This page is a part of the Tompkins Co., NYGenWeb Site. Not for commercial use. All Rights Reserved.
Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
by John H. Selkreg, 1894; D. Mason & Co., Publisher
FIRE DEPARTMENT.--The fire department of Ithaca has always been an efficient one, and it cannot be said that the place has suffered to an unusual degree from fires. We have before noticed the purchase of the first engine in 1823, and the appointment of the company to take it in charge. That company and the others which were appointed later as well as the fire wardens and department of officers, have included many of the leading men of Ithaca--a fact which may clearly account for the general efficiency of the body as a whole.
As the population of the village increased, and the number of fire companies in proportion, the question of water supply became of paramount importance and led to ordinances and legislation for provision of reservoirs and their supply. The "fire laws," as they have been termed, were passed June 25, 1860, and gave the village authorities broader powers and more extensive resources for coping with the destructive element. In the report of Chief Engineer Barnum R. WILLIAMS, in 1868, he said
The matter of a supply of water in case of fire in some parts of the village has been to me a source of great anxiety. I give below a list of reservoirs as classified by Hon. E. S. ESTY, during his term of office as chief engineer, to show more clearly my idea: A, Pleasant street, east of Aurora. B, State street, corner of Aurora. C, State street, corner of Tioga. D, State street, corner of Cayuga. E, State street corner of Plain. F, Fayette street, south of Genera. G, Albany street, corner of Seneca. H, Geneva street, south of Mill. I, Cayuga street, corner of Mill. J, Farm street, west of Aurora. R, Buffalo street, corner of Spring. L, Village Hall. M, Seneca street, east of Spring.
Of this list Mr. WILLIAMS considered none of them reliable in case of a protracted fire, excepting B. C and D, most of then being filled by water from roofs, or from drains and small springs. For many years prior to the date under consideration, various plans and propositions had been made for providing an adequate water supply by different companies, and the final introduction of mains in the streets, with a large flow and strong pressure, soon relieved all anxiety on this score.
In this connection it is interesting to note that the expense of the department for the year preceding Mr. WILLIAMS's report was $2,427.84. Of this sum $800 is credited to the "annual donation." There were then in the department five engine companies, one hook and ladder company, one bucket company, and a company of Protective Police, the membership numbering in the aggregate 460 men. There were eleven fire alarms in the year 1868.
The Ithaca Fire Department was incorporated by act of the Legislature April 1, 1871 and includes all of the fire companies formed and to be formed, whose enrolled members number thirty each and are so maintained. The act was amended April 14, 1884. The governing board was made to consist of two trustees from each company, together with the chief engineer and assistants, who were ex-officio members. A president, vice-president, and secretary of the board were to be chosen annually from their body by the trustees. The body thus formed constitutes the "Firemen's Board."
With the incoming of the city government in 1887, the powers and duties conferred on the village trustees by the act of 1860 were continued to the Common Council of the city.
The body known as the "Protective Police" was formed with thirty members January 23, 1868. This body of men have all the privileges and exemptions of firemen and are invested with police powers in time of fire. They are commanded by a captain, a lieutenant and a sergeant, the other officers being a treasurer, secretary and two trustees.
Upon the organization of the Protective Police the following were chosen the first officers: P. J. PARTENHEIMER, captain; Elias TREMAN, lieutenant; H. A. ST. JOHN, sergeant; L. KENNEY, secretary; F. W. BROOKS, treasurer; and the following members: F. A. BROWN, C. F. BLOOD, Walter BURLING, Rufus BATES, Uri CLARK, C. COWDRY, Joseph ESTY, jr., H. F. HIBBARD, W. H. HAMMOND, J. F. HAWKINS, C. D. JOHNSON, Freeman KELLY, J. C. KING, E. M. LATTA, E. M. MARSHALL, E. I. MOORE, H. D. PARTENHEIMER, James QUIGG, J. H. TICHENOR, J. B. TAYLOR, S. D. THOMPSON, jr., Samuel STODDARD, J. R. WORTMAN, H. J. WILSON, H. W. WILGUS.
The following named companies have been organized at the dates given, with the officers of 1868 designated:
Cayuga Engine Company, No. 1, organized May 12, 1828. Foreman, John DILTZ; first assistant, H. MASTIN; second assistant, R. LATOURETTE. Besides a large membership, this company published in 1868 a list of seventeen honorary members.
Rescue Engine Company, No. 2, organized June 6, 1823. Foreman, John SPENCE; first assistant, Edward LANDON; second assistant, A. B. GARDINER.
Tornado Hook and Ladder Company, No. 3, organized February 4, 1831. Foreman, J. M. LYONS; first assistant, M. L. GRANGER; second assistant, O. B. WELCH.
Eureka Engine Company, No. 4, organized April 29, 1842. Foreman William S. BERRY; first assistant, C. SLOUGHTER; second assistant, George TRUE.
Tornado Bucket Company, No. 5, organized July l, 1846. Foreman, George PICKERING; first assistant, Amasa I. DRAKE; second assistant, Sam GODDARD.
Hercules Engine Company No. 6, organized March 23, 1853. Foreman, George J. KENYON; first assistant, C. POPPLEWELL; second assistant, E. JARVIS.
Cataract Engine Company No. 7, organized December 31, 1863. Foreman, Sylvester NORTON; first assistant, Ed. TREE. jr.; second assistant, George NORTON.
Eureka Company, above named. was placed in charge of the old engine (No. l), but this machine had seen its best days, and was exchanged in June, 1842, for a new one. This company finally became Eureka Hose Company, No. 4, now in existence.
Hercules Company, above mentioned, was one of the most efficient early organizations, and was especially for the protection of property in the western part of the village, where the tower at the Inlet was erected for their use. After nearly twenty years of service the company was dissolved, and in its place was organized Sprague Steamer Company, No. 6, October 31, 1872.
Cataract Company, above mentioned, took charge of the engine purchased for No 4 in 1842. The tower at Fall Creek was built for this organization.
In addition to the above are the following organizations, all of which are now in existence:
Cayuga Hose Company, No. 1, organized May 12, 1828; now located in City Hall. Has a two-wheeled cart and 500 feet of hose, with other appurtenances. Foreman, B. F. McCORMICK; first. assistant, William McGRAINE; second assistant, Joseph MYRES; secretary, L. F. MALONEY; treasurer, Michael HERSON.
Rescue Steamer Company, No. 2, organized July 1, 1823; incorporated November 28, 1883. Located in a two-story brick building, adjoining the City Hall; have in charge a third class Silsby steamer, and a four-wheeled hose carriage with 500 feet of hose. Foreman, John A. FISHER; first assistant, Perry ROBERTSON; second assistant, Horace MILLER; secretary, W. A. WOODRUFF; treasurer, Charles CLAPP.
Tornado Hook and Ladder Company, No. 3, organized February; 4, 1831; incorporated March 6, 1886. Located in City Hall, and have in charge a hook and ladder truck, with extension and other ladders, etc. Foreman, F. H. ROMER; first assistant, C. S. SEAMAN; second assistant, C. E. TREMAN; secretary, A. G. STONE; treasurer O. L. DEAN.
Eureka Hose Company, No. 4, organized in 1842. Located in City Hall, and has in charge a four-wheeled hose carriage with 450 feet of hose. Foreman, J. E. DRISCOLL; first assistant, George J. DIXON; second assistant, W. J. PRINGLE; secretary, F. D. GRAY; treasurer, George STEPHENS.
Torrent Hose Company, No. 5, organized March 2, 1843. Located in the two-story brick building on State street near Geneva; has in charge a four-wheeled carriage and 500 feet of hose. Foreman, W. C. TABER; first assistant, E. G. HANCE; second assistant, Henrv BROST; secretary, W. W. PHILLIPS; treasurer, E. McGILLIVRAY.
Sprague Steamer Company, No. 6, organized October 1, 1872. Located in a two-story brick building on West State street near Fulton; has in charge a Clapp and Jones piston steamer, a two-wheeled hose cart and 600 feet of hose. Foreman. A. R. VAN ZOIL; first assistant Milo WALLEY; second assistant, Bert SHAW; secretary W. J. LAMBERT; treasurer, William MOORE.
Cataract Hose Company No. 7, organized December 31, 1863. Located in a two-story brick and frame building on North Tioga street, and has in charge one two-wheeled racing cart, one four-wheeled hose cart and 500 feet of hose. Foreman Charles TERWILLIGER; first assistant, William BENSON; second assistant, George EDSALL; secretary F. A. VAN VRADENBURG; treasurer, M. H. NORTON.
The gross membership of the department on the 31st of December 1893, was 447.
Following is a list of chief engineers from 1840 to the present time:
Jacob M. McCORMICK, December 19, 1838, to June 23, 1842; Robert HALSEY, June 23, 1842, to January 1, 1850; P. J. PARTENHEIMER, January 17, 1850, to December 31, 1857; Merritt L. WOOD, December 31, 1857, to December 30, 1858; Justus DEMING, December 30, 1858, to December 81, 1859.
LIST OF CHIEF AND ASSISTANT ENGINEERS.
Under the Fire Laws adopted June 25, 1860, and Act of Incorporation, passed April 1. 1871, and amended April 14, 1884:
Following is a list of the officers of the department for 1894:
Chief engineer, Frank COLE; first assistant engineer, A. W. RANDOLPH; second assistant engineer, S. Fred SMITH; president, J. M. WELSH; vice-president, William EGAN; secretary John M. WILGUS; treasurer, Edwin M. HALL.
Trustees of Department: Cayuga Hose Company, No. 1, J. M. WELSH, C. N. KELLY; Rescue Steamer Company, No. 2, A. S. COLE, William EGAN; Ternado Hook and Ladder Company, No. 8, Chas. W. MAJOR, C. L. SMITH; Eureka Hose Company, No. 4, S. S. GRESS, C. G. SELOVER; Torrent Hose Company, No. 5, J. M. WILGUS, J. F. TEDLEY; Sprague Steamer Company, No. 6, Isaac BROKAW, Lester RUNDLE; Cataract Hose Company, No. 7, Thomas TREE, Arthur TOURGEE; Protective Police, H. M. HIBBARD, Franklin C. CORNELL.
In the year 1891 the Gamewell Fire Alarm system was introduced, which now has sixteen boxes, and is a valuable auxiliary to the department. The expenses of the department for 1893 were $3,637.85. There are now fourteen cisterns in the city at the most available points, with 101 hydrants connected with the water supply system. There were nineteen fire alarms in 1893, and the total loss was $17,511.23. The following table shows the number of alarms and losses since 1860:
Following is a list of the Protective Police as constituted in 1893:
The most disastrous fires from which Ithaca has suffered were those of July 14, 1833, which destroyed nearly all of the buildings on the square bounded by Owego (now State), Tioga, Seneca and Aurora streets. Several of these were brick. On the 28th of May, 1840, when everything on the north side of State street from the store of John RUMSEY to the corner of Aurora and Seneca streets, ten three-story brick buildings were burned, causing a loss of about $65,000. Sunday night, July 24, 1842, on the south side of State street, the Chronicle office and buildings to the corner of Tioga street, and three small buildings on the latter street, were burned. On July 10, 1845, an incendiary fire was started in the stables of the Columbian Inn (then called the Franklin House), and swept nearly the entire block bounded by State, Cayuga, Green and Seneca streets, sparing only the three brick stores on the northeast corner of the block, and the residences John L. WHITON and Dr. J. E. HAWLEY on the west. Six horses were burned in the stables. On August 22, 1871, occurred the most destructive fire in the history of the place. The Ithaca Hotel and the entire block on which it stood was swept clean, excepting a few stores on State street. The flames also crossed Tioga street westward and burned the tannery of Edward S. ESTY and many houses on the north side of Green street, and on Tioga several more belonging to Henry L. WHITON.
ITHACA WATER WORKS COMPANY.--A brief reference has already been made to the first attempts to supply the village of Ithaca with water. It is sufficient to state that those attempts were largely abortive, and not until 1853 was a systematic effort made towards accomplishing the object. An act passed the Legislature June 25, 1853, under which Henry W. SAGE, Alfred WELLS, Charles E. HARDY, Anson SPENCER and Joseph E. SHAW were named as incorporators, and they and their associates constituted the Ithaca Water Works Company. The capital was $40,000 This company furnished an inadequate supply of water from springs on East Hill, north of Buffalo street and laid iron pipes in some of the streets. The supply proved insufficient and the works were subsequently sold to a new company, which continued operations under the old charter amended to meet new requirements. In 1875 the company acquired rights on Buttermilk Creek and erected a crib dam in the ravine, from which water is supplied to the city and to a reservoir on South Hill of 1,250,000 gallons capacity. The head from the dam is 215 feet, and from the reservoir 146 feet. The officers of the company are L. L. TREMAN, president; E. M. TREMAN, secretary; and these, with Elias TREMAN, R. R. TREMAN. and Leander R. KING are the directors. Under the present administrating liberal extensions have been made of pipes in all the principal streets of the city, and the public supply is furnished through 101 hydrants. (There are also fourteen cisterns in use in the city).
Other attempts have been made to furnish a water supply, but the were not successful. An act was passed May 23, 1868, in which Alonzo B. CORNELL, Charles M. TITUS, George W. SCHUYLER, John L. WHITON, George McCHAIN, Elias TREMAN, Sewell D. THOMPSON, Edward S. ESTY, Abel BURRITT, Henry J. GRANT, Edwin J. MORGAN, Henry L. WILGUS, John RUMSEY, John H. SELKREG, Henry R. WELLS, and their associates, were named as a body corporate by the title "Ithaca Water Works Company." Capital, $75,000, with power to increase to $150,000. No organization took place under this act.
In 1870 an act was passed by which Henry B. LORD, Rufus BATES and Charles M. TITUS were constituted commissioners for the construction of water works to be owned by the village, and providing for a tax, not exceeding $100,000, to pay the cost thereof; subject first, however to a vote of the tax-payers. When put to a vote the project was defeated.
ITHACA GAS LIGHT COMPANY.--The supply of gas to the village of Ithaca dates back to 1853. The present control of the business is vested in a company under the same title, and is substantially in the hands of the same officers that are at the head of the water company.
