The high toned "upper ten," the well-to-do and well-known town people were scattered broadcast over the city and its suburbs. The young city then being bounded by North, high and Jefferson streets, Buffalo Creek and Niagara River. There was no so-called "West End" or assumed aristocratic quarter; Black Rock, Cold Springs, Buffalo Plains, Little Normandy, "The Hydraulics" and Clintonville, were not then within the boundaries of the City of Buffalo, as now. Among the residents of those outlying suburban villages, or hamlets, lived many of the prominent citizens of the town as distinguished from the city. The leading or well-known people lived in all parts of the city and town, wherever they had purchased farm lots, located property or their interests were centered. They gathered for social entertainment, weddings, or at church or funerals, from all quarters; from Main street, Pearl, Franklin, Washington, Niagara, Clinton, Eagle, Swan, Seneca, Crow, Elk, Ellicott, Oak, Huron, Mohawk, Chippewa, Genesee, Tupper and Delaware Streets and the Terrace, which covered pretty much all the nomenclature of the residence streets in those days.
General Peter B. PORTER, once Secretary of War, and one of the commissioners on the part of the United States in conjunction with the commissioners of Great Britain, to locate and define the boundary line between the Canadas and the United States and the Northwest Territories, with Col. Wm A. BIRD, his associate, acting on that same commission, who did by their personal and persistent efforts and diplomacy with the British representatives in the commission, successfully obtain and preserve to the State of New York, our "Grand Island" in Niagara River. The commission also had in its employ Major Andrew ELLICOTT, the brother and assistant of Joseph ELLICOTT, the engineers and surveyors of Buffalo. Gen'l PORTER was also the first president of the newly constructed Niagara Falls Rail Road, and Col. BIRD its first Vice-President [of which Geo P. STEVENSON was its Secretary and Treasurer.] *Gen'l PORTER lived at Black Rock, corner of Ferry Street. Where subsequently lived until his death, this year, Col. Lewis F. ALLEN, a long time resident here, dying at ninety years of age; he was uncle to President Grover CLEVELAND. Col. BIRD lived south of the corner of Ferry Street. Captains Asa and Robert HART, John D. HARTY, James HAGGART, Harry THOMPSON, Absalom BULL, Samuel F. GELSTON, Geo. KINGMAN, Stephen W. HOWELL, and others, dwelt in Black Rock. Captain Wm. T. MILLER, William and Benjamin HODGE, Gen'l Lewis EATON, Col. VAN DEVENTER, and Deacon Abner BRYANT lived on their farms near Cold Springs on Main Street.
The GRANGER family lived on their large farm at and beyond the Cold Springs and through which Scajauquady Creek passes; this farm, which was the most romantic and picturesque piece of ground naturally, within our present city domain, and topographically the best suited to the purposes for which it is now used. The farm has been absorbed with other lands to create and make our beautiful "Forest Lawn" and "The Park."
John T. BUSH, once our State senator, had his office here, but lived in Tonawanda.
The DODGE family lived on what is now Best Street, opposite "North Street Cemetery." The homestead place now belongs to the city, prospectively intended for use as a storage reservoir for our water supply of one hundred and twenty-five million gallons.
Oliver G. STEELE and Warren BRYANT were on Clinton Street, then a short street, now a quite important one, reaching far into the country.
Judge Philander BENNETT was on Eagle Street, in a large old stone mansion. I think the very last on the street with extensive grounds about it. It has recently been purchased of his heirs and converted into a public park.
