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Old Time Orleans

Landmark Presbyterian Church stands as testament to 19th Century prosperity

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 20 August 2016 at 12:30 pm

Old Time Orleans Masthead

Albion Presbyterian Church



Volume 2, Issue 34

ALBION – Few churches in Orleans County can boast such an extensive and prosperous history at the First Presbyterian Society. The earliest roots of the church date to 1816 when the First Congregational Society of Barre was formed at the home of Joseph Hart. Nearly twenty years later members from that church showed preference towards the Presbyterian style of church government and opted to relocate to the fledgling village that would later become Albion.

The founding members of that congregation included prominent residents such as Joseph Hart, Jedediah Phelps, and Harvey Goodrich who were subsequently selected as elders of the church; Hart was also selected as deacon. Following the organization of this new congregation, the church welcomed their first new member by baptism, the infant Flora Ann Hopkins, daughter of Milton Hopkins. Services were held in several locations including a schoolhouse on Main Street, a local barn, and for a period of time, the court house.

The desire to erect a permanent house of worship to call their own burned bright within the congregation. In 1830 the society met and decided to construct a church edifice at a total cost of no more than $4,000. The following year, the congregation celebrated the completion of their new brick church located on Main Street. That site remained active until the congregation elected to erect a new building on East State Street; the old church was sold to the Episcopalians.

The new Greek Revival church was completed in 1846 at a cost of $9,160 and included an organ and bell costing approximately $1,950. When the present church was constructed, this structure was converted into a chapel and the belfry later removed.

Following the death of Elizur Hart in 1870, a generous bequest of $50,000 (nearly $1,000,000 today) was left to erect the beautiful and impressive Gothic style edifice that stands today. The cost to construct such a striking building totaled nearly $80,000, so it was thanks in large part to Mr. Hart that this stunning landmark was completed. The building was dedicated in 1874 and finished with a Hook & Hastings two manual organ boasted as one of the finest in Western New York; the instrument was installed at an expense of $3,500.

The 175-foot steeple which remains a visible landmark on the horizon from miles around Albion weathered the storms of this area for over 60 years before the congregation determined the need for restoration work. Leading up to 1937, a series of storms had caused damage to the spire culminating in several stones falling to the ground that year. The windows that adorn the stone range from seven feet to four feet six inches in height and the capstone consists of three separate pieces of sandstone standing five feet ten inches tall.

Repairs to the steeple were completed in late 1937 after the congregation raised the necessary funds from nearly 450 churchgoers and community members. Upon commencement of the repairs, it was discovered that the top fifteen feet was leaning ten inches to the northeast.

This fine example of Gothic architecture constructed with Medina Sandstone stands as a testament to the ingenuity of the earliest settlers of Orleans County. It represents the foundation on which our area was built and reflects an age of great wealth, prosperity, and generosity. Few places in New York can claim such a rich cultural and architectural history as we have here.

Elizur Hart will be one of several prominent citizens featured during Sunday’s tour at Mt. Albion Cemetery. The Department of History is hosting tours of the cemetery on Sundays in August starting at 6 p.m. Tours will be led by Matthew Ballard and Bill Lattin and the group will depart from the cemetery chapel. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather – this week’s tour includes a nice leisurely stroll and some very small hills!

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Bidelmans Tannery was a mainstay at Gaines

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 16 July 2016 at 10:00 am

GAINES – Coming to Shelby in 1817, Samuel Bidelman was brought to Shelby by his Uncle John Garlock to a site cleared by Bidelman’s father during the previous year. The Bidelman clan was built from strong German stock and resided in Herkimer County before trekking westward to the wilderness that was Orleans County.

As Arad Thomas recalls in the Pioneer History of Orleans County, the Bidelman family was greeted by a large contingent of locals who welcomed them to their new home. Upon the crowd’s departure, Henry Bidelman realized that his new neighbors had taken a large portion of the wheat flour brought with them into the virgin forests. The family was forced to live off of the remaining flour, bran bread, and sea biscuit leftover from the War of 1812 stores at the Batavia Arsenal. The crops of 1817 eventually provided alternate food sources for the settlers of the area.

