GRIP'S HISTORICAL SOUVENIR
PAGES 70 - 77
Source: Historical Souvenir Series No. 20
Wolcott, N.Y. and Vicinity
Copyrighted June 1905, "Grip," 109 Corning Ave., Syracuse, N.Y.
The Paddock Hardware Business, established in 1857 by W. W. Paddock, is now owned by
his son, Wm. H. Paddock, who became a partner with his father in 1891 and who upon the
death of W. W. Paddock in November, 1903, became his successor. The building in which the
store is located and the storehouse in the rear are owned by Wm. H. Paddock. Plumbing
added to the business in recent years is an important part of it. Two floors are occupied
in the store, but the business has outgrown the storehouse and a larger building will be
erected next year. In the meantime Mr. Paddock has had to resort to outside structures
for displaying farm machinery. The continued expansion of the business is fully assured.
J. G. Strait began business in Wolcott on the present site of his lumber and coal
yards in 1884 and has since continued it in the same place. Mr. Strait bought the old
Chapin & Tompkins chair factory and erected all of the present buildings and yards. He
handles principally the Lehigh Valley coal, having an elevator which stores about a
Osgood Church for five years was one of the agents of the Pultenay estate, from 1808
to 1813. After that the business was transacted at Geneva. From Wolcott Mr. Church took
prospective buyers over the adjacent lands and four years following the organization of
the town he surveyed all of the roads. In 1814 he was elected supervisor. His death
occurred March 15, 1815 and he was buried in the cemetery on the old Methodist church
property. William Church is his sole survivor.
W. D. Campbell, who is the oldest clothing man in town, began business in the corner
block which now comprises a part of his place of business, in 1874. Before coming here he
purchased the building on the corner of C. P. Smith, the ground floor of which had only a
single store. In 1877 he built the three-story brick block adjoining on Lake avenue,
which with the other building gives him double stores. Mr. Campbell's lines are clothing,
furnishing goods, hats and caps, trunks, suit cases, watches, clocks, diamonds and
Sopher & Wolven, who conducted the meat market on Lake Avenue, bought the Whitbeck
market over a year and a half ago. They employ two wagons in delivering meat through the
adjacent country. The members of the firm are L. D. Sopher and H. J. Wolven, both of whom
are experienced in the business.
School Teachers - The earliest teachers in the public schools of Wolcott included the
following: Mary Woodruff, daughter of Lambert Woodruff; John Melvin, son of Jonathan
Melvin, Sr.; Rev. Daniel Butterick, the earliest clergyman; Huldah Seymour, daughter of
Noah Seymour who was afterwards Mrs. John Roe; Prudence Wells (Mrs. Jedediah Wilder); Wm.
Plank, son of Elisha Plank; Loren Doolittle; Austin Roe; Harlow Hyde; Levi Hendrick;
Barabus Knapp; Mr. McFarlin; Willis Roe.
Chester Dutton, born at Watertown, Ct., March 24, 1814, graduated at Yale in 1840,
came to Wolcott in 1842 and about that time married Mary Mellin, the granddaughter of
Lambert Woodruff. Chester Dutton is descended from Thomas Dutton who with his brother
John came to Worcester, Mass., in 1630. Mr. and Mrs. Dutton succeeded to the Lambert
Woodruff homestead, now occupied by Mr. McIntyre, and resided on that place until about
1867 or '68, when they moved to Cloud County, Kansas, with a family of seven children
where since then they have resided. They were among the first white settlers on the
Republican river where they passed through the trying ordeal of Indian alarms. The
country now is largely settled and greatly improved, chiefly devoted to raising corn and
livestock. During the earliest years of their residence in Kansas their home was the
stopping place for home-seekers going west in "prairie schooners," and they received the
kindliest attention from Mrs. Dutton, which gave to her the name of "mother of emigrants."
Both are still living surrounded by children and grandchildren, Mr. Dutton ninety-one
years old attending quite regularly to his business. Mrs. Dutton is eighty-seven years
old. Both enjoy driving and take long rides when the weather permits.
