History of Friendship Village, New York
A Centennial Memorial
History of Allegany County, New York
John S. Minard, Esq. Historian
Mrs. Georgia Drew Andrews, Editor.
W. A. Fergusson & Co., Alfred, N. Y. 1896

Transcribed by: Diana Gates Reinhart



PREVIOUS to the construction of the State Road through this town the
settlers reached the interior lands by a primitive highway running
along the south bank of VanCampen's Creek from Belvidere to the Lewis
Utter farm; thence crossed to the north side and continued on west through
the town, following the course of the creek more closely than the new thor-
oughfare. About the first step in the direction of a hamlet settlement was that
taken by Othello Church in the erection of a gristmill on the bank of the
creek in the year 1815, near what may now be described as the foot of Water
Street. In the next year two log dwellings were built near the site of the
Baptist church, and soon afterward Mr. Church built his own dwelling
where the American House now stands. Here he met a tragic death in De-
cember, 1823, at he hands of David Howe. However, previous to his death
Mr. Church sold or leased the mill to Samuel S. Carter, who changed it to
a carding and fulling mill, and for several years afterward it was one of the
most conspicuous enterprises of the region. Col. Samuel King, the land
speculator, also proved an active factor in early events, and about the year

1820, possibly a little later, built a large and pretentious tavern in the settle-
ment, at what is now the corner of Main and Water streets. Truman Hill
kept the house and its reputation as a place of entertainment spread far and
wide. Here were held the meetings of the masonic lodge, while the place
was famous in other ways for its notable assemblages. The building was
burned about 1828, and its site was afterward used for other purposes. In-
deed, for many years this eastern part of the present village was the chief
center of trade and all business, and it was not until the construction and
operation of the railroad that the location was changed. Still, among the
early factors in village life, who have not been mentioned, were Peter G.
Chapman, Hollis Scott, Mr. Davidson, Stephen Smith, Damon Church,
Orange Church, Smith Church, Rufus Scott, and others, perhaps equally
worthy of mention, but whose names are now lost to memory.
A fruitful and reliable source of information concerning early events of
village life is found in the almost remarkable memory of William A. Hart,
who came to the locality in March, 1842, with Joseph P. Reynolds and wife,
the latter being sister to Mr. Hart. He was then 13 years old and what he
saw and learned from older inhabitants were boyhood facts and became
firmly impressed on his memory. Editor George W. Fries, of the Register,
with the tastes and inclination of the antiquarian, made written data of Mr.
Hart's reminiscences and recollections and the present writer is kindly fur-
nished with them.
About the time indicated the Colwell ashery stood near the site of the
brick house afterward owned by Prof. Miller, while Mr. Colwell's store stood
near the Benjamin Robinson place of later years. Colwell also built another
"potash" near the Thomas Pierce house. The most pretentious dwellings
of the hamlet were those of Mr. Colwell and Deacon Stowell. Bradley's
hotel was on the site of Deacon Robinson's house. The centre of business
and hamlet population was about where Judge Norton now lives. William
Colwell, Rufus Scott and son Martin, and W. J. and Arba Wellman had
stores, each keeping a large stock of general merchandise, and doing a suc-
cessful business for many years. The only other store in town at that time
was on the site of the "old brick store," away up west of the four corners,
on land now owned by Mr. Mulkin. In 1825, according to the memory of
Mr. Steenrod, Rufus Scott kept hotel, Martin Scott sold goods, one of the
Churches run the gristmill, and Samuel Carter operated the carding and full-
ing mills. Local interests in the lower village were never greater than those
noted, although as years passed the business places changed hands. P. and
J. D. Hartshorn did business in 1852 where Edward Newton now lives, Jar-
vis Alger had a harness shop, Robinson & Wingate run the carding and
clothmill, Edward Hatch kept a tin shop and stove store.
On the west side of the North Branch another settlement sprung into
existence, though perhaps of less importance than the lower village. The older
residents will remember the famous hostelry kept by Josiah Morris, and the
racing and wrestling events of every Saturday afternoon. Opposite to the


