A History of the Valley and County of Chemung
by Ausburn Towner, 1892
TOWN OF HORSEHEADS
TOWN OF HORSEHEADS
The Earliest Settlers of the Town of Horseheads - John and Hannah Breese and their Family --The Sayres - Jonathan S. Conkling and Others - Soldiers' Claims --E. I'Hommedieu -The Westlakes - A Locality whose Citizens reach very advanced Ages - Owen O'Hanlon and his Family - Early Business Enterprises Lively impulse given to the Region by the Construction of the Chemung Canal -The first Boats - Rapid growth of the Village of Horsehead s -The Fire of August, 1862-Village Officers -The Horseheads Fire Department -Churches of the Village -Organization of the Township.- Schools - Masonry in Horseheads Manufacturing and other Enterprises - The enormous Brick interests of the Town - Breesport -Its early History and first Settlers - Its business Enterprises and Churches - The County House - Cemeteries of the Township.
HE name Horseheads as at first locally applied designated the place of the scattered remains of some of the equine patriots of the Revolution; a century later it is the synonym for the " hub " of Chemung County, -a township rich in agricultural wealth; the queen village of the valley, where are the homes of nearly 2,500 persons, among whom are many of wealth, worth, and culture; a place of active and growing industries and inviting as a place of residence.
In the spring of 1787 John and Hannah (Gildersleeve) Breese and eight children left Somerset County, N. J., and traveled toward Chemung Valley, reaching a place about one and one-half miles below the present city of Elmira in June of the same year. In 1789 Mr. Breese and his family removed to Horseheads, locating a short distance south of the present village, where he built a log house on the east side of the road leading northward toward Seneca Lake, on the farm subsequently owned by Civilian Brown. Sarah Breese of this family, born February 18, 1789, is believed to have been the first white child born in the county. She died May 14, 1881, retaining to a remarkable degree her bodily strength and mental vigor. She became the wife of John Jackson, who was sheriff of Tioga County when Chemung County was formed. The first wife of John Jackson was Elizabeth Gildersleeve, who was the mother of John C. Jackson. Lyman Jackson is the son of Sarah (Breese) Jackson. John Breese had eleven children, among
468 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
whom was Azariah, who was born in New Jersey, September 5, 1781, and died June 21, 1866. John Breese, jr., one of the sons, was born in the old log house in 1791. According to the records John Breese's grandchildren numbered ninety-nine. The centennial of the settlement of the family was celebrated in June, 1889, and nearly 500 relatives of the family were present.
In I 790 Asa Gildersleeve, brother-in-law of John Breese, settled oil a farm a part of which was afterward owned by the late John C. Jackson. Ill 1791 David Powers located on the farm where resides the widow of the late Col. H. C. Hoffman. Christopher Van Deventer built a house near the site of Maj. John Puff's hotel. John Winkler settled on the David McConnell farm. Jonathan S. Conkling with his wife and three children and John Sayre with his wife and one child settled here in the spring of 1791. They were from Orange County, N. Y., and were accompanied as far as Chemung by James Sayre, whose family consisted of his wife and seven children, and by Ebenezer Sayre. In the spring Of 1792 James and Ebenezer Sayre came up from Chemung and settled here. These families made the trip from Orange County partly by land, then up the Susquehanna River by flat-boat, starting with a cart drawn by a pair of horses and a yoke of oxen and a hired team and wagon. The goods, thus loaded together, with a few cows constituted their possessions. When the river was reached the goods were transferred to a boat which the men poled up the stream, while the women and children on horseback followed along the banks driving the cows. 'file trip to Chernung was made in about sixteen days. While coming tip the river the nights were passed under tents; their meals were partaken of in common while the boat remained fastened at the shore. Jonathan S. Conklin- purchased a lot of 120 acres lying south of what was later known as the John Breese road, his house standing near the later residence of N. Van Dusen.
Soon after the original surveys of lands in this section, made by State Commissioners James Clinton, John Hathorn, and John Cantine, a portion of the lands in this vicinity was taken up under what was known as soldiers' claims. E. I'Hommedieu took up 1,440 acres, the west line of which corresponds nearly with Conkling street of Horseheads village. The Sayre brothers purchased half of I'Hommedieu location, which TO WN OF HORSEHEADS. 469
they divided. James located his house near the site of the residence of the late W. H. Van Duzer, father of J. S. and Selah H. Van Duzer, who are great-grandsons of James Sayre. Ebenezer located farther north and John took the southwest corner and built near the site of the Humphrey house on Franklin street. Henry Wisner and Caleb Bentley, father of Darius and Cyrus J. Bentley, each took up 600 acres.
John Parkhurst came here about 1792. Israel Catlin was among the first teachers in the town. Nathan Teal came about 1794 and owned land in the vicinity of the village. Among those who came soon after and before 1805 was Col. Brinton Paine, a Revolutionary soldier. He kept a small tavern on Newtown Creek near where John Breese settled in 18og. Mordecai Rickey settled about 1794 on the farm where he died in 1867. George Paine came about the time Brinton Paine, his father, did. Jacob Powell, a blacksmith, was one of the early settlers. Solomon Moore was here early and built a log tannery near the present site of the Mosher block about 1808. He was the first tanner in the town.
John Tenbrook and Gershom Livesay, father of Joseph Livesay, settled here prior to 1812 on lands adjoining those of Mordecai Rickey, west of the present village. John Jackson, already mentioned, came from Brooklyn in 1798 to Newtown, and later to this town, locating to the eastward of the village. He has the credit of having first applied the principle of the " square rule" to the construction of frame buildings in this section of the country. Darius Bentley, who had visited this section in 1 809, came from Rensselaer County in the spring of 18 15 and settled north of the village on land located by his father. He was a surveyor of much practice and had many years after an intimate knowledge of old lines and locations. He is remembered by many as judge Bentley. He died in the village of Horseheads at an advanced age. Mrs. A. C. Weston is a daughter.
The Westlake families were early settlers. Jacob Westlake, known as Col. Jacob Westlake, represented Tioga County in the Assembly ill 1833 and Chemung County in 1837. Samuel D. Westlake was another of the same family. J. Fletcher Westlake, a resident of the town, is his son and Mrs. A. M. Covell his youngest daughter.
Among other early residents of the town were Rev. James Taylor,
470 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
Joseph McConnell, grandfather of H. H. McConnell, John McConnell, John C. Wannamaker, William Seeley, Abel Shute, Benjamin Smith, William Hastings, sr., George Whiteman, Theodore Valleau, Orris Eddy, Israel Boyer, Walter Dailey, sr., John N. Barbour, John Acmoody, Silas Clark, Levi Maxwell, Richard Hatfield, Isaac Maxwell, Elmer Shappee, Josiah Maxwell, Jesse and David Shappee.
The sons of John Breese, of whom there were several, settled along Newtown Creek. Lewis Breese built the first mill on the creek. James Hartgrove and Benjamin Smith were first settlers in that part of the town afterward called Breesport.
Abel Shute and wife came to Horseheads in 1825. They were from Orange County. Mr. Shute was born December 10, 1795, and died December 20, 1880. His wife, Hannah S. Shute, was born December 26, 1802, and though in her ninetieth year is as vigorous and active as many people thirty or forty years younger. She has an unusually retentive memory. In August, 189 1, she was asked if she ever expected to be old. She replied, " If I live to be old I hope to be able to meet all my duties and responsibilities." She lives in the family of William Westlake, whose wife is her daughter.
