History of the Village of Bath, Steuben County, NY
From: Landmarks of Steuben County, New York
Edited by: Hon. Harlo Hakes
Assisted By: L. C. Aldrich and Others
D. Mason & Company, Publishers,
Syracuse, New York, 1896

[Also see the town of Bath]

THE VILLAGE OF BATH. - In 1793, when Charles Cameron and his party of pioneers disembarked from their flat boats and canoes and began the first improvements near Pulteney Square, the village of Bath was founded in fact, although some time passed before the hamlet was given its name. Whether Captain Williamson at that time had in mind the establishment of this as a county seat is a subject of speculation, with the weight of opinion in favor of the idea, for his plans were complete, and Thomas Rees, jr., the surveyor of the party, evidently acted under direction to be thorough in his work, and when all was done no change of importance was required and only subsequent additions to the village plans were made.

Williamson was possessed of excellent judgment and, moreover, was a man of large ideas, hence naturally gave heed to the possibilities of the future. His estate was a vast tract of land, extending in all directions from this central point, and here he decided to make the seat of his extensive operations. He knew that the best results were to be obtained through organization of the territory into a separate county, and within three years from the time Cameron's men felled the first tree we find the little hamlet of Bath the seat of justice of Steuben county. The first court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of the peace was held at the and office on June 21, 1796, and in the same year a newspaper, that indispensable adjunct of municipal prosperity, was, founded. A school house was also built, a place provided for informal religious gatherings, and that outdoor amusements might be encouraged, a racetrack was constructed. Weld, the English traveler, who visited the settlement in 1796, wrote: "Bath is a post and principal town in the western part of the State of New York. Though laid out only three years ago, yet it contains about thirty houses; it is increasing very fast. Among the houses are several stores and shops, well furnished with goods, and a tavern that would not be thought meanly of in any part of America. The town [meaning the village settlement] stands on a plain, surrounded on three sides by hills of moderate height. The plain is almost wholly divested of trees, but the hills are still uncleared and have a very pleasing appearance from the town. At the foot of the hills runs a stream of pure water over a bed of gravel, which is called Conhocton Creek. There is a very considerable fall in the creek just above the town, which affords the finest seats for mills possible. Extensive saw and flour mills have already been erected upon it."

Such was a superficial view of the surroundings of our pretty little hamlet a century ago, and to the familiar eye of an observer the present beautiful village of Bath is discernible, the scene in many respects being undisturbed. The magnificent and heavily wooded hills on the south are the same to the eye today as an hundred years ago, and a home and nature loving people have endeavored to spare and preserve as far as possible the landmarks and reminders of early life. Notwithstanding all this, Bath has been a progressive village and all desirable improvements have been encouraged and promoted. Its people have been conservative, yet generous in all worthy undertakings. Circumstances and location have in a measure combined to retard its progress during the last half century, yet all municipalities cannot become important and large commercial centers, and there is little manifest desire to have Bath partake of such character. The residents are content with their surroundings and conditions, and there is an indescribable something that always attracts the visitor to the place, makes him contented while there, and causes a pang of regret at departure.

"In 1804," says Mr. McCall's address, "William H. Bull came, with his father, Howell Bull, from Painted Post, and has furnished the memoranda from which has been made a bird's eye view of Bath in that year." Also, in 1811, Edward Howell and his brother William came to Bath, and from the latter we have an accurate pen description of the village in that year, viz.: "In 1811, the only streets in Bath were Morris, Liberty, and West Steuben from Pulteney Square to its junction with Morris street. There were nine dwelling houses on the north side of Morris street, extending from the square to Stewart's Hill. There was only one house on the south side of the street. On the south side of the square was the agency house and the land office, and back of them were several long low houses, built of logs and sided with clapboards, which had been used as servant's quarters. On the south side of West Morris street. from the land office to where the Erie depot stands, were four or five dwelling houses, and near the depot was a small frame dwelling and a blacksmith shop. On the north side of Morris street (west of the park) were six dwelling houses, viz.: Ira Pratt's, Metcalf's Tavern, John McCalla, D. Cruger, and on the corner, Spring's Tavern. On the opposite corner on Steuben street, was the stone jail building, and south of it a small store building. On the north side of the park, on the two opposite corners of Liberty street, were the Townsend house on the east, and the Captain Helm house on the west There were also some small buildings and a barn extending up to the old cemetery. East of the Townsend house was a row of small frame buildings, occupied for stores and shops. On the east side of the park was the court house and a frame building used for a school. The jail was the only building on the south side of Steuben street, while several were on the north side, among them being the ' Old Theater,' also a large square frame building. On the east side of Liberty street were a dwelling of frame, another of logs, and the Niles house, while opposite were the Gazette printing office, the Howell Bull tavern and a log house."

