Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New York Governor Thomas Dongan Addresses Licenses to Henry Cuyler and John Pell to Purchase Land from Indians in 1686

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Located at
http://www.historicpelham.com/.

In 1686, Governor of the Province of New York Thomas Dongan licensed John Pell to purchase from local Native Americans "all that tract or tracts" of land lying within the bounds of his Patent that were "not yet purchased of the said Indyan natives."  Below is the entry from the Provincial Secretary's records documenting the pronouncement of that license.

"[LICENSES TO HENRY CUYLER AND JOHN PELL TO PURCHASE LAND FROM INDIANS]

*   *   * [Page 63 / Page 64]

By his Excellency the Governour

Whereas Mr. John Pell hath desired my liberty and lycence to purchase of the Indian natives all that tract or tracts of land lyeing and being within the bounds and Limits of his Patent that are not yet purchased of the said Indyan natives These may certifye that the said John Pell hath liberty and lycence granted him to purchase the said land beforemencioned Provided the said purchase be made before me and Councill at Newyorke and returne thereof made into the Secretaryes office before the first day of May next after the date hereof in order for the obtaining a Patent which is to be taken out the last day of June after the date hereof or otherwise this Lycence to be void and of none effect for which this shall be his warrant Given under may hand and seale at Fort James in Newyorke the Eight day of December 1686 and in the second yeare of his Majestyes Reigne."

Source:  Christoph, Peter R., The Dongan Papers, 1683-1688:  Files of the Provincial Secretary of New York During the Administration of Governor Thomas Dongan, pp. 63-64 (Syracuse, NY:  Syracuse University Press 1996) (Vol. 2 of the Dongan Papers and Volume 35 of New York Historical Manuscripts Series). 

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Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

John Pell Takes Oath of John Clarke of West Chester on May 15, 1676



During the 1670s, John Pell served as a Justice in Westchester.  Among his duties was the taking of oaths.  Such an occasion occurred on May 15, 1676 when John Clarke "of West Chester" appeared before him to swear an oath regarding something that was said to him by Thomas Seabrook before his death.  The entire oath is quoted below, followed by a citation to its source.

"Testimony of John Clarke, of West Chester, (concerning Thomas Seabrook) aged 29 years:

This deponent saith That when there was an Alarm of Indyans being at Castle Hill, Loaden with Ammunition last summer, this deponent was then a sojourner in the house of Thomas Seabrooke, was commanded (among others) to go to Captain Osborne's housse.  And at his going away, he, the said Thomas Seabrook, took his wife (the now present widow Seabrook) by the hand in the Door as he was going out and said, 'Wife, I am going out, I know not but I may be knockt on the head.  If I never come again I give all that I have to thee' (meaning his wife).  And farther said to this deponent, 'Pray, take notice what I say,' and further saith not.

May 15, 1776.  Sworn before me, JOHN PELL."

Salter, Edwin, A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Embracing a Genealogical Record of Earliest Settlers in Monmouth and Ocean Counties and Their Descendants.  The Indians:  Their Language, Manners and Customs, Important Historical Events.  The Revolutionary War, Battle of Monmouth, The War of the Rebellion.  Names of Officers and Men of Monmouth and Ocean Counties Engaged in It, etc., etc., p. lii (Bayonne, NJ:  F. Gardner & Son, 1890).

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Friday, May 21, 2010

The Announcement of President Abraham Lincoln's Assassination in Pelham, NY on April 15, 1865


Hart Island, near City Island, once was part of the Town of Pelham.  During the latter part of the Civil War, Hart Island was used to house Confederate Prisoners of War.  There is an interesting published account of the announcement made to the Confederate prisoners on April 15, 1865 of President Abraham Linconln's assassination. 


Daguerreotype of Abraham Lincoln Probably Taken
in Springfield, Illinois on Sep. 23, 1858 by Christopher
S. German, From a Private Collection.

In about the end of February, a regiment of the 143rd Pennsylvania Infantry, known as the Iron Brigage, was separated and detailed for guard duty at Confederate prisons in the north.  Captain Patrick DeLacy's regiment was ordered to Hart Island, in the Town of Pelham, New York, to guard nearly 4,000 Confederate prisoners of war. 

The account of the announcement of President Lincoln's murder is quoted below, followed by a citation to its source.

"Upon the night of the assassination of President Lincoln, Captain DeLacy was officer of the guard, and remained on duty until nine o'clock of the morning of April 15th, 1865.  Captain DeLacy, soon after sunrise on the forenoon of that sad day, was on his way to the officers' mess, and before he arrived there he heard the rumor that Lincoln had been shot, and after procuring a copy of the 'New York Herald,' he returned to the rebel camp, and with a young Confederate drummer boy, went to the middle of the prison campus and ordered him to beat the assembly, which aroused the camp, and soon he was surrounded by acres of men, and there on a box he announced the death of the nation's great War President, and read an account of the same from the columns of the newspaper, which he still keeps as a sacred memento of one of the most mournful events in American history.  After the Captain got through, there was a profound silence, which was not broken until a hand was raised and a Confederate in a loud voice shouted, 'Officer!  Officer!  We do not endorse assassination,' and at the same time up went the hands of thousands of rebel comrades.  Soon another with raised hand cried out, 'Officer!  Officer!  We have lost our best friend; Old Abe would forgive us,' and still another exclaimed, 'Officer!  Officer!  The North will now persecute us.'  To this the Captain responded, 'You my Confederate friend over their, do not for a single moment entertain the thought that the North will persecute you for the fiendish act of the lunatic, crank or assassin, whose wicked hand has struck down the sincere and humane friend of the South, Abraham Lincoln.'"

Source:  Jordan, John W., DeLACY, Captain Patrick, Distinguished Soldier, Honored Citizen in Encyclopedia of Pennsyvlvania Biography, Vol. III, p. 756 (NY, NY:  Lewis Historical Publishing Co. 1914)

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Description of Early Baseball Game Played at Pelham Bridge in 1878



I long have been intrigued by early references to baseball being played in Pelham.  At the end of this posting is a long list of earlier postings on the subject.

I have located yet another very early reference to baseball being played in Pelham.  In fact, it is more than a reference.  It is a nicely-detailed description of a baseball game played near the Arcularius Hotel at Pelham Bridge on June 19, 1878.  I have transcribed below the text of the article about the game that appeared in the Friday, June 28, 1878 issue of The Chronicle published in Mount Vernon, New York.

