THE CITY OF HORNELLSVILLE - When pioneer Benjamin Crosby and his immediate followers came into the Upper Canisteo
country they little thought the lands on which they settled would ever become the site of a prosperous village,
and much less, a thriving metropolitan city; and it is equally doubtful if even those enterprising early settlers
George Hornell, Dugald Cameron or Ira Davenport ever contemplated such a substantial growth and development as
the locality enjoyed as the result of their first efforts. "Yeoman" Benjamin Crosby purchased from Solomon
Bennett, "gentleman," great lot No. 8, for three hundred pounds, and George Hornell bought of John Stephens
lot No. 7, for one hundred and eleven pounds, each tract containing 1,600 acres of land and lying, in part at least,
within the present city limits.
However, the earlier growth of this locality was by no means rapid, but rather by steady yet sure advances did
the village succeed the hamlet and the city in turn supersede the village. The first beginning in this direction
was made by Judge Hornell when he built the grist mill on the site of the now called Thacher mill, followed by
the erection of the tavern which he maintained as a public house. Yet we are told that when Mr. Hornell came to
the place there were about seven or eight dwellings on the village site. In 1809 the turnpike road from Ithaca
to Olean was opened, thus giving an impetus to local growth; and about the same time, possibly before, several
flat boats and arks were built, laden with grain and other products of the region, and transported to Baltimore
and other available markets. This led to the construction of several warehouses along the river front in the hamlet.
In 1815 Col. Ira Davenport came to the settlement and opened store in a building constructed by him for that purpose,
and he has been mentioned as the first merchant of the town, Soon afterward, in 1816, Dugald Cameron built a saw
mill on the island, near the old stone quarry, just above the bridge, which locality, it is believed, became known
as "Cameronia." The statement has also been made that a postoffice was established here under that name
with Mr. Cameron as postmaster, but much doubt exists regarding the accuracy of the name. So near as can be determined
at this time the first postoffice was established here soon after the completion of the turnpike, under the name
of "Canisteo," and was so continued until February, 1823, and then changed to "Hornellsville."
In confirmation of this assertion, we quote from Judge Hulburt's description of the place in 1812, in which he
says: "The settlements are of recent date and still retain their first local names. At Hornell's Mills, on
the Canisteo, is a ferry and a road of pretty extensive travel; here is located the Canisteo post office."
(See Spafford's Gazetteer, ed. 1813). In a later edition the same authority says: "There are two post offices,
Hornellsville, as it will soon be called, but now Canisteo postoffice, and Ark Port postoffice;" also "There
is a small village at Ark Port of some fifteen or twenty houses, and another at Hornellsville of about the same
number, a store, a grist mill and a saw mill."
According to Deacon Thacher's reminiscences, the residents of the hamlet in 1823, were Amasa Thacher, Rufus or
Bulrock Mason, Dugald Cameron, Thomas Bennett (tavern keeper), Squire Livermore, Truman Bostwick (who kept a stage
house), Ira Davenport (merchant), Andrew L. Smith (tanner), William B. Bostwick, and the Hornell property - the
tavern and grist mill. At that time there were eleven houses, including the mill, on the village site. The Cameron
mill was located farther north, about half a mile. Mr. Adsit's recollections are no less interesting, and he remembers
the village when it contained only twenty six houses. The first brick building was erected by Colonel Davenport
in 1828, followed soon afterward by others. Mr. Adsit built a large brick building in 1841.
The period of greatest growth and prosperity in the early history of the village was that between 1820 and 1840,
although it is impossible to recall the one thousand and one events that contributed to local advancement during
that time. The town authorities at this period showed a commendable zeal in helping to build up the village, and
in 1832 purchased from Major Thomas Bennett two and three fourths acres of land on the south side of Main street,
for the purpose of a public square. In 1834 the town voted $100 to improve the square, and in 1836 William Bostwick
was paid $11 for digging the stumps out of the same tract. This was the origin and inception of Hornellsville's
present beautiful park, the most attractive spot, perhaps, within the city limits. The later improvements, the
pagoda, the fountain, and tasteful arrangements of walks, together with other adornments, are due to the generosity
of local government and the liberality and public spiritedness of the citizens.
The most fortunate event in all the history of Hornellsville, and that which has contributed most largely to both
early and more recent prosperity, was the construction of the Erie railroad, with its attendant shops and business
departments. Rumors that a railroad was in contemplation became current in this locality soon after 1830, and within
the next year or two the surveyors appeared in the valley, though the people here were in much anxiety lest the
road should be actually built through the Conhocton rather than the Canisteo valley; and it was not until the coming
of the famous old "pile driver" that the inhabitants of Hornellsville were fully assured that the line
through this valley had been accepted by the company. The preliminary surveys were made in 1832, and in 1833 the
company was organized. The work of construction was begun in this vicinity in 1841, but not until the first day
of September, 1850, did the first locomotive appear in the village.
The line of road then built was what is now locally termed the Salamanca or Western division of the N. Y. L. E.
& W. railroad. The Attica and Hornellsville railroad, now known as the "Buffalo road," was incorporated
May 14, 1845. Other companies were allowed to purchase its stock, and in April, 1851, the name was changed to Buffalo
and New York City railroad. Still later, through various transfers and processes of law, this line, with the western
branch, became merged in the present Erie system. The Attica and Hornellsville road was built in 1852.
It was not the mere building of a railroad through the village that contributed so much to its early welfare, although
that consummation was an important factor in advancing local interests; but the greatest benefit was derived through
the establishment of a division terminus at the place and the erection of shops for purposes of construction and
repairs to railroad equipment. There is now paid out monthly in Hornellsville by the Erie company an aggregate
of about $6o,000, three fourths of which remains in the city; and there are generally employed here in one capacity
or another from 800 to 1,000 men, while the terminal feature materially makes this place the temporary home of
perhaps 200 more men.
