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.

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.