Such was the municipal condition of Bath four score years previous to the centennial celebration, and from these primitive elements has the village grown. In another department of the work the reader will find a brief outline history of the town at large, in which mention is made of all the pioneer occupants of the village; but that the situation during the days of settlement may be made clear, attention is directed to the accompanying map taken from the printed proceedings of the centennial celebration in 1893

It appears that an attempt to incorporate the village was made as early as the year 1816, and the measure was in fact adopted although the organization under it was not perfected. At this time Bath was a place of more than ordinary importance among the villages of the Genesee country while several of our now large cities were unknown even in name. During the twenty years following 1816, many and various improvements were inaugurated and successfully established, and the village continued to grow and enlarge in every direction. A contemporary writer has furnished a brief outline of some of the more important events of this period, and those of a local character are deemed worthy of reproduction here. On the 1st of October the County Medical Society was organized, and in June, 1819, the first Agricultural Society was likewise brought into existence. In 1820 the Western Republican began publication, and in the same year Vincent Matthews and William B. Rochester formed a law partnership. Also in this year a semi weelly stage line was established between Bath and Owego. In 1824 Colonel Bull erected the first brick dwelling in the village. On March 2, 1825, the Presbyterian church was dedicated, and on the 29th of April of the same year Robert Douglass was hanged on Gallows Hill. This first execution was a remarkable event in local history, beside which the visitation of the extreme penalty of law upon Ira Appo, about twelve years afterward, was of minor importance. In 1826, the Indians Sundown and Curlyeye were tried for murder, but acquitted, and in the same year the Episcopal church was organized. In 1827 the brick court house was built to replace that originally erected by Captain Williamson. In 1828, the Steuben Messenger and the Steuben Whig were founded, the former an anti Masonic, and the latter a campaign paper started to oppose General Jackson. In 1829 William S. Hubbell was appointed postmaster. In March, 1831, the Bath and Crooked Lake Railroad Company was organized, with a capital of $20,000, but under this charter nothing was done, and rail communication between these terminal points was not secured until the construction of the Bath and Hammondsport Railroad in 1874. In March, 1832, the old Steuben County Bank opened its doors for business, and in the following year William P. Angel issued the first number of the Constitutionalist, the office of which, together with several other business buildings, was destroyed by fire in June, 1837.

The village of Bath was regularly incorporated and completely organized in 1836, the act of the Legislature being passed May 6 of that year. The first meeting for the election of officers was held at the Franklin House, June 7, and resulted as follows: John D. Higgins, Ten Eyck Gansevoort, Benjamin Smead, Moses H. Lyon and John T. Andrews, trustees; Ziba A. Leland, John M. Campbell and Henry Brothers, assessors; Robert Campbell, jr., treasurer; Levi C. Whitney, clerk; Elisha Hempstead, collector, and O. W. L. Warren, constable. The first village president, elected by the trustees, was Ten Eyck Gansevoort, and the last, so elected in 1851, was R. B. Van Valkenburg.

By an act of the Legislature passed January 20, 1851, our village changed its character quite radically, and by a charter became entitled to elect the village president, and was otherwise vested with broader powers than under the old regime. Under the charter the first officers were elected April 6, 1852, and were Robert Campbell, president; Joel H. Rice, George S. Ellas, Alfred P. Ferris, Lansing D. Hodgman, trustees; John Bramble, Paul C. Cook and Moses H. Lyon, assessors; Alva E. Brown, treasurer; Benjamin C. Ward, collector, and William E. Bonham, clerk.

Such is the character of municipal organization in Bath at the present day, although the Legislature has so amended the village charter as to permit the election of officers other than noted above, and has granted greater powers than those conferred under the original act.

