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Archive for the ‘East Side’ Category

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!

Sources:

  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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titusgoodyearkoons

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.

Sources:

  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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Nash Street is a short street a close walk from the Central Business District, between Broadway and William Street near Michigan Avenue.  The street is less than a quarter-mile long, but is a part of the rich history of Buffalo.  Nash Street was known as Potter Street until the 1950s.

The Street is named after Jesse Edward Nash, Sr.  Dr. Nash was one of the City of Buffalo’s most prominent African-American citizens for the first half of the 20th Century.

J. Edward  Nash was born in Occoquan Virginia in 1868.  He worked as a farm hand, a blacksmith, a mason and a boatman.    He was a student at Virginia Union College in Richmond with Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Senior, the pastor of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church.   Rev. Powell’s son was the first African-American elected to congress.  Reverend Nash became a minister at age 18.  At age 24, he came to Buffalo in 1892 to serve as pastor of Michigan Avenue Baptist Church.  He was pastor from 1892 until he retired in 1953.   Dr. Nash married Frances Jackson in 1925 and moved to 36 Potter Street in 1925.  Dr. and Mrs. Nash had one son, Jesse Junior, who became a professor at Canisius College.

Dr. Jesse Edward Nash, Senior

The City of Buffalo has had a strong history of African-Americans living in freedom.  When the City was incorporated in 1832, the city directory listed the names of 68 colored heads of families.  The majority of the African-Americans in Buffalo lived in the 4th Ward of Buffalo at the time – east of Main Street between North Street and South Division Street.  Michigan Avenue was the heart of the African-American neighborhood.  The Michigan Avenue Baptist Church was founded in 1836.  The current church was built in 1845, prior to this, they worshiped in a meeting room on Niagara Street near Pearl Street.

During the early 1900s, Buffalo’s African-American community was growing quickly, due to the City’s industrial economy.  When Dr. Nash came to Buffalo, there were only three established African-American churches.  By 1952, there were more than 30 churches.  Because of his education, Dr. Nash was well respected and he became one of the main representatives and spokesperson for the City’s African-American Community.

Reverend Nash helped to found the Buffalo Urban League.  This functioned as an agency to welcome African-Americans to Buffalo when they arrived from the south, by helping them find housing and jobs.  The Buffalo Urban League is still in operations today.

Reverend Nash was unique in his role in Buffalo.  He was widely respected by the city’s white leadership, so he had access to the Mayor and elected officials.  This was uncommon in many other cities during this time.   He worked to put together community meetings of black Buffalonians to intercede on behalf of other black citizens who were being wronged because of their race.

Dr. Nash was well-known, not just in Buffalo, but throughout New York State and the entire country.  He hosted Booker T. Washington in 1910 in Buffalo.  In addition to Mr. Washington, many nationally known African-American leaders were guests of Dr. Nash’s, including WEB DuBois.  Dr. Nash’s neighbor was Mary Talbert, another significant African-American in Buffalo during this time period, but we’ll get to her later (there’s a street named after her as well).

In 1912, Virginia Union University awarded Nash an honorary doctorate.  Dr. Nash served as treasurer of the Western New York Baptist Association, secretary of the Baptist-Disciples Ministers Fellowship.  He was chaplain at Meyer Memorial Hospital (the predecessor to ECMC).

During the 1950s. Buffalo was undergoing a series of urban renewal projects.  Many of these projects impacted African-American neighborhoods disproportionately.   Dr. Nash advocated for fair housing and worked to stop the loss of affordable housing which was occurring under the name of “slum clearance”.

Dr. Nash retired as pastor in 1953.  To commemorate his retirement, the City renamed the street from Potter Street to Nash Street.  In 1954, Dr. Nash was awarded one of the first Brotherhood Awards from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.  He passed away in 1957 and was survived by his wife and his son Jesse Edward Nash, Junior.  He is buried at Forest Lawn.

Nash House, 36 Nash Street

The Nash House is located at 36 Nash Street.  The Buffalo Preservation Board and Buffalo Common Council designated the NAsh House a local historic landmark in 2001.  The house was originally built as a two-family residence, with an upper and lower unit.  Many of the houses in Buffalo were built like this as a practical form of housing for the urban middle class.   The Nash family lived on the second story of the house and rented out the lower floor.

The house was built around 1900.   Few changes have occurred through the years, and the historic integrity of the structure has been preserved.  The house and its contents, which included most of Dr. Nash’s papers, were acquired by the Michigan Street Preservation Corporation in 2000.  Restoration from 2002-2003 included restoration of the clapboard, windows and front porch.  The Nash family living quarters is fully restored, and the lower levels was rehabilitated for office and research space.

