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Assisted by a large corps of Sub-editors and 
Advisory Board 


American Historical Society, Inc. 



£72 7r 

Copyright, 1921 

JIJH30 7 




PRESENTING this "History of Chautauqua County, New York, and Its 
People," the publishers desire to express their grateful appreciation of the 
labor and other assistance of a large and highly capable corps of editors 
and advisors. It is primarily founded upon the life work of the late 
lamented Obed Edson, without a peer as a local historian, and who gave 
to it his hearty encouragement and assistance, and whose very last contri- 
bution to the annals of the region he loved so well is contained in the Political Chapter. 

The work is particularly rich in historical contributions specially written for it by mas- 
ters of their subjects. Among these writers are such capable authorities as Mr. Albert S. 
Price, Dr. Rovillus R. Rogers, Lieutenant-Commander W. H. Faust, U. S. N., Messrs. Fred- 
erick P. Hall, Edward L. Allen, Theodore A. Case, Gilden R. Broadberry, Clare A. Pickard, 
Richard H. Heppell, Arthur E. Bestor, Frederick R. Darling, William B. Blaisdell, Mayor 
Samuel A. Carlson, Messrs. Benjamin S. Dean, T. Henry Black, Jay T. Badgley, C. W. Her- 
rick, Dr. William E. Goucher, Messrs. Marvin L. Clapp, Lathrop L. Hanchett, C. W. Herrick, 
John W. Spencer, Dr. C. E. Welch, Messrs. Charles A. Okerlind, Ernest Cawcroft, W. H. 
Proudfit, W. A. Bradshaw, John B. Shaw, John C. Mason, Patrick S. Guinnane ; Mesdames 
Lucy Norton Shankland, Lona D. Brown, Olive E. R. Schendler and Clara Watson , Misses 
Lucia Tiffany Henderson, Carlina M. Monchow, Jane C. Banks. 

To all the above-named the publishers make grateful acknowledgments, as well as to 
a goodly array of authorities who afforded to Mr. John P. Downs, our staff writer in charge, 
valuable data and information. Among these are Major Edgar P. Putnam and Norman 
R. Thompson on Early Wars and the Civil War; Mr. V. A. Hatch on the Spanish War; 
Dr. William M. Bemus on Medical History; Mr. Arthur W. Swan on the Knights of Pythias ; 
Mr. B. R. Barton on Steamboating ; Miss Anna Crissey on the Y. W. C. A.; Mr. Francis 
B. Brewer on the Westfield Y. M C. A. ; Mrs. J. W. Mason and other ladies on Women's 
Gubs; Mrs. Margaret Prather on the Political Equality Movement; Mr. A. A. Van Vleck 
on the Patrons of Husbandry ; Dr. John J. Mahoney on the Roman Catholic Church ; Miss 
Mary M. Woods, on Daughters of Isabella; Young Men's Christian Association, H. E. V. 
Porter; Revolutionary Soldiers, Mrs. Lucy N. Shankland; Sons of Veterans, Mr. Mar- 
vin L. Clapp ; Judge Arthur B. Ottaway and Mr. Frank H. Mott on the Bench and Bar ; 
Mr. Frank H. Mott on Public Utilities ; and Mr. F. W. Bullock on Electric Service. 

The Publishers. 




Chapter I — Geography, Topography, Geology, Climatology I 

Chapter II — The Mound Builders ; Ancient Remains 8 

Chapter III — Origin of the Name Chautauqua 10 

Chapter IV— The Destruction of the Eries 12 

Chapter V — Brodhead's Expedition 16 

Chapter VI — Later Indian Wars, Occupation and Treaties 23 

Chapter VII — The Frontier Period, 1802-1805; Early Settlers; Foundation of Towns 26 

Chapter VIII — The Pioneer Period; War with Great Britain; Customs of the People 34 

Chapter IX — The Early Farming Period, 1825-1835; Development of the County; Industries; Amusements .. 42 
Chapter X — The Early Farming Period, 1835-1851 ; the Holland Company; Under the New Constitution; 

Progress of Education 50 

Chapter XI — The Agricultural Period, 1851-1861 ; Early Railroads; Spiritualism and Mormonism ; Discovery 

of Oil 56 

Chapter XII — The Agricultural Period, 1861-1875; Development of Grape Culture .. 65 

Chapter XIII — Close of Century, 1S75-1902; First Use of Natural Gas; Jamestown Incorporated as a City; 
Electricity introduced as a motive power; the Prendergast Library; New County Buildings; Lakeside 
Assembly: Improvement of Dunkirk Harbor; Soldiers of the Revolution; Burning of Fredonia Normal 

School ; Origin and Character of the People 70 

Chapter XIV — Opening of the Twentieth Century; the County Redistricted ; New Court House; Military 

Reunions 91 

Chapter XV — Opening of the Twentieth Century, continued; the County redistricted; Death of Obed Edson 105 

Chapter XVI — Towns: Arkwright, Busti, Carroll, Charlotte, Chautauqua, Cherrv Creek, Clymer 115 

Chapter XVII— The City of Dunkirk 143 

Chapter XVIII— Towns : Ellery, Ellicott 154 

Chapter XIX— The City of Jamestown 162 

Chapter XX — Towns : Ellington, French Creek, Gerry, Hanover, Harmony 170 

Chapter XXI— Towns : Kiantone, Mina, Poland, Pomfret, Portland 201 

Chapter XXII— Towns : Ripley, Sheridan, Sherman, Stockton, Villenova, Westfield 225 

Chapter XXIII— Chautauqua County To-day ; Statistics 247 


The History of the Holland Land Purchase, Lieut.- 

Comdr. W. H. Faust, U. S. N 252 

The Press of Chautauqua County, Frederick P. 

Hall and Edward L. Allen 271 

Books, Libraries and Authors, Lucy Tiffany Hen- 
derson 281 

Chautauqua County Libraries, Lucia Tiffany Hen- 
derson and Carlina M. Monchow 285 

Some Men and Women Writers of Chautauqua 

County, Mrs. Olive R. Schlender 290 

Conservation of Fish and Game, Richard H. Hep- 

The United States Food Administration in Chau- 
tauqua County, Clare A. Pickard 299 

The Public Schools of Chautauqua County 310 

Schools of Jamestown, Rovillus R. Rogers 315 

Dunkirk Public Schools, Frederick R. Darling . . . 319 

Public Schools of Fredonia, William B. Blaisdell. 322 

Chautauqua Institution, Arthur E. Bestor 324 

The Jamestown Board of Commerce 335 

Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce, Jay T. Badgley . . 336 

Manufacturing 336 

The Medical Profession 338 

Religion and Religious 341 

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union 349 

The Political Equality Movement 351 

The Young Women's Christian Association, Jane 

C. Banks 357 

The American Red Cross 358 

Women's Clubs 363 

Patrons of Husbandry 364 

Chautauqua County Banks, C. W. Herrick 367 

Steamboats of Chautauqua Lake, T. Henry Black. 371 

Political Chautauqua, Benjamin S. Dean 374 


Municipal Activities, Mayor Samuel A. Carlson . . 382 
Dental Surgery and Dentists, William E. Goucher, 

D. D. S. 384 

Patriotic Societies ; Mrs. Lucy Norton Shankland, 
Marvin L. Clapp, Mrs. Lona D. Brown, 

Lathrop L. Hanchett 386 

Young Men's Christian Association 392 

Retrospect of Music in and around Jamestown, 

Gilden R. Broadberry 395 

Development of Agriculture, John W. Spencer... 398 

Chautauqua Farm Bureau 400 

Chautauqua County Agricultural Corporation 401 

The Grape Industry, Dr. C. E. Welch 402 

The Swedish People, Charles A. Okerlind 403 

Donald MacKenzie, King of the Northwest, Ernest 

Cawcroft 406 

"The Indian War," Theodore A. Case 409 

The Underground Railroad, Albert S. Price 412 

Old Inns and Taverns 413 

Merchants of the Olden Time, W. H. Proudfit ... 417 

Centennial Celebration 419 

Lily Dale Spiritualist Assembly, Mrs. Clara Wat- 
son 421 

Bench and Bar 425 

Chautauqua Lake and its Surroundings, W. A. 

Bradshaw 429 

Iron and Steel 430 

Jamestown Business College 431 

Public Utilities 432 

Population of Chautauqua County 434 

Fraternal Orders, John B. Shaw, John C. Mason, 

Patrick S. Guinnane 435 

Military History 447 

(Also see reverse of this page). 


Adamowicz, Peter 
Boorady, Nahim M. 
Davis, Wollis Edwin 
Dobrynski, John F. 
Durrell, Lester H. 
Grace, Theodore 
Gustavson, Egnar 
Herd, Frederick Thomas 
Kaltenbach, Winford George 
Kay, George 
Kleine, Albert 
Kuebrick, John Michael 
Lugen, Nicholas Peter 
Mahonsky, Joseph P. 

Murray, John T. 

McAllister, Clarence W. 

Newell, Loren E. 

Pilorski, Martin 

Przespolwski, Alexander 

Rahn, C. W. (Claude Herman) 

Resso, Alexander 

Surhan, Joseph D. 

Warren, Cassimer 

Weglinski, Walter 

Will, Fred D. 

Yetto, Charles W. 

Young, John A. 

Ziemenski, Joseph 

Note — The abov 
in Military History. 

reached the publishc 

te for proper place 




L.ANDINI ! i IF 1 IE CET..ORI iN \ 'I 


Geography — Topography — Geology — Climatology. 

Still, as I view each wellknown scene, 
Think what is now, and what hath been, 
Seems as to me, of all bereft, 
Sole friends thy woods and streams are left. 

Besides its honorable history, Chautauqua 
has much in other respects to endear it to its 
people. Its physical characteristics, the beauty 
of its scenery, its size and its situation are such 
as to justify the pride of its citizens. 

It is the extreme western county of New- 
York. It is bounded on the south by Pennsyl- 
vania, on the forty-second parallel of latitude ; 
east by Cattaraugus, on the line between the 
ninth and tenth ranges of townships ; north- 
east by Erie county at the Cattaraugus creek, 
and a line extending northwest from its mouth 
to a point in Lake Erie in the boundary line 
between the United States and the British 
Dominions ; northerly by that line which ex- 
tends along the middle of Lake Erie; west by 
Pennsylvania, on a meridian drawn through 
the western extremity of Lake Ontario south 
to a monument erected by the States of New 
York and Pennsylvania in the forty-second 
parallel of north latitude. The western bound- 
ary extends on this meridian about 22 miles 
in Lake Erie, and 18 miles, 3493 feet south 
thereof; its southern boundary extends 36 
miles, 473 feet ; its eastern, 37 J^ miles ; its 
northeastern boundary along Cattaraugus creek 
four miles ; its shore line upon the lake extends 
about forty miles. 

The area of the county, exclusive of Lake 
Erie, is about 1100 square miles, of which 
about twenty square miles are included in 
Chautauqua Lake, six hundred acres in the 
Cassadaga Lakes, three hundred in Bear Lake, 
five hundred in Findley Lake, and one thou- 
sand acres in the smaller lakes, ponds and 
streams. This county is larger than the State 
of Rhode Island, and greater in extent than 
many of the most famous of the ancient States 
of Greece, and the smaller of the German 
States. Although it forms a part of an eastern 
State, the northern portion lies in the basin of 
the Great Lakes, and the southern in the valley 
of the Mississippi. It borders on Lake Erie, 
not far from the great Falls of Niagara. Politi- 
cally it belongs to the East, but lying partly in 
the basin of the Great Lakes and partly in the 
valley of the Mississippi, it partakes of the 
spirit of the West. Aside from those that have 

great cities within their borders, it is the fore- 
most county of the Empire State. With the 
products of the dairy and the fruits of the vine, 
and a near market in a great metropolis, its 
future is assured. Since its organization as a 
county its boundaries have never been changed. 

A wide belt of grass-covered hills extends 
from its eastern boundary southwesterly to 
Pennsylvania, forming the watershed which 
divides its waters that flow north into Lake 
Erie from those that flow south into the Mis- 
sissippi. The steepest side of this watershed 
is presented to the north towards Lake Erie, 
where the hills fall away in a rapid but not 
precipitous descent to the lower lands that 
border it. This side of the watershed extends 
in an irregular line northeasterly and south- 
westerly, from two to five miles from the shore. 
From the foot of these hills northward is an un- 
dulating region gradually descending towards 
the lake, where it terminates in a bluff of the 
average height of twenty feet above it. 

Lake Erie is five hundred seventy-three feet 
above the sea level. No part of the county is 
less than that height, while the hills of the 
watershed rise generally from one thousand to 
fifteen hundred feet above the lake, sometimes 
over two thousand feet above the ocean. From 
these hills a fine and extended view is afforded. 
To the north lie the rich and cultivated lands 
that border the lake, and broad and well-trained 
vineyards form the principal feature of the 
landscape. In some parts these vineyards ex- 
tend from the shore southward across the lower 
lands, and nearly up the northern slope of the 
hills. Beyond this, is spread the wide expanse 
of Lake Erie, so distant that its waves fade 
from sight and it appears as smooth and blue 
as if painted on canvas. As seen from the hills 
in summer nothing relieves the monotonous 
blue of the lake but the long black lines of 
smoke from the steamers and the snow-white 
sails of the lake craft that thickly speck its sur- 
face. Beyond the lake, forty miles away, the 
Canadian dominions are dimly visible from 
Long Point to the historic ruins of Fort Erie. 

The north face of the watershed, which ex- 
tends southwesterly through the northern part 


of the county, parallel to Lake Erie, is deeply 
furrowed into a series of narrow gulfs which 
conduct the water from the high lands to Lake- 
Erie. Corresponding depressions extend south- 
ward from the summit of the watershed 
through which the waters flow on that side to 
the Allegheny. Between these depressions on 
the south side of the watershed the land rises 
into elevations which the waters have seamed 
and scored transversely into chains of hills. 
These hills generally slightly decrease in alti- 
tude as they extend southward. The depres- 
sions or troughs in the south side of the water- 
shed are often deep and long; they widen into 
valleys and form important features in the 
landscape in Southern Chautauqua. These 
valleys are all about the same level and gen- 
erally about seven hundred feet above Lake 
Erie. They slightly descend as they extend 
towards the southeastern part of the county. 
There they merge together and form the broad 
valley of the Conewango. At the northern 
termination of each are one or more lakes and 
ponds. The principal streams of the county 
that flow southward to the Mississippi have 
their origin in these lakes. The lakes all lie 
very near the north face of the Ridge, and but 
little labor would be required to turn their 
waters northward into Lake Erie. The land 
that separates the waters that flow south into 
Chautauqua Lake from those that flow north 
into Lake Erie is but twelve feet higher than 
the surface of the former lake. The land be- 
tween the Cassadaga Lake and the head waters 
of the Canadaway has so little elevation that 
many years ago a few men in a short time cut 
a channel from the head of the lake a few rods 
long and sufficiently deep to permit its waters 
to flow into a tributary of the Canadaway. 
Had not these men been immediately restrained 
by an injunction, the waters of the Cassadaga 
would have been diverted from their course 
and what was intended for the Mississippi 
would have been given to the St. Lawrence. 

The evidence afforded by the science of 
geology proves that long before that era of 
time known as the Glacial Period, the streams 
that traversed these valleys, instead of dis- 
charging southward into the Allegheny, flowed 
northward into Lake Erie; that an extensive 
area (comprising 4000 square miles), including 
most of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and a part 
of Allegany counties in New York, and the 
greater portions of Warren, McKean and Pot- 
ter counties in Pennsylvania, known to geolo- 
gists as the Chautauqua Basin, was drained 
into Lake Erie through what were once deep 
chasms or gorges, some of which are now 

occupied by the valleys of the Conewango, 
Cassadaga, and Chautauqua Lake. When came 
the Ice Period, a great glacier spread over the 
eastern part of North America. It put forth 
immense tongues which increased in magni- 
tude and moved southward as the cold in- 
creased. During long eras of time, the cold 
grew more and more intense until its maxi- 
mum was reached, and then the glacier invaded 
legions further and still further south. No 
longer confined to river channels and moun- 
tain gorges, it scaled hills and ridges. A grand 
mer de glace filled Lake Erie and pushed 
against the base of the ridge bounding the 
basin of that lake on the south; it forced its 
way into the gorges at the mouths of the 
streams of Western New York and Pennsyl- 
vania and Northern Ohio, that discharged 
their waters northward into Lake Erie. As it 
ascended the chasms of the Cattaraugus, Sil- 
ver and Walnut creeks, and of the Cassadaga 
and Chautauqua lakes, it carried away their 
rough sides, deeply filling their channels with 
an earthy mass. It scaled the dividing ridge 
and climbed to the tops of the highest hills of 
the county, paring away their summits, spread- 
ing deeply over highland and lowland an un- 
broken sheet of loose material called drift, 
moulding the surface of the county into its 
present shapes. Before the glaciers came to 
widen and partly fill the valleys, to carve the 
hills into their present graceful forms, the 
county had a bold and savage appearance, the 
hills were higher and more rugged, the valleys 
were deep chasms walled by steep and rocky 

During the Glacial Period there had been a 
continuous upward movement of the crust of 
this part of the earth, which contributed to 
produce the intense cold of the Ice Period. A 
period of depression now began which is called 
the Champlain Period. This movement of the 
earth's crust was accompanied by a raising of 
the temperature until the climate became far 
milder than it is now, and caused the great 
glacier that covered our county to disappear. 

By reason of the melting of the glacier, and 
the falling of great rains and the lowering of 
the sources of the streams and rivers, retard- 
ing their flow, great lakes and crooked streams 
were formed in all parts of North America dur- 
ing the era that followed the Glacial Period, 
which geologists call the Champlain Period. 
The portals of the chasms through which the 
waters of Chautauqua County Basin were dis- 
charged northward through the Ridge towards 
Lake Erie, point where the highlands began 
their most precipitous northward descent, were 


choked with drift and clay brought by the 
glaciers, to a depth of hundreds of feet. The 
valleys that had been formed during the Ice 
Period were slightly tilted southward and their 
water currents reversed and caused to flow 
towards the Mississippi. The terminal moraine 
that fringed the border of the great glacier 
near the Pennsylvania line dammed the waters 
that had been turned southward, causing an 
extensive and irregular lake for a while to ex- 
tend like the fingers of a hand up the valleys 
of the Conewango, Cassadaga, Bear creek, and 
other valleys in Chautauqua county, the evi- 
dence of which exists in the fine assorted 
material, fresh water deposits and beds of marl 
that are found there. During this period the 
climate of Chautauqua county was far warmer 
than it is now. Tropical animals then existed 
here, but of species differing from those now 
living. The mastodon and the North Ameri- 
can elephant frequented the shores of the lakes 
that covered the larger valleys of our county 
and its bordering marshes. Their teeth have 
been found in the valley of the Cassadaga and 
in other principal valleys of the county. In 
August, 1871, portions of a gigantic mastodon 
were found one mile north of Jamestown, 
which have been preserved in the Museum of 
the Jamestown High School. During the 
Chautauqua County Centennial in 1902, the 
bones of many of these animals were exhumed 
in the village of Westfield. 

During the Champlain Period, the county 
was fitted for the growth of the cypress, and 
semi-tropical vegetation also, relics of which 
still linger to some extent between the Ridge 
and Lake Erie, the peculiar conditions there, 
and its milder climate, favoring their perpetu- 
ation. These southern species are represented 
by magnolias, the cucumber, the white wood 
or tulip tree, and also by the honey locust 
and wild grape vine, and other growths natural 
to warmer climes. The trees that then formed 
the forests of our county were little like those 
that the first settlers found here. The twigs in 
the stomach of the Jamestown mastodon were 
found to belong to a species of spruce which 
then, undoubtedly, grew here plentifully, but is 
now not known to exist. 

Since then, there has been a succession of 
trees. The first settlers found a dense forest 
of evergreen, pine and hemlock in the whole 
of the four southeastern townships. The hem- 
locks also extended over the rocky ridges and 
along the stony sides of the ravines of the 
smaller streams. The hills and higher lands 
were heavily timbered with deciduous trees, 
principally beech, maple, chestnut and oak. 

The early settlers found relics of an ancient 
and majestic pine forest that once had densely 
covered the hills, at last had yielded the ground 
to the maple and beech, and was now strug- 
gling with the hemlock and black ash in the 
valleys below. 

In the era following the Champlain Period, 
this part of the continent became more ele- 
vated, which caused a more rapid flow of the 
waters. Slowly the outlet of the irregular 
lake that extended over the southern part of 
our county was worn away, the waters low- 
ered, and the basin covered with miry swamps 
and shallow ponds. At length it was fully 
drained, save a few little lakes that lay at its 
furthermost borders. 

The processes of nature have gracefully 
lounded the hills of our county, smoothed and 
shaped its valleys and clothed them with a 
forest of beautiful foliage. Now it would seem 
that the work of creation is complete, and out- 
county finished and ready for man. But the 
work of creation is never complete ; we see 
species of animal and vegetable life succeeding 
each other in a regular system of progress from 
the lower to the higher, commencing with the 
coral and simplest sea plants, rising until now 
we have man and the highest ranks of vegeta- 
ble life. The work of creation is ever going on. 

It is, however, the present landscape of Chau- 
tauqua county that interests us now. In the 
wide valley that extends along the eastern bor- 
ders of the county, flows the Conewango, the 
principal stream of Chautauqua. The Indian 
whose trails once threaded its valley, pro- 
nounced it "Ga-no-wun-go," meaning "in the 
rapids." It empties into the Allegheny, and 
has its source in two lakes that lie close to the 
northern verge of the Ridge, called Mud and 
East Mud lakes. In the deep wide valley of 
the central part of the county flows the Cassa- 
daga, called by the Senecas Gus-da-go. This 
stream has its source in a cluster of little lakes 
that also sparkle near the northern declivity 
of the highlands. Upon their shores is situated 
Lily Dale, "City of Light," the famous sum- 
mer resort of the Spiritualists. Bear creek 
flows through another valley into the Cassa- 
daga. Its source is a pleasant sheet of water 
called Bear Lake, which also lies very near the 
northern verge of the Ridge. 

In the valley next west of Bear and Cassa- 
daga valleys, and extending in the same direc- 
tion from the northern face of the Ridge, is 
that depression in which lies Chautauqua Lake, 
the largest body of water within the limits of 
the county, and one of the most beautiful in 
the State. In this notch, cut so deeply across 


the hills, gleam its bright waters — a paradox 
among lakes. Poised in the crest of the high- 
land, where the sky is only reflected in its crys- 
tal depths, it is so near Lake Erie that we ex- 
pect to see its waters pour down the steep de- 
clivity to join it, and finally meet the sea upon 
the cold and barren coast of Labrador. In- 
stead of this, we find them running southward, 
and, after a long and sinuous journey of over 
twenty-five hundred miles, flowing consecu- 
tively through the Chadakoin, Cassadaga, 
Conewango, Allegheny, Ohio and Mississippi, 
to mingle at last with the waters of the Gulf 
of Mexico. The Mississippi river seems to 
stretch forth an arm far beyond its own great 
valley to receive the pure water of this high- 
land lake. 

The hills that rise to the westward of the 
valley in which lies Chautauqua Lake divide 
the waters flowing into this lake from those 
that flow into the Brokenstraw and French 
creeks. These are important tributaries of the 
Allegheny. Findley Lake, the second in size 
in the county, lies farther from the northern 
face of the ridge, and at a higher altitude than 
the others, and discharges its waters into a 
tributary of French creek. Two islands adorn 
this lake and like the others it is filled with 
pure water and surrounded by pleasant shores. 
It is also, like Chautauqua and Cassadaga 
Lakes, the seat of a popular summer resort. 

The streams in the northern part of the 
county are generally shorter and have less 
volume than those in the southern part. 
Among them are the Twenty Mile, Chautauqua 
and Canadaway creeks ; Walnut creek, and 
Silver creek, called by the Indians Ga-a-nun- 
da-ta (a mountain leveled down), have their 
sources in opposite sides of the Conewango 
Valley and unite at the village of Silver creek. 
Cattaraugus, formerly pronounced Ga-da-ges- 
ga-go and also Ga-hun-da, from which word 
Gowanda is evidently derived (meaning fetid 
banks, or stinking waters), flows along the 
border of the county. It is much the largest 
stream that here empties into Lake Erie. It is 
also the longest water course of the county, 
being over fifty miles in length. No other 
stream in the county flows into Lake Erie from 
beyond the highlands that form the watershed. 
The Cattaraugus rises in Cattaraugus county, 
follows a deep depression among the hills, and 
passes beyond the Ridge into Lake Erie. _ At 
Gowanda, thirteen miles from Lake Erie, it is 
but four miles east of the headwaters of the 
Conewango, and yet according to the railroad 
survey, its surface is six hundred feet below 

them, and but two hundred feet above Lake 

Beneath the sand, gravel and loose material 
brought by the glacier, called drift, which 
everywhere covers the whole surface of Chau- 
tauqua county, lie the ancient rocks that form 
its foundation. These formations belong to 
the Devonian Age, or Age of Fishes. They 
contain within themselves a faithful record of 
the earth's history during millions of years, a 
record which, when rightly understood, is 
found never false. The history that we read 
from these rocks tells us of the progress of life, 
the great cataclysms and the wonderful changes 
that have occurred in the ages of time during 
which they were formed. 

The rocks that immediately underlie the 
drift in Chautauqua county belong to the 
Chemung Period of the Devonian Age. The 
character of the shells and fossil seaweeds 
found in them relate the circumstances of their 
creation. They inform us that the county, 
during the Chemung Period, was usually cov- 
ered by a shallow sea of muddy waters spread 
over great sand flats and salt meadows, swept 
by waves and tidal currents. The Chemung 
Period is made up of two epochs, the Portage 
and the Chemung. The rocks of the Portage 
are the oldest, and lie beneath those of the 
Chemung. As all the strata that underlie 
Chautauqua county incline to the south, the 
rocks of the Portage Group come to the sur- 
face and form the bed rock in the northern 
part of the county. Their exposure extends 
high up the northern face of the ridge. They 
are best observed along Lake Erie, where they 
form the high perpendicular bluffs that frown 
along its shores. Along the beds and sides of 
the channel worn by the Canadaway creek 
through the hills of Arkwright and along its 
west branch, these rocks may be seen to ad- 
vantage. Along the banks and beds of Silver 
and Walnut creeks and along the Cattaraugus, 
Chautauqua, Little Chautauqua and Twenty 
Mile creeks, and at various places in the north- 
ern part of the county where smaller streams 
have removed the drift from the surface and 
exposed the underlying rocks, they are well 

Above the Portage, formations coming to 
the surface in the southern part of the county 
lie the rocks of the Chemung Epoch. They are 
exposed to view along the streams and in the 
ravines of the southern part of the county, and 
are best seen along the upper waters of Chau- 
tauqua and Little Chautauqua creeks, the out- 
let of Chautauqua Lake at Dexterville, a part 


of Twenty Mile creek, and at points along the 
Cassadaga and Conewango creeks, and along 
the banks of their tributaries. There are many 
fossil shells and seaweeds in the rocks of the 
Chemung Epoch. Of the multitude of species 
peopling the waters in the Portage and 
Chemung Periods, they are all of ancient forms 
of life, and none has survived to the present 

The streams that flow northward from the 
highlands have worn deep channels in these 
foundation rocks, which along the northern 
face of the Ridge are known as the Portage 
Shales. The east branch of the Canadaway 
near the western boundary of Arkwright flows 
through a deep, wide chasm, where its waters 
have cut in the rocks a still deeper but narrow 
channel. Here the bed of the stream is more 
than three hundred feet lower than the banks 
on either side. Concealed beneath the dense 
foliage of the trees are several fine cascades. 
But few, even of those living, have visited this 
beautiful glen, and some who have lived long 
in its populated vicinity do not even know 
that such wild waterfalls exist so near them. 
Hemlocks grow in profusion in and along the 
basin of this stream and along its upper waters. 
From this fact the stream derives its Indian 
name '"Ga-na-da-wa-ow," "running through the 
hemlocks." The waterfalls, deep gorges and 
wild scenery of the east, and also of the west 
branch of the Canadaway are characteristic of 
all the streams that flow through the soft 
shales of the Portage formation. Chautauqua 
and Twenty Mile creeks are especially interest- 
ing in this respect. From the side of the can- 
yon in which flows the Chautauqua, and not 
"far from the main highway between Mayville 
and Westfield, a spur of shaly rock projects at 
right angles for many rods into the gorge and 
slopes gradually from a great height at the 
brink of the canyon to the level of the stream. 
The sides of this ridge are very steep and the 
top is very narrow, not wider than a footpath, 
and is used as such to descend into the gorge. 
A similar ridge occurs near one of the princi- 
pal falls of the Canadaway and a number of 
others known as "hog's backs" occur near sev- 
eral other streams flowing through the Portage 

At Panama and on the tops of the highest 
lulls remain fragments of conglomerate rocks, 
formed in the last part of the Chemung or early 
in the succeeding or Catskill Period, but which 
are partly torn away by the action of glaciers, 
and mingled with the drift, they here having 
partly formed the surface rock during the Ice 
Period. This formation and the underlying 

sandstone is called the Salamanca and Panama 
Conglomerate. It constitutes the last strati- 
fied formation in the county. It is a shore 
formation made as the rocks of the Devonian 
Age began to appear above the surface of an 
ancient ocean that spread its waters there. A 
mass of pebbles, fine gravel and sand had 
gathered on the northerly shore of this vast 
Paleozoic Sea that once extended indefinitely 
southward and for time inconceivable had 
heaved its billows there. The gravel and peb- 
bles were brought into this ocean by rivers 
and streams, and then were washed shoreward 
by the surf and tide, and again seaward by the 
refluent waves, smoothing and rounding peb- 
bles of quartz and producing the collection and 
arrangement of material that make up the 
Panama Conglomerate. It here probably con- 
stituted the last contribution made bv the sea 
to the continent of North America before it 
became dry land. Time cemented the pebbles, 
gravel and sand, into a hard and solid mass. 
The great openings that now appear in these 
rocks, dividing them into blocks as at Panama 
in Chautauqua county and Rock City in Catta- 
ragus county, are not the result of upheavals, 
but probably the quiet work of frost and ice, 
aided by the weight of the rocks — a silent 
process, imperceptibly going on, during that 
almost immeasurable period that has lapsed 
since the Devonian Age, slowly opening and 
widening these fissures into passages so that 
they have come to resemble the streets and 
avenues of a city. 

The time that elapsed after the formation of 
these conglomerates is not represented by any 
stratified rocks in Chautauqua, for the reason 
that the county continued dry land after the 
Devonian Rocks arose above the sea, and left 
no record of events in the amazing period that 
followed. Of what vegetable growths and liv- 
ing creatures existed upon the surface during 
the millions of years included in the vast era 
of time from this event down to the Quater- 
nary, or Age of Man, the formations of the 
county afford no evidence. The rocks in other 
parts of the continent that during all that 
stretch of time were forming beneath the sea, 
continue the story of the earth's history down 
to that very recent era — the Ice Period. In 
the mantle of drift that was spread over the 
count}' in that period, is written a most inter- 
esting geological history ; one that he who 
visits the banks of its streams, the excavations 
made for its railroads and trolley lines, or 
casually rides over the hills of the county, may 

The coming of the glaciers swept away the 


greater part of the Panama and Salamanca 
Conglomerate that so long had lain over the 
greater part of the county, before the basin of 
Lake Erie was chiselled out by the ice. Its 
thinnest edge was worn away by the action of 
glaciers. Great blocks of these rocks, however, 
.still lay scattered over the hills of the southern 
towns, and smaller fragments in the drift and 
in the bed of the streams that flow southward. 
The southern limits of this great glacier are 
well defined by a terminal morain which con- 
sists of immense accumulations of boulders, 
gravel, and loose material. North of this 
plainly marked line lie unbroken fields of drift, 
while south of it they disappear altogether. 
This terminal morain has been traced from the 
Atlantic ocean to a long distance west of the 
Mississippi river. It forms the backbone of 
Long Island. It enters New Jersey south of 
New York City, thence it extends westerly 
across that State and northwesterly through 
Pennsylvania and New York to a point near 
Salamanca, where it changes its direction so 
abruptly as to make an acute angle. It then 
proceeds southwesterly into Pennsylvania, 
crossing the Conewango between Warren and 
the New York line. Chautauqua county dur- 
ing the Glacial Period lay close to the "line of 
battle between the frosts of the north and the 
tropical winds of the south." At length the 
great glacier began to yield to the increasing 
warmth. It slowly withdrew its icy wall 
towards the northern borders of our county, 
exposing and leaving everywhere, over the 
southern portion, confused and unfertile heaps 
of loose earth, gravel and stones. Huge 
boulders, as we now see, were scattered at 
intervals entirely above the drift and more or 
less over the whole surface of the county. As 
the receding glacier withdrew, it paused for a 
while at the Ridge, as if stopped by some era 
of cold, turned back, and again pushed its glit- 
tering front a little way southward. The 
record of this movement appears in an exten- 
sive moraine that extends to a width of two or 
three miles along the south side of the crest 
of the Ridge, easily distinguished by the con- 
fused heaps of sand, gravel and boulders, by 
kames and kettle holes. This moraine enters 
the county from the east at the northeast 
corner of Villenova, and extends westerly 
along the borders of the town by East Mud 
Lake. Curving to the south, it passes out of 
Villenova at West Mud Lake, extends west to 
Arkwright Center, and southwest to the upper 
Cassadaga Lake in Pomfret, westerly by Bear 
Lake to Portland : then it curves south. About 
a mile north of Hartfield it turns northward, 

crosses Westfield in an east and west direction, 
enters Ripley north of where the principal 
branch of Twenty Mile creek crosses the east 
line of that town. It then extends westerly 
along and north of that stream. Finally it 
crosses into Pennsylvania. 

At last, yielding to the heat of a warmer 
era, the great glacier withdrew northward be- 
yond Lake Erie, leaving the record of its de- 
parture in the granite boulders thickly scat- 
tered along the northern slope of the Ridge. 
Four or five beach lines, one above the other, 
each at a fixed elevation above the lake, ex- 
tend in parallel lines along the lower lands that 
border Lake Erie. These beach lines mark 
the halts in the process of lowering the great 
sea or lake that extended northward from the 
county, while obstructions to its drainage were 
being removed. The great glacier gradually 
succumbed to the milder climate that intro- 
duced the Champlain Period and at last en- 
tirely disappeared, leaving the lake nearly at 
its present level. The process of lowering its 
waters is still going on. Niagara Falls has 
worn away seven miles of the twenty-two 
miles of rock that intervenes before Lake Erie 
will be reached and drained to its bottom, re- 
minding us again that the process of creation 
is to continue, with all its kaleidoscopic 
changes, until time shall end. 

The topography of the county has much to 
do with its climate, and in connection with the 
varied character of its soils, with the varied 
character of its agricultural products also. It 
has given to different parts of the county dif- 
ferent weather conditions. The first of these 
distinct climates is found in a narrow strip of 
territory, in width from three to five miles, 
along the shore of the towns that border on 
Lake Erie. This part has the lowest elevation 
of any land in the county. Lake Erie is 573 
feet above tide-water. This belt of land, from 
a level of about twenty feet above Lake Erie, 
gradually rises to the southward until at the 
foot of the hills it is about 250 feet above the 
lake. Although this portion of the county is 
subject to rigorous winters common to its lati- 
tude, its climate is much milder than that of 
other parts. Its lower altitude, and its proxi- 
mity to the waters of the lake, postpone the 
cold of winter; its humid atmosphere protects 
against the frost of spring. It is, however, sub- 
ject to more severe droughts than the other 
portions of the county. The influx of the 
lake extends not only over this narrow border 
of land, but over the northern slope of the hills. 
All this part of the county is well adapted to 


the production of cereals and fruit, especially 
the grape. 

In the soils, and even in the products of the 
soil, may thus be read the striking- and inter- 
esting story of the glacier. Extending in 
nearly a straight line from Pennsylvania to the 
Cattaraugus creek is a very narrow strip of 
coarse gravel called the "Dunkirk Gravel." It 
passes through the villages of Ripley, West- 
field, Brocton, Fredonia and Sheridan. Here 
the grape industry was first begun. This 
gravel is the best adapted to the production of 
the early grape, and also for the peach and 
plum. This narrow line of gravel marks one 
of the old beaches, and points out the lake's 
level at some time far back in the past. The 
dry soil and regular character of this natural 
formation has ever recommended its use to 
both the white and the red man. For centuries 
the great trail of the Indians leading from 
Buffalo to the West traversed it. The pioneers 
built the Main or Erie road upon it. Extend- 
ing the whole distance and parallel to this are 
other narrow lines of gravel, marking other 
ancient beaches of the lake. Between and on 
either side of these lines of gravel are strips of 
soil called "Dunkirk Gravel Loam," a soil 
adapted to the production of grapes and gar- 
den products. In the territory between these 
lines of old beaches and Lake Erie, the land is 
divided between what is denominated "Dun- 
kirk Sandy Loam" and "Dunkirk Clay." The 
former is said to produce the largest yield of 
grapes, and the latter a superior quality. Im- 
mediately south of these old beaches of gravel 
and gravel loam, and extending over nearly 
the whole northern face of the highlands, are 
wide areas of territory called "Dunkirk Shale 
Loam." The soil here is not made of miscel- 
laneous debris deposited by the ice sheet, as in 
most parts of the county, but is composed of 
the weathered products of the foundation 
rocks of the Chemung Period, left bare by the 
glaciers. This soil is barren and unfit for agri- 
cultural purposes other than the raising of 
grapes, but here the grapes, though small in 
quantity, are of the best quality, the favorite 
of the consumer, and much esteemed in the 
manufacture of wine. 

There is another and severer climate in the 
deep and wide valleys that extend through the 
highlands in the southern part of the county, 
from the Pennsylvania line to the northern 
face of the ridge or escarpment through which 
flows all the larger streams of the county. 
Cassadaga Lake, according to the survey of 
the Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & Pittsburgh 
railroad, and also the State topographical sur- 

vey of the "Westfield Area," is seven hundred 
thirty-two feet above Lake Erie, and thirteen 
hundred five feet above the ocean. Chautauqua 
Lake, according to the survey, is but three 
feet higher than Cassadaga Lake. Bear Lake 
is substantially of the same elevation. These 
lakes all lie at the head of valleys which ex- 
tend with but little descent to the Pennsyl- 
vania line. These upland valleys converge and 
become one in the southeastern part of the 
county, where at Fentonville, the lowest point, 
it is but fifty to sixty feet below the Cassadaga 
Lake, so that all of these wide upland valleys, 
which include the Conewango, Cassadaga, 
Bear and Goose creeks, Chautauqua Lake, 
Stillwater, Brokenstraw, French creek and 
other lesser vales, have elevations of but little 
variation, and all exceeding twelve hundred 
thirty feet, and less than fourteen hundred 
thirty above the ocean. In consequence of the 
greater elevations of these valleys and other 
circumstances, a severer climate prevails there 
than along Lake Erie ; the spring is longer 
delayed, winter comes earlier and the snow 
lies deeper; these circumstances and a different 
soil make the agricultural products of these 
upland valleys quite different from the coun- 
try along Lake Erie. The soil of these valleys 
in some places is designated as "Meadow" and 
in other places as "Cassadaga Sand." These 
soils are adapted to the raising of grapes when 
drained. Fruit, with the exception of the apple, 
and grain, are not so profitably raised. Stock 
raising and dairying chiefly occupy the atten- 
tion of the farmer. 

A third and still more rigorous climate pre- 
vails among the hills that border these valleys 
and which occupy the principal area of the 
county. These hills often rise to the height of 
sixteen or seventeen hundred feet above the 
ocean, and three or four hundred feet above the 
neighboring valleys. In Cherry Creek, Char- 
lotte and Gerry the summits of some of these 
hills are two thousand feet above the ocean, 
and in Arkwright nearly as high. Two places 
near the boundary line between the towns of 
Charlotte and Cherry Creek, being points on 
lots 60 and 62 of the latter town, reach the 
elevation of 2,100 feet above the ocean, accord- 
ing to the late topographical survey by the 
State; an elevation of over 1,500 feet above 
Lake Erie, and over 800 feet above the neigh- 
boring valley of the Conewango. In the south- 
eastern part of the county, not yet surveyed, 
where the hills are prophetic of the moun- 
tains beyond, it is believed are located its high- 
est lands. The following villages and hamlets 
among the highlands are fifteen hundred feet 


or more above the ocean level: Ellery, 1,758 
above the sea; Summerdale, 1,639; Arkwright, 
1,632; Mina, 1,600; North Clymer, 1,562; Vo- 
lusia, 1,560; Panama, 1,551; Stedman, 1,550; 
Sherman, 1,549; Charlotte Center, 1,530; and 
Centralia, 1,500. 

The soil that covers the elevated parts of the 
county, according to the State soil survey, are 
"Volusia Loam" and "Volusia Sand Loam," 
principally the latter, which is adapted to the 
raising of grass, oats, potatoes and apples. 
Here among the uplands the snow comes earli- 
est in autumn, falls deepest in winter, and lies 
latest in spring. Sometimes in the spring, 
when the grass is green and fruit trees are 
blossoming along the shore of Lake Erie, the 
hills of Arkwright and Charlotte are white 
with snow. But what cares the tenant of those 
snowy hills? There he has passed his early 
years and breasted the storms of many a win- 
ter ! He would not change his bleak highland 
farm for the pleasantest fields along the lake. 
Love of home is strong indeed! It can make 
the hills more beautiful and the fields more 
green. It can magnify beauties and remove 
blemishes. It can even make the rigorous sea- 
sons bear pleasant memories. Who reverts to 
the Chautauqua winters of his early years, 
inclement as they were, without a pleasing 
remembrance? In winter the drifts lie deeply 
around the farm houses, and bury the fields 
and fences from view. Travel is blocked upon 
the highway and the farmer for a while is im- 
prisoned by the storm. 

Propitiously as the spring season opens, it 
is subject to chilly relapses. In Chautauqua 
county, winter lingers long in the lap of spring. 
The ice which gathers in Lake Erie during the 
colder months, loosened by the warmth of the 
advancing season, drifts to the foot of the lake, 
and sometimes remains unmelted until almost 
June, bringing raw and inclement weather to 
the adjacent shores. Nipping frosts often 
visit the farmer during the last days of May, 
and even in the month of June, cutting his 
corn and destroying his fruit. 

In the summer time the trees are mantled 
with a mass of foliage. Abundant springs and 
heavy dews keep the meadows and pastures 

green. In the northern part of the county the 
sultry air is tempered by refreshing breezes 
from Lake Erie bearing health and" strength 
upon their healing wings. Cool nights and 
pleasing rural scenery invite thousands annu- 
ally to pass the heated term upon the shores 
of the lakes. Nowhere is the climate and scen- 
ery more pleasing than in our county in the 
summer time. An Italian sunset can scarcely 
excel the scene that may be witnessed from the 
hills of Chautauqua on a summer afternoon, 
when the broad red disk of the sun, slowly de- 
scending into the blue waves of Lake Erie, 
closes the day in fiery splendor. 

The glory of the American forest in autumn 
has been often told, but nowhere does the 
woodland appear in greater splendor than 
among our Chautauqua hills. There nature 
seems to have spilled her choicest pigments 
upon the woods. At length, frosts and falling 
leaves point to the return of winter, yet among 
the hills of Chautauqua the season lingers for 
awhile ; the year ripens into mildness and In- 
dian summer comes. The sharp contrasts of 
light and shade in the clear air of spring dis- 
appear in autumn. In the hazy atmosphere 
the line between sky and earth is dimly drawn, 
only the film}- outline of the hills is seen. The 
shades of the valley deepen in the murky light. 
In the distant vales they fade almost into dark- 
ness. While yet the air is soft and the heavens 
serene, wild geese begin their southward flight 
in long converging lines, as if moving runic 
characters were written in the sky foretelling 
the approach of storms and snows. Distant 
sounds seem near in the hollow air. From far 
in the upper sky comes the strange warning 
voice of their leader, startling and clear, guid- 
ing his brood in their wedge-like flight from 
the icy fields of Canada, high above the waters 
of Lake Erie and Chautauqua, in unerring 
course to the tepid lakes and rushy streams of 
warmer climes. Responsive to these warning 
signs, winter comes with all his blustering 
crew of chills and snows, freezing winds and 
pinching frosts, and at last the keen blasts of 
December howl him a fierce welcome to his 
ancient and favorite domain among the whiten- 
ing hills of Old Chautauqua. 


The Mound Builders. 

The pioneer of Chautauqua county found it covery of unmistakable evidences of its hav- 

an unbroken wilderness; yet often when ex- ing been anciently inhabited by a numerous 

ploring its silent depths, where forest shadows people. Crowning the brows of hills that were 

hung deepest, they were startled at the dis- flanked by deep ravines, along the shores of its 



lakes and streams, in its valleys at numerous 
points, were the plain traces of their indus- 
try — earthworks or fortifications, mostly circu- 
lar; pits bearing marks of use by fire; ancient 
highways and mounds in which lay buried 
mouldering skeletons ; and later, where forests 
had given place to cultivated fields, the spade 
and plow in the springtime made strange reve- 
lations of rude implements of war and peace, 
and oftentimes of the crumbling relics of an 
ancient burial place. At first these monuments 
were believed to be of European origin ; and 
patient research was made among early rec- 
ords for an account of events happening upon 
the Eastern continent, a little prior to and 
about the time of the discovery of America, 
that would afford an explanation of their exist- 
ence. But the great age of the forest trees 
growing above them, and other marks of an- 
tiquity, demonstrated this belief to be un- 
founded. A solution of the mystery was then 
sought among the traditions of the aborigines, 
but careful investigation has proved these 
ruins to be so old that tradition can throw no 
light upon them ; and that they cannot be the 
work of the ancestors of the Indian found here. 

Commencing near the centre of the State, 
they extend westwardly. Over Chautauqua 
county they were thickly strewn ; farther to 
the west and south, in the valleys of the Ohio 
and Mississippi, these ancient remains were 
still more numerously found in larger dimen- 
sions, and, it is evident, of much greater an- 
tiquity. There for a long period of time must 
have dwelt a large and industrious people. 
The geometric precision with which their 
works were constructed ; the fine workman- 
ship of their pottery ; their ornaments and im- 
plements of copper, silver and porphyry; the 
remarkable skill and the long period of time 
during which they must have worked the cop- 
per mines of Lake Superior — proved them to 
have possessed a considerable degree of civili- 

In the town of Sheridan, not far from where 
the Erie railway crosses the highway between 
Fredonia and Forestville, at an early day was 
plainly to be seen an ancient fortification, circu- 
lar in form, enclosing many acres. The evi- 
dence then existed that the land in that vicin- 
ity had once been cleared, but had since come 
up to timber of at least three hundred years' 
growth. Pestles, mortars and other stone im- 
plements were found, and numerous pits occur- 
ring at regular intervals were formerly ob- 
served there. These in every instance were 
found two together or in pairs. In this vicin- 
ity, from time to time many human bones have 

also been brought to light. In the summer of 
1870, a large grave was opened from which a 
great number of skeletons were exhumed. 
These were the bones of individuals of both 
sexes, and all ages from infancy to old age. 
They were indiscriminately mingled together, 
clearly indicating an unceremonious and pro- 
miscuous burial. Near the eastern boundary of 
the village of Fredonia, not far from the Cana- 
daway, extending from bank to bank a distance 
of about two hundred feet across the level sum- 
mit of an eminence, still known as "Fort Hill," 
was once an ancient intrenchment, in front of 
which was once the traces of a large pit. In 
the vicinity of these remains, human bones 
and the usual Indian relics have occasionally 
been found. In the town of Westfield were 
extensive remains of earthworks, and in the 
town of Portland, besides a circular earthwork 
and other evidences of ancient occupation, 
there were also several ancient roadways — ex- 
cavations have shown that one of them was 
underlaid by a bed of large stone deeply cov- 
ered with earth and gravel. 

Around the beautiful lakes and village of 
Cassadaga occur perhaps the most extensive 
remains of any in the county. At the ex- 
tremity of the cape which extends from 
the southwestern side far into the lower of 
these lakes, is a curious and conspicuous 
mound. Its longest diameter is about seven 
rods, its shortest five. Its summit is about 
twelve feet above the level of the lake, and is 
about eight feet above the low neck of land in 
its rear that connects it with the higher and 
wider part of the cape. Whether it is an arti- 
ficial structure or the work of nature, is open 
to conjecture ; it seems, however, to have been 
anciently occupied, for the usual relics have 
been found there in great abundance. Stretch- 
ing across this cape for a distance of perhaps 
twenty rods along the brink of the plateau that 
rises about twelve rods in the rear of this 
tumulus, was an earthenware breastwork. Still 
further to the rear, extending nearly from shore 
to shore, was another breastwork. Thus were 
several acres enclosed by these earthen works 
and the two shores of the lake. In the vicinity, 
large quantities of pottery and stone utensils 
have been found. Near the northern shore of 
the lake was a large mound ; although frequent 
plowing had reduced the dimensions, it is still 
four or~five feet high and three or four rods in 
diameter. It is said to have been twelve feet 
high when first seen, with forest trees of cen- 
turies growth standing upon it. About 1822, 
this mound was excavated and a large number 
of human skeletons exhumed. Extending 


from an extensive fire bed in the neighborhood 
of the mound, in a northwesterly direction a 
distance of sixty rods or more, on the east side 
of the lake, was an elevated strip of land of the 
width of the track of an ordinary turnpike, 
bearing the appearance of having been once a 
graded way. The traces of this ancient road 
are still plainly visible. At various other places 
around Cassadaga and along the shore of the 
lake, were numerous caches and extensive fire 
beds or hearths with an abundance of coal and 
ashes buried deep in the ground. Skeletons 
have been exhumed in many places, and 
arrows, pottery and stone implements in great 

Extensive remains were also found at Sin- 
clairville and in its vicinity. A distance of 
about one mile south of that village, in the 
town of Gerry, was a circular intrenchment in- 
closing several acres, within which numerous 
skeletons and rude implements of stone have 
been discovered. Northeast of this intrench- 
ment a distance of about one hundred and 
thirty rods, was an ancient cemetery in which 
the remains of many people seem to have been 
regularly interred. This old Indian burying 
ground was well known from the first settle- 
ment of the county, and was a subject of much 
speculation among the early inhabitants. Fifty 
years ago or more, as many as fifty skeletons 
were disinterred on one occasion. Some of 
them are said to have been of unusual size ; and 
within the last twenty years (written in 1875) 
twenty-five skeletons were disinterred on an- 
other occasion (the author being present). 
The bodies were regularly buried in a sitting 
position, in rows, alternating and facing each 
other. In the woods in Gerry, two miles south- 
east of Sinclairville, is still visible one of these 
circular fortifications with large forest trees 
growing from its ditch and wall. Close by Sin- 
clairville, upon the high bluff to the west that 
rises precipitously from Mill creek, was once 
an earthwork, circular in form, within which 
was a deep excavation. The excavation and 
intrenchment have long since disappeared, and 

now from this commanding eminence so in- 
closed, a beautiful prospect may be had of the 
village and the surrounding hills. 

Extending along the northern and southern 
boundary of the plateau, on which a principal 
part of the village is situated, were two earthen 
breastworks. Between these two embank- 
ments the main fortifications seem to have 
been situated. It was an extensive circular 
earthwork, having a trench without, and a 
gateway opening to a small stream that passed 
along its southern side. This work inclosed 
six or seven acres of what is now a central por- 
tion of the village. A part of the main street, 
portions of other streets and the village green, 
all were included within this old inclosure. 

At other points within the town of Gerry 
and in the town of Stockton, were remains of 
similar earth works and other evidences of an 
early occupation. In the town of Ellington, at 
different places along the terrace of low hills 
that borders either side of the valley of Clear 
creek, there existed at the first settlement of 
the county the remains of many of these circu- 
lar inclosures, in the vicinity of which stone 
implements and other relics have been plenti- 
fully discovered. Along the shore and outlet 
of Chautauqua Lake were numerous mounds 
and other vestiges. Two of these and the 
traces of an old roadway are still visible near 
the eastern shore of Chautauqua Lake at Grif- 
fith's Point, in the town of Ellery. The descrip- 
tion given of the aboriginal monuments found 
in these localities will suffice for a further 
account of those that were found numerously 
distributed in other parts of the county, for 
they all bear the same general resemblance. 
They prove this region to have once been a 
favorite resort of an early race. Whence they 
came, how long they remained, and what for- 
tunes attended their existence, we have no 
lecord of. There can be little doubt, however, 
that here were once rudely cultivated fields 
and perhaps populous villages, inhabited by 
strange and primitive people. 

The Indian names by which we know many 
of the places in Chautauqua county were words 
in the Seneca tongue. Chautauqua Lake in 
1749 was known to the French as Tchadakoin, 
which, pronounced according to the rules of 
French orthoepy, is not unlike our word Chau- 

Origin of the Name Chautauqua. 

tauqua. For over fift\ 

ears the name under- 
went in French and English, various spellings, 
receiving but a slightly different pronuncia- 
tion, until we find it spelled upon the maps of 
the Holland Company, made in 1804, Chau- 
taughque. After the settlement of the county 

I'lMllITSToRIC 1'.' iNL'.S 


it was spelled Chautauque until 1859, when by 
a resolution by the board of supervisors, it was 
changed to Chautauqua. The pronunciation of 
the word by the Senecas was as if it was 
spelled Jahdahgwah, the first two vowels long 
and the last short. 

Chautauqua creek was pronounced the same 
as the lake, and was spelled Chau-taugh-que 
on the map of the Holland Company made in 
1804. It is marked on Celoron's map as the 
river "Aux Pommes" (Apple river). The 
Chautauqua Outlet, now called the Chadakoin, 
and the Conewango creek were pronounced 
Ga-no-wun-go, meaning "in the rapids," prob- 
ably in allusion to the rapids above Warren, 
Pennsylvania, and at and below Jamestown. 
Cassadaga creek and lake were called Gus- 
da-go, and also Ze-car-ne-o-di, meaning, it is 
said, "under the rocks." Cattaraugus creek 
was called Ga-da-ges-ga-go and also Ga-nun-da 
from which evidently Gowanda is derived, and 
means "fetid" or "stinking banks." The Indian 
name for the Canadaway was Ga-na-da-wa-o, 
meaning "running through the hemlocks." 
Silver creek was called Ga-a-nun-da-ta, mean- 
ing "a mountain leveled down." On Harden- 
burgh's map made in 1787, the Indian town on 
Kiantone creek is spelled Kyenthono. Still- 
water creek is written Gaw-on-age-dock, and 
the Little Brokenstraw of Harmony, Cosh-not- 

The name Ohio or La Belle Rievere was 
applied by the French to that portion of the 
Allegheny extending up from Pittsburgh as far 
at least as Franklin, as well as to the Ohio 
proper. It is probable that the Conewango, 
Chautauqua Lake and outlet, and perhaps that 
part of the Allegheny below the mouth of the 
Conewango to Franklin, were called by the 
French the "Tchadakoin," as inscribed upon the 
leaden plate they buried at important points, 
and that in process of time this appellation was 
retained only by the lake. The word under- 
went various changes in orthography until it 
came to be spelled Chautauqua. On a manu- 
script map of 1749, made by a Jesuit in the 
Department de la Marne in Paris, it is spelled 
Tjadakoin, and the Chautauqua creek that 
empties into Lake Erie in the town of West- 
field is called the Riviere Aux Pommes, or 
Apple river. In the translation of the letters 
of Du Quesne, governor-general of Canada in 
1753, it is spelled "Chataconit." In Stephen 
Coffin's affidavit sworn to before Sir William 
Johnson in 1754, "Chadakoin." In Pouchot 
history and map accompanying it, "Shatacoin." 

On Pownell's map of 1776 and Evans' map of 
1755, it is written "Judaxque." General Wil- 
liam Irvine, who visited Chautauqua prior to 
1788, writes it "Jadaqua." 

The name in the Seneca traditions was said 
to mean "the place where one was lost," or 
"the place of easy death." Cornplanter, in his 
famous speech against the title of the Phelps 
and Gorham tracts, alluding to his tradition, 
said : "In this case one chief has said he would 
ask you to put him out of pain ; another who 
will not think of dying by the hand of his 
father or his brother, has said he will retire to 
Chauddauk-wa, eat of the fatal root, and sleep 
with his fathers in peace." 

Dr. Peter Wilson, an educated Cayuga chief, 
communicated this interesting Seneca tradi- 
tion : "A party of Senecas returning from the 
Ohio in the spring of the year ascended the 
outlet of Chautauqua Lake, passed into the 
lake, and while crossing caught a fish of a kind 
with which they were not familiar, but threw 
into the canoe. Reaching the head of the lake, 
they made a portage across to Chautauqua 
creek, then swollen with the spring freshets. 
Descending the creek into Lake Erie, they 
found to their astonishment the fish still alive. 
They threw it into the lake and it disappeared. 
In process of time the same fish appeared abun- 
dantly in the lake, having never been caught in 
it before. They concluded they all sprang 
from the Chautauqua Lake progenitor, hence 
they named that lake Ga-ja-dah-gwah, com- 
pounded of the two Seneca words, Ga-jah, 
'fish.' and ga-dah-gwah, 'taken out.' In course 
of time the word was contracted into 'Jah-dah- 

Other meanings have been assigned the 
word. Chautauqua has been said to mean 
"foggy place," in allusion to the mist arising 
from the lake; also to mean "high up," re- 
ferring to the elevated situation of the lake; 
while "it is said that early Indian interpreters, 
well versed in the Seneca tongue, gave ^ its 
meaning to be "a pack tied in the middle," or 
"two moccasins fastened together," from the 
resemblance of the lake to those objects. 

A beautiful Seneca tradition lends an addi- 
tional charm to Chautauqua Lake. "A young 
squaw is said to have eaten of a root growing 
on its bank, which created tormenting thirst. 
To stake it, she stooped down to drink of its 
clear waters, and disappeared forever, hence 
the name of the lake, Ja-Da-Qua, or the place 
of easy death, where one disappears and is seen 
no more." 


The Destruction of the Eries. 

This brief review of early history and con- 
quest reveals the fact that the French far out- 
stripped the English in exploring and settling 
this continent. 

In 1615, before the landing of the Pilgrims, 
the French, led by Champlain, had penetrated 
hundreds of miles into the wilderness and 
reached the distant shores of Lake Huron. 
There he learned that the country southeast 
of Lake Erie, where lies Chautauqua county, 
was the home of the Je-go-sa-sa — as the Sene- 
cas called them — the Eries, or the nation of the 
Cat. The same year and before Miles Standish 
smote the heathen with his sword of Damas- 
cus, Ettiene Brule, Champlain's interpreter, 
guided by twelve Hurons, had traversed the 
wilderness of Western New York and visited 
the country of the Eries and Carantouan, their 
principal village. 

In 1656, in a fierce war with the Iroquois, 
the Eries were destroyed and ceased to exist 
as a nation. Their warriors were mostly slain, 
their women and children, driven from their 
villages, perished in great numbers in the wil- 
derness. Their towns, of which we find such 
numerous remains in our county, were de- 
stroyed, or went to decay, and their rudely cul- 
tivated fields were covered with a forest 
growth again. 

La Salle, the most remarkable explorer that 
ever visited this continent, on his voyage west- 
ward in the "Griffin," the first vessel to spread 
its sails to the breezes of Lake Erie, in 1679, 
passed in plain sight of the forest covered hills 
of Chautauqua. Two or three years later he 
journeyed westward from the Onondaga coun- 
try in New York to the headwaters of the Ohio. 
"After fifteen days' travel," says his ancient 
biographer, "he came to a little lake six or 
seven miles south of Lake Erie, the mouth of 
which opened southeastward." There is little 
doubt that this was Chautauqua Lake, and that 
La Salle and his companions were its first 
European visitors. At that time there must 
have remained many evidences of the great 
calamity that had then so recently befallen the 
Eries — abandoned cornfields grown up to 
briars and saplings, fallen palisades — the sites 
of their longhouses — overrun by nettles and 
fireweed, and now and then the bones of a mur- 
dered Erie. Now, nearly two and one-half 
centuries after the fires of the Eries have been 
put out, there remains in Chautauqua county 
abundant evidence of their ancient occupation. 
More than thirty entrenchments enclosing 

from one-fourth of an acre to ten acres, are 
known to have existed within the limits of the 
county : At least ten along the country border- 
ing the Cassadaga creek; as many more along 
the valley of Clear Creek in Ellington ; a half 
a dozen or more in the towns along Lake Erie ; 
several around Chautauqua Lake and its out- 
let, and in other parts of the county. Six or 
seven of these earthworks are now in perfect 
preservation, and a few more but partly oblit- 

Sometimes the plow reveals the moulder- 
ing relics of an ancient burial place. Besides 
low mounds in which many were buried in 
confused masses, separate graves of many 
others have from time to time been discovered. 
About one mile south of Sinclairville, not far 
from an old intrenchment, there seems to have 
been an extensive cemetery. In a single 
mound, opened May 25, 1887, when the writer 
was present, were revealed more than fifty 
skeletons. Not many rods away, other mounds 
and graves had previously been opened, dis- 
closing the bones of many of their dead 
Hearths of their longhouses, and ash heaps, 
some of them extensive, numerously exist in 
all parts of the county ; also caches for preserv- 
ing their corn. In and around these old in- 
trenchments and ash heaps, arrowheads, stone 
axes, ornaments of stone, pipes of clay and 
other implements, are still abundantly found, 
while flint arrowheads lost by the Indians in 
their hunting excursions are found on almost 
every farm. 

Prior to and at the time of the destruction of 
the Eries, there dwelt around Lakes Erie and 
Ontario several nations of Indians who were 
of the same race, spoke a language much alike, 
practiced the same customs, and undoubtedly 
were once one people. The valley of the Mo- 
hawk and the country westward in the State 
of New York to the Genesee river, was the 
territory of the Iroquois or Six Nations. In 
Canada between Lake Simcoe and the Georgian 
Bay, were the homes of the Hurons. Along 
the northern shore of Lake Erie and extend- 
ing east of the Niagara river toward the Iro- 
quois, was the country of the Neutral nation. 
The Eries lived in Chautauqua county, and 
their territories extended a little eastward 
towards the Iroquois, and westward along the 
southern shore of Lake Erie. 

North of the Eries and between Lake Erie 
and the dominions of the Iroquois, and not far 
from the borders of our own county, the pre- 


cise location of which is not certainly known, 
once dwelt a kindred people called the Wen- 
rohronons, or Ahouenrochrhonons, a small 
tribe allied to the Neutrals, and once the asso- 
ciate nation of that people. For some cause, 
enmity arose between them. The domain of 
the Iroquois, their common foe, and the fiercest 
and most warlike of these nations, extended 
near them. The Wenrohronons being weak in 
numbers, feared that they might be extermi- 
nated by one or the other of their enemies, so 
they sent a deputation of the most intelligent 
of their people to the Hurons, and asked to be 
taken into that nation. The Hurons, in their 
councils and assemblies, fully considered the 
matter, and decided to receive them, where- 
upon the Wenrohronons abandoned their old 
homes in Western New York and traveled 
through the wilderness to the land of the 
Hurons on Lake Simcoe. The Hurons sent a 
delegation to escort them through the terri- 
tories of their enemies, and to assist them in 
carrying their household goods and little chil- 
dren. There were over six hundred of the 
Wenrohronons, a majority of whom were 
women and children. So great was their 
fatigue that many of them died on their way, 
and nearly all were sick at the end of their 
journey. When news of their approach was 
received at the nearest Huron village, all of its 
inhabitants went out to meet them and re- 
ceived them with the greatest kindness. No 
civilized people could have displayed more 
sympathy and humanity than the Hurons. 
They gave these strangers, who in their ex- 
tremity had sought refuge among them, the 
best places in their cabins, the}' opened their 
granaries of corn, which the Wenrohronons 
were given the liberty to use as their own. 
Father Jerome Lalemant, the Jesuit, was pres- 
ent among the Hurons at the time, and wit- 
nessed these occurrences. This hegira of the 
Wenrohronons took place in 1639. 

The Hurons and the Iroquois were implaca- 
ble foes. In 1642 they engaged in a fierce war 
which resulted in the annihilation of the 
Hurons, and the massacre of the French Jesuits 
living among them. In 165 1, in another sav- 
age war, the Iroquois entirely wiped out the 
Neutrals. In 1656, between 1,000 and 2,000 
warriors of the Iroquois entered the territory 
of the Eries, and with savage fury assaulted 
one of their towns, which was resolutely de- 
fended by the Eries, who fought with poisoned 
arrows. It was finally carried by the Iroquois 
with a slaughter so terrible as to wholly de- 
stroy that people. The Senecas, a nation of 
the Iroquois, have a tradition that on the night 

after the battle, the forest was lighted up by a 
thousand fires, at each of which an Erie was 
burning at the stake. Chautauqua county was 
the scene of much of this savage strife, but 
where the final encounter occurred is not at 
this time precisely known. 

Among the many evidences that the earth- 
works in Chautauqua county are the remains 
of the conquered Eries, is that furnished by the 
ancient French map of Frankuelin, dated 1684, 
less than thirty years after the overthrow of 
that people, upon which Lake Erie and the 
Allegheny river are represented. On the upper 
waters of that river, and towards Lake Erie, at 
a location corresponding with that of Chau- 
tauqua Lake, is noted in words of French "two 
villages destroyed," and east of this locality is 
noted "nineteen villages destroyed." This last 
reference is probably to the villages repre- 
sented by the numerous remains of the earth- 
works found in Eastern Chautauqua and Cat- 
taraugus counties. The people living south of 
Lake Erie are called Kentaientonga. Upon 
several old maps made by the French, Chau- 
tauqua Lake is called Oniasont or Oniassont, 
and the people who inhabit the region, Onta- 
rononas, and on one map Oniassontkeronons. 
A village is represented as having been located 
at Bemus Point. Oniasont is the first record we 
find of a name for Chautauqua Lake. The 
word is said to mean a lake with a narrow con- 
necting strait ; Oniasa, a neck or throat. 

From the destruction of the Eries until its 
settlement by the pioneers of the Holland Pur- 
chase, Chautauqua county continued the 
domain of the Senecas, the most western of the 
Iroquois nations. Sixty years after the death 
of La Salle, we find France and England en- 
gaged in an earnest contention respecting the 
boundary between their possessions in Amer- 
ica. France, in order more distinctly to assert 
her rights to the disputed territory, in 1749 
sent Capt. Bienville De Celoron, a chevalier of 
the Order of St. Louis, from La Chine in 
Canada, with a force of two hundred fourteen 
soldiers and Canadians, and fifty-five Iroquois 
and Abenakies, in order to take a more formal 
possession. He coasted along the southern 
shore of Lake Erie, and arrived at the mouth 
of the Chautauqua creek (now Barcelona) on 
the 16th of July of that year, where he landed 
his motley retinue of French soldiers, Cana- 
dian frontiersmen, half-naked Indians, and here 
and there a priest, and some undoubtedly of 
those remarkable rangers, the Coureurs-de- 
bois, or Canadian voyagers. He then pushed 
over the difficult portage to the head of Chau- 
tauqua Lake, where he arrived on the 22d. 


On his arrival, he and his companions must 
have been impressed with the lovely and 
tranquil scene as it appeared on that summer 
day. He saw before him a placid and seques- 
tered lake, stretching away southeast into the 
primeval forest, its beauty enhanced by the 
dark and silent wilderness that surrounded it. 
Not long did he tarry there. The next day he 
embarked. His fleet of bark canoes manned 
by the French and their dusky allies, passed 
the maple groves of the Assembly ground at 
Fair Point — shades then unvisited save by the 
wild deer that strayed in from the forest 
depths to sniff the cool breezes of the lake. 
Watched from the shore by strange Indians, he 
passed Long and Bemus Points, into the broad 
expanse of the lower lake, and encamped for 
the night upon the shore three miles above the 
outlet. On the 24th he passed through the 
shadows of its narrow and winding channel, 
and encamped at night, it is believed, within 
the limits of what is now the city of James- 
town. The next day he proceeded on his voy- 
age down the Chadakoin, Cassadaga, Cone- 
wango, Allegheny and Ohio rivers, burying 
leaden plates on his way, as tokens of French 
dominion. When he reached the mouth of the 
Great Miami, he directed his course up that 
river and returned again to Canada. A leaden 
plate prepared for burial at Chautauqua was 
obtained by some artifice of the Senecas accom- 
panying Celoron, and sent to Sir William John- 
son at Jamestown on the Mohawk. Upon the 
leaden plate, with other French words, was 
engraved the word Tchadakoin — the name of 
the place of its intended burial. This is the 
earliest record that we have of the Indian word 
from which our name Chautauqua is derived. 

A few years later the French asserted their 
claim to these regions in a still more decisive 
manner, and our county, although a deep soli- 
tude, far from the outmost line of settlement, 
became the scene of warlike demonstrations. 

In April, 1753, while the Marquis du Quesne 
was governor-general of Canada, an advanced 
force of two hundred fifty Frenchmen under 
Barbeer arrived at the mouth of the Chau- 
tauqua creek and commenced the building of a 
log fort. A little later Sieur Marin, the chief 
commander of the expedition, arrived with five 
hundred more, and put a stop to the building. 
The French then advanced further to the west, 
and built a fort at Erie, Pennsylvania, then 
known as Presque Isle, and another at La 
Boeuf (now Waterford, Pa.), on French creek, 
and still another at Venango, at the mouth of 
French creek (now Franklin, Pa.). 

October 30th, the French assembled twelve 
hundred men at or near Barcelona, where they 
remained encamped four days, while two hun- 
dred of their number under Hughs Pean, after- 
wards a knight of St. Louis, cut a wagon road 
from the mouth of Chautauqua creek to the 
head of Chautauqua Lake. All the French 
then returned to Canada. 

Samuel Shattuck, afterwards a resident of 
Chautauqua county, when a mere lad, accom- 
panied an officer and five men detailed by 
Lieut. Hitchen Holland, the commanding offi- 
cer of the English post at Oswego, in the 
month of April, 1753, to watch the French 
while they were engaged in these expeditions. 
Shattuck and his party traversed the wilder- 
ness from Oswego to a point on Lake Erie, a 
few miles from the mouth of the Cattaraugus 
creek, and soon after had the good fortune to 
witness the French flotilla bearing the forces 
of Barbeer on their way westward. Lake Erie 
was then a sailless waste of waters, bordered 
on every side by primeval forests. The scene 
as witnessed from within the depths of this 
great western solitude, on that fine April after- 
noon, is described as beautiful, and animated, 
as the fleet of barges and canoes rowed rapidly 
up the lake. 

This scouting party continued to watch the 
French from the recesses of the woods. They 
encamped on the banks of a stream that Shat- 
tuck afterwards knew to be the Canadaway, and 
the place of encampment to have been a few 
miles west of Dunkirk. The next day, after 
some narrow escapes from the Indian allies of 
the French who were scattered through the 
woods, Shattuck and his party reached the 
Chautauqua creek, where they discovered the 
French had landed and were felling trees on 
its west side. Soon they saw a larger force of 
French arrive, undoubtedly the same that was 
commanded by Marin, who put a stop to the 
work, and embarked the whole force in boats 
and moved westward. The English party 
moved westward also, and for four months 
hovered near the French, cautiously watching 
them while they were building forts at Erie 
and on French creek. The English party was 
all of this time obliged to conduct operations 
with the utmost caution, on account of the red- 
skins skulking about in the woods. Their 
escape from discovery and capture was due to 
the experience of their leader, an old leather 
stocking and Indian fighter from Onondaga. 
They made use of the dark coverts of the for- 
est for concealment, while not watching the 
foe, and at no time used their firearms, but de- 




pended upon bows and arrows, traps and 
snares, to secure game for food. 

In September they returned to Oswego and 
made a report of their operations. They were 
sent back in October to further watch the pro- 
ceedings of the French. This time their course 
while in Chautauqua county led along the crest 
of the ridge of highlands south of Lake Erie, 
where they could keep the lake in sight, and be 
free from danger from Indian scouting parties ; 
when they arrived at Chautauqua creek, near 
the south border of the village of Westfield, 
they suddenly came upon the French, engaged 
in rolling logs into the bottom of a deep gulf, 
and digging into the steep sides of this ravine 
tor a road. The scouting party watched the 
completion of the road, which extended from 
Lake Erie to Chautauqua Lake ; they wit- 
nessed also the embarkation of the French on 
Lake Erie on their return to Canada. The 
English scouting party then returned to 
Oswego. Shattuck afterward served as a sol- 
dier of the Revolution. In 1823, when he was 
an old man, he came to reside with his kins- 
men in Portland, in Chautauqua county, once 
the scene of his experiences in Indian warfare. 
He lived there until he died in 1827. 

In the year in which these events occurred, 
Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent Wash- 
ington, then a youth but twenty-two years of 
age, to learn the purpose of the French. Wash- 
ington spent five days negotiating with the 
French commandant, St. Pierre, at La Boeuf, 
now Waterford, Pennsylvania, which is situ- 
ated but fourteen miles from the town of 
French Creek. 

The operations of the French led to most 
important results. They were the immediate 
cause of the Old French War, which being be- 
gun, finally extended into Europe, where it was 
waged on a grand scale. There it was known 
as the "Seven Years War." It involved nearly 
all the great powers of Europe. One of its 
later results was the creation of the German 
Empire. It even extended to Asia. There the 
French and English contended for empire in 
India. The discovery of Chautauqua Lake by 
La Salle ; the voyage of De Celdron over its 
waters in 1749; the arrival of the French forces 
under Barbeer and Marin at the mouth of the 
Chautauqua creek, and the building of the 
Portage road, all of which we have related, 
and all of which transpired within the borders 
of our county, if they cannot be strictly said 
to have been the cause, stand at the very be- 
ginning of a series of events among the most 

momentous that have occurred in modern 
times. During this time, Chautauqua county 
was the scene of other military movements and 
warlike expeditions. In one of these excursions 
the French left a four-pounder upon the shore 
of Chautauqua Lake, which was seen by the 
early explorers of this region. The gallantry 
of the French won them victories early in the 
contest, but the English prevailed in the end. 
Notwithstanding the close of the Old French 
and Indian War, Chautauqua county continued 
to be the scene of military operations. Major 
Rogers, long celebrated for his skill in border 
war, at the head of two hundred rangers 
coasted along the shore of the county on his 
way west to take possession of Detroit. A 
little later the Indians formed a conspiracy to 
dispossess the English of all their forts and 
posts in the west. Their leading spirit was 
Pontiac, an Ottawa chief whose lofty character 
and great abilities fitted him for a nobler des- 
tiny than the leader of savages. Pontiac's War 
again brought the scene of savage warfare 
close to the borders of our county. The In- 
dians made a desperate assault on the English 
garrison at Presque Isle (now Erie), compelled 
them to surrender, and carried them into cap- 
tivity. They attacked the blockhouses at Le 
Boeuf, but the few soldiers there managed to 
escape into the forest. At Venango (now 
Franklin) the Indians gained admittance into 
the fort, burned it to the ground, and murdered 
the garrison, leaving none to tell the story of 
its fall. In August, 1764, Gen. Bradstreet, with 
three thousand men in small boats, coasted 
along the shore of our county on his way west 
to raise the siege of Detroit, commenced by 
Pontiac. Bradstreet raised the siege, and in 
October set out on his return ; his boats were 
wrecked, and about 150 of his men made their 
way on foot along the southern shore of Lake 
Erie, through the forests of Chautauqua 
county, to Fort Niagara. They suffered great 
hardships, and many perished in the woods. 
Among the Indian chiefs who took an active 
part in the contest was Guyasutha, a Seneca. 
Like Pontiac, he was a leader among his peo- 
ple, and endowed with the stern virtues of his 
race. Guyasutha, and afterwards Cornplanter, 
also a Seneca chief, were lords of the forest 
along the Allegheny. They were familiar 
with the region, including our county, and 
often visited our beautiful lake. They be- 
longed to these regions, as Robin Hood to 
Sherwood Forest. 


Brodhead's Expedition. 

Among important events of the War of the 
Revolution which occurred along- the then 
western border, was the expedition of Col. 
Brodhead sent up from Fort Pitt against the 
Indians of the Upper Allegheny, in 1779. Obed 
Edson, of blessed memory, wrote the following 
history of that expedition as never before 
written, and in it gives an account of Chau- 
tauqua's history from the destruction of the 
Eries to the close of the Revolutionary War. 

A century had elapsed since the council fire 
of the Six Nations was extinguished, and their 
longhouse destroyed. The firmness and tact 
of this little confederacy, enabled it for more 
than an hundred years to maintain its ancient 
seats along the rivers and lakes of Central New 
York against powerful neighbors. With the 
French close on one side, and the English upon 
the other, a less vigorous people would have 
been crushed as between two millstones. Al- 
though these Indians were of a barbarous race 
and few in numbers, their story will not be 
soon forgotten. Their military enterprise and 
conquests justly gained for them the title of 
"Romans of the West," and their practical 
wisdom enabled them to frame a perfect repre- 
sentative Federal Republic, which a trial during 
a period longer than the existence of our own 
Republic has proved to have been as efficient in 
practice as it was perfect in theory ; an achieve- 
ment that had long baffled the skill of enlight- 
ened statesmen, and which is alone sufficient 
to render the name of the Iroquois illustrious. 

At the commencement of the Revolution, the 
Six Nations held friendly relations with all 
their white neighbors, whether adherents to 
Congress or the Crown. But the wanton mas- 
sacre of Logan's family, and other enormities 
committed by the whites during Cresap's war, 
had weakened their friendship for the colonies. 
The authority that Col. Guy and Sir John 
Johnson, and Col. Daniel Claus, who succeeded 
to the power that Sir William Johnson pos- 
sessed with the Indians, and the influence of 
Col. John Butler and his son Walter, were 
exerted to attach the Confederacy to the King. 
Joseph Brant and his sister Molly strived also 
to embitter the Mohawks against the colonies. 
On the other hand, the patriots of Tryon 
county, the Rev. Samuel Kirkland and the 
Oneida chief Shennandoah, endeavored to per- 
suade the Indians to pursue a neutral policy. 
The Indians hesitated. Councils were held 
with them by patriots and by loyalists, with 
the result that the Oneidas, a' large portion of 

the Tuscaroras, a portion of the Onondagas, 
and a few of the Mohawks, favored the Ameri- 
cans. But the greater number, of whom the 
Senecas and Mohawks were foremost, under 
the lead of Brant and the Seneca chiefs, be- 
came their bitter and active foes. 

The first hostilities were committed in May, 
1776, by Brant and the Mohawks, at the battle 
of the Cedars, about forty miles above Mon- 
treal, on the River St. Lawrence. The hostile 
Indians next joined the forces of St. Leger, 
participated in the siege of Fort Stanwix, and 
in the battle of Oriskany. Then followed the 
massacre of Wyoming, and raids into the Mo- 
hawk Valley; and finally, November, 1778, the 
burning and massacre of Cherry Valley. The 
barbarities committed in these bloody forays 
have been in some instances exaggerated. Too 
much perhaps has been charged upon the In- 
dians, and too little upon the Tories and refu- 
gees who accompanied them. The inhabitants 
on the border, however, suffered greatly from 
these incursions, and Congress on February 
25, 1779, directed Washington to take effective 
measures to protect the settlers and chastise 
the Indians. Accordingly he planned two ex- 
peditions ; one to proceed from the east, pene- 
trate into the Seneca country, and devastate 
the fields of the Indians, destroy their villages, 
and drive their inhabitants into the woods ; the 
other to advance up the Allegheny river, de- 
stroy the Indian towns and fields there, and 
join the expedition from the east in a com- 
bined attack upon Fort Niagara. 

The expedition from the east moved in two 
divisions. One under Gen. Sullivan left Wyo- 
ming, ascended the Susquehanna, and arrived 
at Tioga, August nth, 1779. The other, under 
Gen. James Clinton, marched from Canajo- 
harie on the Mohawk, passed over Otsego 
Lake, descended the Susquehanna, and joined 
Gen. Sullivan, August 22d. A part of Clinton's 
torce, under Col. Van Schaick had previously 
destroyed the fields and towns of the Onon- 
dagas. The two divisions, five thousand men, 
under the command of Sullivan, moved from 
Tioga up the Chemung river. They defeated 
the British and Indians at Elmira on August 
29, in the battle of Newton, advanced to the 
head of Seneca Lake and thence along its 
shores, destroying the Indian towns on the 
way, including the large Indian village of 
Kanadaseagea at its outlet. They then pro- 
ceeded to the Genesee river and destroyed the 
large villages and extensive cornfields there. 




The original design of advancing on Fort 
Niagara having been abandoned, Sullivan com- 
menced his return march. On his way he 
caused the towns and fields of the Cayugas, 
which were situated on the eastern and south- 
western shores of Cayuga Lake, to be de- 
stroyed. He arrived at Tioga on September 
30, and at Easton, Pennsylvania, on October 
T5, having destroyed forty Indian towns and 
one hundred sixty thousand bushels of Indian 
corn, besides a large amount of other prop- 

As a less full history has been written of the 
expedition moving from the south, it is the 
design of this article to supply some account 
of it. When the Iroquois first became known 
to Europeans, their villages and hunting 
grounds were confined to Central New York. 
The fierce wars which they subsequently 
waged, and by which kindred nations were 
successively vanquished, secured to them an 
extensive territory to the west and south, in- 
cluding the mountainous region of New York 
and Pennsylvania which was traversed by the 
Allegheny river. Their enterprise soon led 
them to new hunting grounds and finally to 
establish villages in this conquered territory. 
The Senecas, in the western limits of the Con- 
federacy, were its most numerous and warlike 
nation. The greater number of their villages 
were situated along the Genesee. They ulti- 
mately became the chief colonizers of the Con- 
federacy. They did not extend their settle- 
ments directly westward or along the shore of 
Lake Erie until near the close of the Revo- 
lution, excepting only in the immediate vicinity 
of Fort Niagara. They extended their towns 
up the Genesee to Caneadea. A broad Indian 
trail joined this settlement with the Upper 
Allegheny at Olean, in New York. They then 
planted their villages along the Allegheny and 
its tributaries to its mouth, and thence down 
the Ohio. The Seneca villages were the most 
numerous along the Upper Allegheny. As 
early as 1724 the Munsey or Wolf tribe of the 
Delawares, who had previously dwelt in 
Northeastern Pennsylvania, but had been 
crowded out by the whites, were allowed by 
the Six Nations to settle along the Lower Alle- 
gheny; and between 1724 and 1728. the Shaw- 
nees, a restless and warlike people, located 
along the Lower Allegheny and Upper Ohio. 
These different tribes were strangely mingled, 
living peaceably together in one village, at the 
same time observing different customs and 
obeying different laws. 