"Last Wednesday vehicles of all sorts were seen passing through Mt. Vernon, to and from Yonkers and it was impossible not to notice that many of the Yonkerites who filled these vehicles were heavy weights.  It seems that they went to Arcularius's, at Pelham Bridge, for a game of base ball.  Col. Joseph L. Proseus and Col. Matt H. Ellis were chosen captains and they selected eleven men each to assist them.  They began at 10 A.M., and at 4 P.M. had played three innings.  In the first inning, Col. Proseus's side made 32 runs, but Col. Ellis's made 36.  In the second inning, both sides fell off considerably, Col. Proseu's men making only 11 and Col. Ellis's 13.  The game now stood 48 to 49.  Col. P's men now made a grand rally and scored 37 runs.  In vain did Col. E. urge on his men to the scratch.  They scored but 14 and were ignominiously vanquished.  We regret that our limited space prevents a full report, but take pleasure in concluding with the remark that the chivalrous bearing of the victors and the quiet submission of the vanquished were worthy of the grandest days of knight errantry."

Source:  [Untitled], The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 28, 1878, p. ?, col. 3 (no page number printed on the newspaper page).

Below are other postings to early baseball references involving games played in and around Pelham.

Tue., March 9, 2010:  Earliest Reference Yet to Organized Baseball Played in Pelham.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010:  Photograph of Only Known 19th Century Women's Baseball Team in Pelham, New York.

Thursday, January 28, 2010:  News About Pelham Manor and Pelhamville in 1895 - Lighting Districts, Gas for the Village, Baseball and More.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009:  Baseball Games Played by the City Island Beldenites and the City Island Rivals in 1884

Monday, December 14, 2009:  Baseball Games Played by the City Island Shamrocks in 1889

Friday, December 11, 2009:  Earliest Reference Yet to Baseball Played in Pelham

Thursday, December 10, 2009:  More 19th Century Baseball and Firefighting References.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009:  City Island Shamrocks Base Ball Club Changed its Name to the Minnefords in 1888.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009:  Even More Early References to Baseball Played in Pelham.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009:  Yet Another Reference to Early Baseball in Pelham.

Monday, November 23, 2009:  Additional Brief Accounts of Baseball Played in Pelham in the 19th Century.

Friday, November 20, 2009:  More Accounts of Early Baseball Played in Pelham.

Friday, November 13, 2009:  1894 Account of Developments in Pelham Including a Reference to a Baseball Game Played that Year.

Thursday, November 12, 2009:  More Early References to Baseball Played in Pelham.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009:  Score of June 1, 1887 Baseball Game Between the Country Club and The Knickerbocker Club.

Friday, March 20, 2009:  Another Reference to 19th Century Baseball in Pelham.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008:  Another Brief Reference to 19th Century Baseball in Pelham.

Monday, November 26, 2007: Box Score of a Baseball Game Played on Travers Island in Pelham Manor in July 1896.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007: Baseball on Travers Island During the Summer of 1897.

Friday, July 20, 2007: Account of Early Baseball in Pelham: Pelham vs. the New York Athletic Club on Travers Island in 1897

Friday, November 10, 2006: The Location of Another Early Baseball Field in Pelham

Monday, October 9, 2006: Reminiscences of Val Miller Shed Light on Late 19th Century Baseball in Pelham and the Early Development of the Village of North Pelham

Thursday, March 23, 2006: Baseball Fields Opened on the Grounds of the Westchester Country Club in Pelham on April 4, 1884

Tuesday, January 31, 2006: Another Account of Baseball Played in Pelham in the 1880s Is Uncovered

Thursday, October 6, 2005: Does This Photograph Show Members of the "Pelham Manor Junior Base Ball Team"?

Thursday, September 15, 2005: Newspaper Item Published in 1942 Sheds Light on Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

Thursday, February 10, 2005: New Discoveries Regarding Baseball in 19th Century Pelham

Bell, Blake A., Baseball in Late 19th Century Pelham, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 17, Apr. 23, 2004, p. 8, col. 2.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Obituary of Charles J. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association


Regular readers know that for years I have researched the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association and its involvement in the development that became much of the Village of Pelham Manor.  See the end of this post for a listing of recent postings on the topic.

Two of the most important founders of the Association were brothers:  Charles J. and Henry C. Stephens.  I previously have written about these two brothers.  See Mon., March 20, 2006:  Charles J. Stephens and Henry C. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.

Today's posting transcribes a very brief obituary of Charles J. Stephens published in 1891.  It reveals a sad end to his life.  He died of dysentery while traveling in Mexico to collect information for a book he was writing.

"Charles J. Stephens died in the city of Mexico on Sunday [August 9, 1891].  He and his brother laid out Pelham Manor.  He had travelled [sic] extensively through South America, Cuba, and Central America, and at the time of his death was collecting material for an illustrated work on Central America.  He died at the Iturbide Hotel of dysentery.  He was born in Port Henry, and was 56 years old.  He resided in Pelham fifteen years.  For the past year or so he lived with his family at 163 West 12th street.  He leaves a wife and four children."

Source:  Obituary, The Sun [New York, NY], Aug. 12, 1891, p. 2, col. 6.

What follows are examples of previous Blog postings that deal with the Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association.

Tue., May 18, 2010:  1874 Newspaper Advertisement Touting Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association Real Estate.

Mon., May 17, 2010:  Jessup Family Members Tried in 1909 to Take Back Some of the Lands Conveyed to Form the Lands Developed by the Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association.

Fri., May 14, 2010:  1885 Article on Alleged Failure to Develop Pelham Manor Said the Development "At Best Resembles the Collapse of a Wild Cat Land Scheme."

Wed., November 11, 2009:  1874 Evening Telegram Advertisement for Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Development.

Monday, March 2, 2009:  1884 Advertisement Placed by Charles J. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association Offering Home for Rent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006:  Mystery:  A Lawsuit Filed Against the Dissolved Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1915.

