The Village of Addison

Submitted by Pam Davis

   This village is situated in the beautiful valley of the Canisteo, twelve miles west of Corning, and is, on the direct Erie Railway, thirty miles from the city of New York.  The business of the village is chiefly as follows:  one tannery, George Stratton ; two sash-door, and blind factories, McKay & Hill and A. G. Crane & Co.;, one furniture factory, Darrin & Baldwin ; one plow handle factory, E. S. Mead & Co.; three steam saw mills, Brook & Gillet, O. Bridgeman, E. H. Phillips and Henry Baldwin; one grist and flouring mills, Curtis & Paxton ; one foundry and machine shop, E. J. Horn; one boot and shoe factory, George W. Farnham.  The village has five churches, -Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist Episcopal and Catholic, four dry goods stores, seven grocery and provision stores, two hardware stores, two harness shops, four boot and shoe stores, three millinery and dress good stores, three drug and medicine stores, four hotels, one florist and hot house gardener, three meat markets, two banks, one furniture store, three wagon shops and five blacksmith shops.  There is also a cancer infirmary, under the management of Dr. George Craine, and one union graded school, managed by a board of education.

   The village was incorporated under the general law of the State in January, 1854.  At the ensuing election the following board of trustees and officers was chosen: Frederick R. Wagner, Bradley Blakeslee, Parley Guinnip, Stephen Lewis, ___White ,  and Thomas Paxton.  Dr. Fred R. Wagner was chosen President, and I.V.L. Meigs, Clerk. 

   The charter was amended by a special act of the Legislature, approved April 12, 1873.  By section third of this act, the village was divided into two wards, as follows:  "the first ward shall consist of all that part of said village which lies north of Canisteo River.  The second ward shall consist of all that part of said village which lies south of the Canisteo river."

   The officers elected for 1878 were the following:  President, J. V. Graham; Clerk, John W. Clark ; Treasurer, Chauncey D. Hill; Collector, Sanford Elmer ; Trustees, First Ward:   Daniel D. Hickey, E. S. Mead ;  Second Ward:  Lorin Aldrich, James D. Goodley.


   A post office was established at the village of Addison as early as 1804.  In 1830, a mail was brought once a week on horseback from Painted Post.  This was at the time the end of the route.  In 1831, Dr. F. R. Wagner drew up a petition for a mail twice a week, which was sent to Hon. John Magee, then member of Congress.  It was granted by the department, and William B. Jones , who took the contract, carried the mail from Painted Post to Addison in a two horse coach.  Mails were delivered semi-weekly and afterwards tri-weekly until 1849, when Andrew J. Chatfield, James Birsdall , and Dr. F. R. Wagner drew up a petition for a daily mail, which was granted.  Since the completion of the Erie Railway, the mails have been carried by rail, and supplied as often at this point as at any  other place on the route. 

   We append the following list of postmasters since 1830:  Lemuel B. Searles, John Thompson, William R. Smith, Charles H. Henderson, Horatio Ross Jones, John N. Brown, Mrs. Ann Taggart, James S. Scofield, Dr. John Mitchell and Charles W. Gillet.


   Dr. Frederick R. Wagner was the first physician in the village.  He was born in Leyden, Mass., and when six months old was brought by his parents to Chenango County, where he resided till 1830, when he settled in Addison.  For four years previous he had studied medicine with Dr. Henry A. Mitchell, of Norwich, Chenango Col, and first commenced his practice here.  He continued strictly in the practice of his profession from 1830 to 1865.  Since retiring from active practice he has been engaged in the drug business.

   The next physician was Dr. Sweeny, who came here in 1833, and remained but a short time. Then came Dr. William McIntyre, who after a few years' practice, removed to California.  Dr. Erastus N. Foot came in 1841.  He practiced in partnership with Dr. Wagner one year and after practicing alone for a short time, returned to Greene County, whence he came. Dr. William Beach practiced here a few years and then removed to Louisiana, where he died.

    Dr. Reuben P. Brown settled in Addison in April, 1847.  He was born in Bradford Co., PA., where he studied medicine here ever since. Dr. Brown in also a hotel-keeper, having in 1873, purchased the Exchange Hotel, known now as Brown's Hotel, of James E. Smith; it then became a store occupied by Mr. Woodhull, and was enlarged and changed again to a hotel, and occupied by James E. Smith till he sold to Dr. Brown.

   Ruch P. Brown, son of Dr. Brown, graduated at the New York Medical University and settled as a physician in Addison, where he was brought up, in 1873.

   Dr. John Mitchell and Dr. H. R. Ainsworth are the other practicing physicians in the village.


   In 1830 there was no lawyer in the town except James Birdsall, who was engaged in mercantile business with Whitman Wilcox and Caleb Weatherby James Birdsall established a law-office, from which have gone out several men of distinction:  Andrew G. Chatfield, who was afterwards a justice of the United States Court in Minnesota, and who died not long since full of honors; Washington Barnes, who distinguished himself at the bar, and died some years ago at Bath; F. C. Dininny, now a resident of Elmira; F. R. E. Cornell, late State attorney of Minnesota, who commenced the practice of law in this town and became a State senator.  He removed at a later period to Minnesota, where he now resides, and is a judge of the Supreme Court. The prestige of the earlier bar of this town is well sustained by its  later members, Col. John W. Dininny, Hon. A. S. McKay, Horace D. Baldwin, D. M. Darrin, and S. D. Clinton.

* The above information was obtained from the History of Steuben County, New York, Clayton, (1879). 


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Last Update February 15, 2020