Elmira City and Town.
The town of "New Town" was formed from the town of Chemung April 10, 1792. In 1808 it was changed to Elmira. But the name of "New Town" clung to it for many years thereafter. It comprised as its organization all the territory now comprised of the towns of Southport, Big Flats, Horse Heads, Catlin, Veteran, Erin, Van Etten, and the townships in Schuyler, of Dix, Catharine, and Cayuta, which were detached from Chemung county to form Schuyler in 1854. We know of no better plan to give the reader an idea of the small number of inhabitants then within the territory named, than by appending the names of the tax-payers and settlers, then in the town of New Town. For brevity sake we will omit the columns, stating the amount of tax levied, and the number of acres, and personal effects upon which the tax was laid, our object being solely to show the names of the pioneers who resided in "New Town," now Elmira, in 1794. The names of the taxpayers were John Acmody, Lewis Abraham, Charles Annis, Charles Annis, Jr., Augustus Barber, Phineas Bower, Joel Bower, John Brees, George Bloom, Ebenezer Bartlett, Caleb Baker, Solomon Bovier, Thadeus Bennett, Ephraim Bennet, Henry Baldwin, Green Bentley, Abraham Bennet, Michael Bennet, Ezekiel and Sarah Brown. Jonathan Brown, Hains Bartlet, Thomas Baldwin, Isaac Baldwin, William Baldwin, Benjamin Bailey, James Broderick, Lanader Barns, Silas Beers, Exekiel Beech, Peter Barlow, David Culver, Daniel Coreyell, Michael Coreyell, Abraham Coreyell, Stoddard Conklin, Thomas Cronover, Phineas Catlin, Israel Catlin, Zebulon Cady, Daniel Cruger, John Cortright, James Camron, Mathew Carpenter, Joshua Carpenter, John Dow, Levy Doty, Benjamin Dusenberry, Tunis Dolson, Stephen Dolson, John Durham, Jacob Durham, Samuel Edsal, Nathaniel Fairchild, John Fitzsummonds, John Fitzsummonds, Jr., Isaiah Funston, Asa Gildersleeve, Sewel Gilbert, Otheniel Gilbert, Elijah Griswold, David Griswold, James Green, William Gardner, Joseph Gray, Widow Olive Gardner, Stephen Gardinghouse, Nicholas Gale, Caleb Gardner, Solomon Gardner, George Gardner, Samuel Hendy, James Henry, John Hendy, Thomas Hendy, Benjamin Hathaway, Frederick Hines, Benjamin Hines, Abner Hatfield, Cornelius Hopper, Lebius Hammond, Josiah Hammond, Ammeriah Hammond, Henry Houser, Lazerus Hammond, John Jennings, William Jennings, William Jenkins, Phillip Jordan, Enoch Kinyon, John Kent, Widow Phebe Kent, Abner Kelsey, John Konkle, Andrew Kinyon, Nathaniel Landen, Cornelius Lowe, Samuel Lewis, William Laton, John Love, Christian Loop, Peter Loop, Cornelius Lowe, Jr., James Lownsberry, Samuel Ludlum, William McFarthing, John McGraham, Thomas McClure, George Mills, William McCormick, Garret Miller, John McHenry, David McCormick, Joseph Miller, Abraham Miller, Abraham Middaugh, Samuel Middaugh, John Mitchel, James Mitchel, James Mitchel, Jr., Richard Mitchel, Ezra Meed, Selah Mathews, Vincent Mathews, Mathew McConnel, John McConnel, Samuel McConnel, Joseph McConnel, Alexander Miller, John Miller, John Morris, Peter Minthorn, Christian Minier, David Parshall, Amos Park, Israel Parshall, David Powers, Benjamin Pearce, John Parkhurst, Jacob Peck, Samuel Reeder, Cornelius Roberts, Jonathan Rockwell, James Rockwell, Ezra Rowley, Daniel Sullivan, John Sayers, James Sayers, Ebe-
nezer Sayers, Henry Smith, Daniel Smith, John Smith (at Lake), Silas Sergeant, William Sutton, James Seeley, Caleb Smith, Caleb Seeley, Timothy Smith, John Smith (Seeley Creek), Adam Seeley, Nathaniel Seeley, Conrade Smith, Jacob Stull, Ashkanar Shappee, John Sly, Michael Sly, Michael Shoff, Nathaniel Seel, Jr., Adam Sly, Henry Sterrett, Jonathan Silsbie, John Stoner, John C. Smith, Selah Satterly, Conrade Smith, Jr., Robert Sterrett, Justice Stephans, Adam Stephans, Orris Taylor, Samuel Tuttle, Ephraim Taylor, Jacob Teeple, Lebius Tubbs, Samuel Tubbs, John Tubbs, Lebius Tubbs, Jr., Joel Thomas, Gamaliel Townshend, Abraham Townshend, Nathan Teal, Aaron Thomas, James Thornton, Henry Tower, Peter Vendevanter, Thomas Whitney, John Winkler, Joseph Wyckoff, Elijah G. Wheeler, John Wiers, Cornelius Westfall, Walter Waters, Clark Wynance, (Winans), Abner Wells, Abner Wells, Jr., Henry Wells, George Rankin, Brinton Paine, John Gauf, (Goff), Jacob Emmonds, Phineas Culver, Walter Waters, Jr., Christian Schott, Benjamin Littleton, Frederick Warner.