Morris tavern Henry D. Babcock kept store. However, with the completion
of the railroad these interests naturally removed to the center, and both
east and west villages declined in business importance.
At the Four Corners, as then called but now the corner of Main with
Depot and Mill streets, the first business enterprise was the store building
erected by Stephen Smith, as early perhaps as 1830. On the site was after
ward built the "brick store," then owned by Elisha Strong. The building
was burned in April, 1868. In 1842 Damon Church built the large frame
flourmill, on the west side of Mill street, south of Mr. Hart's corner. The
building still stands and is occupied for business and dwelling purposes.
About 1846 Arba Wellman moved up from the lower village and opened store
near the Corners and in 1852 built on the site of the First National Bank.
This corner, and a considerable tract of land north and west of it, was pur-
chased in 1851 from Dr. Dana by William Colwell and Roswell Spear, and by
them was cut up into village lots. February 14th in the same year, the first
locomotive came into the town on the Erie road. The company designed
erecting a depot near Samuel Cotton's house, upon which the people at the
Corners at once purchased and gave for a site the widow Galen Evarts lot.
Here the station was built and has ever since been maintained. Morris C.
Mulkin began business in the village in 1854, and is still in trade, the oldest
merchant in the town. At that time J. W. Rowley & Co. were in the "brick
store," selling dry and dress goods and groceries. Other merchants of
about the same period, says Mr. Mulkn, were George W. Robinson, Arba
Wellman, Albert F. Wells, jeweler, and possibly one or two others of less
note. Gen. Robinson began business about 1850, with a stock of dry goods.
In 1852 he added a banking department, and in 1855 was exclusively in the latter
line in the old brick store. William A. Hart opened store in 1859 in the build-
ing now occupied as postoffice, and for the succeeding twenty-four years was
one of the most active business men of the village. His dwelling is one of
the oldest buildings of its class in the village, and was erected by Peter G.
Such was the situation and condition of business life in Friendship half
a century and more ago. During the twenty years following 1850 few
changes were made except in ownership, a new generation of actors succeed-
ing the old. Between 1870 and 1880 the village suffered serious losses
through fire, yet we are told that fire is a great "purifier and renewer." The
old burned structures were replaced with new, many of the latter being of
brick, substantial and ornamental. The same is also true of the dwellings of
the village, all "built from the stump," secure in construction and pleasing
in appearance. Twenty-five years ago, says Judge Norton, the leading mer-
chants were Price & Bradley, William A. Hart, and M. Scott & Co., Higgins
& Lewis (druggists), Calvin Cross, also Morse & Cross; hardware, M. C. Mul-
kin, grocer and banker. The First National Bank was also doing successful
business, succeeding Miner & Wellman, bankers. In 1868 Ephraim Fair-
banks built the American Hotel, but through loss by fire the old building has


been twice rebuilt. The Mansion House, now burned, was built in 1877.
Having thus traced the growth of business interests through different
periods, we may with propriety refer by name to the present mercantile
houses of Friendship, and then turn to other elements of municipal being
and note them briefly.
At present the representatives of the dry goods business in Friendship
are: Robert A. Scott, D. A. Daniels, and Price & Rose; the clothiers are: M.
Unger and E. A. Hewitt; hardware dealers, Drake Hardware Company, and
Corbin, Carter & Co.; druggists, A. V. Jones, and F. H. Mason; grocers,
Graham & Robinson, Jordon & Stevens, C. B. Wales, M. C. Mulkin, and E.
B. Fairbanks; meat and provision dealers, VanHorn & Jordon, and E. J.
Norton; boat and shoemakers, George W. Smith, C. Kershaw, and J. L.
Moll; saddler and harnessmaker, O. G. Sherman; ladies' wear, Mrs. E. M.
Stoneman; millinery, Miss L. J. Cross and Misses O. & B. Briggs; furniture
dealer and undertaker, F. A. McKee; bakers, Charles Niver, Mrs. L. B.
Scott, and Mrs. Wm. Dougherty; tailors, H. L. Dwight, and John J. Tun-
nington; confectioners, Simons & Steenrod, and Charles Brisco; jeweler,
Chas. S. Lane; variety store, J. E. Beebe; grist and sawmiller, F. L. Hull.
MANUFACTURES.-- As a manufacturing center Friendship has attained
little prominence among the villages of the county, and at no time in its
history have the industries been more than a few in number. The old grist
and, carding and fulling mills at the lower village were pioneers in their
respective lines of production, but of these only the gristmill now remains
in operation. Its present owner is F. L. Hull, who is also owner of a saw-
mill on the same location. The Damon Church mill, on Mill street, did a
successful business for many years but it is now a thing of the past and put
to other uses.
The Friendship Sash and Blind Co., (Limited), was formed in February,
1886, and was under the active management of A. B. Vorhis, employing
about 75 men. The second proprietors were Pitt & Bradley, who were in
time succeeded by Mr. Hollister. Under, the latter the concern went into
the hands of a receiver and eventually was owned by the First National
Bank. It is now operated by Park, Rowley & Reese and doing a successful
The Friendship Creamery was established in 1889, and for about 2 years
was conducted on the co-operative plan, but with indifferent results. In
1891 the plant was purchased by Latta & Hobart, and for the next 5 years
was operated by that firm on correct business principles, therefore with a
fair measure of success. The equipment was so changed that cheese could
be made when the butter market was depressed, and during the year 1895
the firm manufactured about 50,000 pounds each of butter and cheese.
Manley W. Hobart became sole proprietor of the business on Jan. 1, 1896.
The Morse & Willis Mfg Co. was started in 1893 as a cheese box factory
but closed in 1895.


