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County History

Our County Muddle: Allegany County Politics in 1881

Transcribed from the Friendship Chronicle, January 12, 1881.


OUR COUNTY MUDDLE.

The present status of our county politics is a conundrum to every inhabitant of Allegany; to those outside of the county it is an inexplainable muddle. We met a man on the train the other day, however, who knew all about it. He was from Potter County, and was trying to state the condition of things to the man who occupied the other part of his seat. We sat on the seat behind and tried to learn the true inwardness of our situation, which to his mind was about as follows:––

The fuss originated because Wellsville still wanted the county seat, which is Belvidere. Hamilton Ward is trying to get it moved to Belmont, while Angelica was trying to secede and form a new county with part of Pennsylvania. The Democrats are in a majority of the Board of Supervisors and had voted the Wellsville oil wells nuisances because the waste oil make the land unfit for dairying, and the Democrats of the county controlled the cheese and butter making interests. There are two poor houses, one at Belmont and the other at Angelica and the people of New York state are to vote next fall whether the two sets of buildings be consolidated at one of these places or at Friendship and the old buildings used for stations on the many railroads that are to be put through Allegany County this summer.

At about this point we confess we had hard work to follow the line of his explanation; but presume that it would have all been made satisfactory if the brakeman had not just informed us that we had reached Friendship. Come to think of it, however, this statement of the case is about as clear as any county paper has yet been able to make. We pause for something better.

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