Transcribed by Crist Middaugh

Alleg. County Reporter, July 5, 1883



The Editor Roameth Thither - And is “Taken In.”

The editor visited the ancient and honorable capital of “Grand Old Allegany” on Saturday. It was a brief but pleasant call we made, after an absence of not less than three or four months, and the marks of continued improvement were noted in many diretions. Since Angelica has been roused from her Rip Van Winkle slumber by the rush and roar of railroad trains, it has taken on a new life and assumed consequential airs. That pleasant little village had long been considered “finished and fenced in.” - How well we remember when, two years ago last winter, the Board of Supervisors met there in adjourned annual session, when the ghost or rather bugbear of “Consolidation” stalked through the laud, menacing the peace (and purse) of many a worthy citizen. Bills had been industriously posted about the place bearing the significant announcement that ties were wanted to build a railroad from Swains to Friendship! What a grim joke that was, to be sure, in the mind of the visitor of the period. It sounded as vague as the proposed, present Wellsville Duplex-Reflex-Double-Back-Action, “Consolidated” Narrow-Gauge-Gridiron System-only more so, if anything, because (nearly) all things are possible, as is our immediate case, where great men and greater minds hold the helm of railroad progress. But there is the railroad, at Angelica, a yard wide and all wool-“hand painted,” as Phil. Coyle puts it, - not only from Swains to Friendship, but “on to Olean.”

And now a step up is being indulged. This road is being standard-gauged from Swains to Angelica and, a link being added between Perkinsville, Steuben county, and Swains, and another between Angelica and Belfast (or near there), making connection with the Valley Canal line, the Lackawanna & Pittsburg line is complete. This insures permanency and added prominence to Angelica as a railroad town. We do not think it will cause great growth either in business or population, but it will prove a reliable blast that will steady the pleasant old village in its every important relation - livery business and Ed. Blanchard’s past but never-to-be-forgotten swift-sure stage-line to Belvidere (and a small mule trip on Sunday thrown in to bind the bargain) excepted.

What will become of the narrow-gauge from Angelica to Friendship, and so on to Richburg and Olean? That is a problem. What the further final decay of the oil interests in the Allegany field will add to the public misery, it would be difficult now to guess. But for a time - perhaps for all time - a limited traffic will be kept up on the remnant of the frisky little Allegany Central, for it is comparatively easy to trundle an occasional train over a narrow gauge road when once established.

The new Lackawanna & Pittsburg line is being rapidly pushed and trains are expected over it by Sept. 1st.

A very handsome bronze fountain for watering man or beast is being erected in the centre of Main street at the west end of the park. It is the generous gift of Mr. Geo. D. Chapman, who is also going o provide the water-supply from a spring on the hillside adjacent. It will cost him a thousand collars before he has done with it, but that is nothing for Chapman. He never looks back when he starts ahead in any enterprise. Angelica can attest that in her railroad achievement. And if that place don’t remember Chapman in a generous way, it ought to sink. It probably will some day - by nominating him to Congress or the State Senate, and so render him miserable for the remainder of his natural life! - Such is (Allegany) fame!

It seem queer enough not to find Joe Gillies at the Charles Hotel. But he is gone with his pleasant family to the rest and retirement of “Balmoral Castle,” as he calls it - a quaint little cottage under the hill where the Indians sat when Howe was hung fifty years ago, with a water-privilege in the cellar. Mr. Gillies is preparing to build a very handsome and cozy residence on the southwest corner of the square during the present season.

The new landlord of the “Charles,” Mr. Hedden is filling the bill handsomely. He is an experienced and accomplished hotel man, and well protects the record of that famous hostelry for good beds, good board and good cheer. The familiar face of Mr. Henry W. Eldridge still remains, which is welcome to everybody.

Mr. Geo. D. Chapman has bought for his own use the Alfred Lockhart residence on Main Street and reorganized it in fine shape.

Hon. D. P. Richardson has made notable improvement of his grounds by the removal of an extra dwelling house and barn, and is to further improve his residence lot by moving his law office building to another lot near by.

Mr. Wm. Seiver has the only manufacturing establishment of any account in Angelica. But that is really an institution of merit, as well as substantial value to the place. He works a large force of men, and doubtless builds as good carriages, wagons and buggies as are produced in the state.

But this must do for the present. We are glad to note improvement to our modest sister village, and hope she will continue to about in enterprise, thrift and virtue, especially political virtue, which is understood to excel both in quality and quantity any other concentrated package in all of Western New York - provided, of course, you allow Angelica to tell the story!