Sunday, February 28, 2016

History of my home town, Angola, NY, 1873-1973

I found this on the Internet by accident, while looking for something else. The Bundys mentioned several times are family. Henry Bundy, who operated a mill, was one of my great-great grandfathers and was one of the "heroes" in the rescue of passengers from the "Angola Horror" train wreck in 1867 that is mentioned and which occurred just a couple of hundred yards from the mill.

The link to this is

The History of Angola from 1873 to 1973

  By Mrs. Joan Houston
  Angola Village Centennial Celebration Booklet
   July 22-July 28, 197
 The earliest settlers to arrive were in the vicinity located in the Evans
Center area. Saw and grist mills along Big Sister Creek were established;
and with the blacksmith shops and stores nearby, it soon became the center
of most social activities.
However, in 1852 the Buffalo and State Line Railroad laid tracks and
built a station about a mile south of Evans Center. The railroad proved
to be a great boon to the area causing a shift of the center of activities
towards "Evans Station," known today as Angola. Much of the country was
covered with timber and the railroad did a thriving business transporting
lumber to the growing young city of Buffalo. A wood yard and watering
station was built on the farm of Chauncey Carrier .
Over the years many have searched and probed into the past to determine
the origin of the name Angola. There have been several versions but the
following seems to be the most authentic. In 1820 a mail route was
established between Buffalo and Olean, and a post office was opened at
Springville. Two years later a post office designated" Angola" was opened
at Taylor Hollow near Gowanda. The name may be related to the fact that a
majority of the residents in Taylor Hollow were Quakers who being
missionary-minded helped to support Angola, Africa, as one of their
In 1855 John Andrus, an infuentiall and owner in Evans Station, made
application to have the "Angola" Post Office transferred here from
Taylor Hollow. Because of the population increase and nearness of the
railroad, it was approved; John Andrus was appointed Postmaster.
Prior to this, the land which is now the
Village of Angola was owned by three fammilies: Harvy Barrell, P. M.
Carrier, and Philip Clark. In 1854 George Wilcox settled here and opened
a shoe store. A small saloon was opened, which soon became the Angola
House or Hotel (now a parking lot across from the Village Hall on Commercial
St. ) , This building had been moved from Evans Center and rebuilt in
1860 by John Andrus. Alva Montgomery then purchased it, followed by S. P.
Imus in 1867. Mr. Iinus was formerly a stage driver on the old Buffalo to
Erie route for the Ohio Stage Company and boasted of having taken the last
passengers through the town on Feb. 22, 1852.
In 1854 Bundy and Hurd'opened a general store adjacent to the Angola House.
It was soon sold to Lyman Oatman changing hands many times until Jacob
Friend re- modeled it as the Farmers Hotel or Central Hotel, The first
physician was Dr. Powers, settling in the Village in 1858.
The population of Angola at this time was 320. The center of business was
Commercial and High Streets. Along this busy block one could find John
Martin's Housewares store, the Good Templar's Hall, Mrs. Thompson's
Millinery, and Sely Blackney's store. Across the street along the tracks
was Dan Graney's saloon, the I. H. Andrus store, Masonic Hall, the railroad
depot, Lyman Oatman's store, the Post Office, Angola House and Jonathan
Haskell's Harness shop. This old building is a warehouse now.
In 1868 Leroy S. Oatman established a drug store on Commercial Street
which he ran for sixteen years. The business was sold in 1884 to W. B.
Sweet & Co. who installed a "Soda Fountain," probably the first in the
Village. Later he sold to Roselle Blackney, who conducted a business
there for many years until his retirement, as did his successor Jack
Tarner, who recently sold it to Anthony Arcese.
The Tifft family was then very prominent and carrIed on a small banking
business. E. G. Tifft owned the brick building on South Main Street where
the Angola Milling Co. is now located. George Koehler had a shoe store at
the present location of the Pizza House. His residence was next door and
is still standing.
Henry Bundy's home was at the North East corner of Orchard and Mill
Streets, and the old horse block is still there facing Mill Street.
The Angola Steam and Water Power Flour Mill was located along Big Sister
Creek on the north side of Mill Street and was one of the leading
establishments of its kind south of Buffalo. It was owned and managed by
Henry, Horace, and Milan Bundy, sons of Henry Bundy, who located in Evans
in 1830. Henry Bundy, Sr. earlier engaged in the manufacture of pails
and horse rakes, purchasing the Mill Street site in 1853. He extended his
business by adding a planing mill and a sash, blind, and door factory.
There was a growing need for a school within the Village since many
children had to walk to the Evans Center School. A site was purchased on
Lake Street where a small brick building was erected in 1854. Twenty six
pupils were enrolled. In a short time the pupils had increased beyond
the capacity of this building and the Trustees procured a small frame
building formerly used as a tin shop for additional space.
The First Congregational Church was organized in February 1863 with
thirteen charter members. Prior to this,
families were forced to drive to East Evans, or Evans Center, to attend
service. The first services in Angola, with Rev. S. D. Taylor as pastor,
were held in a hall over the Andrus store. A few years later it was voted
to build a new church on Main Street at its present location.
Tragedy struck Angola on December 18, 1867, when the worst railroad
accident in the history of Erie County occured on the Lake Shore Railroad.
The train, made up of three first-class coaches, a smoking car, and two
baggage cars, was eastbound and due in Buffalo at 1:30 P.M. Several
hundred yards beyond the Angola depot as the train was approaching the
bridge over Big Sister Creek, the rear coach loosened. an axle, worked
itself from the rails, and pulled off the coach just in front of it.
The rear car broke loose and went plunging down the bank to the creek below.
The second car almost reached the far end of the wooden span when its
coupling was torn loose, and it also went rolling down the bank resting
on its side. In this car were two pot-bellied coal stoves used for heating,
and both of them were thrown among the victims. Almost immediately the
wreckage caught fire. By the time water could be brought from a nearby
farm house it was too late. Fifty persons died in the fire of this
coach; three managed to crawl out.
The first coach, which had broken in two, also caught fire; but the
flames were extinguished before they caused much suffer- ing. There were
forty casualties here and one death. Doctors, many from Buffalo, plus
large supplies of medicines were rushed to the scene of the" Angola Horror"
to do all that was possible to relieve the suffering.
By 1870 Angola's population was 600, having almost doubled within ten years.
This increase was felt within the school where registration had increased
to 187 pupils, far beyond the capacity of the original Lake Street School.
As a result, the Trustees in 1870 purchased a parcel of land from Joseph
Froehley on which to erect a two-story brick building. It was located on
the north end of the present site of the John T. Waugh Junior High School
on High, Street; The 1870 structure was known as the Angola Academy and
Union School. The empty Lake Street school was occupied in 1871 by the
newly formed Most Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church. Rev. Thomas Ledwith
was the first pastor.
On July 31, 1873, by vote at a special election, the Village of Angola
was incorporated. Lyman Oatman was chosen ;President with 0. W. Beckwith,
Joseph Froehley, and L. M. Winslow as Trustees.