In 1820, Samuel left his family “with an old straw hat, a pair of tow cloth pantaloons and a second hand coat” to start his own life at Ridgeway Corners. There he entered the employ of Isaac Bullard learning the trade of tanning and shoemaking. Bullard fancied liquor and was said to be a “hard master” to his young apprentice; Isaac died in 1827 and Samuel eventually purchased the business from his master’s wife.

In 1835 Bidelman sold his tannery at Ridgeway and with $1,500 to his name, purchased the old tannery once belonging to James and Elihu Mather in the village of Gaines. That tannery, seen in this picture, shows the site as it appeared in 1870 located along the south side of the Ridge Road, just east of the Oak Orchard Road intersection. In its earliest years the local Masonic Lodge met on the upper floor and the property, as well as the Mather brothers, were allegedly involved in the disappearance of William Morgan in 1826.

With the outbreak of the Patriot War in Canada during the year 1838, Bidelman provided support to the Canadian rebels, allowed for the establishment of a “Hunter’s Lodge” within the second story of his tannery, and provided the group with a cast iron bark mill to be used for casting cannon balls. In his generosity and commitment to the movement he gave his last gun and a pair of boots to fit out a soldier who traveled to Canada to join the rebels. It is said that Samuel was a lieutenant with an artillery militia company in Yates and gave the unit’s artillery piece to the Patriots.

In 1841 Bidelman established a partnership with Robert Ranney, which lasted five years before it dissolved due to a lack of profit and frequent disagreements. Upon dissolution of the partnership, Bidelman went into business with his sons up until the property burned in 1873.

His son Charles rebuilt the business and operated it for another ten years before selling his interests in the company. At the time this photograph was taken, the town offices for Gaines were housed on the second floor.

Bidelman served several terms as Gaines Town Supervisor as well as Justice of the Peace. He was also present for the 1859 collapse of the Canal bridge at Albion when he and his wife were thrown into the water along with hundreds of others who were watching a tightrope walker attempt to cross “Clinton’s Ditch.”

Albion Rotarian starred in Womanless Wedding for fund-raiser

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 9 July 2016 at 9:00 am

Volume 2, Issue 28

Over 100 years ago, “Womanless Weddings” were commonplace throughout the United States. Dating back into the 19th century, faux nuptials were held in the South as a means for raising money for charities, churches, and community organizations. As interest in their inherent humor began to rise, the events spread like a wildfire across the entire country.

The Womanless Wedding was an opportunity for men to dress up as women, don some makeup, and over exaggerate femininity. These gentlemen would kiss members of the crowd (men and women alike), flash their garters, adjust whatever they may have rigged up for breasts, and act in a generally “naughty” manner all for a few laughs.

Naturally, these became popular events as community members had no qualms about paying a little money to see their neighbors dressed as women. Publishers eventually developed scripts for such programs and each event became a true dramatic performance. One such set of lines from a 1936 program closes with the minister introducing the newlyweds:

Minister: “Then, in the name of I-wouldn’t-‘a’-thought-it, I pronounce you man and…Two dollars and seventy-five cents, please?”
Groom: “What’s the seventy-five cents for? You promised to splice us for two dollars.”
Minister: “That’s for having to look at the bride all during the ceremony…”

This image shows Eugene W. “Bud” Wilcox, Jr. dressed as Theda Bara for a Womanless Wedding hosted by the Albion Rotary Club for the benefit of the Crippled Children Fund. Quite the saucy personality, Bara was an early silent film actress who became well known as one of the earliest sex symbols in U.S. cinema.

Wilcox was born on February 20, 1891 to Eugene and Alice Wilcox, growing up on West Park Street in Albion. Following graduation from the Albion High School, Wilcox enrolled at Lehigh University where he became a prominent athlete while studying business and participating as a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity.

