In 2017 Community Arts of Elmira was awarded a grant by the Pomeroy Foundation for an historical marker that reads:
ABOLITIONIST JERVIS LANGDON
SOLD HOUSE TO DANIEL R. PRATT
IN 1862. ONCE THOUGHT
DESTROYED, HOUSE WAS MOVED
HERE FROM E. UNION ST. CA. 1876.
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION 2017
According to deeds found in the Chemung County Clerk’s Office, Daniel R. Pratt purchased the property at 413 Lake Street, now occupied by Community Arts of Elmira, in 1858. In 1862, Daniel R. Pratt purchased the property at 8 East Union Street from Jervis Langdon and his wife, Olivia. In 1872-3, the Elmira City Directory lists Daniel R. Pratt as living in the house on 8 East Union Street.
In 1874-5, Daniel R. Pratt moved to a house at 415 Lake Street. In 1875-6, Daniel R. Pratt’s father, Daniel Pratt, moved into the house on 415 Lake street with his son, presumably because Daniel R. was preparing the house at 415 Lake to become his father’s residence while waiting for the 8 East Union house to be reconstructed at 413 Lake Street.
In 1876-7, Daniel R. Pratt moved to a house on 413 Lake Street, while his father remained at the house at 415 Lake Street. We thus conclude that the houses at 8 East Union Street and 413 Lake Street were, in fact, one in the same, albeit it embellished over time. This information is present by Ausburn Towner, in Our Country and Its People (1892). He states that “In 1847, Langdon bought a house on what is now East Union street …. It was still afterward the residence of Daniel R. Pratt, and was subsequently removed to the west side of Lake street a little below Clinton, where now very much modernized it stands somewhat of an ornament to the thoroughfare.” Towner lists Daniel R. Pratt’s son, David M. Pratt, as one of his personal references for writing the book.
Gabrielle Higgins, Elmira College Intern, Class of 2018
County Clerk Records, Chemung County, NY
Elmira City Directories
Towner, Ausburn. History of Chemung County New York: 1836-1892. Syracuse: D. Mason & Company, 1892 (1986).