The School; Some of the Early Teachers; The Cost of the Handsome School Building: -
It is not a meaningless statement to say that the big public school of Wolcott village
where 500 scholars are taught from the primary branches and including the preparatory
courses for college work, is an imposing, handsome building, in all respects a gem. There
is no better public school edifice; that is, one more beautiful or convenient. Its beauty
of architectural lines is greatly enhanced by the most favored of sites which the
structure occupies - its command of the village from high ground sloping in the four
directions to the streets enclosing it and embracing five acres of as beautiful a campus
as a school ever had without an obstruction of any sort to mar its scenic efforts, crossed
by broad promenades leading in four directions between rows of lofty trees and having a
well graded athletic field.
The building was erected in 1895, its cost, including all expenses connected with
clearing the ground, being $27,000. The ground was that which the village already owned,
the site of the old Leavenworth Institute originally the gift of Isaac Leavenworth, the
founder of the Institute.
The building has sixteen lecture and recitation rooms and an auditorium seating one
thousand persons. It is heated by hot air system and lighted by electricity. The library
comprises several hundred volumes of well selected reference works, textbooks and standard
works on history, literature and science and makes a complete working library opened to
students and the public during sessions. The physical and chemical laboratories are fully
equipped with modern apparatus for full and complete courses in practical and experimental
work in each subject.
The school at present employs twelve teachers. Prepares for all courses in college.
Has a State Training Class for teachers, and offers courses in music and painting. In
1901 the Regents gave the school the rank of a high school and the old Leavenworth
Institute now bears the name of "Leavenworth Institute and Wolcott High School."
The Leavenworth Institute building was erected in 1856, one-half of the cost being
defrayed by the Hon. Isaac Leavenworth, who donated the site, and the other half by
subscriptions. The old public hall in the village for several years was in this building.
(See view of this building on page 31. Earlier school history of the village is to be
found on other pages.) The first principal in the Institute was M. J. Slee, and the first
president of the Board of Trustees was Dr. James M. Wilson (see Frontispiece.)
When in 1865 the old public school building was destroyed by fire the Leavenworth Institute and
the Union Free school were consolidated, Nov. 1, 1865 and reorganized as Union Free School
District No. 1 of the towns of Wolcott, Huron and Butler. The new district paid a debt of
the Leavenworth Institute of $250 and refunded $260 to the Leavenworth heirs.
FIRST BOARD OF EDUCATION
On November 4, 1865, the following Board of Education was elected: Dr. James M.
Wilson, Jedediah Wilder, E. N. Plank, J. Talcott, B. F. Peck, Wm. H. Thacker, W. W.
Paddock, T. W. Collins, C. P. Smith, R. Sours, J. S. Roe, L. Millington and R. Matthews.
E. N. Plank was president, W. W. Paddock treasurer, and Chester Dutton secretary and
librarian. This was the first Board of Education of this village.
The first term opened December 12, 1865, with John Teller as principal and Miss Tappan
preceptress. Among later principals of the school were Amos H. Thompson, Professor
Hutton, M. T. Brown, C. T. R. Smith, Jefferson W. Hoag, Professor Baldwin, John T.
Cothran, W. R. Vosburgh, Edward Hayward, E. B. Nichols, John W. Robinson, E. D. Niles, H.
J. Walters, J. W. Fowler, H. N. Tallman and L. H. Chris.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
President, R. H. Watkins, M. D.; Vice-President, Willis M. Stone; Commissioners,
George W. Roe and E. H. Kellogg; Secretary, Joel Fanning. Employees, Alfred Prevost,
Truant Officer; Clark A. Lefever, Janitor.
Academic Department: R. B. Gurley, Principal: mathematics, civics, American history.
Agnes Ford, Preceptress: English, Latin and German.
Sue G. Crafts, Teacher Training Class, Greek, General History.
Carrie H. Bliss, Drawing and Science.
Preparatory Academic: Nellie W. Moses, Preliminary Subjects, Physiology and Physical Geography.
Grammar Department: Carolyn D. Exner, Miss Belle Palmer.
Intermediate Department: Nellie Fosmire, Mrs. Mabel Phillips.
Primary Department: Mabel Lytle, Grace B. Timerson.
Music: L. Pearl Hayner.