On Eagle Street also lived wm. LOVERING, Sr., John LAY, Jr., Geo. B. WALBRIDGE, Chas. H. BRAMHALL, and on the corner of Ellicott, Rushmore Poole, in one of the then fashionable city blocks, all occupied by nice people. On the southeast corner lived at various times in those early years, Morgan L. FAULKNER, E.L. STEVENSON and Cyrenius C. BRISTOL. East Swan Street was devoted to the several PRATT families, who filled a considerable place in the affairs of Buffalo, e'en to the present day. There were also on that street, Orlando ALLEN; his abandoned old homestead remains, but evidently decaying rapidly, as the surrounding property is being occupied for business purposes. Deacon Joseph STOCKING, Roswell W. HASKINS, Joseph DART, Thomas FARNHAM, and others, all locally historical, time-honored people. The high storied brick block on the northeast corner of Swan and Oak Streets, was built in the flush times of '36 and known as the "Hempsted & Keeler Block;" they were then considered fashionable, palatial, first class city houses, where lived Henry HAGER, John G. DODGE, Mrs. Laura DAVIS, Captain Morris HAZARD, and others. In one of these houses in '40 lived, when he was Mayor, Joseph G. MASTEN. He gave there a large elegant evening party as the "Mayor's Party," then a custom, as it was also a custom for the Mayor to keep "open house" to all callers, with a bountifully spread table on New Year's day. Near seneca Street on Ellicott Street, lived Aaron RUMSEY. Seneca Street was quite an important one for residences. here lived Russell H. HEYWOOD, our first President of the "Board of Trade," and who held other honorable offices. Major John G. CAMP, a most popularly known citizen and of handsome soldierly appearance, Margaret ST. JOHN, widow of gamaliel, Doctor Thomas M. FOOTE, United States Minister to Bogota, General Lucius STORRS, General Nelson RANDALL, Commodore Stephen CHAMPLIN, William FISKE, William KETCHUM, James MCKNIGHT, Elisha A. and Robert H. MAYNARD, John B. FLAGG, John BUSH, Henry LOVEJOY, and other well-known citizens.
At the Hydraulics on the "Grosvenor Place," Reuben B. HEACOCK, in a fine large stone mansion. At Clintonville, Seth H. HEACOCK, James DURICK; way out on Elk Street, which really did not seem as far away, in the thirties as now, were domiciled Augustus C. and George A. MOORE; the family of Mr. A.C. MOORE, since his death, have migrated from that southern extremity of the city, to the northern, near the Park, a distance of about five miles, but not out of the same city. On Elk Street were also Doctor John W. CLARK, The COATSWORTHS, William J. MACK, and Theodore COBURN. On the Terrace, near seneca Street, was the ornate cottage of Col. W.F.P. TAYLOR; at the south corner of Swan Street and the terrace once lived Captain Harry WHITTAKER. At the junction of Swan and Franklin Streets, where now stands the "Catholic Building,: or "St. Stephen's Hall," was the house of Col. Ira A. BLOSSOM; he was the agent of the Holland Land Company; his house stood on lot one hundred and two of the Company's village plat. At the foot of Swan Street, a little to the north and west of Col. BLOSSOM's house, on the brow of the Terrace, stood one of the earliest and most known, district school houses. Some of the boys and girls yet remain with us, who attended that school in the early thirties, but they are mostly gone over to the majority. Where now are St. Joseph's Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace, Chapel and Residence, was the handsome home and gardens of George B. WEBSTER. Quite recently Bishop RYAN has built for his own occupancy and use an elegant palace and chapel on upper Delaware Avenue. Referring to the Cathedral, which now occupies the Webster grounds, I fancy few of our people are aware of the treasures it contains. Without going into detail as to its stained windows and paintings, it has, smothered in its diminutive tower or steeple, the chimes which were awarded the first premium at the World's Exhibition at Paris in 1867. And in its organ loft, the great "Hook" Organ which was exhibited at the "Centennial" at Philadelphia in 1876.
