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Wilhelm Mynderse

Seneca Falls, Seneca Co., NY

Source: "Historical Souvenir Series No. 17: Seneca Falls, NY and vicinity" [Grip, Syracuse, NY, 1904] p. 52

      "Wilhelmus Mynderse, the earliest resident proprietor of a large portion of the site of Seneca Falls - owning a one-fifth interest in the Bayard Land Co., then the owners of the land and water power where Seneca Falls village stands and of which company he was resident business agent for thirty years - located here permanently in 1795. No other single individual had as much to do with the beginning of the settlement here, its subsequent growth to a prosperous village and the location here of early industries as Wilhelmus Mynderse.

     The year he came here he erected a grist and a saw mill and a double log house, the latter being located next to where Trinity Church now stands. He lived in one end and kept store in the other. The mill which was put in operation in 1796 stood on the present site of Chamberlain's mill. In 1807 he erected the red mills on the lower rapids near Rumsey's. He also erected a fulling mill and other small industries. His various investments proved profitable and he was a man of strict business methods. His was the very first industry here. The entries of his milling and merchandise business date as early as April 20, 1796. The first entry of sales from his grist mill dates Oct. 22, 1796. In 1801 he was appointed lieutenant -colonel in the militia of which he soon became colonel. In 1807 he was commissioned brigadier-general.

     During his residence here Col. Mynderse lived in four towns as they were successively organized, Romulus (first in Cayuga County), Washington, Junius and Seneca Falls, and held many public offices.

     He was born in at Albany, July 11, 1767, and died Jan. 31, 1838, in the house he built and for years occupied.

     Mr. Mynderse lived to see a flourishing village spring from a forest. He did much to encourage its growth. The village park was his gift to the village and he was a generous patron of the Academy which bears his name - now part of the public school system. He contributed the site and furnished the greater part of the means for building the original building."

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