That was a day unlike any other day! It had been a hot July day. "A perfect
day," thought Lyman Oatman as he strolled down Main Street. He ran a
finger under his stiff black collar and then wiped the inside of his
black bowler. 'Worth a little discomfort to be in my Sunday best! After
all, it isn't every day a Village gets incorporatedl" As he walked past
the Village stores his shoulders straightened with pride. "Getting more
prosperous every day we are, and we're still so young!" The street was
quiet-too quiet! "There should be bands playing and banners flying," he
muttered silently. "Best be moving along to the Village meeting!"
Stepping-up his pace, he noted the empty spaces-spaces that someday
would be filled, but he thought, "THIS IS A BEGINNING, BY HEAVENS,
IT IS A BEGINNING." And so it was. ...
In 1877 the Union Hotel was constructed op South Main Street by George
Caskey and was occupied by him until E. P. Smith purchased it. This
eventually became the Odd Fellows Temple.
About this time a Photo Gallery was opened by John Wealthy, and an
undertaker by the name of R. W. Lincoln had established himself. A cheese
factory was doing a thriving business. It was located on the east side of
North Main Street, just north of Henry Drive on the site of the present
home of Richard Geitner. In November 1879, 591 boxes of cheese were shipped
from Angola and sold at 12 cents a pound.
The first Angola newspaper, the Angola Record, was published by H. S.
Penfold. The fIrst issue, dated May 22, 1879, sold for 3 cents a copy;
6-month subscriptions were 25 cents; 1 year, 50 cents.
A fire in 1877 destroyed the works of Bundy's Mill on Mill Street. But
the three Bundy brothers who owned the property soon built a merchant
and custom grist mill in its place.

The first year of this decade saw the construction of a new depot for the
Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. Hiram Backus contracted to
tear down the flormer depot, for which labor he was to receive the old
lumber. Jacob Hess, long time resident of Angola, was an engineer on the
railroad during the 1880-1890's.
A cider mill, constructed by Murray S. Bundy, was operating on the John
Henry farm ( at the end of Henry Drive near the present site of the Clyde
Vincent home) . The water was piped from Big Sister Creek in wooden water
logs. Farmers were paid 8 cents a bushel for apples delivered to the mill.
Dr. Danforth, M.D., on Main Street, and Dr. H. William McCullor, Dentist,
on South Main Street across from the Union Hotel, had established practices
by 1880.
Many new stores opened for business, and some of the old established
ones expanded into new lines. Charles Paul's Hardware Store on the corner
of Commercial and Main Streets was purchased by A. F. Shultz in 1881.
Walter Shultz, his nephew, began working for him when he was thirteen
years old. The original wooden building as purchased, dated back to 1861.
It was later moved to the corner of Lake and Park Streets and used for
storage. Leroy Oatman, Druggist, also had a banking office and L. Scott
opened a billiard room in conjunction with his barber shop.
It's not too surprising to learn of the interest in fire-fighting about
this time. The Village was growing in terms of property value and needed
protection. In 1882 the Angola Hook and Ladder Co. No.1 was formed with
32 active men. A hall was erected on North Main Street at'the foot of Lake
Street. The ground floor housed the fire department, and the upper floor
had a large meeting room.
Fires were not averted with the creation of the Fire Department, of
course, but they were more rapidly responded to with an organized
department. There were two disastrous fires in this decade. On January
29, 1885, a group of children had met on the third floor in Ryneck's
Hall on Commercial Street for their Juvenile Temple Lodge.
A lamp was upset, or exploded, in the hall above the stairway
exit causing an immediate blaze
in the hallway. Local firemen helped keep the fire back until a fire
engine with hose arrived from Buffalo. The fire was checked, saving the
Village from a major catastrophe. Tragically, one small boy lost his life
in the blaze. Twelve businesses, individuals, or organizations were
affected with losses which were estimated at ap- proximately $14,000, only
half of which was insured.
The following year, in October 1886, Bundy Brothers sustained a fire
resulting in a total loss and no insurance. Two thousand bushels of wheat
and one thousand bushels of buckwheat were lost. The building was soon
rebuilt and doing business again. After many years' service the mill was
eventually torn down, the business having moved to the present site of
the Angola Milling Company on South Main Street. Remains of the last dam
that served the mill, when it operated under waterpower, can still be
seen in the Big Sister Creek bottom, the dam having been removed at the
time of the construction of the present Mill Street bridge.
The citizenry was stirred to political involvement about 1880, as
evidenced by the first local Republican meeting and the election of an
Angolian in 1883 to a County office, Judge Belden Wilcox.
War veterans organized a local chapter of the G.A,R. in 1881, preliminary
meetings being held at the Union House.
New businesses were encouraged to locate in the Village, and those which
offered comfort, pleasure, or service were especially welcomed. This was
the day of the "Ice Cream Parlor," and there were several in Angola. A
laundry pick-up service was promoted by agent J. M. Jiles who would
collect laundry from customers in large baskets and send them to Dunkirk
to be laundered. The year following, in 1888, Wallis Imus began ice
delivery service for homes with a modern "Ice Box." Even the undertaker
participated in offering good service. Messrs. Froehley and Friend in
1884 received a beautiful new $700 hearse they had ordered from Cincinnati!
Other businesses of 1880 were: Druggist and Optician, Henry Penfold;
Barber, Hcnry Nemeyer; Grocery and Bakery, G. Wilcox & Son; Grocery and
Dry Goods, David C. Oatman. George Lemmler who had a tailoring department
in this store later started his own men's furnishing store in the same
building. This Commercial Street building has passed through a number of
ownerships, among which were James Arthur, W. G. Gibson, and LaClair
and Miller's Department Store. With the closing of that business, the
property was purchased by Carl Barrett, who moved his insurance office
there in 1972.
Railroad expansion affected the Village considerably. In 1881 a new
railroad, the Buffalo-Pittsburg & West(rn Railroad was built through
the southern part of the Village. It later became the New York, Chicago
& St. Louis Railroad and much later became part of the Norfolk & Western
or "Nickle Plate." In 1882 the depot was built and is still standing on
South Main Street being known today as the Norfolk & Western Station.
For many years of the early 1900's George Seeley was the agent in charge.
Soon after the depot was constructed, an enterprising gentleman, Charles
Gstalter , opened a hotel, later called the Nickle Plate Hotel,
conveniently located across Main Strcet from the depot. ( This building
was destroyed by fire in 1967.)
A third set of tracks, jointly owned by the New York, Chicago, and St.
Louis and the Buffalo, New York, and Philadelphia Companies,
was laid south of those of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern in 1881-2.
Some established businesses changed hands or went out of business
altogether, an example of the former being the Angola Record. In 1881
Olin C. Brown became a partner in the ownership. Three years later
David S. Oatman and Stephen Landon be- came the new owners and moved to
a new location, Landon's brick store on Commercial Street. ( The building
existed until the 1930's when it was removed for its brick. ) In 1888
Weston M. Landon became the publisher later moving the printing office
to Main Street where he continued in business until 1942. ( This building
was razed in 1965 to make room for the Evans National Bank parking lot. )
After 1884 the Railroad Hotel of Foran's on Commercial Street became a
private dwelling. Adjacent to this building was Jonathan Haskall's Harness
Shop. The large board-and-batten livery stable across the street still
stands and is now the property of the Village of Angola. At one time it
was used by the Angola Hotel and the Wilcox family who maintaincd a
horse-bus passenger service to the Lake for the people who arrived on
the train intending to vacation at one of the many camps or hotels at the
Lake. The Village became the shopping area for a major portion of the Lake
trade as a result.
In 1888 John Lyth purchased 40 acres of land from J. R. Newton and erected
a plant for the manufacture of sewer pipe, hollow brick, tile, etc. The
firm was in business for many years under the name of John Lyth & Son
operating until the mid- 1920's. It was located off Railroad Avenue
adjacent to the railroad tracks. The area from which clay was excavated
can still be seen, and large ponds still exist on the site.
The Angola Library Association, formed in 1880, housed their collection
of books in a jewelry store at the corner of Main and Lake Streets. A
membership fee of $1.00 per year was charged; book rentals at 10 cents
a volume.
At this time A. J. Watt was proprietor of the Union Hotel. He also ran a
livery stable just south of the Hotel. Beyond it was a blacksmith shop
above which Mr. Hazen operated a wagon shop. A second blacksmith shop,
Mr. McCrudden's was located on the opposite side of South Main Street.
Directly across the street from the Union Hotel stood a furniture store
owned by Henry Barkman. Joseph Froehley, undertaker. and maker of coffins,
was manager of this store. At the end of York Street Mr. William Ehmke
operated a sawmill.
1892 saw the establishment of four new businesses: a family grocery owned
by Muffit & Parker; the coal business of Candee & Slade; Earl & Friends
Mill Yard, which advertised lumber, sawing, planing; and Julius M.
Schwert's purchase of the store and stock of Brown & Woods Grocery on
Commercial Street.
The need for more classrooms was felt at this time and so, in 1894, the
Angola Academy and Union School was provided with a $6,000 addition of
four rooms to the south of the existing building.
After many years of mud streets, the Village started the paving of
streets in 1895. This improvement encouraged holiday celebrations in
the form of parades, Memorial Day in later years being of special
A large building, at least for those times, was constructed in 1896 on the
corner of South Main and York Streets for the manu- facture of locks,
hinges, and builders' hardware. It was the Candee Lock Factory.
Local telephone "business was in full swing" at the Central Hotel in 1899.
The Hanover Telephone Company had at last connected their wires to the
poles that had been erected by the American Telephone & Telegraph Company
nine years previous! A few years later, a resident could have a telephone
installed for $12 a year!
A new brick church was built and dedicated in 1897 by parishioners of Most
Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church. Located on Lake Street it served
the congregation until 1962.
With the turn of the century attention focused on the needs of the Village
in regard to transportation, communication, industry, special
services, and a myriad other concerns of a growing community.
Angola prospered in this decade with the establishment of a number of new
businesses. The LoGrasso Macaroni Factory located in 1903 on South Main
Street ( presently the Angola Milling Co. building). A gasoline engine
operated its flour mixers and fans for the drying of macaroni. Later, as
the business developed, new additions were added including a small store
for the sale of imported Italian products.
Natural gas led to the drilling of many wells in the area. Gas was struck
in 1903 resulting in a prosperous business for the Angola Gas Co. with
the extension of their mains and sales of all types of goods.
They located their office in the Landon Building.
A waterworks system was under discussion in 1902 with a plan to
construct a $40,000 facility. It was favorably received but not acted
upon for another ten years.
A proposed system of electric rail travel met with faster action. Field
surveyors secured necessary data in March 1903 regarding grades,
curves, and a power house. In April the Buffalo & Lake Erie Traction Co.
( B&LE ) was granted a franchise. Construction commenced, and within five
years regular service was inaugurated.
Angola took on a new look when the trolley became a popular mode of travel.
The tracks, some of which still remain under today's blacktop pavement,
followed Main Street from School Street to Commercial Street following
along the west side of the railroad tracks. A trolley station was built
on the corner of Main and School Streets, in 1912. Passenger service
between Buffalo and Erie was possible every forty minutes.
The present site of Robert Wilson's Town Press was a Power House for the
trolley. Round windows on the second floor of the structure, which can be
seen from Maple Avenue, once housed insulators to which power cables
were attached. Abutments of the bridge that carried the trolley across
Big Sister Creek remain to this day and can be seen south of the Mill
Street bridge, looking toward the Penn Central Arch Bridge.
A most important industry located in Angola in 1904 when the newly
formed Emblem Bicycle Company transferred its quarters to the corner
of South Main and York Streets in the Tifft Block. Mr. William Schack
became the Company's President and Mr. William Heil, Vice-President. In
1908 under the direction of John Glas a new three-story cement block
building was constructed at its present location
adjoining the New York Central Railroad. Two additional stories were later
added to the original structure. Their bicycles and motorcycles were
noted for their excellent quality and many distinctive features. They
were sold through- out the country and even to foreign countries. At one
time production reached 125 to 150 bicycles a day. The company was the
single largest employer of the community.
An excellent baseball diamond was constructed to the rear of the
factory for community use and that of its own sponsored Emblem Baseball
Club. For road testing of its bicycles and motorcyles, a large circular
track encompassed the ball field. The company later struggled through the
depression years, had a brief increase in business about 1936, but finally
succumbed to economic pressures in the early 1940's. With the tremendous
return to bicycling today, one wonders what the Emblem could have done had
it continued.
A disastrous fire on Commercial Street March 12, 1904, proved to be the
most destructive in the history of the Village. Cash Bros. Store, barn,
bakery building, Post Office, the A. Wilcox building, and two livery barns
were completely burned out.
Financial conditions warranted the granting of a charter to the Bank of
Angola in 1905. A very attractive concrete building was erected on the
corner of Commercial and High Streets, opening June 1, 1906. Soon after
the bank was established, the St. Paul Episcopal Mission, which had organized in 1904, purchased a lot from them on the corner of Lake and High Streets as their future building site. Temporary services were held in the hall of Mr. Harry Weston.
In 1909 Henry Barkman sold his furniture stock to Joseph Froehley &
Sons. About this same time Christian Widmer bought the business
and building at the corner of Commercial Streets where his
family has continued in the tavern-restaurant business for some
sixty-five years.
The Post Office relocated in 1906 on Main Street in the building now
occupied by the Variety Store. Service to rural areas was extended with
postage of two Cents.
The Village adopted a new set of ordinances in 1908. Some excerpts follow:
It shall not be lawful: ...To hitch or tie any horse or horses to any
shrub, tree or lamp-post, ...
...For two or more persons to congregate on Sunday and engage in ball
playing, cricket, sparring, boxing, fighting or other disorderly conduct.
...For any person to race, run or drive any horse or team, or run a
bicycle, tricyle, or automobile or other motor vehicle, whether the same
be propelled by steam, gasoline, electricity or other source of energy,
on any street, lane, alley or public place located within said Village,
exceeding eight miles an hour . ...To leave any wagon, cart, buggy, sleigh
or other vehicle standing in the streets, unless the same shall be in
actual use-
...To use any lamp, candle or other light in any barn, shed or stable,
except the same be carefully secured in a glass lantern.
Read in terms of today's modern world some of the provisions appear
amusing, although in 1908 they were very much the law.
Law enforcement in these days consisted mainly of a constable or night
watchman who patrolled mostly on foot.
Major improvements came in this decade. An election in 1910 authorized
the Village to establish a water system at a cost not to exceed $55,000.
In 1911 the foundation for the 100-foot tall, 18 foot diameter stand pipe
was completed. Residents were pleased to learn that after the water mains
had been laid a new 16-foot brick paved street would follow. Finished in
1912, it extended along Commercial Street and over Main Street toward Evans
Center .
This being the advent of the gasoline age, little did people realize that
autos on this improved road, and others like it all over the country,
would one day spell the demise of the trolley and to a large extent,
railway travel. The popular "Gas buggy" would in fact account for vast
changes in our way of life, work, and play.
About this time the old wide wooden sidewalks were replaced with cement
walks. The old gas street lights were gradually replaced with electric;
electric service made available to individual homes soon after 1915.
The Niagara and Erie Power Company opened its office in Clow's store.
Movies came to Angola in 1910, the first "theater" being on the second
floor of the Village Hall with Frank Wiatrowski as Manager. Five years
later the Star Theater opened on North Main Street at the present location
of the "Why Not?" dress shop. Ad- mission was 10 cents.
A balcony was erected on the Village Hall in the same year, which provided
the Angola Fire Department the opportunity to perform weekly Saturday night
band concerts.
A civic group of about fifty members known as the "Board of Trade" was
organized in 1912. Their purpose was that of an Angola Boosters Association.
There were number of business changes about this time. In 1912 Joseph
Froehley & Sons ( Philip and Charles) moved to North Main Street,
purchasing store property from W. C. Russell. They continued in the
furniture and undertaking business at this same location until 1957.
Two cemeteries served the community. Holy Cross Cemetery on the
Angola-Brant Road was dedicated in 1904. Forest Avenue Cemetery, off
Locust Street, incorporated in 1914, the original interments going back
to 1874.
The Amico Block was built in 1914 on the east side of Main Street at the
corner of Center Street. The concrete blocks for this building were made
by hand during the winter months by Antonio Amico with the help of his
parents and sister. He had been in America only four years and was just
twenty years old when he undertook this project. The building has housed
several stores through the years and survived two fires.
Pius Schwert purchased C. N. Woods Grocery Store on Commercial Street in
1916 with the understanding that his father, Julius M. Schwert, would
manage it while he was away playing professional baseball with the New
York Yankees. Later that year Mrs. Frances Troel, who resided on the
second floor, opened a photography studio which she operated for several
years. Mr. Schwert sold the store at a later date to the G. A. Ismert
In September 1919 the Pickering Company moved into the old Candee Lock
Building and began processing grape juice. By 1920 they were processing
5,000 bottles a day later adding apple juice and vanilla to the output
of products.
The Episcopal Church on High and Lake Streets had broken ground
in July 1909 for its new edifice completing its
work with the laying of the cornerstone in October 1911.
Community growth and expansion re- sulted in overcrowded conditions in the
school system. To relieve congestion, action was taken in November of 1912
to move the first grade to the Landon building. In 1913 a new high school
building was erected south of the adjacent to the existing building at a
cost of $45,000. It had ten classrooms and a combination
World War I brought its demands on the local citizens with the drafting
of young men for service and the soliciting of money in the form of Liberty
Bonds. A local Red Cross unit was formed; knitting and sewing were taught.
A local product, the Emblem motorcycle, was used by the military.
Angola had its accidents too, as do all communities. A Fourth of July
fireworks display held in 1911 on'the Lake Shore and Michigan Depot
grounds ended in tragedy when falling sparks ignited the fire-works.
A rocket pierced the arm of a young boy, for which the Village was sued
for $11,500. Many others received injuries and burned clothing.
Early on the morning of June 29, 1918, two B.&L.E. trolley freight cars
from Erie to Buffalo jumped the track as they rounded from Commercial
Street into Main Street. The first car struck the corner of the Village
Hall and plowed into the balcony, which collapsed. The second car rammed
into the Neubeck Building next door tearing out the front and wrecking
two rooms on the second floor. Eighty-year-old Mrs. McMahon, who lived
there, was rolled out of bed into the wreckage when the corner of the
building collapsed. She suffered only shock and the crew, bruises and
cuts. Shortly after, the roof of the Village Hall caved in. Failure of
air brakes was given as the cause of the accident.
A near tragedy was averted in 1919 with the quick action of Theodore
Miller, gateman for the New York Central Railroad crossing. Mr. Miller,
who had but one arm, dashed in front of a fast-moving train and dragged
a four-year-old boy to saftey as the train rushed by. He was awarded the
"Carnegie Hero Medal" and $1,000 for his deed. Mr. Miller had attained
fame prior to this as a one-arm boxer and for a time toured the country
exhibiting his skill.
The 1920's were a period of prosperity as evidenced by remarkable growth
and the expansion of business. It was a time for self- improvement, for
enjoying more leisure time, and for developing civic pride.
A new bank, the Evans National Bank, was formed in 1920 and operated
temporariIy in Clow's Store on North Main Street ( now the Western Auto) .
Ninety-five percent of the shareholders were local residents. Excavation
began the following year for a permanent locat)on near the corner of Main
and Lake Streets.
This being the age of the popular Model- T , a Ford agency was opened in
1922 by Milton and Herbert Baer in a new build- ing on North Main Street
(presently the Main Bowling Academy). John K. Thompson was the Company's
salesman. The same year the Standard Oil Company built a new garage and
office near their tanks on York Street and the New York Central tracks.
Raymond Frawley was manager.
As the result of a partnership between A. J. Guest and Lawrence Brown an
ice plant was contructed on Center Street and by 1923 was turning out the
first ice cakes. Mr. Brown later purchased a laundry operated by B.
Schlender on South Main Street and relocated it in a new building on
Mill Street.
A successor to G. A. Ismert ( in the old Schwert building) was the T .M.S.
Reliable Grocery, owned by G. R. Tremaine, R. C. Mclntyre, and P. J.
Schuman. It was later sold to Edward Clark, then to Joseph LaClair and
finally to Robert Kinn, who operated it as Bob's Market. The building was
torn down in 1972.
The former garage of William Doebert became Stocker and Houston's Reliable
Garage. ( This building now houses the village Hall and Fire Department. )
They used Watt's Livery Stable for the storage of new and used cars. In
1925 they constructed a fire-resistant storage building and new car display
area at Commercial and Washington Streets. This building presently houses
a portion of the Department of Public Works and Village Police Office. .
A new buildin,g, the Vellam-Ahr Block. was erected north of the old
Village Hall in 1925. It was occupied by Vellam's Meat Market and Ahr's
Tire Shop. The following year A. F. Shultz & Co. erected a new three- story
brick building on the site of their old building, which had been moved to
Lake Street. They had incorporated earlier with Clarence joining in the
business with his brother Walter and uncle Albert. The company is now
owned and operated by Herbert Shultz, son of Walter.
In 1927 the Bank of Angola decided to relocate in a new building on North
Main Street ( present site of the Evans Town Hall ) .The building they
vacated. on Commercial Street became the Town Hall.
Bison Canning Company, founded by Frank Drago and sons Anthony
and Joseph, moved their business from Brant
in 1928 to its new facilities on South Main Street across the tracks from
the Nickel Plate Station, where it continues to operate to this day. James
Drago and Frank Saeli later joined in the management of the company.
A new one-story office show room, lineman's headquarters, and garage
was con- structed in 1928 by the Niagara Lockport and Ontario Power Company.
Other businesses operating at this time were: John Dye, Printer; Pflanz
Grocery Store (now J. S. Paint Co.); Gritman's and Brand Hardware; The Main
Store, a dry goods store operated by Percy Heimburg at the corner of
Center and Main Streets; Riehle Shoe Store; Clarence Baker's Jewelry and
Gift Shop; Matteson's Footwear; Harry Roberts Dry Gods; Feldman's Feed Store;
George Kingan, Jeweler; Fred Barrett, Insurance; George Ehmke, Contractor
and Dealer in Lumber, and a number of barber shops-Pratt's, Sanders, Tom
Drago, and Mariano F. Catalano. The latter operates to this day with M. F.
Catalano, Jr. currently representing the businessman with the longest
years of service to the community. Also barbering today are Joseph Catalano
and Enrico's Barber Shops.
An "Old Home Week" was held in 1920 in connection with a Firemen's
Convention. The Village was decorated, concessions were brought in, each
day was specially des- ignated, special shows were held at the Star Theater,
and daily band concerts were held.
Through the efforts of a newly organized Chamber of Commerce activities
and projects began to "Put Angola on the Map." A large arch was erected on
Lake Street at the intersection of the Erie Road. It was lighted so
travelers could be directed to the Village. Band concerts every Wednesday
in the park were popular. There was a band stand, shallow pool, and a
grassy area located at Park, Center, and High Streets. The base of the pool
and band stand can still be seen, although long since turned into a Village
parking lot.
Ice skating was a big attraction at Big Sister Creek. Through the courtesy
of N.L.&O. Power Co., lights were installed for night skating.
Movies were bigger and better than ever with the new
"Theater Angola" in 1924. Five years later sound was introduced with the
feature picture, "Gold Diggers of Broadway."
Many clubs and organizations existed, some of which met in permanent
quarters or rented halls. A new American Legion Post #928 was formed in
1920, named the New- comb-Long Post in honor of two local servicemen. North
Main Street welcomed a new addition in 1925 with the completion of a new
Masonic Temple. This building not only provided a home for its membership
but also provided a place for community functions, dinners, and
The Village furnished space for a library at the rear of the Fire
Department Clubrooms on the second flood of the Village Hall. A charter
soon thereafter permitted it to function as a public library.
The growing population necessitated the addition of a sectional frame
building to the school in 1924. One was purchased for $2660 and was to
provide temporary quarters for two grades. It was erected behind the
grade building.
With new homes being constructed, The Angola Development Company organized
in 1924 for the purpose of handling the Wood- land Park area extension.
Thirty acres of land were to be developed.
The Village became a second class Post Office in 1928 with letter carriers.
All streets had to be named and dwellings numbered. A $40,000 project to
grade, curb, and pave street was begun in 1928 under the direction of John
Glas, Superintendent of Public Works.
Changes in transportation methods by 1928 were obvious. The Congregational
Church disposed of their horseshed because of the decline of the horse
and the substitution of the "closed" auto. A new bus service, the
Buffalo and Erie Coach, was inaugurated through the Village following
acceptance at a Public hearing Apri11928. This same year the businessmen
of Angola, looking toward the future, became interested in travel by air.
Through the efforts of the Board of Trade, a 139-acre site on the Hardpan
Road, close to where the N.Y. State Thruway now crosses, was purchased
for a landing field and establishment of the Angola
Airport. Rep. James Mead addressed the 10,000 people who attended opening
day festivities September 1928. Later a 60-foot hangar was built. At one
time there were twenty-nine students learning to fly with nine local
airplanes operating.
These were the years of the greatest peace-time war in all history, the War
against' Depression. The Bank of Angola, forced to close in 1931, made an
attempt to re-open but failed and ended paying its depositors 55 percent
of their holdings, remaining in liquidation for many years there- after.
Because of the closing of the bank, a resolution in July 1932 allowed
citizens to pay taxes without interest of fees if they were paid by
August 15, 1932. The deadline passed, and the resolution was
never successfully enforced because of the financial burdens of the
taxpayers. The subject of com- promising back taxes continued for years
following. Finally, many penalties and interest charges were waived
The trolley also fell victim to the Depression years. In 1932, after
twenty-four years of service, it was discontinued when the Buffalo and
Erie Coach Corp. took over the passenger service. Trolley freight service
also ceased and the additional decline of local railroad way-freight
service brought an increased need for motor truck service. This was
provided by trucking companies such as those conducted by Ray Long, Lewis
Seeley, Paul Gentile, Walter Wilson, and continuing to the present with
the Angola & Buffalo Delivery as operated by William Wallace.
The Village applied to the Erie County Emergency Relief Bureau for
Unemployment in 1933 to lay a twelve-inch stonn sewer along the
north side of the N.Y. Central Railroad tracks to Big Sister Creek,
to pave some additional streets, and to improve filtering at the Water Works. Construction of a new water plant and erection of a second stand- pipe was
completed in 1935.
A proposed sewer project was unfortunately voted down at the same time.
A Work Progress Administration project carried out in 1935 was the
elimination of the Nickel Plate and Pennsylvania Railroad grade crossings
with the underpass on South Main Street.
In spite of hard times everywhere most businesses managed to survive. In
fact some expanded or were new on the scene. Frank Sibley had established
a dairy on Center Street in 1929 and was able to relocate in newly
constructed quarters on Park Street in 1933. The Angola Dairy continued in
opera- tion at that location until the late 1960's. A small hospital
operated by Stella Mosher opened on North Main Street across from the
Masonic Temple. So~etime later, in the 1940's, Angola had a second hospital.
Located on Locust Street, it was operated by Mrs. Snowberger.
In March 1932 Borst Engineering Co. decided to locate and build a plant
on Hard- pan Road on the Tucker farm. They planned to make vending machines
for paper pro- ducts but ended in bankruptcy in November of the same year.
Shortly thereafter in 1933 the 21st Amendment to the Constitution ended
Prohibition creating a rush to get back into the brewing industry. The
opportunity to set up a brewing-equipment branch in the United States
attracted a Mannheim, Germany company which is still in existence and
known as the Enzinger Union Works. Buffalo had become the
"Detroit of the Brewing Industry" and selecting a site in this area
recognized that fact. They purchased the vacant new plant of Borst
Engineering and were soon manufacturing filters, keg fillers,
keg washers and pumps that were used throughout the world bearing Angola, N.Y.
on the name plate.
About 1937 when Hitler had come to power, the plant was disposed of
for eco- nomic-political reasons by the parent organization. It was
sold to the former export sales manager, Mr. Josef Sommer, and became
The Enzinger Union Corp., an independent concern.
In 1935 the former Bank of Angola building was turned into a Market
Arcade with numerous shops conveniently located under one roof; meat
market, grocery, bakery, ice cream, candy, and electrical appliances.
After some of the businesses later relocated, it stood vacant for
several years.
In the mid-thirties a new type of advertising was introduced to Angola.
Floyd House published the first Angola Penny Saver, a weekly publication
delivered to all residents, which featured the advertisements of local
merchants. Upon Mr. House's re- tirement in 1954, Allen Guest became
owner and publisher. Now over thirty years later, the Penny Saver is
still eagerly scanned for the latest bargains.
School registration having risen to 280 pupils resulted in over-crowded
conditions. Three classes were housed outside the school building in 1934.
A need for expansion was apparent, and thus the old portion of the building,
The Angola Academy and Union School, was replaced with a new high school
structure. At the same time the 1913 build- ing was renovated and turned
into a grade school. This Federal Public Works Project was constructed at a
cost of $191,000, a por- tion of which, in the amount of $81,000, was
granted by the Federal Government. During the construction temporary
structures built on the south side of the 1913 building housed many
classes. Kindergarten, first, and second grades met in the Masonic Temple.
The new building was dedicated in June 1937.
The Angola High School Alumni Associa- tion had organized in 1934 electing
Florence Irish, President. Willis Carrier, distinguished alumnus of the
Class of 1894, spoke informally to those attending the first Alumni Ban-
quet held at the Masonic Temple. While working for the Buffalo Forge Co.,
Mr. Carrier became interested in the control of humidity in the air.
That was the beginning of his long research and experimenting which led
to his invention of air condition- ing and eventual founding of the world-
known Carrier Corporation. Graduates of 1934 were fortunate to hear Mr.
Carrier deliver the 50th Annual Commencement Address, exercises being held
at the Angola Theater.
In 1938 a new brick post office was con- structed on the corner of Main
and Center Streets, site of the f'ormer home of Julius Schwert. The
volume of mail and receipts handled through this post office increased
over the years to effect the change of status to being a First Class Post
Office in July 1962.
These years were not all devoted to the serious problems of economy. There
was room for enjoyment of lawn fetes, suppers, parades, card parties
organizational activities, and in particular, baseball. Local soft-
ball teams often held contests at the recreation field of Tracy Hess
on North Main Street.
Record-breaking snowstorms occurred in both 1930 and 1936 which tied up
the whole Niagara Frontier. Devastating floods affected other pars of
the country in 1936.
The kind of business that came before the Village Board in the
thirties can be seen in the following excerpts :
...Fire trucks may not exceed 34 m.p.h. at any time.
...Resolved, employees operating pumps at the Water Plant be assessed
and required to pay the sum of $5 each time. the standpipe overflows.
This to be deducted from their pay.
...Complaints about a citizen butchering cattle in the Village brought
an order to discontinue the practice-
...A complaint against a Grove Street resident for maintaining a nuisance
in the shape of goats ...he must keep his goats elsewhere or dispose of
them entirely within 10 days.
...A. L. Colvin of Niagara, Lockport & Ontario Power Co. announced that
his company had reduced electric power rates!
The political career of Angola-born Pius L. Schwert was advanced during
the thirties. He served six years as Erie County Clerk before running
for Congress in 1938, as a Democratic candidate. Elected Representative
of the 42 Congressional District, he served from January 3, 1939, until
his sudden death in Washington, D.C., on March 11, 1941. Only 48 at that
time he had already carved an outstanding niche in the political world,
in the realm Gf business, and in sports. One of Erie County's most
popular men, his death was a community loss.
Our country's being deeply involved in World War II, the 1940's tend to
be remem- bered as the "War Years." There were many young men and
women in military service from this area. Their names were
posted prominently on a sign board dedicated and erected in their honor
in front of the Post Office. A news sheet, "The Gleaners' Traveler,"
was published by a Sunday School Class of the Congregational Church as
a source of local news for those away from home. Through it they no
doubt learned of the effort being made by those on the home front. As
always happens during wartime, patriotic men and women at home were
doing their duty also.
A local Emergency Headquarters was located in the rear portion of the
Newcomb- Long Legion Post. It was manned twenty- four hours a day by
volunteers. Rationing of items such as sugar, meat, butter, shoes,
and gasoline affected everyone. Gasoline rationing was very strict,
"gasless" Sundays were obscrved, and no pleasure driving was allowed.
From humble beginnings the Angola Unit of the American Red Cross
expanded during the war years to a large membership of volunteers. The
Red Cross Bloodmobile was started in 1942 with Mrs. Ward Irish as local
Chairman. This worthwhile service has continued through the years
without inter- ruption. Another effort included the training of a
Women's Motor Mechanics Class. Instruction in the care and operation
of vehicles in the event of emergencies was given by W. Ward Houston,
who included in the course a night-driver test witll no head lights
in preparation for the practiced "Blackouts" and air raid drills.
During these years the former Emblem building became a branch factory
of the Columbus McKinnon Chain Corp. manufacturing parts and
assemblies for chain hoists used extensively in industry and as part
of the war effort. Following the war they continued operation of the
plant until union problems forced their closing.
Because of the metal shortage and lack of available aluminum in the early
forties a barrel factory was operating independently of
the Enzinger Union Corp. It made laminated
oak beer barrels for the brewing industry. The war affected Enzinger's
production further when in 1943 it broke away from the exclusive
manufacture of brewing equipment and entered the field of filtering
equipment for the chemical and food industry.
The Arrigo family, of Brant established the Erie County Frosted Foods Co.
in the forties, a canning and food processing plant on South Main Street
at Pennsylvania Avenue. They processed strawberries, preparing them
for freezing in Buffalo. They also produced "Pride of Evans" tomato
ketchup, chili sauce, and related products.
The Angola Record suspended publica- tion for the duration of the war,
the last issue appearing June 11, 1942. As it devel- oped, it never
reappeared thus ending a career of some sixty years.
It was about this time that Robert Wilson founded the Town Press,
having taken over the printing business of John Henry Dye on High
Street, later moving it to Maple Ave.
Following the war the abandoned Bank of Angola building was purchased
by the Town of Evans for use as a new Town Hall. It was completely
renovated and turned into a full two-story building. By joining the
balcony areas that had been located at both ends of the high ceiling
banking floor a second floor was added. When completed, the building
was dedicated to the memory of area servicemen of World War II. A
plaque of names was placed on the face of the building to that effect.
Another building renovation of this time was the former Ford Agency
and Garage. Sold to John Notaro, it was converted into a bowling alley in 1946.
Enrollment pressure on the school was felt once again and alleviated
in 1947 with the first of many temporary wooden annexes. They would
prove to be "temporary" for 20 years!
The Angola Library became a member of the Buffalo and Erie County
Library system in 1947. In 1949 the library was moved to the redecorated
and renovated former Town Hall on Commercial and High Streets.
The Angola Volunteer Fire Company had incorporated in 1940 with
four independent companies joining together. A far cry from the
bucket brigades of the past, the Company of today boasts up-to-date
equipment and a company of 82 members, the oldest of whom is Justin
Walters, who has served 57 years as a volunteer fireman.
Once again war affected the nation. This was the Korean War, and many
local service- men faced active combat while others saw duty in Europe
as an occupational force.
On the home front the educational trend in the fifties t'OWard
consolidating into centralized school districts led local citizen~ to
assess their needs and desires for the ed- ucation of the youth of the
community. The outcome was the creation of the Lake Shore Central
School system, which combined the Angola school with twelve fom1er
surround- ing school districts in the towns of Evans and Brant. Mr.
William T. Hoag, who had joined the Angola School in 1927 and who was
one of those instrumental in the cen- tralization effort, became the
first Supervising Principal serving until his retirement in 1957.
Under his direction a new 850 pupil Junior-
Senior High School was constructed on Beach Road, just north of the
Village line, and opened for full use in September 1954. The former
Angola School building became an elementary school for a major portion
of the district.
Mr. David Burchett became the supervising Principal in 1957. During
his ad ministration two new 600 pupil clementary sehools were completed,
one in Highland and the second in the Village of Sunset Boulevard.
The latter was named the Wil- liam T. Hoag Elementary School as
recom- mended by the Alumni Association. Opened in September, 1958, it
is New York State's first electrically heated school. The High Street
building became a separate Junior High School at that time.
Most Precious Blood Church saw fit in this decade to enter the area
of education by constructing a parochial school on Prospect Street.
It opened in September, 1953, with grade offerings of Kindergarten
through 8th grade.
Other construction within the Village in the fifties included a new
and attractive building on North Main Street by the Iroquois Gas
Corporation; the expansion of the Evans National Bank following
their purchase of the A. F. Shultz property to the rear of the bank
on Lake Street; extensive alterations, including a new front entrance
with columns, a new steeple, and a new church hall by the Congregational
Church; and the construction of many new homes in the Sunset-Miller
Drive area.
Changes and additions in businesses took place as they had over the
ycars. The Shoe Repair Shop of Charles Scaglione on Lake Street was
forced to relocate on Center Street due to the expansion of the Evans
National Bank. Froehley & Sons had been purchased by Jene and Donald
Heimburg, nephews of the former owners. In 1957 they discontinued the selling of furniture and continued their Funeral Home at 262 North Main St., their present
In 1952 Mr. Elwyn Guest established an office on Ccnter
Street and began publishing the Evans Journal, a weekly newspaper with
emphasis on local news. It has appeared every Thursday for over twenty
years faith- fully supplying its readers with the latest events.
In 1955 the Enzinger Union Corp. was sold and becmne Enzinger Division of
Duri- ron Company, Inc. The plant was expanded and may soon be again.
The greater propor- tion of dollar sales today are from filtcring
equipment. The current ecology movement has made their equipment even
more in dcmand with the filtration necded for mer- cury removal,
sewers, etc. The food process- ing and chemical industry continue
to make much use of their products.
In 1958 parking meters were installed in the business section of the Village
but were discontinued ten years later because of their unpopularity.
In the sameyear construction began on the extension of Commercial Street in
the Village to Herr Road at Route 5.
The Angola Police Department was
organized as a full-time civil service department in 1958. Prior to
that time many men had served in various capacities in keeping the
peace within the Villagc; men like John Waiters, Maurice Crawford,
Chester Borngrabcr, Samuel Iannello, Bantle Green, Burt Steams,
Irving Librock, Joseph Faraci, Sam Rich, Albert Ware, and Kcnneth
Herman. Not to be forgotten is Chief Constable Alwin Pauli, who not
only patrolled the Village but who was very active in youth activities.
With the reorganization in 1958 Leonard Murphy was appointed the first
Chief of Police. Serving in Succession thereafter have been Richard England,
Stanley Maronski, and present Chief Joseph Kane. Eugene Dalton served
as the first patrolman. Now serving full time in this capacity are
James Meissner, Paul Brown, and Samuel DeJohn.
The concerns of this era were many and varied. Social, political,
educational, and economic matters were of prime importance. The long
involvement in Viet Nam meant military service for many young men of
the community. On October 17, 1965 political issues of the day brought
u. S. Senate aspir- ant Robert Kennedy to the Village on his succcssful
campaign trail. He addressed the assembled crowd from the steps of the
Angola Theater.
Beautifiation, conservation, and ecology efforts resulted in paint-up-
fix-up campaigns carried on simultaneously with the Town of Evans.
Pollution controls began which re- stricted the burning of garbage,
papers, and leaves. A dog leash ordinance went into effect.
Public support and solicitation for needed hospital facilities made
possible the construction of the Lake Shore Inter-Community Hospital,
a close-to-home hospital. The Angola Chamber of Commerce began
work- ing in 1963 to secure a Thruway Interchange in the Town of
Attention focused on the space program that led to "man on the Moon"!!
In a small way the Village contributed to the early stages of the
missile program with the pro- duction of sophisticated precision
equipment for N.A.S.A. by the Angola Alloy Fabricators operating in
the former Emblem building. President Eugene Moore purchased and
re-novated the building with the assistance and backing of fifteen local
businessmen who had formed the Angola Holding Company in 1959. The
Holding Company, which is still in existence for the purpose of aiding
busi- nesses in the form of loans, assisted the K & H Industries,
producers of a safety light which is widely used and international in
scope. Now located on Delameter Road, the Company had its beginning in
the old Emblem factory.
Angola learned it would be designated as Zip Code 14006 as part of the
u. S. Post Office's revolutionary new system which began July 1, 1963.
Improved telephone service resulted when the Telephone Company moved
from old manually operated cord-type board exchange that was located
over Matteson's Shoe Store on North Main Street. A new modern building
on School Street became a central dial station providing tol1-free
service throughout 21 exchanges, including long distance dialing.
The A & P Store also relocated about this time, opening in June, 1961,
its newly con- structed building on the site of the old New York
Central Depot. They had moved from North Main Street where the Western
Auto Store is presently located, having operated there for many years.
The Village purchased the fornler Stocker & Houston property on
Commercial Street in 1962 for utilization as a combination Fire
Hall-Village Hall. Dedication services were held on Memorial Day,
1963, for the Fire Company in the newly established renovated quarters.
Much of the work was accom- plished by the membership. The Village Hall
portion was completed in April 1966. The old Fire Hall and Village Hall
on North Main Street was converted to use by the Department of Public
Works on the first floor and general meeting rooms and a courtroom
on the upper foor.
Business changes included the closing of Vellam's Meat Market and
the opening of Ted's Meat Shop and the transfer of R. 0. Frawley Oil Co.
in 1960 to Wilford Clark's Lake Shore Oil Co., which in turn became
Agway Petroleum Corp. in 1969. Enlarge- ment of a business took place
as the Evans National Bank offered a new kind of banking service,
namely Drive-In Windows.
Construction of new homes in the Terry- Lynn Drive, Grove Street
extension and Lerczak subdivision reflected the evergrowing tendency
for the Village to expand into a residential area. Community growth
was a contributing factor in the 1962 move of the Most Precious Blood
Church from its 65-year Lake Street location to its newly constructed
Church on Prospect Street.
Many changes took place within the school system during this decade.
Mr. Robert Halliday became the District Coordinator in 1960. Shortly
thereafter, the original portion of the Anthony I. Schmidt School
was constructed which helped relieve overcrowding. In 1966 Mr.
William G. Houston was appointed District Principal; and when the
District became an independent Superintendency in 1969, he was
appointed the first local Superintendent of Schools.
Taxpayers approved a $3.9 million dollar district-wide building program
in 1967. It provided for the demolition of the 1913 building and
annexes and the renovation and addition to the existing 1937 Angola
Village High Street school. Other phases of the program added 25
classrooms, a fallout shel- ter, and an Olympic -size swimming pool
to the Senior High School. The athletic field, a portion of which lies
within the Village boundaries, was lighted; and an additional bus
garage was added. Also in the package
was the construction on the Senior High campus of the first
Vocational Center in southern Erie County. It is now operated by
Erie-Cattaraugus #2 Board of Co-operative Educational Services.
There were a number of disastrous fires in the sixties. The Angola
Hotel on Commercial Street, one of the Village's oldest landmarks,
was gutted by fire in 1963. Erick's Delicatessen on the corner of
Center and Main Streets was destroyed on a bitter cold day February
1, 1961. One of the saddest and most horrible of fires on Oct. 11,
1968, quickly destroyed the First Congregational United Church of
Christ on Main Street. Through the efforts of Volunteer Fire ser- vices
portions of the building were saved. For two years services were
held in the Angola Theater while a $500,000 rebuilding program
resulting in the contruction of a new sanctuary and improved facilities
was carried out. Sunday School classes met in the Prospect Street
school of the Most Pre- cious Blood Church during a portion of that
time. Rebuilding plans necessitated the demolition of the
"old bus station" on the lot adjacent to the Church. The property
had been given to the chuch by Mrs. Arthur Lade. Built in the 1860's,
it had served as a private residence, a bakery, Russell's country store,
Kordell's Grocery, and last as Bion "Bus" Smith's combination
store and ticket office.
In August 1969 a spectacular fire destroyed the long established
storerooms and lumber yard of the Ehmke Lumber Co. at 108 Lake
Street. Although the Ehmkes are no longer in business, numerous
homes in Angola, as well as buildings such as the Vellam & Ahr
block, A. F. Shultz, and the former Bank of Angola, stand as monu-
ments to their long years as contractors and builders.

The 1970's thus far have been marked by a number of noteworthy events.
On June 24, 1970, the Evans National Bank observed its 50th year of
service to the community, service that goes well beyond banking alone,
having contributed substantially to the well- being of the community.
September 13, 1970, was the happy occasion of the dedication of
that new church building of the First Congregational United Church of
Christ replacing that which was destroyed by fire two years previous.
This year, 1973, the Church proudly celebrates its 110th Anniversary,
a testament of service to God and man.
Most Precious Blood Church added a new Convent next to the Church
on Prospect Street in 1970. Serving almost 1200 families, the Church
celebrated its 100th Anniversary in July 1971. It has been an
eventful century , a story of faith and service to God.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church will mark its 70th year of faith and
dedication in 1974. With the exception of a tower added in 1930 and
interior remodeling, the church building is unchanged today from
its original construction.
On May 2, 1970, a formal dedication of the John T. Waugh Junior High
School was conducted along with the cornerstone laying of the new
portion of the facility. The naming of the building after Mr. Waugh,
former teacher, coach, and principal, was suggested by the Angola-Lake
Shore Central Alumni Association.
Space once more became a problem with the Library as located on
Commercial Street. Seeking a larger facility, the Village purchased
the former Leone building on North
Main Street; and after extensive remodeling, opened its doors to the
public in June 1971. The vacated library building was redecorated and
is now serving as Angola's "Centennial Headquarters."
The Town of Evans celebrated its Sesquicentennial in July, 1971, with
the Village joining in the observance. Many events were scheduled
within the Village in- cluding dinners, lucheons, sidewalk sales and
an art show.
The same year brought completion of new additions to the Water
Treatment Plant which doublcd the water supply. A recently passed
$66,000 bond resolution will soon in- crease the daily capacity again,
with a capability of pumping over one million gal- lons of water a
day. Present engineer Leo Widmer and former employees Frank Gugino,
Joseph Faraci, and George Letzin saw many changes in the department
over the years. The first meter book. showed only twelve customers
because many in the Village believed it was a waste of time and
money to connect with the system. There are now 720 metered customers
plus an output to the Town of Evans.
The long-awaited Thruway Interchange 57 A was opened on October 2,
1972. Many local citizens had worked diligently to bring this about.
Changes continue to take place in 1973 as they will in the future.
New businesses have been established such as the Angola Flower Shop
on Lake and Prospect Streets and The Jeweltique, on North Main Street.
The Penn-Central Railroad is in the process of removing the former
Pennsylvania Rail- road single track on the south side of the Norfolk
and Western track. The Newcomb- Long Legion Post is expanding the size
of its headquarters on North Main Street by building on to the front of
the existing structure. Bison Canning Co. is presently in the
midst of an extensive expansion and modernization program under
the direction of present
officers President Franklin Drago, Vice-President Robert Drago, and
Secretary- Treasurer James Seeley. The company produces its own
Drago Brand products and also labels under such area name brands as
A & P , Loblaw, Acme, and Shurline. Their canned food products are
shipped throughout the United States. By trucking in vegetables from
as far away as Virginia, Maryland, California, and Mexico, the
processing season is extended from early spring to late fall. Local
help is used exclusively with employ- ment, production, and sales
currently at record levels.
A new doctor, long sought after by the community, has established a
practice on South Main Street at the corner of Newton Avenue in
the Chiappone Store. Dr. Se Kyung Kim joins Doctors Anthony Cooper,
John Cetin, and George Murdock and Dentists Joseph Russo and
Sidney Olson currently practicing in the Village. Through the
years Angola has had many dedicated doctors and dentists. There
are many fond remembrances of Doctors Frank Sweetland, Bion Smith,
Fred Diefendorf, Paul LaDuca, Lee R. Sanborn and Dentists Fred and
Charles Harper. Their work cannot be mea- sured except in the hearts
of all who bene- lited from their dedicated labor.
Service clubs and organizations abound today for all ages, such as
Senior Citizens, Golden Agers, Scout Troops, 4 -H. Grange, etc.,
to occupy the needs of the growing amount of leisure time resulting
from a changing life style. A recently organized group begun in 1970
is the Angola Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary. An organization
of service, it recently cooperated with the Fire Department in the
collection of food and clothing tor the 1972 "Agnes" flood victims in
the southern tier.
Angola escaped the catastrophe of flood
in 1972 but did sustain considerable damage when a "twister" cut
through the northeast section of the Village on August 22, 1971.
Perhaps most costly in terms of loss were the beautiful trees on
Locust and Orchard Avenues.
A number of civic programs for the future are in various stages of
planning at this time. One is presently in progress by the Erie County
Sewer District #2 which will com- plete sanitary sewers on Village
streets which require them. A housing development for the elderly
is awaiting allocation of fund- ing. Land is under option in an area
between North Main Street and Orchard Avenue for this facility .
A proposed new 14OO-pupil Middle School will soon be voted upon. It
would be located on land presently owned by the District adjacent
to the rear of the Senior High School site between Route 5 and the
westerly border of the Village. The building would house grades 7-8-9
thereby relieving pressure at every building in the District when the
present John T. Waugh Junior High School is used as a 5th and 6th
grade intermediate school.
A Village Master Plan may be adopted this year. The study concerns
itself with recreation areas, subdivisions, development of the
downtown business district, and zoning laws and regulations. The land
fill site on Mill Street and the Big Sister Creek corridor is being
considered as a recreation area.
Now in 1973 the Village celebrates its 1OOth Anniversary. It is
apparent that over the years the Village has become primarily a
residential area with few industries. The current population is 2685,
indicating a relatively slow growth pattern. Therein lies its charm!
In spite of changes in the way of life the'!e 100 years, it is still
possible to walk down Main Street, greet one's friends, and feel not
as a stranger but as a part of one's town.