After he completed his degree in 1915, “Bud” enlisted with the U.S. Navy during the First World War and was stationed in New Orleans as a Chief Storekeeper. Five days after the conclusion of the war, he was commissioned as an Ensign and remained in the U.S. Naval Reserves until the end of 1919. Upon his return to Albion he worked as a clerk in his father’s hardware store located at 98 Main Street, eventually taking ownership of the business. The building and hardware store still exist today, now as Family Hardware owned by Fred Miller.

Wilcox was a charter member of Albion’s Rotary Club, an active member of the Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Elks and Renovation Lodges of Albion.

Carlton native earned fame for physique, larger-than-life personality

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 2 July 2016 at 12:00 am

Volume 2, Issue 27

Orleans County boasts a long an impressive lineage of entrepreneurs, inventors, and local celebrities so it should be no surprise that this week’s column features yet another area native who developed an illustrious career for himself.

The child of John Babbage and Fanny Wescott, Edward Frederick Babbage was born along the Oak Orchard River in Carlton around 1841. His mother was an English immigrant arriving in the United States in 1837 and marrying her husband the following year.

After spending their earliest years in Orleans County, the Babbage family relocated to Rochester where the father worked as a fruit peddler. It is said that Edward was always on the “large” side, being exceptionally big at the age of six and weighing in at 200 pounds at the age of 14. His interests were varied, so much of his early working career was spent experimenting in various vocations; first as a hotel porter, then as a hotel manager, a traveling salesman, museum manager, and eventually a glassblower.

At the conclusion of the Civil War, Babbage was enlisted as the road agent for a minstrel troupe operated by veterans of the 15th Engineer Corps. After a three-year stint with the troupe, his services were sought by the well-known minstrel troupe operated by “Happy Cal” Wagner. As the story goes, Wagner was unaware of Edward’s initials sent the letter addressed to “Phat Boy” Babbage; from that point forward, the name stuck like glue.

“Phat Boy” Babbage became a celebrity thanks to his large size, amiable personality, striking looks, and sense of humor. During his years as a road agent, he claimed to have visited every city and town that boasted more than 5,000 inhabitants. He became a popular public spectacle and a larger-than-life personality, which conveniently matched his physical stature. As a result, newspapers remarked “he was the fattest of the fat” and “was as broad as he was wide”

Babbage’s rise to fame occurred during the time in which the country’s wealthiest and most famous capitalists were scarfing up land throughout the St. Lawrence River region. Venturing northward, Babbage was enlisted by the steamboat operators of the Thousand Islands to act as a tour guide for the region. He often sat aboard the bow of the boats equipped with his signature felt hat and diamond lapel pin, sharing colorful stories of the area’s rich and famous inhabitants.

“Phat Boy” was an astute guide and spent much of his time brushing up on the history of the region, authoring several books which are still viewable today. Babbage’s book entitled “The Phat Boy’s 15 Years on the St. Lawrence River” highlights his career on the river as well as stories of celebrities he met along the way including President Ulysses S. Grant and George M. Pullman.

Humorous anecdotes fill the pages often discouraging readers from attaining a mass equivalent to his own, remarking that such extreme weights were far from enjoyable. Pushing 330 pounds by 1890, Babbage’s wife had died several years prior largely due to her excessive weight and his own twin brother, Dr. Edwin F. Babbage lagged behind at a mere 300 pounds.

On June 23, 1891, Babbage felt ill and meandered up the stairs of the Marsden House at Alexandria Bay. Whistling his usual joyful melody as he ascended, he collapsed at the head of the stairs and died at the age of 51; 340 pounds his final weight.

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Burrows Concert Hall once home to Baptist Church in Albion

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 26 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Volume 2, Issue 26

ALBION – Over two hundred years ago as the pioneer settlers first established themselves in the wilderness that was once Genesee County, education and religion became fundamental pieces in daily life.

It’s no surprise that the first church constructed in this region was situated along the heavily traveled Ridge Road in the town of Gaines. A partnership between Baptists and Congregationalists led to the erection of a church edifice to the west of the old Gaines Road.

Upon the opening of the Erie Canal, traffic, industry, and eventually wealth transitioned southward into the Village of Albion and of course so did the demand for schools and churches.