A. Wells & Co. formed the co-partnership two years ago to carry on the old established
market which Mr. Albert Wells had been conducting for nearly thirty years. Mr. Wells has
always been engaged in the meat business and is widely known throughout this section of
the county. He has a farm just out of the village and the steer shown in the accompanying
picture is evidence of the kind of stock he raises on that place.
Eben Wilson Newberry began business in Wolcott in September, 1874, undertaking and
hardware, at the corner of Main and Mill streets. In March, 1884, he fitted up the old
Presbyterian church building on the south side of Main street for undertaking and the
furniture business. From 1897 until 1902 he was in the middle west. Then he returned to
Wolcott and is in charged of the undertaking business of his son, E. Merritt Newberry, on
Lake avenue. E. M. Newberry runs the undertaking and furniture business at North Rose
where he is erecting a large building for his business. As soon as it can be arranged E.
M. Newberry will open a furniture store in Wolcott.
E. W. Newberry was born in Huron, N. Y., June 3, 1841, and was educated at Leavenworth
Institute and Falley Seminary. In August, 1862, he enlisted at Huron in Co. D, Ninth N.
Y. V. Heavy Artillery. He was discharged in June, 1865, having served until he was made
prisoner of war in the defences at Washington and the Army of the Potomac. He was
captured at the battle of Monococy July 9, 1864, and was in the rebel prisons nearly eight
months, until he was exchanged near the close of the war, being confined at various places
but a greater part of the time at Dannsville, Va.
Mr. Newberry has been active in the G. A. R. since it was organized and is the
secretary of the Ninth Heavy Artillery Association. He was formerly quite active in
politics and has served as coroner of Wayne county twelve years.
He has two sons and two daughters: J. Myrta of New York city, E. Merritt of North Rose and Mary A. and Bradner F. of Wolcott.
The Palace Hotel was opened April 1, 1905, by Mr. Ira J. Foster, the present
proprietor. Mr. Foster bought the building, the whole upper part of which is occupied by
the hotel. The office occupies part of the ground floor and the other part is rented for
a store. Mr. Foster has secured a central location and caters to commercial trade. He
has conducted a hotel in Wolcott four or five years and understands how to cater to the
wants of the traveling public.
J. A. Murphey's variety store is an illustration of the success a hustling, energetic
man may achieve. From a small beginning Mr. Murphey has built up a business which is one
of the best paying and second to no other of its kind in Wolcott. In this store, packed
to the walls with goods, is to be found most any article which a merchant is able to
handle. Mrs. Murphey who understands trade as well as anyone assists her husband, and to
her much credit is due for the success of the business.
Mr. Murphey's first place of business was in the Northup Block, opened in 1884, where
he handled sewing machines and musical instruments. Then he moved into the next store
(now Knapp's) where two years later he started a variety store. Gradually he added new
lines of goods until his regular stock comprised everything convenient to handle even to
the outfitting of a house. His next move was into the Kenyon Block (now J. S. Sherwood's
store). On April 1, 1895, he bought and moved into the building where he is now located,
which he purchased of the T. W. Johnson estate. Here he has expended considerable money
for improvements, including putting in steam heat and an acetylene gas plant for lighting,
and has room for a big stock of goods. His lines include variety goods and notions,
glassware, house furnishings, crockery, dry goods, groceries, stationery, school supplies
and ladies furnishings.
Mr. Murphey was born in Victory, Cayuga Co., N. Y., October 23, 1854, and was educated
in Red Creek seminary. With that experience in trade which was possible as a traveling
salesman, he began business at Sterling, N. Y., after three years on the road and came
from there to Wolcott in 1884. On December 26, 1878, he married Marion Timerson at
Martville, Cayuga Co., N. Y. Mr. Murphey is active in several fraternal societies in
Wolcott. He has served as senior and junior warden and junior deacon in the Masonic order
and has passed all of the chairs in the Odd Fellows.
Russell's Island lays in the north-west angle of Port Bay outlet into Lake Ontario, on
high rolling ground. The buildings, twenty rods from the shore of both lake and bay, are
sheltered from the winds that come in from the lake by rising ground from which the eye
can sweep miles of water and farm lands. The place, though an island in fact, is
accessible over carriage roads, and contains 260 acres, furnishing to guests of the house
fresh farm, garden and dairy productions. The driving distance to Wolcott - the
postoffice and railroad station - is three miles. The Bay off Russell's landing place is
two miles wide - protected from the winds and currents of the lake by a bar nearly
enclosing it - and penetrates inland nearly three miles like a long, broad river, sweeping
in open curves through famous duck shooting marshes and between headlands, grassy slopes,
timbered bluffs and reaches of cultivated lands opening to view a mile or more from shore.