On the lower side of the Terrace, now Sixth Street, near Genesee Street, lived W.L.G. SMITH, Harlow S. LOVE, Silas MANVILLE, Mahlon KINGMAN. At the corner of Main Street, on Crow Street, opposite the old "Mansion," was the dwelling and flower garden [open to view] of the venerable Count Louis Le Couteulx de Caumont; a gentleman par excellence in cultivation, reputation, manners and dress. On the corner of Crow and Washington Streets dwelt Jacob A. BARKER. On Crow or Exchange Street were Nehemiah CASE, Daniel G. MARCY, Clarence SHEPARD. Tracing Washington Street upwards Albert HAYDEN, Geo. W. ALLEN, Mrs. James SHELDON [mother of the late Judge James SHELDON], Robert HOLLISTER; above Seneca Street, where now is the Coal and Iron Exchange, were Cyrus ATHERAN, and Jacob S. MILLER dwelling and livery. he was the father of our enterprising livery proprietor Charles W. MILLER. On the corner of Swan Street Dr. Austin FLINT; southeast corner of South Division Street Elijah d. EFNER; northeast corner John w. BEALS, of the firm of Wilkeson, Beals & Co., proprietors of the Orazaba Iron Works. He was the father of Edward P. BEALS and his brothers. North of Mr. BEALS were two of the city style of dwellings then popular; in one of which lived Wm. A. THOMPSON and his two brothers, all bachelors, in what was then thought pretentious style. They were hardware dealers; Scotchmen. In winter Wm. A. wore a "sugar loaf" shaped, otter fur cap without visor; which was unusual, and of course attracted attention in a small place. He was a man of fine appearance, with haughty but condescending manners. The young men about town dubbed him the "Duke of Argyle." He failed in business; retired into Canada; became a prominent man there, particularly in the projection and construction of the Canada Southern Railway. Was elected to the Provincial Parliament. He died at Queenston on Niagara River.
Facing Main Street, on Washington, stood the building of the old "Niagara Bank," which a few years later was taken down to open North Division Street. On and near the corners of that street lived James C. EVANS, widow Letitia EVANS, Wm. A. EVANS, Charles W. EVANS, Lewis E. and John R. EVANS; in fact pretty much all the EVANS family, who have ever been identified with the interests and business of Buffalo. Here were also [connected with them] Mr. Augustus RAYNOR and Samuel CARY, a consistent plain old-fashioned Quaker, who would not purchase any but free labor sugars.
North of the corner of North Division Street was what might then have been called a handsome brick dwelling, built by Dr. Josiah TROWBRIDGE, in 1817, afterwards occupied by Pierre A. BARKER, our Mayor in 1838, succeeding Dr. TROWBRIDGE in that office, as well as his house. Subsequently the house was occupied by Alanson ROBINSON, and then for many years by Edward L. STEVENSON, and recently by the "City Club."
Next above, on the corner of Eagle Street, is the solid brick house built by Isaac Kibbe shortly after the war with Great Britain, say about 1816, known as the "Kibbe House;" long afterwards and for may years the home of Doctor Charles WINNE. Above Eagle Street lived Elijah FORD and Nathaniel WILGUS. Above them was built, in 1836, by Noyes DARROW, the "Darrow Block," then considered a palatial block, equalling the fine blocks of New York city in grandeur, on Broadway "above Bleecker;" [in those days the line of demarcation between the commonality and the upper strata of society, and where the parvenu first sought to locate]. The cost of these houses was said to have been $17,000 each; a fearfully expensive dwelling, particularly for renting purposes in those days; some of our most fashionable people occupied them then. They still exist, in a transition state, between dwellings and business houses. One of them was occupied in the thirties by Albert H. TRACY; another by Henry M. KINNE. For many years two of them were occupied by Miss Clara CUTLER as a private boarding house; she and the house are worthy of being mentioned in these records. It was a favorite place for first-class young men and for gentlemen and their wives. Neatness and good order prevailed; the living was good. Miss CUTLER was a lady of whom her guests were fond, and she had a good moral influence over the young men and they all liked her home. On that same ground previously stood, in the young thirties and prior to that, our first County Jail, inclosed within palisades of sharp-pointed logs about eight inches in diameter and twelve feet high. I suppose to prevent people breaking in. In this jail were incarcerated the three Thayers, so well known in our local history, who were hung for the murder of John LOVE.