The Baptists, once practicing their faith in their shared sanctuary at Gaines, pushed to split the congregation in order to establish themselves within the village. With pressure from many prominent citizens, the First Baptist Church of Albion was organized on April 17, 1830 at the Court House; Phineas Briggs and Barnuel Farr were selected as deacons.

After the succession of Rev. Hervey Blood to the pastorate of the congregation at Gaines, the Rev. Arab Irons was petitioned to serve in Albion as the first pastor of the newly formed congregation. With no place to meet, the churchgoers worshiped in the Court House for nearly two years before the group was able to purchase a parcel of land on North Main Street from Sydney Barrell at a cost of $400.

In 1832, the beautiful edifice pictured here was built adjacent to the Burrows Mansion (the old Swan Library) at a cost of $7,000. Constructed in the Federal style, the building is representative of an iconic architectural style that places emphasis on balance, symmetry, and elegance. For nearly 28 years the structure served the faithful worshippers until the congregation outgrew its physical space.

Under the pastorate of Rev. Almond C. Barrell the congregation purchased a lot on the corner of Liberty and West Park Street from the Presbyterian Church and erected a new building at the cost of $22,107 in 1860; approximately $588,000 today.

Upon relocation of the congregation, the old church was transferred to Roswell S. Burrows who used the space as a concert hall. The building continued to serve in that capacity until it was left vacant and razed in the early 1890s.

The “Concert Hall Lot,” as it was called, remained under the ownership of the Burrows Estate until the remaining real property was liquidated in 1906. The Albion Lodge Independent Order of Odd Fellows purchased the lot and constructed a meeting house, which remains today with some additions and modifications added over the last 109 years.

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Town of Gaines marks 200 years of mail

Posted 18 June 2016 at 12:00 am

By Al Capurso
Town of Gaines Historian

Volume 2, Issue 25

When you pick up your mail in the next few days, you might want to remember that it was 200 years ago this July 1st that a pioneer settler on the Ridge Road in Gaines became the first postmaster in Orleans County. William Jenks Babbitt ran that post office out of his log cabin home starting in 1816.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island on September 15, 1786, he learned the trade of blacksmith in his father’s shop. In 1810, Babbitt came to the unbroken wilderness of “the Genesee Country” and began clearing land and building his log cabin near the corner of Crandall Road and Route 104.

After the dangers of the War of 1812 subsided, he moved his wife and children to what was to become Gaines and became the area’s first blacksmith. He also established the first brickyard in the town, supplying the bricks for many early buildings we still see standing today. He was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1815 and served in this capacity for 23 years. His “Marriage Day Book” with its first entry of June 2, 1815 is in the possession of the Town of Gaines Historian. It can be seen in the display case at the town hall next to his original daguerreotype portrait you see here.

In 1816, Wm. Babbitt was successful in getting the Ridge Road declared “The Post Road” by New York State, and his application as first postmaster of Gaines was granted; an office he held for five years. Babbitt was also working hard to get the town of Gaines organized. It was his suggestion that General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, hero of the War of 1812, be honored with its naming.

His 1816 Valentines Day gift to his wife Eunice was the announcement that Gaines was set off from Ridgeway and contained most of the present day Carlton and Barre. In 1831 he became Town of Gaines Supervisor and soon after represented this area in the New York State Assembly.

Perhaps the most enduring legacy of William Babbitt was the construction of Gaines District #5 Cobblestone Schoolhouse on the Ridge Road just east of Childs. It was built in 1849 and the work was superintended by Babbitt. It is most unusual in that it has a sloping floor and its facade of lake washed cobblestones are set on a hewn wooden framework, rather than a rubble stone wall.

Further, Mr. Babbitt gave the school district a gift of the bell pictured above, costing $20 in 1849. The building was used as a schoolhouse until 1952. Currently, plans are underway to restore the bell to working order, so once again visitors to the Cobblestone Museum in Childs, Town of Gaines, will be delighted by the chiming of Babbitt’s bell.