Monday, June 12, 2006:  Early Deed of Land to the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006: Prospectus Issued by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1874

Thursday, December 22, 2005: Area Planned for Development by The Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1873

Monday, March 20, 2006: Charles J. Stephens and Henry C. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Monday, March 27, 2006: 1057 Esplanade: One of the Original Homes Built by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Monday, May 8, 2006: Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury Who Served as Engineer for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Wednesday, May 10, 2006: Horace Crosby, the Civil Engineer Who Laid Out the Chestnut Grove Division for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in the 1870s

Friday, May 26, 2006: The 27th Conference on New York State History Will Include Presentation of Paper on Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1874 Newspaper Advertisement Touting Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association Real Estate

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Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog presents an image, and transcribes the text, of an advertisement published in a New York City newspaper in 1874 touting the benefits of purchasing lots from the new development in lower Westchester County being constructed by the Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association.  At the end of this posting is a listing of recent postings about the Association.

Here is an image of the advertisement, followed by a transcription of its text.



"PELHAM MANOR --AND-- HUGUENOT HEIGHTS, Midway Between Mt. Vernon and New Rochelle.

EIGHT MILES only from the Territorial CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY.

A NEW AND DELIGHTFUL SUBURB!

UNSURPASSED in NEIGHBORHOOD and HEALTHFULNESS.  Noted for its Natural Beauty, Picturesque Water and Inland Views, and offering unusual advantages in accessibility from the

Business Centres of the Great Metropolis.
-----
RAPID TRANSIT NOW SECURED BY
Two Railroads and Thirty-six Trains Daily, TO BOTH CENTRAL AND LOWER NEW YORK.

THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES FROM GRAND CENTRAL DEPOT, via New Haven Railroad.
ONE HOUR ONLY FROM WALL STREET, via Express Boats on the East River and the Harlem Reiver Branch Railroad.

ONE COMMUTATION TICKET good on BOTH ROUTES.
-----
THE PROPERTY OF THE Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association Comprises 500 acres, (nearly one mile square), extending from the main line of the New Haven Railroad to Long Island Sound, of which three divisions, viz--
'PLEASANT RIDGE,' GLEN MITCHELL,' and 'CHESTNUT GROVE,'
(in the order named, commencing on the north, aggregating about 170 acres, have been topographically plotted and the grading of the avenues thereon is rapidly going forward.

The ATTENTION of ALL invited to the many CHOICE PLOTS, varying in size from three city lots to as many or more acres, now for sale by us at LOW PRICES and on LIBERAL TERMS.

EXCURSIONS from New York office to Manor and Heights every pleasant afternoon.  Apply for maps, &c., to

STEPHENS BROTHERS & CO.,
Managers, No. 187 Broadway, N.Y."

Source:  Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights [Advertisement], Evening Telegram [New York], Nov. 3, 1874, p. 3, col. 2.

What follows are examples of previous Blog postings that deal with the Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association.

Mon., May 17, 2010:  Jessup Family Members Tried in 1909 to Take Back Some of the Lands Conveyed to Form the Lands Developed by the Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association.

Fri., May 14, 2010:  1885 Article on Alleged Failure to Develop Pelham Manor Said the Development "At Best Resembles the Collapse of a Wild Cat Land Scheme."

Wed., November 11, 2009:  1874 Evening Telegram Advertisement for Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Development.

Monday, March 2, 2009:  1884 Advertisement Placed by Charles J. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association Offering Home for Rent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006:  Mystery:  A Lawsuit Filed Against the Dissolved Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1915.

Monday, June 12, 2006:  Early Deed of Land to the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006: Prospectus Issued by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1874

Thursday, December 22, 2005: Area Planned for Development by The Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1873

Monday, March 20, 2006: Charles J. Stephens and Henry C. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Monday, March 27, 2006: 1057 Esplanade: One of the Original Homes Built by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Monday, May 8, 2006: Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury Who Served as Engineer for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Wednesday, May 10, 2006: Horace Crosby, the Civil Engineer Who Laid Out the Chestnut Grove Division for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in the 1870s

Friday, May 26, 2006: The 27th Conference on New York State History Will Include Presentation of Paper on Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at 
http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please 
Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Jessup Family Members Tried in 1909 to Take Back Some of the Lands Conveyed to Form the Lands Developed by the Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association


I have written before about the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association formed to develop lands that became much of the Village of Pelham Manor.  For examples of such postings, see the listing with links at the end of today's posting.

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog transcribes the text of an article published in 1909 describing a lawsuit brought by heirs of Edwin Jessup.  Following Jessup's death, the heirs conveyed an important 50-acre tract of his farm in 1873 to Charles J. Stephens, one of the principals of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.

More than thirty years later, after fits and starts of development finally took hold and the little Village of Pelham Manor took off, the heirs had a severe case of sellers' remorse and sought to void the original conveyance claiming that they, as heirs, had no authority to sell the property more than thirty years earlier.  Rather, they claimed, the executors of Jessup's estate had that power.  The article reads as follows:

"HENRY W. TAFT IN $2,000,000 LAND CASE
-----
Brother of President-Elect Appears as Counsel for Defendant at White Plains.
-----

Henry W. Taft, brother of President-elect Taft, appeared before Judge Tempkins in the Supreme Court at White Plains, N.Y., to-day as counsel for the defendant in an action brought by the heirs of Edwin Jessup against the Witherbee Real Estate and Improvement Company for the sale and partition of about fifty acres of land, situated in the heart of the town of Pelham and valued at about $2,000,000.

Mr. Jessup died in July 1846, and in his will he directed that the land now in dispute be divided equally among his children, but as they were then all minors he left the property in charge of executors.  In 1873 they all joined in making a deed conveying the property to Charles J. Stephens.  In the same year Mr. Stephens conveyed the land to the Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association.  In 1877 foreclosure proceedings were brought by the widow and children against the association, and Henry W. Taft bought the land.  In 1887 Mr. Taft and his wife, Julia Taft, conveyed the property to Silas H. Witherbee, who in 1901 conveyed it to the Witherbee Real Estate and Improvement Company, the defendant in the present action.  The plaintiff's allege that in view of the fact that the property was left in charge of the executors of the estate they, the heirs did not have the right to convey the land in 1873 and they now ask that the conveyance be set aside."

Source:  Henry W. Taft In $2,000,000 Land Case, The Evening Telegram - New York, Jan. 25, 1909, p. 6, col. 7.

What follows are examples of previous Blog postings that deal with the Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association.

Fri., May 14, 2010:  1885 Article on Alleged Failure to Develop Pelham Manor Said the Development "At Best Resembles the Collapse of a Wild Cat Land Scheme."

Wed., November 11, 2009:  1874 Evening Telegram Advertisement for Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Development.

