Welcome to the History Corner!
Celebrating the rich history of Port Byron, New York, an old Erie Canal village in the Town of Mentz. This site is dedicated to the legacy and heritage of our community as well as a variety of regional historical tidbits. I hope you enjoy your visit and will stop by again.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Port Byron Patriotism

Patriotism was abound today at Port Byron School as part of the Wreaths Across America program.  The students did a wonderful job under the direction of Dr. Linda Townsend.

Pictured above is a mural located in the common area of the Dana L. West Jr./Sr. High School.  Principal Bissetta granted permission to share this photo on my history blog for those living out of the area.  This image captures the heart of our PB Panthers as they honor our soldiers, especially those that have made the ultimate sacrifice in giving their life to our Country.  It reads:

Honorably following tradition bravely
fighting for our land's protection.
Your selfless sacrifice tears at our hearts,
We Forevermore will bear these deep scars.

We mark your fall untimely 
Gone, you've kept us free.
Panthers you will forever be.
                                             M. Brewster  Class of '84

Above mural was painted by Chelsea Crawford-Class of 2010

Port Byron was the only high school in New York State to participate in the Wreaths Across America program this year.  As historian, it was my pleasure to speak about our African American soldiers of the Civil War and their contributions to the Lockwood Post GAR #175 of Port Byron.  As a member of the Mrs. Benjamin Harrison Tent #2 DUVCW, it was an honor to add to the patriotic instruction of the day.

Owasco Chapter DAR sponsored a wreath which was placed at the Lockwood Post GAR monument at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.  The monument is surrounded by soldiers of the civil war, including the grave of John Thomas of the USCT who is laid to eternal rest next to his fellow comrades without prejudice.  I would like to thank my fellow DAR sisters for their participation.  

A fabulous color guard lined the entire length of the auditorium, many coming from the Rochester area.  The program reminded us that freedom is not free.  On behalf of the Port Byron community, we thank all of our service men and woman who serve to preserve our freedoms.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Steam Boat Port Byron

Here's an interesting article that captured my attention!

To find any steam boat named Port Byron is worth exploration:

Click here for Mahan patent for propulsion of Canal Boats.

Click here for Primus Emerson patent for paddle wheel.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Civil War Soldiers of Port Byron and Mentz

Did you have a relative that served in the Civil War from Port Byron?  Come visit my latest project that features our soldiers.  The list includes soldiers born here, served or enlisted from here as well as soldiers buried in our cemeteries.

I am hopeful this will become the home for biographies, to make our men more than just names and dates.  This is the initial launch of my vision.  If anyone has a soldier from our community and would like to feature that soldier's story, just send me your write up in word and I will add the link.  Do take credit for anything you submit by including who wrote the report in the header and perhaps even your email address just in case a reader desires to contact you.  Who knows, the report could connect you with cousins you never knew you had.

Due to the large volume of data, if anyone sees an error or knows of a soldier missing, contact me so that we can continue to build our military history of the civil war.

I will be adding this link with the military links on this blog.  It will be added as ver. 1.  If any update is made, the link will be changed sequentially to provide a visual when the data has changed.

Port Byron and Mentz has much to be proud of with our veterans.  We continue to share this legacy today of protecting freedom.

Click the link below to see our soldiers:

Civil War Soldiers of Port Byron and Mentz

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Ghost of Aunt Eliza

For the past several years, I have been contacted by ghost hunters and other paranormal agencies looking for places to evaluate for sightings in the Port Byron area.  While several books have been written about this topic, despite having long ties to the community, I have never encountered anyone who experienced anything out of the ordinary.  Even with several generations of Port Byronites in my family, nothing about ghost sightings has ever been passed down orally.

Today I was browsing for something else and stumbled onto an interesting article about Eliza Button whose spirit was terrifying the locals:

 Clyde NY Democratic Herald 1888-1890  
In checking census records there was an Eliza Button living here in 1850, in the same household as Edwin Button.  I also found a couple articles about a person of this name in 1879 moved out of town due to charges of running a disorderly house.

Auburn NY Evening Auburnian 1879

Is this article a case of sarcasm or a paranormal sighting?  That we shall leave up to the ghost hunters.

Happy Halloween Port Byron!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

54th Alumni Association Reunion 1926

Here is a wonderful treat for everyone!  The Fifty-Fourth Reunion of the Alumni Association of Port Byron High School from 1926 is now available for free download.  I have seen several little brochures for commencement services but this is the first that I have ever seen specifically for a reunion of our Alumni Association. 