Russell's Island has been a favorite summer resort for several years, and as a landing
for smugglers before the period of railroads it possesses historic interest. Before the
present proprietor, it was the home and property of Col. Anson Wood. Mr. Eugene Russell
bought it and has conducted it as a resort four summers.
Its comforts indoors are those of home for Mrs. Russell presides in person over that
part of Russell Island. The table she sets does justice to the highest skill in cooking,
and her welcome of guests is cheerful and inviting.
Rowing, croquet, swinging, swimming and driving are pastimes here in midsummer. Open seasons for pickerel and black bass
bring liberal rewards for fishermen; and good perch fishing is to be had at any time of
A bold shore line affords easy and safe sailing in the lake - eastward to Fair Haven or
westward to Great Sodus Bay, each seven miles from Russell's Island.
The shooting season is of prime interest to numerous hunters who come to this
place for sport of that sort. Mallards and Black ducks are shot on the marshes at the
head of the bay, while Butterballs, Canvass Back and Redheads swarm the open waters at the
Spring water on the island is sweet, cool and abundant. Mr. Russell takes personal
interest in looking after his guests, and they appreciate his attentions. Those who
notify him of their coming before hand he will meet at the trains at Wolcott with
conveyance. Correspondence (addressed Eugene Russell, Port Bay, via Wolcott, N. Y.) will
be promptly attended to.
Smugglers at Port Bay; Shooting of a Canadian and Like Casualty to Wayne County Man;
Casks of Spirits Carried Back Country and Bartered to Buyers in Hay Barns: -
The coves and bluffs outside and inside of the bar closing Port Bay are "historic
spots." The shooting of Old Delbrook, a Canadian adventurer, early in the last century,
occurred inside of the bay where the west shore line curves toward the outlet, a few rods
north from Russell's boat landing.
The revenue officers coming up from the lake on the opposite side of the summit fired into the darkness below.
Delbrook's party got into the willows opposite Beaver Head to which they crossed the following night with the wounded
man and before morning had him safe in an outhouse in the eastern outskirts of Wolcott village. But the man died.
BODY FOUND IN BUSHES
A well known farmer of Wolcott lost his life in about the same manner, except that he
was left in the bushes before the boats had crossed to Beaver Head, where his body was
afterwards found and buried.
SMUGGLERS' ROADS FOR ESCAPE
Along the east side of Russell Island was a heavy fringe of willows, a covered way for
The bar covered with brush afforded another passage between the two shores of the bay
where good sprinters in the darkness of night could escape pursuit.
Revenue officers never ran very hard or very far on such occasions, for escaping smugglers (very common-place and
innocent looking farmers in the daytime) were dangerous when cornered on such missions.
The officers had their salary to earn; the farmer ran for his life - liberty and
property. Under such circumstances no one can doubt which party was the winner in those
midnight skirmishes and pursuits.
LANDING PLACES FOR WHISKEY
Paths from all directions crossing the country miles back of the bay converged at
Beaver Head and on the shores opposite on each side of the bay. C. W. Smith's summer
cottage occupies the place on the east shore of the bay where contraband whiskey was
landed and transferred to some one's shoulders.
Traces of the landing over on the west
side are now faintly seen in a clump of bushes and trees. Willows cover the Beaver Head
CASKS CARRIED ON MEN'S SHOULDERS
Through some sort of free-masonry the sons and sires of Wayne and Cayuga counties of a
century ago, got wind of the hour set for landing a cargo - always at night; and towards
morning they would appear - after the schooner had tripped anchor. The casks in the
meantime had been quickly stowed in the dark recesses of the shore. And by approaching
twilight they might be seen borne away in several directions on the shoulders of lusty
fellows who, one by one, were stealing home with their booty. Many an innocent looking
hay barn was the "trade room" for bartering concealed spirits several miles away from the
lake. Every expedient that could be devised to insure secrecy was adopted. Many
expedients were necessary to get "the goods" ashore. Immense profits were awaiting those
who got the casks and contents safely into a hiding place at home, and so they took bold
and desperate chances.
