Batavia, NY Fire, Feb 1850

Destructive Fire

A fire occurred on the 17th inst., in Rhany's [R. Haney's] extensive hardware store, Batavia, New York. There being no water, the flames spread with great rapidity, consuming Mr. Gordon's house, his office and dwelling the rear of the American Hotel, and several other buildings. The total loss by this fire is estimated at $50,000, on which there is partial insurance.

The Adams Sentinel, Gettysburg, PA 25 Feb 1850


On February 17, 1850, Batavia was visited by the most destructive fire in the history of the village up to that time. The fire originated about 11:30 a.m. in the two story wooden building on the north side of the Genesee (Main) street, occupied by R. Haney as a hardware store. The wind was blowing strong from the west and the flames swept eastwardly until every building to the corner of Genesee and Bank streets was consumed. Among the principal buildings destroyed were the hardware store of R. Haney, loss $8,000; the office and residence of Dr. H. Ganson, loss $2,000; store of S. C. Holden, loss $1,2000; store owned by Hinman Holden and occupied by C. Kirkham as a cabinet shop; next the American hotel, the largest and most expensive building in the village, having cost over $25,000, owned by Alva Smith and kept by B. G. Tisdale; a two story brick building owned by D. W. Tomlinson, who was fitting it up for the use of the Exchange Bank of Genesee, then located at Alexander; a building owned by Moses Taggart and occupied by Dr. J. Delamater as an office and dwelling, by Dr. Stevens, dentist, and by Mrs. Williams as a residence.

Our county and its people - a descriptive and biographical record of Genesee County, New York 1899, page 297


More Information

According to the 1850 Census for Batavia, Genesee County, NY:

R. Haney is Robert Haney, 40.

Dr. H. Ganson is Holton Ganson, 40, Doctor, who lived with his wife Amanda L., 41 and Alira Minn (?), 11.

S. C. Holden could be Samuel C. Holden, 53, although he's listed in the census as a farmer.

C. Kirkham is Chauncey Kirkham, 57, Cabinet maker. He lived with his wife Angelina, 47, sons Chauncey Jr., 26 who was a clerk, Lyman L. 18 who was a printer, and Charles, 9; daughters Angela, 21, Euphemia, 13 and Isabella M., 7. Hannorah Roche, 23 and three cabinet makers Frederick Lansenbert, 23, Charles Lucker (or Lueker), 27 and Oscar Letrner, 21, also lived with the family.

B. G. Tisdale is Bradley G. Tisdale, 33, Innkeeper. He and his family, wife Ellen, 31, daughter Helen S., 11, and sons George M., 6, Frank, 4, Lewis C., 2 and (unnamed), 1 month, lived at the hotel.

D. W. Tomlinson is Daniel W. Tomlinson, 35, Banker. He owned property worth $17,000; and lived with his wife Susan L., 31 and children Fanny, 4, Cornelia, 3 and Daniel 2.

Dr. J. Delamater could be either Jacob, 37, or John, 44. Both were doctors.

Dr. Stevens is Nelson Stevens, 49, dentist, who was living at the hotel.

Mrs. Williams is probably Aurelia Williams, 70. Her daughter, Aurelia Williams 2d, 35 and Eliakisn M. Davis, 15, a clerk, lived with her.