Archive for April, 2013

titusgoodyearkoonsTitus Avenue is a street running between Broadway and Walden in the Emerson Neighborhood of the East Side of Buffalo. The street was named for Judge Robert Titus.  Judge Titus went into a partnership with Charles Goodyear, Frank Goodyear, Edward Koons and Henry Koons to subdivide and develop the land on these streets.  You can read about the Goodyear brothers by clicking here.

Robert Cyrus Titus was born in Eden, New York  in October 1839.  His parents came from Otsego County, New York to the “far west”, as the Holland Purchasewas called in 1817.  At the time, there were no roads through the countryside surrounding the small Village of Buffalo.  Guideposts along the way were blazed trees along the lines most frequently traveled by the occasional settler.  By 1831, they had plowed fields and built a house with a large fireplace and dutch oven.  In this house, Robert Titus grew up, the youngest of six siblings.

judgetitusRobert Titus was educated in a one-room school-house and then attended Oberlin College.  He taught school during the winter term to help finance his own education.  He studied law and set up a practice with Horace Boies in Hamburg, New York.  He opened a practice in Hamburg, New York.  In 1863, Mr. Titus organized a company, which became part of the 98th Regiment of the National Guard of New York State.  The regiment was in service from August 10, 1864 to December 22, 1864.  After he returned home, he was admitted to the bar.  Shortly thereafter  he was appointed Special Deputy Clerk of Erie County and held the office until 1864.  In 1867, he was a candidate for the New York State Assembly, but was defeated.  His first public office was Supervisor of Hamburg from 1868-1871.

In 1873, Mr. Titus moved to Buffalo with his wife Arvilla  to enter into a partnership with Joel Walker.  In 1878, he was elected district attorney.  In 1879, Mr. Titus was made a partner in the firm of Osgoodby, Titus & Moot and practiced with them until 1883, when he formed a partnership with B.S. Farrington.   In 1881   he went to Albany as a State Senator.  During his term in Albany, there was a great opposition to the Erie Canal, however Robert was a strong supporter to keeping the canal open.

In 1885, Mr. Titus was elected Judge of the Superior Court of Buffalo.   He was made Chief Judge in 1891.  When the Court was abolished in 1895, the judges were transferred to the New York Supreme Court.

An Artist's Depiction of President McKinley's Assassination.

An Artist’s Depiction of President McKinley’s Assassination.

Robert Titus was considered to be one of the state’s leading trial lawyers before he ascended to the bench. He was chosen by the state Bar Association to defend  President William McKinley’s assassin in 1901.  The trial of Czolgosz was notorious for how quickly it was completed.  President McKinley died on Saturday, September 14th, Czolgosz was indicted on Monday September 16th.    The jury for the trial was selected in two hours and twelve minutes.  The trial began on September 23rd, as soon as the final juror was named.  By the following afternoon, it was over.  Judge Titus had been in Milwaukee attending a masonic convention when he heard he was assigned to the case.

While the judges were highly respected, neither he nor his partner on the case, Judge Loran Lewis, had worked as a trial lawyer in years.  Judge Titus and Judge Lewis had not wanted to represent the assassin; however, they took the side of justice to ensure that he was given a fair trial.  The public outrage over the murder of the President was demanding a speedy trial and at the time, there was fear that it might not be a fair one.  It was a credit to the both of theirs honor that they ensured that Czolgosz was dignified with a fair trial and not disposed of by “lynch or mob law”.  Czolgosz assisted with the trial’s speed by refusing to cooperating with his legal counsel.  Czolgosz tried to enter a plea of guilty; however, due to the magnitude of the trail, he was not allowed. The jury took only 30 minutes to determine that Czolgosz was guilty and he was sentenced to death on September 26th.   One month later, Czolgosz was electrocuted in Auburn Prison.

Judge Titus' House on Columbus Parkway

Judge Titus lived on Seventh Street.  The portion of 7th Seventh Street on which he lived later became Columbus Parkway.  Mr. Titus died on April 28, 1918 at the age of 79.  He was survived by his son, Lieutenant Allan S. Titus, and daughter, Amy Titus Worthington.  Judge Titus is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Hamburg, New York.

Don’t forget to check out the Street Index to find out about other streets!


  1. Contemporary American Biography:  Biographical Sketches of Representative Men of the Day.  Volume 1, Part 2.  Atlantic Publishing and Engraving Co:  New York, 1895.
  2. Lord, Walter.  The Good Years:  From 1900 to the First World War.  Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007.
  3. Our County and its people:  A descriptive work on Erie County, New York.  Edited by: Truman C. White.  The Boston History Company, 1898
  4. Miller, Scott.  The President and the Assassin.  Random House Publishing Group:  New York, 2011.
  5. “Assassin Czolgosz Refuses to Plead:  His Lawyer Enters a Provisional Plea of Not Guilty”.  New York Times, September 18, 1901.
  6. Obituary of the Honorable Robert C. Titus.  Buffalo Morning Express, Sunday April 28, 1918.

