afterwards as associate editor of the Racine Advocate, city
editor of the Utica Morning Herald, editor of the Dunkirk Journal, associate editor and finally editor-in-chief
of the Lockport Journal. Aside from his editorial labor Mr. Cobb has been active in the political field, served
his district two years on the Republican State Committee, and has frequently been a delegate to Republican State
and local conventions. In 1879 he made an extensive tour of Europe contributing interesting letters to his journal.
Mr. Cobb was a member of the State Board of Regents from 1884 to 1893 when he resigned from that body to accept
a place upon the State Civil Service Commission, to which he was appointed by Governor Morton. He was subsequently
appointed president of that commission.
Mr. Cobb has at this present time been engaged in journalism for upwards of thirty years. He is generally recognized
as one of the ablest and most forcible editorial writers in the Empire State.
The Lockport Niagaran.- The first issue of a weekly publication established by Messrs. George S. Gooding, Quincey
G. T. Parker and Homer D. Upson, was printed on March 7, 1891. It entered the sea ot newspaperdom with about six
hundred subscribers. Its subscription
price was fifty cents per annum. It was a five-column, four page sheet devoted entirely to local news-independent
Republican in politics. Within a month after it was started Mr. Upson withdrew from the partnership and Messrs.
Gooding and Parker continued the publication together for one year, then Mr. Parker sold his interest in the paper
to Mr. Gooding, who enlarged it to the regulation size, six column folio, and continued to so publish it for two
years. During these two years Mr. Gooding branched out into the job printing business. He met with excellent success
and found that job printing in Lockport was more remunerative than publishing a weekly newspaper, so at the beginning
of Vol. IV. of the Niagaran lie reduced it to a four-column monthly publication and so issued it for one year.
Then it was discontinued. From a small outfit in an upper room in the brick building corner of Lock and Ontario
streets, by earnest efforts and perseverance Mr. Gooding built up a good printing business, and added to the plant
until he had one of the finest and best equipped offices in the city. In January, 1896, he sold his office, then
located on the ground floor at No. 39 Pine street, McRae block, to W. H. Mackenzie. Later in the year Mr. Mackenzie
sold the plant to Adolph Laux, who removed it to his bookbinding establishment, No. 22 Main street, where it remains.
The Lockport Daily Review was first issued on March 27, 1895, and was started by six members of the printing business,
namely: John M. Smith, R. C. Wilson, J. W. Jenss, F. H. Fogal, Eugene Reams and T. T. Feeley. The Review, contrary
to predictions, steadily gained in favor, and to day stands as one of the best papers in Western New York. In size
it is a four-page, eight columns. The Review was started on the co operative plan, but after a year it was changed
to an incorporated body. Dr. E. W. Gantt was the editor-in chief from its conception uutil July 12, 1896, when
lie resigned. The Review is independent in politics and its motto, " Lockport first, last, and all the time,"
is strictly lived up to. The plant now occupies two floors of the Van Wagoner building, and a good job plant is
run in connection with the paper.
The Niagara Semi-Weekly Review, published Wednesday and Saturday, is an off-shoot of the daily. It was started
a year ago and has now a large circulation. The present officers and equal stockholders of the company are: President,
John M. Smith ; vice-president, R, C. Wilson ; secretary-treasurer, J. W. Jenss ; manager, T. T. Feeley; John Tierney,
John Berry and George S. Gooding. Brief sketches of several newspaper editors and publishers, connected with the
Lockport press, may be found in Part II of this work.
Lockport was without local banking facilities until 1828, in which year the bank of Lockport was organized and
incorporated. The Lockport Bank aiid Trust Company and the Canal Bank were organized about the year 1838; the Western
Bank in 1850, and the Cataract Bank in 1862. The Lockport City Bank was incorporated in 1858 and continued in business
until 1866. These institutions supplied financial accommodations to the place for longer or shorter periods, but
all long ago passed out of existence.
The National Exchange Bank was incorporated as a State institution in 1844, and was changed to a national bank
in 1865. The capital is $150,000. The institution has been managed most judiciously and for the best interests
of the community. The present officers are as follows: Timothy F. Ellsworth, president; C. M. Van Valkenburgh,
vice president; William E. McComb, cashier. These with John R. Redfield, Joseph A. Ward, and John E. Pound constitute
the board of directors.
The First National Bank was organized in December, 1865, with capital of $200,000. George W. Bowen was the first
president, and John O. Noxen the first cashier. It was subsequently changed to the Merchants' Bank. as a State
institution, and closed its career in October, 1893, in the hands of a receiver.
The Niagara County National Bank was organized December 6, 1864, with a capital of $150,000. The first officers
were Thomas T, Flagler, president; Daniel A. Van Valkenburgh, vice-president; James R. Compton, cashier. The present
officers are as follows: T. T. Flagler. president; T. F. Ellsworth, vice president; J. R. Compton, cashier; T.
T. Fiagler, T. F. Ellsworth, T. N. Van Valkenburgh, H. H. Flagler, Charles M. Van Valkenburgh, Ransom Scott and
D. Van Shuler, directors.
The Farmers' and Mechanics' Savings Bank was chartered May 11, 1870. The first officers were Jason Collier, president;
Silas Osgood and John Hodge, vice-presidents; Edward Voke, secretary and treasurer; George C. Green, attorney.
The bank was opened for business August 1, 1870. In the following December a lot was purchased and a building thereon
was remodeled for banking purposes. The present officers of the company are as follows: Isaac H. Babcock, president;
Benjamin F. Gaskill, first vice-president; David D. Crosby, second vice-president; J. E. Emerson, secretary and
treasurer; Barnett D. Hall, Willard T. Ransom, B. F. Gaskill. Harrison S. Chapman, Isaac H. Babcock, J. E. Enierson,
David D. Crosby, E. Achley Smith, George H. Moody, William A. Williams, Charles A. Hoag, Henry Grigg, Joseph Dumville,
jr., directors. The bank has a surplus of $138,987.10.
The Lockport Banking Association, composed of several prominent citizens, began business as a private banking institution
April 8, 1882. It has gone out of business.
The banking office of S. Curt Lewis was opened for business in May, 1 876, and has continued to the present time.
Part 2 - Church History
Part 3 - Lockport home for the Friendless, Schools, Gas Lighting, Mills, Supervisors
of the City of Lockport.