Click here to view and/or download the 1926 booklet

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Unknown Blue and Gray

Here's another powerful poem that I would like to share. 
Date of publication not known. 

The Unknown Blue and Gray
Wilbur D. Nesbet

There are unknown graves in the valleys
        That the troops of war possessed,
Where the bugles sounded for rallies
But the bullets sang of rest;
And the mountains hold without number
                   Hidden graves from the war's mad days,
Where the unknown men have their slumber
       In their shrouds of blue and gray.

And no drums will rumble and rattle,
              And no fifes blow sharp and shrill
In the valleys that knew the battle,
   Nor atop the lone high hill;
But the silent stars know the story
   And the broad sky of the day
Bends and whispers low of their glory
To these men of blue and gray.

And no banners o'er them are waving,
 No marchers come and pause
With cheers for the land of their saving
Or tears for their lost cause,
Yet the twilight stars intermingle
        With the hues when ends the day.
And the striving flags now are single
  O'er the men of blue and gray.

There are unknown graves in the thickets,
On the hillside and the plain,
Of the missing scouts and the pickets,
Yet they did not fall in vain.
Though their names may not be engraven
And their places in the fray,
In our hearts now each finds a haven
         They who wore the blue and gray.

For the God of battles is kindly
    With none of mankind's hate
That is cherished every too blindly
            And these pawns of warfare's fate
Have their tombs of nature's splendor
    Each set forth in proud array
Through an impulse holy and tender,
               Though they wore the blue and gray. 

Where once were the guns that wrangled
                Sounds the peace song of the thrush,
And the roses and vines are tangled
   In the solemn, sacred hush;
Where the cannon one day would hurtle
Their missiles in the fray
Grows the rue and the creeping myrtle
                  O'er the graves of the blue and gray.

They are nature's hand that are strewing
     The flowers on each mound;
It is God's own beautiful doing
              That each unknown grave is found
Where the cypress leaves are a quiver,
            Where peaks lift through the day,
Where the forest sighs to the river
        Of the unknown blue and gray.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Things Don't Last Forever

Photo: EPA Public Profile
Tremendous effort has been made to try to save the old mill on Green Street.

The site suffered heavy metal contamination from the operations of the RN Hitchcock Electroplating business.  It has been the home of many different businesses in its long 100+ year history.

The EPA has been working with allot of determination to try to clean and remove the contaminants so that the site could be established as a historic property with the Park Service.

Unfortunately fate has not cooperated with that goal.  Recently there were several main support beams that have cracked, causing extensive damage.  I visited the site for a tour with Michael Hoppe with the Response and Prevention Branch of the EPA on the evening of October 9th.  It was a quick reminder that history alone can not save a structure.

While the damage is evident from the outside, it isn't until you go inside that your heart sinks.  The fractured support beams has caused a significant shift to the South West corner of the building.  The damages are beyond the resources to repair it.

If there is any glimmer in our situation, it is the documentation process that will be carried out to record as much as possible about the site before it is removed.  This is an opportunity that would be lost if the structure were allowed to simply collapse.  The project site will be recorded with various photos and reports about the old mill which will be made public record.  I will record these materials on this blog for my readers as the information becomes available.  I will also add a special section on the footer of this website with the various links.  However, I wanted to share the information here so that readers will be aware that resources about the Green Street Mill will appear in the footer in the near future.

The mill will be razed by the end of this month to reduce the risk of collapse from the winter snow load soon approaching.  It is sad to see so much progress made to the site yet not be able to reach the finish line.  It is an outcome that could not have been predicted.

It would appear that prior owners were aware
Photo: EPA Public Profile
of the support beam condition, as sections of the building have had new cross beams added.  The section that failed was an area that had not had any alterations.  This was in the area previously used as office space.  Additional photos will be posted to the EPA website soon.

The drop shifted floor support beams away from the walls so that portions of the floors are no longer in contact with the beams.  Oddly, the beams were notched and butted onto the beams but never permanently secured.  This poses a continuous problem with any restoration work as the repair work itself could cause a similar shift in other areas of the structure.  It was an odd experience to look at a door frame and see a good 2 inch drop from one corner to the next in such a short span of space.  This caused the wall in question to separate from the ceiling.  Our tour did not include the second floor and I was perfectly comfortable with staying at the lower level.