One last note about the photo of Mr. Babbitt with a stern look on his face: The story handed down is that his wife had arranged for this sitting, but Mr. Babbitt was upset since he was still in his work clothes. The photographer painted in the suit and collar we see here. Mr. Babbitt was a remarkable man and those of us in Gaines and Orleans County are indebted to his industry and vision.

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After death of Notre Dame fan, family built mausoleum at St. Joseph’s

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 12 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Volume 2, Issue 24

Taken in May of 1942, this image shows men erecting the Dowd-Kellogg mausoleum at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Albion. William E. Karns of Albion was commissioned to build the first and only mausoleum at that that cemetery using 35 tons of granite shipped in from Barre, Vermont.

The structure stands 10 feet high, is 12 feet 7 inches long, and 7 feet 6 inches wide with a crypt built from Pennsylvania Black Ribbon slate finished with a bronze door with plate glass. A crane was used to lift the large blocks of stone into place, the man standing in front of the mausoleum was responsible for mixing the mortar that locked the stone into place.

Charles Dowd was the first interment made in the newly completed crypt after his death in November of the previous year. An ardent fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a 76-year-old Dowd found himself tied to the radio in his home on West Bank Street listening to the Notre Dame-Navy football game on November 8, 1941. Dowd suffered a massive heart attack as a result of the 20-13 victory over the “Middies”; far too exciting for an old gentleman’s frail heart.

Before his death, Dowd operated a newsroom and tobacco shop at 13 E. Bank Street (occupied by the Golden Comb today) in Albion with his brother George. Upon his death, he left an estate valued at $10,000 to which he gave $100 each to St. Joseph’s Church and St. Mary’s Church in Albion, depositing the remainder in a bank account for his sister. Upon her death, the money was to pay for the upkeep of St. Joseph’s Cemetery on Brown Road in Gaines.

The newsroom transitioned to his brother-in-law, Charles Kellogg, who had started his career in Dowd’s newsroom. Kellogg was lucky to have survived into adulthood, having receive a near fatal gunshot wound as a young boy; a group of young lads led by a young son of Joseph Dibley were playing with a loaded revolver when it accidentally discharged, shooting Kellogg in the groin.

The newsroom operated by Kellogg was later sold to Newell Maxon of Medina and eventually was transferred to Carl Fischer and relocated to North Main Street (Fischer’s Newsroom).

Kellogg had his fair share of “toys” and frequently raced novelty automobiles at the Orleans County Fairgrounds. He was cited by local authorities on several occasions for driving his boat up and down the Canal at excessive speeds, once to the point where Canal employees threatened to remove the vessel from the water should he not abide by the laws.

Charles Kellogg and his wife, Mary Dowd Kellogg, are also entombed in the mausoleum.

Many from Company F in Medina served and made ultimate sacrifice

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 4 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Volume 2, Issue 23

Memorial Day was a weekend for self-reflection for many Americans, while others find enjoyment in spending time with family, vacations, and cook-outs.

One noticeable presence during this past holiday weekend was the outcry of citizens asking for the greater community to remember the true meaning of the day; an opportunity to honor those men and women who gave everything for our country. Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few,” stands as a statement that every American should memorize.

One thing that Orleans County does not lack is the appreciation and support of our veterans and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. In October of 2008, the Company F Memorial Committee dedicated a monument to the memory of those men who served out of Medina’s Armory with the 3rd N.Y. National Guard and the 108th U.S. Infantry. The beautiful sandstone memorial contains five bronze tablets which include the names of men who served during the Spanish-American War, Mexican Border Incursion, World War One, World War Two, as well as the names of men who served during the Cold War.

Despite its focus on Company F, the monument stands as a testament to all men who served from Orleans County spanning over two centuries of conflicts. Those names listed with special designations recall the sacrifices of those who went above and beyond the call of duty. Men like Luke Gaffey who served during the First World War.

Awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for actions on September 28, 1918, Gaffey left the cover of shelter to rescue wounded soldiers from machine gun and artillery fire. The following day, he continued an advance on enemy positions with an automatic rifle after his entire squad was killed or wounded; he received a
bronze oak leaf cluster for his bravery.