The first accurate knowledge acquired by 
Europeans concerning the Indian settlements 

along the Allegheny was obtained during the 
expedition under Capt. Bienville de Celoron, 
which was sent in the summer of 1749 by the 
governor of Canada, to take formal possession 
in the name of France, of the territory lying 
west of the Allegheny mountains. From the 
records kept by the expedition we learn that it 
ascended the St. Lawrence, coasted along the 
shores of Lakes Ontario and Erie, and arrived 
at "Chatakouin" portage the 16th of June, 1749. 
It passed over the portage to the head of 
Chautauqua, traversed this lake, descended its 
outlet and the Conewango creek in canoes, and 
entered the Allegheny ten miles south of the 
boundary line between the States of New York 
and Pennsylvania, just above the village of 
Warren. On the south bank of the Allegheny, 
opposite the mouth of the Conewango, Celoron 
buried a leaden plate inscribed with the date 
and place of deposit, as a token of his posses- 
sion of the country in the name of the King of 
France. On the right bank of the Allegheny, 
occupying the site of the present village of 
Warren, there was an Indian village called 
"Kanaougon," inhabited by Senecas and Loups, 
or Munseys. This village was called Cona- 
wago by Col. Brodhead when he visited the 
place thirty years later. Celoron descended 
the river and on its right bank, about six miles 
below this town, on a beautiful prairie, and 
just below the mouth of the Broken Straw 
creek, he found a Seneca village which he 
called Paille Coupee, or Cut Straw. Its Seneca 
name was De-ga-syo-ush-dy-ah-goh, meaning 
"broken straw," referring, it is said by Alden, 
to the accumulation of straw and driftwood in 
the creek ; but more likely, as we are informed 
by Gen. Callender Irvine (who preempted the 
land at the confluence of the Broken Straw and 
the Allegheny in 1795 and was familiar with 
the Indians and early traditions of that region), 
to the broken straws and drooping plumes of 
the tall wild grass that stood thickly on the 
meadows there after the storms of autumn 
had swept over them. This Indian village was 
called Buckaloons by Col. Brodhead. Four 
French leagues below this town the expedition 
came to a village of ten houses on the left bank 
of the river, inhabited by Delawares and Ren- 
ards. Four or five leagues further down they 
passed a village of six houses on the right 
bank of the river. This may have been near 
the present site of Hickory Town, in Venango 
county, and identical with the Indian village 
familiar to the Moravians as Lawanakana, 
meaning middle branch or stream, or where 
the waters meet. They next passed a village 
of ten houses, probably the same that was 

1 8 


afterwards known to the Moravians as Gosh- 
gosh-unk, or Place of Hogs. The expedition 
then came to an Indian village of ten houses, 
subsequently called Venango by the English, 
a corruption of the Indian word In-nun-gah, 
alluding to a rude and indecent figure that the 
Senecas found carved upon a tree when they 
first came to this region. This town was situ- 
ated near the site of the present enterprising 
town of Franklin, at the mouth of the Riviere 
Aux Boeufs, now called French creek. Nine 
miles below Franklin there long remained, 
close to the water's edge, on the eastern side 
of the river, a large rock covered with curious 
Indian carvings, called the "Indian God," and 
near it Celoron buried his second leaden plate. 
Passing a river having on its upper waters 
some villages of Loups and Iroquois, the ex- 
pedition came to Attique, a village of twenty- 
two houses, on or near the Kiskiminitas river. 
Below this, they passed an old Shawneese vil- 
lage upon the right bank of the river, and came 
finally to a village of Delawares, the finest 
seen, and which is supposed to have been situ- 
ated at or near the present site of Pittsburgh. 
From this place, the expedition proceeded 
down the Ohio. There had undoubtedly 
occurred some changes in the situation and 
population of the Indian towns along this river 
during the thirty years that elapsed between 
Celoron's and Brodhead's expeditions. 

When Washington in November, 1753, on 
his journey to French creek, arrived at the 
junction of the Allegheny with the Mononga- 
hela, where Pittsburgh is situated, no white 
man was living there. During the succeeding 
February the English commenced to lay the 
foundation of a fort there, which was taken 
from them by the French the April following. 
The French held Pittsburgh, then called Du 
Quesne, until 1758, when it was retaken by the 
English under Gen. Forbes. It remained in 
their possession until the Revolution, when a 
party of Virginians under Capt. Neville took 
possession and held it until they were super- 
seded by the Continentals under Brig.-Gen. 
Hand. Hand was in turn succeeded by Brig.- 
Gens. Lochlan and Mcintosh, and he by Col. 
Daniel Brodhead, whom we find in command 
early in 1779. It was during this year, while 
Brodhead was in command of the Western De- 
partment, with his headquarters at Fort Pitt, 
that the campaign was planned and prosecuted 
against the Indians of the Upper Allegheny. 
Gen. Washington, as it has been stated, de- 
sired that the expedition sent north from Pitts- 
burgh should cooperate with the expedition 
from the east under Sullivan. With this object 

in view, he directed Col. Rawlings to march 
with three companies from Fort Frederick in 
Maryland to Pittsburgh. He also directed 
Col. Brodhead, upon his arrival there, to in- 
crease Rawlings' force to one hundred men and 
send them up the river to Kittanning, and there 
throw up a stockade fort for the security of 
convoys ; and when completed, to leave a small 
garrison, proceed still further up the river to 
Venango, and there establish another post for 
the same purpose, and to direct Col. Gibson, of 
the Seventh Virginia Regiment, who was sta- 
tioned at Tuscarawas, to hold himself in readi- 
ness to join the forces at Pittsburgh. Also, to 
prepare water craft and engage good guides, 
"who know the way from the head of naviga- 
tion of the Allegheny to the nearest Indian 
towns, and to Niagara." Also, to report by 
express "when he would be ready to begin his 
movement; when he would be at Kittanning, 
Venango, and the head of navigation, and how 
far it would be to the nearest Indian towns, 
and to Niagara ;" and to keep all a profound 
secret until the proper time should arrive. He 
also gave Col. Brodhead careful directions how 
in the meantime to pacify the Western Indians, 
so that they would not interfere with his suc- 

Notwithstanding these careful plans, further 
consideration induced Washington a month 
later to relinquish the idea of concert of action 
between the two expeditions. He however 
directed Col. Brodhead to make preparations, 
and as soon as it was in his power, to chastise 
the Indians by an expedition into their coun- 
try ; also to make inquiries with a view to an 
attempt against Detroit. An enterprise against 
that post, whence marauding parties of British 
and Indians had proceeded against the extreme 
western settlements, had been a favorite scheme 
with Col. Brodhead's predecessor, Col. Mcin- 
tosh, as it afterwards became with Brodhead 

The government had been able to place at 
the disposal of Col. Brodhead only a dispersed 
and feeble force by which to protect the wide 
borders of Pennsylvania against the cruelties 
of the Indians. On the 15th of April his regi- 
ment, the Eighth Pennsylvania, was much 
scattered. Besides a portion at Fort Pitt, there 
were one hundred men at Fort Laurens on the 
Tuscarawa, twenty-five at Wheeling, Virginia, 
twenty-five at Holliday's Cove, some at Fort 
Mcintosh in Beaver county, some employed as 
artificers, and some as boatmen and wagoners. 
Col. Brodhead was energetic, active and am- 
bitious to serve his country, but he found his 
duties arduous and disagreeable. The popula- 



tion of this thinly settled frontier from which 
he was to draw recruits and obtain supplies, 
harrassed by incursions of the Indians and 
wearied by the long continuance of the war, 
was in a destitute condition ; and it was with 
the greatest difficulty that he could keep his 
soldiers clad and fed. Yet during the summer 
of 1779 he made vigorous preparations to strike 
a blow that would prove a diversion in favor of 
Gen. Sullivan. Profiting by the suggestions of 
Washington, made when cooperation between 
the two expeditions was contemplated, he com- 
menced constructing canoes and batteaux at 
Fort Pitt and at other posts. He had as many 
as one hundred fifty boatbuilders employed at 
one time. On the 31st of July he had about 
sixty boats nearly finished. Some of the canoes 
made of poplar would carry two tons. About 
the middle of June, Lieut. -Col. Bayard, by his 
command, commenced the construction of a 
fort at Kittanning, which was completed dur- 
ing the last of July, and called Fort Armstrong, 
in commemoration of the exploit of Col. John 
Armstrong in September, 1756, when he sur- 
prised and burned the old Indian town of Cat- 
tauyan, which then stood there, killing thirty 
or forty of its Indian defenders, including their 
resolute chief, Captain Jacobs. Hugh Mercer, 
afterwards a distinguished American general, 
who fell at the battle of Princeton, accompanied 
Armstrong on this expedition. Col. Brodhead 
exerted himself also to secure the friendship of 
the Delawares, and to excite them to war 
against the Six Nations. He secured the ad- 
hesian of Killbuck and other warriors, and also 
that of the young Delaware Chief Nanoland. 
While making preparations early in the sum- 
mer, he received private intelligence that But- 
ler and two hundred rangers and a number of 
Indians designed making an attack upon the 
frontier west of Laurel Hills, and during all 
the spring and summer prowling parties of In- 
dians committed murders in Western Penn- 
sylvania. These dangers required constant 
vigilance upon the part of Col. Brodhead, and 
obliged him to keep parties of rangers travers- 
ing the wilderness to protect the inhabitants 
In June, Lieut. Hardian, a brave partisan offi- 
cer, was sent with eleven men towards the 
Seneca country. Lieut. Peterson and Ensigns 
Morrison and Wood led other parties towards 
the Indian towns. In June, three men who had 
been sent to reconnoitre in the Seneca coun- 
try, returning from Venango were pursued by 
a party of Indian warriors some distance be- 
low Kittanning, and narrowly escaped. These 
Indians proceeded to the Sewickley settlement, 
on their way killed a soldier, and upon their 

arrival there, a woman and four children, and 
took two other captives. Captain Brady, who 
with twenty men and the young Delaware 
chief, Nanoland, was on his way towards the 
Seneca country, fell in with seven of these In- 
dians about fifteen miles above Kittanning, at 
a point on the river now well known as Brady's 
Bend. Brady attacked them at break of day, 
killed their captain, and mortally wounded the 
most of them, but the Indians staunched their 
wounds so that they could not be traced, and 
the greater number succeeded in escaping. In 
the language of Col. Brodhead in a letter to 
Washington, "Brady retook six horses, two 
prisoners, the scalps, and all the plunder, which 
was considerable ; and took six guns and every- 
thing else the Indians had, except their breech- 
clouts." The young Delaware chief, Nano- 
land, greatly distinguished' himself on this 

Brodhead fixed the early part of August as 
the time for his movement against the Indians. 
The movement he intended as a diversion in 
favor of Sullivan, and also to cause as great 
destruction of Indian towns and fields as possi- 
ble. On July 17 he addressed a letter to Cols. 
Lochry, Shepherd, Stephenson and Evans, 
lieutenants of the counties of Westmoreland, 
Ohio, Yoghagania and Monongahela, to en- 
gage as many volunteers as possible for two or 
three weeks' service. In this letter he fixed the 
5th day of August as the time to rendezvous 
at headquarters for the excursion. He directed 
Lieut. -Col. Bayard, who was in command at 
Fort Armstrong, and the commandants in 
other localities to forward troops to headquar- 
ters. Being nearly ready for his march, he on 
the 6th of August dispatched two soldiers with 
a letter to General Sullivan. They reached 
their destination, and delivered the letter to 
Gen. Sullivan ; and he from Catherinestown, at 
the head of Seneca Lake, wrote a reply which 
these adventurous men bore back through the 
wilderness and delivered to Col. Brodhead in 
September at Pittsburgh a few days after his 
return from the expedition. On August 11, at 
the head of six hundred five men, militia and 
volunteers, and with one month's provisions, 
Brodhead set out from Pittsburgh. The ex- 
pedition proceeded up the river, passed the 
Kiskeminitas and Crooked creek, and forty- 
five miles above Pittsburgh, Fort Armstrong, 
where now stands, in the midst of an iron and 
coal country, the thriving town of Kittanning. 
Here a garrison had been retained, but Col. 
Brodhead moved fifteen miles farther to the 
Mahoning, a tributary of the Allegheny from 
the east, at the mouth of which was situated 


an Indian village. After a detention of four days 
by excessive rains and the straying of some 
cattle, the stores were loaded upon pack-horses, 
and the expedition proceeded wholly by land. 
For miles above the Mahoning, the Allegheny 
is circuitous and crooked ; to avoid following 
its winding course, and to shorten his march, 
Col. Brodhead chose a blind and rugged path 
that led more directly to the Indian country of 
the Upper Allegheny, by the way of the Indian 
town called Goshgoshunk, upon the river, near 
the mouth of its tributary, the Tionesta. 

His march through the forests of Clarion and 
Venango counties was beset with many diffi- 
culties. Thorns, thick underwood and fallen 
timber obstructed his way. The obscure wil- 
derness path that he followed led up steep 
ascents and over ranges of lofty hills. Again 
the path would descend into some gloomy val- 
ley where the sunlight scarcely penetrated and 
was traversed by the Red Bank, the Clarion, or 
some dark rolling tributary. At Goshgoshunk 
the path crossed the Allegheny. Here had been 
three Munsey villages, where Rev. David Zeis- 
berger, a Moravian missionary, commenced in 
1767 to teach the Indians. He and his coadju- 
tor, Dr. Gotlob Senseman, daily preached the 
Gospel to their red hearers. The missionaries 
brought with them several Moravian families, 
built a blockhouse, and established a regular 
mission there. Among the Indians, the magi- 
cians and old women violently opposed the 
Moravians. "They asserted that the corn was 
blasted ; the deer and game began to retire from 
the woods ; no chestnuts and bilberries would 
grow — because the missionaries preached a 
strange doctrine, and the Indians were chang- 
ing in their way of life ;" and Zeisberger was 
compelled to remove fifteen miles farther up 
the river to Lawanakana, near Hickory Town, 
where he gathered around him a little settle- 
ment, built a chapel and placed in it a bell, the 
first ever heard in Venango county ; and he 
here for two years prosecuted his holy pur- 

The expedition of Brodhead crossed the 
river at Goshgoshunk and pursued its march 
along the western shore. Beetling cliffs 
pressed close to the river's side, leaving a pas- 
sage much of the way no wider than an Indian 
trail. It was in one of these defiles that his 
advanced guard, consisting of fifteen white 
men and eight Delaware Indians, under Lieut. 
Hardian, saw thirty or forty Indian warriors 
descending the river in seven canoes. The In- 
dians at the same time discovered the troops 
and immediately landed. Lieut. Hardian dis- 
posed his men in a semi-circular form, and 

they, with tomahawk in hand, began the attack 
with such courage and vigor that the Indians 
soon gave way and fled. Of the Indians, six or 
seven were killed, their bodies left upon the 
field ; several also were wounded. Their canoes 
and their contents, which included clothing 
and guns, fell into the hands of Col. Brodhead. 
Of his force, three men only were slightly 
wounded, one of whom was the Delaware In- 
dian, Nanoland. The celebrated scout, Jona- 
than Zane, was also one of the wounded. This 
encounter probably occurred near Thompson's 
Island in Warren county, five miles below the 
mouth of the Broken Straw. 

Col. Thomas Proctor in 1791 journeyed from 
Philadelphia upon a mission to the Western 
Indians to persuade them to peace. On his way 
he visited the Allegheny river, and was there 
joined by Cornplanter with a fleet of thirty 
canoes. On April 11 they arrived at an old 
Indian settlement called Hogstown (undoubt- 
edly Goshgoshunk), and afterwards proceeded 
up the river to Hickory Town, (Lawanakana). 
On April 13 they set out from Hickory Town 
and ascended the Allegheny ten miles to Log 
Trap creek. Col. Proctor states in his journal 
that he the next day, the 14th, "Proceeded up 
the river to-day, took up our encampment near 
the mouth of Casyoudang creek, it being the 
place where Col. Brodhead in 1779 had fought 
against the savages, and in which action Joseph 
Nicholson, his interpreter, was wounded." 

The day after this affair, Brodhead resumed 
his march and arrived in the morning at the 
Indian town of Buckaloons, just below the 
mouth of the Broken Straw. The Indians were 
driven from the village, and retreated to the 
hills in its rear. A breastwork of felled timber 
and fascines was thrown up. The remains of 
this stockade were plainly to be seen a few 
years ago. It was situated about one-half mile 
j»bove the mouth of the Broken Straw, on the 
west side of the road from Irvineton to War- 
ren, upon a high bluff by the Allegheny, and 
commanded an extensive view up and down 
the river. A captain and garrison of forty men 
were left to guard the baggage and stores, and 
the troops marched to Conawago, the Seneca 
town that stood where the thriving village of 
Warren is now situated. Conawago they 
found had been deserted for about eighteen 
months. Brodhead, it is said, sent a force sev- 
eral miles up the Conewago, and found de- 
serted villages there. 

The country around the headwaters of the 
Allegheny, and much of Western New York, 
was then a region unexplored by white men. 
Col. Brodhead, however, ordered the force to 


proceed upon an Indian path that appeared to 
have been for some time used. The expedi- 
tion advanced by this route up the right or 
west bank of the river. After a march of 
twenty miles without discovering other Indian 
signs than a few tracks of their scouts, upon 
arriving at the crest of a high hill, they saw 
the Allegheny, and the cornfields of the In- 
dians. On descending the hill, they came in 
sight of their towns, which had just been de- 
serted. These Indian villages and fields were 
situated above the modern village of Kinzua 
along the Allegheny for a distance of about 
eight miles, their northern limit being not far 
from the boundary line between the States of 
New York and Pennsylvania. Col. Brodhead 
estimated that there were in these Indian vil- 
lages as many as one hundred thirty unusually 
large houses, some of them sufficient to accom- 
modate three or four Indian families. Here 
was seen the natural superiority of the Six 
Nations over the other Indian races in the ad- 
vance in civilization that they had made in this 
isolated region, far away from civilizing influ- 
ences. Their houses were substantial, some of 
them constructed of logs, a part of round and 
others of square timber, while others were 
frame buildings. Around them were exten- 
sive and highly cultivated fields of grain and 
vegetables. Col. Brodhead inferred that the 
whole of the Seneca and Munsey nations con- 
templated settling here. At the approach of 
the advanced guard to the first of these vil- 
lages, the Indians fled. Upon the arrival of 
the main body of troops, the work of destruc- 
tion was commenced, and continued for three 
days without the least interruption from the 
Indians, they having retreated to the woods. 
Eight towns, deserted by their inhabitants, 
were first set in flames ; the corn was next cut 
down and piled into heaps ; over five hundred 
acres, at the least estimate, were destroyed. 
Three thousand dollars' worth of plunder was 
taken, which Col. Brodhead ordered sold for 
the benefit of the troops. At the Upper Seneca 
town was found a painted war-post or pagod, 
clothed in dog-skin, which was committed to 
the river. This place was called Youghroon- 

Col. Brodhead makes no mention of having 
advanced beyond these Indian towns. Mrs. 
Mary Jemmison.who is usually accurate, states 
that he ascended to Olean Point, destroying all 
the Indian villages on the Allegheny river. In 
Cattaraugus county there was at this time, at 
the mouth of Cold Spring creek, the village of 
Che-na-shun-ga-tan ; at the mouth of Little 
Valley creek, the village of Bucktooth ; at the 

mouth of Great Valley creek, Killbuck's-town ; 
and in the town of Carrollton, Tu-ne-nu-gwan 
— all of which were destroyed, if any detach- 
ment of Col. Brodhead's command reached 
Olean Point. The latter place is situated upon 
the Allegheny river, in the southeast part of 
Cattaraugus county, and is distant less than 
thirty miles from Caneadea, an Indian town on 
the Genesee river, and less than sixty miles 
from the larger Indian towns destroyed by 
Gen. Sullivan. 

Brodhead's expedition was in advance of 
that of Sullivan. About the time the former 
was completing the destruction of the Seneca 
towns on the Allegheny, the latter, having been 
joined by the troops of Gen. Clinton, was more 
than one hundred miles to the east, contesting 
the battle of Newton with the forces of Brant 
and Butler at Elmira ; and it was not until two 
weeks later that Sullivan had reached the heart 
of the Seneca country on the Genesee river 
and entered upon the destruction of the Indian 
towns and the corn and orchards. This early 
movement upon the part of Brodhead undoubt- 
edly served to divert the attention and distract 
the efforts of the Indians, and to aid Sullivan 
in his campaign. Brodhead could, it is proba- 
ble, have easily united his forces or a larger 
body of men to those of Gen. Sullivan, by pur- 
suing the Indian trail along the Allegheny to 
Olean, and thence to Caneadea and along the 
Genesee, to join with him in a movement upon 
Fort Niagara. Indeed, Brodhead wrote to 
Gen. Sullivan, October 10, 1779, that he should 
have marched to Genesee, if he had not been 
disappointed in getting a sufficient number of 
shoes for his men. 

Having completed the work of destruction 
at the upper Indian towns, the Americans be- 
gan their return. On their way they consigned 
to the flames Conawago and Buckaloons. The 
route chosen for their return march was the 
Venango road. According to a private letter 
they crossed Oil creek several times. Their 
attention was there attracted to the inflamma- 
ble oil issuing from the bottom and sides of its 
channels and from the adjacent springs, which 
they thought resembled British oil. The "Mas- 
sachusetts Magazine," published in the suc- 
ceeding year, 1780, referring to this expedition, 
states that in the northern part of Pennsyl- 
vania "there is a creek called Oil creek, which 
empties into the Allegheny river. It issues 
from a spring, on the top of which floats an oil 
similar to that called Barbadoes tar, and from 
which one may gather several gallons a day. 
The troops sent to guard the western posts 
halted at this spring, collected some of this oil, 


and bathed their joints with it. This gave 
them great relief from the rheumatism with 
which they were afflicted. The water, of which 
the troops drank freely, operated as a gentle 

Leaving Oil creek, they arrived at French 
creek, formerly known as Riviere Aux Boeufs. 
The French first built a fort below its mouth, 
which they named Machault, after the French 
Minister of Marine. There Washington, when 
on his journey to Le Boeuf in December, 1753, 
had an interview with the celebrated Captain 
Jancaire. The English afterwards built a fort 
a little higher up, which was called Fort 
Venango. About eight years after Brodhead's 
expedition, a fort was built by the United 
States upon the south bank of the creek, about 
one-half mile from its mouth, which was called 
Franklin, and from which the present town de- 
rives its name. Leaving Venango, Brodhead 
ascended French creek. The Indian path ex- 
tended up its eastern side to the site of Mead- 
ville, where it crossed the stream. Gen. Wash- 
ington had followed it twenty-six years before, 
when on his journey to Le Boeuf. About 
twenty miles from Venango, as estimated by 
Brodhead, he came to the Indian village of 
Maghinquechahocking, which was composed 
of thirty-five large houses ; this town he 
burned. The distance from Venango indicated 
by Brodhead would fix its site not far from 
the mouth of Conneaut creek, the outlet ot 
Conneaut Lake, and about seven miles below 
Meadville. Substantial evidences of the precise 
location of this village have long since dis- 
appeared. Yet when the canal, where it leaves 
the aqueduct over French creek, near Mead- 
ville, was being constructed, there was found 
an Indian burial ground, and various Indian 
implements. In the graves were also found 
corroded copper ornaments, and it may be, 
that at or near where these relics were found, 
this ill-starred Indian village stood. With the 
destruction of Maghinquechahocking, the ob- 
jects of this expedition were accomplished, and 
Brodhead resumed his return march through 
the wilderness. It is related, that on this 
march, a young man named John Ward, was 
badly injured in Butler county, by a horse fall- 
ing upon a rock in a creek ; hence the name, 
Slippery Rock, in that county. Col. Brodhead 
arrived at Fort Pitt on the 14th of September. 

The .campaign thus terminated was success- 
ful throughout. In thirty-three days over 
three hundred miles were traversed, many In- 
dian towns destroyed, and fields devastated, 
without the loss of a single man or beast ; one 
hundred sixty-five cabins were destroved. one 

hundred thirty of which were deserted upon 
the approach of the troops ; the most of them 
were sufficiently large to accommodate three 
or four Indian families. 

The enterprise and resolution of Col. Brod- 
head, and the enthusiasm, perseverance and 
endurance of his offices and men, enabled him 
to overcome all obstacles. Considering the 
small force engaged and its considerable re- 
sults, it was more beneficial than the costly 
expedition that proceeded from the east under 
Sullivan. The conduct of all engaged in Col. 
Brodhead's campaign was evidently regarded 
as most creditable. The thanks of Congress 
were voted to him, and Gen. Washington, as 
appears by the following extract from General 
Orders, issued from his headquarters at More's 
House, to his army at W'est Point, said : "The 
activity, perseverance and firmness, which 
marked the conduct of Col. Brodhead, and 
that of all the officers and men of every de- 
scription in this expedition, do them great 
honor, and their services entitle them to thanks 
and to this testimonial of the General's 

Brodhead believed that the destruction of 
the towns and fields of the Indians would fill 
them with consternation, and promote the 
safety of the frontier. It had that effect, to 
some extent, for on his return to Pittsburgh, 
he found distant tribes ready to form friendly 
treaties with him. The chiefs of the Delawares 
were there; the principal chiefs of the Hurons 
and Wyandots also ; and soon after came the 
king of the Maquichee branch of the Shaw- 
neese. On the 17th of September a council 
was held. Doonyoutat, the Wyandot chief, 
delivered a speech, presenting many belts ot 
wampum. He professed friendship towards 
the United States, and promised to deliver up 
his prisoners, and that his people would assist 
the English no more. The Delawares (with 
the exception of the Munceys) were at peace 
with the United States and several of their 
warriors who had accompanied Col. Brodhead 
in his expedition pleaded the cause of the 
Maquichee clan of the Shawneese, whom they 
called their grandchildren. Keheleman, Kill- 
buck, and another Delaware chief, were the 
speakers. Col. Brodhead replied according to 
the Indian form, but expressed himself with 
great independence. He plainly told them 
that fair promises would not do ; that they 
must give a practical exhibition of their friend- 
ship ; that they must deliver up their prisoners ; 
kill, scalp, and take as many English, or their 
Indian allies, as they had before Americans; 
and on all occasions join the latter against their 



enemies. Peace was made on this basis. Host- 
ages were, however, required from the Wyan- 
dots to insure the faithful performance of its 

As the Indians had freely shed their blood 
during the war, and had suffered almost anni- 
hilation for their adherence to the cause of the 
King, the British authorities could not without 
gross ingratitude omit to provide for their re- 
lief. Large numbers had gathered around the 
fort and along the River Niagara, and during 
the winter fed from the British stores. To re- 
lieve themselves of this burden, the British 
government encouraged the Indians to estab- 
lish themselves at convenient places and obtain 
support by cultivating land. In May or June, 
1780, they first permanently established them- 
selves upon Buffalo creek, near Buffalo, and 
in 1780 and 1781, a portion made the first set- 
tlement upon the Tonawanda and Cattaraugus 
creeks, while others settled along the Genesee 
and Allegheny rivers. 

The British officers also incited the Indian 
warriors, who, exasperated and smarting under 
the chastisement administered by Sullivan and 
Brodhead, were assembled at Niagara in great 
numbers, to make warlike excursions along the 
borders. Seldom less than five hundred war- 
riors were on service at one time. Guy John- 
son wrote to Lord Germain from Niagara, 
July 26th, 1780, that "the Oneidas have joined 
the British, and that the remainder of the In- 
dians with the Rebels will soon join the Brit- 
ish, and thereby lay open the Rebel frontier 
near the Mohawk River." "The number of 
killed and prisoners (Americans) amounted 
early in June to 156, and is now enlarged." 

"The number of men of the Six Nations (ex- 
clusive of their people southward) is about 
1600; above 1200 are warriors, and of the latter 
835 are now on the service on the frontier. ' 
Accompanied by British officers, these war- 
riors committed cruelties along the frontier 
until the close of the war. They destroyed 
the towns of the friendly Oneidas ; they in- 
vaded and overran the valley of the Mohawk, 
and made frequent descents upon the settle- 
ments along the borders of New York and 

The English government, in the Treaty of 
Peace that closed the Revolution, required no 
stipulation in favor of the Indians, to the great 
indignation and disappointment of these allies. 
Yet a portion of them, including Brant and 
Red Jacket, subservient to British interests, 
favored confederating with the North Western 
Indians in the war against the United States 
that afterwards followed. Cornplanter and 
other influential chiefs, saw, however, the folly 
of contending against the growing States, and 
gave wiser counsels in favor of peace. In a 
treaty held at Fort Stanwix, in October, 1784, 
peace was made with the United States. About 
this time the British government granted to 
the Mohawks a tract of beautiful land along 
the Ouise or Grand river, in Upper Canada. 
The other nations of the Confederacy after- 
wards resided upon lands set apart for them 
in the State of New York, portions of which, 
at different times, they subsequently ceded to 
that State, until there only remained to them 
the present diminished reservation. 

With the Independence of the States, the 
prestige of the Six Nations departed. 

Later Indian Wars, Occupation and Treaties. 

At the close of the Revolution, but twentv 
years before the first settler let the sunlight 
into the forests of the county, the extreme 
western boundary of settlement of New York 
was east of the center of the State, among the 
hills and headwaters of the Delaware and Mo- 
hawk. Otsego Lake and Oswego river were 
bordered by forests, but lately the scene of the 
fancied exploits of Uncas and Leather Stock- 
ing, forest heroes of the Indian romances of J. 
Fenimore Cooper. At this time all of the west- 
ern part of the State was a wilderness held by 
the hated Mingoes. 

Such was the strength of the Indian tribes in 
the west that they were a constant menace. At 
length they assumed so threatening a tone that 

Congress was compelled to wage war upon 
them, at first with unfortunate results. The 
disasters that attended the celebrated expedi- 
tion of Gen. Harmer against the Indians in 
1790 encouraged their warriors to renewed acts 
of hostility, and in the spring of 1791 the settle- 
ments along the Allegheny were repeatedly 
visited by them, and women and children often 
massacred or carried into captivity. ' Even 
Northwestern Pennsylvania suffered from their 
excursions. The defeat of St. Clair by the In- 
dians in November, 1791, rendered them still 
more bold and ferocious, and for a year there- 
after great alarm extended along the frontiers. 
Their hostile expeditions extended even to the 
borders of our county. James McMahan, after- 


wards its first pioneer, in 1794 was surveying 
in Northwestern Pennsylvania. One of his 
chain bearers was shot and scalped by the 
Indians, as he and his men were returning to 
their camp near the mouth of the Broken 

August 20th, 1794, Gen. Wayne defeated the 
Indians in a battle on the Maumee river. This 
victory put an end to their power for harm 
along the border. By a treaty made at Green- 
ville with the different tribes of western In- 
dians, July 30, 1795, the greater part of Ohio 
was ceded to the United States, and a long 
period of border war ended, and peace for the 
first time established in these western wilds, 
which had never before known any other con- 
dition than that of continued and savage strife. 

Preparatory to the occupation of the soil by 
white men in the west, and quickly following 
the treaty of Greenville, sales of land in Ohio, 
New York and Pennsylvania were made on a 
large scale. We may trace the title to these 
tracts, as extensive as some of the kingdoms of 
Europe, through private companies, sometimes 
through individuals, until the sub-divided lands 
reached the actual settler. 

It is interesting to know the history of the 
tenure by which the people of the county own 
the soil. France, by virtue of discoveries and 
explorations of La Salle, originally claimed the 
superior right to the soil of Chautauqua county. 
By the Treaty of Paris signed in 1763, she 
ceded all her rights to their territory to Eng- 
land. In 1691 the Province of Massachusetts 
Bay was incorporated by the English govern- 
ment. It included all of the territory of New 
England as far south as the northern boundary 
of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Previous to 
that year, King Charles had granted a charter 
to the colony of Connecticut, which included all 
the lands westward of Narragansett Bay to the 
Pacific ocean, and lying between the 41st 
parallel of north latitude and the northern 
boundary of Connecticut. As the northern 
boundary of Connecticut is in latitude 42 2' 
north, and the greater part of the southern 
boundary of the State of New York, including 
that of Chautauqua county, is the 42nd parallel 
of latitude, a narrow strip of land two minute^ 
wide, extending along and including about two 
miles of the southern border of the county, was 
claimed by the State of Connecticut. That 
State sold its right to this strip of land to cer- 
tain parties who erected one of the beautiful 
capital buildings of the State of Connecticut, 
as part consideration for the purchase price, 
and this unrelinquished but unprosecuted right 
to the southern border of our county is still 

held by their heirs. The portion of the county 
north of this strip was claimed by the State of 
Massachusetts. The title of the territory of 
the county was also claimed by the State of 
New York under the grant from Holland to 
the Dutch West India Company, and by the 
grant of Charles the Second of England to the 
Duke of York and Albany, and also under the 
acknowledgment of title by the Six Nations. 
Pennsylvania also claimed the title to the terri- 
tory including Chautauqua county, under the 
original charter of William Penn, in 1681. So 
that between the claims of their pious Puritan 
and Quaker neighbors, our staid and honest 
Knickerbocker ancestors were once threatened 
with and came near losing a principal part of 
the State, including our county. It was nearly 
a century after the charter before Pennsylvania 
abandoned her claim. Connecticut never aban- 
doned hers. The claim of the State of Massa- 
chusetts was settled in 1786, by a grant of mil- 
lions of acres of land in Western New York, 
including Chautauqua county. 

The boundary line between New York and 
Pennsylvania having been surveyed in 17S7, it 
was found that the 42nd parallel of latitude ex- 
tended south of the valuable harbor of Presque 
Isle (now Erie) and that harbor was entirely 
within the boundary of the State of New York, 
leaving Pennsylvania but two or three miles of 
shore line on Lake Erie. The territory known 
as the "Erie Triangle," which bounds Chau- 
tauqua county on the west, was afterwards 
purchased by Pennsylvania to give her a lake 

On May nth, 1791, Massachusetts conveyed 
to Robert Morris all of her lands in the State 
west of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase. By 
deeds executed between that year and the year 
1799, Morris conveyed these lands in trust for 
certain persons in Holland, subsequently be- 
came known as the Holland Land Company. 
These lands were bounded on the east by a line 
passing from the Pennsylvania line through 
the county of Allegany, a little west of its cen- 
ter, to Lake Ontario. Chautauqua county was 
included in this purchase, as were nearly all 
lands west of this line in the State of New 
York. This territory has since been known 
as the Holland Purchase. 

There was still another claimant whose 
rights remained to be disposed of. The Indians 
of New York possessed a substantial claim to 
the soil, measured by the legal rules and prin- 
ciples of equity recognized by English courts. 
Towards the close of the eighteenth century, 
in Western New York and Pennsylvania there 
were many Indian towns. In Chautauqua 



county, in the town of Kiantone, upon the left 
bank of the Kiantone creek, near its mouth, 
there was the Indian village of Kyenthono. As 
late as 1795, when James McMahan came up 
the Conewango on his way to the north part 
of the county, at this place he found fields of 
corn, and wigwams occupied by the Indians. 
The surveyors of the boundary line between 
the States of New York and Pennsylvania fixed 
their observatory a short distance above this 
town, on the same side of the creek, and re- 
mained there fifteen days in the months of 
August and September, 1787, making astro- 
nomical observations and computations to de- 
termine the latitude and longitude of the local- 
ity and in preparing the eighth latitude bound- 
ary stone. Upon Abraham Hardenburgh's 
map of this survey, Kyenthono was designated 
as "a small Indian town." When the first set- 
tlers came to Kiantone, the forms of cornhills 
vere visible upon lands which since had grown 
up to small shrubbery of thorns and red plums. 

At Bemus Point, when William Bemus first 
came there in 1806, the unmistakable evidences 
remained that an Indian settlement had re- 
cently existed there. More than fifty acres 
along the creek embracing the site of the pres- 
ent cemetery, and the woods adjoining, showed 
plain marks of previous cultivation. The more 
elevated parts appeared to have been aban- 
doned and grown up to brush, with here and 
there a large tree. Where the cemetery is situ- 
ated were decayed remains and traces of In- 
dian dwellings. On Bemus creek were two 
fields, each about ten acres in extent. The 
lower one was at the point, and mostly east of 
the lake road ; the other was half a mile up the 
creek. Where these improvements had been 
made, wild plum trees grew ; and there were 
remains of brush enclosures which William 
Bemus repaired. Cornhills were visible, and 
potatoes of the lady finger variety, that had 
been perpetuated from year to year, were 
growing, some of which were gathered and 
planted by William Bemus. The site of this 
Indian village and field, it is not unlikely, may 
have been more anciently occupied by the 

Below Bemus at Griffiths Point were similar 
signs of Indian occupation. About four acres 
had been cleared, but grown up to a thick 
growth of oak, chestnut, soft maple and hick- 
ory, none more than six inches in diameter. 
Cornhills were visible over the entire tract. 
The remains of what appeared to have been a 
wigwam were found upon a mound ; another 
field of about one acre existed at the foot of 
Bear Lake in Stockton. 

Between the Indian villages of Western New 
York and from them to their favorite hunting 
grounds and fishing places, were well trodden 
pathways. Of these in Chautauqua county, a 
broad and well worn Indian trail led from Cat- 
taraugus creek through the lake towns to the 
Pennsylvania line. Another commenced near 
the mouth of Cattaraugus creek and passed 
over the ridge in Arkwright and Charlotte at 
its lowest point, thence through Charlotte Cen- 
ter and Sinclairville, southerly in the direction 
cf the Indian towns on the Allegheny river. 
This trail had the appearance of much use ; the 
roots of the trees along its margin were marred 
and calloused, and at certain points it was 
worn deeply into the ground. It was used by 
the early settlers as a highway or bridle path 
in going to and from the central to the north- 
eastern parts of the county, and by the Indians 
subsequent to the settlement of the county. 
Another important Indian path commenced at 
the Indian settlement near the mouth of the 
Cattaraugus creek, and passed down the Con- 
ewango valley through the eastern parts of 
Hanover, Villenova, Cherry Creek, and Elling- 

This path was used by the white men during 
the settlement of these towns, and by the In- 
dians afterwards. In Carroll there was a well 
worn path that led from the Conewango east- 
erly up Case run, and through Covey Gap, and 
Bone run to the Allegheny river, near Onoville 
in Cattaraugus county. An Indian path led 
along the east shore of Chautauqua Lake, and 
from the head of the lake by way of the Chau- 
tauqua creek to Lake Erie, another from Cana- 
daway by the way of Bear Lake to Bemus 
Point. There were still other trails leading 
through the county. 

The Indian settlements in Chautauqua 
county were probably made in the eighteenth 
century by the Senecas, who were under the 
control of Cornplanter, sometimes called Abeel. 
In a map published by Reading Howell, 1792, 
the country of the upper waters of the Con- 
ewango and Chautauqua Lake is designated as 
O'Beel's Cayentona. 

At length more permanent settlement was 
made by the Indians within the limits of the 
county and along the Cattaraugus creek. Large 
numbers of those who fled before the march of 
Sullivan in 1779, gathered around Fort Niagara 
and fed from the British stores. To relieve 
themselves from this burden, the British gov- 
ernment encouraged the Indians to establish 
themselves at convenient places and obtain 
support by cultivating the land. In May or 



June, 1780, they first permanently settled upon 
Buffalo creek, near Buffalo, under the leader- 
ship of an aged but influential chief called "Old 
King," the head sachem of the Senecas. In the 
spring of the same year, 1780, while the Revo- 
lution was still in progress, they made the first 
settlement upon Cattaraugus creek. 

By a treaty at Big Tree, on the Genesee river, 
Sept. 15, 1797, between Robert Morris and Red 
Jacket, Cornplanter, Governor Blacksnake and 
forty chiefs and sachems, the Senecas for the 
sum of $100,000 sold all their interest in the 
Robert Morris Purchase, reserving only 337 
square miles of land contained in eleven In- 
dian Reservations, one of which lies partly in 
the county of Chautauqua, consisting of about 
one square mile of land in the town of Han- 
over upon which six Indian families resided in 

1894, and which had thirty-one inhabitants, 
according to the census of 1890. 

By a treaty made with Ogden Land Com- 
pany, August 31, 1826, the Indians sold to 
them a preemption right in these reservations, 
by which the Ogden Company claimed the fee 
to the land, when the tribal relations of the In- 
dians should cease. The Senecas, however, 
claimed that the Ogden Company had only the 
first right to purchase when the Indians should 
choose to sell. The claim of the Ogden Com- 
pany was at that time a source of great uneasi- 
ness to the Indians. 

The Indian title having been extinguished, 
the Holland Land Company commenced to sur- 
vey the lands, and to offer them for sale and 
settlement, the history of which is contained in 
a special chapter. 

The Frontier Period — 1802-1805. 

The first white man to sojourn within the 
limits of Chautauqua county, Amos Sawtel, 
usually called Sottle, has been regarded by 
some as its first actual settler. He was born 
in Vermont. In early life he removed to 
Chenango county, New York. There he be 
came disappointed in love, left friends and 
home, and traveled on foot to New Amster- 
dam, now Buffalo, where he may have lived for 
a while with the Indians. In the fall of 1796, 
when about twenty-three years of age, he went 
with a herd of cattle for some person in 
New Amsterdam to the Cattaraugus Bottoms, 
where they were sent to winter. Sottle built 
a small cabin of poles upon land later laid out 
by the Holland Land Company as lot 61 of the 
Cattaraugus village, on the west side of the 
creek, about one and one-half miles from its 
mouth. There he lived for a while, "with a 
very dark squaw or negress, whom he had in- 
duced to share his lot." Whether he intended 
to remain and become a permanent settler is 
not known. 

When the surveying parties were organized 
by the Holland Land Company, for the survey 
of the range lines in 1798, Sottle enlisted as 
axman, and continued in the employ of the 
company during 1798-99. In the fall of the 
latter year he went to the Western Reserve, 
and remained out of the county at least during 
the year 1800. He returned (it has been 
claimed in 1801, of which there is doubt) and 
went into possession of the improvements that 
he had made, and resided there until his death 
in 1849. His relatives are said to have moved 

in respectable circles, and he, notwithstand- 
ing his somewhat dissolute and intemperate 
habits and vagrant life among Indians and 
bordermen, was a man of considerable natural 
ability and information, and in early life not 
without native dignity and politeness. 

The survey and commencement of the sale 
of land upon the "Western" or "Connecticut 
Reserve," in Northwestern Ohio, was another 
event that foreshadowed and hastened the set- 
tlement of the county. On the 4th of July, 
1796, a party of surveyors and others, consist- 
ing of fifty-two persons, among them the dis- 
tinguished surveyors Augustus Porter, Seth 
Pease, Wareham Shepard, who afterwards en- 
gaged in the early surveys of Chautauqua 
county, and one Amos Sawtel, and also Moses 
Cleveland, who gave his name to the city of 
Cleveland, landed from Lake Erie at Conneaut, 
in Ashtabula county, Ohio, afterwards called 
the Plymouth of the Western Reserve. These 
persons constituted the advanced guard of 
more than a million of people, that subse- 
quently found homes in the State of Ohio. And 
row emigrants on their way from Connecticut, 
to reach the Western or Connecticut Reserve, 
began to journey on foot through the wilder- 
ness of Chautauqua county, following the In- 
dian path that traversed the lake towns. 

Rufus S. Reed, of Presque Isle, in 1798 was 
engaged in transporting goods and provisions 
through the county along its shore, on bat- 
teaux, or over the Indian trail, from New Ams 
terdam to Presque Isle. Eleazer Flagg, after- 



wards a citizen of Stockton, was in his employ 
in the former enterprise. 

About 1800, one Skinner came with his fam- 
ily from Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, 
and opened a "house of entertainment," for 
emigrants and other travelers on the Catta- 
iaugus creek, near which was afterwards built 
the tavern of John Mack. He was living there 
in 1801. Joseph Badger, an early missionary, 
recorded in his journal that October 29th of 
that year, while on his way to the east, he put 
up with Skinner, who was living there a little 
above the Indian habits. Skinner probably re- 
mained there three or four years in all, enter- 
taining travelers. Skinner had no title to the 
soil that he occupied, yet his right to be re- 
garded as a bona fide settler is at least as valid 
as that of Sottle. The recognition of either as 
a real settler would establish the first settle- 
ment of the county to have been as far back as 
in the last years of the eighteenth century. 

As a preparation for the tide of emigration, 
a rude road was opened between the Cattarau- 
gus and Chautauqua creeks by Gen. Edward 
Faine, founder of Painesville, Ohio, to enable 
emigrants to reach the Western Reserve. He 
cut away the fallen trees and underbrush, and 
marked the route over the firmest ground, and 
at the best places to cross the streams, but 
built no bridges. He probably followed sub- 
stantially the line of the Indian trail, where the 
Erie or main road is now much of the way 
located. His work was commenced in 1801, 
and completed in 1802 to Westfield. It was 
the only road used by the settlers from the 
East for two or three years, and was known as 
Paine's road. 

In 1801 beginning of settlement was also 
made at Westfield. Andrew Straub from 
Pennsylvania, under the auspices of Col. James 
McMahan, selected land east of the site of the 
village, upon what was known as Straub's 
creek, and although he had no title, he built a 
log house and occupied it in 1801. He lived 
there alone, for he had no family. A few years 
later he received a deed of his land, and lived 
there many years. 

To James McMahan the credit is due of 
being the first real permanent settler, he being 
the first to hold title to the soil which he occu- 
pied and cultivated. He was born in North- 
umberland county, Pennsylvania, in March, 
1768. Prior to 1795, he surveyed two seasons 
iii Western Pennsylvania, and' for six months 
at a time saw no white persons except his as- 
sistants. On July 3, 1795, he married Mary Mc- 
Cord, and about the same year and before 
Sottle had built his pole cabin at the mouth of 

the Cattaraugus creek, he explored Chautauqua 
county, with a view to a residence there. He 
however lived for a while at Harbor Creek, 
Pennsylvania. In 1801 he again visited Chau- 
tauqua county and made a contract for his 
brother, John McMahan, to purchase township 
four, range fourteen, consisting of 22,012 acres 
of unsurveyed land in the towns of Westfield 
and Chautauqua. He also purchased for him- 
self 4,074 acres of unsurveyed land in the town 
of Ripley. The price to be paid was $2.50 per 
acre. James McMahan selected for himself, 
out of his brother's purchase, lot 13, which ex- 
tended east to the "Old Cross Road," so called 
from its being the point where the rude road, 
or trail between Buffalo and Erie was crossed 
by the French or Portage road. Early in the 
spring of 1802, Col. James McMahan cleared 
and planted to corn ten acres of this last men- 
tioned land in Westfield, and built upon it a 
log house, in which he installed his family in 
the fall. This was the first land cleared and 
cultivated by a white man having the right to 
the soil within the limits of Chautauqua 

Edward McHenry, also of Northumberland 
county, Pennsylvania, at the solicitation of 
James McMahan came in the spring of 1802 to 
the Cross Roads, a little later than McMahan, 
and built a log house upon lands adjoining 
McMahan, and moved his family into it before 
McMahan's family arrived at the Cross Roads. 
Although Sottle, Skinner, Straub and Mc- 
Henry were the first persons domiciled within 
the county, Col. James McMahan was the first 
to fully consummate a settlement by acquir- 
ing an ownership to the soil and making real, 
substantial and permanent improvements. 

However, settlement once commenced in this 
western solitude continued rapidly. Charles 
Avery settled in the town of Hanover, on lot 
3, near the mouth of the Cattaraugus creek, in 
1803, possibly in 1802, and a little later became 
a small trader in Indian goods. William H. 
Sydnor, a person of some education, although 
his life had been spent on the borders, came 
and purchased lots 1 and 2, where the creek 
empties into the lake. At the June court held 
in Batavia in 1804, he was licensed to keep a 
ferry at the mouth of the creek. His daughter 
Caroline was the first white child born at Cat- 
taraugus Village, and William Sydnor was the 
first person to die there. Ezekiel Lane early 
built a shanty on lot 48 near the Cattaraugus 
creek. He and his father-in-law, Marstin Mid- 
daugh, had been among the earliest settlers of 

John McMahan, brother of James McMahan, 


in 1803 set out from Chelisquaque, Pennsyl- 
vania, with his family, and settled near the 
mouth of Chautauqua creek, upon its west side, 
near Barcelona. He built there the first saw 
and grist mill in the county. Other families, 
influenced by the McMahans, came from Penn- 
sylvania, and settled at the Cross Roads the 
same year: Arthur Bell, Christopher Dull, 
James Montgomery, William Culbertson, 
George and John Degeer and Jeremiah George. 

The log house built by McHenry was made 
a house of entertainment, this tavern was 
famous in its day. Here the first town meet- 
ings, militia trainings, and early public gather- 
ings, were held. In this log house August 
28th, 1802, was born John McHenry, the first 
white child native of the county of whom we 
have any account. Here also for the first time 
Christian rites were observed within the 
county, in the burial of the dead. Edward Mc- 
Henry with two companions embarked on 
Lake Erie, in a small boat with a pole for a 
mast, and a blanket for a sail, to obtain sup- 
plies. A flaw of wind capsized the boat, and 
McHenry was drowned. His was the first death 
of a white person residing in the county. Sep- 
tember 2, 1803, Rev. Joseph Badger, the mis- 
sionary, preached his funeral sermon from the 
text: "Man knoweth not his time." At the 
Cross Roads in 1805, the first marriage was 
celebrated in the county, that of James Mont- 
gomery to Sarah Taylor. The names of early 
settlers of Westfield are inscribed upon the 
stone monument erected at the Cross Roads in 

The year 1804 saw many new comers. David 
Dickenson, Abel Cleveland and John E. How- 
ard from Berkshire county, Massachusetts, 
built log houses and settled at Silver Creek 
with their families. Howard's log dwelling 
was on the south bank of the creek near where 
Howard street crosses it. Dickenson and 
Cleveland's dwelling was farther down near 
Newberry street. Dickenson and Cleveland 
soon erected a saw mill, and also constructed 
a mortar, by cutting a cavity in the end of a 
maple log, into which grists of corn brough: 
to their mill were placed, and converted into 
meal by the action of a heavy pestle, worked 
up and down by the wheel of the saw mill. 

During this year settlement was also made 
in the town of Sheridan by Francis Webber, 
from Massachusetts. He settled upon the Erie 
road, southwest of Silver Creek, on lot 17, 
about one mile west of the east line of Sheri- 
dan. Hazadiah Stebbins also settled upon the 
same lot the same year. Orsamus Holmes, a 
soldier of the Revolution, and his family with 

other families, settled in the town the next 

William and Gerard Griswold, Abner and 
Alanson Holmes, Joel Lee, John Walker, John 
Holister, Thomas Stebbins, Jonathan, John 
and Haven Brigham, and Jonathan Griswold 
were early settlers of Sheridan. Isaac Bald- 
win early located in the southwest part of the 
town. Deacon Bethel Willoughby was the 
first to settle back on the hills in the south 

In 1804, settlement was commenced at Fre- 
donia, at first called Canadaway, from the 
stream upon which it was situated. This 
stream on the maps of the early surveyors was 
written "Cascade." The Canadaway has its 
source among the hills of Arkwright and Char- 
lotte, and flows at first over waterfalls, and in 
rapids through wild gorges, and at last, less 
roughly to Lake Erie. The Indians gave it the 
beautiful name Ga-na-da-wa-o, meaning "run- 
ning through the hemlocks," in allusion to the 
evergreens, which grew s© thickly upon its 

At Ganadawao, or Canadaway, as the white 
man pronounced it, the settlement of Pomfret 
was commenced by Thomas McClintock, David 
Eason and Low Minegar, all from Eastern and 
Central Pennsylvania. The first house was 
built in the summer of 1803, by David Eason, 
on the bank of the Canadaway, near where 
Gen. Risley afterwards resided. It was of 
logs, not a nail used in its construction. In 
the spring of 1805, Eason married Margaret 
Woodside, in Northumberland county, Penn- 
sylvania. In April he set out with his bride, 
accompanied by Low Minegar and others, and 
their families ; they journeyed through the 
wilderness of Pennsylvania to Olean, on the 
Allegheny river. They were six weeks on the 
way. At Olean they found the advanced 
guard of pioneers that first settled Cattarau- 
gus county. There they built canoes, de- 
scended the Allegheny to Warren, ascended 
the Conewango, passed over Chautauqua Lake, 
and reached Canadaway by the way of the 
Cross Roads. When he arrived there, Eason 
had ten dollars in his pocket, with which he 
paid for a barrel of flour. 

About the same time that Eason reached 
Canadaway, Zattu Cushing brought to an end 
a remarkable journey. In February, 1805, he 
started from Eastern New York, conveying his 
family and goods by means of two yoke of 
oxen drawing a sled. They were three weeks 
in making the journey, and drove four cows. 
They brought one-half bushel of apple seeds, 
from which the first orchard of the county was 



grown. On Mr. Cushing's arrival at Canada- 
way, the snow was deep and the weather was 
cold. They moved into the partly completed 
log cabin of Low Minegar. It had no doors, 
no chinking between the logs, and no floor. 
They covered the ground with hemlock 
boughs, and remained until Mr. Eason got an 
article for his land, and built a log house. 

The rough frontier experience of Eason and 
Cushing was similar to that of all the early 
settlers. Eason and Cushing were leading 
citizens of the county. Eason was chosen the 
first sheriff, and afterwards State Senator. 
Cushing was appointed the first judge of the 
county, and held that position for thirteen 
years. He was the grandfather of the intrepid 
Alonzo H. Cushing, who fell at Gettysburg, 
and of William B. Cushing, the hero of many 
exploits, chief of which was the destruction of 
the "Albemarle." 

Hezekiah Baker came to Canadaway in 
1806. He gave the land that forms the beauti- 
ful village park in Fredonia. Elijah Risley 
came in 1807. His son, Elijah, Jr., opened the 
first store in the county. Dr. Squire White 
came in 1808 or 1809, and was the first edu- 
cated and licensed physician of the county. He 
was also its first surrogate. Among other early 
settlers of Pomfret may be named Benjamin 
Barrett, Samuel Geer, Benjamin Barnes, Eli- 
phalet Burnham, Philo Orton, Leverett Barker 
and Richard Williams. 

In 1804 settlement was commenced at Rip- 
ley. Alexander Cochran, from the North of 
Ireland, settled about one mile west of the vil- 
lage formerly known as Quincy. He bought 
his land of the Holland Land Company, and 
paid for it in gold. He was the first person in 
the county to receive a deed for his farm. 
Josiah Farnsworth, from Eastern New York, 
settled at Quincy the same year. Perry G. 
Ellsworth, from Otsego county, settled one 
mile west of Quincy. and in 1804-05 kept a 
tavern in the town. Thomas Prendergast, of 
the well-known Prendergast family, settled in 
1805. Among other early settlers were Wil- 
liam Alexander, William Crossgrove, Basil 
Burgess, Asa, William and Andrew Spear, Na- 
than Wisner, Charles Forsythe, Samuel Trues- 
dell and Jonathan Parsons. 

In 1804 settlement was also made at May- 
ville. Dr. Alexander Mclntyre built there 'a 
log dwelling near the steamboat landing, 
around which he erected a stockade of tall 
palisades. His fort was called by the old 
jokers of those days Fort Deborah or Debby, 
in illusion to his wife by adoption. In early 
life Mclntyre was captured by the Indians, 

who cut off the veins of his ears. He resided 
with them many years. He claimed to have 
acquired their knowledge of the medical prop- 
erties of roots and herbs, and in the estima- 
tion of many people was profoundly skilled in 
the healing art. In 1805 Jonathan Smith, a 
man of rare eccentricities, settled on the west 
side of Chautauqua Lake, and the same year 
Peter Barnhart, a soldier of the Revolution, 
en the east side. In 1806 William Prender- 
gast, Sr., and his well-known sons and daugh- 
ters, settled on the west side of the lake. 
Among other early settlers of the town were 
John Scott, Filer Sackett, Darius Scofield, Na- 
than and David Cheney, Darius Dexter, Arte- 
mus Herrick, Dr. John E. Marshall and Zacheus 

In the year 1805 settlement was commenced 
in Portland, by Capt. James Dun, a soldier of 
the Revolution. He bought 1150 acres of land 
in that town. He came there from Meadville, 
Pennsylvania, with a team of four horses, set- 
tled at first upon lot 31, built a shanty of poles 
near a large spring, and moved his family into 
it, but finally he removed to the north part of 
lot 30. The following are other early settlers : 
Nathan Fay, Elisha Fay, Peter Kane, John 
Price, Benjamin Hutchins, David Eaton, Na- 
thaniel Fay, James Parker, Joseph Correll, Na- 
than Crosby and Erastus Taylor. 

The town of Dunkirk was first settled this 
year by Seth Cole, of Paris, Oneida county, at 
"the mouth of the Canadaway creek. 

In 1805 settlements had been made in every 
one of the northern towns, eight in all, each 
of which bordered on Lake Erie, excepting the 
town of Chautauqua. Between one and two 
hundred inhabitants resided within the borders 
of the county, but as yet no white man had 
taken up his abode south of the Ridge, unless 
Dr. Mclntyre, Peter Barnhart and Jonathan 
Smith, who had settled around the head of 
Chautauqua Lake, are to be considered excep- 
tions. The greater part of the county re- 
mained unvisited save by the surveyors or ex- 
plorers voyaging along the water courses or 
traveling over the Indian trails to reach the 
settlements in the northern part of the county. 

This primeval quiet was at length broken in 
the southern part of the county by Dr. Thomas 
R. Kennedy and Edward Work. They made 
the first assault upon the pine forests at Ken- 
nedy in the town of Poland, in 1805. Dr. Ken- 
nedy had married a daughter of Andrew Elli- 
cott, the niece of Joseph Ellicott, agent of the 
Holland Land Company. He and Mr. Work, 
until they had commenced the first settlement 
of the southern part of the county at Kennedy, 



had resided at Meadville, Pennsylvania. That 
year Dr. Kennedy purchased three thousand 
acres of unsurveyed land in Poland and com- 
menced erecting mills at Kennedy. Much of 
the material, and the provisions for the hands 
employed, were brought in keelboats and came 
up the Allegheny and Conewango rivers. 

Edward Shillito was the first resident of 
Poland. He resided at Kennedy in 1805 with 
his family, and boarded the workmen upon the 
mills. The attack thus began upon the pines 
in Poland, continued at other points in south- 
western Chautauqua for three quarters of a 
century until the magnificent evergreens that 
covered two hundred square miles entirely dis- 
appeared. Lumbering during the greater part 
of this period constituted the most important 

Following the building of the mills, settlers 
began to come. Among the earliest settlers of 
Poland were Aaron Forbes, Sumner Allen, 
Samuel Hitchcock, Joshua Woodard, Dr. Sam- 
uel Foote, the first physician ; Col. Nathaniel 
Fenton, Amasa Ives, Nicholas Dolloff, Elias 
Tracy, Amos Fuller, Ebenezer Cheney, Joseph 
Clark, Daniel Walters, Obediah Jenks, Albert 
Russell, Franklin Leet, Lewis Holbrook, Abiel 
Elkins, Daniel Griswold, Luther Lydell, Nor- 
ton B. Bill, Eliakim Crosby, John Montgom- 
ery, Chester Lillie and Henry Connell. 

No other settlement or important improve- 
ment was made in the south part of the county 
in 1805, except the opening of the woods road 
by Robert Miles and others from near Sugar 
Grove, Pennsylvania, through the forest to 
Miles Landing on Chautauqua Lake, near 
where Lakewood is situated. It terminated in 
Busti, at the mouth of a little creek east of and 
near Lakewood. It was used for many years 
by the people of Pennsylvania in going to 
Chautauqua Lake, and by the early settlers in 
their trips to Pennsylvania to purchase seed 
potatoes, oats and wheat, and also in driving 
hogs and cows. The termination of the road 
was called Miles Landing. "This road was the 
great highway of that wilderness ; a guide to 
the bewildered pioneer ; if he could strike this 
road, he was safe." 

In 1806 Ellicott was first settled by William 
Wilson from Pennsylvania. He first lived in 
a shanty, but in June moved into a house he 
built on the west side of the Chadakoin, below 
Falconer, upon land which had not then been 
surveyed. James Culbertson, from Meadville, 
the same year settled on the west side of the 
Chadakoin, at its confluence with the Cassa- 
daga. George W. Fenton, also from Pennsyl- 
vania, father of Governor R. E. Fenton, settled 

on the south side of the Chadakoin near Lev- 
ant in 1807. In 1809 Fenton removed to Car- 
roll. Jonas Simmons, John and Jacob Strunk 
and Samuel Whittemore were early settlers at 
and near Fluvanna; Benjamin Ross at Ross 
Mills; Jehiel Tiffany at Tiffanyville ; Phineas 
Palmiter, Elias Tracy and Oliver Sherman, 
near Celoron ; Thomas and Joseph Walkup, 
Augustus Moore and Amos Blanchard in other 
parts of the town. 

In 1806 William Prendergast settled not far 
from the present Chautauqua Assembly 
Grounds. He and his sons and daughters and 
grandsons became the owners of a contiguous 
tract of land containing 3337 acres. His thir- 
teen sons and daughters nearly all became 
residents of the county. His sons were princi- 
pal personages in its early history, holding 
prominent official positions and places of trust. 
William Prendergast, born in Waterford, Ire- 
land, February 2, 1727, came to America and 
settled at Pawling, Dutchess county, on the 
Hudson river. He married Mehitabel Wing, 
cf Beekman, New York. He died in Chau- 
rauqua, February 14th, 181 1. Their children 
were: Matthew, Thomas, Mary (Mrs. Wil- 
liam Bemus, of Ellery), Elizabeth, James 
Jediah, Martin, John Jeffery (who was never a 
resident here), Susanna (Mrs. Oliver White- 
side), Eleanor, Martha, William; and Minerva, 
who married Elisha Marvin, of North East, 

The long leases by which the lands were 
generally held along the Hudson, the restraints 
and forfeitures incident to them, and the op- 
pressive method of collecting rents, produced 
a turbulent spirit, often manifested in violent 
and lawless conduct by the tenants. These 
disorders began long before the Revolution. 
In June, 1766, some soldiers sent to suppress 
riotous proceedings in Dutchess county, were 
fired upon and one of them wounded so that 
he died. William Prendergast was appre- 
hended for participating in this affair as prin- 
cipal, and taken under guard to a sloop for 
safekeeping. He and others were indicted for 
high treason. The public mind was consider- 
ably excited over the case of Prendergast, and 
"Holt's Gazette" of New York City, a leading 
paper of the time, in several articles, showed 
apparent sympathy for Prendergast and the 

At a court of Oyer and Terminer, which com- 
menced July 29, 1766, at Poughkeepsie, and 
was held by Chief Justice Horsemanden, in 
which Samuel Jones, a most eminent lawyer 
of the times, appeared as counsel for the King, 
Mr. Prendergast was found guilty of high 


treason and sentenced to be executed on Sep- 
tember 26th. Other rioters were tried and 
found guilty. Some were fined, two were im- 
prisoned, and two stood in the pillory. The 
sentiments of the people were such respecting 
William Prendergast's offence, that William 
Livingstone, the sheriff, was obliged to offer 
a good reward to any person who would assist 
at the execution, he to be disguised, so as to 
be secure from insult. In "Holt's Gazette" of 
September 4, 1766, is given an account of the 
trial, by which it appears that the conduct of 
Mehitabel, the wife of Mr. Prendergast, was 
very remarkable. She greatly aided her hus- 
band in his defence by wise suggestions and 
remarks in open court, without the least im- 
pertinence or indecorum. Her womanly con- 
duct and tender solicitude for her husband 
created such sympathy in his behalf that the 
counsel for the King asked to have her re- 
moved from the court room, which was denied, 
he being answered that she neither disturbed 
the court nor spoke unreasonably. The jury 
brought in the prisoner guilty ; the court and 
jury, however, recommended the prisoner to 
the King's mercy. Mrs. Prendergast imme- 
diately set out for New York to solicit a re- 
prieve, and though over seventy miles distant 
she returned in three days with hopes of suc- 
cess. The Governor, Sir Henry Moore, sent a 
reprieve to the sheriff of Dutchess county until 
His Majesty's pleasure should be known, Lord 
Shelburn having laid before the King a letter 
of Sir Henry Moore, recommending the pardon 
of Prendergast. A little later he wrote Gov- 
ernor Moore that, "His Majesty has been 
graciously pleased to grant him his pardon, 
relying that this instance of his Royal clem- 
ency will have a better effect in recalling these 
mistaken people to their duty, than the most 
rigorous punishment." Was it unreasonable 
that gratitude to King George for his Royal 
clemency, under the circumstances, led Wil- 
liam Prendergast, who was not a native of the 
country, to espouse the cause of the King dur- 
ing the Revolution, ten years later? 

Although seventy-five years of age, William 
Prendergast left his home in Pittstown, in Van 
Rensselaer county, with his family in 1805, 
with the intention of locating in Tennessee. 
William Prendergast, his wife, four sons and 
five daughters, his son-in-law and grandchil- 
dren, and his slave Tom, in all twenty-nine 
persons, in four canvas covered wagons (some 
drawn by four horses) and a two-horse 
barouche for the older ladies, traveled through 
Pennsylvania as far as Pittsburgh or Wheel- 
ing. Then they purchased a flat boat and em- 

barked with all their effects, and descended 
the river to the falls of the Ohio, now Louis- 
ville, Kentucky. They traveled thence to a 
point near Nashville, but were dissatisfied with 
the country and people, and came back to Erie, 
Pennsylvania, where they arrived about the 
last of September, 1805. The family finally 
decided to settle in Chautauqua, but all, with 
the exception of William Bemus, a son-in-law, 
and Thomas Prendergast, journeyed to Canada, 
where they passed the winter. 

Thomas Prendergast settled in Ripley the 
same fall. Bemus lived during the winter of 
1805-06 in a log house near the Cross Roads. 
Lands having been purchased in the town of 
Chautauqua, on the west side of Chautauqua 
Lake, and a log house built, William and his 
family returned from Canada in June, 1806, 
and became settlers of Chautauqua county. 

William Bemus, above named, son-in-law of 
William Prendergast, in the spring of 1806 
made the first settlement of Ellery at Bemus 
Point, near the old Indian fields. Jeremiah 
Griffith, of Madison county, a little later the 
same year settled in Ellery at the Old Indian 
fields at Griffith's Point. These pioneers left 
many descendants. Among other early and 
leading settlers of Ellery were: Hanson Meed, 
Tiler Sackett, Azariah Bennett, John and Jo- 
seph Sillsby, William Barrows, John Demott, 
John Love, Joseph Loucks, Henry Strunk, 
Thomas Parker, Peter Pickard, Samuel Young, 
Elisha Tower, Elhanan Winchester and John 
Pickard, grandfather of Alonzo C. Pickard, the 
well-known lawyer of Jamestown. 

In 1806 Thomas Bemus, son of William 
Bemus, and grandson of William Prendergast, 
Sr., made the first settlement in the town of 
Harmony, on lot 54, township 2, range 12, 
opposite Bemus Point. The next year Jona- 
than Cheney settled on lot 52, about two miles 
below the "Narrows." Before the close of 
1806, upwards of twenty families had settled 
around Chautauqua Lake. 

In 1807 Dr. Thomas Kennedy and Edward 
Work purchased 1260 acres of land on both 
sides of the Chadakoin below Dexterville, in- 
cluding the mill site at Tiffanyville, and 
Worksburg, now Falconer, including also land 
east of the Cassadaga creek. In the fall of 
1807 Mr. Work erected a hewed log house on 
the north side of the Chadakoin at Falconer; 
this was the first settlement of Falconer ; for 
more than three-quarters of a century the 
place was known as Worksburg. Mr. Work 
was a public-spirited, energetic man, of much 
ability. In 1808 he erected there sawmills and 
soon after a grist mill. He and Mr. Kennedy 



opened a road between Kennedy and Works- 
burg, and built the first bridge over Cassa- 
tiaga creek. They made the first substantial 
improvements in southern Chautauqua. 

Kiantone derives its name from the Indian 
village of Kyenthono, on Kiantone creek, 
which was occupied by the Indians as late as 
1795. when Col. James McMahan passed 
through the county. It was settled in 1807 by 
Joseph Aikin from Rensselaer county, New 
York. He settled on the Stillwater, near the 
west line of the town. He laid out the land 
there into lots and attempted to found the vil- 
lage of Aikinville. Robert Russell soon after 
settled in the town and built a sawmill on 
Kiantone creek, above the Indian village. He 
afterwards removed to Russell, Pennsylvania, 
and gave his name to that place. He was a 
man of much energy, and a leading citizen of 
Northwestern Pennsylvania. 

Arkwright was also settled in 1807, by 
Abiram Orton on lot 64, not far from Fre- 
donia. The same year Benjamin Perry set- 
tled on the same lot, and Augustus Burnham 
on lot 60 near Shumla. 

Although every town bordering on Lake 
Erie had been settled for several years, the 
site of the city of Dunkirk remained covered 
by a dense and unbroken forest. Undoubtedly 
the French and English in the preceding cen- 
tury, while coasting along the southern shore 
of Lake Erie, had many times visited the bay. 
Vet, notwithstanding that conspicuous head- 
land. Point Gratiot, named from Gen. Charles 
Gratiot, marked the existence and bounded 
the western limits of a safe harbor, lake craft 
seldom visited its lonesome waters, and deer 
and wolves continued to inhabit the gloomy 
woods around it until 1808, when Timothy 
Goulding, its first settler, built his house a 
mile west of the harbor, and probably within 
the limits of the city. A portion of Point 
Gratiot was included in his purchase. The 
next year his brother-in-law, Solomon Chad- 
wick, from Madison county, settled at Dun- 
kirk Harbor, in what is now the Second Ward 
of the city. He was the first settler on the 
bay. Dunkirk Harbor for eight or nine years 
after was known as Chadwick Bav, and for a 
short time afterwards as Garnseys Bay, and 
finally Dunkirk, after a seaport of that' name 
in France. Luther Goulding, brother of Timo- 
thy, the same year settled upon the bay west 
of Chadwick. John Brigham, from Madison 
county, New York, settled within the limits of 
the city in 1808; John Brigham, Jr., and his 
family settled in 1810; and James Brigham, 

who married Fanny, the sister of Gen. Elijah 
Risley, in 1811. 

Forestville was settled by Capt. Jehiel 
Moore, from Eastern New York, in 1809. Char- 
lotte was settled in April of the same year by 
John and Daniel Pickett and Arva O. Austin, 
in the northwest part, for many years known 
as Pickett Neighborhood. Robert W. Seaver 
and Barna Edson a little later the same year 
settled Charlotte Center. In 1810 Sinclairville 
was settled by William Berry and Maj. Samuel 
Sinclear, a soldier of the Revolution and a 
nephew of Col. Joseph Cilley, a distinguished 
officer of that war. Mr. Sinclear was a near 
kinsman of Joseph Cilley, United States Sena- 
tor from New Hampshire, and Jonathan Cilley, 
who was killed in the duel with Graves, of 
Kentucky. October 22, 1810, the family of 
Maj. Sinclear, including his stepsons Obed Ed- 
son and John M. Edson, first arrived at the 
site of the village of Sinclairville. John and 
Samuel Cleland, Joel Burnell, the father of 
Madison Burnell, were early settlers of the 

About this time settlement was commenced 
in Carroll. It became a town of sawmills ; as 
many as twenty-five were in operation at one 
time. Lumbering in Carroll was long its lead- 
ing industry. 

John Russell, of Mahanoy, Pennsylvania, ex- 
plored the country along the lower Conewango 
in 1800. He returned to his home with a good 
report of the country. The same year he and 
his family, accompanied by a considerable 
party of emigrants, among whom were Hugh 
Frew and his family, set out for the Cone- 
wango. Russell built a boat in which the 
goods of the party were carried up the Sinne- 
mahoning. Russell and Frew had a yoke of 
cattle and some cows. These were* driven 
through the woods. At the portage between 
the Sinnemahoning and the Alleghenv, the 
boats were taken apart and transported upon 
wagon wheels to a canoe place on the Alle- 
gheny river, where the boats were put together 
again. They then descended the Allegheny 
to the Conewango, which thev ascended to a 
point a little above Russellbu'rg. They then 
journeyed to Beechwood, now called ' Sugar 
Grove, in Pennsylvania, close to the south 
boundary of Chautauqua, where they settled. 
They found John Marsh, Robert Miles and 
John and Stephen Ross had preceded them. 
At this time there was no building at Warren 
except the Holland Company's storehouse, in 
which a family in charge resided. No white 
settler was living in Chautauqua county at that 
time. These settlers endured great hardships 












during the first years of their residence in 
Warren county. 

John Frew, a native of Killyleale, Ireland, 
a son of Hugh Frew abovenamed, and Robert 
Russell, both young men, having explored the 
land along the Conewango in Carroll and Kian- 
tone, in the spring of 1809, set out from War- 
ren county, each with a pack on his back, and 
traveled on foot over the Indian trail to Ken- 
nedy's mill, and over the high lands to the 
falls of the Cattaraugus, thence to the oak 
openings east of Buffalo ; from this place they 
journeyed to Batavia. They camped out 
nights, and subsisted on jerked meat, dry bread 
and young leeks. At Batavia they entered 
their lands. Robert Russell bought on the 
Kiantone creek in Kiantone ; Frank H. Mott, 
of Jamestown, was one of his descendants. 
John Frew entered lands for himself and 
Thomas Russell at the mouth of Frew Run, in 
Carroll. They soon built a log house, and later 
they completed a sawmill. The village that 
grew up near the mill was called Frewsburg, 
after John Frew. Thereafter this place became 
a leading point for the manufacture of lumber, 
and for many years great quantities were run 
from there down the river to Pittsburgh and 
to points below. George W. Fenton, father 
of Governor Reuben E. Fenton, removed from 
Ellicott and settled in Carroll the same year. 
In 1810 Busti was settled by John L. Frank 
on lot 61, and Uriah Bently on lot 16. Among 
other early settlers of Busti were Palmer Phil- 
lips, Arba Blodget, Daniel Sherman and Joseph 

In 1810 Gerry was first settled by Stephen 
Jones and Amos Atkins, who built houses near 
each other, a short distance south of Sinclair- 
ville. The southern, central and eastern parts 
of the town were settled later by Vermonters. 
William Alverson, Hezekiah Myers, Hezekiah 
Catlin and Porter Phelps were the first Ver- 
monters to take up their residence in the town. 
They were followed by many from that State. 
The first actual settlement of the town of 
Stockton was made in 1809 by Abel Beebe, 
Joel Fisher and Othelow Church at and near 
Cassadaga. Church afterwards removed to 
Allegany county, and was there murdered by 
one, Howe. Jonathan Alverson, from Wind- 
ham county, Vermont, entered lands and was 
present there in 1809. Shadrick Scofield, 
David Waterbury and Henry Walker settled 
in the southwest part in 1810. The same year 
John West, Bela Todd and Joseph Green set- 
tled near them. John West came over the 
"Old Portage Road" to Ellery. He and Dex- 
ter Barnes and Peter Barnhart in 181 1 con- 

Chau— 3 

structed the old Chautauqua road from near 
Sinclairville east beyond the Cattaraugus line. 
In 181 1 Benjamin Miller settled three-fourths 
of a mile north of Delanti, and was the first 
settler of Bear Creek Valley; Linus W. Miller 
and Phineas M. Miller were his descendants. 
Abel Thompson came in June, 1812, and 
was the first settler of Delanti. Samuel Cris- 
sey came in 1815. Among his descendants 
were many well-known citizens, among them 
his son Harlow, and his grandsons, Newton, 
Elverton B. and Seward M. Nathaniel Cris- 
sey, a brother of Samuel, was an early settler. 
Among his descendants was Forrest Crissey, 
the author of the "Centennial Poem," read on 
the occasion of the celebration of the one hun- 
dredth anniversary of the settlement of Chau- 
tauqua county, at Westfield. Calvin Warren 
came in 1816 and settled one and one-half miles 
north of Delanti. He was in early days a 
prominent citizen of the town, and was chosen 
its first supervisor. He left well-known and 
prominent descendants, among them Chauncey 
Warren, his son, and his grandsons, Amos K. 
Warren and Lucien C. Warren. Aaron Lyon 
early settled on the west side of Cassadaga 
Lake. He was the brother of Mary Lyon, the 
founder of Holyoke Female Seminary, in Mas- 
sachusetts, and the father of Lucy and Free- 
love, well-known missionaries at Ningpo, 
China. Ichabod Fisher settled at Cassadaga 
Lake in 1813. Sawyer Phillips came in 181 5. 
He left many prominent descendants, among 
them Philip Phillips, the well-known singer of 
sacred music. Andrew Putnam came in 181 7. 
He left many sons, among them Worthy Put- 
nam, a distinguished educator. The county 
owes more to him for the development of the 
common schools than to any other. Jonathan 
Bugbee, father of Judge L. Bugbee, and Abel 
Brunson, were both early settlers. Abner Put- 
nam came in 1818, and left many descendants. 
Ebenezer Smith, Jr., and his son Aaron, Re- 
solved W. Fenner, Washington Winsor, Josiah 
White, Alonzo and Eleazer Flagg were all 
early settlers of Stockton. 

Villenova was also settled in 1810, by Dan- 
iel Whipple, from Herkimer county, in the 
southeast part of the town on lot 3. John Kent, 
from Vermont, settled near Whipple on lot 3, 
and John and Eli Arnold, from Massachusetts, 
on lot 19, near Hamlet. 

Jamestown, although now a city, the most 
populous and wealthy in the county, was nearly 
the last place settled during the frontier period. 
In 1810 its site was covered by a gloomy morass 
and a number of drift hills, densely covered 
with sombre pines. James Prendergast, son of 



William, who had examined the locality in 1806, 
was pleased with the advantages it offered for 
mill sites, and resolved to found a settlement 
there. He purchased one thousand acres of 
land upon which John Blowers, who was in 
his employ, built a log house in the fall of 1S10. 
Blowers and his family moved into it before 
Christmas of that year, and became the first 
inhabitants of Jamestown. The place was at 
first called the "Rapids," and finally James- 
town, in honor of James Prendergast, its 

The earliest settlers who came first to the 
Cross Roads and first settled in several of the 
northern towns, emigrated from the central 
and eastern counties of Pennsylvania and were 
many of them of German descent. The same is 
true of some of the earliest settlers in the 
southern towns. It was not long, however, 
before the irrepressible New Englander ap- 
peared, but in greater numbers came hardy 
young men skilled in woodcraft from the back- 
woods of Eastern New York, bringing with 
them their wives and children. In early years, 
C apt. John Mack owned the tavern and kept 
the ferry near the mouth of Cattaraugus creek. 
This ferry may be said to have been the east- 
ern gateway of the county, and Capt. Mack its 
gatekeeper, for a majority of the early comers 
were here ferried across this little river and 
entertained at his tavern. 

Poor as the people were during the frontier 
period and scant as were their opportunities, 
they entertained bright hopes for the future, 
when the forests should be swept away, and in 
their place should be green and cultivated 
fields, and the fruits of their labor enjoyed by 
their descendants. Although unlearned in 
books, they highly valued the advantages that 
an education would give their children. New 
provisions had been made by the State for 
schools in the larger settlements and the peo- 
ple voluntarily built schoolhouses. The small 
sums due the teachers were often paid in corn 
and other produce. 

The Gospel was preached in every settle- 
ment. Scarcely had the first log cabin been 
reared in each town before it was visited by 
some early missionary sent by the missionary 
societies of New England and the East. The 

first church organized in the county was 
founded by the Presbyterian settlers at the 
Cross Roads in 1808, and was called the Chau- 
tauqua church. The same year the first Bap- 
tist church was organized at Canadaway, and 
was called the first Baptist Church in Pomfret. 
In 1808 was also formed the first Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and the first Methodist ser- 
mon preached. About the same time the Con- 
gregationalists were also represented here, in 
the person and by the work of Father John 
Spencer. No missionary labored so long and 
effectively in early years as Father Spencer. 
Dressed in the antique style of Revolutionary 
days, wearing short stockings and knee 
buckles, and boots quite up to his knees, he 
preached from house to house. Many churches 
were founded as the result of his work. Of 
all the early missionaries who labored in Chau- 
tauqua county, Father Spencer filled the most 
prominent place. 

The first postoffice was established in Chau- 
tauqua county in 1806, at the Cross Roads on 
the route between Buffalo and Presque Isle. 

At the beginning of the last century, what is 
now Chautauqua county was a part of the town 
of Northampton, in the county of Ontario. 
March 30, 1802, the county of Genesee was 
erected from Ontario. The boundaries of 
Genesee county were identical with the town 
of Northampton, and included all of the Hol- 
land Purchase, and also the Phelps and Gor- 
ham Purchase, east of it. What is now Chau- 
tauqua county became a part of the town of 
Katavia. April 15, 1805, by an act of the Leg- 
islature, the town of Chautauqua was created. 
It included all of the present county except the 
tenth range of townships, which was made a 
part of the town of Erie. The organization of 
the town of Chautauqua was hailed with pleas- 
ure by its settlers, as it gave them authority to 
regulate their local affairs. Prior to April. 
1807, John McMahan had three times been 
chosen its supervisor, at town meetings held 
at the Cross Roads, and had met with the 
board of supervisors of Genesee county, at Ba- 
tavia. He had been chosen without reference 
to his political opinions. In April of this year, 
the first election was held in the county. 

The Pioneer Period. 

The circumstances attending the organiza- 
tion of the county were auspicious. The year 
before, the Holland Land Company had built 

a land office of logs at Mayville, and placed it 
in charge of William Peacock. The consum- 
mation of the organization of the countv, to- 



;ther with the genial spring of 1811, made 
ich a favorable impression upon people visit- 
ig there, that many were induced to enter 
nd at the land office. 

Zattu Cushing was appointed first judge of 
ie county; Matthew Prendergast, Philo Or- 
>n, Jonathan Thompson and William Alex- 
ider, associate judges. Of these men, Mat- 
lew Prendergast was the eldest son of Wil- 
am Prendergast; when his father was par- 
Dned by the king, as has been related, he was 
jout ten years of age. This circumstance 
:curring so early in his life, undoubtedly 
iade a strong impression upon his youthful 
iind, and naturally excited his sympathy in 
ivor of King George, who had favored his 
ither in so momentous an affair. When the 
Dntroversy between the King and the Ameri- 
an people had come to an issue, he was so 
xongly inclined towards the Royal cause that 
l 1779 he joined Abraham Cuyler's celebrated 
:giment of Royal Refugees. The next year, 
hile a lieutenant in command of a small party 
ran his regiment, he captured on the Long 
;land shore Major Bush, Capt. Cornelius 
onkling, ancestor of Roscoe Conkling, Capt. 
ogers and Lieut. Farley, Americans who had 
jme over from the Connecticut shore on a 
;cret mission in the interest of the American 
ause. Two Americans were killed in the 
ffair. William Leggett,' father of William 
.eggett, the editor of the "New York Evening 
ost," escaped capture. We have every rea- 
)n to believe that William Prendergast served 
ith credit to himself in the cause he espoused 
uring the remainder of the war. 
After the Revolution, Mr. Prendergast for 
)me years resided in Nova Scotia, where he 
wned a tract of land. In 1808, after he came 
) Chautauqua county, he was appointed a 
istice of the peace, and served as supervisor 
1 1810-11. He also served as associate judge in 
hautauqua county many years. As such he 
erified the petitions of many Revolutionary 
}ldiers for pension, and curiously enough, wc 
;e him presiding at a Republican meeting 
eld at John Scott's tavern in 1812, expressly 
ailed to sustain the war against England, 
hile other citizens of the county, who had 
een gallant soldiers of the Revolution, were 
t the same time participating in meetings 
eld in opposition to the war. Through his 
fe, he retained his Revolutionary costume, 
nd wore long hair, tied in a queue with a 
:ather string. 

The first session of the Court of Common 
leas was held at Mayville, June 25, 181 1, in 
cott's Tavern, on the east side of Main street. 

Anselm Potter, Dennis Brackett and Jacob 
Houghton were the first lawyers. The first 
meeting of the board of supervisors, in which 
Philo Orton represented the town of Pomfret, 
and Matthew Prendergast the town of Chau- 
tauqua, was also held in Scott's Tavern, on the 
third Tuesday of October. In pursuance of a 
vote then taken, a courthouse of wood, and 
later a jail, were built, at the expense of $1,500. 
They were built where a "large hemlock post" 
was placed in 1808 to mark the spot, just in 
front of the present courthouse. 

In 1812 the town of Ellicott, with James 
Prendergast, the founder of Jamestown, as its 
supervisor, the town of Gerry, with Samuel 
Sinclair, the founder of Sinclairville, as its 
supervisor, and the town of Hanover, with 
Nedebiah Angell, the founder of the "Angell 
Settlement," as its supervisor, were erected as 
new towns. 

Notwithstanding the propitious beginning 
of the new county's existence, the settlers were 
doomed to disappointment. The winter of 
1811-12 was very inclement. A deep snowfall 
which remained until the last of March inter- 
rupted the explorations of landlookers. Yet 
the Holland Land Company continued to make 
efforts to open the county to settlement. They 
contracted with John Kent to build a road 
from his place in Villenova to Kennedy's Mills, 
to be laid out near the Indian path. They ex- 
pended considerable labor in constructing a 
road from Mayville to Angelica in Allegany 
county. This road had been so far opened as 
to be traveled in the winter, as far east as "Sin- 
clear Mills," now Sinclairville. 

