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A Look Back: The Founding Fathers of Springville and Concord

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Looking back to when we were little, what stands out the most in your mind? Was it dinners during the week when the whole family sat down and talked? Not using a cell phone, but really looked at each other and talked.
Maybe it was when we went on family outings, with mom and dad and all your siblings or cousins, running around playing games, laughing and enjoying each other company… again, no cell phones allowed.
The Welsh have a word, “hiraeth,” that means a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was: the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past, and maybe that is what we all have tucked away in our minds.
The First Father’s Day celebration was held at the YMCA on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Wash. William Jackson Smart was a Civil War veteran, and a single parent to his six children. One of his daughters, Sonora Smart Dodd, wanted a day that her father, as well as other men who were fathers, would be honored on. We have been celebrating and honoring our fathers ever since.
People starting to settle here in the village of Springville and town of Concord in the year 1807, and we have a large list of “founding fathers” we can draw from. Of course, there is Christopher Stone, the first settler in town, and his son Lucius, the first white child born in the town of Concord, in the year 1809.
Rufus Eaton, in 1818, had a map or survey of the village made, and on that map was included lot numbers two, three, eight and nine of township six, range six of the Holland Land Company surveys.
The first election of the Village officers was held on May 6, 1834, where Carlos Emmons, Ebenezer Dibble, Jacob Rushmore, Joseph McMillen and Samuel Cochran were elected as trustees.
Johnson Bensley, Richard Wadsworth, Theodore Smith were elected assessors, Peter V.S. Wendover was clerk, Mortimer L. Arnold was collector, Pliny Smith was treasurer, Freeman Baily was Constable and Abial Gardner was elected Pound master. These men were some of our founding fathers of the village and should be remembered as they help to shape the village of Springville and town of Concord.
So let’s learn about one of these founding fathers, Carlos Emmons. He was born in Hartland, Vt., on June 17, 1799.  He got his medical education in Vermont and practiced in Washington County in New York before moving to this area.
Carlos Emmons was a member of the State Legislature in 1834 and was the author of the act of incorporation of the village. The Board of Trustees had a survey done of the village and started to name the streets within the village limits. They were Main, Buffalo, Franklin, Cattaraugus, Mill, Water, Waverly, West, Church, White and Smith streets.
In 1836, two new street were laid out, Elk and Academy. Chapel Street was laid in 1843, and in 1851, Eaton and Smith streets were added to the survey map. And so, the village of Springville was taking shape, with businesses and private homes being added yearly.
Carlos Emmons lived a long life, was a physician in our area for over 38 years and was one of the founding fathers of the Academy. He also served as a Supervisor, and in the year of 1822 was elected the State Senator for the eighth senatorial district.
Along with all of that, he also found time to be the Postmaster for Springville for several years. He married Harriet Eaton, daughter of Rufus Eaton, and together they had three daughters, Harriet, Josephine and Clementine. His first wife died in May of 1845.
On Oct. 2, 1847, Carlos Emmons married Caroline Powers. Dr. Emmons died at his home here in town on Dec. 12, 1875, at the age of 77, and is buried at Maplewood Cemetery.
So along with our fathers that we celebrate on Father’s Day, let us also remember the founding fathers that worked hard to create the towns and area that we live in now. Building schools and churches, along with businesses, they are remarkable men.
Want to learn more about the founding fathers of the area? Stop by the Lucy Bensley Center located at 23 North Buffalo St. on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and we can help you research all of them.
We have online sites, maps and atlas on our shelves, genealogy of some, old handwritten journals, photos and newspapers for you to view. You can also email us at lucybensleycenter@gmail.com or call us at 592-0094.
You can listen to some great music at the Mercantile/Heritage Building located at 17 Franklin St. on Tuesday and Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m., and maybe walk across the street and get some ice cream.

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