John Thurston is proprietor of a planing and sawmill and lumber yard,
located on Elm avenue.
SCHOOLS.--In the early history of the town a little log school stood
southeast of the village south of the creek, at the foot of the hill. Another
was located over on the west side of the North Branch, near the Nile corner,
as commonly known. In later years the district school was a frame building
on Water street, and here many of the youth of the town received their
early training. A good school was always maintained in the district, yet in
1848 a number of the progressive men of the locality determined to estab-
lish an institution of higher order, and afford the masters and misses of
Friendship the advantages of a thorough education at home.
FRIENDSHIP ACADEMY. This once noted institution was brought into
existence through the public spiritedness of a number of the leading citizens
of the village and its vicinity. Roswell Spear, the fame of whose axes and
other edged tools extended over a wide area, donating the site it is said.
The organization took definite form in February, 1848, and in December
following the academy was opened for pupils. The first score of years of its
operation witnessed a fair measure of success, but later on, by reason of
dissensions in the board of management and among the stockholders, there
came a decline in profit and interest with ultimate dissolution and abandon-
ment. Other causes than those mentioned contributed to the perhaps
untimely end of the academy enterprise, among which may be mentioned
the growing standard of the free school system and the increased number
of tuition academic schools in the state. At the organization meeting Feb.
5, 1848, Roswell Spear was elected president; Luther Stowell, vice presi-
dent; Hazen Hughes, clerk, and Arba Wellman secretary. At the next
meeting William Colwell was chosen treasurer, and trustees were designated
as follows: Roswell Spear, Solomon S. Abbott, Hiram Abbott, E. H. Willard,
William Colwell, Martin Scott, Samuel C. Cotton, Luther Stowell, Frederick
Lambert, John F. Olney, Daniel Miner, Solomon Silsbee, Cady R. Walker,
Joseph C. Sibley and Daniel Willard. The building was erected during the
summer and fall of 1848, and on December 1st was opened for its intended
use. It was located on the south side of Main street, about midway between
the old and new villages. The first principal was Dennis C. Walker, followed
in succession, by Prof. Jeremiah Hatch, Prosper Miller, Wm. H. Pitt, Pros-
per Miller, Charles Spaulding and Frank W. Stevens, and Richard Lee
Thacher. The latter was the last of the principals under the old regime.
In fact he conducted the school independent of the trustees, and in the rela-
tion of proprietor. Prof. Miller was compelled to resort to law to enforce his
claims against the owners, and the result was he became possessed of the
property. For a time the building was leased to the trustees of the free
school district, and in the fall of 1893 was destroyed by fire. Prof. Jeremiah
Hatch, whose name is doubly identified with Friendship as an able principal
of the academy and as the gallant soldier whose name is borne by the local
Grand Army Post, has been mentioned on page 263. Born in Vermont in


1820, he entered Middebury College in 1836, graduated in 1840, taught in the
Southern states in 1841 and 1842, traveled and lectured for several years,
and in 1849 took charge of Friendship Academy. He taught here 5 years
"a most competent and enthusiastic instructor, displaying executive powers
of a high order." In 1855 he moved to Oramel, was appointed canal collector,
read law with A. P. and B. Laning, and later formed with them the law firm
of Laning, Hatch & Laning. From 1858 till 1862 he was in partnership with
Samuel Hayden. In 1862 he was prominent in raising and organizing the
130th N. Y. (1st N. Y. Dragoons), in which he was captain. He died of
typhoid pneumonia in December, 1862, and was buried in the "old" ceme-
tery of Friendship (see Roll of Honor). He had a rare power of attaching
men to him and bore prominent part in the educational work of this county.
His teaching was inspiring and thorough. " These nobler influences were
preparing young men for trying times and momentous action." Prof. Wm-.
H. Pitt says, "Prof. Hatch was a fine scholar and natural orator. Of splen-
did physique, graceful movements, polished manners, one can readily see
why the young men under his instruction tried to copy his diction and style.
His lovable qualities, buoyant spirits, encouragement and kindly advice
made a lasting impression on his pupils. He was a ready writer and for a
time an editor. While listening to his eloquent lectures on geology at Friend-
ship I was first awakened to a love of that science." Hon. Hamilton Ward
says: "He was an exceedingly able man, with a high sense of honor, and one
of the most eloquent men I ever knew."
The Friendship Academy and Union School was in a measure the outgrowth
or continuation of the old academy enterprise, though on a materially dif-
ferent basis. The old district school had ever been maintained in the village,
but the enlargement of local interests demanded an advance in the character
of the system of instruction. The dissolution of the academy corporation
offered an oppportunity, therefore trustees A. B. Bradley, W. A. Hosley
and F. P. Merriman called a meeting of the qualified voters of district No. 1,
on July 27, 1887, to determine upon the propriety of a Union Free School.
The vote showed 172 for, and 51 against the proposition. The first board of
education comprised S. McArthur Norton, Emmett G. Latta, Mrs. Stella E.
Rice, B. F. Williamson, Charles H. Hammond, Mrs. A. A. Pearse, Chas. S.
Lane, Mrs. Kate M. Wellman and George W. Fries. The officers of the board
were S. M. Norton, president, and Charles H. Hammond, secretary. Sept.
27, 1889, the board purchased the Smith Church property on Main street,
west, whereon was erected in 1890 the splendid academy building, which now
graces its site, one of the most complete structures of its kind in the county;
and in 1895 an annex was built and equipped in the most modern style, with
every desirable feature of the model preparatory school. The original build-
ing cost about $18,000, and the addition about $10,000. Indeed, the state re-
gency has raised this institution to the dignity and standing of the High School,
by which name it is hereafter to be known. The first principal of the Union
School was A. H. Lewis; he was succeeded by Frank Cuddeback, and the


