The death of Hiram York on Saturday morning April 22nd, 1893 was a startling surprise to our citizens. It had not been generally known that Mr. York was anything more than slightly indisposed and his death came suddenly and unexpected even to those who were constantly with him, although Mr. York reiterated a number of times to the family that this was his last illness. For years he had not been in good health, being subject to periodical attacks of bilious colic. The last one was more severe than usual and proved fatal.
Mr. York was born in Oxford, NY Apr 5, 1821, and was educated at the Oxford Academy, which in those days was classed among the best. At the age of 21 he went to Elmira and engaged in the lumber business with H. C. Spaulding, becoming a member of the family and remaining until 1847, when a desire to increase business took him to Belmont. Mr. York shipped the first boat load of lumber that went over the Genesee Valley Canal from Oramel.
In 1850 he married Miss Sarah Johnson, only daughter of the late Nathaniel Johnson, and in 1852 located at Wellsville. Mrs. York lived but a few years leaving her husband with two small children. IN 1858 he was married to Miss Harriet Palmer, of Stonington, Conn., who proved a true, loving wife and faithful mother to his little daughters.
For over forty years Mr. York has been a resident of Wellsville, and has been an earnest and prominent worker for its advancement and improvements. He was one of the prime movers in the establishment of the present Union School, and it was Mr. York who at a special meeting of the citizens on Nov 3, 1859, introduced the following “Resolved That a Union free school be established within the limits of Wellsville, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 433 of the law of 1853.” This resulted in the establishment of the present Academy, and Mr. York was a member of the first Board of Education, taking a personal and active interest in the school.
In 1863 he was supervisor of the town. The first brick business building was built by Mr. York in 1868. The first stone pavement laid in our village was by this gentlemen. He was trustee of the village directly after its incorporation and held many important trusts in the early life of Wellsville.
For a number of years Mr. York was engaged in the banking business with Gen. C. T. Chamberlain of Cuba, under the firm name of York & Chamberlain. Of a kind and noble nature, generous and forgiving, a gentleman of the old school, he made and retained many friends.
For the past fifteen years his health has been far from good, and he has lived a retired life. His genial, gentlemanly and courteous manner will ever be remembered by the older residents of Wellsville and Allegany county who knew Mr. York during his business life.
A wife, Mrs. Harriet Palmer York, survives the deceased, together with five children, Mrs. Clarence L. Parker, Now of Norwich NY, Mrs. E. F. Joyce of St. Augustine, Florida, Mrs. D. O. Batterson of Dansville, Miss Fannie York, now in Vassar College, and Mr. Edward P. York, a rising young architect of New York city. The eldest son Henry died in 1880, aged seventeen years.
The funeral was held Monday Apr 24th from the family residence and was attended by a large concourse of friend and neighbors. The Rev. Mr. Hoffman, of Hornellsville, assisted by Re. M. W. Covel of this city, officiated, and the remains were laid to rest in the Johnson cemetery.