Jonas Sayre, who lived upon the farm now owned by J. S. Van Duzer, also lived to extreme age. He died April I 1, 1876, at the age of ninety-one years, four months, eight days. He was one of the earliest settlers of Horseheads. Daniel Young, who was for several years a resident of Horseheads, died May 14, 1884, in his eighty-fourth year. Mrs. Margaret (Stevenson) Young, his widow, born of Scotch- Irish parentage at Albany, June 27, 1804, still a resident of the village, retains her faculties to a remarkable degree. She repeats many of the lessons of her school days in a manner that would do credit to a student of today. John Sterling, who was a resident of Horseheads for some time subsequent to 1832, died June 27, 1872, in his ninety-third year. George Bennitt, son of Comfort Bennitt, now past eighty, is hearty and jovial. His wife, who was Patty Swartwood, died February 11, 1891, on her eightieth birthday. Capt. William Wood died in 1878 at the age Of ninety-one. Mrs. Sarah Wintermute, widow of Isaac Wintermute, was born in 1812, came to this town in 1837, and is still a resident of the village of Horseheads. Joseph Mosher, father of the late J. 13. Mosher,
TOWN OF HORSEHEADS. 471
died here in 1876 at the age of eighty-eight. The first death in the town was that of Susanna Conkling, a child who died March 3, 1793.
O'Hanlon is a name of more than ordinary interest in Ireland. If you follow the family back far enough you will run very close to the ancient kings of the Emerald Isle. Up to so late a period as the latter part of the eighteenth century the beads of the family were " Lords of the Orior." The trouble in '98 disturbed them very much in rights that had come down to them from a very remote antiquity, for they were Irishmen of Irishmen and loved the land of their ancestors. Owen O'Hanlon, one of this race, was born in Ireland, July 9, 1788. By trade he was a cooper. He came to America in 18 16 and worked at his business in New York city and Newburg, N. Y. In 1817 he came to Newtown to see his old friend and kinsman, John Hughes, whose mother was an O'Hanlon. Owen O'Hanlon remained where he had only come to visit, being favorably impressed with the valley and its prospects. On May 25, 1819, he married Anna Fitzsimmons, a member of the Southport family of that name. he built a house and cooper shop in 18 18 on John street at the corner of Dewitt in Elmira, and lived there many years. He died December 13, 1859. Mrs. O'Hanlon was born on November 10, 1789, and died on May .6, 1871. Six sons were born to this couple, all in the home at John and Dewitt streets. The two elder ones, Thomas and John, born respectively January 30, 182o, and January 15, 1822, are residents of the State of Michigan. George O'HanIon, born January 4, 1824, the third son, has acquired a local prominence as a business man and as a successful and influential politician, having remained in the county of his birth. He has held minor official positions and was elected sheriff in 187o. His wife, whom he married November 3, 1859, was Miss Clara Van Vleet, of Ovid, N. Y. They have six children: William, a resident of Geneva, N. Y.; Mrs. Anna Brooks and Charles, of Elmira; Mrs. Ida Leverich, of Wellsburg; George, jr., of Baltimore, Md.; and Clara, of Elmira. The other children of Owen O'Hanlon were Hugh, born August 13, 1828, a resident of Elmira; William, born August 13, 1828, died March 11, 1856; and Colon, born August 25, 1830, died September 25, 1884. These were all men well known in the valley. The old O'Hanlon homestead in the town of Horseheads has been known as such for many years,
472 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
Mr. O'Hanlon having purchased the property and moved thither when he left his home in the city of Elmira at John and Dewitt streets.
At the early settlement of the township and for some time afterward the land lying south and west of the village was considered of little value. To the mere observer the stunted growth of pine upon some of this land compared very unfavorably with the grand old trees upon some of the outlying hills, where many preferred to locate. Land lying west of I'Hommedieu tract, including that now occupied by the western part of the village, and some other lots were for sale at twenty shillings per acre, and for a long time there were no purchasers. Time works wonders and men are moved by force of circumstances. The pine plains of Horseheads no longer go begging in the market.
Abel Shute and wife came to this place May 25, 1825, and purchased the corner owned by Solomon Moore, where the Mosher block stands. There were then but three or four dwellings where is now the village. One was a small frame house standing upon this lot, one was a house built by Jonas Sayre near the present residence of A. C. Weston, and a third was on Franklin street and occupied by Stoddard Conkling. The house upon the Shute lot was afterward enlarged and was one of the buildings destroyed by fire in 1862. Vincent Conkling became the owner of the Sayre house. This was afterward removed to the south a short distance and occupied by him at his death. It is now the residence of his son, Fletcher Conkling.
In 1825 George Whitman and Elias Culver started a grocery on the south side of Franklin street. In 1826 Vincent Conkling and Jacob Westlake opened a larger establishment, carrying both dry goods- and groceries. In the same year Mr. Shute built a large frame tannery where he carrried on a successful business. His first lot of hides was drawn by teams from Ithaca. In 1828 Mr. Shute erected a hotel on the site of the Platt House. This was first occupied by Charles W. Dunn as proprietor and opened January 8, 1829, by a grand military ball. About this time James Matthews built a grocery and James Sayre and Charles Maxwell (a son of Guy Maxwell) opened a dry goods store in a new building on the north side of Franklin street just west of the hotel.
Before the close of 1829 the Seneca and Susquehanna Lock Naviga
TO WN OF HORSEHEADS. 473
tion Company, incorporated in 1815, which had promised more than had been accomplished, had assigned to the people of the State all their rights, and a legislative enactment providing for the construction of the Chemung Canal, with a feeder from Corning intersecting it at this place, had assured to the people of the village an inflowing tide of prosperity. The population of the village nearly doubled during the three years employed in the construction of the canal. The first two boats, which were built by John Jackson, and named respectively Gen- - Sullivan and Lady Sullivan, were launched upon the ensuing Fourth of July, and a trial trip was made under the command of Colo- Westlake. The office for th e collection of tolls upon the canal was located at this place, and Thomas Maxwell was the first collector. Th e office was discontinued by the abandonment of the canal in 1877.
III 1830 Holmes Hutchinson purchased, surveyed, and mapped a portion of land for the future village. This was extended in 1841 so as to include lands belonging to Colonel Westlake and Chauncey Rowe, and thus enlarged included that part of the village south of the feeder, west of Main street, and north Of Steuben street. The village was first incorporated in May, 1837, under the name of Fairport. in April, 1845, the name was changed to Horseheads by an act of the legislat-ure. In 1885 the name was changed to North Elmira and in 1886 the name Horseheads was restored with the belief that the old historic name is the best.