Incidentally we may mention the fact that construction of the first railroad through the village was due largely
to the persevering efforts of Judge Hawley, Rufus Tuttle, Martin Adsit, T. J. Reynolds, John K. Hale, T. J. Magee,
Walter G. Rose, Charles N. Hart, and others associated with them in promoting local interests. Within the last
half score of years the city has been given the advantage of still another line of railroad, from which the merchants
and manufacturers of the locality are the greatest beneficiaries. We refer to the construction and operation of
the road built by the Rochester, Hornellsville and Lackawanna Company, now known, however, as the Central New York
and Western. This road proper runs from this city to Hornellsville Junction, thence over the line of another company
to Wayland, where it connects with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, thus affording direct connection with
Rochester on the west, as well as important points east. The road was built and completed during the fall of 1887,
and was brought about through the unselfish efforts of Judge Hakes, Benton McConnell, George N. Orcutt, Irving
W. Near and Charles Adsit.
Returning again to the subject of early history, the fact may be noted that in 1832 the Presbyterian and Methodist
Episcopal churches were organized, each of which, together with all other religious societies are more fully mentioned
on later pages of this chapter. In 1833 the "little red school house" was built and stood near the site
of the Tribune building. The Park School property was secured by the district in 1844, and soon afterward a school
was opened there. This subject, however, will be fully treated in a later portion of this chapter.
Soon after the completion of the railroad the inhabitants began to discuss the subject of incorporation. In this
matter Dr. John H. Lillie was a leading spirit, and as he found a local population of 1,814, when a short time
before there were only 700, it was evident that the people were entitled to advance from the hamlet to the village
character. James B. Finch made the necessary surveys, and on the 28th day of June, 1852, the "Village of Hornellsville"
became a body corporate and politic, through the order of the court of sessions of Steuben county.
The first election of officers was held on August 30 following, at which time John H. Lillie, Thomas Snell, J.
T. Wilbur, Richard Durbin and William R. McCormick were chosen trustees. The board elected Dr. Lillie president,
and Horace Bemis, clerk, together with all other officers authorized by law.
"The first board of trustees," says Mr. Tuttle's article, "was enterprising and progressive. It
legislated for a turbulent element and had to build everything ' from the stump.' Sidewalks were the first enterprise
undertaken, and on September 27, a special election was held, which voted to build walks on Main, Canisteo, Genesee,
Cass, Taylor and Albion streets."
However, in the course of the next fifteen years following the first incorporation, the growth in population and
the advancement of all local business interests demanded that broader powers be accorded the municipal government.
Therefore, recourse was had to the Legislature, and on the 9th day of April, 1867, an act was passed, entitled
"An act to amend and consolidate the several acts relating to the village of Hornellsville".
This charter fixed the village boundaries as they had previously existed under the former government, and divided
the territory into five wards. The officers provided under the act were a president, a trustee from each ward,
police justice, three assessors, a collector, clerk, treasurer, superintendent of streets and not more than three
policemen; the clerk, superintendent of streets and policemen to be appointed by the board, and all other officers
elected by the people.
Under this charter government the affairs of the village were conducted for a period of about twenty years, when,
in accordance with an express demand, the Legislature in 1888 passed an act incorporating the "City of Hornellsville,"
thus advancing our once little hamlet to a municipality of the highest grade. Subsequent amendments have been made
to the city charter. providing for contingencies and improvements not contemplated in the original act.
At the first city election held in 1888, these officers were chosen: Mayor, James B. Day; aldermen, Patrick Broderick,
Robert Carberry, George H. Dove, Edward F. Houser, E. H. Lanphear, Thomas C. McCarthy, Charles F. McGuire, Thomas
Ryan, T, J. O. Thacher, Edward Tolan, Charles D. Walters, and Otto Walther; city clerk, Harris C. Sawyer; recorder,
Wm. C. Bingham; chamberlain, Wm. K. Smith; overseer of poor, Aaron Ross; commissioners of excise, Eda N. Alden,
Frank Tanner and Wm. H. Reynolds; sealer, Nicholas Schu. Mayor Day was re-elected in 1890, and was succeeded in
1892 by Edward F. Willets, the latter being also re-elected in 1894.
The city officers for the year 1895 are as follows: Edward F. Willets, mayor; Henry L. Nash, city clerk; Winfield
S. Newman, recorder; E. L. Dolson, city attorney; M. V. Sherwood, chamberlain; J. W. Shelley, overseer of the poor;
J. M. Harding, street commissioner; aldermen, T. H. Coleman, E. Y. Butler, First ward; E. H. Lanphear, G. A. Waldorf,
Second ward; E. Powers, John McDougall, Third ward; John Haire, E. H. Nelson, Fourth ward; W. E. Curtiss, G. A.
Prentiss, Fifth ward; Charles Conderman, Frank A. Jones, Sixth ward; supervisors, George B. Elwell, Alfred E. Bowen
and Charles J. Clark; justices of the peace, Frank Kelly, Lewis H. Clark and Frank J. Nelson; assessors, David
Wellever, Wm. B. Van Dusen, Hiram H. Carney.
The Police Commission was established under the charter and is one of the efficient departments of government.
The present commissioners are Morris Smith, president; and G. H. Dore, Matthew Dewey and D. E. Fleming. Chief of
police, Michael Hickey; captain, Edward B. Shepard.
The city Fire Department was first organized on September 25, 1852, under the village government. Charles McIlvaney
was chief engineer, E. J. Richardson and Charles Strawn, assistants. From this primitive organization the present
department has grown and developed, and at this time is better equipped and trained than ever beforr in its history.
This branch of city government was placed on secure basis by the act of incorporation, passed April 29 1875. The
present department consists of Maple City, Emerald, Prindle, and Erie Hose companies, each well housed and equipped;
also Babcock Hook and Ladder Company, who operate the "truck," and one good Silsby steamer. The latter,
however, is not frequently called into service, as the excellent water supply system of the city affords all needed
pressure for both fire and domestic purposes. The officers of the fire department are Frank L. Howard, chief engineer;
John J. Baker, first assistant; and Henry Lundrigan, second assistant; F. A. Jones, secretary. The Sewer commission
was created by special act of the Legislature, for the purpose of constructing and maintaining a complete system
of sewers for the city. The commissioners are J. B. Kennelly, president; G. P. Rishel, secretary; and F. G Babcock,
W. A. Stephens, S. E. Brown and F. T. McConnell.
The Park commission was also constituted by special act of the legislature, and the electors voted for the park
scheme on May 6, 1891. The first commissioners, F. G. Babcock, F. D. Sherwood, Patrick Enright, R. K. Faulkner,
Benton McConnell, and Charles Adsit, purchased the Jones Driving Park property, some twenty one acres, and subsequently
added to its area by other purchases. This property is located on Seneca street, and is leased to the Farmers'
Club. The present park commissioners are C. Cadogan, president; J. W. Nicholson, secretary; E. S. Brown, P. Enright,
M. E. Page and J. O. Adsit. The city excise commissioners, provided by statute, are W. H. Prangen, president; H.
R. Wagner, secretary, and P. Houck, treasurer.
The City Hall was built in 1877, on Broad street, and here all the business of the municipality is transacted.