Other men such as Archie Case, Raymond Reed, and Mahlon Ward were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross when they unselfishly left the protection of shelter during an artillery barrage on September 29, 1918 to bandage wounded soldiers and pull them back to safety.

Of course, most Medina residents are familiar with the story of Lt. John Butts who sacrificed his own life to protect the lives of his fellow soldiers on June 23, 1944. With a complete disregard for his own safety, “and seeing his platoon waver and start to fall back,” Butts urged his men uphill against a stubbornly defended area.

Capt. Lloyd Tallent of Texarkana, Texas recalled the efforts of Butts that day stating that after Butts was wounded by machine gun fire, “he knew he was dying because of his severe stomach wound dragged himself over the fire swept ground towards the enemy. All the enemy were watching him.” Wounded twice, first on June 14th of 1944 then on June 16th, his determination to remain with his men and refusal to seek treatment for wounds combined with the sacrifices made on June 23 earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor in August of 1945, which was awarded posthumously. His body was finally brought home in 1948.

The Company F Memorial Committee continues to seek support in the completion of their project. Although the beautiful sandstone memorial stands at the Medina Armory site, it represents one phase of a two phase process. The crowning achievement is a bronze statue of a Company F soldier, which will rest upon the monument tribute to all who served and as a lasting reminder of those who never came home.

Those who are interested in learning more about the project or to donate, please visit The Cobblestone Museum is sponsoring a speaker series every Friday at 7 p.m. in July, starting July 8th with a program on Orleans County and the First World War; more information is available at

Many from Orleans County served and died in Civil War

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 28 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Soldiers & Sailors Monument

Photo by Matthew Ballard – The Soldiers & Sailors Monument, dedicated 140 years ago in the spring of 1876, contains the names of 466 soldiers and sailors etched on marble tablets; those men who gave their lives for the preservation of the Union buried both at home and on the battlefield. The monument stands as a testament to the beauty of our native Medina Sandstone and the pride and community commitment to honoring our veterans.


Volume 2, Issue 22

ALBION – The 7th grade class of students from Albion Middle School dedicated a beautiful granite urn, sugar maple tree, and bronze plaque affixed to a slab of pink Medina Sandstone on May 26.

The task undertaken by Tim Archer should be applauded and imitated by teachers throughout the region as a heartfelt effort to educate students about the importance of becoming noble citizens.

Over 140 students stood on the very ground once selected by David Hardie and other area municipal supervisors for use as a lot for veteran burials. Just two years later, the men of Curtis Post Grand Army of the Republic dedicated a flag pole and M1841 6-pounder bronze howitzer cannon to the memory of their fallen comrades. Those same men committed themselves to ensuring that all indigent soldiers who found themselves interred within potter’s field be removed to this newly consecrated lot.

In conjunction with the ceremonies held on May 26th and Memorial Day, it may be fitting to share a few brief notes of interest pertaining to Civil War veterans from Orleans County.

Thousands of men would enter into service with the Union Army, some would never return, yet many would return with permanent physical and mental scars from the horrors of battle.

Pvt. Ross Brown, 18th U.S. Colored Troops – born a slave in North Carolina, Brown escaped as a stowaway aboard a ship traveling for New Orleans. Making his way inland, he enlisted with the Union Army in 1864 and moved to Albion in 1890. He was affectionately known locally as “Uncle Ross.”

Maj. Thomas Bell, 8th N.Y. Cavalry – developing a fondness early on in life for theater, Bell allegedly spent two years with Edwin Booth’s company in Alabama before engaging in the foundry business at Albion. After the war, he introduced an article into U.S. law giving veterans preference in civil service appointments.

Dr. Arthur K. St. Clair, 5th Michigan Cavalry – graduating at the head of his class from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City, Dr. St. Clair was regarded as an outstanding field surgeon having participated in at least 14 battles. When Gen. Wadsworth was killed at The Wilderness, St. Clair volunteered with a party of men to retrieve the body from the Confederate line.

