The History of Buffalo: A Chronology
Buffalo, New York

1866-1885

1664
1679
1689

1721

1722
1759
1774
1775
1780
1785
1786
1788
1789
1790
1791
1792
1793
1794
1795
1797
1798
1800
1801
1802
1803
1804
1805
1806
1807
1808
1809
1810
1811
1812
1813
1814
1815
1816
1817
1818
1819
1820
1821
1822
1823
1824
1825
1826
1827
1828
1829
1830
1831
1832
1833
1834
1835
1836
1837
1838
1839
1840
1841
1843
1844
1845
1846
1847
1848
1849
1850
1851
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
1859
1860
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883
1884
1885
1886
1887
1888
1889
1890
1891
1892
1893
1894
1895
1896
1897
1898
1899
1900
1901
1902
1903
1904
1905
1906
1907
1908
1909
1910
1911
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1945
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
1941
1942
1943
1944
1945
1946
1947
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966 1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
INDEX

1866

James L. Barton,Early reminiscences of Buffalo and vicinity. Read before the society, Mar. 19, 1866 Online text

Fenians: 1,000 plus Fenian soldiers invade Canada from Buffalo. Fenianism: an Irish nationalist movement whose primary goal was to capture Canada and hold it hostage until England surrendered Ireland.


Buffalo civic and business leaders during Buffalo's "Golden Age" (1865 to turn of the century):

1867

The Buffalo Club is founded in 1867


Buildings erected:


1868

Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux ("Vaux" rhymes with "talks") design the Buffalo park system between 1868 and 1876.

The two landscape architects had designed New York City's Central Park with great fanfare, and Buffalo is the first city to hire architects to design an entire system of parks.

Olmsted's pioneering design for Buffalo consisted of three public grounds:

    The Park - a very large park featuring a naturalistic landscape (now Delaware Park);

    The Parade - a public ceremonial space ( now Martin Luther King Jr. Park). See 1872 and 1876 below;

    The Front - a military drill ground ( now Front park), all of which were connected by broad "parkways" which extended the park experience throughout the city.

After Olmsted's retirement due to ill health in 1895, his firm will continue a relationship with Buffalo through 1915, when the city's form of government will be altered and its independent Park Commission dissolved.


Delaware Street is extended as far north as Ferry Street. In 1879 the name will be changed to Delaware Avenue.
The name of the Metropolitan Theatre is changed to the Academy of Music. At the time the latter is thought to be a more fashionable and less offensive name.

1869

1869 - Online Buffalo City Directories - LINKS (BuffaloResearch.com)


For the first time, the two rail lines which link Buffalo with the East - the New York Central and the Erie - carry more grain than the Erie Canal.


The Mechanics Association is the driving force behind the first annual Industrial Exposition, held in Buffalo in 1869. The purpose of the exposition is to do nothing less than alter the city's economy, or at least to change the way people in Buffalo think about machines, mechanization, and industry.

While the 1869 exposition is primarily a Northeast affair, a larger exposition - the International industrial Fair - will be staged in 1888 in Hamlin Park.


Alexander Brush elected mayor. He will become a 6-term mayor.

The Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) family home in Buffalo, a mansion at 472 Delaware Ave. (a wedding gift from his father-in-law). The mansion will be burned by vagrants in the 1960s, but the two-story carriage house is still standing in 2000.

Samuel Clemens is editor of the Morning Express, located at 14 East Swan Street, on a site occupied today by the
Ellicott Square Building.

His new book at the time, Innocents Abroad, is becoming wildly popular.

He lives here from August 1869, when he assumes his post as managing editor of the Buffalo Express, until January 1871, when he and his wife and infant son leave the city to go to Elmira.

1869 Buffalo, New York Directory
Buildings erected:

1870

In 1870 a group of Jesuits leave Europe in response to Bishop John Timon's call for a Catholic institution to serve European immigrants settling in Western New York. The Jesuits founded Buffalo's first Catholic college and named it after St. Peter Canisius, a distinguished Jesuit theologian, scholar, and educator of the 16th century.

By 1872 the college will have moved to more spacious quarters at Washington and Tupper Streets. They shared that location with Canisius High School for 40 years.

The Jesuits also found
St. Ann's Church on Broadway.



Buffalo's
population: 117,714; Erie County's: 178,699.

Grover Cleveland elected Sheriff of Erie County, the best paying and most difficult job in local government, 1870-73

Cleveland is appointed in 1870 to the first Board of Managers of the State Normal School at Buffalo. The State Normal School will open on September 13, 1871.

Buildings erected:

1871

Buffalo hires a regular police force. Before that, deputies and regional police kept the peace.


Buildings erected:

1872

During the summer of 1872, Sheriff Grover Cleveland, upon receipt of a sworn statement from county physician (later Buffalo mayor) Conrad Diehl that they were mentally sound, personally springs the trap on two convicted murderers.


Buffalo boasts over 35 breweries with the largest belonging to Gerhard Lang at Best and Jefferson.