Monday, March 2, 2009:  1884 Advertisement Placed by Charles J. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association Offering Home for Rent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006:  Mystery:  A Lawsuit Filed Against the Dissolved Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1915.

Monday, June 12, 2006:  Early Deed of Land to the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006: Prospectus Issued by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1874

Thursday, December 22, 2005: Area Planned for Development by The Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1873

Monday, March 20, 2006: Charles J. Stephens and Henry C. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Monday, March 27, 2006: 1057 Esplanade: One of the Original Homes Built by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Monday, May 8, 2006: Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury Who Served as Engineer for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Wednesday, May 10, 2006: Horace Crosby, the Civil Engineer Who Laid Out the Chestnut Grove Division for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in the 1870s

Friday, May 26, 2006: The 27th Conference on New York State History Will Include Presentation of Paper on Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at 
http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please 
Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings

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Friday, May 14, 2010

1885 Article on Alleged Failure to Develop Pelham Manor Said the Development "At Best Resembles the Collapse of a Wild Cat Land Scheme"

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site



I have written much about the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association. Regular readers may recall that I have published quite a number of blog postings on the topic, including:

Wed., November 11, 2009:  1874 Evening Telegram Advertisement for Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Development.

Monday, March 2, 2009:  1884 Advertisement Placed by Charles J. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association Offering Home for Rent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006:  Mystery:  A Lawsuit Filed Against the Dissolved Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1915.

Monday, June 12, 2006:  Early Deed of Land to the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006: Prospectus Issued by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1874

Thursday, December 22, 2005: Area Planned for Development by The Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1873

Monday, March 20, 2006: Charles J. Stephens and Henry C. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Monday, March 27, 2006: 1057 Esplanade: One of the Original Homes Built by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Monday, May 8, 2006: Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury Who Served as Engineer for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Wednesday, May 10, 2006: Horace Crosby, the Civil Engineer Who Laid Out the Chestnut Grove Division for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in the 1870s

Friday, May 26, 2006: The 27th Conference on New York State History Will Include Presentation of Paper on Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association

Today's Historic Pelham blog posting transcribes a newspaper article published in 1885 detailing the financial and other difficulties faced by Silas H. Witherbee and others as they tried to develop the area that became the Village of Pelham Manor.  The text of the article is followed by a citation to its source.

"TROUBLE FOR PELHAM MANOR.

The White Plains Standard publishes the following relating to the financial difficulty of the Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association:

'Pelham Manor is in trouble.  It has gone into the hands of a receiver, and the affairs of the corporation that owned it are to be wound up.  A man named Silas H. Witherbee, and several associates, bought the land where Pelham Manor now stands about twelve years ago, and organized themselves into a corporation bearing the high sounding name of 'Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association.'  Then they elected Witherbee president, and began the erection of handsome villa cottages which were rented and sold to uninvestigating city people looking for summer dwellings.  The houses were surrounded by forest trees, mosquitoes and malaria, but that made no difference to the man who went out on a fine day to look after country property.  He saw only the beautiful home in the country among the green trees.  But when he moved up there and heard the bullfrog warble from the birth place of the mosquito and the hiding place of malaria, and felt the sharp sting of the aforesaid pestilential insect, discovered malaria stealing into his system, and met the dirty tramp face to face in his front yard, morning, noon and night, looking for something to steal, he said to himself 'I'll get out of here.'  He went.  Others came and went, and finally, Pelham Manor got up a reputation.  It has it yet.  The company could not pay its debts.  Judgments were obtained and all of the property belonging to the corporation must be sold.  Pelham Manor at best resembles the collapse of a wild cat land scheme.'

While a portion of the above statement contains some truth the most of it is an unwarranted stretch of imagination.

Now this is not only unjust but unfair.  The manor consists almost entirely of high ground where the bullfrog has no desire to linger, but being surrounded by forest trees is the chosen abode of the tree toad, the warble of which the editor of the Standard doubtless mistook for the bullfrog.  As for mosquitoes and malaria, we have yet to learn that they are any more prevelent [sic] than in other country areas, and as to the ever-present tramp, in justice to the Manor we shall have to meet the assertion with a flat denial.  While they may have cautiously lingered on the outskirts, they never dared show their dirty faces within the borders, for there is a reward of $50 placed upon the head of every one, alive or dead.  As a place of residence it is one of the pleasantest in the county, and nearly all the inhabitants are there to stay.  What swamped the association, was the fact that they acquired more territory than they could carry."

Source:  Trouble for Pelham Manor, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Vol. XVI, Issue No. 816, May 8, 1885, p. 1, col. 3.


Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

More on the Early History of the Pelham and City Island Horse Railroad


For quite some time I have been working on the history of the "horse railroad" that once ran in the Town of Pelham from Bartow Station to the end of City Island.  Today's post adds additional research to the collection I have assembled so far.  At the end of this post is a list of links to earlier postings on the topic. 

Today's posting transcribes a newspaper article about the horse railroad that appeared in The Supplement to The Chronicle (of Mount Vernon, New York) on December 19, 1884.  A portion of the article deals with early efforts to organize the horse railroad.

"PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND.

Mr. W. B. Astor's new yacht, Nourmahal is in winter quarters, at City Island.

Last week, the Board of Supervisors appointed David Blizzard keeper of Pelham Bridge.

The newly organized Democratic Club of Pelham have engaged Mr. J. C. Deveaugh's hall, in which to hold their weekly meetings. 

Look out for announcement by poster, of pigeon shooting and other sports, at Secord's, Bartow, on Christmas Day.  Also on New Year's day.

There is to be some sport for marksmen with the fowling piece, on Christmas Day at Robert Brown's City Island.  It will include clay pigeon and glass ball shooting.

Last night, Mr. Von Leihn, of the Bell View Hotel, gave an invitation ball.  There was gatherered together one of the most brilliant assemblages ever seen on City Island.

'City Island Reader of the Chronicle' informed that we consign anonymous communications to the waste basket.  He should have signed his name; not for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith.

Can any of the City Island oystermen explain why it is that there is no market for East River oysters.  They continually complain that there is no market for their oysters, but do not tell us why.  Surely there must be a cause.  There are just as many oysters used now as there ever was.

Mr. William Duryee is making extensive improvements to the property recently purchased by him on the west side of the Island.  Among other things, he is having two walls or breakwaters built out in the bay, extending about 100 feet from shore, one at the northern, the other at the southern boundary of his property.

