January 1901, introduces the 20th century, with five inches of snow, entirely cloudy, temperature 26°, gentle northwest wind.
Harvey J. Hurd died January 25th, burial in the Elma cemetery. By his will he gave $1,000 to the Investment Fund of the Elma Cemetery Association; the interest of this fund is to be used, perpetually, for the care and improvement of the cemetery grounds.
By his will, his sister, Mrs. Harriet D. Rowley, came into full possession of the '' Hurd Homestead" and mills, being about 180 acres of land on lots 48, 52, 53 and 57, on the east side of the Bowen Road in Elma Village, and between the Clinton Street and Chair Factory Roads.
Snow or rain fell during a part of every day between December 24th, 1900 and March 11th, 1901; the seventy-eight consecutive days of storm giving seventy-one, inches of snow, and with the high winds on many days made travel, especially the turning out to meet teams, very difficult and dangerous.
The town meeting on March 12th was held by election districts; 306 votes were polled in the first district and 218 in the second district; total 524.
Rain and thirty-two inches of snow in April served to continue the roads as the worst in many years.
Mr. O. J. Wannemacher died April 24th; burial in the Catholic cemetery in Spring Brook.
A special town meeting was held in the school house at the corner of the Bowen and Rice Roads on Saturday, April 27th, 1901, to vote on the following five propositions, viz.:
First. - Shall the Town Board be authorized and empowered to effect a settlement and compromise of the claim of Michael Morath for $10,000 damages for alleged personal injuries by reason of falling through the bridge over Pond Brook on the Chair Factory Road, on or about the 13th day of October 1900, for the sum of $1,700, together with his necessary and reasonable expenses for physicians and surgeon's attendance from October 13th, 1900, to March 30th, 1901, and to raise and appropriate the same?
Second. - The same question to settle the claim of $10,000 of George Heidenreich, by reason of falling through the same bridge at the same time for 1500.00 and expenses of physicians and surgeons attendance, between same dates as above?
Third. - Shall the Town Board be authorized to raise and appropriate the sum of $3,500 or so much thereof as may be necessary for the purpose of building a new bridge across the Cazenove Creek at Northrup mills?
Fourth. - Same question for authority to raise $1,000 for construction and maintenance of the highways and bridges of the town?
Fifth. - Shall the Town of Elma raise and appropriate seven and a half per centum toward the amount required for improving the Aurora Plank Road and the Clinton Street Road through the town, under the provision of Chapter 115 of the Laws of 1898, and the Acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto?
At this special Town Meeting there were 122 votes polled and all the five propositions were voted affirmatively by a majority of 80 to 100. Bad roads were the cause of the light vote.
Farm work was much delayed through April and well into May on account of the ground being too wet to allow of very much plowing and planting.
Apple trees were very shy of blossoms this year and most of the fruit that set dropped early in the season. Pear, plum, cherry, and quince trees blossomed full, but most of the crop was destroyed by heavy rains and winds while the trees were in blossom, the pear being a partial exception.
May 1st was the time set for opening the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, but bad weather and labor strikes caused such delay that May 20th was named as Dedication Day for the'' Rainbow City, '' when 101,687 persons passed through the gates.
The electrical building and tower, illuminated at night by more than 500,000 electric lights, and the plan by which the Exposition buildings and grounds were lighted by electricity made a display far in advance of anything of the kind ever attempted, and were the wonder and admiration of all visitors.
The Commissioner of Highways of the town in May let the contract to furnish and put up a steel and iron bridge across the Cazenove Creek at the Northrup mills, to the Canton Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio; the bridge to be 130 feet in length and to be completed in August. The contract price was $2,800.
The old lattice bridge was torn down in June, a new abutment built at the north end of the bridge; for some reason the iron work was not in place at the close of the year 1901 and people were put to great loss and inconvenience, as it was at times dangerous to ford the stream, especially in cold weather and on dark nights.
The Farmers Club of the Town of Elma was organized in June 1901, with Cornelius McHugh as President, Myron H. Clark as Vice-president and Rev. George Mason as Secretary and Treasurer.
The frequent showers and warm weather of the latter part of June and first part of July forced vegetation along very rapidly, so that crops on July 10th were as far advanced as in ordinary years; but haying, and the harvesting of wheat, rye, and oats, have all been crowded together between July 8th and 20th.
Melville J. Hurd on July 1st bought of Mrs. Sarah L. Standart her seven acre lot on the east side of the Bowen Road on Lots 58 and 59, just south of Elma Village; and on the same day he bought of James T. Hurd, Myron H. Clark and Mrs. Harriet D. Rowley, executors of the will of Harvey J. Hurd, forty-two acres on the west side of the Bowen Road between John Garby's land and the railroad.
The same day, July 1st, James A. Woodard, George H. Woodard and Mrs. Emma McDonald, bought of the same executors eight and one-half acres, being parts of lots 52 and 60, on the south side of the railroad.
Saturday, July 27th, was "Elma Circus Day," and large crowds of people turned out, afternoon and evening, to attend the second yearly entertainment on the "Bonny Brook" grounds of Mr. R. P. Lee. Fun on a large scale and a great financial success. The Aurora brass band furnished the music.
Simeon Phillips, who lived on Lot No. 6 on the south side of the Clinton Street Road, committed suicide on August 4th by hanging, in the woods a short distance from his house.