Photo submitted by Liz Dubois
TIOGA COUNTY, ss:
To Nathan Teal, Collector of the Town of New Town:--You are hereby commanded to collect of and from all and every one of the person and persons named in the assessment, contained in the last column of said assessment and opposite to their respective name, and to pay it to the Treasurer of said county of Tioga, on or before the first Tuesday of February then next. And in case any person or persons shall neglect or refuse to pay the sum or sums opposite their respective names in said assessment, then and in such case, you are hereby authorized and required to levy on the same by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the person or persons, who ought to pay the same and if the goods and chattles so distrained shall be sold for more than the amount of such sum opposite their respective names, in said assessment and charges of distress and sale, then the overplus shall be returned to the owners of such goods and chattles, and this shall be your warrant. Given under our hands and seals at Union, in the county aforesaid, this twenty-eighth day or June, 1794.
(seal.) Eman'l Caryell,
(seal.) Phineas Bennet,
(seal.) George Harper.
(seal.) Eph'm Fitch,
(seal.) Daniel Hudson
(seal.) Abner Kelley,
(seal.) John Welch,
(seal.) Dan'l McDowell,
The expedition of General Sullivan in 1779, and the treaty with the Indians at New Town, in 1791, had attracted the people of the various states to this locality, and settlers came in rapidly from Pennsylvania and the eastern states. The opening up of the Pultney estate by means of a highway from Northumberland, Pa., via the Lycoming and Tioga valleys to
Bath, Canandaigua, Geneva and Mount Morris, and the navigation of the Susquehanna and Chemung with small boats or canoes, enabled the settlers from the south to reach New Town early in the history of the development of southern and western New York.
Settlers also reached New Town via of Albany, Cooperstown, the Chenango and east branch of the Susquehanna, or by way Utica, Fort Stanwix, the Cayuga and Seneca Lakes, so that by the year 1800, New Town was quite a bustling little village, and by the year 1808, it had become so elated with its prosperity, that is assumed the name of Elmira, in honor of one of its fairest daughters. As early as 1798, New Town commenced dividing up her estate. In that year (1798) the town of Catherine was formed from New Town, March 9, 1798. This township embraced the lands upon the inlet of Seneca Lake, and the rolling lands for miles on either side of it. In 1822, April 16, she gave her daughter Big Flats a start in life; and the same day, viz, April 16, 1822, she started another daughter upon the high road to prosperity, Miss Southport. Her daughters began to grow liberal and in 1823, Catlin township was formed from Catherine, April 16. Twelve years later her grand daughter Catlin started the township of Dix on the road to prosperity, April 17, 1835. The town of Veteran was the gift of Catherine, April 16, 1823.
Elmira for a number of years cultivated her large domain, erected school houses, academies, colleges, churches, built villages and hamlets, constructed canals and railroad, so that in 1854 the town of Horesheads was formed from her northern portion. In 1828 Elmira village was organized; Stephen Tuttle, President; Theodore North, Charles Orwan, Lyman Covell, William Maxwell, Trustees; Hiram Gray, Clerk. Its charter was remodled and amended from time to time, according to the increase in wealth and population, when in April 1864, it obtained a city charter. Its first Mayor was John Arnot, Jr., April 24, 1864, succeeded by John I. Nicks, two terms, E. N. Frisbie, two terms, Stephen McDonald, Patrick H. Flood, two terms, Luther Caldwell, John Arnot, Jr., Howard M. Smith, Robert T. Turner, Granville D. Parsons, Alex. Diyen, David B. Hill, Stephen T. Arnot, Henry Flood, present incumbent.