The Parade, built in 1872, is intended by landscape designers
Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux for military drills and public gatherings. It quickly becomes a popular gathering place for the east side's German immigrants, who, like contemporary park users, frequently irritated nearby residents with loud and unruly behavior. The parade will be redesigned and renamed Humboldt Park in 1896.

The large circular fountain and wading pool will be added to thwart the use of the park as a vehicular shortcut. Olmsted will be deeply opposed to these changes but his firm, headed at the time by his son John, will proceed to alter the park at the City's request.

Humboldt Park will be renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Park in 1978.


Mark Twain publishes
a short, comical story he wrote for the Buffalo Express about a cemetery so neglected that the dead were abandoning it. Scholars agree that this story is about the old North Street cemetery, but *which* old North Street cemetery? There were five on North Street in 1872, just after this story was
published.

1873

Edward H. Butler begins publishing the Sunday Morning News. Seven years later his daily Buffalo Evening News will go to press.

One of his houses will be located at
429 Linwood and, later, another at 672 Delaware.

Butler is buried in
Forest Lawn Cemetery in a family mausoleum


Buildings erected:

1874

Millard Fillmore dies on March 8. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Also buried at the site are Abigail Powers Fillmore (his first wife and the former First Lady), and their children, Mary Abigail Fillmore, and Millard Powers Fillmore. Millard Fillmore's second wife, Caroline Carmichael McIntosh Fillmore, lies by his side. Also buried on the site is the former First Lady's mother, Abigail Powers.

1875

The Buffalo Zoo is established.


In addition to designing Buffalo's park system, Frederick Law Olmsted draws up a plan for Niagara Square. At this time, the Square actually is square, and its intersecting avenues (Court, Genesee, and Niagara) converged around a much smaller inner circle. Lining it prior to the 1907 erection of the McKinley Monument were the mansions of Samuel Wilkeson, Millard Fillmore, and George Babcock.

City Hall, completed in 1931, will block Court Street on the right edge of this illustration - the first building to interfere with Joseph Ellicott's radial street plan and the only one to do so with no harmful effects.
John D. Larkin begins operation of the Larkin Soap Company.
Buildings erected:

1876

Buildings erected:



Philip Becker is the first German emigrant to be elected mayor of Buffalo, 1876-1877 and 1886-1889, and he will be Buffalo's first three-term mayor.

1877

Railroad strike: Virtually every city and small town in the industrial Northeast is affected by the uprisings of 1877, when thousands of railroad workers strike protesting ten percent wage reduction on all of the railroads throughout the region. Violence occurs everywhere - in small towns in West Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania; and in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Chicago, and Buffalo.

In Buffalo, where disputes between capital and labor had traditionally been limited to small, isolated confrontations between skilled workers and small-scale businessmen, the railroad strike of 1877 comes as an incredible shock, creating panic, uncertainty and terror in the city.

In early July 1877, on the East Side and in South Buffalo where railroad lines and yards are so prevalent, strikers concentrate on disrupting the movement of passenger and freight cars. They pull out switch lights, grease the tracks, take possession of the locomotives, uncouple trains, and successfully threaten strikebreakers.

300 volunteers, plus 1,600 state militiamen, plus 1,800 Civil War veterans, plus the regular police force, are marshaled to deal with the emergency. In street clashes, eight soldiers were wounded and eight strikers killed. The strikers got little local support and were quickly demoralized. No other group of workers joined them, no newspaper endorsed their efforts, and within a week their resistance was broken. - Source: Mark Goldman, "High Hopes: The Rise and Decline of Buffalo, New York." Pub. by State U. of New York Press, Albany, 1983, pp. 156-157.



Buffalo's William Dorsheimer elected lieutenant-governor of New York. He will succeed in having H. H. Richardson, together with Frederick Law Olmsted and Leopold Eidlitz, named to complete the capitol at Albany.



Buildings erected:

1878

Anna Katherine Green's first book, "The Leavenworth Case" (1878), is the first American best selling novel, selling a quarter of a million copies, and earning Green the title of "The Mother of the Detective Novel." She and her husband, Charles Rohlfs, will move to Buffalo in 1888.



William Wendt opens the Buffalo Forge Co. to make hand forges for blacksmiths. By 1890, William will be joined by his brother, Henry, and the company will also produce other metal-related components such as punches, shears, and rollers.

Buildings erected:

1879

Buffalo Historical Society Publications (Vol. 1, 1879) Reprinted by Cornell U.


Delaware Street changed to Delaware Avenue.
Buildings erected:

1880

The Municipal Court system is established and the Buffalo Police Department is officially organized.

A full-time professional fire department is organized.


Social reformer and philanthropist Maria Love (1840-1931).

In 1881, the Fitch Crèche, under the administration of Maria Love, began providing day care for the children of the working poor by the end of 1881. Its aim was to help widows and deserted wives.

