Benjamin Howard was born in 1817 in Schoharie County and first came here in 1842. He settled in an old hotel on the northwest corner of the crossroads at Cadiz. For several years he ran this hotel. This was a highly traveled stagecoach route for stages between Pike and Ellicottville and from Olean Points to Buffalo. His house was one of the principal stops along the way. It was not unusual for 40 to 50 teams loaded with goods to stop there daily.
He worked hard and saved the money he earned being a landlord. Later Benjamin moved to the Village of Frankinville and purchased the Major Partridge property that included hundreds of acres of farmland east of the village park. The western part of his property is now covered by the Bank, Chronicle Office and adjacent buildings. His farm reached to the foot of Kingsbury Hill and Cemetery Hill and all the lands between that side of Chestnut Street to the center of the Village.
He owned the stagecoach route to Hinsdale and other points. Benjamin also was a cattle dealer. He bought and ran the old McKee Hotel at Hinsdale and became involved in the timber industry. Timber was his downfall and cost him heavily. His wealth disappeared and he faced poverty.
His friends said that he was good-hearted, a character trait that led to his financial downfall.
One day, while running a mowing machine in a meadow where a cirucs tent had been pitched, he ran over a tent stake that had been carelessly left in the ground. His machine was upset and he was thrown to the ground. His hip was shattered and he never fully recovered. It led to his death in July of 1897. Benjamin Howard's family is buried in Mount Prospect Cemetery which was once part of his farm.
His parents Theophilous and Mary Howard are buried in the Cadiz Cemetery. His grandfather was also named Theophilous and is buried in Schoharie County, New York. His grandfather was one of the men in the American Revolution who dressed as Indians and dumped tea in Boston Harbor. This event is remembered in history as The Boston Tea Party.
written by Maggie Fredrickson