Above the Darrow Block was the rough-cast, ornate cottage of Noyes DARROW. On the corner of Clinton and Washington Streets, now occupied by the French Church, was a rough-cast two-story building, gable end towards the street, the land office of "The Holland Land Company." On the north corner of the "Batavia Road" [Broadway] where stands the Buffalo Savings Bank, was the early built brick mansion known as the "Harrison House," built by the father of the late James C. HARRISON. It was occupied by Sheldon THOMPSON, later by Lester BRACE. Farther up Washington, near Mohawk Street, lived Samuel K. KIP, E. Fitch SMITH, and George W. HOUGHTON, all lawyers; on the corner of Mohawk, Squire Harry SLADE; beyond him, Jonathan SIDWAY, a wealthy land-holder, the father of Franklin and Jonathan SIDWAY. On the opposite side lived John and George A.H. PATTERSON. Farther up Washington Street, near Tupper and Goodell Streets, were the houses of George PALMER, a prominent man in the community in his time, and if I be correct, the first President of the Buffalo and State Line Railroad, part of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern system. Near by, Jabez GOODELL. Skipping over to Tupper Street, at the head of Pearl Street, was the cottage of Col. Alanson PALMER, which now and for many years has been the home of Philo B. EATON. From there scattered, along down Pearl Street were Henry COLTON, Lyman DUNBAR, Judge Horatio J. STOW, Isaac T. HATHAWAY, Samuel W. HAWES, Elias GREEN, Garrett S. HOLLENBECK, Hamlet SCRANTON, a gay bachelor, cashier of the Commercial Bank, who kept house in good style at the corner of Huron Street. He went from here to Rochester, and after a time became Mayor of that city. Daniel F. KIMBALL lived on the opposite corner. Silas HEMINGWAY, Capt. Chas. GARDNER, Sylvester CHAMBERLAIN; Sidney BALL also lived on Pearl Street. The Harrington Block on the corner of Pearl and Court Streets were fashionable dwellings. Between Court and Niagara Streets, on Pearl Street, lived Rufus C. PALMER, Doctor C.C. HADDOCK, Col. Nathaniel VOSBURGH, Doctor Wm. K. SCOTT and General Sylvester MATTHEWS. Below Niagara Street lived General Heman B. POTTER, Doctor John E. MARSHALL; Doctor Bryant BURWELL in the same house where now lives his son, Doctor George N. BURWELL, fifty years later. at the corner of Pearl and Swan Streets, Doctor Moses BRISTOL; at the corner of Erie and Pearl Streets, Silas A. FOBES, father of W. Dana FOBES. From this point to the Terrace on Pearl Street lived George COIT, George R. KIBBE, Henry R. SEYMOUR, William HOLLISTER, Oliver FORWARD, Stephen K. GROSVENOR, Gurdon C. COIT; on the east corner of Seneca Street, Widow Rebecca WHEELER, who kept there a wonderfully good pension, whose daughters were then and subsequently married to well-known citizens, viz: George W. BULL, Loomis LYMAN, George MCKNIGHT, Mrs. MCKNIGHT afterwards married James W. SANFORD; Charles M. HOPKINS married the youngest daughter, Kate WHEELER; Mrs. WHEELER had a son, Fred WHEELER who was the commander of our popular lake steamer, St. Louis. At this establishment boarded, in those early years, a number of our well-known citizens, such as Gibson T. WILLIAMS and the late William LAVCRACK, Judge James M. SMITH, and others. On the southeast corner William WILLIAMS, the druggist, who with his wife, died on the same day of cholera, in '40. Next south of Mr. WILLIAMS lived Martin DALY, in a costly house for those days; then followed Stephen CLARK, Daniel M. HODGES, and in the last dwelling on Pearl Street near the Terrace, John B. MACY.
On West Swan Street were Doctor Cyrenius CHAPIN and Thadius WOOD; Mrs. WEED a daughter of Doctor CHAPIN; and, if I be correct in my statements, the oldest living person today native to Buffalo, and is upwards of ninety years of age. I saw her not long since, this year 1890, walking down Main Street, as erect as any queen! She is the mother of Hobart WEED and of the late DeWitt C. WEED.
At the junction of Swan and Erie Streets lived Samuel N. CALLENDER; the frame house is still there, like as it was, more than fifty years ago, and but recently was the home of his widow.
