40 Second Street


The home at 40 Second Street is an old one. The exact date of construction is not known, but we do know that it was somewhat prior to 1849. The record shows that when Israel D. Root of York was elected county clerk in 1849 he moved to Geneseo and purchased this property with the house then standing.

Mr. Root died in 1853 and the property exchanged hands at least twice during the next 20 years. In 1875 it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Gray, who made an addition to the rear of the home, now used as kitchen, bath and shed. Following the trend of the late 19th century, in 1892 the Grays also added a porch, a fact noted in the Livingston Republican at the time with the statement: "They have resisted the seductiveness of the modern stoop for a long time but have finally obliged to succumb."

The events surrounding Mr. Gray's death in 1895 startled and shocked the village of Geneseo. Dr. Marvin Rowland, a well-known and popular physician, then living next door to the Grays, died suddenly one evening at his residence. Mrs. Rowland hurried next door and awakened Mr. Gray who went in search of more help from Mr. Riley, another neighbor. When Mr. Riley answered his doorbell, he found Richard Gray slumped on his doorstep, lifeless.