The fire department, as a complete and properly equipped branch of local goverment, was brought into existence by the trustees on December 17, 1839, although previous to that year an informal organization was maintained by the villagers for the prevention of fire. At that time the old company was dissolved, and the trustees organized a fireS engine company, the personnel of which was as follows: Lewis Biles, foreman; J. McBeath, assistant; R. L. Underhill, clerk, and members, Moses El. Lyon, William H. Bull, L. H. Read, Daniel Miller, John O. Goodsell, Charles Adams, Bernard Fox, W. Secor, Reuben Robie, James Shannon, Benjamin D. Lilly, A. F. Elias, G. A. Rogers, William Hamilton, Thomas Metcalf, James Moore, A. Babcock, Lewis Shoemaker, William A. Biles, James R. Dudley, A. R. Gould, Nathan Stevens, R. H. Graham, John R. Gansevoort and David McMaster.

In later years the organization was radically modified, and as the growth and necessities of the village demanded, changes were made to conform to the existing condition of affairs. However, the present efficient volunteer fire department is the outgrowth of the primitive organizations mentioned above, and the construction of a water supply systern has materially advanced the efficiency of the organization and lessened its labors. As now constituted the department comprises three companies, known respectively as Edwin Cook Hose Co. No. 1, Frank Campbell Hose Co. No. 2, and Rescue Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1.

The Bath Water Works Company was incorporated in 1887, with a capital of $72,000, owned chiefly by non residents. The supply is obtained from a large reservoir on Magee Hill, and by a combined pumping and gravity system is distributed throughout the village. There are about eight miles of main pipes, seventy eight fire hydrants, and about 275 taps.

The village officers for the year 1895, (to whom, with their predecessors in office, is due great credit for the admirable government of the last score and more of years) are as follows: Hiram W. Brundage, president; Bernard M. Wynkoop, clerk; Orland W. Sutton, Edward E. Aber, William H. Strafford and Matthew E. Shannon, trustees; William A. Dutcher, treasurer; Hoyt Butler, collector; Clarence Willis, police justice; Charles A. Ellas, Thomas Fogarty and Andrew Crook, assessors.

Among the various institutions of the county seat, the schools have ever received the same careful attention and generous support that has characterized local interests in all directions. The subject, too, is one which has been extensively treated by local writers of known repute and standing, and it is impossible at this time to enlarge upon what is already of record or to improve upon what has been said. The writer therefore acknowledges access to the sketches of Clarence Willis and Charles F. Kingsley, both recognized authority on the subject treated.

Says Mr. Kingsley: In the very first year of the settlement of the town of Bath a school was established, and here Robert Hunter was the schoolmaster. The first school house was built on the northwest corner of Pulteney Square, where the furniture store stands, but when built records afford no accurate information. Mr. Dixon was the teacher in 1805. Elam Bridges taught school in a little frame building near the old clerk's office as early as 1811. In December, 1812, Henry A. Townsend and wife conveyed to the trustees of the Bath school a lot on the north side of Steuben street, near the end of the Beekman sash factory of later years. In 1813 a school house was built on this lot at the expense of district No. 5. This building became known as the "Old Academy," and its upper portion was for a time used by the local Masonic societies. This school was burned in 1824, and was replaced with the once well known "Red School house," the latter being, it is said, the first school organized in the village under the district system. However, the Red School was burned in September, 1849, and the lot on which it stood was afterward the subject of long and expensive litigation.

On the 8th of July, 1846, a Union school was founded by the consolidation of districts Nos. 2 and 5 in the village, and forms the present district No. 5. Adam Haverling donated to this district the site on which the present Haverling Union Free School stands. On April 14, 1847, a contract was made between the district trustees and Sylvanus Stephens, by which the latter agreed to erect a school building on this lot, at a cost of $2,180.66. This was done and school was first opened in the building May 15, 1848. However, this structure was burned January 29, 1866, and in its place was erected the present substantial and attractive academy building, at a cost of about $25,000, including $900 paid for the lot in front of it on Liberty street. In 1887 Ira Davenport gave to the district a lease of an acre of land lying north of the old school grounds.

The principals of the Union District School from 1848 to 1868, were Mr. Hathaway, Emerson J. Hamilton, Charles W. Gulicl, James Buell, James A. Broadhead, William S. Hall, C. C. Wheeler, J. H. Strong, J. C. Higby, Henry A. Smith, Z. L. Parker and J. Horace Crum and Edward Wilson, joint principals.