H.B. Hiddon Post, 320, G.A.R. held an election for officers on Friday night with the following result:  Jerome Bell, C.; Geo. Banta, S.V.C.; Oswald Bergen, J.V.C.; Geo. E. Pinckney, O. of D.; John Secord, O.M.; Michael Egan, O. of G.; Wm. Miller, Sergt.; John H. Glasier, Chap.  The installation of the above elected officers will take place Friday evening, January 2nd.  The organization are making an earnest effort to secure a proper meeting room.  The matter is in the hands of a committee, we hope to be able to report favorably at an early date.

Last spring, the Pelham Park R. R. Co. and the City Island R. R. Co. were incorporated, for the purpose of building a railroad from Bartow to City Island.  The road was divided into two parts, the first-named company agreeing to build the part on the main land, and the City Island Company the part o nthe island, it being understood that the two roads should be consolidated after their completion.  Both companies readily obtained the consent of the commissioners of Highways to the construction of their roads, and the City Island Company also obtained the consent of a large majority of the property owners along its line.  The Pelham Park Company was, however, unable to obtain the consent of the requisite number of the property owners along its division of the road, and it accordingly appealed on Monday of last week to the General Term of the Supreme Court in Brooklyn, for the appointment of commissioners to determine whether its road was necessary and should be built, notwithstanding the objections of the property owners.  At the hearing the company was represented by W. R. Lamberton of Pelham Manor, and the property owners by Chas. D. Burrill of Bartow, Miller, Peckhouse & Dixon, of New York and others.  The opposition to the motion was based upon alleged defects in the moving papers and in the incorporation of the ocmpany, on the unconstitutionality of the statute under which the company was incorporated and on the law prohibiting the construction of a railroad in a public park.  The court reserved its decision at the time, but on the following day decided in favor of the company, and appointed Elisha Horton, of White Plains, Arthur Burns of Yonkers and Stephen D. Horton of Peeksill as Commissioners.  This decision, it would seem, finally settles the quiestion of a railroad to City Island, as there appears to be no doubt regarding its necessity.  City Island now contains over 1500 inhabitants and has the distinction of being the only place of its size in the United States without the convenience of a railroad, and this fact is all the more remarkable because fo the close proximity of the Island to New York City.  With the completion of the new road it is expected that the Island will have a regular 'boom,' and will become within a few years the most popular summer resort in the neighborhood of New York.  It has every advantage in the way of location, and all it now needs is a convenient means of a communication with the metropolis."

Source:  Pelham and City Island, Supplement to the Chronicle [of Mount Vernon, New York], Dec. 19, 1884, p. 1, col. 7.

Mon., May 3, 2010:  Efforts To Reorganize the Operators of the City Island Horse Railroad and Monorail in 1914.

Fri., April 30, 2010:  "Truly, An Illuminating Little Passage in the History of New-York!" - Efforts to Develop Shore Road Trolley Line in 1897.

Thu., April 29, 2010:  City Islanders Complain and Force the Operators of Their Horse Railroad to Agree to Replace Antiquated Cars in 1908.

Wed., April 28, 2010:  Efforts by the Pelham Park Horse Railroad to Expand and Develop a Trolley Car Line on Shore Road in 1897.

Tue., April 27, 2010:  New York City's Interborough Rapid Transit Company Sued to Foreclose a Mortgage on the Horse Railroad in 1911.

Mon., April 26, 2010:  Public Service Commission Couldn't Find Marshall's Corners in 1909.

Fri., March 5, 2010:  Construction of the City Island Horse Railroad in 1887.

Thu., March 4, 2010:  Beginnings of Horse Railroad - News from Pelham and City Island Published in 1884.

Wed., March 3, 2010:  1879 Advertisement for Robert J. Vickery's City Island Stage Line, A Predecessor to the City Island Horse Railroad.

Tue., March 2, 2010:  1901 Report Indicated that The Flynn Syndicate Planned to Buy the Pelham Bay Park & City Island Horse Car Line.

Mon., March 1, 2010:  Flynn Syndicate Buys the City Island Horse Car Line in 1907 to Incorporate It Into Electric Trolley Line.

Fri., February 26, 2010:  1913 Decision of Public Service Commission to Allow Reorganization of City Island Horse Railroad for Electrification.

Thu., February 25, 2010:  Photograph of Patrick Byrnes and Article About His Retirement of the City Island Horse Car in 1914.

Wed., February 24, 2010:  Attempted Suicide of City Island's Long-Time Horse Car Driver

Wed., February 3, 2010:  Early Information Published in 1885 About the Organization of the "City Island Railroad", a Horse Railroad from Bartow Station to City Island

Tue., February 2, 2010:  Information About the Pelham Park Railroad at its Outset

Fri., January 22, 2010:  1884 Account of Early Origins of Horse Railroad Between Bartow Station and City Island

Tue., September 1, 2009:  Pelham News on February 29, 1884 Including Talk of Constructing a New Horse Railroad from Bartow to City Island

Wed., December 2, 2009:  Accident on Horse-Car of the Pelham Park Railroad Line in 1889

Thu., December 31, 2009:  1887 Election of the Board of Directors of The City Island and Pelham Park Horse Railroad Company

Mon., January 4, 2010:  1888 Local News Account Describes Altercation on the Horse Railroad Running from Bartow Station to City Island.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fire Partly Destroyed Pelham Town Hall in 1908


Shortly after a large Republican rally in the building, a "mysterious" fire partly destroyed Pelham's Town Hall in the early morning hours of October 24, 1908.  This was the predecessor to today's Town Hall.

A brief article about the fire appeared in the October 24, 1908 issue of The Evening Telegram - New York.  It is quoted below. 

"FIRE PARTLY DESTROYS PELHAM TOWN HALL
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Lockup Is Burned, but Luckily No Prisoners Are in Cells.
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Officials are investigating a mysterious fire which partly destroyed the Pelham town hall early to-day.

Republicans had a big rally there last night and shortly after the meeting adjourned there was an alarm of fire.  The eastern end of the town hall where the cells are located was on fire.  There were no prisoners in the lockup, or they would have been burned to death.

Politicians who had taken part in the rally joined the volunteer firemen in fighting the flames and saved part of the hall and prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings."

Source:  Fire Partly Destroys Pelham Town Hall, The Evening Telegram - New York, Oct. 24, 1908, p. 5, col. 2.


