The History of Buffalo: A Chronology
Buffalo, New York
James L. Barton,Early reminiscences of Buffalo and vicinity. Read before the society, Mar. 19, 1866 Online text
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
Buffalo civic and business leaders during Buffalo's "Golden Age" (1865 to turn of the century):
The Buffalo Club
is founded in 1867
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);
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 - 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
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.
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.
Buffalo hires a regular police force. Before that, deputies and regional police kept the peace.
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
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
Edward H. Butler begins publishing the Sunday Morning
News. Seven years later his daily Buffalo Evening News will go to press.
|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.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Historical Society Publications (Vol. 1, 1879) Reprinted
by Cornell U.
Delaware Street changed to Delaware Avenue.
The Municipal Court system is established and the Buffalo Police Department
is officially 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.
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.
Millard Fillmore: After Millard Fillmore's death in 1881, his house on Delaware and Niagara Square is merged with the former M .S. Hawley House to become the Hotel Fillmore.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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