--A petition was presented, June 3, 1793, by Amos Park, James Cameron, Nathaniel Seeley, Jr., Henry Sterrett, Peter Loop, Jr., Nathaniel Teal, James Seeley, John Crabtree, to the grand lodge F. & A. M. of New York, for the the establishment of a lodge at New Town, which application was granted, June 18, 1793, under the name of Union Lodge, No. 30. The first meeting of the lodge was held at the house of John Konkle, in the village of new Town, (now Elmira,) August 26, 1793. president, Amos Park, W. M; James Cameron, S. W; Nathaniel Seeley, Jr., J. W; Peter Look, Jr., Sec.; John Konkle, Treasurer; Nathaniel Teal, Tiler; James Seeley, member; Abiel Frye, Vistor. William Dunn the first sheriff of Steuben county, in 1796, was the first person initiated into Union Lodge, No. 30. The above names officers were installed at Canandaigua, August 22, 1793, by a convention of past masters. The lodge increased in numbers and influence until the Morgan excitement, and in 1828 suspended work, and resumed again October 9, 1843, under a new dispensation.
--Orphans Home established in 1864.
--State Reformatory completed 1878.
--Hiram Gray was born July 20, 1801.
--Ariel S. Thurston born June 10, 1810.
--Elmira Sangerband organized in 1856.
--July 25, 1873, death of Hon. A. W. Randal.
--Elmira Farmers Club organized Dec. 14, 1869.
--James Dunn, died May 1, 1877, aged 75 years.
--John Arnot settled in Elmira, in the year 1819.
--William Dunn built the first grist mill, in 1799.
--Thomas Pattinson died Feb. 20, 1838, aged 52.
--Daniel Cruger opened the first store, in Elmira.
--Daniel Pratt, died January, 1877, aged 71 years.
--Asher Tyler, died August 1, 1875, aged 77 years.
--Levi. J. Cooley, died June 4, 1874, aged 73 years.
--John Konkle, died May 30, 1828, aged 72 years.
--Thomas Perry, died June 2, 1836, aged 60 years.
--John Davis, died April 10th, 1847, aged 74 years.
--Chemung is an Indian name and signifies Big Horn.
--Andrew Gregg, died October 8, 1807, aged 74 years.
--Aaron Konkle, died October 10, 1861, aged 75 years.
--Lake street bridge across the river, was built in 1823.
--Hon. Thomas Maxwell, was born February 16, 1792.
--May 9, 1878, re-organization of the U. I. & E. R. R.
--Mrs. Jane Fitzsimmons died April 21, 1836, aged 44.
--Gen. Vincent Mathews was the first lawyer in Elmira.
--The failure of the Bank of Chemung, March 22, 1878.
--Independent Hose Co. No. 3, organized in April 1866.
--May 8, 1873 bill for the Reformatory passes the senate.
--October 24, 1878, public test of the paid fire department.
--The Main street Bridge Company was organized in 1853.
--Great fire in Elmira December 23, 1866. Loss, $400.000.
--Eureka Engine Company No. 5, organized Dec. 11, 1854.
--Simeon Benjamin, died September 1, 1868, aged 76 years.
--Dr. Joseph Hinchman, died July 23, 1802, aged 40 years.
--Banking House of Francis G. Hall organized May 1, 1865.
--Young Men's Christain Association was established in 1858.
--Ann, wife of John Konkle, died in May, 1839, aged 77 years.
--Elmira Lodge No. 113, A. D. O. H., chartered April 13, 1871.
--Elmira Driving Park Association incorporated April 13, 1871.
--Dr. Joseph Henchman was the first physician, locating in 1794.
--May 21, 1873, street cars commence running to Eldridge Park.
--Nathaniel Seeley built the first framed house in Elmira, in 1792.
--The Indian name of Elmira was Kan-e-we-ola, (head on a pole).
--Elmira was the rendezvous for soldiers during the late rebellion.
--Elmira Chapter No. 17, A. D. O. H., chartered August 12, 1867.
--Royal and Select Masters as Excelsior Council No. 6, organized in 1855.
--Ancient Jewish Order, Kesher Shall Barsell, organized January 28, 1871.
--The Sunday Telegram issued April, 1879.
--The Sunday Tidings established in 1883.
--The Elmira Whig was established in 1828, by James Durham.
--William Baldwin, died June 25, 1848, aged 74 years and 10 days.
--The Home for Orphans Children formally opened June 28, 1877.
--St. John's German Catholic Church erected in 1867, Cost $6,000.
--February 27, 1873, Benjamin Vail celebrated his golden wedding.