In May, 1841, Cyrus Barlow set the first shade trees in the village. This elicited from one of less consideration the inquiry: " What are you doing that for ? " Others followed Mr. Barlow in the planting of trees and the beauty of to-day answers the " what for." About 1850 Rev. C. C. Carr became owner of several acres of the Conkling farm south of Steuben street, which he laid out in lots. Mr. Conkling laid out others south of the schoolhouse, and Fletcher Matthews also laid out several from his purchase from the Matthew Sayre farm in the south part of the corporation. These were readily disposed of and built upon. In April, 1854, the Horseheads Building Association was formed having for first officers: Comfort Bennitt, president; Willis B. Sayre, vice-president H. S. Bentley, secretary; Charles Hulett, treasurer. The association purchased of Abel Shute and William Reynolds property on the east
474 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
side of Main street, and soon after erected a large three-story brick block which contained one of the finest halls in this section of the State. In 185 5 DeWitt C. Curtis, by direction of the Board of Trustees, prepared a new charter for the village which extended the boundaries of the village on the south, west, and north, and also gave enlarged powers to the village board. This passed the State legislature April 14, 1855On the 12th. of August, 1862, a fire originating in one of the barns of the hotel standing upon the site of the Platt House swept away the whole business part of the village. The Colwell Hotel, the brick block of the Horseheads Building Association, the wooden buildings on the west side of Main street and the south side of Franklin street, and N. Van Dusen's hotel all lay in smoldering ruins. The records of the corporation were destroyed in this fire. During this year and the early part of 1863 C. W. Ryant built a brick block of three stores on the corner of Main and Franklin streets; F. Matthews two stores south ; W. T. & L. Carpenter built two on the south side of Franklin street; Colwell rebuilt his hotel ; and J. B. Mosher erected a block of four stores. Though the loss was severe the new buildings so much improved the general appearance of the village that there came a feeling that the Scourge had been for the public good. In 187 1 there was a general revision of the charter of the village and the boundaries enlarged. The act of the legislature by which the corporation was enlarged also empowered the Board of Trustees to cause the removal of bodies from the old cemetery that the land so occupied might be devoted to other public uses. An avenue leading southward through the old burial place was soon after laid out. Subsequently the remainder of the plot was graded for a park and is now adorned by beautiful shade trees.
Presidents of the village Board of Trustees since 1862 Until 1880, in their order, have been: J. B. Mosher, F. C. Bloomer, Charles F. Taber, Charles Kline, J. H. Marshall, A. D. Loomis, Robert Colwell, Joseph Putnam, C. F. Taber, Hiram M. Root, and 0. Groom. Presidents and years of service: 1880, 0. Groom ; 1881, William E. Haines; 1882, 0. Groom; 1883, Benjamin Westlake; 1884-85, -Thomas Hibbard; 1886, W. E. Breese; 1887, T. J. Wintermute; 1888--89, F. S. Bentley; 18go, C. F. Taber; 18gi, Sayre Holbert.
Village clerks: 1863-67, D. W. C. Curtis; 1868-69, M. V. B. Bachman; 1870, Frank M. Ross; 1871-72, M. V. B. Bachman; 1873, Rick
TO WN OF HORSEHEADS. 475
Donovan and Horace J. Weller; 1874, C. L. Hathaway ; 1875, Rick Donovan; 1876-77, Lawrence M. Young; 1878, M. D. W. Curtis; 1879, George McCumber; 1880, Edwin R. Benedict; 1881, J. Walter Slayton and A. P. Beard ; I 882, Edward H. Fleming; 1883-86, Menzo H. Brown; 1887-91, E. M. Myers.
Village officers in 189 1 : Trustees, Sayre Holbert, president ; A. S. Terry, L. M. Brown, R. G. Ersenhart, Eugene Zimmerman; Robert M. Bundy, treasurer ; J. S. Colwell, collector ; John B. Keeler, police justice; W. W. Mosher, S. Compton, George McCumber, assessors; John Hogan, policeman ; D. W. C. Curtis elected police justice for term commencing January 1, 1892.
Preliminary meetings for the organization of a fire company were held July 25th and August 1, 1873. The organization of the Horseheads Steamer and Hose Company, No. 1, was effected August 22, 1873. The first foreman of the steamer was John W. Lovell ; Rick ]Donovan, foreman of the hose. The hose company withdrew from the organization on May 1, 1874, and afterward organized the Pioneer Hose Company. The department was incorporated in June, 1876. Independent Hose Company, No. 2, organized a year or two previously, disbanded Septem- ber 1 1, 187 8. Acme Hose Company was organized November 14, 1877.
The first trustees of the department were: Steamer Company, John W. Lovell, Oscar Thompson; Pioneer Hose Company, Charles Bartholomew, Frank A. Bennett; Independent Hose Company, L. G. Purdy, Frank Smith. Department trustees, 189 1 : Steamer Company, No. 1, J. D. Shoots, president, W. E. Colgrove; Pioneer Company, No. 1, Peter D. Connelly, vice-president, John Hogan ; Acme Hose Company, No. 2, Arthur S. Terry, Mott B. Moore, J. E. Barlow, secretary.
Officers of Steamer Company, No. 1 : George W. Dean, president F. N. Drake, vice-president; J. D. Shoots, secretary; F. A. Matthews, foreman; Frank Green, first assistant; A. B. Woodruff, second assistant; J. D. Shoots, engineer; L. D. Slater, assistant; Frank Bills, fireman ; A. V. Cromwell, assistant. Company trustees: F. N. Drake, Ed R. Benedict, F. Green.
Officers of Pioneer Hose Company: J. L. Nixon, president; F. M. Barlow, vice-president; M. H. Humphrey, secretary; T. B. Colwell, treasurer. Directors: J. L. Nixon, M. H. Murphy, H. C. Nichols, Matt Markham, R. P. Bush, E. B. Myers, J. R. Platt.
476 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
Officers of Acme Hose Company: Harry B, Reynolds, president L. E. Mosher, vice-president; Burr Nichols, secretary; M. B. Moore, treasurer; W. E. Tuttle, foreman ; John Bogardus, jr., first assistant ; D. D. Clark, second assistant. Trustees : J. L. Churchill, L. E. Mosher, Robert J. Kimmick, Charles L. Marshall, Harry B. Reynolds.
The department has an equipment of steamer, chemical extinguisher, and hose carts.
Rev. Roswell Goff, a pioneer Baptist preacher, preached in the vicinity of Horseheads as early as 1 805. He was succeeded by Rev. Philander D. Gillette, who preached for some time. In 1827 a church was erected about two miles north of the village and was known as the " Marsh " Church. Rev. Aaron Jackson also preached for a time at this church. April 22, 1840, a church organization was effected at the village at which were present Elders T. S. Sheardown, D. Robinson, and R. Swick. The first members were Elder Aaron Jackson, Deacon Joseph Smith, Increase Mather, Ebenezer Mather, Asa D. Smith, John Tenbrook, Lyman Lincoln, Warren Lincoln, Asenath Jackson, Sarah Smith, Irena Mather, Clarissa Mather, Elizabeth A. Smith, Jane Tenbrook, Julia A. Lincoln, Martha Smith, Sarah Wintermute, Margaret Tenbrook, Sophrona Donaldson, Esther Giltner, Harriet Jackson, Hannah Smith. The first meeting held after being duly constituted was at the house of E Ider Jackson, May 2, 1840. Joseph Smith and Ebenezer Mather were chosen deacons. A church edifice was erected during this year and dedicated in February, 1841. December 23, 1840, the society united with the church at Elmira and was called the " Elmira and Fairport Church." In 1853 the name was changed to the the " Baptist Church of Horseheads." The church was burned April 1 1, 1874, and a substantial brick building erected during the same year and dedicated in January following. The expense of the new church was about $8,000. Dr. 0. Groom, J. H. Owen, Calvin Eddy, Benjamin Smith, and J. Park were the actin trustees during the building of the new church.