Hornellsville is bonded to the extent of $162,500, of which $100,000 is for sewers, $12,500 for pavements, and
$50,000 for the park. The first pavement was laid in 1893.
St. James Mercy Hospital receives annually from the city excise funds the sum of one thousand dollars. This mention
naturally leads us to refer at some length to this most praiseworthy institution, its originator and founder, and
the persons connected with its management.
The Rev. Father James M. Early was appointed to the pastorate of St. Ann's church and parish in November, 1879,
and from that time until his death was one of the most earnest and unselfish Christian workers in this field. Soon
after his pastorate began Father Early often expressed a desire to establish a hospital in Hornellsville, and in
his will made generous provision for that purpose. However, during the month of February, 189o, through the assistance
of F. G. Babcock, Father Early purchased the once known Van Scoter property, on Canisteo street, south, for which
he paid $5,000 cash. The necessary improvements and modifications were at once made to the building, and soon afterward
the property was deeded to a board of trustees, constituted and incorporated for that purpose, under the name of
trustees of St. James' Mercy Hospital. According to the provision made by the founder, the board shall be composed
of, a officio, the bishop of this diocese of the Roman Catholic church, the rector of St. Ann's parish, two Sisters
of Mercy, and the mayor of the city; also four citizens of Hornellsville. The first trustees were designated by
Father Early, and comprised the a officio members and Harlo Hakes, Joseph Cameron, James M. Welsh, and Dr. J. G.
Kelly. The trustees organized on March 3, 189o, and elected Judge Hakes, president; Sister Dolores, vice president;
Joseph Cameron, secretary, and Mr. Welsh, treasurer. These officers, except the vice president, have been continued
in their respective positions to the present time. The first matron was Sister Mary. Catherine; the present matron
is Sister Angela.
The good work accomplished by this institution, the outgrowth of the generosity and philanthropy of Father Early,
needs no recital here. The rich and poor alike receive the same kind treatment and attention at the hands of the
devoted sisters who have direct control of the hospital. The institution is supported by popular contribution and
the city fund referred to, The annual expense of maintenance amounts to about $3,000. The staff of medical attendants
has been organized through the efforts of Dr. Kelly, and comprises the physicians of the city.
Another of the important and interesting departments of municipal government is the educational system, at present
perfected to a degree that places it in favorable comparison with that of any city in the State, and far in advance
of many of them. We are told that the first school of the then hamlet was opened through the efforts of Judge Hornell
about 1810, and that Sarah Thacher was its first teacher. The building stood near the corner of Main and Arkport
streets. The next school was that of district No. 7, predecessor to the Central school, and was maintained in a
log house on lower Canisteo street.
The first building erected for school purposes was also a log structure, and stood at the lower end of Main street.
Here at one time George Hornell, jr., taught. The third school stood near the "Canisteo block," and among
its early teachers were Rev. Samuel White, James Osborne, Mr. Case, Mary Morris, Pamelia Stephens, Deacon Thacher,
and later John S. Livermore, Dr. Thomas, Orange McCay and others. In 1833 the "little red school" was
built on the Tribune building site, and was burned in the great fire of 1868. The early pedagogues here were Washington
Cruger, Samuel Porter, H. V. R. Lord, Samuel Street, Hiram Bennett and others of later date.
In 1844 the district purchased the Park school site, and the first school house built there was also used for town
hall and theatrical performances. But notwithstanding its various uses here were taught youths and misses who are
now our best business men and most cultured women. Recalling a few of the many names possible of mention, let us
note Judge Solon O., T. Dwight, Safford M. and T. Scott Thacher; also Col. Frank B, Doty, Martin and Levi Doty,
Emmett and Charles Reynolds, Maxwell Cameron, Scott Belden, Matthew Hale, Russell M. Tuttle, the Prindle boys,
and the Bennetts, Stephenses, Caldwells, Morrises, Browns, Poppies, Hawleys and a host of others. The first teacher
here was Rev. O. B. Clark who opened his school in February, 1845. The old building was modified, enlarged, and
in fact replaced, but today the site is occupied with one of the most modern, convenient and attractive school
buildings in the southern tier. It is known as the Park School, and bears the year mark "1886."
The present educational system was adopted in 1872, and the affairs and management of schools is vested in a Board
of Education, authorized to levy and raise a tax sufficient for all purposes of maintenance, additions, repairs
and equipments, independent of any other branch of city government. The plan of naming each school was adopted
in 1888. The city now has five public schools, viz.: The Park School, built 1886, having 213 pupils; the Lincoln
School, on Canisteo street, attendance, 400; the Columbian School, built 1893, cost $20,000, located on Pearl street,
319 pupils; the Irving School, formerly First ward school, 265 pupils; the Bryant School, formerly Sixth ward,
The present Board of Education is comprised of J. E. B. Santee, president; Stephen Hollands, J. W. Nicholson, F.
C. Prindle and Cass Richardson. The secretary of the board is Joseph Cameron. Members of the board are elected
from the city at large, and hold office for a term of five years. The city schools are under the superintendence
of W. R. Prentiss, appointed in 1887 as successor to Robert Simpson.