It will be sad to see the structure go.  Often structures are lost with no advance warning from natural disasters, fires etc.  We will have a final opportunity to document the Green Street Mill with its written, oral and photographic history in tact.  This will serve as a lasting record that this building was indeed here and was once a vital part of our business community.  In addition, some artifacts from its contents will be transported to local museums to preserve her legacy.

Without TLC, buildings do not last forever.  Additions were added onto this structure  without ensuring foundation support would sustain it.  It would be these final additions and the final industry of its last major occupant that has closed the final chapter on this structure; it is a building that we will surely miss.

You will gain a better appreciation of the vast amount of work already made in attempts to save our mill by visiting the public profile:  (Be sure to click on the photos to the right side)

EPA Profile of the Green Street Mill

Please visit the Phase 1 report that covers the mill's historic timeline:


Again, a special section will be added to the footer of this blog as a permanent archive to our mill.  Stay tuned to the EPA Profile link shown above for additional photos as they are added.

I would like to extend my appreciation to Michael Hoppe for proving a short tour of the project site so that I could see first hand the challenges they faced.  Mr. Wilt has extended his blessing to make mention of the mill on my blog to update those interested in our history, past and present.

On behalf of the Port Byron community, we extend our deepest sympathies to the Wilt family for the loss of this historic structure that has tied several generations in their family.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Re-Trial of Mary Todd Lincoln Insanity Case

Tonight was my first experience using Livestream.  When the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum announced the performance of Mary Todd Lincoln's retrial would be on live web cast for non-attendees, I immediately knew this was something I desired to witness.

Library of Congress Digital Collection
Much to my surprise, the issue at hand at the original court trial was not to declare if she was insane, the jury had the burden to declare if Mary Todd Lincoln should be admitted involuntarily for inpatient treatment by law.  This verdict itself would carry the status of insanity for a period of one year, even if treatment ceased prior.

Many of the testimonies brought before the court were from third parties by the public which were never verified.  In addition, many of the medical testimonies made by the physicians, were made by those that today would not be considered specialists in the mental health field.

In addition, several of the medical testimonies were made by physicians that had not even examined Mary Todd Lincoln recently before giving their expert opinions.  Some of the Doctors had not seen Mary for several years prior to filing their report.

What was most concerning was that Mary herself did not feel she suffered from any mental illness.  However, the responsibility of the jury was to make a verdict on two factors:

1. Could she care for herself and her affairs.
2.  Was she at risk to cause injury to herself or anyone else.

In the retrial held on Oct. 1, 2012 at Springfield, IL, a modern day jury declared by majority vote that Mary Todd Lincoln was not subject to mandatory involuntary treatment by law, but the vote was not unanimous.

If you have the opportunity to view this broadcast, I hope you will take the time to view this program.  It brings to light the loose drug regulations where opium based products were available over the counter.  While Mary's physicians recommended them, there was little dispensing regulations at that time.  It is unclear if any of Mary's symptoms were caused by ingestion of such drugs or if her prolonged grief was at play.

Mary reported hearing voices and having visions of her immediate family that she so tragically lost.  Such occurrences can be considered a normal part of the grieving process.

Mary did display many erratic behaviors.  She equated the act of shopping to help her feel the emotion of happiness, she constantly worried that another tragedy would take her only surviving son.  There is no doubt that her son wanted what was best for her.  Unfortunately this period offered very few options for mental health needs.

There is no doubt that Mary Todd Lincoln suffered great periods of anxiety and was known to suffer migraines after a carriage accident, but her analogy in describing that pain may have been construed abnormal, likely because she was an educated woman with great verbal vocabulary.

On all accounts, the experts felt Mary Todd Lincoln suffered a variety of mental symptoms that exhibited signs of mental illness.  However, she was convicted without proper medical examinations and the use of evidence that could not be cross examined.

My final thoughts is that observing this re-trial made me aware just how far we have come with understanding and having compassion for mental health issues in today's society.  My personal opinion was that Mary did suffer mental illness but that in itself does not equate to being insane.  She experienced psychotic episodes that today we often treat successfully on an outpatient bases.  Mental illness carried tremendous stigma in her day and one would have to question if her denial of her condition was more from the social implication than irrationality.  