Succeeding Rev. Aaron Jackson as pastor was Rev. Philander D. Gillette, who remained until his death in 1845. The next incumbent was Rev. G. M. Spratt. In 185 1 a call was tendered to Rev. Zelotus Grenell to become pastor, who remained for a time. He was succeeded by Rev. W. Mudge, who was followed by Rev. Mr. Williams in 1857 and
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Rev. Philetus Olney the next year. D. P. Leas became pastor in 1886 arid T. E. Phillips in 1888. J. W. Spoor came in 1871, G. W. Abrams in 1872, and P. Perry in 1874. Rev. Mr. Whitmarsh took charge in 1876 and was succeeded by Revs. A. M. Bennett, F. J. Roscoe, George W. Newman, and W. Mitchell in the spring of 1891.
Among the first Methodists in this town were Benjamin Westlake, a local preacher, and Samuel D. Westlake and wife, all of whom settled here in 1815. From this time until 1827 members belonging to this persuasion were connected with the Methodist Church in Elmira, although meetings were held here principally in the old school-house. About this time a class was formed which, with the societies of Catherine, Havana, and Millport, constituted one charge, Rev. Mr. Hall being the first minister. The members composing the first class were Benjamin Westlake, Samuel D. Westlake and wife, Hannah Shute, James Taylor and wife, William F. Hull and wife, Obadiah Thorn and wife, David Holmes and wife, Philip Smith, and Sarah Westlake, wife of Jacob Westlake. The first quarterly meeting in 1827 was held in a large new barn erected by Jonas Sayre on the farm afterward owned by W. H. Van Duzer. The society was incorporated November 25, 1834, as the "First Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Horseheads." Since that time the pastors have been: 1834-35, Revs. T. J. Champion and John Dennis; 1837-38, A. C. Story and C. A. Smith; 1839-40, Philo Tower and J. W. Nevens; 1841, E. C. Pengra; 1842, Henry Wisner ; 1843-44, L. B. Castle and D. S. Chase; 1845-46, 1. V. Mapes; 1847, John Witted; 1848-49, E. H. Cranmer; 1850-51, David Crow ; 1852, C . S. Coats; 1853-54, Nathan Fellows; 1855, John Parker; 1856-57, T. McElhenny; 1858, John H. Day; 1859, John E. Hyde; 1860-61, J. Jarolomen; 1862-64, J. H. Blades; 1865-66, W. C. Mattison; 1867, H. T. Giles; 1868-70, Luther Northway; 1871-73, C. M. Gardner; 1874-75, J. T. Canfield; 1876-77, Thomas Stacey; 1878-79, F. J. Whitney; 1880-82, Silas Ball; 1883-84,E. E. Morris; 1885-87, W.K. Shaw; 1888-90, F. D. Hodgson; J. C. B. Mover.
The first church building belonging to the society was erected in 1834. The increase in the membership and congregation during the next twenty years, made it necessary to enlarge the building ; this was
done in 1855 and the church was rededicated February 20, 1856.It
478 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
was then the commodious church in the village. During the pastorate of Rev. E. E. Morris the building was again repaired and improved. The society built a parsonage in 1868, which expenditure increased the value of the church property to about $12,000.
The First Presbyterian Church of Horseheads was organized February 8, 1832. This organization was effected at the schoolhouse under Revs. Ethan Pratt and M. L. Farnsworth and John McConnell, an elder. Twenty-four persons became constituent members, among whom was Elder J. N. Barbour, who is one of the last survivors of that number. Rev. Ethan Pratt was the first pastor, remaining from 1832 to 1835, when he was succeeded by Rev. W. Adams for about a year. Rev. Orin Catlin came in 1837 and remained until 1841, when Rev. C. C. Carr, then directly from Auburn Theological Seminary, became pastor and remained for sixteen years. Rev. B. G. Riley was stated supply in 1856 and 1857, and was followed in the latter year by Rev. N. E. Pierson as pastor until 1861, when Rev. Irving Beaman became a supply until 1863. In that year Rev. C. C. Carr was recalled and was pastor for twenty-three years. In 1886 he resigned on account of the infirmities of advancing age and was then made pastor emeritus, which position he has since held. Rev. J. C. Russell has been pastor since 1886. In 1832 the first church edifice was erected on a lot west of the Northern Central depot. In 1849 it was removed to the lot on which it has since stood. During the pastorate of Rev. N. E. Pierson in 1858-59 the church was remodeled and improved ; the side galleries were removed, the seats reversed, and the pulpit placed in the opposite end of the auditorium. In 1887-88, through the munificence of Selah R. Van Duzer and wife, the church was repaired, elevated, and enlarged by the addition of a hall on the east. The chapel was erected and furnished and a stained glass window placed in memory of the faithful Sunday school work of Susan Rachel Sayre Van Duzer. During the same year the parsonage was sold to Rev. C. C. Carr and a lot was purchased adjoining the church property on the west. Through the efforts of the ladies of the society the grounds were put in order, the pavements were rebuilt, and the basement arranged for the social work of the church. The church was rededicated June 3, 1888. The list of communicants as revised in July, 1888, numbers 145.
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Officers of the church, 18go: Rev. J. C. Russell, pastor; Rev. C. C. Carr, pastor emeritus; elders, J. N. Barbour, James Ormiston, M. E. Egbert, William A. Shoemaker, John Farr, John Stepfield; trustees, J. S. Van Duzer, president; W. E. Breese, secretary; Elizur Day, P. Whitaker, W. E. Tuttle, E. B. Shappee, R. G. Eisenhart; treasurer, T. J. Wintermute.
Besides the Sunday school, Rev. J. C. Russell, superintendent, and R. G. Eisenhart, assistant, the societies are the Woman's Aid Society, Mrs. J. A. Christie, president; the Woman's Missionary Society, Mrs. Helen Penny, president; Young People's Missionary Band, E. Frances Shappee, president; and the Busy Bee Mission Band and the Young People's Society. The committees of the last are appointed quarterly by the pastor.
St. Matthew's parish, Episcopal, was organized August 11, 1862. Services had been rendered for some time previous, first by Rev. A. Hull, D.D., then rector of Trinity Church, Elmira. S. H. Maxwell and R. Parker were the first wardens ; vestrymen, S. Johnson, J. A. Christie, N. Van Dusen, M. Bennitt, Charles Hulett, Daniel Bennitt, A. J. Bennitt, and Joseph Stanwood. Rev. Henry M. Brown was the first rector, taking charge in October, 1862. In 1866 the erection of the ch urch was comm enced and the building was consecrated in the fall of 1867. Rev. 1-1. M. Brown resigned in August of 1871. February 24, 1872, Rev. Robert R. Goudy was called to the rectorship, also having the parish at Big Flats. January 17, 1873, he resigned, taking effect April 4, 1873.
Rev. John A. Brown succeeded, remaining until March 28, 1875. Rev. G. W. G. Van Winkle entered upon his duties May 30, 1875- January 1, 1878, Rev. F. D. Hoskins, of Grace Church, Elmira, was placed in charge until the close of the year. Rev. Edward Lewis was placed in charge June 1, 1879. The Rev. Henry Heaton had charge for one year following October, 1879. Rev. John F. Hurlich was in charge for about five years and was succeeded by Rev. J. P. Foster for a few months. Rev. Thomas Duck became rector October 20, 1889, having charge at Millport and Big Flats. The church was repaired and improved in 1 890. There are forty-five communicants in this church.
