Genesee County Time Line
By Susan L. Conklin,
County Historian
                       
1797.jpg1779                       
  • Big Tree Treaty with the Senecas provided clear title for the developmentof land and settlements in Western New York
  • LeRoy's first settler, Charles Wilbur from Rhode Island arrived

1798

  • Stafford's first place of business was the Transit Storehouse which was built of logs by James Brisbane

1801

  • First school within Genesee County was built (LeRoy)
  • First saw mill in Batavia was constructed
  • First settlement in what is now Oakfield was made on the site of an ancient Indian Village
1802
  • (March 30) Genesee County and Town of Batavia were established
  • First church service held west of the Genesee River was conducted by the Episcopal Church in LeRoy

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1803

  • First Courthouse built west of the Genesee River was constructed

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1807

  • First of seven public execution by hanging was conducted for murder

1807.jpg1810

  • Holland Land Company sold it's Pre-Emption rights to the Seneca Reservation to the Ogden Land Company

1811

  • First library in Genesee County was formed (Alexander)

1812

  • Towns of Alexander, Bethany, LeRoy and Pembroke were formed

1813

  • Town of Bergen was formed

1815

  • Holland Land Office was built
  • Pavilion's first tavern opened

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1816

  • Arsenal was built after the War of 1812 to protect this region
  • Eight springs were discovered in Alabama having healing properties and a health spa operated during the 19th century.The water was bottled and shipped worldwide

  

1820

Towns of Byron, Elba and Stafford were formed

Federal Censes list 19 males and 14 female salves in Genesee County

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1823

  • Village of Batavia was incorporated

1824

  • Byron Library Society was organized
  • Elba's first shoe and boot making business opened at Daws Corners

1825

  • Gypsum was discovered in Oakfield 

1826

  • Town of Alabama was formed
  • Genesee County Home and Infirmary came into existence and was ready for use in 1827 

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              William Morgan's disappearance fueled 
              the anti-Masonic sentiments throughout
              the Northeast

 

 

 

 

 1828

  • Ely Samuel Parker, Seneca sachem, engineer and soldier was born near Indian Falls (Pembroke). During the Civil War Parker was General Grant's military secretary at Appomattox. The surrender documents are in Parker's writing.1828.jpg

1829

  • First bank west of the Genesee River was the Bank of Genesee, later known as the Genesee Trust which still functions in Batavia as part of the M&T Bank
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1832

  • Town of Darien was formed

1834

  • Villages of Alexander and LeRoy were incorporated

1836

  • Train service began when the Tonawanda Railroad reached Bergen. It was the farthest west the railroad had been built in New York State.1836.jpg
1837
  • LeRoy Female Seminary was founded and was chartered as Ingham University in 1857, the first university for women in the United States
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1840

  • Genesee County Agricultural Society was formed and the first Genesee County Fair was held in Alexander
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1841

  • Construction for the second Courthouse for Genesee County began and was placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks in 1973

 1841

1842

  • Towns of Oakfield and Pavilion were formed
  • Second ("Compromise") Treaty of Buffalo Creek was signed; Tonawanda Senecas split from the rest of the Seneca Nation

1843

  • Cary Collegiate Seminary opened (Oakfield)

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1844

  • Manufacturing of carriages began in Darien
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1852

  • Dean Richmond moved to Batavia and is credited for consolidating several small railroads that stretched from Albany to Buffalo to form the New York Central Railroad

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1854

  • Morganville Pottery produced mostly drain tile and flower pots also made glazed wares which are valuable collectibles and on display in museums - site was excavated in 1973 by Rochester Museum of Science. (Stafford)

1857

  • Treaty at Tonawanda Reservation was signed

1866

  • Oakfield's Town Clerk's Office was destroyed by a fire which swept away all of the records of the town from it's organization to that time

1868

  • Village of Corfu was incorporated
  • Construction for the New York State School for the Blind which was established in part as a response to the needs of soldiers blinded during the Civil War

1868

1873

  • Mineral Spring water was discovered in Darien

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1876

  • Wiard Plow industry arrived in Batavia and by 1954, when it closed, it claimed to be the oldest plow manufacturer in the United States1876

1877

  • Village of Bergen was incorporated
  • Cheese factory in Alexander was built and 272,000 pounds of cheese was made the first year of operation
  • Genesee County Pomona Grange began

1878

  • The Daily News was first printed

1880

  • Bergen Roller Mills were constructed and operated by steam power

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1882

  • Village of Oakfield was incorporated

1883

  • Between 1883 to 1900 there were 26 green- houses built in Corfu

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1884

  • Village of Elba was incorporated

1886

  • Village of Bergen was incorporated

 1889

  • Branton family started a dairy business (Batavia)
  • Richmond Memorial Library was presented to the people of Batavia by Mrs. Dean Richmond in memory of her son

