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Town of Independence Related Articles

Whitesville's 175 Years

Transcribed by Crist Middaugh

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Whitesville's 175 years have proud history

By George Fillgrove

Staff Writer

Whitesville - What do 400 residents of one of Allegany County’s smallest hamlets have to be proud of?

Almost 175 years of sone pretty interesting history, for starters.

Whitesville’s namesake, Samuel White settled in the area in 1819 and built the first hotel there seven years later.

When White arrived, his worldly possessions consisted of an axe and $2.50 in cash. Forty years later, at the time of his death, he had accumulated $80,000 in property, calculated in 1860 dollars.

The hamlet was named in his honor in 1920, in recognition for his industriousness.

Some other interesting facts:

*   By 1884, there were two carriage makes, a cooper, two dentists, eight dress makers, a druggist, four dry goods merchants, a fruit evaporator, a furniture store, five grocers, a hatter, hardware dealer, three hotels, two painters, one harness maker, three insurance agents and two layers.

Also: three lumber mills, a marble works, a millinery, four brick masons, two meat markets, three music teachers, two photographers, five physicians, two plow makers, three wallpaperers, a piano and organ dealer, a sewing machine dealer, a shoe maker, four shinglers, a surveyor, tinsmith, undertaker, lumber yard, and someone who did wool carding.

*   Residents bonded $25,00 to aid in the construction of the New York Pennsylvania Railroad Co. in 1896. The line connected Canisteo with Genesee, Pa., and was used for moving lumber out of Potter County.

*   One of the first cars in Allegany County was actually owned by a nearby Independence Township resident named Milton S. Clark, a 1900 Knox runabout.

*   The Whitesville and Beech Hill Telephone Co. was founded in 1901. The late Arnie Allen was the company’s most senior operator. She ran he switchboard from 1930 until her retirement in 1967.

*   In 1920, Whitesville residents subscribed $100,000 for the construction of the Galewhite Milk Condensing Plant (later Borden’s). On the first day of operation, the plant took in 13,000 pounds of milk. In later years, 100,000 pounds was processed daily. During a drought in the 1930’s, company officials connected the plant’s pump and six wells into the community water supply for fire protection and to keep the school open. The plant closed in 1965.

*   He community had its own newspaper, The Whitesville News, from 1895 until sometime in the 1950’s. Among some of major news items was a 1944 report that the Civil Aeronautics Authority had approved a site north of the town for an airfield that included two runways, one 3,500 feet and the other 1,800 feet.

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