History of Manchester, New York
SARACUSE, N. Y., 1893


THE township of Manchester, Number 11 in the second range, a! though one of the most important interior towns of the county, and one across which many pioneers were impelled to pass to reach their western lands, was not settled until the year 1793, and was not organized as one of the civil divisions of the county until 1821. In this township, also, was laid out, and at least partially worked, the second principal highway across the county. But, notwithstanding the fact that Manchester was not settled comparatively early, its subsequent growth and development was very rapid, and at the first enumeration of its inhabitants after organization (1830) it contained 2,811 population, standing sixth in this respect among the towns of the county. From that until the present time the population has constantly increased, and now its population (census 1890) 4,439, the towns of Canandaigua, Geneva and Phelps only having a greater number of inhabitants.

Under its original civil organization this town formed a part of Farmington (created 1789) and in connection therewith its early settlement was made, and when organized separately this town was called "Burt," the name being changed to Manchester April 16, 1822. The pioneers of Number 11, range 2, were Stephen Jared, Joel Phelps and Joab Gillett, all Yankees, who located about on the site of the village of Clifton Springs in 1793, and here made the first improvement. In 1795 Nathan Pierce and John McLouth came from Berkshire, Mass., and also settled in the town, the former building a strong log house. The other pioneers were John Van Fleet, Sharon Booth, Jedediah Dewey, Benjamin Barney, William Mitchell, Israel Thomas and Nathaniel Harrington, all of whom were in the town as early as 1798. Mr. Booth located in the town in 1794, and soon afterward married Ruth, daughter of pioneer Joab (or Joel as some authorities state) Gillett, which was the first event of its kind in the town. The child of these parents, Dorris Booth, born 1795, also connected the family with another first event. John McLouth built a cider mill, so it is said, in the town. Later on, 1804, Theophilus Short built the first mill on the outlet where Shortsville now stands. From him this thriving little village took its name. About a mile above Shortsville, and on the outlet at a place called Littleville, Oliver Phelps built one of the first mills in the county. This mill stood not far from the present Shortsville Wheel Company's works, and was built in 1791. Further mention of this mill will be found in the chapter on Hopewell. The first school in the town was opened in 1800, and was taught by Elam Crane. On March 12, 1796, Thomas Sawyer died, the first death in the town, and his remains were buried in the cemetery in Hopewell. Thomas Sawyer was a settler in 1795, and his brother, Hooker Sawyer, and Jacob Rice came about the same time. Luke Phelps and Bezaleel Gleason were pioneers of 1796.

Benjamin Barney and family came from New Jersey and settled in the town in 1797. Jedediah Dewey and Isaac Lapham came in 1798. Sylvester Davis located and built a blacksmith shop on the site now of Manchester village in 179$, the first shop of the kind in the town. In the same year Abram Spoor located on the site of Gypsum village and was soon afterward followed by Jacob and John, sons of Garret Van Derhoof. The year 1799 was notable for the number and prominence of its pioneer settlers in the town, there then coming Peleg Redfield, Nathan Jones, Joseph Hart, Jacob White, Asa Reed, Daniel Macomber and others whose names have perhaps been forgotten. In the same connection we may further mention poineers heads of families, among whom were Gilbert Howland and his large family, John Shekell, Samuel Rush, Zuriel Fish, Philip La Mueuix, Benjamin Throop, Abram Spoor, Gehazi Granger, Hezekiah Baggerly and Timothy Bigelow.

However, it is not deemed necessary to here refer at length to the lives and history of the pioneers of Manchester, for, in a subsequent department of this work will be found full and complete family and personal sketches, collected with much care by personal application to present representatives of early and pioneer settlers. Joe Smith, the Mormon prophet, resided in this town with his father; and Mormon Hill, the place where the gold bible was found, is situated a little northwest of the center of the town.

In 1797 the two townships which then formed Farmington (Manchester being one of them) were found to contain a population sufficient to warrant an organization and the election of officers. The first meeting was therefore held on April 4, and among the officers chosen were several from the Manchester side of the town. Nathan Pierce was elected road commissioner; John McLouth, assessor; Sharon Booth, collector; Joshua Van Fleet, school commissioner; and Joel Gillett, pound. master.

In 1799 the town (Farmington) was divided into road districts, three of which were in what is now Manchester. In 1804 the town meeting was held in Manchester for the first time, the session being at Ebenezer Pratt's house. Later town gatherings in the town prior to its separate organization were those held in 1815 and 1818. About this time (1818 and 1819) the people became anxious for a division of Farmington and the organization of a separate town, but it was not until March 31, 1821, that the Legislature passed the enabling act, and authorized the organization of the town of "Burt." However, this name seemed to be unsatisfactory to the townspeople, consequently on April 16, 1822, the name was changed to Manchester.

The first town meeting of the new town was held in 1821, at which time the following officers were elected: Supervisor. John Van Fleet; town clerk, Gehazi Granger; assessors, Thomas Kingsley, David Howland, Peter Mitchell; collector, William Popple; commissioners of highways, Jacob Cost, Carlos Harmon, Nicholas Howland; overseers of the poor, Titus Bement, James Harland; commissioners of schools, Addison N. Buck, Azel Throop, George Redfield; constables, Wrn.. Popple, Robert Spear, John Schutt; inspectors of common schools, C. Harmon, P. Mitchell, Leonard Short.