June 18, 1812, war was declared against Eng- 
land. This event created consternation upon 
the Holland Purchase. Chautauqua was thinly 
settled. It was situated upon the frontier, not 
far from the scene of conflict. Close along its 
borders and partly within its boundaries was 
the home of a principal remnant of the Six 
Nations or Iroquois, who had been the fiercest 
foes of the Americans in the Revolution. These 
circumstances greatly interrupted immigra- 
tion. Many actual settlers, yielding to the 
fears of their wives and families, were per- 
suaded to return to the east while others went 
on to the lines as soldiers or camp followers. 
In less than three weeks after war was declared 
and less than ten days after it was known in 
Chautauqua, although the county contained 
less than three thousand inhabitants, it had a 
full company of 113 able-bodied men on the 
march. The county never has since responded 
to a call for troops with more alacrity or rela- 
tively with a larger quota. 



To allay the fear that the war at first cre- 
ated, forty-five men under Capt. James Mc- 
Mahan were posted at Barcelona, where a 
slight defense was built. About the same num- 
ber of men were stationed at the Widow Cole's 
house at the mouth of the Canadaway, under 
Captain Tubbs. Here it is believed the first 
affair of the war in which there was blood shed 
occurred. A boat loaded with salt, on its way 
to Erie, had put in at the mouth of the Canada- 
way in the night. In the morning a large 
armed schooner, probably the "Lady Provost," 
appeared off the mouth of the creek and sent 
a dozen or so of armed men in a small boat to 
attack the salt boat. Captain Tubbs and his 
men opened fire from the shore, wounding 
three of the British. The small boat imme- 
diately put back to the vessel. The Widow 
Cole by her assistance in the affair became 
the heroine of the occasion. 

The Chautauqua Company that so promptly 
responded to the call for men at the beginning 
of the war, fully maintained the honor of the 
county on the field of battle, under its resolute 
commander, Capt. Jehiel Moore, the founder of 
Forestville. It was among the few New York 
militia to cross the Niagara and support the 
legulars at the battle of Queenstown, and 
among the few to stand upon the heights when 
they were stormed. The Chautauqua troops 
fought bravely, but were compelled to sur- 
render, with the rest of the American force, 
to superior numbers. Three of their number 
were killed in the battle, and five wounded, one 

During the summer of 1813, British vessels 
were committing depredations along the Amer- 
ican shore. The "Queen Charlotte" was the 
most aggressive of these, making frequent de- 
scents to plunder the inhabitants. Capt. Har- 
mon was driven with his boat into the mouth 
of the Cattaraugus creek by the "Queen Char- 
lotte" and the "Hunter." They sent a boat, 
armed with a howitzer, up the creek in pursuit 
of Capt. Harmon's transport, firing upon him 
until the Indians from Cattaraugus Reserva- 
tion nearby came to his assistance, demon- 
strating in a practical manner their friendship 
to the United States. The British boat finally 

During the same summer the "Queen Char- 
lotte" came off the mouth of the Canadaway 
and sent ashore a boat manned by thirteen 
men, commanded by a lieutenant, with a flag 
of truce, under the pretense of returning goods 
that they had plundered from Lay's Tavern 
near the lake shore in Erie county. Judge 
Cushing happened to be there with his ox team 

for a load of salt. He immediately notified the 
inhabitants, who rallied and fired upon the 
British, and wounded one of the sailors. The 
British all deserted but the lieutenant and the 
wounded sailor. 

With a view to getting control of the lake, 
the government dispatched Capt. Oliver H. 
Perry in the winter of 181 3 to build a fleet. 
On his way he stopped at John Mack's tavern 
at the mouth of the Cattaraugus, and was car- 
ried by him to Erie in a sleigh. Having dur- 
ing the spring and summer of 1813 built and 
completed his fleet, hearing that Lieut. Elliott 
was at Cattaraugus with about ninety soldiers, 
he dispatched a vessel there, and having re- 
ceived the reinforcement he set sail to offer 
battle. September 10th he gained a decisive 
and famous victory over the British fleet, 
which gave the Americans absolute control of 
the lake. Chautauqua county had responded 
to Perry's request for help, and some of its citi- 
zens participated in the battle. Abner Wil- 
liams, of Fredonia, son of Richard Williams, 
was a volunteer on board of the "Lawrence." 
He was killed, and his body was thrown into 
the lake. James Bird distinguished himself 
during the battle, was wounded, and was com- 
plimented by Commodore Perry, who was a 
witness of his gallantry. 

During the war of 1812, the soldiers enlisted 
upon the frontier had little knowledge of mili- 
tary law, were tenacious of their rights as citi- 
zens, and often insubordinate. In the west- 
ern army whole companies and regiments that 
had done good service in the war would put 
their own construction upon the terms of en- 
listment, and when they considered their time 
out would march home, contrary to the order 
of their superior officers, sometimes at a criti- 
cal period in a campaign. This had the effect 
to cause the military crime of desertion to be 
held lightly by the rank and file. After Perry's 
victory the fleet returned to Erie. James Bird 
("previously mentioned) and others applied for 
discharge upon the ground that they had en- 
listed only for the battle, which was denied. 
Bird chose to follow his own view of rights, 
and started for home. At the time prepara- 
tions were being made for the invasion of 
Canada under General Harrison, and it was 
desired to hold all the forces possible for that 
movement. Capt. Elliott, who was in com- 
mand, determined to make such an example as 
would tend to prevent further desertion, and 
to enforce better discipline. Application was 
made to stay the execution of Bird until the 
proceedings of the court-martial could be re- 
viewed by Perry, but Elliott denied the appli- 



cation, and Bird was shot. Capt. Elliott was 
before unpopular, because of his failure to 
bring the "Niagara" into action in the battle as 
promptly as it was thought he should have 
done. Public feeling against him was now 
intensified by reason of the execution of Bird. 
According to one account, gathered from the 
descendants of persons familiar with the cir- 
cumstances, Bird was absent on a furlough to 
visit his sweetheart, Mary Blain, who was very 
ill ; he overstayed his time, was arrested on his 
way back to command, taken to Erie, tried 
with undue haste, and sentenced to be shot; 
Capt. Dobbins, who was in the immediate 
command at Erie, it is said, refused to sign his 
death warrant, and another officer signed it. 

Part of the force captured by Captain Perry 
was sent under guard from Erie to Buffalo. 
They passed the night at Richard Williams's 
log tavern in Fredonia, and dined the next day 
at Capt. Mack's tavern at Cattaraugus. Word 
was sent in advance to Capt. Mack, that the 
American officers and their prisoners would 
dine at his tavern on their march eastward. 
Great preparations were made to receive them. 
The dining room was trimmed with pine and 
evergreen boughs, the tables were loaded. 
Capt. Mack carved the meat at the head of 
the long table, and the principal American offi- 
cer was seated at the opposite end. The other 
American and British officers were seated 
around it. Among the maidens assisting on 
this occasion was Sophronia Gates, who lived 
alone with her father in a little log house upon 
the shore of the lake near the mouth of the 
Big-sister creek, a few miles from Angola. A 
few months before, an officer and boat's crew 
of two men from the "Queen Charlotte," landed 
near the old man's house, and as a poor re- 
venge for some disrespectful and bitter lan- 
guage used by her when they were ransacking 
the cabin, carried the old man to the boat, not- 
withstanding a spirited resistance on her part. 
The old gentleman was taken on board of the 
"Queen Charlotte" and was put ashore at 
Chadwick's Bay (Dunkirk). The next day at 
dusk he arrived at Mack's tavern, ragged, 
weary and footsore, where he found Sophro- 
nia, who had sought an asylum there. 

While the dinner was in progress at Capt. 
Mack's tavern, the prisoners as merry as their 
captors, the sharp eyes of Sophronia discov- 
ered the British officer who had abducted her 
father. Her hour of triumph had come. "So 
the tables are turned, Mr. Officer," she said in 
s. high and penetrating tone, pointing her fin- 
ger scornfully at him. The talking ceased, and 
she proceeded to relate, in caustic and contemp- 

tuous language, the story of the abduction of 
her father. She praised the officer for his brav- 
ery in kidnapping a feeble old man, and mock- 
ingly called him "a hero," and told him "a 
petticoat would become him better than brass 
buttons and gold braid." The officer made a 
feeble attempt to be amused at her sally, but it 
was a failure, but the jokes of his American 
entertainers and the merriment of his British 
friends were too much for him, and he "tip- 
toed" out amidst shouts of laughter from his 
brother officers and Yankee captors. 

The chief and nearly the last event of the 
war in which the people of Chautauqua par- 
ticipated was the burning and battle of Buf- 
falo. In response to the call of Governor 
Tompkins, four hundred men from Chautauqua 
county, consisting of the 162nd Regiment 
under Col. John McMahan, comprising the 
greater portion of the able-bodied men of the 
county, marched to Buffalo, to oppose the 
British and Indians that were desolating the 
county east of the Niagara river. They par- 
ticipated in the attempt to stay the advance 
of the British at Black Rock, and in the disas 
trous retreat that followed, some fled disgrace- 
fully, while others behaved with bravery. Col. 
McMahan conducted himself with courage, 
and did all in his power to rally his men, but 
without success. In the affair the regiment 
lost James Brackett, of Mayville, an early 
member of the bar of Chautauqua county, 
killed and scalped by the Indians; Joseph 
Frank, of Busti, shot through the head and 
scalped ; Mr. Pease and Mr. Lewis, from 
Pomfret; Aaron Nash, Mr. Bover and Mr. 
Hubbard, from Hanover, with several others, 
shared the same fate. Major Prendergast had 
several balls through his hat and clothes, and 
narrowly escaped with his life. Capt. Silsby 
was severely wounded, and Lieut. Forbes had 
cne man killed and five wounded of the twenty- 
one men under his command. Of the Ameri- 
can force engaged, of the killed, the bodies of 
those found were buried in a common grave 
near the road leading from Buffalo to Black 
Rock, into which eighty-nine were promiscu- 
ously thrown. 

Unsoldierlike as was the conduct of the 
Chautauqua troops, they behaved fully as well 
as the militia from other parts of the Holland 
Purchase, and deserve no more censure than 
they. To the personal cowardice of the militia 
gathered from the Holland Purchase, cannot 
be ascribed the disastrous results of the en- 
gagement at Buffalo. The character of the 
men forbids such a supposition. They were, 
as a whole, resolute men accustomed to the 


perils of frontier life, and their conduct, forti- 
tude and courage compared favorably with 
other people of pioneer communities. Their 
lives had been spent in peaceful pursuits. They 
had been without military instruction, except 
such as they had received at backwoods mus- 
ters. They had never been subject to military 
discipline, were imperfectly organized and 
armed, and suffering from cold and hunger. 
They were hurried into battle almost as soon 
as they reached the scene of action, against a 
well drilled and well officered enemy. Their 
officers were without military knowledge or 
experience. Conscious of this fact, the men 
had no faith in their ability to lead them, or 
in themselves to successfully resist the enemy. 
They marched without blankets, knapsacks, 
tents, rations, or camp equipage, and suffered 
much from hunger and cold. 

Whatever discredit attaches to the militia 
for their failure at the battle of Buffalo, the 
conduct of the Chautauqua troops during the 
remainder of the war went far to redeem them. 
A company under Capt. John Silsby served 
with credit in the memorable battles of Chip- 
pewa and Lundy's Lane, under Gen. Brown, 
as a part of the brigade of Gen. Peter B. Potter. 
In the summer of 1814, two full companies of 
the 164th Regiment under Col. John Mc- 
Mahan, were stationed a few miles below Black 
Rock, where they suffered much sickness. The 
385 prisoners taken at Fort Erie were placed 
in their charge, and marched to the vicinity of 
Albany. This was about the last event in 
which the troops participated. 

At the close of the war, the county was in a 
most deplorable condition. Its people were 
absolutely poor. To add to their misfortunes, 
another serious calamity befell them. The 
summer of 1816, known as the "Cold Season," 
was long remembered ; cold and blustering 
winds swept the hills ; snow fell ; ice formed 
in every month of the year. July was accom- 
panied by frost and ice ; the "Fourth" was cold 
and raw ; blustering winds swept the entire 
Atlantic coast. On the 5th, ice was formed 
as thick as window glass in New York City 
and Pennsylvania. In August, ice half an inch 
thick was frequently seen. Flowers froze, 
corn was killed, and all attempts to raise other 
crops were abandoned. 

As a result, the first six months of 1817 
might be termed the "Starving Season." Flour 
was $18 a barrel ; potatoes $1.50 a bushel ; and 
other articles in proportion, and difficult to ob- 
tain at those prices ; while the price of labor 
was but sixty or seventy cents a day. Those 
skilled in the use of the rifle could to some ex- 

tent provide their families with venison and 
other wild meat, but many until the harvest of 
1817 subsisted wholly upon fish, milk, greens 
and leeks. 

Long years of financial depression and pov- 
erty followed the war of 1812, and the life of 
the settler in the backwoods of Chautauqua 
county was one of extreme hardship, and yet, 
stimulated by the prospect of the building of 
the Erie canal to Buffalo, the population of 
the county rapidly increased. For many years 
the covered wagons of the emigrants were 
constantly moving from Eastern New York 
toward the Holland Purchase. A bridge more 
than a mile in length across the lower end of 
Cayuga Lake was called the Cayuga bridge, 
and until the Erie canal was built was recog- 
nized as the dividing point between the East 
and the "Far West." For years a continuous 
procession of wagons passed over it, each with 
a water-pail and tar-bucket dangling from the 
axle-tree, and perhaps an infant's cradle or 
basket swinging from the ash hoops over which 
was stretched its cover, displaying upon the 
canvas the legend. "For the Holland Pur- 
chase," or "For the Connecticut Reserve." 
They bore the family of the emigrant, his cook- 
ing utensils, sleeping furniture, and sometimes 
all of his family effects. They were often fol- 
lowed by freight wagons, drawn sometimes by 
three, frequently by five horses. The settler 
who journeyed to Chautauqua county usually 
came in a less pretentious way, generally with 
a yoke of oxen, an oxcart, or a wooden-shod 
sled, and a few household goods. On his 
arrival the settler would go first to the land 
office at Mayville and get a contract for usually 
about one hundred acres of land, to be paid for 
at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, ten dol- 
lars or fifteen dollars down, being all the 
money that he could raise ; the balance in 
annual installments with interest. He then, 
with the assistance of his neighbors, would 
put up a log house, after which he would make 
an arrangement with the merchant at the 
neighboring settlement for credit to the amount 
of twenty dollars to fifty dollars to buy a pig 
or a cow, or some necessary articles at his 
store, to be paid for in black salts of lye, made 
from the ashes, when he should burn his first 

From the ashes of the burned timber the 
settler obtained the first return for his labor. 
From the manufacture and sale of black salts 
of lye made from the ashes, he received the 
cash to pay for his land. The settlement 
of the county would have been postponed 
many years had it not been for this com- 





modity. It was the chief staple of the hill 
towns during the first twenty-five years of 
their history. It was the only product that 
could be sold for cash, and received in ex- 
change for goods and groceries. It was made 
from the ashes of the oak, maple, beech and 
other hard woods. The ashes were gathered 
in boxes in the fallows or slashings where the 
timber was burned, and carried by hand to 
rough leaches, usually made of bark, erected 
at places convenient to water. The lye ob- 
tained was boiled in a kettle until it became a 
semi-solid which was called black salts. Each 
merchant owned an "ashery" where he received 
of his customers black salts and ashes which 
he paid for in money and in goods at the rate 
of $2.50 or $3 per hundred. At the asheries, 
the black salts were converted into potash by 
burning them in ovens. Later the potash was 
refined into pearl ash or saleratus. These com- 
modities were used to make soap, glass, for 
culinary purposes, and in many of the arts and 
in medicine. About the only articles that the 
settlers could market abroad were black salts 
and ashes, which after being manufactured 
into potash were sold in Pittsburgh or in Mon- 
treal to be sent to England. The only other 
article that would bring money was pine lum- 
ber which was sold in Pittsburgh and towns 
aiong the Ohio river. 

The abundance of wild animals and the 
necessities of the pioneer made the rifle next 
in importance to the ax. The long, heavy, 
small-bored, muzzle-loading flint-lock rifle of 
pioneer times was not merely an instrument of 
diversion, but a weapon of practical utility, for 
it sometimes saved the pioneer from starva- 
tion. Its grooved barrel was three and one- 
half or four feet long, of good material and 
good workmanship, mounted on a plain stock, 
which extended a long way up the barrel. The 
rifle was an accurate and formidable weapon 
at short range, and only a short range was re- 
quired in the thick forest of the frontier. But 
it was the backwoodsman behind the gun that 
made it the deadly weapon that it was. The 
demands of the daily life of the settler required 
great skill in its use. He accurately measured 
his powder. The balls, run in his own bullet 
molds, were carefully put down by a hickory 
lod, in a greased patch, and his gun was often 
wiped with a wisp of tow, to ensure accuracy. 
He knew the runways of the deer and the 
habits of all the game. The American rifle, 
and the American hunter, of which Leather 
Stocking was the ideal, and Daniel Boone the 
real representative, conquered the great wil- 
dernesses of America. In pioneer days Chau- 

tauqua county had many skilled hunters 
familiar with the woods and accustomed to 
the use of the rifle. In fact, every neighbor- 
hood had its Leather Stocking. Oliver Pier, of 
Harmony, killed 1322 deer with the same rifle. 
During its use it required three new stocks and 
hammers. He paid for his farm with the boun- 
ties upon the wolves that he killed. Peter Ja- 
quins, of Clymer, captured nearly a hundred 
wolves previous to 1832, for which he received 
an average bounty of $12 per head. Zacheus H. 
Norton, an old trapper and hunter who lived in 
Gerry on the Cassadaga creek, was very suc- 
cessful in hunting the otter, the pelts of which 
were valuable. The otter practically disap- 
peared in 1825. Mr. Norton killed one hundred 
deer in a single season. 

But it was not safe to wander aimlessly 
along the delightful rivulets and in the 
sequestered recesses of the woods, for they 
were full of danger. To leave the beaten path, 
or Indian trail, while travelling through the 
unbroken forest, in order to find a shorter or 
better route, or even for a little distance for 
any cause, was sure to be disastrous to one not 
thoroughly experienced in traveling in the 
woods. It would often happen that, under 
such circumstances, the wanderer would go 
miles from home and become lost. On these 
occasions the settlers would rally from far and 
near, skillfully organize themselves into par- 
ties, choose leaders and scour the woods until 
the lost one was found. 

In early years Miss Baluma Shurtleft, after- 
wards the wife of Nathan Lee, was lost in the 
woods near Sinclairville. There was a gather- 
ing, and a general search. For three days she 
subsisted on berries. She was finally found 
near the east line of the town of Charlotte. 
Mrs. Underhill, of the town of Charlotte, while 
picking blackberries, wandered to the edge of 
the Cassadaga Swamp and lost her way. She 
remained in the woods three nights before she 
was found. 

In April, 1826, two boys of Samuel French, 
of the town of French Creek, one aged five 
years and the other but three, strayed from 
their path and were lost in the woods. For 
two days and two nights a search was made 
without success. On the third day, two hun- 
dred men assembled, chose leaders, and formed 
a line, with the understanding that not a word 
should be spoken or a gun fired until the chil- 
dren were found. A systematic search was 
made. For a long while they scoured the 
woods without success. At last the man posted 
at the extreme west end of the line stooped to 
tie his shoe ; he glanced backward under his 


arm, and saw the head of the oldest boy. Guns 
were fired and a shout went along the line. 
Two of the fleetest young men ran to carry the 
news to the anxious mother. The foremost 
runner fell exhausted at the door crying, 
"Found them both alive." The lost boys both 
lived to be men. 

Early in the spring of 1812, Mrs. Larry Sco- 
field, who lived a short distance southeast from 
where is now the county asylum, and about 
half a mile from the site of Dewittville, was 
in need of some thread. Knowing that her 
neighbor, Mrs. Southworth, half a mile away, 
just west of the present site of the asylum, 
had a wheel, she threw a shawl over her shoul- 
ders, took her baby, which was then but a few 
months old, on her arm, and a hank of flax in 
her hand, and started through the woods for 
Mrs. Southworth's. She wandered from her 
course and traveled all day long, with her 
infant in her arms, trying to find her way, with- 
out success. Tired and hungry, she passed 
the night with no other protection from the 
cold than her thin shawl, and a blanket for her 
child. She had no knowledge of woodcraft, 
and did not know how to direct her course by 
the moss on the trees, or by the sun, which 
seemed to her always in the wrong direction. 
Weary, discouraged, and faint from hunger, 
subsisting upon such scant food as the woods 
at that time of year afforded, carrying her in- 
fant, she wandered several days in the dense 
woods which then spread over the towns of 
Chautauqua, Ellery, Gerry and Ellicott. She 
must have strayed northeasterly far into the 
town of Ellery, for she finally struck a small 
stream which she followed until it discharged 
its waters into a larger stream, which proved 
to be the Cassadaga. She then pursued her 
journey down the creek until she came to a 
jam of driftwood, where she crossed to the 
other side of the stream. Her progress was 
interrupted by tributary streams and wet and 
swampy lands. She finally became completely 
exhausted and sank to the earth with her in- 
fant and gave herself up to perish. In the 
meantime the few settlers around Dewittville 
instituted a search and she was finally found 
at the spot where she had at last resigned her- 
self to death, by persons who knew nothing of 
her wanderings. The place where she was 
found was a short distance above Levant, on 
*he east side of the Cassadaga, sixteen miles 
in a direct line from her home. She and her 
baby were carried to Edward Works, (now 
Falconer) and when she had rested sufficiently, 
they were taken up the outlet (the Chadakoin) 
and the lake to her home. She had been at 

least four, perhaps six days, wandering in the 
woods. Mrs. Scofield afterwards moved from 
the county, and died at De Kalb, in Illinois. 
Her babe grew to womanhood, married Chris- 
topher Love, and died in 1879, in Illinois, 
where her descendants are living. 

In the many instances of this kind, women 
and children were usually the subjects. The 
searchers were not always so fortunate as to 
find the lost one alive. It was even less dis- 
tressing to find him dead than not to know his 
tate, for then long years of fruitless search 
would sometimes follow. Stories of a wild 
person seen in some distant wilderness, or a 
captive among the Indians, would revive the 
hopes of friends only to find the cruel rumor 
false. A pitiful story is told of two children 
of James Roe, who resided in Hanover, lost 
while rambling in the forest. One was found 
in a mill pond, and the clothes of the other 
in the woods. In the town of Cherry Creek, in 
April, 1822, on a clear Sabbath morning, a 
little daughter of Joshua Bentley, then in her 
fourth year, strayed into the woods and was 
never afterward seen. 

During the pioneer period the progress of 
settlement rapidly continued. The sunlight 
had been let into every town as now organ- 
ized in the county before the Erie canal was 
opened. An unbroken wilderness, for ten 
years after John McMahan had built his house 
in Westfield, covered the four southwestern 
towns. In that part of the county, in a tract 
of more than one hundred fifty square miles, 
not a log cabin had been reared nor a clearing 
made. In 1812 settlement was first commenced 
in this region, in French Creek, the extreme 
southwestern town, by Andy Noble, from 
Oswego county, on lot 44, John and Gardner 
Cleveland, Roswell Coe, Nathaniel Thompson, 
Amon Beebe, Gardner Case, Silas Terry, Ne- 
ll emiah Royce and A. S. Park. 

For more than ten years after the first set- 
tlement of the county, its eastern portion con- 
tinued exclusively in possession of the wolf 
and catamount. A wilderness of pine, hemlock 
and black ash, for a distance of five miles, ex- 
tended on both sides of the Conewango, in 
Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, be- 
tween the Kent Settlement in Villenova and 
Kennedy's Mills in Poland. In 1813 Joshua 
Bentley, Jr., from Rensselaer county, undis- 
mayed by dangers from the Indians, assisted 
by his wife, erected a rude log cabin in the 
heart of the wilderness on lot 7, just west of 
the village of Conewango Valley, in Ellington, 
close to the eastern borders of the county. His 
father. Joshua Bentley, Sr., three years later 

r:M house 



settled near him in 1816, in a log house that he 
had built, and kept the first tavern in the town. 
In April, 1815, Wyman Bugbee settled on lot 
29, near the present village of Ellington. 
Among the earliest settlers of Ellington were 
James Bates, Samuel McConnell, Simeon Law- 
rence, Benjamin Follett, Ward King, Abner 
Bates, Reuben Penhollow and Ebenezer Green. 
The first settlement at Cherry Creek was made 
in 1815, by Joseph M. Kent. He reared his 
bark-covered log house in the spring of that 
year, on lot 9, near the southwest corner of 
the town. He returned to his family in Ville- 
nova, and sent his wife on horseback eight 
miles through the woods, with one child in her 
arms and another behind her, with nothing but 
marked trees to guide her to her new house. 
She arrived safely, and with flint and punk 
started a fire and passed the first night un- 
disturbed except by the howling of the wolves 
in the Conewango Swamp. Among other 
early and prominent settlers were Joshua Bent- 
ley, Jr., Isaac and Stephen Curtis, James 
Marks, Barber Babcock, Ely D. Pendleton, 
Elam Edson, Daniel and Alvah Hadley, Rob- 
ert James, Arthur Hines, John Luce, Reuben 
A. Bullock, Horatio Hill, George H. Frost, 
Wanton King and James Carr. In 181 5 Alex- 
ander Findley, a native of Ireland, commenced 
a sawmill on lot 52 at the foot of Findley Lake 
in the town of Mina, and in 1816 made his per- 
manent home there. He soon after built a 
gristmill. He was the first settler of the town, 
and gave his name to the lake and the village. 
George Haskin, Aaron Whitney, George Col- 
lier, Hial Rowley, Elisha Morse, Peter R. Mon- 
tague, Horace Brockway, Joseph Palmer, Rob- 
ert Corbett, Gideon Barlow, James Skellie 
were all early settlers. Peter R. Montague, 
one of the best known pioneers of the town, 
died in 1896, at the advanced age of eighty- 
seven. The east side of Mina was settled by 
people from county Kent, England, James 
Ottaway, ancestor of A. B. Ottaway, the well- 
known lawyer of Westfield, and former dis- 
trict attorney, being the pioneer, he having 
settled there in 1823. 

In 1820 the first settlement of Clymer was 
made. That year John Cleveland settled upon 
lot 58. In 1821 William Rice, the father 
of Victor M. Rice, who was for many years 
State superintendent of Public Instruction, 
settled on lot 59. Through the influence of 
Hon. G. W. Patterson many Hollanders were 
influenced to settle in the town. About 1846 
the beginning of their immigration commenced. 

Over twenty years elapsed after McMahan 

made his first clearing at the Cross Roads, be- 
fore the town of Sherman was settled. It was 
first settled by Dearing Dorman, from near 
Batavia, Genesee county. In 1823 he erected 
a shanty on lot 32, and introduced his youthful 
wife. Henry W. Goff came later the same 
year. Alanson Weed came from Ellery in the 
spring of 1824. Sherman was the last town 
settled in the county, but its settlement was 
accomplished before the close of the pioneer 

On the 12th of June, 1812, Congress passed 
an act declaring war with England. At Al- 
bany, at the same time, the Legislature was 
passing an act of far greater and more lasting 
importance. By this act, common schools were 
established, and the State for the first time 
divided into school districts. The common 
school law went into effect in 1814. It was ad- 
ministered, and the school money apportioned 
and paid out in the county by the supervisors, 
the commissioners and inspectors of the town, 
and the trustees of the districts. Nearly all of 
the schoolhouses of the frontier and pioneer 
periods were built of logs. In 1821, according 
to Phineas M. Miller, there were 117 log school- 
houses in the 128 school districts of the county. 
Gathered from a wilderness region around 
about, almost equal to a township in extent, 
the pupils would daily wend their way along 
forest paths to one of these primitive school- 
houses. At first little more was taught than 
leading, writing, and arithmetic. Although 
wanting in the scientific methods of teaching 
of modern times, thorough instruction was 
given by strong-minded old teachers, in these 
simple branches, and what was more, a genu- 
ine love of learning inspired, resulting in after 
years in many self-educated, even accom- 
plished, men and women. 

In 1824, during the pioneer period, two years 
before the Erie Canal was built, while the 
stumps were still standing on the village green, 
and the fires still burning in sight in the fal- 
lows, the Old Fredonia Academy was incor- 
porated. It was opened in 1826, with Austin 
Smith as its first principal. He afterwards 
was a leading citizen, and a distinguished law- 
yer of the county, and is a remarkable fact 
that he lived to the age of nearly ninety-nine 
years, an honored and respected citizen of the 
village of Westfield ; his life nearly spanned 
the hundred years of our county's history. He 
married Sarah A., the daughter of John Mc- 
Mahan, the pioneer settler of the county, and 
was an actor in many of the early events that 
we have alreadv recorded. 


The Early Farming Period — 1825 to 1835. 

The people who settled in the county prior 
to the completion of the canal, were mostly 
frontiersmen from the western borders of set- 
tlements in New York and Pennsylvania. 

The people who emigrated to Chautauqua 
after the building of the canal differed in cer- 
tain respects from those who came before them. 
They were not so poor. The prospect for a 
market for the surplus products of the soil, 
and other signs of coming prosperity invited 
people from New England and from communi- 
ties in other settled localities, who brought 
with them more means, and the habits of econ- 
omy and thrift that prevailed in the East. 
These new-comers were better skilled in hus- 
bandry, and consequently better fitted for the 
changed condition of the country, which had 
now advanced from a backwoods state, and be- 
come a "farming country," although there were 
several towns almost entirely covered by for- 

The period in the history of the county that 
followed the completion of the Erie canal may 
be called the "Early Farming Period." It con- 
tinued a little over twenty-five years, and lasted 
until the first railroad was built into Dunkirk. 
During this period the county was being 
rapidly cleared of its forests, and increased in 
its population. By the State census of 1825, 
the population of the fifteen towns of the 
county was 20,639, an increase of 5,371, or 
more than thirty-three per cent, in the five 
years. We shall see hereafter what was the 
rate of increase during the five succeeding 
years. Jamestown in January, 1827, had 393 
inhabitants, and was that year incorporated the 
first village. 

The opening of communication between the 
East and this distant western country now be- 
gan to stimulate the enterprise of the county. 
In 1825 Capt. Gilbert Ballard was running a 
stage wagon three times a week upon the mail 
route between Jamestown and Mayville. The 
only other route in the county upon which 
stage wagons were run was that between Buf- 
falo and Erie. Twice a week over this route, 
Col. Nathaniel Bird was carrying passengers 
and the mail. The road for miles east of ths 
Cattaraugus creek for many years was ex- 
tremely bad and sometimes impassable. The 
Four-Mile woods, Cattaraugus creek and 
Cash's tavern in the present town of Brant, 
were the dread of all travellers. Roads and 
the facilities for transportation were at this 
time the great need of the inhabitants of the 

southern and western counties of the State. 
While the canal was being built from the 
Hudson at Albany to Lake Erie at Buffalo, 
the inhabitants of the southern tier of counties, 
by persistent effort, secured the passage of -i 
bill by the legislature for a survey of a State 
road from the lower Hudson to Lake Erie. 
This may be said to be the beginning of a 
movement that resulted twenty-five years later 
in the building of the New York & Erie rail- 
road. The surveyors of the State road arrived 
at Dunkirk, December 24, 1825, and completed 
their survey to the foot of the wharf. Dunkirk 
had then only about fifty inhabitants. 

In 1826 Walter Smith, a young merchant of, 
Fredonia, scarcely twenty-five years of age, 
who through his enterprise and business capac- 
ity had been able in this backwoods region to 
accomplish the sale of $75,000 worth of goods 
in a single year of trade in Fredonia, and had 
furnished supplies for all the United States 
forts and garrisons of the Great Lakes, almost 
entirely from the farming products of Chau- 
tauqua, as the result of his sales, was attracted 
to Dunkirk, by its fine harbor, which opened 
to navigation two weeks earlier than Buffalo, 
and the prospect that it would be the western 
termination of the State road. In 1825 he 
bought the undivided half of the Dunkirk prop- 
erty for $10,000, and turned his energy and 
business ability to building up the place. The 
few steamboats he induced to stop at Dun- 
kirk. The "Pioneer" carried passengers and 
made daily trips between Buffalo and Dun- 
kirk. A line of stages was established be- 
tween Dunkirk and Erie by way of Fredonia 
and Westfield, connecting with the "Pio- 
neer," thus avoiding the bad roads between 
Buffalo and Cattaraugus. At Erie, this line 
connected with stages for Pittsburgh and 
Cleveland. By these routes nearly all the 
travel passed between these points. In 1825, 
Obed Edson and Reuben Scott established a 
semi-weekly line of stages between Fredonia 
and Jamestown. A little later, Mr. Smith in- 
duced Mr. Edson and Walter Eaton to extend 
the route in a daily line from Dunkirk to War- 
ren, Pennsylvania. 

Also, through Mr. Smith's influence and 
active efforts, Daniel Garnsey was elected to 
Congress that he might advance the interests 
of Dunkirk. Garnsey was the first member of 
Congress ever elected from Chautauqua 
county. Garnsey procured an appropriation 
from Congress, and work was commenced on 



a lighthouse at Dunkirk in 1827. This was the 
first expenditure made in Chautauqua for im- 
proving the navigation of Lake Erie. In 1828, 
through the efforts of Garnsey, a beacon light 
was constructed at Silver Creek, and about the 
same time Barcelona was made a port of entry, 
and a lighthouse erected there which was 
lighted by natural gas carried in wooden pump 
logs from a spring not far away. Cattaraugus, 
Mayville and Barcelona were early surveyed 
into village lots by the Holland Land Com- 
pany. No places in the county were regarded 
at first, of so much importance as these, and 
Barcelona was for some years a place of con- 
siderable trade. Gervis Foot was energetic 
and effective in promoting its fortunes. In 
1831 the steamboat "William Peacock" was 
built by citizens of Westfield, to ply between 
Erie, Barcelona and Buffalo. A brick hotel 
was erected, and five stores were doing a brisk 
trade about that time. 

Among other enterprises Walter Smith con- 
ceived the plan of opening the Cassadaga and 
Conewango to keel-boats. Men were hired to 
clear out the obstructions for the navigation of 
these streams, and a trip or two was made by 
a keel-boat twenty-five feet long loaded with 
merchandise between Warren and Cassadaga. 
The Cassadaga was so small when the obstruc- 
tions were removed and the stream so crooked, 
that navigation was found impracticable. 

In 1828, the Holland Land Company sold 
60,000 acres of land in the eastern and south- 
eastern towns of the county to Levi Beards- 
ley, James O. Morse and Alvan Stewart. They 
were known as the Cherry Valley Company. 

In 1828, Chautauqua Lake was first navi- 
gated by steam. It was then the highest body 
of water so navigated in the world. Before 
the settlement of the county it had been made 
a means of communication between the Great 
Lakes and the Ohio, and immediately after the 
settlement was much used as a means of 
transit. A large canoe, made from a pine tree 
over five feet in diameter, was launched at 
Miles Landing in 1806. For many years it was 
the largest craft on the lake, and was consider- 
ably used for carrying purposes. Large quan- 
tities of salt from the salt springs of New York 
were transported southward from Mayville 
over the lake to Jamestown in a large scow or 
flatboat built by Judge Prendergast, thence in 
keel and Durham boats down the river. In 
1824 Elisha Allen built a boat propelled by 
horses, which was called a horse-boat. It occa- 
sionally navigated the lake during the period 
of a year, but finally proved a failure. In 1827 
Alvin Plumb formed a company and built the 

first steamboat that navigated the lake, an ex- 
cellent boat, named the "Chautauqua.'' She 
was launched at Jamestown amidst the firing 
of cannon. She made her first trip to Mayville, 
the Fourth of July, 1828. 

In 1829 the village of Fredonia was incor- 
porated. This year also marks the beginning 
of the temperance reform in Chautauqua 
count) r . In 1829 the Chautauqua County 
Temperance Society, as auxiliary to the State 
Society, was organized at Mayville ; Judge E. 
T. Foote was chosen president. The use of 
intoxicating liquors previous to that time was 
universal in the harvest field, at house raisings, 
logging bees, on training and election days, and 
en all occasions where there was an assembly- 
ing of the people. 

In 1829 stage wagons had been supplanted, 
and post coaches were running regularly and 
carrying the daily mail over the entire route 
between Buffalo and Erie, by Rufus S. Reed, 
cf Erie, Thomas G. Abell, of Fredonia, and 
Bela D. Coe, of Buffalo. Ballards' stages were 
carrying the daily mail from Jamestown to 
Mayville, alternating on the east and west side 
of the lake. The next year Mayville was incor- 
porated as a village. 

Five years had now elapsed since the Erie 
canal was completed, and never before or since 
has the county made such progress, or in- 
creased so rapidly in population as during tkose 
five years. By the United States census taken 
in 1830, the population was 34,671, an increase 
of 14,032, since the enumeration in 1825, or 68 
per cent, in five years. The population of 
Tamestown had more than doubled during the 
preceding years, and was in June of that year 
884. Dunkirk had increased six fold ; its popu- 
lation was 300. The population of Erie county, 
including Buffalo, which had then 8,668 in- 
habitants, was by the same census found to be 
35,719, or about the same as that of Chau- 
tauqua. More than 30,000 inhabitants resided 
outside of its villages. The country popula- 
tion of this county was considerably greater in 
1830 than the country population of Erie 
county at that time. Much the larger propor- 
tion of the inhabitants now reside in the cities 
of Jamestown and Dunkirk, and the many vil- 
lages of the county, and yet the cleared lands 
in 1830 were far less in extent than the area of 
improved land at the present time. 

In 1831 great quantities of pot and pearl 
ashes were manufactured among the hills. The 
exports from the northern and middle portions 
of the county consisted of large amounts of pot 
and pearl ashes, in which Walter Smith was a 



principal dealer. Many horses and cattle were 
also exported from the county. 

Lumbering was the leading industry in the 
south-eastern part of the county. Thickly 
scattered over the hills and more abundantly 
gathered along the streams and lowlands, grew 
that majestic and useful forest tree, the white 
or Weymouth pine. These trees grew tall and 
straight, eighty or one hundred feet without a 
limb, then sending out a few branches, they 
formed a tufted top ; they towered far above 
the surrounding forest. At maturity they were 
three to five feet in diameter, often more. They 
grew to the height of one hundred and fifty 
and even two hundred feet. The lumber manu- 
factured from the white pine was most beauti- 
ful in appearance and excellent in quality. 
These pine trees grew in all the towns south 
of the Ridge, but more abundantly in the south- 
eastern ones. A dense pine forest twelve miles 
square, covered Carroll, Poland, Ellicott and 
Kiantone, the site of Jamestown, and part of 
Busti. These monarchs of the woods have 
now nearly disappeared. 

There were many saw mills in operation in 
Carroll, Poland, Ellicott and in other towns in 
which pine trees grew. The principal ones 
were those of Judge Prendergast at James- 
town, the mills at Kennedy, at Worksburg and 
Frewsburg. The Kennedy mills sawed three 
or four millions of feet annually, as did also 
the Jamestown mills. All except that used for 
home consumption, for years went down the 
Allegheny to supply the southern market. 
Often it sold there for no more than it cost to 
manufacture and transport it. An important 
part of lumbering was the transportation of 
the boards and shingles to market. They were 
rafted down the Allegheny and sold at Pitts- 
burgh, Cincinnati, Louisville, and other points 
along the Ohio. Sometimes they were shipped 
down the Mississippi and sold in New Orleans. 
The lumber that was gathered along the Cone- 
wango, Cassadaga, Goose creek, Chautauqua 
lake and outlet and the Stillwater, was first 
rafted to Warren. The rafts were all con- 
structed in- sections. A tier of sixteen feet 
boards were laid down, and another course 
crossways upon that and so on until the re- 
quired number of tiers were obtained. This 
was called a "platform," and was firmly fast- 
ened together by means of "grubs." For a 
June, or "light fresh," or flood, a platform of 
twelve courses was laid. For a spring or "deep 
fresh," twenty-six courses were laid. Five of 
these platforms in line, hitched together by 
"coupling planks." usually constituted a suffi- 
cient raft for the Cassadaga and the Cone- 

wango above Kennedy Mills. Below Ken- 
nedy's, two of these rafts were usually coupled 
together, one behind the other. Manned by 
two men, they would run down to Warren. At 
Warren, six of these Conewango rafts, contain- 
ing about sixty platforms, would be united by 
"coupling planks" and made to form one solid 
raft which was called an "Allegheny fleet." An 
"Allegheny fleet" was usually manned by a 
pilot, ten men and a cook. When the raft 
arrived at Pittsburgh, two and sometimes as 
many as five of those large Allegheny fleets 
would be coupled together to form an Ohio 

To guide a raft, strong athletic men were 
needed for a crew — those who could pull 
quickly at the heavy oars when required. Much 
skill and a thorough knowledge of the river 
was necessary for the "pilot," or person in 
charge of the raft. The want of these quali- 
fications often resulted in shipwreck, and the 
loss of lumber to the owners. Pilots were 
picked men who made it the business of their 
lives to run the river during the rafting season. 
They all knew its windings, its channels, and 
its shallows. The Indians of the Allegany 
reservation were good raftsmen, and often 
made good pilots. Among the many good 
pilots whose services were in constant requisi- 
tion, were James Young, Freedom Morey, John 
Sheldon, John Fenton, Luther Clerk, "Joe" 
Jennison, "Hank" Johnson and Jesse Dean. 
Harrison Persons, familiarly known as "The 
Old General," a fine typical specimen of a 
river pilot, lived to a great age in the town 
of Ellery, which was his home for over sev- 
enty years. His first voyage down the Alle- 
gheny upon a raft was made in 1827. For fifty 
years he followed this vocation without a 
single year's omission. In one year he went 
down the river as many as nine times. After 
the third year he went in charge of the rafts as 
pilot, receiving from one hundred to two hun- 
dred dollars for his services each trip. His 
last voyage was made in 1876, when he was 
sixty-eight years of age. He made in all two 
hundred forty-seven trips down the Allegheny 
and Ohio. Before the period of railroads and 
stage coaches, raftsmen were accustomed to 
walk to their homes at the headwaters of the 
Allegheny after their trips. On his return 
journey, Mr. Persons walked from Beaver, be- 
low Pittsburgh, to Chautauqua county, one 
hundred forty-three different times. In 1840 
he walked from Wellsville, Ohio, to his home 
in Ellery, in three days, averaging sixty miles 
a day. When in his prime he was a powerful 




e.nd resolute man, six feet six inches in height, 
straight and well proportioned. 

The business of lumbering in its various 
branches, from cutting the trees in the forest 
until it was marketed down the river, was a 
school in which a host of energetic business 
men were educated. The prosperity of James- 
town and all the southeastern part of the 
county is due to the active enterprise of these 
men. Commencing with Dr. Thomas R. Ken- 
nedy, Edward Work, James Prendergast, John 
and James Frew, a long list of names follows, 
which stand for business talent and energy: 
The Fentons, Garfields, Silas and Jehiel Tif- 
fanv, the Budlongs, the Halls, Alvin Plumb, 
and Myerses, the Dexters, Joseph Clark, Dol- 
loff, Aiken, and many others. The reputation 
of these enterprising men of the county who 
received their business training in the lumber 
trade, often extended beyond the limits of the 
county. Many of them were known in West- 
ern New York, in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. 
Some acquired a State and even a national 
reputation in other fields. Reuben E. Fenton, 
Governor of New York, and United States 
Senator, gained his first success as a lumber- 
man. Philetus Sawyer, United States Senator 
from Wisconsin, in early life worked as a hand 
in the sawmills at Kennedy and at Jamestown. 

The business of the county in 1831 had 
grown so great, especially in the lumber sec- 
tion, that the people began to feel the need of 
a bank to facilitate commercial transactions. 
Jamestown had then nearly one thousand in- 
habitants, eleven stores, one woolen factory, 
one grist mill with three runs of stone, one 
gang sawmill, three common sawmills, two 
printing offices, and a number of mechanical 
establishments. It was the commercial center 
of a tract of country as large as Chautauqua 
county, which included a part of Cattaraugus 
and Pennsylvania, that was exporting annually 
.40,000,000 feet of boards, plank and sawed 
timber, $50,000 worth of lath, shingles, sash 
and other merchandise to southern markets. 
It was estimated that about $250,000 worth of 
merchandise was annuallv imported into it. 

The United States Branch Bank at Buffalo 
p.nd a State Bank at Lockport were the near- 
est banking institutions. There was no bank 
in the southern tier between Orange on the 
Hudson and Lake Erie. Lumbermen were 
obliged to send to Buffalo, Canandaigua, and 
sometimes even to Catskill, to procure cash to 
pay their hands, and other expenses of ship- 
ping their lumber. Judge E. T. Foote was at 
this time a member of Assembly for Chautauqua 
county. Through his energetic efforts, assisted 

by those of J. E. and Benjamin Budlong, Sam- 
uel Barrett, Alvin Plumb, Henry Baker, Guy 
C. Irvine, Silas Tiffany, Samuel A. Brown and 
others, the first bank was established at James- 

It was called the Chautauqua County Bank, 
and was incorporated by an act of the Legisla- 
ture passed in 183 1. It was organized under 
the safety fund act, with a capital of $100,000, 
with the privilege of issuing bills to twice the 
amount of its capital. Elial T. Foote was the 
first president, and Arad Joy the cashier. This 
bank is the oldest in the county. 

The Legislature in April, 1831, passed an 
act abolishing imprisonment for debt. This 
change in the law produced a most favorable 
effect upon the business conditions of the 

The defeat of the State road by the Legisla- 
ture was the beginning of the agitation of the 
construction of a railroad. Long years of 
doubt and despondency were destined to pass, 
however, before the consummation of this 
great enterprise. Nearly twenty years later 
the road was completed and another era of 
prosperity commenced, like that when the Erie 
canal opened to commerce. Walter Smith was 
one of the first projectors of the New York & 
Erie railroad, and the leading and most efficient 
man in the State to promote it. He spent the 
greater part of the winter of 1831-32 in Albany, 
bringing the importance of the road to the 
attention of the Legislature, and it was largely 
through his efforts that the railroad was char- 
tered, April 24, 1832. By his influence a clause 
was incorporated in the charter requiring the 
running of a certain number of trains into Dun- 
kirk daily, thus securing to it permanently and 
bevond contingency the benefit of the road. 
The wisdom of this provision is now apparent. 
Hon. Richard P. Marvin was also one of the 
first citizens of the county to appreciate the 
importance of a railroad and one of the first 
to make efforts to secure it. He addressed a 
meeting held at Jamestown as early as Sep- 
tember 20, 1831, of which Judge Elial T. 
Foote was chairman, at which it was resolved 
that application should be made to the Legis- 
lature for a charter. This was the first pub- 
he movement made in reference to the New 
York & Erie railroad. It was through his 
efforts that the important provision was incor- 
porated in its charter, that the termination of 
the road at Lake Erie should be at some point 
between Cattaraugus creek and the Pennsyl- 
vania State line. The preliminary survev was 
made in 1832, by DeWitt Clinton, Jr. At that 



time there were but five thousand miles of rail- 
road in the world. 

In 1832 the county poorhouse was erected. 
A farm had been purchased near Dewittville 
and near the east shore of Chautauqua Lake 
for $900. A substantial brick countyhouse 
ninety-four feet long and thirty-five feet wide 
v/as erected upon it at the expense of $3,500. 
December 21, 1832, it was opened to paupers. 
Its first boarder was Jacob Lockwood, a luna- 
tic, who remained there a permanent boarder 
for over thirty years. The first keeper of the 
poorhouse was William Gifford. He was suc- 
ceeded by William M. Wagoner, of Gerry. 
John G. Palmiter, Nicholas Kessler, A. M. P. 
Maynard and Willard Wood were early keep- 
ers of the poorhouse. Abiram Orton, William 
Prendergast, Solomon Jones, Thomas B. 
Campbell and Jonathan Hedges were appoint- 
ed the first superintendents of poor — all men' of 
worth and prominence. 

The prison rooms in the old court house 
were too contracted, had become dilapidated 
and insufficient for the detention of prisoners, 
so that by an act of the Legislature passed 
March 22, 1832, the board of supervisors was 
required to raise the sum of $3,500 for the pur- 
pose of building a jail; and $1,500 was subse- 
quently added to this amount, and a building 
erected in Mayville of brick, sixty feet in 
length, thirty-five in width and two stories 
high. It was well constructed and was then 
believed to be "impervious alike to assaults 
from without and pentup knavery within." 

Twenty years had now elapsed since the 
court house was erected, and many of the citi- 
zens felt the need of a larger and better struc- 
ture. Upon their suggestion an act was passed 
directing the building of a new court house. 
By this act Thomas B. Campbell, William 
Peacock and Martin Prendergast were ap- 
pointed commissioners to contract for and 
superintend its erection, and the board of 
supervisors was required to assess and collect 
$5,000 for the purpose. The commissioners 
contracted with Benjamin Rathburn, of Buf- 
falo for erecting the exterior of the building. 
This work was done the same summer, and 
was accepted by the commissioners. The 
board of supervisors at its adjourned meeting 
in December, 1834, by a resolution, "disap- 
proved of the act of the commissioners in ex- 
pending the whole sum of $15,000 upon the 
exterior of the building," and asked the Leg- 
islature to "remove William Peacock and Mar- 
tin Prendergast from the commission, and ap- 
point Elial T. Foote and Leverett Barker in 
their stead." The Legislature thereupon 

passed an act requiring the raising of an addi- 
tional sum of $4,000 to complete the building, 
and instead of removing the two commission- 
ers, appointed Mr. Foote and Mr. Barker as 
additional commissioners. With this appro- 
priation the court house was completed. 

One of the last trials held in the old court 
house was the most celebrated that ever took 
place in the county. On April 24th, 1834, 
North Damon came into Fredonia in great 
haste and requested Doctors Walworth and 
Crosby to go immediately to the residence of 
his brother Joseph, about three. miles from that 
village, not far from where now is Norton's 
station, on the D. A. V. & P. R. R. Upon en- 
tering the house they saw the dying wife of 
Joseph Damon lying upon a bed in the corner 
of the room, her hair, face, and the pillow upon 
which her head was laid clotted with blood, 
while Damon stood by, red-stained with the 
evidence of his guilt. A fire-poker which stood 
ty the fireplace bore unmistakable signs that 
it had been made the instrument of the bloody 
deed. The bystanders, by the direction of Dr. 
Walworth, who was a judge of the county 
court, immediately took Damon in custody. 
He was indicted, and at the September term in 
1834 was arraigned for trial for murder. By 
the evidence given, it appeared that Joseph 
Damon and his brothers followed the business 
of quarrying and cutting stone at a place still 
known as Damon's quarry ; that he was a 
rough, drinking man, and there was some evi- 
dence that he at times cruelly treated his wife. 
Late in the afternoon on the day of the murder, 
Joseph went to the house of his brother Mar- 
tin, who lived with their father and mother a 
few rods away, and upbraided them for mak- 
ing disturbance in his family and upholding his 
wife. He soon went out, and a few minutes 
Liter called to Martin and said, "For God's sake 
come in, I am afraid I have killed my wife." 
Martin immediately went into the house, and 
found Mrs. Damon lying upon the floor, bleed- 
ing profusely from wounds on her head. 
This was substantially all that was known 
about the murder. The two children of Damon, 
one a little girl aged eleven and the other a 
boy somewhat younger, were just outside the 
house, or near by, but were not sworn on the 

No tragedy that ever occurred in the county 
made so deep and lasting an impression. Over 
thirty years had passed since the first settle- 
ment, and no great crime had been committed 
by any citizen. The people were simple- 
minded and uncorrupted. Their moral sense 
was greatly shocked by Damon's crime. The 



eloquent plea of James Mullett in defense of 
Damon contributed to render the case memora- 
ble, and the public execution that followed the 
jury's verdict, and which was witnessed by a 
great crowd of people, deeply branded it upon 
their memories. Addison Gardner, circuit 
judge of the Eighth Circuit, presided at the 
trial. Philo Orton, Thomas B. Campbell, Ben- 
jamin Walworth and Artemus Hearic, county 
judges, were associated with him. The jury- 
men were Solomon Jones, Thomas Quigley, 
Aretus Smith, Walter Woodward, Don S. 
Downer, Anson R. Willis, Daniel S. Rich- 
mond, Thomas R. Treat, Samuel S. Forbush. 
Isaac Cornell, Harvey Eggleston and Nathan 
A. Alexander. Samuel A. Brown, the district 
attorney, opened the case to the jury. Shel- 
don Smith, also of Jamestown, made the clos- 
ing plea in behalf of the people. Ten years 
before, in the city of Buffalo, was witnessed 
the remarkable spectacle of the public execu- 
tion at the same time of three brothers, Nel- 
son, Israel and Isaac Thayer, for the mur- 
der of John Love, a tragedy that has been cele- 
brated in prose and doggerel verse, and is as 
memorable in the annals of Erie county as is 
the hanging of Damon in Chautauqua. Shel- 
don Smith, then a talented young lawyer of 
Buffalo, had assisted in the successful prose- 
cution of the Thayers, and was now the prin- 
cipal counsel in the prosecution of Damon. 
Jacob Houghton opened the case for the pris- 
oner, and James Mullett closed the case in his 
behalf. Mr. Mullett's address to the jury is 
probably the most eloquent and powerful one 
that has ever been delivered at the bar of 
Chautauqua county, and will compare favor- 
ably, even in grace of style, with the best 
efforts of forensic oratory. 

The lucid charge of the judge, the able argu- 
ment of the counsel for the people, and the 
common sense of the jury, rendered the power- 
ful effort of Judge Mullett to save the life of a 
human being unavailing. Damon was con- 
victed of murder. The exceptions taken to 
some of the rulings of the court on the trial 
were reviewed by the Supreme Court, without 
a favorable result to the prisoner. Sentence 
of death was pronounced at the Oyer and Ter- 
miner held in March, 1835, and the 15th day of 
May following was appointed for his execu- 

At the time fixed, a great crowd of people, 
estimated at from eight thousand to fifteen 
thousand, assembled at Mayville; one-fourth 
of the population of the county, including 
many women, were present. The execution 
took place in the open field at Mayville, on the 

west declivity of the hill, not far from the 
Lnion School building, and on the easterly side 
of the street extending westerly from near the 
court house. The sheriff, William Saxton, 
called out the 207th Regiment of militia, com- 
manded by William D. Bond, to serve as guard 
on the occasion. Elder Sawyer, at the request 
of Damon, preached the funeral sermon. He 
preached at the gallows from Proverbs xi:iQ: 
"So he that pursueth evil, pursueth it to his 
own death." At the gallows, Damon had con- 
siderable to say ; among other things he claimed 
he was unconscious at the time he committed 
the crime. When the drop fell, the fastenings 
of the rope gave way, and Damon fell to the 
ground. He appealed to the sheriff to suspend 
his punishment, but the rope was readjusted, 
and the hanging completed. 

It was a subject of so much discussion at the 
time and since, that a few more facts concern- 
ing Damon and his relatives may be of some 
interest. Joseph Damon was born at Worces- 
ter, Mass., March 18, 1800, the son of Stephen 
and Hannah Damon. He came with his par- 
ents and his three brothers, Stephen, Martin 
and North, to Chautauqua county in 1816. 
They all lived upon a farm in Pomfret, near 
the residence of Elisha Norton. Little is known 
about Stephen; he was a half-brother of the 
others. Martin was a stone cutter, and fash- 
ioned many of the gravestones in the early 
burial places of the county, particularly in the 
old cemetery at Fredonia. These gravestones 
are recognized by the style of the work as well 
as the material out of which they are made. 
They are usually in a good state of preserva- 
tion, and are valuable as fine specimens of 
early skill. 

The cholera for the first time visited Chau- 
tauqua county in 1832, and three persons died 
from the disease. It appears from the proceed- 
ings of the board of supervisors in 1834 that 
two certificates had been granted by justices 
for killing wolves, evidence that wild beasts 
had not ceased to contest the rights of occupa- 
tion with man. In 1834 Elijah Risley & Com- 
pany commenced raising garden seeds in Fre- 
donia. At first they used but six acres of land, 
putting up but seven hundred boxes of seeds. 
Their business increased so that for many 
years it was a leading industry of the county, 
and they became extensively known through 
the country as leading seed men. 

In other chapters we noted the beginnings of 
the Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist 
churches, and also the early work of the Con- 
gregationalists. During the frontier and pio- 
neer periods these denominations carried the 



Gospel to the remotest settlements, by mis- 
sionaries and ministers especially fitted for the 
work. It is true that these itinerant preachers 
were seldom learned men, but they had vigor- 
ous, practical minds, and were usually well 
versed in the Scripture. They were accus- 
tomed to a life in the backwoods and familiar 
with the ways of the pioneers. They labored 
unceasingly and unselfishly. 

The traveling Methodist minister from 1800 
to 1816 was entitled to receive but eighty dol- 
lars a year and his traveling expenses. His 
wife was allowed eighty dollars a year. An 
allowance was made to him of sixteen dollars 
annually for each child under seven years of 
age, and twenty-four dollars for each child be- 
tween seven and fourteen years of age. It is 
said, in fact, that he received not more than 
two-thirds of that amount, and yet for this pit- 
tance these men labored summer and winter 
with unremitting zeal. 

Many of the early settlers were from New 
England or were of Puritan descent, and thor- 
oughly imbued with the old and established 
Calvinistic doctrines of that people. Between 
them and the Methodists, who were of a later 
and more liberal faith, there existed a strong 
antagonism, and a polemic warfare was waged 
for many years. The zealous and aggressive 
spirit of Methodism prevailed against all oppo- 
sition ; they made converts everywhere. For 
years the itinerant Methodist minister, mount- 
ed on horseback, with Bible, hymn book and 
saddle bags, followed forest trails, guided by 
marked trees, forded bridgeless streams, often 
camping in the woods at night, tired and hun- 
gry, enduring all the hardships and privations 
of the backwoods, to carry the Gospel to the 
pioneers. The remarkable scenes at their re- 
vivals and camp meetings, the great crowd of 
people who came to listen, the burning words 
of the preacher, awakening them to their lost 
condition, were long remembered and are 
prominent among the early events. 

Not until the Early Farming Period, were 
there religious denominations other than those 
we have mentioned, established in the county. 
The first Episcopal (Trinity) Church was 
organized August 1, 1822. at Fredonia. Rev. 
David Brown (he who delivered the excellent 
address on the occasion of Lafayette's visit to 
the county), was its first pastor. The historic 
and interesting little church edifice of this de- 
nomination at Fredonia, the first in the county, 
was completed and consecrated in 1835. St. 
Paul's Church at Mayville was organized by 
the Rev. David Brown in April, 1823. St. 
Peter's Church of W'estfield was organized 

January 20, 1830; Rev. Rufus Murray was its 
first rector. St. Luke's Church of Jamestown 
was organized by the Rev. Rufus Murray on 
the 5th of May, 1834; and St. John's Episcopal 
society was organized in Dunkirk in 1850, by 
Rev. Charles Avery. Two years later a church 
building was erected. 

In 1 85 1, prior to the completion of the New 
York & Erie railroad, a small frame building 
was purchased by the Catholics in Dunkirk. 
The Rt. Rev. John Timon, Bishop of Buffalo, 
had at times before that visited the few scat- 
tered Catholic families in the county. The 
arrival of many Catholics during its building 
and before the completion of the road made 
greater church accommodations necessary. 
The cornerstone of a spacious brick church of 
Gothic architecture (St. Mary's) was laid in 
Dunkirk by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Timon in 
July, 1852, which was dedicated in November, 
1854, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Young, under the 
invocation of the Seven Dolors of Mary. Its 
first pastor was the Rev. Peter Colgan. Later 
a German Catholic and a Polish Catholic 
church were erected in Dunkirk. Catholic 
churches have since the completion of the Erie 
railroad been erected in Westfield, Jamestown, 
Silver Creek and in other villages in the county. 

In the Early Farming Period, Free Will 
Baptist, Universalist and Christian Societies 
were organized. Elders Bailey, Barr and Hal- 
liday were among the early popular ministers 
of the latter denomination. Rev. S. R. Smith 
was perhaps the earliest promulgator of the 
Universalist faith in Chautauqua county. Rev. 
Lewis C. Todd was a preacher of that denomi- 
nation, the editor of the "Genius of Liberty," 
a Universalist paper published in Jamestown, 
and also the author of several books on Uni- 

Religious organizations of the many other 
existing denominations have been formed since 
the Early Farming Period. First Church of 
Christ, Scientist, was erected by the Christian 
Scientists in Jamestown upon a site donated 
by Mrs. A. M. Kent about the year 1894. 

During the early periods, churches and meet- 
ings were as well attended and the sober duties 
of life as fully performed as at the present 
time, yet the people were not Puritanical. On 
the other hand, they were social and fond of 
indulging in the few simple amusements that 
the times afforded. An old paper advertised 
that "a living African lion will be exhibited at 
the tavern of Jediah Tracy in Mayville, Octo- 
ber n, 1819; the only one of its kind in Amer- 
ica. No apprehension of danger need be enter- 
tained as he is secured in his substantial iron 



cage. Admittance 25 cents, children half 
price." Sometimes a single elephant was ex- 
hibited. It would be driven to the place of ex- 
hibition in the night, covered with a canvas so 
as not to be seen by the people on the way. 
These unpretentious shows excited much inter- 
est; they were the forerunners of the caravan, 
a little later of the circus and finally the mam- 
moth hippodrome. Now and then a puppet 
show, a performance of sleight of hand tricks, 
and occasionally a public lecturer on some 
popular subject, would visit the little settle- 
ments. These entertainments were enjoyed 
with greater zest than the more pretentious 
amusements of the present day. 

Dancing assemblages, or balls of the young 
people, were common and were simple and 
hearty affairs. Contra dances, as the monie- 
musk* Virginia and opera reels, and French 
four were the usual dancing figures performed. 
Square dances were uncommon, and round 
dances unknown. Roger De Coverly, Monie- 
Musk, McDonald's reel, the Arkansas Trav- 
eler, Rosin the Bow, and other ancient and 
lively tunes, played upon a single violin by a 
local fiddler, constituted the music. 

The young men were an athletic, scuffling, 
wrestling race who delighted in nothing more 
than those ancient sports by which the backs 
and limbs of all stout-hearted youth have been 
tested since the days of Hercules. Wrestling 
was the popular outdoor amusement, practiced 
at every house and barn raising, town meeting 
and public gathering. During school days, a 
high school in athletics was always established 
outside the schoolhouse, where morning, noon 
and night, the boys quite as diligently plied 
and studied the wrestling art, as their books 
within its doors. Graduates from these old 
physical culture schools would come out on 
election and town meeting days to contest in 
the ring for honors of the town. Every school 
district had its champion, and no puny cham- 
pion was he. When General Training Day 
would come at Westfield, Sinclairville and James- 
town, strong and active young men would 
gather from far and near. Where the crowd 
wasthe thickest, some athletic young man of 
spirit accomplished in the art, would mount 
a peddler's cart and announce by way of chal- 
lenge that "of all the men he could see, there 
was not one that he could not lay on his back; 
that he would be at the Boat Landing at one 
o'clock." Promptly on time the crowd would 
be there, and as promptly the dauntless young 
man himself, and boldly walk into the ring. No 
sinecure it was to hold one's own against all 
comers there, for ready for the fray were the 


sons of the backwoods from the hills of Ellery 
and Gerry, whose limbs had been toughened 
by swinging the ax in slashings, and stalking 
through the woods for deer, with bodies invig- 
orated by feasting on cornbread and venison. 
There were also rough rafting descendants of 
Anak from Carroll, Poland and Kiantone, 
whose muscles had been hardened by hewing 
down pine trees, and hauling them to saw- 
mills, pulling at oars, and roughing it on Alle- 
gheny fleets. There, too, were tough, grog- 
drinking boatmen from down the river, equally 
ready for a wrestle or a fight, though seldom 
a fight occurred. Indeed it was not merely 
strength and skill, but also nerve and brain 
that was required to hold the championship 
against all comers in those old wrestling days. 

But few holidays were recognized. Thanks- 
giving Day was observed by only a few, and 
those settlers from the New England States. 
Christmas was honored but little more. The 
young people often celebrated New Year's with 
balls and sleighrides ; Washington's Birthday 
was passed by ; the Fourth of July was duly 
remembered. No day of the year, however, 
not excepting Independence Day, was so gen- 
erally observed as General Training Day, often 
in other places called General Muster Day. 
The rough life of the backwoods man, the 
familiarity of the people with the use of fire- 
arms, and the recent war in which the country 
had been engaged, were calculated to cultivate 
a martial taste, and the military spirit ran high 
for many years. On General Training days, 
which were observed in Jamestown, Fredonia, 
Sinclairville, Mayville, and other principal 
places in the county, the whole male popula- 
tion of the neighboring towns would turn out 
to witness the sham fight, military parade, and 
take a part in the festivities of the day. None 
of that day lived long enough to efface from 
memory the fun and enjoyment of General 
Training Day. The apple carts and peddlers' 
wagons dispensing their stock of apples, sweet 
cider, ginger-bread and honey, and before all, 
the stirring music of the drum and fife were 
not soon forgotten. 

These general trainings were held in Sep- 
tember of each year. Nearly all the young 
men and the greater part of the able bodied 
men served in the ranks. When this military 
system was first instituted, the men and offi- 
cers took pride in the performance of their 
duties, and for some years the soldiers were 
quite well disciplined; after a little the mili- 
tary spirit began to wane, and discipline to re- 
lax. The officers were selected with less care, 



.-id the men began to regard the performance 
of military duty as a burden. The law re- 
quired them to furnish their own arms and 
equipments and the consequence was that thev 
were dressed "in all kinds of hats, all styles 
ot coats, from the surtout to the sailor jacket ■ 

they carried all kinds of arms from the shot- 
gun to the stake from the fence," bearing a 
strong resemblance to Falstaff's soldiers, caus- 
ing much merriment to the wags of the time 
J he military musters after a while degenerated 
into a farce, and were discontinued 


The Early Farming 
By the State census the population of the 
county in 1835 was 44,869, an increase of 10 212 
in nye years, showing the effect that the Erie 
canal had upon the prosperity of the county 
and also showing in what high esteem the 
county was held abroad. Yet the inhabitants 
were still poor, their lands in most instances 

^nt a M ;, an , d K aI1 V lat the - v had was ^pre- 
sented by the labor that they had expended in 
clearing and improving their lands 

In 1835 the Holland Company contracted 
their unsold lands and lands of which there 
were outstanding and unexpired contracts, to 
Trumbell Carey and George W. Lay. It was 
understood that such of the settlers as could 
not pay for their farms would be compelled to 
renew their contracts, and pay a certain sum 
per acre in addition to the original price, and 
such interest as had accumulated thereon This 
proposed exaction was called the "Genessee 
1 arirt. As soon as this became known, it 
produced great excitement. A large public 
meeting was held in Jamestown at which a 
committee was appointed consisting of Elial 
T Foote, Oliver Lee, Samuel Barretf, Leveret 
Barker and George T. Camp to confer with the 
proprietors at Batavia, and ascertain their in- 
tentions towards the settlers. The committee 
so appointed were unable, however, to obtain 
satisfactory information. A second public 
^ ee . ^ > WaS hdd at Ma y vi "e, Januan 8th 
T63D- lhe people were now greatly aroused 
and this was more numerously attended than 
the former one. Leverett Barker was chosen 
president, and John M. Edson. secretary. 
James Mullett addressed the people in an im- 
pressive speech. Speeches were also made by 
Judge Foote and others; a committee was ap- 
pointed, to which was added the chairman and 
secretary to confer with William Peacock, the 
agent of the company for Chautauqua county. 
Mr. Peacock received the committee coldly 
and the little information that he gave them 
was very unsatisfactory. The result of this 
conference produced great excitement, and the 
excesses which followed the proposed exac- 
tions were such as might have been expected 

Period— 1835-185: 

•The early settlers had braved a wilderness 
and wrought for themselves homes such as ex- 
S 6 A P T at , ion and hardship could accom- 
plish, rhey had rallied at the call of danger 
shed their blood and perilled their lives in 
defense of the soil. The owners had grown 
wealthy by the mdustry of the settlers, and 
heir agents rolled in fatness ; to impose such 
terms at a time and under such circumstances 
as, in a majority of instances, would deprive 
the settlers of their farms and compel them to 
abandon their possessions, while a course of 
tair dealing and equitable requirements on the 
part of the owners would enable them, after a 
few more years of toil, to call the soil on which 
the hre and vigor of their manhood had been 
expended their own, was more than they 
would submit to or endure." 

There were small gatherings of the people 
m Gerry, Ell.cott and Ellery, in which the sub- 
ject was discussed. The more it was talked 
over, the more were the people incensed and 
inclined to resort to harsh measures. As the 
result of these gatherings, a meeting was called 
at rlartheld, which was not well attended 
I his was adjourned to the 6th of February' 
and it was understood, without a formal decla- 
ration to that effect, that the purpose would 
be tearing down the land office. On the 6th 
ot February, from three hundred to five hun- 
dred people assembled at Barnhart's Inn at 
Hartneld, principally from Gerry, Ellery, Char- 
lotte, Stockton, Poland, Ellicott, Busti and 
Harmony. Roland Cobb, of Gerry, was chosen 
chairman. Gen. George T Camp was solicited 
to become leader in the contemplated enter- 
prise, but he declined, and in an earnest speech 
endeavored to induce them to abandon their 
violent intentions. The chairman also said 
that the Land Company might yet be willing 
to make terms, should another conference be 
had with them. Nathan Cheney, an intelligent 
and resolute old settler, abruptly and effec- 
tively addressed the meeting in these words, 
I hose who are going to Mayville with me 
tall into line." The whole assemblage at once 
obeyed, chose Cheney their leader, George 



Van Pelt from Charlotte for lieutenant, formed 
into line, and marched a short distance west of 
Barnes' store in Hartfield and halted. Cheney 
then called for twenty-five of the strongest 
men to do the work of demolishing the Land 
Office. The number called for promptly 
stepped forward. Among them were Harri- 
son Persons, the Allegheny pilot before men- 
tioned, "Zeke" Powers (noted for his strength, 
afterwards a soldier of the Mexican war where 
he lost his life), "Coon" and Jim Decker, "Bill" 
Pickard, Peter Strong and John Coe (from 
Pickard Street in Ellery), and other strong and 
resolute people. The people then resumed 
their march for Mayville, the sappers and 
miners with Persons and Powers as leaders, in 
advance. The only arms they carried were 
axes and crowbars and some hoop-poles taken 
from a cooper's shop on their march. Two 
kegs of powder were taken along, although no 
use was made of them. When the party 
arrived at the Land Office (which was about 
8 o'clock in the evening) Cheney posted the 
sappers and miners upon three of its sides and 
paraded the rest of the party around these 
workmen to guard them from outside interfer- 
ence. As a light was burning in the building 
when they arrived, admittance was first de- 
manded, to which no response was given. 
Cheney in a strong voice then gave the order 
to strike, which was obeyed, and all the win- 
cows came out with a crash. The door was 
broken down, and an entrance to the building 
effected. A costly clock was disposed of by 
the blow of an ax. A valuable map of the 
county, upon which every farm was delineated, 
was destroyed. The axmen made light work 
of the furniture and woodwork. They cut the 
posts and canted the building over. They found 
some difficulty in opening the vault that con- 
tained the safe, which was made of solid 
mason-work of cut stone. Van Pelt pried out 
the keystone with an iron bar; others took 
one of the pillars of the building and used it 
as a battering ram, and strong arms soon bat- 
tered down the door of the vault. The iron 
safe was pried open, and half a cord of books 
and papers of the company were taken out, 
placed on a sleigh, and carried to Hartfield. 
where a bonfire was made, and they were 
burned. Some of them, however, were carried 
away by the people and have been preserved. 
The party dispersed and went to their homes 
about midnight. 

The most of those engaged in this affair held 
contracts for the purchase of land, and in many 
instances would have suffered ruinous conse- 
quences from the company's exactions. The 

proceedings were conducted in an orderly 
manner, and those engaged were generally 
sober men. No liquor was used, except while 
the work of demolishing the building and 
opening the vault was going on. While the 
people were on the way from Hartfield to May- 
ville, Peacock was notified of their coming and 
left his office and took refuge at the house of 
Donald McKenzie, and after remaining a short 
time in Mayville he went to Erie. No further 
communication was had between the Holland 
Land Company or their agents and the settlers 
until 1838, when a sale was made of the com-' 
pany's land to Duer, Robinson and Seward 
(Gov. William H. Seward), who opened an 
office in Westfield, where the business was 
conducted without disturbance or dissatisfac- 

During the war waged by Texas for its inde- 
pendence, Chautauqua county was represented 
by at least two soldiers. John Harding, a 
native of Chautauqua county, served with 
credit, and Mr. Pickett, of Charlotte, a young 
man in Fanning's command, was massacred 
by the Mexicans. 

The winter of 1836-37 was long, and so 
severe that the "Western Trader," a schooner 
loaded with corn and oats, bound down from 
Detroit in the fall of 1836, was frozen in the 
ice, drifted down, and lay for six weeks in a 
mass of ice off Dunkirk. She and her crew- 
were not loosened from their fetters until 
nearly June, 1837. An increased interest in 
agriculture had now been manifested for sev- 
eral years. A society formed in 1820 went 
down in a few years for the want of patronage 
by the State. It was now revived. Some citi- 
zens met at Mayville in October, 1837, to 
organize an agricultural society. Jediah Tracy 
was chosen president and William Prender- 
gast (2d) secretary. The meeting was ad- 
journed to the 4th of January, 1838, when the 
Chautauqua County Agricultural Society was 
organized. William Prendergast was chosen 
president ; Henry Baker, Timothy Judson, 
Thomas B. Campbell and Elias Clark, vice- 
presidents ; E. P. Upham, secretary ; and Jediah 
Tracy, treasurer. 

The county during the years immediately 
previous had been in a state of unexampled 
prosperity, in which Dunkirk fully shared. 
Lands both uncultivated and improved began 
to rise in value, which was first observed in 
1833. People of all classes embarked in wild 
speculations, particularly in real estate. There 
was a great demand for corner lots, and favor- 
able sites. Cities were laid out along the lake 
wherever there was a harbor ; almost everv 



village was affected. As Dunkirk was to be 
the termination of the Erie railroad, it was an 
unusually promising field for speculation. The 
crisis came in the spring of 1837. The mercan- 
tile failure in New York in March and April 
amounted to over $100,000,000; in New Or- 
leans to the amount of $27,000,000 took place 
in two days. All the banks in the county sus- 
pended specie payment. 

The winter 1837-38 was one of the mildest 
ever known. Vessels navigated Lake Erie dur- 
ing the winter, including January. In this win- 
ter occurred the "Patriot War." Many of the 
people of Canada were discontented with the 
British government, particularly the French 
inhabitants of Lower Canada. An armed re- 
bellion broke out there, which was finally sup- 
pressed with some loss of life. Uprisings of a 
less serious character occurred in Upper Can- 
ada. The little steamboat "Caroline," owned 
by a citizen of Buffalo, was captured by the 
British at Schlosser, on the Niagara river, set 
on fire, and sent over the Falls. One person 
was killed and several wounded. This affair 
caused much excitement in Chautauqua county. 
A meeting was held in January at Mayville, of 
which William Peacock was chairman, and 
George W. Tew, secretary. A committee was 
appointed to draft resolutions with reference 
to the outrage at Schlosser. Strong resolu- 
tions were passed condemning the act, and in 
favor of military preparations to protect the 
borders of the county against further out- 
rages. Gen. T. J. Sutherland, a patriot leader, 
visited the county. Some enlistments were 
obtained. Secret lodges of "Hunters" were 
formed along the frontier of Canada, to collect 
munitions, and aid the "patriots." Some two 
hundred stand of arms had been gathered, and 
were stored for the use of the "patriots" at 
Fredonia. A body of United States troops 
under Gen. Worth was sent to suppress these 
unlawful proceedings. They stopped at Dun- 
kirk and marched to Fredonia to break up the 
"Hunters' Lodge" there. Several wagon-loads 
of arms and army supplies were captured. 
Among those who ventured into Canada and 
took up arms in the patriot cause, was Linus 
W. Miller, who resided in Stockton. He was 
taken, tried, condemned, and punished by 
transportation to Van Dieman's Land. After 
an absence of nearly eight years, he returned 
to this county. The interesting story of his 
captivity he told in the "Notes of an Exile." 

On June 14th, 1838, the steamboat "Wash- 
ington," on her downward trip to Buffalo, when 
about twelve miles below Dunkirk, was dis- 
covered to be on fire. She immediately steered 

for Silver Creek, the nearest harbor, but the 
flames spread so rapidly that she soon became 
crippled and was sinking, when the steamboat 
"North America" hove in sight, took her in 
tow, and succeeded in getting her within two 
miles of the shore, where she sank. Twelve 
of the seventy persons on board were lost. 

At the meeting of the board of supervisors 
ir 1839, certificates were given for wolves 
killed in Busti and Clymer. The year closed 
with the heaviest fall of snow in the record of 
the county. About Christmas, in a short time 
the snow fell to the depth of five feet. The 
wind heaped it into drifts, rendering the roads 
entirely impassable. All communication was 
cut off even between the nearest neighbors. 
Flocks were buried in the drifts, and physi- 
cians were interrupted in their duties, result- 
ing in some instances in the death of their 

By the census of 1S40 the population of the 
county was 47,975, an increase in five years of 
but 3,106. 

In 1841 a very large wolf was killed in Ville- 
nova. It was the last destroyed in the county. 
It was so successful in avoiding its pursuers 
that it was not killed until it had been hunted 
thirty-one days. Its skin was stuffed, and ex- 
hibited in different towns. The records of the 
board of supervisors show that a bounty of 
"ten dollars was allowed Sewall Spaulding for 
killing a full grown wolf, in the town of Ville- 

The same portion of Lake Erie where three 
years before the steamboat "Washington" was 
lost, was the scene of the most terrible catas- 
trophe that ever occurred on the waters of 
Lake Erie. August 9th, 1841, the steamboat 
"Erie," Capt. Titus, left Buffalo at 3 o'clock 
p. m. for Chicago with over two hundred fifty 
persons on board. When off Silver Creek 
about 3 o'clock, a carboy of copal varnish on 
the upper deck near the smoke stack, became 
heated and burst. The boat had been painted 
and varnished, and in a few moments the whole 
cf the upper part of the vessel was enveloped 
in flames. The passengers leaped into the lake 
without life preservers, or the slightest article 
of buoyancy to sustain them, save one, who it 
is said laid himself out to die on the working 
beam of the engine. Over two hundred per- 
ished, of whom one hundred fifty were Swiss 
emigrants. The "DeWitt Clinton," which had 
put into Dunkirk a short time before, the little 
steamboat "Sylph," which was also lying there, 
and other small boats, hastened to the relief of 
the burning boat. They only saved about 
thirty-five persons, who were found clinging to 



the burning wreck, or floating on pieces of 
boxes, furniture and timber. The burning ves- 
sel appeared to be at Battery Point, while in 
fact it was several miles out. George and 
Sampson Alton and Andrew Wood put out in a 
little boat with a mere rag of a sail and saved 
young Lamberton, of Erie, who had swam two 
miles from the wreck. Others did what they 
could, but there was little to do more than to 
rescue from the waves the bodies of the lost. 
The corpses of the drowned continued to float 
ashore for two weeks or more. The greater 
number were interred in Dunkirk, many in 
Silver Creek, seven in Sheridan, some in Irving 
and a few at Van Buren. But four of the lost 
had been residents of the county. 

It is a curious and now almost forgotten 
fact, that among the industries that have been 
cultivated in this county was included at one 
time the raising of silk. As early as 1827 a 
small number of black mulberry trees, morns 
nigra, now cultivated for ornament and shade, 
were grown, and a small quantity of silkworms 
raised. A smaller tree, the white mulberry, 
mora alba, was brought into the county about 
the same time. About 1834 the Chinese mul- 
berry, morns muticaulis, the leaves of which 
were best suited for food for silkworms, was 
introduced. In 1841 an act was passed provid- 
ing for the payment of a bounty of fifteen cents 
for every pound of cocoons raised, and fifty 
cents for every pound of reeled silk made from 
cocoons raised in the county. The effect of 
this law was to stimulate for a short time the 
growing of silk. Mulberry groves were com- 
mon and silkworms for a while grown in con- 
siderable numbers. It is interesting to know 
that one hundred pounds of silk were actually 
laised in the county in 1S42. The business 
proved to be a losing speculation. 

In President Harrison's administration, while 
Daniel Webster was Secretary of State, the 
question respecting the northwestern bound- 
ary of the United States was under consid- 
eration. Webster at this time visited the 
county to interview Donald McKenzie at May- 
ville. McKenzie was born in Scotland, of dis- 
tinguished lineage, and came to Canada early 
in the last century ; for eight years he was 
engaged in the fur business. In 1809 he be- 
came one of the partners of John Jacob Astor 
in the fur trade, and was established at the 
mouth of the Columbia river, where he re- 
mained until 1812. In 1821 he joined the Hud- 
son Bay Company and was one of the council 
and chief factors, with his headquarters at 
Fort Garry, and was afterwards governor of 
the company. In 1832 he removed to May- 

ville and resided there until his death in 1851. 
His life was full of adventures and peril. When 
Webster visited McKenzie, he came from Buf- 
falo to Barcelona and thence to Mayville in a 
covered carriage. His purpose was to ascer- 
tain such facts bearing upon the northwestern 
boundary controversy between the United 
States and England as were in the possession 
of McKenzie. His visit was a government 
secret and known at the time by but few. 
Judge William Peacock was among the num- 
ber. Webster remained one day and two 
nights at the residence of McKenzie. 

In the spring of 1843, Capt. Nathan Brown, 
of Jamestown, sent down the river the first of 
his store boats. Until the building of the rail- 
road to Jamestown, these boats furnished the 
principal means for the transportation to mar- 
ket of the articles manufactured there. From 
1843 to 1880, Mr. Brown built one hundred 
fifty-four of these boats, loaded them with 
worked building materials and other wood- 
work, and sent them down the river, selling his 
cargo at points along the Ohio and other rivers, 
and finally selling his boat. The enterprise of 
Mr. Brown made him and his boats familiarly 
known along the Allegheny, Ohio and Mis- 
sissippi rivers for many years. On November 
4, 1844, late in the evening, Nathaniel Lowry, 
the leading merchant of Jamestown, while re- 
turning to his dwelling in Jamestown, was 
stabbed by a person evidently having the pur- 
pose of killing him. For a long time his life 
was despaired of. He finally recovered. Jere- 
miah C. Newman, of Pine Grove (now Rus- 
sell) Warren county, Pennsylvania, was sus- 
pected of the offense, arrested, indicted and 
tried at the Chautauqua county oyer and termi- 
ner at Mayville, in January, 1846. The trial 
was one of the most celebrated in the history 
of the county. Richard P. and Dudley Mar- 
vin, James Mullett and Madison Burnell, the 
ablest lawyers of the county, were engaged 
either in the prosecution or defense. Newman 
was convicted and sentenced to State prison 
for five years and three months. 

The same year Alvan Cornell was tried at 
Mayville before Justice Dayton for the murder 
of his wife, by cutting her throat with a razor, 
in Jamestown. He attempted suicide but 
failed. The prosecution was conducted by 
David Mann, the district attorney. He was 
defended by Samuel A. Brown, was found 
guilty, and sentenced to be hung. He was be- 
lieved to have been insane, and his sentence 
was commuted to imprisonment for life. 

By the State census taken in 1845, the popu 
lation of the county was 46,548, a falling off in 



five years of 1,427. This had not happened 
before since the settlement of the county. Dur- 
ing the ten years that followed the building of 
the Erie canal, and that had preceded the year 
1835, 2 4- 2 44 inhabitants were added to its popu- 
lation, an increase of one hundred twenty per 
cent., the most rapid growth the county had 
ever known. During the ten succeeding years 
it had added only 1,679 to ' ts population, an in- 
crease of but four per cent, and at the close of 
that period it was actually decreasing in popu- 
lation. This remarkable falling off in the in- 
crease of population from 1835 to 1845 is be- 
lieved to have been due to the fact that there 
was during that period a large emigration 
from Chautauqua county to the west, caused 
by the hard times that followed the great finan- 
cial crash in 1837, and the discouraging delay 
in building the Erie railroad. 

