Friday, February 24, 2012


Feb 23                       
Monroe County (on  second attempt by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester) and Livingston County are formed from parts of Ontario and Genesee counties. Colonel Rochester becomes county clerk. Geneseo becomes the seat of Livingston County, Rochester the seat of Monroe. Mendon becomes part of Monroe County. Avon lawyer George Hosmer is named as Livingston's district attorney. The Orleans County Town of Clarenden is formed from the Monroe County Town of Sweden. The Monroe County Town of Inverness (quickly renamed Wheatland) is created out of the Livingston County Town of Caledonia. Monroe County’s population is about 23,000.    **    The first brick home in Rochester is completed.

Mar 16
The Cayuga County town of Conquest is formed out of Cato Township. ** The Erie County towns of Collins and Sardinia are established.

Mar 23                       
Erie County’s Town of Evans is established.

Mar 29                       
Cattaraugus County’s Town of Farmersville is formed from the Town of Ischua (later Franklinville).

Mar 31                       
The state legislature incorporates the Ontario Canal Company, capitalized at $100,000, to connect Canandaigua Lake to the Erie Canal. Nothing is ever done.  

Apr 2
Erie County is created out of Niagara County.

Apr 24                       
Benjamin Barber Conable is born prematurely to Rufus and Sophia Conable in Gainsville, due to the jostling of the cart bringing them from western Massachusetts to their new home there.

Contracts are let for the Deep Cut portion of the Erie Canal at Lockport.

May 8                       
The Rochester Board of Supervisors meets for the first time.    **    The first Monroe County Court is held in the loft of Rochester’s Eagle Tavern.

May 9                       
The Monroe County Medical Society is organized.

May 21                       
The contract to build the five-step Erie Canal locks at Lockport is awarded to Claudius Boughton, Joseph Comstock, Oliver Culver, and John Maynard.

May 23                       
Ontario Canal Company commissioners N. Gorham, Z. Seymour, Asa Stanley, P. P. Bates, and William H. Adams open the books for subscriptions, at Coe’s Hotel in Canandaigua.

May 30                       
The Monroe County Bible Society is founded.

Jun 12                       
Ontario Canal Company subscriptions reach $20,000.

Jul 1                       
The first dance in the village of Connewango is held at the home of Russel Pennock.

Contractor William Britton, aided by 30 convicts from Auburn Prison, begins construction of Rochesterville’s Erie Canal Aqueduct over the Genesee River.

Oct 26                       
Joseph Ellicott, Resident-Agent for Batavia’s Holland Land Office, resigns due to ill health and increasing criticism of his performance.

Nov 1                       
The Lake Erie Steamboat Company’s Great Lakes steamer Walk-in-the-Water runs aground in Lake Erie off Buffalo. There are no injuries. Judge Samuel Wilkeson makes a deal with a representative from the steamboat company. He will see the boat is freed by May first of the following year or forfeit $150 for each day the deadline is missed. The company will build a new boat in Buffalo if the deadline is met.

Dec 4                       
Archibald S. Clarke, native Marylander and New York State lawyer and congressman, dies in Clarence, in his early thirties.

