A History of the Valley and County of Chemung
by Ausburn Towner, 1892
TOWN OF SOUTHPORT
The Town of Southport - Early Grants of Land - First Settlers--The Millers, Griswolds, McHenrys, and Smiths - David Griswold and his Family -Abraham Miller --Abner M. Hetfield and his Family -- Capt. Samuel Tuthill - The " Connecticut Gore " - Early School- Houses - First Enterprises in the Locality -Organization of the Township --Town Officers - Prolific Nature of the Soil of the Town - Its large Lumber and Tobacco Interests -The portion of the Township that became a part of the City of Elmira - Dr. Nathan Boynton and his Family -Webb's Mills-Its Early Settlers - Southport Corners "-Those who came there First - Creek - " Bulkhead Hotel - Hendy Creek - Wells - The Plank Road.
THE township of Southport is located in the southwest corner of the county bordering partly upon Chemung River. The surface is mostly hilly upland. Along the river are broad, alluvial flats of marked fertility, while along the valleys of the smaller streams the soil combines the characteristics of hill and river bottoms and yields a generous response to cultivation. Seeley Creek enters the town from the south, flows northeasterly, receiving the waters of South, Bird, and Mud Lick Creeks, and reaches the Chemung in the town of Ashland.
Among the early grants of lands within the limits of this town are the following: Patent No. 113, 1,000 acres, to Abraham Miller and Lebbeus Hammond (issued to James R. Smith), October 27, 1788 ; patent No. I 17 to Christian Minier, October 28, 1788 ; Cutting tract, patent issued to A. Rummerfield and Joseph Edsall, October 3 1, 1788 ; Seeley tract to Nathaniel Seeley, jr., James Seeley, Aaron Seeley, Abner Hetfield, and Samuel Edsall, 2,5 5 3 acres, November 3, 1788 ; Wells and Holbrook purchase, November 6, 1788, and several patents for smaller tracts during 1788; No. 102 to John Weir; No. 103 to Thomas King, issued to Abraham Hardenburg; No. 105 to Daniel DeWitt; No. 107 to Albert Foster; No. 1 1 1 to James Garlinghouse; No. 1 19 to John Harris and No. 120 to John Williams; Watson patent (Lawrence tract), 19,927 acres, issued September 16 1802. Prominent among the names of the early settlers appear those of Miller, Griswold (originally spelled Grissel), McHenry, and Smith. Who can claim priority of settlement is a matter of doubt, but it appears that Timothy
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Smith was living on the Seeley tract, 600 acres of which were granted to him in 1791, in 1787. His sons were Solomon L., job, Uriah, and Archibald, and his daughters Elizabeth, Hannah, Abbey, and Susan. Four brothers of Timothy Smith were also early settlers, among whom was John, father of J. L. Smith.
In the spring of 1787 David Griswold with his family, consisting of his wife Sally and his children, Mary, Thomas, and David, came up the river from Orange County, N. Y., and located between Elmira and Wellsburg or, what is now known as the river road. He built a sawmill and gristmill in the closing year of the last century. The gristmill was moved away in 1855 and thenceforth used as a barn. It originally stood on the present farm of Clayton Griswold. The barn stands Oil laud of the John Beckwith estate. Jonas Griswold, another son of David, born in Southport nearly a quarter of a century after the family's first settlement there, died July 12, 1891, aged eighty-one years. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church of Southport for more than fifty years. His son, Alpha D. Griswold, who is now living, has been an cider in the same church for nearly twenty-five years.
Elijah, the father of David Griswold, settled at Chemung near Wellsburg. He was of English descent, a native of Connecticut, and a soldier of the Revolution.
Abraham Miller, a veteran of two wars, a private in the French and Indian war, and colonel of a Pennsylvania regiment in the war of the Revolution, settled in Southport in 1788. He was born of German parentage in 1735 and died in 1815, a man of great intelligence and varied attainments, a wagonmaker, blacksmith, and farmer. He was the first judge of Tioga County, appointed February 17, 1791, holding the position until March 27, 1798. John Miller, a son of Abraham, also held the office from April 3, 1807, until March 31, 1810. He was a prominent politician and an ardent admirer of Aaron Burr.
No name throughout the county is better known than that of Het field. It is of good old English derivation. He who first brought it into the valley came there from Orange County and settled in this township in 1788. His full name was Abner M. Hetfield. He built his cabin, the first one in the locality, at what is known as " Southport Corners , on the spot afterward and for many years occupied by the tavern.
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Mr. Hetfield was born in Orange County, February 6, 1762, and be died in 1810. His wife was Elizabeth Seeley and they were married October 24, 1781. She was born January 14, 1764, and died in 1843 at the residence of her son, Richard Hetfield, between Elmira and Horseheads. Abner M. Hetfield was the father of twelve children, nine of whom were born in the little cabin at Southport Corners. Most of the sons arriving at man's estate, emulating the example of their father, pushed farther west into the localities that afterward became the States of Michigan and Indiana, where they, acquired wealth and prominence. The daughter of Moses, one of the sons, became the wife of Charles Kline, a son of the John Kline who ran the ferry in Elmira across the Chemung in the early part of the century. Mr. Kline was for many years an active business man of Horseheads. Mary, one of the daughters of Abner Hetfield, married Joseph McCormick, noted in the county as a horseman and a relative of the Fitzsimmonses. They moved to Indiana. Elizabeth, another daughter of Abner Hetfield, married Abraham Miller of the well known family of that name in the township. Her son, better known as "Abe" Miller, was a famous horseman of the county. Hiram Hetfield married Nancy, a daughter of David Griswold, and emigrated to Michigan. Phoebe Hetfield became the wife of Ziba McConnell and was the mother of H. H. McConnell, long time a prominent citizen of Horseheads. Richard Hetfield, better known as " Dick " Hetfield, was the best known in the county of all the children of Abner Hetfield. He was a character whose good nature, wit, generosity, and eccentricities kept his name before the people of the county pretty much all the days of his life. He was born February 16, 1793. His first wife, whom he married in 1826, was Sally, the daughter of David Griswold and sister of his brother Hiram's wife. They had one daughter, Mrs. James W. Tinsley, of Indiana. Mrs. Hetfield died in 1827. In 1837 Richard Hetfield married his second wife, Susan Conkling, daughter of Jonathan Stoddard Conkling and sister of Vincent Conkling, a family at the time one of the foremost in the county. Mrs. Hetfield was the sister of Mrs. Samuel H. Maxwell. Two boys are living, the sons of Richard H etfi eld. Thomas G. is a farmer in Tioga County, Pa. Charles K. Hetfield, the other son, has always occupied a prominent position in the county as a man and as a politician. He enlisted in the
422 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
Eighty-sixth Regiment during the war and was promoted to a lieuten-ancy. He was school commissioner of the County from 1870 to 1873 and again from 1881 to 1884. He is now connected with one of the departments in Washington, D. C.
