Village of Clifton Springs History 

Town of Manchester

History of Ontario Co, NY, Pub 1878,  Pg. 180


Transcribed by Dianne Thomas 

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John SHEKELL, the early owner of the site of this resort of fashion and pilgrimage of the sick, lived in a rude log house upon the present site of the meat marker.  He built the large frame now standing.  William HANNA, from Maryland came in second, and built a log house north of the railroad, where Mrs. WAYNE now lives.  He was the owner of a farm exceeding 300 acres, and upon it raised a family and ended his days.  The family removed to Michigan, where some are now living.   James HANNA, a son, lived in the village for some time subsequent to the father's death.  The third family in the place, was that of Arnold WARFIELD, of Maryland.  On his arrival he put up a small frame house upon his farm of 200 acres.  He remained upon the place from 1815 until his death.  His son, Thomas, is a present resident of the village.  About a year before the War of 1812, William ENTRICKEN, of Maryland, moved in, and began to exercise his vocation of blacksmith in a small log built shop, and gave a beginning to that indispensable industry.  The shop stood opposite the present sanitarium.  His log residence was nearby it.  He fell from a horse and broke his neck, and the family selling, went west.  The next smith was Myan SPEEKER, whose shop stood upon the site of the dwelling of Mrs. BUNNELL.  Henson WALKER built upon land owned by Nathan WARFIELD, whose farm he tilled until the arrival of the latter, when he removed to Michigan.  These named constituted the early settlers of the present flourishing village of Clifton Springs.  About 1805, Mr. POWELL, of Geneva erected a hotel opposite the present Universalist church.  It was a large frame two story building, the first in the place, and the only house save that of John SHEKELL.  The hotel was leased to SHEKELL for several years.  About 10 years ago it was remodeled, and used as an air-cure.  Leman HOTCHKISS bought the property and leased it until its destruction by fire.

The first church edifice in Clifton, was St. John's Episcopal, a small frame, put up about 1808, where Mr. TIFFANY resides.  The building was two storied, and in dimensions, about 30 by 40 feet.  It was sold to the Methodists about 1812, and burned down some 30 years ago.  The first school house in Clifton was built of stone, and stood just west of the present site of the Methodist Episcopal church.  Among early teachers were Evan WARFIELD and George SPEAR.  John BRADT opened the first store where now stands the Sherman block.  IT was small in size and limited in capital, and continued but a few years.  Messrs. ROSE and SPANGLE were the next merchants or storekeepers, and for some time occupied rooms in the Sherman block.  The place is well supplied with large hotels.  The Foster House was erected in 1869, by William FOSTER, at a cost of $30,000.  Its dimensions are 150 by 60 feet.  It is three stories high, and accommodates 100 guests.  September 13, it was opened at a ladies' seminary for the nine months of the year, the remaining three months, being used as a hotel.   The Clifton House was erected in 1870 by Thomas W. WARFIELD and opened as the Warfield House in July 1871.  It is 97 by 93 feet, brick, and cost $35,000; it changed name to Clifton House in 1875, and is kept by Murray CALDWELL.  The first story has four stores; it has 44 sleeping rooms, 3 parlors, and all the arrangements of a first class house.  The first station agent at the place was Timothy HAWKINS; then came John A. SUTHERLAND, nad next came W. C. CHURCH, the present incumbent.  In 1850 a petition for a post office was granted, and Moses PARKE, receiving the appointment, kept the office in his hotel.  The office was then removed to a store, and in 1872, to its present location.  PARKE was succeeded by George SPANGLE, D. A. LISK, A. J. HAND, and C. W. LA DUE, the present officer.  The office ranks third class.  The growing reputation of the sanitarium, the projects for a fine seminary, the healing waters, and the healthful location, make the village a desirable place of residence.  


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