At a meeting of the qualified voters of the district held August 6, 1868, the present Union Free School was formed, and G. H. McMaster, L. P. Hard, L. D. Hodgman, R. Hardenbrook, Abram Beekman and Samuel Ensign were duly elected members of the Board of Education. On the 7th of September, 1868, Haverling Union Free School with its academic department was opened to the public, and it at once took rank with the leading schools of the State; a position which it has maintained to the present day. The principals since 1868 have been Zenas L. Parker, Lewis M. Johnson, E. H. Lattinier and Levi D. Miller.

The present Board of Education comprises L. D. Hodgman, Abram Beckmian, Charles F. Kingsley, Clarence Willis, W. S. Burns and W. P. Sedgwicl. Mr. Hodgman is chairman and Mr. Kingsley secretary of the board.

Another of the established institutions of Bath is the Agricultural Society, a county rather than local organization, yet a fixed adjunct of the shire town, hence to be mentioned in this chapter.

The present Steuben County Agricultural Society was organized in 1854, although for a number of years previous to that time annual fairs and exhibitions had been held, and a formal organization may have been in existence. In fact Charles Williamson was the originator of fairs in old Steuben, yet his successors in office and influence failed to awaken the same interest in such exhibitions as did that worthy pioneer. In 1841 a county agricultural society was brought into existence at a public meeting held in Bath, and its first officers were Otto F. Marshall, president; John Cooper, jr., Israel Wood and Erastus Skinner, vice presidents; Wm. S. Hubbell and Ziba A. Leland, secretaries; Henry Brother, treasurer. This society was continued for about four years, though with rather indifferent success from a financial point of view, and then dissolved. The last fair, that of 1844, was held on the river flat, southwest of the land office.

On the 18th of May, 1853, a public notice was given, as required by law, to the effect that a meeting would be held in Bath on the 22d of June following, for the purpose of legally organizing a county agricultural society. At the time mentioned an organization was perfected and these officers chosen for the following year: Goldsmith Denniston, president; O. F. Marshall, J. B. Mitchell, J. B. Dickinson, Lyman Balcorn, R. S. Davis and John Van Wie, vice presidents; Geo. Edwards, treasurer; R. B. Van Valkenburgh, corresponding secretary, and Geo. S. Ellas, recording secretary. The first fair was held at Bath on the 12th and t3th of October, 1854, in an open field on Robert Campbell's farm.

In 1854 the society leased a portion of its present admirable grounds, and, depending largely upon annual exhibitions to build up a purchasing and improving fund, it was not until 1862 that the property was deeded to the trustees. It is deemed unnecessary in this place to note one and all of the many improvements made by the society, for almost every person in Steuben county is perfectly familiar with the grounds, the buildings, the famous log cabin, and every other noticeable building within the inclosure. The fair, also, needs no complimentary reference in this chapter, as the annual meeting at Bath is known throughout the entire State; and it goes without saying that in this village is the best and most successful county fair in Western or Central New York. This success has been due to the untiring efforts of the officers and managers annually elected, in view of which it is proper that we note the succession of presidents, viz: Goldsmith Denniston, Uri Balcorn, Lyman Balcom, Daniel Gray, John W. Taggart, Grattan H. Wheeler, Samuel Balcom, Robert B. Wilks, Frank J. Marshall, Chas. H. Robie, Samuel E. Haskin, Azariah C. Brundage, Nathaniel B. Stanton, Martin W. Noble, Joseph M. Hopkins, Daniel B. Curtis, Lemuel Mathewson, Lewis C. Kingsbury, Lyman Aulls, Amos Jewett, Sanford A. Gardiner, James L. Packer, Chas. A. Reynolds, Edward C. Cook.

The present (1895) officers are Edward C. Cook, president; John C. Switzer, G. D. Wilbur, H. T. Connor, J. B. Giffin, George Wolcott, Robert Kellogg, David H. Ackerson and D. B, Bryan, vice presidents; Major A. C. Brundage, secretary; Thos. N. Smith, treasurer, and John W. Moore, general superintendent.

The New York State Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Bath, although an institution of the State rather than local, is nevertheless a proper subject of mention in this chapter. In fact the location and erection of the buildings in our county town was the result of generosity and enterprise on the part of the people of Bath and its immediate vicinity. After several futile attempts to found a soldiers' home in this State an effective act was passed by the Legislature in 1876, approved by Governor Tilden on May 15. An organization was perfected and the constituted committee received proposals or offers of land for a site. Of course the public spirited citizens of various localities made generous offers to the commissioners, but of them all that at Bath was considered the most desirable. The land comprised the well known Rider farm, 220 acres in extent, in addition to which was a cash offer of $6,000 to be used in the erection of buildings.