In this connection we may also properly mention some of the past and present private schools which have been opened
in the village and city; among which were those of Rachel Bennett, Hannah Wilbur, Harriet Waldo, Mrs. Van Court,
Mrs. Schuyler, Helen Thacher. In August, 1862, Mrs. B. A. McNall (Belva Lockwood) organized a young ladies school
in the M. E. church. She lived here several years and had a good school. Mary Dwight also had a good private school,
and as well had Professor Ford. Dr. Jamison taught penmanship in the Park school.
St. Ann's Union Academic School, parochial in its general character, and attached to and sustained by the parish
of St. Ann's church, was founded during the pastorate of Father M. Creedon, which began October 11, 1863. This
is a large school, numbering 435 pupils, and is under the State regency. The teachers are selected from the Sisters
of Mercy, nine of whom devote themselves wholly to the work of education. The only other educational institutions
of the city are the Business Colleges, of which there are two, both well conducted and affording excellent opportuuities
in their special branches.
The ecclesiastical history of Hornellsville, town and city, is alike rich, interesting and instructive, and although
the local churches are mentioned in another department of this work, they are of sufficient importance to this
chapter to demand more than a passing allusion to them in this place, even at the hazard of repetition.
Gleaning information from all sources, we learn that as early as 1799 religious services were held at the house
of Judge Hornell by Robert Logan, a Presbyterian, and that about the same time Rev. John Durbin, Methodist, preached
in a log house in Main street. From this time forth occasional services were held in the little settlement by ministers
of different denominations, but not until about the year 1830 does there appear to have been made any successful
effort at church organization; and as the Methodists and Presbyterians were originally in the missionary field
about the same time, so, also, their society organizations were at about the same date, the former slightly in
The present Park Methodist Episcopal church had its inception in the little primitive meetings held during the
early years of the century, and a society came into existence in the year 183o. The members met in dwellings and
school houses until strong enough to erect a church home. This was accomplished in 1832-33. The second edifice
was built in 1864-5 (cost $9,500), and the present structure in 1878-9. From first to last the church has ever
increased, steadily and surely, and now it has a membership of 700, with 171 probationers. During the history of
the mother society, two other churches have been formed in the city, each drawing a portion of its original membership
from the Park organization. The pastors of the church have been Revs. Asa Story, 1830; W. D. Gage, 1835; Robert
Parker, Nelson Hoag, 1837; Ira Bronson, Nelson Hoag, 1838; Samuel Church, 1839; D. B. Lawton, 1840; V. Brownell,
1841; Philo Tower, 1842; W. E. Prindar, 1843 Sheldon Doolittle, 1844; W. E. Prindar, 1846; John Knapp, John Soink,
1847-48; Carlos Gould, 1849; S. B. Rooney, 185o; James Wilson, 1851; A. S. Baker, 1852; James Ashworth, 1853; N.
A. De Puy, 1854; H. N. Seaver, 1856; W. C. Huntington, 1857; J. R. Jacques, 1859; J. Walters, J. B. Knott, 1861;
E. P. Huntington, 1862; C. M. Gardner, 1863-66; C. P. Hart, 1867; Thomas Stacy, 1868; W. C. Mattison, 1870; E.
Wildman, 1872; C. C. Wilburn, 1873; K. P. Jervis, 1874; L. A. Stevens, 1877; C. W. Winchester, 1878-80; S.W. Lloyd,
1881-83; J. E. Williams, 1884-86; E. H. Lattimer, 1887-89; Ward D. Platt, 1890-92; L. A. Stevens, 1883; Ward B.
Picard, 1894. The trustees of this church are William O'Connor, Charles W. Kress, Joseph L. Schaumburg, F. G. Schutt,
S. M. Townsend, James H. Stevens, George Hollands, John D. Mitchell. Superintendent of Sunday school, L. B. Crandall.
The East Avenue Methodist Episcopal church society was organized and the edifice built during the year 1885, and
though but ten years old is an entirely progressive body, having 190 full members, and 33 probationers. The pastors
have been Revs. F. S. Roland and F. H. Van Kuren, the latter now officiating.
The South Side M. E. church was organized about the ist of January, 1895, by certain withdrawing members from the
Park church; not, however, with the approval of the mother society. The new organization has a small though neat
edifice at the corner of Canisteo and Van Scoter streets. The members number about fifty persons, and are under
the pastoral charge of Rev. George S. Spencer.
The First Presbyterian church of Hornellsville was organized by Revs. Moses Ordway and Moses Hunter, on July
10, 1832. The original members were twelve persons who presented letters of dismissal from other churches, and
sixteen received on confession of faith. The first trustees were James McBurney, Ira Davenport, Samuel Mulhollen,
Truman Bostwick, Philander Hartshorn and Otis Thacher. After the church and society were organized attention was
at once given to providing a church home. For this purpose Dugald Cameron donated two lots on Main street, each
4x8 rods in size, and here the edifice was built, at a cost of $3,000. The original building was 39x40 feet, with
side and end galleries. The several subsequent enlargements to the building were made in 1862, 1871, 1875 and 1877,
the latter being the lecture room addition. The manse was purchased during the pastorate of Dr. Pettengill, and
stood on Main street. This property was sold in 1862, and in the spring of 1873 the society purchased the property
now occupied by the pastor.
This church is among the strongest religious organizations of the city, both in influence for good and in membership.
The members on the roll now number 472, and in the Sunday school are 267 attendants, and 32 teachers. The ministers,
supplies and pastors, in succession, have been as follows: Moses Ordway, July 10, 1832; George P. King, September,
1832; Moses Hunter, March, 1834; vacant from March, 1835, to October, 1837; Benj. Russell, October, 1837; Samuel
W. May, supply, 1839; John W. Hopkins, first pastor, 1839-41; Charles B. Smythe, 1841-42; Elias S. Peck, 1842-43;
Thos. M. Hodgman, 1843-45; Foster Lilly, 1845-48; Horatio Petteagill, second pastor, June 10, 1849-September, 1857;
F. W. Graves, 1857-58; Ira O. De Long, 1859-60; Milton Waldo, 1861-71; W. A. Niles, April, 1872-April 7, 1884;
Edward M. Deems, installed May 10, 1890, the present pastor. Elders, Nathan Platt, T. Scott Thacher, Geo. W. Seymour,
C. H. Hubbard, Alex. Davidson, Geo. H. Miller, Wm. A. Tracey and C. H. Glady. Superintendent of Sunday school,
The Hartshorn Presbyterian church was organized February 26, 1891, and was the outgrowth of the mission Sunday
school and chapel founded in 1883 through the generosity of Charles Hartshorn. About two months before his death
Mr. Hartshorn deeded the chapel property to his wife, who, in turn, conveyed it, without consideration, to the
trustees of the newly organized society. The present members number about sixty five, and in the Sunday school
are eighty attendents. The pastors have been Revs. William Veenscoten, George F. Danforth and Andrew Brown, the
latter now officiating.
