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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little rural villages, one at the head of the street and the other at the foot
of the lake, each trying for mastery in the matter of importance, could produce
but one result, and that the gradual growing together and final dissolution of
the name of the lesser burgh. The
Wagener mills occupied a site about midway between them, and the natural
tendency of travel and trade was in their direction.
Abraham WAGENER’s dwelling stood near the corner not far from the
mills, 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 and
by whom first conducted the writer knoweth not.
the first twenty or thirty years of its existence the village of Penn Yan was
rapidly increased both in population and industries.
The people who located there represented all trades and professions
incident to their period, but to mention each of them would be a thing next to
impossible. Some were prominent in
local affairs, while others were conservative n both thought and action, and did
not therefore appear conspicuously in the settlement. By 1817 or 1818 the place had acquired a population
sufficient to warrant the starting of a newspaper – the Penn Yan Herald
– through which channel the business portion of the community could proclaim
themselves and their wares to the inhabitants of the region.
But the one great event which gave to the old village its greatest upward
start and brought to it a considerable population, was the erection of Yates
County, and the designation of Penn Yan as the county seat.
The occurred in 1823, and from that time deated the certainty of future
growth and prosperity. With the
establishment of the county seat, attorneys came to practice at the courts; to
get the quiet people into trouble and then kindly help them out again.
writer of village history of Penn Yan, covering the period form about the
beginning of the present century down to about 1832, informs us as to the
principal interests represented at the head of the street, and from his
reminiscences we are able to furnish the present reader with a fairly accurate
list of the businesses conducted, together with the owners thereof.
- 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.
– William BABCOCK, Hezekiah ROBERTS, Henry BRADLEY, Bradley & Bissell, Ira
Gould & Co., Eli Shelden & Co., L.G. Budlong & Co., E. MOUNT, John
SLOAN, 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, Seabury
KISSAM, H.J. LEE.
– John HATMAKER, Walter WOLCOTT, Uri JUDD, Roscius MORSE, A. WOODWORTH,
Francis M. POTTER, William CORNWELL, William D. COOK.
Watchmakers and Silversmiths – Frederick A. SEYMOUR, Charles SCOTT, A. B. TERRILL, C. H. GUIGER.
Makers – Melzer
TUEL, Amaza TUEL, James COOLEY, Timothy BRIGDEN, Heman SQUIRES.
George STIMSON, Charles MEEKS, Edward BOWERS, James I. BROOM
Trimmers – John
D. APPLEGATE, Lewis INGALLS, Albert LITTLE.
and Furniture Makers
– Samuel F. CURTIS, Amasa HOLDEN, N. P. HAWKS, William MORRIS.
Stephen WILLIAMS, Jacob WOODRUFF, Alexander EDSON
– Isaac YOUMANS
– Joseph ELMENDORF
& Harness Makers
- James SEARS, L. Himrod & Co.,
Charles P. BABCOCK, John C. BABCOCK, Charles RISDEN, William D. MC ALLISTER.
- Jacob HOVEY, Hubbel GREGORY,
Abraham PROSSER, Elipha PECKINS, ???? ROGERS, John HORN, D. REED.
– Ebenezer JENKINS, Sutton BIRDSALL
– Higley & Haskill, Benjamin REMER, John
NORCOTT, Henry A. TYLER, George W.
- John D. APPLEGATE
– Lewis VANDERLIP, J. SEYMOUR, George COOLEY, Luther LEE, Samuel FULLAGER,
Henry M. LOCKE, Morris EARLE, Milton P. BURCH
– Hitchcock & Scofield, John SCOFIELD, Joseph ELMENDORF
– John POWELL, Powell & Elliott, Powell & Simonds, Aaron WOOD, Abraham
STETLER, Reuben STETSON, Jaems S. POWELL
- Gideon MAYNARD
Iron and Tinware
– P. Carson & Co.
– Gilbert & Bales
Carding & Cloth Dressing
– Morris F. SHEPPARD, Higley & Haskill
– Morris F. SHEPPARD, Henry HUBBARD, Hubbard & Warner
– Nathan E. LACEY, Lyman H. NEWTON
and the years following, the newspapers, or at least one of them, published at
the 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 were
in operation at the head of the street, prominent among which was the “Penn
Yan Hotel, Stage House and Livery”, Major Asa COLE, proprietor.
On the opposite side of the highway and on the corner was “Luman
Phelps’s Inn.” Mr. PHELPS died
in the business and was succeeded by David H. BUELL, and still later by Dr.
Jeremiah b. ANDREWS. Another public
house in the same locality was that know as “Smith Cole’s Inn.”
the men who were prominent in public and local affairs and dwellers within the
village proper at an early day, were William BABCOCK and Elijah SPENCER, who
were members of Congress; Aaron WOODWORTH, Edward GENUNG, Robert BUELL, and
Luther WINANTS, justices of the peace.
course the readers will not be led into the belief that the persons and firms
above mentioned were in business at the head of the street at the same time, for
such was by no means the case. They
were in business during the first thirty or thirty-five years of the present
century, constantly coming and going as is the custom at the present day.
the more prominent men at the lower end of the street, during the period of
which we write, was George SHEARMAN. He
came to the village in or about 1808 or ’09, and from that time forth was
closely 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’s
block, Mr. SHEARMAN built a hotel, the American, which will be remembered by
many 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. In
fact, he built and established two mills and two distilleries. He contributed toward the building up of his part of town as
much as any man during that period.
the year 1820, as near as can now be determined, a brickyard was started on the
south bank of the outlet near the site of the present planning-mill.
