KML File View
Unfortunately this was the last time any of them saw Suzie alive.
Sunday July 14th 1895, Samuel L Clemens and party departed Elmira New York on board the Delaware Lackawanna & Western bound for Buffalo and then on to Cleveland. From Quarry Farm, moments before departing he wrote his sister:
"I have not been able to write I've been in bed ever since we arrived here May 25th until 4 days ago when I put on my clothes for the first time in 45 days to go to New York, barely capable of the exertion. To undergo the shame borne of the mistake I made in establishing a publishing house. I can't make any more financial mistakes, I've nothing left to make them with. If Webster had paid me my dividend on the Grant book when he paid himself and Mrs. Grant I should have been spared the humilation of these days. However, I am still clean of dishonesty toward any man and... but nevermind, it would profit nothing to say it. Livy and Clara have gone down in the valley to take the train toward the Pacific Coast and I follow in five minutes. We leave Suzie and Jean here at the farm. They will join us in London next year."
Unfortunately this was the last time any of them saw Suzie alive. The train departed Elmira with stops in locations such as Big Flats, Corning, Painted Post, Bath, Dansville, Alden, Lancaster, and, finally, Buffalo.
By 1890 the DL&W was scheduling 13 daily trains westbound into Buffalo, including three mixed trains and four passenger trains. The passenger trains averaged 38 mph and the Elmira-to-Buffalo runs lasted between 4-5 hours depending on whether or not there were flag stops.
Big Flats: August 29th of 1889 a rather unfortunate railway accident occurred exacerbated by an order given by one W. B. Coffin, superintendent of the Susquehanna Division of the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad. It seems the line was not clear due to a previous collision between a Lehigh Valley Coal train and an Erie freight train that had passed by the Corning Station Crossover trying to make it to Big Flats. Erie Train 2 came from behind at a full rate of speed. A A A flagman had heard the engine of train 100 whistle off brakes and he assumed the tracks were clear. He did this in accordance with the special order issued July 4th 1889. The engineer apparently did not see the second flagman who was approximately one half mile from train 100, and ran full speed into its caboose. The engine, baggage and express cars and mail cars of train 2 and the caboose and three cars of train 100 were destroyed. The engineer Wallace and fireman were taken from the wreck in a mangled and scalded state, but both still alive. They were both transported to their homes in Hornellsville. The engineer was so badly injured that death released him of his suffering at 4pm.
Corning: Crystal City, famous for its glass industry but it began with lumber rafting down the Chemung river. Named for Erastus Corning, a very wealthy financier, politician and land speculator who ran the Utica and Schenectady Railroad for twenty years.
Of interest to local historians is Bloody Run, an area near Gorton Creek, the site of a battle between the forces of American Generals John Sullivan and James Clinton and native American villagers. The battle was part of campaign directly ordered by George Washington to break the control of the Iroquois Indians in the area. It was called Bloody Run for the reports of bloody creek water coming from the battle scene. Painted Post, named for a monument placed at the junction of three rivers, the Chemung, Tioga and Cohocton. Known to all the six nations as the burial place of a distinguished warrior wounded in one of the border battles of the Revolutionary War. The post stood for many years after the settlement of the county but eventually it rotted down at the butt. It is said to have been preserved in the bar room of a tavern until about eighteen ten and then mysteriously disappeared. It is also said to have been swept away in a freshet.
Coopers Plains, a hamlet in the northern part of the town of Erwin. Campbell, a town first settled in 1801. Savona. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W) was completed through Savona in 1882, providing direct competition with the Erie Railroad, which opened in Savona in 1852. The opening of a second major railroad convinced a majority of the residents that the town would continue to grow and need its own government. May of 1883 Savona became a village corporation.
Bath, The town was founded in 1793, part of a land investment by wealthy Briton William Pulteney, and named after Bath in England, where he owned extensive estates. It was created along with Steuben County in 1796 and became a mother town of the county, eventually yielding land to seven later towns.