St. Ann's church, Roman Catholic, was organized as a parish and a church home provided in 1849, under the pastoral
charge of Father Michael O'Brien. However, masses were said in this region as early as 1843, by Father Benedict
Bayer, followed in 1844 by Father McAvoy, the latter continuing his missionary labors in this field until 1849.
Next came Father O'Brien, under whom the little chapel on Cass street was built, and the church placed upon a substantial
footing in the village. Then, following through the successive pastorates of Father McCabe, Daniel Moore, Joseph
McKenna, Terrance Keenan, and James McGlew, under each of whom the church constantly increased in members, we reach
the year 1863, during which four priests were in the parish, Fathers John Lawton, W. A. Gregg, R. J. Story and
M. Creedon. The latter came in October of that year, and during his earnest labors here the first portion of the
large edifice on Erie avenue was erected and St. Ann's Academic school was founded. He died in 1870, and was followed
by Father Wm. J. McNab. Francis Clark came in 1873, and was in turn succeeded, in November, 1879, by Rev. James
M. Early, who, during his pastorate, enlarged the church and also founded St. James Mercy Hospital. Father Early
died in February, 1890, and was succeeded by James O'Loughlin, and the latter by Rev. Arthur Barlow, who came to
the parish June 10, 1893. The parish of St. Ann's contains about 700 families, or a total of 3,500 persons.
The earliest missionary work of the Protestant Episcopal church in this field began about the year 1850, when Rev.
Asa Griswold read services to the few adherents of the church then living in the locality.
These informal services were continued for a year or two, the Methodist edifice being occupied for a time, and
later the old Washington Hall which burned about 1859. On the 6th of March, 1854, a meeting was held for the organization
of the parish of Christ's church, and the election of wardens and vestrymen. At this meeting were present Martin
Adsit, John M. Wisenell, Truman Warner, Nirom M. Crane, John Jamison, Aaron Morris, Wm. H. Chandler, Chas. Strawn,
Peter C. Ward, Thomas Snell, Russell Pardee, George Duckett, Charles L. Prindle and Charles E. W. Baldwin. On the
20th of March following, the church was duly incorporated under the name of "Rector, Church Wardens and Vestrymen
of Christ's Church in the town of Hornellsville, County of Steuben." The first officers were Rev. James A.
Robinson, rector; Aaron Morris and Charles L. Prindle, wardens; and Peter C. Ward, Martin Adsit, William H. Chandler,
Charles Strawn, George Huckett, T. Jefferson Magee, Thomas Snell and Nirom M. Crane, vestrymen. The corner stone
of the church edifice was laid in May, 1860, and the church was consecrated by Bishop De Lancey, on April 10, 1862.
The first service in the new church was on Christmas day, 1860. The old edifice still stands and is kept in such
excellent repair that to day it is one of the most attractive structures of its kind in the city. Rev. Lloyd Windsor
became rector January 1, 1859, and died in the performance of his duty during service, on June 30, 1889. His rectorate
therefore covered a period of more than thirty years. In another department of this work will be found a biographical
sketch of the life of this beloved rector and esteemed friend, but here we may say that his memory is preserved
in the beautiful memorial window in the chancel. The present rector, Rev. Edwin S. Hoffman, came to the city in
March, 1890. In the parish are about 160 families, and the communicating members number 262. The church raises
annually between four and five thousand dollars. The present wardens are Martin Adsit and Judge Harlo Hakes. The
vestrymen are Dr. J. S. Jamison, Don L. Sharp, John K. Chapman, C. B. Windsor, L. W. Rockwell and Henry E. Gilpin.
The parish societies are the Woman's Missionary Auxiliary, Ladies' Guild, The Unity, St. Agnes' Guild, Daughters
of the King, and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew.
The First Baptist church of Hornellsville was organized October 17, 1852, with fifteen constituent members. For
seven years the society held its meetings in Union Hall, and it was not until the pastorate of Henry A. Rose (1856-59)
that the brick edifice on Church street was built. The church now numbers 430 members. The present trustees are
J. W. Nicholson, W. E. Tuttle, Alfred E. Brown, Herbert M. Horton, S. D. Pitts, E. M. Le Munyan. Deacons, S. D.
Pitts, O. S. Palmer, Aaron Brown and M. Tuttle. The pastors, in succession, have been Thomas S. Sheardown, 1852;
William Luke, 1854-55; Henry A. Rose, 1856-59; John B. Pittman, 1859-61; Jacob Gray, 1861-63; A. G. Bowles, 1863;
Isaac C. Seeley, 1864-67; Joel Hendrick, 1867-72; D. Van Alstine, 1872-79, followed by T. J. Whittaker, A. Colt,
Jesse A. Hungate, and Will C. Gates in the order named. Mr. Gates came to the pastorate about November 1, 1894.
The South Side Baptist church was established as a mission of the mother church in the year 1884, but was granted
a separate organization and pastor on September 18,1893. At that time the members numbered seventy six; in 1895
the membership is 155, while the Sunday school has 153 pupils. The first pastor was Elder G. W. Grimm, succeeded
in May, 1894, by Rev. George H. Thompson. The deacons are Isaac Thomas, Jacob Hodge, Frank Towner and A. C. Boyce.
The Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's church was organized in 1885, and the edifice erected in 1886, and in its membership
numbers about fifty families. In the Sunday school are ninety pupils. The parsonage was built in 1893. The church
was organized by Mr. Miller, and under the pastorate of Carl Graf the house of worship was built. The later pastors
have been Revs. Edward Schuelke, A. Brown, and M. O. Poole.