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Goodyear Avenue is the center of these three streets

Goodyear, Titus, and Koons Avenue are three streets running between Walden and Broadway in the Emerson Neighborhood on the East Side of Buffalo.

The streets were named after Charles Waterhouse Goodyear, his brother Frank H. Goodyear, Judge Robert Titus, Edward Koons, and his brother Henry Koons.   These men entered into a partnership to subdivide and develop the streets and much of the land surrounding these streets.  This post is going to focus on the Goodyear brothers, entries for the Koons Brothers and Judge Titus will follow shortly.

Note:  Buffalo’s Charles Goodyear is not the same Charles Goodyear that Goodyear tires are named after.  Charles Goodyear of the tire fame invented vulcanized rubber around 1844 in Massachusetts.

charlesgoodyearCharles Waterhouse Goodyear was born in Cortland, New York in 1846.  He attended school in Cortland, Wyoming, and East Aurora, New York.  He came to Buffalo in 1868 to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1871.  He joined Grover Cleveland’s firm of Cleveland, Bissell, and Sicard when Cleveland left to run for president in 1883.

In 1887, Charles gave up law to enter into business with his brother to form F. H. & C. W. Goodyear.   Together, Charles and Frank expanded the railroad and merged it with the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad from Buffalo to Wellsville.  They profited by using the railroad to ship lumber, rather than floating it down streams, as was the practice of the time.

Charles held the office of Trustee of the Buffalo Normal School, now known as Buffalo State College.  He was also was one of the organizers of the Pan American Exposition and was President of the Buffalo Club.  He was a close friend of President Grover Cleveland and Cleveland’s Secretary of State, Daniel Lamont.  Charles and his wife were the first guests of President Cleveland at the White House.

Goodyear Mansion at 888 Delaware

Goodyear Mansion at 888 Delaware

Charles and his wife Ella lived in a mansion at 888 Delaware Avenue, which was built in 1903 and designed by Green & Wicks.  Charles died in 1911 and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Following Charles’ death, Ella established the Charles W. Goodyear Fund at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.  Charles and Ella’s son Anson Goodyear later served on the board of the Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox).  Anson was one of the board members who insisted that the gallery begin to acquire modern art, of which the museum is now well-known.

Ella lived in the Delaware Ave mansion until her death in 1940.  At that time, the mansion was sold to the Blue Cross Corporation.  The mansion was then sold to the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo in 1950 when it became Bishop McMahon High School.   It was purchased in 1988 by Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and was used as the Robert B. Adam Education Center.  In 2005, Oracle Charter School purchased the building.

Goodyear Hall on UB South Campus

Goodyear Hall on UB South Campus

In 1960, the family donated $500,000 to the University at Buffalo in Ella Goodyear’s name.   This money was used to build Goodyear Hall on South Campus.  The building of Goodyear Hall was important to the development of UB towards becoming a residential college.  Part of the UB2020 plan involves renovating Goodyear Hall and converting it from dormitory rooms into student apartments.

frankgoodyearFrank Henry Goodyear was born in Groton, Tompkins County, New York on March 17, 1849.  Shortly after he was born, the family moved to Holland, New York.  He attended public and private schools and the East Aurora Academy.  In 1871, he moved to Buffalo to engage in the coal and wood business.  He later entered the lumber business and was one of the largest lumber manufacturers in the United States at the time.  His firm manufactured over 150,000,000 feet of lumber yearly.  In 1884, Frank built the Sinnemahoning Railroad, which connected to the WNY&P Railroad in Keating Summit, Pennsylvania.  In 1887, he entered into business with his brother Charles.

goodyearmansionFrank Goodyear built a mansion at 762 Delaware Avenue, at the northwest corner of Summer Street.  Frank passed away in 1907 of Bright’s Disease shortly after moving into the mansion.    Frank made many donations to Buffalo parks.   Frank’s wife Josephine lived in the house until she died in 1915.  Following Josephine’s death, the house was lived in by Frank and Josephine’s son, Frank Junior. The mansion was demolished in 1938 and is now the site of the parking lot for the Red Cross.

Don’t forget to check out the Street Index to learn about other streets.


  1. Our County and it’s People:  A Descriptive Work on Erie County, New York.  Edited by: Trumen C. White.  The Boston History Company, Published 1898.
  2. Dunn, Edward.  Buffalo’s Delaware Avenue:  Mansions and Families.  Canisius College Press, 2003.
  3. http://wnyheritagepress.org/photos_week_2007/goodyear_mansion/goodyear_mansion.htm

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