On Niagara Street, between Main and Pearl, in the "Kremlin Block," lived Judge William B. ROCHESTER, father of Paymaster General William B. ROCHESTER, U.S.A. [retired in 1890]. Judge ROCHESTER was the President of the United States [branch] Bank. He was a dignified gentleman, highly esteemed; at one time a candidate for Governor of the State. He was lost at sea from the ship "Pulaski" when she was wrecked and burned off Capt Hatteras, while on a voyage from New Orleans. The writer remembers hearing at the time, that he nobly sacrificed his life to save others. The following verses are from a lengthy poem, written by W.H.C. HOSMER of Avon, New York, in which he alludes feelingly to the loss of the lamented ROCHESTER:
The other occupants of the "Kremlin," on Niagara Street, were Erastus SPARROW, John LANGDON and William R.L. WARD. From Pearl Street down as far as our octant Square, were the residences of Johnathan MAYHEW, Benjamin FOWLER, Mrs. BARENT, I. STATTS, Isaac W. SKINNER, and Doctor Henry R. STAGG. On and around Niagara Square; Stephen G. AUSTIN built and lived in the house where now resides his daughter, the wife of Truman G. AVERY, her birth place. Next house west, corner of Delaware Avenue, was built by general Heman B. POTTER, a prominent lawyer; after the deaths of the General and his widow, it was occupied by George R. BABCOCK, whose wife was a daughter of General POTTER; another daughter married the Hon. Mr. GRANT, M.C., of Oswego. It was an old pun, that Mrs. POTTER, not satisfied with what we at home could produce in the way of young men, although we were well stocked with good material, must needs obtain a "Grant" from Congress to marry her daughter.
The old time mansion on the west side of the Square, was built early in the century [as its facade of tall pillars show], by Judge Samuel WILKESON, who was one of the stalwart characters of the town in the days we are now writing of; one of our earliest Mayors. Was at one time President of the "American Colonization Society." His son John, an octogenarian, still lives at the old homestead with his daughter, where he must have passed the greater part of his life. To the writer it was always an attractive old place and home of refinement. The place and its people are one of the few remaining links connecting us with the past of fifty years ago.
I must here add, in just testimony to this family, my grateful tribute to them for their public spirit as citizens, their self-sacrificing patriotism and love of home and country, which they one and all seem to have borne in their various careers, and demonstrated, from grandsire to the present generation, and which the records of the Great Rebellion will fully testify. I depart from my usual role in writing these memories to mention in detail their family record as connected with the late war:
A son of Judge WILKESON, Samuel WILKESON, Jr., who died in 1889, was the very graphic war correspondent of the "New York Times" during the Rebellion. I remember his pathetic, vivid description of the battle of Gettysburg, Pa., in 1863, when on July 1st his gallant son, Brevet Lieut.-Colonel Bayard WILKESON, of the Fourth artillery, U.S.A., while in command of "G" Company of that Regiment was killed.
Another son, Lieutenant Frank WILKESON of the Fourth Artillery, was until recently, Assistant Editor of the "New York Times," and a brillant writer.
Henry R. STAGG, a grandson of Judge WILKESON, was a Colonel in Ullman's Brigade during the war.
Brevet Captain John W. WILKESON of "Company K," One Hundredth Regiment, N.Y. Volunteers [the "Buffalo Board of Trade" Regiment], a son of John WILKESON, was killed at the battle of "Fair Oaks," Va., May 31st, 1862.
Another son, Colonel Samuel H. WILKESON, was in the Twenty-First N.Y. Volunteers, the first Buffalo regiment, and in the Eleventh N.Y. Cavalry; was also Assistant Inspector General of the Cavalry Division, Dept. of the Gulf, in 1864,
William WILKESON, son of Eli R. WILKESON, was a private in a Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment.
Hugh JOHNSON, grandson of Judge WILKESON, was in the Twenty-First Regiment N.Y. Volunteers, and Fifth U.S. Infantry.
Another grandson, brother of the preceding, Captain Tellico JOHNSON, was in a Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment of Infantry.
Is not this a noble record for one family?
On the northwest corner of delaware Avenue and the Square is the house built by Henry H. SIZER; his daughter, whose birth place it is, resides there; she is the wife of Col. Albert BARNARD. On the opposite corner resided Albert H. TRACY. The house was moved down Niagara Street [and converted into a Parsonage of the Unitarian Society for the use of the Rev. Dr. Geo. W. HOSMER], which gave place for the present structure, built for James HOLLISTER; and which was subsequently sold to President FILLMORE, where he and his widow resided until their deaths. At the northeast corner of the Square lived Stephen OSBORN [Government Agent for the Seneca Tribe of Indians], and Hezekiah A. SALISBURY, one of the original proprietors of the Buffalo Commercial; the old house is still standing in that very central location. Where is now our "Free Collegiate High School" lived General David BURT [father of Henry W. BURT, cashier of the German American Bank]; the house forms a part of the present school building. At this house General BURT entertained the venerable John Quincy ADAMS, "the old man eloquent," when here in a late year of his life. On the corner of Court Street, west side of Niagara Square, lived Phineas BARTON and Robinson MOREHEAD. On Niagara Street, near Georgia, was the pretty cottage owned by James D. SHEPARD, it was known as "The SHEPARD Cottage;" opposite it lived Samuel A. BIGELOW, and on the corner of Virginia Street Samuel CALDWELL. On Eagle Street, west of Franklin, were Elias A. BRADLEY, Oliver BUGBEE and Harry DAW, and at the corner of the Terrace, later, Gibson T. WILLIAMS.
The Franklin Street residents incompletely detailed in the order in which I name them, from down to up-town, were Horatio SHUMWAY, John HICKS, Richard SEARS, Dr. H.N. LOOMIS, John R. LEE, Joseph CLARY, Judge Thomas C. LOVE, James J. BALDWIN, Judge James MULLETT, Judge Nathan K. HALL, Millard FILLMORE, John NEWMAN [father of W.H.H. NEWMAN], Robert GILLESPIE, Hiram PERCE, Capt. James M. LUNDY, John LAMB, Edwin ROSE and others not recalled. On Church Street lived Birdseye WILCOX, Israel P. SEARS, Hiram BARTON; at the northwest corner of Delaware Avenue James L. BARTON; on Mohawk Street were Dan Bristol, James DEMAREST; and below Delaware in the "Kissam Block," Rev. George W. HOSMER.
On Huron Street, near Delaware, lived Joseph g. NORTON and horace CLARK, On this street was built, early in the thirties, the row of brick houses known as the "BOYD & BULL Block;" they are not much changed; in the corner house lived Captain george W. FLOYD; in the same block Charles HEQUEMBOURG.
On lower Delaware Street were Walter JOY, Jerry RADCLIFFE, Silas SAWIN, John FLEEHARTY.