--Hon, Samuel G. Hathaway, Jr., died April 16, 1864, aged 54 years.
--Hon. William Maxwell, son of Guy Maxwell, died in the year 1858.
--St. Patricks Total Abstinence Society was organized April 27, 1873.
--John Gregg, died August 5, 1843, aged 75 years, 7 months and 7 days.
--Esther, wife of Andrew Gregg, died December 2, 1807, aged 75 years.
--The Sunday Times was established, in January, 1878, by D. T. Daily.
--August 19, 1874, the Husbandman was established by the Farmer's Club.
--Charles Fairman, the editor of the first daily paper in Elmira, died 1884.
--Mrs. Lydia, wife of Stephen Tuttle, died March 15, 1824, ages 86 years.
--First Methodist Episcopal Church organized in 1814, by Rev. G. Lanning.
--Elmira Iron and Steel Rolling Mill Co. was chartered August 7, 1860.
--Major General Mathew Carpenter, died October 6th, 1839, aged 81 years.
--March 13, 1869, the Saturday Evening Review was issued; it continued two years.
--The Leader, a weekly paper, was issued in February 1874, James S. Thurston, Manager.
--The Free Press was established in April, 1879, and after running about three years was merged into the Gazette.
--In 1851 C. Chauncey Burr and Herman Burr purchased the Democrat and edited a daily named the Daily Kanlon.
--The first daily paper published in Elmira was the Elmira Daily Republican; by S. B. & C. G. Fairman, June 1st, 1846.
--In January, 1847, a paper was established called the Chemung Democrat. In 1851 a daily edition was issued by Julius Taylor.
--The Daily Bazoo was issued in the fall of 1877, by E. C. George. In the spring of 1878 the name was changed to Evening Herald.
--May 30, 1859, R. R. R. Dumars and P. C. VanGelder issued the Elmira Daily Press. In 1864 it was merged with the Daily Gazette.
--On the 3d of November, 1853, Fairman's Advertiser was issued. From this small beginning arose that gigantic establishment known as the Advertiser Association.
--The first newspaper was The Telegraph, Bemble & Murphy, in 1815. The Vidette, by William Murphy, in 1818. The Tioga Register was established by Job A. Smith, in 1822. In 1828 the title was changed to the Elmira Gazette.
--The Elmira Republican was established in 1829, by William Murphy, and edited by Chauncey Morgan. The office was subsequently purchased by Ransom Birdsall.
--On September 25, 1854, Young American Fire Company was organized, George Sherman, foreman, William E. Rutter Jr., Secretary, John Goodrich, Treasurer.
--The first steam fire engine was purchased Jan. 19, 1864. Cost $4,000.
--Elmira Female College was opened for the reception of students. October 1855.
--Grant B. Baldwin, died January 24, 1840, aged 47 years, 10 months and 6 days.
--In 1830 Miles Covell, John Arnot, Abraham Riker appointed Fire Wardens.
--October 1, 1873, fires first lighted in the blast furnace of the Rolling Mill Co.
--Fire Company No. 3 organized August 21, 1848. John M. Robinson foreman.
--Hook and Ladder Company organized in 1844. Thomas Pattinson foreman.
--Zion M. E. Church (African) was built in 1870. Rev. S. H. Thompson first pastor.
--In 1797, Newton was visited by Louis Phillips, he "out up" at the Kline House.
--Catherine, wife Gen. Mathew Carpenter, died October 28th, 1830. aged 65 years.
--Patriotic Sons of America organized April 15, 1878, was Washington Camp, No.2.
--First National Bank was organized 1863. Simeon Benjamin, President. Capital $100,000.
--Bank of Elmira organized in 1853, David H. Tuthill, President, Anson C. Ely, Cashier.
--The project for the Masonic Temple in Elmira, first made public March 23, 1873.
--The first chief engineer was appointed June, 1839. Silas Haight received the appointment.
--In 1865, the Elmira Advertiser and Elmira Gazette joined the New York Associated Press.
--The Corner Stone of the Masonic Temple, laid with great ceremonies, September 5, 1878.
--Fire Company No. 2, organized June, 1844. George Pattinson, foreman, Ed. Covell, secretary.
--Young Men's Benevolent Catholic and Total Abstinence Society organized August 25, 1872.
--Mercy, relict of William Dunn, and wife of John Davis, died April 8, 1847, aged 76 years.
--William Dunn, first sheriff of Steuben county, died in Elmira, February 17, 1804, aged 40 years.
--Ancient Order of United Workmen was instituted April 20, 1878, known as Elmira Lodge, No. 150.
--Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank organized in 1876, Lewis M. Smith, President, H. L. Bacon, Cashier.
--Elmira Fire Department chartered April 1859. Trustees, A. S. Clark, F. Collongwood, Riggs Watrous, B. F. Herrick, William P. Donnell, O. A. Drury, F. C. Steele, Washington Marsh, B. F. Hancock.
--Free Will Baptist Church organized July 30, 1869. Rev. Schuyler Aldrich first pastor.
--Myrilla, wife of Grant B. Baldwin, died July 6, 1866, aged 73 years, 8 months and 22 days.
--Azubah, widow of William Baldwin, died April 1, 1847, aged 78 years, 3 months and 22 days.
--St. Patricks Church erected in 1871. Dedicated Dec. 13, 1875. Rev. J. J. Bloomer, first pastor.
--Bank of Chemung organized in 1849. Simeon Benjamin, President, Dr. Tracey Beadle, Cashier.
--May 19, 1873, State Fair election to bond the city of Elmira for $50,000 to erect permanent buildings.
--Peggy, wife of William Hoffman, died November 11, 1805, aged 20 years, 10 months and 16 days.
--Patrick Ronan was elected the first chief engineer of fire department under the city charter of 1864.
--Jewish Synagogue erected in 1863. First trustees; Joseph Gladkie, H. Straus, I. Sellner, S. Sittenfield.
--Dr. Elias Saterlee was a surgeon in the war of 1812, in the regiment which was commanded by Gen. Carpenter.
--Southern Tier Savings Bank organized March 19, 1869. Solomon L. Gillet, President, James S. Thurston, Treasurer.
--In September, 1779, General Sullivan's army celebrated the declaration of war by Spain against Great Britain, at Elmira.
--January 31, 1873, a resolution passed the Canal Board to abandon the Chemung Canal, between the river and the north branch.
--The first shovel full of dirt was cast by Col. John Hendy, in Elmira, in the construction of the Chemung Canal, in the year 1829.
--Southern Tier Council No. 16, Royal and Select Masters, organized Feb. 24, 1860, under dispensation, warrant granted June 5, 1860.
--The lands in and about Elmira were first surveyed by Gen. James Clinton, Gen. John Hathorn and John Cantine, State Commissioners.
--March 23, 1874, the Elmira House on Water street and other buildings burned. The Elmira House was an old land-mark. Loss, $250,000.
--In 1796, there were three divisions in Elmira known as Wisnerburg, Dewittsburg and Hendytown. In a few years these local designations became obsolete.
--Madison Avenue Second Baptist Church organized April 26, 1872, First pastor Rev. E. F. Crane. Board of trustees, J. Wood. J. Wormley, Thomas Bennett, J. J. Smithers, J. F. Rudy, J. R. Braydon, Lewis Hill.
--May 14th, 1851, President Fillmore, and Daniel Webster, visited Elmira, while on the excursion, when the celebration of the completion of the Erie railroad was held. They remained over night at the Rathbun house, then known as the Brainard house.
--November 21, 1833, $200 was appropriated to purchase a fire engine. The engine was a "Goose Neck." Erastus Goodrich was the first foreman.
--St. Omers Commandery, dispensation issued May 1852, to T. C. Edwards Com.; E. L. Wentz, Genl.; Henry G. Rice, C. D; warrant granted June 4, 1852.
--John Kline, died April 23, 1837, aged 77 years, 3 months and 3 days. Elizabeth, his wife, died September 21, 1846, aged 75 years, 6 months and 14 days.
--Grace Episcopal Church was incorporated in 1864. First rector, Charles T. Kellogg. Wardens, Harvey Luce, B. P. Beardsley; present edifice erected Nov. 1869.
--During the late rebellion, eleven thousand nine hundred and sixteen rebel prisoners were received at Elmira, of that number two thousand nine hundred and fifty died.
--The first telegraph office was opened in Elmira, in 1844; The line ran from Elmira to Ithaca, and was owned by Cornell, Sage & Co., one of the first in the United States.
--In 1852, the Elmira Gas Light Co was incorporated; capital, $50,000; President, Mathias H. Arnot; Secretary, Stephen T. Arnot; Treasurer and Superintendent, S. T. Arnot.
--SS. Peter and Paul Church was organized by Rev. John Sheridan, in the year 1842. In 1857 a brick church was erected, and on the 19th day of July consecrated. Cost $50,000.
--The first church of the Baptist denomination was May 16, 1829. First pastor Rev. P. D. Gillets. First deacons were John Weir, Jr., David Howell, First clerk, William Lowe.