Pvt. Herbert Taylor, 140th N.Y. Infantry – Clarendon native Herbert Taylor was with his regiment at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 and repulsed the attack on Little Round Top. Making the ultimate sacrifice, he is believed to be the only Orleans County native to have died at Gettysburg.

Pvt. Isaac Hawkins, 54th Massachusetts Infantry – Medina resident Isaac Hawkins enlisted with the all African-American regiment once headed by Col. Robert Gould Shaw and made famous by the 1989 film “Glory.” Hawkins was captured at the Battle of Olustee in Florida, spending over a year at Andersonville Prison Camp and on one such occasion allegedly received 250 lashes as punishment for an unknown reason.

Col. Fazilo A. Harrington, 27th Illinois Infantry – a native of Medina, Harrington entered West Point Military Academy in 1850 before resigning his position in favor of a career in civil engineering. Answering the call of Gov. Yates of Illinois, he was placed in command of the 27th Illinois Infantry. Harrington was struck in the face by an artillery shell at the Battle of Stones River, killing him instantly. A Confederate private attempting to steal the colonel’s boots was given quite the scare when he looked up to see Harrington’s eyes wide open, as if to stare at him.

Maj. Angelo Paldi, 1st Michigan Cavalry – a native of Italy, Paldi was a respected painter and solider who allegedly served with the French Army in Algeria and Spain before immigrating to America. Serving under Gen. George Custer for a short period of time, it was Paldi’s suggestion to form a regiment of Hussars, or heavy cavalry, modeled after the regiments of Europe. After the war he moved to Albion, his body is interred at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Albion.

Pioneer physician was respected educator and politician

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 21 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Volume 2, Issue 21
ALBION – This photograph shows the gravesite of Dr. Lemuel Covell Paine as it appears today. A pioneer physician and Albion businessman, Paine was born November 8, 1787 in Vermont, the son of Dr. Ichabod Sparrow and Mary Dixon Paine. After the death of his father in 1807, arrangements were made for Lemuel to live with his uncle Eli Pierson and study medicine under the direction of Dr. Asa Stower at Queensbury, NY.

As he progressed in his studies, Paine found himself teaching in various one-room schoolhouses to raise the funds to support his education under Stower. Upon the completion of his term under the tutelage of the physician, Lemuel was subjected to the examination put forth by the Censors of the Medical Society of Washington County, which he passed with relative ease.

Over the next two decades Paine travelled westward across New York, establishing himself in Clyde, New York for a period of time where he served as a mentor and instructor for several prospective physicians. Upon his eventual arrival in Albion, Paine was a well-respected and seasoned veteran in the medical field during a time when so many doctors were self-taught.

Nearly 50 years of age at the time of his arrival in 1836, Paine established a partnership with Dr. Orson Nichoson under the name Nichoson & Paine; the firm specialized in the sale of drugs, compounds, and books. Dr. Paine was a pious man, so it was no surprise that he served as a deacon of the First Baptist Church in Albion and an early trustee of the Rochester Theological Seminary (Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School). His commitment to education was apparent through his appointment as a trustee of the Phipps Union Seminary, the Albion Academy, and the University of Rochester.

His role not only as a respected physician but a successful businessman placed him at the top of the list for political races and appointments. Prior to his arrival in Albion, Paine had served as Postmaster in Fulton County and his political affiliation as a Whig would earn him similar positions in Orleans County. A brief term as Orleans County Treasurer was followed by an appointment as one of three commissioners overseeing the administration of Mt. Albion Cemetery.

Unlike the long lineage of physicians that preceded Lemuel, his sons chose a slightly different career path. With guidance received from their father, Lemuel C. Jr, Cyrus, and James Paine formed a drug company in Rochester known at the Paine Drug Company. The business became a top-tier drug manufacturer in the region and left the oldest brother with an estimate $890,000 estate upon his death in 1899; valued at $24 million today.

Dr. Paine died at Albion on January 3, 1873; it’s safe to assume that his sons were responsible for the erection of this beautiful granite monument located in the eastern section of the cemetery that overlooks the original main entrance (now the east gate).