Kanona, A hamlet northwest of Bath village.
Avoca, The first settler arrived around 1794. At that time, the area was home to the Seneca Indians. The town was formed from parts of four other towns in 1843: Bath, Cohocton, Howard, and Wheeler. Wallace, a hamlet in the township of Avoca
The Cohocton valley was one of the best Indian hunting grounds until the forests were cut down. The streams dried up and most of the animals moved to other places. For many years there were no deer in this part of the state. Soon after 1815 the last Indians left the valley and went to the state reservations.
Cohocton, the town was first settled around 1794, known as Liberty. Cohocton was formed from Bath and Dansville in 1812. Part of the town was later used to form new towns in the county: Avoca (1843) and Wayland (1848). In 1874, the town was enlarged by the addition of a part of the town of Prattsburgh. Atlanta, A hamlet in the northeast part of Cohocton formerly known as "Bloods." It was founded around 1840.
The Cohocton River changes from east-flowing to south-flowing at Atlanta. The settlement of the township was slow at first. There were many dangers and hardships: bears, bobcats, panthers, lynxes, wolves and rattlesnakes.
Wayland was incorporated in 1877. The village grew after it was selected as a station on the Erie Railroad.
Perkinsville, from 1882 to 1963, Perkinsville was on the New York (Hoboken) to Buffalo Main Line of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (1882–1960) and Erie Lackawanna Railroad (1960–1963). Tracks were removed through Perkinsville in 1963 by order of the United States Interstate Commerce Commission to promote highway transportation. As of 2008, Perkinsville has no rail service.
Dansville The town was formed, along with the county, in 1796 as one of the original towns in the county, but was not settled until around 1804. The town was used to form, in whole or part, the Towns of Cohocton, Howard (both in 1812), Wayland (1848), and Fremont (1854). In 1822, part of the town, including the Village of Dansville was annexed to the Town of Sparta in Livingston County. A spa, in the “Castle on the Hill”, opened in 1854. It drew prominent people for the water cure. The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad opened its mainline high above Dansville, on September 17, 1882. Famed "Dansville Hill" was an impediment to heavy eastbound trains for 81 years, until the mainline was abandoned by the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad between Groveland and Wayland in late 1963. To the dismay of local business men, the Dansville station was more than a mile up the steep hill (Depot Road).
Groveland, The Sullivan Expedition (1779) reached its farthest extent here, the site of the Boyd and Parker ambush. The first settlement occurred in 1792 and was called "Willamsburgh." The town was formed in 1789 before the creation of Livingston County. Part of Groveland was used to form parts of the Towns of Conesus 1819) and Sparta (1856).
Mt. Morris, first settled around 1784. It was known as "Allens Hill" and then as "Richmond Hill." The town was formed from the Town of Leicester in 1818. The former Genesee Valley Canal passed through the town. The area had three major Seneca villages: Little Beard's Town, Big Tree, and Squakie Hill. These settlements were targets of the Sullivan Expedition. Little Beard, or “Spear Hanging Down", was a Seneca chief on the side of Great Britain. His village, Little Beard's Town consisted of about 130 houses. Little Beard participated in the Cherry Valley massacre of 1778, and presided over the torture and death of Boyd and Parker, captured scouts of the Sullivan Expedition of 1779. Subsequently, Little Beard's Town was destroyed by the American forces. Mary Jemison, then a resident of the village, fled with the natives to more secure villages. The modern town of Cuylerville was built at the spot. Little Beard was one of the Seneca chiefs signing the Treaty of Canandaigua of 1794. He was also a signatory to the Treaty of Big Tree in 1797. He died as the result of injuries received during a brawl at a tavern in 1806.