Port Bay and East Bay were made for rendezvous as circumstances dictated. But many of
the best families were engaged in carrying off smuggled goods, and so for thirty and forty
years beginning the last century smuggling at these points was a part of the honest
yeoman's duties; and all classes either had a hand or winked at it.
Destructive Fires - In 1871, the night of April 13th, a fire broke out in the building
on the present site of Paddock's hardware store and swept pretty much through the entire
north side of Main street. Some of the business men were buying goods in New York and
were wired to come home.
In 1874 a large amount of property was destroyed by fire.
On July 20, 1875, eight business blocks, from the Wolcott house to the Arcade block,
were burned. The loss was about $12,000.
On November 11, 1879, that old landmark, "the Arcade," was burned. It was owned by
the Presbyterian church and was leased for stores.
On February 10, 1884, eight business blocks, including the Empire Block, were burned
dispossessing twenty-three business concerns and fourteen families. The loss was about
On February 19, 1887, the Campbell block was burned.
J.G. STRAIT'S COAL AND LUMBER OFFICES, ELEVATOR AND YARDS. (Smith, Photo)
THE PADDOCK HARDWARE BUSINESS, W.H. PADDOCK, PROPRIETOR. (Smith, Photo)
CAMPBELL & GREEN BLOCK, CORNER MAIN ST. AND LAKE AVE. (Smith, Photo)
SOPHER & WOLVEN'S MARKET (Smith, Photo)
THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Smith, Photo)
THE HIGH SCHOOL ORCHESTRA (Smith, Photo)
Lower Row (left to right): - Earll Brown, Leon Bidwell, Theda Doud, Pearl Hayner, Mrs. Leon
Strait, Arthur Fish, Claud Mitchel. Upper Row: Ned Kellogg, Porter Brockway, Halsey Lovejoy,
Clayton Seaver, Prof. R.B. Gurley.
Left to Right: - Joel Fanning, George S. Roe, Dr. R.H. Watkins, Edward Kellogg. Standing: Wm. Stone.
LEAVENWORTH INSTITUTE AND WOLCOTT HIGH SCHOOL (Smith, Photo)
GRADUATING CLASS, WOLCOTT HIGH SCHOOL, 1905
Ladies (left to right): - Mary Newberry, Ella Bird, Grace Seeley, Bessie Merrill, Cecil Horton, Jennie
Loveless. Gentlemen: Earll Brown, Earll Horton, John Taylor, George Catchpole, Leon Bidwell, Willis Rathbun.
[NOTE: Names are spelled "Earll" in the original; not a typo.]
A. WELLS & CO.'S MEAT MARKET (Smith, Photo)
THE PALACE HOTEL, IRA J. FOSTER, PROPRIETOR (Smith, Photo)
MR. AND MRS. J.A. MURPHEY
MURPHEY'S VARIETY STORE
RUSSELL'S ISLAND, PORT BAY, LOOKING OVER THE GROUNDS FROM THE BAY LANDING. (Smith, Photo)
PORT BAY, LOOKING OVER BAY AND LAKE, NORTH FROM EAST ROAD ON THE HILL. (Smith, Photo)
[Note: This picture is a panorama showing Russell Island, Outlet, Bar, Deseborough Park.]
Typed by Kathleen H. Simmons. Kathleen has been contributing to this site for
the past few years, both as a donor of material and volunteer. Her information and photos about the Wykle
and related families were the first large family donation that Wayne County GenWeb received. Kathleen is also the author of
"Spanish-American War Veterans From Nebraska," which came out in 2000, and can be ordered from Willow Bend Books.
This is a 414 page book, alphabetical listing of many, many veterans, with index! Description - A compilation of material from the microfilm record of service card file
located at the State Historical Society in Lincoln, Neb. and from the book "The Roster of Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Who Served
in the War of Rebellion, Spanish-American War and World War" published in Lincoln in 1925.
For information about individuals, businesses and organizations mentioned on this page, please direct all inquiries to the Office of the County Historian.
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