Yates County, New York

Businesses in the Town of Penn Yan

From the History of Yates County, NY
published 1892, by L.C. Aldrich

pg 304- 308

 

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Thelittle rural villages, one at the head of the street and the other at the footof the lake, each trying for mastery in the matter of importance, could producebut one result, and that the gradual growing together and final dissolution ofthe name of the lesser burgh.  TheWagener mills occupied a site about midway between them, and the naturaltendency of travel and trade was in their direction. Abraham WAGENER’s dwelling stood near the corner not far from themills, and he of course, drew improvements toward his own home. On the corner just north of this house was a store, but by whom built andby whom first conducted the writer knoweth not. 

Duringthe first twenty or thirty years of its existence the village of Penn Yan wasrapidly increased both in population and industries. The people who located there represented all trades and professionsincident to their period, but to mention each of them would be a thing next toimpossible.  Some were prominent inlocal affairs, while others were conservative n both thought and action, and didnot therefore appear conspicuously in the settlement.  By 1817 or 1818 the place had acquired a populationsufficient to warrant the starting of a newspaper – the Penn Yan Herald– through which channel the business portion of the community could proclaimthemselves and their wares to the inhabitants of the region. But the one great event which gave to the old village its greatest upwardstart and brought to it a considerable population, was the erection of YatesCounty, and the designation of Penn Yan as the county seat. The occurred in 1823, and from that time deated the certainty of futuregrowth and prosperity.  With theestablishment of the county seat, attorneys came to practice at the courts; toget the quiet people into trouble and then kindly help them out again.  

Awriter of village history of Penn Yan, covering the period form about thebeginning of the present century down to about 1832, informs us as to theprincipal interests represented at the head of the street, and from hisreminiscences we are able to furnish the present reader with a fairly accuratelist of the businesses conducted, together with the owners thereof. 

Lawyers-  Cornelius MASTEN, George H.GREEN, William SHATTUCK, John WILEY, Abraham P. VOSBURGH, Thomas J. NEVENS, Levi LYMAN, David B. PROSSER, Henry WELLS,Welles & Treat, Everett VAN BUREN, Prosser & Winants, Prosser & Eno,B.W. FRANKLIN, Henry M. STEART, William CORNWELL. 

Merchants– William BABCOCK, Hezekiah ROBERTS, Henry BRADLEY, Bradley & Bissell, IraGould & Co., Eli Shelden & Co., L.G. Budlong & Co., E. MOUNT, JohnSLOAN, John h. Bostwick & Co., James W. NORRIS, William and John BROOKS, B.Tyler & Co., Tyler & Fowle, Augustus STEWART, Milliken & Bradley,Wheeler & Sawyer, William T. Scott & Co., Moore & Coffin, SeaburyKISSAM, H.J. LEE. 

Physicians– John HATMAKER, Walter WOLCOTT, Uri JUDD, Roscius MORSE, A. WOODWORTH,Francis M. POTTER, William CORNWELL, William D. COOK. 

Watchmakersand Silversmiths– Frederick A. SEYMOUR, Charles SCOTT, A. B. TERRILL, C. H. GUIGER.

CarriageMakers – MelzerTUEL, Amaza TUEL, James COOLEY, Timothy BRIGDEN, Heman SQUIRES.  

CarriagePainters –George STIMSON, Charles MEEKS, Edward BOWERS, James I. BROOM 

CarriageTrimmers – JohnD. APPLEGATE, Lewis INGALLS, Albert LITTLE. 

Cabinetand Furniture Makers– Samuel F. CURTIS, Amasa HOLDEN, N. P. HAWKS, William MORRIS.  

HousePainters - Stephen WILLIAMS, Jacob WOODRUFF, Alexander EDSON 

Mason– Isaac YOUMANS 

Dentist  Joseph ELMENDORF 

Saddle& Harness Makers-  James SEARS, L. Himrod & Co.,Charles P. BABCOCK, John C. BABCOCK, Charles RISDEN, William D. MC ALLISTER. 

Carpenters-  Jacob HOVEY, Hubbel GREGORY,Abraham PROSSER, Elipha PECKINS, ???? ROGERS, John HORN, D. REED. 

Hatters– Ebenezer JENKINS, Sutton BIRDSALL 

Grocers– Higley & Haskill, Benjamin REMER,  JohnNORCOTT, Henry A. TYLER,  George W.MASON. 

Baker- John D. APPLEGATE 

Tailors– Lewis VANDERLIP, J. SEYMOUR, George COOLEY, Luther LEE, Samuel FULLAGER,Henry M. LOCKE, Morris EARLE, Milton P. BURCH

 Shoemakers– Hitchcock & Scofield, John SCOFIELD, Joseph ELMENDORF 

Blacksmiths– John POWELL, Powell & Elliott, Powell & Simonds, Aaron WOOD, AbrahamSTETLER, Reuben STETSON, Jaems S. POWELL 

Cooper-  Gideon MAYNARD 

Stoves,Iron and Tinware– P. Carson & Co. 

