The New International Encyclopædia/Elmira

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

ELMI'RA. A city and county-seat of Chemung County, N. Y., 100 miles southeast of Rochester, on the Chemung River, and on the Erie, the Lackawanna, the Northern Central (Pennsylvania System), and the Lehigh Valley railroads (Map: New York, D 3). It has the New York State Reformatory, a State armory, Elmira Free Academy, Elmira College (q.v.), a United States Government building, accommodating the post-office, Federal courts, etc., Steele Memorial Free Library, Arnot-Ogden Memorial Hospital, and homes for orphans and the aged. A monument to the Rev. T. K. Beecher is one of the features of the city. Eldridge, Hoffman, Wisner, and Riverside parks are worthy of mention. Elmira is noted for the extent and variety of its manufactures, the chief industrial plants being rolling-mills, railroad-car shops, iron and steel bridge works, steel-plate works, boot and shoe factories, hardwood finishing works, table-factories, bicycle-factories, silk-mills, glass-factories, knitting-mills, fire-engine works, engine and boiler works, dye-works, lubricator-factories, tobacco and cigar factories, leaf-tobacco warehouses, door, sash, and blind factories, breweries, etc. The city government is administered under the charter of 1894 by a mayor, chosen every two years, and a unicameral city council. Besides the executive and aldermen, there are elected by the people the recorder, city judge, and twelve supervisors to act as a county board. Population, in 1890, 30,893; in 1900, 35,672. Near the site of Elmira, now marked by a monument to General Sullivan, was fought, August 29, 1779, the battle of Newtown, in which General Sullivan with an American army of 5000 defeated a force of Indians and Tories led by Sir John Johnson and Joseph Brant, and numbering about 1500. First permanently settled in 1788, and incorporated as the village of Newtown in 1815, then re-incorporated as the village of Elmira in 1828, Elmira became the county-seat in 1836, and was chartered as a city in 1864. In 1861 it was chosen as the State military rendezvous, and in 1864-65 had one of the Northern prisons for Confederate prisoners.