Among the other religious societies which in the past have had an existence in the city, may be mentioned the First
Universalist church, organized May 23,1868, by Rev. A. G. Clark; also we may recall the Jewish congregation, Ahavat
Achim, organized in June, 1876, by Rabbi Israel Erlich, and which passed out of existence about 1892. The Seventh
Day Baptist believers formed a society in the village, April 31, 1877, but this, too, is among the things of the
In 1849, when Martin Adsit was engaged in mercantile pursuits, he began in a small way to do a banking business
in the rear of his store. This was the first attempt in this direction and met with such approval in business circles
that it rapidly grew into importance. Mr. Adsit continued this branch until 1863 and then organized the First National
Bank. In the meantime Samuel Hallett opened a private bank in the village, which in March, 1856, developed into
the Bank of Hornellsville, an incorporated concern with $100,000 capital, and authorized to issue currency. This
bank did business several years, under the management of Mr. Hallett and Frank McDowell, and finally went into
The First National Bank of Hornellsville was organized in November, 1863, by Martin Adsit, Ira Davenport, and others,
with a capital of $50,000, authorized to issue $200,000 of stock. Business began May 1, 1864, at the corner of
Main and Canisteo streets, and was subsequently moved to the present building on Main street. The first officers
were Ira Davenport, president, and Martin Adsit, cashier. After two years Mr. Adsit succeeded to the presidency,
and Charles Adsit was elected cashier. These respective offices they have continued to fill. The present capital
of the bank is $100,000; surplus, $20,000. The officers are Martin Adsit and Charles Adsit, president and cashier,
and Ira Davenport, vice president; also Martin Adsit, Ira Davenport, E. J. Adsit, S. G. Adsit, Charles Adsit and
F. A. Bull, directors.
After the affairs of the old Bank of Hornellsville were wound up, the firm of N. M. Crane & Co. began banking
in the same building, and continued through a long period of years. Ntrom Crane was the active man of the concern,
and S. H. Crane was for a time its cashier. The firm failed July 31, 1893.
The present Bank of Hornellsville was organized and opened its doors for business on February 1, 1875. Its capital
is $50,000; surplus, $20,000. The officers are F. G. Babcock, president; W. E. Pittenger, cashier; C. C. Babcock,
assistant cashier; F. G. Babcock, C. C. Babcock and Mrs. Elizabeth Babcock, directors. This institution is organized
under the laws of this State.
The Citizens' National Bank was organized and began business in 1881, with a capital of $125,000, which, however,
was subsequently reduced to $100,000. The first president was John Santee, followed by Charles Hartshorn, and the
latter succeeded (October 17, 1887) by Charles Cadogan. The surplus and undivided profits of the Citizens' Bank
aggregate $25,000. The present officers are Charles Cadogan, president; J. E. B. Santee, cashier; Charles Cadogan,
George N. Orcutt, C. H. Hartshorn, John M. Finch, J. B. Woodbury, D. K. Belknap, C. F. Strack, F. D. Sherwood,
George D. Terry and J. E. B. Santee, directors.
Tradition (we have no positive record) informs us that Judge Hornell was the first postmaster at this place; that
the office was established soon after the opening of the old stage road in 1809, and that the name of the office
previous to 1823 was Canisteo. In the year mentioned it was changed to Hornellsville. So near as local authorities
can determine the postmasters in succession have been as follows: George Hornell, Ira Davenport Dr. Manning Kelly,
John R. Morris, John K. Hale, Maj. Thomas J. Reynolds, Martin Adsit, Andy L. Smith, Dr. Luman A. Ward, E. G. Durfey,
J. W. Shelly, S. M. Thacher, Francisco M. Cronkrite, William H. Greenhow, George L. Tubbs and William H. Murray.
The Hornell Library, in which every patriotic person in the city feels a just pride, was the outgrowth of a
series of lecture courses inaugurated for public edification and entertainment about the year 1866. The profits
of a third course were saved and the young men having the matter in charge determined to establish a library in
the village. These managers became also managers of the library association formed in 1868, and were Miles W. Hawley,
I. W. Near, Dr. E. J. Johnson, Stephen F. Gilbert, S. M. Thacher, N. P. T. Finch, J. W. Shelley; Charles Adsit,
president; John M. Finch, vice president, and N. M. Crane, treasurer. Horace Bemis secured the passage of an act
authorizing the trustees to have the excise moneys of the village, amounting to about $1,500. This sum, however,
was afterward reduced to $500. The association now receives annually about $1,500, On March 3, 1888, the Jewett
Club building on Canisteo street was purchased at a cost of $8,000. The library now contains 10,000 volumes. The
free circulation system was adopted in 1889. The present officers are De M. Page, president; Dr. C. S. Parkhill,
vice president; James M. Welsh, secretary and treasurer. Managers, J. W. Burnham, Cass Richardson, C. W, Etz, E.
D. L. Robertson, William H. Van Dusen, J. E. B. Santee, Dr. C. G. Hubbard, R. M. Tuttle. Librarian, Miss Isabella
A. Charles, assisted by Miss Mary A. Windsor.
The Steuben Sanitarium Association, although not a public institution of the city, is nevertheless noteworthy as
one of the factors in municipal and individual welfare. The building, situate in the north part of the city, is
located on a commanding elevation, and is provided with every essential requisite to health and comfort. In November,
1894, the Sanitarium passed under the care of Dr. J. E. Walker, as superintendent. Soon after he with others purchased
the establishment, and have made it one of the most successful medical and surgical institutions in the country.
It has among its consulting staff some of the highest talent in Western New York. The most complicated medical
and surgical cases are given all the advantages known to science:
The Forty seventh Separate Company, N. G. S. N. Y., was organized September 30, 1891. The first officers were Avery
McDougall, captain; T. G. Babcock, jr., first lieutenant, and Wm. S. Charles, second lieutenant. The company numbers
seventy five men, well uniformed and equipped and thoroughly drilled. In April, 1893, the State appropriated $32,000
for the erection of an armory in the city, and added. $12,000 a year later. The county also contributed $12,000
to the building. The armory, one of the largest and most attractive public buildings in the county, was begun October
19, 1894, and was completed during the summer of 1895.