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1890

  • Oakfield elected the first Prohibition Village President in Western New York

1891

  • Pavilion Salt Co. was incorporated

1893

  • New York Central engine "999" broke the world's speed record on it's run between Batavia and Buffalo1893.jpg

1896

  • First free Rural Mail Delivery in New York State started in Elba

1897

  • Telephone communication began in Darien

1899

  • Pearle B. Wait sold his Jell-O formula to Orator T. Woodward for $450 (LeRoy)

 1889

1900

  • First automobile operator's license was issued in the county
  • Oakfield Book Club was formed, with membership by invitation only. The Book Club would organize the first library in Oakfield, fund the creation of Triangle Park and help raise funds for Genesee Memorial Hospital.

1902

  • County Jail & Sheriff's Office was built

1903

  • Elba Telephone Co. was incorporated
  • Trolley lines were built in Batavia and operated for 26 years

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1905

  • United States Gypsum Co. installed new electric lights to illuminate the Village of Oakfield streets

1906

  • Darien Grange was organized
  • Electric current was turned on from Niagara Falls to Batavia

1907

  • Canning factory opens in Bergen which still operates using migrant labor

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1909

  • Pavilion Creamery opened and 100 pounds of butter was made that first day

1911

  • Seven Springs Country Club in Stafford was incorporated
  • First time an airplane flew over the county

1912

  • Lester T. Ross of South Alabama invented a snowplow and by 1925 the Towns of Alabama, Alexander, Bethany and Oakfield were using his invention to successfully remove snow

1912Lester 

Horseshoe Lake Amusement Company was formed as a summer resort (Stafford)

1912Horseshoe.jpg 

1913

  • Two movie theaters opened in Batavia

1915

  • Elba muck lands opened with the draining of the swamp
  • The Pavilion Bank building was constructed and in 1928 was charted as Pavilion State Bank
  • Batavia became a City

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1916

  • Bank of Elba was incorporated

 

19171917.jpg

 

  • Fire in Alexander consumed 17 buildings
  • New York State Police arrive and "Troop A" was established
  • Only 13 students were left at the Bergen High School as 69 abandoned studies to fight in World War I

 

 

1918

  • Former Lightweight Champion of England, Bill Heveron moved to East Pembroke and opened Heveron's "Old English Inn" and Health Camp
  • Stafford went dry when the vote was 123 against saloons
  • 397 cases of Spanish Influenza were reported between September and December

1919

  • Soldiers & Sailors Monument was dedicated which honors the sacrifices made by Genesee County during the Civil War and the foreign wars thereafter1919.jpg

 

1922.jpg1922

  • Hawley Motors, Inc. claims to be the oldest Dodge dealership in the United States to have been owned by the same family for the greatest number of years
  • Mae Walker Patchill began her thriving candy-making business in Byron
  • Stafford Country Club started
 

 

 1924

  • Bethany hamlet of Linden was terrorized by three murders
  • Genesee County Tuberculosis and Public Health Association started Bellaire Health Camp for undernourished children (Stafford)1924.jpg

1928

D.W. Airport in LeRoy opened

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19311931.jpg

  • Potter DeWitt Corp. was formed as a heavy construction company (Pavilion) and was involved in State projects including Attica State Prison, Mt. Morris Dam and St. Lawrence Seaway
  • Genesee County Fish & Game Protective Association purchased Godfrey's Pond from the New York Central Railroad Co. (Stafford)
  • New York State erected hen houses containing 68 pens each to accommodate the Western New York Egg Laying Test. In 1943 a Rhode Island Red hen produced 351 eggs in 358 days (Stafford)

 

 1932-33

  • Veteran's Administration Hospital was built1932.jpg

1935

  • The County Forest, located in Bethany, was designated as the First County Forest in New York State1935.jpg

1936

Cornerstone was laid for the Pavilion Central School District and was the county's first centralized school which replaced 14 one-room school houses.1936.jpg

1937

Professional baseball stated with a team named the Clippers in Batavia

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1940

  • Batavia Downs Racetrack opened
  • First draft boards in the County registered approximately 4,500 men

1941

  • WBTA radio station went on the air for the first time
  • New York State purchased 1,500 acres in the town of Oakfield and Alabama for a wildlife preserve in the Oak Orchard Swamp
  • Myron Ground from the Tonawanda Indian Reservation was the first County casualty in WWII

19431943.jpg

  • Six Flying Fortresses and eight B-25 medium bombers, one named "Genesee County, New York", were purchased as a result of the War Loan Drive

1944

  • Genesee County declared a Soil Conservation District
  • Opening day for schools was delayed until September 18th, due to a Polio Epidemic

1945

  • Genesee County Veterans Services began

1947

  • Kutter's Cheese Factory stated making small quantities of a large variety of cheese and continues to sell their product throughout the Northeast (Pembroke)
  • Pontillo's Pizzeria opened on Ellicott Street selling pies for 85 cents (Batavia)

1949

Boulder Park in Indian Falls included a unique Merry-Go-Round and a miniature steam train

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1951

  • Federal Census showed that approximately half of Oakfield's adult population worked for U.S. Gypsum
  • Genesee Memorial Hospital was formally dedicated

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1953

  • Sylvania Electric opened in Batavia (The plant closed in 1976 causing local economic hardships)

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1954

  • Exit 47 of the New York State Thruway opened (LeRoy)

1955

  • Greta Patterson became the first person to swam 15 miles across Lake Erie

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1957

  • First shopping plaza in Batavia opened and was located at the east end of the town

1958

  • Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, located in Alabama, was established

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 1959

Richest Ice Age Mastodon site in North America was discovered in Byron

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1963

  • Batavia City Council received Federal funding for Urban Renewal and began demolishing the three-story brick buildings which were constructed during the second half of the 19th century1963.jpg

 

1964

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  •  Jell-O Plant in LeRoy closed
  • County provided $245,000 for the construction of a County Airport which included $115,000 from a Federal grant

 

  • Historic Brick House in Pembroke was razed to make way for the new Junior-Senior High School

1964

Genesee County Symphony was started

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1965

1965.jpg

  • Bergen Swamp became one of the first of seven sites in the United States to be designated as a Registered National Historical Natural Landmark
  • Barber B. Conable Jr. was elected to the U.S. Congress (He served until 1986 and was appointed President of the Work Bank until his retirement in 1991)

1966

  • Strong earthquake rocked the area on News Years Day
  • Blizzard paralyzed Western New York

1967

  • First County Legislators were elected
  • The former VALU store is rejuvenated for the Genesee County Community College. According to the Master Development Plan, that fall the Freshman class numbered 378 full-time and 375 part-time students.

1971

  • Four Hundred Towers, a high rise for the elderly, opened in Batavia

1972

  • Local author John Gardner's The Sunlight Dialogues was published

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1973

 

  • Cobblestone building, in Alexander, was placed in the National Register of Historical Places and is one of the largest cobblestone structures in New York State and one of the few originally designed for a public purpose.

 

1974

  • Lei-Ti Campground opened creating a family camp and recreational facility in Bethany

1975

  • New Headquarters for "Troop A" of the New York State Police was built on West Saile Road (Batavia)
  • YMCA unveiled plans for a swimming pool

1977

  • Blizzard stranded an estimated 3,0001977.jpg
  • Florence Gioia became the first woman elected to the County Legislature
  • Landmark Society of Genesee County, which was established in 1965, bought the old St. James Rectory and restored the exterior and part of the interior.

1978

  • Batavia's Victorian era business district was replaced with a single-story mall and parking lot

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1979

  • Genesee County Cablevision began providing service

1982

  • MacDonald's opened on LeRoy's Main Street

1984

  • Part of the movie, The Natural, starring Robert Redford, was filmed in the Stafford countryside.

1987

  • GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming) was formed to deal cooperatively with the looming solid waste crisis.

1989

  • Wilfred S. Brooks was the first African-American County Legislator

1991

  • Former Batavia native, Terry Anderson was released after being held hostage for seven years in Lebanon

1993

  • Tornado hit Batavia
  • Scott & Bean, the County's oldest store, closed after 157 years

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1994

  • AMTRAK passenger train toppled off the Conrail tracks and EMS arrived on the scene within minutes to coordinated Genesee County largest ever rescue effort

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1996

  • County Courts Facility had its ground-breaking ceremonies
  • New Dwyer Stadium opened1996.jpg

1998

  • Darien Lake became part of the Six Flags chain which transformed the small theme park into a major Northeastern attraction.
  • U.S. Gypsum mines in Oakfield closed after 96 years

1999

  • DeWitt Enterprises was sold to Hanson Aggregate, a buildings materials company (Pavilion)
  • At the close of this century, agriculture is the county's number one industry. There are 516 farms on 170,878 acres of highly productive farmland which is equal to more than 53 percent of the land in the Genesee County, the highest land area in agriculture of any county in New York State
  • Genesee Memorial and St. Jerome Hospitals completed their merger and received a new name United Memorial Medical Center

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2000

  • Rochester Zen Center built a Buddhist retreat at the "Chapin's Mill" (Stafford)