Friday, July 11, 2014

Comstock's History Page Twenty

CAYUGA COUNTY NEW YORK by Austin B. Comstock

I will be posting each page of this history separately. The index, posted on June 24, 2014 in 4 parts, provides the page numbers; you can also search the blog for a particular name appearing anywhere within it. 
The index is also published at and will eventually have a link back to this blog.
I hope you find something new!

Page Twenty
the door, the doorman with a silver salver met him and he was supposed to give his card and show his invitation. He gave the card but had no invitation and so stated; the doorman informed him that he must have an invitation or he could not come in. Humphrey did not like to miss the event and so decided to swing a bluff and informed the doorman that he was ”Lord Howland of America.” The doorman, not to be bluffed, told Humphrey that “You may be Lord ‘Owland of Hamerica or Lord ‘Owland of Hell, but you can’t come in here without an invitation.”
Humphrey was a good enough sport that he came home and told it as a good joke on himself.
His home was considered the finest country estate in Western New York. He owned an island in the Seneca River which is known as Howland’s Island. This he left, with much money, to his son, William Penn Howland who was as capable of spending money as his father was of making it. He is said to have been in the habit of showing off by lighting his cigars with $1.00 bills. When his money was gone, he said that he had shown people how to spend fortunes and now he would show them how to make one, but this he never did, and if it had not been for some of his relatives he would have died in the poor house.
Perhaps this would be a good place to say a few words regarding the existence of several “meeting houses” in this locality.
At an early date there were erected two meeting houses, one built one mile west of Scipioville and the other 1 ½ miles west of Poplar Ridge. These buildings were rather pretentious as to size but not as to ornamentation. There was a balcony on three sides and sliding doors that let down, so that the men and women could be in separate rooms if the services required it.
Both buildings were about alike and were for many years attended by congregations in perfect harmony, but finally discord crept in and much dissatisfaction was incurred by a faction known as the “Hicksites” led by Elias Hicks of Long Island. Many of the fundamental principles of the Friends were abrogated and those who believed one way decided to cut loose from the meeting.
This occurred in the fall of 1827. For a time, those who seceded were without a place to meet. Finally the seceders of both the other meetings were invited to hold their meetings for worship at the home of Samuel Willetts north of the “Brick Meeting house.”
These meetings were harmonious to a marked degree. Many accessions were made in their number and a lack of room was soon felt. It is said there were three of the seceders who were worth $700,000, and all were prosperous farmers. In 1834, Augustus Howland, a man of much means, made

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