Partners for Progress

Mount Morris, NY

© 2019 by Partners for Progress

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History of Mount Morris

 

Located in the Town of Mount Morris in Livingston County, New York, the Village of Mount Morris sits proudly at the northeastern entrance to Letchworth State Park which encompasses a scenic gorge and triple waterfall thanks to the Genesee River.

 

The community was first called "Allen Hill" and "Richmond Hill" by early settler Ebenezer Allen. The Village of Mount Morris was incorporated in 1835. It was then named after Robert Morris, the financier of the American Revolution, and later owner of The Morris Reserve, from which the lands around Mount Morris were sold to settlers. It was suggested that these lands were sold at unfairly low prices to friends of the Morris estate, in an attempt to create something akin to an oligarchical rule by landowners in the area.

General Williams Mills Mansion is now home to the Mount Morris Historical Society.

 

Mary Jemison

1743-1833

Known by local residents as the "White Woman of the Genesee." was an American frontierswoman who was adopted in her teens by the Seneca. When she was in her teens, she was captured in what is now Adams County, Pennsylvania, from her home along Marsh Creek.

Mary Catherine Seymour Howell

1844-1913

Daughter of Norman and Frances Metcalf Seymour of Mount Morris, Mary Catherine Seymour Howell was an exceptional orator and suffragette.  In the 1890s, Mary Catherine traveled with Susan B. Anthony to Kansas and the Dakotas lecturing on women’s rights.  She wrote the suffrage bill in 1892 that was passed by the NYS Assembly but was not passed by the Senate.  In 1894, Mary Catherine was the main speaker at the Women’s Suffrage Convention at Fitzhugh Hall where she delivered the address “The Dawn of the Twentieth Century”.  Mrs. Howell died in 1913 before the 19th Amendment to give women the right to vote became law on August 26, 1920.

John Wesley Powell

1934-1902

Powell was born in Mount Morris, New York, in 1834. He was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers, including the first known passage by Europeans through the Grand Canyon.

Major General William Augustus Mills

1777-1844

William Augustus Mills was born in New Bedford, Connecticut and settled in Mount Morris in 1794.  He married Susannah Harris of Pennsylvania in 1802 after a courtship of one year to the day.  They had 10 children.  Major General Mills served in the War of 1812 defending the Niagara Frontier as the commander of the New York militia from six counties.  In 1833, General Mills helped finance the first dam along the Genesee River and built a raceway to the Village for water power.

Ross Barnes

1850-1915

Born in Mount Morris, was one of the stars of baseball's National Association (1871–1875) and the early National League (1876–1881), playing second base and shortstop. He played for the dominant Boston Red Stockings teams of the early 1870s, along with Albert Spalding, Cal McVey, George Wright, Harry Wright, Jim O'Rourke, and Deacon White. Despite playing for these star-studded teams, many claim that Ross was the most valuable to his teams.

Francis Bellamy

1855-1931

Francis Julius Bellamy was born in Mount Morris, NY. He is the Author of the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge was published in the September 8, 1892.

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Annie Graham Rockfellow

1866-1954

Born in Mount Morris, New York on March 12, 1866 she was an influential and prolific architect active in Tucson, Arizona during the first half of the 20th century. Rockfellow created some of Tucson’s most prominent buildings including the El Conquistador Hotel and Safford School.