In 1814 Richard Hetfield left Southport and went to live on a farm between Elmira and Horseheads. From 1830 to 1834, during the building of the canal, he kept the Summit Level Hotel in Horseheads, a business in which he was also engaged in 1848 and 1849, during the construction of the Erie Railroad. In 1850 he took the place about half way between Elmira and Horseheads that has ever since been associated with his name. The house stands back from the highway some distance, and is a low rambling structure reminding one somewhat of some of those wayside inns that flourished during the stage-coaching times in England. The house was originally begun in 1790 as a tannery, and it is the oldest but one frame structure in the county. It was built piecemeal. Mr. Hetfield opened the place as a hotel on January 1, 1850 and it was very successful from the start, becoming a favorite spot for parties, especially in the wintertime. There was always a royal welcome there for all and the best of homely cheer, including " Uncle Dick's " famous elderberry wine pressed by himself from the berry grown in the swamps between his house and the creek. Richard Hetfield died April 25, 1870, his wife surviving him until September 12, 1882.
Tuthill is another name in this township which, although now held by no representative there, deserves a kindly remembrance. Barnabas Tuthill was considerable of a man in Orient, Long Island, during the time of the Revolutionary war. He was a fighter and did his country -good service. He had a brother, Henry Tuthill, who is the great- grand father on the maternal side of President Harrison. Barnabas Tuthill with his son, Samuel Tuthill, came to Tioga County in 1793, and settled in this township on what is now Maple Avenue near the present grounds of the Interstate Fair Association. His wife was Parnell Cantine, of Newburgh, Orange County. Capt. Samuel Tuthill was a leading and prominent citizen of his locality. He was the commanding officer of a company recruited in Chemung County for the War of 18 12 and was ordered to the frontier. They had proceeded as far as Batavia when they were
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ordered back, the war being ended. Mrs. Tuthill died in 1841 and Captain Tuthill in 185 1, he at the age of eighty-five. They were both prominently connected with the Presbyterian Church of Elmira and his funeral was one of the largest known tip to that time in the valley. Captain Tuthill was the father, of four children, three daughters and one soil. Cynthia, one daughter, at a very early age became the wife of Elijah Jones, a famous hotel-keeper of Elmira. Mary, another daughter, married Willis Bennett, one of the old-time merchants and lumbermen of the valley whose children, Frances, Ziba, Henry, and Ella, were Conspicuous In the social world of Elmira. Lydia Tuthill became the wife of Charles Reynolds and was the mother of S. T. Reynolds, the initials standing for the name of the grandfather. Elizabeth Tuthill became the wife of Green M. Tuthill, another old-time merchant of Elmira of the same name, but of another family. The only son of Capt. Samuel Tuthill was named Thomas Jefferson in honor of one whose political teachings the father followed out as religiously as he did those of his Bible. The name, however, was gradually lost in the common vernacular of neighbors and friends, as he was known for many years before his death and must be remembered now by many as "Uncle Jep.''
There is a Curious circumstance connected with this township. In the settlement of the claims of Massachusetts and Connecticut against New York there was a little three-cornered strip left in this township over Which there was some dispute. It was located sonic miles " up the plank " from Elmira, where now what is known as " Townsend's orchard " is located. The Connecticut claimants sent up to settle thereon, on the strip of land which was called the " Connecticut Gore," an agent by the name of John Rockwell. It effected nothing, the position was uncomfortable for the agent, and he returned to Connecticut. He subsequently came back to the neighborhood, however, making his permanent home over the Pennsylvania line in Tioga County. He was the grandfather of the Hon. Hosea H. Rockwell, the member of Congress from the Elmira district.
Among others who came into this town about 1790 were John MeHenry and John and William Fitzsimmons. Abraham, soil of John McHenry, was born on the John D. Miller farm in 1797 and died on the same place in 1846. William Fitzsimmons was a soldier under Sullivan in his
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expedition Of 1779. Gen. Seth Marvin, who was with the surveyors in 1788, purchased a large tract in the valley of Seeley Creek, apart of the Wells and Holbrook patent, and his son, Archibald Marvin, settled near Pine Woods in 1802. Seth Marvin and Mrs. Robert Beckwith, son and daughter of Archibald, were long time residents of Southport. In the same year Dr. A. Gates White and John W. Pedrick located at Webb's Mills. John Kelley located near the State line, where he purchased a tract of land, in 1 800. Daniel Beckwith settled in 1793 upon the farm subsequently occupied by the family of his son John. Daniel died in 1844 and John in 1877. Peter Stryker settled about 1795. Charles Evans came from Delaware in 182 5 and settled upon the farm afterward occupied by Solomon L. Smith. Charles Dense came in 1829 and Philetus P. Rathbun in 1831. Philo Jones was a prominent citizen of the south part of the town. His sons and daughters have been residents of this and adjoining towns for many years.
The first grinding of wheat was upon an oak stump on the G. A. Goff farm. The Stump was hollowed at the tot) and the wheat ground after the manner of the Indians. David Griswold's grist-mill, built in 1799, was the first one put up in the locality. The water was conveyed from Seeley Creek by means of a dam nearly a mile away. These mills were located upon land owned by L. B. Smith in more recent years. The first saw-mill was built by Col. Abraham Miller on a branch of Seeley Creek about 1798, or perhaps prior to that date. The first woolen factory was erected in 1821 by Silas Billings and it became the property of Solomon L. Smith about two years later. The Griswold neighborhood had the honor of the first schoolhouse, which was built about 18oo. The next school building of which there is any record was erected in 18o6 in the southern part of the town. Solomon L. Smith was the proprietor of the first distillery, which was erected by himself about 1820. The first church edifice was erected in 1819 on the river road, the site having been donated by Elijah Griswold. It was called Presbyterian, but was also a place of worship for other denominations. The building was destroyed by fire in 1832. The first store was located at Webb's Mills in 1835, and was kept by Samuel Gibson.