As the bridge across Crooked Brook on the Bullis Road had broken down, the Commissioner of Highways put in a steel pipe six feet in diameter and 32 feet long; then on August 10th he let the contract of filling with earth, the space which had been covered by the old bridge.
William Beckman's barn on Lot 20 on the east side of the Girdled Road, on the north side of the Big Buffalo Creek, was struck by lightning and with the hay and grain was burned during the severe thunder storm of Tuesday p. m., August 20th. No insurance.
Yager's barn on lot 65 on south side of the Bullis Road, and Andrew Slade's barn at Elma Centre were struck and slightly injured, and several cattle in different parts of the town were killed by the same storm.
Otis A. Hall's barn on the Lancaster Town Line Road, filled with hay, grain and farm implements, was burned by lightning on Thursday p. m., August 22d; no insurance. Nearly six inches of water fell during the three days, August 20th-22d.
Mrs. Sarah A. Cunningham died August 27th; burial in the Elma cemetery. By her will she gave $200 to the Elma Cemetery Investment Fund.
The Elma Town Farmers' Club, held its first annual picnic on Labor Day, September 2d, in Luder's grove on Lot 41, on the west side of the Schultz Road. Professor Spencer, representing the agricultural department of Cornell University, gave a very interesting address; subject, ''Cultivating the Farm."
The Town Board on Tuesday, September 3d, authorized the Commissioner of Highways to sign a franchise which would give to the Buffalo, Gardenville and Ebenezer Trolley Company the right to build and operate a trolley road in this town along the easterly side of the Aurora and Buffalo Plank Road.
The attendance at the Pan-American Exposition, on September 5th, ''Presidents Day" was 116,660.
PRESIDENT WILLIAM McKinley.
President William McKinley, while holding a public reception on Friday afternoon, in the Temple of Music on the Exposition grounds, was shot by Leon F, Czolgosz, (pronounced Sholl-Goss) an avowed Anarchist 28 years of age.
The President was taken to the Exposition hospital, where his wounds were dressed, thence to the home of John G. Milburn, at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Ferry Street, where he died at 2:15 o'clock, Saturday morning, September 14th, 1901. Age, 58 years, 7 months, 15 days.
Funeral services were held at the Milburn home at 11 o'clock a. m., Sunday, September 15th, and at 11.55 the procession left Ferry Street for the City Hall, arriving there at 1 o'clock, where the body of the President lay in state until 10.55 p. m., when more than 100,000 persons had looked upon the face of the dead President and the doors of the building were closed, guards were placed and the body remained through the night in the City Hall.
At 7.45 a. m., Monday, September 16th, the funeral procession, under military and police escort, proceeded to the New York Central depot on Exchange Street where a train of seven coaches of the Pennsylvania Railroad was in waiting.
The train left Buffalo at 8.34 o'clock, passing Elma station at 9.03 a. m., arriving in Washington that evening.
The body lay in state in the Capitol until Wednesday evening, September 18th when the funeral train in two sections left ^Washington, arriving in Canton, Ohio, on Thursday forenoon, September 19th. The final services were held in the Canton cemetery at 3 o'clock that afternoon. At that hour all business throughout the country was generally brought to a halt.
On nearly every railroad, orders had been issued for every train, passenger and freight, to stop wherever they might be for five minutes, and these orders were obeyed.
At the home of Mr. Ansley Wilcox, at the corner of Delaware Avenue and North Street in Buffalo, at 3.35 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, September 14th, 1901, Vice-president Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office as the 26th President of the United States.
Before taking the oath of office he said: "I wish to state that it shall be my aim to continue, absolutely unbroken, the policy of President McKinley for the peace and prosperity and honor of our beloved country.
The oath was administered by Judge John R. Hazel of the United States District Court.
Immediately after taking the oath of office, President Roosevelt asked the members of President McKinley's Cabinet who were present, to remain as his Cabinet, at least for the present. They all decided to comply with his request.
As the final burial services of President McKinley were to be at Canton, Ohio, on Thursday, September 19th, President Roosevelt designated that day as a day for humiliation and prayer, and requested the people to assemble at their places of worship and appropriately observe the day.
A great, a noble, an honest Christian has left us. The people mourn, but the Government at Washington still lives.
As an over-ruling Providence can order that good shall come out of evil, it is hoped by this act of assassination of the President, that Anarchy has inflicted a death blow upon itself, at least in these United States.
The Pan-American Exposition closed on November 2d, 1901. Paid admissions, 5,306,859; free, 2,813,189. Total, 8,120,048.
Voting machines were used in the two election districts in this town at the general election held November 5th, 1901 - 168 votes in the First District; 149 in the Second District. Total 317.
Farmers have never had a nicer fall than this year has given them in which to secure their large crops of corn and potatoes, and to do other fall work.
The potato crop has been the largest ever raised in the town, and farmers have never realized such high prices as in the fall of 1901; 50 cents to 75 cents per bushel at the railroad stations for shipment, and 60 cents to $1.00 per bushel in Buffalo.
The wholesale market price for farm produce on December 18th was: Wheat, 80 to 90 cents; corn, 70 to 72 cents; oats, 52 cents; beans, $2.60 per bushel; butter 26 cents per pound; eggs, 26 cents per doz; hay, $15.00; rye straw, $10,00 per ton; apples, $4.00 to $5.75 per barrel. These prices are nice for the farmer but very high for the buyer.
SOURCE: History of the Town of Elma Erie County, N. Y. 1620 To 1901; Warren Jackman; Buffalo; G. M. Hausauer & Son; 1902