The supervisors of Manchester have been as follows: Peter Mitchell, 1827; Nathan Pierce, 1828-9; Nicholas Howland, 1830-31; Peter Mitchell. 1832; David Howland, 1833 ; Nicholas Howland, 1834-35; David Howland, 1836; Peter Mitchell, 1837; Ezra Pierce, 1838-42; Peter Mitchell, 1843; Alfred Dewey, 1844; Peter Mitchell, 1845; Mead Allerton, 1846-48; Proctor Newton, 1849; Joseph H. Dewey, 1850; Peter Mitchell, 1851; Jedediah Dewey, Jr., 1852; Ezra Pierce, 1853; Nathaniel K. Cole, 1854-55 ; Ezra Pierce, 1856-57; N. K. Cole, 1858; Andrew J. Hanna, 1859-60; Wm. H. C. Redfield, 1861-64; Abial Allen, 1865-69; Wm. H. C. Redfield, 1870-71; Sidney D. Jackson, 1872-74; Sherman Mosher, 1875-77; J. Addison Howland, 1878; D.C. Mattison, 1879; J. A. Howland, 1880-82; Jeremiah Lyke, 1883; Edward J. Sheldon, 1884; Jeremiah Lyke, 1885-86; J. A. Howland, 1887-89; Jeremiah Lyke, 1890-91; John C. Parker, 1892-93.

Present town officers: Supervisor, John C. Parker; town clerk, Grover Partridge; assessors, David H. Townsend, John McClellan, Sharon Booth; justices of the peace, John W. Parker, James W. Rafter, Almeron Dunham, Charles L. Brant; overseer of the poor, Charles A. Moore; commissioner of highways, Theron Y. Allerton; collector, William Potter; constables, John Rodney, Harry S. Forshay, John Lannon, George W Rockwell, John W. Wood; commissioners of excise, Richmond P. Pratt, Harvey K. Carpenter, Isaac Benson.

Schools of Manchester.- In all matters pertaining to education and the welfare of the youth in general, the town of Manchester has maintained a position ever in the front rank. Even during the pioneer days of the town, schools were established at convenient places, and the system thus inaugurated has always been maintained on the same generous plan. At this time the town has sixteen school districts, three of which-Nos. 3, 9 and 12 - have not school houses. In 1892 the number of children of school age was 868, to instruct whom nineteen teachers were employed, at an expense of $5,501.77. The amount realized by the town for school purposes, from all sources, was $8,049.73. The total value of school property in the town is $24,000; the value of the school building in District 7 is $13,500. Of the thirteen school buildings in the town, eight are of frame, two of brick, and three of stone.

It is a well known and conceded fact that civil, political and military history of Manchester bears favorable comparison with any other of the towns of the county. In this respect the people of the town have ever felt a just pride. Among the pioneers and early settlers of the town were a number of men who served with credit during the Revolutionary War, and among whom may be recalled the names of Nathan Pierce, Peleg Redfield, Joshua Van Fleet, Jacob Gillett, Samuel Rush, Thomas Sawyer, Israel Harrington, Nicholas Chrysler and Ebenezer Pratt.

In the second war with England the town also furnished a number of men for the service, among them being Nathan Pierce, Jr., son of the pioneer Nathan Pierce; Nicholas Reuland, who held a captain's commission; Lieut. Peter Mitchell, who commanded a company, and also Heman J. Redfield and his brothers Manning and Harley; Joshua Stevens, John Wyatt, Moses Eddy, Jacob Eddy, John Robinson, Timothy Bigelow, Asel Throop, Achilles Botsford, Russell M. Rush, Hooker Sawyer, and others whose names are not remembered.

However, it was during the War of 1861-65 that the town of Manchester made its most glorious record and displayed it most genuine martial spirit. In a preceding chapter of this volume will be found a record of the Ontario county volunteers in the war, and there also will be found a list of the battles in which the commands participated; and a glance at the record will disclose the fact that Manchester was represented by volunteers in nearly every principal command to the strength of which the county furnished troops, and there was hardly a branch of che service not represented by men from Manchester. In 1860 the town had a population of 3,280 inhabitants, and in the war which followed during the succeeding four years the town is credited with having furnished a total of about four hundred men, or more than twelve per cent. of its population. Nearly all of the regiments having Manchester men now have elaborate histories prepared, in which are furnished complete rosters of the troops by companies, wherefore in the present connection we need only refer generally to the town's record during the war.

In Ontario county Manchester has been called the town of many villages; and whether said in honor or derision matters not, as the assertion is true, and is reasserted with emphasis by every loyal resident of the town. These villages, three of which are incorporated, are Clifton Springs, Shortsville and Manchester, Port Gibson, Manchester Center, Plainsville (Gypsum) and Littleville, a total of seven and a showing which cannot be equaled elsewhere in the county.