STREET RAILWAYS.--It is within only a comparatively brief period that Ithaca has been favored with street railways. The first steps taken in this matter were in the year 1884, when, on the 29th of November, the Ithaca Street Railway Company was organized with a capital of $25,000. During the various changes that have since taken place this capital was first increased, on the 5th of July, 1892, to $175,000, and on the 11th of December 1893, to $250,000. For about two years after the first charter was obtained the undertaking lay dormant. This is scarcely to be wondered at for the peculiar conditions existing in the place in a topographical sense were not encouraging to the projectors of the street railways. While the village was growing rapidly, and its prospects were excellent for future growth, the extension was largely towards the east and the university, and up a steep hill presenting a grade of something like 400 feet to the mile. In the year 1887-88 the first track was laid, extending from the Ithaca Hotel to the railroad stations at the foot of State street. On the 1st of May, 1891, the franchises and property of the old company were transferred to the present organization, and on the 1st of June, 1892, the company purchased the franchise and property of the Brush-Swan Electric Light Company, which it still owns. That company had used electricity on the street cars under the unsatisfactory Daft system stem since January 4. 1888. The Brush-Swan system was adopted in 1891. Upon the reorganization of the company in 1891, as above noted, Charles H. WHITE was made president; D. W. BURDICK vice-president; D. F. VAN VLEET treasurer. Extensive improvements were inaugurated, the track extended up the hill to the Elmira, Cortland and Northern Railroad station, and new and improved cars began running to that point in February, 1893. The franchise for the Tiogra street branch was obtained in May, 1891, and the first cars ran thereon in July of the same year. At the present time a branch crosses the Cascadilla Creek on the university grounds and extends northward for the accommodation of the extensive travel to the institution. The Cayuga Lake Electric Railway Company, organized in 1894, is constructing a line crossing Percy Field and reaching the lake at the southeast corner, formerly known as Renwick, where a steamboat dock is to be built. Its capital is $25,000. The present officers of the company are as followers: president, Horace E. HAND, of Scranton, Pa.; vice president, Hon. Alfred HAND; secretary, treasurer and general manager, H. BERGTHOLTZ; attorney, D. F. VAN VLEET.
The lighting of the streets of Ithaca by electricity by the Brush-Swan Company, above mentioned, was begun in 1883-84, it being one of the first plants for this purpose in the interior of the State. With the transfer of the franchise to the present company, many improvements and enlarged facilities have been introduced, and a contract has just been concluded (December, 1893) under which the company is to supply the city with ninty arc lights for ten years.
BANKS.--Financial affairs in Ithaca, as well as in the other towns in this county, have in past years experienced at least average prosperity in comparison with other localities. Their administration has been, as a rule, conservative and prudent. Aside from the brief periods of exaggerated anticipation, speculation, and culminating stringency and panic, described in the preceding pages of general history, in which almost the entire country shared progress in the increase of wealth and its safe investment has been generally steady and satisfactory throughout the county. It is probably true that few villages or cities in the State of New York have reached the size of Ithaca without experiencing more business failures. While the growth of Ithaca has been, until quite recently, somewhat slow, possibly for that reason its business men have been conservative and prudent in a marked degree. This may have been to a certain extent a weakness, as indicating a lack of progressive public spirit and enterprise; but it has certainly been more conducive to the ultimate benefit of the community than would the unbridled speculation and so called booms that have characterized many other localities.
The needs of banking facilities were felt in Ithaca before the formation of Tompkins county, and resulted in the incorporation of a branch of the Bank of Newburg under an act of the Legislature passed April 18, 1815. The act authorized the officers of that bank to establish an office of discount and deposit in the village of Ithaca, Seneca county. A lot was purchased on Owego (now State) street, west of Cayuga and running through to Green street, and a banking house erected there. That building afterwards became the residence of John L. WHITON. Among the first directors of the institution were William R. COLLINS, Luther GERE, Benjamin DRAKE and Andrew D. W. BRUYN. In 1821 Daniel BATES and Jeremiah S. BEEBE were placed in the directorate; they were all good citizens of Ithaca. Charles W. CONNOR was the first cashier and Abel CORWIN the second. George W. KERR, afterwards president of the Bank of Newburg, was an early clerk in the bank.
On the 22nd of April, 1829, the Bank of Ithaca was incorporated, with authorized capita! of $200,000 in 10,000 shares. Andrew D. W. BRUYN. Henry ACKLEY, Francis A. BLOODGOOD, Hermon CAMP, Horace MACK, Jeremiah S. BEEBE, David HANMER, Ebenezer MACK, Ira TILLOTSON and Nicoll HALSEY were made commissioners with the usual powers to receive subscriptions. The entire amount of stock was taken in three days. In April, 1830, the real estate owned by the older institution was sold to the Bank of Ithaca. Following are the names of the first board of directors: Luther GERE, president; A. D. W. BRUYN, Daniel BATES, James NICK OLS, Benjamin DRAKE, Jeremiah S. BEEBE, Henry ACKLEY, Calvin BURR, William RANDALL, Stephen TUTTLE, Jonathan PR ATT, David HANMER and Ebenezer MACK. The first cashier was Ancel ST. JOHN, who was succeeded by Thomas P. ST. JOHN and William B. DOUGLASS. Subsequently this bank erected the brick building on the south side of State street, which passed to possession of TREMAN Brothers, who made extensive alterations in its front. This building is now the Ithaca post-office. The charter of the bank expired in 1850.
TOMPKINS COUNTY BANK.--This financial institution was chartered in 1836, with authorized capital of $250,000. The following composed the first board of directors: Hermon CAMP, president; Timothy S. WILLIAMS, Jeremiah S. BEEBE, Horace MACK, William R. COLLINS, Robert HALSEY, Edmund G. PELTON, Julius ACKLEY, Chauncey L. GRANT, Moses STEVENS, Edward C. REED, Charles DAVIS, and Augustus C. MARSH. The first cashier was Seth H. MANN, who was succeeded bay Nathan T. WILLIAMS. Upon his death he was succeeded by Philip J. PARTENHEIMER, who had been the first book-keeper in 1839, and was promoted to teller upon the death of William Henry HALL. Mr. PARTENHEIMER was succeeded by Henry L. HINCKLEY in January, 1881, who still holds the position. Succeeding Mr. CAMP as president were Amasa DANA, and next, Chauncey L. GRANT. The present capable official and astute financier, Lafayette L. TREMAN, assumed the office in 1873, and has therefore filled it for over twenty years. The present Board of Directors is composed as follows: Besides the officers above named, John C. GAUNTLETT, vice-president; Roswell BEARDSLEY, John BARDEN, L. R. KING, Elias TREMAN, and Robert H. TREMAN. The bank has surplus and profits of about $78,000, and its average deposits are $300,000. The capital has recently been reduced to $150,000.
Under the National Bank Act this institution was reorganized in 1866, becoming the Tompkins County National Bank. The commodious building now occupied by the institution was erected by it in the year 1838. In 1892 a Safe Deposit Department was added, in an extension made to the original building.
MERCHANTS' AND FARMERS' BANK.--This financial institution was organized under the law on the 18th of April, 1838, with a capital of $150,000, which was equally divided between the three brothers, Timothy S. WILLIAMS, Manuel R. WILLIAMS, and Josiah B. WILLIAMS. After the death of the first two named, the bank continued with Josiah B. WILLIAMS as president, and was absorbed by the First National Bank in 1873. Charles E. HARDY was cashier during most of the life of the bank, and until his death.
THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK.--This bank was organized in 1864, with a capital of $150,000 by the following named persons: John McGRAW, John SOUTHWORTH, Ebenezer T. TURNER, Ezra CORNELL, Douglass BOARDMAN, John C. STOWELL, Joseph ESTY, E. S. ESTY, Alonzo B. CORNELL, George R. WILLIAMS. The capital remained as at first until 1873 when the Merchants' and Farmers' Bank was absorbed and the capital raised to $250,000 and so remains. The first president was Ebenezer T. TURNER, and the first cashier, Alonzo B. CORNELL. John McGRAW succeeded Mr. TURNER as president; J. B. WILLIAMS next occupied the position, and he by Douglass BOARDMAN, who filled the position until his death in August, 1890, when George R. WILLIAMS assumed the office. Henry B. LORD became cashier of the bank in 1866, and faithfully and efficiently served in that capacity ever since. The directors of this bank, besides the officers named, are as follows: John C. STOWELL, vice-president; Calvin D. STOWELL, F. M. FINCH, Albert H. ESTY, Samuel B. TURNER, Truman BOARDMAN, S. D. HALLIDAY, R. B. WILLIAMS, Clarence H. ESTY. The bank statement of October, 1893 shows a surplus of $50,000, undivided profits of $33,770.50; and loans and discounts of $33,140.89. Deposits, $375,000.
SAVINGS BANK.--The first act incorporating the Ithaca Savings Bank was passed April 17, 1863. No action was taken under that act and the charter was revived by an Act of April 3, 1868, which named the following directors: Ezra CORNELL, Douglass BOARDMAN, John H. SELKREG, William ANDRUS, Joseph ESTY, John RUMSEY, John L. WHITON, Leonard TREMAN, Obadiah B. CURRAN, George W. SCHUYLER, Wesley HOOKER, and their successors. Ezra CORNELL was made the first president of the institution, and was succeeded at his death, in 1874, by John RUMSEY, who had been vice-president from the first. He held the position until his death in April, 1882. John L. WHITON succeeded him on the 22nd of January, 1883, and on his death Leonard TREMAN was elected, January 24, 1887. He died on the 26th of May, 1888, and on June 6 succeeding, Roger B. WILLIAMS, the present president, was elected. The other officers at the date of organization were William ANDRUS and George W. SCHUYLER, vice-presidents; Obadiah B. CURRAN, treasurer and secretary; F. M. FINCH, attorney. The office of vice-president is now filled by John H. SELKREG, first vice-president; John C. GAUNTLETT, second vice-president; W. J. STORMS, secretary and treasurer, Mynderse VAN CLEEF, attorney. In 1890 the bank erected the handsome and substantial building, a part of which it now occupies, at a cost of about $60,000, besides the site.
The Ithaca Trust Company began business on the 7th of December 1891, transacting a regular banking and trust deposit business. Its capital is $100,000. Following are the first and present officers and directors of the company: President, Franklin C. CORNELL; vice-president, Francis M. FINCH; secretary and treasurer, Frederic J. WHITON; cashier, William H. STORMS; attorney, Mynderse VAN CLEEF; directors Charles F. BLOOD, Franklin C. CORNELL, Albert H. ESTY, Francis M. FINCH, Elias TREMAN, Lafayette L. TREMAN, Samuel B. TURNER, Charles E. VAN CLEEF, John C. GAUNTLETT, Levi KENNEY, William H. SAGE. David B. STEWART, Mynderse VAN CLEEF, Frederic J. WHITON, Charles M. WILLIAMS, Emmons L. WILLIAMS.
RECORDED'S COURT.--This court was established in the city by the law which founded the city government, May 2, 1887. Previous to that time the justices of the peace, constables and police had been relied upon to protect the property and persons of citizens of the place. The new charter provided that the then acting police justice should fill the office of recorder for the remainder of the period for which the justice was elected; but it so happened that the office of justice was vacant on the incoming of the new government, and the mayor appointed D. F. VAN VLEET as the first regular incumbent of the position. He held the office until March 1, 1888, and was succeeded by Myron N. TOMPKINS, who was elected for a term of three years. Clarence L. SMITH succeeded him and served until March, 1894. He was succeeded by Eron C. VAN KIRK, who was elected recorder for a full term.
The recorder has jurisdiction over all criminal business in the city, without a jury, and is empowered to hold courts of special sessions, and to admit to bail all persons charged with crime before him in cases of felon, when imprisonment in the State prison on conviction cannot exceed five years; with other various powers usually attaching to that office. The salary is $1,000 and use of an office.
COURT HOUSE, JAIL AND CLERK'S OFFICE.--The present court house, built in 1854, occupies the original site selected at the formation of the county in 1817. The structure at the time it was removed had somewhat changed during the thirty-seven years it existed, but still had a most venerable appearance. It was of wood, two stories high, and with a tower or steeple the architectural beauty of which was at the best unimpressive. The basement and a single room in the rear on the west side were the jailer's quarters for himself and his family; the front room was for jurors. A wide hall ran north and south through the building, with doors on either side, and on the east side were six cells for the safe keeping of prisoners, unless those who were detained chose to saw through the wooden sides or doors or manipulate the very simple locks, which lacked nothing in size but were sadly deficient in security. It was a very patient prisoner who would long remain in confinement. The locks at one time caused the jailer to become suspicious and he called in a locksmith to examine them. Going in his own rooms for keys, he found on his return that the expert had opened the doors by the aid of a crooked nail.
The second story of the building was the court room, heated by stoves and lighted in the most primitive manner. John GRAHAM, the murderer, was allowed by the sheriff to stand in the front window of the court room and attempt to address the crowd below, just before his execution on the 5th of May, 1842.
The steeple of this court house was partially burned at the time of the destruction of the Baptist church by fire.
Under the law of 1817, which organized Tompkins county, the free holders of the new county were required to give bonds in $7,000 to be expended as the Board of Supervisors should direct, and Luther GERE, William R. COLLINS and Daniel BATES were the commissioners designated to superintend the erection of the building. On the 13th of April, 1819, an enabling act was passed by the Legislature empowering the supervisors to raise $3,000 with which to finish the court house and jail.
The commissioners who constructed the present court house seem to have been impressed with the idea that a vaulted room was the proper thing, and sacrificed acoustic and heating properties to please the eye. Thus judges, attorneys and litigants have lost volumes of eloquence which floated away into the peak where the mercury marked blood heat while the crowd shivered below. Under orders of the court the supervisors roofed over the room, and it is now possible to hear what is said therein and avoid the danger of freezing in zero weather. Money has also been appropriated to replace the old style furnaces and ventilate the structure.
A law was passed on the 21st of March, 1821, providing for the erection of a county clerk's office, the supervisors being authorized to raise $1,000 for the purpose. Luther GERE, Nathan HERRICK and John JOHNSON were the commissioners appointed by the act.
This old clerk's office eventually became unsafe and inadequate for its purpose, and measures were adopted for building a new one. The old building was demolished and work was begun on the present clerk's office on the 2nd of April, 1862.
A new stone jail was erected on the east side of the court house lot in 1854. At that time the cells therein were deemed more than ample to contain all who might be confined there at any one time, but on many occasions their capacity has been fully tested. The jail cost between $15,000 and $16,000.
STREETS.--The streets of Ithaca in years past were not such as to reflect the utmost credit upon the city, or to give the greatest pleasure to those who were compelled to use them most. But in quite recent years a sentiment has come into existence which will soon work a great change, the influence of which is already manifest. Under the act of 1882 the Ithaca Paving Commission was created in 1892, consisting of O. H. GREGORY (deceased December 27, 1893), Holmes HOLLISTER, Charles F. BLOOD, and ex-Mayor Henry A. ST. JOHN became a member by virtue of his office. This commission has taken an advanced view of the needs of the city as to its streets, and already most gratifying progress has been made in paving several of the principal streets in the most substantial manner.
THEATER.--The village and city were long in need of better accommodations for public entertainments before measures were adopted to secure them. Finally in 1893 the Lyceum Company was incorporated, with a capital of $31,500, for the purpose of erecting a modern opera house that would be worthy of the city. The following are the officers of the company: E. M. TREMAN, president; C. H. WHITE, vice-president; B. F. JERVIS, secretary; Fred. J. WHITEN, treasurer. Directors: E. M. TREMAN, C. H. WHITE, B. F. JERVIS, F. J. WHITON, M. VAN CLEEF, R. A. CROZIER, Charles M. WILLIAMS, L. L. TREMAN, S. B. TURNER. Stockholders; Elias TREMAN, R. H. TREMAN, Robt. REED, John FURY, Geo. H. BAKER, R. B. WILLIAMS, Geo. R. WILLIAMS, Wm. B. ESTERBROOK, De F. WILLIAMS, N. S. HAWKINS, R. WOLF, F. W. PHILLIPS, F. W. BROOKS, S. H. WINTON, J. M. JAMIESON, L. R. KING, Levi KENNEY, H. E. DANN, J. M. McKINLEY, C. E. TREMAN.