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum also has plans to present similar re-trials including the case of Joseph Smith the Mormon profit, so stay tuned to their facebook page for details.

I extend my gratitude to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and Livestream for making this program available to us.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Appreciation of Home

Paul Hahn with the Class of '76 shares a mural he created in Mrs. Drummond's art class in honor of the bicentennial.

Thank you for sharing with us Paul!  

Little do we realize how important it is to capture what is around us.  Two structures shown here from recent times are now gone.  The church we lost to mother nature in a bad storm and the old fire house and bell tower is now a vacant lot.

The mural measures approximately 6 ' x 4 '    

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Woman's Relief Corps No. 207

The Lockwood Post GAR #175 of Port Byron once had an auxiliary but little is known about it as an organization.  In searching newspapers, I have found an entry that confirms they were indeed part of our community:



The Lockwood Post Woman's Relief Corps, No 207 will hold a rummage sale in the vacant store of Mrs. James V White commencing tomorrow.

We know that this auxiliary was no longer functioning as of 1916 when the auxiliary for the R.R. Stillwell Sons of Veterans was formed.  To date, newspaper coverage listing the officers for the W.R.C. No. 207 of Port Byron has been hard to locate.

If anyone in your family belonged to the Lockwood Post G.A.R., the R.R. Stillwell Sons of Union Veterans, or any of their auxiliaries, please email me so I can update the members list.

Partial Lockwood Post GAR List

I will be creating a similar list for the auxiliaries but need your feedback to help tabulate the lists.  I look forward to hearing from anyone that had ancestors or relative that belonged to these organizations.

To learn more about the Woman's Relief Corps, click (here)

Sons of Veterans Auxiliary No. 10

Syracuse Journal January 11, 1916

Sons of Veterans New Auxiliary Instituted

Sons of Veterans Auxiliary, No. 10, taking an old number, was instituted last evening at Port Byron by the division president, Mrs. Winnie F. Durst of this city, assisted by members of General Sniper and Merriam Camp's auxiliaries.

Mrs. Minnie S. Root, wife of Commander Root of Lockwood Post, G. A.R., is president of the new auxiliary, and its other officers are: Vina Tuller, vice president; Laura Woodford, chaplain; Alice Warren, treasurer; Ella E. Emmons, secretary; Jennie Godfrey, patriotic instructor; Freda Nye, guide; Ruth Nye, assistant guide; Bessie Stillwell and Marjory Ware, color bearers; Louise Sweet, inside guard; Eliza Ames, outside guard; Nanna Lockwood, press correspondent; Margaret Clapp, Jennie Ward and Addie Warren; trustees; H. R. Warren, judge advocate.

Auxiliary No. 10 is organized for Stillwell Camp. No. 17. and will also be attendant upon Lockwood Post, which is without a Relief Corps. Division President Durst will next endeavor to organize auxiliaries at Clyde and Oneida.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Civil War Soldier Nathan Munger

Having a State Representative of the Grand Army of the Republic from Port Byron was indeed a special find.  It promoted me to learn a little more about Nathan's military service.  I hope you will agree, our soldier deserves an additional post so that we may share his service record:

Courtesy of Ancestry.com
 Nathan was born at Fredonia, NY about the year 1840 and mustered in on December 8, 1862 at Oswego, Co. I 110th NY Infantry at the age of 22.  In August of 1863 he would become detached from this regiment to serve on assignment as clerk at General Andrews Headquarters.

On September 25, 1863 he was promoted to Co. B, 12th Regiment "Corps De Afrique".  The pension index shows his unit was Co. B. with the 12th Louisiana C.D.A. Regiment of Infantry.  This unit provided Garrison Duty at Port Hudson, LA.  The unit would later be re-designated as the 84th United States Colored Troops in 1864, in which Nathan remained with Co. B.  He served as a Second Lieutenant in both units.  The 1890 veterans census indicates he was discharged on or about Nov. 28, 1864.

Nathan by trade was a harness maker.  The call of service to the Grand Army of the Republic would prompt the move of his family to Albany, NY where his occupation in the 1900 census was recorded as Assistant Adj General GAR.

Many advertisements can be found showing he continued to list himself in directories at the corners of Main and Rochester Streets in Port Byron.  It appears his time in Albany was limited, for he died at his Port Byron home in 1909.