Gunsmiths– Gilbert & Bales 

WoolCarding & Cloth Dressing– Morris F. SHEPPARD, Higley & Haskill 

Tanners– Morris F. SHEPPARD, Henry HUBBARD, Hubbard & Warner

Butchers– Nathan E. LACEY, Lyman H. NEWTON 

In 1824and the years following, the newspapers, or at least one of them, published atthe village, was called the Yates Republican. Its editor and proprietor was Edward J. FOWLE. At the time or during the period first mentioned, a number of hotels werein operation at the head of the street, prominent among which was the “PennYan Hotel, Stage House and Livery”, Major Asa COLE, proprietor. On the opposite side of the highway and on the corner was “LumanPhelps’s Inn.”  Mr. PHELPS diedin the business and was succeeded by David H. BUELL, and still later by Dr.Jeremiah b. ANDREWS.  Another publichouse in the same locality was that know as “Smith Cole’s Inn.” 

Amongthe men who were prominent in public and local affairs and dwellers within thevillage proper at an early day, were William BABCOCK and Elijah SPENCER, whowere members of Congress; Aaron WOODWORTH, Edward GENUNG, Robert BUELL, andLuther WINANTS, justices of the peace. 

Ofcourse the readers will not be led into the belief that the persons and firmsabove mentioned were in business at the head of the street at the same time, forsuch was by no means the case.  Theywere in business during the first thirty or thirty-five years of the presentcentury, constantly coming and going as is the custom at the present day. 

One ofthe more prominent men at the lower end of the street, during the period ofwhich we write, was George SHEARMAN.  Hecame to the village in or about 1808 or ’09, and from that time forth wasclosely identified with its business interests. He had a store, standing very near the corner of Main and Jacob streets,and was in trade something like twenty-five years.  On the land now occupied by Hon. George R. CORNWELL’sblock, Mr. SHEARMAN built a hotel, the American, which will be remembered bymany of the present residents of mature years. Mr. SHEARMAN also was proprietor of a potash works and a distillery;likewise a mill on the outlet.  Infact, he built and established two mills and two distilleries.  He contributed toward the building up of his part of town asmuch as any man during that period.  

Aboutthe year 1820, as near as can now be determined, a brickyard was started on thesouth bank of the outlet near the site of the present planning-mill. Dr. RAYMENT, Erastus and Albert PAGE are said to have been among theearly proprietors at this point.  Theclay supply, however, soon became exhausted and the owners moved to a moreabundant field across the highway – Lake street, as now laid out. A yard was in operation here for more than thirty years, and the brickthere made, were used in building many of the older residences and blocks now inthe village.  It was discontinuedabout twenty-five years ago.  Theimported bricks and “bats” were afterward used in filling depressed places,and were covered over with earth.  Lakestreet, along where the yard was in operation, was in this way built up to gradelevel. 

Thebook as stationery trade is fairly well represented. The most extensive dealer in his line is George R. CORNWELL at No. 39Main street.  Mr. CORNWELL embarkedin this business in October 1858, as successor to E. DENTON. He purchased the building soon afterward, and about 1875 fitted up andequipped the Cornwell Opera House, occupying therefore the rooms over his andthe adjoining store.  Mr. CORNWELL is also an extensive dealer in sewing machinesand musical instruments.  The otherbooksellers and stationers of the village are H. C. GUNTRIE, H. SHERWOOD andMrs. A. V. MASTIN.   

Theleading grocers of the village are F. W. STEELMAN, Lucius P. WAGENER, CharlesHUNTER, McMath & Morgan, MacKay & Co., Norman LOCKWOOD, Johnson &Hazen,  B.F. FENNER, John BROWN, T.S. BURNS, C.W. COFFIN, Eaton Brothers, McCarty Bros., and M. W. Phalen.  

Thegeneral dry goods trade is represented by tour large and substantial houses. The oldest of these is the present firm of T. O. Hamlin and Co., at 44Main street.  This business hose wasfirst established in Penn Yan by Myron HAMLIN, a former merchant of Dundee, thenknown as Harpending’s  Corners.  Mr.HAMLIN established himself where Stewart & Burnham’s shoe store now is,bus soon afterward moved the stock to the opposite side of Main street, aboutwere D. A. OGDEN’s hardware store is located. In 1842 Abraham F. HAZEN, who was a former clerk in the store, became Mr.HAMLIN’s partner, having charge of a branch store at Rushville for a singleyears, and afterward locating at the county seat in connection with theprincipal business.  After fiveyears of pleasant and profitable partnership. Mr. HAZEN retired from the firm of Hamlin & Hazen and establishedhimself in trade.  In 1858 Mr.HAMLIN occupied the store now owned by his son, and as his sons arrived at fullage they were associated with him in the business. The firm name thus became M. Hamlin & Sons, and so continued untiltwo had retired and Theodore O. HAMLIN only, remained, when the style of M.Hamlin & Sons was adopted.  Thiscontinued until the death of the senior member in 1886. Theodore conducted the business thereafter until February 1890, when H.C. UNDERWOOD became his partner, under the present firm name. George E. HAMLIN, one of the sons, left the firm in 1865 and went intothe carpet business in Syracuse, leaving the firm in 1877. Abraham F. HAZEN, above mentioned, went to Dundee, a poor boy, in 1833,walking a part of the distance from Chemung County to that place. He was taken in by Mr. HAMLIN as clerk at $5 per month, increased to $7the second year.  He was Mr.HAMLIN’s clerk also in Penn Yan from 1837 to 1842, when he was taken in aspartner.  After conducting theRushville branch store one year, he came back to the county seat and continuedin the main house until about 1848, when he bought the dry goods stock of DanielS. MARSH, which business he managed successfully about five or six years, thenselling out and going to New York.  Inthe latter city he advanced through the grades of clerkship and managing clerkto finally becoming the leading and senior member of the large house of Hazen,Todd & Co., jobbers of dry goods.  Aboutfour years ago, Mr. HAZEN retired from active business.  (Here is another apt illustration of the possibilities opento every earnest, industrious young man). 

