Rumsey Family - Table of Contents

Bronson Case Rumsey
TEXT Beneath Illustrations

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Bronson Case Rumsey

Aaron Rumsey mansion where Bronson was raised.

Aaron Rumsey, the father of Bronson and Dexter

Dexter Phelps Rumsey, Bronson's younger brother

Dr. Charles Cary, Bronson's son-in-law who married Evelyn

1 Johnson Park, home of Bronson and Evelyn Hall Rumsey 1850-1862




Rumsey Park

. . .

Rumsey Park

330 Delaware Avenue in Rumsey Park and a young Bronson Case Rumsey

330 Delaware Avenue in Rumsey Park

330 Delaware Avenue in Rumsey Park

Rumsey Park
Rear view of the Bronson C. Rumsey House

Rumsey Park

Rumsey Park
Vista from the house

Rumsey Park
Lake and wooded island

Rumsey Park
Lake and chalet

Rumsey Park
A woodland cascade

Rumsey Park
From the lake, looking toward Delaware Avenue

Bronson C. and Dexter P. Rumsey

Bronson Case and Dexter P. succeeded in placing the leather firm of A. Rumsey & Company among the leading industries of that nature in the United States, which held until the business was absorbed by the United States Leather Company.

After Bronson and Dexter sold their father's tannery, they invested the $10 million each received in railroads (where they partnered with the Vanderbilts), banking and real estate, much of it in Buffalo.

At one time they owned 22 of the 43 square miles that comprised Buffalo.

The Rumsey family sold Rumsey Park around 1914. By 1915, Rumsey Lake was filled in and subdivided, making it possible to extend Elmwood Avenue from Virginia Street into downtown.

Bronson Case Rumsey

The text below is excerpted from
Buffalo's Delaware Avenue: Mansions and Families, by Edward T. Dunn. Pub. by Canisius College Press, 2003, pp. 153, 162 ff.

In Warsaw Aaron married Sophia Phelps in 1819. They had two sons, Bronson Case, born in 1823, in Warsaw, and Dexter Phelps, born in 1827 in Westfield.

Bronson, Aaron Rumsey's elder son, married Evelyn Hall in 1848, a year after he and Dexter had become partners in Aaron's tanning enterprise. The Bronson Rumseys had four children, Lauren, Laurence Dana born in 1849, Mary Lovering born in 1851, Bronson (Bert) born in 1854, and Evelyn born in 1855. Two years after their marriage, Bronson and Evelyn moved into the house at #1 Park Place. Grander quarters were soon to take shape:

In the late [eighteen] fifties, a brick and lumber yard conducted by Hodge & Baldwin occupied many acres, beginning at Delaware and Tracy Place. A brook ran through the yard, where the feeding spring kept the water fresh and cold, and where brook trout once abounded.

In 1861 the lumber yard disappeared. In its stead rose a stately mansion, and the little stream became a forest-bound lake, and far back behind the mansion was a sylvan scene of enchantment. -- Buffalo Times, Jan. 22, 1927

In 1862 Bronson Senior completed the palatial vine-covered mansard-roof mansion surrounded by extensive flower gardens and grape vines at what was to become #330 Delaware, his home for the rest of his life.

Illustration 7 above is the ground plan of Rumsey Park, a family compound since besides Bronson Senior in the big house at #330, at one time or another in the last quarter of the nineteenth century Edward Movius and his wife, Mary Lovering Rumsey Movius, resided at #334, Doctor and Mrs. Charles Cary resided at #340, and Bronson (Bert) Rumsey at #132 West Tupper. Old man Rumsey's eldest son Laurence, still lived at #1 Park Place.

Bronson's enormous wealth depended on the tanning business he and Dexter had inherited from their father which they sold in 1893 and on their real estate holdings in Buffalo, in counties nearby, and in property in other cities. Bronson was also a founder of the M&T Bank.

[The 1901 Pan-American Exposition was held] on the Rumsey tract on Forest Avenue.

Rumsey Park

The text below is excerpted from
The Picture Book of Earlier Buffalo, Frank H. Severance, ed. Buffalo Historical Society, Vol. 16, 1912 , p. 411- 433

Before Mr. Rumsey built his residence on Delaware avenue [#330], in 1862, the ample grounds to the westward were practically in a state of nature. Emily street, to run from Delaware to Carolina, between Tupper and Tracy street,was discontinued as a street in 1854. This area, included in Mr. Rumsey's purchase, also included a fine natural spring, which was utilized in beautifying the grounds.

In Mr. Rumsey's employ were Henry and Edward Rose, brothers, both architects, who had come to Buffalo from England. The principal features of Rumsey Park were of their designing.

The abundant spring made possible a pretty lake of clear water. The topography of the spot was carefully studied, and the native forest trees were augmented by judicious planting. A boat house, a tiny Swiss chalet, was set at the water-side, and a little Grecian temple, now destroyed, bespoke the taste of the owner. The gardens near the house were terraced, set with flowers and fountains.

For half a century this beauty spot in the heart of the city was the joy of its owner and his friends. It was the ideal setting for many festivities and social gatherings, and in the skating season no place was so popular for those privileged to use it, as Rumsey Park. Surrounded, except on the house side, by a very high tight-board fence, it naturally aroused the curiosity and perhaps the envy of strangers and "outsiders" generally.

At the present hour [1912], some of the buildings are gone and Elmwood avenue traffic cuts through this charming demesne. The spring still flows, and some fine old trees guard the lake; but what its future will be is beyond the ken or the province of the present chronicle.

The Rose brothers, whose name is associated with Rumsey Park, were the architects of at least one Main-street building, yet standing. They were eccentric and in their last years led a singular recluse life, in shabby lodgings in the old Arcade. They died within a few days of each other, in 1882, in abject poverty.

See also:  West Village Historic District - Table of Contents

Source of photos (unless otherwise noted): Severance, Frank H., ed. "Picture Book of Earlier Buffalo," Buffalo Historical Society, 1912

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