latter by the present principal, Thomas Hoyt Armstrong, who entered upon
his duties in September, 1893. On Sept. 3, 1888, George W. Fries was
elected president of the board of education, and served in that capacity until
Sept. 5, 1893, when he was succeeded by Emmett G. Latta. The present
board is composed of Bensley Williamson, M. D., Emmett G. Latta, George
W, Fries, George A. Eaton, Charles B. Wales, Harmon A. Corbin, Frederick
A. McKee, Darius A. Daniels and Manley W. Hobart. The officers are Em-
mett G. Latta, president; George A. Eaton, secretary; W. C. Kingsbury,
BAXTER UNIVERSITY OF MUSIC.--In a small room on Main street in the
village of Friendship, in 1853, James Baxter laid the foundation for one of
the most worthy and beneficial institutions ever established in the town, and
possibly in the state. In later years, as the school became more
thoroughly known and understood, the village merchants profited greatly
by its presence, while local society circles were for the time a constant
source of entertainment. Had the intention of the founder been preserved
in the management of the institution it might to-day have been as flourishing
as in the past, but foreign and unfortunate influences worked disaster and
the ultimate termination of its life. The original name of this institution
was "Baxter's Music Rooms," but the first five years of its existence were
so gratifying in results that the more dignified designation of "Baxter's
Musical Institute" was adopted. Soon afterward a building was erected
for the exclusive use of the school, occupied first in 1861, whereupon the
name was changed to "Baxter's Institute of Music." However, still greater
successes were in store for the founder, and at the end of another 5 years
an addition was made to the building and the name then changed to " Alle-
gany Academy of Music." On the 17th of March, 1870, the name "Baxter
University of Music" was adopted, and continued as long as the institution
was in existence. As high as 151 pupils have been in attendance at one
time, from 16 states, 2 territories and Canada.
LAWYERS.--See Courts and Lawyers.
PHYSICIANS.--See Medical Chapter.
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.--In 1881; after much discussion of the subject,
a village fire department was organized. Among the leading factors in the
enterprise were A. B. Bradley, Charles S. Lane, S. McArthur Norton, W.
Ward Rice, Herman Rice and A. J. Wellman. At that time there existed a
manifest desire to secure an order of incorporation for the village, but no
direct attempt was then made to do so. However, a fire district was estab-
lished according to law, by the board of supervisors, in which body Mr.
Norton was then the local representative. This secured to the department
maintenance by the district, but the apparatus was purchased by a fund
raised among the enterprising business men of the village, who contributed
about $10,000 for the purpose and for the department building. The latter
cost about $3,000. It was erected in 1881. The first apparatus comprised
a first-class Silsby steamer, and the A. L. Elliott Hose company's cart and


