Volume Six

No. 1 


February 1965



The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. - Sir Winston Churchill







by Mrs. Jennie Prince

Everyone is Welcome


Our December meeting was most interesting.  Mr. Vernon Derry, Aurora, showed slides of antique cars interspersed with clever comments as he remembered them.


At this meeting the following officers were elected:


J. Harrold Blair ----------------------------------------------

William B. Benson ------------------------------------------

Miss Joanne Kane ------------------------------------------

Raymond J. Patzer -----------------------------------------

Angelo Perna -----------------------------------------------

Arnold P. Benson -------------------------------------------


Vice President



Trustee for Two Years

Trustee for Two Years


We thank the outgoing officers for a very favorable year. Mrs. Earl L. Judd gave a lot of time and thought to her office as president.  The meetings were varied and interesting and she presided with poise.  Mrs. Ben Limbaugh and Ansgar Carlson are the Carryover Trustees.  Bruce G. Paddock was Vice President and also Chairman of the Nominating Committee.




As President-Elect of this Society for the year 1965, I would like to express my appreciation for the confidence you have shown in electing me to this office.  It is my hope that as an organization and as individuals we may in some way not only preserve the history which is behind us, but continue to make it so that those coming after us will also consider theirs a Valuable Heritage!


Many important projects are in progress, including the acquisition of our Museum and the other officers and I will appreciate your continued cooperation in making this year as successful as those we have enjoyed in the past. (Signed) J. Harrold Blair

We have received mementos recently from Don Schielke and Jack Dunham of Aurora.  We are most grateful to them.



Batavia has lost three revered souls since our last newsletter: Mr. Edwin Bowman, 90 years, a resident here for more than sixty years; Mrs. Charles (Elmina Bartholomew) Hobler, 82 years, who was born in Batavia; and Mr. C. D. Newlin, 89 years, who came to Batavia in 1916 to become president of the First National Bank.  Our sympathy is tendered to the families of these people.


Your committee is working on the captions for the pictures for the “Then and Now in Batavia” book.  There are also a few more "now" photos to be taken.


It hurts us to see some of these venerable historic homes destroyed without a tear or any obsequies to record their passing.  The Solomon Trumbull home on the north side of Church Street between Washington Avenue and River Street is a case in point.  We understand this house was allowed to rundown and was tenanted by several families during the last few years.  But it had dignity and was the home of at least three prominent Batavia families in years past; Solomon Trumbull, G. B. Moon and George B. Moss.  We don't know when the house was built but its on the old birdseye view of Batavia picture printed in 1869.  


George B. Moss was a partner with Joel McKee in the Batavia Mills from 1850 until it was destroyed by fire, in 1872.  He was also president of the Batavia Paper Mills in the 1860’s. In 1850 he was 28 years old, his wife Eliza was 32 and he had two children.  Solomon Trumbull lived here when he moved to town off of his farm on the Main Street Road where the George Walls lived later and where William R. Moore lives today.  Trumbull owned 277 acres.  The late Walter Stone called the house in question, the Trumbull House.  Then, sometime in the early days, G. B. Moon, manager of the Batavia Creamery, lived there.  If you have any more information about this house, or, if we have made any errors, please let us know.


Our cases in the Civic Center have been changed with material furnished by Mrs. Elaine Cannon and Wm. B. Benson, and artistically arranged by them and Mrs. Claire Kruger.


The Society has received a copy of the book "Shadow of a Man", a memorial to Mr. W. C. Furnas primarily, but also the history and development of the Furnas Electric Company.  With this is the story of the men connected with shaping the policies of the company.  It is masterly written by Robert Lorz.


We received a letter from Allie Johnson telling about some early Batavians and their autos.  He mentioned Dr. J. C. Augustine, Miss Amy Burton, later Mrs. Worthington, and John Strom, who built an auto all by himself.


Allie also mentions the "reaper shop" on the north side of McKee Street between Batavia Avenue and Washington Street.  Henry Wenberg told me first about this building.  He said farmers used to store their farm implements in it.  Frank Smith in his article, "Batavia in 1875" published in the Herald for April 23, 1948 says, "West on McKee Street from the corner (North Batavia Avenue) and on the north side of the street, was a long one story building made into two apartments, formerly a factory building . . .”  Do any of you know anything more about this building?


We thought the following would be interesting in view of the construction of the present causeway across the Pond. This report was given to us by Edwin Parre from the papers of his father, L. A. Parre.  We copy it verbatim.


Batavia, April 3, 1855 To the Board of Auditors of the Town of Batavia


The Com. of Highways would respectfully report

That they assessed 577 days road labour.

That M. Foster, Overseer of Highways in. dist. No.6 has returned his list.


Stating that the whole amt. of labour viz 22 days assessed had been performed to the best of his ability and that he was willing to serve another term if the public required it.

That no returns have been made from the other Road districts consequently have no means of knowing whether any part of the labour assessed has been performed.

That no monies have been received by them for fines or commutations.

The following improvements they consider necessary viz a Roadway across the Slough or pond leading directly west from the Bridge.

Probable cost $600 or $800 provided Sluice ways are put in without expense to the Town.


The following is a Statement of the Town a/c with Derby, Barker & Corwin


Amt. of contract for building Bridge ---------------------------------------------------------------

Paid on the above as per a/c furnished ----------------------------------------------------------


Int. on payment due on Contract to date --------------------------------------------------------

Amt. allowed for extra work on bridge and depth of piers --------------------------------------


Total ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------









It will require that provision be made for the above amt. also for $300 into which will be due Feb. 1, 1856 on loan of $3000 obtained of Mr. Coffin.


Whole amt. to be provided for present year of Bridge indebtedness with int. to Mr. Coffin --


Supposed (?) collectors fees on the above ------------------------------------------------------


There will be in the Treasurers hands on the 1st of May next ----------------------------------








All of which is respectfully submitted.

Joel McKee    )

Daniel Hyde   )     Com. of Highways

M. P. Houck   )