The Village of Clifton Springs.- The pioneer on the site of the present village of Clifton Springs was John Shekell, a Marylander, and a man of much worth and influence in the new community. The building more recently occupied as a boarding-house, standing on an elevation in the east part of the village, was the Shekell mansion, built in 1800, and opened in 1801 as a public house. Mr. Shekell was specially noted in the settlement from the fact that he possessed three slaves, but these were set free and well provided with dwelling places.

The second settler in the village locality was William Hanna, and the third Arnold Warfield, both bringing families from Maryland, following the example of the pioneer, John Shekell. About the year 1811 Wm. Entricken, also from Maryland, settled here and opened a blacksmith shop, but before this time, in 1806, Landlord Powell of the famous Geneva Hotel laid the foundation for later growth by building a public house where the village has since been built up. In 1808 St. John's church was built, but the building was sold in 1812 to the Methodist Society. About the same time a district school was built and opened, while to John Bradt attaches the honor of having been the first storekeeper. Rose & Spangler were later merchants.

The Sulphur Springs of this village have made the locality famous throughout the United States. Elsewhere will be found a detailed history of this celebrated resort and its chief promoter and founder, but at this time we may briefly state that the valuable medicinal properties of the water here found were known to the first residents, for as early as the year 1806 a hotel was erected here as a dispensary. However, it was not until later years that the village assumed a position of niunicipal importance in the town, and this result was achieved almost wholly through the efforts of Dr. Foster, aided and assisted by a few liberal and progressive people of the locality The Foster House was erected in 1869, by William Foster; the Clifton House in 1870, by Thos W. Warfield,and the name changed to Warfield House in 1871, but again became Clifton House in 1875. In 1850 Clifton Springs was made a post-office, and in 1859 the population was so increased, and the interests of the persons engaged in developing and improving the locality were such as to require the incorporation of the village, which was accordingly done.

At the present time the village of Clifton Springs presents an appearance fully as attractive as any municipality of the county. It is in no sense a busy manufacturing place; such has not been the aim of its founders and promoters, but as a quiet resorting place for persons seeking rest and recuperation, Clifton Springs has become famous throughout the land. The public buildings include five churches, two good schools (one public and one select), a water supply system, and a fire department. The village population numbers about 1500, and its mercantile representatives about equal the demand, but there does not appear to be an excess in this direction.

The water supply of the village is owned by the Sanitarium Company and is a private institution, although the main pipes extend through some of the principal streets and furnish water to private families. A hose company is organized in connection with the water supply department, and is also a part of the Sanitarium equipment; still in case of fire in any part of the village, the company promptly responds. The Citizens' Hook and Ladder Company is an institution of the village corporation.

As has been stated, the village was incorporated in 1859, and its boundaries extend beyond the limits of the town of Manchester on the east, hence include a small part of the town of Phelps. In fact the public school is located on the Phelps side. of the line. The present trustees of the village are D. C. Mattison, Albert Everts and James Brady. The president of the village is William Llewellyn.

The Clifton Springs Seminary, a large, comfortable and in every way praiseworthy educational institution, occupies a commanding site in the west part of the village. It is well patronized, and its graduates rank well with those of some of the famed preparatory schools of the State. This institution was founded many years ago under the name of "Clifton Springs Female Seminary," and was a school exclusively for girls. However, under its present management and name it is open to both sexes. The present principal is Prof. Wm. A. Deering.

The Union School of the village and district is also an attractive appearing and substantially constructed building, standing on an elevation in the eastern part of the village. Its affairs are managed by a Board of Education, of which Dr. Henry Foster is president.

The principal manufacturing industry of Clifton Springs is that carried on by the Clifton Springs Manufacturing Company, a body corporate, organized May 2, 1885, with a capital of $30,000, afterward increased to $40,000. The product of this large concern consists of nearly one hundred and fifty varieties of tinware articles, each of which is manufactured with a patented "anti-rust" attachment. The present factory building was erected in 1890, and in it are employed about forty men. The officers of the company are Rush Spalsbury, president; H. C. Evard, treasurer; J. A. Brook, superintendent.

W. A. Judd, successor to the firm of Bostwick & Judd, is an extensive manufacturer of tinware articles, and employs ten men. Bostwick & Judd began business in 1892, succeeding a still older business established by Mr. Bostwick.

The Clifton Springs Press, under the efficient management and ownership of H. L. Wright, was established in 1871, and then known as the Clifton Spring News. The last mentioned paper was the outcome of a discussion among interested residents of the village, and by them an arrangement was made with J. W. Neighbor, of the Phelps Citizen, whereby the News should be printed at Phelps, the local editor being Charles G. Gustin, succeeded in 1873 by W. S. Drysdale. John M. Waterbury was local editor in 1874; George H. Woodruff in 1878, and Harry C. Burdick in 1880. W. W. Gillis came next in 1882, and was followed in 1884 by F. L. Brown, the latter changing the name of the paper to the New Era (indeed it was a "new era" in the history of the paper), and subsequently to the Clifton Springs Press, which last mentioned name has ever since been retained. In 1885 W. H. Neighbor became editor, and was succeeded in 1886 by H. L. Wright, the present proprietor, who edits and prints the Press at Clifton Springs, in a comfortable and well-equipped office. The persons who were active in establishing the first paper were J. W. Neighbor, A. J. Hanna, Byron Harmon, C. W. La Du, E. J. Warfield, Dr. Henry Foster and J. J. Dewey.