For many years the Roman Catholic mission in Horseheads was a part of SS. Peter and Paul's parish of Elmira. During the time of the
480 0UR COUNTY AND I TS PEOPL E.
pastorate of the Rev. Martin Kavanagh, previous to 1866, the present frame structure was built. It has a seating capacity Of 250 and was dedicated in the year named. When in 1869 the Rev. James McManus became rector of the Watkins mission the Horseheads mission was transferred to his charge. Fathers McManus and Henry Leddy, flow Dean Leddy, of Wellsville, attended Horseheads as a part of the Watkins parish. In 1879 Father Thomas Herrick, who had been Father Leddy's assistant in the Watkins parish, was appointed rector of Horseheads mission. The mission consists of about seventy families or 350 persons. Of these forty families attend the Horseheads church proper, having service every Sunday. The remainder, about equally divided between Millport and Spencer, are each attended once a month, mass being said in a house or hall, and Breesport is attended once every three months, mass being said at P. Kavanagh's residence. At the Breesport services the Catholic inmates from the county-house attend. Father Herrick had charge of the Horseheads mission from November, 1879, to October, 1881, and he was succeeded by the following named: Father L. W. Murphy from October, 188 1, to January, 1883; Father James Griffin from January, 1883, to March, 1889, ; the Rev. T. A. Murray from March 1, 1 889, to April 2 1, 1889; the Rev. D. Daly from April 2 1, 1889, to June 7, 1889. The Rev. T. A. Murray, assistant at St. Patrick's Church in Elmira, attended temporarily until July 14, 1 889. Oil that date the rector now in charge, the Rev. William T. Dunn, assumed the care of the parish. Father Dunn is a Chemung County man, having, been born in the city of Elmira, his education up to the period of his entrance into the seminary having been obtained in the public schools of that city.
In the early history of the town there resided in the vicinity of the village several families known as Friends or Quakers. Their meetings were held at the house of Richard Wild on the farm since known as the Wild farm. Prominent among those belonging to this sect were Richard Wild and wife, Francis Bowman and wife, David Coddington, Benjamin Palmer, Amos Crandall, Townsend Carpenter and wife, Richardson Cornell, John Marshall and his family, Josiah Cornell, Stephen Estes, and Sally Westlake. In 1831 the Scipio Society of Friends by their trustees purchased the lot where Mrs. Shute resides and erected a build
TO WN OF HORSEHEADS. 481
ing for the use of this society. This was known as the " Quaker meeting-house," and was occupied by the Friends until about 1854. By removals and other causes the society diminished in numbers until but few remained, Among these were Josiah, Levi, and Samuel Marshall. The property of the society was sold to Mrs. Shute and the building was used in the construction of the dwelling where she now resides.
The Horseheads A. U . M. 1. Church (colored) was first organized about 186o. In 1883 they built a brick church for the uses of the society. Rev. Nathan F. Wilson is the present pastor. George Cohen, G. V. Peterson, Thomas B. Scott, and George Lodine have also labored with this people.
The town of Horseheads was formed from Elmira by an act passed February 8, 1854, as follows:
All that part of the town of Elmira in the county of Chemung, lying and being on the north side of the line, which shall be a continuation, westerly, of the south line of the town of Erin, in said county, to a point in the west line of the said town of Elmira, is hereby erected into a separate town by the name of Horseheads."
Charles Hulett, Elijah Carpenter, Hiram S. Bentley, and George Bennitt were appointed to preside at the first town meeting, which was held on the 14th of February at the house of Waterman Davis. The officers elected were :
Ebenezer Mather, town clerk ; Samuel 11. Maxwell, supervisor ; Hiram S. Bentley. superintendent of common school,,;; D. Edwards, Joel Heller, and George H. Taylor, justices of the peace; John Ross, Lewis Carpenter, and Daniel Bennitt, assessors; Joseph Rodbourn, commissioner of highways; David P. Breese, collector William Reynolds, Abner K. Shappee, overseers of the poor; David P. Breese, A. D. Loomis, Moses P. Breese, Asa G. Jackson, Hiram. H. McConnell, constables; John C. Jackson, Lewis 11. Turner, and Zen,.) Carpenter, inspectors of election ; Isaac Still, town sealer.
Town clerks since the organization of the town have been :
Ebenezer 'Mather, Peter Wintermute, Charles Wintermute, Walter L. Dailey, Samuel C. Taber, Hiram 1-1. McConnell, Elbert Thorn, Austin H. Whitcomb, Charles W. MeNish, Jonah If. Marshall, Charles H. McNish, Thomas J. Wintermute, Collins L. Hathaway, John Eagan, Isaac Dennis, William Park, William H. Egbert, Thomas Hibbard, Luther Boeitker (1883), Clarence E. Carpenter (1884-88), Frank A. Bennett (1889-90), Charles L. Marshall (1891), Joseph S. Bogardus.
Justices of the Peace. -David Edwards, Joel Heller, George H. Taylor, Charles Kline, Cyrus Barlow, David Edwards, Cyrus Barlow, Robert Stewart, John Nichols, John N. Breese, Hiram IT. McConnell, Charles Wall, John Nichols, Cyrus Barlow, Samuel H. Maxwell, Joel Heller, Hiram S. Bentley, John C. Cowan, H. H. McConnell, W. D. Adams, 61
482 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
11. S. Bentley, K. G. Shappee, R. P. Stewart, Al. A". B. Bachman, Walter L. Dailey, 11. 11. McConnell, Henry A. Treat, Theodore V. Weller, John P. Breese, Civilian Brown, 11. If. McConnell, John P. Breese, Theodore V. Well e r, J oseph 1'. Ripson, Henry C. Hoffman, AT. V. B. Bachman, John Hadsell; 1880, Theodore V. Weller; 1881, Cyrus Barlow; 1882, John Nichols 1883, AL V. B. Bachman 1884, Hit-am IT. McConnell 1885, Theodore V. Weller ; 1886, John Nichols; 1887, John 13. Keeler; 1888, Hiram 11. McConnell ; 1889, John AT. Van Gorder and Nathan Carey ; 1890, Frank Starr; 1891, Cyrus Barlow.
Commissioners of High ways. -1854, Joseph Rodbourn; 1855, John Jackson; 1856, James Suffern 1857, Joseph Rodbourn; 1858, Ira L. Breese ; 1859, A_ 13. Rockwell
1860, Joseph RodBourn; 186 1, Vincent Conkling; 1802, A. 13. Rockwell; 1863, Joseph Rodbourn 1864, George Bennitt; 1865, Sylvester Hull; 1866, Andrew Suffern, Joseph Rodbourn, Daniel Edwards; 1867, Joseph Rodbourn, Daniel Edwards, Daniel Bennitt; 1868, Joseph Rodhbourn, Daniel Bennitt, Ira L. Breese; 1869, Joseph Rodbourn ; 1870, Israel F. Coats ; 187 1, Joseph Edwards; 1872, 1 benezer -13. Warner; 1873, Edward L. Hathorn; 1874, Matthew Staring; 1875, E. 13. Warner ; 1876, Israel F. Coats; 187 -1, Matthew Staring; 1878, E. B. Warner ; 1879, George S. Lynch: 1880, Sylvester J. Morse; 1881, -Myron IT. Breese; 1882, Jeremiah Smalley; 1883-86, D. NT. Snyder; 1887-90. John Q. Brooks; 1891, James McQueen.