There came into this town in 1835, therefore, one among its earlier settlers, one who through himself and his children occupied for many
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years a conspicuous position among the inhabitants of the county. This was Dr. Nathan Boynton, who was born in Wendell, Hampshire County, Mass., on June 30, 1788, the same year that the town of Chemung was erected. Dr. Boynton's father was a farmer who in 1795, with his wife and children, six sons and two daughters, " went west " to the town of Worcester, Otsego County, N. Y. In 1814 Dr. Boynton began the study of medicine in Guilford, Chenango County, with Dr. Colby Knapp, the father of Mrs. Daniel S. Dickinson arid Mrs. Giles W. Hotchkiss, of Binghamton. After three years with Dr. Knapp Dr. Boynton completed his medical education at the Faifield Medical School, in that day the foremost of the institutions of the kind in the country, since removed to Albany, and now the Albany Medical College. Dr. Boynton began the practice of his profession in Bainbridge, Chenango County, where he married Miss Sepha Stowell. He continued to reside in Bainbridge until his removal to Southport, where he was principally engaged in what during his five years' residence there was a profitable enterprise, the lumber business. In 1839 he removed to Elmira, where he followed his profession until the time of his death in 1859. He had two sons: Edwin N. Boynton, who became like his father a physician, went early to California, and died in San Francisco, June 19, 1876, and Austin H. Boynton, who died in August, 1891. Austin H. Boynton was a lawyer and business man engaged in the lumber trade in Cameron County, Pa., where he was also elected to the official position that gave him the title of judge. He married in Port Deposit, Md., a sister of the Hon. J. A. J. Creswell, Postmaster-General under Abraham Lincoln. Their children are residents of Elmira. The five daughters of Dr. Nathan Boynton were noted beauties in their time throughout the valley. Emily married George E. Carpenter, a descendant of one of the earliest settlers of the town of Ashland ; Maria became the wife of Frederick Leach, a business man of Elmira who came there from Owego; Sarah has remained unmarried ; Mary was the wife of Uriah S. Lowe, whose memory is yet fresh and green throughout the boundaries of the county and wherever his distinctive personality was known ; and Ella was the wife of George 0. Manchester, originally of Utica, now of Boston, and connected prominently with the railroad interests in the Western country.
Few of the descendants of Dr. Nathan Boynton are now Chemung
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County people. Mrs. Carpenter lives in Elmira engaged in works of charity and benevolence, and the children of judge Boynton and of Mrs. Leach call the same city their home.
Southport was included within the limits of Elmira until April 16, 1822, when the township was erected. A part of Ashland was taken from it on April 25, 1867, and portions of the township were also included in the village and city of Elmira at several times, reducing the original area of Southport from 28,969 to 28,335 acres.
The first town meeting was held May 14, 1822, when the following named officers for the new township were, elected : Solomon L. Smith, supervisor; William Wells, town clerk'; John W. Knapp, William Jenkins, and Samuel Strong, assessors ; John L. Smith, Platt Bennett, and Samuel Strong, commissioners of highways; William Benson, James B. Goff, and Platt Bennett, inspectors of common schools ; William Jenkins, William C. Ware, and Jacob Miller, commissioners of common schools; John Fitzsimmons and John L. Smith, overseers of the poor; Nathaniel Knapp, collector; Aaron Brown and Nathaniel Knapp, constables; Samuel Strong and John L. Smith, fence viewers; John Ware, pound-keeper; Samuel Middaugh, John Bovier, John Fitzsimmons, John Sly, William K. Knapp, Philo Jones, Thomas Comfort, and Jeremiah Coleman, overseers of highways.
The following quaint record by a man living on Seeley Creek bears date September 23, 1823 :
.1 T he subscriber has taken up a pare of Stray sters the one a deep Red with a hapany out of the right Ear and a wen on nose, the other a light Brindle with no mark on-the owner is Requested to Call and take them away, and Can have them by Paying the Damages."
The supervisors of the town of Southport have been as follows:
1822, Solomon L. Smith (five years), William Wells, Solomon L. Smith (four years), John L. Smith, Solomon L. Smith, Jacob Miller (two years), Albert A. Beckwith (two years), Philo Jones (two years), David Howell, James Griswold, Lewis Miller, Solomon L. Smith (three years), Treadwell 0. Scudder, Solomon L. Smith, Lewis Miller, Richard Baker, John Baldwin, jr., Richard Baker, Charles Evans (three years), James Griswold, Jud Smith (two years), Edmund Miller, William 1'. Post (two years), Edmund Miller (three years), H. F.Wells, Edmund Miller (eight years), William Brown, Miller McHenry (three years), John Brown (two years) ; 1880, Andrew Fitzsimmons; 1881, Webster J. Cole (two years); 1883, Miles T. Cassada (five years) - 1888, G. Henry Roberts (three years) ; 1891, Jud Griswold.
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The justices of the peace of the town since 1830 were as follows :
James Griswold, Samuel Giles, Abraham Stryker, George W. Miller, William Lowe, James Griswold, William McClure, David Brewer, William T. Knapp, Edmund Miller, William McClure, George W. Miller, 11. W. Atkins, Shepard Miller, John Baldwin jr., George W. Miller, H. W. Atkins, Warren K. Hopkins, Festus A. Webb, John Baldwin, jr., Timothy T. Brown, Ezra Canfield, Abner Wells, Hiram Roushey, William Webb, Andrew Hancock, Abner Wells, Thomas Maxwell, Hiram Roushey, Wright Dunham, Mark A. Burt, R. S. Perine, Philo Jones, Hiram Roushey, A ndrew Middaugh, Hiram Middaugh, Thomas Maxwell, Mark A. Burt, James Griswold, William Webb, Charles Evans, William X. Shepard, George W. Robert-, Nathan Nichols, Charles Evans, D. McWhorter, Mark A. Burt, Nathan B. Nichols, Cornelius B. Putnam, Charles Evans, James At. Edsall, Cornelius B. Putnam, H. B. Knapp, William T. Bower, Lewis B. Smith, 1. V. Mapes, George W. Cooper, Charles Evans, 1. V. Mapes, John C. Todd; 1880. Charles Evans; 1881, Daniel G. Beckwith, John Miller (vacancy) - 1882, John Miller, William F. Bower (vacancy); 188"'), Miller McHenry: 1884, Samuel Forman, Nathan Pedrick (vacancy); 1885, John C. Todd; 1886, Horace LAT. Darling- 1887, Nathan Pedrick, Aaron 13. Beardsley ; 1888, Samuel W. Forman; 1889, Aaron B. Beardsley ; 1890, Charles Cooper, George P. Weyer (vacancy); 1891, Nathan Pedrick (full term), William F. Bower (vacancy three years), Miller McHenry (vacancy two years), Andrew Hughes (vacancy one year).
