Shortsville Village History
History of Ontario Co, NY, Pub 1878
Pgs. 179 - 180
Transcribed by Dianne Thomas
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village an enterprise in manufacture has constantly turned
attention thither, and eventually the place promises to be one of
considerable importance. The
name Short's Mills was first given after Theophilius SHORT,
on Honeoye. A house
and mill were built in 1804.
A flouring-mill was put up on the west bank of the outlet,
and a saw-mill on the site of Silas PETTER's
mill. In 1822, Mr. SHORT put up a second flour-mill north of the first one.
A woolen-mill had been built in 1818 by William GRIMES.
A blast furnace was put up in 1819, and a pottery was
started, on a small scale; both have been abandoned.
At preset there are seven mills in the village and these
have a roll of one hundred and fifty operatives.
A paper-mill, started in 1817, is now owned by James
The Star Paper Company has two mills, - one for the
manufacture of brown, the other of white paper; this latter mill
stands on the side of the old grist-mill originally built by Mr. SHORT. The Empire Grain
Drill manufactory of H. L & C. P. BROWN, also built on the old
Short's property, was originated by them in 1855.
SHORTSVILLE - Hiram L. & Calvin P. BROWN
established their business in the old foundry, now occupied by the
new shop, and engaged wholly in the manufacture of grain-drills.
The first year's labor, unassisted, resulted in a product
of thirty drills, known as the " Pioneer Force-Feed
Drill," patented several years previously.
Various improvements have resulted in the machine now
christened the "Empire".
In 1856 thirty drills were built, and in 1876 seven hundred
and eighty. The
highest number of drills made in a given years was one thousand
one hundred. Average yearly product three hundred and fifty.
Total for twenty years, seven thousand.
There is, in addition, a generally foundry business.
In 1876 thirty-five men have been employed.
The largest force at any one time was forty-five men.
The value of product in 1856 was two thousand dollars; in
1876, fifty thousand dollars.
Shortsville has grown form a population of one hundred and
fifty in 1856 to six hundred.
Twenty-eight of eighty-three dwellings erected were put up
by the Messrs. BROWN or
by their employees.
The Star Paper
Company was originated as joint-stock enterprise in 1867.
During the year previous, Dr. J.P.H. DEMING
had purchased the distillery site and the old Short's mills,
ruined by fire in 1862, and found ample volume of water for his
purpose. The capital
stock subscribed was fifty thousand dollars.
The first officers were Dr. DEMING,
as president; Stephen T. SEYMOUR,
secretary and treasurer; and the board of directors, George W. CUYLER, V.P. CRANDALL,
Frank W. WILLIAMS, C.
H. ROGERS, J. P. H. DEMING, James W. RYAN,
Steven BREWSTER, and
Augustus WILLSON. The official list is changed only by the death of G. W. CUYLER,
the succession of F. W. WILLIAMS
to president, and Mr. DEMING
has become general business superintendent.
On organizing the "Star Mill" was begun; it was
mainly of stone and deemed fire-proof.
Dimensions are one hundred and fifty by seventy-five feet,
and three stories. A straw barn has a capacity of two hundred tons.
Manufacture is almost entirely confined to tea and
1871 the old woolen-mill was purchased, and does duty as the
To residents they are known as the upper and lower mills.
An iron railway, a furlong in length, unites them.
The Diamond mill manufactures straw and rag wrapping,
bogus manilla, and hardware-paper.
Upwards of one hundred and thirty thousand dollars have
been laid out in buildings and machinery.
Sales for 1876 have exceeded one hundred thousand dollars.
With former higher prices, the Star mill alone made in one
year ninety-nine thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars' worth
of paper, at wholesale rates.
The gross weight of material consumed in manufacture this
year was two thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine tons.
The payroll contains fifty-three names, and disbursements
to employees were eighteen thousand five hundred dollars.
Adjoining the works of the Empire Drill Company is the manufactory of the Champion Hay and Grain Unloader, the invention of G. VAN SICKLE, Esq., of Shortsville. Mr. VAN SICKLE is the sole proprietor of this new and handy implement, a decided advance upon the now old-fashioned horse-fork. The skill which originates and the energy which brings a useful invention before the public are in themselves a prospective fortune; and the perfect adapt ion of VAN SICKLE's "Unloader" to its work is calculated to bring it into general demand. There are also in the village the plow and agricultural implement works of H. C. SHEFFER & CO., a plaster-mill, and a machine-shop. In addition to its manufactures, Shortsville contains several store and shops, a hotel, a commodious and handsome school-house, and a fine church belonging to the Presbyterians. The population number between four and five hundred, and there is every prospect of the town continuing to improve.
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