Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Tri-County Communities
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Hosreseheads Chronology, 1776 - 1963
Article: A Horseheads Chronology
Township: Town of Horseheads, Chemung County NY
Author's Name Not On Paper
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1776 While the Declaration of Independence was being signed, Horseheads was a wilderness, inhabited only by Indians.
1779 September 24th, Horseheads was born, when General Sullivan ordered his army pack horses to be killed.
1779 August 29th, Battle of Newtown, Sullivan-Clinton Expedition against Indians and Tories
1780 Nathan Teal, a Revolutionary War Soldier, settled on land on South Main Street.
1788 Original survey of Horseheads land was made. Land was set aside for Soldier’s Claims. Government gave land instead of cash bonuses.
1789 John Breese, one of the first white settlers, built log cabin on spot where he had camped when in General Sullivan’s army. He brought his wife and new-born baby, Sarah, who was born February 18, 1789.
1790  
1793 Susanna Conklin was the first child born in Horseheads on March 3, 1793.
1793 John Breese’s log cabin became first school house. Amelia Parkhurst was the teacher.
  The Carpenter family built the first hotel, called “The Halfway House”. It was half way between Horseheads and Elmira Heights.
1800 First log school built near site of Ryant park.
1802/03 Smallpox epidemic hit Horseheads, killing most of the Indians living there.
1805 Church services were held for Indians and white settlers by Reverent Roswell Goff.
1805 Nathan Teal built a sawmill near old Conklin mill.
1807 Nathan Teal deeded 144 acres of center of village to James Sayre, stipulating part to be used for public burying ground and part for use of local people. (Teal Park)
1808 First log tannery owned by Solomon Moore (near Mosher Block)
1809 Colonel Brinton Paine kept tavern on Newtown Creek.
1812 The War of 1812 or afterwards, “General Training” or “Muster Days” were held on north side of Bowman Hill Road, on the flats across the bridge. Parades, drill and practice military evolutions were performed by some 500 militia and rifle corps from all over the county. Huge crowds gathered.
1815 The first newspaper, “The Telegraph”, started. It folded in 1849. This was the first newspaper in Chemung County.
1815 A two room school was built on the “Meeting House” lot, now Teal Park.
1815 Two store frame community building erected.
1820’s Country still very wild and untamed. The state paid trappers and hunters for wolf and wildcat pelts.
1825 Mr. and Mrs. Able Shute opened a grocery store.
1827 First church building, the “Marsh Church” built beside the old cemetery at north end of the Holding Point.
1828 Newtown was renamed Elmira.
  Colwell built a hotel where the Marine Midland Bank now stands. At that time there were more taverns than grocery stores in Horseheads.
  Abe Shute also opened a hotel.
1929 Seneca and Susquehanna Lock Navigating Co. were assigned to build canal …$300,000 appropriated.
1830/33 Chemung Canal under construction.
1831 to 1900 Peter J. Ward was a Civil War photographer living in the area. He had an upstairs studio near Brown’s Drug Store. Many old area photos were taken by this man.
1832 New York and Erie Railway chartered.
1833 Chemung Coal opened for business. The Toll House was located in Horseheads.
1834 St. Matthew’s Church incorporated.
1836 The first county poor house was opened. It was an old log building.
  Horseheads was the social and political center of Chemung County. Numerous political parties and meetings were held at Pritchard Hall.
1836 Chemung County organized March 29, 1836, with a population of 7,463.
1837 Horseheads, an area of 237 acres, was incorporated as Fairport.
1838 Horseheads was popular social center. 4th of July Celebration brought crowds from 50-mile radius.
1840 John Relyea and Cyrus Barlow constructed school building at cost of $2,200. The First Baptist Church was also founded.
1841 First shade trees planted by Cyrus Barlow. 
  First wooden sidewalks built.
1845 The original name of Horseheads was restored.
1850 “Teal School House,” a four room school, built on site of Teal Park.
1855 One hundred fifteen acres of land added to Village. 
1858 The “Horseheads Journal” started.
  The area newspaper, “Horseheads Philosopher,” merged with “Elmira Gazette.”
1860  
1862 Horseheads business section destroyed by fire.
  Joseph Rodburn, supt., built a new wood frame County Home building.
1863 Twenty-five acres of land added to village.
1867 It cost the state $14.35 per year in equipment and salaries to educate one child.
1871 Village Charter revised. Corporate seal to consist of three Horses’ Heads inside a circle.
1873 Police and Fire Departments were organized. $6,000 was spent on fire engine and equipment.
  First concrete sidewalks were built.
1874 Horseheads Grange first organized.
1875 Fire Bell purchased.
1876 Nearby Elmira Reformatory opened.
1877 Horseheads Journal moved to Elmira and became Chemung Greenbacker.
  The first phone in Chemung was demonstrated in Mr. J. Langdon’s office in Elmira.
1878 The Chemung Canal closed.
1878 –  
1910 Little growth during this time. The horse and buggy, at 8 miles an hour, was the main way of traveling. There was a horse block and hitching post in front of every house.