hose. The first officers were A. B. Bradley, chief engineer; H. M. Lang,
1st asst.; and Theron Cross, 2d asst. The subsequent chiefs have been, E.
G. Latta, F. A. McKee and T. J. Rose, in the order named. The present de-
partment is supplied with all necessary apparatus for extinguishing fires,
and is indeed a well organized and prudently managed body. The equip-
ment consists of Friendship Steamer Co., No. 1, 32 men; Joe Gorton Hose
Co., No. 1, 28 men; J. Raymond Wellman Hook & Ladder Co., 30 men; and a
Steamer Supply company, composed of 18 youths and young men. The
officers are T. J. Rose, chief A. L. Wicks, 1st asst.; and A. M. Wellman, 2d
asst. In the department social organization, M. W. Hobart is president, F.
R. Utter treasurer and H. A. Corbin secretary.
BANKS.-In 1852 George W. Robinson established a banking depart-
ment in connection with his mercantile business, and after a few years gave
his exclusive personal attention to the banking interests. Later on, at an
exact date now lost, Asher W. Miner and Abijah J. Wellman also estab-
lished a banking house in the village, under the firm name of Miner & Well-
man. In fact this firm are understood to have succeeded to Gen. Robinson's
banking business and continued it. At the same time these partners were
merchants and lumbermen.
The First National Bank of Friendship (No. 265) was the first bank orga-
nized in Allegany county under the national banking act. Moreover, it was
also the direct outgrowth of the former private banks of the village, and A.
W. Miner, A. J. Wellman and Gen. Robinson were the chief promoters of
the enterprise. The capital was $55,000, but was soon afterward increased
to $75,000. At the organization, Feb. 1, 1864, Gen. Robinson was elected
president; Asher W. Miner, vice president; and A. J. Wellman, cashier,
The first directors were Geo. W. Robinson, A. J. Wellman, A. W. Miner,
William Colwell, S. W. Cole, Hugh J. Higgins, M. C. Mulkin, I. D. Hartshorn
and William H. King. Mr. Robinson was president until Feb. 14, 1870, then
being succeeded by Mr. Miner, while Mr. King was at the same time elected
vice president. Mr. Miner was president until the time of his death, May
30, 1892, and the vacancy in that office was then filled by the election of
William L. Bowler of Little Genesee. On Jan. 15, 1892, B. Frank Drake was
elected vice president to succeed Mr. King. This office, however, was
vacant from March, 1890, to June 15, 1892. The history of this bank is a
continuous record of business success, the result of careful yet energetic
management. Much of this success was due to the superior business quali-
fications of Col. Wellman, who was cashier from the day the bank, opened its
doors for business until his death, June 7, 1889. He was succeeded by his
son, A. Miner Wellman, the present cashier, who has followed the same
general lines of operation adopted by his father. During the period of its
history the net earnings of the First National have about $256,000. The
present surplus and undivided profit account aggregates $57,000. The pres-
ent directors are Wm. L. Bowler, B. Frank Drake, M. C. Mulkin, J. W. Scott,
H. F. Wells, H. A. Corbin, W. C. Kingsbury and A. Miner Wellman. The


officers are Wm. L. Bowler, president; B. Frank Drake, vice president; and
A. Miner Wellman, cashier.
The Citizens' National Bank of Friendship (No. 2632) was organized Jan.
25, 1882, with a capital of $50,000. The first directors were S. McArthur
Norton, W. Ward Rice, Herman Rice, Emmett G. Latta, George L. Skiff,
George W. Fries, Robert A. Scott, Isaac Amsden, Sidney P. Morse, Alfred
Whipple and Mortimer W. Potter. Judge Norton was the first president,
and has continued in office. The same is also true of Mr. Potter, cashier.
The first vice president, Herman Rice died May 29, 1894, and Robert A.
Scott was elected to fill the vacancy. Since its organization the Citizens'
Bank has paid $36,000 in dividends, and its present surplus is $10,000; un-
divided profits, $13,102.09. The present directors are Emmett G. Latta, R.
A. Scott. A. H. Wolcott, G. W. Fries, Charles J. Rice, Peter B. Reid, S. M.
Norton, John C. Reed, E. D. Loveridge, A. S. Whipple and M. W. Potter.
Morris C. Mulkin began private banking in connection with his mercan-
tile business about 1868, and continued fifteen or twenty years. He issued
"shinplasters " in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, every note of
which ultimately returned for redemption.
The Allegany Gas Company (limited), incorporated in 1884, with capital
stock $85,000, and J. H. Snow president, J. M. Finch secretary, Thomas M.
Towl treasurer, supplies Friendship and Belmont villages with natural gas
from wells in the town of Wirt.
THE PRESS.-The Friendship Register made its first appearance in the field
of journalism on Jan. 1, 1870, under the management of J. J. Barker. It was
a four page paper, 9x12 inches in size, but was issued somewhat irregularly,
and as best suited the convenience of its publisher. However, the Register
soon (1871) passed into the hands of R. R. Helme, who issued it as a Repub-
lican paper, enlarged its size, improved its "dress and make up" and pub-
lished it regularly. (He died March 15, 1896.) In November, 1888, it was
purchased by George Wolf Fries, its present owner and editor, and under
whose management it has become one of the best independent weekly family
newspapers in the region, and the largest but one in the county. It circu-
lates chiefly in the towns of Friendship, Wirt and Clarksville and also has a
liberal subscription list in other towns and outside the county.
The Friendship Chronicle, a weekly Democratic newspaper under the
sole proprietorship of Raymond C. Hill, was first issued Feb. 11, 1880. In
August following, J. Welland Hendrick became associated with the founder
but in January, 1881, Mr. Hill retired and Mr. Hendrick conducted the pa-
per until August of that year and then suspended publication.
SOCIETIES AND ORDERS.-Allegany Lodge, No. 273, F. & A. M., one of the
eldest bodies in the county, was organized under a charter bearing date Jan.
22, 1817. and included in its membership some of the most substantial pio-
neers and early settlers of the county. The first master was Sylvanus
Merriman; senior warden, Samuel Derby; and junior warden, John Higgins.
Among the original members in addition to the officers mentioned, were