In June, 1846, the convention to frame a new 
constitution for the State commenced its ses- 
sion in Albany. George W. Patterson and 
Richard P. Marvin represented Chautauqua 
county in the convention. The changes made 
by the new constitution were followed by a 
statute passed in 1848 known as the "Code of 
Procedure," which entirely revolutionized the 
practice in civil procedure. It abolished the 
distinction between suits at law and suits in 
equity ; the whole system of pleading was re- 
formed, and many other changes were made of 
a radical and important character, respecting 
the procedure in civil actions. The changes 
made by the Code in practice and pleading 
much affected the legal profession. Lawyers 
who had mastered the settled principles that 
had governed the practiced were now obliged 
to devote much study to the perplexing ques- 
tions that arose under the new system. At- 
torneys then past their prime of life were 
naturally disinclined to renew their studies, 
and many of the older lawyers ceased to take 
as active a part in the profession as before, and 
some entirely retired from it. 

When the Code went into effect, it marked 
the close of an era in the history of the Chau- 
tauqua county bar. The first period of its his- 
tory (the pioneer period) commenced with the 
organization of the county and continued ten 
years until the constitution of 1821, during 
which time the old Court of Common Pleas 
was the principal legal tribunal. Four years 
of this time this court was held in John Scott's 
log tavern, and afterwards in the old court 
house. Zattu dishing was the first judge, and 
presided in the Common Pleas during all this 
period. Judge Cushing, although he had no 
superior advantages of education or legal train- 

ing, possessed the other qualities of an excel- 
lent judge. He was possessed of a superior 
mind, personal dignity, firmness and force of 
character, and was benevolent and pure in his 
life. In every respect he honored the position. 
It is fortunate that through the thoughtfulness 
of Judge Walworth the portrait of the estima- 
ble pioneer Judge now adorns the courtroom 
of the county. Had we a transcript of the 
strong faces of all the old lawyers who prac- 
ticed in his court, it would be an invaluable 
possession for future generations — of Anselm 
Potter, Jacob Houghton, James H. Price, 
James Mullett, Dudley Marvin, Sheldon Smith, 
Abner Hazeltine, Samuel A. Brown, Ernest 
Mullett, John Crane, Abram Dixon, David 
Mann and others. Although the field of their 
labors was close to the borders of the wilder- 
ness, they were men skilled in their profession. 
Several of them were college graduates, some 
were men of unusual natural capacity ; all were 
well read in legal principles and skilled in the 
practice of the law. For knowledge of the 
fundamental principles of the law they would 
not suffer by a comparison with their brethren 
of the profession in succeeding years. In 1820 
there were thirteen of these pioneer lawyers in 
the county. 

The Court of Common Pleas continued after 
the constitution of 1821, and until that of 1846. 
For nearly twenty of the twenty-five years of 
this period, Dr. E. T. Foote was its first judge. 
Like Judge Cushing, he was nol a lawyer by 
profession, but was a man of ability, and well 
fitted to preside in this popular court. He took 
great interest in the early settlers, and during 
his active years, a leading part in every enter- 
prise designed to promote the prosperity of the 
county not only as regarded its business inter- 
ests, but for the moral and religious advance- 
ment of the people also. 

Thomas A. Osborne succeeded Judge Foote 
as first judge of the Common Pleas, but held 
that position during 1843-44 only. He was a 
good lawyer, and was best qualified by reason 
of his legal attainments to fill the position of 
any who have filled the office. Mr. Osborne 
was an accomplished writer, particularly upon 
political subjects. He was a Democrat, and 
his clear and finely written articles maintain- 
ing the principles of his party often appeared 
in the "Mayville Sentinel" and other papers of 
the county. 

Thomas B. Campbell, also a Democrat, suc- 
ceeded Judge Osborne as first judge, and held 
the position for two years and until the Court 
of Common Pleas ceased to exist. The court 
suffered no deterioration with Judge Camp- 



bell as its presiding office. Although he was 
not a lawyer, he was a strongminded, able and 
upright man, who, like his predecessors, had 
an aptitude for the law. By his strong and 
practical good sense, he commanded the re- 
spect not only of the suitors at law, but of the 
members of the bar who practiced in his court. 

The old Common Pleas in 1847 ceased to 
exist as a court. When it expired it was com- 
posed of Thomas B. Campbell, first judge; 
John M. Edson, Caleb O. Daughaday, Niram 
Sackett and Franklin H. Wait, judges. This 
had been the court most familiar to the people 
from its organization. Court week to the old 
settler was a period of creation best suited to 
his peculiar taste. His constant struggle for 
existence with the forest and with unpropi- 
tious seasons had trained him to take his great- 
est pleasure in the trials of strength, of skill 
pnd of brain. He took delight in witnessing 
the sharp encounters and trials of wit that a 
lawsuit brought forth. This old court was also 
a school of instruction. There he obtained his 
first ideas of the law, and learned the principles 
of our government. The judges were to him 
the best examples of dignity, justice and wis- 
dom, the closing plea of his favorite lawyer his 
highest ideal of eloquence, and he was not 
without reason for this opinion. Judge Mul- 
lett, Dudley Marvin and Madison Burnell, as 
forensic orators were without superiors in 
Western New York. The remarkable genius 
of Judge Mullett, his rare wit, and his power- 
ful and impressive eloquence, never failed to 
carry away and control his audience. The 
logic, the eloquence, the will of Burnell, domi- 
nated the court, and wrenched verdicts from 

Great progress was made in education and 
schools during the Early Farming Period. 
Phin M. Miller in his exhaustive history of the 
schools of the county has aptly denominated 
this as the "Red School House Period," while 
the time preceding it he calls the "Log School 
House Period." The Fredonia Academy, al- 
though incorporated during the Pioneer 
Period, was not opened to pupils until 1826. 
Mayville Academy was incorporated in 1834; 
Jamestown Academy in 1836; Dunkirk Acad- 
emy in 1837; Westfield Academy in 1839; an d 
Ellington Academy in 1851. in 1836 provi- 
sions were made establishing school district 
libraries. The common school system, how- 
ever, remained substantially unchanged until 
1843, when town commissioners and inspectors 
were abolished, the office of town superintend- 
ent of schools created, and the board of super- 
visors authorized to appoint a county superin- 

tendent of schools. Under the provisions of 
the law, W T orthy Putnam was elected county 
superintendent of schools in 1843. Mr. Put- 
nam immediately endeavored to arouse an in- 
terest in schools and education. He appealed 
directly to the citizens of the county to aid 
him. He personally visited its schools, and 
stimulated both teachers and scholars to effort. 
Through his personal influence many new 
school houses were built in the county. But 
it was with the teachers and scholars that he 
had the most success. The first Teachers' In- 
stitute was held at Mayville in 1846, under his 
superintendence. Both teachers and scholars 
lung remembered with gratitude the interest 
he awakened in them, in teaching and learn- 
ing. The term he served as county superin- 
tendent of schools is the most memorable in 
the annals of school teaching in our county's 

During the Mexican War, which came to a 
close in 1848, several soldiers served who had 
been residents of Chautauqua county, among 
them Nathan Randall, a resident of Mayville, 
and also of Sinclairville, served under Capt. 
Robert Anderson, of Fort Sumter fame in 
Worth's division. He was in the battles of 
Cerro Gordo, Cherubusco, Molino del Rey, and 
Chapultepec, where he was wounded. He was 
a captain in the Civil W r ar. Zeke Powers, of 
Ellery, served in the war and died in the serv- 

In June, 1848, gold was discovered in Cali- 
fornia. To reach California that year from the 
Eastern States was an undertaking greater 
than it would be now to go to the remotest 
part of the earth. People who had the hardi- 
hood and enterprise to find the mines of Cali- 
fornia that year were called "Forty-niners," 
and gained a distinction that was denied to 
those that came afterwards. Chautauqua con- 
tributed its full share of those early adven- 
turers. Among the "forty-niners" was George 
Stoneman, a native of the county, a lieutenant 
in the regular army, afterwards a distinguished 
general in the Civil War. That year he took 
some part in framing the constitution of that 
State, of which many years after he became the 

About the first Chautauquan to arrive in 
California after the discovery of gold was Col. 
Fleman Winchester, a well-known citizen of 
the town of Ellery. He went by the way of 
Vera Cruz, the City of Mexico and Mazatlan, 
and was on his way one hundred eight days. 
He arrived at San Francisco early in June, 
1849, where he found a quiet and orderly peo- 
ple, with no civil government except what was 



self-imposed. The charge of a blacksmith for 
shoeing a horse was twenty-four dollars, car- 
penters' wages were from ten dollars to thirty 
dollars a day, and found. Before he entered 
the mines Mr. Winchester received five hun- 
dred dollars for moving thirty cords of dirt a 
distance of six rods. 

Among those from Chautauqua county who 
journeyed across the continent that year were : 
Alonzo Winsor, Lyman Rexford and D. M. 
Bemus from Ellicott ; and Russell Wilson. 
Aretus J. Blackmer arrived in California in 
August, 1849, after a journey of ninety-nine 
days. The first four days after his arrival he 
worked on the bar near Sutter's mill, and 
gathered in that time seventy dollars' worth 
ol gold. John Clark, from Busti, was four 
months on the way. Of those who journeyed 
over the plains was a party from Westfield, 
attached to Col. Gratiot's company from Buf- 
falo, among whom was Rossiter P. Johnson. 
J. Hutchins, from Mayville, made the journey 
around Cape Horn. Some crossed the Isth- 
mus. Among others from Chautauqua county 
in 1849 were David Sabius, Arba Briggs, and 
Seneca Hoag. The greater number of these 
early miners from Chautauqua county had fair 
success and some returned with a competence. 

In 1849 not a m il e °f railroad had been built 
in the county except that portion of the New 
York & Erie railroad leading easterly from 
Dunkirk, that had been abandoned. The im- 
ports of the county were mostly brought in, 
and the exports taken out, at the ports of Dun- 
kirk, Barcelona, Silver Creek and Cattaraugus 
and over the main road that passed through 
Westfield, Fredonia, and over the Cattaraugus 
creek. In the south part of the county, Chau- 
tauqua Lake and the Conewango were to some 
extent means of communication. To reach 
these routes from the interior of the county 
many miles of dirt road, the most of it poor and 
muddy during the wet season, had to be trav- 
eled. This year important improvements were 
commenced in the roadways. Plank roads now 
began to be made. Lines leading from the 
Main road in the north part of the county 
above mentioned were surveyed and their con- 

struction commenced. These were built along 
old highways when it was practicable, but 
v/hen the grade was an objection they would 
be secured over new routes. 

The first built was the Westfield and Chau- 
tauqua plank road. Its northern termination 
was at Westfield, its southern Hartfield, where 
it was designed to intercept the travel on the 
east side of the lake. About two miles north 
oi the south termination there was a branch 
route extending to the steamboat landing at 
Mayville. This branch was built to intercept 
travel on the west side of the lake. This road 
and its branches were nine miles in length. 

The Westfield and Clymer plank road was 
organized this year. It commenced at West- 
field and extended southerly through the towns 
of Westfield, Sherman and Clymer to the Penn- 
sylvania line, one and one-half miles south of 
Clymer village, in all a distance of twenty-five 
miles. It was expected at the time that this 
line would eventually extend north to Barce- 
lona, and south through the valley of the 
Broken Straw to the Allegheny river. The 
abundance of the hemlock trees along the line 
of this road enabled its builders to obtain hem- 
lock lumber for three or four dollars per thou- 

About this time a plank road was built from 
Smith's Mills in Chautauqua county north- 
easterly to Versailles in Cattaraugus county, 
and thence to Whites Corner in Erie county 
and beyond. 

In 1850 the population of the county was 
50,493. Hanover was the most populous town, 
having 5,144 inhabitants. Pomfret, which in- 
cluded the present town and city of Dunkirk, 
had 4,483 ; Ellicott, which included Jamestown, 
had but 3,523 ; and French Creek, the least 
populous town, but 725. The increase of 3,945 
in the population of the county in five years 
was chiefly due to the prospect of an imme- 
diate completion of a great highway of travel 
from the ocean to Lake Erie, which Dunkirk 
and all the county had so long and so anxiously 
awaited. This story has full narration in the 
chapter, "Town and City of Dunkirk." 

The Agricultural Period— 1851-1861 

The period that commenced with the com- 
pletion of the Erie railroad in 185 1 may appro- 
priately be called the Agricultural Period, be- 
cause of the great advance and improvement 
made in the farming industry. Agriculture for 

twenty-five years afterwards was the chief 
occupation of the people of the county. 

In May, 1851, soon after the great celebra- 
tion, the New York and Erie railroad com- 
menced permanent operations, running five 



passenger trains from Dunkirk to New York 
daily ; three were first-class, and two second- 
class trains. The fare from New York upon 
the former was eight dollars ; upon the latter 
five dollars. The fine steamers "Niagara,"' 
"Queen City" and "Key Stone State" com- 
menced to navigate Lake Erie from Dunkirk 
in connection with these lines to Cleveland, 
Toledo and Detroit; the fare for the passage 
ro the latter place was four dollars. The gauge 
of the Erie road was originally six feet, which 
was supposed at the time to give great advan- 
tage over a narrow gauge in the shipment of 
freight. Particular attention was given by the 
road to the transportation of cattle and live 

The year 1852 commenced in Chautauqua 
with an event scarcely less in importance to its 
people and to Dunkirk than the completion of 
the New York & Erie railroad. On the first of 
January of that year the Buffalo & State Line 
railroad was opened from the State Line of 
Pennsvlvania to Dunkirk, and on February 
22d to Buffalo. The Buffalo & State Line 
railroad was in a great measure originated by 
the people of Fredonia, and a large portion of 
its stock subscribed by them, and was at first 
located through that village and considerable 
grading was done on that route, but in April 
of this year it was decided by the directors to 
build the road by the way of Dunkirk. By 
subsequent consolidations of the various roads 
between Buffalo and Chicago, it became a part 
of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Rail- 
way. From the first, the business of this road 
was extraordinary. It soon outstripped the 
Erie road in importance to Chautauqua county, 
and it is now, with the Erie road, among the 
leading roads of America. 

A principal route for stages, travel and trans- 
portation of freight from Buffalo, Dunkirk and 
Fredonia to Jamestown, Warren, and the 
southeastern part of the county, prior to the 
building of the Erie road, had been by the high- 
way, one branch leading through the villages 
of Cassadaga and Sinclairville, and the other 
through Stockton and Delanti, to Jamestown. 
The ascent of the ridge by the Sinclairville 
branch from the north with heavily loaded 
teams had always been a laborious task. Near 
Shumla was Scott's Hill, at the west border of 
the town of Arkwright. At the foot of this 
hill a yoke of oxen was in readiness to assist 
heavily loaded teams up the ascent. At "Walk- 
up Tavern," later known as the "Kimball 
Stand," the passengers dismounted, that the 
stage might the easier ascend another steep 

incline a few miles north of Jamestown, which 
bore the significant name of "Walkup Hill." 

Through the enterprise of the people of 
Stockton, the Central plank road was built 
from Dunkirk through Fredonia, Stockton and 
Delanti to the Kimball Stand in the town of 
Ellicott, near its north line, where it met an- 
other plank road which extended partly around 
"Walkup Hill" to Jamestown. The Central 
plank road was twenty-two miles long. An- 
other plank road was built from Jamestown to 
Frewsburg. In 1852 the Fredonia and Sin- 
clairville plank road was built from Fredonia 
through Cassadaga and Sinclairville to the 
Kimball Stand. It was twenty-two miles in 
length. North of Cassadaga it extended for 
three miles through an unbroken forest. A 
plank road was organized with Rodney B. 
Smith as president, to be constructed from 
Smith Mills south to Jamestown. It was built 
through Hanover, Villenova and Cherry Creek, 
by way of Balcoms and the village of Cherry 
Creek, to the north line of the town of Elling- 
ton, and was completed to that point in 1852. 
The hemlock plank for this road was manu- 
factured and delivered along the line of the 
road for five dollars a thousand. There were 
now over one hundred miles of plank road in 
the county. These were excellent roads at 
first, smooth and firm. Heavy loads could be 
carried over them very rapidly. Such increased 
facilities for transportation and travel greatly 
promoted the prosperity of the county. 

January 2, 1852, a fire occurred in James- 
town, sweeping away almost every building 
on the east side of Main street between Sec- 
ond and Third streets, including the old Allen 
House tavern. In 1837 a destructive fire had 
swept the same locality, the work of an incen- 
diary. Mansfield and William W. Compton, 
who occupied as a fancy dry goods store the 
building whence the fire in 1852 originated, 
were suspected of setting this fire for the insur- 
ance money. Augustus F. and Dascum Allen, 
his brother, the principal sufferers in the fire, 
vigorously prosecuted the Comptons. They 
were tried at the May term the following year. 
The trial lasted eight days and excited great 
interest. Madison Burnell assisted Daniel 
Sherman, the district attorney, with great abil- 
ity. Joshua A. Spencer, of Utica, one of the 
ablest lawyers in the State, Abner Hazeltine 
and John F. Smith, attended to the defense. 
The Comptons gave evidence to prove that 
they were six miles away at Frewsburg, at- 
tending a dance, during the fire. Although the 
evidence was circumstantial, Mansfield Comp- 



ton was found guilty of arson in the third de- 
gree and sentenced to State prison for eight 
years. William W. Compton was found not 
guilty. Mansfield was pardoned by Governor 
Seymour upon the ground that the evidence 
was too weak to establish his guilt. This cir- 
cumstance afterwards gave the case a political 

A distressing catastrophe occurred on Cassa- 
daga Lake, September 2 of this year. A party 
of forty young men and women set out from 
Delanti for a picnic upon the "Island," as it 
was called. To reach it they had to cross the 
lake. Warren Wilcox took four into his boat, 
which proved leaky and sunk, leaving all of 
his party in the lake, but Mr. Wilcox by his 
courage and self-possession saved them all. 
When this accident occurred, those in a larger 
boat managed by Jarvis Wilcox, having twenty 
young people aboard, being but a little distance 
away, witnessed the accident. The young peo- 
ple on this boat sprang to their feet in alarm ; 
this action tipped the scow, which precipitated 
all on board into the lake. J. W. Warren and 
Delevan G. Morgan, who were of this party, 
rendered efficient service in saving the lives 
of several. Seven young ladies, daughters of 
prominent citizens, were drowned, all between 
the ages of thirteen and twenty-seven ; their 
names were : Lucy Lazell, Celia Lazell, Alice 
J. Wilkins ; Mary A. Harrison, daughter of Dr. 
G. S. Harrison ; Charlotte Moore, Elizabeth M. 
Goodrich, and Philena Saddler. Jarvis Wilcox, 
the boatman, after saving several of the pas- 
sengers, was also drowned, while attempting to 
save others. Philip Phillips, afterwards widely 
known and celebrated as the "Pilgrim Singer," 
was among the saved. A great concourse of 
people assembled at the funeral. Eight bodies 
of the drowned were present, each with its 
circle of relatives and near friends. Six were 
buried in one grave, over which was erected a 
monument with an appropriate inscription. 

More than half a century had elapsed since 
a new town had been added to the list. Sher- 
man was the last. Poland was formed from 
Ellicott, April 9, 1832, and eight days later the 
town of Sherman was formed from Mina. 
Kiantone was now (November 16, 1853) 
formed from the town of Carroll. Kiantone 
perpetuates the name of the little Indian vil- 
lage that stood on the banks of the Kiantone 
creek, within the limits of the town. Kiantone 
is associated with several names of aboriginal 
derivation. The Conewango creek, which 
forms the greater part of its eastern boundary, 
bears an Indian name ; Stillwater, the principal 
stream in the north part of the town, was once 

known as the Ga-won-ge-dock, while the large 
stream in the south part bears the Indian name 
given to the town. 

Kiantone was one of the earliest seats of 
Spiritualism. The year that it was organized 
as a town, and but four years after the "Roches- 
ter knockings" were developed, a famous 
spring was revealed, it is said, to Oliver G. 
Chase and Mr. Brittingham, two early Spiritu- 
alists, not far from the site of this ancient In- 
dian village. This spring was about one and 
one-half miles above the residence of A. T. 
Prendergast, on the right bank of the Kiantone 
creek, at the foot of a high bluff and at the 
edge of the forest. It seemed to have two 
sources forty feet beneath the surface and but 
eight inches apart. One of the fountains dis- 
charged turbid, and the other transparent 
waters ; one was charged with sulphuric acid 
and iron, and the other with magnesia, soda 
and iodine. Modern Spiritualism was then at 
its very beginning. The dedication of this 
spring was one of its early demonstrations. 
At this meeting, April 15, 1853, many Spiritual- 
ists were in attendance. A marvelous history 
was attributed to the spring. It was said that 
it was known to Celts one thousand years be- 
fore, and that a knowledge of its existence had 
been for a long time lost. It was resolved that 
now a city should be built around it, to be 
called Harmonia ; that its houses should be cir- 
cular, lighted by the sun and painted blue. The 
doings at the spring, particularly the receiving 
ol communications from the spirits of deceased 
persons, were long a subject of criticism and 
ridicule. Twenty-five years later, when Spir- 
itualism was better understood, it was estab- 
lished under more favorable auspices at Lily 
Dale, on Cassadaga Lake, which thereafter and 
during many years was one of the most impor- 
tant assemblage grounds of Spiritualism in the 
United States. 

Chautauqua county has contributed its full 
share to the idiosyncrasies of the times and 
seems to have been a point whence many 
unique and independent movements, good, bad 
and indifferent, have had a start. Many of 
the early converts to Mormonism were from 
Chautauqua county, and several of its most 
famous leaders were familiar to its people in 
the early years of the Latter Day Saints. 
Among them was Sidney Rigdon. He was 
born in Allegany county, and in early life was 
a Baptist minister. He is believed to have 
surreptitiously obtained at the printing office 
at Pittsburgh the manuscript written by Solo- 
mon Spaulding, called the "Book of Mormon," 
which Spaulding is said to have intended to 



publish merely as an historical romance pur- 
porting to account for the peopling of America 
by the Indians. This manuscript, after it had 
been furnished to him by Rigdon, Joseph 
Smith claimed to have read through a pair of 
magic spectacles behind a screen or blanket 
to his amanuensis, Oliver Cowdery, in the pres- 
ence of David Whitman and Martin Harris 
("the three witnesses"), pretending it to be a 
translation of the hieroglyphics engraved upon 
the plates that Smith claimed were dug out of 
a hill in Ontario county, New York. There- 
after Rigdon preached the Mormon faith, was 
closely connected with Smith in his enter- 
prises, and suffered with him in the persecu- 
tions growing out of their championing Mor- 
monism. Jamestown was a gathering place for 
Mormans for a while in 1833. Rigdon was 
there, a chief among them. It is estimated 
that at one time from one hundred to three 
hundred Mormons were there. They occupied 
houses on Third street, west of Jefferson, and 
held frequent meetings, usually in the street 
near their dwellings. In 1834 they left James- 
town, having made but few converts there. 
Brigham Young having superceded Rigdon, 
the latter was contumacious and refused to 
submit to Young's authority. Finally Rigdon 
returned to the place of his birth in Allegany, 
New York, where he died, declaring himself 
to be firm in the belief of the doctrines and 
truthfulness of the "Book of Mormon." 

During the early years of Mormonism, in 
many towns of the county were gathered con- 
verts to the faith who eventually journeyed 
westward and joined Joseph Smith at Nauvoo. 
Oscar Johnson relates that: 

In 1834 there were in Laona and vicinity about thirty 
Mormons. Dr. Thomas D. Mann was practicing there 
as a physician. A Mormon elder was sick unto death, 
and the doctor took his three students with him on one 
of his visits. The elder said that he should die, but 
should arise from the grave the third day. One of the 
students whispered to the other, "We will see that he 
does." Unfortunately some of the Mormons overheard 
this, and on the third night they assembled in force to 
watch, and when the boys had the body partly removed 
from the grave they rushed upon them and succeeded 
in capturing one of the number. This year the Mor- 
mons removed, almost in a body, to Ohio, but they left 
one of their number as a witness to convict the young 
student. The one left had the habit of drinking, and, 
by a concerted effort and free whiskey, was in a pro- 
found slumber when the case was called for trial. No 
one appearing, the case was dismissed. It is to be 
doubted whether the prisoner could have been convicted 
for his efforts to verify the predictions of a dying saint. 
The accused was Dr. George S. Harrison, who for more 
than fifty years was one of the most influential citizens 
and ablest physicians in Chautauqua county. It is be- 
lieved that the same trio of medical students prepared 
themselves for their duties by a close observation of 
the bones and muscles of Joseph Damon, the murderer. 

Orson Pratt, one of the twelve Mormon 
apostles, distinguished also for his knowledge 
of mathematics and for his scientific ability, 
was once identified with the county. James D. 
Strang was another famous Mormon. He re- 
sided in Ellington, was admitted to the bar of 
Chautauqua county in October, 1836; prac- 
ticed law in Ellington, where he was postmas- 
ter for a time. He joined the Mormons, and 
became a leader among them. When the Mor- 
mons were driven from Nauvoo in 1845, they 
were divided into three factions — the "Twelv- 
ites," who emigrated to Utah ; the "Rigdon- 
ices," who followed Sidney Rigdon, and the 
' Strangites," who followed James D. Strang. 
When Joe Smith was killed, Strang claimed to 
have a revelation from God appointing him his 
successor. Strang and his followers made Bea- 
ver Island in Lake Michigan their headquar- 
ters. After a while a force of fishermen and 
others attacked them and the Mormons were 
driven from the island. Strang received 
wounds from which he died soon after at the 
Mormon village of Voree, in Wisconsin. 

The scene of Button's Inn, written by Judge 
Albion W. Tourgee, is located in Chautauqua 
county, near the brow of the hills south of 
Westfield, on the main road to Mayville. The 
story is partly based upon the existence of 
Mormonism in our county and the fact that 
some of the Mormon leaders went out from it. 

By the State census of 1855, the population 
of the county was 50,506, a gain of but thirteen 
in five years. The population of the villages 
was as follows: Dunkirk, 4-754! Jamestown, 
2,625; Fredonia, 2,076; Westfield, 1,433! Sil- 
ver Creek, 652 ; Forestville, 540 ; Mayville, 501 ; 
Panama, 500; Ellington, 487; Sinclairville, 450; 
Laona, 406; Sherman, 401; Frewsburg, 400; 
Quincv, 289; Dexterville, 270; Salem, 258; 
Ashvil'le, 247 ; Centerville, 233 ; Busti Corners, 
201; Delanti, 180; Barcelona, 169; Cordova, 
154; Dewittville, 133; Cassadaga, 131; Block- 
ville, 118; Clymer, no, and Fentonville, 100 — 
twenty-seven villages, large and small. Al- 
though the boundaries of most of them were 
not established by corporate lines, the census 
figures given fairly represent their population 
within their reasonable limits. Some since 
then have nearly gone out of existence, while 
the villages of Falconer, Lakewood, Celoron, 
Cherry Creek, Brocton, Chautauqua, Point 
Chautauqua and Bemus Point are not in the 
list, the greater number of them then having 
no existence. It is also interesting to know 
that nearly 18,000 of the inhabitants of the 
county in 1855 lived in these twenty-seven vil- 
lages, while the population of the county out- 



side of their limits remained nearly the same 
as it was twenty-five years before, the villages 
having increased nearly four fold. 

It is interesting and may be hereafter use- 
ful to mark not only the changes in the popula- 
tion, but also the conditions of our climate as 
it has been from time to time. The winter o£ 
1855-56 was of great severity. Commencing 
about Christmas, the cold continued for one 
hundred days with scarcely a thaw ; snow fell 
more or less each day. The railroads were 
often blocked with snow, and the trains at 
times ceased to run. The mail route between 
Jamestown and Dunkirk was filled with drifts, 
and for a week, as late as in March, no New 
York or Buffalo mails were received at James- 
town. When the blockade was broken, fifteen 
mail bags were received within forty-eight 
hours at the village post office. The following 
are the thermometer records from the diary of 
an old resident of the county. The figures 
given all mean below zero: January 7, 1856, 
2 below; 8th, 8; 9th, 22; 26th, 23; February 
3rd, 24; 6th, 14; 12th, 17; 13th, 22; 14th, 28; 
19th, 25; March 7th, 2; 9th, 14; 10th, 24; 12th, 
6; 13th, 5; 30th, 4; April 1st, zero. Apple, 
peach and plumb trees were so injured by the 
cold that many died. 

The county of Chautauqua was always one 
of the largest producers of maple sugar among 
sections of a like area in the United States. 
Maple trees were abundant in every town of 
the county. According to the census of 1850, 
767,653 pounds of maple sugar were made. 
Harmony produced the most, 87,422. Char- 
lotte was by far the greatest producer accord- 
ing to its area ; that year it produced 69,195 
pounds. Busti came next with 60,350, Stock- 
ton 55,685, Villenova, 49,216. Sheridan pro- 
duced the least, 2,400. In 1857 the maple sugar 
production in the county was greater than in 
any previous year. Over a million pounds 
were made. 

Earlv in the morning of May 22, 1859, Cor- 
nelius Lynch, a farm hand in the employ of 
James Battles, a substantial farmer of the town 
of Charlotte, was found in the barn of Mr. 
Battles, bleeding and insensible, and so badly 
injured by wounds upon his face and head that 
he died during the day without recovering con- 
sciousness. Martin, son of James Battles, was 
arrested for the killing of Lynch, and was tried 
at the June court the next year. He was ably 
defended by Madison Burnell, Austin Smith 
and James A. Allen. John F. Smith, the dis- 
trict attorney, represented the people. He made 
a very able plea that occupied eight hours in 
the delivery. The plea of Mr. Burnell in de- 

fense of the prisoner was a powerful effort, and 
was the last important case that Mr. Burnell 
tried. The jury brought in a verdict of guilty. 
The sentence of Judge Richard P. Marvin, the 
judge who presided, was that the prisoner 
should be confined in prison for one year, and 
then executed on the warrant of the governor. 
This was in accordance with the statutes as 
they then existed. The defendant, by his attor- 
ney, James A. Allen, appealed the case to the 
general term, and the verdict was set aside 
upon the ground that the law was unconstitu- 

The year 1859 is memorable for the great 
June frost. A more flattering and propitious 
spring had seldom been known. June 3rd the 
air became cold and chilly, rain prevailed, 
which changed to snow the next morning. 
During night the thermometer fell to the freez- 
ing point. The ice froze from one-half to one 
inch thick. The ground was frozen to a cor- 
responding depth. Just a week later, June 
nth, occurred a frost even more severe than 
that of June 4th. All of the grass, fruit, corn, 
winter grain and other crops were killed. The 
leaves upon the maple, the ash, and all the nut- 
bearing trees, were killed, and in a few days 
later all the foliage was yellow ; the trees ap- 
peared as if scorched by fire. Nature presented 
a most desolate appearance which continued 
through much of the summer ; even the shrub- 
bery and young saplings were killed. The ter- 
ritory that suffered by this calamity extended 
as far west as the middle of Ohio, north into 
Canada, south to Pittsburgh, and nearly to 

Up to the meeting of the board of super- 
visors in the fall of 1859, tr,e name of the 
county had been spelled Chautauque. This 
spelling it was believed was not in accordance 
with its pronunciation by the aborigines. Upon 
the petition of Hon. E. T. Foote and others, a 
lesolution was adopted by the board on Octo- 
ber nth, 1859, directing its clerk in all records 
and correspondence to spell the name of the 
county Chautauqua. The resolution directed 
the county clerk to change the seal accord- 

August 26th, 1859, Col. E. L. Drake sunk the 
first oil well at Titusville, Pennsylvania, and 
at a depth of seventy-one feet struck oil. His 
success produced startling results. Great ex- 
citement followed throughout the country. 
Chautauqua county was contiguous to the oil 
region, consequently the excitement there be- 
came intense. The county by a direct line was 
not more than twenty miles from either the 
Tidioute oil belt, or the great Bradford field ; 



so near it was, that Chautauquans were con- 
stantly reminded of the great mines of mineral 
wealth so little distance from their boundaries, 
by the light of the burning wells of gas and 
oil nightly reflected upon the sky. They often 
came in communication with operators and 
speculators whose minds were filled with 
bright visions of wealth to be made in oil, and 
many of our county people became in a meas- 
ure infected with a mania for speculation. 
Some made fortunes, others lost all they had. 

Among those connected with our county and 
successful in oil operations, were some who by 
their ability and enterprise assisted greatly to 
develop the industry. Dr. Francis B. Brewer 
became interested in petroleum years before 
Col. Drake put down the first oil well, and was 
among the first to direct attention to its vir- 
tues, and to move in an enterprise to develop 
its production. Dr. Brewer afterwards became 
a distinguished citizen of the county, represent- 
ing it and Cattaraugus county in Congress. 
Cyrus D. Angell, a native of Hanover, in Chau- 
tauqua county, in 1867 became interested in 
and had charge of the Belle Island Petroleum 
Company, of which William C. Fargo of Buf- 
falo was president. Four years later, Mr. 
Angell became the owner of its stock. This 
company was among the most successful in the 
oil country. Among the citizens of Chautau- 
qua county in one way or another largely in- 
terested in or connected with this company or 
with Mr. Angell in the oil business, were C. R. 
Lockwood, W. T. Botsford, Amos K. War- 
ren, John R. Robertson, Sherman Williams, 
William Leet, C. G. Maples, T. S. Moss and 
Dr. Cory. 

Mr. Angell, by his intelligent observation 
and study of the subject, and by practical tests 
and surveys, established the truth of the theory 
that petroleum deposits were to be found ex- 
tending in courses, in a fixed direction through 
the oil country ; a knowledge that has proved 
of recognized and practical value to oil men. 
One of the principal oil producing belts bears 
his name. Among the citizens of Chautauqua 
county to be named who have acted a promi- 
nent part in the development of the oil indus- 
try and have been more or less successful in 
mining operations, may be mentioned Haskell 
L. Taylor, who was born in Stockton. He and 
others organized the well known oil firm of 
H. L. Taylor & Co., which became at one time 
the largest producer in the oil country. This 
company reorganized as the Union Oil Com- 
pany, with Mr. Taylor as its president, finally 

sold out to the Standard Oil Company for 

Charles E. Hequembourg, who was born in 
Dunkirk and was once its mayor, with Dr. J. 
T. Williams, Mr. Avery and others of Dun- 
kirk, organized the Bradford Oil and Gas Com- 
pany. This company developed a large oil and 
gas interest in McKean county, Pennsylvania, 
and also in Allegany county, New York, and 
for a while supplied the city of Bradford with 
gas for fuel and illuminating purposes. Frank 
M. Johnson, who was born at Westfield, be- 
came a resident of Bradford and was largely 
interested in oil in that city, in McKean county, 
and in the Ohio and Indiana oil fields. J. W. 
and F. A. Griffith, both born in Kiantone, were 
oil men, as were E. M. Cobb, born in Gerry, 
and Frank A. Wilbur, born in Fluvanna. 

Until pipe lines afforded better means for 
the conveyance of crude oil to the refineries, 
long trains of petroleum cars, upon each of 
which were mounted great upright wooden 
cisterns, and later huge cylindrical metal oil 
tanks topped with low cupolas, were constantly 
passing over the New York, Pennsylvania & 
Ohio railroad, the Buffalo & Oil Creek Cross- 
cut railroad connecting Corry with Brocton, 
and the Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & Pitts- 
burgh railroad. The last two named, when 
built, were intended for oil roads, and both 
communicated directly with the oil region, 
passing through Chautauqua county on their 
way to the refineries. Sometimes it would 
happen that a long train would take fire. If 
this happened in the night-time, the country 
for miles around would be illuminated by the 
flames. Such an occurrence once happened on 
the Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & Pittsburgh 
railroad as a train was passing northward 
through Wheelers Gulf, in the town of Pom- 

In i860, occurred an event of more sub- 
stantial and permanent value to Chautauqua 
county than the discovery and development of 
oil in Northwestern Pennsylvania. That year 
the Atlantic & Great Western railroad was 
completed through the southern towns. For 
nine years the lake towns of the county had 
enjoyed railroad facilities, while the southern 
towns were wholly without them. Jamestown 
was much the largest village south of the 
ridge. It possessed better facilities for manu- 
facturing, and was so situated as to command 
a larger trade than any other village in the 
county, consequently, prior to the completion 
of the Erie road to Dunkirk, it had realized a 



more rapid growth than any other village in 
the county. But during the ten years that had 
just expired, the growth of Dunkirk had been 
greater. The latter village had now nearly 
double the population of Jamestown. Even 
Fredonia had not much less than Jamestown, 
and Westfield more than half its number of 
inhabitants. At this time, aside from such 
goods and commodities as were transported to 
and from Jamestown over Chautauqua Lake 
and down the Allegheny river, they were all 
carried in wagons and sleighs. The principal 
part of the merchandise brought into James- 
town was conveyed over the plank roads be- 
tween Jamestown and Dunkirk, a distance of 
thirty miles, and sometimes from Little Valley 
in Cattaraugus county. The gas wells of Penn- 
sylvania had not then been developed, nor was 
gas there manufactured for the uses of the 
village : it was then lighted by oil and kerosene 
used in lamps. The transportation of coal to 
Jamestown was too expensive. The village 
was chiefly heated by wood fires. That fuel 
was used in the manufactories, consequently 
Jamestown for many years was an excellent 
wood market for the country around. Farm- 
ers also of the southern part of the county 
were not in the enjoyment of the advantages 
that the railroads gave their fellow farmers in 
the northern part of the county. This was evi- 
denced by the superior improvements and con- 
ditions of the farms in the northern towns ; 
there the dwellings were of more modern 
architecture and the lands better cultivated. 
The southern portion of the county remained 
a retired rural district until i860. 

For energy and business enterprise, the citi- 
zens of Jamestown had never been surpassed 
by those of any other locality in the county. 
They entertained projects for securing rail- 
road facilities before the Erie railroad was 
completed to Dunkirk. September 24, 1850, a 
meeting was held at Jamestown, of which 
Joseph Wait was chairman, at which a com- 
mittee was appointed to confer with the peo- 
ple of Erie, Pennsylvania, and the New York 
& Erie Railroad Company, with reference to 
the building of a railroad from Little Valley 
to Erie, through Jamestown, Randolph, Ash- 
ville and Panama. In the fall of that year, a 
favorable route was found by the way of Find- 
ley Lake. 

The Erie & New York City railroad was 
organized in 1852, and during the summer of 
that year a line beginning at the New York 
& Erie railroad in Cattaraugus county was 
surveyed through Jamestown, Ashville and 

Sherman to intersect the Erie & North-East 
railroad, two miles beyond the State line be- 
tween New York and Pennsylvania. Breaking 
ground took place in Randolph, Cattaraugus 
county, May 19, 1853. Speeches were made by 
the president of the company, Benjamin Cham- 
berlain, Richard P. Marvin, Madison Burnell 
and William Metcalf of Erie, Pennsylvania. 
Work was commenced upon the railroad the 
same day where now is the village of Sala- 
manca, and in August at Jamestown. A little 
later work was commenced in the town of 
Harmony, and in December in Sherman. 

In December, 1858, the Atlantic & Great 
Western Railroad Company of New York was 
organized at Jamestown. Henry Baker, Wil- 
liam Hall, Augustus F. Allen, Bradford Bur- 
lin, Sumner Allen, Robert Newland, W. D. 
Shaw of Jamestown and Daniel Williams of 
Ashville were the Chautauqua county directors. 
This road commenced in Cattaraugus county, 
where now is the village of Salamanca. The 
first thirty-eight miles of the Erie & New 
York City railroad, extending from Salamanca 
to five miles west of Jamestown, was adopted, 
thence it extended to a point near the south- 
west corner of the town of Harmony. It was 
intended that this road should be further con- 
tinued until the valley of the Mississippi and 
ultimately the Pacific coast should be united 
by it with New York City and the Atlantic 

April 26, i860, the engineers placed their 
instruments upon the new line. On the 3rd 
of July the iron was laid to Randolph, and Au- 
gust 24, i860, cars first arrived at Main street, 
in Jamestown, witnessed by a multitude ot 
people, the band on the train playing the air, 
"Ain't I glad to get out of the wilderness?" A 
complimentary dinner was given at the James- 
town House to Thomas W. Kennard, the Eng- 
lish engineer. J. W. Hill, the associate Ameri- 
can engineer ; Sig. T. Deosdados, agent for Don 
Jose de Salamanca ; Sig. Navarro, agent for the 
Duke de Rienzares, and other representatives 
of Spanish interests in this country ; John God- 
dard, of London, and Robert Thallon, of New 
York, who came on the train, and many other 
invited guests, were present. Col. Augustus 
F. Allen presided. Toasts were given and 
speeches made by William H. Lowry, Col. A. 
F. Allen, Selden Marvin and C. D. Sackett. 

The building of the road was promoted by 
Spanish capital, advanced by intelligent bank- 
ers. It was the first time in the history of 
American railroads that they had been given 
substantial support in Spain. In honor of Don 



Jose de Salamanca, one of the Spanish gentle- 
men who had contributed liberally to the pro- 
motion of the enterprise, the eastern terminus 
of the road was called Salamanca, a name full 
of romantic memories to those familiar with 
Spanish literature. The road was completed 
to Corry in May, 1861 ; to Meadville, Pennsyl- 
vania, in October, and to Akron, Ohio, Janu- 
ary 19, 1862. To the energy and business abil- 
ity of Col. A. F. Allen, of Jamestown, more 
than to any other, were the people of Chau- 
tauqua indebted for the successful result of 
this effort. As soon as the road was com- 
pleted, the people of Southern Chautauqua 
began to realize great benefit from it, and 
Jamestown again took the lead of all the vil- 
lages of the county in growth and business 
enterprise, which it has ever since maintained. 

The railroads began to benefit all pursuits. 
They gave a market value to products which 
before had none. Before the railroads were 
built, sheep had been slaughtered in great 
numbers for their pelts and hams (the latter 
were worth one cent a pound) and for their 
tallow, which was manufactured into candles. 
The carcasses were thrown away. Herman 
and Abner Camp, brothers, commenced the 
manufacture of candles about the year 1846 at 
Sinclairville. Twenty tons of tallow was 
manufactured into candles in 1847, and fifty 
tons in 1848. The Camps then removed their 
factory to Dunkirk, where on a more perfect 
and extensive scale they continued to manu- 
facture candles from mutton tallow. They 
had invented and patented a process by which 
newly made candles were withdrawn from the 
mold. A candle when withdrawn would draw 
after it into the mold the wick for another 
candle. Their invention greatly shortened and 
cheapened the labor of manufacturing. 

An interesting circumstance occurred while 
they were in business at Dunkirk which should 
be related. The Italian patriot, Garibaldi, 
after many battles and adventures in the wars 
of South America and in the contest with the 
French and Austrians, was banished from 
Italy. In the summer of 1850 he came to New 
York, where a public reception was tendered 
him, which he declined. In order to earn a liv- 
ing during his banishment, he made soap and 
candles for a while on Staten Island. After- 
wards he made voyages at sea from New York. 
Ultimately he returned to Italy, and became 
famous for the distinguished part that he took 
in the wars and politics of Europe. While in 
the candle business on Staten Island, he made 
a trip to Dunkirk to visit the candle factory of 
the Camp Brothers. He was entertained over 

night at the residence of Herman Camp in 
Dunkirk, meantime negotiating with the 
Camps for the purchase of the patent for the 
manufacture of candles. No agreement was 
completed, however. 

After the Erie railroad was completed, many 
old-time vocations were nearly abandoned. 
Other exports and imports, except such as were 
shipped on Lake Erie or upon the Conewango 
and Allegheny rivers, were carried over the 
roads leading into the county in wagons, and 
teaming was a common employment. Over 
the main road extending east and west through 
the north towns of the county, and over the 
highways leading south from Dunkirk and 
Fredonia through Sinclairville and Delanti to 
Jamestown and Warren, Pennsylvania, and 
from Westfield to Mayville, and the south- 
western towns of the count)', much freight was 
transported and many persons were engaged 
during much of their lives in this employment. 
Alfred Austin, an old teamster of Sinclairville, 
in the twenty-three years that he was on the 
road, made three thousand four hundred fifty 
trips between Fredonia and Sinclairville with 
a loaded team, traveling a distance equal to 
107,000 miles, or more than four times around 
the earth at the equator. With the construc- 
tion of railroads, this business practically 
ceased, and the old teamsters, their team horses 
and wagons, became things of the past. 

Staging was formerly an important occupa- 
tion. All travel west of Buffalo, after the close 
of navigation each year, passed through the 
northern towns of the county in stages. Some- 
times in the spring the ice would drift down 
Lake Erie and obstruct entrance into Buffalo. 
Boats coming down the lake at such times 
would land their passengers at Silver Creek to 
be taken to Buffalo in stages or post coaches, 
assembled there for that purpose. Thirty and 
more stage coaches have been known to be in 
waiting at one time. Even during the summer 
months, much travel passed through Chau- 
tauqua. In some years, steamboats from Buf- 
falo connected with stages for the west at 
Dunkirk, thus avoiding the bad roads east of 
the Cattaraugus creek. Besides passengers, 
the stages carried the local mail, and, in the 
winter time the through mails to the west, 
sometimes two tons in weight, requiring h 
coach exclusively devoted to that purpose. 
Adams Express matter was first carried 
through the county in stages over this route. 
These old coaches were owned and run by the 
Ohio Stage Company. They were drawn by 
four horses, and were large enough to carry 
twelve persons within, the driver and several 



persons outside. They were well constructed, 
graceful in form, and comfortable for passen- 
gers. The oval body of the coach rested on 
strong leathern straps called thorough-braces, 
which gave an easy, rocking motion when 
moving. The driver's seat was well up in 
front. There was a leather-covered boot for 
baggage behind. 

When the Lake Shore railroad was com- 
pleted, the old stage route was abandoned, and 
the stage coaches and their drivers were trans- 
ferred to the Far West and beyond the Missis- 
sippi. The writer remembers in 1855 to have 
seen many of the old stage coaches of the Ohio 
Stage Company in use on the stage route be- 
tween Dubuque and Cedar Falls, in Iowa. 

The stage route next in importance was that 
from Dunkirk and Fredonia, through Sinclair- 
ville and Jamestown to Warren in Pennsyl- 
vania. This route was a principal outlet for 
travel from Jamestown and Warren, and these 
old-fashioned post or stage coaches were in 
use over it. Stage coaches were also run from 
Westfield to Mayville, and thence alternately 
along the east and w-est shores of Chautauqua 
Lake to Jamestown. These four-horse coaches 
were also used on the stage route from Fre- 
donia through Forestville to Gowanda in Cat- 
taraugus county. With the building of later 
railroads in Chautauqua county these leading 
stage routes, one by one, were discontinued 
and the stages were run only between unim- 
portant points in vehicles less pretentious. 

The old-fashioned inn disappeared also. 
Taverns where liquors were sold during the 
first half century of the history of the county 
were very numerous. Even on the less im- 
portant roads there were many taverns. 
Thickly sprinkled along unimportant country- 
roads in many parts of the county, at this day 
may be seen old farm houses, usually more 
pretentious than their neighbors, that were 
once taverns, where there is now no need for 
an inn whatever. On the main or stage road 
from Buffalo to Erie, in the northern part of 
the county, they were still more frequent. 
Judge L. Bugbee says that on the completion 
of the Erie road the emigrant wagons all dis- 
appeared with the country taverns. The stage 
routes running east and west were abandoned 
about the same time. 

After the completion of the Erie road, cattle, 
hogs and other live stock were taken to market 
exclusively by rail. Particular attention was 
given by that company to the transportation 
of livestock from the time it began operations. 
Before it was completed they went on foot 

hundreds of miles over the long roads leading 
to Troy, Albany, New York and Philadelphia. 
The latter city formed the principal market for 
the cattle of Chautauqua county. There they 
stood highest in the list for quality, which was 
due to the measures early taken by Judge Pea- 
cock to improve its breeds. Droves of cattle 
during the summer months followed each 
other in quick succession over the long hoof- 
beaten roads leading to Philadelphia. One 
hundred twenty droves, averaging one hun- 
dred twenty-five head of cattle each, passed 
the Love Stand in Gerry on the old Chau- 
tauqua road (that being then the direct road 
to the East for livestock) in a single season. 
Thousands of cattle were at the same time 
passing over other routes through the county. 
They were usually sold to stock dealers and 
farmers of Eastern Pennsylvania, to be fat- 
tened and fitted for market upon the rich 
farms lying in the vicinity of Philadelphia. 

In 1851 lumbering was still an important in- 
dustry. In the southeastern portion of the 
county it led all the rest. By far the greater 
part of the lumber and shingles exported from 
the county went down the Conewango and 
Allegheny rivers in rafts. The great amount 
of lumber so transported involved the employ- 
ment of many strong men in rafting it down 
the rivers. The service of these men was 
almost wholly dispensed with when railroads 
reached the lumber country. 

Railroads also brought to the county new 
employments and new vocations with which 
the reader is more familiar. The changes we 
have cited will sufficiently show the great revo- 
lution that railroads made in the conditions 
before existing and the improvements in the 
fortunes of its people. Indeed, the ten years 
that last preceded the Civil War, was a period 
of prosperity. Railroads brought with them a 
great reduction in the price of all articles im- 
ported into the county, and also a material 
increase in the price of farming products, and 
consequently a rise in farm rents and in the 
value of real estate. Labor was in demand, 
and consequently wages increased. The build- 
ing of plank roads extended the advantage en- 
joyed along the chief highways of travel to 
interior and remote parts of the county. 
Money was reasonably plenty. In the smaller, 
as well as the larger villages, new buildings 
were erected, and improvements made. Their 
years of privation being ended, the people were 
satisfied with their present prosperity. The 
feverish desire to accumulate great wealth had 
not taken possession of them. At no time was 


Pii i Toy :i i !li i i. oi Chautauqua County 

;'i i[.i i.vki. j AMI'S M. I : I ; i i\\ : 




such genuine and universal happiness enjoyed 
by the people of the county, as in the decade 
that ended with the year i860. 

But during this period one grave subject lay 
heavily upon the public mind ; and was seri- 

ously disturbing its peace. Its close marks the 
beginning of a most momentous period in the 
history of our country — the beginning of the 
Civil War, the events of which have left their 
impression as deeply here as elsewhere. 


The Agricultural 

During the Civil War, few events of conse- 
quence occurred in Chautauqua county that 
were not in some way connected with it. The 
minds of the people were too much occupied 
with its serious phases and its exciting inci- 
dents, to engage in many enterprises of impor- 
tance. Besides, the greater part of the young 
and enterprising men were away with the 
army. Had it not been for new and improved 
farming utensils, particularly the mowing ma- 
chine, which was introduced into use about 
that time, it is difficult to see how, owing to 
the scarcity of laboring men, the hay and other 
crops raised by the farmer could have been 
secured. Yet for the time being, farming and 
other industries seemed to be in a prosperous 
condition. This was in a great measure due 
to the inflated currency. One dollar in gold 
was at one time worth $2.98 in greenbacks, but- 
ter reached over fifty-five cents per pound, and 
land more than doubled in value. We will 
now note in succession the events of more 
than ordinary importance that occurred within 
the county during the war and in the years 
following it. On the night of January 31, 1861, 
a fire in Jamestown destroyed the entire block 
on the west side of Main street from Second 
to Third street, and also the Allen block then 
occupying the east side of Main street from 
Third street down to William H. Lowry's 
building. The fire also destroyed the Allen 
House barn and the livery stable, as well as 
the Shaw Hotel block which then occupied the 
west side of Main street and the north side of 
Third street, where now stands the Prender- 
gast block, and as far north as Samuel A. 
Brown's house. In February of that year, fire 
limits were established in that village, and the 
Jamestown Gas Light Company was organ- 
ized. October 8th of the same year, another 
fire occurred in Jamestown, in which twentv 
buildings were burned, including a church and 
a hotel. Jamestown had no sufficient water 
supply, and many of its houses were built of 
wood, consequently it was afflicted with a re- 
markable number of destructive conflagrations. 
In March, '1864, a soldier enlisted from a 
town in Cattaraugus county, named McDon- 


Period— 1 

t8 7 5- 

aid, went into McBride's saloon in Dunkirk, 
where he met William Battles. They with 
others engaged in a game of cards, in the 
course of which a dispute arose between Mc- 
Donald and Battles regarding $10 which had 
been staked. Battles grasped the money and 
threatened to burn it. McDonald forbade the 
burning, whereupon Battles placed a pistol at 
McDonald's head and discharged it. The ball 
entered the brain, producing death. Battles 
was tried in Mayville at the September court. 
Hon. George Barker, the district attorney, ap- 
peared for the people, and Hon. F. S. Edwards 
and William M. Newton for the prisoner. 
Battles was convicted of murder in the first 
degree, and hung in Mayville jail. He was the 
second person executed in the county for crime. 
A remarkable rain storm passed over a por- 
tion of the counties of Chautauqua and Catta- 
raugus in September, 1865. The rain began to 
fall in Ellington at 10 o'clock in the forenoon 
and continued without intermission until 2 p. 
m. Mill dams above the village upon Twenty 
Eight creek which passes through the town, 
gave way. Suddenly, and without warning to 
the inhabitants, a great flood reached the vil- 
lage, carrying away houses and barns. The 
Baptist church was lifted by the water and car- 
ried against the hotel, which was swept from 
its foundations. Its landlord, Mr. Torrey, 
barely escaped drowning; stores and other 
buildings were crushed or carried away. Not 
a bridge was left in the vicinity. Gardens were 
devastated, and heaps of floodwood piled along 
the valley. The most deplorable occurrence 
was the drowning of the four small children of 
William A. Mattocks. His house was isolated 
by the water before the danger was realized 
and before assistance could be rendered. 

In 1S65 the Buffalo & Oil Creek Cross Cut 
railroad was chartered. Its name was subse- 
quently changed to the Buffalo, Corry & Pitts- 
burgh railroad. It connects Corry in Pennsyl- 
vania with Brocton in this county, where it 
joins the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern 
road. Its' length is 43.20 miles; the portion 
lying in this State is 37.20 miles in length, and 
terminates at the State line, which there forms 



the south line of Clymer. The two were con- 
solidated April 24th, 1867. 

August 7th, 1867, occurred an important 
event in the interest of education, in the laying 
of the cornerstone of the State Normal School 
at Fredonia by the Masons. 

November 3rd, 1868, in the course of an 
altercation, Henry Koch killed Daniel Calla- 
han, in a saloon on Third street in Dunkirk. 
On the trial, District Attorney B. F. Skinner, 
assisted by Hon. Lorenzo Morris and W. W. 
Holt, appeared for the people, Hon. F. S. Ed- 
wards, N. H. Hill and A. J. Cook for the pris- 
oner. The trial resulted in a verdict of man- 
slaughter in the third degree. 

In November, 1869, the Brooks Locomotive 
Works of Dunkirk was organized with H. G. 
Brooks, president, and Marshall L. Hinman, 
secretary and treasurer, and a capital stock of 
$350,000. These extensive works have grown 
into a great industry, one of the first of the 
kind in the world and the most important of 
any in the county. In 1901 its employes num- 
bered 2600 men and it made 382 locomotives 
that year. It has added greatly to the busi- 
ness importance and reputation of Chautauqua 
county. Horatio G. Brooks, who established 
these locomotive works, and to whose business 
ability their success has been chiefly due, was 
born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was 
in early life a locomotive engineer. In 1850 he 
brought the first locomotive to Dunkirk for 
the New York and Erie railroad. He blew the 
first locomotive whistle ever heard in Chau- 
tauqua county. In 1862 he became superin- 
tendent of the Western Division of the Erie 
railroad, and in 1865 superintendent of motive 
power of the entire Erie railroad. Upon his 
death in 1887, he was succeeded as president 
of the company by Edward Nichols, who died 
January 7th, 1892, and was succeeded by Mar- 
shall L. Hinman. 

February 4th, 1870, the Sinclairville Library 
Association was founded. It is the oldest cir- 
culating library in the county. December 12th, 
1894, it was chartered a Free Library by the 
name of the Sinclairville Free Library. It is 
the Second Free Library established in the 
county, being only preceded by the Prender- 
gast Library of Jamestown. Monday, August 
14th, 1 87 1, occurred the most fearful disaster 
that ever happened on Chautauqua Lake. The 
steamer "Chautauqua," with thirty people on 
board, on its afternoon trip up the lake, turned 
into Whitney's Bay, on the west side about 
midway between Bemus Point and Mayville, 
to wood up. As she lay at the dock her boiler 
exploded. Such was the force of the explosion 

that the boiler was torn to fragments and its 
front part blown a distance of ten rods, cur- 
ting a tree a foot in diameter half through. 
The water and land for twenty rods each way 
were strewn with wreckage, with here and 
there a mangled and bleeding body. The noise 
of the explosion was heard for many miles. 
In half an hour physicians were there from 
Mayville. Mrs. Perry Aiken was instantly 
killed ; her body was found fastened between 
the stumps of two trees that had stood upon 
the shore. Mrs. Jerusha Hopkins lay dead 
upon the beach, crushed and mangled. Henry 
Cook, a colored boy, was killed instantly. Miss 
Julia S. Hopkins, Miss Eunice Hopkins, Miss 
Elizabeth Witt Ells and Samuel Bartholomew 
died from their injuries soon after the catastro- 
phe. The body of Mrs. J. C. Cochran, of Buf- 
falo, was found the next day fifteen rods from 
the wreck and ten rods from the shore, at the 
bottom of the lake. Eight in all were killed or 
died. Fifteen others were seriously wounded, 
among them Capt. James M. Murray, his thigh 
being broken ; also Alvin Plumb and Major 
Winfield S. Cameron, prominent citizens of the 

June 22nd, 1871, the first passenger train 
passed over the Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & 
Pittsburgh railroad. No event more favorable 
to Dunkirk had occurred since the completion 
of the Erie road. The road runs southerly 
from Dunkirk, along the picturesque grounds 
of the Spiritualists at Cassadaga Lake, through 
good agricultural lands in this county, termi- 
nating at Titusville in the State of Pennsyl- 
vania. It is ninety miles long. It gave Dun- 
kirk access to the coal, oil and lumber regions. 

One of the earliest projects ever entertained 
for the building of a railroad west of the Alle- 
gheny river was conceived by the people of 
Warren, Pennsylvania. In 1832 or 1833 a 
charter was granted by the Legislature of 
Pennsylvania for a railroad to follow the valley 
of the Conewango north from Warren. In 
1853 this project was revived by the people 
of Warren, and seventeen hundred shares of 
stock were obtained to build a road under the 
name of the Warren Pine Grove railroad. The 
project was never consummated until the build- 
ing of the Dunkirk, Warren & Pittsburgh rail- 
road in 1871. The first public movement 
toward building the latter road was made at a 
meeting held in 1866 by the citizens of Sin- 
clairville, at which Hon. C. J. Allen presided. 
The next winter the company was organized 
as the Dunkirk, Warren & Pittsburgh Railroad 
Company. Timothy D. Copp was chosen 
president, Hon. George Barker vice-president. 



and S. M. Newton engineer. By an act of the 
Legislature, towns were authorized to sub- 
scribe to its capital stock and $238,000 was sub- 
scribed by towns along the route of the road, 
which constituted substantially the capital 
upon which the road was built. Many diffi- 
culties rendered the completion of the road a 
matter of much doubt for a time. To the abil- 
ity and vigilance of Stephen M. Newton, of 
Dunkirk, the chief engineer and a director, was 
the completion of the road chiefly due. 

August 20th, 1871, Myron Eddy, a deputy 
sheriff of Jamestown, received a dispatch from 
the Police Department of Dunkirk directing 
him to arrest Charles Marlow, of Jamestown, 
a German, for the crime of murder. When this 
order was received it was supposed that some 
mistake had been made, as Marlow was known 
in Jamestown as an industrious, well-behaved 
citizen. It was soon discovered that a most 
foul crime had been committed. The murder 
was perpetrated in the cellar of the old brew- 
ery in the suburbs of the village, just under the 
brink of the hill on the west side of Main street, 
opposite its point of intersection with Kent 
street. The old brewery has long since gone 
and its place is occupied by dwellings. A 
church now stands hard by the spot. 

Valentine Benkowski, a poor Russian Pole, 
had the month before landed in New York, 
and stopped two days in Dunkirk among his 
countrymen. In less than a week he was em- 
ployed by Marlow, who understood his lan- 
guage, as a common laborer. About three 
weeks later William Bachman, an itinerant 
German, came to Marlow's and was enter- 
tained by him over night. In the morning 
Marlow told Benkowski that Bachman claimed 
to have $6,000 in money. Marlow's manner 
when he made this remark, and other sus- 
picious conduct, led Benkowski to believe that 
some crime was meditated, so later in the day 
when Marlow went down into the cellar with 
Bachman, Benkowski listened. Soon he heard 
a pistol shot. It was not until the next day 
that Benkowski found an opportunity to go 
into the cellar. He then discovered that the 
cellar stairs had been recently washed, and 
saw traces of blood as if a body had been 
dragged along the cellar floor to the furnace, 
where there was evidence that a hot fire had 
been burning. These and other circumstances 
made him sure that a murder had been com- 
mitted. He could communicate his suspicions 
to no one, for he understood no English. With- 
out giving a reason for his abrupt departure, 
he set out for Dunkirk, where there were manv 

of his countrymen. Benkowski went on foot 
to Sinclairville and stopped over night. The 
next day he went by rail to Dunkirk. On his 
arrival he told his countrymen, and they in- 
formed the police. Benkowski, Orsino E. 
Jones, a leading citizen of Jamestown who 
happened to be in Dunkirk, and also a mem- 
ber of the police force of Dunkirk, went to 
Jamestown and made a diligent search of the 
brewery premises. In the ashes of the furnace 
they found the bones and teeth of a man, and 
also ivory bosom studs like those worn by 

Marlow was indicted and tried at Mayville. 
District Attorney B. F. Skinner and Hon. 
Lorenzo Morris appeared for the people ; Hoi:. 
Porter Sheldon and C. R. Lockwood, Esq., ap- 
peared for Marlow. On the trial, which lasted 
nearly two weeks, Mrs. Julia Ortman, the aged 
mother-in-law of Marlow, testified that she 
killed Bachman with a hammer in the cellar of 
the brewery in defence of her daughter, Mrs. 
Marlow, and afterwards she and her daughter 
without the assistance of Marlow burned the 
body in the furnace. The jury failed to agree. 
A second trial was held in January, 1872, be- 
fore Justice George D. Lamont. E. R. Bootey, 
then district attorney, and Lorenzo Morris, 
conducted the trial for the people, and C. R. 
Lockwood and Porter Sheldon for Marlow. 
The jury this time rendered a verdict of guilty. 
Marlow was hung in Mayville jail. This was 
the third execution of a human being for a 
crime within the limits of Chautauqua county. 

Train No. 6, consisting of an engine, tender, 
baggage and passenger cars, going north on 
the Buffalo, Corry & Pittsburgh railroad, Fay 
Flanders conductor, left Mayville at 3:15 p. m., 
December 24, 1872. A trestle work three hun- 
dred twenty feet long spanned a deep gulch 
about five miles north of Mayville and ten rods 
north of Prospect Station. The engine of the 
train passed over the trestle at a low rate of 
speed, as it approached Prospect Station. A 
broken flange on a wheel of the tender threw 
its rear truck off the track, which caused the 
baggage and passenger cars to topple, turn 
over, and fall bottom up on the hard snow be- 
neath. It was a cold day, and the cars were 
heated by stoves, from which the coals were 
scattered by the crash and set fire to the cars. 
There were forty-five persons on the train, of 
whom thirty-eight were passengers, many re- 
turning home or going to visit friends and cele- 
brate Christmas the next day. The weight c f 
the passenger car crushed some of the inmates 
and held others wedged in so tightly that they 



could not escape. The people quickly gathered 
to check the flames and rescue the passengers. 
In the absence of water, snow was heaped upon 
the flames. Holes were cut into the car where 
the flames would admit it, in an ineffectual 
attempt to release those imprisoned. Chains 
and ropes were employed in efforts to pull over 
the cars, and oxen were used with a like pur- 
pose, without avail. When the fire had burned 
low, a terrible and ghastly scene was wit- 
nessed. Eighteen dead bodies, bruised and 
burned, were taken out. Of the forty-five per- 
sons on the train, but five escaped with slight 
injuries, thirty-two were killed, burned to 
death, or died from their injuries. Mark 
Haight, of the firm of Moss, Haight & Dun- 
ham, bankers, of Brocton, was firmly held by 
the timbers of the car. Jack screws were ob- 
tained and the timbers lifted so that he could 
be taken out, but he was so fearfully burned 
that he expired two hours later. His partner, 
Mr. Dunham, who was sitting beside him, was 
rescued with slight injury. Of the twin broth- 
ers, Edwin H. and Edward Bell, one was in- 
stantly killed and the other escaped. Of two 
Ryan brothers, one was killed the other 
escaped. Wilbur T. Rice and his bride, who 
had been married a few weeks before, were 
both killed. Catherine Riley, of Titusville, on 
her way to visit her mother at Dunkirk, Frank- 
Green and his wife, all met their death. Fay 
Flanders, the conductor, while wedged into the 
wreck by timbers, but with his body and arms 
at liberty and suffering pain, even aided the 
rescue of a little girl who was a passenger on 
the train. Flanders exhibited great coolness 
and resolution in his dire extremity. At his 
suggestion a chain was put round his body, 
and by the effort of many strong men he was 
drawn out. His ribs were broken and his limbs 
torn and burned, and yet he survived a few 
days and died. Frank Taylor stayed by his 
brake, although he could have escaped, and 
lost his life. 

The Prospect railroad accident was the most 
terrible tragedy that ever occurred within the 
limits of Chautauqua county, excepting the 
burning of the steamboat "Erie" in 1841. In 
few accidents of this kind that ever happened 
was the percentage of loss of life so great. 

Jamestown, from the time of its settlement, 
was the leading manufacturing town of the 
county. It long had been celebrated for its 
implements, furniture, wood, cloth and textile 
manufactures. But in 1873 the most impor- 
tant manufacturing industry of the city was 
established. Before, no attempt had been 

made to manufacture worsted goods west of 
Philadelphia. That year William Hall, Wil- 
liam Broadhead and Joseph Tanner established 
the Jamestown Worsted Mills, at first called 
the Alpaca Mills. The machinery was made 
in England, and many of its skilled operatives 
came from that country. It quickly grew to 
large proportions, and its business is now con- 
ducted on an extensive scale, its products 
known from Boston to San Francisco. Even- 
tually William Broadhead retired, and the 
name of the firm finally became Hall & Com- 
pany. W. C. J. Hall, Chapin Hall, Erie L. 
Hall, Elliot C. Hall, Mrs. Rose E. Kent, Alfred 
E. Hall and Samuel Briggs all have been mem- 
bers of this firm. This industry has contrib- 
uted greatly to the prosperity of Jamestown. 

William Broadhead and his sons, S. B. and 
A. N. Broadhead, under the firm name of 
Broadhead & Sons, not long afterwards estab 
lished other very extensive textile manufac- 
tories in Jamestown which are giving thou- 
sands of people employment or daily support. 
Jamestown owes much of its growth and pres- 
ent prosperity to the energy and business abil- 
ity of the Broadhead family. 

Chautauqua county had now come to the 
front as one of the first agricultural counties 
in the State. Its farmers used improved and 
scientific methods of dairying. Chautauqua 
county butter and cheese bore a reputation for 
excellence. The county had become famous 
for its horses and cattle and apples, all of which 
were exported in great abundance. Judge 
Zattu dishing, when he came to the county 
in 1805, brought with him a half bushel of 
apple seeds from which a nursery was started 
on what is known as the Marsh farm at Fre- 
donia. This was probably the oldest orchard 
in the county. Many other early settlers plant- 
ed their first orchard with scions and with 
apple seeds brought with them into the county, 
selected from favorite varieties that were 
raised at their old homes in the East. Among 
them were Spitzenburghs, Seek-no-furthers, 
Roxbury Russets, Rhode Island Greenings and 
other excellent and now forgotten kinds. There 
were also many worthless kinds, useful only 
for cider, which have been supplanted by the 
standard varieties of later years. The apples 
of the hills in the central part of the county 
were better in quality than those raised in the 
northern towns, but the early frosts rendered 
the former a more uncertain crop. Pears, 
plums, cherries and berries of all kinds were 
successfully grown in nearly all parts of the 
county, but the northern towns and the coun- 



try bordering on Chautauqua Lake were de- 
cidedly best adapted to most kinds of fruits. 
Peaches of an excellent quality were rais'ed 
north of the Ridge in abundance, while among 
the hills they were poor in quality. 

In the northern towns of the county in 1874, 
the grape had become the principal staple, and 
the manufacture of wine an important indus- 
try. In 1824 Deacon Elijah Fay planted a few- 
Isabella and Catawba grape roots on his farm 
in the town of Portland. In 1830 he made five 
or six gallons of wine, and from year to year in- 
creased the manufacture until i860, the year of 
his death, when he had two thousand gallons 
in his cellar. In 1859 Joseph B. Fay, Garrett 
E. Ryckman, a grandson of Deacon Elijah 
Fay, and Rufus Haywood, built the first wine 
house in the county at Brocton. Twenty acres 
of grapes supplied it. In 1879 ^ r - Ryckman 
became the sole owner of this wine house. He- 
improved and added to the plant until it be- 
came one of the most perfect and extensive 
establishments of its kind in the county and 
in the State. In 1865 the Lake Shore Wine 
Company was formed. The year following 
there were six hundred acres of vines in Port- 
land. The Portland Center Wine House and 
other wine companies followed. 

In 1867 Thomas Lake Harris, a native of 
England, who had acquired a literary celebrity, 
and also a reputation as a successful and popu- 
lar minister of the Universalist church, organ- 
ized a society known as the Brotherhood of the 
New Life. The society purchased nearly two 
thousand acres of land in Portland, extending 
two miles along the shore of Lake Erie, and, 
besides other industries, commenced to culti- 
vate the grape, built a large wine house and 
cellar near Brocton, engaged in the manufac- 
ture and sale of pure native wine, more espe- 
cially for medicinal purposes. They laid out a 
village, intended as their industrial center, to 
be called Salem-on-Erie. They were com- 
monly known as the Harris Community. They 
manufactured thousands of gallons of wine an- 
nually. The association finally fell to pieces 
and their lands were sold in parcels. While 
they continued, their property was not held in 
common, but individuals were permitted to 
hold real estate and cultivate it on their own 
account. The authority of the Scripture and 
the marriage relations were held sacred. They 
had no written form for their government. 
Their system combined the doctrines of Plato 
in philosophy, Swedenborg in their religion, 
and Fourier in their social relations. Although 
exclusively devoted to their association, they 

lived in accordance with their professions and 
were excellent, intelligent citizens. The asso- 
ciation numbered more than two thousand 
members. Lady Oliphant and her celebrated 
son, Lawrence Oliphant, who gave up his seat 
in the English Parliament, several Japanese 
high officials, and two Indian princes, were 
residents of the community. Mr. Harris finally 
sold the lands to Mr. Oliphant, and now 
scarcely a member of the association remains. 

Portland from the beginning has been the 
leading town in the culture of the grape and 
other fruit, and the Fays were the first and 
leading family in the enterprise. 

From its small beginnings in 1824, during 
the fifty years that followed, the culture of the 
grape in Chautauqua county had been grow- 
ing so that in the Lake Shore towns of the 
county it had become a leading industry. 
About 1874 it had ceased to depend upon a lim- 
ited home market and had found without the 
county, first in the oil regions of Pennsylvania, 
an extensive and increasing demand. A new 
era in the agricultural prosperity of the county 
had now begun. Vineyards were spreading 
over the lowlands from the foot of the hills 
along the southern shore of Lake Erie and 
soon began to climb the hillsides along the 
northern face of the Ridge, and now the grape 
belt extends for a distance of about fifty-five 
miles along the southern shore of Lake Erie 
from Harbor Creek in Erie county, Pennsyl- 
vania, to Erie county, New York. The aver- 
age width of this territory is about three and 
one-half miles. While it includes a consider- 
able tract in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a small 
portion in Cattaraugus county, the principal 
portion of the grape belt is in Chautauqua 
county. It includes the most of the area of the 
lake towns and a portion of some of the adjit 
cent towns. The entire territory of the grape 
belt now cultivated contains about 120,000 
acres of which 100,000 acres are in Chautauqua 
county. The Isabellas and Catawbas were the 
first varieties extensively raised. The Concord 
was finally introduced by Lincoln Fay. The 
severe winter of 1872-73 proved it to be the 
most hard}- grape and best adapted to the soil 
and climate of Chautauqua. This variety soon 
became the leading kind raised throughout the 

An event at this time contributed more to 
promote the welfare of the county and to ex- 
tend its fame than any event before. This was 
the organization of the Chautauqua Assembly, 
now known as the Chautauqua Institution, 
which is treated in a special article in this work. 




About the first event that occurred of im- 
portance in this closing period was the com- 
pletion of the Buffalo & Jamestown, now the 
Buffalo & Southwestern railroad to the city of 
Jamestown, in the fall of 1875. This road was 
finished from Buffalo to Gowanda as early as 
1874. It has proved of great value not only io 
the city of Jamestown, but also to the eastern 
towns of the county. Ellington, Cherry Creek 
and Villenova were entirely without railroad 
facilities until it was constructed. The town 
of Ellicott was bonded in the sum of $200,000 
to aid in its building. A litigation grew out of 
it, resulting in a decision of the Supreme Court 
of the United States holding that the bonds 
were invalid ; they were never paid. The town 
of Cherry Creek had also bonded itself in a 
large sum to aid the road. A similar litigation 
arose respecting the validity of the Cherry 
Creek bonds, resulting in a settlement by which 
they were paid in part by that town. In 1876 
the Prendergast Block in the village of James- 
town was erected. 

We must regret to have to record a phenome- 
nal number of crimes and tragedies. During 
the first forty years of settlement, but few 
desperate crimes were perpetrated. But one 
felonious homicide was committed during that 
forty years, and that was the crime of Damon 
in killing his wife. During the succeeding 
thirty-three years ending with 1875, but five or 
six criminal homicides were committed. In 
marked contrast with these two periods were 
the later years. During a period that would 
naturally be supposed to be the most law 
abiding and humane, there were as many as 
seventeen felonious homicides and murders 
perpetrated in the county. The commission 
of so man}' serious offences is not to be attrib- 
uted to an unusual state of depravity, but to 
fortuitous circumstances and to the existence 
of railroads, large towns, and the less quiet 
life of the people. Crime came as an incident 
of these changed conditions. 

On January 20, 1877, Clarence S. Hale, as the 
result of an altercation, killed Gerard B. Ham- 
ilton with a moulder's ladle in Clark's foundry 
in Jamestown. Hale was tried at the following 
September court, held by Charles Daniels, jus- 
tice of the Supreme Court, and acquitted. E. 
R. Bootey, district attorney, assisted by H. C. 
Kingsbury appeared for the people ; Orsell 
Cook and Lorenzo Morris defended. 

In the summer of 1877 occurred the great 
railroad strike. The Baltimore & Ohio Rail- 

Close of the Century — 1875-1902. 

road Company made a reduction of ten per 
cent, in the wages of its employees. A strike 
followed by the Brotherhood of Engineers. 
The sympathy of the public in favor of the 
employees was general. Strikes soon followed 
on many other railroads. At one time, six 
thousand miles of railroad were tied up. 

In July the strike assumed such formidable 
proportions in Buffalo that the militia were 
called out. The Seward Guards of Westfield, 
or Third Separate Company, under Capt. J. H. 
Towle, were summoned to Buffalo. They left 
for that city on the Lake Shore road on Tues- 
day, July 27, 1877, upon a wildcat passenger 
train, consisting of a mail and baggage car and 
two coaches carrying forty passengers, and the 
Third Seward Guards. On arriving at the 
railroad bridge over Buffalo creek, the train 
was stopped by the strikers. The engine and 
mail car were detached by the mob and allowed 
to proceed, and the other cars were run on to 
a "Y." The strikers then began to stone the 
car, and tried to board it. The Seward Guards 
responded with a volley of musketry which 
had ugly effect, but were compelled to leave 
the car in possession of the rioters. Three or 
more of the rioters were wounded, some fatally. 

April 16, 1878, the first subordinate Grange in 
the world was organized at Fredonia. A. S. 
Moss, H. Stiles, .W. H. Stevens, U. E. Dodge, 
L. McKinstry, A. P. Pond, D. Fairbanks, W. 
McKinstry, William Risley, M. S. Woodford 
were present at its first meeting. U. E. Dodge 
was its first master. 

A boat race had long been advertised to take 
place on Chautauqua Lake on October 16, 
1879, between Edward Hanlan, of Toronto, 
and Charles E. Courtney, the two most 
famous oarsmen on the continent. On the 
day appointed, people from all parts of the 
country appeared at Mayville, where the race 
was to take place. Besides the representa- 
tives of leading newspapers, there came a 
swarm of pickpockets and riffraff from abroad, 
and with them wheels of fortune, sweat boards, 
roulette tables, old army games, and every 
swindle and thimble-rigging device by which 
innocent humanity could be fleeced. Trains 
and boats continued to arrive until over fifteen 
thousand people had come. And yet it all re- 
sulted in a fiasco. Courtney claimed that his 
two boats had been cut in two without his 
knowledge, and that he was unable to row the 
race. The water of the lake was unruffled. 
Hanlan appeared at the appointed time and 


rowed the race alone. He made the five miles 
in thirty-three minutes fifty-six and one quar- 
ter seconds, and received the $6,000 stake 

James Crosby, aged thirty-two, in 1879 was 
residing upon a farm in Ellington, situated 
upon a high hill three miles west of Cone- 
wango station and one and a half miles from 
Ellington village. On the afternoon of July 
23 of that year he went to the village, and 
returned home about ten o'clock in the eve- 
ning. He alleged that on his return he heard 
a whistle from a clump of trees near his dwell- 
ing house, but thought that it was Wheeler, 
his brother-in-law, who lived across the road; 
that he continued on his way and entered his 
house, where he was attacked by some on: 
with whom he had a life struggle. That he 
clung to his assailant, who rushed out of the 
house, but was shot with a pistol and struck 
upon the head and left stunned upon the 
ground. Wheeler was aroused and a physi- 
cian summoned. His wife Emily was found 
strangled to death in bed, with the marks of 
the hand that did it on her neck. Her little 
boy aged seven years was found asleep in his 
trundle bed near his dead mother. Strenuous 
efforts were made to find the perpetrator with 
no trace. At last suspicion was awakened that 
Crosby had killed his wife, and then inflicted 
wounds upon himself. He was arrested and 
tried at the January court in 1880. Abner 
Hazeltine, the district attorney, assisted by E. 
R. Bootey and A. C. Wade, conducted the 
prosecution. Walter L. Sessions, John Baker 
and E. L. Bailey appeared for the defense. The 
jury after being out five hours found a verdict 
of not guilty. 

February 15, 1880, Charles L. Stratton, a na- 
tive of Mississippi and a resident of Poland, in 
an altercation with Elmer Frank, near Ken- 
nedy, killed Frank by stabbing him to the 
heart. Stratton was tried for the crime. Ab- 
ner Hazeltine, the district attorney, appeared 
for the people. C. D. Murray defended Strat- 
ton, who was found guilty of murder in the 
second degree and sentenced to imprisonment 
for life. It is a singular fact that the father 
of Frank had some years before been mur- 
dered and that the wife of Stratton, who was 
present at the killing of Frank, was the sister 
of Mrs. Emily Crosby, alleged to have been 
murdered by her husband a few months before 
as above related. 

In 1880 the grounds of the Cassadaga Lake 
Free Association at Lily Dale, then recently 
purchased, were dedicated. Its history is 
given on other pages of this work. 


In 1880 many fine structures were erected in 
Jamestown, among them the Sherman House, 
at a cost of $125,000; the Jamestown Cotton 
mills and the Gokey block ; over $325,000 were 
expended during the year in buildings in 

February 19, 1880, Dunkirk was incor- 
porated, the first city in the county. John 
Beggs was then president of the village, and 
held his office until March of that year, when 
Horatio G. Brooks was elected its first mayor. 

In 1882 the New York, Chicago & St. Louis, 
and the Western New York & Pennsylvania 
railroads were built through Dunkirk, and the 
station erected near Central avenue on the 
south side of the city. 

The first use of natural gas for illuminating 
purposes in the United States was made in 
Chautauqua county. From the shales of the 
Portage group of rocks along the beds of sev- 
eral streams, and at various places in Lake 
Erie, carburetted hydrogen issued in great 
quantities. This gas burned with a white 
flame tinged with yellow above, and blue where 
it escaped from the burner. In 1821 it was in- 
troduced into a few of the public places in Fre- 
donia, among them the hotel which it finely 
illuminated, when LaFayette visited the place 
in 1825. The gas was obtained from a spring 
on the north bank of the Canadaway, at the 
bridge crossing that stream on Main street. 
The light house erected at Barcelona about 
1828 was lighted by this gas brought from a 
gas spring in its vicinity, mentioned in an 
early survey. After the light house was dis- 
continued, Westfield was supplied from the 
same spring. In 1848 the Fredonia Gas Light 
Company was organized. In 1858 Preston 
Barmore sunk a well and procured a much 
greater supply. Alvah Colburn afterwards 
sunk another well. The gas from this and the 
Barmore well proved sufficient, and for many 
years lighted the village. At length manu- 
factured gas was used for illuminating pur- 
poses, first in Jamestown in 1861, and in Dun- 
kirk in November, 1867. In February, 1885, 
the electric light system was put in operation 
in the city of Jamestown, and was for the first 
time used in the county. In September of the 
same year natural gas from the wells in Penn- 
sylvania was first employed to light the city 
of Jamestown. September 27th. 1888. electric 
lights were first used in the city of Dunkirk. 

In the afternoon of August 25th, 1885. ex- 
Governor Fenton died suddenly while sitting 
in the directors' room of the First National 
Bank of Jamestown, attending to his business 
duties. Business was suspended, Jamestown 



draped in mourning, and his funeral univer- 
sally attended by the citizens. Besides the Fen- 
ton Guards who acted as a guard of honor, the 
members of the Grand Army post, the public 
officials of Jamestown, many citizens from 
abroad were present, among them Hon. Ga- 
lusha A. Grow, of Pennsylvania, a most inti- 
mate friend of Governor Fenton, also David B. 
Hill, then governor of the State of New Yoik 
and his staff. Mr. Fenton was buried in Lake 
View Cemetery, Jamestown. At the time of 
his decease he was little over sixty-six year.= 
of age. He is mentioned at greater length in 
the chapter on Political History. 

In January, 1886, the Swedish Orphanage 
was dedicated. January 29th, John A. Hall 
died in Jamestown. He was editor of the 
"Jamestown Journal." That paper was not 
only the leading but, next to the "Fredonia 
Censor," the oldest in the county. It was 
established in 1826 by Adolphus Fletcher. 
During the more than three quarters of a 
century which has elapsed since then, it has 
been the greater part of the time the most 
influential newspaper in the county. It has 
been edited by some of the most accom- 
plished political" newspaper writers in Western 
New York. Its editors have been Adolphus 
Fletcher, Abner Hazeltine, J. Warren Fletcher ; 
Frank W. Palmer, who afterwards held high 
official and editorial positions during President 
Harrison's term, among them national public 
printer; C. D. Sackett ; Coleman E. Bishop, a 
well-known and trenchant political writer ; 
Davis H. Wait, afterward governor of Colo- 
rado ; and John A. Hall, who bought the paper 
in 1876. Mr. Hall built new buildings, im- 
proved the paper, enlarged its business, and 
absorbed other competing papers. Mr. Hall 
ably edited the paper until his death. He was 
succeeded by his son, Frederick P. Hall. After 
the death of John A. Hall, the Journal Print- 
ing Company was formed, and the "Jamestown 
Journal" is now the largest newspaper estab- 
lishment in the county. 

