A History of Ontario County, New York


Whether through some fortuitous but beneficent combination of soil and water and climate, or on account of an advantage of location, or in furtherance of a Divine plan, the people who have possessed Western New York have had a large and important influence on the country as a whole. This was true when Columbus discovered the continent, and a handful of Iroquois savages dominated the whole vast wilderness. It was true during the three centuries that followed when not even the valor of the French at the North, the enterprise of the Dutch at New York, or the chivalry of the Spaniards at the South, with sword, or cross, or coin, could make progress toward the conquest of the coveted land. It was true when at last New England soldiery, opening the way for New England thrift and New England culture, broke the proud spirit of the Indian confederacy, and when New England from its new vantage ground in the Genesee Country diffused its tongue, its political principles, and its religious faith to the uttermost parts of the land. It is true today, even if what some of the New York papers used to call the "Canandaigua rule" in politics is broken, when a Western New York Congressman makes the tariff law for the country, when the State governs its elections and controls and taxes the liquor traffic under the laws drafted by an Ontario county legislator, when the preachers in famous pulpits, the editors of great metropolitan newspapers, and world-eminent scientists claim Western New York as their birth-place, and when its sons and grandsons, its daughters and grand-daughters, it may truthfully be said, play a not insignificant part in shaping the destinies of the Great West.

The author of this History of Ontario County has made no attempt to glean the fields which have been covered by preceding writers, or to repeat in detail the story of discovery, settlement, and development. He has sought rather to give in narrative form account of the events which have served to connect the civil division known as Ontario county with the larger world, and thus to emphasize the honorable part which it has had in the development of Western New York and in the important influence it has exerted upon the political history of the State and Nation.


Table of Contents

I. The Indian Occupancy 1-11
II. Coming of the White Man 12-20
III. The First Settlement 21-35
IV. "The Mother of Counties" 36-50
V. The County Buildings 51-61
VI. Ontario's First Half Century 62-69
VII. Political Crises 70-78
VIII. Rise of Anti-Slavery Feeling 79-86
IX. Political Revolution at hand 87-96
X. Myron H. Clark Elected Governor 97-107
XI. The First Free Soil Conventions 106-117
XII. Ontario in the 1856 Campaign 118-124
XIII. The New Political Leaders 125-134
XIV. The Lincoln-Hamlin Campaign 135-141
XV. Old Ontario in War Time 142-148
XVI. The County in the Civil War 149-157
XVII. Victory Crowns the Struggle 158-164
XVIII. The Last Half Century 165-177
XIX. The Ontario County Courts 178-204
XX. The Medical Profession 205-220
XXI. The County Agricultural Society 221-228
XXII. The Town of Bristol 229-242
XXIII. Te Town of Canadice 243-253
XXIV. The Town of Canandaigua 254-265
XXV. The Village of Cananaigua 266-309
XXVI. The Town of East Bloomfield 310-320
XXVII. The Town of Farmington 321-327
XXVIII. The Town of Geneva 328-330
XXIX. Village and City of Geneva 331-379
XXX. The Town of Gorham 380-393
XXXI. The Town of Hopewell 394-405
XXXII. The Town of Manchester 406-424
XXXIII. The Town of Naples 425-440
XXXIV. The Town of Phelps 441-449
XXXV. The Town of Richmond 450-463
XXXVI. The Town of Seneca 464-472
XXXVII. The Town of South Bristol 473-483
XXXVIII. The Town of Victor 484-498
XXXIX. The Town of West Bloomfield 499-505



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The first volume of this work, "The History of Ontario County, New York, and Its People," is an admirable record of the progress of this region up to the close of the first decade of the twentieth century. It is at once accurate and interesting, including the story of the honorable -part which the county has had in the history of the State and Union. To its author, Mr. Charles F. Milliken, the publishers express a gratitude which undoubtedly will meet with a hearty response on the part of its readers.

The amplification necessary to complete the picture of the county, old and nowaday, is supplied in this volume of genealogical and family history. In it are contained chronicles of the people who have made Ontario County what it is. These records are presented in a series of independent narratives relating to lineal family heads, and the most conspicuous representatives down to the present generation, giving it a distinct personal interest. In every case the narrative has been submitted to the immediate subject or to his proper representative for correction and revision. If in any case the matter is incomplete or faulty, it is ascribable to the paucity of data, many families being unable to supply exact information at some point in their ancestral line. It is believed the work will prove a substantial addition to the mass of material relating to people of the region under consideration, and that without it much valuable information would be irretrievably lost, owing to the passing away of many custodians of family records and disappearance of material which has been utilized in the preparation of this work.


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As to the origin of the people who first possessed the land which is now comprised in Ontario county, we know nothing. These first inhabitants left no record in mysteriously carved monument or on clay tablet. We do not even know whether they came from the north and reaching what is now the county's geographical center caught the first glimpse of Canandaigua lake and its beautiful environs from the lowlands at its foot; or from the east and through the portal of what is now Vine Valley stood enraptured before the glories of a Canandaigua sunset; or perchance from the west or south and from the foothills of the Alleghanies had spread before their eyes the marvelously beautiful vista of lake and valley and undulating hill and plain which make up its diversified area.