The site selected is a central and convenient one, the main entrance on Cayuga street, and the services of the well known theatrical architects, Leon LEMPERT & Son, of Rochester, secured. Plans were drawn and the work of construction was rigorously pushed during 1892-93. M. M. GUTSTADT was given the management, and on the 27th October, 1893, the house was opened.
This theater is one of the finest in the State in all respects. It is on the ground floor, with balcony and gallery; is steam heated; has a seating capacity of 1,200, and four private boxes, and nineteen loges; sixteen exits from the auditorium on State, Cayuga and Green streets. There are fourteen commodious dressing rooms, and the stage is forty by sixty feet, with a height of twentv-six and one-half feet in the proscenium arch. The cost of the theater and its furnishings was about $65,000. Since its opening, the Lyceum, as it has been appropriately named, has had upon its stage many of the first class traveling companies, who have received a liberal patronage. The members of the Lyceum Company have conferred a permanent and worthy institution upon the city.
PUBLIC HOUSES.--The first public house in Ithaca that is entitled to the name was probably the one built by Luther GERE on the southeast corner of Aurora and Seneca streets in 1805, of which he was the owner and landlord. According to Mr. KING, in 1806 a Mr. HARTSHORN kept a tavern "just across the street south of the village hall," and another stood on the site of the Tompkins House, which was kept by Jacob S. VROOMAN. The tavern above referred to as kept by HARTSHORN was built by David QUIGG, and was, with a brick office built by Alfred WELLS, removed in 1865, to clear the site for the Cornell Library. VROOMAN called his house the Ithaca Hotel. In 1809 Luther GERE built the then grand edifice, mentioned by Mr. CLINTON in his journal, which became widely known as the Ithaca Hotel, Mr. VROOMAN having meanwhile changed the name of his house to "Tompkins," in honor of the then new governor, Daniel D. TOMPKINS. On the 27th of July, 1813, Mr. GERE sold his house to Elnathan ANDRUS, having occupied it only two years; he soon afterward removed to Cincinnati. Returning in 1816, he again took the hotel, but for only a short period; and in that or the following year he began erecting the "Columbian Inn," on the northwest corner of Owego (State) and Cayuga streets, previously the site of a little red house occupied by Higby BURRELL. GERE's new house became a popular resort. It was afterwards kept by Joseph KELLOGG, Jacob KERR (from New Jersey), and Moses DAVENPORT be between 1822 and 1825. Among them Abram BYINGTON and Michael BLUE kept the house, the latter in 1836; still later a Mr. HOUPT was the landlord, and William H. BRUNDAGE kept the house for a time. Sewell D. THOMPSON, who kept the Clinton House in 1862, was the proprietor of the Ithaca Hotel in 1842-3. In 1831 the Columbian Inn was the scene of the murder of Mrs. Gun CLARK by her husband (previously described), and naturally suffered from the unwelcome notoriety, and soon after Mr. BRUNDAGE's proprietorship the building was dismembered, the larger part becoming the "Carson Tavern" on the west side of Cayuga street, between State and Green streets. By a somewhat strange coincidence that part of the building was the scene of another murderous plot, the result of which was the killing of a shoemaker, John JONES, in 1841. This part of the old hotel was burned June 10, 1845. Two other parts of it afterwards became dwellings.
The popular "Grant's Coffee House " was built by a Mr. TEETER before the year 1811, for his own use; but he was soon succeeded by Jesse GRANT, an enterprising business man, who gave the house its well known name and its great popularity. Mr. GRANT had for a time after his arrival in Ithaca kept the hotel built by a Mr. GERE, corner of Seneca and Aurora streets. The Coffee House was burned in 1833 or 1835, and the Grant block erected on its site after its occupancy by wooden buildings for a period. It was as again burned in the forties and the present structure then erected. In comparatively recent years Chauncey L. GRANT, son of Jesse, kept a coffee house on the same site.
The Clinton House was begun in 1828 and finished in 1831, in substantially its present form. It was for many years the most imposing structure in the village, and even now has not lost its dignified appearance, with its 120 feet of front and lofty pillars. The barns of the former Columbian Inn occupied a part of this site and became a stable for the Clinton House. The house was greatly improved in 1862, and has on several occasions been altered internally. Its registers have borne the names of many of the most eminent men in the State. The house was kept for many years by Sewell D. THOMPSON, leasing it in 1850 for fifteen years; but before the end of the term he purchased a one-third interest in the property, and Ezra CORNELL bought the other two-thirds. Mr. THOMPSON subsequently became sole owner and was a popular landlord for more than thirty years. The house in now owned by John M. SMITH and kept by Charles BUSH.
The old Ithaca Hotel built by Mr. GERE in 1809, was used as a hotel for more than half a century, but fell in flames in the great fire of August, 1871. The old house had been popularly managed after 1866 by Col. W. H. WELCH, and for a few years before it was destroyed, by his son, O. B. WELCH. The new hotel (the present one) was finished in 1872 at a cost of $64,000. It was opened by Colonel WELCH and his son, and successfully conducted by them until the death of Colonel WELCH in 1873, when a stock company bought the property, and the management was placed in the hands of A. SHERMAN & Son, formerly of Syracuse. In 1880 Frederick SHERMAN withdrew from the business. In 1885 the management of the house passed to its present proprietor, Henry D. FREER, who has successfully conducted it since. Mr. FREER is also proprietor of the Taughannock House, a very popular resort at the celebrated falls of that name in the town of Ulysses. At this house he has made great improvements recently, and it is kept in first-class style.
The Tompkins House, corner of Seneca and Aurora streets, is one of the historic hotels of Ithaca and dates back to 1832. It was original a story and a half structure, but in 1865 it passed into possession of Samuel A. HOLMES and A. B. STAMP, who rebuilt it and made it substantially a new structure. Mr. HOLMES withdrew from the management of the house in 1877, and Mr. STAMP conducted the house until E. B. HOAGLAND took it. The firm is now HOAGLAND & LACEY. Beside these three old and well known public houses, there are, perhaps, a dozen others of various kinds in different parts of the city, most of them established in recent years and not calling for especial mention in these pages.
MANUFACTURE.--In the course of the preceding pages many of the early manufactures of Ithaca have been necessarily alluded to, but brief review of the various industries, past and present, is desirable. It has been stated that several of the very early, as well as later, manufactories were situated on Fall Creek. This property was owned in early times by Benjamin PELTON(1), the conspicuous pioneer, who bought nearly 200 acres on lot 94. On the 26th of May, 1813. Mr. PELTON sold to Phineas BENNETT 170 acres from the north end of lot 94, and in 1814 the latter built a grist mill a little east and south of the site of A. M. HULL's present mill. The water was carried to the wheel in a wooden flume framed into the rock, along the south side of the stream, from a point above the main fall down a considerable distance, where it was taken in a channel in the rock. BENNETT gave PELTON a mortgage for $4,000 on the property, which was assigned to George WELLS; he foreclosed it, and the property was bid off by David WOODCOCK for $3,200, on the 11th of January, 1817. In some manner Mr. BENNETT and his son seem to have again acquired or to have retained an interest, as indicated by the fact that December 14, 1816, they conveyed to Abner HOWLAND the land on which stood the chair factory of the latter together with "water from the falls" sufficient to run the factory. On July, 14, 1819, the BENNETTs conveyed to Barney McGOFFIN and Ansel BENNETT for $1,600 "all the plaster mill and carding room in same, for and during the time the same shall stand." This plaster mill and carding machine had, of course, been established in the mean time.
On the 22d of April, 1817, David WOODCOCK and others conveyed to Frederick DEMING and Jonathan F. THOMPSON, for $600, a piece of land fifty feet square immediately east of the bridge over Fall Creek. Those two men built an oil mill on the land, and were soon (1820-21) succeeded by THOMPSON & PORTER, who added a distillery. THOMPSON & PORTER were already leading merchants in the village. In June, 1822, Mr. THOMPSON sold his mercantile interest to his partner Solomon PORTER, and greatly increased his distilling business; he advertised at one time for 100 head of cattle for stall feeding. Above the oil mill stood a saw mill which BENNETT had rebuilt about 1816-17; it was probably first built before BENNETT's purchase of 1813. Just above this saw mill a dam was erected across the creek into which the water from BENNETT 's plaster and grist mills discharged through a flume in the rock. In 1822 a small foundry stood near the saw mill and was owned by Origen ATWOOD and Sylvester ROPER; it is said that the smelting furnace was made of a potash kettle.
On the 9th of November, 1827, Jeremiah S. BEEBE bought of David WOODCOCK 120 acres of land, including the grist mill before referred to. The mill then had two run of stones and was carried by an overshot wheel. At that date the plaster mill was under lease to GERE, GUNN & NICHOLS, and the distillery was leased to GERE & GUNN for ten years. Mr. BEEBE continued to operate the grist mill without much alteration until 1830, when he entirely rebuilt it, and engaged Ezra CORNELL to run it. In the following year he began the construction of the historical tunnel. This then remarkable engineering project was carried forward under Mr. CORNELL's direction and finished in the summer of 1832. It was cut from the rock, about two hundred feet in length, twelve feet wide and thirteen feet high, and was completed at the small cost of $2,000.(2) A dam was built above this tunnel from which the water flowed through the tunnel and then through an open raceway to the mills. The old flume was abandoned.
On December 1, 1838, Horace MACK, of the firm of MACK & FERRIS and John James SPEED (see history of the town of Caroline), of the firm of SPEED & TOURTELIOT purchased the BEEBE grist mill and power for $26,000. They carried it on only one year. They built the old store house at the steamboat landing to facilitate their grain handling. April 1, 1840, Mr. MACK conveyed his interest in the mill to Chauncey PRATT and Chauncey L. GRANT. In 1840 the Ithaca Falls Woolen Manufacturing Company purchased the property and enlarged the mill and put in woolen manufacturing machinery, making the building five stories in height. This organization seems to have been badly managed; stock was taken by farmers and other citizens to a large amount. In the latter years of its existence it was conducted at a loss, the deficiency being made up by assessments, until in 1851 the entire building and its contents were destroyed by fire. It had, however, been disused some time previous to the fire. In 1854 Henry S. WALBRIDGE became owner of the property and built a new grist mill on the old foundation. He failed in business and the property passed to possession of A. M. HULL, who has conducted the mill ever since. A stock company has just been formed called the Fall Creek Milling Company, of which A. M. HULL is president.
On the 16th of July, 1819, Otis EDDY and Thomas S. MATTHEWSON purchased of Phineas BENNETT (before mentioned), and others, a small piece of land, four rods by five, on which they built the first paper mill in Tompkins county. Chester WAKBRIDGE soon afterward obtained an interest in the business, and continued until April 1, 1822, with Mr. MATTHEWSON, Mr. EDDY having retired in August, 1820. In October. 1823, MACK & MORGAN purchased an interest in this mill, then publishers of the American Journal and proprietors of the bookstore on State street. The mill for years afterwards did a large business in making printing and writing papers, one part of it being devoted to the manufacture of wrapping paper exclusively, under the management and partial ownership of James TRENCH. Both mills finally passed to MACK & ANDRUS, by whom they were improved from time to time. The white paper mill was nearly destroy by fire in 1846. The proprietors immediately built a white paper mill at Forest Home, then known as Free Hollow. In 1851 they rebuilt the brick mill at Fall Creek and removed the manufacture there, abandoning the Forest Home property. MACK & ANDRUS were succeeded by MACK, ANDRUS & WOODRUFF; ANDRUS, WOODRUFF & GAUNTLETT; ANDRUS, GAUNTLETT & Co.; ANDRUS, McCHAIN & Co., and finally from Mrs. Mary L. McCHAIN, the wrapping mill passed to its present owners, ENZ & MILLER, in 1887. Wrapping paper is principally made, about twenty-five tons a week being turned out.
The other mill making book and newspaper papers at Fall Creek passed through various hands to S. H. LANEY, of Elmira, and from him to M. H. ARNOT. In February, 1892, the Elmira Stamping and Paper Company was incorporated, with A. A. WATTERS, president; T. H. FARLEY, vice-president; P. B. SMITH, secretary. C. A. BROWN is superintendent. White paper only is made.
The business of tanning leather is almost always a pioneer industry in all new settlements in this county, the cause of which is obvious in the ready supply of bark. Captain Comfort BUTLER, who came to Ithaca before 1808, built a tannery on the southeast corner of Aurora and Buffalo streets, the latter street not being then open. In later years the building became a residence.
This tanner was conducted prior to 1821 for some time by William BUTLER and George CARPENTER, who dissolved partnership in August of that year, and Captain BUTLER commanded a boat running between Ithaca and Syracuse. He was drowned in Cayuga Lake, November 21, 1821. One of his daughters was the wife of A. P. SEARING. In April, 1822, Rev. William BROWN leased the tanner. One of his advertisements reads; "If there should be any gentlemen who wish to have their hides or skin tanned on shares, they may rely they shall have justice done them." The italics are his.
Daniel BATES settled in Ithaca about 1812, and purchased of Mr. GARDNER a tannery which stood on the east side of Aurora street, nearly opposite where William M. ESTY recently lived, on the (then) north branch of the Six Mile Creek. To obtain additional water Mr. BATES built a dam in Cascadilla Creek, directly south of the Cascadilla Mill, diverting the water into a raceway. COOPER, PELTON & Co. succeeded Mr. BATES in the tannery, and it afterwards passed, with other property, to John TICHENOR. It long ago disappeared.
In 1816 George BLYTHE built a wool carding and cloth dressing factory on Aurora street, north of the tannery of Mr. BATES and directly over the creek. In May, 1820 it was removed by its builder to BENNETT's plaster mill at Fall Creek. and in 1825 he transferred the machinery to the mill then owned by A. D. W. BRUYN on Six Mile Creek. It must have been brought back to its original site, for Samuel J. BLYTHE was operating it there in 1841, and afterwards George J. BLYTHE carried on the business.
Virgil D. and Ben MORSE had an oil mill which they operated many years on the lowest water power from the Willow Pond. The buisness was finally abandoned.
A Mr. ROBINSON built a grist mill prior to 1818 on Six Mile Creek, which in the year named passed to Archer GREEN, and David Booth BEERS put a carding machine in the building. A. D. W. BRNYN next owned the property about 1825, and Otis EDDY carried on a small cotton factory there. It was to this building that Mr. BLYTHE transfer his wool carding business in 1826, as above stated. The structure changed in 1838, under the ownership of Jacob M. McCORMICK, into oil mill. About the year 1851 it was superseded by him with a flour mill, which was burned in 1853.
General John SMITH(3) purchased the Solomon BRYANT farm on East Hill some time between 1795 and 1801, and soon afterwards became interested in real estate on the flat, which included the site of the historical HALSEY's mill, which stood nearly on the site of the abandoned electric light and power station, which is now used only as a storehouse for idle cars. SMITH probably built a grist mill, and perhaps a distillery, and the grist mill he sold to Judge Salmon BUELL before 1811. About 1814 Judge BUELL convened the mill property to David WOODCOCK and Daniel SHEPARD, and they, in September, 1818, to Phineas BENNETT and Phineas BENNETT, jr. The BENNETTs purchased also land west of the mill site on the turnpike (now State street). In December, 1820, the BENNETTs sold a quarter interest to Edward DAVIDSON, and a little prior to this the three partners (BENNETTs and DAVIDSON) joined in an agreement with Daniel BATES to permit on their part the waters of Six Mile Creek to be conveyed by the channel already formed to Mr. BATES's tannery; Mr. BATES agreeing on his part to defend any suits for damage that might be brought by reason of such diversion. This agreement caused much subsequent litigation. Mr. BATES and Archer GREEN were contemporaries in the use of the water, which did not always supply both the mill and the tannery; hence, in the summer of 1822, GREEN built a dam which kept the water from the north branch. BATES removed the dam, which was as replaced by GREEN. Finally the two met one day and BATES threw GREEN into the creek. Mr. BATES then sought his supply of water from the Cascadilla, as before stated.
In the year 1820 C. W. E. PRESCOTT opened a store on the west side of Aurora street, near State. In 1821 he removed to his new store, then lately built on the corner of Tioga and State streets, now owned by James T. MORRISON. In 1823 he built the "Ithaca Brewery," on the east side of Six Mile Creek, below Clinton street. The brewery in 1826 passed to O. H. GREGORY and Wait T. HUNTINGTON, who were then in mercantile business in what became a part of the TREMAN, KING & Company's store. The brewery became the property of Mr. HUNTINGTON, and the business was superintended for years by Mr. GREGORY. After passing through various ownerships, and continuing in operation to about the time of the breaking out of the war, the building was burned in 1878.
In 1824 Jonathan BRIDGES built what was called the "Eagle Factory," on the northeast corner of Cayuga and Clinton streets, water power being taken from Six Mile Creek with a dam a little north of Clinton street. Mr. BRIDGES manufactured woolen goods here for many years. The property passed into the hands of James RAYMOND, but the business was as finally abandoned and the building was as vacant for many years, except as it was the headquarters of the Millerites during the excitement preceding the date when they believed they were to be transferred to another and a better sphere. The sect was quite numerous and very enthusiastic, and there are probably persons living in Ithaca to-day who threw away money publicly upon the expectation that they would never have an opportunity of spending it. The night of the expected end of all things earthly some rogues set fire to the building and it was burned down.
In the year 1832 Alvah BEEBE built a stone grist mill on the Spencer road, a short distance from its intersection with Cayuga street; the power was from Six Mile Creek, by a dam a few rods below the site of the brewery, the water running in a race cut in the shade rock on the southerly bank of the creek. The mill was burned in 1840.
In 1826 a cotton factory was started on the East Hill by Otis EDDY, who had already begun the business in a small way, as before stated. On the 4th of July of that year the foundation of the dam, which still exists, was laid by Mr. EDDY, assisted by Joseph ESTY, Joel PALMER, Isaac KENNEDY, and the usual contingent of boys. This dam and the Willow Pond at Cascadilla Place were finished and the mill started about the beginning of 1827. The building was as of stone quarried near by. It will be remembered that Solomon SOUTHWICK described the property in 1834 as "a cotton factory, store, and about twenty dwellings." The factory contained 1,600 spindles end turned out 1,000 yards of cotton cloth daily. The mill property was bounded on the west by Eddy street, as now opened, and extended east along the Cascadilla. The manufacture of cotton goods was abandoned after twelve years as unremunerative, and the old factories, which had long been unoccupied, were removed in 1866 to make room for the large stone structure called Cascadilla Place now owned by the university.
A machine shop was also established on the East Hill by Otis EDDY, and there Ezra CORNELL began work in 1829, under a year's engagement. This was removed and Cascadilla Place erected on its site.
The manufacture of hats was carried on in Ithaca at an early day somewhat extensively, as it was then in many small places. Henry and Julius ACKLEY came from New London, Conn., to Ithaca in 1809, and were long residents of the place. Both built dwellings for themselves. Henry HIBBARD came soon after the ACKLEYs and joined with them, under the firm name of ACKLEYs & HIBBARD, in the manufacture and trade in hats. They were in business on the corner of Buffalo and Aurora streets, and about 1815 removed to a brick structure, the first one built in the place, erected by William LESLEY, on the north side of Owego (now State) street, east of Aurora street. Julius ACKLEY retired from the firm in 1820, and the other partners, under the style of ACKLEY & HIBBARD, removed to another store "a few rods west of the hotel" on Owego street. Julius ACKLEY then began business again in the former location, and soon after took another brother, Gibbons J. ACKLEY as partner. A few years later he joined with Ebenezer JENKINS in a general store on the southeast corner of State and Cayuga streets, where he had erected a brick building (now occupied by TREMAN, KING & Co.).
John WHITON had a cabinet shop in 1816-17 on the west side of Aurora street just south of Seneca. He removed to another location and was succeeded by his son Luther. John WHITON died March 24, 1827. His son who bore his name was long a prominent business man, and sons Luther and George also carried on a cabinet and furniture establishment on Aurora street.
The present Cascadilla grist mill was built in 1846 by T. S. WILLIAMS, who died in 1848 and the property passed to SAGE & SHAW. The firm afterwards changed to J. E. SHAW & Co., and in 1858 it was purchased by H. C. WILLIAMS. It is now owned by the WILLIAMS estate, and is under lease to John E. VAN NATTA.
The account of these old industries may be closed with a little more of Mr. SOUTHWICK's writing concerning them. He says:
I descended the creek again, and determined to take a walk along the northern verge. The first object that presents itself here is General Simeon DE WITT's grist mill,(4) erected twenty years since. It has two runs of stone, is farmed out to Mr. John BROWN and grinds on an average 25 bushels per day; can grind 100.
Next comes William P. STONE's window-sash, picket and lath factory; here about 50,000 lights are turned out annually. A looking-glass factory is the next establishment, not. however, in a flourishing condition at present.
Next to this is John J. HUTCHING's chair and turning factory. Only from three to four hands are employed steadily in this factory, which turns out about 1,600 Windsor chairs annually. Present price from $10 to $12 per dozen.
The grist mill, the sash and the chair factories are carried on by water power. Immediately above the chair factory is a large building erected for an oil mill and used as such for some time, but is now at a stand.
THE ITHACA CALENDER CLOCK COMPANY.--This has long been one of the leading industries of Ithaca, and the village has the honor the place of residence of the inventor of the first calendar to moved by machinery. The inventor was T. H. HAWES, who tot patent in 1853. It did not register the extra day in February leap year, and was otherwise imperfect. In 1854 W. H. AKINS,(5) of Caroline, invented an improvement on this calendar, removing most of its defects and he sold his rights to HUNTINGTON & PLATTS, who brought it to Ithaca to the MIX Brothers to manufacture. These brothers made further improvements for which patents were granted in 1860 and 1862, and after a few years of manufacture of large bank clocks, HUNTINGTON & PLATTS sold out their rights to the Seth Thomas Clock Company. In the years 1864-65 Henry B. HORTON, of Ithaca, a very ingenious inventor, perfected a new perpetual calendar, the best made, and in 1865 took out his patent. This patent, with subsequent minor improvements, passed to the Ithaca Calendar Clock Company, which was formed in 1868, with John H. SELKREG president; Samuel P. SHERWOOD vice-president; Wm. J. STORMS secretary and treasurer. The capital was only $8,000 and the manufacture began on a very limited scale; but the clock was a success and found a ready market and the business developed rapidly. About 1869 the works were removed to a large building on State street, and the business continued to increase until 1874 when Messrs. SELKREG and SHERWOOD were succeeded as president and vice-president by B. G. JAYNE and Hervey PLATTS, and the capital was increased to $150,000, while a large three story brick building was erected on the old fair grounds. On February 12, 1876, the entire works were burned, and were immediately rebuilt. In the fall of 1877, Charles H. WHITE succeeded Mr. STORMS as secretary and treasurer, and H. M. DURPHY was given the general superintendence. At the election of officers in 1894 Charles H. BLAIR, Otis E. WOOD and Charles H. WHITE were chosen to respectively fill the offices of president, vice-president and secretary and treasurer. The clocks produced by this company have a world wide reputation for excellence.
THE AUTOPHONE COMPANY.--This company was formed to manufacture a musical instrument which is largely automatic, and is the result of inventions of Mr. Henry B. HORTON, the inventor of the calendar clock. Many attempts were made to produce a musical instrument which could be played by the uninitiated, and still rise above the toy in character. This desired result is produced by the autophone and its much more valuable successor, the roller organ, which the Autophone Company now manufactures almost wholly. The first patents were granted to Mr. HORTON in 1877 and 1878, and were followed by his device for cutting the paper music used in the instruments. A company was thereupon incorporated in 1879 by Francis M. FINCH, H. F. HIBBARD, and H. B. HORTON. Accommodations for manufacturing the autophone were secured in the Clock Company's building, and the popularity of the new instrument was such that the capacity of the works had to be increased several times within the first few years of the business. The manufacture of the original instrument has been now almost wholly superseded by the roller organ, which has been devised by the company, an instrument that is far superior to its predecessor. Several styles, varying in price, are made, and an almost unlimited collection of music, from which selections may be made, is kept on hand. The officers of the company are H. A. ST. JOHN, president; H. M. HIBBARD, treasurer; W. F. FINCH, secretary.
The tannery of Comfort BUTLER has been mentioned. In the year 1822 Joseph ESTY came to Ithaca to become one of its leading citizens. He borrowed $1,000 and at first leased the small tannery, and by industry and economy, he was able in 1823 to purchase of Simeon DE WITT the lot at the corner of Tioga and Green streets, where he erected a large tannery, sinking forty pits in the ground. From 1840 to 1845 Alexander HART was partner in the business, and from that date to 1852 the firm was Joseph ESTY & Son. This was succeeded by his son, Edward S. ESTY; the latter was for many years prominent in the various affairs of Ithaca. (See biography ).
The tannery was burned in 1871, but was rebuilt on a much larger scale in the western part of the village, and the firm was long in the front rank of the business men of the place. The capacity of the tannery as 50,000 sides of sole leather annually. The firm also operated two other tanneries, one at Candor and one at Cattatonk, in Tioga county. The whole tanning interest was sold out to the United States Leather Company of New York and Clarence H. and Albert H. ESTY are managers of the industry for that company.
On the site of the Phoenix Iron Works was in early years the foundry of Vincent CONRAD, which had been operated still earlier by others. It passed to proprietorship of MOORE, HACKETT & Company, and later to TITUS & BOSTWICK, who established and largely developed the manufacture of the Ithaca wheel horse rake. (See biography of Charles M. TITUS). In 1870 the business passed to BOSTWICK & WILLIAMS, who were succeeded in 1872 by WILLIAMS Brothers (George R., Henry S. and Roger B. WILLIAMS). Since 1883 it has been conducted by Roger B. WILLIAMS. The works comprise one of the largest and most successful industries in the city, and manufacture rakes, steam engines, grain sowers, straw and feed cutters, and do a general machine business.
As far back as 1830 a foundry and machine business was in operation on the site of the Masonic Temple on Tioga street, by McCORMICK & COY. This concern changed hands frequently, and in 1841 J. S. REYNOLDS began learning his trade there as a moulder. In 1861 Mr. REYNOLDS leased the property. In 1865 he took as a partner John B. LANG, a skillful machinist, and the business has continued successfully. The works were established on Green street in August, 1870, where they now are. Steam engines, portable sawmills, land rollers, plows, horse hoes and cultivators, etc., constitute the leading articles made by the firm. Mr. REYNOLDS died on October 31, 1891.
The Hague Horseshoe Company was incorporated in 1889, with a capital of $50,000, by B. F. SLOCUM, C. H. WILCOX, William WILCOX and Japhet GEORGE, and the works occupy a part of the old Ithaca Organ Company's building in the western part of the village. In 1892 it was changed to the Ithaca Drop Forge Company; capital, $25,000; with C. H. WILCOX, president; William WILCOX, secretary, and B. F. SLOCUM, manager. A general drop forging business is carried on and specialties made of the champion chain pipe wrench and the Hague expansion horse shoe.
The fame of the late W. H. BAKER as an inventor of guns and their fixtures is well known, and fortunes have been made from them. His latest gun was devised to supply the great demand for a firearm of moderate price and which should at the same time combine all the best qualities of the higher priced arms. When the new invention was about perfected Mr. D. McINTYRE and J. E. VAN NATTA became interested in it, and in February, 1883, a partnership was formed by the three men named under the title of the Ithaca Gun Works to manufacture the new gun. In the same year the brick building formerly occupied by the bending works at Fall Creek as purchased and the manufacture begun. The gun found a ready market and the sales rapidly increased, using from a very small number daily to about twenty per day. The gun was greatly improved and special tools manufactured for its various parts. The demand was so great for the new arm that in 1889 the company built a new two-story and basement brick structure, 30 by 165 feet, in which is now located a large part of the gunmaking machinery, as well as the company offices. A new hammerless gun has recently been put on the market by the company which excels in many respects. The company now bears the name of the Ithaca Gun Company and is composed of D. McINTYRE estate, L. H. SMITH and George LIVERMORE.
In another part of this work is given a sketch of another prominent Ithaca inventor, Charles M. VROOMAN. A few years ago Mr. VROOMAN became associated with James McNAMARA in perfecting a new and improved typewriter, on which they have both worked ever since. Patents have been secured on several most valuable improvements, and these and the entire control of the machine have passed to the Ithaca Gun Company, who have put in a plant especially for its manufacture. As this work is going through the press, the new typewriter is about to placed on the market, with ever prospect of its taking rank with the best in the country.
The glass industry has long been a prominent one in Ithaca. The Ithaca Glass Works were established in 1874, changed owners in 1876, and were successfully conducted until 1882, when they were destroyed by fire. The establishment was rebuilt in 1883 under direction of Richard HEAGENY, the superintendent, who had been with the company since 1876. At the time of the rebuilding the officers of the company C. F. BLOOD, president; D. F. WILLIAMS, vice-president; William N. NOBLE, treasurer; Bradford ALMY, secretary. In 1889 the works passed under control of the United Glass Company, and are now closed.
In 1882 B. F. SLOCUM, who had recently come to Ithaca, organized the Washington Glass Company, and was made president and manager of the company. A ten-pot factory was erected and the manufacture of window glass begun. The factory was burned and rebuilt under Mr. SLOCUM's management in the same year. The business was followed with success until 1889, when it was also merged in the United Glass Company.
The Empire Glass Company was permanently organized in 1893 with J. GEORGE, president; E. S. SLACK, vice-president; Stephen HUTCHINSON, treasurer; W. F. GEORGE. secretary. Besides these there were in the Board of Directors, C. H. WHITE, E. GILLETTE, W. CARMAN, James HUTCHINSON. The capital was $12,000. The company occupied the factory formerly used by the Washington Glass Company, and have since then carried on a prosperous business. The directors of the company are Adam FREDERICK, William CARMAN, Stephen HUTCHINSON, Edward SLACK, W. F. GEORGE, Charles H. WHITE, Edward GILLETTE; J. GEORGE, president; W. F. GEORGE, secretary; Stephen HUTCHINSON treasurer.
Hermon V. BOSTWICK has carried on an extensive cooperage business since 1867. In 1873 his factory was destroyed by fire, but he rebuilt on a larger scale, and has since turned out annually a large quantify of barrels, firkins and other cooper's products. The factory is equipped with all modern machinery for the business.
The lumber manufacturing industry has not been large for many years, the business now being mostly of a local character. HOWELL & VAN HOUTER established a lumber business on the corner of Tioga and Green streets in 1871, which was purchased by George SMALL in 1876. In 1881 he built a three-story brick structure and put in modern machinery for working lumber in the various forms required by builders and others. He has two large yards and handles a large quantity of rough and finished lumber annually.
W. H. PERRY established a planing mill, lumber business, etc., several years ago and is still conducting a large and successful business.
DIXON & ROBINSON have a planing mill, lumber and coal yards, and manufacture doors, sash, etc., near the Inlet. They began the business in 1888. The firm is composed of George J. DIXON and Rodney G. ROBINSON, both natives of Ithaca, and they are doing a successful business.
It will be inferred that the boat building business has been large in Ithaca, and it is still carried on extensively bv the veteran William JARVIS and by B. F. TABER, both of whom have turned out many beautiful examples of the boat-builder's art. Mr. JARVIS came to America from England in 1869, and soon afterward to Ithaca. He has a boat yard,, a boat livery and a summer hotel at the steamboat landing.
There are many other small industries varied in kind and magnitude, detail of which would be out or place in this work; and when the subject is exhausted it can hardly be said that Ithaca is noted as a manufacturing center. Whether it will ever be depends of course upon its citizens; but the natural tendency would seem to be towards development of its mercantile interests as against manufacturing. The university brings to the place a vast amount of mercantile trade and the local merchants show enterprise and activity in seeking it, to the neglect of manufactures. Moreover, Ithaca in the past has been the theater of several large industries which, for one reason or another, were doomed to early and disastrous failure; a fact which may serve to deter others from entering the field. Among these was the Ithaca Organ Company, the Ithaca Manufacturing Works, and some others, the history of which is well known. The place now enjoys excellent shipping facilities, is centrally located, possesses unbounded water power, and there would seem to be no good reason why it should not become a center of extensive manufacturing operations, such as Mr. SOUTHWICK saw in his mind's eye sixty years ago.
SALT DISCOVERY.--In the year 1890 a company was incorporated in Ithaca for the purpose of boring a well in the hope of striking gas. The work was begun and completed to the depth of more than 3,000 feet in December of the year named. At a depth of 700 feet a vein of mineral water was struck; and at about 1,800 feet a vein of rock salt was encountered which proved to be about 300 feet thick. The boring was continued but without reaching the hoped for gas. About $5,000 were expended in the attempt.
Another well was finished a little south of the city in 1892, under direction of Jesse JOHNSON, from which is taken now an excellent mineral water, the health giving qualities of which have been quite thoroughly tested and with good results. The depth reached is about 600 feet, and veins of the water were struck at 360, 420, 480, and 533 feet. The combined qualities of the water are said to closely resemble those of the Hathorn spring at Saratoga. The water is on sale at drug stores. The cost of the experiment was about $1,500.
THE DE W1TT GUARD.--The De Witt Guard, also know as Company A, Fiftieth Regiment of the National Guard of the State of New York, was organized in 1851 and the first regular meeting held December 31 of that year. Philip J. PARTENHEIMER was as chosen captain and held that position ten years. On the 2d of June, 1861, the company tendered its services to the general government. This offer was repeated June 17,1863. On the 25th of April, 1864, the third offer was made, and on the 28th of August the offer was accepted and the company detailed for one hundred days' service at Elmira. On the 2d of September the company left for Elmira and the same afternoon was mustered into the service of the United States with the following officers in command: Charles F. BLOOD, captain; Levi KENNEY, first lieutenant; Joseph ESTY, jr., second lieutenant; John C. HAZEN, orderly, Calvin C. GREENLY, second sergeant; Edwin M. FINCH, third sergeant; Henry A. ST. JOHN, fourth sergeant; Barnum R. WILLIAMS, first corporal; Uri CLARK, second corporal; John C. GAUNTLETT, third corporal; Alfred BROOKS, fourth corporal. The company was mustered out of service on the 2d of December, 1864. The roll of the company shows that 202 persons joined the organization. Of these eighty-two served either in the army or the navy during the war; eighty-eight did not, and twenty-nine names appear of whom no knowledge can be obtained. The company was always a self-supporting organization, receiving nothing beyond arms from the State, and had raised and expended for company purposes from members up to 1866, $2,720.56. The company is not now in existence.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--As an introduction to a description of the schools of Ithaca, it will prove interesting to make some extracts from the writings of W. T. EDDY on the subject. After mentioning the building of the academy in 1818, he says:
The School District No. 16 hired the lower part of the building for its school. The building was of wood and stood afterwards at the back and east of the later academy. I had previously been to school in rooms on Aurora street, kept by Hannah EDDY; but our first teachers were Mr. HEACOCK and Miss Lydia HIBBARD, afterwards Mrs. SMITH, in the academy building. Miss Lydia HIBBARD was a person of such amiable disposition that of all of the children she taught (and they were many) there is not one but looks back to her with love and affection.
After describing some of the pranks of the scholars and the early methods of punishment, Mr. EDDY continues:
Wait T. HUNTINGTON was our next teacher; then A. H. SHAW, who was afterwards a member of the Legislature. After Mr. SHAW came Mr. GRISWOLD, but I never went to him, having been promoted to the upper part of the building under Mr. PHINNEY, who was principal of the academy.
The schools of Ithaca where for a long period conducted on the Lancasterian system, as they were in most localities. This system developed from the old common schools. Early in the period during which the Lancasterian system was in vogue here and between 1827 and 1832, a Mr. HULIN was the principal teacher, and was succeeded by Isaac DAY. In 1838 he was followed by William P. PEW, who raised the Ithaca school from a very ordinary standard to a high degree of efficiency and attendance. During his period of teaching (about fifteen years) he raised the attendance (the population increasing largely, of course, in that time) from only 125 to over 1,100. Graded schools were established in place of the former system in 1853-4. Mr. PEW was succeeded by M. R. BARNARD, who has long principal of the graded school here.
In the year 1854 W. R. HUMPHREY read in the central school building in Ithaca a trustees' report which embodied a good deal of valuable historical material relative to the early schools of the village. From that paper we draw liberally. The first meeting in the old school district was held at the first school house in 1816, and Luther GERE was chosen chairman and George N. PHILLIPS, secretary. The school house stood on the academy grounds and was an old red building. When this school house was erected or who was prominently connected with its erection, is not prominently known. It was destroyed by a mob or a mass meeting which probably gathered for that purpose. At the meeting above alluded to, David WOODCOCK, John C. HAYT and William R. COLLINS were appointed trustees for the year 1816, and Arthur JOHNSON, clerk. The meeting resolved to raise $30 by tax, "for the purpose of furnishing wood and other necessary repairs to the school house."
At a subsequent meeting held that year at the house of E. ANDREWS, "for the purpose of taking into consideration measures to build a school house," Luther GERE was chosen chairman. It was there resolved to rescind the resolution of the first meeting, and it was resolved "That we build a school house this fall;" also "Resolved that there be a committee appointed of those that belong to the lodge [Fidelity Lodge] for the purpose of assisting in building said school house."
In pursuance of this resolution Luther GERE, C. B. DRAKE and Ira TILLOTSON were appointed the committee in reference to the lodge, and Luther GERE, Ira TILLOTSON and D. BATES a committee to secure a site. The meeting then adjourned two weeks. On the 21st of September they again met, and the committee on site reported that they had agreed to build the school house on the southeast end of the public square (the present High School Square), "joining the southwest corner of W. MANDEVILLE's lot." Mr. TILLOTSON's proposed plan was adopted, and the committee authorized to build accordingly, provided the lodge would pay the committee $250 that year and $250 whenever the lodge saw proper, to finish the upper part of the building. Although the adjournment of that meeting was for three months, there is no record of another until November 17, 1817, when one was held the Columbian Inn, "for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of building a school house." Archer GREEN was chairman of this meeting, and Ira BEERS secretary. It was then resolved to raise $75 towards a new building, but this amount was raised at the same meeting to $300. Adjournment was taken for three months, but again it was September 28, 1818, before the next meeting was held. With Luther GERE in the chair it was resolved to provide a room immediately in which to continue the school, and the meeting was adjourned to reconvene on the 2d of October following. On that day it was "Resolved that this district unite with the inhabitants in building a school house with an academy." This was the first feeble germ of the old and historic academy. It was moved and seconded that G. BENJAMIN, J. JOHNSON, and David AYRES be a committee to circulate subscription papers for the object in view, and that David WOODCOCK and J. COLLIER be a committee to draft the subscription. It does not appear that the soliciting committee met with the most abundant success; money was very scarce in those days, even with men who were in successful business or perhaps owned much property.
Another meeting was held at the Columbian Inn on the 12th of October, at which James NICHOLS, Otis EDDY and Ebenezer MACK were elected trustees, and Benjamin DRAKE, collector; David AYRES, clerk; and Luther GERE, David WOODCOCK and William LINN were appointed a committee to correspond with General Simeon DE WITT respecting a site for a school house.
At a meeting on the 23d of October it was resolved to lay a tax of $400 for building a school house, and "Archer GREEN, David WOODCOCK and Luther GERE were made a building committee for the academy."
On the 8th January, 1819, a special meeting was held in the district school room of the academy building (which was then so far progressed as to make it possible to use that room), and Mr. EDDY made a report of the cost of building the academy, which was accepted; Mr. DRAKE reported on the condition of collections on the $300 tax of 1817, which was not so satisfactory, a large part of it remaining uncollected.
At a meeting held February 5, 1819, it "was moved and seconded and carried that the trustees be authorized to negotiate with the lodge respecting certain lumber and make such arrangement as they think proper."
At a meeting held February 21, 1820, Mr. LYONS, the teacher, at his own request and on motion of Mr. WOODCOCK, was given leave to give up the school. It was also unanimously resolved "That the present trustees of this district be and are hereby authorized to exonerate from the payment of the wages of the teachers of the district school, for the present and the last quarter, all such poor persons within the district as they shall think proper, and to collect the whole of such wages from all such other persons as shall not so be exonerated."
At a meeting on January 19, 1821, Charles HUMPHREY in the chair, Charles W. CONNER, David WOODCOCK and Nathan HERRICK were chosen trustees. A. D. W. BRUYN acted as clerk, and David AYRES was chosen collector. On the 30th of May, 1821, it was resolved to raise $167 to pay Otis EDDY arrearages in building the school house. February 7, 1822, it was voted "That the members of the district now present proceed to nominate some person as an instructor for the ensuing season; whereupon W. T. HUNTINGTON was nominated by a large majority."
In October, 1822, the St. John's Episcopal Society was given the privilege of occupying the west room of the lower floor of the academy "for the space of four years." Previous to this time the Methodists and the Presbyterians had been given privileges to hold services in the school building.
On the 13th of May, 1825, David WOODCOCK, Luther GERE and Stephen MACK were appointed a committee on the part of the district to confer with the trustees of the academy in reference to the title to the building used by the academy and the common school; and also to negotiate with the academy in reference to a sale of the building. The committee reported that they considered two schools in the same building as incompatible with each other; that the district had paid $632.63 towards the academy; that Mr. EDDY had a claim for building of $886.57 half of which he was willing to relinquish, provided he could get the other half, which, in the opinion of the committee, was a fair and liberal proposition. The committee finally recommended that the district sell their interest in the academy building, provided the academy paid the district the amount the district had expended on the building, which was agreed to. On the 11th of October, 1825, the trustees were ordered to build a new school building as soon as practicable. In September following, at a meeting held at Jesse GRANT's coffee house, $600 were voted to be appropriated toward the payment for the lot on the corner of Mill and Geneva streets, and also for the new school house. The building was finally finished and the first annual meeting held thein on the 9th of October, 1827. This was the site of the later Lancasterian school taught long by Wm. P. PEW, as before stated.
The school prospered in that building until 1840, when the increased number of pupils made it; necessary to provide greater accommodations; the building was accordingly enlarged to double its first capacity. The enlarged structure was used until 1852, when steps were taken to build the structure which was in use until 1874, as noted further on.
In Mr. HUMPHREY's paper he pays tribute to the high character and unselfish labors of the men whose names have been given here in cause of education at a period when it was most difficult to carry their plans. He says that in 1852-3 there were in the district about 2,000 children entitled to a seat in that school; the building contained seats for 1,000 scholars, and the school was divided into three departments--primary, intermediate and higher. The trustees in 1853 were W. R. HUMPHREY, Douglass BOARDMAN and A. SPENCER. The dedication of the new school house took place in January, 1854.
Returning now to our account of the old academy, we find that Rev. Samuel PH INNEY was the first principal after the separation of the academy from the district school; he began in January, 1826, and continued until 1829. Since that time the principals were John P. HENDRICK, began in May, 1829; William A. IRVING, May, 1831; James F. COGWELL, September, 1838, William S. BURT, September, 1839, James THOMPSON, April, 1843; Samuel D. CARR, July, 1846; Samuel G. WILLIAMS, July, 1859; Wesley C. GINN, August, 1869.
The presidents of the Board of Trustees were as follows: Rev. William WISNER, elected April 1825; Daniel L. BISHOP, December, 1827; Henry ACKLEY, 1848; Augustus SHERRILL, 1850; Nathan T. WILLIAMS, May, 1854; Henry S. WALBRIDGE, May, 1858; Douglass BOARDMAN, October, 1868.
The academy was generally prosperous, and acquired an extended and honorable reputation but it was considerably crippled for financial aid. This was rendered more onerous through a large number of perpetual scholarships which had been sold to tide over periods of special embarrassment. These were extinguished in 1839, by purchase, under the management of William ANDRUS, who was long its faithful treasurer.
In 1840 the brick extension of some fifty or sixty feet was erected. Under the financial direction of Mr. ANDRUS for about thirty-five years the institution accumulated a fund of about $10,000, the interest of which, since the establishment of the new school system in 1874 has been appropriated to the Cornell Library, for the purchase of books.
The annual catalogue of the academy for 1840 gives the following as the teachers: William S. BURT, principal; William G. MITCHELL, Alfred STEBBINS, Miss Ayuelia MATSON, Miss Amanda STEBBINS. In the classical and higher English department there were in that yea; sixty-five male students and one hundred females; primary department, thirty-nine males and fifty-nine females. Among the male names are many who have since become prominent in business and official life; among these are the late Edward S. ESTY, Francis, Joseph, Rufus, Wm. E. and Warren L. KING, Ferdinand and Henry PARTENHEIMER, Francis M. FINCH, and many others. The catalogue states that board can be obtained at the "Academy Boarding House'' at $1.50 per week. A perusal of the various catalogues since that time to 1874 will reveal the feet that many the leading men of Ithaca have been educated or partially educated, in or connected with the old academy.
Under the act of April 4, 1874, the schools of Ithaca were incorporated by the following persons: Douglass BOARDMAN, Benjamin F. TABER, John L. WHITON, William L. BOSWICK, Rufus BATES, John GAUNTLETT, Francis M. FINCH, Peter B. CRANDALL, Joseph C. KING, H. D. DONNELLY, Marcus LYON and E. S. ESTY.
On the date just mentioned the schools consisted of the academy, the central school, and a school at Fall Creek in an old building of little value.
Under the new union free school system the old academy became the property of the village and all the schools passed under the control of a board of commissioners and a superintendent. The first board of 1875 were: E. S. ESTY, Francis N. FINCH, Marcus LYON, Joseph C. KING. FREDERICK K. ANDRUS, Francis O'CONNOR, Peter B. CRANDALL, John L. WHITON, William L. BOSWICK, Benjamin F. TABER, John GAUNTLETT, Henry D. DONNELLY. The first officers were E. S. ESTY, president; John STROWBRIDGE secretary; Charles A. HART, treasurer; H. H. MOORE, collector. The first principal of the High School was Fox HOLDEN, who continued to 1880. He was suceeded by D. O. BARTO, who continued until 1893, with the exception of two years, during which he was absent by resignation on account of the illness of his wife. He was succeeded by F. D. BOYNTON, the present principal.
In August, 1875, L. C. FOSTER was chosen superintendent of schools and has held the office without interuption since. In this most responsible station Mr. FOSTER has succeded in placing the schools of Ithaca upon a high level, while his entire devotion to the duties of his office, his constant study to keep abreast or ahead of the time in educational affairs, give him the entire confidence of the community.
With the incoming of the new system, the commissioners at once began improvements in the school buildings. The first of these improvements was the erection of the West Hill School at a cost of about $16,000 with the lot; this building was commenced in 1874. In 1879 the Fall Creek Building was erected at a cost of about $10,000. Then followed an expenditure of about $4,000 on the Central Building. 1881-82 the East Hill Building was erected at a cost of about $12,000, with the lot; but the greatest improvement in educational facilities, and one that reflects honor upon the city, is the present beautiful and commodious High School Building, which was erected on the site of the academy in 1884, at a cost of over $55,000. In 1893 an annex was built containing accommodations for about 200 scholars, at a cost of $15,000. This building is admirably adapted to its purposes, and embodies the latest improvements for the successful teaching of students, their healthfulness and convenience.
The Board of Education for 1893-94 is as follows: Albert H. ESTY, John J. GLENZER, Franklin C. CORNELL, Arthur B. BROOKS, Roger B. WILLIAMS, Henry A. ST. JOHN, Benjamin F. TABER, Albert M. HULL, Charles M. WILLIAMS, E. Kirk JOHNSTON, Elias TREMAN, Cornelius LEARY.
Officers: Roger B. WILLIAMS. president; Luther C. FOSTER, superintendent and secretary; Isaac C. ANDREWS, treasurer.
Faculty: Frank D. BOWNTON, A. B., principal, mathematics ; Harriet W. TOMPSON, preceptrcss, German, French, literature; Belle SHERMAN, A. B., natural and physical sciences, history of England, Greece and Rome; Myra L. SPAULDING, English; Nettie BAUCUS, American history, civil government, and instruction of Teachers' Training Class; Lottie A. FOSTER, Ph. D., Latin; Bertha P. REED, Greek and mathematics; Hollis E. DANN, principal of the commercial department and instructor of vocal music.
The annual report of the superintendent of schools made in October, 1893, shows some interesting facts and statistics. The school population in 1891 was 2,763, against 3,000 in 1893. The number registered in all the schools in 1891 was 1,947; in 1893 it was 2,010. The number of days' attendance in 1891, 286,531; in 1893, 292,323. The average daily absence fell from 90 in 1891 to 88 in 1893. The total cost per pupil for all ordinary expenses in 1891 was $17.99; in 1893 it was $17.71. In 1891 there were 176 non-resident pupils; in 1893 there were 191. The receipts for tuition in 1891 were $2,723.20; in 1893 they were $3,493.88. The gross sum for teachers' salaries in 1893 was $21,110. The total receipts for the year were $38,272.26; the disbursements were within about $600 of this sum, over $10,000 of which was for buildings and sites. The schools of Ithaca are now conducted upon a high plane and with the best results. The High School is fast becoming a very important factor in the preparation of scholars for Cornell University. President R. B. WILLIAMS says in his report:
The schools of Ithaca hold a proud position in the State and are looked. upon as models by many of our neighbors. Our duty is to so support and conduct them that they may never recede from this position, but continually advance to the growing honor of our city and to the advantage of our children. The high position that they now occupy is largely due to the ability of our superintended; and his superb corps of instructors. Our policy should ever be to obtain and retain such talent, and while expecting the highest grade of ability and service, we should not overlook the fact that it is worthy of liberal compensation.
CORNELL LIBRARY.--Various efforts of little importance in their results were made to establish libraries in Ithaca long before the beneficent act of Mr. CORNELL. There was a "Methodist Theological and Historical Library Association" in 1821, and "The Ithaca Methodist Literary Society" in 1826, and the "New Jerusalem Church Library" in 1831; but, as would be inferred, the collections of books made by these organizations were small and soon dispersed.
By an act of the Legislature passed April 5, 1864, the Cornell Library Association was incorporated. Under this act Ezra CORNELL caused to be erected the commodious and handsome brick structure on the corner of Seneca and Tiogra streets, costing with Mr. CORNELL's donation of books, at the date of dedication over $65,000
This building, denominated the Cornell Library, besides the library and reading rooms, contains a fine hall for public exercises and other excellent rooms for business purposes, whose rental was designed to sustain the library free of cost to patrons. It has more than accomplished this purpose, the receipts proving sufficient to pay expenses and add yearly many volumes to the library.
Under the will of the late John RUMSEY the library received a legacy of about $11,400.
The use of the academy fund of $10,000 has for several years past enabled the trustees to increase the yearly acquisitions to a total about 600 volumes. There are now upon the shelves over 11,000 volumes, many of them very rare and valuable.
With few necessary exceptions the books of this library circulate free within the limits of Tompkins county to all the inhabitants thereof who comply with the few conditions imposed to secure their proper use and prompt return.
The library was appropriately dedicated on the evening of December 20, 1866.
Officers of Library for 1894: A. B. CORNELL, president; Wm. R. HUMPHREY, vice-president; R. B. WILLIAMS, secretary; D. F. FINCH, treasurer; S. H. SYNNOTT, librarian.
Trustees: F. C. CORNELL, Albert H. ESTY, D. F. FINCH, C. J. RUMSEY, R. B. WILLIAMS, Wm. R. HUMPHREY; Ex-officio Trustees; Mayor of the city, superintendent of schools, chief engineer of fire department, chairman of the Board of Tompkins County Supervisors, and pastors of the established churches of Ithaca.
The first regular religious organization in Ithaca as the Presbyterian society organized January 24, 1804, by Rev. Jedediah CHAPMAN, missionary from the General Assembly. The society then numbered thirteen members. and was named "The South Presbyterian Church in Ulysses." On the minutes of the Presbytery it was called "Ulysses Second Church" and was so called until the name of Ithaca was applied to it. The young church went under charge of the Oneida Presbytery, and on the organization of the Presbytery of Geneva in 1805 was assigned to that body. In August 1810, it was transferred to the Presbytery of Cayuga, and on the formation of the Presbytery of Ithaca was assigned to that. From 1805 to 1816 Rev. Gerritt MANDEVILLE served the church and was succeeded by Rev. William WISNER. The services were then held in the old school house near the academy; in the following summer a barn was used that stood on the pastor's lot, and soon afterward a loft in a building owned by Levi LEONARD. After preaching one year as stated supply Mr. WISNER was installed pastor in February, 1817 and the following year the services were transferred to the new church in the park. In 1825 the congregation had become sufficiently large to need more room and the church was according enlarged; the number of members was then 263. In the fall and winter of 1826, 220 persons were added to the church, and in January, 1831, 224 others were enrolled. In April of that year Dr. WISNER was, at his own request, dismissed from the charge. At that time the church had nearly 800 members. Succeeding pastors of the church have been Rev. William PAGE, one year; Alfred E. CAMPBELL, 1832-34, John W. McCULLOUGH, 1834-38; Dr. WISNER, who had returned to Ithaca, 1838-48, when his health failed; Seden T. HAYNES, 1849-50; Wm. N. McHARG, 1857; T. Dwight HUNT, to 1860; David TORREY, D. D., March, 1860; Theodore F. WHITE, November 1, 1865, to 1877; M. W. STRYKER, and the present incumbent, Rev. A. S. FISKE.
The present church officers are: Elders, Chas. F. BLOOD, John C. STOWELL, George R. WILLIAMS, J. T. NEWMAN, Arthur B. BROOKS, Edward P. GILBERT, Uri CLARK; deacons, Wm. J. STORMS, Oliver L. DEAN, Geo. S. RANKIN, Francis M. BUSH; trustees, Elias TREMAN, Geo. R. WILLIAMS, C. D. STOWELL, Thos. G. MILLER, C. F. BLOOD, A. H. ESTY. Jared T. NEWMAN is Sunday school superintendent.
The old church building was torn down in 1853 and the present building erected, and preparations are now in progress for the building of a modern and beautiful church edifice.
It is said that Methodist preaching was heard in the house of one of the pioneers, John McDOWELL, in June, 1793, the minister being William COLBERT, who was on his way from Niagara to Ithaca and Wilkesbarre. His report to the Conference led Bishop ASHBURY to form that immense region into a circuit and appoint James SMITH preacher; this was called Seneca Circuit, and Valentine COOK was presiding elder. Others who were connected with the early ministrations here were Alward WHITE, John BRODHEAD, Cornelius MARS and Thornton FLEMING. A revival occurred in 1794, under Mr. BRODHEAD, and a class of eighteen persons was formed. After several changes in the boundaries of the circuits in this section, and a period from about 1800 to near 1817 in which the class was disbanded, a Methodist society was founded largely through the efforts of David AYRES, who began business as a merchant in the year last named; he was from New York city. Meetings were begun in the fall in the loft where the Presbyterians had previously met, with Rev. James KELSEY, grandfather of Geo. W. APGAR, the present postmaster of Ithaca, as preacher, and at a meeting held in the school house a society was organized composed of the following persons: David AYRES and his wife, William DUMMER, Anson TITUS and his wife, Elizabeth SYDNEY, Maria WRIGHT and Mary BARBER. In 1818 Rev. George HARMAN took the charge, and was succeeded in the following year by Rev. George DENSMORE, under whose pastorate a church building was begun and finished in 1820, at a cost of $5,000. The lot was donated by Mr. DE WITT for the purpose at the northwest corner of Aurora and Mill streets. The building had a modest tower in which was placed the first church bell in Ithaca. The building was completed only by the most persistent work on the part of Mr. AYRES and others, William R. COLLINS, Archer GREEN and Jesse MERRITT were the building committee, and Ira TILLOTSON did the work. Rev. Elias BOWEN succeeded Mr. DENSMORE, and then came Revs. Fitch REED and Dana FOX on the circuit. In 1823 the preachers on the Ithaca and Caroline circuit were Loring GRANT and Wm. W. RUNDELL. Benjamin SABIN took the church in 1826 and brought it out of some internal troubles that had afflicted it, and increased the membership from ninety-six to three hundred and forty-nine in one year. A separate society was organized in 1851 which drew many from the older church, but it continued to prosper and in 1866 was forced to build larger for accommodation of the congregations. In that year they built on the same site the present brick edifice, which has cost, with the parsonage, more than $25,000. In 1891-2 the Gee Memorial Chapel has been added to the church in memory of Mrs. GEE, at a cost of $3,000, and in the latter year a new system of ventilation was put in and the church was renovated, frescoed, and the interior made substantially new, at a cost of about $2,000. The present pastor of the church is Rev. C. E. MOGG, who came in October, 1890, succeeding Rev. G. W. CHANDLER; both of these pastorates have been remarkably successful, and the society is now one of the most prosperous in the interior of the State and numbers 677 members, with a Sunday school having an average attendance of about 365. Officers of the church are as follows: Presiding elder, E. J. HERMANS, Elmira; member of Annual Conference, Hiram GEE; local preachers, W. N. TOBIE, Prof. H. S. JACOBY, C. G. SHAW, S. E. HUNT; superintendent of Sunday school, Ellsworth D. WRIGHT; stewards, Prof. G. S. MOLER, W. B. GEORGIA, Prof. F. D. BOYNTON, H. N. HODSON, F. W. TREMAN, M. M. DAYTON, Prof. H. S. JACOBY, R. C. OSBORN, I. J. MacCOMBER, D. N. VAN HOESEN, H. J. JONES; trustees, T. J. McELHENY, George LIVERMORE, F. J. ENZ, B. F. TABER, H. B. WRIGHT, A. C. WHITE, George W. FROST.
STATE STREET METHODIST CHURCH.--What was then known as the Seneca Street Methodist church was organized February 3, 1851, with the following trustees: Henry H. MOORE, Benjamin TABER, Daniel F. HUGG, Charles S. MILES, and Joseph C. BURRITT. The corner stone of a wood church was laid July 30, 1851, the site being on the corner of Seneca and Plain streets, and the dedication occurred November 26 following, when only the basement of the building was furnished. The structure was completed in the following summer. This building sufficed for the congregation for about twenty-five years, when the corner stone of the handsome brick edifice on State street was laid August 29, 1878. Rev. W. H. GILES is the present pastor, beginning in October, 1893. The trustees are Alexander MINTURN, Henry S. WHITE, George E. BUCK, James OSBURN, John S. T. BEARDSLEY, Abram VAN ORDER, R. E. GAGER. The superintendent of the Sunday school is Prof. H. S. GOODSELL.
FREE METHODIST CHURCH.--This society was organized in 1871, the first pastor being Rev. Benjamin WINGET. The church edifice was erected in 1872 at an expense of $3,000. The church has been prosperous and now has a membership of thirty. The present pastor is Rev. Charles BALCH.