Tolcut Gold, Ira Hickox, Timothy Hyde and Ebenezer Steenrod (these mem-
bers are named by Washington Steenrod). Early meetings were held at
Sylvanus Merriman's house and also at Deacon Hill's tavern. This
lodge was forced to suspend meetings during the excitement of the
anti-masonic period. The old charter was preserved by Obadiah Ronse
and the jewels by John W. Baxter. Re-organization was not effected
until April 25, 1851, when by dispensation, Allegany Lodge, No. 225,
was brought into existence, with these officers: George W. Robinson,
W. M.; Josiah Utter, S. W.; Jeremiah Hatch, J. W.; John Utter, treas-
urer; Obadiah Rouse, secretary and Solomon Scott, tiler. The Masters
have been: Jeremiah Hatch, John F. Olney, Obadiah Rouse, E. B. Wingate,
Martin Scott, Jehial Wasson, A. E. Willard, J. B. Harrison, Warren Scott,
B. L. Wright, W. M. Steenrod, R. McQueen, J. Parish, M. McCormick, R.
E. Middaugh, R. A. Scott, Don McClure, R. V. Scott, A. E. Willard, H. P.
Allen, R. A. Scott, Levi C. Pearse, Chas. W. Wasson, A. L. Weeks, D. A. Dan-
iels and A. Miner Wellman. The lodge now numbers one hundred and two
members. The present officers are: A. Miner Wellman, W. M.; Frank R.
Utter, S. W.; Harmon A. Corbin, J. W.; Charles B. Wales, treasurer; Don
McClure, secretary; Nelson Reynolds, chaplain; J. M. Britton, S. D.; A. B.
Hyde, J. D.; T. H. Armstrong, S. M. of C.; F. H. McKee, J. M. of C.; Alonzo
Mabie, tiler.
Van Campen Lodge, No. 258, I. O. O. F., was organized Dec. 2, 1870, with
seven charter members, and the following officers: W. M. Steenrod, N. G.;
J. Parish, V. G,; Wm. H. King, secretary, and Wm. A. Hart, treasurer. The
lodge now numbers about forty members. The officers are W. H. Gillette,
N. G.; George Clark, V. G.; A. J. Gilbert, secretary; M. W. Potter, treasurer.
Hatch Post, No 241, G. A. R., was organized in pursuance of a charter
dated Oct. 28, 1881, with these members: Marshall Allen, Hyrum Corbin, W.
H. Hoffman, James Witherell, George Benjamin, J. C, Crandall, Hathan
Lamphear, A. J. Wellman, A. B. Bradley, L. B. Crocker, E. G. Latta, John
Welch, George Clapp, Theron Cross, S. O. Sawyer, Marshall Wilcox, Alfred
Coon, C. C. Deming, Chester Scott, W. S. Wilkinson, D. L. Corbin, James
Howard, Russell Scott and Benjamin Wood. The post now numbers thirty-
four members, and meets in the old Baptist church building which was re-
moved from Main street to Mill street for the purposes of the organization.
Connected with Hatch Post is an efficient and well organized Womans' Relief
Corps. The present officers of the post are: Charles D. McKee, Commander;
W. B. Vorhis, S. V. C.; Marshall Allen, J. V. C.; John Fisher, Q. M.; Laverne
Burdick, Adjt.; Wm. Wightman, Chaplain; J. T. Burdick, O. of D.; Aaron
Gayton, O. of G.; J. H. Howard, Q. M. Sergt.
The Womans' Christian Temperance Union of Friendship, was organized
Jan. 3, 1882, with the following officers: Mrs. Helen M. Barker, president;
Miss Cora Norton, recording secretary; Mrs. W. H. Scott, corresponding
secretary and treasurer. Since its organization the following persons have
acted as president, viz.: Mrs. H. M. Barker, Mrs. Marion Davis, Mrs. Martha