Nathan applied for a soldiers pension in 1881, which converted to his widow Amanda Munger upon his death in 1909.  Both are buried at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Port Byron.

Nathan Munger

Colonel Anson E. Wood, State Department Commander, Names his Staff Officers.

Col. Anson E. Wood, State Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, while in this city yesterday made appointments to his staff as follows:

Assistant Adjutant General, Nathan Munger, Post No. 175, Port Byron, 
Assistant Quarter Master General, Jared W. Wickes, Post No. 151, Syracuse, Judge Advocate General, Thomas B. O'Dell.Post No. 103, New York, Inspector General, Frank Z. Jones, Post No. 47, Rome, Senor aid de camp, J . J . Perkins, Post No. 116; Schuylerville.

The appointment of Mr. Munger as Assistant Adjutant General relieves George H. Lester of this city from further duty. His friends were hopeful of a reappointment for him. 

The Rome Daily Sentinel, Wednesday Evening, May 16, 1900

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Debate Club

For anyone that has participated in the Port Byron speech and debate team, you may be interested in knowing that it dates back to 1884 per the following newspaper article:

Friday February 10, 1893

Last Wednesday evening the Students Debating Club of Port Byron gave its ninth annual banquet at the hose house parlors. Members and guests to the number of about one hundred were present. Those who took part in the program were Robert L. Smith, Leslie Tanner, E. H. Kearns, Robert Takel Jr., Clyde Mitchel, Harry S. Vaughn, Fred J. Tanner, C. W. Armstrong, P. W. Grim, Frank Seymour, William Weston, S. V. Henry and Principal W. L. Harris of the academy.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grocer James M Hearn

Digitized by William Hecht-Rootsweb
Home of James M Hearn
adjacent to the Port Byron High School
1939 PB Chron.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Then and Now

Many may enjoy seeing some photos of the past as compared to today





Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lost Church

Many may remember attending school at this church.

Here is an earlier photo:

William Hecht Collection Rootsweb-digital enhancement by D Roe 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's all about spelling

Just for fun I decided to see how many times I could find published material about Port Byron that contained a spelling error.  Much to my surprise, not only can I find such instances for our village here in NY, I can find the same for Port Byron, IL.

Many early works list us a Port Bryon!

Erie Canal Route

Annual Report of Social Welfare

Ever wonder what happened to that missing parcel of mail?  Maybe it was sent to Port Bryon!

Lyon's Postal Guide

The one I enjoyed the most was from the Huguenot Society where the Haddens are listed as being from Port Bryon and Port Byran on the same page!

National Huguenot Society Bible Records

Look closely at the Laws of the State of New York about our village name

Act confirming the election of officers

Did you notice Port Bryon and then Port Byron?

Monday, June 25, 2012

First Daughter of Mentz?

The Weekly Auburnian, Friday June 4, 1886

First Daughter of Mentz
Mrs. Sally Shaw, widow of the late Jacob Shaw died at the home of her daughter Mrs. William G. Soule in Savannah, on Tuesday at the age of eighty-nine years. She was the first child born in the town of Mentz, Cayuga Connty and had an unusually romantic career.  She was married in 1815 and was a mother of a large family.  The funeral took place this afternoon. 

For anyone that wants to see the original article (click here)

It is sometimes difficult to know if a newspaper obit is correct or not.  The above would suggest her birth year was about 1797, and given the headline caption this caught my eye.  Upon closer inspection, her head stone says she died in 1887 but the newspaper heading clearly shows she died in 1886.  Her stone says she was 84 and the obit states she was age 89. 

I believe she was the daughter of Henry Cook based on census readings.  In 1870, Henry has a Sally Shaw in his household.  The 1850 census would suggest her name may have been Nancy Sally.

While census readings indicate she was born in MA or NJ, her obit says she was the first child born in the Town of Mentz.  If this article holds true, it may suggest she was the first child born in the present-day town of Montezuma, which was once part of Mentz.  However, the 1810 census does not produce Henry, so perhaps they are living together with another family.  The first child born in present-day Mentz is believed to be Ezekiel King who was born about Sept. 2, 1800.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lost Cattle

Union Springs Advertiser

November 5, 1908 ?

Five hundred dollars worth of cattle went to destruction Sunday night at Port Byron as the result of a fast train flying through a herd that George S. Newkirk of Port Byron and William Judson of Conquest had purchased. The purchasers had unloaded the cattle from a box car and were driving them across the track when the flyer came along at a fast clip.  Thirteen of the cows were killed and three others mangled.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

NYS Cemetery Aerial Maps

In need of help finding a cemetery?