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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mystery Solved - Pelham Town Hall That Once Stood On Shore Road Was Used as a School



For years I have struggled to resolve a mystery surrounding Pelham's Town Hall that once stood on Shore Road.  An engraving showing that little brick building with its tower appears below.




Many secondary authorities referenced the building as a school.  Reliable primary sources indicated that the building was built to serve as Town Hall.  I could find no reliable source indicating that the building was used as a school.  Yet, there are many, many references indicating it was used as a school.  The structure was razed in the 1950s.

I have now located a brief reference in a newspaper published on February 8, 1884 that explains the situation.  It turns out that the Town Clerk reportedly did not like the office space and moved to a location on City Island.  The Town Supervisor soon followed.  With the space unused, a decision was made to use the building as a school.  Below is the newspaper item quoted in its entirety.

"INFORMATION WANTED.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRONICLE.

All who know the people of the town of Pelham, know that they have an admiration for truth, honesty and justice, and an instinctive hatred of meanness, dishonesty, falsity and unfair dealing.

At a meeting of the People's Association of the town of Pelham, lately, a notice was presented, which called for a meeting of the people of the town of Pelham, on or about the 16th of December, 1883, to be held in the so called lock-up on City Island, at 7-1/2 o'clock, P.M.  It is well known that we have a neat little town-hall, which the taxpayers made a liberal appropriation to build, for the especial transaction of all town business; but conveniency developed itself, and the Town Clerk located his office in a corner of said lock-up; our Supervisor followed suit, and the town-hall is consequently ignored, and the lock-up on City Island turned into a town-hall, for the convenience of our Town Clerk and Supervisor, and our town-hall into a school-house.  What we would like to know is, why was a town meeting called by Supervisor Hyatt at such an hour of the night?  He well knows its illegality.  All special town meetings, in order to be legal, should be held between the hours of 10 A.M. and 3 P.M.  Our town business must be investigated, and very soon, or the town may be irredeemably sunk in debt.

ALPHA."

Source:  Information Wanted, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Feb. 8, 1884, p. ?, col. 5 (page number not printed on newspaper page).


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Monday, May 10, 2010

1675 Sale of Horses Located in Norwalk by John Pell of "Ann Hook's Neck"


I have run across a record of an odd transaction involving John Pell, the nephew and principal legatee of Thomas Pell who acquired from Native Americans the lands that became the Manor of Pelham.  On March 5, 1675, John Pell "proprietor of the Manor of Ann Hook's Neck" sold to Ralph Warner, a blacksmith in Norwalk, all his "horses, mares, colts and horse kinds that are now being or belonging to Norwalk bounds".  The complete record is transcribed below, followed by a citation to its source.

"[T]he following [is an] as yet unexplained transaction, in which one of the partners was John Pell, nephew and heir of Thomas Pell, 'Gentleman of the bedchamber to King Charles I, and first lord and Proprietor of the Manor of Pelham,' is recorded in Norwalk Town Records, Vol. I, and reads thus:

'A true copy of a deed of sale between John Pell unto Ralph Warner, recorded this 10th of May, 1675.'

'TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, that I, John Pell, proprietor of the Manor of Ann Hook's Neck, have sold unto Ralph Warner, Blacksmith, all those my horses, mares, colts and horse kinds that are now being or belonging to Norwalk bounds, in the County of Fairfield and the colony of Connecticut, he, the said Warner, paying all charges that have been out recordings and markings the said horses, and does hereby acknowledge the satisfaction received, and does hereby acquitt, discharge and quit-claim all my right and the interest I might or ought to have unto the said horses of Norwalk aforesaid.'

'IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand, this fifth day of March, 1675.'

JOHN PELL'

'Signed and delivered in presence of
SWESSELL SWESSELL,
CHARLES RAVEN.'

John Pell, whose livery was located in ancient Norwalk, was a grandson of 'John Pell, Esq., Master of the King's cup and Lord Mayor of Lyme Regis,' whose memoria sacrum is erected at the end of the south aisle of St. Nicholas Church, Derringham, England.  The New England John Pell's mother -- Mary Holland -- was of royal descent.  He was an acquaintance of Ludlow, but how and why Norwalk was selected as the seat of his stock establishment is a matter upon which light may yet be thrown."

Source:  Selleck, Charles M., Norwalk, Vol. I, p. 103 (Norwalk, CT:  Harry M. Gardner, Printer 1896).

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Image of Hawkswood Published in 1831


I previously have written about Elisha W. King and his estate known as "Hawkswood".  See

Wednesday, April 5, 2006: "Hawkswood", Later Known as the Marshall Mansion on Rodman's Neck in Pelham.

Thursday, June 28, 2007:  19th Century Notice of Executor's Sale of "Hawkswood" After Death of Elisha W. King.  

In the early 19th century, Elisha W. King was a distinguished New York City lawyer. He also served as an alderman and an assemblyman. In the 1820s, he built a lavish home in Pelham on Rodman's Neck opposite City Island. According to one source, King purchased nearby High Island in 1829 and quarried stones from the island "which he used in the construction of a foundation" for the mansion he built on Rodman's Neck. See Twomey, Bill, The Bronx, in Bits and Pieces, p. 83 (Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc. 2003). King named his mansion and the estate on which it stood "Hawkswood".

I have located an engraving of Hawkswood published in a literary magazine in 1831.  The image appears immediately below.  The image was accompanied by a brief description of the property with interesting information about its origins.  I have transcribed that text below the image, followed by a citation to the source.

"PELHAM - RODMAN'S NECK, N.Y.
The seat of E. W. King, Esq.

This beautiful edifice is fifty feet in breadth and sixty-two in depth, composed of stone.  It is entirely of the Grecian order, and was planned by, and executed under the superintendence of Mr. Martin E. Thompson, Architect of New York, in the year 1828-9.  The Lawn is enriched with almost every variety of tree and shrub, and its arrangement is one of the happiest efforts of the late distinguished Landscape Gardener, Mr. Andrew Parmentier, of Brooklyn.  It is situated on a point of land jutting into the East River, or Long Island Sound, in Pelham, about sixteen miles east of New York; and is the property of E. W. King, Esquire.

The situation is peculiarly picturesque; in the rear are woodlands of great height, having one ravine, through which the banks of the Hudson are visible; on the east and west the shores are skirted with seats of uncommon beauty.  In front are three small inhabited Islands of great fertility.  The river affords an ever varying scene of vessels, with sails and steamers passing to and from the great commercial emporium of the west."