The following named have been town clerks since the organization of the town :
William Wells, Henry Baldwin, John L. Smith (eight years), George Hyde, David Howell (three years), Isaac L. Wells, David Howell (two years), Nathan Boynton, Nathaniel Seeley (two years), John Baldwin, jr. (six years), Hiram T. Smith (four years), Miller McHenry (three years), Charles A. Eckensberger, Miller McHenry (three years), Charles A. Eckensberger (two years), Harvey Smith, Charles A. Eckensbergrer, John Bryant, Charles A. Eckensberger, Charles W. Evans (eight years), Philetus P. Rathbun, Charles W. Evans (four years), E. C. Pedrick, Daniel G. Beckwith (two years), Frank M. Graves, Charles G. Evans since 1882.
In an agricultural point of view Southport has been richly endowed and ranks foremost with the most fertile regions of the county. No fact gives more striking evidence of this than the splendid condition of farm lands and the large number of substantial and commodious farm dwellings. Almost every habitation on the route of the plank road bears witness to the general comfort and prosperity of the towns-people. Following the early settlement for a space of fifty years the abundant growths of timber with which the hills and valleys were thickly covered furnished ample employment for the woodman's axe, and brought profit and plenty to the pioneers. The available water-power of Seeley and
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South Creeks were put to their fullest capacity, and the hum of the sawmill was heard near and far. From 1840 to 1844 there were eighteen saw-mills in operation within the present limits of the town. Of these two were located on Bird Creek, two at Webb's Mills, one at Bulkhead, and several in the neighborhood of Pine Woods. Gradually the timber was cleared away and the ground thus denuded of its natural product was planted to crops and turned to pasturage. Many of the saw-mills disappeared and at the present time only an occasional portable steam mill is to be seen sawing tip a few boards where hundreds of thousands of logs were sawn into merchantable lumber forty years ago.
But the falling off of timber did not subdue the prosperity of the farmers. Dairying followed very closely on lumbering and the rich grazing lands made this industry profitable. Soon the, cultivation of tobacco was begun, and to-day constitutes one of the chief and most remunerative industries of this section. Hundreds of thousands of pounds will be grown and prepared for market in Southport this year. Special buildings are erected by tobacco raisers for the purpose of curing the product, and these together with almost every barn and shed are hung to their fullest capacity. Buckwheat is also a distinctly productive cereal in this town, and many fields of this grain return a handsome profit to the husbandman. With the growth of the city of Elmira the demand for farm and dairy produce increased, and the gardeners and farmers of Southport have always found a ready and active market for the disposal of vegetables, fruit, butter, eggs, and milk.
The population of the town in 186o was 4,733 ; in 1865, 3,412; in 1870, 2,727; in 1875, 3,283; and in 1880, 3,619. The large decrease in 1865 as compared with 1 860 is due to the acquisition of a part of the town territory by the incorporation of Elmira as a city in 1864. Subsequent additions have also lessened the total population, which in 1890 was 2,044. There are sixteen school districts with fourteen schoolhouses. A few scholars living on the western line of the town attend school in the town of Caton, Steuben County. The total attendance in 18gi was 41,425 days.
The name Southport has served its purpose to designate three distinct and separate areas. For the larger part of a century it has been used
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to indicate the township first described in this chapter. It has also been the popular term for years applied by residents of Elmira to the settlement located immediately opposite them oil the south bank of the Chemung River. The name has also been applied to the postoffice on the plank road located at Southport Corners.
Prominently among the early settlers in what is now the Fifth ward of Elmira appear the names of Sly, Maxwell, Reynolds, Robinson, and Covell. In the year 183 1 there were but five houses on the south side: The toll-house, the old ferry house, the Isaac Reynolds house, the residence of Albert Beckwith (who was afterward sheriff of the county) corner of Ann street and Pennsylvania avenue, and the residence of John Sly. John Sly owned 600 acres of land extending east of the Lake street bridge. This he divided among his sons George, John, Matthew McR., and Abraham. George and John both died in Southport.
The old ferry-house, which originally stood next door to what is now the corner of Sly street and Maple avenue, was a story and a half high and about 16 X 2 5 feet. It was truly a primitive affair, constructed of six-inch square posts, an old-fashioned frame, the nails throughout being hand made and of wrought-iron. It has since been remodeled and is now occupied as a dwelling by James A. Gilson. Farther to the west on Pennsylvania avenue, on what is now known as Aspen Ridge, Robert Covell built a house since known as the Boardman Smith place. This house was erected in 1828. Mr. Covell also built a still-house of logs and a barn. Henry Wormley came from Big Flats in 183 1. He was a native of Harrisburg, Pa., where his son John, now living in Lafayette, Ind., was born January 4, 1816. Henry was a cooper and built that year the first cooper shop in the locality. It stood near a big elm tree close to the river. The tree is still standing and is a familiar landmark. He afterward built another shop which was bought by his son John, who built still another larger one in 1844 and worked in it for forty years. It was sold to Colonel Robinson about five years ago and was burned in 1 889. Henry Wormley lived for a number of years in the old ferry-house.
The rate of toll across the bridge in those days was two shillings for horse and wagon and two cents for a foot passenger. In 1833 John
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F. Smith built a three-story brick hotel, which is still standing, just east of the corner of Maple and Pennsylvania avenues. it was the first and only regularly kept tavern on that side of the river. Smith ran it for about two years, when it fell into the hands of Capt. Samuel Tuthill, who rented it thereafter. It is an antiquated structure in appearance and has sustained but few changes since its erection. The property was bought by McDonald & Palmer about thirty years ago and is now used as a tenement house.
Isaac Reynolds built the first store in 1832, or shortly prior to that date. It stood on the site of the two-story brick block now occupied by Arthur Leary. It was burned with the bridge in 1850. About the year 1839 Mordecai Ogden laid out his farm into a plot of lots. Very little building, however, was done, and the whole tract was purchased subsequently by Partridge & Beadle. The plot was then remapped, the formation of squares changed and the direction of streets altered. Even at this time the building of houses was infrequent, and what is at present a thickly populated portion of the city of Elmira was then generally speaking nothing but farm land.
In 1838, through the influence of John Wormley and Thomas Maxwell, a school-house was built on the point, but the site was found to be inappropriate and the building was later on remodeled into a dwelling. A new site was selected on Henry street, and the building now used as a medical institution was erected, for which $1,200 was raised by tax.
In 1842 there was virtually nothing but open land west of the tollbridge. To give an idea of the appearance of the south side of the river at that date it is only necessary to say that John Wormley sowed a field of ten acres with oats in the spring of 1842, the field extending along the river in the neighborhood of what is now the Southport approach to the Main street bridge.