Here are some useful links to help you navigate:

To view the aerial maps, jump down to the list by township and click on the respective cemetery to see the map.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Port Byronite

Port Byronite coined as early as 1878!

Well folks, it's official.  If you are from Port Byron, NY you are a "Port Byronite".

Thanks to fultonhistory.com, the term can be traced back as early as 1878 in The Evenings Auburnian when five our of residents left for Texas.

The phrase has been used to describe all kinds or activities connecting to our home town, from race car drivers, school bowling teams to fireman's parades.


1950 Weedsport Cayuga Chief

Not on your best behavior?  Then be prepared; you may be called out on the carpet for it as shown in this Syracuse Herald clip taken from the Port Byron Chronicle:

Photo per Rootsweb 

The term Port Byronite was even found in our business district when the Brown and Martens show room opened in 1948.

1948 Grand Opening of Brown and Marten Auto Dealers

How proud are you to be a "Port Byronite"?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Masonic Building Design

Sometimes when browsing published histories of other places, your eyes will see something that brings back the feeling of home.  That was the case when reading the history of North Platte, Nebraska.

Looking at their buildings, I was drawn to North Platte's brick jail building.

The picture above appears in the book North Platte: City Between Two Rivers by Jim Backus.  If this building looks familiar, your eyes may be spotting the similarity to Port Byron's Masonic Building below:

While the buildings are not an exact copy there is enough similarity to see they have similar design with ours having an extra floor and more elaborate center windows.
Link to original photo here

Full copy of Port Byron's Masonic building can be found here

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ring the Bells for 1812

On June 18, 2012 at 12:00 Noon, the New York State Organization DAR is asking everyone to ring a bell in honor of the beginning of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.

From my own research experience, there are many patriots who served in this campaign that today their service continues to be unrecognized.

Countless soldiers of the War of 1812 rest in our cemeteries where there is no distinguishable marking to reflect their service to our Country.

Please join the Owasco Chapter NSDAR and many other chapters across the Empire State in recognizing the soldiers of the War of 1812 by ringing a bell on June 18th at Noon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Civil War Concert

Interested in Civil War era music? 

Madison County is hosting two unique programs: 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Local Military of the 1820's

To follow up my article about how the village of Port Byron received its name, I decided to see if I could yield any dates from the military appointments.  We had a local military unit when the Erie Canal opened in 1825.  For the grand opening, requested to be present for the canal celebrations was a John S. Willis.  The 1825 newspaper called our unit the "Byron Grey's".

Military Historian Anthony Gero adds "Rifle companies were suppose to be in grey then in NYSM so, at this point, "assume" this Port Byron company may have been such."

My interest in this development is because this association to John S. Willis may suggest our current namesake of Port Byron may predate the official opening of the Erie Canal.

Since our militia was known as the "Byron Greys" and Brutus had a unit of light infantry known as the "Brutus Blues" with a commander by the last name of Kennedy, I found a newspaper article indicating that the Brutus Blues formed in 1824.  It is not known if we can determine what year the Byron Greys formed, but their name is suggestive of the use of Port Byron, which the earliest evidence was a newspaper from 1825.  However, given John S Willis's appointment in 1822 from his military appointment, this may suggest our name changed during the construction period of the Erie Canal and not at the time of the grand opening.


(Pertaining to 1822 names I quickly recognize 
from Port Byron or Mentz are highlighted in blue)
Blue=Port Byron/Mentz


One Hundred and Fifty-eighth regiment of infantry:
Abraham Gridley, major, vice Price, resigned; John H. Bennet, adjutant, vice Young, moved. Captains — John C. Lewis, vice Crane, resigned; William Haines, vice Montgomery, resigned; Henry H. Cooley, vice Smith, resigned; Almeron H. Cole, vice Gridley, promoted. Lieutenants — Henry Ramsey, vice Hanes, promoted; Alanson Smith, vice Robertson, deceased; William E. Tibbils; John B. Tallman, vice Cooley, promoted; John Wait, vice Lewis, promoted; John Oliphant, junior, vice Cole, promoted. Ensigns — Charles M. Nicolls, vice Ramsey, promoted; Henry M. Griffin, vice Tallman, promoted; James Dole, vice Smith, promoted; Arman Rhoades; John S. Willis, vice Wait, promoted; Clark R. Hotchkiss, vice Oliphant, promoted; William Mandeville, vice Arnold, resigned.

Twenty-first regiment of infantry:
Simon Culver, colonel, vice Chadwick, resigned; Ezekiel Parker, lieutenant colonel, vice Culver, promoted; Herman Bissell, major, vice Parker, promoted; Joseph Bishop, adjutant; Josiah Chatfield, quartermaster. Captains — Elias Tillotson, vice Barger, resigned; Robert Sharpsteen, vice Bissell, promoted; Peter Lawson, vice Haywood, moved. Lieutenants — Philo Baldwin, vice Lawson, promoted; Selden Chadwick, vice Tillotson, promoted; Hiram Rathbun, vice Sharpsteen, promoted. Ensigns — John C. Bull, vice Robinson, promoted; William Pancus, vice Baldwin, promoted; Daniel D. Owen; Allen Palmer; Charles S. Olmsted; Humphrey Hunt, vice Bush, moved.

One Hundred and Sixty-seventh regiment of infantry:
Ebenezer Curtis, quartermaster. Captains — Robert Gait, vice Emerson; John Dolson. Lieutenants — Gardner Jeffries, Isaac Van Doren. Ensigns — Robert Gridley, Amos Barnes, Peter Young, David Trumbull.

One Hundred and Ninth regiment of infantry :
Ezra Hough, colonel, vice (Agreen) Ingraham, moved, and (William) Greenfield, unfit; Asa Little, lieutenant colonel, vice Hough, promoted, etc.; Samuel Odell, major, vice Hough, promoted; Isaac Wood, quartermaster, vice Pierce, resigned; Silas N. Hall, surgeon, vice Ford, moved; David E. Lord, surgeon's mate, vice Hall, promoted. Captains — Elijah Austin, vice Fuller, resigned; Isaac W. Skinner, vice Little, promoted; John M. Brinkerhoff, vice Ten Eyck, moved; Abraham J. Slover, vice Stivers, moved; Ezekiel Smith, vice Branch, moved. Lieutenants — Eleazer Woodard, vice Austin, promoted; John Locke, vice Skinner, promoted; Hezekiah Johnson, vice Brinkerhofif, promoted; James D. Hewitt, vice West, promoted; Alvin Kellogg, vice Smith, promoted. Ensigns — ^Jotham Bassett. vice Woodard, promoted; James Powers, vice Locke, promoted; William Slover, vice Johnson, promoted; Orrin Standish, vice Slover, promoted; Ephraim Hardy, vice Kellogg, promoted; Thomas Cone, vice Kennedy, promoted.

Auburn State Prison Guard:
Joseph S. Colt, captain; James Fitch, lieutenant; James Francis, ensign.

1930's School Photo

Pearl Becker of Weedsport invited me to take a digital photo of her Dad's school picture taken at the Port Byron Central School.  Do you recognize these faces?

This school was the last of three buildings to be constructed on Church Street.  Today it is the Church Street Apartments.

Click the link to learn more about the previous buildings at this site:

Port Byron Free & Academy 1859-1898

Port Byron High School 1899-1935

Thank you Pearl!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Emma Sweet's Horse Accident

Weekly News and Democrat
Auburn, NY Wedesnday March 31, 1897
Cost $1.00 per year

PORT BYRON, March 25.—A fractious young horse attached to a buggy, the
property of Eugene Sweet, of Troopsville, and driven by Miss Emma Sweet,
indulged in a very spirited runaway Tuesday noon. It has been the custom
of Miss Sweet, who drives from Troopsville to attend the Port Byron high
school, to exercise her horse at noon time, and it was while so excersizing that the accident occurred.  She had proceeded as far as Park street and went on a down grade when the king bolt dropped out, letting the thills drop upon the animal's heels, causing him to run the whole length of Park street.  From there he ran into the garden of James English, where the buggy broke in two, throwing Miss Sweet out upon her head into the soft mud.  The horse with the two forward wheels attached then ran through the garden to Utica street, where he was captured after crashing through a high board fence, by William Alfreds.  Owing to the soft condition of the garden Miss Sweet was not injured and was able to walk to the schoolhouse very much covered with mud.

Friday, January 13, 2012