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About – Our History

Early days of North Hornell & the Incorporation of the Village

It is quite uncertain just when the growing community of residents in the North Hornell area began to think of themselves as a possible municipal unit. Certainly early in the century (1900) people began purchasing plots of land and began building homes in the area of the future Village. This comprised most of the land bounded on the west by the Canisteo River, the east by the sharply rising hills, on the south by the wide downstream swing of the Canisteo River and the north by Big Creek.

During the 1900 to 1925 period, the Elmhurst Realty Company was formed and presented a map of building lots on the east side of Seneca Road. At the same time, the Land Trust Company of Pittsburg PA, backed by the Pittsburg-Hornell Reality Company, laid out an elaborate sub-division providing sites for hotels, park areas, public schools and home sites. This embraced much of the area on the west side of Seneca Road and the south of the present Wells Street. Another feature of this time period was the construction of a recreation area called Elmhurst Park which was established in the area of current upper Maplewood Ave. A concrete dam was built creating a sizable lake in the narrow valley and there was picnicking, boating and various water sports. The venture was not a great financial success for it fell in disuse and the 1935 flood demolished the dam and all that remains are some chunks of concrete in the valley. Both Elmhurst Realty Company and the Pittsburg-Hornell Realty Company went out of business with considerable loss to local residents.

At a meeting held in the garage of G. E. Cotton at 367 Seneca Road in North Hornell on June 14, 1924, at which 76 citizens were present, it was unanimously voted that the Village of North Hornell be incorporated. After the necessary proceedings were accomplished, on July 12, 1924, an election was held at the same location, at which the first officers of the new Village were elected as follows:

    Robert W. Bull – President and later Mayor

    Floyd Glover – Trustee 

    Charles Osborne – Trustee 

    William Bowen – Treasure 

    Rose Crawford – Collector

The Village population at the time was 233 living in approximately 75 residences. (Compiled from old Village records)