Wayne County, N.Y.

Contributed by Allyn Hess Perry, from files at the Office of the County Historian


May 26, 1849
Mr. Elisha Lee, late of Salisbury, Conn. Was killed instantly by a fall from a staging at the "Clinton Iron Works" in Ontario, N.Y. on the 13th April last. He had been for some months Superintendent of the works, and left an interesting family in Salisbury to lament his sudden and distressing death. (Will the Southern and Western papers please copy)


August 5, 1865
-The citizens of the town of Ontario gave a grand pic-nic to the returned soldiers of that locality, on Wednesday of last week. Appropriate remarks were made by the Hon. S.C. Cuyler, of Williamson, Chaplain Gregg and Captain Fish, of the 9th Heavy Artillery, and the Palmyra Cornet Band was in attendance, and discoursed sweet music throughout the day.


August 16, 1872
Seven acres of land have been recently purchased at Ontario Harbor, upon which another blast furnace is to be erected and a new company will soon be organized for that purpose.


November 6, 1874
The furnaces of Ontario are doing moderately now. Much less ore is being mined than usual.


November 3, 1891
The Catholics are building a church at Ontario.


December 9, 1899


The Richest Deposits Said to Be Located in the Vicinity of Wolcott

Lots of Money Back of the Enterprise

Clyde, Dec. 8-(Special)-Mention was made in these columns some weeks ago of an enterprise undertaken to discover whether iron ore existed in paying quantities in Wayne County.

The result of the investigation shows that iron ore by the million tons underlies the surface of the county in the vicinity of Wolcott. Johnson & Christian, contractors, sank a shaft thirty-three feet deep on the farm of Fred Fox and struck a vein of ore seven to eight feet in thickness. This ore is worth $2.75 per ton on the cars at Wolcott.

A shaft sunk on the Harvey Worthy farm shows indications of an inexhaustible yield of ore.

There appears to be plenty of capital back of a scheme to develop these new found mines.

Source: The name of the newspaper this was in was not noted.

December 1927

Interesting News of Civil War Days Contained in Baby Tabloid

Ernest Lee Weidrich has come into possession of a newspaper he values very highly, as indeed he may. It is a copy of the Ontario News, published in Ontario by C.P. Hopkins in August, 1862. The paper is a baby tabloid, measuring 6 1/2 by 9 inches, four pages, and is a monthly sheet. The front page contains the advertising rates and the price, one cent a copy or fifteen cents a year, "invariably in advance."

Interesting features are some stories of Abraham Lincoln. One of these is the following: "President Lincoln has a dry way of passing the question. A clergyman recently gave the President his views of conducting the war, and after five minutes drew up to see what the President had to say. 'Perhaps you had better try to run the machine a week,' quietly remarked Old Abe. Another gentleman, after pouring out his vials of wrath upon a government officer, was surprised to hear the President quietly remark, 'Now you are the man I have been looking for. I want you to give me your address and tell me if you were in my place and heard all you've been telling me, and didn't believe a word of it, what would you do?'"

The paper is full of war news. Even the joke column has some, as the following quip shows: "If the rebels can get nothing to eat, let them as usual tell lies and then swallow them."

An account of a meeting held to get recruits for service was described as being held at the "Baptist House" by Rev. T. Gregory, where $200 was raised and a committee of five appointed to canvass the town and report at a later meeting. Eleven recruits came forward and enrolled their names. A committee reported over $500 raised for a bounty for recruits. Another meeting held at Goodnow's Hall was addressed by William Greenwood, when the muster roll was carried into the twenties.

A Letter from Lieutenant Byron W. Gates, who was stationed at Camp Keno, Newburn, N.C., is of special interest to those who have read "Forever Free:" by Honore Wilsie Morrow, as it describes the loyalty to McClellan by his men so vividly portrayed in the book. Mr. Gates says, "We have only about five thousand troops here; Burnside having gone to Richmond with the rest of his division, where he has undoubtedly arrived ere this. From all accounts things are getting desperate before Richmond-our troops back across the Chickahomine. The people north must not sit in judgment upon the generalship displayed in front of Richmond. Had McClellan been reinforced by our army from Western Virginia as he should have been after Jackson going to Richmond with his entire army, our army would not be occupying the position it is at present. That Richmond must fall is only a question of time. If the army has confidence in McClellan, as it has and unbounded confidence, too, the North should certainly.

"That people who have not the remotest idea of military affairs, can't tell a musket from a broomstick, should dictate as to the management of the war, or even venture an opinion, is outrageous."

"If McClellan is not competent to engineer the thing, God only knows to whom we may look."

The advertising is also interesting. In the classified ads a dog-power for churns is offered for sale. Gates & Company state they have the contract for carrying the mail from Ontario to Walworth and Palmyra, and they will run a daily stage to accommodate the public, to leave Ontario every morning at six and arriving in Palmyra at 10 a.m. According to the schedule or "arrangement" of the New York Central Railroad, there were eleven trains that stopped daily at Palmyra.

In the whole sheet not one mention is made of anyone having spent the week-end anywhere, anyone having entertained at bridge, as evidently the war was of the greatest importance and interest.


Vol. 2 - No. 2 - Ontario, N.Y. February 1862 Price 1 cent

Marriages, Births and Deaths, each, 25 cents

(Personal items noted from this paper)

*A double surprise- Not many nights ago Mr. Newel of Walworth was apprised by the unexpected arrival of a large party from Ontario, at his house, who had come for the purpose of spending the evening, and having a sociable time, generally, some arrangement about dancing not being satisfactory, he was greatly surprised by finding "his house left unto him desolate," at a very early hour.

*A. Hatch has rented the store of C.P. Hopkins for the term of three years, to take possession on the first of March next.

*We notice that Byron's address, is Lieut. Byron W. Gates, Co. K. 3d, N.Y.V. Cavalry, Poolsville, Md.

*In a paper received from Adrian, Mich. we notice the death of Mrs. Lucy Norton, who died in that city some time in the month of December last.

*Bogue not dead yet - we received a line from C.P. Smith, Mich., in which he acknowledges the receipt of the Ontario News, and asks if it is sent-e-tus. Oh yes, Bogue we sends.

*Capt. A.P. Russell of Kansas, has been spending some time in Washington, on business connected with the war. He made a call at his father's on his way back to Kansas. We understand that he has a berth on Gen. Lane's staff.


January, 7th, by Rev. S.D. Merrick at the bride's father Mr. Calvin Shult to Miss Parilla S. Carey, both of Ontario.

At Victor Flatts on Tuesday Jan. 21st, Salmon P. Pratt Esq. To Miss Carrie A. Bigsby.

By the Rev. A. Stanton of Marion, Dec. 15th, Mr. Alfred D. Russell of Ontario, to Miss Juliet Pratt of Marion.


The friends of the Rev. Truman Gregory are respectfully invited to attend an Oyster Supper given for his benefit, at his dwelling in Ontario, on Wednesday afternoon and evening February, 5th.

By order of the committee

Back to Town of Ontario Section

Created: 6/22/04
Copyright © 2004 - 2011 Allyn Hess Perry
Wayne County NYGenWeb
A County Site of the USGenWeb Project
All Rights Reserved.