Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Twenty-Five Things That Made Genesee County Famous: #3 The Disappearance of William Morgan

In September 1826, a bricklayer from Batavia, New York disappeared. His disappearance caused a national sensation. The Freemasons were blamed for the disappearance because Morgan was a man who wanted to be accepted into the Masons, was rejected and threatened to disclose the rituals of the secret society.

His disappearance led to the formation of the first third political party in American history, the Anti-Masonic Party.

Freemasons claim Morgan jumped on a boat in Lake Ontario and disappeared forever. The Anti-masons claim the Freemasons murdered him by tossing him in the Niagara River.

The important part to remember is the political upheaval caused by the disappearance of one man.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Twenty-Five Things That Made Genesee County Famous: #4 The Holland Land Company

The first big business to come to Western New York was a group of six Dutch banking houses that formed a stock holding company called the Holland Land Company.

The Company purchased 3.3 million acres of Western New York forest and through their agent, Joseph Ellicott, built town, villages and cities.

They were the driving force behind the creation of Genesee County and without them, the Western New York landscape could be much different.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

The Twenty-Five Things That Made Genesee County Famous: #5 Emory Upton

During the Civil War, many men from Genesee County answered the call to keep the Union together. In our countdown we've already met two of the County’s Civil War Heroes, Charles Rand (#14) and Ely Parker (#11).

Genesee County’s most famous Civil War soldier was Emory Upton. Upton was born into a farm family in the town of Batavia in 1839. He rose to the rank of Brevet Major General. After the war, he was commandant at the United States Military Academy at West Point, wrote books about strategies and tactics, and toured the world.

He became an expert on military policy and known as one of the reformers of the United States Military and influenced to policies of the United States Army throughout the 20th Century.

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