About the year 1839 Jonathan Lawrence and Samuel Richardson bought a piece of property of Henry Wormley extending from Ann street to the river just opposite the old toll-gate. The site is now occupied by Palmer & Decker's tannery. On this ground they built a gristmill and also a smaller mill operated as a plaster-mill. A dam was constructed across the south or larger channel of the river to obtain water-power for the mill. Until within a few years the remnants of
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this dam could still be seen just east of the Lake street bridge. The grist-mill was conducted for a number of years and built up an enviable reputation for being the best of its kind anywhere in the valley. It was destroyed by fire about 1844 or '45. In 1848 McDonald & Palmer built the tannery on the same site. It was operated by them until 1867, when the firm was changed to Palmer & Decker, who are the present owners and operators. They tan about 30,000 sides of Union Crop sole leather per annum.
George H. Cotton, sr., came to Southport, October 25, 1849, just one month after the completion of the Erie Railroad as far as Elmira. The settlement on the south side was very meager at that time. Mr. Cotton made his residence in what was known as the Isaac Reynolds house and has lived in it ever since. The house has undergone many changes and stands on the west side of Pennsylvania avenue a few doors north of Chemung Place. His son, George H. Cotton, jr., is one of the most prominent politicians in the county. He has been chairman of the Democratic County Committee, and is an incessant and successful worker, one of the live young men of the present generation.
George Sheive first came to Elmira on the 3rd day of March, 1828, from near Trumansburg, N. Y. At that time there was nearly absolutely nothing on the south side of the river. Mr. Sheive did not settle permanently in the valley until the year 1852. He then came to Southport and located on the spot where his present house stands, on the west side of South Main street. Mr. Sheive describes the appearance of Southport when he first saw it in 1828 as mostly covered with timber. All above the Boardman Smith place was thickly wooded, and also where the car shops now stand. When he returned in 1852 the settlement was laid out in squares as far as South Elm street, but there were comparatively few houses.
The Dr. Eldridge house, which is still standing directly south of the Main street bridge, was built similar to a barn, with perpendicular boards and the cracks battened over with strips.
There were no churches there at that time. The place was simply a part of the town of Southport and the settlement was never incorporated prior to its becoming a part of Elmira. No postoffice has ever been established there and all persons who lived on that side came to Elmira for their mail.
432 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE-.
Elmira's original organization as a village in 1828 and for twentyfive years afterward extended no farther south than the Chemung River. A movement was then started, principally on the part of residents of the north side, to include the populated portion lying on the south side of the river. This movement culminated in the addition of a certain area there by a special act of the legislature passed for that purpose May 27, 1853. This addition formed what was known as the Third District of the village of Elmira. When the city charter was granted by the special legislative act of April 7, 1864, all that portion above described and Included in the newly formed city limits lying South of the Chemung River was made into and constituted the Fifth ward of the city.
This part of the ancient town of Southport which goes to make up the Fifth ward of the city of Elmira might well be termed the garden spot of the valley if not of the whole county, especially that part of it upon which John Sly settled in 1788. No other ward in the city shows such constant and rapid growth. By the census of 1890 the population is shown to be 7,622, nearly twice as great as that of any other one ward and almost as much as two of the other largest wards. This is due to the attractiveness of the land and the ease and quickness of access from it to the central portion of the city. It is also due to the character of the men who first discovered the advantages of the locality. It was most excellent taste and judgment that gave to the main thoroughfares of the ward the names of Pennsylvania and Maple avenues, both appellations that carry, with them an inviting significance. Of those in that locality deserving of notice and remembrance are John Brand and his two soils, John and George, the elder one a solid and substantial citizen of German descent, who in his line of trade, that of tobacco, laid the foundation of a business that at his death was taken tip by the sons and developed into an interest that promises to place them among the wealthiest men of their generation. Samuel J. Clark is another. He came from Bradford County, Pa., to Elmira in 186r, and engaging in the -rain business has a line of trade in that direction of large proportions. Mr. Clark's father, S. S. Clark, came from Yates County into Bradford County, Pa., in 1830, settling just over the border line from Chemung township. On the 24th of October, 1891, he celebrated his
TOWN OF SOUTHPORT. 433
eighty-first birthday and four generations were present at the event. He had three sons besides Samuel J. Clark. G. M. Clark is a resident of Towanda, Pa., and C. M. Clark's home is in Auburn, N. Y. Samuel J. Clark married in Elmira Amelia Watkins, who had been in attendance at the school of Miss Webster, a private institution in great vogue at the time. Miss Watkins came from Oneida County. One daughter was the result of this marriage, Ellen Amelia. In June, 1882, she was married to Maxwell Minier, a son of the Hon. T. 1. Minier, and through his mother a descendant of the Maxwells of the valley. A little five. year- old- daughter, Theodora Clark Minier, bright blueeyed and fair-haired, if she lives will carry the blood of the Clarks and Maxwells to future generations. Samuel J. Clark is one of the substantial, active, prominent business men of the valley of this generation, with a wide acquaintance and numberless friends. J. H. Clark is the other son of S. S. Clark, of Bradford County. He came over the border into Chemung and lived there a number of years, connected with railroad and other operations. He became a citizen of Elmira in 1887. His wife was Eloise Keeler, of Bradford County. Like his brother, Samuel J., he is an active, enterprising business man and one of Elmira I s most highly esteemed and worthy citizens, better known by his middle name, Henry, in his own locality than by the initials I have written.
There is another Clark in the same neighborhood not of the same family as these, Judson H. Clark, whose coming to the city about 1885 added an individual to the number of inhabitants of the ward that helped it forward very perceptibly. A man of intelligence and wealth, alive to the interests of the place he has chosen as his home and the home of e he has made his surroundings attractive his wife and children, of course,in all ways, and helped draw attention to the advantages of living in his neighborhood. He is largely interested in horses of fine breeds and takes great pride in his stock. He has another advantage that not all strangers possess, in that his wife is a daughter of Elder Ezra F. Crane, of whom something has heretofore been said in this record and the number of whose friends in the valley might indeed be termed "legion." it is citizens like Judson H. Clark that give credit, honor, and reputation to the locality that they call their home.
434 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
These named, with Col. David C. Robinson, the son of ex-Gov. Lucius Robinson, have been largely instrumental in the rapid growth and progress of the Fifth ward, a portion, as I have said, of the ancient town of Southport.
The proximity of this town to Elmira and the facilities for the shipment of manufactured articles that that railroad center presents have been inviting inducements for the establishment in the town of large enterprises. The Northern Central shops, covering twenty acres with their buildings and yards, were established in 1866 and in full operation in 1867. In the neighborhood of 200 men are employed there. Elmira is at the end of a division on the road and all trains stop at the shops to change engines.