C. Deming, Mrs. Phebe Cross, Mrs. Nellie Wait and Mrs. Eliza B. Fries. The
present officers are: Mrs. E. B. Fries, president; Miss Mary Britton, vice
president; Mrs. Ella H. Wells, recording secretary; Mrs. Ella B. Wells, cor-
responding secretary and treasurer.
CEMETERIES.-From somewhat incomplete records it is learned that the
first burial ground in the town was that at Nile, though laid out at a now un-
known date. The cemeteries at East Hill, called the Sortore burial ground,
and that near the old Baptist church, were opened about the same time,
probably about 1819, and the first interment in each is said to have been made
in 1823. However, a still older burying ground existed in the village, the
land said to have been donated by Othello Church. It was near where Wm.
Colwell afterward lived. The town cemetery was laid out in 1852, on land
purchased from Samuel C. Cotton, and was situated in the west part of the
village. The Catholic cemetery was laid out in 1878.
Maple Grove Cemetery Association was organized Feb. 17, 1879; but then
known as the Friendship Cemetery Association. The name was changed in
the early part of 1886. The grounds include about seven acres of land and
are beautifully laid out and adorned.
Mount Hope Cemetery Association was incorporated June 21, 1881, and was
fully organized by electing officers a few days later. The grounds were ded-
icated to their sacred purpose, Sept. 14, 1882, and in extent include about
forty-six acres. They are located southeast of the village. It, was in this
cemetery that Asher W. Miner caused to be erected the beautiful soldiers'
monument, his free and voluntary gift to Hatch Post, No. 241, G. A. ,R. The
unveiling ceremonies were celebrated Aug. 26, 1885.
The First Congregational Church of Friendship, was organized on the 14th
day of August, 1835, and was the outgrowth of a Presbyterian branch church
formed in 1815. However, as early as the year 1813 Presbyterian services
were conducted in the settlement by Rev. Robert Hubbard, a missionary
worker in Western New York. The earliest members were Tolcut Gold and
wife, Mrs. Ira Hickox, and Mr. Holcomb and wife. The first church edifice
was built in 1836, and was dedicated by Rev. M. May. The first pastor was
Rev. Wm. Bridgman. The present church edifice was built in 1850. The
pastors of the Congregational church, in succession, have been Revs, Wm.
Bridgman, J. F. Bliss, S. Cary, William Russell, C.. Cary, Chas. Crocker,
Wm. Backus, A. A. Kidder, J. N. Hubbard, Mr. Crittenden, J. Wyncoop, J.
A. Wells, Wm. P. Jackson, H. M. Higley, Moses Alley, C. S. Leeper, Mr.
Emmons, Mat Gafney, T. H. Griffith, G. P. Thomas and Chas. H. Silliman.
The pastor last mentioned died during the year 1895, since which time
meetings have been irregularly held, the church being without a leader.
The First Baptist Church of Friendship had its inception in the early mis-
sionary meetings held in various parts of the town beginning about the year
1813. One of the many devoted workers in the new region was Rev. Jesse
Braman, a Baptist, through whose earnest efforts a church organization was
perfected on the 10th of July, 1822. The original members were Mr. Bra-