The Zion Methodist Episcopal church was organized about 1825 and has continued in prosperity since. In 1834-35 their meetings were held at the house of Rev. Mr. JOHNSON, their pastor. They afterwards built their church on Wheat street, which was used until they built their present meeting house. The present pastor is Rev. H. J. CALLIS.
The Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Society (colored) is an offshoot from the society just mentioned and was organized in 1857. They built a church on North Albany street, and the present pastor is Rev. Mr. IRWIN.
ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH.--This church was organized in 1822 at a meeting held in the Methodist Chapel on the 8th of April. Missionary work had been done in Ithaca prior to that time by Rev. Dr. BABCOCK and "Father NASH." In the latter part of 1822 and in 1823 the society used the west room of the academy, where Rev. Samuel PHINNEY preached as the first regular rector. He was succeeded after one year by Rev. Ezekiel GEER, who served until 1828, the society growing encouragingly. Meanwhile, in 1824 a lot on the corner of Buffalo and Cayuga streets was purchased and there the first house of worship was erected, and opened for worship on Christmas eve of that year. The structure was of brick, but very plain. During the ministry of Rev. Ralph WILLISTON, who succeeded Mr. GEER, the church was enlarged. In 1831 Rev. Dr. CARDER came to the church and remained three years. Mr. GEER then returned for two years and was succeeded by Rev. F. T. TODRIG, who remained only a short time. After a interval of two years during which services were irregular, Rev. Dr. JUDD in 1838 assumed the pastorate, and remained until 1842. Rev. Dr. WALKER was then called and faithfully served the church for twenty-three years. In 1844 the church was enlarged and changed, and in the following year the ladies of the congregation purchased a parsonage. In 1860 the old church was demolished and the present edifice erected on the site. Dr. WALKER resigned in 1865, and was succeeded by Rev. W. A. HITCHCOCK, as acting rector. He was succeeded in 1866 by Rev. J. W. PAYNE, and the pastors since then have been Revs. JARVIS SPAULDING, Pliny B. MORGAN, George P. HIBBARD, Amos BEACH, S. H. SYNNOTT. The principal officers of the church are Wardens, L. L. TREMAN, H. V. BOSTWICK; vestrymen, S. G. WILLIAMS Dr. George W. MELOTTE, D. W. BURDICK, F. J. WHITON, S. B. TURNER, C. B. BROWN, George W. APGAR. Within the past two years the church edifice has been enlarged by adding about sixteen feet in length and practically rebuilding the interior. A new brick Parish House was built on a lot purchased next south of the church, at a cost of $9,000, in 1891. A parsonage with a very large lot attached, situated on East Buffalo street, was purchased, and is now occupied.
THE FIRST UNITARIAN SOCIETY OF ITHACA.--This society was as originated in the autumn of 1865 by Rev. William H. FISH, then of Cortland, in concurrence with Rev. Charles LOWE, secretary of the American Unitarian Association, and Rev. Samuel J. MAY, of Syracuse. Judge Alfred WELLS was one of its first officers and took, perhaps, the most active interest in its inauguration. The first services were held in the village hall on the 15th of October of that year, Rev. Samuel J. MAY officiating and regularly continued services by different ministers were held there, until the first Sunday in February, 1866, when they moved into the Cornell Library Hall, then newly finished, which they occupied most of the time until May, 1873. Rev. E. C. GUILD was installed its first pastor October 16, 1866, remaining two years. Rev. J. C. ZACHOS was pastor for one year. Rev. Dr. R. P. STEBBINS preached November 7, 1869, was called to the pastorate, and remained until September 30, 1877. His administration was remarkable successful. In 1871 a lot was purchased on the north side of Buffalo street, a little east from Aurora street, and a building erected, which was first occupied May 7, 1873. The first cost of this building including lot was $13,500. Revs. Henry C. BADGER, Alfred E. GOODNOUGH, John W. DAY, and J. F. DUTTON were pastors until 1891. In the fall of that year Rev. John M. SCOTT became its pastor; under him the society gathered new life. In February, 1893, its building was destroyed by fire; efforts were immediately begun to raise funds for a new building, when, to their surprise and delight, so many expressions of sympathy and good-will, and so many and substantial offers to help in the rebuilding were freely given, that the trustees decided to select a more desirable site and build a handsome stone church that would be suited to their wants for many years to come. They secured what seemed the best possible location, the corner of Aurora and Buffalo streets, have their building nearly finished, and hope to dedicate it in April free from debt. This beautiful structure is an ornament to our city, and in every way worthy of its architect, W. H. MILLER, and its builder, W. H. PERRY, and of the small society that undertook the large expense. The present officers are Prof. George C. CALDWELL, Prof. J. E. OLIVER, Prof. C. L. CRANDALL, William H. PERRY, William M. SMITH, Charles H. WHITE, trustees; C. C. PLATT, treasurer; George SMALL, secretary,
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.--This church had its origin in the Spencer church, now of West Danby, when twenty-five members joined on the 25th of September, 1821, in forming a "Conference by the name of the Baptist Conference of Danby." This conference was recognized as an independent church on the 13th of November, 1821, by a council composed of the Second Ulysses, the Dryden, the Spencer and the Third Ulysses churches. Meetings were held at first in school houses and private houses. Elder Chester COBURN served as pastor until July, 1825, and was succeeded by Elder Caleb NELSON, who continued to October, 1826. The organization was then transferred to Ithaca and became "The First Baptist Church of Christ of Ithaca." The first meeting here was held in the court house on Wednesday, October 18, 1826. O. C. COMSTOCK was the pastor for about a year. Elder John SEARS became pastor May 10, 1827, and on the 28th of that month a meeting was held and the church organization perfected under the statute by the name of "The Trustees of the First Baptist Church in Ithaca;" nine trustees were elected. The first church building was erected of brick at a cost of about $7,000 on the site of the present church, and was first occupied in March, 1831. The following pastors have served this church; Elder SEARS retired in 1831; N. V. WHITING, James R. BURDICK, Calvin PHILLEO, C. G. CARPENTER, S. S. PARR, David BELLAMY, Jirah D. COLE, H. L. GROSE, Aaron JACKSON, F. GLENVILLE, William CORMACK, J. M. HARRIS, J. N. FOLWELL, C. J. SHRIMPTON, C. A. HARRIS, Hermon F. TITUS.
On the 11th of January, 1854, the church was destroyed by fire, and on the site was erected an edifice costing about $10,000, which was demolished to make room for the present stone edifice, costing about $35,000, finished in 1892.
The present church officers are as follows: Rev. R. T. JONES, pastor; deacons; Theophilus DRAKE, M. P. ELLISON, John NORTHROP, Charles F. RAPPLEYE, E. M. LATTA; church clerk, Miss Helen M. ELLIOTT; trustees; Prof. James LAW, J. J. TRENCH, E. M. LATTA, J. B. LANG, John NORTHROP, O. R. STANFORD.
THE REFORMED PROTESTANT DUTCH Church.--This society was organized April 2 1830, by Rev. John H. SCHERMERHORN, and was composed chiefly of persons who had been dismissed at their own request from the Presbyterian Society, of whom there were thirty-one. Daniel BISHOP, Isaac CARPENTER, Augustus SHERRILL, were chosen elders, and Levi KIRKHAM and Daniel PRATT, deacons. Rev. Alexander M. MANN, D.D., was appointed missionary by the Board of Missions, and began his services in June, 1830; he was made regular pastor December 11, 1830, and resigned in 1837. The first meetings were held in the academy, but the church building was erected in 1830-31 on the corner of Seneca and Geneva streets. Various changes have been made since in the interior of the building. On the 30th of April, 1873, the organization was changed after some legal controversy to "The First Congregational Church of Ithaca". Rev. Dr. STRONG, and, after, Rev C. M. TYLER, were called to the pastorate.
The articles of faith were adopted October 1, 1874. The pastor, Rev. C. M. TYLER, was installed by a council of Congregational churches November, 18, 1874. On October 22, 1874, the number of active members was 144, and of families 95. The present constitution was adopted March 1880, and the new church edifice, which cost thirty thousand dollars, was built in 1883 and 1884. A notable event was on April 4, 1885, when forty persons were admitted to membership at one communion. In 1890 Rev. C. M. TYLER, D. D., was called to the professorship of the History of Religions in Cornell University, his chair being founded by the munificence of Mr. Henry W. SAGE, who is a regular worshiper in the Congregational church, and who has already given to the university over $1,300,000. After nineteen years of pastor service in Ithaca, Dr. TYLER sent in his letter of resignation September 2, 1891. In the mean time the church had called the Rev. W. F. BLACKMAN from the Congregational church of Naugatuck, Conn. Mr. BLACKMAN'S letter of acceptance is dated August 28, 1891. He began his labors by preaching, September 20, and was installed by council December 1, 1891.
One of his former parishioners at Naugatuck having founded a professorship of Christian Sociology in Yale Divinity School, and having nominated his former pastor as occupant of the chair, Mr. BLACKMAN resigned his pastorate in Ithaca and ceased his labors in June, 1893, repairing to Europe for a year's study, preparatory to entering upon his new duties.
The present pastor of the church is the Rev. William Elliot GRIFFIS, D.D., well known as the author of several works upon Japan, in which country he was in the educational service of the Japanese government, introducing the American public school system. Graduated from Rutger's College, New Brunswick, N. J., in the class of 1869. Mr. GRIFFIS, after traveling in Europe and completing one year's theological study at New Brunswick, spent four years in the Mikado's Empire; returning he was graduated from Union Theological Seminary in the class of 1877, and was settled as pastor of the First Reformed church at Schenectady from 1877 to 1886, and in Boston as pastor of the Shawmut Congregational church from 1886 to 1893. He was called to the Congregational church of Ithaca May 22, 1893, and began his labors July 1. The church is at the present time in a high state of prosperity.
In 1884 the old church became insufficient for the needs of the society and the present edifice was erected. Elders: Pliny HALL, Samuel D. SAWYER, George F. BEARDSLEY, Marcus LYON. Deacons; John J. GLENZER, John L. MORRIS, Orange P. HYDE, Henry A. ST. JOHN: church clerk, George F. BEARDSLEY; church treasurer, Samuel D. SAWYER.
Trustees of the Corporation: Samuel H. WINTON, John L. MORRIS, William N. NOBLE, Henry B. LORD, George H. NORTHROP, Charles W. GAY, John J. GLENZER, William A. CHURCH, Henry A. ST. JOHN; secretary of corporation, George H. NORTHRUP; treasurer of corporation, William A. CHURCH.
CATHOLIC CHURCH.--The first Roman Catholics came to Ithaca about 1830 and soon afterward they began having religious services in a private dwelling. Their first church organization was effected under the pastoral charge of Rev. Mr. GILBRIDE. and a small church building was erected on Geneva street. During the incumbency of Rev. Bernard McCOOL the present church was erected. In 1884 a parsonage was built at a cost of $5,000. The society is now under charge of Rev. Father Alfred J. EVANS.
Fidelity Lodge F. & A. M. No. 51 was first organized in Trumansburg, Tompkins county, N. Y., June 24, 1818, as Fidelity 309, charter dated June 8, 1818. Henry TAYLOR, Master, and Edward B. ELY, Zachariah P. SMEED, Horace OSBORNE, Elijah H. GOODWIN, Almon WAKEMAN, Luther FOOTE, Daniel STARKWEATHER and Peter HAGER constituted the charter members. Henry TAYLOR was the first Master.
The lodge prospered until 1827, to the time of the anti-Masonic trouble. when it was dangerous to meet, and gradually dwindled to twelve members.
In July, 1828, the lodge room was broken into and the jewels stolen, and have never been recovered. During this trouble the change of number was made from 309 to 51.
In 1840 the lodge was removed to Ithaca and meetings were held on the third floor of the building first west of the Culver Block. They afterwards moved to the old Coffee House Block, and from there to Odd Fellows Hall, and in 1871 moved to the Masonic Block, and January 1, 1893, removed to their present quarters in the Savings Bank Building. The present membership is 217, and officers are: Frank H. ROMER, M.; Henry L. PETERS, S. W.; C. C. GARRETT, J. W.; A. L. NIVER, C. A. HART, C. J. RUMSEY, trustees; W. B. GEORGIA, sec.; H. L. ESTABROOK, treas.; John RIFE, S. D.; George S. TARBELL, J. D.; Geo. LATTEMORE, S. M. C.; Clarence W. PEIRCE, J. M. C.; Lucius MASTIN, Tiler.
Eagle chapter R. A. M., No. 58, was organized February 6, 1817; charter granted to Lewis BEERS, Archer GREEN and E. CHAMPLIN, and prospered until 1829. From 1830 to 1850 no records are found. The chapter was reorganized May 29, 1850, with Wait T. HUNTINGTON, High Priest; Jacob McCORMICK, King, and Caleb B. DRAKE, Scribe. The membership now is 204. Present officers: H. L. PETERS, High Priest; John BARNARD, King; John RIFE, Scribe; A. W. FORCE, Sec.; L. G. TODD, Treas.
St. Augustine Commandery No. 38, dispensation granted December 6, 1866, was organized October 2, 1867. The charter members were J. B. CHAFFEE, Samuel L. VOSBURG, Wm. ANDRUS, James QUIGG, Geo. E. TERRY, J. M. KIMBALL, Miner CULVER, Frank J. ENZ, Philip J. PARTENHEIMER. First Commander, J. B. CHAFFEE; first Generalissimo, S. L. VOSBURG; first Captain General, P. J. PARTENHEIMER; no Prelate; S. W., Alfred BROOKS; J. W., Dewitt J. APGAR; Treas., James M. HEGGIE; Recorder, Marcus LYON; Standard Bearer, Wallace W. BARDEN; Sword Bearer, Joseph M. LYON; Warder, J. M. KIMBALL; Captain Guard, J. R. WORTMAN.
Officers for 1893: Charles C. GARRETT, Commander; Henry L. PETERS, Generalissimo; James A. MCKINNEY, Captain General; George W. MELOTTE, Prelate; Frank E. HOWE, Senior Warden; John BARNARD, Junior Warden; Charles G. HOYT, Treasurer; Albert W. FORCE, Recorder; Jacob PETERS, Standard Bearer; Jesse W. STEPHENS, Sword Bearer; Cary B. FISH, Warder; John H. HENRY, Thad. S. THOMPSON, George S. TARBELL, Guards; Charles E. WHITLOCK, Organist; Lucius MASTIN, Sentinel. Trustees: Leroy G. TODD, Collingwood B. BROWN, Oliver L. DEAN. Past Commanders; Marcus LYON, Jerome B. TEED, George H. NORTHRUP, Frank J. ENZ, Ralph C. CHRISTIANCE, Charles M. BENJAMIN, Albert W. FORCE, George W. MELOTTE, Charles F. BLOOD.
The present membership of the commandery is 214.