--The Elmira Water Works Co., organized April, 1869, Alex. S. Divan, President; George M. Diven, Vice-President; Alex. Diven, Treasurer; John M. Diven, Secretary; John H. Levitt, Superintendent. Capital, $50,000.
--The Elmira Farmers' Club was organized December 14, 1869. by Geo. W. Hoffman, William A. Armstrong, James McCann, Charles Heller, Lewis Fitch, Samuel A. Chapman, Seely P. Chapman, John Bridgeman, Samuel Carr and Daniel E. Howell.
--In 1872, the city of Elmira expended $120,000 in the erection of two iron bridges across the Chemung river, one on Main street and one on Lake street. Subsequently appropriated $30,000 more. The total cost of the two bridges was $149,324, or $676 less than the appropriation.
--Second Presbyterian Church organized Dec. 27, 1860, Rev. David Murdock, first pastor. Church completed and dedicated June 13, 1862. The first trustees were E. L. Hart, David H. Tuthill, Ariel S. Thurston, Lyman Covell, H. M. Partridge, Robert Covell, Jr.
--First Protestant Episcopal Church service held in Elmira, by Rev. B. F. Onderdonk, May 16, 1832. Church edifice completed in 1836, and was consecrated by Bishop Onderdonk August 21, 1837. Rector, Rev. Richard Smith. Wardens, Harvey Luce, Dorris Hatch. Vestrymen, S. S. Lawrence Damon Hatch, Charles S. Vogel, Levi J. Cooley, Stephen Lewis, George Kingsbury, Ranson Birdsall, Samuel H. Maxwell. Clerk, P. R. K. Brotherson.
--Callisophia Literary Soceity [sic] organized in 1856. Its motto is "Per aspera, ad asterea," through difficulties to the stars. Its first officers were President, Fidelia M. Belcher; Vice President, Julia Kellog; Secretary, M. J. Covenhoven; Reporter, Lida Chase.
--Park Church, Congregational, was began May 15, 1845, organization completed January 3, 1846. Rev. F. W. Graves, first pastor. The church and society built a lecture room on Baldwin street, in 1848. The present stone edifice was open for service October 10, 1875. Rev. Thomas K. Beecher pastor. Rev. Thomas K. Beecher commenced his ministry in Elmira, June, 1854.
--Royal Arch Masons, Chapter No. 42. was instituted April 4, 1815, by the authority of Ezra Ames, Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of New York, to Elias Satterlee, High Priest; John Cherry, King; Thomas Maxwell, Scribe and Companion; Samuel Tuthill, John Hughes, Solomon L. Smith, Platt Bennett, Amos Park and John Knox. First meeting of Chapter, July 3, 1815. Present, Elias Satterlee, Solomon L. Smith, Thomas Maxwell, Nathan Teal, James Cameron.
--Ivy Lodge, No. 397 F. & A. M. was organized Nov. 22, 1855. Thomas C. Edwards, Master; Lewis E. Bonney, Senior Warden; Theodore North, Junior Warden. Original members, T. C. Edwards, Gabriel L. Smith, William Thompson Reeder, William Dundas, William Lee, L. E. Bonney, Theodore North, James Suffern, C. F. Gosper, S. Cassada, Stephen T. Arnot, George Congdon, H. F. Sweetzer, S. B. Elliothorpe.
--Post masters of Elmira, 1801 John Konkle; 1809 Aaron Konkle; 1822 Grant Baldwin; 1835 Thomas Maxwell; 1841 Ranson Birdsall; 1843 Levi J. Cooley; 1849 Henry M. Mathews; 1853 Daniel Stevens; 1861 Daniel F. Pickering; 1867 William T. Post; 1869 Charles G. Fairman; 1877 Daniel F. Pickering; 1881 H. B. Berry; 1885 E. F. Babcock, present incumbent.
--Elmira Mechanics' Society organized in 1834. First officers were Charles Aman, Pres; Abraham Riker, Vice Pres; Ransom Birdsall, Sec; Francis Collingwood, Treas. Directors, J. A. Smith, Sylvester Munger, William R. Judson, William Williams, Hunt Pomeroy, O. Birdsall, Daniel Stephens, Henry Potter, Archibald Heggie.