1879 The first telephones in Horseheads were great curiosity. The local telephone operator was located in office over Don Wright store.
  The “Chemung Greenbacker” moved back to Horseheads and became the “Chemung Valley Reporter.”
1879 Great Centennial Celebration of the Battle of Newtown.
1880 Rufus Platt bought Trembly House hotel that stood where Marine Midland Bank is now and renamed it Platt House.
1880’s Horseheads famous for its celery farms to World War I.
1881  
1885 Horseheads was name North Elmira for one year.
1886 Eugene Zimmerman married Horseheads girl, Mabel Alice Beard, and moved to Horseheads.
1888 The average teacher’s pay was $465.44 per year.
1889 First graduation from Horseheads High School. The Town Hall and Fire Engine House were built for $8,000. The first automobile, a 1-cycle, 14 H.P. Winton was seen in Horseheads.
1892 Teal House School closed. A new brick school on Grand Central Avenue opened.
1893 “Horseheads Division” steam trolley ran through Hanover Square.
1895  
1898 American Engineering Co. of New Jersey began construction of Electric Railway known as “Glen Route.”
1900 Regular service on Glen Route started. Every half hour from 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. It took 90 minutes from Elmira to Seneca Lake
1902 Citizens Telephone granted franchise to erect poles.
1904 Water and electric service installed in village. Last great ball held at Platt House to celebrate installation of services.
1906 First hard surface road in Village. Ran from Horseheads to Erin.
1908 Hanover Square and immediate area held: Winchester Optical (building and electricity was heated with steam), blacksmith shops, a wagon shop, a marble works, a small ice house, The Platt House (also had electricity and steam heat) with many sheds in back for the patrons’ horses, a bakery, coal yard, hardware store, harness shop, doctors’ offices, a photo shop, large livery stable, carriage shop, large railroad depot, feed mill, grocery and clothing stores, the post office, barber shop, cobblers shop, the Hoffman Hotel, saloons, furniture store, boot and shoe store, the W. Rose Carriage Manufacturers, Pritchard Hall (with stage and scenery).
1910 Bandstand erected in Teal Park.
1915 First concrete highway between Elmira and Ithaca.
1917 U.S. entered World War I, April 6th. Six Horseheads men died in the war. Granite marker with bronze plaque was later erected in Horseheads Memorial Park.
  Village purchased street cleaner.
1918 November 11th, Armistice Day……..end of the war.
1927 Platt House torn down. First National Bank built on the location.
1932 Radio station WESG opened (now WENY).
1935 “Zim” died.
1939 Horseheads Grange acquired new building on West Franklin Street for its meetings. It was also used by community organizations.
1940 The Chamber of Commerce organized.
1941-  
1945 World War II, forty five men from Horseheads gave their lives. Granite marker with bronze plaque erected in Horseheads Memorial Park.
  Holding Point was established by U.S. Army. It held military equipment and supplies as well as Italian prisoners of war.
1941 Growth of Horseheads spurred by Holding Point.
1942 Two fire companies consolidated into one company, called the “Active Fire Co. of Horseheads.” The Exempt Fire Association was formed with a Fire Commission.
1943 Chemung County Airport opened. Horseheads gained Victory Heights apartment houses.
1944 Horseheads Women’s Club decided to start a library for the village – each donated at least one book.
1945 375 prefabricated homes built in Windsor Gardens.
1946 May 28, major flood hit area.
  June 5th, twister felled 1,000 trees.
1946 Police Department went on 24-hour duty for the first time.
1947 Radio station WELM opened.
1948 Annexation of Holding Point area.
1949 Horseheads Library moved to larger quarters on second floor of Fire Station on John Street.
1950 Communist invasion started Korean War.
  National Homes began operation in Holding Point. They employed 275 people. The produced prefabricated homes.
1951 Schools in Horseheads area were consolidated into the Horseheads Central School System.
1952 Westinghouse Electronic Tube Division opened.
1952 Telephone “dial” service established with toll-free calls between Elmira Heights, Big Flats, and Elmira.
1953 WTVE television went on air.
  Decision was made to build Horseheads Swimming Pool.
1953 Franklin Fisher, native of Horseheads, Manager of Illustration Department for National Geographic Magazine died.
1954 Hurricane Hazel hit area.
1956 WSYE TV went on air. WEHH, Horseheads’ first radio station opened.
1957 Big Flats branch of Corning Glass opened.
1958 $600,000 administration building built at Chemung County Airport.
1959 Direct long distance telephone dialing was introduced.
  Library became Horseheads Free Library and a full-time librarian was hired.
  Library moved to Village Hall.
1961 August 1st, grand opening of Grand Central Plaza. 135,000 people attended.
1961 Horseheads School District comprised of seven schools serving 5,100 children.
1962 Village employees moved into new Village Hall, August.
1963 Junior High School opened.
  New Library was built on May Street.

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By Joyce M. Tice
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