Source:  Atkinson's Casket Or Gems of Literature, Wit and Sentiment, 1831, No. 10, pp. 457 (October 1831) (Image appears on page between pages 456 and 457). 

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Consolidation Involving Pelham Has Been Discussed Since at Least 1824


During the mid-1970s, the Village of Pelham and the Village of North Pelham were consolidated to form today's Village of Pelham.  From the 1920s to the present, residents of Pelham have debated the pros and cons of consolidating various of the villages.  Others have been debating for decades whether to consolidate or annex into greater New York City various of the suburban governmental units including Pelham.  Interestingly, it seems that such considerations were being proposed as early as 1824.

The excerpt below if from the Gazetteer of the State of New-York published in 1824.  In it, the author of the entry for Pelham indicates that "it would be well, perhaps," to consider consolidating some of the small Towns in the area including the Town of Pelham.

"PELHAM, a small Township of Westchester County, on the East river, or Long-Island Sound, 18 miles from New-York, and 9 S. of White Plains; bounded E. by New-Rochelle, W. by East-Chester, S. by the Sound, and including several small but valuable islands.  On the N. it terminates in a point.  It is washed on the W. by East-Chester, or Hutchinson's, or Hutchins' creek, and like the other towns of this County, is confined to a very small area.  The land is very stony, but productive, and the surface has little diversity.  The turnpike toward Boston, from New-York, leads across this town, and there are some handsome country seats along the Sound.  Pell's Point is at the S. end, and the islands are Minneford's or City Island, Hart's Island, and High Island.  Rodman's Neck and Pell's Point are the same.  Population, 283; 50 farmers and 1 mechanic; no slaves; 31 free blacks; taxable property $164764; 1 school district; school kept 5 months in 12; $50; 65; 35; electors, 48; 2947 acres of improved land; 254 cattle, 46 horses, 212 sheep; 182 yards of cloth made in the domestic way.  In some of the freaks of our legislation, it would be well, perhaps, to consolidate some of these little towns, though it might diminish the number of those little-great-men, who derive all their importance from an office.  But -- 'the more teats the more puppies,' a fact perfectly understood by all the managers, as well on the smaller as on the greater scale, and division and subdivision are the order of the day.  So many alterations have already been made, in the boundaries of Counties and Towns, so many have been subdivided, and new ones erected, even since the 2 late Censuses, of 1820 and 1821, that in very many instances we have to substitute guessing for enumeration, while yet the Census is hardly dry from the press.

See Civil Divisions.
S.M., J.W., S.D."

Source:  Spafford, Horatio Gates, A Gazetteer of the State of New-York:  Embracing an Ample Survey and Description of its Counties, Towns, Cities, Villages, Canals, Mountains, Lakes, Rivers, Creeks, and Natural Topography, p. 406 (Albany, NY:  B.D. Packard, 1824).

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Pelham Opposed Plan by Lawmakers to Consolidate Westchester Towns Into "Westchester City"


In 1922, lawmakers floated a plan to consolidate a large number of Westchester communities including the three villages of the Pelhams and the Town of Pelham to create a Westchester City.  Known as the "City Plan in Westchester," the proposal faced intense opposition from prominent Pelham residents including William T. Grant (head of the famous Grant's "twenty five cent" nationwide store chain), Lockwood Barr (former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal and head of investor relations at General Motors) and others.

The article below details the opposition to the City Plan in Westchester.

"Home Builders Fear 'City' Plan In Westchester
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Commuters Can See Equity Swept Away by Greater Tax Burdens if Project of Politicians Succeeds
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Anti-Ward Revolt Spreads
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Civic Groups Throughout County Join in Denouncing Scheme as Vicious
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[This is the second of a series of articles on 'The City of Westchester' plan.  The third article will appear in The Tribune to-morrow.]
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The most important aspect of the campaign that is developing against the City of Westchester project is the situation of thousands and thousands of persons who earn their living in New York, but who are trying to create homes for themselves in Westchester County.

Ordinarily the mass of these persons take little interest in the affairs of the politicians of the county.  For some of them, however, the difference between a Westchester County and a City of Westchester might be the difference between possessing an equity in their homes and not possessing one.  A sharp rise in taxes might upset the calculations of countless adventurers in the field of domestic economics.

That is a hazard, though, that has not been dwelt upon in the numerous condemnatory resolutions that have been adopted recently by civic bodies and other organizations recording themselves as opposed to a City of Westchester.  The consensus as expressed in these documents is that the plan would be destructive of all hope of intelligent application of the principle of self-rule.

Few Openly Champion Project

There is so little feeling favorable to the City of Westchester scheme that it is difficult to get any one to say a kind word for it.  Even Surrogate George L. Slater, whose prophecy, made last January, that Westchester would be a single municipality within two years has had surprisingly little to say about it.  Nevertheless, the Republican organization, headed by William L. Ward of Port Chester, is not permitting any of its members to participate in the attacks upon this plan.

There was a meeting of the Republican City Committee of Yonkers on April 17 in which there was a demonstration of the vitality of the City of Westchester project.  Ulrich Weisendanger, formerly sheriff of Westchester, introduced a resolution denouncing the city government scheme.  The Ward forces knew that the resolution was to be introduced and they were prepared for it.  The chairman of the meeting was Wade Hampton, of Yonkers, a Ward supporter.  One of the Ward men moved to table the resolution and it was tabled with the assistance of about thirty proxies, which were voted over the vociferous protests of the anti-Ward crowd, a group generally referred to as the Sutherland-Weisendanger forces.

The tabling of the resolution was declared by persons hostile to Ward to be a complete demonstration of the actual sympathy entertained by Ward for the plan to fuse the scattered towns

(Continued on page six)  [Page 1 / Page 6]

Home Builders Fear 'City' Plan In Westchester
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(Continued from page one)
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and villages of Westchester into a single municipality.