man and his wife, and pioneers James Reed, Moses B. Sherwin, Jonathan
Savage and Harry Hayden. The first baptisms were those of Mrs. Polly
Baxter and Nancy McQueen. This being the first regularly organized
church of the town, it received a deed of a hundred acre tract of land from
the Holland Land Company. The land was sold for the benefit of the society
and the avails used in the purchase of a parsonage lot. The first church
edifice was erected in 1825, and although twice substantially remodeled in
later years, it was sufficient for the purposes of the society for more than
half a century. In 1890 it was replaced with the present church house, one
of the largest and most complete church structures in the county. Indeed,
this is the strongest and most religious society in the town, and one of the
strongest in the county. The present members number 258. In the past,
four new church organizations have been formed from this society. The
ministers and pastors of the Baptist church have been: Jesse Braman,
James Reed, Chester Coburn, Benjamin Oviatt, Absalom Miner, J. G. L.
Haskins, Henry Wightman, Timothy Fuller, Varanes Bemis, J. Halliday,
Wm. Storrs, O. B. Call, Eliab Going, L. W. Olney, Z. A. Bryant, S. J. Olney,
S. T. Dean, J. Trowbridge, B. H. Carrier, Moses Livermore, J. Judson
White, Moses Barker, Wm. R. Baldwin, T. S. Leonard and Nelson Reynolds.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Friendship had its origin in the early
meetings for public worship in the town, and a formal organization was
effected soon after the year 1820, although, owing to the loss of the records,
the date is not accurately determined. However, from first to last, the
growth of the society has been gradual and continuous, the present member-
ship numbering about 160 persons. The first church edifice was erected in
1829; the present edifice in 1853. The early preachers on this circuit were
Josiah and Austin Cowles, and the first class leader was Isaac Brownson.
The first pastor after the church was erected was Rev. Samuel Woster.
The present pastor is Rev. S. W. Arnold, who came to Friendship in 1895.
The Universalist Church of Friendship was formally organized at a meet-
ing held in the village on the 22d of May, 1854, although Universalist meet-
ings were held in the town as early as the year 1830. The prominent believ-
ers in this faith in this locality in early days were Rufus Scott, Casper Niver,
Squire Leonard and Lewis Smalley and their families. An informal organ-
zation was made soon after 1840, and the first pastor after that time was
Rev. I. B. Sharpe. Revs. Judah Babcock, Jason Lewis and Linus Paine had
previously preached in the town. The permanent society was formed under
the pastoral care of Rev. F. M. Alvord. The church edifice was erected in
1855, and was dedicated in February, 1856. In addition to those mentioned
the pastors of this church, in succession, have been as follows: Rev. Nelson
Adams, T. C. Eaton, F. M. Alvord, E. W. Fuller, S. T. Aldrich, F. M. Alvord,
W. H. McGlaughlin, William Knott, Charles Palmatier and J. J. Brayton, the
latter of whom closed his connection with the church in 1895.
A society of Spiritualists was formed in Friendship Jan. 1, 1876, and a
reorganization was effected in 1879. Mrs. Flora Gorton was regularly


ordained a minister of the church. Among the early and prominent Spirit-
ualists in the town may be mentioned Phebe Gorton, Samuel Sherwood,
S. E. Latta, Mrs. Thos. Clark, W. I. Hewitt, Darius Thurston and Adrian
The Church of the Sacred Heart, Roman Catholic, was organized, and a
church edifice built, about the year 1880, although previous to that time
masses had been said in the town by visiting missionary priests. This
parish has no resident priest, the church being attended from Cuba twice
each month.
NILE.-In the early history of the town the southern portion, particularly
in the vicinity of the creek, was called South Branch, in allusion to the stream
now so designated. A number of years later a postoffice was established
here and was named "Nile," in deference to the wishes of the inhabitants,
a large proportion of whom were Seventh-day Baptists. A tavern was
opened in this part of the town early in the century, and one of its first land-
marks was "Bill" Fairbanks. The earliest storekeepers were Green &
Axtell, and Luther B. Whitwood, who kept a general store from 1840 to 1886,
and was postmaster most of the time. Ebenezer Steenrod also had a card-
ing and fulling mill and a sawmill. However, among the hamlets of the
county, Nile has attracted but little public attention. Indeed, the inhabi-
tants here have never sought prominence, and are in all respects a quiet,
industrious, thrifty people. Nearly all are devotedly attached to the
Seventh-day Baptist faith and live in strict conformity with their belief.
The present business interests of this locality comprise the gristmill, two
stores and a few small shops. The merchants are Daniel J. Brown and J. B.
Whitford, the latter being also postmaster.
The Seventh-day Baptist Church of Nile was organized chiefly through the
efforts of Abraham Crandall. The first settlers of this faith came into the
town in 1821, and in 1824 their religious society was formed. The first
members were: Abraham Crandall (founder), Samuel and Mary Yapp, Na-
than Truman, Cary Crandall, Mehitabel Crandall, Benj. and Mary Wigden,
Edith Ayers, Micah F. and Anna Randolph, Elizabeth Noble and Henry
Green. Elder John Greene came to the town in 1825 and was the first pastor
of the church. A lot of land was secured (the gift of Lewis Titsworth) in
1827, whereon a house of worship was soon afterward built. In 1851 this
edifice was sold, and the present church home provided. It was raised and
enlarged in 1884. This church has a present membership of 166. The suc-
cession of pastors and supplies has been: Elders John Greene, W, B. Gillette,
Zeurial Campbell, A. A. F. Randolph, B. F. Robbins, J. C. West, Leman
Andres, Lewis A. Platts, J. L. Roffman, B. F. Rogers, U. M. Babcock, Leman
Andres, W. B. Gillette, C. A. Burdick, L. C. Rogers, H. B. Lewis, M. B.
Kelly, and G. B. Shaw, the latter being the present pastor.

Continued in [ It's People ] [ Biographical ]

Return to [ New York History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ]