Mount Morris, NY

A Town Built on Trade

The Town did not take on its current name of Mount Morris until 1792 after the Revolutionary War when it was named after Robert Morris, a franchiser of the war. Mr. Morris bought the farm of Ebenezer Allen  which included the Village site as well as many acres. 

General William A. Mills was one of the men who helped make Mount Morris what it is today. He came to the lands in 1794 when he was a young man of 17 with little to his name. Using his current possessions (a rifle, ox and silver franc piece) as well as the natural resources he constructed a log hut, his first home on the land. Mills understood that in order to make it here he would have to work with the native Indians not against them. Soon he received the name of "Big Kettle" meaning generous, a great honor for a new white settler. General Mills was very kind to his neighbors; he would offer settlers who could not make it on their own, loans on liberal terms. During the frost of 1816 when crops were ruined and food was scarce the villagers came to Mills and he provided them with corn, grains and pork asking nothing in return. The next summer the farmers whom he helped so generously the year before came to the Mills farm and offered their services in the fields.
Anyone who grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school can finish it without even thinking about it. The words did come as quickly to Francis Bellamy, the author of the pledge said daily by children around the United States.

Francis Julius Bellamy was born in Mount Morris on May 18, 1855. He was a author, editor and baptist minister who began his schooling at Rome Free Academy then studying at the University of Rochester. In 1891 Bellamy was hired to work on the Youth's Campaign, a nationally disputed magazine for school age children. The magazine had began a campaign selling flags to schools. Originally this was a new business idea to increase subscriptions but the idea of having a flag over every public school became a deep passion for Bellamy

Mount Morris began like most small towns in the 1800's, as the pioneers

started to expand to the West they established small towns where they could
use the resources and make a living. The original settler of the village was
Ebenezer Allen who named the town Allen Hill. Mr. Allen started a trading
Post in 1784 that started business growth. After Ebenezer was gone the
town changed again and was called Richmond Hill in honor of
Col. Jonathan Trumbull a celebrated Artist of the Revolution.

When General William A. Mills first settled in Mount Morris he lived in a hand-built log hut, when he passed away his home was a mansion on Main St. The Mills Mansion still stands on Main St. and is open to the public with tours on the weekends during the summer as well as by appointment all year round.

I Pledge Allegiance...

In the September 8, 1892 issue of the Youth's Campaign, readers found Francis Bellamy's
original Pledge of Allegiance.
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all"
Taming the Genesee

Mount Morris is home to the North Entrance of Letchworth State Park. Just inside the entrance is a parking area with a small store and the largest man-made attraction in the Park, the Mount Morris Dam.

The Dam is the largest concrete Dam east of the great Mississippi River. It's construction began in 1948 and was finished in 1951 at a cost of 25 million dollars. It was the authorization of the Flood Control Act of 1944 that allowed for the Dam to be built. Without its construction: farmland, residential communities and industrial developments from Mount Morris north to Rochester would be in danger if the river ever flooded. Thanks to the Dam, the surrounding areas were saved during the great flood of 1972. While visiting the Park you can take a free guided tour of the Dam and watch an informational video.

Not sure what to do while in Mount Morris? May we suggest...
Our newly renovated Main Street District is full of local stores, restaurants and antique shops. Spend some time out enjoying the fresh air at one of the parks or exploring at a museum such as the New Deal Art Gallery. Take a tour around the town and visit some of our sites listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

For more information click below