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Books on Broome Co. Genealogy and History

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Map of Broome Co. (1895)

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Towns of Broome Co. Histories

Until the end of the American Revolution, this area was inhabited by Native Americans. Two main settlements were found at Onaquaga, near present-day Windsor, and Otseningo, located along the Chenango River, just north of the present-day City of Binghamton. Smaller Settlements could be found at Chugnuts, Castle Creek and the Vestal area. As part of the Iriquois Confederacy, and considered a threat to the revolutionists' efforts, the Sullivan-Clinton campaign was used to remove the Native American population. After the conclusion of the Revolution, the land was divided among many land speculators, including William Bingham, who obtained over ten thousand acres at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers, and the developers of the Boston Purchase (also called Boston Town Towns) which encompassed much of northers Broome, as well as parts of Chenango, Tioga and Tompkins Counties.

William Bingham was a wealthy Philadelphia banker whose interest after the revolution was in land. Aside from this area, Bingham also owned over 500,000 acres of land in the state on maine. Bingham envisioned a new village at the meeting of the two rivers and hired local merchant Joshua Whitney to be his land agent. Whitney was responsible for the first street plan of the village, worked to entice new settlers to the area, and became the area's first elected representative to Albany. Bingham died in 1804, never visiting the area that would bear his name. Nonetheless, Whitney continued to work dilligently to build the new town. In 1806 the area was seperated from Tioga County, and the new county was named after Revolutionary War veteran and then Lieutenant-Governor John Broome.

With the opening of the Erie Canal, this area, like many, sought their own canal to connect to the Erie to aid development. Finally in 1834, work began on the Chenango Canal, a 97 mile long engineering marvel which connected Binghamton in the south with Utica and the Erie Canal in the north. The first packet boat arrived in 1837 and new development followed the route of the canal. Despite the economic failure of the canal (it never made a profit), the county benefitted from the arrival of new settlers and merchandise, as well as providing a means of shipping finished goods in and out of the area. Mills sprang up along the southern end of the canal, and department stores and hotels rose along the retail corridor. In 1848, the Erie railroad arrived, and the coming of the ironhorse spelled the end for the canal. Within two decades the area had become a transportation hub, with north-south and east-west railroad lines and the canal. But by 1874, the Chenango Canal route was closed in Binghamton, the oly remnants being a proposed expansion along the Susquehanna River that would later become part of the Vestal Parkway.

The period surrounding the Civil War saw great change for the area. Its leading politician, Daniel S. Dickinson, serve in the United States Senate from 1844-1850, and after the outbreak of the war spoke countlessly in favor of the Union. The needs for munitions and other war products brought assembly-line factory work to the area, and guns and other products were developed in this region. After the end of the war, the area enjoyed the fruits of the Industrial Revolution, and new major industries opened. Stow Manufacturing relied on the invention of the flexible shaft. The lumber industry was transformed into a large furniture and wagon business. Bay far, however, the area was truly changed with the arrival of the first cigar manufacturing company in the 1870's. By 1890 over fifty factories were operating with five thousand people involved in the manufacture of over 100 million cigars each year. Binghamton ranked only behind New York City as the top cigar making city in the country. Immigrants from Eastern Europe and other countries poured into the area to work in this industry, or one of the many other companies producing over two hundred different types of products by the turn of the century.

As the area's population was doubling every ten to fifteen years, so was the area's municipalities. By 1900 the county had 16 towns, six villages and one city. Binghamton had the largest population, Despite the largeness of the cigar making industry,it had all but disappeared by 1930 due to the rise in popularity of the cigarette, automation, and labor unrest. Many of the former cigar workers took solace in finding employment in the factories of the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Corporation. Begun as Lester Brothers Boot and Shoe Company in Binghamton in 1854, it moved to create its own company town, Lestershire, to the west of Binghamton. Financial problems forced the sale of the company to a creditor and fellow shoemaker, Henry B. Endicott of Massachusetts in 1890. In 1899 he made former Lester Brothers factory forman, George F. Johnson, his partner. Johnson's Square Deal program quickly transformed the company into an industrial giant, with over 20,000 employees by the mid 1940's, and a production of 52 million pairs of shoes each year. Johnson's and E-J's philanthropy included the donation of parks, land for churches, two libraries and the six wooden carousels still in use today.

At the same time Johnson City (formerly Lestershire) and the planned community of Endicott (incorporated in 1906) were growing, so too was a firm that started in Binghamton in 1889 as the Bundy Manufacturing Company. Involved in timer clock production, it merged with several other firms and went througha variety of names before hiring Thomas Watson, Sr. in 1914. His corporate leadership moved the company into a new era, and in 1924 he changed the name of the company to International Business Machines. IBM has since become the area's leading employer.

During the height of the Great Depression Edwin A. Link followed his dream to develop the pilot trainer, or flight simulator. Link Aviation, through its many forms has lead the world in training of pilots, and the technology has evolved into a virtual reality world of products on today's markets. Like Link, many other companies were involved in the cold war growth of the defense business. IBM, General Electric, Universal, Link and others relied heavily on those dollars, and with the ending of the cold war, many businesses saw those markets evaporating. The area hit an economic slump, which left many to believe that the "Valley of Opportunity" was gone. But a resurgence based on diversity of business and slower growth has helped to bring the area moving back toward its former levels of employment and industrial strength.

Despite our rich business history, it has always been the story of our people -- the thousands of immigrants and their distinct ethnic food, costume, languages, "Gold Dome" churches, and heritage that have made this region a true melting pot. The legacy our businesses such as E-J, and our continual ethnic and business heritage make this region a strong and vibrant part of the American Culture.

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Click on the links below for book titles and history specific to that county.

From what or whom did the name of each county originate? Click here to find out.

County Date
Parent County County
Albany 1683 original county Albany
Allegany 1806 Genesee Belmont
Bronx 1914 New York Bronx
Broome 1806 Tioga Binghamton
Cattaraugus 1808 Genesee Little Valley
Cayuga 1799 Onondaga Auburn
Charlotte 1772 Albany renamed Washington in 1784
Chautauqua 1808 Genesee Mayville
Chemung 1798 Tioga Elmira
Chenango 1798 Herkimer, Tioga Norwich
Clinton 1788 Washington Plattsburgh
Columbia 1786 Albany Hudson
Cortland 1808 Onondoga Cortland
Delaware 1797 Ulster, Otsego Delhi
Dutchess 1683 original county Poughkeepsie
Erie 1821 Niagara Buffalo
Essex 1799 Clinton Elizabethtown
Franklin 1808 Clinton Malone
Fulton 1838 Montgomery Johnstown
Genesee 1802 Ontario Batavia
Greene 1800 Ulster, Albany Catskill
Hamilton 1816 Montgomery Lake Pleasant
Herkimer 1791 Montgomery Herkimer
Jefferson 1805 Oneida Watertown
1683 Original county Brooklyn
Lewis 1805 Oneida Lowville
Livingston 1821 Genesee, Ontario Geneseo
Madison 1806 Chenango Wampsville
Monroe 1821 Genesee, Ontario Rochester
Montgomery 1772 Albany (as Tryon to 1784) Fonda
Nassau 1899 Queens Mineola
New York City 1683 Original county New York
Niagara 1808 Genesee Lockport
Oneida 1798 Herkimer Utica
Onondaga 1794 Herkimer Syracuse
Ontario 1789 Montgomery Canandaigua
Orange 1683 Original county Goshen
Orleans 1824 Genesee Albion
Oswego 1816 Oneida, Onondaga Oswego, Pulaski
Otsego 1791 Montgomery Cooperstown
Putnam 1812 Dutchess Carmel
Queens 1683 Original county Jamaica
Rensselaer 1791 Albany Troy
Staten Island
1683 Original county St. George
Rockland 1798 Orange New City
St. Lawrence 1802 Clinton, Herkimer, Montgomery Canton
Saratoga 1791 Albany Ballston Spa
Schenectady 1809 Albany Schenectady
Schoharie 1795 Albany, Ostego Schoharie
Schuyler 1854 Tompkins, Steuben, Chemung Watkins Glen
Seneca 1804 Cayuga Ovid, Waterloo
Steuben 1796 Ontario Bath
Suffolk 1683 Original county Riverhead
Sullivan 1809 Ulster Monticello
Tioga 1791 Montgomery Owego
Tompkins 1817 Cayuga, Seneca Ithaca
Tryon 1772 Albany (renamed Montgomery 1784)
Ulster 1683 Original county Kingston
Warren 1813 Washington Lake George
Washington 1772 Albany (see Charlotte) Hudson Falls
Wayne 1823 Ontario, Seneca Lyons
Westchester 1683 Original county White Plains
Wyoming 1841 Genesee Warsaw
Yates 1823 Ontario, Steuben Penn Yan

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