On Wednesday, June 13, 1877, the cornerstone of the home building was laid, and on the 23d day of January, 1879, the institution was opened for the reception of inmates. The formal transfer of the property from the commissioners or association to the State was completed in pursuance of an act of the Legislatnre, passed March 11, 1878.

As is well known, the object and purpose of the home is to provide for the care, maintenance and relief of soldiers and sailors from the State of New York, who served in the Union army or navy during the war of 1861-5, and received an honorable discharge therefrom, and who from any cause stand in need of the care and benefits of a soldiers' home.

The Board of Trustees is composed of nine members, exclusive of the governor and attorney general, who are ex officio members. The board establish rules and regulations for the management of the home, its officers and inmates, and they submit a detailed report of their proceedings to the Legislature each year. The personnel of the present Board of Trustees is as follows: The governor and attorney general, ex officio, and Hosea H. Rockwell, John Palmer, Oliver B. Caldwell, O. H. Smith, Halbert S. Greenleaf, George H. Blackman, Frank Campbell, Edwin S. Jenney and Horatio C. King.

The officers of the home are Gen. Wm. F. Rogers, superintendent; Maj. S. H. Leavitt, adjutant; Dr. T. O. Burleson, surgeon; Dr. E. C. Pixley, assistant surgeon; Capt. Frank P. Frost, quartermaster.

The Davenport Home for Female Orphan Children, one of the noblest charities of the State, is beautifully located in the south part of the village of Bath. It was the free and voluntary gift of Col. Ira Davenport, his own and original idea, the revelation of his generous heart and nature; and unaided and unadvised, except by those of his own family, he founded and built the home and endowed it abundantly so that is not in any manner a charge upon the generosity of the public. The building was begun in 1861, and two years later the association was organized. The first inmate was received July 19, 1864. The property was conveyed by Col. Davenport to the home association, and to the managers is assigned the pleasant duty of conducting its affairs. The endowment fund now aggregates more than $200,000, and the annual income is about $12,000. At present the home has sixty three inmates. The late John Davenport, who died May 5, 1895, was at that time president, and was succeeded by Ira Davenport. Both were sons of the founder of the institution. The trustees and managers are Ira Davenport, Mrs. Sherman S. Rogers. Mrs. John Davenport and James Lyon. Matron, Mrs, Jemima L. McPherson.

The Bath Centennial Celebration, June 6 and 7, 1893, was one of the most notable events in local annals. The preliminary arrangements for this occasion began in January, and nothing was left undone to make perfect desirable features. At the first public meeting, General Averell was chosen chairman, and James R. Kingsley, secretary. For the purpose of carrying out the detail of arrangements a large general committee was appointed, and also sub committees, and, with complete unity in opinion and action, all things were done "decently and in order." On Sunday, June 4, in the several churches of the village were conducted appropriate religious services with historical sermons (from these sermons there has been compiled a history of each of the local churches. See Ecclesiastical history in another department of this work), followed in the evening by a union service in the Casino, and address by Prof. Levi D. Miller. From the published proceedings we quote the order of exercises:

Tuesday, June 6, Prayer, Rev. L. M, Miller, D.D., of Ogdensburgh, N Y.
Address of Welcome, by President of the Day, Reuben E. Robie. Poem, Prof.
Zenas L. Parker.
Captain Charles Williamson, a sketch, by James McCall.
History of Bath for Fifty Years, Ansel J. McCall.

Evening Exercises, Prayer.
Reminiscences - by Wm. E. Howell, J. R. Whiting, Rev. L. M. Miller, D.D., Irving W. Near, Edward H. Butler and Clark Bell.
Schools, Charles F. Kingsley,
Physicians, Dr. Ira P. Smith.
Lawyers, Charles H. McMaster.
Editors, George B. Richardson.
Soldiers, Major John Stocum.

Wednesday, June 7.
Sunrise Salute of Cannon and Bells.
Parade of all the Schools of the Town to the Fair Grounds (about 1,000 children, headed by five bands of music, participated in this novel and interesting event.

On the Fair Grounds, 10.30 A. M.
Prayer, M. N. Preston.
Letters of Regret, read by Secretary R. R. Lyon.
Address and Presentation of Portrait of Charles Williamson, by Jas. McCall.
Acceptance on behalf of Trustees, Byron L. Smith.
Oration, Sherman S. Rogers, of Buffalo.
Change of Name of Lake Salubria to Lake Williamson.
Benediction.