Thepresent firm of Lown & Co. is composed of J. H. LOWN and H. J. MC ADAMS. Their business is the indirect outgrowth of that established in 1871 byJones & Lown, then being located where is now T. F. WHEELER’s drug store. In 1877 the firm name changed to J. H. Lown & Co. and still later tothe present name.  The Lown blockwas built in 1889-90, and occupied by the firm. Their stock includes dry goods, carpets, millinery, crockery andglassware. 

The drygoods house and firm of Roenke & Rogers was established in April 1881, byJulius R. ROENKE and Jerome D. ROGERS.  Theirplace of business is at the corner of Main street and Maiden Lane. 

CassiusN. MC FARREN became a dry goods merchant of Penn Yan in September 1891, by thepurchase of the stock and former business of George CRAMER. 

Dealersin Drugs and Medicines– The village has four substantial representatives of this branch of trade,viz.: Theodore F. WHEELER, established in 1864, as successor to Lyman MUNGER; W.W. QUACKENBUSH, established in 1867, as successor to  Lapham & Bullock; E. FENTON, April 1877, successor toMiles LEWIS; Frank QUACKENBUSH established April 28, 1879. 

HardwareDealers -Hollowell & Wise, J. C. Shannon & Son, Wixson & Woodruff, D. O.OGDEN. 

Clothiers,Furnishers and Merchant Tailors– McAdams Brothers, McMahon Bros, Seligman & McNiff, Marks Bros., the GloeClothing stone, E. DONAHUE, M.C. STARK, John WALTERS, Charles BANDEL, JacobDAVIS. 

Bootand Shoe Dealers– J. Henry SMITH, Wagner Bros., Stewart & Burnham, A. DECKERMAN. 

FairStores – A. J.OBERTIN, Hood & Co., Singer & Strong 

AgriculturalImplements –J.C. Shannon & Son, C.C. HICKS, James M. SMITH, D. O. OGDEN, Hollowell &Wise, Wisxon and Woodruff, A. F. STARK 

CigarManufacturers –James MEADE, John BIRMINGHAM, Joseph F. MARKEY, C.A. MANSEN, Peter CURRAN 

FurnitureDealers –Clarence H. KNAPP, A. C. KLUBE 

Undertakers– Clarence H. KNAPP, Hopkin Brothers 

Elevators– Freeman & Barber, George BRUEN 

CoalDealers – S. S.ELLSWORTH, Freeman & Barber, Sheppard-Comings Co., Potter, Kinne &Kendall. 

Harnessmakersand Dealers –Arthur JESSUP, A.V. MASTEN, J.F. BRIDGMAN, William HOLLOWELL, L. P. WICKHAM,William CORCORAN 

InsuranceAgents – NorrisS. DAILEY, A. C. HARWICK, H. M. T. AYERS, Bush and Co., Silas KINNE, M.F.HOBART, W. P. GAYLORD

Jewelers– E. H. HOPKINS, S. B. DUNTON

Liveryand Boarding Stables– W. T. BEAUMONT, Emmet HAZARD, Patrick BURNS, C. H. SOUTHERLAND

LumberDealers –Potter, Kinne, & Kendall, Eugene LEWIS, Charles D. WELLES

MeatMarkets –Charles S. BELL, William MC EVOY, Hyland & Caviston, James DOLAN, L. A.SPRAGUE, W. H. STARK, Gilbert CARROLL,  A.& D. O. Carroll 

Nurseryman– Justus O. RUPERT

Paintersand Glazers –D. Clinton ROBINSON, George W. KRITZER, E. THOMAS, I M. BALLARD

Dentists– H. R. Phillips & Wrean, Charles ELMENDORF, R. W. REYNOLDS, W. W. SMITH,O. S. VOAK

Photographers– Frank CAREY, Fred F. CRUM

Bakers– C. R. ROBINSON, George ZELUFF

 

 

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