The La France Manufacturing Company was incorporated April 12, 1873, George M. Diven being president thereof and Eugene Diven sec-retary and treasurer. The La France engine and the Hayes truck are manufactured here, and both have a reputation that make them valuable adjuncts to the fire departments of the country.
Besides there are the Payne Iron Works and the Kellogg Bridge Company, enterprises established within the last decade or a little more, and both of them enterprises involving the employment of a large amount of capital and a great number of men.
These enterprises named, when the limits of the city of Elmira were enlarged in April, 18go, were included therein, but their inception and the history of their establishment as pronounced successes belong to the town of Southport.
Pine City, originally called Pine Woods, is a settlement of 350 inhabitants situated near the point where Dry Run Creek empties into Seeley Creek. It is about three- quarters of a mile northeast of Wells station on the Tioga branch of the Erie Railroad, and is also on the line of the Southport and State Line plank road, being five and one half miles distant from Water street in Elmira. Compared with other portions of the town Pine City is of more recent settlement. In the year 1830 Charles Atkins, a cooper by trade, located there and it is asserted that he was the first white man to settle there permanently.
Contemporary with Atkins, or within a short time after, came John Egbert, who built a saw-mill to the south on Seeley Creek. This mill
TOWN 0F SOUTHP0RT. 435
has long since disappeared together with another saw-mill somewhat farther east. Among other early settlers was the Hatch family, none of the descendants of which are now living in the place. Other prominent and well known residents coining later in the century were J. R. Crowell, who settled there March 24, 1848 ; Samuel Gornee in the same year ; and Philetus Lowrey, the latter somewhat prior to that date. When the plank road was laid in 1848 there were but two shingled houses in the place. The surrounding Country was densely covered with pine timber, a significant result of which was the name of this settlement, Pine Woods." Saw mills throughout the town of Southport did a thriving business in those days and it was not an uncommon sight inwinter to see from two to three hundred loads of logs closely following each other along the road in the vicinity of Pine Woods. The growth of the settlement has been slow and has almost entirely taken place since the middle of the present century. There were living there in 1867 among others William Gasper, John Brown, C. B. Atkins, J. M. Edsall, Emmet Holmes, 1. V. Mapes, and Truman Weeks.
The first hotel was built on the present site of Wilson's store by Samuel Gornee in 1848. It was known as the Pine Woods Hotel. It burned in the winter of 1854. In the spring of 1856 Henry McKibbins rebuilt the hotel, but on a spot about ten rods farther cast on the same side of the street. He conducted the place for a year and was succeeded by James Webster. Following Webster was "jockey" Wells. George Smith kept the hotel during the first three years of the late Civil war and Addison Tanner was the landlord during 1864-65. Among others whose names are prominent as having acted as proprietors of the hotel are William McClellan and Benjamin Miller. A Mrs. Miller had been in possession of the property for three years prior to 1890. On July 1, 1890, G. 11. Brees assumed proprietorship and is the present owner and proprietor. He changed the name of the place to Hotel Brees.
About 1882 Emmett Holmes built an addition to a dwelling directly opposite the above mentioned hotel and proceeded to conduct it as a tavern, known as the Plank Road Hotel. He remained in possession until his death, about a year later. William Benson then became pro- prietor and continued the business for four years. He sold the hotel property to A. A. Updike, who is the present owner. 0. Burlew is now and has been the proprietor for about a year past.
436 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
The first postoffice of Pine City was established October 13, 1874, With the appointment as postmaster of Emmett Holmes. He was succeeded by the following named, the dates being the dates of their appointments: Horace M. Cory, December 14, 1883 ; Philetus Lowrey, February 26, 1886; George Wilson, March 30, 1887; Jay F. Dickinson, September 12, 1889. The mails are received twice a day by way of Wells station. The postoffice is situated in the store of W. A. Whitley, who began business in 1886.
Austin Edsall came to Pine City, April 17, 1871, and engaged in the butcher business and has carried it on continuously since, taking his meats to Elmira. On August 7, 1886, C. E. Wilson bought the store and stock of goods belonging to Lewis & Graves, who had been in business about two years. Mr. Wilson continued the business until January 1, 1891, when the firm name was changed to George Wilson & Son is at present.
The oldest house in the place is that now occupied by Philetus Lowrey, but it has been remodeled and enlarged several times and bears but slight resemblance to its original form. The old barn which is still standing between Wilson's store and the hotel was built early in 1851 by Andrew Hancock.
The First Baptist Church of Southport is located on the north side of the street near the center of the place, and was organized in May, 1855, tinder the pastorate of Elder T. S. Sheardown. He was followed by EIder T. S. Mitchell and he by Elder D. R. Ford, who was with the church nearly twenty years. The church edifice was erected prior to the regular organization of the society, having been built in 185 3 and dedicated in February, 1854, the Rev. T. S. Sheardown conducting the dedicatory exercises. It originally cost $2,200, but is at present valued, with furniture, organ, and lot, at $5,000. Mr. Ford was followed by Frank A. Martin, who was ordained June 30, 1885. Mr. Martin preached his farewell sermon on the last Sunday in September, 1888. The church was without a regular minister until the following January, when the Rev. Mr. Abrams became pastor and remained only a year and a few months. The congregation were again without a pastor until June 22, 1890, when W. D. St. John preached for them his first sermon. He came from college to Pine City and was ordained a minister of the gospel August 26,
TOWN 0F SOUTHP0RT. 437
1890. He is the present pastor and is greatly esteemed by his congregation. The membership is now eighty-four. The trustees are Deacons John Brown, William S. McIntyre, and Nathaniel Ellison, and C. 0. Haven, William Gasper, and John A. Pellett. The Sunday school numbers about seventy-five children and has nine teachers. W. D. St. John is the superintendent and is assisted by Samuel Nichols. There is a small library connected with the school.
District school No. 15 is located at Pine City and has an attendance of twenty-five pupils. Miss Minnie Moffitt is the teacher.
I. V. Mapes was a resident of this place for many years and a prominent man in the community. He died March 3, 188o. It was through his influence that the name of the settlement was changed from Pine Woods to Pine City. A fruitless effort was also made at this time to name the place Mechanicsville. Mr. Mapes has two daughters living, Mrs. Abram Breese, of Pine City, and Miss H. S. Mapes, of Elmira.