March 31, 1886, Jamestown was incor- 
porated the second city of the county, and 
Oscar F. Price elected its first mayor. On 
May 22 the Jamestown Bar Association was 
organized. In October the Jamestown Busi- 
ness College, the first and only institution of 
the kind in the county was organized by E. J. 
Coburn. H. E. V. Porter, later its principal, 
took charge of the practical department, and 
Miss K. A. Lambert was engaged for the 
theory department. Shorthand was taught 
under the direction of Charles M. Brown. 

August 31, 1886, a slight shock of an earth- 

quake was felt throughout the county, causing 
doors to slam, chandeliers to vibrate, billiard 
balls to move on the table, and in one or more 
instances the bells in the steeples to slightly 

Eighteen hundred and ninety-one was the 
first year in which electricity was used as a 
motive power in Chautauqua county. June 19, 
1884, the road of the Jamestown Street Rail- 
way Company was so far completed that the 
first car, a horse-car, was run from the Sher- 
man House to the boat landing. August 25 of 
the year before, the company had been organ- 
ized with John T. Wilson (who had been active 
in its organization, and afterwards effective in 
promoting it) as president, and C. R. Lock- 
wood secretary and attorney. New articles of 
incorporation were filed October 13, 1S83. The 
motive power having been changed to elec- 
tricity, the first electric car run in the county 
passed over its road on Third street. Through 
the energy of Almet N. Broadhead, who for 
many years was president, has its success as 
an electric road been due. 

Long before horse-cars were in operation in 
Jamestown they had been in use between Fre- 
donia and Dunkirk. As early as September, 
1866, the Dunkirk & Fredonia railroad had 
been organized, and horse-cars run over its line 
a distance of about three miles. Thomas L. 
Higgins, of Fredonia, was its first president. 
During a period of nearly eighteen years before 
street cars were introduced into Jamestown, 
they had been extensively in use for passenger 
travel between Dunkirk and Fredonia. In 
187S Milton M. Fenner obtained a controlling 
interest in the road and became president. In 
1880 he took the position of secretary, treas- 
urer and manager. It afterward acquired an 
electric light and power plant, a steam heating 
plant, and the Fredonia Natural Gas Light 
Company. In 1891 electricity was substituted 
as a motive power; the first electric cars were 
run over it October 29, not four months after 
electric cars were first used in Jamestown. 

December 1st of this year the Prendergast 
Free Library building was completed, and the 
first purchase of books placed on its shelves. 
This association was incorporated by a special 
act of the Legislature passed January 29, 1880. 

Besides the many homicides committed in 
the county during the last period of its history, 
there also occurred an unusual number of pain- 
ful casualties. On September 15th, 1886, an 
excursion train from Erie to Niagara Falls, 
over the Nickel Plate railroad collided with a 
way freight in the deep cut north of the trestle 
that spanned the creek at the village of Silv:-r 


Creek, the baggage cars of the passenger train 
telescoping with the smoking car. Fourteen 
people were killed or died from injuries. Wil- 
liam H. Harrison, in charge of the excursion 
train, and Louis Brewer, in charge of its loco- 
motive, were tried for manslaughter at the 
court held at Mayville the succeeding May. 
L. F. Stearns, the district attorney, repre- 
sented the people, and Jerome B. Fisher the 
prisoner. The defendants were acquitted. 
August 19, 1887, a burglar while engaged in 
entering the house of A. R. Catlin, in James 
town, was shot and instantly killed. 

In November, 1887, the first Political Equal- 
ity Club was formed, at Mrs. Daniel Gris- 
wold's, in Jamestown. Mrs. D. H. Grandin was 
elected president, Mrs. N. R. Thompson secre- 
tary, and Mrs. C. W. Scofield treasurer. The 
first county convention of Political Equality 
ever held in New York State convened at the 
Opera House in Jamestown, October 31, 1888. 
Mrs. Martha T. Henderson was chosen its first 
president; Mrs. Kate S. Thompson and Mrs. 
Annie C. Shaw secretaries ; and Mrs. Lois M. 
Lott treasurer. 

In Jamestown, on July 4, 1888, LeRoy Bo- 
gardus was murdered in broad daylight, in an 
alley on the Brooklyn side of the Chadakoin, 
and but a few steps from Main street and 
Brooklyn Square, while the streets and square 
were filled with more than the usual number 
of people. His head was crushed by the blows 
of some hard instrument. Bogardus had repre- 
sented that he was in possession of a large sum 
of money. During the greater part of the day 
he was in company with George W. Foster, 
who was seen to have in his pocket a car 
coupling pin. Foster was also seen escaping 
from the alley soon after the murder was com- 
mitted. He was indicted and tried before 
Judge Loren Lewis, at Mayville. Lester F. 
Stearns, district attorney, and Arthur C. Wade, 
appeared for the people, Vernon E. Peckham 
and E. L. Bootey for the prisoner. The jury 
after being out twenty-seven hours announced 
a verdict of guilty of murder in the second de- 
gree. The prisoner was sentenced to imprison- 
ment for life. Judge Lewis when sentencing 
him, said he owed his life to the ability of the 
attorneys who defended him. 

In 1888 the Chautauqua Lake railroad was 
completed along the Eastern shore of Chau- 
tauqua Lake from Jamestown to Mayville. It 
is 21.17 miles in length, and cost $1,080,000 
In 1890 the Gratiot of Dunkirk, afterwards one 
of the leading hotels of the county, was com- 


Now business throughout the county and 
country was dull. The value of farming 
products had for many years been falling, and 
farming had ceased to be as profitable as u 
once had been. As one of the results, there 
were many abandoned farms that had before 
produced good incomes. In Charlotte alone 
there were fifteen deserted farms, each of 
which had once kept from eight to twenty-five 
dairy cows, and that town suffered no more 
in this respect than other towns in the county. 
In March, 1890, at Fredonia, Kosolina Bos- 
cellere killed his father-in-law Salvator La- 
tona. Both were Italians. Boscellere was 
discharged on the grounds that the killing was 
in self-defence. In August, 1892, Patrick 
Dowd, a post office robber, resident of Dun- 
kirk, in a fit of jealousy and anger over some 
woman whom he had been dining, shot and 
instantly killed George Haas, of Jamestown, at 
the Hotel Sherwin, in Fluvanna, and imme- 
diately afterwards shot four bullets into his 
own body, dying instantly. 

August 19, 1892, at midnight, the Fenton 
Guards were ordered to Buffalo on account of 
the strike by the switchmen of the Erie, Lehigh 
Valley & Buffalo Creek railroads. A long 
blast from the whistles of the Broadhead & 
Fenton Metallic Works, was the signal for their 
assembling. Two hours later they were on the 
march for the Erie depot, with Capt. Fred W. 
Hyde, Lieut. Daniel H. Post and Frank A. 
Johnson in command. At 5:40 a. m. they 
arrived at Buffalo. Over eighty men finally 
reported there for duty. The strike having 
come to an end without violence, the guards 
returned to Jamestown after an absence of 
twelve days. 

October 12, 1892, the Fenton Metallic works 
burned. August 2, Allen's Opera House in 
Jamestown was destroyed by fire. December 
15, 1893, a frightful railroad disaster occurred 
on the W. N. Y. & P. R. R. at Herrick's creek, 
two miles east of Dunkirk. The rain and melt- 
ing snow had raised the water in the creek so 
that it undermined the base of the railroad 
track over it, and the supporting bank on the 
Dunkirk side of the creek, so that when the 
westbound Mayville accommodation reached 
the bridge, it gave way. The baggage car, 
smoker and day coach were precipitated into a 
gorge twenty-five feet below. Five persons 
were killed and six more or less injured. Of 
the killed, four were residents of Chautauqua 
county — Jesse Hodge, the conductor, of Broc- 
ton ; Oscar Porter and his mother, Mrs. J. N. 
Porter, both of Brocton ; and George Wyman. 
of Fredonia. 



Early on October 15, 1893, the propeller 
"Dean Richmond," Capt. G. W. Stoddard, of 
Toledo, foundered off Van Buren in a terrific 
gale on Lake Erie. No one of those on board 
survived to tell the story of the catastrophe. 
No assistance could be given. The next morn- 
ing the beach between Van Buren and Dun- 
kirk was strewn with the wreck and cargo of 
flour. The dead bodies were found as far down 
as Silver Creek, and were taken to the morgue 
at Dunkirk. Eighteen lives were lost. Where 
the boat is supposed to have been wrecked was 
a dangerous reef. At this bit of Chautauqua 
coast as many tales of disaster can be told as 
on any like strip of dangerous coast along the 
ocean shore. There it was that the "Passaic" 
met her fate two years before. There the 
"Golden Fleece" was firmly bedded in the 
rocks, and there the passenger steamer "Os- 
wego" went fast, and the lives of those who 
attempted to go ashore were lost. 

The year 1893 is memorable in Chautauqua 
county history for the financial distress of all 
classes of people. During this year, besides 
banks and bankers, occurred many other 
failures in the county among business men. 
Seven per cent, of those doing business be- 
came insolvent. 

A special meeting of the board of supervisors 
was held on the 6th of June of this year at 
Mayville, for the purpose of considering the 
question of an increase in the appropriation 
for the enlargement of the county clerk's office. 
A motion was there made to appropriate $2,000 
in addition to the $3,000 that had before been 
appropriated. But upon the suggestion that 
the city of Jamestown would make proposi- 
tions for erecting county buildings providing 
the county seat was changed to that city, an- 
other motion was made to defer expending the 
$3,000 already appropriated, and that a special 
meeting of the board be called for August 8, 
1893, to vote upon the question of the county 
seat. Attempts to change the county seat, and 
projects to divide the county, commenced with 
its organization, and were continued at inter- 
vals to the time of this special meeting. As 
this was the last effort of the kind, it will be 
proper here to give an account of the various 
attempts that have before been made. 

The act of the Legislature organizing the 
county in 1808, provided for the appointment 
of three commissioners to locate the sites of its 
county buildings. The people of Canadaway 
(now Fredonia) cleared a half-acre of land at 
the east end of the common, on the west side 
of the creek, intending it as the site of the 
county buildings. To their great disgust the 

commissioners when on their way to locate the 
county seat did not even stop to look at the 
place, but passed on and established the county 
seat in the woods where now is Mayville, and 
erected there "a large hemlock post" to mark 
the spot. To this act of the commissioners 
there came a protest, which was renewed from 
time to time with more or less emphasis. 

The first meeting of the board of supervisors 
was held at John Scott's log tavern in May- 
ville in 181 1. The board consisted of two 
members : William Prendergast, of Chau- 
tauqua ; and Philo Orton, of Pomfret. The 
first business after the organization of the 
board, and the election of certain officers, was 
to raise money to build a court house and jail. 
Supervisor Orton, representing his Pomfret 
constituents, who were not favorable to raising 
money to erect public buildings on a rival site, 
remembering also the brusque treatment of the 
commissioners when they went to locate the 
county seat at Mayville, voted "no." Repeated 
efforts on the part of Supervisor Prendergast 
failed to secure a majority in favor of this 
essential measure. Finally, when Mr. Orton 
moved to raise money for expenditures that 
had been made for the benefit of the town of 
Pomfret, Mr. Prendergast refused to concur. 
The wheels of the infant government now- 
ceased to revolve, and everything came to a 
dead standstill. After deliberating on the seri- 
ous aspect that affairs were taking, the board 
unanimously came to an agreement to raise 
money for the court house and jail, and also to 
pay the town taxes, and the clouds that had 
for a time darkened the prospects of our rising 
young county drifted away. 

In 1812 three new towns — Ellicott, Hanover 
and Gerry — were erected out of the town of 
Pomfret, through the influence of Zattu Cush- 
ing and other citizens of Canadaway, it was 
said, in order to secure sufficient strength in 
the board of supervisors to remove the county 
seat to that place. 

Efforts were made as early as 1831 to accom- 
plish a division of the county. In 1843 a m ore 
serious attempt was begun by citizens living 
in the north-eastern towns of Chautauqua, 
joined with citizens of Erie and Cattaraugus, 
to form a new county to be called Schuyler. 
Delegate conventions were held in each of the 
counties, and the legislature appealed to. Oli- 
ver Lee, then a very influential citizen of West- 
ern New York, the "Buffalo Courier," and 
Democrats in Buffalo, favored it with a view 
it is said of forming the Democratic county. 
A county convention was held in opposition, 
and the scheme terminated without success. 



In 1844, so strong was the agitation for a 
division, that January 25 of that year a mass 
meeting was held in opposition, with Judge J. 
M. Edson, of Sinclairville, president, and many 
vice-presidents. A memorial to the Legislature 
was drafted and a vigilance committee ap- 
pointed to thwart it in every town. The 
project again failed. In 1846 the attempt was 
renewed; February 11, a meeting was held to 
remonstrate against all projects for a dismem- 
berment of the county; Gen. Leverett Barker, 
Fredonia, chairman. Nearly all the towns of 
the county were represented. This movement 
to effect a division terminated like the others, 
without success. 

In 1S52 the New York & Erie railroad was 
completed, the Lake Shore was in process of 
construction, and the Atlantic & Great West- 
ern in contemplation. The consummation of 
these enterprises would secure railroad com- 
munication with all the principal parts of the 
county excepting Mayville. The difficulty of 
access to the county seat soon led to many 
schemes for a division. One project was to 
erect a new county from Chautauqua, Catta- 
ragus and Erie, with the county seat at Forest- 
ville ; another, a Ridge division, provided for a 
county seat at Westfield ; while a fourth plan 
was proposed to divide the county by assem- 
bly districts as they then existed, with county 
seats at Mayville and Sinclairville. A meet- 
ing was held at Westfield with Judge Thomas 
B. Campbell as chairman, in opposition to al! 

In the fall of 1852, dissatisfaction with the 
location of the county buildings took expres- 
sion in the board of supervisors. A resolution 
to remove them to Delanti in the town of 
Stockton was lost for the want of a two-thirds 
vote, required by law. A final and strong 
effort was made the succeeding year to divide 
the county. A bill passed to its third reading 
in the legislature of 1853, to organize the towns 
of Brandt, Collins, and Evans of Erie county ; 
the towns of Dayton, Leon, Perrysburgh and 
Persia of Cattaraugus county, and the towns of 
Arkwright, Charlotte, Cherry Creek, Hanover, 
Pomfret, Sheridan, and Villenova of Chau- 
tauqua county, into a new county to be called 
Marshall. During the winter, Ebenezer A. 
Lester, Augustus F. Allen and John M. Edson 
and other leading citizens went to Albany 
with a largely signed remonstrance in opposi- 
tion to the bill, which was lost on its third 
reading by a large majority. This was the last 
serious effort made to divide the county. The 
building of the Cross Cut railroad twelve years 
later gave better facilities for reaching May- 

ville, which have been still further improved. 
At the special meeting of the board of super- 
visors on August 8th, 1893, a petition was pre- 
sented asking the removal of the county build- 
ings to Jamestown, to be located within one- 
half a mile from the intersection of Main and 
Third streets. A petition was also presented 
asking the removal of the county buildings to 
Dunkirk, to be located on Central avenue, on 
a plot of five acres of land on the west side of 
that street, opposite the dwelling built by 
James Gerrans, then owned by Andrew Dotter- 
weich. A proposition was also submitted for 
new county buildings in Mayville, including 
the offer of from two to five acres near the lake. 
The board finally passed a resolution to re- 
move the county seat from Mayville to James- 
town, and that the question of such a removal 
be submitted to the electors of the county at 
the next ensuing general election. The vote 
upon the subject of changing the site of the 
county buildings to Jamestown was lost at the 
election by a majority of 425 against it, 6,645 
votes having been cast in favor, and 7,070 in 

A committee appointed by the board of 
supervisors in the fall of 1S83 to examine the 
accounts of Orren Sperry, county treasurer, 
found that he had received in 1883, the sum of 
$159,191.33, and had expended the sum of 
$154,821.86, leaving in his hands $4,370.07. 
Nothing appeared in this report to indicate 
but what his accounts were correct and in a 
normal state. But early in 1884 rumors were 
in circulation that he had lost in the oil coun- 
try by speculations, and had drawn out and 
loaned to others large sums of money belong- 
ing t» the county, and in May of that year the 
community were startled to learn that Sperrv 
had fled to parts unknown. Nothing so seri- 
ous affecting its finances had ever before hap- 
pened to the county. It was ultimately found 
that Sperry was a defaulter in the sum of 
$89.506.47, ' of which $26,093.85 were trust 
funds and $63,412.62 were cash arising from 
taxes. No sensation lasted so long, or so uni- 
versally disturbed the equanimity of the people 
of this county. In the counsels and conven- 
tions of the Republican party, of which Sperry 
was a member, his malfeasance was a disturb- 
ing element for many years. After his de- 
parture a special meeting of the board of super- 
visors was called, and at an adjourned special 
meeting a committee was appointed, who in- 
vestigated the books and accounts. Charges 
were then made and proceedings were insti- 
tuted against him for his malversations in 
office, resulting in his removal by Governor 

7 6 


Cleveland. A reward of $2,000 was offered foi 
the arrest and conviction of Sperry. Hon. 
Porter Sheldon and Charles D. Murray were 
employed as counsel for the county. At a 
meeting of the board of supervisors in the fall 
of 1884, measures were taken for a settlement 
or prosecution of suits against the bondsmen of 
Sperry, and other parties indebted to the 
county growing out of his defalcation. Six 
indictments were found against him at the 
September court of 1884, but the authorities 
were unable to find him, and he went without 
arrest. At a special meeting of the board of 
supervisors in May, 1885, a settlement was 
effected and the large claims of the county 
against the bondsmen of Sperry were compro- 
mised by accepting the sum of $35,000, and 
discharging the bondsmen from further liabili- 
ties. After leaving the United States, Sperry 
made his appearance in Mexico. Measures 
were taken to arrest him, but he found it out 
and disappeared from that country. He was 
next heard of in Canada, from where he opened 
correspondence with some of his friends at 
home, and some of them visited him there. 
While he was in Canada, an action was com 
menced by W. L. Sessions and C. D. Murray 
by the direction of the board of supervisors 
against Wilson, an oil broker of Oil City, to 
recover the amount of a certificate of deposit of 
$6,000, which had been assigned to him by 
Sperry. The certificate was payable to Sperry 
as treasurer of Chautauqua county. This it 
was claimed was notice to Wilson that Sperry 
was using public funds. The attorneys of 
Sperry recommended the dismissal of the in- 
dictment against him, that he might feel safe 
to return to Chautauqua county and give his 
testimony as a witness in the action. The 
board of supervisors, with a few dissenting 
voices, endorsed the recommendation, but 
when the matter came before Justice Green, of 
the Supreme Court, he declined to dismiss the 
indictment, stating that in his judgment such 
a course would be opposed to good public 
morals. As there was a question as to the re- 
sponsibility of Wilson, the action was settled 
by the payment of $3,000 by Wilson's wife. 

June 1st, 1893, Orren Sperry, nine years a 
fugitive from justice, suddenly appeared in 
Chautauqua county, and voluntarily surren- 
dered himself. At the May court in 1894, 
Sperry having pleaded guilty to the indictment 
against him, was sentenced by Judge Lambert 
to two years' imprisonment at Auburn. When 
he delivered himself up to the authorities, he 
was an old man about sixty-eight years of age, 
and his case now became again a matter of dis- 

cussion throughout the county, and a feeling 
of pity took the place of censure among many 
of the people. A petition was circulated and 
was very numerously signed, for his pardon. 
This greatly influenced Governor Flower, who 
pardoned him in June, 1894. Many believed 
Sperry had not been sufficiently punished, that 
his crime had been too lightly regarded. The 
"Jamestown Journal" pronounced his pardon 
to be a travesty upon justice. The pardon was 
also severely condemned by the "Fredonia 
Censor," and the "Buffalo Express." 

In December, 1894, a terrible tragedy oc- 
curred. Myron Sherman was a well-known 
farmer and resident of Busti. He was a son 
of Daniel Sherman, former sheriff, and a 
brother of Daniel Sherman, a prominent law- 
yer and citizen, then serving the last month of 
his term as its surrogate. On Friday, Decem- 
ber 7, Myron Sherman, with Mrs. Myron Sher- 
man and their little grandson, while driving 
across the railroad track between Ashville and 
Lakewood, were struck by the fast mail train, 
and all were fatally injured. The grandchild 
was killed instantly ; he was buried the next 
Monday. Mr. Sherman died the following 
Wednesday ; Mrs. Sherman died the Friday 
after. Their burial was appointed for Satur- 
day afternoon. December 15. The unusual 
circumstances of their death attracted hun- 
dreds of people to their funerals. 

Winslow Sherman, a farmer residing in 
Busti, a few miles from his kinsman, Myron 
Sherman, his wife, Mrs. Winslow Sherman, 
his daughter, Mrs. Clinton Davis, and his son, 
Byron Sherman, were at their dwelling' house 
in the forenoon of the day of the funeral. 
Winslow and Byron left the house about two 
o'clock in the afternoon to attend the funeral. 
About two hours later Byron returned. On 
his way he stopped at his neighbor's for his 
nephew, a boy of thirteen, the son of Mrs. 
Davis, who rode home with him. On their 
arrival at Winslow Sherman's dwelling house, 
while Byron was putting up the horse the 
boy went to the house, and there beheld a 
fearful and ghastly sight; upon the kitchen 
floor, amidst pools of blood, he saw the dead 
body of his mother. On the bloodsoaked 
carpet of the sitting room his grandmother 
lay dead. It was found that both victims 
were killed with an ax or some instrument 
with a sharp edge. Mrs. Davis had many 
cuts upon her face, but a blow upon the back 
of her head evidently caused her death. A 
heavy blow upon the forehead caused the death 
of Mrs. Sherman. There were many cuts, how- 
ever, upon her face. Every room in the house 


seemed to have been ransacked. The bureau 
drawers were pulled out and their contents 
scattered upon the floor. There was two hun- 
dred fifty dollars in money hidden in a bureau 
drawer on the second floor, but it was not dis- 
covered by the robber. Footprints freshly 
made were found indicating that the murderer 
had entered the house through the woodshed, 
and departed the same way, no other clue or 
trace of the murderer was there found. Be- 
tween daylight and dark of Sunday, the day 
following, three thousand people visited the 
little brown house where the two gray-haired 
women lay dead. Although this murder was 
committed in the daytime, in a dwelling house 
in plain view of other inhabited houses, but a 
few miles from Jamestown, with a police force 
and public authorities very accessible, the per- 
petrator was not found and the Sherman mur- 
der remains a mystery to this day. 

In 1895 Lakeside Assembly was established 
on the west shore of Findley's Lake, the sec- 
ond in size of the many beautiful sheets of 
water scattered over the county. The Assem- 
bly was founded by the Rev. C. G. Langdon, 
of the United Brethren church. A plot of 
ground was secured of Mr. J. A. Hill on the 
west side of the lake, and Mr. Langdon with 
his own hands began to cut the underbrush and 
clear away the logs from the first acre used. 
He in connection with Dr. F. E. Lilly, who 
lived upon the Lake, laid out the plot into lots, 
and procured a large tent for the meetings, the 
first of which was held in 1895. During that 
season several small buildings were erected, 
and about forty lots were sold. The society 
was incorporated, and meetings held during 
several succeeding years with much success. 
The moneys received were appropriated for 
the improvement of the grounds. The Lake- 
side Assembly is modeled after the Chautauqua 
Institution, and has been conducted with suc- 
cess and with benefit to those who have en- 
joyed its privileges. Dr. F. E. Lilly was its 
first president; after his removal to California 
he was succeeded by Ebenezer Skellie ; upon 
his decease, J. A. Hill was chosen. 

Chautauqua county in 1896 was remarkable 
for its mild and pleasant weather, and great 
fruitfulness. Scarcely a frost occurred after 
the first day of April. By the first of June, 
field strawberries were in the market, roses in 
full bloom, the grass in the meadows thick and 
tall, the corn rank and vigorous. The summer 
was as beautiful as the spring. Thunderstorms 
prevailed, purifying the air, and causing a 
dense growth of vegetation. August was a de- 


lightful month, the woods, pastures and 
meadows were as green as in June, but of a 
deeper shade. Autumn fulfilled the promise 
of spring and summer. Never was there such 
a crop of apples. The orchards were so loaded 
with fruit that the limbs often broke and many 
apples were spoiled. Notwithstanding the 
apples were unusually large and perfect, they 
brought little or nothing in the market. Sev- 
enty-five cents a barrel was the average price 
for the best apples, the seller to furnish the 
barrels. Cider mills were overstocked while 
running at full blast. There was an unusual 
production of grapes. By reason of the over 
production the crop was unprofitable to the 
producer. In 1897, during eight days in July, 
the thermometer early in the day rose above 
ninety degrees and there remained until late 
in the afternoon. Many times it reached one 
hundred degrees. Seldom in the experience of 
a lifetime was the weather so continuously hot. 
The people were forced to cease business on 
account of the heat of the day. 

The year 1897 seems to have been a year of 
tragedies. A foul murder was committed in 
Sinclairville at an early hour of the morning 
of May 26. Axel Lawson, of Swedish birth, 
resided with Grant Edson, a farmer who lived 
on the Ellington road about two and one-hall 
miles east of Sinclairville. For some time he 
had bought farmers' produce around Sinclair- 
ville, marketing it at Jamestown. On May 25 
he made his usual trip to Jamestown, sold his 
produce, and about ten o'clock in the evening 
set out from Jamestown to return. This was 
the last seen of him by his friends alive. About 
five o'clock in the morning of the 26th, Edson 
discovered Lawson's horse coming toward his 
barn without a driver. Examining the wagon, 
he found blood splashes on the dashboard and 
crossbar. Fearing some accident, Edson 
started in search of Lawson. At a secluded 
spot just beyond the outskirts of the village of 
Sinclairville, but within its corporate limits, 
where the road that leads around the north side 
of Cobb Hill, curves along the margin of a 
little ravine, and is there partly hidden by the 
foliage of scattered bushes and trees, he found 
the dead body of Lawson. Coroner Blood, 
District Attorney Green and Sheriff Gelm 
were notified and quickly came. Royal E. 
Sheldon, president of the village, called the 
trustees together and a reward was offered 
for the arrest and conviction of the mur- 
derer. For many days the search was con- 
tinued from where the body was found, south 
across the meadowland to the road lead- 



ing over Cobb Hill. One footprint remained 
there in the dust as if the person who had 
made it was about to cross the road, but as 
this track neither continued across or up or 
down, it is believed that the person who made 
it, at this point stepped into some carriage 
awaiting him. Many citizens of the village liv- 
ing along the highway west of this place, about 
two o'clock in the morning heard a buggy 
come down Cobb Hill at a headlong speed, 
pass through the village, and with much noise 
cross the bridge on Railroad avenue and the 
railroad track at the station, and go on with 
undiminished speed along the road toward 
Cassadaga creek. Two parties saw the buggy 
with two occupants from their bedroom win- 
dows as it rapidly passed by. Notwithstand- 
ing the search was long continued, but like the 
Sherman murder of a few years before, the 
crime remained a deep mystery. 

Another tragic event occurred on Saturday, 
November 27 of this year, at Jamestown. Be- 
tween three and four o'clock in the morning, 
fire was discovered in the Atlantic block annex 
at the corner of First street and Mechanics' 
alley. The fire department responded promptly 
and the flames were soon extinguished, but no~ 
until three persons sleeping in the building 
were smothered with smoke or burned to death 
in the flames. 

In the afternoon of November 30th, a homi- 
cide occurred in a dingy saloon on North Port- 
age street, in Westfield, as the result of a quar- 
rel between Judson E. Root, the proprietor, 
and William Drake, who was under the influ- 
ence of liquor. After some rough scuffling be- 
tween the parties, Drake sat down in a chair. 
Root then went out of the room, returned with 
a gun and shot Drake as he sat in his chair, 
killing him instantly. 

Nearly one-half a million of dollars was ap- 
propriated by Congress for the improvement 
of Dunkirk Harbor through the influence of 
Hon. Warren B. Hooker, of Fredonia, Mem- 
ber of Congress, from the Chautauqua and 
Cattaraugus congressional district, and chair- 
man of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors. 

In the spring an important improvement 
was also commenced in the eastern part of the 
county by which it was expected that twenty- 
five thousands of acres of practically worth- 
less land in the Conewango Swamp would be 
drained and made valuable by cutting a wide 
and deep ditch from the Kent road in the town 
of Cherry Creek, a distance of thirteen miles, 
to Waterloo, in the town of Poland. 

The City Hall in Jamestown was completed 

and first occupied in 1897. On June 27th of 
that year the short railroad connecting the 
Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & Pittsburgh rail- 
road, near Falconer, with the Chautauqua Lake 
railroad, near Fluvanna, having been com- 
pleted, the cars were first regularly run upon it. 

The grape crop of the county was this year 
unusually large and valuable ; 4,388 carloads of 
grapes, over 12,600,000 baskets, were shipped 
by the Grape Union in the space of six weeks. 
A very large quantity was shipped outside of 
the Union. Over one thousand carloads were 
shipped in the town of Portland alone. 

Over thirty years had now passed in peace- 
ful pursuits since any citizen had been called 
upon to take up arms in the cause of his coun- 
try. Chautauqua county had been represented 
in nearly every, if not all the wars, in which 
the country had been engaged. In the early 
years of its history there were several of the 
soldiers of the old French and Indian wars liv- 
ing in the county, among them Samuel Shat- 
tuck, of Portland. His history has a special 
interest to us. He was not only a soldier of 
that old war, but a very romantic and exciting 
portion of his service rendered in it was 
actually performed in Chautauqua county, 
about fifty years before it was settled by white 
men. At one time during this old war he was 
one of Putnam's celebrated rangers, and served 
in the vicinity of Lake George, afterwards in 
the War of the Revolution and fought at 
Bunker Hill, Bennington and Yorktown, and 
other battles. His service in both wars 
amounted to twelve years. He came to Port- 
land, Chautauqua county, in November, 1823, 
to live, and died in that town September 1, 
1827, and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery. 

John Owens, of Carroll, grandfather of Gov- 
ernor R. E. Fenton, was a remarkable pioneer 
of the county. He was with the English under 
Wolfe at the capture of Quebec, and with 
Ethan Allen in the Revolution at the capture 
of Ticonderoga. He died at Carroll, February 
6th, 1843, at the remarkable age of 107 years, 
probably the oldest citizen that has ever lived 
in the county, older than Mrs. Deborah Dot)-, 
who died at Frewsburg, March 5th, 1902, at the 
advanced age of 106 years. Stephen Marther 
was a soldier of the old French War and had 
a very remarkable career. 

The experience of the Frank family, of 
the town of Busti, in the French and Indian 
Wars, is worth relating. Eva Frank, the 
wife of John Frank, Sr., of another Frank 
family, when she (Eva) was a small child, her 
sister Mary, who became the wife of Myers.. 



the father of John Myers who was an early 
settler of Carroll, their mother, her little 
brother, Lawrence Frank, a maiden sister, and 
John Frank, Sr., of the other Frank family, 
were all captured in the Mohawk Valley by the 
Indians and taken to a place near Montreal and 
kept there among them three years before they 
were ransomed. Mary was detained four 
years, as she had the smallpox when her sister 
was exchanged. The mother had to carry the 
son, who was but eighteen months old, on the 
march to Montreal, and keep up with the party 
in order to keep him from being tomahawked. 
The maiden sister on her return from captivity 
had forgotten her mother tongue, and was 
taken from the Indians against her will, having 
been kept apart from her relatives, and had for- 
gotten them. All of these Franks became early 
settlers of the town of Busti. John Frank was 
again taken prisoner during the War of the 
Revolution. He escaped from his captors ac 
Oneida Lake the first night after his capture, 
through the aid of friendly Oneida Indians, 
and safely reached his house at German Flats. 
Joseph Frank, of Busti, son of Lawrence above- 
mentioned, was with the Chautauqua regiment 
in the battle of Buffalo and was shot, killed 
and scalped by the Indians. 

Orsamus Holmes was one of the earliest and 
most prominent settlers of the town of Sheri- 
dan. His father had been an officer in the old 
French War. He was himself a soldier under 
Ethan Allen, in the War of the Revolution. 
He was with Montgomery in the expedition 
against Quebec. He was afterwards captured 
by the British and taken to Canada and placed 
on board of a prison ship, but he and three 
others escaped in the night time, crossed the 
St. Lawrence, wandered seventeen days in the 
wilderness, suffering great hardships, and was 
finally captured with his companions by the 
Indians, taken back to Montreal and confined 
in prison. After a month's confinement he and 
two others overpowered the guard and escaped. 
They scaled the city wall, crossed the St. Law- 
rence, plunged into the forest, pursued by the 
Indians, and after encountering great dangers, 
at the end of fourteen days they reached the 
frontier settlements of Vermont. 

Samuel Sinclear, the founder of Sinclairville, 
and many years the supervisor of the old town 
of Gerry, enlisted in his Uncle Joseph Cilley's 
regiment (the First New Hampshire, Stark's 
regiment) when he was but fifteen years of 
age, and served three years. He was at Val- 
ley Forge, in the battles of Saratoga and Mon- 
mouth, and in Sullivan's expedition against 

the Indians. His father, Richard Sinclear, was 
a soldier of the French War, and a major of the 
Revolution. His three brothers, one an officer, 
also served in the Revolution. Mr. Sinclear 
had distinguished relatives, among them Gen 
Benjamin F. Butler, whose mother was his 
cousin. He was uncle to Lieut. -Gov. John G. 
Sinclear, of New Hampshire. 

Arthur Bell was one of the earliest settlers 
at Westfield. He was the second supervisor of 
the town of Chautauqua. He served with the 
Niagara board of supervisors at Buffalo in 
1808. He served in the American army of the 
Revolution three years. Elijah Risley, Sr., 
one of the leading citizens and founders of Fre- 
donia, was a soldier of the Revolution. 

Col. Nathaniel Fenton was the first super- 
visor of Poland, and afterward represented the 
county in the Assembly. Before he was 
eighteen years of age he was a brave and trusty 
colonial scout in the War of the Revolution. 
James Dunn, the pioneer settler of Portland, 
was also a soldier in the same war. Robert 
Seaver, a founder of the settlement at Char- 
lotte Center, and all his brothers were Revolu- 
tionary soldiers. 

Col. Nathaniel Bird, one of the most benevo- 
lent of the early citizens of the county, was 
also one of the most enterprising. He was the 
first to run mail stages over the route between 
Buffalo and Erie. In 1826 he ran the first daily 
stages and post coaches over this line. He 
enlisted in the army of the Revolution at the 
age of sixteen, and was honorably discharged 
at the close of the war, and came home ragged 
and barefoot. 

Henry Elliott, of Chautauqua, was a soldier 
of the Revolution. He was badly wounded in 
the campaign of Burgoyne, afterward served as 
coxswain on the ship "Putnam," which in its 
cruise off the coast of England captured nine 
prizes. William Martin, of the same town, 
was in the battle of Bunker Hill; and under 
Arnold and Montgomery in the expedition 
against Quebec, where he was wounded by a 
cannon ball. In 1780 he was captured by the 
Indians in a skirmish at Little Falls, and taken 
to Quebec. After several months' detention 
he made his escape. 

The foregoing are some of the names of the 
soldiers who once resided in Chautauqua 
county. More than one hundred and fifty have 
at some time had their homes here. Many of 
the earliest pioneers were Revolutionary sol- 
diers. It is interesting to know that so many 
of the continental soldiers at some time resided 
in Chautauqua county. There is scarcely a 



pioneer burying ground but contains the re- 
mains of one or more.* 

The Jamestown Chapter of Daughters of the 
American Revolution, was organized in Octo- 
ber, 1900, its first regent, Miss Stella Florine 
Broadhead. Among its members was formerly 
Mrs. Maria Cheney Hall, daughter of Eben- 
ezer Cheney, a Revolutionary soldier. He en- 
listed in the American army at the age of seven- 
teen, and served in the Revolutionary War as 
a private. Mrs. Hall died January 17th, 1903, 
at the age of 97 years. Interesting meetings to 
promote the objects of the society are often 
held. The graves of six Revolutionary soldiers 
buried in Lake View cemetery and two in the 
Ashville cemetery are annually decorated by 
the chapter. 

A chapter of Sons of the Revolution, having 
similar purposes with those of the Daughters 
of the American Revolution has been organ- 
ized at Jamestown. Lewis Hall was its first 
regent ; Daniel H. Post, its secretary and treas- 
urer. Mr. Hall, its regent, was much devoted 
to its objects until his decease. He was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Albert L. Smalley. 

Nearly the whole of the population of Chau- 
tauqua county able to bear arms was called to 
the front during the War of 1812. The county 
was represented in the war with Mexico, and 
even in the struggle of Texas for Independ- 
ence. It furnished several thousand gallant 
soldiers and many distinguished officers in the 
Civil War, and had paid out in that contest 
for bounties and war purposes $1,078,144 and 
now was to do its share in the war with Spain. 

Eighteen hundred and ninety-eight was a 
year of brilliant events in the history of the 
country. That year covers the whole period 
of the Spanish War. The revolt of the Cubans 
from Spanish rule in February, 1895, had early 
excited the sympathies of the people of the 
United States, but not until the vigorous policy 
promised by General Weiler took the form of 

*John M. Edson, when a young man, had the honor 
of_ sitting at the table with Lafayette when he was enter- 
tained at Fredonia on his journey through the county 
in 1825. Mr. Edson says that with others, his step- 
father, Major Samuel Sinclear, and thirty other Revo- 
lutionary soldiers, sat at the same table, twelve of whom 
were from Yorktown. Mr. Edson described Lafayette 
to be a man less than six feet high, somewhat corpu- 
lent. He wore a wig of dark hair, was of a dark com- 
plexion and had full cheeks. He talked English well, 
and freely upon the subject of the war, with the sold ers, 
in which they together had participated. He was affable 
and courteous to all. Mr. Edson said that in the con- 
fusion made by the crowd of people assembled that day, 
a woman was thrown from a wagon and injured. 
Lafayette made many inquiries respecting the accident 
and expressed great concern for the injured woman. 

fire, slaughter and starvation to non-combat- 
ants, did the United States make emphatic pro 
test. The story of Chautauqua county's part 
in it is told elsewhere in this work. 

Of the other important events that occurred 
in the county in 1898 may be mentioned the 
completion of the new Erie depot at James- 
town, on the site of the old one. 

The American Library Association met at 
Celoron in July, 1898, over four hundred pro- 
fessional librarians present. The annual meet- 
ing of the Photographers' Association of Amer- 
ica was also held at the same place this year 
In June of this year, Fredonia was quaran- 
tined against the smallpox. There were no 
deaths, and the cases were of a mild type. Five 
thousand seven hundred twenty-eight cars of 
grapes were this year shipped from the grape 
district between Angola and Erie. The value 
of the crop was estimated at $1,170,000. 

In the afternoon of March 25th, Oscar E. 
Rice killed his wife in the town of Westheld. 
They had separated, and she at the time was 
serving as a nurse for Mrs. Hattie Dascomb. 
He killed her with a jackknife, in the presence 
of Mrs. Dascomb, who was at the time sick in 
bed. He then tried to kill himself, but was 
arrested before he accomplished it. He was 
tried in Mayville at a court held by Justice 
Childs. District Attorney Eleazer Green, 
assisted by H. C. Kingsbury, prosecuted in be- 
half of the people. A. B. Ottaway and S. W. 
Mason defended. The defense was insanity. 
A verdict of murder in the first degree was 
found by the jury. The finding of the jury was 
affirmed on appeal, and the prisoner was elec- 
trocuted — the first criminal from Chautauqua 
county that suffered electrocution. 

At the October county court, Joseph Patti, 
an Italian laborer, was tried before Judge 
Jerome B. Fisher for the killing of Grisaulti. 
a companion laborer. They were members of 
a gang of men working on the railroad track 
in the town of Ripley in June of the same year. 
An altercation resulted in the stabbing of Gri- 
saulti by Patti, who died a few days after. Dis- 
trict Attorney Eleazer Green conducted the 
trial for the people ; Patti was defended by 
Thomas Larkin and Archibald D. Falconer 
The prisoner was convicted of murder in the 
second degree, and was sentenced to imprison- 
ment for life. 

The year 1899 opened with a winter colder 
than had been known in Chautauqua county 
for twenty-five years. On the night of Feb- 
ruary 10th the thermometer fell to ten degrees 
and more below zero, with a high and cutting 
wind that forced the cold into the best con- 



structed dwellings. For nearly a week the 
weather continued bitter cold ; a portion of 
each day for three days it fell to more than 
twenty degrees below zero. At some places in 
the county it was reported as falling below 
thirty degrees. 

In July of 1899 a party of English from 
Jamestown were camped at Driftwood on the 
east shore of Chautauqua Lake. On the 5th of 
that month, Squire Tankard, an Englishman, 
a weaver by occupation, about noon suddenly 
appeared in the camp, and without warning 
shot and instantly killed Mrs. Beaumont, his 
wife's sister, and then shot and severely in- 
jured Mr. William Beaumont, her husband, in 
the arm. He then turned the pistol upon him- 
self, inflicting a serious but not fatal wound, 
and ran for the lake, and waded into its shal- 
low waters. He then returned to the shore and 
attempted to escape across the county, but was 
next day captured in a barn near the village of 
Gerry. The defendant was indicted and tried 
in November, 1899, before Justice Frank C. 
Laughlin. District Attorney E. Green appeared 
for the people ; A. C. and R. F. Pickard ap- 
peared for the defendant. The defence offered 
was insanity, and some evidence was given to 
sustain it. The prisoner was ably defended ; 
the jury, however, rendered a verdict of guilty 
of murder in the first degree. The attorneys 
for Tankard afterward petitioned to Governor 
Roosevelt to appoint a commission of physi- 
cians to examine the defendant as to his insan- 
ity, resulting in a stay of punishment. 

On Sunday, August 20th, a street fight 
occurred in Jamestown in which a number 
were engaged, and Axel Johnson was killed by 
some one whose identity could not be ascer- 

A family feud of long standing came to an 
end September 23, in the town of Arkwright. 
The quarrel arose about a land controversy 
between Lavern and Cassius Wilson ; a lawsuit 
resulted in favor of Cassius. Lavern in the 
afternoon of that day left Fredonia for the farm 
of Cassius, where he found him at work in his 
corn field with his hired man. Lavern leaped 
over the fence and ran toward his brother, 
threatening to kill him. Cassius, who was a 
much weaker man physically, drew a revolver 
from his pocket and shot his enraged brother, 
killing him instantly. Cassius was arrested, 
but soon discharged, as the circumstances 
showed that the killing was done in self-de- 

The most shocking crime of all was commit- 
ted on the same day, a few hours after the 
homicide mentioned, at Falconer, at about 

Chau— 6 

eight o'clock in the evening. Some young men 
heard the continuous screams of a woman pro- 
ceeding from a retired spot upon which a street 
crossed the Chadakoin. They ran to her res- 
cue. The screams continued until they reached 
the bridge, when they called out to her and she 
feebly answered. They found her still alive, 
but unable to speak. Before a physician could 
be called she died. Her face and throat had 
been cut. The ground about showed the evi- 
dence of the terrible struggle that had occurred 
before the helpless girl gave up her life. Hei 
name was Emily Adolphson, a young Swede 
girl. Frank Wennerholm, who had been a 
suitor of Emily Adolphson and resided in 
Jamestown, was suspected. The handle of a 
razor was found near the body, which was 
proved to have been his. The authorities 
found him in bed; the clothing he wore was 
wet and muddy, and in places stained with 
blood. There were other circumstances to 
show his guilt. A post mortem examination 
disclosed the fact that the murdered girl would 
have been a mother in a few months, which 
was a strong circumstance throwing light upon 
the motive for the crime. Wennerholm was 
tried in June, 1900, at Mayville, Justice White 
presiding. A. C. Pickard and Frank Wheeler 
appeared for the defendant ; E. Green, district 
attorney, for the people. After a short absence 
the jury returned into court with a verdict of 
guilty. Wennerholm's attorneys carried the 
case to the Court of Appeals. The verdict of 
the jury was, however, sustained, and Wenner- 
holm was electrocuted. 

This year Willard McKinstry, of Fredonia 
died. He was the oldest and one of the best 
known editors in the State. In 1842 he became 
the editor of the "Fredonia Censor," which he. 
published for over fifty-seven years. Upon his 
retirement he was succeeded by his son, Louis 
McKinstry. For years "The Censor" was the 
leading Whig and afterwards a Republican 
newspaper. It was the most influential and 
substantial newspaper in Northern Chau- 
tauqua, and is now the oldest in the county, 
having been established in 1821 by H. C. Fris- 
bee. This year Albert Hilton also died. For 
more than twenty years he was the well known 
and popular editor of the "Fredonia Adver- 
tiser and Union," the leading Democratic news- 
paper of the county. 

July 10th, 1900, the first term of a Federal 
Court ever held in Chautauqua county was 
held in Jamestown, by Hon. John R. Hazel. 
F. E. Shaw, of Charlotte, was appointed fore- 
man of the grand jury. At this term, Max La 



Sar was indicted for diamond smuggling, was 
arraigned, and held in $25,000 bail. 

The most disastrous fire that Fredonia had 
ever before experienced occurred on Main and 
Center streets, January 25th, 1900. It was dis- 
covered about 1 :20 o'clock a. m. Twelve build- 
ings were burned, including the Pan-American 
Hotel, Miner's Bank, and the Dunkirk & Fre- 
donia Street Railway power house. Miss Alice 
Huntington, and Warren Leopold Bretzckgi, a 
Swiss house painter, lost their lives. Fourteen 
horses were burned in their stables. The loss 
of property was estimated at $200,000. In 
March the Taber felt factory, one of the larg- 
est manufacturing establishments in the vil- 
lage, was burned. 

A far more terrible fire than all occurred on 
the morning of December 14, of the same yeai, 
when the Fredonia Normal School buildings 
were burned. The fire broke out shortly be- 
fore six o'clock in the morning, in the base- 
ment, in the room occupied by the janitor. The 
cause of it is not known. No fuel was used in 
the building, it being heated by steam supplied 
by the street railway company. Five minutes 
after the fire was discovered, the alarm wa^ 
sounded, but in that short time the office, re- 
ception room and front way were a mass of 
flames. The elevator shaft and the two spiral 
staircases afforded a powerful draft, sucking 
the roaring flames upward to the third story, 
where were the rooms of the lady students. 
Miss Julia D. Sherman, one of the two teachers 
living in the building, by her presence of mind, 
enabled all the young ladies in the south wing 
of the building to escape but one, Miss Cora 
Storms, who perished probably in her room. 
The young ladies in the north wing ran to the 
fire escape in that part of the building, but the 
netted screen of the window was fastened so 
tightly that they were unable to remove it. 
Some then went into adjoining rooms and 
stepped out at the window and made their 
perilous way along the ice covered window 
ledge to the fire escape. The weather was in- 
tensely cold, and they suffered greatly in the 
dangerous exploit. Five young ladies were 
less fortunate ; their charred remains were 
found the Sunday following, close together, 
near the base of the fire escape, indicating that 
they were unable to tear away the screen at 
the window, and overcome by the heat and 
smoke, they had perished together. Miss 
Maude Fizzell, one of those who had crawled 
out of the window and walked along the ledge 
of the Mansard roof and was safe, exclaimed 
that she must go back to the room and get her 
diamond ring. She turned back and was seen 

no more. The janitor, Mr. Morris, although he 
could have saved his life, perished in a fruitless 
effort to stay the fire. Miss McLaury, the 
other teacher living in the building, was over- 
come by the heat, but was aided to escape by 1 
Miss Sherman. The lives of nineteen persons f 
in the building were saved. The following is a 
list of those who perished in the fire : Phineas 
J. Morris, of Fredonia, the janitor; Ruth 
Thomas, of Pike, New York; Cora Storm, of 
Eden Center, New York ; Inez Jones, of Busti, 
New York ; May Williams, Cannonsville. New 
York ; Bessie Hathaway, Lake Coma, Pennsyl- 
vania ; Maude Fizzell, Bradford, Pennsylvania ; 
seven in all. They were all interred in one 
grave. The loss of the buildings and other 
property by the fire was over $200,000. 

The burned Normal School building was the 
successor of the Fredonia Academy. A new 
Normal School building more extensive and 
costly was now built upon the site of the 
burned building, and was formally dedicated in 
the presence of a great number of people, June 
29, 1903. 

Nineteen hundred and two closes the history 
of the first century of our county. That year 
no serious crime was committed or tragedy oc- 
curred. Its events were generally of an agree- 
able character, calculated to bring up and 
strongly impress a pleasing recollection of the 
past history of the county. The Historical 
Society, which was organized in 1883, with 
Prof. Samuel G. Love as president and Dr. W. 
W. Henderson secretary, several years before, 
had resolved to celebrate in 1902 the settle- 
ment of the county. In due time the board of 
supervisors and the Hon. S. Frederick Nixon, 
its chairman, gave their influence and took 
practical measures to further the movement. 
Patriotic citizens contributed liberally to aid 
it, and when the time arrived the citizens ot 
Westfield and in all parts of the county actively 
and enthusiastically by their efforts completed 
the success of the celebration, which occurred 
June 24-25, 1902. 

An interesting event occurred but a few days 
before, which will aid in preserving in the 
future an agreeable remembrance of the cele- 
bration. This was the opening of the exten- 
sion of the Jamestown, Chautauqua & Lake 
Erie railroad, which occurred on Saturday, 
June 21st, 1902. This little piece of road lie-; 
wholly within Chautauqua county, and extends 
through its most picturesque scenery. De- 
scending at the rate of one hundred feet to 
the mile, it passes through deep cuts, over high 
but substantial trestle works, winding among 
the hills and along dark chasms and wild seen- 



ery, until the blue waters of Lake Erie appear 
in view, terminating in Westfield, close by the 
precipitous bank of Chautauqua creek. On 
the second day of the Centennial, a long train 
passed over this road, loaded with passengers 
from Jamestown, Falconer and Southern Chau- 
tauqua county, to participate in the ceremonies 
of the day. 

The people of the county during the year 
1902 seemed to be filled with a desire to ex- 
press their pleasant remembrance of former 
days. Reunions were held in several towns, 
where old acquaintances after years of separa- 
tion gathered from all parts, often from other 
States. The most notable of these town pic- 
nics was held at Parkhurst's Grove, in Stock- 
ton, on the 26th of August. E. L. McCullough 
presided. S. Fred Nixon was the principal 
speaker. Five thousand people were in attend- 
ance. The year before, the fourth annual town 
picnic had been held in the same grove, when 
three thousand people were present. Many 
articles of interest, relics of early days in 
Chautauqua county, were displayed in a large 
tent. Successful town picnics of a like char- 
acter were held in Cherry Creek and Villenova 
during the year 1902. 

The affection of a Chautauquan for his 
county seemed everywhere this year kindled 
anew. The Chautauqua Society of New York 
City was formed and held its first annual re- 
union and dinner at the Hoffman House in 
that city, the guests, nearly one hundred in 
number. Washington Windsor was president, 
and Justice John Woodward toastmaster. 

Principal among the citizens who have taken 
part in these commemorative gatherings and 
have in recent years rendered valuable service 
to the people of the county in preserving its 
history, the stories and faces of its old pio- 
neers, is Charles J. Shults. In 1900 he edited 
and published a fine collection of illustrated 
historical matter relating to the town of Cherry 
Creek. Afterwards he edited and published a 
like valuable collection relating to the town of 
Dayton, in Cattaraugus county. As that town 
adjoins Chautauqua, his publication is of much 
interest to our county. 

Mr. Shults was born in Ellicottville, Catta- 
ragus county, February 23, 1868. He was 
educated in the Union schools of that place. 
He learned the printer's trade of Robert H. 
Shankiand, one of the best known editors of 
Western New York. He also pursued the 
study of law and medicine. He published 
various newspapers in Cattaraugus and Chau- 
tauqua counties, among them the "Cherry 
Creek News," and has been for many years 

closely connected with Chautauqua county and 
well versed in its recent history. 

In the year 1902 the weather was so unfa- 
vorable that the attendance at the Chautauqua 
Assembly was not so great as the year before. 
Nineteen hundred and one was the Pan-Ameri- 
can year. Fifty thousand people then visited 
Chautauqua, from every State and Territory in 
the Union, including Hawaii, and also from 
Canada, New Zealand, India, China, Peru, Ger- 
many, England, Cuba, Congo, South Africa, 
Sweden, Mexico, Argentine Republic and Bra- 
zil. In 1902, although the total attendance was 
less, the duration of those in attendance was 
longer than ever before. The final exercises 
of the Chautauqua Assembly for that year and 
the last in the closing year in the first century 
of the settlement of the county were held Au- 
gust 28th, in the Hall of Philosophy. 

The Hall of Philosophy was regarded as a 
classic spot in the grove. So many notable 
men had so often discoursed upon learned and 
interesting subjects beneath the roof of this 
old Parthenon, that it had become very dear to 
Old Chautauquans. This was the last exercise- 
held within its colonades, for now it was to be 
torn down and replaced with an edifice of 

On the opposite shore of the lake at Point 
Chautauqua, later in the season another struc- 
ture was destroyed, this time by fire — the 
Grand Hotel, a noble edifice which then occu- 
pied the most sightly place on the lake. It 
was 300 feet long by 165 feet wide, the main 
structure five stories high and the wings four 
stories. It was built in 1877-78 by the Baptist 
Association, which had control of the point at 
the time. They had hopes of making it a great 
resort equal to the Chautauqua Assembly 
across the lake. 

Chautauqua county had at the close of 1902 
reached a degree of prosperity that its citizens 
of early years had never anticipated. The 
county had all the attractions of soil and scen- 
ery, market facilities, early educational and 
social opportunities, possessed by the most 
favorable of rural communities. To these were 
added in the last quarter of a century the well- 
known important advantages, which had caused 
it to lead all other counties of the Empire State 
not having large cities within its borders — the 
growth of the grape industry, which estab- 
lished its material prosperity ; and the rise of 
the Chautauqua Assembly, which in a still 
greater degree promoted its material advance- 
ment. The beauty of the lake and its many 
attractions would have been sufficient to draw 
many to its shores. It was, however, the 



annual meetings of the Assembly that attracted 
the great mass of people to visit it, and that 
gave it its worldwide fame. During its twenty- 
nine seasons of meetings it had been visited 
by Presidents, the Governor-General of Can- 
ada, Statesmen, Governors and Generals, its 
audiences had been addressed by some of the 
most eminent men of the land, and of the day, 
audiences that were immense, that Joseph Jef- 
ferson said were so large as to appall him. Be- 
sides those who actually attended Chautauqua, 
more than ten thousand Chautauqua Home 
Reading Circles were formed and nearly a mil- 
lion people availed themselves of their benefits. 
To nearly every country in the world has the 
Chautauqua idea been carried. People every- 
where have been made familiar with the name 
of our lake. It has been adopted not only as 
the name for other assemblies, offsprings of our 
own, but as the name for other descriptions of 
places besides. 

We cannot better conclude the annals of the 
first century of our county than with some 
account of the general racial character of its 
inhabitants and of their distribution through 
the county. The first colonists have a strong 
influence in fixing the characteristics of their 
descendants for generations. The leading pio- 
neer himself leaves a deep impression upon his 
community. His ideas and methods are gen- 
erally long followed. James and John Mc- 
Mahan furnish instances of this kind. It was 
through their influence that the first settlers 
emigrated from Pennsylvania and established 
themselves around Westfield. These early set- 
tlers came from Northumberland and the coun- 
ties along the Susquehanna river, near the cen- 
ter and in the eastern part of Pennsylvania : 
some were of German, but they were generally 
descendants from the Protestant-Irish families 
that had emigrated from County Down, Ire- 
land. The McMahans were of Irish parentage. 
These Pennsylvanians were an industrious, 
reliable and religious people, and their charac- 
teristics are still to be seen in many of their 
descendants, not only in Westfield, but in other 
of the earliest settled parts of the county. The 
first who came were emigrants from the east- 
ern part of Pennsylvania, among them David 
Eason, Low Minegar and Thomas McClintock. 
These were the earliest settlers at Fredonia. 
The same is true of Captain James Dun, who 
first settled at Portland. 

In the south part of the county, John Frew 
and Thomas Russell, in Carroll, and Robert 
Russell, of Kiantone, all came from Pennsyl- 
vania, and all of Irish parentage from the 
County Down. 

The earliest settlements in the south part of 
the county were made at Kennedy, in the town 
of Poland, and at Worksburg (now Falconer) 
in the town of Ellicott, by Pennsylvanians. 
Dr. Thomas R. Kennedy, although he never 
became a resident of the county, may be said 
to have been the founder of Kennedyville. 
Edwin Work was the founder of Worksburg. 
A friendship and certain business relation-hip 
existed between these men. They both came 
from Meadville. Work was born in Franklin, 
Pennsylvania. He studied law and was admit- 
ted to the bar and subsequently was the prose- 
cuting attorney there. He married Mrs. Jane 
Cameron, the widow of Joseph Cameron. He 
was a man of enterprise and ability and integ- 
rity. He caused mills to be built at Worksburg, 
and roads and bridges to be constructed three 
years before any settlement was made at 
Jamestown. When almost the only travel was 
made by Indian trails, keelboats and canoes on 
Chautauqua Lake and the larger streams in the 
southeastern part of the county, he constructed 
keelboats at his mill for the transportation of 
salt from Mayville to Pittsburgh and for other 
purposes. Work ran lumber from his mills to 
New Orleans, as he had done before from the 
Kennedy mills. He shipped cotton when he 
arrived at Natchez, and sold his boats at New 
Orleans for lumber for more than their cost. 
He may be said to be the pioneer of the south- 
ern part of the county, as McMahan had been 
of the northern towns. Worksburg was for 
several years the most important settlement in 
the southern part of the county, as the Cross 
Roads had been in its northern part. The first 
settlers of Poland and Ellicott, through the in- 
fluence of Kennedy and Work, like those of the 
Cross Roads, came from Pennsylvania ; not 
from the Susquehanna region in the east pari 
of the State, but from Meadville and vicinity, 
in Western Pennsylvania. Among these pio- 
neers were Wilson, Culbertson, George W. 
Fenton, the father of Governor Fenton, Ross, 
and other well-known pioneers. Man}' of the 
settlers from Western Pennsylvania or their 
immediate ancestors originally had their homes 
in Northumberland and other counties on the 
Susquehanna, and most often had a Protestant- 
Irish parentage. 

But it was only for a few of the first years 
that settlement was chiefly from Pennsylvania. 
The migrations of men have been generally 
from the East towards the West, with a strong 
tendency to follow lines of latitude, and this 
law was substantially observed in the subse- 
quent settlement of our county. For nearly 
fifty years after the first beginning of settle- 




merit, immigrants came here almost entirely 
from the middle and eastern counties of New 
York and from the New England States. The 
pioneers of the middle and a portion of the 
eastern counties of New York, in accordance 
with the law of migration, had come from the 
county immediately to the eastward. So it is 
that the settlers of Chautauqua county for a 
period of fifty of its earliest years were mainly 
of New England extraction. Of our own 
earliest pioneers many also were from the Brit- 
ish Isles — Irishmen, Scotchmen and English- 
men. Alexander Cochran, a Protestant or 
Scotch-Irishman from the North of Ireland, 
was the first settler of Ripley ; Alexander Find- 
ley, an Irishman, from Pennsylvania, was the 
first settler of Mina. 

When the frontier period had come to a close 
by the organization of Chautauqua as a sepa- 
rate county in the year 181 1, the places that 
have now proved to be the most important 
points in the county had all been selected and 
settled, including Westfield, Fredonia and 
Jamestown. The population, influence and 
wealth of these three towns indicate the fore 
sight and good judgment of their founders — 
Col. James McMahan, Judge Zattu Cushing 
and Judge James Prendergast. 

Judge James Prendergast, Colonel James 
McMahan and Judge Zattu Cushing, three 
leading pioneers of these different and distinct 
parts of the county, besides having broader 
and more comprehensive views as to the direc- 
tion in which the development of the county 
would tend, were possessed of more means 
than most of the early settlers, and could there- 
fore proceed with more deliberation and care in 
choosing the spot at which to stake their for- 
tunes. Colonel McMahan was a surveyor, 
quite familiar with the western wilderness. He 
had traversed the county from its southern 
limits to Lake Erie as early as 1795 with a 
view to location, and finally chose the beauti- 
ful farming land adjacent to Westfield as pre- 
senting the most favorable prospect. Judge 
Cushing also passed through the county in 
1798 or 1799 on his way to Presque Isle to 
superintend the building of the ship "Good In- 
tent," and again on his return east. He select- 
ed his home on the Canadaway, in the fine 
lands around Fredonia, as offering the great- 
est promise to one who would choose a home 
on the frontier. He was no doubt influenced in 
his choice by similar considerations to those 
that governed Colonel McMahan. Judge 
Prendergast, who as early as 1794 or 1795 
traveled extensively in the Southwest, having 
visited the Spanish country of Northern Louisi- 

ana, and in 1805 journeyed through Pennsyl- 
vania to Tennessee with a view to settlement 
in that State, had at last explored the region 
around Chautauqua Lake and along the Cone- 
wango, saw in the magnificent forests of 
Southern Chautauqua a source of wealth. He 
saw also a prospect of its immediate realiza- 
tion in the Allegheny and its tributaries, which 
offered the facilities for the transportation of 
the lumber manufactured at their sources to 
the great market which he perceived was des- 
tined to grow up in the valley of the Missis- 

As lumbering and clearing the land was the 
chief vocation, lakes and water courses, large 
and small, were the principal circumstances 
determining what points were longest to con- 
tinue business centers. Not until fifty years 
after the first settlement of the county did rail- 
roads come to revolutionize transportation and 
travel, changing business centers. The Hol- 
land Land Company deemed Mayvilie, at the 
head of Chautauqua Lake and at the head of 
the navigation of river courses to the Missis- 
sippi Valley and also at the termination of the 
Short Portage to Lake Erie, to be the place 
of importance in the county, as it did the har- 
bor at Barcelona at the opposite termination 
of the portage, and the small harbor at Catta- 
raugus creek. These three places were re- 
garded as the principal points of consequence. 
So much so that they were the only places in 
the county that the company saw fit to survey 
into village lots. Silver Creek was undoubt- 
edly selected for its harbor and water power. 
For the latter reason Forestville, Worksburg, 
Kennedy and Frewsburg, were chosen for set- 
tlement, as was Sinclairville by its pioneer, 
Samuel Sinclear. He thought also that its 
proximity to what he believed would some time 
be an important highway extending eastward 
and westward between the county seats of the 
southern tier of counties of the State to be 
intersected at or near Sinclairville by another 
important highway extending between Buffalo 
and Pittsburgh, would make it a place of some 
note. For similar reasons the crossing at the 
Portage road had much influence in establish- 
ing the location of the first settlement of the 
county at Westfield. 

The county organized and settlement made 
at all of its principal points, emigration was 
continued from Eastern New York and the 
New England States with great vigor. It con- 
tinued almost exclusively from that portion of 
the country for quite forty years and until the 
county had gained three-fifths of its present 
population. At the end of that time it was 



inhabited by people almost entirely of New 
England and English extraction. During that 
period the immigrants came in independently 
of each other, and in single families. Some- 
times it would hanpen that the inhabitants of 
a neighborhood came from a single locality in 
the East. 

Several small colonies of English early set- 
tled in the county. The literature and the lan- 
guage, the laws and the traditions of Eng- 
land, are so like those of America, that the 
few distinctive characteristics of these superior 
people disappear more quickly than those of 
any other country. A large portion of the set- 
tlers of the northeast part of the town of Mina 
and the northwest part of the town of Sher- 
man were Englishmen, many of them from 
County Kent. They began to settle in the 
county about the year 1823. Among those 
English pioneers were James Ottaway, the an- 
cestor of A. B. Ottaway, one of the ablest and 
best known lawyers in the county ; William 
Relf, Edward Chambers, Edward Barden, 
Thomas Coveney, William Mayborn, Benja- 
min Boorman, John Thorp and Richard Bass. 

In Charlotte there were many English fam- 
ilies. The street leading from Sinclairville to 
Cherry Creek was first settled by families prin- 
cipally from the South of England. Samuel 
Hurley was the pioneer, he came as early as 
1817. Abraham Reynolds next came in 1819, 
direct from London ; twice he walked from 
Charlotte to New York. Robert LeGreys 
came in 1819; John Thorn in 1834; and in 1836 
John Reed from Devonshire ; Richard Brock, 
Thomas D. Spiking and Thomas Thompson 
came later. The street leading north from the 
Center to Arkwright was also largely settled 
by Englishmen wholly from Yorkshire, in the 
North of England, among them Thomas Pear- 
son, ancestor of Arthur C. Wade, the well- 
known lawyer of Jamestown. William Wright 
and Thomas Dickinson came together in a 
ship from Hull, and settled on this street ; Wil- 
liam Hilton in 1830 ; his son John, who has been 
a director on the Erie railway. The descend- 
ants of these Englishmen and many others 
who came later, constitute a large and sub- 
stantial portion of the population of the town. 
Englishmen early settled in other parts of the 

About twenty years after the selection of 
Jamestown for settlement by James Prender- 
gast, there came from the Midland counties of 
England the Wilson and Bootey families and 
settled at Jamestown, on the southeast side of 
the Chadakoin, and cleared the land on what 
is now known as English Hill, within the 

bounds of the city of Jamestown. John T. 
Wilson, of the Wilson family, long one of the 
most enterprising and respected citizens of 
Jamestown, and the late Edward R. Bootey, 
of the Bootey family, one of the most able and 
esteemed lawyers of Chautauqua county, were 
both born in Jamestown. Later on and prior 
to 1840, there came from England, William 
and Charles Mace, John Spring, John Armi- 
tage and others. In 1843 William Broadhead. 
who has contributed more to the prosperity 
and advancement of Jamestown than anyone 
now living, came direct from Yorkshire in Eng- 
land ; he was followed the next year by his 
father and Thomas Sunderland, who selected 
Busti for their homes ; and soon after, the 
Northrups, Lords and Jabez Whitley, who also 
settled in Busti. Further additions of Eng- 
lishmen were made in the fifties and sixties. 
These were mostly from Lancashire and they 
largely settled in Sugar Grove and Youngsville, 
Pennsylvania. Soon after the Civil War, the 
manufacturing industries of Jamestown called 
Englishmen from the manufacturing districts 
of England. Early in the seventies many more 
Englishmen came to take a principal part in 
establishing the great textile industries of that 
city. Among them were the families of Joseph 
Turner, Edward Appleyard, Joseph Apple- 
yard, Edward Pickles, Edward Cawley, Samuel 
Briggs, William Briggs, David Hilton, Joseph 
Rushworth, T. H. Smith, Joseph Metcalf, R. 
E. Toothill and the Sedgwick brothers. 

A few Frenchmen early came to Chautauqua 
county. Quite a number of French families 
settled in the northern part of the town of 
Charlotte, and a few in other parts of the 
county, but at no time have the French ex- 
ceeded one hundred in number. Of those who 
settled in Charlotte, John Cardot came in 1828 
or 1829. In 1833 Mr. Tackley, Peter Belandret, 
Mr. Landers, Joseph Gillett and families, Lewis 
and John Simmons and afterwards John and 
August Boquin and Nestor Lamblin and fami- 
lies came. They were all substantial and re- 
liable citizens. 

Irishmen were among the earliest pioneers. 
At first they came independent of each other 
and were scattered among the different settle- 
ments of the county. About the year 1S36 they 
came in large numbers and more in a body, to 
work upon the New York & Erie railroad, then 
in process of construction. About fourteen 
miles of the road was built by them from Dun - 
kirk into the town of Arkwright. when the 
work was suspended and this portion of the 
road abandoned. Theirs was the first work 
performed in building a railroad in Chautauqua 


county. The result of their labor is still to be 
seen in the old and partly obliterated "cuts and 
fills" and stone culverts that were constructed 
along the line of this piece of abandoned road. 
Many of these Irishmen afterward became citi- 
zens of Villenova, Arkwright and Charlotte. 

By the census of 1845, the population of the 
county was 46,548, nearly all of American 
birth, and almost entirely of British descent, 
much the greater number having been born in 
New York or in the New England States. Per- 
haps 2,500 of the inhabitants of the county were 
of foreign birth, and of these almost all were 
from the British Isles. There were a few Ger- 
mans and Frenchmen, and scarcely one from 
any other country of Europe. Never have the 
people of the county been so purely of British 
extraction since then. In 1845 i* was seldom 
that a person could be found who had come 
from Continental Europe, or could speak any 
other than the English language. When it hap- 
pened it was regarded as a notable circum- 

Soon after the year 1845, there began to sec 
in from European countries to the county a 
great tide of immigration which has continued 
without interruption until the present time. 
The first to come were Hollanders. They came 
to the town of Clymer. About the year 1844 
was the beginning of their settlement in that 
town, and now a large percentage of its popu- 
lation are of Holland stock. These citizens re- 
tain in a marked degree the characteristics, 
manners and customs of the parent country. 
The impress of original nationality is likely to 
remain longer with their descendants than 
with the descendants of any other people in 
the county. 

No people have occasion to take more pride 
in their ancestry than those who can trace 
their lineage directly or indirectly back to Hol- 
land. New York is the only State in the Union 
that was principally settled by the people of 
that country. There is much of the State 
that has pleasing remembrances of this in- 
teresting country. In New York City, along 
the Hudson, at Albany, and in the Mohawk 
Valley, live the descendants of this people. 
Holland sympathized with America in her 
struggle for Independence. Soon after the 
Revolution, when it was known as the Repub- 
lic Batavia, eleven staid merchants of the city 
of Amsterdam had such faith in our republi- 
can form of government which at that time 
was regarded by most of the civilized world as 
but a visionary experiment, as to invest a large 
sum of money in the wild lands of the western 
part of this State. They constituted what is 

known as the Holland Land Company. There- 
after for many years the interests of this com- 
pany were most intimately blended with the 
history of our county. Theophilus Cazenove, 
Paul Busti, and John J. Vanderkemp, natives 
or citizens of Holland were the earliest agents 
for the disposition of its lands. 

With the building of the Erie railroad, be- 
ginning about 1849, began a still greater irrup- 
tion of foreigners into the county. Dunkirk 
was the objective point. The Irish were the 
first on the ground, but were closely followed 
by the Germans. The immigrants from both 
of these countries were mostly poor. The 
greater part became permanent residents. Ex- 
cepting the English, no foreigners have be- 
come so quickly and thoroughly Americanized 
as the Irish and Germans. They readily adopt 
American customs, quickly comprehend the 
free principles of government and learn to con- 
servatively apply them. 

After the Irish and Germans came the 
Swedes. Jamestown was then the objective 
point. Three young women from Sweden 
came to Jamestown in 1849. One became the 
wife of Frank Peterson, one Mrs. Otto Peter- 
son, and the third went farther to the west. 
These were the first Swedes to settle in the 
county, the forerunners of the thousands that 
came afterwards. It is said that Samuel John- 
son and Andrew Peterson and some others 
came the same year. The first child of Swed- 
ish parents born in the county was a daughter 
of Andrew Peterson ; it died in infancy. Theo- 
dore, son of Samuel Johnson, born December 
29, 185 1, was the first male child born of Swed- 
ish parentage in the county. Since 1849 tne 
immigration from Sweden to this county has 
been very great. Jamestown is the principal 
place of Swedish settlement, as Dunkirk in the 
north part of the county is now the principal 
home of the Irish, the Germans and the Poles, 
and Fredonia, Westfield and Silver Creek of 
the Italians. More than one-third of the popu- 
lation of Jamestown are Swedes or of Swedish 
parentage. A large percentage of the inhabi- 
tants of the southern towns of Ellicott, Car- 
roll, Kiantone, Busti, Ellery, Chautauqua, 
Harmony and Ellington, and of the town of 
Pomfret are natives of Sweden. 

The people of this nationality at length be- 
came so numerous that in 1874 a Swedish 
newspaper, the "Folkets Rost" (People's 
Voice), was established in Jamestown by Olof 
A. Olson and others. It has been published in 
the Swedish language under different names 
until the present time. The Swedes have estab- 
lished many religious organizations, and have 


built many churches. The first was the Swed- 
ish M. E. church; it was organized in 1852, 
and a church built. They have established 
libraries and many societies for educational 
improvement and for charitable purposes. The 
Gustavus Adolphus Orphanage, or home for 
orphan children, was organized and incor- 
porated in 1884. The Home owns 87 acres of 
land in East Jamestown, and a brick four-story 
building, which with outbuildings is worth 
$40,000. August J. Lindblad, who has been a 
director and its secretary for many years, has 
been one of the most zealous and faithful work- 
ers for the Home. By the census of 1855 there- 
were 453 persons born in Sweden ; in 1900 the 
natives of Sweden in the county had increased 
in number to 7,151. 

By the census of 1855, there were but five 
Danes in the county. The first to arrive in. 
Chautauqua county was M. P. Jacobson, of 
Jamestown, in 1854; he came from Bornholm, 
an island of the Baltic ; he was a carriage- 
maker and blacksmith by trade. He was fol- 
lowed by L. H. Tideman, a carriage and sign 
painter, and later by A. C. Holmes. John and 
Nicholas Romer were prominent among the 
early Danes. They came in the early sixties 
to Jamestown and entered into the employ of 
Charles Jeffords in the manufacture of axes. 
Nicholas was foreman of the factory. They 
afterwards established an extensive model ax 
factory in Dunkirk. C. C. Beck came to James- 
town in 1864 and established the first ice in- 
dustry of that city. He also engaged in the 
building of steam and other boats on Chau- 
tauqua Lake. For several years nearly all the 
boats upon the lake were built by him. 

The Danes of Jamestown with but few ex- 
ceptions came from the island of Bornholm, in 
the Baltic. But few Danes outside of James- 
town reside in Chautauqua county. They have 
organized various social and religious societies, 
and are intelligent, industrious and law-abiding 
citizens. According to the census of 1900, 316 
residents of the county are natives of Den- 

In 1855 there were no Norwegians in the 
county ; by the census of 1900 there were only 
twenty. John A. Hale, of Jamestown, is said 
to have been the first who came from that 
country. Oscar O. Olson was born in Stor- 
hammer, Norway, in 1849, came to the United 
States in 1872, and is prominent among them. 

The Swedes, the Danes and the Norwegians, 
constituting the Scandanavian branch of the 
Teutonic races, are so nearly related to the 
Anglo-Saxons that it makes it easy for them 

to assimilate with and to become in every 
sense of the word American citizens. 

Next after the Swedes came the Polanders. 
They settled in Dunkirk. The first to come 
were Abrose Johnson, Anthony Pogorzelski, 
Joseph Fleming, and John Winkler and their 
families. In 1855 there were 21 Polanders in 
Chautauqua county. Later they began to come 
in greater numbers ; and in 1875 there were 
eighty-five Polish families in Dunkirk, and that 
year St. Hyacinth's Roman Catholic Church 
was erected at a cost of $10,000. The Poles 
principally reside in Dunkirk and the country 
roundabout. They are educating their chil- 
dren and making rapid progress. They are 
among the best farmers in the county ; through 
their energy and industry they are securing 
good homes. In 1900 there were 1,027 natives 
of Poland residing in Chautauqua county, and 
many more descendants. 

The Italians were the last of our foreign- 
born residents to come to Chautauqua county. 
With the exception of a very few who resided 
in Dunkirk, Westfield, and perhaps at some 
other places, there were none of that national- 
ity residing in the county previous to 1890. 
These few were not common laborers, but men 
skilled in some trade or vocation. They were 
usually intelligent, and sometimes educated 
men. Mr. Martignoni, now of Dunkirk, and 
Frank Potalio, of Westfield, are among the 
early Italians. By the census of 1855 there 
was not a single Italian residing in the county, 
and yet fifty years ago and before that date, 
Garibaldi, the most eminent of Italians, came 
to this far western country and visited Dun- 
kirk. Joseph Serrone was the first Italian to 
establish a permanent residence in Dunkirk. 
He came in March. 1888, and established a 
fruit store there. His daughter Lucy was the 
first child born of Italian parents in Dunkirk. 

The Italian population first began to appear 
along the line of the Lake Shore railroad, and 
settle about the same time in several of the 
northern towns of the county. In the early part 
of the year 1891, Toney Dolce and Alex Gen- 
tile came to Westfield. Since then there has 
been a constant influx of this people to that 
village. In 1892, while the street railway was 
being constructed between Dunkirk and Fre- 
donia, some Italian laborers from Buffalo were 
engaged in work upon it, among them Peter 
Lauza. He brought his family from Buffalo 
and took up his residence in Fredonia, and was 
the first to reside in Pomfret. In 1893 relatives 
of the Lauzas and other families, about ten 
families in all, came from Buffalo, with a few 


others from Italy, to Fredonia. From that 
year to the present time they have been in- 
creasing rapidly in the vicinity of Fredonia, 
coming usually upon the invitation of their 
relatives who preceded them. In 1894 Peter 
Lauza was the first to open the new industry 
of wine making to the Italian settlers in West- 
ern New York. This wine industry is largely 
carried on by Italians residing in the county, 
but American firms have also been started. 
This wine is made of the pure grape juice and 
allowed to ferment itself. This industry has 
been so greatly developed within recent years 
that grape lands have greatly increased in 
value. Antonio La Grasso is now at the head 
of a large wine industry in Fredonia. Pietro 
Elardo and Antonio La Duca are large manu- 
facturers. One hundred thousand dollars are 
probably invested in the wine business at and 
near Fredonia. There are many successful 
Italian farmers cultivating lands in the Ameri- 
can way, among them the Russo brothers. 
Frank La Grasso has an extensive macaroni 

The first to settle at or near Brocton was 
Peter Rumfolo and his family and brother-. 
Rumfolo came about 1892 or 1893. He was 
followed by other families until now there are 
about one hundred Italian residents in that 
town, among them the two brothers Faso, who 
own an extensive wine cellar. These Italians 
are from the island of Sicily and are all small 
in stature but one, who is taller and larger than 
the others, whose name is Paolicckia, and who 
came from Italy proper. His family conform to 
the customs of America, and he manages one of 
the largest grape farms in the vicinity and is 
successful in the wine business. Many Italians 
have settled in Dunkirk and still more near 
Silver Creek, where they are engaged in rais- 
ing grapes and making wine. In considerable 
numbers they are beginning to appear in other 
towns in the county. The Italians now resid- 
ing in Chautauqua county are an industrious, 
law-abiding and peaceful people. They show 
an interest in educating their children. Their 
children attend the public schools, are eager to 
learn and make rapid advancement in their 

It is a singular fact that the majority of the 
Italians residing in Chautauqua county came 
from the single town of Valledolmo, in Central 
Sicily. This is true also of many of the Italians 
residing in Buffalo and other parts of the State. 
The Italians are the last of our foreign popula- 
tion that have immigrated to Chautauqua 
county in considerable numbers. 

By the United States census taken in 1850, 

the rapid increase of the foreign population and 
the great change that was soon to take place 
in the racial character of the people of the 
county first began to appear. By this census 
residents of foreign birth had increased to 
3,622, about seven per cent, of the whole popu- 
lation. These foreigners were more than two- 
thirds Irish, English and Canadians, the re- 
mainder were principally Germans from the 
continent of Europe. 

By the census taken in 1855, a still greater 
change appears to have taken place in these 
respects. By this census fourteen per cent, of 
the whole population were foreign born. Of 
these, 2,483 were born in Ireland ; 1,455 m Eng- 
land ; 1,207 m Germany ; 453 in Sweden ; 334 in 
Canada; 289 in Holland; 128 in Scotland; 93 
in France ; 45 in Switzerland ; 27 in Wales ; 25 
in Prussia; 21 in Poland; 5 in Denmark; 2 in 
Asia; 1 in Russia, and none from Norway, 
Italy, Spain or Portugal. Of these 3,223 were 
born in Continental Europe against 4,345 born 
in the British Dominions. 

By the census of 1875, taken at the beginning 
of the last period in the history of the county, 
it appears that 1,138 were born in Canada; 
2,143 in England ; 3,987 in Ireland ; 341 in 
Scotland. In all, 7,609 were born in the Brit- 
ish Dominions, while 3,946 were born in Ger- 
many, and 6,156 in other countries, principally 
in Sweden, a total of 10,102, who were a ma- 
jority all born in Continental Europe. The 
whole population of the county aside from a 
few Indians, at the beginning of the last period 
of its history was 64,781, of which 17,711, 
being 27 per cent., were born in foreign coun- 

According to the census of the county taken 
in 1900, almost at the close of the first cen- 
tury of our history, the whole population of 
the county had increased to the number of 
88,314 inhabitants, of which 70,765 were native- 
born citizens, and 17,549 foreign-born. Of the 
foreigners, the Swedes were far the most nu- 
merous, as the Irish had been during the early 
years of the immigration. Seventy-one hun- 
dred fifty one were born in Sweden ; 2,859 m 
Germany; 2,085 m England; 1,244 in Ireland; 
1,127 in Poland; 977 in Canada; 761 in Italy; 
437 in Holland; 316 in Denmark; 186 in Scot- 
land; 106 in Switzerland; 76 in France; 41 ir 
Russia; 21 in Austria; 20 in Norway, 19 in 
Wales; 12 in China; 12 in Finland; 9 in Asia; 
1 in Hungary ; 1 in Turkey ; 1 in Belgium ; 1 
in Cuba, and 44 in other countries. 

In 1875 over 27 per cent, of the whole popu- 
lation of the county were foreign-born, while 
in 1900 but 20 per cent, were of foreign birth. 



Yet it is probable that in 1900 as many citizens 
were of foreign blood, largely of Continental 
Europe, as at any time in its history. By the 
census of 1900, 47,721 were native-born citizens 
having native-born parents, while 40,403 of its 
inhabitants were either of foreign birth or both 
parents were of foreign birth, 40 per cent, of 
the whole population. About sixty years be- 
fore, about 20 per cent, only were of this char- 
acter, and this small number were not tinc- 
tured with the blood of Continental Europe. 

We have yet to mention two other classes 
of people residing in the county who may be 
said to be to the manner born. The colored 
people of African descent have been settlers to 
some extent ever since the county was first 
settled, and still remain distinct from all other 
classes by reason of a far wider racial differ- 
ence. Joseph Hodge, or Black Joe, was sell- 
ing goods to the Indians on the Cattaraugus 
creek as early as 1792. In 1806, when William 
Prendergast, Sr., his sons, daughters and 
grandchildren, came in a body together, they 
brought with them from Pittstown, New York, 
their favorite slave Tom. Other slaves and 
free negroes drifted into the county while it 
was in process of settling. As many as eight 
slaves resided in the county with their masters 
in 1817. According to the census reports there 
were five slaves in the county in 1814, three in 
1820, and one as late as 1830. In 1850 there 
were 140 colored people of African descent in 
Chautauqua county, 70 males and 70 females. 
Some of them were runaway slaves and others 
were free-born. All were natives of the United 
States and many of Chautauqua county. Of 
these, Mrs. Katherine Harris was the oldest. 
She was born in Pennsylvania, is 94 years of 
age, and resided in Chautauqua county 75 years 
(1900). Her grandfather on her father's side 
was a negro rescued from a slaveship on its way 
from Africa. Her other grandparents were 
white. The colored population in 1900 was 148, 
mostly residing in Jamestown, and of these 78 
were males and 70 were females. 

According to the census of 1900, 31 Indians 
were residing upon the part of Indian reserva- 
tion that lies in Chautauqua county in the 
town of Hanover. 

Of the 88,314 inhabitants in the county 
according to the United States census taken in 
1900, the town of Arkwright has 918; Busti, 
2,192; Carroll, 1,684: Charlotte, 1,406; Chau- 
tauqua, 3,590; Cherry Creek, 1,745; Clymer, 
1,229 • Dunkirk Citv, 1 1,616 ; Dunkirk town, 454 ; 
Ellery, 1,628; Ellicott, 3,118; Ellington, 1,330; 
French Creek, 1,014; Gerry, 1,198; Hanover, 
4,778; Harmony, 2,998; Jamestown city, 22,- 

892 ; Kiantone, 491 ; Mina, 1,038 ; Poland, 1,613 ; 
Pomfret, 6,313; Portland, 2,690; Ripley, 2,256; 
Sheridan, 1,633; Sherman, 1,560; Stockton, 
1,852; Villenova, 1,206; Westfield, 3,882. 

