Emma J. Winch 1900.
Canadice was organized as a separate town nearly 100 years ago, with a population of 1,384. Our centennial will be in 1929. Never since its organization has the population been as great as at first. In 1875 it was about 900, now it is about 450.
In the public affairs of our country for the fifty years past, we have had a share, having sent to Albany a member of assembly; to Canandaigua a district attorney; one of our number was clerk of the board of supervisors a number of years, in fact until death took him; three different supervisors have been chairman of the board of supervisors; a Canadice man is now superintendent of the town.
The people of fifty years ago are nearly all gone; just a few are scattered about. Most of them are dead. Strangers coming among us speak of the beauty of our country church. We must not forget to mention the formation of the Ladies’ Aid some thirty-five or forty years ago. In more ways than one it has been a help to our little town.
A few older ones have made homes in near-by villages, and new faces and names have taken their places. Where we had the names of Norton, Hoppough, Burch, Ray, Hyde, Beam, Branch, Brown, Skinner, Hartson, and a host of others, we have now Preston, Van Duyne, Steward, Costello, Affolter, Peabody, Cook, Hayward, Ernst, Crooks, and many more too numerous to mention. In many cases there were several families of the same name, all of them relatives; now not more than one of the same name remains, and oftener not any. Like many other towns we have furnished the cities and villages with some of our best boys and girls, who are filling places of trust and responsibility outside of Canadice.
Practically all of the buildings in the town have met with improvements. In place of inconvenient and unsightly farm buildings we find commodious barns and houses and in many cases many modern improvements have been made. Canadice church, around which much of interest clusters, was enlarged and rebuilt about fifty-three years ago. A few years later commodious parlors were added, from time to time furnishings, until now we are entirely equipped for our present and prospective needs.
The organization of our telephone company has almost revolutionized our methods of doing business and has been of untold value to our busy farmers. The Lehigh railroad, which came to our neighboring village of Hemlock, gave us an additional help in getting produce marketed. The railroad and the coming of the automobile marked a new era in getting to market and also in the farmer’s getting to see a little bit of the world. For the all-day journey to town and back is a thing of the past.
Our postal facilities in the last fifty years have been much improved. In 1874-75 we were getting our mail from Canandaigua by means of horse flesh, coming to Canadice Corners, each family going to the office for its mail, some travelling four or five miles. Now with our R. F. D. mail comes to our door every day. Under the old order a daily trip was not to be thought of; even the Gazette would have been a “back number” by the time most of us got it.
Another thing that should not be ignored is the greater number of our young people who, when their work is finished at the little red school house, are going to some of our higher institutions, and in many cases they are winning for themselves the first places in these schools. One word about our faithful country teachers: In years past Canadice has furnished many good teachers, some remaining in our country schools, others winning success in high schools, normals and colleges.
In looking back over the past fifty years, we find much to encourage us in the thought that Canadice, though small, has accomplished much and has won for herself a name that is respected by those around us.