The Hornellsville Cooperative Loan and Savings Association was incorporated and organized in 1888, and is under
the supervision of the State banking department. As a purely local concern it is worthy of notice, and as an investment
is far preferable to many of the outside companies which promise greater returns.
The Hornellsville Water Company is a local improvement concern, though owned by foreign capital. The water system
of the city is exceptionally good, the supply abundant, and results satisfactory. The works were constructed in
1882, water being taken from springs (through a large reservoir) in the town of Fremont, six miles from the city,
and elevated at least 250 feet above city base level.
The Hornell Gas Company have about six miles of street mains in the city. Its capital stock is $40,000. The officers
are Mrs. Jane A. McDougall, president; John McDougall, secretary, and F. G. Babcock, jr., treasurer.
The American Illuminating Company was organized in 1886; capital, $78,000. Officers: J. M. Finch, president; J.
E. B. Santee, treasurer; L. T. Mason, secretary and manager.
The manufacturing and mercantile interests of this city are measurably proportionate to its population and other'
adjuncts of the municipality. The statement has frequently been made that in manufactures Hornellsville is somewhat
behind other similar cities, yet in the light of years of travel and observation, the writer is inclined to the
belief that this city compares favorably with others of its population throughout the region, and, coupled with
the vast railroad interests found here, ever in operation, stands in advance of many in the southern tier Among
the important industries of the day may be mentioned the McConnell Company, whose extensive wood working establishment
employs 200 workmen. This was the outgrowth of an older business started many years ago by Morris Smith, and purchased
by Asa McConnell and Benton McConnell in 1868. After several changes in proprietorship the company was incorporated,
and now, under the name above noted is the largest manufacturing enterprise of the city and one of the largest
and best of its kind in the country. Benton McConnell is president; Floyd T. McConnell, general manager; Claude
Hallett, secretary, and Claude Jones, treasurer.
J. M. Deutsch & Co. are manufacturers of furniture, and in connection with their works is also the Woodward
Fence Wire Co., which together form an extensive plant and furnish employment to forty or fifty men. Mr. Deutsch
began business here in 1866 as one of the firm of Deutsch & Tschachtli, and in 1871 occupied the Barclay factory
building of still older date.
The O'Connor tannery was established in 1865 by William O'Connor, and since that time has been in successsul operation,
and now employs about fifty men. The firm now consists of Mr. O'Connor and his son, George W. O'Connor.
The well known Thacher Mills on Main street occupy the site where Judge Hornell started his primitive mill previous
to 1800. The present mill was built by the late Judge Thacher and is now owned by J. T. O. Thacher, though leased
by G. W. Morris.
William Richardson's large boot and shoe factory is also one of the old industries of the place and was established
in 1871. Here nearly 175 employees are furnished with work.
The Hollow Cable Manufacturing Co. began operations in 1873, and from that to the present time have been recognized
as one of the leading business houses of the city. The company was organized in 1888 with Othaniel Preston, sr.,
as president, Henry C. Preston, treasurer, and Othaniel Preston, jr., secretary. Since the death of O. Preston,
sr., (March 29, 1893) the business has been conducted by the sons mentioned. They employ about twenty five men.
The St. Julian Gear Co. was established in 1880, by Charles O. Rose for the manufacture of wagons and carriages.
Here about thirty men are employed.
A. T. Prindle & Son is a firm of tanners and the outgrowth of a business founded in this city in t861 by A.
T. & M. Prindle. The present firm employs about thirty men.
In the same connection we may also note the Underwear Manufacturing Co., commonly known as the White Goods factory,
at the corner of Canisteo and Loder streets, which was established July I, 1888. At full capacity this factory
employs one hundred hands, chiefly women and girls. The members of the firm are F. D. Sherwood, George D. Terry
and W. F. Sherwood. The firm succeeded the company in 1891.
The Rockland Silk Mills were started in 1887 by Edwin S. Brown who came to Hornellsville from Paterson, N. J. The
present factory was built in 1894. Here are employed in all departments no persons, two thirds of whom are young
women. The product of these mills is "organzine" and "tram," or warp and filling.
In 1888 John O. Adsit established in the city a large general machine shop and foundry. This he conducted till
about January 1, 1885, when Daniel H. Rogers succeeded. Here are employed about twenty workmen.
The Truss and Cable Fence Wire Co. was established in 1889, for the manufacture of fence wire, the patent of Dr.
Lee Rishel. In the works are now employed about twelve men. The present proprietors are Charles O. Rose and George
The Merrill Fabric Glove Company, for the manufacture of silk gloves and mitts, was established during the winter
of 1890-91, and is among the leading industries of the city. Employment is furnished here for about one hundred
The Preston Brick Company was organized in 1890 by Othaniel Preston and his sons for the manufacture of brick from
the shale rock found in this vicinity. This firm furnishes employment to twenty five men.
It is estimated that the city of Hornellsville has a total of about 250 merchants and persons otherwise interested
in such mercantile pursuits as are incident to every well ordered municipality; and while every branch of trade
is well represented, neither public or private interests appear to have suffered through over competition. In mercantile
circles the business men of this city are honorably regarded. Statistics prove that at least ninety per cent. of
merchants fail at some time during their busines career, and while such disasters are not unknown in Hornellsville,
it may be said that the general average of failures have not been increased by the experiences of local merchants.
The city possesses the necessary elements of prosperity in almost every direction. It has a fine opera house, and
several large halls for public assemblages. In the matter of hotels, too, the city is fortunate, having at least
three public houses that are regarded as first class. These are the Osborne House, named for its original founder,
though burned and rebuilt in 1874. It was the property of W. C. Brainerd, of Buffalo. The Page House, owned by
Esek Page and sons, was built about 1871 or '72, on the site of the still older Hornellsville Hotel. The name Page
House was adopted in 1887. The Sherwood House was formerly the Schu House, though now greatly enlarged and improved.
It is owned by F. D. Sherwood and George N. Orcutt.
