Monday, December 14, 2009

Col. Nathaniel Rochester

Col. Nathaniel Rochester was born February 21, 1752 in West Moreland County, Virginia. As an adult, he served as a major and a colonel in the North Carolina militia, a county clerk in the North Carolina Assembly of 1777, in the Maryland General Assembly, and as a postmaster. He married Sophia Beatty in 1788 in Hagerstown, MD. Together they had 12 children, 9 of which survived until adulthood. Thomas, one of their sons, became the 6th mayor of Rochester. In 1810, Col. Rochester moved his family to a tract of land he had purchased near Dansville. He quickly immersed himself in the local business life and politics. The following year, he began establishing a town on another tract of land he had bought near High Falls. He offered plots of land for sale and it became known as the town of Rochesterville. In 1812, he moved his family from Dansville to Rochesterville. Col. Rochester was also pivotal in creating Monroe County (named after President James Monroe) in 1821 and served as the first county clerk and the county's first representative in the New York State Assembly. He continued to help develop Rochesterville and Monroe County in many ways, by actively participating in politics and helping to establish several churches and banks. He was the first president of Rochester Institute of Technology (then known as Rochester Athenaenum). Col. Rochester died May 17, 1831 from a painful illness and is interred at Mt. hope Cemetary.

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