St. John's Church at Clifton Springs dates back in time to an organization effected as early as 1806-7, with which event were prominently connected the Shekells, John and Samuel, Darwin Seager, William Warner, George Wilson, Archibald Beale, Davis Williams, Thomas Edmonston, Alexander Howard and William Powell. A church edifice was begun at once, but before completion was sold to the Methodists. Following this the parish of St. John's became extinct, and was not revived until 1866, followed in 1871 by the consecration of a new edifice by Rt. Rev. Bishop Coxe. The parish and congregation of St. John's are small, the communicants few, and at present the church is without a rector.

The Methodist Episcopal Church at Clifton Springs was organized in 1808, under the missionary labors of Rev. John Baggerly, and soon afterward the society purchased the edifice built by the society of St. John's, which they occupied from 1810 to 1841, when the building was burned. Another church house was built in 1843-44. In 1846 the society was reorganized and called the "Third Methodist Society in Manchester." In 1867 the large brick church edifice superseded the old home of the society. The congregation and membership of this church are large. The present pastor is Rev. J. V. Benham.

The First Universalist Church of Clifton Springs was organized April 1, 1852, with twenty original members, and under the pastoral care of I. I. Brayton. The full church organization was completed in 1858. The first house of worship was erected in 1852 and '53. The membership and congregation of this society are not large. The last pastor was Rev. G. B. Russell. For many years the pastorate of this church was filled in connection with the Universalist Church at Geneva.

St. Agnes' Roman Catholic Church at Clifton Springs was organized, and the parish also, in 1856, and during the same year the church edifice was built. For several years this church was an out-station, and Father McDermer was the first resident priest. The present priest is Father Patrick Lee.

The Baptist Society of Clifton Springs is the youngest of the several religious organizations having an abiding place in the village, its formation dating back only a few years. The church edifice is located on the hill in the east part of the village and is a very attractive structure. The present pastor is Rev. H. F. Cope.

The life record of Dr. Henry Foster, as far as it is not directly connected with the history of the famous institution of which he is the head, is extremely brief. Dr. Foster is the son of a Vermont farmer and miller, and was born in Thetford, in that State in January, 1821. Receiving a good English education, he pursued medical study in. Lowell, Mass., and in 1844 graduated from the medical department of the Western Reserve College. While studying in Lowell he cared for a sick brother in a sanitarium which bore the name of a water cure, if not its full character. Of this experience he has himself said: "While there observing and helping, a revelation was made to me, that this kind of treatment was the best mode of treating chronic diseases, though bred an allopathic physician and, of course, strongly attached to that faith; as a result of that impression, and wishing to learn more of this system, in 1847 I found myself for three years at the head of the medical department of a similar institution at Graeffenberg, N. Y." During those three years Dr. Foster accumulated one thousand dollars and a valuable stock of experience. It is proper at this point to explain that Dr. Foster has been from his early life a firm believer in not only the general principles of Christianity, but in the daily and unremitting guidance of the Almighty in all of the affairs of those persons and undertakings which seek His honor and to do His will. This belief has ever permeated his life and was the corner-stone upon which he finally built the institution over which he has so long presided. This fact explains the following remark in one of his addresses recently given before the great family in the Sanitarium: "My coming here was, as I have no doubt, purely a divine leading, for I had a number of offers to build and equip establishments, if I would take one in charge; one in Cincinnati, one in the western part of this State, another in Connecticut. But led by some peculiar experiences, I had learned by this time to submit everything to God, to commit all my ways to Him, and never start in any enterprise without having first within me the inquiry, 'What saith the Lord?'"

