William Poudrit (now spelled Poodry) a Frenchman and fur trader
was the first white settler in the
area of Alabama. He settled on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation
with his Indian wife. There is still a
long line of Poodry's on the reservation today.
James Walsworth settled in West Alabama at the intersection of
Lewiston and Meadville Road
becoming the first settler in Alabama proper.
James Walsworth turns his home into an Inn. It was one of the
only stopping points on the route
from Lewiston to Batavia. People naturally stopped there to rest
on their way to Batavia to purchase land.
First Saw Mill erected, in Wheatville, by Samuel Witcomb.
circa Tonawanda Indian Baptist Church is built, originally of
logs. A new church of brick is later
built prior to 1892.
Tonawanda Indian Reservation is reduced to 12,800 acres.
April 17 The town of Alabama was formed from Shelby in Orleans
County, and Pembroke in
Genesee County. Originally it was named Gerrysville.
September 27 Ely Stone, one of the first Baptist Ministers in
Alabama purchases land directly
opposite the Tonawanda Reservation. Six days later he immediately
resold it to the Baptist Convention of
New York. It is documented that the Baptists operated a school that
adjoined the Reservation. This is what
I believe to be the location of the school that was attended by
April 21 The name of the town was changed to Alabama.
Federal Census for Alabama is 815
December 15 Land is purchased from the Holland Land Company creating
the towns first cemetery,
now know as Wheatville Cemetery on Lewiston Road half way between
Alabama Center and Wheatville.
At that time it was not known by that name. It was purchased by
the Trustees of the burying ground in the
town of Alabama.
Alabama Baptist Church in Alabama Center is formed.
- A "Mr. Church" becomes the head of the Alabama Chapter
of the American Anti-Slavery Society. This
is the first reference I've found of an Anti-Slavery Society in
February 18 The Baptist Congregation of Elba branches off into
South Alabama becoming the Baptist
Church and Society of Oakfield and Alabama. At some point the name
is changed to the Oakfield Alabama
Federal Census for Alabama is 1798
circa The Alabama Hotel was built by Isaac Duel and Amos Starkweather.
It is still in business today
as a restaurant.
September 27 Oakfield Alabama Baptist Church purchases land in
South Alabama to build a church, a
school, and a parsonage. By 1842 the church is built.
January 22 Oakfield Alabama Baptist Church purchases land for
a burying ground, which later
becomes Reed Cemetery in Oakfield. (At this time Oakfield was still
part of Elba)
May 19 Oakfield Alabama Baptist Minister Rev. Augustus Warren
and his second wife Maria sell the
town of Alabama the burial ground now known as Basom Plot. (I believe
this to be the Baptist Churches first
January 9 The First Universalist Society of Alabama Church is
formed. Legal Organization is filed in
the clerk's office on September 11th that same year.
October 27 Universalist Church purchases 60 rods of land for a
cemetery and to build a church. The
cemetery is still on this property but there is no evidence that
a church was ever built.
March 21 A convention was held in the courthouse in Batavia in
support of the Tonawanda Indians
keeping their land. According to a dishonestly obtained treaty of
1842, they were to abandon their land by
April 1, 1846. At that time it was reported to be one of the largest
assemblages in the county's history.
Alabama Sour Springs Hotel is built by J.C.Colton of Lockport
and Thomas W. Olcott of Albany after
nine sour springs were discovered which were thought to contain
healing properties. It contained about 100
sleeping rooms, a large ballroom on the third floor, and verandas
on three sides.
Federal Census for Alabama 2054
September 6 Alabama Methodist Church, which formed in the 1840s,
purchases land in Alabama
Center to build their church.
September 5 Alabama Baptist Church purchases land in Alabama Center
to build their church.
March 22 The Freewill Baptist Church in Wheatville is incorporated.
March 24 Wheatville Cemetery Association is formed.
circa Oakfield Alabama Baptist Church builds a school where
the parsonage stands today.
April 8 Town of Alabama purchases land next to Nichols Hill Cemetery
for a gravel bed. Which is
eventually sold to the Wheatville cemetery association in 1888 by
a town resolution.
November The Tonawanda Indians enter into a treaty with the United
States to avoid being re-located.
They buy back their own land, which is reduced in size to 7,549.73
October 27 Polly (Franklin) Hoag Frisch is convicted of murder
in the first degree for the death of her 7-
year-old daughter Frances, by means of arsenic poison. Polly is
believed to have murdered her husband
Henry and daughter Eliza Jane but she was found not guilty. Originally
she was to be hung but her sentence
was commuted to imprisonment for life. She was pardoned by the Governor
on December 9, 1892 and
Federal Census for Alabama is 2061
February 25 The Freewill Baptist Church of Wheatville purchases
land in Wheatville and build their
church. The church disbanded sometime after 1904.
April 12 Tonawanda Indian Presbyterian Church is organized. A
one room house was built on the
same spot were the present church stands which was built in 1871.
Federal Census for Alabama is 1805
March 13 Rev. Stephen V. Ryan purchases land that is used to build
St. Patrick's Church.
Federal Census for Alabama is 1975
The West Shore Rail Road purchases a strip of land from the Tonawanda
Band of Indians for $724. This
was necessary in order to run the tracks from Akron to Alabama,
and continuing east.
January 1 West Shore Railroad opens. Adelbert Thompson begins
drawing stone to build what is now
known as the Basom Hotel.
February 29 Rowley & Eddy of Medina purchase land in Basom
to build a lumberyard.
April 18 According to a news article, schoolhouse in district
#15 on Iron Bridge Road was burned to the
ground. It was not rebuilt.
August 1 West Shore Railroad opens depots in Alabama.
October 6 A Rural Cemetery Association is formed for the cemetery
situated on Nichols Hill. Cemetery
was to be known as Wheatville Cemetery. This caused confusion with
the cemetery that already existed in
March 8 Alabama sells land 2 rods wide (33 ft.) to the Wheatville
Cemetery Association, which is added
to the Nichol Hill Cemetery.
May 24 The Methodist Episcopal Church on the Tonawanda Reservation
is dedicated after its
construction. This church is no longer standing.
October 25 The Hamlet of Basom is formed as the new post office
is opened. It was named after Sabret
Basom the Alabama town Supervisor.
Federal Census for Alabama is 1654
- circa - Dulcimers are made in South Alabama by Perry Wright Sr.
May 11 The body of Ira P. Howland, which had been stolen from
the Alabama Cemetery a year earlier,
turns up in a cornfield on Lewiston Road on the then Howland Farm.
Charles Underhill found it while plowing.
January 4 Rev. James B. Quigley, Bishop of Buffalo quit claims
to The Diocese of Buffalo the church in
Wheatville which is known as St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church.
This conveyance also included property in
Byron, and four parcels in Pavilion including a 3-acre cemetery.
1899, November 23 The Basom Methodist Church is dedicated after
Federal Census for Alabama is 1611
Alabama Produce Company was built by Douglas Potter, Rollie Lumely
and William Briggs and known to
locals as "The Elevator".
March 31 Wheatville Post Office Closed. Alabama Apple Dryer was
also built during this year.
Federal Census for Alabama is 2231
July 6 The Rural Carrier Co. purchases an automobile for Alabama
Oddfellows buy the old schoolhouse #2. With help from men from
the Tonawanda Indian Reservation
the building is rolled down the road on logs and around the corner.
It is the present day Oakfield Alabama
American Legion Post in Alabama Center.
September Alabama Sour Springs House struck by lightening and
burned to the ground during
ownership of Albert Beals. It had closed as a hotel shortly after
the outbreak of the Civil War due to declining
(Daily News article 9/4/1912)
Federal Census for Alabama is 1530
May 8 Engine on West Shore Railroad derails in Basom.
William Cottingham, deputy Sheriff for Alabama, drops dead of
a heart attack at the county court house
in Batavia. He had served Alabama for 20 years after being appointed
by Sheriff Pixley in 1900.
July 28 The southeast and southwest corners of the business district
in Alabama Center are destroyed
New Post Office in Alabama Center is built after fire of 1921
destroyed previous building.
Home Bureau Club of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation was formed.
(From an anniversary article in
Batavia Daily 2/28/1952)
Lester T. Ross of South Alabama invents the Lester T. Ross Snow
Plow. By 1925 Alabama, Alexander,
Bethany, and Oakfield were successfully using it for snow removal.
September Klu Klux Klan Officers form Basom and Alabama are named
in a Batavia Daily News article.