The schools of the town and village of Horseheads are among the in.. teresting features of its history. The first was taught by Amelia Parkhurst ill 1793 in the log house first the dwelling of John Breese. Israel Catlin succeeded Miss Parkhurst as teacher. The next teacher was Seneca Roland, who commenced his school in a part of an old log house which stood near the residence of James Sayre. The principal text book first in use was Dilworth's spelling book. Seneca Roland afterward introduced Webster's spelling book. There are now ten districts in the town, having in 1890 an aggregate attendance Of 80,468 days and receiving from State funds in the following spring $2,646. Preparations are being made to add another department to the school at Breesport and to enlarge the school building accordingly.
Probably the first schoolhouse in the town was a log building erected about 1800 near the site of the Ryant block in the village of Horseheads. Here Seneca Roland first held authority as teacher, coming from his former charge in the Sayre house. Nathan Teal, who came here about 1794, purchased of William Seeley a portion of the I'Hommedieu tract and afterward deeded to three trustees, two of whom were Ebenezer Sayre, great- grandfather of Frank Bentley, and a man by the name of Conkling, grandfather of Fletcher Conkling, nearly two and
TOWN OF HORSEHEADS. 483
one-half acres of land for church and cemetery purposes and such other public use as might be thought advisable. This was called the meeting]louse lot. Upon this lot near where is the residence of Rev. C. C. Carr there was erected about 18 15 a two-story frame building, the lower part of which was for a long time used for both school and church purposes. In 1849 Cyrus and James Barlow contracted to build a schoolhouse having four main rooms at a Cost of $2,200. School was commenced in this building in July, 185o, with Ezra M. Roberts as the first principal. Vincent Conkling, John Relyea, and William S. Barlow were then the trustees. Relyea built a steam saw-mill about 1845 near the old canal feeder from which was furnished material for the school-house. This building enlarged and repaired served well the use for which it was intended. The first frame school-house was removed and used for a barn now owned by Dr. Davis, which stands upon the east side of Main street. In 1865 the school was organized as a union free school, the people thus being in advance of the general law for free schools. In 1877 an academic department was created. The principals of the school since the adoption of the free school system in 1865 have been : Sylvester D. Boorom, Alonzo Eveland, W. G. Van Zant, John W. Osborne, Robert P. Bush, R. D. Eastman, F. M. Beardsley, G. E. Atwood, W. H. Benedict, W. R. Prentice, A. H. Lewis, A. D. Whitney, P. T. Marshall. The teachers employed in the school during the school year ending in 1891 were as follows: P. T. Marshall, principal, Jennie Howie Alice D. Hall, Lola Thomas, Bernice Rockwell, Harriet Armitage, Anna Drake. By report of 1890 there were 43,242 days of attendance, of which 3,387 were from other districts. The school year commencing 189 1 marks a new era in the school interests of the village. During the summer of this year there was erected upon a lot west of the avenue a brick building with all the necessary and convenient equipments required by the growth of the school. The total. expense reaches an aggregate of about $23,000. The Board of Education consists of the following members: W. H. Davis, Frank S. Bentley, H. J. Weller, Charles F. Taber, E. C. Day, and T. J. Wintermute. There are three courses of study in the academic department of the school, English, scientific, and classical.
A dispensation naming James A. Christie, W. M., 0. D. Chatfield, S.W., James Barlow, J. W., was issued in February, 1855, by the Grand Lodge
484 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
F. and A. M. of the State of New York to the following named brethren: James A. Christie, James Barlow, Darius Bentley, Waterman Davis, 2nd, Richard Hetfield, Hiram S. Bentley, George O'Hanlon, John Bachman, 0. D. Chatfield, Rowland Parker, Vincent Conkling, Mordecai Rickey, Adam L. Staring, John N. Beers, Charles M. Conkling. The first meeting of the lodge, which was designated as Horseheads Lodge, NO. 364, F. and A. M., was held February 21, 1855, and the following named subordinate officers elected: Adam L. Staring, treasurer; Hirani S. Bentley, secretary ; John Bachman, S. D.; John N. Beers, J. D. On the 25th day of June, 1855, the Grand Lodge issued to this lodge a warrant appointing James A. Christie, W. M.; 0. D. Chatfield, S. W.; James Barlow, J. W.
The first meeting under the warrant was held on June 27, 1855, and other officers of the lodge elected as follows: Adam L. Staring, treasurer; George Bennitt, secretary ; John Bachman, S. D.; Le Grand Barlow, J. D.; Stephen Whitenack, tyler. The lodge was regularly instituted at this communication and its officers installed by W. James S. French, a past master of Union Lodge, No. 95, of Elmira. The lodge continued its labors under the original warrant until July 3, 1862, at which time was held the last meeting under the warrant prior to August 12, 1862, when the building in which the lodge was situated was destroyed by fire.
R. W. Clinton F. Paige, deputy grand master, issued a dispensation August 19, 1862, authorizing the lodge to continue its work until the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge. Officers A. L. 5891: 0. S. Botsford, W. M.; T. J. Wintermute, S. W.; Emery Eddy, J. W.; Thomas Hibbard, treasurer; A. P. Beard, secretary; S. Compton, chaplain ; John S. Dailey, S. D.; Henry D. Bishop, J. D.; Charles L. Marshall, S. M. C.; Jerome R. Platt, J. M. C.; W. E. Haines, organist; H. Clark, marshal; Charles Bush, tyler. Past masters: J. A. Christie, V. Conkling, Cyrus Barlow, 1. S. Marshall, J. H. Marshall, C. G. Eddy, S. Compton, M. V. B. Bachman, Jonas Park, R. P. Bush, Thomas Hibbard, F. V. Conkling, W. E. Haines, A. 1'. Beard, G. W. McCumber, A. D. Newhall. Trustees (1891): T. J. Wintermute, C. G. Eddy, A.D. Loomis.
Horseheads Chapter, No. 261, R. A.M., was instituted in April, 1871
Warrant issued in February, 1872.R. 1). Bush, M. E. 14. P.; Calvin
TOWN OF HOR SEHEADS. 485
Eddy, E. K.; S. A. Palmer, E. S. Officers in 1891: T. J. Wintermute, M. E. H. P.; R. P. Bush, E. K.; A. Myers, E. S.; Thomas Hibbard, treasurer; A. P. Beard, secretary; James McQueen, C. of H.; P. J. Ward, P. S; H. Clark, R. A. C.; John Nichols, M. 3rd V.; C. G. Eddy, M. 2nd V.; F. V. Conkling, M. 1st V; Charles Bush, tyler.
Chemung Valley Equitable Aid Union, Horseheads, was organized in June, 1880. Four death losses have been paid, amounting to nearly $ 1 0,000. Cyrus Barlow was secretary and accountant for about eleven years; he was also a representative for the organization of the New York State Lodge in 1884 and the Supreme Lodge convened at Columbus, Warren County, Pa. The officers are John Nichols, president; Mrs. ,Mary J. Switzer, vice-president ; William E. Haines, secretary and accountant; S. H. Van Duzer, treasurer. There are sixty-eight members in this lodge.
Although Horseheads is a village of residences it has also been the location of manufacturing interests. On the square front of a building near the old canal erected many years since appears dimly through an outer coat of paint the words " Carriage Factory." More plainly than the other and upon the same space is seen "Woolen Factory." The former uses to which the building was devoted have had their day and the observer sees above the door " Horseheads Celery Company." This business was established in 1887 by W. H. Smith, who handles large quantities of celery and other produce grown by farmers in this vicinity. His shipments extend from Maine to Florida. Among the growers of celery in this vicinity are E. Orvis and James McQueen. It is also grown on the Willis Sayre farm.
