Cornelius Winney
By Nancy Blumenstalk Mingus
Excerpts from
Buffalo: Good Neighbors, Great Architecture
, by Nancy Blumenstalk Mingus. Pub. by
Arcadia Publishing 2003

Although they did develop forts and trading posts, the French explorers did not build permanent residences in the area. Depending on the source you choose to believe, this honor fell to

These individuals may have been here prior to 1790

There is no dispute, however, that by 1795, when La Rochefoucault Liancourt visited Buffalo, there were already at least four houses belonging to Winney, Johnston, Lane, and Middaugh.

According to Joseph Landon, who was a member of a 1796 surveying party, Jesse Skinner and Hodge were also here.

Another source says that Asa Ransom was a resident by 1796, as were John Palmer and Sylvanus Maybee by 1798.


Cornelius Winney

Cornelius Winney (or Winne) it is supposed came about 1784 and built a home in Buffalo somewhere between 1789 and 1791.

Winney was an Indian trader who had built a house on the east side of Washington at Quay, according to Colonel Thomas Proctor, who visited the area in March of 1791.

Winney was most likely the first European to settle in the area. Proctor notes he was in the area in 1791 and another traveler, Hinds Chamberlain, also mentions Winney in his 1792 journals, saying, "His building stood first as you descend from the high ground. He had rum, whiskey, Indian knives, trinkets, etc. His house was full of Indians."

Winney was Dutch and moved here from the settlements in the Hudson Valley, most likely from the Fishkill area which was once called "Fish Kills." He apparently left the area around 1798.

Text Copyright © 2003 Nancy Blumenstalk Mingus


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