On Delaware Street, above the Square, were very few houses. On the east side below Mohawk was the cottage of C.C. BRISTOL; the house on the northwest corner of Chippewa, recently occupied by the "Buffalo Club," was built in '35 by Philander HODGE, a costly house, finished elaborately with rosewood doors and highly ornamented stuccoed ceilings; the house later, was occupied by aaron D. PATCHIN, and still later by John S. GANSON. On the opposite corner Alexander A. EVSTAPHIEVE built in '36 the English basement house, which is now owned by E. Carleton SPRAGUE. A little above the Hodge Mansion, where the home of S.S. JEWETT now stands, a short street was laid out [afterwards discontinued], on which was built a handsome brick dwelling, facing south; its rear walls are now [as I remember], part of the rear walls of the dwelling owned by Mrs. William H. DEPEW on JOHNSON Place; built for Charles B. LORD, to place in it one of the handsomest brides that ever came to Buffalo. On the east side of Delaware, north of Chippewa, George HUBBARD built and lived in a two-story brick house which now belongs to Mrs. Gibson F. HOWARD. On the west side again, we come to the
This house was built early in the thirties, about 1834; Doctor JOHNSON adopted the style of an Italian villa; it was rather more carefully built and more ornate at first, but it was almost entirely destroyed by fire, leaving little more than the outer walls; subsequently it was restored, but the effect of its first picturesqueness was injured by the indifferent manner of its reconstruction. The interior has been much changed from what it was when first built; then, the apartments on the main floor, when in ordinary use, were divided, but for receptions and grand occasions the rooms of almost the entire main floor could with facility be transformed practically into one large drawing room, the central part of which reached up to the stained glass dome, which gave a unique effect to the whole interior. The surroundings of the house, also, are far different from what they were; then, Delaware Avenue was a broad country road, green with native trees, undergrowth and grass. The house standing as it does near the front, but alone in its glory, with extensive grounds, possible twenty-five or thirty acres, mostly surrounded by high picket fences, a part of it given up for a special park, through the fences of which could plainly be seen the glancing antlers of a herd of deer. In the rear grounds was a beautiful grove of handsome trees and beneath them a pond fed by springs, stocked with fish; swan floating on it, and with a boat house, etc. The walks, nooks and dells were cultivated in rustic semi-wild condition. The picketed front fences were relieved by large high gate posts, arched over the tops, the most southerly gate leading down a long lane or driveway to the rear grounds; the others around by a drive to the front of the mansion, where on the broad steps several carriages could discharge their guests at the same time. Directly in front was a broad walk to the entrance gate, on either side of which in
a semi-circle fence, stood a large willow, seemingly as guardians of the place; one of these trees was destroyed during a cyclone a few years since, and the other having become gnarled and unsightly was hewn down.
During the decade of the thirties a person standing in Delaware Street facing this house, could plainly see on the ridge of ground to the northwest the mansion built by Pierre A. BARKER, now the residence of Franklin SIDWAY, and also to the right of it the house of Israel T. HATCH, where he resided many years, now the home of John S. NOYES; intermediate were but few objects to obstruct the view. Looking down "Delaware" there were but few scattered houses to interfere with the overlook to the bay.
When this place was being constructed, the people of whom the greater number lived down town, were frequent visitors to it, inspecting its progress; it was an excursion of a Sunday to walk up town so far, to view it, and when finished it was as "Johnson's Cottage" the attractive show place of the town, and of our first Mayor.
There is a lady now living on "Johnson Park," Mrs. horace UTLEY - a daughter of Doctor Ebenezer JOHNSON, who was born in the "Cottage" when he resided there.
Nothing to the north of this cottage until you came to the large old mansion, built in 1835, and in which lived Sextus SHEARER. This was the end of Delaware Street, beyond which was a straggling country road, but very little used. On the road near the Ferry Road [now Ferry Street], lived a well known Buffalonian, Henry P. RUSSELL. The SHEARER house stands on the corner of allen Street; in the thirties Mr. SHEARER was an enterprising hardware merchant, did business on Main Street, below the bridge at No. 84 [old number]. He moved from here to St. Louis and after he was sixty studied law, was admitted to and practiced at the bar. Since Mr. SHEARER lived there it has undergone many changes and owners; it was at one time the Catholic Seminary of the "Sacred Heart." The daughter of President Fillmore was a student at this school. The place has been owned at different times by Joseph CHRISTOPHER, Hiram NILES, S.N. DERRICK, Stephen D. CALDWELL, and more recently by George B. GATES, where his widow and their daughter now reside.
On Cottage Street, where now lives David F. DAY, was the dwelling of Judge Henry K. SMITH.
On Chippewa Street, west of delaware, at the head of Morgan Street lived Benoni THOMPSON; his widow now lives there. On Genesee, junction of Mohawk Street, lived Nelson ROBINSON, of the banking firm of Robinson, Waring & Co., and Philo DURFEE; and on Genesee below Niagara Square lived Elbridge G. SPAULDING.
I have no doubt omitted the places of residence of a number of the prominent citizens of Buffalo of the thirties, but these are the recollections of a youngster of fifty years ago. I purposely omitted the old residents of Main Street in order that I might give them to the reader in another chapter.
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