In his quest for a proper place at which to establish the institution in which he hoped to carry out the plans already formed or partly formed in his mind, Dr. Foster was, as he said, directed to Clifton Springs. The locality then had a local reputation as "the sulphur springs," the freely flowing waters of which had been long used, but the country round-about was simply a farming community, where now stands the pretty and thriving village. Let us quote a little farther from the address before mentioned, to indicate how Dr. Foster's plans had their birth and grew to perfection: "While at that place (New Graeffenberg) a question came up which was absolutely necessary for me to investigate and settle for myself; for, having a desire both to please and to benefit the patients, I used to take the feeble ones and carry them into the parlor, and there we would have an exhibition of what we then called pleasure, dancing, tableaux, charades, etc. It did some patients good to go there and witness the dancing; it did them good and I used to minister to it. I could not dance myself any more than a wild colt, but could help others dance. I began to see, however, that while at first many of them seemed to be benefited, and indeed a few were benefited, there came up other and adverse symptoms, and I found that the larger number, quite two-thirds, were absolutely injured. Well, that question, then suggested, began to enlarge, and I enquired into the reason why such amusement often proved unhealthful. I found that it was twofold-that the old adage which had been with me a law with chronic cases, to tell them to 'laugh and grow fat' was not always founded on truth, and that we must minister to the mental and spiritual as well as to the physical, if we would do the largest amount of good. With that sort of investigation there came upon me a pressure-some of you know what that is-when there comes a truth pressing upon you, and you have not accepted it fully, and it presses upon you until it gets hold of your conscience, and if you have any regard for God's will and God's law, how you yield to that pressure, and it becomes after a while like fire shut up in your bones, It is something which you must settle at once and forever. I began to look at the question still more carefully; I began to pray for guidance, and to gather up all the literature bearing on the subject that could be found and study it with an honest heart, trying to get at the truth. Well, the more I studied that question the more it grew and enlarged. At first my views seemed vague and unsettled; but they finally crystallized in one particular, and there was one thing settled in my mind. That was, that if we would do the largest amount of good, we must give to the elements in man's being the same order in importance that God gives. And He has always mentioned the soul first, the body second. He has put the two together, it is true, but always towering above the interests of the body were the interests of the soul; and that, too, when we are searching for physical health. . . . There is another power outside of that which physicians recognized as medical, which has to do with health, and it became to me a most potent factor for good in almost every case. Well, that thought got hold of me and I began to work it out; and with that God brought a pressure upon me which revolutionized my whole life. . . . And I was taken right Out of my plans, right out of my former schemes and ambitions entirely, and. a new order of things was set up. A new life came to me; another motive came to me; and from that day to this I have pursued that thought and that idea, without once wavering. I had no option after that. . . The moment that was settled, there came another thought, by the divine spirit-there came another scheme, and it was the one for me to adopt. And that was the establishing of a sanitarium where God should be honored; where reference should be had first of all to him; one that would take cognizance of the necessities of God's own children. That grew for a few weeks in my mind, and after awhile I could see nothing else." We have quoted thus liberally from Dr. Foster's own words, as they are best calculated to show the reader the motives and plans underlying the whole undertaking. It may be added that before his plans were fully perfected they embraced the charitable features which have since been constantly at work in the conduct of the institution, relating to the treatment of ministers of the gospal without cost to themselves, in the first instance; missionaries in the second and teachers in the third instance, as far as the profits of the establishment would permit. It is, perhaps, as well to state right here that mere money-making has never been a part of the scheme of management of this Sanitarium, except as it would provide for its further extension and usefulness. This feature will be again alluded to a little further on.

Going back to the practical work of founding the Sanitarium, Dr. Foster came here with his one thousand dollars, felt that he had found the spot to which he was destined, purchased ten acres of the land surrounding the springs, and from friends, brought to him as he believes through divine influence, obtained $23,000. This sum was expended in erecting the first buildings, as shown in the accompanying sketch. Had Dr. Foster not beeen supported by his abounding faith, or had he listened to the gloomy predictions of evil, he would have met a fate wholly different from that which is commonly encountered by pioneers in any direction, and particularly in undertakings that seem to the majority of persons to be utopian in character. To diverge in the least from the beaten paths of business; to place a spoke called by the name of charity in the wheels that are to move a great work; to place any direct reliance upon divine good-will and aid is in these days to call down the forebodings of most of one's acquaintances. "He was called a fool," said he, "an enthusiast, doing a work which would only go to pieces. But a long step had been taken, and by God's blessing there was something to stand on." Let those carpers now look upon the noble institution which has members of its almost innumerable family in all parts of the world, singing its praises from strong lungs and sound bodies, and is dispensing in charitable treatment and support about twenty-five thousand dollars annually, while the "enthusiast" looks quietly on, and does his work, content with his living, with the whole immense property turned over by him in trust to others when his work is done.

The sanitarium grew as God's special works often do. In 1856 a brick chapel had been added, which was dedicated on the 25th of July of that year, with addresses by many honorable and noted divines and others. Aside from this there have been from time to time various additions to the main structure, as the means accumulated and the necessities for more room became imperative. These additions comprise something like fifteen different improvements.

In the year 1873 what is known as "The Annex" was erected. It is a brick structure, three stories in height, two hundred and twenty feet front, with parlor, offices and bath room and nine stores on the ground floor and sixty rooms for guests above. It is entirely separate from the original Sanitarium buildings and on the opposite side of the street. This has since been enlarged by a fine proof building to more than one hundred rooms for patients.

In the year 1880 Mr. Andrew Pierce erected what has since been known as the Pierce Pavilion, upon which and the grading and beautifying the grounds he expended $15,000, out of gratitude and good will to the instutition.

The Tabernacle is a recently constructed building, one story high with its sides constructed largely of glass; it has a large veranda, and is fitted up on the interior for public meetings. Here various religious bodies meet every summer to further their good works.

Opposite the Annex is Dr. Foster's cottage home, which forms a part of the Sanitarium property.