2.00 P. M. Parade of Fire Department, Civic Societies and General Trades Display; Capt. W. W. Lindsay, Marshal; Messrs. L. H. Ballcorn, Hoxie W. Smith, Wm. J. H. Richardson and S. J. Wilkes, Aides.

8.00 P. M. Old Time Reception at the Casino.

The following list shows the formation and the companies in the line of the parade:

Capt. W. W. Lindsay, Marshal.
Soldiers' and Sailors' Home Band, sixteen men.
Custer Post, G. A. R., eighty men.
General Barry Post, G. A. R., No. 248, seventy - five men.
Keeley Club of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, seventy men.
L. H. Balcom Assistant Marshal.
Hammondsport Cornet Band, sixteen men.
Royal Arcanum, Chapter No. 344, of Bath, forty men.
Knights of the Maccabees, No. 71, of Bath, forty men.
Boy's Society, "Character Builders of St. Thomas church," forty two in line, led by Rev. B. S. Sanderson.
Wm. J. H. Richardson, Assistant Marshal.
Prattsburgh Cornet Band, fourteen men.
Bath Fire Department, Chief McNamara, First Assistant Cotton, Second Assistant Parker.
Rescue Hook and Ladder Company, twenty six men, Foreman A. L. Gilley,
Hook and Ladder truck gaily decorated and carrying a log but with Indians, representing 1793 at one end, while at the other end was a boat containing four little girls representative of the year 1893.
Samuel E. Wilkes, Assistant Marshal.
Cohocton Cornet Band, twenty men.
Edwin Cook Hose Company, twenty - eight men; Foreman John Donahe.
Hose Company's cart completely covered with flowers, and two little children riding on top dressed in Continental costume.
Hacks containing Mayor Gould, Trustees Smith, Phillips, Aber and Sutton, City Attorney Waldo and Clerk Shannon.
Hoxie W. Smith, Assistant Marshal, followed by a long division representing the business interests of the Town and Village.
Personnel of the several committees under whose division the celebration was arranged and most successfully managed:

General Committee:
Gen. W. W. Averell,W. W. Allen, R. E. Robie, A. J. McCall, H. W. Bowes, J. F. Little, O. H. Smith, Abram Beekman, W. E. Howell, J. F. Parkhurst, R. R. Lyon, James R. Kingsley, Rev. M. N. Preston, Rev. B. S. Sanderson, Rev M. C. Dean, Rev. V. P. Mather, Rev. J. J. Gleason, Rev. B. W. Swain. Gen. Averell was Chairman of the Committee, and James R. Kingsley, Secretary.

Sub-committees:-
Invitations A. J. McCall.
Reception of Guests - Augustus de Peyster.
Entertainment - Abram Beekman.
Literary Exercises - John F. Little.
Finance - Reuben R. Lyon.
Decorating Village - John McNamara.
Schools - Clarence Willis.
Procession and Bands - William H. Hallock.
Evening Reception - Augustus de Peyster.
Publication and Printing - John Underhill.

In their preparations the Committee were given most valued assistance by the Ladies' Committee, made up as follows:

Executive Committee Mrs. James Lyon, Chairman; Mrs. Ansel J. McCall, Mrs. Wm. Rumsey, Mrs. George W. Hallock, Mrs. J. F. Parkhurst, Mrs. B. F. Young, Mrs. M. Rumsey Miller, Mrs. Agustus dePeyster, Mrs. John Davenport, Mrs. W. W. Averell; Miss Jeanette M. Hodgman, Sec'y.

Invitations Mrs. Thomas J. Whiting.
Reception and Care of Guests Mrs. William H. Nichols.
Entertainment, Seats and Grounds Miss Katharine Bowes.
Literary Exercises Miss Mamie McBeath.
Finance Mrs. Charles F. Kingsley.
Decoration of Village and Grounds Mrs. Abram Beekman.
Schools Miss Anna Freeman.
Procession and Bands Mrs. Alfred Case.
Evening Reception The Executive Committee.
Publication and Printing - Miss Cassie W. Hull.