East Bethany: Bethany was set off from the Town of Batavia on June 8, 1812. The first town meeting was held on April 8, 1813 consisting of members of several small communities including Bethany Center, East Bethany, West Bethany, Little Canada, Linden and Putnam Settlement. –-Genesee Country, the farthest western region of New York State, comprising the Genesee Valley and westward to the Niagara River, Lake Erie, and the Pennsylvania line. The tract was a 3,250,000 acre portion of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase that lay west of the Genesee River. It was purchased from Robert Morris by the Holland Land Company. One of the provisions of the sale was that Morris needed to settle the Indian title to the land, so he arranged for his son Thomas Morris to negotiate with the Iroquois at Geneseo, New York in 1797. About 3,000 Iroquois, mostly Senecas, arrived for the negotiation. Seneca chief and orator Red Jacket was adamantly against the sale, but his influence was thwarted by freely distributed liquor and trinkets given to the women. In the end he acquiesced and signed the Treaty of Big Tree. The tribe sold their rights to the land, except for a small portion, for $100,000. Mary Jemison, known as The White Woman of the Genesee, proved to be an able negotiator for the tribe and helped win more favorable terms for them.
The land was then surveyed under the supervision of Joseph Ellicott, the biggest land survey ever attempted to that time. Ellicott, as agent for the company, established a land office in Batavia in 1802. The entire purchase was named Genesee County, with Batavia as the county seat. The company sold parcels until 1846, when the company was dissolved. The phrase "doing a land office business" dates from this era. Alexander Alden Lancaster: In 1803, the Holland Land Company sold its first plot of land in the future town.
The town of Lancaster was formed from the town of Clarence in 1833. The town was named after Lancaster, Massachusetts, but the reason for applying this name is not known. Originally called "Cayuga Creek", the town later incorporated and obtained the current name.
Buffalo And so, the morning of July 15, 1895, Twain slouched into Buffalo for a two-hour layover. This was the last time he ever visited Buffalo, where he once lived as a newlywed, a first-time father and a newspaper owner and managing editor. His old Buffalo friend Charles M. Underhill collected Twain, his wife, Olivia, and daughter Clara by carriage at the Exchange Street station. Underhill whisked the women off for a quick visit with his wife, Emma. Twain had read about the spectacular marble and granite Blocher Memorial in Forest Lawn, and wanted to see it, hoping to write an article about it. According to Underhill, “the monument did not stir him,” and Twain dismissed it as a possible subject for a story.
On the carriage ride from the cemetery back to Underhill’s house, a dejected Twain confided that “he hadn’t anything more to write about, that he had got to the end.” An hour or so later, Twain and family returned to Buffalo’s train station and proceeded to Cleveland.
Buffalo 2: Mark Twain lived in Buffalo for only 18 months, from August of 1869 to March of 1871. Twain’s life in Buffalo ended with illness, loss and anxiety, but it began on a high note. He moved to Buffalo as a bachelor and the new editor of the Buffalo Express. His wealthy future father-in-law, coal magnate Jervis Langdon, put up $25,000 to make him part owner. Twain threw himself into his work at the Express with enthusiasm approaching glee, transforming the newspaper with wit and elan. He had a wide social circle. He had just published “The Innocents Abroad.” Everybody loved him and wanted to get close to him. He was like a rock star,” Six months after arriving in Buffalo, Twain married Olivia Langdon and they moved into a mansion purchased as a surprise wedding gift by her father.
Twain and his new wife hosted visitors and socialized. It was also a productive period for Twain personally, who not only wrote for, edited and made changes at the Express for the first six weeks, but began work on “Roughing It.” Soon, Olivia became pregnant, but was devastated when her father was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died on Aug. 6, 1870. Then Emma Nye, a dear friend of Olivia’s who was visiting, was stricken with typhoid fever and died in their home Sept. 29. Finally, their son, Langdon, was born prematurely Nov. 7, frail and sickly, and Olivia fell ill with typhoid herself. They had had enough. Olivia was carried out of their home on a mattress to the train station for the trip to Elmira. Both the home and Twain’s stake in the Express were sold at a loss.