The resolution that was defeated by the Ward forces was as follows:

'Whereas, Statements have appeared in the public press which indicate that a movement is on foot for the creation of a so-called City of Westchester, into which shall be incorporated all the towns and cities in the southern part of the county; and

'Whereas, The establishment of such an institution would take away from the people of the City of Yonkers the right to govern themselves and to exercise control over their own local affairs; and

'Whereas, The right of local self-government is one of the oldest established principles of our democracy and necessary to the continued existence of our form of government; and

'Whereas, There has been established a county government commission which exists for the purpose of formulating a proposed new plan of county government, of which commission ex-Mayor Wallin of this city is a member; and

'Whereas although the law provides for a referendum to the people of the county on the question, it also provides that the adoption by the county of any new plan of government shall not preclude the Legislature from amending or modifying such plan; therefore be it

'Resolved, That the Republican City Committee of the City of Yonkers does hereby express its unqualified disapproval of the creation of a City of Westchester, and that it further urges the County Government Commission to adopt no plan of county government which may include the transfer to the county or county officers of any functions now exercised by the city or city officers; and be it further

'Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the chairman of the County Government Commission and to the members of the State Legislature representing the territory included within the limits of the City of Yonkers.'

Called Ward Patronage Scheme

Ward's opponents say he favors this scheme because in no other way can he continue to be the patronage dictator of the county, Yonkers, a city of 115,000, and Mount Vernon, a city of approximately 50,000, are growing rapidly and in both places there are vigorous revolts against Ward's exercise of power revolts, moreover, which menace the rest of the county with infection.

The first revolt was five years ago when Lee Parsons Davis, then Assistant District Attorney ran for District Attorney in the primaries, beating Francis A. Winslow, the Ward candidate.  The next revolt came in Yonkers when Ward refused to nominate for Sheriff Robert Ferguson, an under-sheriff.  This attempt to depose Ward was even more successful.  About 40 per cent of the enrolled Republican vote in the county was gained by Ferguson.  Last year the Wallin-Ward forces in Yonkers were beaten in the primaries by the Sutherland-Weisendanger 'rebels.'  Ulrich Weisendanger, running for Mayor, carried the city by 2,000 votes, but was defeated in the election by the Democrat, Walter M. Taussig.  'Knifed,' was their succinct explanation of this curious defeat in a city normally Republican.  Robert Ferguson, in the same election, was elected Comptroller.

All of this demonstrates the metal of the politicians fighting Ward, but now they have found in the city of Westchester project an issue that is unpoplular in every town and village in the county, and they are preparing to make the most of it.

It is their contention that Ward, and Ward alone, wants a City of Westchester in order to suppress the Yonkers and Mount Vernon insurrections by bringing these cities under a larger tent.  As proof that the Ward forces are not sitting idly by the Sutherland-Weisendanger forces point out that in recent months nineteen Federal state and county jobs have been created in Yonkers.  All of these places have been filled with Ward men.

Arthur W. Lawrence, of Bronxville, also classed as loyal to the Ward organization, recently lent a hand by purchasing 'The Yonkers Statesman.'  The price was said to have been $100,000.  There are scores of other incidents, all of which have a bearing on this fight to give a city government to nearly 500,000 people, who, if allowed to vote on the question would probably be overwhelmingly opposed to it.

Whatever the motives behind the actions of the politicians engaged in these skirmishes there can be no question about the sincerity of some of the organizations that have attacked the scheme.  For example, the Men's Club of Pelham, with a membership of nearly 500, is reported by the president, W. T. Grant, as being strongly opposed.  Mr. Grant is the owner of the chain of twenty-five cent stores that bear his name throughout the country.

'The executive committee of the club is against the plan to a man,' said Mr. Grant.  'Among these men are James Elliott, an advertising man; Lockwood Barr, of the General Motors publicity department; D. H. H. Brown, a minister; Walter S. Findlay jr., and James R. Gerry, an attorney.

Informal Plebiscite To Be Taken

'We are trying to figure out ways of aligning all the churches, social organizations, chambers of commerce, secret orders and other bodies of citizens in Westchester County.  For Pelham we are planning to conduct a straw vote.  A resolution for this purpose is being drafted.  Just as soon as we get one which all can approve it will be mailed out to the people of Pelham, and if other committees want to use the same ballot we'll be glad to assist them.

'I haven't heard a kind word for this proposal since it was broached.  But the people have got to get up on their hind legs about it if they want to kill this most absurd and vicious plan.'

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Ardsley adopted a resolution placing that community's feeling on record.  The village government there is an excellent example of the thing the people would lose if a City of Westchester were created.  They are getting 100 cents' worth of government for a dollar's worth of taxes, because the officials of the town serve without pay.  Their resolution is as follows:

'Resolved, That the Village of Ardsley, its board of trustees and a large majority of its resident inhabitants are unalterably opposed to any legislation having for its purpose or intent the establishment in Westchester County of a commission form of government in the place and stead of the present local self-government therein, or to any legislation looking to the consolidation of the several municipalities in the County of Westchester into one city to be known, as currently reported, as the 'City of Westchester,' believing that such legislation would be highly detrimental to the best interests and upbuilding of the several municipalities proposed to be included therein, thereby in a great measure at least depriving each municipality of the time-honored privilege of local self-government as exemplified in the Americanized ideals of unabridged home rule.'

In the northwest section of Yonkers the Moresmere Community Brotherhood, including about two hundred men in its membership, adopted a resolution protesting against the project on the ground that it would increase the cost of government and militate against democratic institutions, and that the proposed city would include large unpopulated areas.

William H. Anderson, state superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League, is a vice-president of the Central Brotherhood of Central Methodist Episcopal Church of Yonkers, which organization has joined the anti-City of Westchester forces.  Others in this organization are Frank Fowler, president; Alfred M. Reeves, chairman of the Automobile Chamber of Commerce of the United States, and James A. Jarvis, of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The resolution the brotherhood adopted at a meeting held March 20 follows:  'We approve any proposal in good faith to make a study of governmental conditions within Westchester County, and the various subdivisions thereof, with a view to consolidation of activities, where such consolidation will save money and increase efficiency.

'However, we oppose any attempt to revive the scheme for the so-called City of Westchester, which involves setting up of a government in the entire county, or in a considerable portion thereof, containing the largest cities of the county.  In our judgment it would aggravate the situation already existing in Yonkers, where there are large unimproved areas, which impose a burden out of proportion to their ability to support their fair proportion of same on a reasonable basis of taxation.'

There are more resolutions on record, but altogether they are but a start in the campaign, for this is a fight in which there can be no neutral person in Westchester."

Source:  Home Builders Fear 'City' Plan In Westchester, New York Tribune, Apr. 25, 1922, Vol. LXXXII, No. 27,554, p. 1, col. 3.

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