The woolen factory above mentioned was started in 1868 by Robert Thorn and Spafford Andrus. Clark M. Barbour became associated with them in the business, which was successfully conducted under the firm name of Thorn, Andrus & Barbour.
The Horseheads mills, erected by Capt. Vincent Conkling in 1837, stood in the south part of the village on Newtown Creek. Conkling ran the mill until 1846 and Benjamin Stimpson ran it from that time until 1850. Theodorus Satterlee became owner in 1851 and sold to Hitchcock, of Elmira, in 1854. In 1866 Charles Kline and Samuel Hall purchased the property and made extensive repairs, afterward doing a
486 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE-.
profitable business. In 1868 1. McDanolds purchased an interest and it was afterward carried on under the firm name of Kline, Hall & Co. The mill was burned in April, 1884.
What was known as the " Empire Mill," situated originally on the east side of Main street, was built by William T. Hastings in 1850. Two or three years later he removed the building to the north side of Franklin street near the Northern Central Railway, where he ran the mill until 1857, when it fell into the hands of George and Morris Bennitt, by whom it was operated until April, 186 1, when it was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and conducted by them as proprietors until 1865, when the Tabers became partners and the firm name was Bennitt, Taber & Co. Some changes were made in the proprietorship by the Tabers and Bennitts in 1868. The building was burned in 188o, at which time Charles F. Taber and Daniel Bennitt were partners in the business.
The Reynolds & Tuttle flouring-mill was built by Reynolds & Tuttle in 1885. They operated this until July, 1888 ; since that time it has been under the control of T. R. Peck & Co.
The Horseheads steam saw- mill was built by Morris Bennitt in 1869. He operated it until 1874, when it was purchased by Reynolds & Tuttle. The mill was burned in January, 1890, and was rebuilt by W. E. Tuttle in the same year. It is situated near the tracks of the Elmira, Cortland, and Northern Railway. There is a box factory in operation in connection with this business.
The Terry Manufacturing Company started business near the intersection of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western and the Northern Central Railroads in 1883. They manufactured an improved barn-door hanger. In 1887 the company purchased the foundry and machine shop on Main street, and manufactures a great variety of iron and steel articles. What the place turns out might properly be called " Terry jewelry."
The firm of E. A. Perkins & Co. established business here in 1890. Their plant is located near the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad. They manufacture iron and steel bridges and all kinds of structural iron work. The members of the firm are E. A. Perkins, J. S. Per. Inns, and W. F. Walker.
George Rockwell and E. M. Sayre commenced business in the manufacture of screen doors and windows in 1888. In 1889 their business
TO WN OF HORSEHEADS. 487
was enlarged, and they commenced the manufacture of boxes and crates. Their shops are located near the Eric depot.
The Kline Iron Works, where for many years were manufactured architectural iron work and agricultural implements, stood on Franklin street. This business was established by C. A. Granger in 1849. Oakley, Clapp & Co. were afterward the proprietors. The building was burned in 1870. During this same year Bogardus & Bennitt built the foundry on Main street, now the location of the Terry Manufacturing Company. This was a wooden structure and was destroyed by fire in 1883. Case & Tomlinson bought the lot and built what is now a part of the Terry shops.
The town of Horseheads is especially noted for the manufacture of brick, the enterprise being originally upon a small scale. It has grown into gigantic proportions. The Westlake brickyard, now the property of R. G. Eisenhart, was started by a man named Albright in 1840. William Westlake operated it in 1855 to the extent of about 1,200,000 bricks per year. In 1858 Benjamin Westlake purchased the yard and the land surrounding it, afterward add ed improved machinery, and increased the Output to more than five times its former capacity. Mr. Westlake became wealthy during the years he conducted the business, and expended large sums in buildings and other improvements. It is said that his dwelling-house alone cost him $80,000. Succeeding Mr. Westlake's death, some six years since, the business has undergone some changes. It was for a time under the proprietorship of Henry Smith, William D. Reynolds, and R. G. Eisenhart as the Smith Manufacturing Company. In 1 890 Mr. Eisenhart became sole proprietor, has a force of sixty-five men, and manufactures fro"' 7,000,000 to 8,000,000 bricks per annum.
The Eureka brickyard was started by P. M. C. Townsend. About 150,000 was the Output Of the first year. In 1888 Mr. Townsend sold the business to M. H. Brown, but resumed the proprietorship again in 1891. A large force of men is employed and about 1,200 cords of wood per annum are consumed in burning the brick. Drain the and paving brick are also manufactured. The capacity of this yard is about 8,000,000. The location is on the line of the Elmira, Cortland, and Northern Railroad between Horseheads and Breesport.
488 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
Adjoining the Eureka yard is the yard of Kinley & Sons, which was opened in 1888. The firm is composed of Adam Kinley and his Sons Charles and William. George Kinley IS superintendent. There is about $20,000 invested in the business. The product of the yard was 3,500,000 in 1890. The buildings were burned in August, 1891.
The Empire yard of Duhl, Schaple & Co., Louis Duhl, Emil Schaple, and another, has an investment of $25,000. This yard was established in 1887 with a capacity Of 3,000,000 and has been increased to 5,500,000 building brick.
The postmasters of the post-town of Horseheads not otherwise or heretofore named, with the dates of their appointments, are as follows : Joseph McConnell, January 15, 1853 ; Samuel H. Maxwell, March 29, 1853 ; Joseph S. Humphrey, August 15, 1861 ; Charles E. Thorn, September 1, 1:865 ; Amaziah D. Loomis, March 28, 1876; Lawrence L. Curtis, April 6, 1880; Nelson H. Sixby, May 10, 1888 ; Jonas S. Van Duzer, July 2, 1889.
Breesport, in the eastern part of the town of Horseheads, is one of the briskest villages in the county with all the evidences of activity and enterprise that mark a thrifty and busy place. It is not a very old village and its condition is largely due to the exertions well directed of one or two men. Neither is it a large village, its inhabitants numbering only about 525. Two beautiful streams of water pass through its borders, Newtown Creek having all easterly and westerly direction and Jackson Creek a northerly and southerly one. The village is located oil the Elmira, Cortland, and Northern Railroad, which does a profitable business with the manufacturing interests of the place. The road has switch lines past the steam flouring and saw-mills and to Adam Kinley's tannery. The land for the village plots was surveyed by Azariah Breese ill 1854, and in the fall of that year the first frame building was erected upon the site of the present Rodbourn House, a hotel kept by C. E. Breese, formally opened in January, 1855. The next spring the first store was put up on the opposite side of the street by Ulysses and William R. Breese, its builders and owners. Azariah Breese was the uncle of Ulysses and William R.
There were a number of early settlers in this locality. As far back as 1816 there were two log houses built within the present limits of
TOWN OF HORSE HEADS. 489
Breesport. One was on land now forming the front yard of the house of Joseph Rodbourn. James Hartgrosee, a British soldier captured by Our forces at Saratoga and refusing to be exchanged, came to this locality and was living in a log house here in 1818. Jonathan Schoon- over was another old settler. He died in 1808 at the age of eighty- three years. Other old settlers were Benjamin Smith, A. Schoonover, Israel Boyer, Silas Breese, David, J I oel, and Israel Heller. One by the name of Barlow located at the west end of what is now the village in 1 8 18. Ulysses and William R. Breese are the sons of the Silas Breese named. The Heller family came in 1828 and built the first saw-mill in 1830 in the vicinity of the present village.
