21 Elm Street


In addition to working on many early stone buildings in Geneseo, Moses Church built this house about 1856. He worked as a stone mason with his brother before he left for the front early in the Civil War and was killed during the Battle of Richmond in 1862. His widow, Elizabeth, and their children, William, Frederick and Frances, none of whom ever married, continued to live here. Mrs. Church died in 1895, William in 1906, Frances in 1908, and Frederick in 1914.

Since there were no surviving relatives, Miss Cornelia Butler inherited the house, having been Frances’ constant companion during the last years of her life.

The provisions of the will stated that upon Miss Butler’s death the house was to become the property of the Genesee Conference Deacon’s Home in Buffalo providing they keep the Church family lot in Temple Hill Cemetery in good condition. If they could not meet this provision, it was to go to the Odd Fellows Home in Lockport. Apparently, the stipulation was not met, since the house passed into the possession of the Odd Fellows who sold it to Martha and Sarah Smythe in 1930.