The population of the cities and villages of 
the county was : Jamestown, 22,892 ; Dunkirk, 
11,616; Fredonia, 4,127; Westfield, 2,430; Sil- 
ver Creek, 1,944; Falconer, 1,136; Mayville, 
943; Brocton, 900; Sherman, 760; Cherry 
Creek, 701 ; Forestville, 623; Sinclairville, 577; 
Lakewood, 574; Celoron, 506; Panama, 359; in 
all, 50,088 people. In the fifteen or more 
smaller villages and hamlets, there were at 
least 4,000 more inhabitants, making in all 
54,000 residents of cities and villages, leaving 
about 34,000 living in the country districts. 
Although Chautauqua is called a rural county, 
five-eighths of its inhabitants were in cities 
and villages. In the last 50 years the village 
and city population had increased threefold, 
while the population of the country part of the 
county remained about the same that it was 
fifty years ago, and but little more than it was 
seventy years ago. 

Although there may be little to distinguish 
the early annals of the county from those of 
other parts of Western New York, no century 
in the history of Chautauqua that will come 
after the present will be of equal interest. The 
tale of the pioneer, his free and simple life, his 
great expectations, the hardships he endured, 
the sacrifices he made and his final success will 
always interest. The novelty of a life in the 
backwoods, and the rapid progress that settle- 
ment made in this first hundred years, will in 
the future bear a romantic interest. If the 
early pioneer were here now, he would marv.;l 
at the changes that have been wrought, the 
railroads that have been constructed, the towns 
and cities that have been built, the green fields 
that spread everywhere among the hills. When 
the sound of his ax was first heard along the 
shore of Chautauqua Lake the Indian had not 
taken leave of Fair Point, the deer browsed in 
its groves, and the wolf nightly serenaded 
there. Now all is changed ; in the same groves 
thousands gather from all parts of the land to 
listen to the discourse of orators and philoso- 
phers from all parts of the world upon scien- 
tific and advanced topics of the da)'. All this 
change has occurred in the span of a single life. 
Austin Smith was born in March, 1804, mar- 
ried the daughter of the first pioneer in the 
county, became an able lawyer, the contempo- 
rary of Jacob Houghton, James Mullett and 
Dudley Marvin, and other almost forgotten 
lawyers, distinguished in the very earliest 
annals of the county. He in his prime took a 


prominent part in the affairs of the county, and 
was one of the best known of its early citizens 
and in 1903, at the advanced age of ninety- 
nine years, Mr. Smith was still living in the 
village of Westfield. 

A few other facts will serve to show in a 
striking way how great has been the change, 
and how rapid has been the progress of the 
county in the first hundred years of its his- 

In 1801 the county was an uninhabited wil- 
derness. By the census taken in 1810, nine 
years later, it had a population of 2,381. In 
181 1 it was an organized county. That year 
$1,500 was voted by its supervisors to build 
a court house and jail, and $988 for all other 
town and county purposes. In 1821, ten years 
later and but a short time before the Erie canal 
was built, while the county was yet emerging 

from its pioneer condition, the equalized value 
of the real estate of the county was $1,849,248. 
The town, State and county taxes had increased 
to $8,292. In 1850, the year before the Erie 
railroad was completed, the equalized value of 
its real estate was $5,301,368, and the taxes, 
town, county and State, were $39,145, and now 
a half-century later, in 1902, the equalized 
value of real estate is $37,403,184, and the total 
town, county and State tax is $221,945. 

In 1850, about the middle of the first cen- 
tury of its history, when the county was on 
the eve of entering on its greatest era of prog- 
ress, not a mile of railroad of any kind was in 
operation in the county ; in 1902 there were two 
hundred fifty miles of steam railroad and 
twenty-four miles of electric road built, and 
more than fifty miles more of electric road soon 
to be constructed. 

Opening of the Twentieth Century. 

The year 1903 was ushered in by a disastrous 
fire in Jamestown, the Hall Estate Block at the 
corner of Main and Third streets being badly 
damaged, while the tenants all sustained severe 
losses. For five hours the firemen under Chief 
Wilson fought the flames and saved the block 
from total destruction. This disaster was the 
beginning of a series of fires, drownings and 
accidental injuries that marked the beginning 
year of Chautauqua's second century. 

At the opening of the 1903 session of the 
New York House of Representatives, S. Fred- 
erick Nixon was placed in nomination by As- 
semblyman J. Samuel Fowler, of Chautauqua, 
and for the fifth time was elected speaker of 
the house, an honor gracefully acknowledged 
by Speaker Nixon. 

On March 5, Mrs. Betsey Hudson, of Beulah 
Place, Jamestown, celebrated the beginning of 
her 100th year, her guests finding their hostess 
in good health, and except for infirmities of 
sight and hearing, in possession of all her 

At the same time Mrs. Sarah Andres, of Sil- 
ver Springs, was entering upon her 101st year 
in wonderful health, reading without glasses 
and rising at six each morning. 

On the night of January 8-9, fire broke out 
at No. 10 South Main street, Jamestown, which 
caused a loss of $40,000 before it was brought 
under control. 

On January 17, 1903, Maria Cheney Hall, 
daughter of Seth Cheney, a Revolutionary 
soldier, and widow of James Hall, a Civil War 

veteran, died at her home in Jamestown, in her 
ninety-seventh year. Her early life was spent 
in Kiantone, but her later years in Jamestown. 
She was a member of the local chapter of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution, the 
only "true daughter" belonging to that body. 
She was deeply revered by her sisters of the 
chapter, who officially paid suitable tribute to 
her memory. 

At five o'clock a. m., January 20, a fatal fire 
occurred at Dunkirk, in which Fred Teadt, a 
man of 70, was burned to death. 

The opening of the fishing season of 1903 
on Lake Chautauqua was marked by a sad acci- 
dent on the morning of February 2. David 
Pederson, a stalwart Dane in the prime of life, 
driving a fish coop on the lake for a day's fish- 
ing, lost his bearings in the thick fog and drove 
directly into an open body of water. Heavily 
weighted with clothing, he quickly sank, and 
did "not rise again. He left a wife and five chil- 

Funeral services were held in the Methodist 
Episcopal church of Cherry Creek, Sunday, 
February 8, 1903, in memory of Vernon F. 
Skiff, who died in the Philippines. He was one 
of the teachers first sent out by the govern- 
ment to the islands, and was in charge of a 
school of one hundred Filipino children, none 
of whom could speak English, nor could he 
speak their language. Mr. Skiff was a gradu- 
ate of Fredonia State Normal School, class of 
1901, and a resident of Cherry Creek, that vil- 

9 2 


lage also the home of his parents, his brother 
and sister. 

On February 26, 1903, the cornerstone of the 
Federal building at Jamestown was laid. 

The plant of the Jamestown Dining Table 
Company was almost totally destroyed by fire, 
March 5, 1903, Night Watchman Walter Ru- 
land losing his life, and Fire Chief Wilson sus- 
taining severe injuries. 

On June 29, 1903, the new State Normal 
School building at Fredonia was dedicated. 
The handsome and adequate building replaced 
the one destroyed by fire, December 14, 1900, 
with the loss of seven lives. The new building, 
one of the costliest and handsomest school 
buildings owned by the State of New York, 
and a worthy monument to the cause of edu- 
cation, was duly dedicated to its intended pur- 
pose, with impressive services held in the 
chapel. State Superintendent of Public In- 
struction Charles R. Skinner delivered an ad- 
dress, as did S. Frederick Nixon, speaker of the 
New York House of Representatives, and 
others. Louis McKinstry, editor of the "Fre- 
donia Censor," and for many years secretary of 
the local board, prepared and read an historical 
sketch of the school. 

The Republican county convention met at 
Dunkirk, July 1, 1903, and renominated J. D. 
Gallup for county clerk, Charles Kenney for 
coroner, and S. Frederick Nixon for Assem- 
bly (Second District). John C. Jones, a new- 
comer in the official life of the county, was 
nominated for sheriff after a sharp contest. He 
had been a member of the county committee 
from Westfield for several years, and a mem- 
ber of the executive committee. Arthur C. 
Wade, of Jamestown, a well-known attorney, 
was nominated for Assembly from the First 

At the meeting of the County Board of Su- 
pervisors, S. Frederick Nixon was unanimously 
elected chairman. O. D. Hinckley, who had 
been an officer of the board for thirty-three 
years and clerk for about twenty years, having 
declined to again serve, Frederick W. Hyde, 
of Jamestown, was elected clerk ; Theodore A. 
Case, of Ellington, was elected chairman pro 

On October 5, 1903, the first trolley car to 
make its appearance in Westfield ran over the 
line from Northeast, stopping at the Main 
street bridge. 

John J. Aldrich, former county clerk and 
supervisor, died in Jamestown, October iS, 
1903. He was a lifelong resident of Chau- 
tauqua county, a merchant of Ellery and 
Jamestown, and very popular. He was elected 

county clerk in 1876, and was reelected to suc- 
ceed himself, the only instance of the reelec- 
tion of a county clerk in Chautauqua during 
the forty years preceding his own. In 1888 he 
was elected supervisor from Jamestown, was 
chairman in 1890-91, and a member of the 
board continuously until 1896. 

The proposition to bond the State for $101,- 
000,000 to improve the Erie canal met with de- 
feat in Chautauqua county, where the vote 
stood 3,441 for, 10,626 against. The full Re- 
publican county ticket was elected by about 
the usual majorities in an "off" year. John C. 
Jones, the candidate for sheriff, was the only 
new official elected, County Clerk Gallup and 
Coroner Kenney being reflections. Speaker 
Nixon was again elected Assemblyman from 
the Second District, Arthur C. Wade from the 
First District. 

At a meeting of the commissioners of the 
Niagara Reservations, held at Niagara Falls, 
December 22, 1903, Charles M. Dow, of Chau- 
tauqua county was elected president of the 
commission, the third to fill that office since 
the creation of the commission two decades 
earlier. Mr. Dow had been a member of the 
commission for about five years and had taken 
a deep interest in preserving the natural beau- 
ties and grandeur of the reservation and in 
providing facilities and accommodations for 

An important event in Masonic circles 
marked the beginning of the year 1904. On 
January 4 two bodies of the Ancient Accepted 
Scottish Rite were instituted in Jamestown : 
Jamestown Lodge of Perfection, with Shelden 
B. Brodhead, thrice potent grand master ; 
Jamestown Council, Princes of Jerusalem, with 
Samuel Briggs as grand master. The officers 
of Palmoni Lodge of Perfection and of Pal- 
moni Council, Princes of Jerusalem, and other 
notables in Masonry, were present, performed 
the rites of institution, and conferred the de- 
grees upon a large class of candidates. 

Bitter cold marked the opening week of the 
new year, the United States government ther- 
mometer at No. 5 Garfield street, Jamestown, 
registering 31 degrees below zero at 8 p. m., 
January 4. This was the lowest reading of the 
thermometer since government weather rec- 
ords had been preserved in the city. Reports 
from all parts of the county were of abnormal 
cold, and Obed Edson, of Sinclairville, an au- 
thority on county affairs, asserted that "this 
morning was the coldest of any within my 

At the opening of the New York Legislature, 
January 6, S. Frederick Nixon, of Chautauqua. 



was elected speaker of the house. On the 
speaker's desk was a beautiful floral design, a 
tribute from Westfield friends ; fourteen links 
in yellow immortelles were emblematic of the 
fourteen terms Mr. Nixon had served as As- 
semblyman, while the six gavels in white im- 
mortelles surmounting the design were in 
token of his sixth election as speaker. At the 
same session of the house, Arthur C. Wade, of 
Jamestown, took his seat as a newly-elected 

The Chautauqua County Society of New 
York City, composed of one hundred members, 
men and women, who formerly lived in Chau- 
tauqua county, held their second annual din- 
ner at the Hoffman House, January 26, 1904, 
Justice John Woodward, of Jamestown, presid- 
ing as toastmaster. Louis McKinstry, of Fre- 
donia, was the first speaker, and was followed 
by Dr. John T. Williams, of Dunkirk. 

The proprietor of the hotel, John F. Cadda- 
gan, a former resident of Dunkirk, opened the 
rarely used banquet hall for the occasion, and 
threw open his own private parlors to the 

Ira Lucas, the newly-elected supervisor from 
Clymer, and a prosperous farmer, committed 
suicide by hanging, January 28, 1904, the body 
being found hanging from a beam in his own 
barn. Temporary aberration was the only 
cause that could be assigned for his deed. The 
severe weather of the winter had made the 
county roads impassable, and this preyed upon 
his mind, he thinking that as supervisor he 
would be blamed for their condition in Clymer. 

A pleasing feature of county official life was 
the marriage of James D. Gallup, for seven 
years clerk of the county, on February 8, 1904, 
the bride, Mrs. Mary Waite Pope, a daughter 
of Frank M. Waite, copy clerk in the county 
clerk's office. 

The breaking up of the severe winter of 
1903-04 brought with it severe floods, which 
were particularly destructive in Kiantone, the 
Stillwater overflowing and covering acres upon 
acres with ice cakes. 

At the final adjournment of the State Legis- 
lature, April 15, 1903, Speaker Nixon was pre- 
sented by vote of the Assembly with an order 
for an oil portrait of himself, to be hung in the 
speaker's room at the capitol. This was an 
unusual honor, as but two previous speakers 
have their portraits hanging in that room. 

April 29, 1903, marked the closing hours of 
the life of George W. Patterson, of Westfield, 
a man of culture and public prominence, son of 
Governor George W. Patterson. 

A fatal factory fire occurred in Jamestown, 

Friday afternoon, May 6, 1903, in which An- 
drew Nord, a man of sterling worth, lost his 
life. The fire destroyed the large four-story 
furniture factory of A. C. Nordquist & Com- 
pany, with its entire equipment and a large 
quantity of valuable lumber. Three houses 
were also destroyed, and several others badly 
damaged. Mr. Nord, a partner in the com- 
pany, was in the office of the factory, and it is 
thought that in seeking to warn employes of 
their danger, he was overcome by smoke. He 
was born in Sweden and had reached the age 
of fifty. His body was recovered. 

The discovery of the body of Frank Lane, 
near Driftwood, closed the last chapter of a 
tragedy which occurred on the afternoon of 
November 6, 1903, when Rell Jackson and 
Frank Lane hired a boat and started out to 
hunt ducks on Lake Chautauqua. That was 
the last time they were seen alive. The follow- 
ing day the boat was found on the beach of 
Shearman's bay, but all attempts to find the 
bodies failed and in December the lake closed 
with its secret untold. On April 14, 1904, the 
body of Mr. Jackson was found floating not far 
from shore between Greenhurst and Fluvanna, 
but not until June 8 was the other body dis- 
covered. On the afternoon of that day, Mor- 
ris O'Connell, engineer of the Chautauqua 
Lake train, due in Jamestown at 6:35, while 
running at high speed on that portion of the 
road near the lake at Driftwood, caught a 
glimpse of a floating body, stopped his train, 
ran back to the place, and there found the long 
sought for body of Frank Lane. 

On Monday, July 4, 1904, cars of the Chau- 
tauqua Traction Company began making regu- 
lar trips between Jamestown and Chautauqua. 
One of the passengers on the first car, which 
left the Sherman House at six o'clock, was 
Bishop John H. Vincent, one of the founders 
of the great Chautauqua Institution. 

The Chautauqua County Republican Con- 
vention met in Jamestown, July 5, 1904. 
Arthur C. Wade, of Jamestown, and S. Fred- 
erick Nixon, of Westfield, were renominated 
for the Assembly ; Frank K. Patterson, of Dun- 
kirk, for district attorney; Frank S. Wheeler 
for special county judge; and Edward B. Os- 
good, of Portland, for coroner. 

At 6:30 p. m., July 7, the hardware store at 
Chautauqua was discovered in flames, which 
were not subdued until the entire business 
square of the Assembly grounds were in ashes. 
Men and apparatus were sent from Mayville 
and Jamestown, and with their help the local 
firemen were able to save the Children's 
Temple, Kellogg Memorial building, the meat 



and milk depots, all of which were in grave 
danger. The fire interfered little with the 
regular routine of Chautauqua life, and soon 
after it was found to be under control the usual 
evening audience gathered in the amphitheatre. 

The centennial anniversary of the settlement 
of the town of Sheridan held August 25, 1904. 
was a most creditable celebration of an histori- 
cal event. A monument was unveiled at the 
James Collins farm, two miles east of the vil- 
lage of Sheridan, on the site of the log house 
built by Francis Webber in August, 1804. 
After the unveiling, the people gathered in Pat- 
terson's grove in the village, where speeches 
were made by J. G. Gould, of Sheridan, whose 
father was the first white child born in the 
town of Pomfret ; Obed Edson, of Sinclair- 
ville ; S. Frederick Nixon, of Westfield ; Man- 
ley J. Toole, and A. B. Sheldon, of Sherman, 
whose grandfather, Winsor Sheldon, bought 
land from the Holland Land Company in 1807, 
and with his brother Haven, in 1S10, built the 
first sawmill in that section. U. J. Doty, whose 
grandfather settled in Sheridan in 1820, read 
a carefully prepared and valuable historical 

September 13 was the opening day of the 
nineteenth annual meeting of the national en- 
campment of the Union Veteran Legion of the 
United States in Jamestown. Veterans of the 
Civil War from many parts of the country were 
in attendance, and the city most royally enter- 
tained them. 

A killing frost swept over Southern and Cen- 
tral Chautauqua on the night of September 2i, 
doing vast damage. The northern part of the 
county escaped without great loss through the 
protection the heavy vegetation afforded the 
grapes. On the lowlands of the Cassadaga 
Valley in the town of Carroll, the mercury 
dropped to twenty degrees above zero. 

The County Board of Supervisors met in 
annual session in Mayville, September 26, 1904. 
New members were E. J. Daughertv, Thomas 
Hutson, C. A. Mount, H. N. Crosby, L. E. 
Button, Michael C. Donovan and Charles J. 
Anderson. The member elected for Clymer 
having died, his place was filled by the appoint- 
ment of the former supervisor from the town, 
Lorenzo P. McCray, Jr. The vacancy caused 
by the resignation of John W. Willard, of 
Jamestown, was filled by the appointment of 
Charles J. Anderson, a former member of the 
board. All the old officers of the board were 
reelected. Fred W. Hyde was again appointed 
clerk; Louis McKinstry, assistant clerk; 
Charles J. Shults, journal clerk, and Arthur B. 
Ottaway, attorney. 

Austin Smith, of Westfield, died October 
25, 1904, aged 100 years, 7 months, 9 days — 
Chautauqua's oldest inhabitant. Said Phin M. 
Miller of him in the "Centennial History of 
Chautauqua County" (1902) : 

Any attempt even to outline our educational history 
omitting to mention the name of Hon. Austin Smith 
would mark the effort a failure. During an active, use- 
ful and long life he has been closely identified with the 
cause of education. He was the first principal of the 
first academy in the county, beginning his work in 1826. 
In 1830 he settled in Westfield. He was a member of 
the first boSrd of trustees of Westfield Academy, organ- 
ized in 1837, and ever its warm and earnest friend. In 
1868, when the high school succeeded the academy, he 
was elected president of the Board of Education. For 
more than sixty years he was an active, intelligent edu- 
cational force doing good work for the cause in which 
he had a peculiar interest. His name has always been 
the synonym for all that is pure and true. 

Austin Smith was admitted to the bar in 
February, 1830, and began practice in West- 
field the same year, having Abram Dixon as 
his partner until Mr. Smith was appointed by 
Governor Seward surrogate of Chautauqua 
county in 1840, an office he held four years. 
He was a member of the Legislature of 1850- 
51, and in 1853, on the recommendation of 
Secretary Chase, was appointed examining 
agent of the United States Treasury Depart- 
ment for South Carolina and Florida. Later 
he filled the office of tax commissioner. On 
March 16, 1904, he celebrated his centennial 
anniversary, being at the time in good health, 
able to receive the friends who called to con- 
gratulate him, and to have his photograph 
taken. In 1828 Austin Smith married Sarah 
H., daughter of the pioneer settler, Col. James 

At 5 :30 a. m., November 26, an alarm called 
out Dunkirk's fire department to extinguish 
flames in a boxcar near the Erie depot. On 
returning from the fire a combination hose and 
chemical wagon was struck by the Southwest- 
ern Limited Express train on the Lake Shore 
railroad, Frank Miller, the driver of the wagon, 
being killed, the other fireman receiving severe 
shocks, but no severe injuries. 

At 1 a. m., December 7, the freight house of 
the Lake Shore, at Westfield, was discovered 
in flames, and owing to the high wind the build- 
ing, book records of the office and several 
freight cars were destroyed before the firemen 
had the fire under control. The nearby Lake 
Shore Hotel was saved. 

Warren Dalrymple, a veteran of the Civil 
War, serving in the 112th New York State In- 
fantry, who had been living alone on the 
Eggleston farm since the death of his wife. 



April 8, 1904, was found dead in his chair, late 
in the afternoon of December 12. 

At the opening session of the 1905 Legisla- 
ture. S. Frederick Nixon, of Chautauqua 
county, was for the seventh time elected 
speaker of the House of Assembly. This ex- 
ceeded all previous records for length of serv- 
ice as speaker, six terms having been the limit. 

Immediately after the passing of the old 
year in Mayville, John K. Patterson assumed 
the duties of district attorney of Chautauqua 
county, his oath of office having been recorded 
with County Clerk Gallup, and his bond with 
County Treasurer Swift earlier in the day. He 
succeeded Eleazer Green, of Jamestown, and 
had during the previous four years been Ah 
Green's assistant. 

On January 9, 1905. Chautauqua, among 
otber counties of the State, was awarded by 
the State Court of Claims money paid into the 
State Treasury under the law of 1869, which 
could have been retained to apply to the sink- 
ing fund for the redemption of bonds issued 
to aid in railroad construction half a century 
earlier. The amount returned to Chautauqua 
county was $44,014.19. 

Amid profoundly impressive scenes, a memo- 
rial tablet was unveiled in the high school 
building, Jamestown, during the afternoon of 
January 13, to the memory of Samuel Gurley 
Love, born 1821, died 1893, organizer of James- 
town public schools, and their superintendent, 
1865-1890. Frank W. Stevens, a former mem- 
ber of the Board of Education, made the memo- 
rial and dedicatory address. 

One of the largest security company bonds 
executed in Chautauqua county up to that 
time was issued January 14 by Arthur B. 
Hitchcock for $120,000. The bond was issued 
on behalf of Theodore A. Case, of Ellington, 
as committee of the person and property of 
Henry Allen, of the town of Conewango, who 
had been adjudged incompetent. 

Unusual distinction attended the 74th annual 
meeting of the Chautauqua County Trust Com- 
pany, held in Jamestown, January 18, 1904. 
This arose from the fact that it was presided 
over by the nonagenarian A. G. Dow, of Ran- 
dolph, then in his 97th year, and father of 
Charles M. Dow, president of the company. 
The veteran director and presiding officer was 
quite vigorous physically, and his mental facul- 
ties seemed unimpaired, despite his great age. 

Early in the morning of February 16, fire 
destroyed the interior of the main business 
block of Brocton, causing a loss of $50,000. 
Help came from Dunkirk, which combined 
with the efforts of the local firemen kept the 

fire within the limits of the block in which it 

A storm swept over Chautauqua county on 
the night of February 17, which was the worst 
in many years. With a few noteworthy ex- 
ceptions, every train in the county was held in 
the snow, and much inconvenience as well as 
suffering resulted. Rural mail carriers were 
in many cases unable to cover their routes, and 
dairymen were badly interferred with in mak- 
ing deliveries. 

Charles S. Abbott, vice-president of the 
Eastman Kodak Company, and one of James- 
town's best known business men, died at Oak 
Lodge, near Enfield, South Carolina, March 1, 
1905. The body was brought to Jamestown 
for burial. 

Dr. Julien T. Williams died at his home in 
Dunkirk, April 10, 1905. He was a son of Dr. 
Ezra and Sarah King (Clark) Williams, who 
were among the pioneer settlers of the county, 
moving from Oneida county to Dunkirk in 
1820. Dr. Williams was born in Dunkirk, No- 
vember 15, 1828. He was a graduate of Fre- 
donia Academy, class of 1849, an d in Novem- 
ber, 1851, received his M. D. from Castleton 
Medical College. He practiced medicine and 
conducted a drug store in Dunkirk until 1882, 
then purchased the plant of the Dunkirk Print- 
ing Company and became editor of the "Dun- 
kirk Observer." Later he was editor of "The 
Grape Belt." He was a member of the Dunkirk 
Board of Education continuously from 1853 
until his death ; member of the Assembly in 
1S64, and again in 1885 ; and county supervisor, 
1887-1891. On the day of his funeral, busi- 
ness was practically suspended in Dunkirk, 
and many organizations attended the services 
in a body. Dr. Williams married Julia King 
Thompson, of Dunkirk, and they were the par- 
ents of a large family. 

The shops of the Silver Creek Upholstery 
Company were damaged by fire during the 
night of June 10, to the extent of $20,000. The 
firemen could do little to save the inflammable 
interior, but did wonderful work in saving the 
two three-story buildings which comprised the 

The justices of the Supreme Court in con- 
vention assembled at Albany, June 19, 1905, 
elected Jerome B. Fisher, of Chautauqua 
county, to be Supreme Court reporter for a 
term of five years, at a salary of $5,000, Judge 
Fisher receiving thirteen out of twenty-one 
votes cast. 

On June 20, 1905, the Fredonia National 
Bank was closed by order of the Comptroller 
of the Currency. The bank was founded '»-. 

9 6 


1865 by Chauncey Abby, who was its president 
until his death in 1894. This failure caused a 
great deal of distress, and legal complication 
resulted. The finances of the town were some- 
what involved, and Fred R. Green, cashier of 
the bank, was arrested on June 23, on serious 
charges. He was later tried on thirty-five 
counts and plead guilty to four, involving the 
charge of falsifying the bank's records. He 
was sentenced to six years in the State peni- 

On application of Attorney General Mayer, 
Justice Hasbrouck. on June 29, appointed 
Frank L. Smith, of Silver Creek, receiver for 
the State Bank of Forestville, that institution 
having been reported insolvent by State Super- 
intendent of Banks Kilburn. 

The building owned by Reade & Smith, pro- 
prietors of the "Cherry Creek News," in which 
their editorial rooms and printing plant were 
located, burned to the ground on the morning 
of July 5. The "Jamestown Journal" courte- 
ously extended the temporary use of their 
facilities to "The News." The Jamestown 
Panel and Veneer Company suffered the com- 
plete loss of their plant in Jamestown, together 
with machinery, material, lumber and finished 
product, by fire, in the early morning hours of 
July 4, the loss totalling $30,000. Early in the 
morning of July 27, fire destroyed practically 
$30,000 worth of property on the principal busi- 
ness street of Panama. 

On July 27 the State Assembly finally dis- 
posed of the long drawn out "Hooker Case" 
by its refusal to remove Judge Hooker from 
the State bench. The case originated in Chau- 
tauqua county in charges against the political 
integrity of Judge Hooker by the County Bar 
Associates. The matter came before the Leg- 
islature finally upon Judge Hooker's demand 
for an investigation, and after a full hearing 
the vote for removal stood: 41 Republicans 
and 35 Democrats. Against removal: 58 Re- 
publicans and 9 Democrats. Under the Con- 
stitution, one hundred votes were necessary to 
remove. This was a celebrated case in the 
State, and in Chautauqua county it had entered 
deeply into its politics. Judge Hooker served 
out his full term as Supreme Court Justice, 
and until his death, fifteen years later, con- 
tinued his residence in Fredonia. 

Justice George Barker, one of Chautauqua's 
most distinguished sons, a man of rare ability 
and for half a century prominent in the politi- 
cal life of the county, died in Fredonia, July 20, 
1905, aged 82. He was twice county district 
attorney, and for twenty years a Justice of the 
Supreme Court of New York. In his early 

political life he was a firm friend and political 
ally of Governor Fenton, whose name he pre- 
sented to the convention which nominated Mr. 
Fenton for Governor. Justice Barker married, 
in 1857, Achsah Gleason, who preceded him to 
the grave, leaving an only child, Mary Eliza, 
who married John Woodward, of Jamestown, 
also a Justice of the Supreme Court of New 

The certificate of incorporation of the Chau- 
tauqua Worsted Mills was filed in the court 
house at Mayville, August 5. The capital 
stock of the company was $200,000: the princi- 
pal office of the company, Falconer ; the pur- 
pose, the manufacture of worsted yarns, 
worsted goods and textile fabrics. 

On August 11, 1905, President Roosevelt 
was the guest of honor of the Chautauqua In- 
stitution. This was the second time the insti- 
tution had entertained a President, General 
Grant having been a guest while chief execu- 
tive of the Nation. After an informal break- 
fast in Higgins' Hall, President Roosevelt was 
introduced to a large audience in the amphi- 
theatre by Bishop John H. Vincent, the silent 
but impressive Chautauqua salute welcoming 
the distinguished guest. The President spoke 
for an hour on Popular Education and Democ 
racy, though he protested his address had no 
specific or definite title. After singing "Amer- 
ica," the audience was dismissed and the presi- 
dential party left the grounds. 

The first car over the Warren & Jamestowa 
railway, No. 54, reached the Humphrey House 
in Jamestown, September 2, 1905, making the 
connection between Jamestown and Warren. 
Pennsylvania, an accomplished fact after many 
months of weary waiting. 

The Board of Supervisors in annual meeting, 
October 1, 1905, organized by the election of 
S. Frederick Nixon, chairman; J. A. McGuin- 
ness, clerk ; Louis McKinstry, assistant clerk ; 
J. A. Clary, journal clerk; A. B. Ottaway, 
attorney. A resolution of regret at the resig- 
nation of Capt. Frederick W. Hyde, after 
twenty-two years of service as journal clerk, 
was passed. 

Samuel Frederick Nixon, speaker of the New 
York State Assembly and chairman of the 
Chautauqua County Board of Supervisors, 
died at his home in Westfield, October 10, 1905. 
He was a man of strong personality, lovable in 
nature, earnest and aggressive in what he 
deemed to be right, and a born leader of men. 
He was identified with many business enter- 
prises, but was best known for the prominent 
part he bore in the public life of the county 
and State. He was always interested in poli- 



tics, and almost as soon as through college he 
was elected supervisor. For twenty consecu- 
tive terms he held that office, and but the Sat- 
urday before his death his townsmen nomi- 
nated him for the twenty-first time. Fourteen 
of those years of service were as chairman of 
the board, as well as its actual and unques- 
tioned leader. 

He was elected member of the Assembly 
from Chautauqua, Second District, in 1887, 
when twenty-six years of age, and with the 
exception of the years 1890-91-92 held that 
office continuously. For many years he had 
had no opposition in his own party for the 
Assembly nomination, and for the seven years 
preceding his death he had been elected 
speaker of the house by the unanimous vote 
of the Republican members. No other man 
ever equalled his record of seven consecutive 
terms as speaker. A few weeks prior to his 
death he was nominated for the Assembly for 
the sixteenth time. 

He was born in Westfield, December 3, i860, 
youngest of the two sons of Samuel and Mary 
E. (Johnston) Nixon, and grandson of a 
wealthy family of County Down, Ireland. He 
was survived by his wife, two sons and a 
daughter. Speaker Nixon was buried in the 
village cemetery at Westfield, October 13. A 
most remarkable gathering of distinguished 
men., including Governor Higgins, ex-Gov- 
ernor Odell, State Senators, Assemblymen and 
Supreme Court Judges, were present to pay 
the last tributes of respect to their friend and 
long-time associate in the State government. 

The November elections resulted in the 
usual Republican majorities for the county 
office, with the exception of the First Assem- 
bly District, where William R. Rawson, the 
candidate of the Independent Republicans and 
regular Democrats reduced Arthur C. Wade's 
plurality to 178. Henry K. Williams was 
elected Assemblyman from the Second Dis- 
trict, he being substituted after the death of 
Speaker Nixon, the nominee of the convention. 

The Board of County Supervisors with every 
member present, elected Theodore A. Case, of 
Ellington, chairman to succeed S. Frederick 
Nixon, deceased. Harley N. Crosby, of Ellicott, 
was chosen chairman pro tern. Supervisor 
Thompson, appointed by the town board to 
succeed Mr. Nixon, announced the latter's 
death and moved that the board adjourn out of 
respect to the memory of their former chair- 

The Fredonia village board of trustees voted 
that a sum of about $4,000, which the town 
treasurer had on deposit in the Fredonia Na- 

tional Bank, should be made good to the town. 
A dividend of twenty-five per cent, had been 
paid depositors, which with a similar amount 
ready to be paid, left the treasurer with about 
half the original amount to pay. 

The State Assembly, with the Senate, the 
Governor, and other State officers and repre- 
sentatives of the Court of Appeals, and other 
courts, in the presence of an audience com- 
pletely filling the great Assembly chamber and 
representing all parts of the State, on the eve- 
ning of March 27, 1906, formally honored the 
memory of Samuel Frederick Nixon, who for 
fifteen years represented in the Legislature, 
from the Second Assembly District of Chau- 
tauqua county, and for seven consecutive years 
served as speaker of the House of Assembly. 
After the audience had gathered, the members, 
present and former, of the Assembly ; the Sena- 
tors, the elective and appointive State officers, 
the members of the judiciary and finally Gov- 
ernor Higgins and his secretary, marched into 
the Assembly chamber and were seated. Prayer 
was offered by Rev. George L. McClellan, D. 
D., Speaker Nixon's family pastor, and musi- 
cal selections were rendered by a local quar- 
tette. James W. Wadsworth, Jr., who suc- 
ceeded Mr. Nixon as speaker, presided and 
made a brief address. Lewis L. Carr made the 
memorial address, which was a masterly and 
sympathetic eulogy of the great speaker. Mrs. 
Nixon, her children and other members of the 
family were present and occupied the speaker's 
room beside the rostrum. 

The Chautauqua County Board of Super- 
visors met in special session for the purpose of 
redistricting the county under a law requiring 
that in all counties having two or more Assem- 
bly districts the supervisors should meet on 
May 22 for that purpose. It was found un- 
necessary to make any change in the boundary 
line of the Assembly districts in Chautauqua 
county, and a resolution was passed by the 
board to that effect. The calling of the board 
together at the time necessitated its reorgani- 
zation for the ensuing year, which was done 
with little change from the organization of the 
previous year, the only one being the election 
of W. L. Nuttall, of Mina, as chairman pro 
tern, to succeed H. N. Crosby, of Jamestown. 

The Republican county convention in ses- 
sion at Dunkirk, July 26, nominated for county 
judge, Arthur B. Ottaway, of Westfield; for 
surrogate, Harley N. Crosby, of Falconer; for 
countv clerk, Emerson J. McConnell, of May- 
villeffor sheriff, Leon E. Button, of Harmony. 
The convention endorsed Theodore A. Case, of 


Ellington, for State Senator from the Fiftieth 

The Chautauqua County Traction Company 
opened its line from Mayville to Westfield, 
September 15, 1906. 

Rovillus R. Rogers, of Jamestown, was 
chosen president of the Council of School Su- 
perintendents of New York State at the con- 
vention held in Jamestown, October 20, 1906. 

The vote for Governor in Chautauqua county 
in 1906 was: Charles E. Hughes, R, 11,786; 
William R. Hearst, Independent League and 
D., 5,360. The vote for State officers and Con- 
gressmen did not vary greatly from the fore- 
going figures, although Mr. Hughes was the 
only State officer elected on the Republican 
ticket. In the county the Republican nominees 
for the county offices were elected by about the 
usual figures. 

The Board of Supervisors met in annual ses- 
sion September 24. Augustus F. Allen hav- 
ing resigned when nominated for the Assem- 
bly, the credentials of Leon L. Fancher were 
received, which showed his appointment to suc- 
ceed Mr. Allen as supervisor from Wards ( 
and 2 of the city of Jamestown. A resolution 
to move the county seat to Jamestown was 
voted down. The increased assessed valuation 
of real estate in the county over 1905 was 
shown to be $1,387,348. 

Justice of the Peace Piatt M. Parker, of Fre- 
donia, one of the best known men of the vil- 
lage, died November 17, 1906, aged 62. He 
was born in Fredonia, March 9, 1844, and spent 
his entire life in the village. He was educated 
in Fredonia public school and academy, be- 
came a civil engineer and surveyor, and dealt 
extensively in real estate. He was justice of 
the peace for twenty years, village engineer 
fourteen years, deputy sheriff several years, 
and for one term under-sheriff of Chautauqua 
county, serving under Sheriff Jenner. 'Squire 
Parker was a member of the Baptist church, 
and Forest Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons. 
He was a man in whom the community placed 
the most implicit confidence. Forest Lodge 
by his request was in charge of the funeral 

Among the appointments announced in De- 
cember by the Attorney General-elect, William 
F. Jackson, was that of Frank H. Mott, one of 
the leading Democrats of Western New York, 
to be Deputy State Attorney General. 

Orsino E. Jones died at his home in James- 
town, January 25, 1907. He was a native son 
of Jamestown, and no man in the city had a 
wider experience or more varied life. He was 
a man of strong physique, regular, temperate 

habits, and a tireless worker. He was chief of 
Jamestown's fire department for a number of 
years, and he did much for the material ad- 
vancement of Jamestown and gave liberally 
towards the public institutions and charities. 
He left no immediate family. 

At the age of 86, Lorenzo Martin, one of the 
best known farmers of his section of the 
county, died at his farm one mile east of Busti, 
Sunday, February 17, 1907. He was born in 
Busti, and when he was eight years of age his 
parents bought the farm upon which their son 
spent seventy-eight years of his life. Of the 
one hundred persons present at his marriage 
to Mercy Jenkins in 1842, Mrs. Martin alone 
was living when Mr. Martin died after a mar- 
ried life of sixty-five years. Three children 
survived their father — Mrs. Edwin Knapp, of 
Tecumseh, Nebraska ; Mrs. Alice M. Spencer, 
of Jamestown ; and Rev. D. L. Martin, who 
gave up ministerial work in Michigan in 1905 
to return to the homestead and care for his 
aged parents. 

Edward C. Brown, of Jamestown, a highly 
regarded business man, was found dead in his 
room in the Manhattan Hotel, New York City. 
He was a son of Col. James M. and Charlotte 
Brown, his father a Civil War veteran, captain 
of Company B, 72nd New York Regiment, 
volunteers, and colonel of the 100th Regiment, 
killed in battle. His remains were brought to 
Jamestown, where his widow continued to re- 

In his ninety-fourth year, James M. Hodges, 
of Lakewood, passed away, March 23, 1907. 
He was born in Vermont, but when in his 
fourth year his parents moved to Erie county, 
New York, where Mr. Hodges resided until 
thirty-two years of age, when he came to Chau- 
tauqua county. He spent fifty-five consecutive 
years of his life on a farm in the town of Har- 
mony, but the last seven years were spent with 
his son Alpheus, in Lakewood. He was a man 
of splendid health, and until his last illness of 
ten days' duration, which resulted in his death, 
he was never sick enough to spend even one 
entire day in bed. 

Edwin A. Bradshaw, vice-president of the 
Journal Printing Company and chief editorial 
writer on "The Journal," 1889-1907, died at his 
home in Jamestown, April 4, 1907. He was a 
man of most engaging personality, and as a 
writer was graceful in literary style, but at his 
best as a paragrapher, having the ability to 
say much in a few lines. Under the heading, 
"Noted in Passing," he gave to readers of "The 
Journal" thousands of paragraphs of rare 
humor and philosophy. He married, in 1897, 



Belle E. Smith, and left a son, Robert Cook 

Marshall Littlefield Hinman, a former presi- 
dent of the Brooks Locomotive Works, and 
one of the founders of the plant, died at his 
home in Dunkirk, May 3, 1907. Mr. Hinman 
was born in Cattaraugus county, December 12, 
1841, and in 1861 first came to Dunkirk, where 
he had a leading part in organizing The 
Brooks Locomotive Company in 1869. He was 
the first secretary-treasurer of the company, 
and finally its president. He was president of 
the Lake Shore National Bank of Dunkirk, 
1891-96; president of the Board of Education, 
1886-92; mayor of Dunkirk two terms, 1885 
until resigning in 1887; president of the board 
of water commissioners, 1889-1892. On Christ- 
mas Day, 1901, he joined with the Brooks 
heirs in making an endowment of $100,000 to 
Brooks Memorial Library, Dunkirk. 

F. W. Stevens, of Jamestown, was appointed 
chairman of the Up-State Public Utilities Com- 
mission, to take effect July 1, 1907. 

The cornerstone of the new county court 
house at Mayville was laid with impressive 
ceremony, July 24, 1907. The exercises were 
conducted by the Grand Lodge of New York, 
Free and Accepted Masons, the following Ma- 
sonic lodges of the county participating in the 
parade and other exercises of the day : James- 
town and Dunkirk Commandaries, Knights 
Templar; lodges from Jamestown, Forestville, 
Fredonia, Dunkirk, Sinclairville, Cherry Creek, 
Sherman, Westfield, Silver Creek, Brocton and 

The village was gay with flags and bunting, 
every business house and public building in the 
central part of the village being elaborately 
decorated with the national colors. Bands 
were playing long before the formal exercises 
began, and the village was filled with repre- 
sentatives from all parts of the county, with 
many from elsewhere in the State. The new 
building is on the site of the old one, which 
for three-quarters of a century had served the 
people of Chautauqua as a court house. 

The oration was delivered by Rev. George 
L. MacClelland, D. D., of Westfield, and was 
an eloquent impressive review of the history 
of the county. The usual articles were con- 
tained in a small compact copper box, which 
was fitted into a corner of the stone. Upon its 
cover was engraved this inscription. "Made 
and presented by Thomas Hutson, chairman of 
the building committee, July 24, 1907, May- 
ville, N. Y." All members of the County 
Board of Supervisors were present. 

At a special meeting of the Board of Super- 
visors the work of dividing the county into 
two Assembly districts was completed as fol- 
lows : First District, population 49,001 ; Ark- 
wright, Busti, Carroll, Charlotte, Cherry Creek, 
Ellery, Ellicott, Ellington, Gerry, Harmony, 
Jamestown, Kiantone, Poland, Stockton and 
Villenova. Second District, population 47,825 ; 
Chautauqua, Clymer, Dunkirk (town and city), 
French Creek, Hanover, Mina, Pomfret, Port- 
land, Ripley, Sheridan, Sherman and Westfield. 

Fire at an early hour of the morning of Sep- 
tember 1, 1907, devastated a thickly settled 
square in the village of Lakewood. 

The county returned the usual Republican 
majorities in the November elections of 1907, 
the county officials all being reelected. In 
Ellington, Charles J. Main, Prohibitionist, was 
elected supervisor over William Anderson, the 
Republican nominee. The uncalled-for criti- 
cism of Theodore A. Case, chairman of the 
Board of Supervisors and his consequent re- 
fusal to accept the nomination again, contribut- 
ing largely to that result. Augustus F. Allen 
and Charles R. Hamilton were reelected as- 
semblymen from the First and Second Dis- 

Crawford Stearns, a pioneer resident of the 
county, born in Arkwright in 1830, son of Ben- 
jamin Stearns, and father of former State Tax 
Commissioner Lester F. Stearns, died in For- 
estville, November 28, 1907. Benjamin Stearns 
moved from Vermont to Chautauqua county 
during the first decade of its existence and 
settled on land now within the limits Dunkirk. 

Orin Braley, of Kiantone, an octogenarian 
and a lifelong resident of the same section, 
dropped suddenly dead in his barn, April 20, 
1908. His father, Elisha Braley, came to that 
section of the county from Vermont in 181 1. 

Portage Inn, Westfield's new hotel, built by 
former Sheriff John C. Jones, was formally 
opened April 28, 1908, with a banquet given 
by the Business Men's Association in recogni- 
tion of the enterprise shown by Mr. Jones in 
giving Westfield a new and modern hotel. 

The Chautauqua County Board of Super- 
visors met September 28 and organized. Wil- 
liam S. Stearns, of Pomfret, was elected chair- 
man ; A. B. Sheldon, chairman pro tern. ; J. A. 
McGinnies, clerk; Louis McKinstry, assistant 
clerk ; J. A. Clary, journal clerk. The increased 
assessed value of land in the county increased 
over 1907, $1,699,198. 

James S. Sherman, Republican candidate for 
Vice-President, spoke in Jamestown on the 
evening of October 15, and was given an en- 


thusiastic welcome. Governor Hughes, a can- 
didate for reelection, spoke in the same city, 
October 30, on his second visit to Chautauqua 
county during the campaign. Judge Alton B. 
Parker spoke for the Democracy, October 31, 
1908. William H. Taft, the Republican candi- 
date for President, spoke at Dunkirk from the 
rear platform of his car, November 2. 

The entire Republican ticket was elected in 
Chautauqua county: Edward B. Vreeland, 
Congressman; Charles M. Hamilton, State 
Senator ; Emmons J. Swift, county treasurer ; 
Charles E. Dodge, superintendent of the poor ; 
Albert E. Nugent, special surrogate ; Charles 
Blood, Bergen F. Illiston and Ellis W. Storms, 
coroners ; Augustus F. Allen and John Leo 
Sullivan, assemblymen; Charles W. Hurlburt, 
Charles W. Whitney and Judson S. Wright, 
school commissioners. Charles E. Hughes was 
reelected Governor by an increased plurality, 
his vote in Chautauqua county 15,060; Lewis 
E. Chanler, his Democratic opponent, receiv- 
ing 7,039, the highest vote cast for any Demo- 
crat in the county. William H. Taft, for Presi- 
dent, received 15,617; William J. Bryan, 6,174. 

In this election, Chautauqua lost her prestige 
as the banner Republican county, Kings, Onon- 
daga, Monroe and Westchester all giving 
greater pluralities for Taft and Sherman than 
was given in Chautauqua. Charles W. Hamil- 
ton, candidate for State Senator, received the 
largest vote cast for any candidate on the Re- 
publican ticket, either local or State. 

Benjamin Franklin Matthews, one of the 
oldest residents of the town of Gerry, died at 
the home of his daughter, Mrs. Emory M. 
Kinne, three miles northeast of the village of 
Gerry, Sunday, December 6, 1908, in his 87th 
year. He was one of the twelve children born 
to Caleb and Margaret (Van Salisbury) Mat- 
thews, pioneer settlers of Chautauqua county. 
At the time of his death he was the oldest man 
born in the town. He served during the Civil 
War in Company E, 112th Regiment, New 
York Volunteer Infantry, and was a farmer 
of Gerry until the infirmities of age incapaci- 
tated him. 

Carl Frederick Abrahamson, senior member 
of the dry goods Abrahamson-Bigelow Com- 
pany, died December 21, 1908, suddenly 
stricken with apoplexy. He was born in 
Sweden, May 24, 1858, and in 1871 was brought 
by his parents to Chautauqua county. He be- 
came one of Jamestown's most prominent mer- 
chants, and was a pillar of strength to the First 
Lutheran Church and to Gustavus Adolphus 
Orphanage. He served as member of the 
Board of Supervisors from Jamestown, and in 

that body made his influence felt for good. He 
married, in 1897, Christine Anderson, who 
survived him with an infant daughter. 

Governor Hughes on January 6, 1909, sent 
to the Senate the name of Egburt E. Wood- 
bury, of Chautauqua county, to succeed him- 
self as State Tax Commissioner. Mr. Wood- 
bury was born in Cherry Creek, Chautauqua 
county, and after attending Albany Law 
School, was admitted to the bar in 1884. In 
that year he began the practice of law in 
Jamestown ; was chairman of the Republican 
committee, 1888-89 > member of Assembly, 
1890-93; and for several years surrogate of 
Chautauqua county. 

Edmond H. Pease, the oldest volunteer fire- 
man in Jamestown and a veteran of the Civil 
War, died January 29, 1909, aged 63. He en- 
listed in Company G, 122nd Regiment, New 
York Volunteer Infantry, at Jordan, August 
8, 1862, and was mustered out at Washington, 
June 23, 1865. He was engaged at Gettysburg, 
and was then wounded ; captured by Confed- 
erate troops, May 6, 1864, and from that date 
until December 9 was confined in Anderson- 
ville prison. After the war he located in James- 
town, where on January 6, 1870, he joined 
Deluge Engine Company, and was on the 
active list until his death. 

Robert N. Marvin, son of Judge Richard 
and Isabella Newland Marvin, died in James- 
town, February 6, 1909. Early in life he en- 
tered actively into business life and assumed 
the management of his father's estate. Among 
the many responsible positions which he filled 
was that of executor of the Prendergast estate 
and in that capacity he was in charge of con- 
struction of the beautiful church and library 
that perpetuate the name of that old James- 
town family. For four years he represented 
Ellicott on the Board of Supervisors and with 
generous unselfish public spirit served his com- 
munity. He married Mary Elizabeth Warner, 
who survived him. 

Westfield was visited by a destructive fire 
early on February 25, 1909, and it was not 
until help had arrived from Fredonia and Broc- 
ton that the fire was brought under control. 
While there were no casualties, five firemen 
from Brocton had a narrow escape when the 
heavy cornice and part of the brick wall of the 
Wells block fell. 

Ransom B. Lydell, supervisor of the town 
of Ellicott and president of the First National 
Bank of Falconer, died at his home on Work 
street, Falconer, April 19, 1909. He was a son 
of Lucius and grandson of Luther Lydell, who 
came to Chautauqua county and settled in 


Poland in 1828. His maternal grandfather, 
Judge Joel Burnell, came to the county in 
1810 and settled in Charlotte. Ransom Lydell, 
at the age of twenty-one, was elected justice 
of the peace in Poland. In 1884 he moved to 
Falconer, where he became prominent in busi- 
ness and in public life. He married Mina J. 
Covey, and they were the parents of eight 

Jay Mann, a farmer near Findley Lake, was 
killed in an explosion of dynamite while blow- 
ing out stumps on his farm, about one mile 
south of the village of Sherman, May 21, 1909. 
He had been removing stumps by means of 
dynamite during the afternoon, and about four 
o'clock arranged two charges in two different 
stumps, a fuse being attached to each. He 
lighted one of the fuses, and hurried away to 
what he considered a safe distance. He did 
not, however, place sufficient distance between 
himself and the stump in which the other 
charge had been placed, and that omission 
proved fatal, although he did not apprehend 
danger from that source. The concussion pro- 
duced by the first explosion caused the charge 
in the other stump to explode, the force of the 
blast carrying Mr. Mann thirty feet through 
the air and frightfully mangling him. He died 
about three hours later, retaining conscious- 
ness throughout the entire period. 

Marcus H. Ahlstrom, one of the founders of 
the Ahlstrom Piano Company, its vice-presi- 
dent and traveling representative, died in 
Jamestown, June 14, 1909. He was born in 
Gothland, Sweden, and was the first member 
of his family to come to the United States. He 
was a resident of Jamestown from 1868 until 
his death, and a man most highly esteemed. 
He left a widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Lyon Ahl- 
strom, and a daughter Gladys. 

Nathan Dwight Belden, for nearly sixty 
years a resident of Chautauqua county, died at 
his home in Mayville, June 15, 1909, aged 73. 
He was born in Connecticut, but was" brought 
to Chautauqua county by his parents. He 
married Sarah Aldrich, February 2, 1859, and 
during their more than fifty years of married 
life resided in the towns of Ellery, Stockton 
and Chautauqua. For twenty-seven years 
Mayville was their home, their residence on 
Erie street. Mr. Belden was town overseer of 
the poor for about fifteen years ; was an Odd 
Fellow : and an official member of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal church. Mrs. Belden survived 
her husband, with two daughters — Alice, wife 
of Lewis B. Bixby ; and Emily, wife of Frank 
Lane, of Florence, Massachusetts. 

At a singularly harmonious convention of 
Chautauqua's Republican hosts, held in Dun- 
kirk, June 22, John P. Hall, of Sherman, was 
nominated for sheriff; Luther S. Lakin, Jr., of 
Jamestown, for county clerk ; and Dr. Bergen 
F. Illston, of Jamestown, for coroner. Later, 
Augustus F. Allen and John Leo Sullivan were 
renominated for the Assembly from the First 
and Second Chautauqua county districts, and 
Judson S. Wright for school commission, 
Third District, an office he had filled for seven 
previous years. 

On Sunday, July 4, 1909, the First Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church of Jamestown cele- 
brated with special services the centennial of 
Methodism in Chautauqua county, the ninety- 
fifth anniversary of the founding of the James- 
town church ; the twenty-fifth anniversary of 
the laying of the cornerstone of the present 
church ; and the twenty-third anniversary of 
its dedication. Bishop John H. Vincent 
preached in the morning, the choir rendering 
special music of a high order. Bishop Vincent 
preached the dedicatory sermon twenty-three 
years earlier, and there were in the audience 
117 persons who heard him on that occasion. 

Boomerton and South Dayton suffered heavy 
financial and business loss on the night of July 
17 by fire, which destroyed the mill of the 
Jamestown Panel and Veneer Company at 
Boomerton, and a great portion of the business 
section of South Dayton. The loss at the mill 
was $25,000; to the village, $45,000. 

Walter Gifford, former member of the As- 
sembly from Chautauqua county, past mas- 
ter of the New York State Grange, a promi- 
nent farmer, and one of the oldest native-born 
residents of the county, died at his home on 
Fulton street, Jamestown, August 9, 1909. He 
was born in Busti, May 8, 1829, and there re- 
sided upon his farm until a few years prior to 
his death. He became interested in the Patrons 
of Husbandry in its early days, and was influ- 
ential in that organization, serving as master 
of the State Grange four years. He repre- 
sented Chautauqua county in the State Assem- 
bly in 1891-92. He married Eliza C. Robert- 
son, who survived him, with two daughters — 
Mrs. H. B. Jenkins, of Dumont, New Jersey, 
and Mrs. Orren B. Hayward, of Jamestown. 

The Board of Supervisors met in the new 
court house at Mayville, Tuesday, August 17, 
1909, and formally accepted the new building 
from the contractor. The building was com- 
pleted within the amount appropriated, $135,- 
000. Bonds were issued to the amount of 
$130,000, the $3,000 owing above that amount 
being paid from other funds. 


Mrs. Eliza Bullock Albro, the oldest resident 
of Busti, died January 17, 1910, in her ninety- 
second year. She was born in Busti, Novem- 
ber 26, 1818, daughter of Rev. William Bullock, 
and was the widow of David Albro, to whom 
she was married at the age of twenty-five. She 
left a son, Frank Albro. 

On February 12, 1910, Governor Hughes ap- 
pointed Robert J. Cooper to be special surro- 
gate for Chautauqua county, to fill a vacancy 
caused by the resignation of Albert E. Nugent. 

A special meeting of the Board of Super- 
visors was held March 10, 1910, to consider the 
report of a committee appointed by the board 
concerning a county tuberculosis hospital. 

A fire which caused Jamestown the loss of 
a valuable life — Capt. Jonathan Hanson, com- 
mander of fire police — and a half million dol- 
lars in property, began in the Gokey factory, 
Saturday night, March 12, 1910. On Sunday 
night, or soon after midnight, the ruins of the 
factory blazed up and started a conflagration 
which eventually consumed the Gokey busi- 
ness block and the Sherman House, wrecked 
the Briggs block and spread alarm to the entire 
business section. Captain Hanson was in- 
stantly killed by falling debris. Joel Oberg, 
second lieutenant of fire police, was seriously 
injured, as was Alfred F. Shoestring, first as- 
sistant foreman of Deluge Engine Company. 
The entire city department, with that of the 
village of Falconer, was used in fighting this 
Jamestown's most serious fire. 

The funeral service of Captain Jonathan 
Hanson, the gallant captain of Jamestown fire 
police, who fell in assisting to quell the great 
fire of March 12-13-14, was held March 15, 
from the State Armory, preceded by a brief 
service at the home. The large armory was 
inadequate to accommodate the throngs who 
wished to honor the dead officer by their pres- 
ence, and after the drill shed and galleries had 
been filled to overflowing, many were turned 
away. The funeral services, under the direc- 
tion of Rev. Horace G. Ogden, D. D., were of 
a very impressive character. Captain Hanson 
was buried with military honors, and after the 
brief service at the grave in Lakeview Ceme- 
tery, a squad from Company E, fired three vol- 
leys and the bugler sounded "Taps." 

On the morning of March 15, Alfred E. Shoe- 
string, assistant foreman of Deluge Engine 
Company, who was injured at the same fire in 
which Captain Hanson lost his life, died at the 
Woman's Christian Hospital in Jamestown. 
Again, vast crowds assembled to honor the 
memory of a brave man, and the large audi- 
torium of the First Methodist Episcopal 

Church of Jamestown was filled long before 
the hour for the services to begin. Business 
was generally suspended by request of the 
mayor, and it seemed as though the entire city 
turned out to pay a tribute of respect to the 
young volunteer who, leading the way into the 
burning building, gave up his life as nobly as 
ever did a soldier on the field of battle. Rev. 
Horace G. Ogden conducted the funeral serv- 
ices, and at the head of the fireman marched 
Chief Wilson, leading his "boys" with reverent 
mien and heavy heart. He was buried in Lake- 
view Cemetery. 

On March 18, 1910, a bronze memorial tablec 
was unveiled to the memory of Miss Calista 
Selina Jones, who taught in the public schools 
of Chautauqua county for nearly sixty years. 
The tablet was presented to the public schools 
of Jamestown by Mrs. Elvira Stearns, a sister 
of Miss Jones, and was placed in the main 
corridor of the high school building. 

Henry Le Fevre Brown, a distinguished vet- 
eran of the Civil War, died in Jamestown, April 
29, 1910, aged 67. He was at the time of his 
death one of the three men residing in James- 
town who were awarded medals of honor by 
Congress for gallant deeds. Mr. Brown's deed 
was thus described in his citation : "Volun- 
tarily and under a heavy fire from the enemy, 
he three times crossed the field of battle with 
a load of ammunition in a blanket on his back, 
thus supplying the Federal forces whose am- 
munition had nearly all been expended, and 
enabling them to hold their position until rein- 
forcement arrived." For nearly thirty years 
he was identified with the railway mail service 
and held responsible position. He compiled a 
history of the 72nd Regiment, New York Vol- 
unteer Infantry, and possessed the most com- 
plete data of Chautauqua county men in the 
military service. He left a widow, and a son, 
Harold LeFevre Brown, of Jamestown. 

William Broadhead, Jamestown's foremost 
manufacturer, died May 21, 1910, in his ninety- 
second year. He was of English birth and 
parentage, but from the year 1843 ne was a 
resident of Chautauqua county. He became 
a large manufacturer of textiles in Jamestown, 
and to him the worsted interests of the city 
owe their origin. He retained his interest in 
Jamestown until the end of his life, and on the 
occasion of his eighty-first birthday said, in 
response to felicitations, "When I came to 
America I came to be an American, and while 
of course I believe that England is the place 
in which to be born, I most firmly believe that 
America, and particularly Jamestown, is the 
place to live." He was survived by four chil- 



dren, his sons succeeding their father in the 
management of the Broadhead business inter- 

On Monday, August 1, 1910, the annual con- 
vention of the International Bible Students' 
Association began in the large amphitheatre 
at Celoron, on the shores of Lake Chautauqua, 
adjacent to Jamestown. Forty-five hundred 
Bible students were in attendance. The con- 
vention was one of the largest gatherings of 
its kind ever held in this country. Representa- 
tives from every town in the county attended 
during the week it was in session. The con- 
vention was remarkable for the number in at- 
tendance and for its splendid organization for 
the management of the formal meetings and 
entertainment of visitors. 

Dr. James Brooks, for sixty years a practic- 
ing physician of Ellington, died August 5, 1910. 

William H. Sprague, who for fifty-six years 
was engaged in the hardware business prior to 
his retirement, died by his own hand, August 
15, 1910. He was a grandson of Captain Jo- 
seph Sprague, of Rhode Island, an officer of the 
Revolution, and a son of Nicholas Sprague, 
who came to Western New York about 1828 
and established a paper mill at Laona. Wil- 
liam H. Sprague at the time of his death was 
seventy-eight years of age, and afflicted with 
chronic stomach trouble. This affected his 
mind to such an extent that, unable to bear 
the pain, he ended it. 

The one hundredth anniversary of the first 
settlement of Jamestown was observed at the 
afternoon session of the Chautauqua County 
Society of History and Natural Science, Obed 
Edson, president of the society, presiding. 
The guest of honor was Mrs. Lucy Akin, of 
Ellery, a daughter of John Bowers, who built 
the first house in Jamestown, in 1810. Obed 
Edson read a paper on "The First Settlement 
in Jamestown;" Mrs. Mary Hall Tuckerman, 
on "The Women of the Early Day ;" Abner 
Hazeltine, on "The Beginnings of Jamestown 
D. A. R. ;" Nichols, of Westfield, on "History 
of the Triangle;" and Mrs. Kate Cheney, on 
"Reminisences of the Prendergasts." 

The Board of Supervisors met in annual ses- 
sion at Mayville, September 26, 1910, and or- 
ganized by the reelection of the officers of 
1909, A. Morell Cheney, of Ellery, chairman 
pro tern., the only new official elected. The re- 
port of the clerk of the board, Joseph A. Mc- 
Ginnies, showed an increase in assessed value 
of land in the county over 1909 to be $2,188,193. 

On the afternoon of October 14, 1910, Theo- 
dore Roosevelt, the then only living ex-Presi- 
dent of the United States, addressed a political 

gathering on the campus of Jamestown High 
School. He was given an enthusiastic wel- 
come, and in his speech displayed at its best 
the wonderful force as a public speaker. His 
last previous visit was on November 7, 1898. 

While the State went Democratic by a large 
majority, Chautauqua county swung true to 
her moorings and gave the Republican ticket 
the usual majorities, although the vote was 
light. The vote on Governor stood Stimson, 
Rep., 10,547 ; Dix, Dem., 4,906. In the county 
the successful candidates were : Charles M. 
Hamilton, State Senator ; Rev. Julius Lincoln, 
Assembly, First District ; John Leo Sullivan, 
Assembly, Second District; Edward J. Green, 
district attorney; Frank S. Wheeler, special 
county judge ; Robert J. Cooper, special surro- 
gate ; Edward B. Osgood, coroner. 

John S. Nevins, of Westfield, was appointed 
sealer of weights and measures by the Board 
of Supervisors, a new office created under a 
State law. 

Among the new public officials who assumed 
office with the new year (1911 ) was Rev. Julius 
Lincoln, pastor of the First Lutheran Church, 
of Jamestown, who had been elected Assembly- 
man on the Republican ticket from the First 
Chautauqua District. He did not give up his 
pastoral relation, but returned to Jamestown 
from Albany each week-end to fill his pulpit. 
Edward L. Green succeeded John K. Patterson 
as district attorney, and Robert J. Cooper 
assumed the duties of special surrogate. The 
other officials of the county succeeded them- 
selves. On January 2, 191 1, John Alden Dix 
was inaugurated Governor of New York, and 
for the first time in eighteen years the Demo- 
cratic party was in power in the State. 

A factory fire destroyed property valued at 
$50,000, belonging to the Peerless Furniture 
Company, of Jamestown, early in the morning 
of January 4, 191 1. 

The figures of the census of 1910 for tha 
minor civil divisions of Chautauqua county 
were made public by the Director of the Cen- 
sus on January 24. The figures for the various 
villages showed an increase in practically all of 
them over the population of 1900, and many of 
the rural towns showed an increase. The com- 
plete figures follow : 

Arkwright 843 

Busti, including Lakewood village 2,136 

Lakewood village 564 

Carroll 1.564 

Charlotte, including part of Sinclairville 1,258 

Sinclairville 542 

Chautauqua, including Mayville 3,515 

Mayville ••••• 1,122 



Cherry Creek town and village 1,380 

Cherry Creek village 606 

Clymer 1,164 

Dunkirk, Ward I 5.569 

Ward 2 3,399 

Ward 3 3,852 

Ward 4 4,401 

Dunkirk town 429 

Ellery 1,695 

Ellicott, including Celoron and Falconer 4,371 

Celoron 619 

Falconer 2,141 

Ellington 1,235 

French Creek 882 

Gerry with part of Sinclairville 1,155 

Hanover, including Cattaraugus Indian Reser- 
vations, part of Forestville and Silver 

Creek village . •. 5,670 

Forestville 721 

Silver Creek 2,512 

Harmony, including Panama 2,847 

Panama 337 

Jamestown, Ward 1 4,438 

Ward 2 4,577 

Ward 3 4,695 

Ward 4 5,511 

Ward 5 6,039 

Ward 6 5,636 

Kiantone " 520 

%™ A 1.033 

roland 1,447 

Pom fret, including Fredonia /.309 

Portland, including Brocton 3,058 

Brocton village 1,181 

Sherman, including Sherman village 1,568 

Sherman village 836 

Ripley 2,230 

Sheridan 1,888 

Stockton 1,781 

Westfield, including Westfield village 4481 

Westfield village 2,985 

Total population of county 105,126 

Total population of county in 1900 88,314 

Henry Rappole, a veteran of the Civil War, 
former county superintendent of the poor and 
treasurer of Jamestown, died at his home in 
Jamestown, January 25, 191 1, in his seventy- 
eighth year. He lost an arm in the battle of 
the Wilderness, May 5, 1S64, and to quote a 
comrade, "No braver soldier ever stood in line." 
He was born in the town of Ellery, October 
27, 1833, son of Adam and Elizabeth (Rico) 

Levant L. Mason, who for sixty years was 
engaged in business in Jamestown, died Febru- 
ary 13, 191 1, in his eighty-fifth year. Devoted 
to the art of free-hand engraving, he could not 
give up the work he had followed so capably 
for so many years, and until a few weeks prior 
to his death he would frequently take up his 
engraving tools and at the age of eighty-four 
was able to carve upon gold or silver as daintily 
and perfectly in script or old English as ever. 
In 1850 he brought his bride to Jamestown and 
established a home at No. 204 Lafayette street, 

and there they celebrated their golden wedding 
and lived for sixty years until death. He was 
a prominent member of the Masonic order, one 
of the founders of the Chautauqua County Soci- 
ety of History and Natural Science, and long 
an official member of St. Luke's Protestant 
Episcopal Church. He left a son, John C. Ma- 
son, and daughter, Mrs. Frederick P. Hall. 

At midnight, February 28, 191 1, the James- 
town Volunteer Fire Department gave way to 
a paid department of thirty-five full-pay men 
and twenty-five call men. 

Captain Joseph S. Arnold, one of the oldest 
veterans of the Civil War, died in Jamestown, 
March 15, 191 1, in his eighty-ninth year, the 
last survivor of his immediate family. He en- 
listed in the Seventh Company of Sharpshoot- 
ers, was mustered in as captain, September 12, 
1862, and although nearly forty years of age 
at that time, he outlived every company com- 
mander of the 112th Regiment, New York 
Volunteer Infantry, to which the company was 
attached. He was discharged on account of 
disability, April 29, 1864. His only son, George 
C. Arnold, a member of his father's company, 
died in the service. Captain Arnold's wife, 
Mary Phillips, died in 1902, both natives of 
Chautauqua county, born in the town of 

The State Capitol at Albany was partially 
destroyed by fire during the morning hours of 
March 29, 191 1. The fire destroyed the entire 
west wing of the building and did incalculable 
damage before being brought under control. 
The injury to the building was immense, while 
the loss in books and priceless documents can- 
not be computed. The State Library suffered 
heavily. The famous collection of Indian 
relics from Chautauqua county was preserved 
intact. A. C. Parker, State Archaeologist, and 
his assistant, carrying the entire exhibit in 
their cases to a place of safety. This valuable 
collection was made by Mr. Parker himself, 
from Irving, Ripley and Sinclairville princi- 
pally. An interesting fact in connection with 
the rescue is that, though made of tinderlike 
hair or the dryest of wood, not a single object 
connected with the Indian religious and mys- 
tery rites was destroyed. Even the hair of the 
famous medicine masks was unsinged, much 
to the surprise of museum officials. 

Alanson Ostrander, one of the few remaining 
pioneers of the town of Gerry, died at his home 
on the Ellington road, April 16, 191 1, in his 
eighty-seventh year. He was born in Tomp- 
kins county, New York, but when four years 
of age was brought to Chautauqua county by 
his parents, David and Mary (Cooper) Ostran- 



der. For fifty years the farm upon which he 
died was his home and there he was survived 
by his aged wife Abigail. He also left a son, 
Frank Ostrander, of Gerry Hill, and two 
daughters — Mrs. Joseph Trusler, and Mrs. 
Walter Crawford. 

Important action was taken by the County 
Board of Supervisors April 18, 191 1, in voting 
a new State road to be built along the east or 
Beraus Point side of Lake Chautauqua. Three 
other highway propositions were voted : The 
Jamestown-Frewsburg road, a distance of four 
and a quarter miles ; a brick highway from the 
State line to French Creek, through French 
Creek towards Findley Lake, a distance of six 
and two-thirds miles, and five and a half miles 
leading from Fredonia toward the village of 
Cassadaga and the Stockton town line. The 
county's share of the expense of these high- 
ways to be borne from a bond issue of $120,000. 

The survivors of the Ninth Regiment, New 
York Cavalry, met in fiftieth anniversary at 
Jamestown, August 29, 191 1. The regiment 
was recruited largely in Chautauqua county, 
and left Camp Seward at Westfield, Novem- 
ber 9, 1861. Among the visitors was General 
Daniel Sickles, General George S. Nichols, and 
other military men of note. The old veterans 
were royally entertained, and found that the 
hearts of their entertainers went with their 

The forty-ninth anniversary of the departure 

of the 112th Regiment, New York Volunteer 
Infantry, for the front, was celebrated at Fre- 
donia, September 13, 191 1. Survivors to the 
number of 106 were lavishly entertained by 
the residents of the village, and voted to return 
for their fiftieth anniversary celebration in 
1912. Thirty-two survivors of the 49th Regi- 
ment gathered in Jamestown, September 16, 
191 1, for their annual reunion and fiftieth anni- 
versary of the departure from Buffalo for the 
front in 1861. Four companies of the regiment 
were recruited in Chautauqua county. 

Isaac N. Button, a merchant of Panama, was 
instantly killed by the collapse of a scaffold at 
a concrete dam under construction just west of 
the village of Panama. At the same time, 
Charles Blanchard, of Panama, was so badly 
injured that he died the next day. Both men 
were sightseers at the dam and were standing 
on the scaffold, which gave way. Mr. Blanch- 
ard, seventy-one 3'ears of age, had spent his 
life in Panama, and had held many village and 
town offices. Mr. Button was proprietor of the 
mill and feed store at the Corners. 

The November elections of 191 1 were en- 
tirely in favor of the Republicans. The county 
officials elected were: Treasurer, Emmons J. 
Swift; superintendent of the poor, Charles E. 
Dodge; coroners, Charles Blood, Ellis W. 
Storms; Assemblymen. First District, Rev. 
Julius Lincoln ; Second District, John Leo Sul- 


Opening of the Twentieth Century (continued). 

Charles H. Corbett died at his home in Sher- 
man. January 19, 1912, in his sixty-seventh 
year. He was born in Mina, October 5, 1845;, 
son of Newell and Persis Corbett. The Cor- 
bett and Newell families came from New Eng- 
land to Chautauqua county about 1825. Rob- 
ert Corbett built and operated a flour mill at 
Findley Lake, and Jesse Newell was one of 
the early farmers in the neighborhood of Pres- 
byterian Hill in the town of Sherman. Charles 
H. Corbett, grandson of Robert Corbett and 
Jesse Newell, was a successful merchant of 
Sherman, and gave much time to the public. 
He served three terms as town clerk, was treas- 
urer of school board, chief of fire depart 

Ancient Order of United Workmen of the 
State of New York ; was a thirty-second degree 
Mason, a Knight Templar and a Noble of the 
Mystic Shrine. He married Narcissa Dutton, 
of Sherman, and left a son, Frank D. Corbett. 
Almon Augustus Van Dusen, a former judge 
of Chautauqua county, died February 10, 1912, 
in his seventieth year. He practiced law in 
Mayville, and several times was the Demo- 
cratic candidate for county judge. While he 
always reduced the usual Republican majority, 
he never overcame it until 1890, when, after 
serving a brief period by appointment of Gov- 
ernor Hill, he again made the campaign as the 
Democratic candidate, to succeed Judge Lam- 

ment, and supervisor, 1882-83 ; Assemblyman, bert, appointed Supreme Court Justice. _ Mr 

1884; chairman of the Democratic County Van Dusen carried the county by a majority 

Committee, member of Democratic State Com- of 899 votes, receiving a Republican majority 

mittee. one of the organizers and every year of from 4.000 to 6,000. He served six years 

but one, vice-president of the State Bank of as countv judge and in 1895 was nominated for 

Sherman. In 1891 he was grand master of the the Supreme bench. The Chautauqua county 



bar paid Judge Van Dusen fitting tribute in 
memorial resolutions. 

Captain Albert Gilbert died in Santa Bar- 
bara, California, April 28, 1912, in his sixty- 
first year. He received his commission during 
the Spanish-American War, serving with Com- 
pany E, Sixty-fifth Regiment, United States 
Volunteers. He was, with Reuben Earle Fen- 
ton, instrumental in bringing the Fenton Me- 
tallic Manufacturing Company to Jamestown 
in 18S7. When that company was consolidated 
with the Art Metal Construction Company, he 
retained his connection with the business, in 
which he was a recognized pioneer — the manu- 
facture of metal furniture and office fixtures. 
Captain Gilbert married Jeannette, daughter of 
Governor Reuben E. Fenton, who survived 
him, with a son, Earle Fenton Gilbert. 

On May 11, 1912, Jamestown Chapter, Sons 
of the American Revolution, dedicated a bronze 
tablet at the boat landing to commemorate the 
construction of a dam there in 1782 by the 
King's Eighth Regiment, thus raising the 
water that they might float their boats and 
proceed on their way to attack Fort Pitt. The 
principal speaker of the occasion was Frank H. 
Mott, secretary of the chapter. 

On Thursday, September 12, 1912, the fiftieth 
anniversary of the departure of the 112th Regi- 
ment, New York Volunteer Infantry (Chau- 
tauqua Regiment) for the front, was celebrated 
by a reunion of the veterans of the regiment at 
Jamestown. One of the veterans present was 
N. John Swanson, who at the same time was 
celebrating his ninetieth birthday, he march- 
ing away to the war on his fortieth birthday. 
The occasion was one of deepest interest and 
every particular of the celebration was worthy 
of the event commemorated. 

Arthur B. Ottaway, county judge, and Mrs. 
Myrtle Redfield Nixon, were married in St. 
Peter's Episcopal Church, Westfield, October 
2, 1912. This wedding was of especial inter- 
est to Chautauquans from the fact that Judge 
Ottaway had for six years served as district 
attorney and for eight years as county judge, 
and was at the time a candidate for reelection. 
Further interest attached to the marriage, for 
the bride was a daughter of George Redfield, 
and widow of S. Frederick Nixon, so long in 
public life in the county and State. 

Job E. Hedges, Republican candidate for 
Governor, visited Chautauqua, October 25, 
1912, and in the evening addressed a large au- 
dience in the Opera House at Jamestown. 
President Taft passed through Jamestown dur- 
ing the morning of October 26, and delivered 

a ten-minute speech from the rear platform of 
his private car. 

William Northrop, who came from England 
a lad of fifteen and made his home in Busti, 
died there October 26, 1912, aged eighty. He 
served Busti as justice of the peace several 
years, was supervisor 1890-98, and was always 
deeply interested in public affairs. 

Although in 1912 there were regular and pro- 
gressive Republican tickets in the field in addi- 
tion to the Democratic ticket, Chautauqua 
county withstood the attacks from foes within 
and foes without, and elected every Repub- 
lican on the county ticket save one, Cheney, 
Republican, being beaten in the First Assem- 
bly District by Jude, a Progressive. The 
Democratic national and State tickets carried 
Dunkirk, Arkwright, Cherry Creek and Char- 
lotte. Charles M. Hamilton, Republican, of 
Chautauqua, was elected Congressman ; Judge 
Ottaway was reelected county judge; Luther 
S. Lakin, Jr., reelected county clerk ; Frank V. 
Godfrey elected State Senator; John L. Sulli- 
van was chosen Assemblyman from the Sec- 
ond District ; Harley N. Crosby was reelected 
surrogate ; Gust. A. Anderson elected sheriff, 
and Bergen F. Illston was reelected coroner. 
The vote for President in the county was: 
Taft, 7,881 ; Roosevelt, 6,480 ; Wilson, 4,814. 
Chautauqua county furnished two candidates 
for State Treasurer — Ernest Cawcroft, Pro- 
gressive, and Arthur A. Amidon, Prohibition. 
Cawcroft received in the county, 6,254 votes; 
Amidon, 1,053; Archer, Republican, 7,821; 
Wyrell, Democrat, 4,575. For Governor : Sul- 
zer, Democrat, had 4,731 ; Hedges, Republican, 
8.269; Straus, Progressive, 6,272. Sulzer car- 
ried the State. 

Gardner Dunham dropped dead at the home 
of his daughter, Mrs. Alvah Shelters, four 
miles from Sinclairville, December 10, 1912. 
Mr. Dunham was in his ninety-sixth year, and 
had spent nearly his whole life in that section 
of the county, his father settling there in 1819. 

Daniel Griswold, of Jamestown, died sud- 
denly in the Erie railroad station at Kennedy, 
January 31, 1913. He was one of the last links 
connecting the pioneer period of Chautauqua 
county with the present. He came to the 
county when a lad, and grew up a sturdy 
specimen of American manhood. He drove 
the river half a century prior to his death and 
from that drifted into the life of a lumberman, 
a business which claimed his interest till the 
last, he being president of the Union Lumber 
Companv. He was a supervisor from the town 
of Poland, 1865-69; from Ellicott, 1884-85; and 



from Jamestown, in 1886. In 1871 he moved 
from Poland to Salamanca, and in 1873 began 
his residence in Jamestown. In 1881 he was 
elected a director of the Chautauqua County 
Bank, and May 8, 1890, was elected the presi- 
dent, serving several years. He married, No- 
vember 18, 1868, Martha Townsend, of Carroll. 
Two children survived him — Miss Martha 
Townsend Griswold, and Daniel Griswold. 

Mrs. Mary Moore Merrell, recognized as 
Jamestown's oldest woman resident, died at 
the home of her granddaughter on West Third 
street, April 21, 1913, aged ninety-eight years, 
two months and twenty days. She was born at 
Sheldon, Genesee county, New York, January 
31, 1915, youngest daughter of Elijah and 
Mary (Beardsley) Norton. In 1839 she mar- 
ried Robert Johnson Merrell, and in 1855 came 
to Chautauqua county. She survived all her 
six children. 

During the street car strike in Jamestown, 
there was a strong mob spirit manifested and 
open rioting resulted. Mayor Carlson issued 
a proclamation of warning, and under a call 
from Frank W. Stevens the citizens met and 
from the gathering about three hundred men 
volunteered for special police service duty, 
without pay. This number was soon increased 
to nearly five hundred, to whom the oath of 
office was administered. They were assigned 
to various posts in the city and most effectively 
policed the city. There was no further rioting, 
and through the efforts of a Citizens' Concilia- 
tion Committee, of which Frank W. Stevens 
was the capable head, an agreement was 
reached between company and employes — the 
strike, however, lasting nearly two months. 

Frank H. Mott, of Chautauqua county, 
Democratic candidate for Secretary of State 
in 1902, and Deputy Attorney General of the 
State in 1907, was appointed Secretary of the 
Up-State Public Service Commission, June II, 
1913, by Governor Sulzer. 

On September 29 the Board of Supervisors 
met in annual session at the court house in 
Mayville. William S. Stearns was elected 
chairman; A. Morelle Cheney, chairman pro 
tern. ; Joseph A. McGinnies, clerk ; Louis Mc- 
Kinstry, of Fredonia, was elected assistant 
clerk; James A. Clary, journal clerk, and Ed- 
mund Dearing, of Mayville, page. These men 
were the veterans of the board, Mr. McKinstry 
then serving his twenty-fifth, Mr. Clary his 
eighteenth and Mr. Dearing his thirty-third 
year with the board. Mr. McGinnies had been 
a member of the board seventeen, L. P. Mc- 
Cray sixteen, and W. L. Nutall eleven years. 
The statistical table presented by the clerk of 

the board showed the assessed value of real 
estate in the county had increased $2,643,671 
over 1912. The increase in personal property 
valuation was $52,755. 

At the November elections of 1913, William 
S. Stearns, chairman of the Board of Super- 
visors, was elected district attorney for Chau- 
tauqua county. His opponent, Glen W. Woodin, 
Democrat and Progressive, made an exception- 
ally strong canvass and cast a large vote — 
8,349 against 8,620 for Mr. Stearns. Frank S. 
Wheeler was elected county judge ; Robert J. 
Cooper, special surrogate ; Edward B. Osgood, 
coroner ; A. Morelle Cheney and John Leo Sul- 
livan, Assemblymen. Several supervisors who 
were candidates for reelection were defeated, 
new members succeeding in Arkwright, Char- 
lotte, Chautauqua, Cherry Creek, Dunkirk, 
Hanover, Poland and Sherman. A new mem- 
ber was appointed in the place of Supervisor 
Webber, of French Creek, at the next meeting 
of the board. The only Progressive on the 
board, Jesse A. Foster, of Busti, was defeated 
by the Republican opponent, Fred P. Sim- 
mons. In Arkwright, Eder A. Tarbox was 
beaten by Ransom A. Matthewson, Democrat, 
by a margin of two votes. The candidate in 
French Creek died during the campaign, but 
enough votes had the name of Lucas Gleason 
written in to elect him. 

Edward Beardsley shot and badly wounded 
John G. W. Putnam, overseer of the poor for 
the town of Chautauqua, January 14, 1914. 
Mr. Putnam was in the Beardsley home on the 
Sherman road, three miles from Mayville, to 
take the nine children to some institution where 
they would have proper care. He was accom- 
panied by Gust. A. Anderson, sheriff of the 
county, and by Gerry W. Colegrove, under- 
sheriff. Two shots were fired by Beardsley, 
both taking effect. The sheriff and under- 
sheriff drove hastily away to Mayville to place 
Putnam under medical care, leaving Beardsley 
in possession. He barricaded the doors and 
windows and withstood a siege of exactly one 
week, although the house was completely sur- 
rounded and numerous shots were exchanged. 
Finallv, Special Deputy Charles Backus was 
admitted to the house, and getting possession 
of Beardsley's gun brought him to Mayville 
without resistance. Beardsley claimed he was 
defending his home against invasion. Mr. 
Putnam recovered from his injury. Beardsley 
was later convicted of "assault in the first de- 
gree" and sentenced to the maximum penalty, 
which is "not more than nine years and six 
months." He was delivered to the prison offi- 
cials at Auburn, March 13, 1914. 



Fire at three o'clock Sunday morning, Janu- 
ary 25, 1914, destroyed the Mayville House, a 
landmark of more than county-wide reputa- 
tion and the principal hotel of Mayville. 

Since so long ago as the first volume of 
"Four Girls at Chautauqua," by "Pansy," the 
Mayville House was a widely known hostelry, 
and in that book is described. It had been 
headquarters for judges, lawyers, witnesses 
and jurors for Chautauqua county's lawsuits 
since it was built, and for more than a quar- 
ter of a century had stood about as it was when 
the fire swept it away. 

The First Baptist Church of Jamestown was 
destroyed by fire, February 14, 1914, although 
the walls of the edifice were left standing. 

Ernest Cawcroft, the Progressive leader of 
Chautauqua county, was appointed Deputy 
State Treasurer, the announcement being made 
March 9, 1914. 

At the special election held April 7, 1914, to 
vote upon the calling of a Constitutional 
Convention, Chautauqua county voted : For, 
1,807 ; against, 3,284. In the State the proposi- 
tion carried. 

Charles H. Gifford, manufacturer and 
banker, died at his home in Jamestown, April 
29, 1914. 

