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County History

Still Researching Former Allegany Co. Businesses

Transcribed by Crist Middaugh

The Daily Reporter, Thursday, September 9, 1993

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Still researching former Allegany Co. businesses

This is a continuation of last week’s column on the industries of Allegany County. In the interim I have had a chance make a more detailed examination of the material. (Actually there was a cloudburst going on so I though better of leaving the court house). I should mention that the dates covered by this volume are 1806 through 1929. Deeds later than that will be in the next set of books. Companies other than oil producers who just leased their lands, or shops will not appear in this study.

I had always said that there were 13 railroads in the county. While it is possible that some of these are the same company record under two or forenames I am now finding no less than 39 railroad companies. Of course railroads are a special case with short lines constantly being reorganized through bankruptcy, or consolidation into longer lines. It was not uncommon for a group of local businessman to take up a collection among themselves, and start a line through their town in hopes that it would eventually connect to one of the main lines.

I lumped the pipeline companies in with the oil and gas producers for a total of at least eighty-five companies. I think a great many of the pipeline companies had their head quarters in Olean. A number of oil producing companies had the same men on their board of directors. They may have set separate corporations to operate in different fields, or work with different investors.

Although I counted them in with the manufacturing companies there were a number of “chemical” companies. Last week I indicated that they probably processed charcoal, and alcohol. There were no many of them I now wonder if some might’ve been in the glycerin business. A check with Herrick’s “Empire Oil” may clear this up.

The story of milk, and cheese plants is similar to the railroads. It appears that many of the smaller companies which may have been strategically near the source of supply were bought up by the conglomerates. They could still be used a gathering points.

This boils the list down to about seventy that were actually manufacturing some physical product. Here are a few that we can guess from the name what their business was:

American Can Company. They were in Cuba in 1902. Were they a part of the present company of the same name? If so the cans were probably used for food.

The Alfred clay company made clay from shale presumably for sale to the tile producers.

The American Facing Brick and Cement Company was in Willing.

There was the American Wood Fiber Plaster company of Cuba. At some time wood fiber replaced horse hair in wall plaster. Was the gypsum mined locally?

In 1911 we have the Angelica Paper Box Co. As early as 1803 paper was being made in Jauncy.

That same year Andover Silk superseded Rochambeau Silk which appears to have started around 1903.

There were two Acme companies before the electrical works. Both of them were operating in 1919. One was the Acme Ice Co. of Wellsville. The other was the Acme Milling Co. of Bolivar.

Celedon Terra Cotta recorded deed from 1889 to 1905.

In 1903 The Ceres Window Glass Co. seems to have to have been the first of several such companies along the state line.

I close this week with a list of Breweries. 1906 had the Barthalamy company in Wellsville and Cuba. 1907 finds Dotterwich in Wellsville and Witting. I also have Monroe Brewing, Rochester Distilling, and Schwarzenback. Am I correct in remembering the last as being he Hornell Brewing Co.? I sense that Wellsville Bottling Co. made something else.

There is enough material here for at least one more week. If you have any comments please drop me a post car as I haven’t been near my phone much lately.

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