Webb's Mills is a hamlet of about 260 inhabitants situated a little South of the center of the town. It is on the line of the old Southport plank road, but since the construction of the State Line Railroad it has been reached by rail from Wells station. It occupies a site on what was originally the Wells and Holbrook patent of land. Josiah Seeley settled here as early as 1798, followed by Joh n W. Pedrick in 1803 and by Dr. White in 1805. Among others who arrived early in the present century were William Spencer Nathan, E. C. Pedrick, Festus A. and Mortimer T. Webb, and 1. V. Mapes. The place received its name from the fact that the Seeley Creek mills, first built by Hezekiah Dunham in 1835, afterward owned by the Webbs, are located here. When the mill was first erected there were but two runs of stone, but subsequently the property fell into the hands of Festus A. Webb and was materially improved. The mill came into the possession of N. T. and William Webb, who also operated it until 1866, when they sold it to John Brown. He at once improved the machinery and later two additional runs Of stone were added. The product for the calendar year 1877 was nearly 2,000 barrels merchant, 40,000 bushels general custom, and 10,000 bushels buckwheat. A saw-mill, operated jointly with the grist- mill, was erected by Dr. A. G. White about 1818 and has a capacity of 1,000,000 feet per year. The mills are now a part of the Jacob
438 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
Lowman estate. The motive power is furnished by steam and the mills are now operated by S. W. Hunter.
The Southport tannery at Webb's Mills was built in 1852 by 11. F. Wells and R. Hammond. It was originally built on the present site near the bridge across Seeley Creek on the plank road. H. F. Wells carried on the business until his death in 1878. His successors were Charles F. Wells, his son, and J. D. Burt, who are the present owners. The tannery is now rented to Fred Sheely and the capacity is about 40,000 sides of leather per annum. This entails the consumption of 4,000 cords of bark and the employment of thirty men.
I. V. Mapes started a store here about the year 1845 and conducted it for a number of years. It was sold to Brown & Garrison in 1866. Mortimer Webb and William Mapes also carried on business as a general store for a few years on the same site. The store is now the property of M. T. Cassada. S. J. McWhorter built a store here in 188 1 and deals in general merchandise. He also conducts a livery business and a cigar manufactory.
The Second Methodist Episcopal Church of Southport existed as a class as early as 1835. The church organization took place about the year 1840 at Southport Corners, from which the present church had its origin. It is on the east side of the road and the plot of ground on which the church stands was purchased of the Josiah S. Pedrick estate, and the deed for the same was filed February 8, 1855. In the fall of the same year the present church edifice was erected at a cost of $2,000 to the society, and Robert Hammond was the builder. The first pastor was Rev. D. Leisenring. The first trustees were Daniel Bartholomew, James H. Arnot, Festus A. Webb, Robert Hammond, Peter Bartholomew, W. D. Kenyon, and William C. Holly. Other pastors since EIder Leisenring were Revs. A. C. Huntley, Dexter E. Clapp, T. J. 0. Wooden, J. W. Putnam, J. 0. Alabaster, L. Ford, A. C. Chubbuck, U. S. Hall, A. W. Staples, David Crow, W. Cochran, Samuel R. Sanford, E. C. White, and Dewitt Myers, the present pastor, who has officiated since 1888.
The postmasters of Webb's Mills have been as follows:
Josiah V. Mapes, January 29, 1851; Abram 13. De Witt, August 9, 1853 ; Sylvester
W. Brees, April 19, 18,54 - Henry F. Wells, February 3, 1863James Al. Edsall, May
TOWN 0F SOUTHP0RT. 439
22, 1868 ; William Brown, April 8, 1869; Lewis Al. Wells, April 8, 1873 ; William J. Mapes, October 1, 1874; John T. Tobey, February 25, 1880 ; John H. Brown, December 6, 1881; Samuel Cassada, May 5, 1885.
For five years, from 1863 to 1868, Webb's Mills postoffice was known as Judsonville.
Southport is also designated as " Southport Corners." It is a small hamlet and consists principally of dwellings occupying positions on both sides of the plank road at a point where it is intersected by another road running to the southeast. It is about a mile and a half south of the present city line. On this site Nathaniel Seeley settled in 1788 and opened a shop. He was a hatter by trade and made hats for the pioneers. It was here also that the first postoffice in the town was established in the year 1824. Seneca Baker was the first postmaster. The present postmaster is William A. Minar, who was appointed under the administration of President Arthur, October 24, 1881, and has held the office ever since. The other postmasters not heretofore and otherwise named were: Joel C. Beemer, April 8, 1852 ; Charles Evans, July 6, 1853; Philetus P. Rathbun, January 6, 1863 ; Miss Mary A. Rowley, October 26, 1869 ; Philetus P. Rathbun, May 14, 1873.
Thomas Smith established a store here in 1882 and was succeeded in 1886 by V. A. Lewis, the present proprietor.
The woolen-mill, established here in 1820 by Silas Billings among the very first enterprises of its kind in the county, was sold in 1825 to Solomon L. Smith, father of John Smith, of Ashland, lately deceased. In May of the same year Charles Evans came to Southport and became interested in the mill soon afterward. In 1844 he bought the property and continued to operate. it until June 25, 1877, when it was burned to the ground. With the destruction of this mill passed away one of the town's most familiar landmarks. Charles Evans died in February, 1882, in his eighty-third year. His grandson, Charles G. Evans, is a wagonmaker and the town clerk of Southport.
The First Presbyterian Church of Southport, which stands at the corner of the roads, furnishes an item of history involving much interest. In the early days fording the Chemung River was an important obstacle in the way of churchgoers, and a meeting-house was erected in 1819 on the river road on the site of the present cemetery. It was built
410 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
on land donated by Elijah Griswold and the expense of its construction was shared by several religious sects. The members of the different denominations did not agree peaceably under the same roof and the dissensions became so pronounced that in 1832 they culminated in the destruction of the church building by fire. The Presbyterian Society at once set to work to build a house of worship to be used independently by them, and erected the present edifice now standing on the plank road. The land for this purpose was secured from the heirs of John L. Smith. The church was organized October 31, 1821, and John Fitzsimmons, David Griswold and Jane his wife, Milly Smith, Sarah Baker, and Philo Jones were from the First Church in Elmira; Partial Mapes, Bethiah Kinner, Amy Holmes, Betsey Brown, Phitty Wing, and Hannah Comfort were from other churches. William Wells, Richard Comfort, and Sabia Jones made profession of their faith and Rev. Henry Ford preached to this newly constituted church, followed in June , 1822, by Rev. Simeon R. Jones. In April, 1826, Rev. Richard Williams began preaching, followed in 1828 by Rev. David Harrower for two years, these last two only preaching half the time. As early as June, 183 1, Rev. B. Foster Pratt began preaching and during the year was installed as the first pastor ; and during his three years' ministrations 1, the church was blessed by renewed visitations of the Holy Spirit and its numbers were largely increased." Rev. John Gray succeeded till 1836, followed by Rev. George Spalding till September, 1842, when B. M. Goldsmith, a licentiate, followed, who was ordained and installed in February, 1845, and continued till October, 1849. The following named have been pastors since 1875 : Elders Irwin Al. Hopkins, Seneca T. Ham, Emory S. Smith, Fred R. Bentley, Jesse Leverich, A. D. Griswold, Franklin S. Howe, and James R. Robinson. The present trustees are Charles G. Evans, Ithamar A. Smith, William D. Miller, Irwin M. Hopkins, Emory S. Smith, and Thomas T. Wright. The membership of the church is now about 100 00 and that of the Sunday school 150.
