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Lancaster Old Home Week 1913

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Front L to R: S.P. Adolf, E.C. Grassell, J.O. Garretsee, P.P. Adolf, John L. Staeber Back : W.J. Cant, Jos F. Schaefer, William J stahl, Harry Hart, John Soeman missing : C.K. Porter

Lancaster, Past and Present

B. D. JACKSON

The corporate existence of Lancaster begins with its formation from the eastern portion of the Town of Clarence in 1833. The original boundaries included land now forming the northern portion of the Town of Elma.

Western New York developing and settling along the line of the Buffalo and Albany Road, it was natural that the first settlements in Lancaster should form in the northwestern corner of the Town near Bowmansville and here in the year 1803-1804 came the first pioneers, James and Asa Woodward, David Hamlin and Alanson Eggleston. By the year 1807 the settlements had extended southerly to the Lancaster-Alden Road and in that year Edward Kearney built the first house on the site of the Village of Lancaster, the location being St. Mary's Street. This hardy pioneer must have been of a progressive type, for he continued building and in 1810 or 1811 sold to Joseph Carpenter a somewhat pretentious log house, near the site of the present Fire House and Village Hall, and this building from that time on was known as Carpenter's Tavern. The road from Alden passed Carpenter's Tavern continuing due west and crossing Cayuga Creek at the junction of Buffalo Road where Ahaz Allen had established a grist mill and Alfred Luce had opened the first store.

The settlement developed rapidly and some of the hard, pioneers made purchases of land east of the Village among these came Pardon Peckham, Captain Elias Bissel and Benjamin Clark, heroes of the Revolutionary War, whose graves with that of Captain Henry Johnson are in the older portion of Lancaster's Rural Cemetery. Buffalo Chapter, Daughter of the American Revolution has fittingly marked these graves that future generations may be reminded of the valor of these early patriots.

The first communication with the outer world was by a line of stages running from Buffalo to Batavia, established in 1826. Leaving Buffalo stops were made at Hitchcocks, and then Carpenter's Tavern, where mail was taken and left at the post office then known as Cayuga Creek. With the organization of the Town the settlement and post office also took the name of Lancaster and under this name the village was incorporated in 1849.

Both town and village grew steadily until the opening of the Buffalo and Attica Railroad and this gave a marked stimulus to the commercial growth of the Village. Several new industries were established and from 1845 to 1855 the population doubled. The courage and spirit of those early settlers, who answered the call to arms in 1776 and 1812, was emulated by Lancaster's brave sons in 1861-1865. The number who went to the front is estimated at over 100 and of these many were destined never to return. A suitable memorial to our soldier dead was dedicated in 1912 through the efforts of Lancaster's patriotic women, the Ladies of the G. A. R., who through the co-operation of our Representative in Congress, secured two cannons which had done service during the war and these were suitably mounted on blocks of granite in front of the Town Hall and dedicated with appropriate exercises. General Stoneman Post, G. A. R., which is now located in Lancaster, participated in the exercises of the day.

Enough of the old time history of Lancaster, we are interested in the living present. The settlement has started upon its second century of development. Four trunk lines of railroad traverse the village. Electric lines afford quick service to Buffalo with prospects of extension to the east. The principal streets are paved with the best pavements known to engineers. The highways leading from the village have been likewise improved. Our water system is unsurpassed in any large city and the rates for service encourage its liberal use.

The sewer system recently constructed is complete and sanitary and adapted for the needs and development of the village for many years. The village industries, the Lancaster Machine & Knife Works; the American Malleables Company; the Industrial Glass Works; Palmer's Greenhouses and many other lesser business enterprises as well as the industrial plants in the neighboring Village of Depew, are in flourishing condition constantly increasing in size and provide employment for thousands. Lancaster is peaceable and orderly and its Village government economically conducted. Its people are prosperous and progressive; every proposed public improvement is well supported and the money appropriated and judiciously expended.

Our schools, both public and parochial, are growing rapidly and stand in the front rank of the schools of the State, giving to our youth the highest and the best educational opportunity, fitting them for domestic, commercial or technical employment, and encouraging them to useful and honorable lives.

Our churches are prosperous and progressive and with countless activities along charitable and social lines constantly raise the moral and spiritual tone of the Village, stimulating the people to higher thoughts and greater achievements.

Then let this period of festivity, of home coming, and glad reunion, be not only a week of gaiety-carnival of fun and frolic, but a time of thanksgiving, rejoicing in the growth and prosperity of the past, appreciation of the comforts of the present and fervent prayer to the Almighty for a continuance of these blessings in the future.





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