February 8, 2004

McLean and Malloryville

George Goodrich had a bit of a challenge covering the McLean area in his Centennial History, as much of it - like the McLean fire district today - is in Groton, rather than Dryden. This discussion focuses more on Malloryville, which was once a thriving industrial town, but notes some aspects of McLean on the Dryden side. I have to admit I'm curious about his mention of 'one hotel, the "Dryden House", of the management of which our town has not always had reason to be proud.'

Chapter XXXV

Malloryville and Mc'Lean

The larger part of McLean being outside of our territory in the adjoining town of Groton, we include in this chapter what we can claim of it as a part of Dryden. In the year 1820 Samuel Mallory, then 22 years of age, walked from his native place in Sharon, Conn., to Homer, N.Y., and five or six years later he purchased the mill site and water power at the point on Fall Creek, about one mile from McLean, which, from him, was named Malloryville. Here he built a saw-mill and added carding and cloth dressing machinery as well as a dye-house, and finally established a chair factory, so that in these, their best days, the mills of Mr. Mallory gave employment to twenty-five or thirty men and one-third as many women in the different kinds of work. Some of the products of the chair factory are still in use today, indicating that the furniture of that time was much more substantial that most of that which we buy in these days. But in 1836 a great fire wiped out the flourishing industries of Mr. Mallory, and he was so discouraged that he sold out and removed to a location in Wisconsin. Some years later, about 1845, barrels were manufactured at Malloryville, by Wm. Trapp, who invented the first successful machinery for that kind of work. Still later the manufacture of tubs and firkins began to develop here under the firm of Howe & Watson, who later, in 1867, sold out to Rev. E. R. Wade, who conducted the business down to within a short time. Another fire in 1855 and still another in 1875 destroyed the manufacturing plant at Malloryville, but as often as it has been burned down it has been rebuilt, and in spite of the changes in the times the manufacturing industries at Malloryville still survive and have a promising future. The mercantile interests of Malloryville center at McLean, beyond our jurisdiction; but one hotel, the "Dryden House", of the management of which our town has not always had reason to be proud, the railroad depot, as well as the creamery of McLean, and one church, of the Roman Catholic denomination, come within our territory. The latter was erected in 1851 at a cost of one thousand dollars, the site and that of the Catholic cemetery near by having been donated by Michael O'Byrne. The society was formed in 1841 and among the first members were John Keenan, Patrick Corcoran, Matthew O'Byrne, James Walpole, Patrick Donnelly, Thomas and Patrick Kane.

Of the pioneers and leading men of Malloryville, we will mention:

HOWE, SOLOMON L., who was born in Groton in the year 1824 and was educated at the old Groton Academy. Having relatives in Cattaraugus County he went there as a school teacher when he became of age and there married Miss Rispa Smith, of Yorkshire, in 1848. Returning to Tompkins county he settled at Malloryville in 1853, where he was employed by Howe & Watson, the senior member of the firm, Lemi Howe, being his cousin, in the manufacture of their wares on the contract system, making some practical improvements in the process of their manufacture. He was of a mechanical turn of mind and for many years, in addition to his other duties, was the principal surveyor and civil engineer of the township. Among his other work in this line was the survey for the Dryden village water works and the laying out of the E., C. & N. R. R. through the town. He was at least twice elected commissioner of highways of the town and served two terms as school commissioner of the second district of Tompkins county. His death occurred July 25, 1895. His three sons are civil engineers in the West, his only daughter being the wife of F. J. Per Lee, of Groton. Wherever his duties called him, Mr. Howe was always a faithful, upright man and an efficient officer.

MALLORY, SAMUEL, who portrait is given at the beginning of this chapter, and after who Malloryville was named, was born in Sharon, Conn., April 18, 1798. He first married Nancy Hooper, of Homer, N.Y., who died in 1827. His second wife was Jane, daughter of Deacon Amos Hart, who, with four daughters, survives him. After leaving Malloryville he lived in McLean for a few years, but in 1844 moved to Elkhorn, Wis., where he engaged in hotel keeping in the early days of that country, serving two terms as treasurer of his county. He did in April, 1897, lacking only a few days of being 99 years of age. He was an exemplary man who in his long life made many friends, only a few of whom survive him.

WADE, REV. EDWIN R., was one of the Century Committee of Dryden's Centennial, and died since the writing of this history was commenced. He was a clergyman of the Christian denomination and, in addition to his clerical duties, in the year 1867 he engaged in the manufacturing business at Malloryville, which he continued there until near his death. His shop had at one time a capacity of turning out sixty thousand tubs and firkins annually, a large amount of the raw material required being, in later years, imported from other states. The changes in the demand for butter packages within the past few years have almost wiped out this industry, which was so flourishing at one time at Malloryville.

Elder Wade, as he was commonly called, came to Dryden from Cayuga county, where he had served as supervisor of the town of Niles, and in 1874 he was elected to the same office in our town. He was a man who united civil and religious virtues with a practical, honest, useful life. The writer has known him, at a funeral, to conduct the whole service alone, preaching, reading, praying, and finally singing the hymn without assistance or notes. He was everywhere recognized as a sincere Christian and an excellent citizen.

Goodrich, George B. The Centennial History of the Town of Dryden, 1797-1897. Dryden: Dryden Herald Steam Printing House, 1898. Reprinted 1993 by the Dryden Historical Society. Pages 149-152.

(The Dryden Historical Society, which sells this book, may be reached at 607-844-9209.)

Posted by simon at February 8, 2004 10:00 AM in ,
Note on photos