From an elite Buffalo family, Love was a staunch Episcopalian, and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mabel Dodge, the rebel of Buffalo society, described her as "cold, regal, and self- assured." But Love was also one of the most prominent adherents to the "Social Gospel," a brand of late nineteenth-century Protestantism that was fervently humanitarian, and interested in the solution to urban problems, especially poverty. For Maria Love, as for many progressives, "Christian duty" and "democracy" were aspects of the same morality.

Buffalo News named Maria Love as one of the "Century's 10 Most Influential People in Buffalo History."

Love is buried in
Forest Lawn Cemetery




    The Buffalo Bisons played 82 games during the 1880 season and won 24 games, lost 58 games, and finished in seventh position.

    The Buffalo Bisons played their home games at Riverside Grounds where 20,000 fans witnessed their club finish the season with a .293 winning percentage.

    Source: Baseball Almanac


    The British Perforated Paper Company invents a form of toilet paper.          ________________________________________

    Buildings erected:

    1881

    1882

    Horse-drawn cars are being replaced first by cars powered with storage batteries, and later, by using overhead trolley wires.


    Grover Cleveland is elected Mayor of Buffalo for a one-year term. He will resign to become NY State Governor.


    St. Stanislaus Church: The first pastor and founder of St. Stanislaus, the oldest Polish parish in the diocese of Buffalo, is Rev. Jan Pitass, a Silesian who was the "irremovable pastor" for 39 years. Pitass, the pioneer priest, is also considered the founder of the Polish American community in Western New York.

    A nationally known figure, he builds an enormous empire for the Poles on the east side of Buffalo. He establishes a parish school and brings the Felician sisters to Buffalo in 1882, he founds a parish cemetery in 1889, confounds a national fraternal organization, Unia Polska w Ameryce and is responsible for the first Polish Catholic Convention in America. The magnificent cathedral-type church that Jan Pitass builds in 1882 stands as a lasting memory to his ability.

    From any direction, the twin towers of St. Stanislaus Church dominate the panorama of the Polish East Side. Set on a square block in the middle of the community, the church breaks the tidy line of three- and four-family homes in the community. Its massive height and breadth are somehow ungainly, like a cathedral in a prairie town. Its size, however, is not inappropriate, for in every way St. Stanislaus, like St. Anthony's on the Italian West Side and Holy Family on the Irish South Side, is the absolute center of the universe on the Polish East Side.

    That such poor communities are able to muster the enormous sums necessary for the construction of such elaborate facades indicates the role and influence of the parish church and the parish priest in the lives of these first-generation immigrants.

    Sources:
    • St. Stanislaus Bishop Martyr Illustration and information
    • Mark Goldman, "High Hopes: The Rise and Decline of Buffalo, New York." Pub. by State U. of New York Press, Albany, 1983, p. 181



    Snyder (Snyderville) Post Office is officially recognized by the federal Post Office system. It is named after Michael Snyder who built and operated the post office.

    Buildings erected:

    1883

    New York Central builds Belt Line Railroad, a freight and commuter line that, by circling the city around the unsettled sections of Buffalo, opens up whole new areas for residential and industrial development. Example: Hundreds and then thousands of Poles abandon their East Side neighborhoods and build the Assumption Parish in 1888 on the other side of the tracks in Black Rock.



    Dexter P. Rumsey buys the Judge Joseph G. Masten house and gives it to his daughter and new son-in-law, Ansley Wilcox. In the library on Sept., 14, 1901, with the Wilcox family and U.S. dignitaries in attendance, Theodore Roosevelt will take the oath of office as president of the United States. The house is now the Wilcox Mansion/Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.


    Governor Grover Cleveland signs a bill in April, 1883 authorizing "the selection, location and appropriation of certain lands in the village of Niagara Falls for a State reservation [not to be confused with a Native American reservation] and to preserve the scenery of Niagara Falls."

    Buildings erected:

    1884

    Body of Red Jacket is exhumed from the old Indian cemetery on the other side of Buffalo Creek and moved to Forest Lawn Cemetery where it is placed, along with the bodies of other prominent Senecas, under a massive stone monument topped with a larger-than-life statue of Red Jacket himself. This is done in direct contradiction to Red Jacket's specific wishes that no white man dig his grave and that no white man bury him.


    Trade unions federate in the Central Labor Union.

    Buffalo Savings Bank is incorporated; Robert S. Donaldson, President.

    1884 Buffalo, Erie Co., NY Street Directory
    Scanned from microfilm prints of the 1884 Buffalo City Directory.

    In 1884, the Ball(R) Jar was first introduced in 1884 by the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company in Buffalo, NY. See Jarden Celebrates 125th Anniversary of Ball(R) Jars on The Martha Stewart Show

    On July 4, The Soldiers & Sailors Monument in Lafayette Square is dedicated.

    1885

    Grover Cleveland serves as 22nd president of U.S. Although winning the popular vote, he will be defeated in the next election by the electoral college - but he will be reelected as the 24th president.

    He is only person to serve nonconsecutive terms as president of the United States, and the only person to win a majority of votes in three elections.

    Perhaps Cleveland's greatest accomplishment is that he converts thousands of government jobs from patronage to civil service positions. 


    Buildings erected:

    See also:



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