As a business and manufacturing center Bath has attracted little attention in commercial circles. True, mercantile interests are now and in the past have been sufficiently represented, and there has always been enough of competition to prevent the possibilities of monopoly. In the early history of the town, General McClure and some of his associates were very active in starting and maintaining manufacturing enterprises, yet indifferent results were the reward of their best efforts, and later generations have shown only a passive interest in building up Bath with factories. And it is also true that many of the present business men, bankers and capitalists have generously contributed money to various manufacturing industries, but the results generally have been discouraging rather than satisfactory.

In this work it has not been thought advisable to mention by name the merchants of Bath; they need no such advertisement to display their wares as nearly all are patrons of the local press. However, we may mention, among manufacturing interests, the harness and saddle factory, started about 1890 by Fred Morris, but now and since July, 1893, operated by the Bath Harness Company. Another industry worthy of note is the Smith & Griegson Shoe Company, whose plant was destroyed by an unfortunate fire during the spring of 1895. The business of the company, however, was at once established and continued.

Among the fixed manufacturing industries of the village may be mentioned the planing mills and general wood working establishments of Abram Beekman, and also William H. and Robert J. Davison, the firm being also extensive contractors and builders. Joy's steam flouring mill may also be mentioned in the same connection. Messrs. Hardenbrook & Co. formerly operated a large foundry and machine shop, among their specialties being stoves, plows and general castings. The old plant occupied by Loomis & McMath as a wagon factory is now owned by Wililiam Allen. The Applebee Horse Collar factory has moved to Corning, and the Bath Jacket Can Manufacturing Company, after disasters, went out of business.

The record of the banking institutions shows in more favorable light so far at least as substantial results and capable management is concerned. The pioneer financial concern of Bath was the old Steuben County Bank, incorporated by the Legislature March 9, 1832, the directors being John Magee, president, and William W. McCoy, Reuben Robie, Edward Howell, Constant Cook, James Faulkner, Andrew B. Dickinson, Chauncey Hoffman, Charles Butler, Henry S. Williams, Henry B. Gibson, Ansel St. John, and William S. Hubbell, directors. The bank first opened for business, October 24, 1832, in the old Land Office building, but in 1833 moved to the new bank building erected for its use, and where it afterward continued throughout the period of its useful and successful career. The presidents, in succession, were John Magee, William W. McCoy, John Magee, D. C. Howell, Ambrose S. Howell, D. C. Howell, and William E. Howell. During the time of the last mentioned president, the bank went into voluntary liquidation and soon passed out of existence.

George W. Hallock's bank was established January 1, 1849, and for a period of nearly half a century has been known among the safe financial institutions of the State. William H. Hillock became partner with the founder in 1879, a relation which was maintained to the death of the latter, February 10, 1895. The bank, however, is continued on the same safe basis established by Mr. Hallock many years ago. It is now owned by Mary H. and William H. Hallock. The latter is now cashier; John M. Farr, assistant cashier, and C. E. Bennett, teller.

The present First National Bank of Bath was originally organized as The Bank of Bath, April 11, 1854, with a capital of $50,000. Constant Cook was its president, and H. H. Cook, cashier, by both of whom its affairs were managed, and successfully although frequent changes in location were made. However, in 1858, the business was removed to the new bank building at the corner of Steuben and Liberty streets. On the 14th of December, 1863, the State charter was dissolved and the bank at once reorganized under the name of First National Bank of Bath (No. 153) with a capital of $50,000 (soon afterward increased to $100,000). The first officers were Constant Cook, president; H. H. Cook, cashier, both of whom, with L. D. Hodgman, E. C. Cook and W. W. Allen composed the board of directors. Judge Cook died on the 24th of February, 1874, and in April following Henry H. Cook was elected to the presidency. At this time, also, W. W. Allen was appointed cashier, which offices they hold at the present time. The directors are H. H. Cook, L. D. Hodgman, E. C. Cook, M. R. Miller and W. W. Allen. This bank has a surplus of nearly $45,000. No comment upon its management or business is required at the hands of the writer, for the First National Bank of Bath is too well known in banking circles and in the business world to suggest even the desirability of compliment.

The Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank of Bath opened its doors for business January 1, 1880, the owners and managers forming a partnership, comprising J. F. Parkhurst, Abram Beekman, Thomas R. Rutherford, William M. Nichols, and Frank Campbell. The present partners and owners are Messrs. Beekman, Parkhurst, and Campbell. This is a private banking house, safe and reliable, and enjoys a full share of public confidence.


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