The towns of Almond and Independence are split off from Alfred.    **    The improved canal between Cayuga & Seneca lakes is completed, encompassing 1.72 miles of canal and 8 stone locks.    **    Monroe and Livingston counties are carved out of Genesee County. Colonel Nathaniel Rochester, who led the drive for a new county on the Genesee after a 1817 drive failed,  is named clerk of Monroe County; Matthew Brown is named chairman of the Board of Town Supervisors. Mr. Rochester is also named the county's first representative in the State Assembly.    **    Nathan Burt of Mt. Morris settles in Connewango.    **    In Cayuga County Conquest, Ira, and Victory are taken off the town of Cato.    **    The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is formed. Brockport merchant James Seymour is appointed as the first sheriff.    **    The approximate date James Percival buys out The Moscow Advertiser and Genesee Farmer, moves it from Moscow, New York, to Geneseo and renames it The Livingston Register.    **    Andrew Allen, Isaac Eggleston, Amos and David Orton, James Strong, and Hiram Wood settle along Five Mile Creek at Allegany     **    Presbyterian minister the Reverend Robert Hunter conducts the first religious service in the Allegany County town of Allen.    **    Residents name their village Lockport.    **    William Allen arrives in Geneseo from Adams. He will become a land agent for the Wadsworths for the next 45 years.    **    William A. Hart drills the first gas well in the U. S., in Fredonia.    **    Samuel Fowler is born to Horace and Mary Taylor Fowler in Cohocton.    **    Canandaigua entrepreneur Bela Coe repurchases the stage mail franchise for his hotel from the heirs of Sylvanus Marvin. He will lease the tavern for a time, then sell it and return to Buffalo.    **    Canastota pioneer Reuben Perkins sells the remaining 228 acres of his 328-acre patent.    **    The Bank of Geneva opens on the south side of Pulteney Park, which becomes known as Bank Alley.    **    The state has 202,510 eligible voters.    **    The recent formation of new counties has eliminated “double districts” in New York, some dating back to 1810.    **    Former Benton, Ontario County (later Yates County), town supervisor Elijah Spencer serves in the 17th U.S. congress for a two-year term.    **    Williams College graduate Moses Hayden opens a law office in York.    **    Connecticut Law School graduate Frederick Whittlesley is admitted to the bar in Utica, begins practicing in Cooperstown. briefly before moving on to Rochester.    **    Millers Andrew Lincoln and Samuel Rich build a dam across Monroe County’s Irondequoit Creek, just south of where the future Linden Avenue bridge will cross, creating a 50-acre mill pond later named Spring Lake.    **    Millers Andrew Lincoln, Rich and Lathrop build a dam across Irondequoit Creek, just south of where the future Linden Avenue bridge will cross, creating a 50-acre grist mill pond later named Spring Lake.

The Auburn Theological Seminary opens.    **    Auburn Prison experiments with solitary confinement without labor. The method is not a success.    **    Master-builder and carpenter John I. Hagaman opens a school of architectural design.

The city's first theater opens across Main Street from the Eagle Tavern. It does not do well.

The wife of early settler John Farlee dies in the fall - the first death of an adult in town. She’s buried in her garden, in the midst of a raging snow-storm. No minister is present; a friend offers a prayer.    **    Nathan Burt of Mount Morris and Daniel Newcomb of Goshen settle in town, as does John Darling of Vermont. Darling  becomes trapped overnight by wolves in his sugar house later in the year.    **    Benjamin Darling and his wife and five children arrive from Vermont, having traveled for four weeks by ox-team and sled.    **    Peter Pennock arrives from Genesee County; Luman Beach arrives from Caledonia.

Erie Canal
Construction at Rochesterville is completed. The stretch between Utica and High Falls is also completed.   **    The state signs construction contracts for the Niagara County portion of the canal.    **    The Seneca Lock Navigation Company opens a channel south to Seneca Lake.

The shipbuilding firm of Townsend, Bronson & Co. is dissolved.    **    A lighthouse is built on Lake Ontario.

Dr. John  Ray dies at the age of 78.    **    Young cabinet maker and future student of telegraphy Charles Came moves into the village.

The first jail in the settlement is built on North Fitzhugh Street, a log cabin with cells along a central corridor.    **    The first court house is built.    **    The Reverend Charles Buck's The Young Christian's Guide is published by printer Everard Peck.    **    Peck publishes Lindley Murray's adaptation from the 28th English edition of English Grammar.    **    Myron Holley and John Gilbert begin construction of a stone warehouse at the future junction of the Erie Canal and one of its feeders.    **    Massachusetts native Daniel Dewey Barnard opens a law office here.    **    Thurlow Weed moves here from Weedsport, goes to work for the Rochester Telegraph as an assistant editor.

Hathaway Richmond, father of fifteen-year-old future Batavia railroad tycoon Dean Richmond, dies in St. Louis at about 48 years of age.

U. S. Government
Former general Peter Buell Porter enters the Fourteenth Congress, his third,
non-consecutive term. He is joined by Micah Brooks, both men representing New York’s District 21, a divided double district until later in the year when new counties are formed.

The government discards records of the East India Company and the West India Company dating prior to 1700.

© 2012  David Minor / Eagles Byte

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