The postoffice was established November 19, 1853, through the efforts and influence of Ulysses Breese, the first postmaster having been Moses P. Breese. He was succeeded by the following named: Warren Lincoln, July 5, 1854; Anson A. Ambry, November 21, 1854; David L. Lincoln, January 26, 1855 ; Robert F. Stewart, March 18, 1857; Joseph Rodbourn, June 21, 1858 ; Barzillia Burgess, March 26, 1863 ; Joseph Rodbourn, August 28, 1866; Barzillia Burgess, March 25, 1869; Hermon C. Stone, April 19, 1881 ; Edwin D. Burgess, March 3, 1884; Joseph Rodbourn, July 7, 1885 ; Edwin D. Burgess, May 13, 1889.
The village is much indebted to the enterprise and activity of Ulysses and William R. Breese and Joseph Rodbourn for its favorable condition. Mr. Rodbourn was very active and zealous in building the railroad that brought the village within touch with the markets of the world. He built the first saw-mill in the village in 1857, which has a capacity Of 3,000,000 feet per annum. In 1860 he built the first grist- mill, which has four runs of stone with all the modern improvements in mill machinery. Its annual product is 3,000 barrels of merchant and 50,000 bushels of custom work. Mr. Rodbourn's hands have always been full of undertakings for the good of the place.
The shops of the railroad originally built and completed in 1874 as the Utica, Ithaca, and Elmira road were located in Breesport, but were burned in 1883. They were subsequently transferred by the new company, the Elmira, Cortland, and Northern, to the village of Cortland. In 1877 J. K. Sanborn began the business here of the manufacture of oatmeal. It was conducted under the name of the " U. S. Hulless Oat
490 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
Company." The enterprise proved unprofitable and was soon abandoned. Breesport has two hotels, the Rodbourn House, conducted by Charles E. Breese, and the Batterson House, named for its proprietor and landlord, John Batterson. There are two general stores here, those of John Van Gorden & Co. and the Harding Brothers. Other enterprises, and they are numerous for so small a place, are one custom wool and carding-mill, two creameries, three brickyards, two blacksmiths, one carriage and repair shop, one harness shop, two custom boot and shoe shops, a drug store, a cheese-box factory, and an undertaking establishment.
The religious sentiments of the people expressed themselves long before they had any church organization. Ministers came to them from other villages and were aided by local members of the several denominations. Meetings were held at the houses of members until the erection of the first schoolhouse oil the 'real meeting house lot ill Which the various denominations worshiped. The first clergyman of whose coming any knowledge exists was the Rev. Daniel Thatcher, a Presbyterian who preached in the locality as early as 1901. The village has now four churches. A flourishing Sabbath school is maintained in their commodious house of worship. The Rev. Mr. Clark, of Elmira, has preached here since the organization of the society. Mrs. G. W. Harding is the organist. About forty members, formerly belonging to the Baptist Church of Horseheads, were added to this Church in 1867.
The Methodist Church was organized "1 1839. Meetings had been held before this in the schoolhouse. A Church edifice was commenced ill 1854 and completed in 1855, Isaac Van Gorden being class-leader and the Rev. M. Beach the pastor in charge. In 1875 the building was removed and the erection of a new church was commenced soon after. This was completed in 1880. The cost of the new church was about $8,000, of which Nathan Carey contributed $2,000. Among the members at the organization of the society were Abram Riker, Nathaniel Bailey Guy M. Shappee. This church is a part of the Erin charge. There are about fifty members.
The Methodist Protestant Church was organized by Rev. 14. F. Snow of Chemung circuit ill 1885 with fifteen members. A disagreement in the regular Methodist Church culminated in the formation of this so
TOWN OF HORSEHEADS 491
ciety. The old church of the Methodist Society was purchased and repaired by Joseph Rodbourn, and is the place of worship of the Methodist Protestant congregation. The pastors of this church subsequent to the pastorate of Rev. H. F. Snow have been Revs. H. F. Perkins, W. 11. Church, A. F. Bebee, and James Shewsmith. George P. Shappee, a prominent member of the church, is a class-leader and has a local preacher's license. There are about thirty members.
The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1874 with thirty members, being in part the remaining members of the old Scotchtown Church of Erin. The meeting- house of the old society was removed to Breesport all d used in the erection of a new church, which was dedicated September 17, 1875. There are between thirty and forty members. Rev. C. C. Carr, of Horseheads, preached a-, stated supply for two or three years. Rev. 1). 1). Lindsley succeeded for one year. He was followed by Rev. S. W. Lindsley, who remained four or five years. There was then an interval in which theological students supplied. Rev. John Cairns came as stated supply in January, 1 89 1. The elders of this church are William Ormiston, Charles Ormiston, and Ira R. Jones. There is a flourishing Sabbath school of about seventy-five members.
There was an old-school Baptist Church organized many years ago, having a place of worship near Colonel Barbour's. This building was erected for the society by Nathan Carey in 1856. There were originally about twenty-five members. Sanford Banister was one of the trustees. The wife of William Wheat was one of the members. Those who worshiped here are nearly all dead. The meeting house is still standing, though desecrated by the whir o a feed-mil
Breesport has a good departmental school with Prof. F. D. Williams as its principal. The Southern Light Lodge, F. and A. M., No. 125, is located here; C. 13. Judson, W. M., and Joshua Staples, secretary. There is also a lodge of the I. O. O.F., Breesport Lodge, NO. 419, John Van Gorden, N. G.; Achilles Breese, V. G.; Joel Jansen, secretary; and Myron 11. Breese, treasurer.
The poorhouse was located in Breesport in 1836, at the time of the organization of the county. There were three superintendents then, Wyatt Carr, James Van Etten, and George Coryell. A farm of 180 acres was purchased of Robert Lindsley. At the time there was a log
492 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
house on the land. A stone foundation was put under it, a small addition was built, and it was so used as the county house for many years. In the course of time other buildings were put up. Joseph Rodbourn was Superintendent in 1861, and that year he began building the present w ooden structure, He was authorized by the supervisors to use a sufficient sum out of the excise fund to complete it. This was accomplished in 1862. In 1888 a new brick house was erected, which is complete in all respects for the purposes for which it is intended. On January 27, 1891, it had ninety-six inmates -seventy-three men and twenty-three women, The present officers are: Superintendent, Eugene Atkins ; keeper, Harvey Coleman; matron, Miss Belle Roushey; physician N. S. Messenger; chaplain, the Rev. James Shewsmith.
The principal cemeteries of the town of Horseheads are located at Horseheads and Breesport. The first interment at Breesport was probably that of a person named Schoonover ; the h alf- obliterated name upon a rough stone is remembered by some of the old residents. A monument erected to the memory of the parents of Joseph and James Rodbourn stands upon the brow of the hill overlooking the village.
The cemetery at Horseheads is within the corporation and is under the
management of the village board. The first purchase of land was Made in
1856. This embraced a square plot of four acres. It was laid out into four
square sections, three of which were divided into lots twelve by twenty
feet each. The lots in the front section sold for $8 each and the lots
of the third section for $5. The remaining section was free for any who
wished, interments to be made in accordance with the rules of the corporate
body controlling the cemetery. About 1867 five or six acres extending back
to the old canal feeder were added to the original purchase. The lots brought
about $10 each. A third purchase of seven acres of land lying upon the
west was subsequently made for $1,500. The lots are valued at $15 each.