45 Oak Street


The original part of this house was probably built during the first half of the 19th century. At that time it was a small building located on Main Street, up close to the street in front of what is now 43 Main Street. While this little building was owned by James Vail (1851-1864), it was used as his office and 43 Main Street was his residence. Mr. Vail settled in Geneseo prior to 1810, started business as a stationer. Afterwards he studied law and became Commissioner of Deeds. Later he was elected Justice of the Peace and held this position for 30 years. Sometime later the building was moved to a lot on Park Street, owned by the Gas Company, and it became part of the house occupied by the Superintendent.

In 1899 the lot at 45 Oak Street was purchased by Dr. Nelson N. Lefler. He also purchased the house on Park Street and moved it here by steam roller, a process that took five hours. Dr. Lefler was a veterinarian and also an avid horseman. An article in the Livingston Republican tells us that one year during the annual 4th of July Hunt Sports at the Homestead, Dr. Lefler rode as a participant and tied with Theodore Roosevelt (a guest of the Wadsworths) in two events. During the “ride off” Dr. Lefler won the Manekin race but lost the javelin throw to Mr. Roosevelt.

About 1903, Dr. Lefler left Geneseo. The house changed hands several times until it was purchased by Mrs. Thomas (Mary) Hume in 1915. Mrs. Hume probably lived here until she sold the house in 1940 to Margaret Gilmore. Miss Gilmore transferred ownership to her sister and brother-in-law, Dr. Edward and Catherine Mulligan in 1948. There have been many alterations and additions to this house; the dates of the work are undetermined.