"Hobasco," a Hebrew word, meaning when translated "a hiding place in the rocks," or "a secret place in the mountains." Hobasco Lodge, No., 716, F. & A. M., was organized under a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, and its first meeting was held in Odd Fellows Hall (the Hibbard Block) on the corner of State and Cayuga streets in Ithaca, N. Y., on the 19th day of October, 1871. The officers present at its opening were as follows: Hon. Mills VAN VALKENBURG, W. M.; William ANDRUS, S. W.; D. P. SHARP, J. W.; James QUIGG, J. D.; N. J. ROE, Secv., A. O. SHAW, of Fidelity Lodge No. 51, Tiler; Bro. S. L. VOSBURG.
A charter was granted to the lodge, dated June 8, 1872, with the following named officers: Hon. Mills VAN VALKENBURG, W. M.; William ANDRUS, S. W.; Alfred BROOKS, J. W.; who with the following named Masons constituted the charter members, Philip J. PARTENHEIMER, Dennis P. SHARP, Samuel L. VODBURG, James QUIGG, N. J. ROE and A. M. BAKER.
The first meeting held under and by virtue of the charter was on June 27, 1872, in Masonic Hall, Masonic Block, N. Tioga street, the following named officers and brethren being present: Hon. Mills VAN VALKENBURG, W. M.; William ANDRUS, S. W.; Dennis P. SHARP, acting J. W.; Albert W. FORCE, S. D.; James QUIGG, J. D.; N. J. ROE, S. M. of C.; A. D. LUCE, J. M. of C.; Geo. C. MOWRY, Secy.; A. O. SHAW, Tiler; W. W. BARDEN, Treas.; Bro. S. L. VOSBURG.
The Hon. Mills VAN VALKENBURG continued as W. M. of the lodge until the date of his death, which occurred September 21, 1873. His memory is ever green in the hearts of all his brethren for his genial, kind disposition, his masterly ability as a presiding officer, his great love and fidelity to the craft, his noble, pure and virtuous character as a man and citizen, and his uprightness and high executive ability as a public officer.
Bro. Perry G. ELLSWORTH filled the vacancy caused by the untimely death of the beloved and much lamented brother officer, and in December, 1873, he was elected master of the lodge, filling the position with great credit to himself and the brethren until December, 1874, when he was succeeded by the election of Bro. Merritt KING, who continued in office until December, 1877. He was succeeded by Bro. Wm. A. CHURCH, who in December, 1879, was succeeded by the election of Bro. A. W. FORCE, who continued in office until December, 1882, when he was succeeded by the election of Bro. Geo. B. DAVIS. Bro. DAVIS held the office until he was succeeded by the election of Bro. Horace M. HIBBARD in December, 1884, who, in December, 1888, was succeeded by the election Bro. J. A. MORTIMORE. In December, 1889, Bro. E. M. ELLIS was elected master, and continued in office until December, 1893, a term of four years, and was succeeded by the election of Bro. Frank E. HOWE the present incumbent.
Bro. O. P. HYDE. the present secretary of the lodge, joined in September, 1872 by affiliation from Groton Lodge No. 492, and was acting secretary until the following December, when he was duly elected to the office, continuing as such for eight successive years. In December, 1880, he was succeeded by the election of Bro. A. R. WARD, who continued until December, 1881, when Br. Wm. F. MAJOR was elected, serving until December, 1883, and was succeeded by Bro. George J. DIXON, who continued until December, 1887, at which time Bro. O. P. HYDE was again elected and has served ever since up to the present time, making his term of service more than fourteen years as secretary of the lodge.
The names of the present officers of the lodge are as follows: Frank E. HOWE, W. M.; P. M. Elias M. ELLIS, S. W.; Walter O. KERR. J. W.; O. H. FERNBACK, S. D.; C. E. MOORE, J. D.; Otis O. CLARK, S. M. of C.; ---- ---- J. M. of C.; James A. McKINNEY, Treas.; O. P. HYDE, Secy.; E. C. TICHENOR, Organist; L. MASTIN, of Fidelity Lodge No. 51, Tiler.
The present membership of the lodge numbers 138, and its meetings are now held in the Masonic Rooms on the third floor of the new Savings Bank building, corner of Tioga and Seneca streets, to which new quarters it, with the other Masonic bodies, removed in January, 1893.
Ithaca Council R. & S. AI., No. 68, was first organized under dispensation granted October 1, 1874. Charter granted to Jacob M. KIMBALL (Deceased), Ralph C. CHRISTIANCE, John C. VAN KIRK, Eron C. VAN KIRK, Sidney S. SMITH, C. B. BROWN, C. Fred McWHORTER, Samuel A. HOLMES, Lute WELCH (Deceased). The order has flourished ever since its first organization and has gradually increased its membership until now it has a membership of 120. Present officers: T. ILL, M., C. C. GARRETT; Dep. M., F. H. ROMER; P. C. of W., G. W. MELOTTE; Treas., C. A. HART; Recorder, A. W. FORCE; C. of G., Henry L. PETERS; Cond. of Council,---- ; Steward, ----; Organist, C. E. WHITLOCK; Sentinel, L. MASTIN.
Ithaca Lodge, No. 71, I. O. O. F. Early in 1840 five of Ithaca's foremost men went to Rochester, N. Y., were initiated into and received the degrees of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. On the afternoon of July 23, 1842, D. D. G. M., W. H. PERKINS, of Rochester, in a room in the Clinton House, instituted Ithaca Lodge, No. 71, I. O. O. F., with William R. HUMPHREY, Charles V. STUART, Moses R. WRIGHT, W. H. HALL and Robert GOSMAN as charter members. Its first officers were Charles V. STUART, N. G.; Moses R. WRIGHT, V. G.; William R. HUMPHREY, Secy.; W. H. HALL, Treas. On the evening of institution Messrs. S. B. CUSHING, W. P. PEW, Henry SAYLES, William U. GREGORY, R. H. HALL and P. J. PARTENHEIMER were initiated and received the degrees. The lodge held its meetings for some time in the Exchange Hotel, now occupied by Joseph LA POINT on West State street; then moved into rooms fitted up for the lodge over the Culver store, now occupied by The Bool Company; in 1847, while Mr. HIBBARD was erecting the building on the northwest corner of State and Cayuga streets, the lodge leased the third floor and one room on the second floor for a term of ten years, and moved into them in the spring of 1848, where they remained until November 1, 1893, when they moved into the elegant West Brothers' block and rooms Nos. 36 and 38 East State street. Since the institution there have been over 700 members initiated, and has paid for relief about $24,000. Of the charter members there is but one living, P. G. William R. HUMPHREY, who is in good standing and occasionally visits the lodge. The present officers are E. N. CORBIN, N. G.; T. L. KITTLE, V. G.; P. A. CAMPBELL, Rec. Sec .; L. A. BARNARD, Per. Secy.; R. WOLF, Treas.; H. L. HASKIN, J. E. VAUGHN, J. F. HAWKINS, Trust Com. The funds of the lodge amount to about $5,000.
Cascadilla Lodge, No. 89, Knights of Pythias, was organized January 23, 1873, with the following charter members: Thomas P. ST. JOHN, Philip J. PARTENHEIMER, Dr. M. M. BROWN, E. O. GODFREY, E. P. DAVENPORT, John STODDARD, Ai G. SEAMAN, Charles S. SEAMAN, Thad. S. THOMPSON, O. D. TERRY. Instituted by W. W. WARE, D. D. G. C., of Elmira, No. 81. This has been a flourishing and successful order ever since its organization. It now has 160 members. It has cash on hand, invested at interest, $1,364.75 and has $500 of paraphernalia, making a total value of personal property of $1,864.75. The lodge received since its organization $8,924,26, and paid for relief $1,149.95, and general purposes $6,409.56. The lodge boasts of having one Past Grand Chancellor and Past Supreme Representative, both embodied in the person of James L. BAKER. The lodge has always met in Odd Fellows' Hall, now with them in their new rooms in West Brothers' block, second and fourth Wednesdays in the month.
Forest City Council No. 47, Royal Arcanum. This council was organized August 14, 1878, with the following charter members: James L. BAKER, Dr. David WHITE, Milo C. JONES, John S. GAY, Wilfred M. JONES, Thos. CULVER, Thos. N. DRAKE, Arthur R. HILL, Chas. H. BUNSTEAD. The first three of these were the original founders, and the only ones of the charter members now in the council. Dr. WHITE was the first Regent, and James L. BAKER Vice-Regent.
It has been a very prosperous organization and has grown from that number to a strong council of ninety-one members. It is a beneficiary institution, and on the death of seven members $3,000 have been paid to the widows and children of these members. This council alone has paid out about $21,000.
The present Regent is Charles F. RAPPLEYE, and the Vice-Regent, Charles TABER; Orator, R. E. GAGER; Chaplain, Geo. SMALL; Rec. Sec., Edward SAXTON; Treasurer, Thomas J. STEPHENS; Collector, Fred. HARDING; Guide, Charles SCOTT; Past Regent, John B. LANG.
The meetings are held in the G. A. R. rooms, on E. Seneca street, the first and third Thursdays of each month.
G. A. R.--In 1866 or '67, early after the war, a G. A. R. post was established called the Barton Post No.--, which flourished for about three or four years, and one of its early commanders was D. W. BURDICK, a major of artillery.
Sidney Post G. A. R. No. 41; charter granted December 22, 1876; named after Lieut. Joseph SIDNEY, of the U. S. Marines, who died in line of duty on board the U. S. gunboat Brooklyn. First commander, Col. K. S. VAN VOORHEES, of the De Witt Guard. Charter members were John BARNARD, John E. McINTOSH, Barnum R. WILLIAMS, Dr. Ziba H. POTTER, Major W. P. VAN NESS, L. S. MACKEY, James H. TICHENOR, Geo. W. GRAY, Henry STOUGHTON, James GARDNER, Moses SNEED, P. C. GILBERT, F. E. TIBBETTS.
Following VAN VOORHEES the commanders have been: John E. McINTOSH, C. S. NORTON, A. A. HUNGERFORD, J. A. NORTHRUP, N. G. WHITE, Doctor TARBELL, F. E. TIBBETTS, Reuben GEE, John B. FRENCH.
The present officers of the post are: John BARNARD, Com.; W. H. HERRINGTON, Sr. V. Com.; John JOHNSON, Jr. V. Com.; Charles SMITH, Quartermaster; Thos. J. STEPHENS, Adjt.; Theo. J. HARRINGTON, Chaplain; R. F. LOBDELL, Surgeon; J. W. SKINNER, Off. of Day; E. R. HURLBURT, Off. of Guard; John A. FREER, Sergeant-major; Herman CUMMINGS, Quar, Ser.; G. W. L. GARDNER, Sentinel. Present membership, 150. The post occupies rooms in the Bates Block, on E. Seneca street, and meets every Tuesday evening. It has been supported by the citizens in general and the civic authorities. H. W. SAGE presented a record book in 1892, which has been a very valuable acquisition.
FOREST HOME.--This is the euphonious name of a little settlement on Fall Creek, about two miles east of Ithaca, which was known for many years as "Free Hollow." A small manufacturing interest was started there about the year 1812, by a Mr. PHENIX, who built a grist mill, and one has been maintained there ever since. In 1819 Jacob G. DYCKMAN & Company established a fulling mill there, which soon passed to the sole ownership of Mr. DYCKMAN, and was sold by him in 1821 to Edmond PRESWICK. In 1823 Samuel SEAMAN owned the mills and leased them to Job GASKILL. Another sale was made of the property in 1827 and then included the Phenix grist mill, a fulling mill, dye house and a new saw mill; also four dwellings, two barns, a cooper shop, a school house and 250 acres of land. In 1826 the woolen factory was conducted by STEWART & ALLEN and turned out fine cloths. Subsequently the mills were sold to Jacob STARBIRD, and by him to MACK, ANDRUS & WOODRUFF. The present grist mill there was built by Arnold McINTYRE, father of Dwight McINTYRE, about 1855-56. It is now owned by Martin V. CRANDALL, who purchased it in May, 1893, of F. C. CORNELL. The woolen factors closed up in 1892. A saw mill is running there by Richard BROWN. Isaac CRADIT manufactured furniture there for many years. David McKINNEY had a tannery for many years. A large factory of woolen goods was conducted by D. EDWARDS & Son, but the property has been sold and is not now operated.
1. Mr. PELTON was in the Revolutionary army as a lieutenant and captain; was present at the attack on Quebec, and stood near General MONTGOMERY when he fell. After the war he drew three bounty lots of 600 acres each, but not in the town of Ulysses. He may have exchanged a portion of that land with VAN RENSSELAER for his Ithaca possessions. He was the father of Richard W. and E. G. PELTON, and brother of Dr. William PELTON. He died in Ithaca at his residence on Seneca street about the year 1830.
2. "I have this day paid a third visit to Fall Creek for the sole purpose of viewing that stupendous work of art called the Tunnel, which conducts part of the waters of the creek from a point a few rods above the first fall, and within sight of the second, to the mill site at the bridge . . . The entrance for about twenty feet is from 16 to 20 feet in width, top square, allowing for the ruggedness occasioned by the blasting. The remaining 180 feet is pretty much in the shape of an arch way, making the same allowance for the effect of blasting. Along this subterranean passage, to accommodate those who wish to pass through it, Mr. BEEBE has had pieces of scantling placed transversely about four feet above the base at proper distances throughout the whole length, over which are laid strong oak plank; on these we walked safely through, the water rolling on below us, and over our heads a solid roof of rock from twenty to forty feet thick, till it reaches the soil above. . . . This magnificent work of art--the Tunnel--of which perhaps there is nothing in this country in the annals of individual enterprise to exceed it, was commenced as above mentioned in 1831." Mr. SOUTHWICK, from whom we have before quoted in these pages, and who wrote the foregoing, was nothing if not enthusiastic when writing of Ithaca.
3. John SMITH and R. W. PELTON laid out in lots that part of Aurora street from the bridge to Seneca street. This was before 1814. SMITH 's plat of Ithaca village is mentioned many times in the old records of real estate in the section alluded to. Lot No. 1 of SMITH's plat was the southeast corner of Seneca and Aurora street, which is mentioned in old records as " the same premises formerly occupied bu Luther GERE."
4. Near the mill was also a distillery, owned by Mr. DE WITT. The structure used as a grist mill is now the plaster mill of Mr. H. C. WILLIAMS's estate. bat the distillery has not survived the "tidal wave" of time.
5. Mr. C. F. MULKS, of Caroline, is authority for the statement that Mr. ATKINS invented the first successful sewing machine feed; the news of which reached some of the manufacturers of the early machines, who came on and offered Mr. ATK INS $500 for his invention, and would give him but an hour to decide. ATKINS was a poor man and accepted the pittance for what was worth a fortune.
Landmarks - The Town of Ulysses
Carl Hommel donated this material and transcribed into digital format.
Thank you Carl Hommel.
You are our
visitor since March 04, 2002.
Thanks for stopping by!
Thursday, 04-Jul-2019 13:18:54 PDT
Copyright by the Tompkins County NYGenWeb Coordinators
for the contributors of the material on these pages.
All Rights Reserved.