The time came, and that just at the present, when the Sanitarium proper, with all of its various additions and improvements, became inadequate for its purposes and the best results. To meet the requirements, plans were obtained and early in the year 1893 was begun the rebuilding of the entire structure, which will take on the appearance shown in the accompanying engraving, which shows also several of the other structures. This step was taken to secure ample room, to improve the accommodations forpatients, and particularly to secure a strictly fireproof structure. Said Dr. Foster in the address from which we have already quoted," I have walked these halls many nights, stormy nights, watching against fire, and have taken every precaution possible, and we have gone on forty-two years without burning, but we fear when I am gone (and that may not be but a short time now), that the person who succeeds me will not watch the house with the same vigilance. We know human nature too well to expect it." Yes; when the watchful eye is closed forever, and the tireless hand is cold, it will be well that the structure wherein are at all times so many lives, shall be fire proof self supporting and able to stand and flourish upon the solid foundations laid by its faithful founder.

The farm as it is now connected with the Sanitarium, embraces nearly four hundred acres of land, and the same careful system prevails in its management that governs the Sanitarium. As an accessory to the institution and its cuisine it is of paramount importance.

It is perhaps not proper in this place to attempt a detailed description of the treatment of disease in this Sanitarium, as it would occupy much space. It must suffice to say that it embraces "the use in a liberal spirit of all known remedial agents." The faculty is composed of members of every reputable school of medicine. It is a water cure only so far as water may prove an efficient aid to other remedies; while the waters of the springs are used in all kinds of baths and in connection with electricity, massage, and that stimulation and recreation of the mind afforded by books and religious services daily in the chapel in which Dr. Foster so ardently believes. More than three thousand patients were treated in the past year, and the number is constantly on the increase.

As before intimated, the Sanitarium is not a money-making enterprise. Twelve years ago, in 1881, Dr. Foster and his wife drew up a deed of trust which commits to a board of thirteen trustees comprising seven denominations the management of the whole property. The provisions of this deed of trust are such that in the course of time the property becomes a free home for invalids to recuperate, but not a permanent home for incurables. The majority of the board of trustees are non-elective, but hold their office ex officio so that the provisions of the deeds of trust cannot be tampered with by mercenary persons. The readers will best get a clear idea of the character of the men at present constituting the Board of Trustees by a reference to their names. The Right Rev. Arthur C. Coxe, of Buffalo, N. Y.; the Rev. N. G. Clark, D.D., of Boston; the Rev. F. F. Ellenwood, D.D., of New York; the Rev. Henry Y. Satterlee, of New York; the Hon. James C. Smith, of Canandaigua; Bishop J. H. Vincent, of Buffalo; the Rev. D. J. Hill, D.D., president of Rochester University, Rev. Samuel Hopkins, president of Auburn Theological Seminary, the Rev. H. M. Cobb, D.D., of New York, and Henry Foster, M. D., of Clifton Springs.

Following are the names of the faculty and officers of the Sanitarium:
Henry Foster, M. D., president, assisted by C. C. Thayer, M. D., J. H. North, M. D., E. 0. Crossman, M. D., J. C. Smith, M. D., B. C. Loveland, M. D., Mrs. M. Dunbar Adams, M. D.

The Rev. Lewis Bodwell has for many years been chaplain of the institution. E. A. Miles is hotel keeper, and J. J. Dewey, cashier. The force of employees embraces about one hundred and sixty five other persons.

The following description recently prepared for a current publication, will give the reader a correct idea of the new Sanitarium:

Six stories lift their stately proportions into the air and 244 feet are occupied by the front. In the center a graceful tower surmounts the whole and at each end two other towers are constructed. From this building a wing extends backward one hundred feet. In the basement story is a smoking room in the corner and also lavatories and water closets. Two elevators start from the rear end of the center, one for the transportation of guests and the other for servants and the carriage of baggage. All baggage is taken to a glass covered trunk room in the rear where it can be elevated without the annoyance of its being in the way in the lobbies. In this basement story are found other apartments, such as a ladies' movement room and gentlemen's movement room, a room for wheel carriages, etc. The dining room, ninety.four by fiftyone and one-half feet occupies a considerable portion of the first story above the basement.

The dining room is a magnificent hail, and all accessories to make it beautiful, and its service easily attended to, are found here. The en-. trance is in the center of this story; just back of this are the lobby and business offices. A large reception room extends its spacious quarters to the visitors, and three parlors, richly furnished, make intercourse pleasant among the guests. Another large room is used as a library on this floor, and a beautiful chapel also is here, thus making the place of divine service one quickly reached. This chapel will be, as in the past, a great element, in promoting the work of the institution. The upper stories are divided into private rooms and special apartments suited to the peculiar service of the Sanitarium. There are bath rooms on every floor for both sexes as well as water closets of the most approved type. Many rooms have both attached. In each room is a fire place with a gas log which sheds its cheerful light and warmth throughout the apartment. Transoms are placed over every door; the building at all portions is lighted with electricity, and the system of heat and ventilation adopted is simply the best possible. The result is that the entire building, will be uniformly cool in summer and warm in winter. The roof forms a great winter garden where patients can obtain exercise and watch the varying landscape of the surrounding country; besides they can obtain sun baths and at any season of the year be in the midst of a tropical climate, as the roof is enclosed with glass. The elevators make this portion of the building easily accessible. The plan adopted for the construction of this edifice gives fourteen rooms to the benevolence of charitable persons. Any one of these rooms may be endowed for $15,000.