Do-ne-ho-ga-weh, (The Keeper of the Western Door), Chief Thomas
Poodry head of the Tonawanda Band
of Indians dies. Born in 1858, he was elected head Sachem of the
Wolf Clan about 1894 after the death of
General Ely S. Parker.
Alabama commemorates its 100th Anniversary during a celebration
that included a parade, concert, and
a super at the Odd Fellows Hall. There were also several robberies
and house break-ins during this year.
Cort J. Fuller, aged 71, shot dead in house in South Alabama by
John J. White during a hold-up.
Mrs. Nancy Miller of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation celebrates
her 108th birthday.
1926, September 15 Lt. Harmon J. Norton, aviator dies in freak
March 29 Harry N. Brackett, Postmaster of Alabama dies of a heart
attack while driving his automobile
while driving from Buffalo to Alabama.
Federal Census for Alabama is 1734
May 10 Cornerstone is laid for the Tonawanda Indian Reservation
May 13 Dedication of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation Community
House. Mrs. Walter Henricks (Sah-
Nee-Weh), chairman of the Daughters of the American Revolution committee
on Indian Affairs, along with the
residents of the Reservation, were responsible for the construction.
Federal Census for Alabama is 1763
June 15 Alida P. Norton sells her property of 339.35 acres to
the People of the State of New York and
becomes the White Memorial Game Farm.
October 9 Alabama Volunteer Fire Department becomes incorporated.
Federal Census for Alabama is 1766
April Alabama Fire Department's Ladies Auxiliary is formed.
March 30 Mrs. Mary Jane Ingalsbe, at 101 years old, states she
owes her longevity to skipping the cake
and eat pickles instead.
February 16 - Former General Store in South Alabama was purchased
in 1951 and remodeled into the
Oakfield Grange and its first public event was held this day.
July 19 Train wreck in Basom. Thirty-five cars of the West Shore
Line are derailed. There were no
Federal Census for Alabama is 1931
July 21 Pony Express Centennial, sponsored by Genesee County, passes
through the Hamlet of Basom in
the town of Alabama, as well as Pavilion, Stafford, Leroy, Batavia,
Elba and Oakfield.
October 7 Gary D. Doctor of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation becomes
the only person from the
Reservation or the town of Alabama to be killed in action during
the Vietnam War. He was 20 years old.
January 11 Alabama Historian, Helen B. Klotzbach, assists other
historians in investigating the Spirit Lake
area in Alabama which is designated an ancient Indian site.
Federal Census for Alabama is 1872
March 22 After years of controversy the Town of Alabama adopts
May 16 Opening of the Town of Alabama Museum in the Alabama Town
Hall. Alabama also celebrated
its 125th anniversary this year.
Federal Census for Alabama is 1926
New York State begins a Bald Eagle Restoration Program that included
the Iroquois National Wildlife
November Alabama Produce building is demolished.
The first eaglets to hatch in Western New York in 37 years happened
at the Iroquois National Wildlife
August 2 Robert Crossen retires after being Basom Postmaster for
1987, July Post Office in Alabama Center Closes.
Federal Census for Alabama is 1998
Alabama residents defeat Composting Plan.
Wheelabrator, a trash-to-energy facility, plans to build in Alabama
and causes controversy.
Wheelabrator cancels plans a few years later due to negotiation
problems with Niagara Mohawk over pricing in
Kiwanis honors four law officers for outstanding service, one
of them being Basom resident Robert
August 911 service goes into effect in the Town of Alabama.
July 24 The Basom Hotel with 28.6 acres goes up for auction, with
no takers. It is eventually sold and
becomes a residence.
August 28 The TV show "Assignment Earth", produced and
distributed by World Net a branch of the US
Information Agency that produces "Voice of America", comes
to the wildlife refuge areas of Alabama to film the
Osprey Re-introduction Program. The programs were viewed worldwide.
August 26 After 55 years of operation, the State Department of
Environmental Conservation announces it
will close its pheasant-raising farm in Alabama known as the John
White Memorial Game Farm.
September - The Basom Trading Post owned by Ellen and Robert Bachorski
closes after 150 years of
Federal Census for Alabama is 1881
-- Alabama celebrates its 175th Anniversary with a weekend long
celebration, parade, dance, music, historic
costume contest and an all denominational church service.