Newton Crissey, farmer and banker, born in 
the town of Stockton, and a resident of Fre- 
donia until his removal to Jamestown, died 
May 1. 1914. having just passed his 86th birth- 
day. He was president of the Farmers' and 
Mechanics' Bank for a number of years, but 
was best known in the county as a farmer and 
cattle dealer, a business he followed many 
years. He was a devoted Baptist, and the Cal- 
vary Baptist Church, which he founded, re- 
mains a monument to his zeal and interest. 

At the centennial celebration of the First 
Methodist Episcopal Church of Jamestown, 
the following facts were established as his- 
torically correct : 

Methodism began its career in Chautauqua county in 
the winter of 1808-09, with the forming of a class of 
four members at Fredonia. In 1810 another class of 
ten members was organized at Villenova, and in 1814 
Rev. Burrows Westlake, preacher in charge of the 
Chautauqua circuit, formed another class of ten members 
at Worksburg, now Falconer. The last-named class, 
under the care of Edward Work, was recognized as a 
regular preaching station by the minister in charge of 
the circuit, with preaching every four weeks. This 
class, according to Griggs' "History of Methodism." was 
subsequently removed to Jamestown, as in 1823 it re- 
ceived a grant of twenty-five acres from the Holland 
Land Company and a great revival having occurred, 
many of the converts living in Jamestown. 

On the afternoon of June 5, 1914, the new 
Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in the village 

park at Sherman was unveiled, Rev. Horace 
G. Ogden, D. D., of Jamestown, the orator of 
the occasion. 

Frost was reported from several valleys in 
the county during the week of June 13-20, 
1914, and considerable damage was done to 
corn and other crops, particularly beans, in the 
Frewsburg district. 

For the first time as a special event, Chau- 
tauqua County Day was observed in the Chau- 
tauqua Assembly program, July 11, 1914. The 
morning speakers were Myron T. Dana, prin- 
cipal of the State Normal School at Fredonia; 
Frank H. Mott, secretary of the Up-State Pub- 
lic Service Commission, and Samuel A. Carl- 
son, mayor of Jamestown. In the afternoon, 
Judge William L. Ransom, of New York City, 
a former Chautauqua county man, was the 
speaker, and in the evening the first of the sea- 
son's dramatic entertainments was given by 
the "Chautauqua Players." Director Arthur E. 
Bestor expressed the desire of the Chautauqua 
Institution for a closer relation with the county 
communities, and hoped that an annual Chau- 
tauqua County Day would attain that result. 

Arthur C. Wade, lawyer, business man, 
politician and farmer, died in Jamestown, Au- 
gust 21, 1914. He was a man of large busi- 
ness interests, and as a lawyer very successful. 
He was much in the public eye, but never held 
political office save two terms as Assembly- 
man from the First Chautauqua District. He 
was a native son of Chautauqua, born in the 
town of Charlotte, son of George L. and Jane 
E. (Parsons) Wade. 

Rev. Father Richard Coyle, rector of SS. 
Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, 
Jamestown, for forty years, died August 25, 
1914. He was the beloved priest, a good citizen, 
a man of high ideals, possessing the courage to 
do battle for them if necessary, and with the 
most intense appreciation of the responsibili- 
ties he was under as a priest of God. He was 
buried with most imposing ceremony, August 
31, in Holy Cross Cemetery, business being 
generally suspended in Jamestown, as re- 
quested by Mayor Carlson. 

The Board of Supervisors met in annual ses- 
sion at Mayville, September 29, 1914. Her- 
mes L. Ames was elected chairman ; Dr. L. P. 
McCray, chairman pro tern.; Joseph A. Mc- 
Ginnies, clerk; L. McKinstry, assistant clerk; 
James A. Clary, journal clerk : Edmund Dear- 
ing, page. The clerk presented a communica- 
tion from the executors of the will of Mrs. 
Elizabeth M. Newton announcing the gift of 
$150,000 for a tuberculosis hospital building 
and grounds. 



Chautauqua county reaffirmed her loyalty to 
the Republican party at the November elec- 
tions, 1914, by large majorities. The head of 
the ticket, Charles S. Whitman receiving a 
plurality of 7,791. His total vote in the county 
was 10,502. Egburt E. Woodbury, of James- 
town, for Attorney-General, received 10,811, 
the highest vote given any man on the State 
ticket. Charles M. Hamilton was elected Con- 
gressman ; George E. Spring, State Senator ; 
Charles M. Dow, James Spencer Whipple and 
Herman J. Westwood, district delegates to the 
Constitutional Convention ; Emmons J. Swift, 
county treasurer; Charles E. Dodge, overseer 
of the poor; Charles Blood and James E. Mar- 
tin, coroners; A. Morelle Cheney, Assembly- 
man, First District ; John Leo Sullivan, Assem- 
blyman, Second District. 

On January 1, 1915, Chautauqua county was 
honored by the induction into office of Egburt 
E. Woodbury as State's Attorney-General, a 
position of power and responsibility. Mr. 
Woodbury was the first Chautauquan elected 
to a State office since Reuben E. Fenton was 
inaugurated Governor just fifty years earlier. 
Attorney-General Woodbury appointed as one 
of his chief deputies, Frank Jenks, of James- 

Judge Abner Hazeltine, son of Abner and 
Matilda (Hay ward) Hazeltine, one of Chau- 
tauqua's eminent citizens, died May 3, 1915. 
A man of striking personality, with a kindly 
heart and active brain he was prominent in 
the affairs of his community, a pillar of 
strength to the church, the personification of 
kindness and hospitality in his home and most 

He was a man of high intellectual attain- 
ment, a student and a thinker, a ready writer 
upon local topics and an authority on the his- 
tory of the county in which his eighty years 
of life were spent. He married Olivia A. 
Brown, daughter of Samuel and Clarissa 
Brown, of Ashville, and left a son, Ray Thomas 
Hazeltine, of Jamestown, and a daughter, Miss 
Mary Emogene Hazeltine, who at the time of 
her father's death was officially connected with 
the library school of the University of Wis- 
consin. She was formerly librarian of the 
James Prendergast Library of Jamestown, the 
predecessor of Miss Lucia T. Henderson, the 
present librarian. 

William T. Falconer, son of Patrick Fal- 
coner, who laid out the village which bears his 
name, and born at the Falconer mansion in 
Falconer, died in Jamestown, May 6, 1915. He 
was a man of large affairs, prominent in pub- 
lic life, and a citizen of high repute. 

Augustus F. Allen, Assemblyman and ex- 
postmaster of Jamestown, was appointed first 
deputy superintendent of elections, June 23, 

On Monday, July 19, 1915, the first term of 
Surrogate's Court, with a jury, ever held in 
Chautauqua county, was convened at the court 
house in Mayville with Surrogate Harley N. 
Crosby presiding, the court convening under a 
new State law. Under its provisions all con- 
tested will cases can be tried in Surrogate's 
Court instead of Supreme Court. 

Captain William Fitzhugh Endress, only 
son of Col. William F. Endress, died on ship- 
board, September 7, 1915, enroute to his sta- 
tion in the Panama Canal Zone. Capt. En- 
dress was a graduate of West Point, and for 
twelve years had been in active military serv- 
ice. For two years he had been on duty in the 
Canal Zone, and when the canal was opened 
was superintendent of the Gatun Lock. 

Capt. Fred H. Wilson, chief of the James- 
town Fire Department, was killed in an auto- 
mobile accident three miles from Butler, Penn- 
sylvania, September 26, 1915, while on his way 
home from Pittsburgh, where he had taken his 
daughter to school. Capt. Wilson had been a 
member of the fire department since 1888, and 
from 1898 had been chief. He was a member 
of the Fenton Guards (13th Separate Com- 
pany) for twenty-seven years, was elected cap- 
tain in 1903, and on October 3, 1914, was placed 
on the retired list. He served in the Spanish- 
American War, and was the veteran leader of 
his firemen at scores of fires. He was greatly 
beloved by his men, and held a place deep in 
the hearts of the people of his city. A gallant 
soldier and fireman, yet it was his sterling char- 
acter as a man, his integrity of purpose and 
honesty that endeared him to those who knew 
him best. The flags of the city floated at half- 
mast in his honor, and the day of his funeral 
the city offices and many business houses were 
closed. He was buried with the full military 
honors befitting his rank. 

At the November election in 191 5, William 
H. Marvin. Republican, was elected sheriff 
over J. William Sanbury, Democrat; Luther S. 
Lakin, Jr., Republican, was elected county 
clerk for the third time ; Bergen F. Illston was 
reelected coroner; Leon L. Fancher was 
elected member of Assembly from the First 
District, and Joseph A. McGinnies from the 
Second District. There were many changes in 
the Board of Supervisors, the new board stand- 
ing twenty-three Republicans, six Democrats, 
one Prohibitionist. The new constitution was 
defeated both in county and State, the county 


voting 7,709 for, 8,792 against. The vote on 
woman suffrage was 9,763 for, 7,002 against. 
The vote for sheriff was: Marvin, 11,250; 
Sandbury, 4,224. 

The Board of Supervisors met in annual ses- 
sion, November 8, 1915. The officials of the 
board, elective and appointive, were continued 
in office for another year. The assessed value 
of real estate in the county increased over 
1914, $2,053,339. 

Charles S. Whitman, Governor of New York 
State, was the guest of the county, November 
17-18, spending the night in Dunkirk, thence 
to Jamestown the following morning. The 
visit was without political significance. 

Capt. Newel Cheney, son of Nelson E. 
Cheney, a pioneer of the county, died at his 
home in Poland Center, December 8, 1915, in 
his eightieth year. Captain Cheney was a 
veteran of the Ninth Regiment, New York 
Cavalry, enlisting September 10, 1861, in 
Jamestown, and serving three years. He was 
commissioned first lieutenant of Company C, 
September 10, 1862; captain of Company F, 
February 12, 1864; and was mustered out, 
October 25, 1864, with the brevet rank of 
major. He was prominent in Grand Army 
circles and in the Grange ; was supervisor and 
Assemblyman ; and a man both admired and 

Luman W. Pierce, president of the Empire 
State Degree of Honor, a district deputy of 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and a 
leading Democrat of the town of Stockton, 
dropped dead in his home at Stockton, January 
3, 1916. He was a prosperous dairy farmer 
near the village of Stockton, and a man of the 
highest standing in the community. He was 
buried in Greenwood Cemetery, the funeral in 
charge of his brethren of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows. 

S. Winsor Baker, general manager and treas- 
urer of the Gurney Ball Bearing Company, 
died at his home in Jamestown, January 4, 
1916. He aided greatly in the phenomenal 
growth of the company with which he was 
connected for about three years prior to his 
death. He was buried in Lake View Ceme- 
tery. Resolutions of highest appreciation and 
respect were passed by the directors of the 
Gurney Ball Bearing Company. 

John D. Johnson, president of the Swedish- 
American National Bank, died in Jamestown, 
January 20, 1916, aged seventy. He was born 
in Sweden, but was brought to Chautauqua 
county when seven years of age, and by his 
own efforts rose to high rank as business man 
and citizen. 

The New York State Grange, Patrons of 
Husbandry, met in forty-third annual session 
in Jamestown the week of January 31, 1916. The 
Grange is one of the largest fraternal orders 
and the annual session one of the largest dele- 
gate bodies in the State. During the session, 
Sherman J. Lowell, of Fredonia, was elected 
master of the order in New York State. 

At a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, 
May 23, 1916, the county was redistricted in 
order to balance the population in the two 
Assembly districts. The First District was 
shorn of the towns of Arkwright, Stockton and 
Villenova, leaving a population of 53,608, those 
towns when added to the Second District in- 
creasing the population to 53,253. The dis- 
tricts as divided were thus constituted : First 
District — Jamestown, Busti, Carroll, Charlotte, 
Cherry Creek, Ellery, Ellicott, Ellington, 
Gerry, Harmony, Kiantone, Poland. Second 
District — Dunkirk, Arkwright, Chautauqua, 
Clymer, French Creek, Hanover, Mina, Pom- 
fret, Portland, Ripley, Sheridan, Sherman, 
Stockton, Villenova, Westfield. 

Charles Baker, a lifelong resident of Ripley, 
died at his home in the village, May 23, 1916. 
In 1914 Mr. Baker's vineyards, which he per- 
sonally tended, yielded more grapes by weight 
to the acre than any other farm in Chautauqua 
county. He was seventy-five years of age, and 
left a widow, Mrs. Margaret Hardinger Baker; 
a son, Frank J. Baker; and a daughter, Mrs. 
Clarence H. Holden. 

On June 1, 1916, about fifty assessors repre- 
senting practically every town in the county 
and the cities of Jamestown and Dunkirk, met 
at Mayville and formed an organization of the 
assessors of Chautauqua county. This was 
done under the authority of the Board of Su- 
pervisors, who acted upon the recommenda- 
tion of the State Board of Tax Commissioners. 
John I. Venness, of Lakewood, was elected 
president ; I. A. Wilcox, of Portland, vice- 
president; Judd A. Woodward, of Stockton, 

The Fenton Guards (Company E, 65th Regi- 
ment, New York National Guard) were called 
out under the order mobilizing the National 
Guard of the State, and began assembling at 
their armory June 19, 1916. They were later 
transferred to the 74th Regiment on July 1, 
1916, sworn into the United States service, and 
on Tuesday, July 4, left for Buffalo to join the 
74th Regiment under orders to entrain for 
Mission, Texas. Capt. Charles A. Sandburg 
was in command of Company E ; A. Bartholdi 
Peterson, first lieutenant; Donald S. Brown, 
second lieutenant. 


This was the first of a series of military 
demonstrations that Chautauqua county wit- 
nessed during the four years of warfare cul- 
minating in the destruction of German power. 
The 74th was sent to the Mexican border as a 
part of the policy of dealing with Mexico. 

Mrs. Sarah L. (Jones) Hall, widow of Sam- 
uel J. Hall, who for more than half a century 
was a teacher in the public schools, died in 
Jamestown, July II, 1916. She was born in 
Jamestown in 1832, and while still in her teens 
began teaching. A few years later she mar- 
ried, and after her husband's death resumed 
work in the school room, only giving up teach- 
ing at the age of seventy-five. 

Charles E. Hughes, Republican candidate 
for President, visited Chautauqua county, Sat- 
urday, September 30, stops being made at 
Westfield, Fredonia, Jamestown, Dunkirk and 
Silver Creek. Mr. Hughes was enthusias- 
tically received and his remarks were listened 
to with marked attention. Ernest Cawcroft, of 
Chautauqua, and his former law partner, Wil- 
liam L. Ransom (not for years, however, a 
resident of the county) were announced as can- 
didates for presidential electors by the Repub- 
lican State Committee. 

Judge Samuel Seabury, in his campaign for 
Governor of the State, visited the county and 
delivered an address in Jamestown, Saturday 
night, October 29, at the Samuel's Opera 
House. Governor Charles S. Whitman also 
visited the county during the closing days of 
the campaign. 

Chautauqua county gave Hughes a total vote 
of 14,717; Wilson, 7,137; Whitman, 14,182; 
Seabury, 5,697; Charles M. Hamilton, Repub- 
lican, was elected Congressman ; George H. 
Spring, State Senator; Leon L. Fancher and 
Joseph A. McGinnies, Assemblymen ; William 
E. Stearns, district attorney ; Frank S. Wheel- 
er, special county judge ; Robert J. Cooper, 
special surrogate ; Edward Osgood, coroner. 
Egburt E. Woodbury, a Chautauqua county 
man, carried the county for attorney-general 
by a plurality of 9,456. 

The Board of Supervisors met in annual ses- 
sion November 13, and organized by the elec- 
tion of A. Morelle Cheney, of Ellery, chair- 
man; Dr. L. P. McCray, of Clymer, chairman 
pro tern. ; Joseph A. McGinnies, clerk ; Louis 
McKinstry, assistant clerk; J. A. Clary, jour- 
nal clerk ; Edmund Dearing, page. The clerk's 
report showed that the assessed value of real 
estate in the county was $66,363,491, an in- 
crease over 1915 of $3,124,968. 

Two heavy steel cars, moving rapidly, col- 
lided on a curve just northeast of Westfield 

station on the Jamestown, Westfield and 
Northwestern railway. They met with such 
force that they telescoped, crushing the life 
out of both motormen, and injuring about 
every passenger. Frank Wood and Herman 
Swanson, both of Jamestown, were the killed 
men, and Martin Colby, of Westfield, was so 
severely injured that he died the following 
morning, January 2, 1917. 

Judge Vernon E. Peckham, for several years 
special county judge of Chautauqua county 
and for more than a decade referee in bank- 
ruptcy for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus coun- 
ties, died in Jamestown, February 1, 1917. 

After seven months on the border in the 
United States service, the 74th Regiment re- 
turned to Buffalo, February 20, 1917, Com- 
pany E, which left Jamestown in July, 1916, 
with two officers and 135 men, reaching James- 
town on February 24 following, their roster 
showing three officers and m men. They 
were given a hearty demonstrative welcome. 
There had been no deaths in the company dur- 
ing their long period of border service. 

The county heard with regret of the death of 
Phin M. Miller, a native of the town of Stock- 
ton, and one of Chautauqua's ablest sons, in 
Buffalo, Sunday, March 25, 1917. He was in- 
terested in county journalism for some years, 
but later accepted prominent position with the 
Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railway, con- 
tinuing with it until reaching the age limit, 
when he was retired on a pension. He was a 
county school commissioner, and the author of 
the chapter on the schools of Chautauqua 
county, published in "Centennial History of 
Chautauqua County, 1902." He was president 
of the Chautauqua Historical Society several 
years, and as head of that organization did 
much to stimulate interest in historical re- 
search and the preservatioin of family records. 

Captain Charles A. Sandburg, commanding 
Company E, 74th Regiment, received orders 
on March 29 to immediately report with his 
company at Buffalo for muster into the United 
States service. The order was rescinded later, 
and the company was mustered in at James- 
town and placed as guards at railroad bridges 
and important points in the county. While 
engaged in guarding the Nickel Plate railroad 
bndge at Silver Creek on the night of May 6, 
or early morning of May 7, 1917, Private Sand- 
berg was instantly killed by a passing freight 
train, which struck his rifle barrel with such 
force that it was bent almost double around 
the young man's neck, killing him instantly. 
Private Sandberg joined the company in June, 
1916, and was the first and only man of Com- 


pany E, to give up his life for his country dur- 
ing his connection with the company. 

Rev. Elliot Chapin Hall, youngest child of 
William and Julia (Jones) Hall, died in James- 
town, April 27, 1917, just two days before his 
seventy-ninth birthday. After fourteen years 
in the ministry of the Congregational church, 
he was called home by the illness of his father, 
and thereafter resided at the homestead in 
Jamestown. He was identified with important 
interests and became prominent in the business 
life of his city. He married Tirzah Snell, 
daughter of Professor E. S. Snell, of Amherst, 
and they were the parents of Martha S., E. 
Snell and Tirzah H. Hall. 

At a special meeting of the Board of Super- 
visors, William J. Knauerwas reelected county 
superintendent of highways, and Luke H. Fay, 
of Portland, was chosen commissioner of elec- 

The enrollment of men between the ages of 
twenty-one and thirty-one ordered by the 
United States Government, reached a total in 
Chautauqua of practically 10,000 names. 

Emmons J. Swift, for nineteen years treas- 
urer of Chautauqua county, made public on 
June 20, his determination not to again accept 
the office. 

James L. Weeks, an eminent member of the 
Chautauqua bar and a former mayor of James- 
town, died at his summer home on Chautauqua 
Lake, September 2, 191 7. 

Charles E. Dodge, county superintendent of 
the poor, died at the administration building, 
Dewittville, October 3, 1917. He was in his 
sixty-third year, and for fifteen years had held 
the office above mentioned. 

On October 27, 191 7, Charles M. Dow was 
named Federal fuel administrator for Chau- 
tauqua county. 

At the November elections, 1917, William J. 
Doty was elected county treasurer; Gerry W. 
Colgrove, county superintendent of the poor; 
Charles Blood, reelected coroner, an office he 
had held for forty years ; James Martin, coro- 
ner ; J. Samuel Fowler, State Senator from the 
Fifty-first District; Hermes L. Ames and 
Joseph A. McGinnies, Assemblymen from the 
First and Second Chautauqua districts. 

On November 12, 1917, the Board of Super- 
visors met in annual session in Mayville. The 
chairman, chairman pro tern, and clerk were 
continued in office. Louis McKinstry was 
elected assistant clerk ; James A. Cleary, jour- 
nal clerk ; Edmund Dearing, page. The clerk's 
report showed as one item that the assessed 
valuation of real estate in the county was $75,- 
624,209, an increase over 1916 of $9,260,864. 

A native son of Chautauqua, and in his sev- 
entieth year, Clement B. Jones, for a quarter of 
a century city clerk of Jamestown, died with 
the opening of the new year. Dr. Robert New- 
land Blanchard, a leading physician of James- 
town, where he had been in practice forty 
years, died January 18, 1918, in his sixtieth 
year. He was Jamestown's first health officer. 
The main building of the Strong Veneer 
Company plant at Gerry, the pioneer veneer 
factory in the county, was burned to the 
ground on February 16, 1918. John Strong, 
father of B. E. Strong, president of the com- 
pany, made the first veneer by machinery 
driven by horsepower, the son, B. E. Strong, 
driving the horse which furnished the power. 
George T. Armstrong, a lawyer of James- 
town at one time, associated with Benjamin 
S. Dean and Frank W. Mott in practice, died 
March 7, 1917. He was a leader of the Demo- 
cratic party in the city, and for six years a 
civil service commissioner. Mrs. Hannah G. 
Leslie ("Grandma"), probably the oldest resi- 
dent of Chautauqua county, died at the home 
of her daughter, Mrs. Elliot A. Fenton, in 
Jamestown, April 8, 1918, aged 100 years, three 
months, eight days. 

The "Jamestown Journal," under date of 
March 7, 1918, announced editorially that not 
only had Chautauqua county gone "over the 
top" in the matter of the Third Liberty Loan, 
but every city and town in the county had 
done its share, reached its allotment, and gone 
beyond it. 

Marion N. Fisher, son of Judge Jerome B. 
Fisher, was appointed assistant district attor- 
ney for Chautauqua county by District Attor- 
ney William S. Stearns, vice Warner S. Rex- 
ford, resigned. 

On May 12, Governor Whitman signed the 
bill establishing a county children's court for 
Chautauqua county. 

The will was drafted by the State Probation 
Commission, and embodied several new fea- 
tures. The new court was created as a sepa- 
rate part of the county court to be presided 
over by the county judge or special county 

A special meeting of the Board of Super- 
visors was held May 15, 1918. The regular 
annual meeting of the board elected in Novem- 
ber, 1917, was not until the following Novem- 
ber, and the term of A. Morelle Cheney, chair- 
man of the 1917-18 board having expired the 
preceding January 1st. Dr. L. P. McCray, of 
Clymer, was elected temporary chairman to 
serve until the annual meeting. Every mem- 
ber of the board responded to his name except 



Frank O. Olson, who had been away from the 
county for a year, but still held the office of 
supervisor from Jamestown. 

Emmet C. Nixon, granite and marble dealer 
of Westfield, was killed, and Dr. Stephen A. 
Brown shot through the jaw, on May 21, 1918, 
at Westfield, by Joseph J. Johnson. Gerald 
G. Gibbs, a lawyer of Westfield, who disarmed 
Johnson, would have lost his life had John- 
son's revolver not missed fire as Gibbs was 
advancing upon him. 

Alfred P. Hall died at Long Beach, Cali- 
fornia, July 15, 1917. He was identified with 
manufacturing in Jamestown from boyhood, 
and with the development of three of the im- 
portant industries of the city — The James- 
town Worsted Mills, the Art Metal Construc- 
tion Company, and the Gurney Ball Bearing 
Company. He served his city in public posi- 
tion, and was deeply interested in church work. 

James T. Fowler, aged eighty, died in James- 
town, October 21, 1918, having been a resi- 
dent of that city for over half a century. He 
was a prominent member of the Chautauqua 
bar, a lover of books, and extremely fond of 
children. Jarvis K. Wilson, aged eighty-two. 
died at his home in Gerry, October 23, 1918. 
He was a lifelong resident of Gerry, and for a 
number of years was superintendent of the 
Gerry Home and Orphanage. 

Chautauqua maintained her prestige among 
solid Republican counties by the usual plurali- 
ties for the county ticket. Judge Arthur B. 
Ottaway was reelected county judge, and Har- 
ley N. Crosby, surrogate, without opposition, 
each of them receiving over 18,000 votes. 
James S. McCallum was elected sheriff by a 
vote of 15,058, and Miss Ellen P. Yates, county 
clerk, by practically 12,000 votes over her near- 
est opponent. 

Daniel A. Reed, of Dunkirk, was elected to 
Congress from the Thirteenth District ; J. Sam- 
uel Fowler, State Senator from the Fifty-first 
District; Hermes L. Ames and Joseph A. Mc- 
Ginnies were reelected to the Assembly from 
the First and Second Chautauqua districts ; 
and David Lincoln was elected coroner to suc- 
ceed Dr. B. F. Illston. For Governor, the 
county went 17,659 for Whitman, 5,864 for 
Alfred A. Smith, the Democratic candidate, 
who was elected. 

The Board of Supervisors met in annual ses- 
sion in Mayville, November 11, 1918, there 
being eleven new members to answer roll call. 
Dr. L. P. McCray was elected chairman ; 
Joseph A. McGinnies, clerk; William L. Nut- 
tall, chairman pro tern. Louis McKinstry was 


elected assistant clerk ; Joseph A. Clary, jour- 
nal clerk; Edmund Dearing, page. During 
the first session of the board, F. J. McCarthy, 
of Hanover, was stricken and quickly passed 

With other newly-elected county officials, 
Miss Ellen P. Yates entered upon the duties of 
clerk of Chautauqua county, January 1, 1919, 
one of the first women in the State to assume 
the responsibilities of an important county 

Louis McKinstry, for many years owner and 
editor of the "Fredonia Censor," died at his 
home in Fredonia, March 5, 1919. Although 
not continuous, he gave fifty years of service 
to the county in clerical positions, and year 
after year was unanimously elected assistant 
clerk of the Board of Supervisors. He attended 
the session of the board late in December, 1918, 
but owing to infirmities could not climb the 
stairs to the board room. He did attend the 
annual banquet of the board, and made a char- 
acteristic address which he regarded as his 
farewell. He went to eternal rest and reward 
with the love and respect of the people of 
Chautauqua county. 

On April 1, 1919, more than one hundred 
veteran members of Company E and other 
units of the 108th Regiment, 27th Division, 
United States Army, returned from overseas, 
arrived in Jamestown and were warmly re- 

The death of Miss Minnie E. Fletcher, which 
occurred during the week of April 7, 1919, re- 
moved the last of a family prominent in Chau- 
tauqua county journalism for sixty years, Miss 
Fletcher being the last to retire from news- 
paper work. Her father, Adolphus Fletcher, 
established the Jamestown "Journal" in 1826, 
and until 1892, when the Chautauqua "Demo- 
crat" ceased to exist, Miss Fletcher, better 
known as "Minnie" Fletcher, was city editor of 
that paper. She then became a teacher in the 
Jamestown public schools, age and failing 
health compelling her resignation in 1916. 
"None knew her but to love her, none named 
her but to praise." 

Judge Jerome B. Fisher, for ten years judge 
of Chautauqua county and for fourteen years 
reporter of New York State Supreme Court, 
died June 18, 1919. He was eminent in the law, 
prominent in the fraternal orders and in the 
politics of the county and a most graceful elo- 
quent public speaker. 

William N. Gokey, who for forty years had 
been identified with Jamestown's business 
interests, died in Jamestown, October 6, 1919. 



Ernest F. Rowley, at one time an extensive 
manufacturer of butter and cheese, with a 
chain of factories in Cattaraugus and Chau- 
tauqua counties, died in Kennedy, Chau- 
tauqua county, October 13, 1919. He served 
as supervisor from Ellington in 18S9 and 1890, 
and was a factor in county affairs for a score of 

The usual Republican majories prevailed at 
the November election in 1919. William S. 
Stearns was reelected district attorney ; Frank 
S. Wheeler, special county judge; Robert R. 
Cooper, special surrogate ; Edward B. Osgood, 
coroner; Hermes L. Ames, Assemblyman from 
the First Chautauqua District ; Joseph A. Mc- 
Ginnies, Assemblyman from the Second Dis- 
trict. Five supervisors were elected from Dun- 
kirk instead of two, six from Jamestown in- 
stead of three, and two from Harmony, owing 
to a change in the law and to a division of the 
town of Harmony, the new town being known 
as North Harmony. 

The annual meeting of the Board of Super- 
visors elected in 1918 was called to order No- 
vember 10, 1919, the roll-call disclosing every 
member present. Supervisor Pettit spoke feel- 
ingly of the departed Louis McKinstry, who for 
thirty-two years had been assistant clerk of the 
board, and asked the members to rise in re- 
spect to his memory. Dr. L. P. McCray was 
reelected chairman, W. L. Nuttall, chairman 
pro ton., and J. A. McGinnies, clerk. Gerald 
E. Frey was elected assistant clerk; James A. 
Clary, journal clerk ; Edmund Dearing, page. 
On Tuesday, November II, 1919, a great 
crowd witnessed an Armistice Day parade of 
service men of Chautauqua county, who were 
escorted through the streets with great pomp 
and pageantry. The first division of the parade, 
led by Colonel William F. Endress, was en- 
tirely military, Major Charles A. Sandburg in 
command of Company E, 74th Regiment, New 
York National Guard; Major A. Bartholdi 
Peterson in command of service men ; and staff 
of Ira Lou Spring Post, American Legion ; 
service men of Jamestown, Dunkirk, Fredonia, 
Westfield, Silver Creek, Ripley, Brocton, May- 
ville, Sherman, Bemus Point, Falconer, Ken- 
nedy, Ellington, Frewsburg, and other places; 
and allied service men, under the lead of Cap- 
tain George W. Cottis. Next came the serv- 
ice flags, overseas' workers. Red Cross work- 
ers under the direction of Mrs. Harry P. Shel- 
don ; Spanish War veterans and veterans of 
foreign wars ; Jamestown Battalion, State 
Cadets. The second division was historical ; 
the third, industrial ; the fourth, automobile. 

The entire city caught the spirit of enthusiasm 
and the national colors were seen everywhere. 
On Third street was an imposing arch of flags 
and banners which was illuminated at night 
by powerful electric lights. Thousands of vis- 
itors were in the city, and enthusiasm per- 
vaded the crowds which lined the route over 
which the parade passed. About two thousand 
service men of the county marched in the pro- 
cession, all parts being well represented. The 
outstanding feature of the parade, aside from 
its length and the excellence of the floats, was 
the enthusiasm with which the service men 
were received all along the line. 

George E. McLaury, a former supervisor of 
the town of Sheridan, 1897-1905, died Novem- 
ber 12, 1919, aged eighty-one. Henry M. 
Keith, supervisor of the town of Sherman, re- 
cently elected for a seventh term, died Novem- 
ber 17, 1919. The vacancy caused by his death 
was temporarily filled by the appointment of 
I. O. Ottaway, president of the State Bank of 

At the annual meeting of the National 
Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, held at Grand 
Rapids, Michigan, week of November 16, Sher- 
man J. Lowell, of Fredonia, was elected master 
of the National Grange. 

During the night of Friday, November 21, 
1919, Obed Edson, "the grand old man" of 
Chautauqua county, died at the home of his 
son, Walter N. Edson, in Falconer, aged 
eighty-seven years, nine months, four days. A 
detailed account of. his wonderful life and work 
is given elsewhere in this work, but his spirit 
lives in every page of this history, one in which 
he took the deepest interest, and to whose early 
encouragement and loyal support it is largely 
due. Several chapters are entirely from his 
pen, and had not death intervened he would 
have carried out plans he had made for other 
chapters. Well trained in the law, an able ad- 
vocate, an honest man— he stood high among 
his professional brethren of the Chautauqua 
bar. and held the confidence of his clientele and 
of opposing counsel. He was the best informed 
man of his day concerning early Chautauqua 
county history and of the region long before 
the white man came. His historical research, 
early recollections and wonderful memory, 
made him a veritable encyclopedia of local in- 
formation, and he took perhaps greater interest 
in historical research than he did in his profes- 
sion. Living a life of activity and good works, 
quietly pursuing the path that lay before him, 
shirking no responsibility, nor seeking honors 
which did not belong to hirn, he lived and 


,SA l:ri:.\lt AM'S ciikksi: K\cn>i;\ \t \ i; u w i:h ;nT FIRST IN THE COUNTY 



labored long beyond man's allotted years and 

carried with him to the grave the love and 
respect of every Chautauquan who knew him 
or of his work. 

The population of Chautauqua county, its 
towns, villages and cities, has just been an- 
nounced by the Federal Census Bureau, Sep- 
tember i, 1920. The figures for the census of 
1920, as compared with those of 1910 and 1900 
follow : 

Incorporated place 1920 1910 1900 

Chautauqua county 1 15,348 105,126 88,314 

Arkwright town 757 843 918 

Busti town, including Lake- 
wood village 1,995 2.136 2,192 

Carroll town 1,761 1,564 1,684 

Charlotte town, including part 

of Sinclairville village 1,173 1.258 1,406 

Chautauqua town, including 

Mayville village .. ._ 3,533 3,515 3,590 

Cherry Creek town, including 

Cherry Creek village 1,204 1,380 1,745 

Clymer town 1,205 1,164 1,229 

Dunkirk city 19,336 17,221 11,616 

Dunkirk town 512 429 454 

Ellery town, including Bemus 

Point village 1,496 1,695 1,628 

Ellicott town, including Cel- 

oron and Falconer villages.. 5,463 4,371 3,1 18 

Ellington town IJ061 1,235 1,330 

French Creek town 806 882 1,014 

Gerry town, including part of 

Sinclairville village 993 1,155 1,198 

Hanover town, including For- 
estville and Silver Creek vil- 
lages and part of Cattarau- 
gus Indian Reservation .... 6,016 5,670 4,778 

Harmony town, including Pan- 
ama village 1,443 2,847 2,988 

Jamestown city 38,917 31,297 22,892 

Kiantone town 623 520 491 

Mina town 903 1,033 1,038 

North Harmony town* 1,235 

Poland town 1,308 1,447 1,613 

♦Included in Harmony until 1920. 

Pomfret town, including Fre- 

donia village 7,973 7,309 6,313 

Portland town, including Broc- 

ton village 3,140 3,058 2,690 

Ripley town 2,116 2,239 2,256 

Sluridan town 1,887 1,888 1,633 

Sherman town, including Sher- 
man village 1,467 1,568 1,560 

Stockton town 1,674 1,781 1,852 

Villenova town 961 1,140 1,208 

Westfield town, including West- 
field village 4,390 4,481 3,882 

Incorporated places : 1920 1910 1900 

Bemus Point village 227 

Brocton village 1,383 1,181 900 

Celoron village 757 619 506 

Cherry Creek village 527 606 701 

Dunkirk city 19,336 17,221 11,616 

Falconer village 2,742 2,141 1,136 

Forestville village 620 721 623 

Fredonia village* 6,051 5,285 4,127 

Jamestown city** 38,917 31,297 22,892 

Lakewood village 714 564 574 

Mayville village 1,442 1,122 943 

Panama village 298 337 359 

Sherman village 847 836 760 

Silver Creek village 3,260 2,512 1,944 

Sinclairville village 514 542 577 

Westfield village 3,413 2,985 2,430 

Dunkirk and Jamestown cities by Wards : 

1920 1915 

Dunkirk city 19,336 

Ward I 6,047 

Ward 2 4,005 

Ward 3 4,178 

Ward 4 5,io6 

Jamestown city 38,917 37,780 

Ward I 4,825 4,662 

Ward 2 5,606 4,536 

Ward 3 5,633 5,446 

Ward 4 6,909 8,034 

Ward 5 8,604 7,942 

Ward 6 7,340 7,160 

*No wards. 
♦♦Previously announced as 38,898. 

Towns : Arkwright 

Arkwright— The town of Arkwright, in the 
northern part of the county, surrounded north, 
east, south and west by Sheridan, Villenova, 
Charlotte and Pomfret, was formed from Pom- 
fret and Villenova, April 13, 1829. The high- 
est points in the town range from eleven hun- 
dred to twelve hundred feet above Lake Erie. 
Sheridan separates Arkwright from Lake Erie 
and Villenova from Cattaraugus county. While 
the original forests have all been felled and 
given way to the fields, and the soil is well 
adapted to the raising of crops, agriculture is 
not the leading industry of the town, the hilly 

Busti — Carroll — Charlotte — Chautauqua — Cherry Creek — Clymer. 

nature of the town making it more profitable 
for grazing. The chief source of wealth is the 
dairy product, which compares favorably with 
the other towns of Chautauqua county. 

Arkwright has the distinction of having ab- 
solutely no aliens among its inhabitants, the 
entire population in 191 5 — 843 — being all citi- 
zens, according to the New York State census. 

There are many points of comparison in 
which the town is surpassed by its neighbors, 
yet there is no scenery in the county so pic- 
turesque and beautiful as that at and near Ark- 
wright Falls. There banks of shale rise pre- 


cipitately from one hundred to one hundred 
and fifty feet, their tops covered with shrub- 
bery and delicious wintergreen to tempt the 
skill of the visitor in climbing. The student 
of geology, go where he may, will find much 
to interest him, as nature's work is plainly 

Original Purchases: 

1807 — November, Zattu Cushing, 63 (articled to 
Uriah L. Johnson). 

1809 — June, Benj. Sprague, 56; August, Aug. Burn- 
ham, 60; Ed. McGregor, 62; September, Oliver Taylor, 
55; October, Aaron Wilcox, 56; November, Nathan 
Eaton, 64; Benj. Perry, 64. 

1810 — January, Horace Clough, 42; May, Aug. Burn- 
ham, 56. 

1812 — March, Robt. Cowden, 54. 

1814 — October, Moses Tucker, 62; November, Dan- 
iel Harris, 53. 

181 5— October, Robt. W. Seaver, 37. 

1816 — February, Abiram Orton, 55; December, Tha- 
dius Barnard, 16. 

1817 — March, Robt. Cowden, 53; April, Jabez Har- 
rington, 39. 

1818— March, Silas Matteson, 8. 

1821— July, Isaiah Martin, 3; October, Bela Kings- 
ley, 13; Hiram Kingsley, 13. 

1822— March, Simeon Smith, Jr., 39; Caleb Weaver, 
Jr., 39; April, David Weaver, 31; John Weaver, 32; 
Bethnel Harvey, 12; October Ashbel Scott, 10; No- 
vember, Asahel Burnham, 26, 27; Moses and Aaron 
Luce, 18. 

1823 — July, Sylvester Gould, 42; August, Stephen 
Chase, 2; November, Orestes Thatcher, 18. 

1824 — September, Simeon Clinton, 21; October, 
Benj. White, 28; Arna Wood, 51. 

1825 — September, Stephen Chase (2d), 9; October, 
Ellsworth Griswold, 25. 

1826 — January, Andrus M. Huyck, 16; July, Wm. F. 
Peebles, Jr., 33; October, Zephania Briggs, 42; Abijah 
Mason, 8. 

1828— January, Benj. Perry, 47. 

Among the early settlers were : Byron T. 
Orton, Benjamin Perry and Augustus Burn- 
ham, who settled in the northwestern part of 
the town in 1807; Aaron Wilcox, 1809; Na- 
than Eaton, 1810; Uriah Johnson and John 
Sprague, 181 1 ; A. Z. Wilson and Robert Cow- 
den, 1812. On May 11, 181 1, the first white 
child, Horatio Nelson Johnson, was born in 
the town ; the first death was that of Augustus 
Burnham, in 1813 ; the first marriage, Chaun- 
cey Andrews to Louisa Wilson, was solemn- 
ized in 1814. Isaiah Martin built the first 
frame house in 1814, and kept the first tavern. 
Lucy Dewey taught the first school in 1813. 
Benjamin Orton built the first saw mill in 1818. 
The first religious services were held in the 
house of Aaron Wilcox in 1810 by Rev. John 
Spencer, and in 1820 Elder Thomas Grennel 
organized the first Baptist church. William 
Wilcox was elected the first supervisor of the 
town in 1830. 

One of the oldest and most influential citi- 
zens was Simeon Clinton, born in Ballston, 
Saratoga county, February 13, 1779. In early 
life he moved to Fly Creek, Otsego county, 
where he remained about fifteen years. In 
1813 he journeyed to Buffalo and thence along 
the shores of Lake Erie until he nearly reached 
the present site of Dunkirk, then leaving the 
lake he arrived at the present township of 
Gerry, near Canadaway or Mill Creek, where 
he sold his horse and invested the proceeds in 
a farm. He then returned home, sold all of his 
possessions except some cooking utensils and 
furniture, loading these into his wagon to- 
gether with his wife and three children, the 
youngest, one year old, and started with his 
ox-team for his newly purchased home. When 
he arrived at Buffalo he found it had been 
burned by the British, and only a single house 
standing. While passing from Buffalo to Dun- 
kirk he and his family had a narrow escape 
from being thrown from a rocky cliff into the 
lake. After many hardships they arrived at 
their Gerry home. He remained here only a 
short time, for the creek overflowed and came 
near carrying away his dwelling. Selling his 
place, he purchased a new farm at the center 
of the present site of Arkwright, 1813, on 
which he resided to the time of his death, April 
29, 1858. Mr. Clinton, an honest and educated 
man, took great interest in public affairs and 
was instrumental in forming the township of 
Arkwright. He was the first postmaster, and 
held his office for twenty years. The first town 
meeting was held at his house, May 2, 1830. 
At different times he held the office of justice 
of the peace, superintendent of schools, town 
clerk and commissioner of deeds. He made 
the first survey of the plot of Dunkirk. He 
also surveyed the present site of Sinclairville, 
and with the help of Mr. Peacock laid out the 
Chautauqua road. He understood weaving 
plain cloth and flowered and figured flannel. 
A short time before his death he was talking 
to a neighbor, when a fly lit on his hand, which 
he killed with the other. "There," said he, 
"when I pass from time to eternity, I wish to 
go just as quick as that." It seems that his 
request was granted, for while he was stand- 
ing in his barn door he was struck by lightning 
and instantly killed. 

Arkwright was the first town in the State to 
establish extensively the cooperative system in 
the manufacture of cheese. Asahel Burnham 
was the first to institute that industry on a 
large scale. He was the grandson of the pio- 
neer of that name, the first settler of Ark- 


l W 

wright. He was born in Arkwright, about 
1826. He had poor opportunities for educa- 
tion and no business experience; he had, how- 
ever, energy and natural business ability. In 
early years he was a farmer. Prior to 1861, 
each farmer manufactured his own butter and 
cheese; that year Mr. Burnham built in Ark- 
wright the first cheese factory in the county 
upon the cooperative plan, at Burnham's Hol- 
low on Canadaway creek, and was called the 
Canadaway Cheese Factory. While still owner 
of this factory, in 1865 he built the second of 
the kind in the county at Sinclairville, which it 
is believed was at that time the largest in the 
State. That year in this factory he manufac- 
tured into cheese 4,349,364 pounds of milk from 
1,450 cows, belonging to 120 patrons and made 
7,200 cheese, each weighing 60 pounds, a por- 
tion of the time 60 cheese a day. He also built 
and owned factories in adjacent towns. He 
was called the "Cheese King," because he 
bought and handled a large portion of the 
cheese made in Western New York. 

The cooperative system in the manufacture 
of cheese thus established by Burnham grew 
into a great industry. In Arkwright in its three 
cheese factories were made 263,403 pounds of 
full-cream cheese in 1902. In the county the 
same year in thirty-five cheese factories 3,307,- 
93S pounds were made. Of the fifty-four but- 
ter and cheese counties in the State, Chau- 
tauqua county ranked eleventh. In 1902 in its 
thirty-four butter factories 3,243,940 pounds of 
butter were made, and the county stood fourth 
in rank in the State in quantity. The four 
counties that exceeded it were each much 
greater in extent, and Chautauqua ranked 
above them according to its territory in the 
quantity of butter made. 

Mr. Burnham was noted all over the United 
States as the owner of a famous stable of 
thoroughbreds, his most noted racer being 
"Brambaletta." He had for an emblem a pine- 
apple cheese, which he emblazoned on his 
jockey's colors. 

Supervisors — 1830-36, Wm. Wilcox; 1837-40, 
Levi Baldwin; 1841, Lewis E. Danforth; 1842, 
Levi Baldwin; 1843, Lewis E. Danforth; 1844- 
52, Wm. Wilcox; 1853-4, Levi Baldwin ; 1855-6, 
Chauncey Abbey; 1857, Levi Baldwin; 1858-9, 
Chauncey Abbey; 1 860-1, John C. Griswold; 
1862-5, Chauncey Abbey; 1866, John C. Gris- 
wold; 1867, Delos J. Rider; 1868, John C. Gris- 
wold; 1869, Oscar H. Houck; 1870, Levi C. 
Baldwin; 1871-2, Leander S. Phelps; 1873-5, 
Geo. W. Briggs; 1876, John C. Griswold; 
1877-8, Edson I. Wilcox; 1879-80, Ezra Scott; 

1881-2, Richmond Putnam; 1883, Eaton Burn- 
ham ; 1884, John C. Griswold ; 1885, Ezra Scott ; 
1886-7, Cassius M. Griswold; 1888, Richmond 
Putnam; 1889-91, Chas. E. Cole; 1892-5, Mar- 
vin Cardot; 1896-9, Frank W. Horton ; 1900-1, 
Marvin Cardot ; 1902-5, Marvin Horton ; 1906-9, 
Edes A. Tarbox; 1910-13, Chas. C. Cole; 1914- 
17, Rawson A. Matthewson ; 1918-19, John A. 
Griswold; 1920, Edgar M. Towns. 

There are 22,083 acres included within Ark- 
wright limits, of which the equalized assessed 
value in 1918 was $354,414; full value, $451,731. 
The villages of the town are Arkwright and 
Griswold. The schools are excellent, and sev- 
eral religious denominations are represented 
by _ congregations and church edifices. Ark- 
wright's farmers and public men have always 
been of a high class and influential in county 

Busti — Extending from Chautauqua Lake 
south to the Pennsylvania line and from the 
town of Kiantone on the east to the town of 
Harmony on the west, Busti contains an area 
of 29,152 acres, or about forty-five and one- 
half square miles. 

The town was organized from Ellicott and 
Harmony, April 16, 1823, and named for Paul 
Busti, general agent of the Holland Land Com- 

Original Purchases: 

1810 — April, Saml. Griffith, 4; May, Theo. Bemus, 
12; December, Jonas Lamphear, 48. 

1811 — March, Wm. Matteson, Jr., 40 (Ellicott); May, 
Jedediah Chapin, 4; Palmer Phillips, 11; October, 
Nath. Fenner, 15. 

1812 — February, Jos. Phillips, II ; March, Anthony 
Fenner, 6; Thos. Fenner, Jr., 15; April, Theron Plumb, 
7; August, Barnabas Wellman, Jr., 38; Reuben Lan- 
don, 7. 

1814 — May, Arba Blodgett, 25; Elisha Devereaux, 1; 
July, Asa Smith, 2; October, Wm. Bullock, 17. 

1815 — April, Peter Frank, 5, 6; June, Josiah Thomp- 
son, 28; Cyrenus Blodgett, 33; Ford Wellman, 47; No- 
vember, Josiah Palmeter, 15. 

1816— April, Harris Terry, 63 ; October, Harris 
Terry, 47. 

1817 — September, Nicholas Sherman, 16; Lyman 
Crane, 8. 

1818 — September, Wm. Gifford; October, Samuel 
Hart, 8. 

1822 — September, Ransom Curtis, 39; November, 
Peleg Trask, 17; Jared Farnam, Jr., 34. 

1823— June, Jos. Taylor, 39; October, Ethan Allen, 
45; Silas C. Carpenter, Isaac Foster, 54. 

1824 — February, John Badgley, 43; March, Ford 
Wellman, 54 (Harmony); July, Elijah B. Burt, 37; 
October, Barnabas Wellman, 31; November, John 
Kent, 30; December, Saml. Darling, 35. 

1825 — January, John Buck, Jr., 20; February, Xavier 
Abbott, 10; March, Jarius Buck, 19; June, David 
Hatch, 7; August, Wm. Nichols, 38; Geo. Martin, 13. 

1826— November, Benj. A. Slayton, 43. 

1827 — September, Alex. Young, 24. 


A tannery was built by John Frank in 1812. 
The first vats were made of logs. It was 
burned, and rebuilt, and continued until about 
1865. No other tannery, it is believed, was 
ever in this town. The last factory established 
by Mr. Frank, was destroyed by fire and not 
rebuilt. A trip hammer built by Giles Chip- 
man and Lyman Fargo continued for several 
years. Uriah Hawks later built a chair and 
spinning wheel factory, which was discon- 
tinued on account of the difficulty of maintain- 
ing dams on the streams. 

The first blacksmith shop is said to have 
been Patrick Camel's, at the tannery. Next, 
Chipman and Fargo commenced business near 
Camel's, and removed sixty rods south and 
added the manufacture of edged tools with a 
trip hammer. The first store was kept by Van 
Velzer, about 1830. Stephen J. Brown was 
probably the first physician. He came about 
1837, and practiced about twenty years. Be- 
fore his death, Dr. Bennett came and practiced 
a few years. 

The first saw mill at Busti Corners was built 
by Heman Bush. A clock factory was built 
in 1830, by Samuel Chappel and James Sart- 
well, and continued several years. After its 
discontinuance, a grist mill was built on the 
same site by Heman Bush and another after- 
wards by Francis Soule. 

Busti's lake front is now almost a continu- 
ous village of summer resorts from one end to 
the other, beginning with Lakewood, with its 
large hotels, parks, drives, promenades, golf 
links, and many attractive homes. Lakewood 
is connected with Jamestown by a modern 
electric railway, and has an excellent steam- 
boat service. Above Lakewood are Clifford, 
Lowe and Sherman parks, which are each year 
presenting added attractions for summer vis- 
itors. Below Lakewood's Shady Side, a most 
beautiful spot, and still farther east at Clement 
Park and Squier's Park, are many costly sum- 
mer homes. In the western part of the town 
is the village of Boomertown, on the Erie rail- 
road ; and in the southern central part is the 
village of Busti, a quiet rural community made 
up largely of descendants of the early families 
of the town ; Stoddard, Broadhead, Gallup, 
Hazeltine, Jones, Martin, Curtis, Northrop, 
Matteson, Frank, Andrews and Babcock are 
all familiar names in Busti's past and present. 
Busti is without railroad connection, but is 
a thriving and prosperous village, with three 
churches, a union school, grist and saw mills, 
and modern stores. 

According to the State census of 1915 the 
town of Busti had a population of 2,279 citi- 

zens and 52 aliens. The assessed value of real 
estate in the town in 1918 was $1,894,651 ; full 
value, $2,460,585. The town is strictly a farm- 
ing, grazing and residence district, there being 
no factories of importance. 

Palmer Phillips came to Busti in 181 1. He 
became well known as a maker of the best 
grain cradles and hand rakes. Rev. John 
Broadhead, another well-known pioneer, was 
a Methodist minister, and in 1835 came to 
Busti from Green county, New York, the first 
Broadhead to settle in Chautauqua county. 
The Blodgett family left a deep impress upon 
the history of Busti. The founder, Arba 
Blodgett, a soldier of the War of 1812, settled 
in the town near the State line in the south- 
western part soon after his military service 
ended. In that day town meetings were held 
in private houses and the owner of the house 
was expected to and did furnish liquor for the 
voters. This rule was first broken in Busti by 
Arba Blodgett, who in the face of ridicule and 
criticism refused to furnish the customary 
bottle of whiskey. He was a strong Abolition- 
ist, and tradition says his home was a station 
on the Underground Railroad. Loren Blodgett, 
son of Arba, "was known throughout the 
United States as a statistician, economist and 
journalist ; and his works connected with the 
Smithsonian Institution and Treasury Depart- 
ment won for him a reputation as one of the 
world's greatest statistical compilers." He 
was in charge of the Department of Physical 
Research at the Smithsonian Institution, 
Washington City, and assisted in supervising 
the survey for the Union Pacific railroad. He 
was later placed in charge of the financial and 
statistical reports of the United States Treas- 
ury Department ; was general appraiser of cus- 
toms, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ; chief of the 
customs division of the United States Treas- 
ury Department, and appraiser of customs, 
New York City. He died in Busti in 1837, 
meeting an accidental death. 

Near the Blodgetts lived the family of Wil- 
liam Storum, colored, whose daughter married 
Lewis Clark, a fugitive slave from whose life 
Harriet Beecher Stowe drew the character of 
George Harris for "Uncle Tom's Cabin." A 
granddaughter of William Storum married a 
son of Frederick Douglass. This Storum home 
was the scene of a cruel incident in 1851, when 
a runaway slave from the South was taken 
from there and returned to his old masters. 

The Gallup family came in 1828 from Otsego 
county, bringing their effects drawn by an ox- 
team. The Gallup farm, on the mail route be- 
tween Busti and Sugargrove, which long held 

- i* v ^!«t>r -*? * * » . fas* 





the reputation of being tilled and most produc- 
tive in the town, was converted into a poultry 
farm, and under its owner, Miss Flora Gallup, 
a former high school teacher of Jamestown, 
gained enviable reputation. 

The first hotel in Busti was built by Heman 
Bush, and the first town meeting was held in 
"the long room" of this hotel, March 2, 1824. 
Daniel Sherman, father of Daniel Sherman, of 
Forestville, was the first supervisor. 

Rev. Ira Stoddard came to Busti in 1825, and 
was pastor of the Baptist church many years. 
His descendants ranked among the influential 
and respected citizens of the town. Oren Stod- 
dard (a relative), a well-known citizen from 
1840 until his death, was a man of considerable 
inventive genius. He erected a steam saw mill 
and a basket factory and much of the machin- 
ery was his own invention. In 1878 he built a 
large brick house, the second brick house in the 

George Stoneman, of Chenango county, was 
a neighbor of Daniel Sherman, the first super- 
visor. He was somewhat eccentric. He built 
a saw mill west of the residence of the late 
Abram Sherman, on a little bank within a few 
rods of the lake shore, with no visible water 
power. The question was often asked, where 
is the water to come from to run the thing 
when he gets it built? An old farmer asked 
Mr. Stoneman where he was going to get 
water, to which he replied, "You see, don't you, 
that I have built close to the lake, where is 
always plenty of water." "Yes, I see ; but how 
are you going to get the water above the null?" 
"Bring it in corn baskets," was the prompt 
reply. But soon a force of men and teams was 
constructing a race and for many years the 
"corn basket, or dry saw mill" was operated 
with more or less profit to the owner and as a 
great convenience to farmers and lumbermen. 

Later, when there were no steamers on Chau- 
tauqua Lake, Mr. Stoneman constructed a 
horse-boat, built upon two huge dug-out 
canoes. These canoes were placed several feet 
apart and decked over from one to the other, 
catamaran style. An immense horizontal 
wheel extended across the deck, upon which 
the horses traveled. The under surface of this 
wheel was geared to the shaft of a paddle 
wheel in the center of the boat — the motive 
power, a horse on each side of the boat. Upon 
assuming command of this quaint craft, his 
friends dubbed him Commodore Stoneman. 
The commodore's boat could make the round 
trip in from three to four days, and in those 
easy-going times this means of transportation 
was quite liberally patronized. George Stone- 

man was father of Gen. George Stoneman, of 
the United States army, who was elected Gov- 
ernor of California after the close of the war. 
John Stoneman, another son, became a lawyer, 
went West, and became a State Senator. One 
of the four daughters, Kate Stoneman, of Al- 
bany Normal School, was the first woman law- 
yer in the State of New York. 

Uriah Bentley settled in what is now the 
town of Busti in 1810. He was a brave and 
sturdy pioneer, a practical cooper and black- 
smith. He built in 1837 a large brick house, 
the first of its kind in Southern Chautauqua 
county. This house was the later summer resi- 
dence of Fred A. Bentley, then president of the 
Bank of Jamestown. 

Daniel Sherman, the first supervisor, and his 
two brothers, Isaac and Nicholas, were among 
the early settlers. They took up large tracts 
of land, and were men of thrift and influence. 
The Wellmans settled in the southwestern part 
of the town, and in 1812 Mr. Wellman was 
called to the defense of Buffalo. The Garfields 
settled in the southeastern part of the town, 
and for many years were famous as farmers 
and county fair exhibitors. 

Elias H. Jenner was a well-known school 
teacher, and for more than twenty years was 
clerk of the board of county supervisors. 

Gideon Gifford came from Cambridge, 
Washington county, in the spring of 1828, 
moving his family and household goods with 
a young span of horses and a covered wagon. 
He purchased over three hundred acres of land 
bordering on Chautauqua Lake, the southern 
portion of which he selected for the site of his 
future home, known as the Gifford homestead 
and later owned and occupied by one of the 
sons, Walter C. Gifford. The first house was a 
post and beam house, shingled outside with 
pine shaved shingles, some ten to twelve inches 
in width. The nails were cut by hand, even 
the shingle nails. The door trimmings and 
nails were brought with the family from Wash- 
ington county. In the early years he traveled 
on foot over a large section of the county in 
the employ of Mr. Peacock, agent of the Hol- 
land Land Company. For a long period and 
until his eyesight failed, he spent much time 
in surveying, especially in laying out roads 
and establishing disputed boundaries. The 
original farm is nearly all owned by his de- 

The Baptist church of Busti was organized 
August 30, 1819. by a council consisting of 
Elders Ebenezer Smith, Paul Davis and Jona- 
than Wilson. Members uniting at that time 
were: Daniel Startwell, Enoch Alden, Ebenezer 


Davis, Benjamin Covel, and, it is believed, 
Henry L., John L. and John Frank, Jr., and 
Elijah Devereux were also first members. A 
few days later William Frank and Anna Shep- 
pard were admitted. The first church edifice 
was erected in 1836, the present one in 1853. 
Rev. Paul Jones was the first pastor. The 
Methodist Episcopal church of Busti Corners 
was organized in 1819, by Rev. Alvin Burgess, 
with sixty members, and a church edifice was 
erected the same year. 

The value of real estate in the town of Busti 
in 1918 was $2,460,585; equalized assessed 
value, $1,930,504. 

Daniel Sherman, the first supervisor of the 
town, served in 1824-28, 1833; Emri Davis, Sr., 
1829-32-34-35-40-47-61-62; Pardon Hazeltine, 
1S36-39; Henry C. Sherman, 1841-45; Stephen 
J. Brown, 1843; Lorenzo Matthews, 1843-48- 
50-53; Theron Palmeter, 1851-52-54; John B. 
Babcock, 1855; Emri Davis, Jr., 1856-58; John 
A. Hall, 1859-60-71 ; William B. Martin, 1866- 
67; Harmon G. Mitchell, 1869-70; Alonzo C. 
Pickard, 1873-75 I Jerome Babcock, 1876-78-88- 
89; Barber Babcock, 1879-80; Jacob B. Foster, 
1881-82; Fred A. Bentley, 1883-85; Warren 
Frank, 1867-68; William Northrop, 1890-97; 
Dr. A. J. Bennett, 1898-1901 ; Fred A. Bentley, 
1902-03; Ellsworth J. Dougherty, 1904-07; J. 
William Sandbury, 1908-10; John I. Veness, 
191 1 ; Jesse A. Foster, 1912-13; Fred A. Sim- 
mons, 1914-17; Axel Levin, 1918-20. 

Carroll — The town of Carroll, in the extreme 
southeastern part of the county, was erected 
in 1825 from the town of Ellicott, and named 
in honor of Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, the 
immortal Signer, who in affixing his name to 
the Declaration of Independence added his 
residence, that there might be no doubt of his 
identity if misfortune overtook the cause for 
which he was risking his life and fortune. 

The town, broken and hilly in the northeast 
and east parts and rolling in the south and 
southwest, originally included the present 
town of Kiantone, which was set off from Car- 
roll in 1853. Conewango creek forms the 
greater part of the boundary line between the 
two towns, entering Carroll from the north and 
continuing to the Pennsylvania line. The town 
contains 20,658 acres, the highest summits, be- 
ing 1,400 feet above tidewater. Frewsburg, on 
the Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & Pittsburgh 
railroad, is a thriving village with important 
industrial establishments — The Carroll Furni- 
ture Company, the Frewsburg Canning Com- 
pany, and the Merrell-Soule Company, dairy 
products. There are in Frewsburg four small 

Other villages of the town are Fentonville 
in the south, Dodge in the east, and Ivory in 
the north. The population of Carroll, accord- 
ing to the State census of that year, was 1,714, 
of whom seven only were aliens. 

'Original Purchases: 

1S0S— July, Joel Tyler, 51; Geo. Sloan, 59 (now 

iSop — March. Samuel Anderson, 57 (now Kiantone); 
June, Charles Boyles, 42; Isaac Walton, 41. 

1810 — March, G<jo. W. Fenton, 52. 

1811 — October, Matt. Turner, 53; November, Eben- 
ezer Cheney, 54; Matt. Turner, 54. 

1S12 — January, John Frew, 61. 

1813 — September, Robt. Russell. 57 (lot now in Kian- 
tone); December, Amasa Littlefield, 36. 

1814 — -March, Ebenezer Cheney, 36; May, Ebenezer 
Cheney, 46, 47, 54, 55; Ebenezer Davis, 2,7', Benj. Jones, 
23, 28; Levi Jones, 24, 2S; Elijah Braley, 43; Horatio 
Dix, 28; July, James Hall, 54; September, Aaron 
Forbes, 64; November, Robt. Russell, 57 (now in Kian- 

1815 — March. Josiah H. Wheeler, 46; Wheeler and 
Hall, 32. 40; Wm. Sears, 31. 

181 5 — May, Jona. Covell, 43; Eli Eames, 38. 

1817 — May, Benj. Russell, 30. 

181S — May, Aaron Forbes, 64; November, Levi 
Jones, 23. 

1819 — January, Josiah H. Wheeler, 39. 

1820 — June, John Frew, 62. 

1S21 — November, John Myers (lot not given). 

1822 — September, Isaac Eames, 39. 

1823 — October, James Hall, 15. 

1S24 — January, John and James Frew, 20; February, 
John Myers, 20; April, John Frew, 27; September, 
Daniel Wheeler, 27; October, Truman Comstock, 31. 

1826 — May, Hiram Covey, 14; James Covey, 14; 
Jonah R. Covey, 14; June, Taylor Aldrich, 28. 

1827 — June, Wm. Haines, 26; John F. Bragg, 48; 
October, Robt. Russell, 49. 

The first settlers were John Frew on lot 61, 
and Thomas Russell on west half of lot 53 at 
the mouth of Frew Run. In the spring of 1809 
John Frew paid $2.25 an acre, built a log cabin, 
and put in crops in 1810. A few months later, 
George W. Fenton sold his farm on Chadakoin 
river and located on lot 52, south of and adjoin- 
ing the lands of Frew and Russell. Frew and 
Russell built a saw mill in 1810, and com- 
menced sawing the next spring. They ran the 
sawed boards to Pittsburgh. James Frew was 
connected with them in building the mill, and 
purchased Russell's interest in 1814. In 1817, 
with their father, Hugh Frew, they built an 
"overshot" gristmill, using the gearing and 
stones of their father's old mill in Pennsyl- 
vania. George W. Fenton developed a large 
farm, and opened the first store in Frews- 
burg. John Tyler was on lot 51 by June, 
1808; his son Hamilton, born 1810, was the 
first white child born in the present town. 
Isaac Walton was on lot 41 and Charles Boyles 
on lot 42 in trje summer of 1809. 

in the 


The first marriage of the town was William 
Boyles to Jerusha Walton in 1811. Young 
says that Benjamin Covell, born in Harwich, 
Mass., in 1761, was at the taking of Burgoyne, 
at Sullivan's defeat, and the battle of Mon- 
mouth. He married Sybil Purkee, and re- 
moved in 1810 to Carroll, where he died, No- 
vember 27, 1822. At that time all of his sons 
and daughters, his brother Seth and nephew 
Simeon, were living near him, and the settle- 
ment was called "Covelltown." They "were 
active in getting the first bridge built across 
the Conewango at Covelltown." Benjamin 
Covell took up in December, 1810, lot 2, town 
1, range 11, in Kiantone. They went in canoes 
to Warren to trade and to Work's mill with 
"grists." Lumbering commenced early, and a 
transient population came to work in the 
woods, in the mills and in rafting, sometimes 
bringing a family. John Myers opened a tavern 
in 1814 on the Conewango about a mile from 
Frewsburg, and the same year William Sears 
established one on lot 11 (Kiantone). In 1816 
John Owen began a tavern at Fentonville, also 
a ferry. In the rafting season these taverns 
were centers of great mirth and enjoyment ; 
the raftsmen more than filled the houses and 
would quarrel for the privilege of lying on the 
bar-room floor in order to hear Owen tell his 

Perhaps no other township in the county has 
had so many saw mills at the same time as Car- 
roll. John Frew assisted Edward Work to 
build his saw mill at Work's Mills in 1808, and 
the first lumber cut by Frew was plank for 
eight flatboats which he built and took to May- 
ville for salt which he ran to Pittsburgh. "The 
same John Frew brought on his back from 
Dunkirk a bushel-and-a-half bag of salt for the 
settlers, who were in perishing need of it. It 
was also John Frew who in 1813 killed the 
last deer killed at the great deer lick in the 
four corners of Main and Third streets of 
Jamestown." He was supervisor, 1816-22, and 
was selected for higher offices, but would not 
except. He had sound judgment, strict integ- 
rity, and was the active man of the commu- 
nity. He died in 1865, aged 76. His brother 
James was a quiet, unostentatious man of 
great worth, a good marksman, hunter and 
mechanic. In 1812 he served on Harrison's 
Indian campaign. He married Rebecca, daugh- 
ter of Josiah H. Wheeler, and was accidentally 
killed August 24, 1834, at the age of forty- 
three, at a "raising." His sons were : John H., 
Miles, Josiah, Jefferson; and David, who lived 
to a good old age and had the respect of all. 
John and James Frew were sons of Hugh and 

Mary (Russell) Frew, of County Down, Ire- 
land. Hugh was a miller and came to Frews- 
burg in 1817 to operate the new gristmill. He 
died in 1831, aged 73. 

George W. Fenton, son of Roswell Fenton, 
was born in Hanover, N. H., December 20, 
1783. In 1804 he went to Philadelphia, Pitts- 
burgh and Louisville. Returning to Pitts- 
burgh, Mr. Fenton made canoe trips for sev- 
eral years with goods and provisions up the 
Allegheny river and to French creek. In the 
winter of 1805-06 he taught the first school at 
Warren, became acquainted with John Owen 
and family, and married Elsie Owen. The next 
spring they settled near Levant, one of the first 
three families of Ellicott. Joseph Ellicott, who 
came in 1807 to survey the township into lots, 
engaged Mr. Fenton to help him survey Car- 
roll. While earning good wages he gained 
thorough knowledge of the town. Selling his 
Levant home to John Arthur, he purchased 
627 acres, made a permanent residence in 1809, 
and died March 3, i860. His children were: 
Roswell O., born September 6, 1807, the first 
white child born in Chautauqua south of the 
ridge ; George W., William H. H., John F., 
Reuben E., Governor of New York and United 
States Senator. 

John Owen was a native of Windsor, Conn., 
and a soldier of the old French War and the 
Revolution. He came from the Susquehanna 
Valley to Warren in 1806, and, in 1808 located 
on lot 57, town 2, range 10, in Poland. In 1816 
he sold his farm and located in Carroll on lot 
41, where he resided twenty-seven years. He 
kept a tavern on the road that crossed the 
Conewango at the State line, also a ferry. 
Many a man has laughed at the old man's 
stories and jokes till his sides were sore. He 
claimed that in his early days he never found 
but one man that got the better of him in a 
fair "stand-up" fight. Owen served with the 
English in the attack on Quebec in the old 
French War, and was under Ethan Allen, May 
10, 1775, at Ticonderoga. He died in Carroll, 
February 6, 1843, aged 107 years, ten months, 
eight days. Ira Owen came with his father 
John to the Conewango and settled east of 
him. He was with the Chautauqua militia at 
the battle of Buffalo, and was a brave soldier 
and excellent marksman. While in line, sev- 
eral of his company had been shot by some foe 
in their rear; presently the third man to his 
right was shot. Owen discovered an Indian 
lowering his rifle from the head of a flour bar- 
rel eighty yards distant. Drawing his rifle to 
his face, when the Indian's head appeared in 
view the dusky intruder fell back to trouble 


them no more. On the retreat from Black 
Rock he killed a pursuing Indian. Seeing him 
fall, Owen ran to rescue his rifle, belt and pow- 
der horn, but the bullets whistled so close that 
he only succeeded in getting the rifle. Reuben 
Owen, second son of John, lived on the old 
homestead until his death ; he married Han- 
nah Clark. Alvin, youngest son of John, lived 
at Fentonville, married Miss Haley, had three 
children, and was drowned in the Conewango 
by the upsetting of his skiff. 

John Myers and his thirteen children became 
closely connected with Carroll. Six of his 
sons, John, Jacob, Robert, Lyman, William and 
James, and two of his daughters, became per- 
manent citizens. He enjoyed life, while hav- 
ing a shrewd eye to business, and transmitted 
his cheery temperament to his children. Hiram 
Dickinson, son of Gideon Dickinson, a soldier 
of the Revolution, was born in 1800, in Wil- 
liamstown, Vermont. In 1S18 he married Sally 
Pierce, of Hoosick, Rensselaer county. In 
February, 1819, they started for Chautauqua 
county, arriving here after traveling just one 
month with an ox-team over almost impassa- 
ble roads, there being only a sled track most of 
the way. They came with a wagon as far as 
Nunda, where they found the snow so deep 
they were forced to load their goods on a sled. 
Their load of three thousand pounds consisted 
mostly of household goods and farming uten- 
sils, also a box containing two very fine pigs, 
of a superior kind, and at that time sought 
after far and near; they were known as the 
"Dickinson breed" for many years. When the 
family arrived at Jamestown, they stayed all 
night in one of the first hotels of the place — 
a shell of rough boards, with loose partitions 
and floors. From there they started for their 
new home. There were but few families for 
miles around, and no store nearer than the 
"Prendergast store" at Jamestown. On arriv- 
ing at their destination, the place later owned 
and occupied by A. Hiller, in Carroll, they 
commenced housekeeping in the usual manner 
of those days. 

"About 1825 James Cowan settled on Case 
Run. He was a noted hunter and while in 
search of game he penetrated the dense wilder- 
ness of South Valley, in Cattaraugus county" 
There was then a well-worn Indian trail lead- 
ing from the Conewango along Case Run, 
through Covey Gap and down Bone Run to the 
Allegheny river near Onoville. On the north 
side of this trail, near the boundary line of Car- 
roll and South Valley, a fence had been made 
by the Indians, woven of brush and small poles, 
which ran northerly for a mile and a half over 

a high ridge to the north branch of Bone Run. 
It was sufficiently high to intercept the pas- 
sage of deer and elk. This fence was to be seen 
as late as 1840. 

Rev. Paul Davis, a Baptist, came from Ver- 
mont in 1816; his labors bore good fruit until 
his death ten years later. His son, Simeon C, 
locally prominent for years, came in 1814; he 
has many descendants. Consider Benson, a 
soldier of 1812, came from Vermont in 1816, 
and died in Falconer in 1855, aged 89, Hiram 
Thayer, from Massachusetts, came in 1816 and 
to Carroll in 1820. He bought part of lot 39, and 
lived here sixty years until his death ; he was 
an esteemed citizen, acquired wealth, and left 
numerous descendants. In 1816 Joseph Waite, 
father of Hon. Davis H. Waite, at one time 
Governor of Colorado, came from Vermont 
and engaged in lumbering until 1821, when he 
removed to Jamestown. Josiah H. Wheeler, 
from Vermont, brought a large family and pur- 
chased the Matthew Turner saw mill on Frew 
Run, lot 53 ; his sons worked harmoniously 
with him and they acquired wealth. Otis 
Moore settled early on lot 45, and owned and 
operated the saw mill one mile east of Frews- 
burg. Luther Howard, a native of Wards- 
borough, Vermont, came about 1830 and set- 
tled on the farm he bought of Charles Wolcott, 
who had made a small clearing, and where his 
son Jediah lived after his father's death. 

Case Run took its name from the first set- 
tler, James Case, who did not remain long. 
Moses Taft, from Vermont, was an early set- 
tler and part owner of a saw mill on Case Run. 
Dutee Harrington settled on lot 32, and was 
a mill owner for years. Orsino Comstock 
lived on lot 31 ; Richard Hiller on lot 30; Good- 
win Staples on lot 8. John Townsend bought 
the Thayer mill, which he and his sons owned 
and operated many years. Christopher Eaton 
came about 1823 from Vermont, and lived a 
long life in Carroll. Edmund White was early 
on lot 27. Pliny Cass was a resident here from 
about 1820. Luther Forbush came from New- 
ton, Mass., in 1829 and resided many years on 
lot 34 ; he had a large family. His brother-in- 
law, Jacob Adams, and Leonard Adams, came 
from Newton about 1847. Cyrus Adams, son 
of Jacob, died a soldier in the Civil War. In 
1827 Rufus Green, from Vermont, came, set- 
tling first in Kiantone and in 1830 on lot 51 ; 
he was a justice for many years. H. N. Thorn- 
ton came from Ripley in 1828, and subse- 
quently lived in Kiantone and Carroll. Otis 
Alvord was an early settler at Fentonville. 
Dorastus Johnson, about 1845, settled on lot 
45 ; Ira and Calvin, two of his six sons, lost 



their lives in the Civil War. George W. 
Brown came in 1828; he was a farmer and mill 
owner. His sons, George W., Amos and 
Lewis, were Union soldiers in the Civil War. 
Adam Vandewark in 1834, Albert Fox in 1835, 
J. D. Bain in 1838, Reuben Niles in 1839, were 
other settlers. 

The first town meeting was held at the house 
of William Sears, March 6, 1826, and these 
officers were elected : Supervisor, James Hall ; 
town clerk, John Frew; assessors, James 
Parker, Levi Davis, James Frew ; commission- 
ers of highways, E. Kidder, George W. Fenton, 
Simeon C. Davis ; overseers of poor, E. Kidder, 
George W. Jones; collector, Asa Moore; con- 
stables, Asa Moore, Hiram Dickinson ; com- 
missioners of schools, William Sears, Simeon 
Covell, Levi Davis ; poundkeepers, George W. 
Fenton, William Sears. 

For a small town, Carroll has done much 
manufacturing. Its saw mills have been numer- 
ous and active, steam supplanting water as a 
motive power as water failed. Jefferson Frew's 
mill cut from half to three-quarters of a million 
feet annually during many years. Edward 
Hayward, Edwin Moore, the Myerses, Edwin 
Eaton, E. W. Scowden, Wood & White, Moore, 
Spink & Company, and others, produced mil- 
lions of staves ; butter tubs, paint kegs, etc., 
laths, hand-sleds, baskets, soap and seed boxes, 
have been some of the products. The town 
received a valuable accession in the immigra- 
tion of a large number of Swedes, who are in- 
dustrious, frugal and law-abiding people. 

The Frewsburg Baptist church was formed 
January 1, 1838, of sixty members of the First 
Baptist Church, of Carroll, now extinct ; it took 
its present name Sept. 20, 1842. March 10, 
1838, John G. Curtis and Phineas Annis were 
chosen deacons. Until 1842 the church had no 
regular pastor. It was received into the Har- 
mony Baptist Association in 1838; and in 1842 
Rev. M. Colby was its first pastor. The first 
church clerk was Abida Dean. The Baptist 
Society was formed January 14, 1850. The 
first trustees were Phineas Annis, Elias How- 
ard, George W. Fenton, John Myers, Jr., and 
Jacob Persell. George W. Fenton and John 
Myers. Jr., defrayed the most of the expense of 
building the present church edifice. The Con- 
gregational church was organized with seven- 
teen members. Rev. R. Rouse was the first 
pastor. In 1863 they erected their house of 
worship. The Methodist Episcopal church 
was organized January 21, 1843, with Rev. 
Moses Hill, pastor. Alexander Ross, George 
Bartlit and A. J. Fuller were chosen trustees. 
The original members were Edmund White, 

Alexander Ross, A. J. Fuller and wives, George 
Bartlit, Mrs. Sibil French and Mrs. Elsie 
(Owen) Fenton, who retained membership 
until her death. George Bartlit was class 
leader many years. In 1844 a church was 
erected on a lot presented by James Hall. A 
Swedish mission church was organized at Oak 
Hill about 1889. The Lutheran church of 
Frewsburg was organized in 1878. The Swed- 
ish mission ch'urch was established at Frews- 
burg in 1878 with A. G. Nelson, pastor. 

Lumber is such an important factor in 
Carroll's progress and development that the 
following article on "Carroll — Early Lumber- 
ing," from the pen of Mrs. Effie W. Parker, in 
"The Centennial History of Chautauqua 
County," published in 1904, is largely drawn 

It has been stated by historians that "no more mag- 
nificent forest existed in the United States than that 
which cast its mighty shadows over primitive Carroll" 
— a forest not only vast in extent, but the trees were 
larger than ever before known. Conewango pineries 
were the wonders of their day, and their fame had 
extended to other countries. Nature was provident in 
the streams that were to furnish power for the reduc- 
tion of this forest, which in time gave place to the now 
productive farms. 

In 1810 lohn Frew built a saw mill on lot 53. At a 
later date he with his brother James and Thomas Rus- 
sell built a mill at the mouth of Frew Run on the east 
side of the Conewango, on lot 61. Thomas Russell 
sold his interests in 1815. In 1817 the Frew brothers, 
with their father, Hugh Frew, built a gristmill, using 
the same power and flume for both mills. The saw 
mill passed into the hands of Jefferson Frew, who in 
1872 put in steam and operated it for a number of 

Matthew Turner is supposed to have built on lot 53 
the second mill in town; it was bought by Josiah H. 
Wheeler in 1816. James Wheeler, his son, built a mill 
on the same lot farther east, using one power and 
flume for both mills. On lot 45 Mr. Taylor built a 
mill; this was later owned by G. W. Fenton; the prop- 
erty passed into the hands of Otis Moore and on to his 
son, O. H. Moore. The plant was unusual in operating 
ability, the streams at this point being fed by numerous 
springs so that sawing could be done almost any day 
in the year. On the same lot east, Job Toby built a 
mill between 1816 and 1820. On lot 36 Amasa Little- 
field built a mill that was purchased and rebuilt by 
John Myers. Reuben and John Thayer built a mill on 
the same lot east, that was purchased by John Town- 
send in 1S41 and operated by himself to the time of his 
death in i860, and by his son Samuel to 1888. Cyrus 
Clough was another saw mill builder on lot 28. This 
mill was conducted later by Jacob Persell. John Bain, 
Sherman Jones, John Townsend, Jr., Henry Bennett 
and Stephen Bennett, successively. By this time John 
Frew built a third mill on lot 27. His son. James R. 
Frew, carried on the business in later years; was later 
a resident of Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1902 was the old- 
est person living who was born in the town of Carroll. 

Jediah Budlong as early as 1832 built a mill on lot 
19 with an overshot wheel, and had a usual annual 
product of 500.000 feet of lumber. In 1848 Emrich 
Evans, with Mr. Budlong, rebuilt the mill, and it passed 

I2 4 


into the hands of L. L. Rawson, purchased later by 
John Hiller and burned in 1S72. At the head of Frew 
Run, John Myers put in a mill that Samuel Cowen 
purchased later. 

All these mills were on Frew Run, a stream not ex- 
ceeding five miles in length, and all were operated 
three or four months in the year. In early times, water 
was held back by the density of forest, so that even in 
a dry time, after a thunder shower, quite a stroke of 
business could be accomplished. None of these mills 
but sawed one hundred thousand feet of lumber a 
year — more sawed three or four times that. With two 
exceptions, all these mills were running up to 1S60. 
Steam superseded the water power on this stream, and 
one mill is in operation at the present time (1902), that 
of Lewis Brothers on lot 45. 

In the southwest portion of the town were five mills 
on the same stream for a distance not exceeding a mile, 
the first of which was built in 1 S33. The mills were 
built by Daniel Wheeler, Luther Forbush, Joseph 
Hook, Benjamin Price. The Wheeler mill passed into 
the hands of H. H. Fenton and son, Hook mill sold to 
J. Brokaw, and at a later date, Mr. Brokaw built far- 
ther up the stream. George Wiltsie purchased the 
Price mill, introduced steam, and operated as late as 
1885 with an annual product of 100,000 feet. In 1883 
Mr. Wiltsie cut fourteen thousand pine shingles from 
a single tree. On lot 32, on Case Run, the three Pope 
brothers, Jediah, Gersham, and Chester, who were 
known as the old company, built and operated a mill; 
they afterwards sold to Asa Comstock. These brothers 
later built two mills on lot 14. The Covey mill was 
bought by G. W. Fenton, Jr., on lot 23, in 1834. James 
Cowen between 1838 and 1840 built a mill on the same 
lot. Mr. Comstock sold his mill to D. Harrington and 
built another on lot 24, and which, was operated later 
by Holiday & Ames. Another mill owned by Pliny 
Cass was the lowest on Case Run, and passed into the 
hands of his son, J. Smith Cass. 

In 1848 G. W. Fenton, Jr., built a mill just below the 
one he purchased in 1834, and in 1851 still another, 
using the same power and flume for both. These mills 
had unusual capacity, the usual annual product being 
500,000 feet of lumber. In 1859 the product reached 
1,100.000 feet. Both these mills were operated for 
twenty years, when the lower mill was arranged for 
shingle sawing. The other mill is still (1902) in opera- 
tion by the Fenton brothers, who are using the original 
water power with a turbine wheel. The Harrington 
mill is also in operation with the original water power. 
Amasa Burt purchased one of the Pope mills on lot 14. 

In early times shingles were rived and shaved from 
the best pine timber, but as first-class pine diminished, 
shingle machines were introduced and timber that 
would not admit splitting and shaving was sawed into 
shingles. Twenty-five thousand pine shingles cut from 
a single tree was not an uncommon product in those 
times. The product of these several mills was hauled 
to the nearest point on the banks of the Conewango, 
usually during the winter season, as wagons were un- 
known in the earlier days. The boards were rafted 
and loaded with shingles ready to float out on the first 
spring freshet. Vast fleets of lumber were sent yearly 
down the Conewango to the Allegheny river to Pitts- 
burgh and farther south. For several years the best 
pine was worth only $2.50 per thousand feet. This was 
traded for supplies, as flour, pork, tea, coffee, sugar, 
cotton cloth, etc., flour at times being twenty dollars 
and pork forty dollars a barrel. A canoe was taken 
on the raft, and into this were loaded the supplies, then 
pushed back at the end of a setting pole against a 
strong current to the starting point. 

When the first bridge was built across the Allegheny 
river at Pittsburgh, the contractor came to the Cone- 
wango country. He found the timber wanted near the 
Pennsylvania line. Upon inquiring the price, the owner 
told him he could have all he wanted for nothing as 
the ground upon which the timber stood was worth 
more for agricultural purposes than the timber itself. 
Thousands of pine logs cut from the timber from this 
valley measured more than five feet at the stump and 
made from three to five thousand feet of lumber, while 
there were occasional logs that measured seven feet 
across. None of these majestic sentinels now remain. 
In 1878 A. M. Woodcock cut from lot 45 two trees 
measuring lour and a half feet at the stump that netted 
him $185.. While these did not compare with many of 
their predecessors in size, their commercial value was 
considerably greater. 

The last tract of land of any considerable size with 
a growth of primeval pine upon it was the Prendergast 
estate in Kiantone, formerly a part of Carroll. It was 
purchased in 1887 by William Townsend and Daniel 
Griswold, who erected a mill and manufactured it into 
lumber. The estate comprised more than eight hun- 
dred acres, of which six hundred were timbered. Many 
of them were magnificent trees fit for the mast of a 
stately ship. There were several millions of lumber 
cut from this tract. 