The street railroad system of the city is worthy of special mention. The now known Hornellsvillc Electric Railroad
was begun in May, 1892, and the city branch was in operation on August 5th following, with five motor cars. The
Canisteo division was begun on October 23, 1892, and finished on December 30th thereafter. The equipment now consists
of eight motors and five trailers. Power is furnished by the American Illuminating Company. The railroad company
employs twenty five men.
Evening Star Lodge, No. 44, F. & A. M., was chartered June 11, 1816, although the history of the Masonic fraternity
in this city antedates that time. Informal meetings were held and as early as January, 1814, and there may have
been some work done here under dispensation. So near as can be ascertained the first officers were Andrew Simpson,
W. M.; Timothy Perry, S. W., and John Stephens, J. W. Among the other early members were James Jones, Nathaniel
Thacher and William Mulhollen, while visiting brethren were Andrew Morris, Uriah Stephens, William Hyde, Samuel
O. Thacher, Elias Perry, Samuel Lenox and Samuel Darby. The lodge, it appears, was originally an institution of
Cànisteo proper, and first came to Upper Canister in 1817. Notwithstanding its vicissitudes, which have
also been a part of the record of all pioneer Masonic societies, this lodge has been an enduring institution, its
aggregate enrollment numbering several hundred members. The present number is about 125. The past masters have
been H. E. Buvinger, W. L. Collins, G. H. Dore, W. W. Howell, J. Mounce, W. H. Sims, A. M. Lewis, C. E. Evans,
jr., H. D. Leach, John McDougall. Present officers, H. T. Harris, W. M., I. S. Lanning, S. W., W. U. Rixford, J.
W., H. H. Carney, treasurer, W. H. Sims, secretary, O. S. Palmer, chaplain, Joseph Mounce, S. D., Gee Becker, J.
D., M. Hill, S. M. C., G. B. Daley, J. M. C., F. Donahue, tiler.
Hornellsville Lodge, No. 331, F. and A. M., was chartered June 24, 1854, and throughout the period of its history
has enjoyed a constant and healthful growth. It has now nearly 225 members. The past masters have been E. G. Gilbert,
H. P. Johnson, Robert Laughlin, J. I. Bentley, P. C. Hufstader, L. S. Boardman, George W. Griswold, S. Ossoski,
P. M. Nast, jr., Don L. Sharp, F. A. Jones, William S. Charles, Avery McDougall. The officers for 1895 are: Joseph
Schaul, W. 1W.; Samuel Erlich, S. W.; O. E. Elwell. J. W.; S. Ossoski, Treasurer; Don L. Sharp, Secretary; L. W.
Rockwell, S. D.; William H. Prangen, J. W.; O. W. Pratt, S. M. C.; G. I, Blackmer, J. I. C.; W. E. Waldorf, Organist;
F. Donahue, Tiler.
Steuben Chapter, No. 101, R. A. M., was chartered February 23, 1825, and has since had an active organization in
the city. Its members now number 141 Masons. The past high priests are: Morrison Harding, H. E. Buvinger, H. P.
Johnson, G. W. Griswold, L. S. Boardman, H. O. Fay, D. L. Sharp, P. C. Hufstader, P. M. Nast, jr., S. Ossoski,
W. H. Sims, F. A. Jones and S. Lang. The present officers are: W. H. Prangen, H. P.; C. E. Evans, jr., K; John
MacDougall, S.; John I. Bentley, Treasurer; O. W. Pratt, Secretary; W. H. Van Dusen, Chaplain.
Hornellsville Council, No. 35, R. and S. M., was chartered February I, 1870. The present membership is 72. The
officers are W. H. Sims, T. Ill. M.; O. E. Ellwell, Dep. T. Ill. M.; I. S. Lanning, P, C. of Work; W. E Waldorf,
Recorder; W. H. Prangen, Treasurer; J. S. Norton, Captain of Guard; J. I. Bentley, Con. of Council; W. H. Van Dusen,
De Molay Commandery, No. 22, K. T., is another of the higher Masonic organizations of the city, and in membership
is one of the strongest, the number now being 150. The past eminent commanders have been H. E. Buvinger, A. H.
Bunnell, W. L. Collins, H. D. Leach, G. W. Griswold, W. H. Prangen, J. I. Bentley, S. F. Smith, F. H. Robinson,
George T. Rehn, Louis S. Boardman. The present officers are: F. A. Jones, E. C.; W. H. Sims, Gen'l'o; Avery McDougall,
Capt. Gen.; J. I. Bentley, Ex-Prelate; G. A. Waldorf, Treasurer; W. E. Waldorf, Recorder; F. A. Jones, Trustee.
The other Masonic organizations having an abiding place in the city are Hornell Consistory, No. 40, S. P. R. S.,
32°, attached to which are Rose Croix Chapter, 17-18°; the Council of Princes of Jerusalem, 15-16°,
and Lodge of Perfection, 4-14°. The Masonic Hall Association was incorporated in 1869, and is designed to care
for the property and interests of the order in general in the city.
Odd Fellowship in the city is well represented in four substantial organizations, being Oasis Lodge, No. 251, Steuben
County Lodge, No. 331, Canacadea Encampment, No. 117, I. O. O. F., and Canton Loyal, No. 153, P. M.
The principal officers of Oasis Lodge are: W. J. Hallett, N. G.; Alfred Webb, V. G.; W. W. White, permanent secretary.
This lodge has 150 member.
Steuben County Lodge has a membership of 190, and is officered as follows: N. G., R. H. Foster; V. G., A. L. Shannon;
recording secretary, A. L. Harrison; permanent secretary, W. A. Tracy; treasurer, F. J. Hutchinson,
Canacadea Encampment has about eighty members, and is governed by these officers: C P., F. J. Abbott; H. P., A.
M. Webb; S. W., A. Seal; J. W., G. F. Avery; scribe, R. H. Foster; permanent scribe, H. S. Pettibone; treasurer,
G. G. Wafer.
Canton Loyal, P. M. No. 43, has thirty five members. Its present officers are: Captain, W. H. Owm; lieutenant,
G. G. Waltzer; ensign, W. F. Simms; clerk, R. H. Foster; accountant, J. M. Peterson.