The Village of Shortsville.- In all respects this is the most important village in Manchester, and in point of manufactures it ranks second only to Geneva in the county. In 1804 Theophilus Short came to this locality and built both flour and saw-mills, from which fact the little hamlet thus built up became known as Short's Mills. In 1822 Mr. Short built a second flour mill north of the first one, but before this, and in 1818, William Grimes had a woolen mill in operation, while the year 1818 witnessed the founding of a foundry and furnace.

All these old industries, however, had their period of existence many years ago, and are now unknown to the locality. They were succeeded by other and more important enterprises which have been continuously maintained until the present time, and all have combined as elements of strength in building up one of the most progressive little villages of Ontario county. In truth it may be said that the increase of businees interests in Shortsville has never declined since the founding of the village; on the contrary there has been maintained a steady progression and the village was never more prosperous than now, although one of the large factory buildings is idle while the ravages of fire destroyed one or two others. From this the statement may be made that the history of Shortsville is best written in the history of its manufactures, its churches, schools, and other enterprises, public and private. In 1889 the village interests were of such character and importance that the people thereof procured its incorporation, the proceedings being cornpleted in November. Within its limits there are about 1,000 inhabitants, and few there are of them who are not in some manner directly interested in the welfare of the municipality. The present trustees are J. Morgan Stoddard, president, and C. M. Sisco, E. P. Babcock and E. D. Mather; village clerk, Charles Davidson.

On the old mill site where Theophilus Short built his pioneer mills, now stands the extensive works of the Empire Drill Company, incorporated with $150,000 capital. In 1855 Hiram F. and Calvin P. Brown established a business of manufacturing grain drills in a somewhat small way. Their product was originally called the "Pioneer Force Feed Drill," but in later years became known as the "Empire Drill." The first year they produced thirty completed drills; in 1892 the company made 4,000 drills. Two men began the work, now nearly one hundred are employed.

The Star Paper Company was organized in 1867 and on the outlet where formerly stood one of the Short mills and the old distillery a building was erected. In 1871 the old wooden mill site was utilized as the "Diamond" paper mill. The company had a capital of $50,000, and for many years did a large and successful business. Dr. J. P. H. Deming was its president; Stephen T. Seymour, secretary and treasurer. However, this was one of the industries of the village which ultimately failed, its affairs being closed about five years ago.

The Ontario Paper Mills is the name of one of the substantial and enduring industries of the village, and under the present proprietorship of James Jones does a large business. These mills have also been in operation many years.

The Shortsville Wheel Company was incorporated January 7, 1889, by Charles W. Brown, Jennie B. Heath, Charles E. Brown and Calvin P. Brown. The works were situated on the outlet about half a mile above the village. The company above named sold to the American Wheel Company, but the latter failed and the plant passed into the hands of Calvin P. and H. L. Brown, by whom it is now operated.

The Shortsville Cart Company was organized in December, 1891, and continued operations for about two years.

In this connection mention may also be made of the general planing mill of Charles M. Clark, which does a successful business; and also of the former enterprises known as G. Van Sickle's Champion Grain and Hay Unloader, and the machine and implement shops of H. C. Sheffer &Co.

The first school in Shortsville was conducted in Asel Kent's dwelling and Manning Redfield was its teacher. The first school-house was built in 1807 on the farm of Elam Dewey, just outside the village proper. In 181 i the first district school in the village was built, the first teachers being Harry Robinson, Sylvester Miner and Aaron Pomeroy. In educational matters Shortsville has kept even step with the villages of the county, but in 1886 it advanced beyond many others and erected a large and attractive Union school building, being the property of district number seven.

The Myron Buck Free Library is one of the institutions of the village, and was established in a handsome memorial building on Main street, and although only a few years old is recognized as a contribution of much worth to the village residents.

On the 16th of April, 1888, Edgar D. Mather opened a private bank in Shortsville, which was another progressive step in village history, this being the first bank to be established here.

The First Presbyterian Church of Manchester was in fact organized in January. 1860, although meetings were held and an effort at organization several years earlier. A Sunday-school of the Presbyterian Society was started in the village in 1857. In 1859 and '60 a church edifice was completed, which was replaced in 1884 by the present beautiful structure which now adorns Main street, near the center of the village. This church is by far the largest and most influential in this part of the town, numbering about 265 members, while the Sunday-school has about 250 pupils. Since the organization the pastors and supplies in succession of this church have been as follows: Revs. Charles H. Chester, William J. Stoughtenburgh, Richmond James, James M. Harlow, Chester C. Thorn, E. G Cheesman, W. O. Carrier, J. C. Lenhart, W. I. Coburn, and John T. Crumrine, the latter being the present pastor, who was called to the church in December, 1892.

The other church societies of Shortsville are the Protestant Episcopal, the Methodist Episcopal, and the Roman Catholic, each of which are of comparatively recent organization, and neither of which has a resident pastor. Trinity Church was built about 1884, and is a small chapel edifice standing on Main street. The Methodist Church is organized and beyond the condition of a mission, and its pastorate is supplied by Rev. J. E. Showers. St. Dominick's Church and parish was organized about ten or twelve years ago, and holds monthly services under the charge of Father Patrick Leel, of Clifton Springs.

