William B. Codling
by Bill Good, Jr.
Assembled Parcels In 1907 To Form Barnes Landing
William Bates Codling was a pioneer real estate developer in Suffolk County at the turn of the century. Based in Northport, LI, he owned and managed real estate throughout the county, with extensive holdings on the East End. Mr. Codling specialized in exclusive properties, including acreage with shore fronts and water views. Barnes Landing was one of his larger tracts, which he assembled from 14 parcels in 1907.
Born in Wilton, CT in 1855, to the Reverend Robert and Matilda (Bates) Codling, William B. Codling received an extensive education through home instruction from his father and by attendance at a private school. That abruptly changed at the age of 13, when his father, a Methodist Episcopal minister, died of sunstroke. As the oldest of three children, William went to work at a factory to help support the family. He eventually saved enough money to take courses at a collegiate institute. An industriousness of purpose on the part of William attracted the attention of the headmaster of the institute, who helped William prepare for a career as a school teacher.
William B. Codling began teaching in Connecticut, then moved to Long Island to teach and pursue an aspiration; to be a successful lawyer specializing in real estate. Through the study of casebooks borrowed from a friendly judge, William prepared himself for the state bar exam, which he passed. Admitted to the bar in 1885, he set up, practice in Northport. By the early 1900's, William B. Codling was one of the largest landowners in Suffolk County, and reportedly one the largest in the Town of East Hampton. A quote at the time described Mr. Codling: "There is probably not another man on Long Island more thoroughly posted on the present and future realty values in Suffolk County than William B. Codling, with his established reputation as a fair, square, frank businessman, and his financial standing and responsibility".
One of Mr. Codling's principles was to give a tithing (10% of his income to charity). He was also very active in his community, serving many posts, including: School Commissioner of Suffolk County, member of the Northport School Board, superintendent of the Sunday school of the Northport Methodist Episcopal Church, a director of the Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, a director of the Jamesport Camp for boys, and one of the founders of the Northport Country Club and the Northport Yacht Club.
William B. Codling died in 1924 at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, LI, after having been struck by an automobile in Kings Park. He left his wife, Alice Brigden Codling, and two children, William and Helen. It was Helen Codling Halsted who went on to develop Barnes Landing, from 1952 through the 1960's.
Postscript: In honor of Mr. Codling, a horse and buggy was adopted as the symbol of the Barnes Landing Association, since it was his mode of transportation at the turn of the century when viewing his properties, including Barnes Landing.