--First Fire Company was organized in Elmira Nov. 20, 1830. Members Erastus Goodrich, David H. Tuthill, Brinton Paine, William Vial, John L. Shockey, A. Beardsley, C. Howell, George Kingsbury, R. F. Seabury, Isaac Roe, John Gregg, Solomon L. Gillett, James Hill, William Foster, Elijah Jones, George Burnett, Peter Brotherson, Benedict Satterlee, Isaac Wood, Henry Potter, Benjamin C. Wickham, Charles Miller, William Williams, Asa Willard, Daniel Stephens, Miles Covell, John Arnot, Elijah Briggs, John Selover, Jacob Shockey.
--First Odd Fellows Lodge was instituted Oct. 11, 1844, by D. D. G. Master M. R. Wright, assisted by William P. Pew and Horace King, at Ithaca, New York, and known as Chemung Lodge No. 127. The charter members were Frederic Leach, George P. Tyler, D. C. Mallory, E. J. Horn, R. B. Sharpstein. First officers Richard B. Sharpstein, N. G; E. J. Horn, V. G; B. C. Mallory, Sec.; George P. Tyler, Treas.
--Samuel Riker died August 24, 1881.
--May 10, 1881, Major Archie N. Devoe, died.
--John Arnot, died Nov. 17, 1873, aged 80 years.
--C. C. Atkins, died August, 1876, aged 61 years.
--Benjamin Vail, died July 12, 1873, aged 74 years.
--Silas Haight, died January 25, 1874, aged 62 years.
--William Hoffman, died July 4, 1867, aged 90 years.
--Died August 28, 1853, Silas Billings aged 63 years.
--Mrs. Fannie Satterlee Purdy, died in 1880, aged 74.
--David H. Tuthill, died in July, 1873, aged 65 years.
--Damon Hatch, died at an asylum near Canandaigua.
--Died March 31, 1883, Hon. Samuel Partridge, aged 92.
--Jefferson Burr Clark, died March 29, 1877, aged 63 years.
--Col. John Hendy, Jr., died August 25, 1876, aged 83 years.
--Judge John W. Wisner, died April 24, 1852, aged 51 years.
--Uri Bartholomew, died November 8, 1878, aged about 47 years.
--"Aunt Mary McLaughlin," died January 25, 1875, aged 90 years.
--Gen. William M. Gregg, died September 2, 1881, aged about 66 years.
--Harriet Arnot, widow of John Arnot, died Dec. 6, 1877, aged 73 years.
--Riggs Watrous, died July 12, 1873, aged 63 years, 2 months and 25 days.
--July 8, 1881, Charles M. Beecher died. He was editor of the Advertiser.
--Dr. Jotham Purdy, an old and prominent physician of Elmira, died August 11, 1858, aged 59 years,
--Dr. Edwin Eldridge, the founder of Eldridge Park, died December 16, 1876, in the 64th year of his age.
--Tom Talliday, better known as "all right" and "all wrong," died February, 1873, aged about 70 years.
--Mrs. Lydia T. Reynolds, daughter of Samuel Tuthill, died in Wilkes-Barre. Her remains were brought to Elmira for interment.
--Fort Hill Encampment I. O. O. F., No. 86, was instituted Feb. 13, 1846, by P. C. P., P. H. Thompson. Charter members, D. C. Mallory, Philo E. Brown, Washington Thurman, Sylvester H. Reynolds, Isaac H. Reynolds, James P. Taylor, James Mathews.
--William Dunn, son of William Dunn, the early pioneer, and brother of Judge James Dunn, died at Elmira December 6, 1856, aged 54 years. He was at a fire which occurred on Water street near the Lake street bridge, when a burning cornice fell and struck him in his breast, resulting in his death a few hours afterwards.
--Couer De Lion, No. 7, Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine, was established Oct. 7, 1872, by John S. Bartlett, Sov.; James M. Shoemaker, Viceroy; Frank E. Cleveland, Prelate; John D. Williams, Sen. Genl.' George Whitmore, Junior Genl.' Emmon T. Walker, Standard Bearer; Benjamin P. Fenner, Perfect; David S. Dorr, Sentinel; Joseph E. McWilliams, Recorder; Sutherland Dewitt, Treasurer; Charles H. Richards, Herald; Stephen B. Sargent, Martin V. B. Bachman.
--Chemung Canal Bank organized in June, 1833. Capital $200,000. John G. McDowell, President; Lyman Covell, Vice President; William Maxwell, Cashier; Directors, John G. McDowell, William Maxwell, Lyman Covell,
Horace Mack, Elijah H. Goodwin, Levi J. Cooley, Jacob Westlake, John Jackson, Miles Covell, Augustus S. Lawrence, John Arnot, Mathew McReynolds, Hiram Gray. In about ten years thereafter a majority of the stock passed into the hands of the late John Arnot.