District NO. 4 school house, also located here, was one of the first schools in the town. It now has two departments and eighty scholars. S. J. Howe is the principal.
Seeley Creek is a postoffice in the southern portion of the town. It is located upon the creek from which it derives its name and on the line
TOWN OF SOUTHPORT. 441
of the Tioga branch of the Erie Railway. The Seeley family were once very numerous in this locality. The postoffice was established July 11, 1832, John Brownell filling the office of first postmaster. Philo Jones, father of Finla M. Jones, settled on this site in 1817. The surrounding country was then a wilderness, the only neighbors being a Kelley family living near the State line and Dr. Amos H. White farther north near Pine City. Philo Jones came from Connecticut. In the year 1817 be built a log house on the present site of the homestead and added a frame part to it in 1828. He kept a tavern there until about 1835. The log building was removed in 1839. He also erected a carding and fulling-mill in 1829. This mill was in operation until 1848, when Simeon R. Jones, a brother of Philo Jones, into whose hands the property came in 1843, removed the machinery to Wysox, Bradford County, Pa. Philo Jones also built a sawmill in 1841 where the mill of Henry J. Wilson stands. This was run by water until 1867, when Simeon R. Jones, who had conducted the business since 1843, changed the power to steam. The mill burned in 1883 and was subsequently rebuilt. The postoffice, which was first established through the influence of Philo Jones, was kept for a time near the State line. It was afterward removed to Seeley Creek, bearing the same name since its first establishment. The postmasters not otherwise or heretofore mentioned with the dates of their appointments are as follows:
Finla M. Jones, December 31, 1853; Henry T. Benedict, September 6, 1856; FulaIf. Jones, August 15, 1861 ; Anna, Smith, September 8, 1885 ; George V. Sornberger, December 10, 1887; Charles S. Jones, September 26, 1889.
Finla M. Jones, who was postmaster for twenty-seven years and consecutively for twenty-four years, is the son of Philo Jones.
Bulkhead is the name of a little hamlet on the plank road about threefourths of a mile southeast of Southport Corners. It was here that Captain Dalrymple erected a hotel at an early day, from the peculiar architecture of which the settlement took its name. Solomon L. Smith, who came into the town from Orange County, N. Y., in 179o, became proprietor of the hotel about the year 1818 or 1819. Mr. Smith was the first supervisor of the town and held the office thereafter at different times, amounting in all to fourteen years.
In the year 1820 John H. Knapp built a grist-mill on Seeley Creek
442 OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.
near Bulkhead. It was purchased in 1862 by Jacob Weyer and converted into a saw and plaster-mill. In IS76 Mr. Weyer built a new mill at Bulkhead and removed the machinery thence from the old mill. This mill was operated as a gristmill and was destroyed by fire June 21, 1877. Mr. Weyer rebuilt the mill immediately and continued to conduct the business. It is now the property of his daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Howe. It is operated by H. C. Howe.
J. D. McKean conducts a grocery in a building built by James Havens in 1 890. The building was purchased in May, 189 1, by S. J. Stone.
Hendy Creek.-This hamlet is the nucleus of what is known as the Dutch settlement, comprising school districts Nos. 1 and 14 in the northwest part of the town. Archilus Dailey settled in the hollow in the year 1845, where he has cleared nearly 300 acres of land. He also owns 150 acres partly in Southport and partly in Big Flats. In 1853 Noah Tyler, a German, located on Dutch Hill. Many others came in subsequently, among whom were John Bower, Peter Gardner, Daniel Gardner, Peter Hartman, and George Fisher. There are at present about fifty families in this section of the town of Southport. The postoffice at Hendy Creek was established October 10, 1871, by the appointment of Hiram Wolf postmaster. He was succeeded by Harvey P. Wolf, February 12, 1878; Hiram Wolf, July 18, 1881 ; Lewis Polly, April 17, 1884; Theodore Polly, February 27, 1890.
There are two church organizations in Hendy Creek, Catholic and Protestant. The latter was organized about 1870 and Rev. William Kemler, of Elmira, preached for several years. Meetings are held in the schoolhouse of district No. 1 1, Rev. Mr. Kemler died in July, 1891.
The Catholic Church was organized in 1878 and is a branch of the Elmira church. An edifice was erected in 1878 and services are held m onthly. Christian Kuhn and Charles Uhl are the trustees.
" Happy Thought" Hotel was erected in 1 870 by Hiram Wolf Martin Eiffert is the present proprietor and also keeps a store.
Wells Station on the Tioga branch of the Erie is located seven miles southeast of Elmira, and is the place of transportation for the traffic of Webb's Mills, Pine City, and surrounding territory. The station was established upon the extension of the railroad then known as the Tioga and State Line Railway in 1877. The depot was burned March 18,
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1890, and the present structure replaced it in the fall of the same year. F. L. Bush is the station agent.
The Plank Road. -Prior to 1848 the road between Elmira and the Pennsylvania State line was in a very poor condition, and for the purpose of making a good and substantial highway over this important section a company was organized on March 6, 1848, to build a plank road to pass through Seeley Creek and South Creek from the Lake street bridge in Elmira to the Pennsylvania State line. The company was organized under a general statute passed 111 1847 governing the incorporation of companies to construct plank roads and turnpikes. The road as originally constructed was of double width and the total length was thirteen miles, but it has since been reduced to a single road and the distance is about nine miles. The planks are now through the entire length laid beside an ordinary earth road. Since its construction the plank road has been an extremely busy thoroughfare and was the means of populating the section through which it passes, as many settlements and numerous highly cultivated farms are now lying directly in its course. The original company had a corporate existence for thirty years and in 1878 a new one was formed, which is still active. The first directors were John Arnot, John S. Smith, Edmund Miller, Festus A. Webb, William Cleveland, Philander Rexford, Warren Mills, Dyar Foote, and Draper Nichols. The present officers and directors are : M. H. Arnot, president ; John C. Greves, secretary and treasurer; Board of Directors: M. H. Arnot, Platt V. Bryan, John C. Greves, F. M. Blossom, and J. H. Arnot.