Finally, a new entry! Thanks for holding tight while I dealt with my unexpected move and got all my stuff in order.
Today, instead of talking about a specific street I want to talk about my new apartment. Interestingly enough, the history of one street will actually come into play as well. I lived on Franklin Street prior to this move. This move brought me further downtown, so far downtown that I actually live within the boundaries of the Joseph Ellicott 1804 Plan of Buffalo. Being the history buff, I am, I couldn’t resist doing some historical research of the plot of land I now call home.
I’m amazed at how much history exists in my little plot of land that’s not even a quarter of an acre. My building was built in 1932. It’s currently a restaurant with four apartments above it. Historically, in the 1890s, there were row houses on the property, and likely houses before that.
The earliest resident of my property that I could find was Robert Bingham, who lived at my address in 1863. Mr. Bingham was in charge of Eddy & Bingham Iron Works. The iron works was at the corner of Church and Jackson Streets they made iron fences. Bingham Street ran alongside the iron works and is named for the Bingham family.
By 1864, Charles Bingham (Robert’s son) was listed as living at the property, along with William B. Petitt. Mr. Petitt was proprietor of William B. Pettit Co. Shoes, which was located at 166 Main Street. Mr. Petitt was also listed at the address in 1865.
The property was then vacant for a few years; however, my neighbors in 1889 would have been Mr. and Mrs. Levi Allen. And Mrs. S. H. Grosvenor. Mr. Allen was apparently a Captain during the War of 1812, this may have been his son, unless Mr. Allen lived to his 90s. On the other side, my neighbors were Mrs. S. H. Grosvenor and her sisters-in-law, Lucretia and Abigail. Mrs. Grosvenor was the widow of Seth Grosvenor, a pioneer businessman who died in 1858 and left behind $40,000 to start a research library, paving the way for the Buffalo Library System. The Grosvenor room is where I’ve done the majority of my research for this blog, so I was quite excited to learn this fact!
In 1899, the property was occupied by Mrs. A Halliday, Mr. Frank A. Halliday, Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Bennett, Miss Isabel M. Ross, and Miss Marie S. Ross. A Frank A. Halliday was a lieutenant during World War I, so this may have been his childhood home. The Hallidays lived at my address until at least 1911. Dr. Bennett was an ophthalmologist at Buffalo Columbus Hospital and Buffalo City Hospital, and also served as president of the Erie County Medical Society. Isabel Ross participated in the Salon of the Artistes Francais in 1902. Marie Ross graduated from the University of Buffalo Medical School in 1890, at a time when only 56 other females could make that claim.
In 1901, in addition to the Hallidays, the property was occupied by Mrs and Mr. C.A. Schenkelberger, Mrs. Delia McGloin, Mr. Albert McGloin, Mr. James F. Frawley, Miss Nellie Frawley , and Dr. and Mrs. R. H. Satterlee. Mr. Schenkleberger was a Seaman with the US Coast Guard. Dr. Saterlee was a doctor of eye and ear diseases. I couldn’t find anything further on the McGloins or the Frawleys.
In 1904, Mr. and Mrs. Henry C Houghton, Mr. F Houghton Sr, Mr. F Houghton Jr, and Miss Winifred Houghton had moved to the property. Frederick Houghton was a principal in the Buffalo City Schools and an archeologist with the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences (currently the Buffalo Science Museum). He did a great deal in WNY with discovery of our archeological history. I can’t prove that Mr. F. Houghton Sr was him, but I couldn’t find anymore information about this Houghton Family. You can read more about Frederick Houghton here: http://www.buffalostate.edu/anthropology/nysaahoughton.xml
In 1909, the Hallidays were still living here, along with Mrs. M. E. Williams. I couldn’t find any information about Mrs. Williams.
In 1911 the property was occupied by the Hallidays, Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Richardson, Mr. William Richardson and Mrs. Emma Keene. Mr. William Richardson was a member of common council in the late 1800s. I couldn’t find any information about A. W. Richardson, although there was a Professor in State College, PA, who was important in the study of the raising of poultry. I couldn’t find any information about Ms. Keene.
In 1915,the property was occupied by Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Jewett and Mrs. Mary Carrigan. I couldn’t find anything linking him to Elam Jewett or Sherman Jewett, but they could have been related to these important Parkside Neighborhood people. Mrs. Mary Carrigan was a part of the Carrigan & Levee bakery.
So there you have it, a little bit of history about the plot of land on which I live. I only used the Buffalo City Directories which were online, to facilitate easier searching. I will probably go back to the library and research the hard copies of the directories soon once I have more time. It’s a fabulous way to learn more about a specific property. Who lived on your property? Who knows maybe someone famous lived near you!