--Second National Bank was organized December 14, 1863, and was a continuance of the Elmira Bank in 1853, whose president was the late D. H. Tuthill. Officers at the time of the organization were Henry M. Partridge, President, William F. Corey, Cashier. It is now owned chiefly by the Pratts.
--Lyman Covell, one of the most prominent pioneers in Chemung Co., was born April 16, 1795. he was sheriff of the county, when it was yet embraced in Tioga; for many years a leading merchant; was president of Chemung Canal Bank; superintendent of the poor; frequently supervisor of the township; county treasurer; U. S. Marshall; president of the village of Elmira; first surrogate of Chemung county, besides filling other honorable positions with fidelity. He is one of the old vanguards of democracy.
--New Town Lodge I. O. O. F., No. 254, instituted Oct. 30, 1846, by D. D. G. M., D. C. Mallory. Charter members, Edward Covell, William L. Gibson, William Woodward, James P. Taylor, Elias Colburn, Samuel C. Gibson, Jacob Daniels, J. W. Chapman, George W. Brown, Rev. Philo E. Brown, John J. Brees, Richard P. Thurber, Peter C. Beckwith, Amos Fenton. Officers, Edward Covell, N. G; William L. Gibson, V. G; William Woodward, Sec; James P. Taylor, Treas.
--May 7, 1878, was an event which will be long remembered by the citizens of Elmira, The volunteer companies composing the fire department upon the evening of that day had their last parade, For a half century, fifty years to a day, the volunteer fire companies had guarded and fought the fiery element. They had commenced their labors when Elmira was a small village of a few hundred inhabitants, and had increased in number, as the country village, town and city had grown in importance, and on that evening they assembled in line, paraded the streets, and with many a tear silently coursing down their cheeks, quietly surrendered to the city authorities their engines, hose, hooks, ladders and all the paraphanalia in their possession, to be thereafter under the control of the paid fire department of the city of Elmira. Sic transit gloria.
--General Alexander D. Diven is one of the old landmarks of the legal fraternity. He was born in Catherine, N. Y., February 15, 1809; studied law with Hiram Gray, and was admitted to the bar when he was about twenty-three years of age. He was prominently connected with the project of building the Erie Railroad, the Elmira and Williamsport Railroad, and every other project calculated to benefit the city of Elmira and the county of Chemung. He has represented the county in various political positions, was a prominent member of Congress when the late rebellion commenced, and in 1862, assisted in raising the 107th Regiment, N. Y. Volunteers, and went into active service as its Lieutenant Colonel and led it at the battle of Chancellorville. In May, 1863, he took charge of the rendezvous for troops at Elmira; in August, 1864, was still farther advanced, being commissioned assistant provost marshal for the northern district of New York. He has recently retired from the active duties to enjoy his ripe old age.
--Elmira is splendidly located; the Chemung river passes through it from west to east; the Newtown creek washes its eastern side and the valley widens on the Chemung, and northward towards the Seneca Lake, to receive its thousands of busy inhabitants. Elmira has not grown into a city with that phenominal celebrity which characterizes some of the cities of the west; but her growth has been steady, conservative and sure. From its very earliest history it has been favored with a class of enterprising and far seeing inhabitants, who have not depended upon the local trade of the valley of the Chemung to support her in her onward course to distinction, but through her business men has reached forth, secured the construction of the Chemung canal, which opened a source of transportation to Seneca Lake, central New York and to Albany on the Hudson, thence to the great metropolis of the state, and later her citizens played a distinguished part in the construction of the New York and Erie Railroad; the Elmira and Jefferson, the Elmira and Williamsport, (the two letter now under the control of the Northern Central); the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad; the Tioga and Elmira State Line Railroad; the Lehigh Valley; the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western; and even forth years ago in the construction of the Elmira, Southport and State Line Plank Road, and at every stage of her history her citizens have manifested that determined purpose of making Elmira the central point of population, trade and industry. Her capital has assisted in the developement of coal and iron mines, and the building of railroads to transport their products to their doors; it has built up schools, academies, colleges, churches, fostered social intercourse, and erected temples, Masonic and Odd Fellows, wherein to meet; has secured protection against fires; provided her people with water and gas, and built a rich and prosperous city; made thousands of beautiful farms, and erected elegant and substantial dwellings, where about 90 years ago was a wilderness. Surely the citizens of to-day can look back upon old New Town of 1792 and congratulate themselves upon the appearance of Elmira in 1885.