Dr. RAYMENT, Erastus and Albert PAGE are said to have been among the
early proprietors at this point. The
clay supply, however, soon became exhausted and the owners moved to a more
abundant field across the highway – Lake street, as now laid out.
A yard was in operation here for more than thirty years, and the brick
there made, were used in building many of the older residences and blocks now in
the village. It was discontinued
about twenty-five years ago. The
imported bricks and “bats” were afterward used in filling depressed places,
and were covered over with earth. Lake
street, along where the yard was in operation, was in this way built up to grade
book as stationery trade is fairly well represented.
The most extensive dealer in his line is George R. CORNWELL at No. 39
Main street. Mr. CORNWELL embarked
in this business in October 1858, as successor to E. DENTON.
He purchased the building soon afterward, and about 1875 fitted up and
equipped the Cornwell Opera House, occupying therefore the rooms over his and
the adjoining store. Mr. CORNWELL is also an extensive dealer in sewing machines
and musical instruments. The other
booksellers and stationers of the village are H. C. GUNTRIE, H. SHERWOOD and
Mrs. A. V. MASTIN.
leading grocers of the village are F. W. STEELMAN, Lucius P. WAGENER, Charles
HUNTER, 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.
general 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 44
Main street. This business hose was
first established in Penn Yan by Myron HAMLIN, a former merchant of Dundee, then
known 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, about
were 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 single
years, and afterward locating at the county seat in connection with the
principal business. After five
years of pleasant and profitable partnership.
Mr. HAZEN retired from the firm of Hamlin & Hazen and established
himself in trade. In 1858 Mr.
HAMLIN occupied the store now owned by his son, and as his sons arrived at full
age they were associated with him in the business.
The firm name thus became M. Hamlin & Sons, and so continued until
two had retired and Theodore O. HAMLIN only, remained, when the style of M.
Hamlin & Sons was adopted. This
continued 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 into
the 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 $7
the second year. He was Mr.
HAMLIN’s clerk also in Penn Yan from 1837 to 1842, when he was taken in as
partner. After conducting the
Rushville branch store one year, he came back to the county seat and continued
in the main house until about 1848, when he bought the dry goods stock of Daniel
S. MARSH, which business he managed successfully about five or six years, then
selling out and going to New York. In
the latter city he advanced through the grades of clerkship and managing clerk
to finally becoming the leading and senior member of the large house of Hazen,
Todd & Co., jobbers of dry goods. About
four years ago, Mr. HAZEN retired from active business. (Here is another apt illustration of the possibilities open
to every earnest, industrious young man).
present 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 by
Jones & 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 to
the present name. The Lown block
was built in 1889-90, and occupied by the firm.
Their stock includes dry goods, carpets, millinery, crockery and
goods house and firm of Roenke & Rogers was established in April 1881, by
Julius R. ROENKE and Jerome D. ROGERS. Their
place of business is at the corner of Main street and Maiden Lane.
N. MC FARREN became a dry goods merchant of Penn Yan in September 1891, by the
purchase of the stock and former business of George CRAMER.
in 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 to
Miles LEWIS; Frank QUACKENBUSH established April 28, 1879.
Hollowell & Wise, J. C. Shannon & Son, Wixson & Woodruff, D. O.
Furnishers and Merchant Tailors
– McAdams Brothers, McMahon Bros, Seligman & McNiff, Marks Bros., the Gloe
Clothing stone, E. DONAHUE, M.C. STARK, John WALTERS, Charles BANDEL, Jacob
and Shoe Dealers
– J. Henry SMITH, Wagner Bros., Stewart & Burnham, A. DECKERMAN.
Stores – A. J.
OBERTIN, Hood & Co., Singer & Strong
J.C. Shannon & Son, C.C. HICKS, James M. SMITH, D. O. OGDEN, Hollowell &
Wise, Wisxon and Woodruff, A. F. STARK
James MEADE, John BIRMINGHAM, Joseph F. MARKEY, C.A. MANSEN, Peter CURRAN
Clarence H. KNAPP, A. C. KLUBE
– Clarence H. KNAPP, Hopkin Brothers
– Freeman & Barber, George BRUEN
Dealers – S. S.
ELLSWORTH, Freeman & Barber, Sheppard-Comings Co., Potter, Kinne &
and Dealers –
Arthur JESSUP, A.V. MASTEN, J.F. BRIDGMAN, William HOLLOWELL, L. P. WICKHAM,
Agents – Norris
S. DAILEY, A. C. HARWICK, H. M. T. AYERS, Bush and Co., Silas KINNE, M.F.
HOBART, W. P. GAYLORD
– E. H. HOPKINS, S. B. DUNTON
and Boarding Stables
– W. T. BEAUMONT, Emmet HAZARD, Patrick BURNS, C. H. SOUTHERLAND
Potter, Kinne, & Kendall, Eugene LEWIS, Charles D. WELLES
Charles S. BELL, William MC EVOY, Hyland & Caviston, James DOLAN, L. A.
SPRAGUE, W. H. STARK, Gilbert CARROLL, A.
& D. O. Carroll
– Justus O. RUPERT
and Glazers –
D. Clinton ROBINSON, George W. KRITZER, E. THOMAS, I M. BALLARD
– H. R. Phillips & Wrean, Charles ELMENDORF, R. W. REYNOLDS, W. W. SMITH,
O. S. VOAK
– Frank CAREY, Fred F. CRUM
– C. R. ROBINSON, George ZELUFF
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