Dr. Nash and his family lived in the house from 1925 until 1987.   He passed away in 1957, but his widow occupied the house until she died in 1987.

The Nash House was restored and opened as the Nash House Museum in May 2007.   The museum provides a glimpse into what life was like in the early 1900s on Buffalo’s East Side.  The museum is open Thursdays and Saturdays from 11:30-4pm.   My interest has been piqued and I intend to check out the museum, hopefully this weekend.

For more information on the Michigan Street Heritage Corridor Commission and some of the amazing African-American history of Buffalo that happened in this neighborhood, please read this report prepared for the Commission by a UB Planning Studio.  

Dellenbaugh Block

This neighborhood has a personal history for me, as my uncle owned the complex of buildings known as the Dellenbaugh Block at the corner of Broadway and Michigan for much of my childhood.  He operated a car wash and pizzeria on the Broadway side of the block.  There was a pharmacy on the Michigan side of the building which always reminded me of the pharmacy in It’s a Wonderful Life.  The pharmacy here in this building was the first 24-hour pharmacy in Buffalo.

The Langston Hughes institute has plans to develop the Dellenbaugh Block.   More on their plans can be found here.

Some of my most vivid childhood memories were spent exploring that building and being fascinated by the neighborhood and the history.  The dark and scary basement of the building always freaked me out, because legend has it that it was a part of the underground railroad.  Portions of the building were built in 1842.  The city lists the building as being built in 1890, but to my childhood imagination, there were civil war era ghosts in that basement.

The Dellenbaugh Block is a designated landmark with the City of Buffalo.  The block is named for Frederick Dellenbaugh, a German immigrant.  Mr. Dellenbaugh was a physician and built his home and office at 173 Broadway circa 1842.  The house is visible from Nash Street, behind the newer storefront.   The storefront was the location of a Deco restaurant in the 1930s.

Broadway Arsenal in 1858

Across Nash Street is the Broadway Barns, a City of Buffalo DPW garage.  This building was originally designed as a New York State Arsenal.  Portions of the original circa 1865 armory still exist and can be seen from the inside of the building.  Once the regiments left the Arsenal, the building was converted to an exposition and event hall.

Broadway Auditorium in 1915

This was used for events prior to the construction of the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium on the Terrace.  There are pictures of elephants walking down Broadway to get to the circus at the old Broadway Auditorium.   After the Memorial Auditorium was built, the Buffalo Streets Department began using it as a garage.  What a change this building has seen in the past 150 years!  What a history in this little pocket of a neighborhood!

 

Check out the Street Index to learn about other streets in Buffalo.

 

Sources:

Cottrell, Kevin.   “J. Edward Nash History”.  accessed at: http://www.motherlandconnextions.com/nash.html

“Dr. J. Edward Nash, Sr.” (Obituary).  Buffalo Courier Express.  27 January 1957

http://www.showcase.com/property/163-173-Broadway-Street/Buffalo/New-York/1435912

http://greaterbuffalo.blogs.com/gbb/2005/12/campaign_landma.html

http://www.nashhousemuseum.org/history.html

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Masten Avenue runs north-south for about a mile on the East Side of Buffalo, between North and Ferry Streets.   The Masten Park neighborhood, Masten Avenue, Masten Park and the former Masten Park High School (currently City Honors), all get their name from former City of Buffalo Mayor Joseph Masten.

Joseph Griffiths Masten was born in 1809, in Red Hook, New York.  He came to Buffalo in 1836 after studying law.  He was elected Mayor in 1843.   While he was Mayor, he issued the law which says that owners/occupants of buildings and owners of vacant lots need to keep their sidewalks and gutters free of snow and dirt.  Blame him if you get a ticket for not shoveling your walk!

Buffalo was an exciting place to be while Masten was Mayor.  He was Mayor when Joseph Dart invented the grain elevator and expansion of the city resulted as the City began to become an important grain hub.  He was also Mayor during the founding of the University of Buffalo.  He and his wife, Christina, were the first owners of the Wilcox Mansion on Delaware Avenue.  At the time it was an army barracks and the Mastens converted it into a residence; today the mansion serves as the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

After his time as Mayor, Masten served as a judge.  It is said that he went on long walks around his neighborhood, always stopping to talk to neighbors and people he met along the way.   He died in 1871 and is buried in Forest Lawn.  His tombstone reads:  “An upright judge, an eminent lawyer, a faithful public servant, an esteemed citizen, a true gentleman”.

Source:  “Masten Avenue Honors Memory of 1843 Mayor”. Courier Express, Dec 4, 1938 sec 7 p 4

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