The Village of Manchester.- This locality at an early day acquired some prominence as a manfacturing center, and here there was in operation a pioneer woolen- mill, hence the townspeople called the hamlet Manchester, in allusion to the great manufacturing city of the same name in England. The mill referred to was built in 1812, and the village was established soon afterward. In 1822 the town was given the same name as the village.

On this site of the pioneer woolen-mill now stands the roller flourmill of W. G. Mason, which, with the spoke factory adjoining, comprises all, there is of manufactures in the village at this time. The original settler on the village site was Valentine Coon, from whom the locality was first called Coonsville. In 1892 the village of Manchester was incorporated, having a population of about 450 persons. In 1891 the Lehigh Valley road was built through the village, thus giving an impetus to trade, and, what is still better, extensive round-houses have been built conveniently near the center of the village, with a promise of large machine shops in the near future. The trustees of Manchester village are Dr. J. R. Pratt, president, and W. A. Wilson, W. G. Mason and Isaac Reed; clerk, Elmer Ver Planck.

The First Baptist Church of Manchester was originally organized as the First Baptist Church of Farmington (before the division of the town), and dates back to 1797, although not until 1810 was the first log meeting-house built, followed by a stone chapel in 1815. In 1822 Farmington was divided and Manchester was formed, whereupon the society took the name of the First Baptist Church of Manchester. The property on which the present large church edifice now stands was purchased in 1849, and in the same year the meeting-house was built. The church has a present membership of about 190 persons, and a Sunday school with about seventy-five members, all under the pastoral care of Rev. Edwin C. Long.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Manchester (village) also had its origin in pioneer times, but no reliable record of its early history seems to have been preserved. The present church edifice was built in 1841, and recent repairs have given it an attractive appearance. The society has about 130 members on the church roll, the Sunday-school about 100 pupils. Pastor, Rev. De Witt Tooker.

Manchester Center is the name of a small hamlet situate about midway between Manchester village and Clifton Springs. Having a location on the outlet of Canandaigua Lake, this has been a manufacturing point of some note during the early history of the town, but the growth of Shortsville and Clifton Springs have drawn trade from the Center to those places. The recent construction of the Lehigh Valley railroad has given an impetus to trade in this locality, and the Center is undoubtedly benefited thereby.

Port Gibson enjoys the distinction of being the only village in Ontario couuty which touches the Erie Canal, in fact the port owes its very existence to the construction Of the canal, which famous waterway was completed and opened for traffic in 1825, Among the leading men of Canandaigua who were prominently interested in the construction of the canal was Henry B. Gibson, and in his honor this hamlet was named Port Gibson, and in the laying out of the village tract the names of other influential residents of the county seat are preserved, for here are found Grieg street (for John Grieg), Atwater street (Moses or Freeman Atwater), Granger street (Francis Granger), Bemis street (James D. Bemis), and others. However, it was during the palmy days of exclusive canal transportation that Port Gibson enjoyed its greatest glory, for with the construction of railroads across the State canal traffic began to decline, consequently the village also lost its importance in a corresponding degree. The village now has two or three stores, several shops, a school and a M. E. Church, the latter having a membership of 128 persons, and now being under the pastoral charge of Rev. John Easter. The total value of church property (edifice and parsonage) is about $9,000.

Littleville was first called Parker's Mills, the latter name being given in allusion to Edward Parker, the former proprietor of the grist-mill at that place. Norman C. Little afterward purchased the site, and the name was thereupon changed to Littleville. However useful and profitable these mills may have been, they have been discarded as such, and the buildings have recently been remodeled and fitted for use 'as an electric power station, form which point it is proposed to furnish electric lights for Clifton Springs, Shortsville and Canandaigua, and also to furnish power for the electric cars in the last mentioned village. A further account of this place may be found in the history of the town of Hopewell.

Gypsum is the name of a small hamlet situate on the line between Manchester and Phelps, and about two miles north of Clifton Springs. In this locality Pioneer Van Derhoof settled, followed by other Dutch families, from which fact the place or vicinity was originally called the Dutch settlement, later it became known as Plainsville, and still more recently as Gypsum. Having its location on the outlet, this has been a manufacturing point of some note in the past, and the opening of a plaster bed here also added to the industry of the place.

The Baptist Church at Gypsum was the second society of that denomination in the town, having been organized in 1813 under Elder William Rowe as first pastor. The early meetings were held at various convenient places in the town, and it was not until about 1835 that the somewhat historic old stone meeting-house was built.

Return to [ NY History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ]

NY Counties - Albany - Allegany - Broome - Cayuga - Chatauqua - Chenango - Clinton - Columbia - Cortland - Dutchess - Erie - Essex - Franklin - Fulton - Genesee - Herkimer - Jefferson - Lewis - Livingston - Madison - Montgomery - Niagara - Oneida - Onondaga - Ontario - Orange - Orleans - Oswego - Putnam - Queens - Rensselaer - Richmond - Rockland - St. Lawrence - Saratoga - Schenectady - Steuben - Suffolk - Tioga - Tompkins - Tryone - Ulster - Washington - Wayne - Yates

All pages copyright 2003-2012. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy