From " History of Waverly, N.Y. " by Capt. C. Albertson Owen Spalding was born in Athens, Pa. (then Tioga Point) in Feb. 1803. Son of John Spalding. He married Eliza Dulith. Owen died in May of 1882 in his beloved Waverly.
From "Waverly's 125th" The oak trees still stand in what was called Spalding's Grove and children still play in the village park in the center of town. These two facts would please Owen Spalding.
Often referred to as "Father of Waverly" Spalding cared deeply about the small town that was his home from 1822 until his death in 1882. From his father, he acquired a large farm lying between what is now Chemung Street and the Erie tracks.
His first home in Waverly, which was built about 1833, is located at 471 Pennsylvania Avenue.
It is largely through his generousity that there exists today the Village Park in front of Muldoon School, the impressive church buildings around it, the village Hall and the Forest Home cemetery. All are built on land donated by Owen Spalding.
The list does not end there and includes gifts of land to many individuals, including widows of local men killed in the Civil War and to the first man to open a store on Broad Street. The lucky man was Sylvester Gibbons who opened a dry goods store when the street was first laid out.
Along with Benjamin David and Isaac Shepard, he gave land for the right - of - way for the Erie Railroad was built through Waverly. Spalding traveled to New York to stress the advantage of locating the track and station in the growing village.
In conjunction with his concern for the future of the community, Spalding aided many young people. Although he had no children of his own, he raised 13 orphans and others, seeing that they received an education and a start in business. Many friends and relatives were helped by Spalding, some receiving his support for many years.
His name is usually found listed among the directors and trustees for new institutions and his contributions to the growing business community are still in evidence today, with two of the large brick buildings on Broad Street the result of his efforts.
Another lasting memorial to Spalding is the Forest Home cemetery on Spalding Street, which he turned over to the village, assuring that the large trees on his farm would be preserved for future generations to enjoy as he did.
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Ernie Miles...... This page was updated Wednesday, 26-Mar-2008 06:48:04 PDT.