Supervisors — James Hall, 1826-33-39; James 
Parker, 1834-37-56-57; Esbai Kidder, 1838; 
Phineas Spencer, 1840; Jediah E. Budlong, 
1841 ; Gordon Swift, 1842-44 ; John Frew, 1845 ; 
Reuben E. Fenton, 1846-52; Edwin Eaton, 
1853-73; William H. H. Fenton, 1854-65-71; 
Charles L. Norton, 1855-58-64; Lucius M. 
Robertson, 1872; William Sheldon, 1874; Al- 
bert Fox, 1875; Temple A. Parker, 1876-77; 
Edward L. Hall, 1878; Lucius M. Robertson, 
1879; George G. Davis, 1880; Silas W. Parker, 
1881-87; Marcus T. Howard, 18S8-90; John 
Venman, 1891-93-98-1903 ; Charles E. Dodge, 
1894-97; Dana J. Hunt, 1904-07; Herbert R. 
Bennett, 1908-19; Loye T. Durrand, 1920. 

The full value of Busti real estate in 1918 
was $1,022,784; equalized, $802,446. 

Charlotte — For the centennial history of 
Chautauqua county published in 1904, Obed 
Edson, Chautauqua's foremost historian, now 
passed to eternal rest, prepared a history of 
Charlotte, his own "home town," the scene of 
the activities of his father, Judge John M. Ed- 
son, and of his father's step-father, Major Sam- 
uel Sinclear. That history is herein consider- 
ably drawn upon, as is a companion article 
from the pen of Mrs. Robert C. Seaver, entitled 
"The Founder of Sinclairville and Charlotte 
Center — 1762-1827." 

The first settlement of the town of Charlotte 
was made in the northwestern part, known as 
the Pickett neighborhood. John Pickett, April 
1, 1809, then unmarried, settled on lot 62, and 
built on the Pickett brook a log house, the first 
in the town. He was born in Spencertown, 

i'iif-"" — -*5b' . ' *""*-^^™ ^^^^ 


V1KW i '!•' STXrl.ATHVILIiK 



Columbia county, June 20, 1789. He after- 
wards removed to Chenango county, and Feb- 
ruary 23, 1809, came to Chautauqua county. 
His brother, Daniel Pickett, and his family 
settled upon lot 63, built a cabin and moved 
into it in the fall. His brother-in-law, Arva O. 
Austin and wife, the same year moved into a 
log house that he built upon lot 63. Abel Prior 
and Taylor Gregg took up land in the south 
part of lot 62, but did not remain during the 
winter. January 25, 1810, was born Phoebe, 
daughter of Arva O. Austin, the first white 
child, she married Adin Wait. John Cleland, 
Jr., in March, 1810, took up land on lot 54. In 
September, Mrs. Joseph Arnold, then residing 
in the Pickett settlement, died, the next day 
her sister, Jerusha Barris, died; they were 
buried in one grave on the farm once owned by 
Chauncey Pierpont on lot 62. These were the 
first deaths in the town. In March, 181 1, Na- 
than and Oliver Cleland, brothers of John 
Cleland, Jr., and in the fall Samuel, another 
brother, with their father, John Cleland, set- 
tled on lot 54. In 181 1 Moses Cleland was mar- 
ried to Sally Anderson by Rev. John Spencer; 
this was the first marriage. Joel Burnell in 
181 1 settled upon lot 46, where he resided until 
his death. He was the father of Madison and 
Ransom Burnell, eminent lawyers, both born 
in Charlotte. Among other settlers who left 
descendants here were Freeman Ellis, Edward 
Dalrymple, Eliakim Barnum, Jacob Hall, James 
Cross, David Ames and Caleb Clark. Orton, 
son of Caleb, was surrogate, 1848-52 inclusive. 
John B. Cardot, from France, settled in this 
part of the town. He was followed by other 
families from that country. 

Charlotte Center was first settled by Rob- 
ert W. Seaver, a soldier of the Revolution. His 
son, Randolph W., and grandson, Corydon, be- 
came supervisors. In the spring of 1809, Mr. 
Seaver and Barna Edson selected ninety acres 
of lot 37. The same spring William Devine 
settled upon the west part of lot 29, where he 
built the first building at the Center. Oliver 
Gilmour, Daniel Jackson and Aaron Seaver 
were early settlers. Stephen Lyman, brother- 
in-law of Major Sinclear, settled near the Cen- 
ter. In 181 1 Barney Cole was buried at the 
Center ; he was the first male person who died 
in the town. At an early day a shop was built 
on Mill creek by Edward Landas, for wool 
carding and cloth dressing, which was later 
used as a pail and wood mill factory, and turn- 
ing shop. About 1817 the first saw mill was 
built there. In 1869 a steam saw mill was 
erected by Addison Lake and Edwin Tuttle. 
About 1851 Joseph Landas built and opened 

the first store at the Center, although others 
had for brief periods sold limited amounts of 
merchandise. In 182 1 Nathan Lake and his 
brother Calvin, from New England, settled 
east of the Center. Their brothers, Daniel B. 
and Luther Lake, in 1826 settled in what be- 
came the "Lake Settlement." Freeman Lake 
came later. The Lake brothers were men of 
character and intelligence, and their descend- 
ants have been leading and influential citizens. 
Nathan Lake was the first supervisor, elected 
in 1830. Allen A. Stephens, son-in-law of Na- 
than Lake; Edwin F. Lake, son, and Horace 
E. Kimbel, son-in-law of Daniel B. Lake and 
Henry C. Lake, son of Calvin, have all been 
supervisors. Henry C. Lake during two terms 
was a member of Assembly from Chautauqua 
county, and his son, Clarence H. Lake, sheriff. 
Hon. John Woodward, his nephew, a grand- 
son of Calvin Lake, was born at Charlotte Cen- 
ter, and became a Justice of the Supreme 
Court. Arthur C. Wade, the distinguished 
lawyer, and Charles L. Webster, the distin- 
guished publisher (made a "Knight of the 
Order of Pius VII" by the Pope) were both 
born at Charlotte Center. Thomas J. Allen, 
while residing at Charlotte Center, was elected 
to the Assembly in 1837. Hugh Harper, of 
County Donegal, Ireland, in 1838 settled about 
a mile south of that place; he died at the age 
of 96, leaving many descendants. His brother 
William came from Ireland a few years later 
and settled in the town, where he has numer- 
ous descendants. The population of Charlotte 
Center in 1875 was 127. 

Sinclairville (originally Sinclearville) was 
next settled in June, 1809. John Pickett, of 
the Pickett settlement, piloted a party of pio- 
neers down Mill creek to Cassadaga; here he 
felled a tree to enable the party to cross the 
stream. After pointing out the way that led 
to the Smiley settlement in Ellery, he returned 
to his home. No white man of whom we have 
any account had visited the place now Sin- 
clairville prior to Mr. Pickett, except the sur- 
veyors of the Holland Company. Sinclairville 
derives its name from Major Samuel Sinclear, 
a soldier of the Revolution, and belonged to a 
celebrated family of New Hampshire. Among 
other distinguished relatives he had as a near 
kinsman Joseph Cilley, United States Senator 
from New Hampshire. He was also a kinsman 
of Governor B. F. Butler, of Massachusetts, 
and uncle of John G. Sinclear, a distinguished 
orator and lieutenant-governor of New Hamp- 
shire. Having purchased lot 41, embracing 
the land where the village is situated, in No- 
vember, 1809, he commenced settlement by 



causing a log house to be built at the intersec- 
tion of the roads now leading from Sinclair- 
ville, the one to Charlotte Center, the other to 
Cherry Creek. In March, 1810, he, his son 
John and William Berry and family and 
Chauncey Andrus arrived at this log house, 
the snow then lying deep. They occupied for 
two days and nights a wigwam made of poles 
and hemlock boughs, until their log house was 
completed. In the fall of 1810 Mr. Sinclear 
cut a road from Fredonia to Sinclearville, the 
first opened into the central part of the county. 
October 22, 1810, his family, which included 
his stepsons, Obed and John M. Edson, arrived. 
In 1S10 he erected a saw mill, and in the fall 
a frame dwelling which was for many years the 
village tavern. In 181 1 he built a grist mill. 
Each of these buildings was the first of its kind 
erected in the eastern and central part of the 

Nathaniel Johnson, a Revolutionary soldier, 
came to Sinclairville from Madison county in 
1814. His son Forbes, for many years a resi- 
dent here, was a member of the Legislature in 
1844. His daughter Hannah married Sylvanus 
L. Henderson, who settled in Sinclairville, No- 
vember 26, 1816. Dr. W. W. Henderson, born 
in Sinclairville, and formerly collector of 
United States revenue, was his son. Forbes 
Johnson and John M. Edson constructed the 
first tannery and built a grist mill at Sinclair- 
ville early. John M. Edson was often super- 
visor, and a judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas. Dr. Henry Sargent was the earliest 
postmaster. The mails were first carried 
through Sinclairville by Sampson Crooker, 
father of Hon. George A. S. Crooker ; he went 
through once a week on foot. William Hepp- 
ner settled in the village in 1853 ; he was the 
first German to come, and was followed by 
man}' of that nationality. Samuel Sinclear and 
Jonathan Hedges were the first innkeepers ; 
Elias Wheeler, John Love, Jarvis B. Rice, Levi 
F. Harrison, Henry Sylvester and William H. 
Rice were later ones. Stages were first run 
from Fredonia to Jamestown by Obed Edson, 
brother of John M. Edson, and Reuben Scott, 
about 1827. Subsequently the line was extend- 
ed to Warren, Pa., by Obed Edson. In 1832 
a school house was built, schools having been 
previously kept in the first log house built in 
the village, and in a school house built in 1816 
in Gerry but within the village corporation. 
Early in 1849 Sinclairville was made a station 
on the telegraph line between Fredonia and 
Pittsburgh, nearly the first telegraph station 
established in the county. In 1852 a plank road 
was constructed from Fredonia through Sin- 

clairville to Ellicott; it was built principally 
through the exertions of the people here. Perez 
Dewey was its largest stockholder, and first 
president. Obed Edson surveyed the road. 

The first merchant was Abraham Winsor. 
He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 
1778, married Sophia Bigelow, sister of Fanny, 
the wife of Major Samuel Sinclear. He came 
from Madison county, and in 1813 built an 
ashery not far from the town line on Railroad 
avenue, where the old mill pond was after- 
ward made, and in 1815 built and opened a 
store in nearly the same place. In early years 
he transported down the Cassadaga in canoes 
the pot ashes he received for his goods, and 
thence down the Allegheny to Pittsburgh, 
where he received in exchange, flour, tobacco, 
nails, glass and other merchandise. 

The settlement of the village and surround- 
ing country was slow until the completion of 
the Erie canal. There was but little sale for 
goods until 1824, when Walter Smith and 
George A. French, of Dunkirk, opened a store 
at Sinclairville. This and the opening of the 
Erie canal gave a new impetus to settlement. 
Their store was built upon the corner of Main 
and Park streets, on the site of the Grange 
buildings ; Joy Handy succeeded them. Levi 
Risley and Judge John M. Barbour were clerks 
in this store. In 1828 Walter Chester came ; 
Mr. Ten Eyck, of Cazenovia, his partner, fur- 
nished the capital. They occupied the build- 
ing that had been used by Smith and French. 
Mr. Chester in 1832 built a dwelling, then the 
finest in the town. This was owned by C. J. 
Allen at his decease, and later by Obed Edson. 
Mr. Chester sold out and removed to Dunkirk. 
He was succeeded by Thomas J. Allen and he 
by Bela Tracy. In 1843 Caleb J. Allen went 
into possession. The old yellow store on the 
corner was now divided into parts and moved 
to different places in the village and a new 
store built in its place by Mr. Allen. He con- 
tinued in trade until the fall of 1846, when he 
was succeeded by Alonzo Langworthy. Mr. 
Langworthy was a leading citizen, active in 
promoting the building of the railroad, the 
school, public library and improvement of the 
cemetery. He was long the president of the 
respective boards of trustees of these public 
institutions. He carried on an extensive and 
successful business until 1851, when Mr. Allen 
resumed trade here and Mr. Langworthy pur- 
chased the Methodist parsonage on the site of 
the drug store of Jay Bargar and traded ten 
years. In 1862 he purchased the store on the 
old corner of Mr. Allen and resumed trade 
there. The following merchants conducted 



business there after Mr. Langworthy : Charles 
Danforth, Thompson & Chafee, Thompson & 
Lapham, Alonzo Putnam, Putnam & Cum- 
mings and John H. Cummings. 

The next store was erected by Perez Dewey, 
at the corner of Main street and Edson's Lane. 
Mr. Dewey was born in Westfield, Mass., De- 
cember iS, 1792. He was early a peddler of 
small notions, which he carried in a tin trunk. 
When his business sufficiently improved he 
carried his wares in two hand trunks, then he 
procured a horse and wagon, and added dry 
goods and tinware to his stock, and for many 
years made an annual circuit of the county. At 
length Mr. Dewey established a sort of head- 
quarters with Mr. Beebe near Cassadaga, 
where he shipped goods and replenished his 
stock. About 1830 he and Joseph Sinclear com- 
menced trade in a building on Main street. 
While thus engaged, he built a substantial 
store which he first occupied in January, 1834. 
Here he did an extensive business, selling 
largely on credit. Mr. Dewey was a bachelor, 
devoted to his own affairs and well known for 
his peculiarities. In the spring of 1851, hav- 
ing become the most wealthy man in the town, 
he retired from active business. He was suc- 
ceeded by his nephew, John Dewey. 

In 1845 Mn Brown erected at the corner of 
Main and Lester streets a store, the first brick 
building in Sinclairville; Nelson Mitchell laid 
the bricks and built the store. Near it later he 
erected a brick dwelling. The first firm to 
occupy the store was P. and J. Rathbone in 
1845, succeeded by E. T. Brown & Co. (Hen- 
derson); Nelson Mitchell purchased Hender- 
son's interest. This firm was followed by 
Mitchell, Brunson & Rathbone. John M. Brun- 
son came next, then Nelson Mitchell, followed 
by Mitchell, Sheldon (R. E.) and Danforth 
(C. L.) Nelson Mitchell was next again in 
trade, then the firm of Putnam & Thompson. 
This was succeeded by Alonzo Putnam, and he 
by Edwin Williams, when for about six months 
Fred Trusler and D. B. Dorsett were in trade 
as Trusler & Company, after which Edwin 
Williams resumed trade. Mr. Williams occu- 
pied the store in all about thirteen years. 

R. E. Sheldon was long the leading merchant 
and business man of later years. He built the 
brick store on Main street later occupied by 
his son B. T. Sheldon. Among other well- 
known traders of early days were Davis A. 
Havens, Job Smith, A. Z. Madison, David 
Forbes and A. G. Dow, dealers in tin and hard- 
ware, later a senator representing Chautauqua 
and Cattaraugus counties. Of the hardware 
dealers, Reed & Reynolds were for many years 

the leading firm. John T. and William Spear 
were also hardware dealers. Emory O. Bargar 
and Zardius Phillips were the first to estab- 
lish drug stores in the village. Charles Smith 
was the first shoemaker. Chester Wilson, 
father of W. Thomas Wilson (long a justice of 
the peace and lawyer of the village), was the 
first saddler and harnessmaker. A hat store 
was established in 1835 by S. and William 
Griffith. The first school was taught by Wil- 
liam Gilmour in the winter of 1811-12, in the 
log house erected in 1809 by Mr. Sinclear. 

Dr. Orange Y. Campbell and Henry Sargent 
were the first physicians. Drs. William Copp, 
Henry B. Hedges, J. E. Kimbell, Gilbert Rich- 
mond and George S. Harrison of a later period 
were for many years practicing physicians of 
Sinclairville. Dr. George S. Harrison was born 
in Madison county, New York, in 1810; came 
to Chautauqua county in 1825, where for forty- 
four years he practiced medicine. He was an 
excellent and popular physician, a man of abil- 
ity and force of character, a leading Democrat, 
and for three years a supervisor. Benjamin L. 
Harrison, his son, was a citizen of Dunkirk, 
many years in the service of the Dunkirk, Alle- 
gany Valley & Pittsburgh railroad, was for- 
merly an alderman, and later a justice of the 
peace of Dunkirk. He married Lucy, daugh- 
ter of Abner Putnam, an early citizen. They 
had one son, Louis P., assistant purchasing 
agent of the American Locomotive Company. 
George M., their eldest son, a physician, died 
in 1887. 

Drs. H. P. Hall and Allen A. Stevens were 
prominent physicians of a still later period. 
Drs. George F. Smith and Charles Cleland, 
both educated at the Sinclairville Union School 
were later well known physicians of the vil- 

The first religious meeting in the town was 
held October 22, 181 1, by Rev. John Spencer, in 
the first log house built by Major Sinclear. 
Rev. Asa Turner, a Baptist, was an early mis- 
sionary here. The first religious society was 
the Methodist Episcopal in 1812. For many 
years commencing in 1820 meetings were regu- 
larly held by the Christians or Unitarians. 
Revs. Joseph Bailey and Oliver Barr are well 
remembered preachers of that denomination. 
June 2, 1826. the Baptist church was organized. 
In 1834 its house of worship was erected, the 
first church edifice built in the town. In 1845 
the Congregationalists built a house of wor- 
ship. In 185 1 the Methodists built a church, 
and the same year the Universalists also, which 
was afterwards owned by the Catholics, and 
finally by the Episcopalians. 


Albert Richmond was the first lawyer of 
Sinclairville. He was born in Brattleboro, 
Vermont. He was admitted to the bar in the 
same class with Horatio Seymour, came to Sin- 
clairville in 1833, and was one term surrogate. 
He died in 1878. E. B. Forbush commenced 
the practice of law in Sinclairville about 1836. 
He removed to Buffalo, when he became a suc- 
cessful patent lawyer; he was killed in the rail- 
road accident at Angola in 1867. S. Mervin 
Smith and A. B. Fenner were early lawyers. 
E. M. Peck was a man of ability, practiced law 
in the village thirty years. E. H. Sears, after- 
ward judge of the Supreme Court of Iowa, was 
a lawyer of Sinclairville. Worthy Putnam, the 
well-known author of a book on elocution, and 
who as a county superintendent rendered 
greater service to the schools of the county 
than any other person previous to his day, read 
law with Obed Edson and commenced practice 
in Sinclairville. C. F. Chapman also read law 
with Obed Edson, and was his partner in the 
practice of law there. James A. Allen, of Buf- 
falo, Samuel T. Allen, of Holden, Missouri, 
Caleb J. Allen, Jr., of Iowa, and Stephen H. 
Allen, of Topeka, Kansas, born in Sinclairville 
and for six years a judge of the highest court 
in Kansas, were all brothers and sons of Caleb 
J. Allen, Sr., and all commenced the practice 
or study of law in Sinclairville. W. Thomas 
Wilson read law with Gen. Charles H. S. Wil- 
liams, at Fredonia, came to Sinclairville in 

1861, practiced law there for many years. He 
was twenty-eight years a justice of the peace, 
and five terms justice of sessions of the county 
court. Charles M. Reed, born in Sinclairville, 
educated at the Sinclairville Union School, 
read law with C. F. Chapman, graduated at the 
Albany Law University in 1885, for several 
years special surrogate, and Fred H. Sylvester, 
who was born in Sinclairville, educated at the 
Union School, read law with Obed Edson, won 
the Clinton scholarship and was graduated at 
the Buffalo Law School in May, 1890, were 
later practicing lawyers of the village. Obed 
Edson was for many years a practicing lawyer 
at Sinclairville. Walter H. Edson, born in Sin- 
clairville, and Harley N. Crosby, both of Fal- 
coner, commenced the study of law with Obed 
Edson and its practice at Sinclairville. 

Evergreen Cemetery was organized June 21, 

1862. Owing to its favorable situation, the 
taste and good management of those having it 
in charge, it far excells any other in the county, 
and is now one of the most beautiful in West- 
ern New York. Bernard W. Field was its first 
president and first superintendent. 

April 7, 1868. occurred the severest fire that 

ever visited Sinclairville — the Bennet block on 
Main street. Three stores composing the block, 
the Sinclairville House and one dwelling house, 
a barn, the meat market and a shoeshop burned, 
and a harness shop was torn down to prevent 
the spread of the flames. 

February 6, 1870, the Sinclairville Library 
was founded by Rev. E. P. McElroy. 

The people of Sinclairville were the first to 
move the construction of the Dunkirk, Alle- 
gany Valley & Pittsburgh railroad. The first 
train was run over it June 22, 1871. Timothy 
D. Copp was the first president of the road. 
Mr. Copp was often supervisor of the town. 
In 1868 he was elected presidential elector. 

November 5, 1874, the Sinclairville Fair 
Ground Association was incorporated. In 
1881 a Board of Trade was organized which 
has continued with great benefit to the busi- 
ness interests until the present time. William 
H. Scott, its first president, and Richard Reed, 
its secretary, were most efficient in its support. 
Later the Sinclairville stock farm of Holstein 
cattle and French coach and Percheron horses 
was established by Bela B. Lord, a native of 
the village, and the stock farms of Jersey cattle 
by Frank E. Shaw, a nephew of "Josh Billings" 
and also a native of the town, and have been 
a great benefit to the village and town and 
have added to their reputation. A Grange has 
long been established in Sinclairville. Its flour- 
ishing condition is largely due to the efforts of 
Mrs. Bela B. Lord. In 1880 a Union School 
District was formed and a fine brick school- 
house built which was opened in 1SS1. The vil- 
lage was incorporated in 1887. Its first presi- 
dent was William Reed. Waterworks were 
constructed in 1892 upon the gravity system, 
which were purchased by the village in 1899. 

The southeast part of the town was first set- 
tled by Leman Cleveland, on lot 10. In 1S14 
Samuel T. Booth settled on lot 26 ; John How- 
ard in 1817 on lot 1 ; Justus Torrey in 1819 set- 
tled on lot 18. He chopped and cleared with 
his own hands several hundred acres of land, 
and during many years manufactured large 
quantities of maple sugar. Widow Lemira W. 
Camp settled upon lot 17, on two hundred 
acres of land known as the Camp farm. She 
was the mother of Milo, Merlin, John Wilson, 
Herman and Samuel Camp, and of Mrs. Han- 
nah Waggoner and Mrs. Anna LaGrys. Among 
other early citizens in this part of the town 
were David Sheldon, John Luce and James 
Parsons and Robert, Peter and Allen Robert- 

Kent street and adjacent territory was first 
settled by families from England. Samuel 



Hurley, the pioneer, came as early as 1817. 
Abraham Reynolds came in 1818, direct from 
London ; twice he walked from Charlotte to 
New York. His son Henry was a well-known 
citizen, three years its supervisor. Robert La- 
Grys came in 1819. Upon his farm on Kent 
street a pin or curled maple tree grew for which 
T. D. Copp paid him a sovereign, manufactured 
it into veneers, and took it to London to be 
used to decorate Queen Victoria's yacht. After 
it was completed, Mr. Copp, on invitation, vis- 
ited the yacht. He found it decorated with 
seventeen different kinds of wood. John 
Thorne came in 1834; he left three sons, John, 
Dr. William, and Thomas, who spent much of 
his time at sea. In 1836 from Devonshire came 
John Reed. His son William was supervisor, 
and Richard long a well-known hardware 
dealer of Sinclairville. His eldest son John 
emigrated to Australia. Richard Brock and 
Thomas D. Spiking came later. 

The street leading north from the Center to 
Arkwright was also largely settled by Eng- 
lishmen from Yorkshire. Thomas Pearson, 
William Wright and their families and Thomas 
Dickenson came over together in a ship from 
Hull, and settled on this street in 1828. Wil- 
liam Hilton came in 1830; his son John was a 
director on the Erie railway. These English- 
men, their descendants and others who came 
in later years from that country, constitute a 
very large and influential part of the popula- 

Among the early settlers residing near Sin- 
clairville and in the southwestern part of the 
town were : Ezra Richmond, Chauncey Andrus, 
Peter Warren, father of Judge Emory F. War- 
ren, and William Brown ; upon the Owlsbor- 
ough road : Asa Dunbar, Phillip Link, Henry 
Cipperly, William H. Gleason, and Bela Tracy, 
once a member of Assembly from Chautauqua 
county, and brother of John Tracy, former 
Lieutenant-Governor of the State. James Wil- 
liams was a well known resident of this part 
of the town. Henry Sornberger was also an 
early settler in this part, and Richard G. Bur- 
lingame. a settler of a later date. 

The northeast part of the town was the last 
settled. Alanson Straight, the first to begin 
improvement, settled about 1832 upon lot 24. 
In T832 Nelson Chase located upon lot 16, and 
Nathan Penhollow on lot 15. Calvin Abbey, 
Elijah Lewis, William W. Wood, Neri Cramp- 
ton, Daniel Hoisington, Henry Smith, William 
Luce, G. R. Matthewson, Peter Odell and Nel- 
son Mansfield were early settlers there. John 
Wilkes, who came in 1851, built the first saw 

mill in 1865 Upon his farm the last bear was 
killed in the town. James Hopkins, Patrick 
Doran and Garret Wheeler, from the west of 
Ireland, came about 1840. Others from Ire- 
land settled a little later. 

The town was organized in April, 1829. The 
first town meeting was held March 2, 1830, and 
the following officers chosen : Supervisor, Na- 
than Lake; town clerk, Walter Chester; jus- 
tices of the peace, John M. Edson, Eldred 
Lampson, James S. Parkhurst ; collector, Bar- 
zillai Ellis; assessors, Peter Warren, Bela 
Tracy, Spencer Clark; overseers of the poor, 
Freeman Ellis, Abel Potter ; commissioners of 
highways, Bela B. Lord, R. W. Seaver, Charles 
Goodrich ; commissioners of schools, Bela B. 
Lord, Samuel T. Booth, Crocker Richardson; 
constables, Amasa Dalrymple, Barzillai Ellis, 
Benjamin Fisher; sealer of weights and meas- 
ures, Oshea Webber. 

Sinclairville and Charlotte Center — By Mrs. 
R. C. Seaver. Sinclairville is an incorporated 
village lying close to the southern boundary of 
Charlotte and laying grasping fingers on that 
part of Gerry between the township's border 
and the Dunkirk, Allegany Valley & Pitts- 
burgh railway station, and a corresponding 
section of the highway leading to Jamestown. 
It boasts four churches, a high school employ- 
ing six teachers, a hotel, and the usual quota 
of stores, public halls, mills, shops, factories 
and homes. South it is bounded by the open 
valley ; on the other three sides by hills, save 
where on the north, Mill Creek hurries through 
on its way to join the Cassadaga. 

Major Samuel Sinclear had never looked on 
this part of Chautauqua when in 1809 he 
stepped into the land office in Batavia and 
took articles for two lots in what was then the 
town of Pomfret. Of these, lot 63 lay in the 
town of Gerry as formed in 1812, and on lot 
41 was built the house that proved to be the 
nucleus of Sinclairville. It was from the scant 
descriptions of the surveyors' lines that he 
judged, and correctly, that here was a suitable 
site for a mill. He formed a partnership with 
William Berry, of Madison county, who came 
to Chautauqua the same fall and with assist- 
ance from four men from among those who 
had formed the Pickett Settlement, put up the 
body of a log house ; he then returned to Madi- 
son county. In the following March, Major 
Sinclear, his son John, two hired hands, Berry 
and his wife, reached this rude beginning of a 
home. Before it could be made habitable, they 
passed two days and nights in a wigwam of 

i 3 o 


poles, thatched and furnished with hemlock 

Major Sinclear's father, Colonel Richard, 
was of Scotch descent, and Mary Cilley Sin- 
clear's ancestors were from Austria-Hungary. 
In the history of the Sinclear family, by Leon- 
ard Allison Morrison, published in Boston in 
1896, the Sinclear lineage is traced back to 890, 
when Norsemen besieged and took the castle 
of St. Clair in Normandy. Here the name had 
its origin. That they were nearly related to, 
and that at least nine of the name were with 
William the Conqueror at Hastings, is asserted 
on the authority of undisputed history. The 
name has a different orthography among dif- 
ferent branches and generations of the family. 
St. Clair, Sinclear and Sinckler are among 

Samuel, born May 10, 1762, at Nottingham, 
N. H., had four predecessors and four suc- 
cessors in the family cradle. "Gen. Joseph Cil- 
ley, conspicuous for his bravery as colonel of 
the First New Hampshire Regiment at the 
battles of Bemis Heights and Monmouth," was 
his uncle, and that Cilley, Congressman from 
Maine, who was killed in the historic duel near 
Washington by Graves of Kentucky, was also 
a near kinsman. 

Samuel's childhood was of the briefest, for 
at fourteen years he was in the army as attend- 
ant to his uncle, Col. Cilley, and when barely 
fifteen he enlisted in Captain Amos Morrill's 
company of the same uncle's regiment and 
served three years. He rendered distinguished 
service in the first battle of Bemis Heights ; was 
one of the twelve thousand, under Washing- 
ton, who sent Clinton's defeated forces creep- 
ing off in the darkness at Monmouth, and he 
shared the privations and sufferings of those 
darkest davs of the great patriot's life at Val- 
ley Forge. There were other battles in which 
he took part while in Gen. Enoch Poor's 
brigade ; and in 1779 he was with General Sulli- 
van fighting the Indians on the frontiers of 
New York and Pennsylvania. Two of his 
brothers died in the service, and another was 
discharged with him. His father was also a 
Revolutionary officer. It was while a resident 
of Eaton, Madison county, in 1776, that Gov- 
ernor Jay bestowed on him his commission of 
major of militia. 

Honorably discharged at eighteen years of 
age, having served the full term of his enlist- 
ment, Major Sinclear went to Maine and estab- 
lished a ship-timber business on the Kennebec. 
Eight years later he came to this State and 
after a residence of the same length of time in 
Utica and Cherry Valley, he joined those who 

were making the first settlement at Eaton, 
Madison county. At forty-eight he was again 
battling with the "forest primeval," this time 
in Chautauqua county. That lonely and lowly 
home to which he came in 1810 soon received 
such additions as partitions, a ladder to the 
second floor, and a chimney of clay-plastered 
sticks and stones. It stood where now (1902) 
stands the home of Mrs. Mahala Dibble, at 
the intersection of the Charlotte Center and 
Cherry Creek roads, and served as church and 
schoolhouse, and as a refuge to new-comers 
until they could convert the living trees into 
sheltering homes. In this labor they had ever 
the benefit of Major Sinclear's advice, valuable 
from his experience and judgment; and many 
times his financial aid also. 

In the summer of 1810, in addition to clear- 
ing land, Major Sinclear built the first saw mill 
in the central or eastern part of the county. 
The same fall, he employed help and worked 
with them to construct a wagon road, the first 
over the ridge, from Fredonia (then called 
Canadaway) to his wilderness home. He had 
previously brought his family to Canadaway, 
and October 22nd he arrived with his children, 
Samuel, David, Joseph, Nancy and Sally, his 
second wife, Fanny, and her children, Obed, 
John M. and Fanny Edson, and five wagon- 
loads of goods. His first wife was Sally Perk- 
ins, whom he married in 1785, in Vassalboro, 
Maine, and whose death occurred at Eaton in 

A few scattering families had located from 
three-fourths of a mile to three miles distant, 
but the nearest settlements were, that on the 
Pickett Brook four miles northwest, and that 
at Charlotte Center, three miles northeast. The 
last named was begun by R. W. Seaver, Bar- 
ney Edson and William Devine. They came 
from Oneida county in the spring of 1809, De- 
vine and wife at Seaver's request. Edson went 
to Batavia in May and booked the land but 
did not return. The initial building of Char- 
lotte Center soon put up by those remaining 
was sixteen by eighteen feet, with bark roof 
and a single door and window. It stood on or 
near the site of the present school house, their 
first clearing having been a few rods to the 
west. Here in the fall they stored the small 
crop of corn they had raised, and went back 
to Oneida county, returning the following 

Robert W. Seaver was born in Worcester 
county, Massachusetts, July 3, 1762, enlisted at 
fourteen, and served six years and eight 
months in the War of the Revolution. Among 
the battles in which he took part was that of 


King's Bridge, near New York and Yorktown. 
He was under Lafayette, and the face of the 
revered Washington was also familiar to him. 
During the War of 1812, when the "Queen 
Charlotte" chased the American salt boats into 
the Canadaway and was repulsed, Widow Cole 
run the bullets and Mr. Seaver made the car- 
tridges, no one in the hastily gathered forces 
knowing how to do it but him. 

On the farm south of Charlotte Center, Mr. 
Seaver planted an orchard from seeds brought 
from Oneida county. The farm has remained 
in the possession of his descendants. Mr. Sea- 
ver was a man of prominence and held several 
positions of trust. Until 1816 his wife, Anna 
Edson Seaver, was the only doctor in the vicin- 
ity. The stone that marks his grave in Char- 
lotte Center Cemetery bears the simple record : 
"Robert W. Seaver for seven years a soldier 
of the Revolution, died July 31, 1836, aged sev- 
enty-five years." 

When in 1812 the town of Gerry was formed, 
embracing the present towns of Gerry, Char- 
lotte, Cherry Creek and Ellington, a meeting 
was called at Cassadaga for the purpose of 
selecting a name. It was decided to call it 
Gerry, for the Vice-President elected that fall, 
but Sinclear was the choice of many. The first 
town meeting was held in his house in 1813. He 
was chosen supervisor, an office which he filled 
six terms. For several succeeding years, being 
the only freeholder in the town, he frequently 
executed a deed of some small piece of land 
gratuitously to such as, elected to office, were 
required to own land in order to hold the posi- 
tion, even when as in the case of Judge Joel 
Burnell, the successful candidate, his own op- 

Not alone in their struggle for a material 
existence was his help ready. His copy of the 
"Albany Gazette," for many years the only 
newspaper penetrating the wilderness as far as 
Fredonia, was regarded as community posses- 
sion. On its arrival, all gathered to listen to its 
contents as read aloud, usually by J. M. Edson, 
then a boy, afterward Judge Edson, and the 
father of Hon. Obed Edson and Mrs. Ursula 
Sylvester of Sinclairville. 

With other soldiers of the Revolution, Major 
Sinclear was a conspicuous participant in ex- 
tending greeting and honors to Lafayette at 
Fredonia in 1825. 

It was not until the death of its founder that 
Sinclairville assumed its present name, being 
known previously as "The Major's" or "Major 
Sinclear's," and the post office awkwardly re- 
tained the name Gerry post office till 1869. 

On the well-preserved gray stone that marks 

his resting place are engraved many Masonic 
emblems, and below, the lines typical rather of 
the times than of the subject : 

"How lov'd, how valu'd once avail thee not, 
To whom related, or by whom begot; 
A heap of dust alone remains of thee, 
Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be." 

Prior to the organization of any religious 
society in Charlotte, it was visited by early 
missionaries. The first meeting was held by 
Rev. John Spencer, October 22, 181 1, in the 
first log house built by Major Sinclear. He 
and Elder Turner, a Baptist, often delivered a 
regular sermon to a single family. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church was the 
first religious society in the town, its begin- 
ning, a class organized at Charlotte Center, 
composed of Judge Joel Burnell and seven 
others. William Brown was the first minis- 
ter. In 1851 a church edifice was built at Sin- 
clairville, and the same year one at Charlotte 

The First Baptist Church of Sinclairville was 
organized June 2, 1826, Rev. Jonathan Wilson, 
its first pastor, John McAlister and eleven 
others the original members. In 1834 a church 
edifice, the first in the town, was built at a cost 
of $2,000. 

The First Congregational church was formed 
July 22, 1831, by Rev. Isaac Jones, of Mayville, 
Rev. Timothy Stillman, of Dunkirk, and Rev. 
Obadiah C. Beardsley, of Charlotte, the society 
at first consisting of twenty-three persons, 
mostly Presbyterians. April 30, 1842, the 
Presbyterian form was surrendered and a re- 
organization effected as a Congregational 
church, thirteen members subscribing to that 
faith. On September 25, 1845, a house of wor- 
ship was built and dedicated, Rev. Charles W. 
Carpenter the first pastor. The First Uni- 
versalist Society of Charlotte was organized 
August 26, 1850, and a church edifice erected at 
Charlotte Center in 1851, Rev. William W. 
King the first pastor. 

The First Universalist Society of Sinclair- 
ville was organized February 13, 1859, and a 
house of worship there erected, Rev. Isaac 
George its first pastor. 

St. Paul's Church of the Cross, Roman Cath- 
olic, was organized in 1871, the parish purchas- 
ing for a house of worship the Sinclairville 
Universalist Church. 

Sylvan Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, 
of Sinclairville, was chartered about the year 
1824, Major Samuel Sinclear its first worship- 
ful master. Its first charter was surrendered 
during the anti-Masonic excitement, but a new 



charter was granted June n, 1853, John M. 
Edson the first worshipful master under the 
new charter. 

The supervisors of the town have been : Na- 
than Lake, 1830-35-37-42-45; Bela Tracy, 1831- 
33-34; Samuel F. Forbush, 1832; John Chan- 
dler, 1836; Orton Clark, 1838-41-43-44-59-60; 
Randolph W. Seaver, 1846-48; Joseph E. Kim- 
ball, 1849; Orsamus A. White, 1850-51; John 
M. Edson, 1852-54; Daniel Arnold, 1855; Wil- 
liam M. Waggoner, 1856; Allen A. Stevens, 
1857-68; Henry C. Lake, 1858-61 ; Timothy D. 
Copp, 1862-63; Henry Reynolds, 1864-66; Obed 
Edson, 1867; George S. Harrison, 1869-71; 
Horace E. Kimball, 1872-74; Albert Rich- 
mond, 1875; Edwin F. Lake, 1905-07; John G. 
Rose, 1908-09; George E. Montague, 1910-11; 
John G. Rose, 1912-13; Edwin H. Edson, 

The value of real estate in the town of Char- 
lotte in 1918 was $696,284; the equalized as- 
sessed value, $546,283. There are 22,964 acres 
in the town, and according to the State census 
of 1915. a population of 1,304 citizens and four 
aliens. Sinclairville, an incorporated village, 
returned a population of 582. The Gerry 
Veneer and Lumber Company and eight small 
factories were reported in the same year to be 
in operation in the village. The schools are 
excellent, and in keeping with the spirit of the 

Chautauqua — The town of Chautauqua ante- 
dates the county, and may be called the 
"Mother Town," as it originally included all of 
now Chautauqua county except that part com- 
prised within the limits of the eastern range of 
townships. The town was set off from Batavia, 
April 11, 1S04, and when the county was organ- 
ized, March 11, 1808, the town was enlarged 
by the addition of the eastern or tenth row of 
townships. All the other towns of the county 
have been formed from the original town, re- 
ducing it to its present irregular dimensions on 
both sides of the northern part of Chautauqua 
Lake. Pomfret was taken off in 1808; Port- 
land in 1813; Harmony in 1816; Clymer, Ellery 
and Stockton in 1821. Notwithstanding its 
losses, Chautauqua is one of the largest towns 
in the county, containing 41,318 acres. The 
surface is hilly, and forms the watershed be- 
tween Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake. Chau- 
tauqua creek forms part of the western bound- 
ary, and other streams are within its borders. 

Although the town is hilly and broken, and 
by reason of its elevated situation is exposed 
to deep snows and severe storms in winter, it 
has fine and striking scenery. From the high 
hill" in its northern and western parts a mag- 

nificent view is presented to the grape belt, and 
the wide and blue expanse of Lake Erie bear- 
ing upon its bosom the commerce of the west, 
and, in the distance one may see the shores 
and hills of Canada. The upper portion of 
Chautauqua Lake extends into the eastern part 
of the town, and from Mayville a fine view may 
be had of the shores of the lake, with its beau- 
tiful bays. Within the town limits is the vil- 
lage of Mayville, the capital of the county, with 
which is associated so much of historical inter- 
est ; the far-famed Chautauqua Assembly 
grounds ; picturesque Point Chautauqua ; the 
villages of Hartfield, Summerdale and Dewitt- 
ville, and the county alms house and asylum. 
The first settlement was made by Dr. Alex- 
ander Mclntyre, of Meadville, in 1804. He 
built a log dwelling at Mayville near the steam- 
boat landing. Around it he erected a stockade 
"to protect it from the Indians," as he said. 
He had been captured by and resided with In- 
dians many years, acquiring their habits, and 
claimed to have learned the healing art of 
them. Dr. Mclntyre's stockade had been built 
when in the fall of 1804 the Holland Land Com- 
pany sent William Peacock to survey and map 
out a town at the head of the lake. In the fall 
of 1804 Paul Busti, an agent of the company, 
was with his family at what is now Mayville, 
and at a meeting of Holland Land Company 
representatives held there a name for the new 
settlement was considered. William Peacock 
thus related the story of the naming of the 

A great many names had been suggested, but none 
upon which all could unite, when Mrs. Paul Busti. wife 
01 one of the agents and attorney for the company, 
came into the room where we were gathered with a 
baby in her arms. One of the gentleman present asked 
the name of the baby and she replied, "May." Then 
some one suggested that we name the settlement after 
the baby and call it Mayville, which was quickly agreed 
to and the new settlement was at once named in honor 
of May Busti. 

William Peacock completed his survey and 
mapped a territory two miles wide from Chau- 
tauqua lake to the two Chautauqua creeks, and 
"the work was done with wonderful accuracy," 
as many subsequent surveys have fully proven. 

In 1807 Captain John Scott, who had located 
at Canada way in 1804 and had married Bril- 
liant, daughter of Deacon Orsamus Holmes, of 
Sheridan, came and opened on the present site 
of Mayville a public inn, the first made of logs, 
and upon the east side of Main street, between 
the Episcopal church and the Mayville House. 
Mr. Scott was supervisor in 1813. He removed 
from Mayville about 1826, and died in Illinois 


in 1845. In 1808 George Lowry settled in May- 
ville, and also opened a primitive inn. He was 
one of the celebrated family of ten brothers 
who with their mother Margaret emigrated 
from Ireland. Their names were Samuel, 
Hugh, John, Robert, James, Andrew, William, 
George, Alexander and Morrow. Most of them 
became early settlers of Erie county, Pennsyl- 
vania. In George Lowry 's old bar-room 
occurred a desperate fight between some set- 
tlers and Pennsylvania boatmen, which fur- 
nished business for several of the earliest terms 
of court. His son, James B. Lowry, was county 
clerk in 1828. 

In 1808 the county of Chautauqua was organ- 
ized, and that year Jonas Williams, Isaac Suth- 
erland and Asa Ransom, commissioners ap- 
pointed to decide upon the county seat, "erect- 
ed a large hemlock post" at Mayville to desig- 
nate the spot fixed by them. Darius Dexter 
had come from Herkimer county that spring. 
To him the contract was given by Joseph Elli- 
cott to cut and clear a road commencing at the 
head of Chautauqua Lake, extending one and 
one-half miles toward Westfield. He cut this 
road, now Main street, six rods wide, and 
cleared it to the width of three rods. He also 
cleared the land of the public square. Dr. John 
E. Marshall, a well educated physician, now 
moved into the woods that covered the site of 
Mayville. He married Ruth, daughter of Dea- 
con Orsamus Holmes, of Sheridan, in 1810. 
In 1809, Artemas Hearick, a native of Massa- 
chusetts, came from Chenango to Mayville. 
He was early appointed one of the associate 

The anticipation of a complete organization 
of the county with Mayville as its county seat, 
now influenced people to take up residence 
there. As courts were soon to be held, attor- 
neys were the first to be attracted. Anselm 
Potter, the first, and Dennis Brackett, the sec- 
ond lawyer of the county, both came in 1810, 
and Casper Rouse a little later. Brackett built 
an office, which was crushed soon after by a 
falling tree. The same year the Holland Land 
Company erected an office for the sale of its 
lands, and William Peacock, its agent, took up 
his residence here. Jonathan Thompson, one 
of the first associate judges of the county, came 
from Saratoga county to Mayville in 1810; four 
years later he removed to Pennsylvania. 

Waterman Tinkcom, from Saratoga county, 
for many years an innkeeper in Mayville, be- 
came a resident here that year. In 181 1, the 
county having become fully organized, Captain 
Scott enlarged his log tavern by a plank frame 
addition for a court house. In it, the June be- 


fore it was completed, the first court of record 
was held, and in October the Board of Super- 
visors here met. There were but two members 
—Matthew Prendergast, of Chautauqua, and 
Philo Orton, of Pomfret. This year Morrow 
Lowry settled in Mayville. His son, Morrow 
B., born in Mayville in 1813, afterwards was a 
distinguished citizen of Western Pennsylvania. 
Nathaniel A. Lowry, son of Alexander, settled 
in Jamestown, and Hugh W. Lowry, a mer- 
chant of Westfield, was the son of another of 
the brothers. Jediah Prendergast came to 
Mayville in 181 1; he was the first physician. 
William Prendergast. his nephew, the second 
physician, soon followed. William Prender- 
gast, son of Martin and Phebe (Holmes) Pren- 
dergast, grandson of William, the physician, 
and great-grandson of Matthew, was born in 
Chautauqua in 1854. He was educated at May- 
ville Academy and was graduated from Jeffer- 
son Medical College at Philadelphia, Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1883, and located at Mayville. In 
181 1 the first store was established in Mayville 
by Jediah and Martin Prendergast. William 
Smith was one of the early settlers of Mayville. 
He was born in Massachusetts in 1808, emi- 
grated to Oneida county, and a few years later 
to Mayville, where he opened a law office. He 
was appointed surrogate in 1821, which office 
he held for nineteen years ; was one of the 
founders of the "Mayville Sentinel," and died 
in i860. 

Other parts of the town of Chautauqua were 
also being settled. In 1805 Peter Barnhart, a 
soldier of the Revolution, located a short dis- 
tance north of Point Chautauqua. His sons, 
Jonathan, Peter and Henry, also settled in the 
town. Jonathan Smith the same year made 
the first settlement on the west side, near the 
grounds of the Chautauqua Assembly. The 
Prendergasts in March, 1806, contracted for a 
large tract of land near the Chautauqua Assem- 
bly Grounds, and the same month James and 
William Prendergast, Jr., erected a log house 
there. In June the family arrived. Filer 
Sackett in June, 1805, bought land at Dewitt- 
ville, where John Mason early settled. He 
married Maria, daughter of Captain Anson 
Leet. Darius Scofield settled early at Dewitt- 
ville. Nathan and Daniel Cheney early settled 
a mile north of Dewittville. John Miles with 
a large family settled on lot 9 near the east line 
of the town. Dr. Lawton Richmond, the third 
physician, settled near Dewittville in 181 1. 

Philo Hopson, from Herkimer county, set- 
tled a mile north of Hartfield upon land 
bought in 1809. At an early day he and Wil- 
liam Bateman built a sawmill at Hartfield. 



Zaccheus Hanchett settled on lot number 23. 
Dexter Barns, a noted axe-maker, first settled 
in Stockton, where he built its first blacksmith 
sin ip. He removed to Hartfield, where he died. 
Darius Dexter, after cutting out Main street 
and clearing the public square in Mayville in 
1808, returned east and came back the next 
spring with his wife and purchased land on 
lot 20, northeast of Hartfield. John, William, 
Daniel, Winsor, Otis, Samuel, George and Ste- 
phen, brothers of Darius, it is believed came 
with him in 1809. His brother William and 
John W. Winsor took up other parts of the lot. 
Samuel in 1809 took land on lot number 17. 
John was county clerk thirteen years. He and 
Darius had a store and ashery at Dewittville. 
In 1830 they removed to East Jamestown and 
built mills, and the place took the name of Dex- 
terville. Captain Anson Leet, of Connecticut, 
who came to Stockton in 1810, and in 1814 
purchased the land at Point Chautauqua, for- 
merly known as Leet's Point, was the first to 
settle at Point Chautauqua. He had eleven 
children. The next year William Hunt settled 
on lot 29, township 3, his land including the 
Chautauqua Assembly Grounds. In the south- 
eastern part of the town Samuel Porter, Jared 
Irwin, Ichabod Wing, Ephraim Hammond 
and Robert Lawson were early settlers. Rich- 
ard Whitney settled upon lot 21, David Morris 
upon lot 38. In the south part of the town 
the early settlers were : Alfred Paddock, David 
Adams, Robert Donaldson, Palta Sweatland, 
Dennis Hart, Ava Hart, Samuel Hustis and 
William Fowler. In the southwest Jacob Put- 
nam and in the north Joseph Davis found 
homes. William T. Howe settled a mile north- 
east of Mayville in 1816. Samuel B. Porter 
bought 200 acres four miles south of Mayville, 
cleared one acre, built a log cabin, and brought 
his second wife, Mary Justina Johnson, and his 
two youngest children to their new home in 
the wilderness. Mrs. Porter died in Novem- 
ber, 1848, Mr. Porter in October, 1863. 

Mayville, as the place for holding the courts, 
the meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the 
keeping of the public records and the transac- 
tion of the general business of the county, 
naturally attracted influential citizens to be- 
come residents. Samuel S. Whallon, when a 
boy, came with his parents to Mayville about 
1812 and resided there until his death in 1858. 
He was a prominent merchant, a member of 
Assembly, and in 1856 was elected canal com- 
missioner and held that office until he died. 
About 1815 Jedidiah Tracy moved to Mayville 
from Erie county, Pennsylvania, and kept for 
many years one of the best inns in the county. 

Robertson Whiteside settled in Chautauqua 
about 1820; he was subsequently county treas- 
urer and a member of Assembly. Jesse Brooks 
came to Mayville and became a merchant ; he 
was postmaster for twenty years, succeeding 
Jedidiah Tracy. William Green, long a well- 
known lawyer, came to Mayville in 1824. His 
brother, Richard O., once a county clerk, and 
George A., surrogate, came later. In 1828 in- 
creased communication with Jamestown was 
given to Mayville by the sidewheel steamboat 
"Chautauque ;" she made her first trip July 
4. 1828. This year Omar Farwell came and 
engaged in the tanning business and estab- 
lished a store. John Birdsall about this time 
became a resident and one of its most distin- 
guished citizens. Daniel Tennant, from Scot- 
land, about 1748 settled in Connecticut, where 
his son Daniel was born about 1761 and when 
eighteen entered the Revolutionary army, was 
at West Point at the time of the treason of 
Arnold, saw the American cannon spiked pre- 
paratory to a surrender to the British and saw 
Major Andre, after his capture. He married 
Miss Hale, of Irish birth, who had two brothers 
in the American army. After the war he set- 
tled at Waterville, Oneida county. Daniel 
Tennant, his son, born in 1802, came to this 
county in 1827 and bought wild timber land 
about three miles northeast of Hartfield. He 
married Hephzibah M. Leech, who was born 
in Connecticut in 1807, moved to Buffalo with 
her parents, whose home was burned by the 
British in 1812. Mrs. Tennant died in 1874; 
Mr. Tennant died in 1890. 

Between 1830 and 1835 many public im- 
provements were made in the town and many 
citizens of worth came to Mayville. In 1830 
it was incorporated as a village. In 183 1 Mat- 
thew P. Bemus, son of Charles Bemus, came 
to reside. He was born in Ellery, January 4, 
1831. He was one of the most public-spirited 
citizens, took an active part in the building of 
the Cross Cut railroad, and held many impor- 
tant public positions. In 1832 the county poor- 
house was erected and the jail was built. An 
act was passed that year to incorporate the 
Mayville & Portland Railroad Company, capi- 
tal $150,000, to construct a railroad from Port- 
land Harbor to Chautauqua Lake; the design 
was not carried into execution. In 1833 Don- 
ald McKinzie came to Mayville. He was one 
of the most distinguished citizens in the county. 
August 18, 1825, he married Adelgonda Hum- 
bert Droz, daughter of Alphonzo Humbert 
Droz, of Berne, Switzerland. He resided here 
until his death, January 20, 185 1, after a life 
of much adventure. He was a man of ability, 



of enterprise and of honor, and left a large re- 
spected family. In April, 1834, Mayville Acad- 
emy was incorporated, and a substantial build- 
ing of brick erected. In the fall the "Mayville 
Sentinel" was established by William Kibbe. 
About a year afterward, Beman Brockway be- 
came proprietor and conducted it successfully 
for ten years, when he removed to Osw r ego. It 
was then conducted by John F. Phelps until 
his decease in 1878. 

In 1835 the new court house was built, and 
the public execution of Damon occurred in 
Mayville on the sidehill not far from the Acad- 
emy. February 6, 1836, the land office was de- 
stroyed by a mob, and was thereafter opened 
and kept at Westfield. 

William A. Mayborne came to Mayville to re- 
side about 1836, and William Gifford about 1841. 
In 1854 Milton Smith was elected sheriff, and 
became a lifelong resident of Mayville. Amos 
K. Warren, afterwards sheriff, came in 1862. 
One of the most important events favorably 
affecting the interests of Mayville was the 
building of the Buffalo & Oil Creek Cross Cut 
railroad, now the Western New York & Penn- 
sylvania railroad, chartered in 1865. 

A county farm of one hundred acres having 
been purchased near Dewittville, a substantial 
brick building was erected in 1832, which was 
used until the present one was erected in 1870. 
Buildings for the unfortunate have been suc- 
cessively erected there in 1839, 1851, 1858, 
1868, 1903 and 1904. The present main build- 
ing is four stories high, with frontage of 104 
feet and depth of 68 feet. From the rear there 
is a center wing twenty-two feet wide, fifty- 
seven feet six inches long, two stories high. 
The cost of the building was $36,226, and its 
furnishings $1,500. When it was built it was 
the most beautiful building in the county, and 
was declared by official visitors to be the finest 
and best managed county house in the State. 
The farm now has 338 5/10 acres, and the 
whole property is valued over $100,000. 

As a result of the Chautauqua movement 
begun in 1873, Fair Point has been transformed 
into a permanent village of importance, while 
the lands bordering the upper part of the lake 
within the town have wonderfully increased in 
value. On September 30, 1875, Point Chau- 
tauqua Association was incorporated, that be- 
ing the beginning of the improvement of Leet's 
Point, many fine homes now adding to the 
beauty of that most sightly point on the lake- 
shore. These enterprises assured Mayville's 
permanent prosperity, and water works, pav- 
ing, electricity and railways followed in a tri- 
ur^ohal march of modern progress. The Chau- 

tauqua Institution will be made the subject of 
a special chapter. 

The First Baptist Church of Mayville was 
organized with thirty-eight members, by Elder 
Jonathan Wilson, a pioneer missionary from 
Vermont, February 7, 1820. Mr. Wilson was 
the first pastor of the church. The church edi- 
fice was built in 1834. 

The Chautauqua Society of the Methodist 
Episcopal church at Mayville was formed 
about 1820. A house of worship was erected 
in 1851. 

St. Paul's Church of Mayville was organized 
with about twenty members in April, 1823, by 
Rev. David Brown, the first pastor. The first 
church edifice was completed in January, 1828, 
and consecrated by Bishop Habart, September 
4, 1828. The present house was built in 1859, 
and consecrated by Bishop Coxe, May 18, 1865. 
Rev. G. W. Sinclair Ayres entered upon the 
rectorship of this church, November 1, 1893. 

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of 
Dewittville was formed with ten members in 
I 83S- by William Gifford. This house of wor- 
ship was purchased of the Baptists the same 
vear. The first pastor was Rev. Mr. Burgess. 

The First Free-Will Baptist Church of Chau- 
tauqua Hill, four miles north from Hartfield, 
was organized with five members in 1840, by 
Rev. T. V. Main, the first pastor, and a Mr. 
Neely. A house of worship was built about 

Summit Church, Methodist Episcopal, near 
Summit Station, where a class had been 
formed, built a house of worship through the 
instrumentality, it is said, of John H. Flagler 
in 1849. The first pastor after the completion 
of the church building was Rev. John K. Hal- 

The Christian Church at Dewittville was 
organized December 25, 1852, by Rev. E. H. 
Mosher, the first pastor, and E. H. Halladay. 
Their church edifice was erected in 1856. 

Mount Pleasant Church, United Brethren, 
three and a half miles southeast from Mayville, 
was organized with eight members in 1858 by 
Rev. Z. Sullivan, the first pastor. A church 
edifice was built in 1865. 

The United Brethren in Christ, of Elm Flats, 
was organized with eight members, February 
1, 1863, by Rev. N. R. Luce, the first pastor. 
A house of worship was erected in 1861 ; the 
present one in 1870. 

St. Peter's Church, German United Evan- 
gelical Protestant, at Mayville, was organized 
with twenty members in 1871 by Rev. O. Schro- 
der. Their church edifice was erected in 1871. 
The first pastor was Rev. Jacob Weber. 



The Swedish Lutherans organized a church 
at Mayville in 1870, built in 1872. Church and 
parsonage are worth $4,000. 

Summit Lodge, No. 312, Free and Accepted 
Masons, was instituted at Mayville, in 1818, 
and derived its name from its location on the 
summit of the watershed between the Missis- 
sippi and the St. Lawrence river systems. The 
first meeting was held in Asahel Lyon's rooms ; 
the first officers were John Dexter, worthy 
master ; James M. Cochrane, senior warden ; 
Asahel Lyon, junior warden ; David Eason, 
treasurer ; Calvin Macomber, secretary. The 
lodge was discontinued in 1824, and was re- 
vived on November 4, 1850, as No. 219. Its 
last meeting at Mayville was held February 14, 
185 1, and it was moved to Westfield. 

Peacock Lodge, No. 696, Free and Accepted 
Masons, held its first meeting U. D., February 
28, 1869, and received its charter June 9, 1869. 
The lodge perpetuates the name of a distin- 
guished and worthy brother, William Peacock, 
who was ever governed by true Masonic prin- 
ciples. The first officers elected were N. G. 
Luke, worshipful master ; George Wood, senior 
warden ; John F. Young, junior warden ; Amos 
K. Warren, treasurer; O. E. Tiffany, secre- 
tary ; William S. Gleason, senior deacon ; Peter 
M. Pickard, junior deacon. 

Supervisors — John McMahan, 1805-07; Ar- 
thur Bell, 1808; Thos. Prendergast, 1809; Matt. 
Prendergast, 1810-11; Samuel Ayres, 1812; 
John Scott, 1813; John E. Marshall, 1814; Mar- 
tin Prendergast, 1815-16-18, and 1819-33; John 
Dexter, 1817; Jabez B. Burrows, 1834-36; Wm. 
Prendergast, 1837-39; Alva Cottrell, 1840-41- 
46; Dexter Barnes, 1842; Cyrus Underwood, 
1843-44 ; Wm. Green, 1845 ; Williard W. Crafts, 
1847-48-53; Martin Prendergast, 1849-61-64; 
Stephen W. Hunt, 1850-51 ; Hiram A. Pratt, 
1852; David Woods, 1854-55; John Birdsall, 
1856-57; Wm. Gifford, 1858-59; Milton G. Free- 
man, i860; Daniel H. Hewes, 1865; Wm. P. 
Whiteside. 1866: Matt. P. Bemus, 1867-72; 
John Birdsall, 1873-74; Sidney R. Lawson, 
"1875-76; James M. Hunt, 1877; Lewis T. Har- 
rington, 1878-79; Ezra J. Scofield, 1880-8^; 
Eldred Lott, 1884; J. Franklin Hunt. 1885-87; 
Herman Sixbey, 1888-89; Geo. W. Hewes, 
1890-93; Thos. Hutson, 1894-96; Willis H. 
Tennant, 1897-99; August Anderson, 1900-03; 
Thos. Hutson, 1904-07; Marion W. Scofield, 
1908-13 ; Martin P. Whallon, 1914-20. 

The population of Chautauqua, according to 
the New York State census of 1915 was: Citi- 
zens, 3,854; aliens, 79; Mayville reporting 

The Chautauqua Print Shop at Chautauqua 

and the Chautauqua Cabinet Company at May- 
ville are the principal industries, although 
Mayville has four small plants and Summer- 
vale two. The assessed value of real estate in 
the town in 1918 was $3,371,384; full value, 
$4,297,105. Good schools abound in all parts 
of the town. 

Cherry Creek — The town of Cherry Creek, 
situated in the northern and eastern part of the 
county, was set off from the town of Ellington 
on May 4, 1829. When Surveyor Joshua Bent- 
ley, Jr., found the center of the new town to be 
on an island in a stream, he cut down a small 
cherry tree, made it into a sharpened stake, 
drove it down, and named the stream Cherry 
creek. The town took its name from the creek, 
settlement was made, and a village started in 
the locality once famous for its cherry trees, to 
which was given the name Cherry Creek. 

Original purchases in township 4, Range 10: 

1815 — March, Joshua Bentley, 15; April, Joshua 
Bentley, 9 (settled on by Joshua M. Kent) ; May, Gard- 
ner Crantiall. 

1816— May, Barber Babcock, 19; June, Ely D. Pen- 
dleton, 20; October, Reuben Cheney, 18. 

1817 — June, Elam Edson, 18; November, Rufus 
Hitchcock, 49. 

1818 — April, John Smith, 17; August, Hiram Hill, 49. 

1821 — October, John P. Hadley, 41; Henry Bab- 
cock, 20; Alvah Hadley, 41; Julius Gibbs, 41; Robert 
James, 36; Nathaniel Gibbs, Jr., 11; Eliphalet Wilcox, 
17, Robert Page, 13. 

1823 — March, James Carr, 14; December, Enos A. 
Bronson, 56. 

1824 — February, Eason Matteson, 10; March, Ira 
B. Tanner, 46; May, Amos Abbey, 64; Nathan Worden, 
16; June, Jared Ingalls, 22; Ira Bassett, 25; July, Ward 
King, 17; October, William G. Carr, 24; Dudley 
Waters, 48. 

1825 — April, John Luce, 58; William Lathrop, 24; 
May, Ira Bassett and Samuel W. Wilcox, Jr., 25; Sep- 
tember, George Burdeck, 38 ; October, Aury Cronk- 
hite, 21; Arahel H. Mallory, 21: Eddy Wetherly, 28; 
November, Robert James, Jr., 35. 

1826 — April, Putnam Farrington, 63; October, Lyman 
Town and Thomas King, 56; December, Henry Luce, 

1827 — April, Ebenezer Still, Jr., 39; June, Stephen 
Blaisdell, 18; September, Nehemiah Osborne, 31; 
Israel Seeley, 31: Issachar Hammond, 30. 

1829 — June, William A. Bowen, 13; July, Thomas 
King, 18; December, Sylvester Osborne, 14. 

The statement is now unhesitatingly made 
that the first settlement in the town of Cherry 
Creek was made by Joseph M. Kent, on lot 9, 
in the spring of 181 5. He was born in Royal- 
ton, Vermont, and after having lived in Herki- 
mer and Onondaga counties, New York, re- 
moved to Chautauqua county, settling in what 
is now Cherry Creek with his wife and seven 
children. Mr. Kent, his son George, Nancy, 
his eldest daughter, and John P. Kent, a 
nephew, cleared the first land and raised the 



first crop of potatoes. The next spring, desti- 
tute of provisions and money, he felled a pine 
tree and made a canoe sixty feet in length, 
launched it in Conewango creek, put into it 
fifteen hundred pounds of maple sugar and 
some black salts, and ran it down to Pittsburgh. 
He there exchanged his cargo for flour, pork, 
salt, and with the help of his son George pushed 
his vessel with pikepoles back to Cherry Creek, 
having been absent about three weeks. 

Joshua Bentley, Jr., the second settler, set- 
tled on lot 15, now known as the Decker farm, 
September 1, 1815. He had located in Ellery 
about 1808, and was one of the surveyors that 
ran the lines in this part of the county prior to 
its settlement. Cherry Creek's first road was 
cut out by John Kent, brother of Joseph M., 
one of the first purchasers of land in Villenova. 
In the spring of 1810 he built his house on the 
old Indian camping grounds at the headwaters 
of the Conewango, also the first sawmill and 
gristmill in the eastern part of the county. 
Where the Indian trail from the Cattaraugus 
Reservation to the Allegheny crossed the farm 
later owned by Alfred H. Blaisdell, there were 
two large springs where the Indians had a 
camp with a stone fireplace. This camp was 
almost constantly occupied by parties of In- 
dians, who stopped to fish and hunt as they 
passed either north or south. 

John P. Kent, a son, and John Dighton, in 
the summer of 1812, cut out the first road 
through from Kent's Mill in Villenova, sixteen 
miles through Cherry Creek to Kennedyville, 
for which they received from the Holland Land 
Company ten dollars per mile. This road fol- 
lowed the line of the Conewango Valley on the 
Indian trail running on the west side of the 
village. Three years later they cut out another 
road to Sinclairville, branching off from the old 
road on lot 16 in Cherry Creek, taking a south- 
westerly line, passing the homes of Gardiner 
Crandall and Isaac Curtis on lot 23. At that 
time they were the only residents in town on 
this road. This has been known as the old 
Kent road, and is now called Kent street. Gar- 
diner Crandall and Isaac Curtis had each pur- 
chased one hundred acres on lot 23. Mr. Cran- 
dall built a log house twenty-six by twenty, 
and in the spring of 1816 both families moved 
into it and lived there until Mr. Curtis could 
build. Mr. Crandall lived many years in 
Cherry Creek, and became the father of twenty- 
two children by two wives. Stephen Curtis, a 
brother of Isaac, settled on adjoining land, and 
left two sons, Henry L. and John H. Curtis. 
James Marks the next purchaser of land (his 
deed calling for one hundred sixty acres in the 

south part of lot 20, bearing date October 20, 
1815), built his log house, covered with bark 
and without any floor, and moved in his furni- 
ture, consisting of an ax, a gun and a "baking 
kittle." This was the first house built in the 
now incorporated village of Cherry Creek. His 
house soon after became unoccupied and re- 
mained so until about 1824; it was then fitted 
up for a schoolhouse for the first school taught 
in the village. Its teacher, Angeline Picker- 
ing, became the wife of John Babcock and set- 
tled in Busti. In May, 1816, Barber Babcock 
on lot 19, Ely D. Pendleton on lot 20 and Reu- 
ben Cheeney on lot 18, became settlers of 
Cherry Creek, lived here many years, raised 
families, cleared up farms and made homes. 
In June, 1817, Elam Edson, William Weaver, 
on lot 18, Rufus Hitchcock and Hiram Hill 
on lot 49, John Smith, lot 17, Henry Bab- 
cock, lot 20, Nathaniel Gibbs, Jr., lot 11, Eli- 
phalet W. Wilcox, lot 17, Robert Page, lot 
28, were settlers. Daniel Hadley from Ver- 
mont came with his family, November 9, 1817. 
Three of his sons settled in Cherry Creek, Niles 
and Alvah on parts of lot 41, John P. on lot 27, 
near the village. He married the daughter of 
Robert James, also an early settler. He took 
an active part in laying out and cutting out 
early roads in Cherry Creek and in getting the 
town set off from Ellington in 1829. He also 
frequently served in town offices and was town 
clerk at the time of his death. He held militia 
offices from corporal to major. 

In the southwest part of the town lived Al- 
vah Hadley, whose son, Ozro A., was for a 
time acting Governor of Arkansas, and Niles 
Hadley, who lived and died on his early pur- 
chased home. Also settled here Mr. Ward and 
his sons, William, On and Ai ; Hudson Smith, 
John Howard, Nathaniel Dunham, Arthur 
Hines, Addison Phillips, John Luce, Reuben 
A. Bullock, Myron Field, Horatio Hill. Joseph 
Price on lot 42 had three sons : John, Lawrence 
and David. Abraham T. Andrus settled where 
the late John D. Mount lived. In the north- 
west part were : John Bartlett, Ira B. Tan- 
ner, Alvah Bannister, Elkanah Steward, Oliver 
Carpenter, Anson Newton, Wilbur Burdick, 
John Essex, J. Richardson, Eben Abbey, Put- 
nam Farrington, a general of the War of 1812. 
Ora Parks, who settled in 1824 on lot 37, three 
miles in the woods from neighbors, cleared his 
farm and raised a large family. Enos A. Bron- 
son came from Connecticut and settled on lot 
56, near the north line, in 1825, where he died 
in 1858. His sons were William, Horace, 
Allen L., and Monson M. 

In a little settlement at Shattuck's school- 



house was made the first attempt at a village in 
the town in the spring of 1820, on lot 34. Here 
settled Robert James, Montgomery Evans, 
Norton Still, David Myers, Horatio Hill, 
Demas Stone, Robert James, Jr., and Randall 
Spencer, who held the first Methodist class 
meetings in his house for a number of years. 
A burying ground was soon laid out. Pliny 
Shattuck opened a blacksmith shop here in 
1831. The hopes of having a village at this 
point were soon blasted. 

George H. Frost, from Renssalaer county, 
came in 1823, and built the second house in 
what is now the village of Cherry Creek, on the 
south part of lot 20, where C." D. Leonard's 
cheese factory once stood (land taken up by 
James Marks in 1815). Mr. Frost became the 
first settler with a family in the village, kept 
the first tavern, and was the first postmaster; 
he afterward kept a store, later lived on a 
farm, but returned to the village, where he died 
in 1873. He had been for several years super- 

William Green. Almeron Bly, Elam Edson, 
Ira Bassett, John Bovee, Rollins Kilburn, 
Harry James, Aaron Bartlett, John P. Hadley, 
Thomas Berry, Cyrus Thatcher and Alfred 
Goodrich were early settlers in the village. In 
the vicinity were Michael Page, Eddy Weather- 
ly, Jotham Godfrey, Stephen Blaisdell, Julius 
Gibbs, Henry Babcock, William Kilbourn and 
Thomas Carter, who established a tannery with 
a shoe shop. In the central part, Robert James 
settled in 1820, on lot 36, where he died. Of 
his sons, Robert J. was supervisor in 1831-32; 
Jonathan was a physician. Thomas Mount 
brought his wife and fourteen children from 
New Jersey. His sons were Ezekiel, John, 
Hezekiah, Furman and Samuel. Anthony 
Morian settled on lot 44 in 1835 and raised a 
family of ten children. 

In the southeast part, Wanton King settled 
on lot 9 in 1820; his sons were Thomas Ward 
and Obediah. On lot 12, Josiah Crumb settled. 
Eason Matteson located on lot 18 in 1820. In 
the south part the early settlers were : Daniel 
Waggoner, Isaac C. Brown, William S. Bul- 
lock. Moses Ells, Clark Losee, George W. 
Hitchcock. Job Eddy settled on lot 23, in the 
northeast part in 1820. Thomas Wilcox, from 
Hanover, was an early settler, first on lot 17, 
in 1819, on lot 21 in 1824, and on lot 24 in 1829, 
where he died. He was noted for his industry 
and for clearing much land. His sons were 
Daniel, Erastus, Alfred and Harlow. James 
Carr settled in 1823 on lot 15, land bought of 
Joshua Bentley, Jr., and afterwards kept store 
in the village. He was supervisor of Elling- 

ton in 1828-29 and the first supervisor of 
Cherry Creek. He had one son, Andrew J. 
William G. Carr came in October, 1829, with 
wife and two children and settled on lot 15, 
Jarius Nash from Stephentown, an early school 
teacher, settled on lot 23. Jared Ingalls located 
on all of lot 22 in 1825 and built a sawmill. 
Daniel B. Parsons, from Madison county, set- 
tled in 1850 on lot 27,, where he died. Both he 
and his son, Reuben W., were supervisors. 
William Weaver, in 1817, settled on lot 18; a 
few years after on lot 14, where he died. On 
Powers Hill, George Sheffield settled on lot 
29; his sons were Aaron, Hiram, Alanson and 
Judson. Daniel Powers, a son-in-law, from 
whom the hill takes its name, settled on the 
same lot. 

The first birth in town was that of Lydia, 
daughter of Joseph M. and Patty Kent, in 
1816 ; she married Charles B. Green, of Elling- 
ton. The first marriage was James Battles to 
Rachael, daughter of Daniel Hadley, June 6, 
1819. The first death was that of Rufus Hitch- 
cock in 1820; he fell from the roof of his house 
just as he had completed it, and fractured his 
skull. The first school was taught by Reuben 
Cheeney, in the south part of the town. The 
first merchant was Seth Grover, who started in 
trade in 1831. He had in connection with his 
store an ashery and a pearling oven. Later 
Cyrus Thatcher and George H. Frost were in 
trade. The first resident physician, Horace 
Morgan, came in 1829. He was followed bv 
Oliver B. Main, Edwin G. Bly, T. G. Walker 
and others. Among the early tailors were 
Jonathan Greenman and Russell Bartlett. The 
first sawmill was built by William Kilburn in 
1824 on Cherry Creek, near the village; he 
attached, the next year, a shop for making 
spinning wheels, chairs, etc., to his mill. The 
second sawmill was built by Robert James and 
William Green in 1833. The first grist mill 
was built by Hull Nickerson in 1828, near the 
site of Price's sawmill. It had one run of 
stones and was used only for corn. It was 
known for years as the old "pepper" mill. In 
1S48 Joseph Kent built a grist mill with all 
modern appliances with three runs of stones. 
This mill was burned in 1869 and rebuilt in 
1870 by Silas Vinton. Immediately under the 
grocery store of C. L. Frost a large spring bub- 
bled up. In the early days of settlement this 
was much larger than now and overflowed 
quite an area of land. The deer found some 
attractive quality in the water not present in 
any other spring and resorted there often in 
numbers. This gave it the name of "the deer 
lick," by which it was long known. 


The first town meeting in Cherry Creek after 
its formation was at the hotel of George H. 
Frost in March, 1830. At that meeting James 
Carr was elected the first supervisor, Robert 
James the first town clerk. 

Supervisors — James Carr, 1830-33-36-40-46- 
52. Robt. James, Jr., 1S31-32; Geo. H. Frost, 
1834-35; Oliver Carpenter, 1837; Horace Bron- 
son, 1838; Wm. G. Carr, 1839; Wm. Kilbourn, 
1841-43 ; Arch. F. Robins, 1844 ; Oliver B. Main, 
1845-49-50; Chas. A. Spencer, 1847-48; Jos. 
Kent. 1851-56; Daniel B. Parsons, 1853-54; 
Silas Vinton, 1855-59-60-68-71 ; Horatio Hill, 
1857-58-64; R. W. Parsons, 1861-63-65; An- 
thony Morian, 1862-67; Geo. N. Frost, 1866-69- 
7 2 v3-75v7 "> W. C. Carpenter, 1870; Harrv Bil- 
ings, 1874; Wm. S. Blaisdell, 1878-79; Jas. Rich- 
ardson, 1880; S. A. Ferrin, 1881-92; W. F. Stet- 
son, 1889; Wm. I. Phillips, 1890; R. A. Hall, 
1893-95 ; C. L. Wheeler, 1896-1903 ; C. A. Mount, 
1904-05; Edgar YV. Curtis, 1906-10; Ellis W. 
Storms. 191 1 ; Edgar W. Curtis, 1912-13; C. 
Leroy Edwards, 1914-20. 

The population of Cherry Creek in 191 5, 
according to the State census, was 1630, of 
whom 91 were aliens. Number of acres in the 
town, 22,957, valued at $763,625; assessed 
value (1918), $599,117. 

Cherry Creek is an incorporated village, 
beautiful in location, with broad, smooth 
streets adorned with good residences and busi- 
ness houses, and in addition to good stores in 
every department of trade has a bank, news- 
paper, canning factory, good hotels, churches, 
high school, fire department, a very popular 
form of government. The village is a station 
on the Buffalo & Southwestern railroad, 48 
miles from Buffalo and 22 miles from James- 

The principal industries of the village are 
the Cherry Creek Canning Company (canned 
fruits), and the W. F. Stetson Company, but- 
ter firkins. There are also three small factories. 
Cherry Creek village was incorporated, May 
20, 1893, the present government being vested 
in a president and two trustees, with clerk, 
treasurer and collector. The first election was 
held June 17, 1893, C. A. Mount being chosen 
the first president. The first trustees were I. 
S. Benton, W. E. Shepardson. H. Clinton 
Mount. The high school building was erected 
in 1896, and is a modernly equipped school 
with a competent corps of teachers. The post 
office was established in 1832. George H. Frost, 
postmaster. Rural free delivery was estab- 
lished September 15, 1902, with three routes. 
The Cherry Creek Fire Department was organ- 
ized July 15, 1890, Charles J. Shults being 

elected the first chief, C. A. Mount, the first 

The Methodist Episcopal church was organ- 
ized in 1857 with seven members. Rev. O. S. 
Meade the first pastor. The present church 
edifice was erected in 1881 at a cost of $5,000. 

The First Baptist Church was organized 
October 26, 1832, with twelve members, Elder 
Bennet the first pastor. In 1896 the church 
was rebuilt. 

The Free Baptist Church was organized in 
1826 by Rev. Thomas Grinnell, and was the 
first religious organization in Cherry Creek. 
A house of worship was built in 1846 at a cost 
of $2,500. 

A Christian Church was organized March 
23. 1839. The church had no meeting house, 
but maintained its organization up to about 

Cherry Creek Lodge, No. 384, Free and Ac- 
cepted Masons, was instituted in 1853 with 
nine charter members, and received the present 
warrant in June, 1855. William S. Blaisdell 
was the first master. 

Cherry Creek Lodge, No. 463, Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, was instituted April 6, 
1852, with six charter members, J. L. Clark 
the first noble grand. 

Bullock Post, No. 304, Grand Army Repub- 
lic, was organized November 2, 1882, with 
twenty charter members. 

Cherry Creek Grange, No. 527, Patrons of 
Husbandry, was organized August 18, 1887, 
with twenty-eight charter members. M. A. 
Phillips was its first master. 

Cherry Creek Lodge, No. 42, Ancient Order 
United Workmen, was organized November 
15, 1876, with twenty charter members. S. V. 
Q. Sherman was the first master workman. 

Pocahontas Hive, No. 21, Ladies of the Mac- 
cabees, was instituted in September, 1891, with 
thirteen charter members. Mrs. A. Bronson 
was the first lady commander. 

Ensign Circle, No. 281, was instituted No- 
vember 18, 1896, with sixteen charter members. 
Dr. Thomas E. Soules was the first president. 

Pocahontas Tent, No. 101, Knights of the 
Maccabees, was instituted in October, 1888, 
with eighteen charter members. 

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union 
was organized July 3, 1888, with a membership 
of twentv. 

Golden Chapter, No. 252, Order of the East- 
ern Star, was organized October 16, 1902. Mrs. 
Charles J. Shults was the first worthy matron 
and Isaac S. Benton, worthy patron. 

Clymer — Among the new towns taken 
directly from the "mother town," Chautauqua, 



was Clymer, organized February 9, 1821, and 
given the name of the patriotic Pennsylvanian, 
George Clymer, a signer of the Declaration of 
Independence. The town of Mina was set off 
from Clymer in 1824; and French Creek in 
1829, leaving Clymer an area of 21,985 acres, 
bounded on the north by Sherman, east by 
Harmony, west by French Creek, south by 
Pennsylvania. The surface is a hilly upland, 
well adapted to grazing and dairying, being 
well watered. The soil responds well to culti- 
vation and the Western New York & Penn- 
sylvania railroad traverses the town from north 
to south, with stations in Clymer, North Cly- 
mer, Clymer Center and Joquins. Clymer Hill 
is in the western part of the town. 

At Clymer, tanning leather was once an im- 
portant business, and about i860 Leonard 
Kooman established there one of the largest 
tanneries in the county. The first tannery was 
built on lot 35 by Ebenezer Brownell shortly 
after 1830. Walter L. and Loren B. Sessions 
conducted extensive tanning operations on the 
Brownell site in later years. 

Original Purchases: 

1820 — May, Wm. Rice, 59: Julv, Gardner Cleveland, 
Sr., 58. 

1821 — October, Horace and Anson Starkweather, 
43; Jos. Wing, 51; November, John Cleveland, 58. 

1822 — March, Thos. Russell, 50. 

1823 — January, Leonard Amidon, 52; October, Wm. 
Rice, 60. 

^24 — June, Eben. Brownell, ^5: Harry E. Brownell, 
28; Jos. Brownell, 50. 

1825— May, Amon Beebe, Jr., 30; August, Elisha 
Alvord, 21; October, Jos. W. Ross, 56, 55. 

1826— April, Chas. Ross. 56; May, Moses Randall, 
23; July, David Phinney; October, Jere. Glidden, 3, 8. 

1827— March, Darius and Walter Freeman, 47; Ralph 
Petit, 47; April, Jere. Doolittle, 37; May, David Glid- 
den, 16; June. Samuel Bligh, 32: August, Andrew 
Glidden, 16; September, Oscar F. and Daniel C. Glid- 
den, 8; October, Francis F. Allen, 2. 

1828 — Mav, Alvah Marsh. 40; Archaelaus Chadwick. 
1; John Petit, 47: Julv, Beni. Sullivan, 63; Samuel 
Ross, 27. 

1825) — July, Lyman Brown, 26: September, Jere. 
Chamberlain, 53; October, Urbane Hitchcock, 15. 

1830 — August, Harry E. Brownell, 28; September, 
Jackson Johnson, ^y. Thos. Russell, 50. 

Settlement was commenced in 1820 by Gard- 
ner and John Cleveland, who located on lot 58, 
in the southwest corner. The next year Wil- 
liam Rice settled on lot 59, and in 1822 came 
Horace and Anson Starkweather and Joseph 
Wing. Eighteen families had located in the 
territory embracing the original town of Cly- 
mer in 1822. Nathaniel and William Thomp- 
son, Thomas Russell and Harry E. Brownell 
came in 1823. The first town meeting was 
held April 3, 1821, at the house of Gardner 
Cleveland, where were elected: Ande Nobles, 

supervisor; William Rice, Roger Haskell, John 
M. Fitch, assessors; David Waldo, clerk; Ros- 
well Coe, John Cleveland, Alexander Findley, 
commissioners of highways ; Ephraim Dean, 
Ande Nobles, John Lynde, school inspectors; 
John Heath, Roger Haskell, school commis- 
sioners ; Alexander Findley, Roswell Coe, poor 
masters ; Ande Nobles, Alexander Findley, 
overseers of highways ; William Thompson, 
Amon Beebe, Roger Haskell, fence viewers, 
etc.; Ande Nobles, sealer; Eli Belknap, con- 
stable and collector. Before 1830 quite a set- 
tlement was made. Here had come and located 
Leonard Amidon in 1824; Charles Ross in 1824, 
on Clymer Hill; Ebenezer Brownell and Joseph 
Brownell in 1824 on lots 35, 28, 50 ; Peter Ja- 
quins in 1825; David Phinney in 1826; Silas 
Freeman with thirteen children came to Cly- 
mer Hill in 1828. His son, Leonard B., resided 
in this and adjoining towns for many years. 

Other early settlers were : Alexander Max- 
well, Elisha Alvord, Joseph Ross, Samuel 
Ross, Moses Randall, Jeremiah Glidden, Jere- 
miah R. Doolittle, David and Andrew Glidden, 
Samuel Bly, Oscar F. and Daniel C. Glidden, 
Francis F. Allen, Alvah Marsh, Archelaus 
Chadwick, Ralph and John Petitt, Benjamin 
Sullivan, Lyman Brown, Jeremiah Chamber- 
lain, Urbane Hitchcock, Samuel Wickwire, 
Charles Brighton, John S. Sessions. 

The Cleveland and Rice families had many 
representatives. Gardner Cleveland, a Revo- 
lutionary soldier, had three children and thirty- 
four grandchildren. William Rice had twelve 
children of whom three became prominent: 
Victor M., born in Mayville in 1818, was edu- 
cated at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., 
and from 1848 to 1854 was connected with the 
city schools of Buffalo, and in 1854 city super- 
intendent. From 1854 to 1S67 he was State 
Superintendent of Public Instruction ; William 
S., for twenty-one years teacher in Buffalo 
city schools, and several years city superin- 
tendent of Buffalo schools ; Emily A., long 
principal of Yonkers Female Seminary. Wil- 
liam Rice was many years a justice, and in 1840 
was one of the three representatives of the 
county in the State Assembly. 

Ira F. Gleason (whose father Ira settled early 
in French Creek, coming from Connecticut), 
came from Madison county in 183 1 to French 
Creek, thence in 1837 to Clymer Village and 
engaged in trade, which he conducted continu- 
ously for twenty years. He held many impor- 
tant offices — justice, supervisor, etc. Young 
gives the early merchants thus : "The first 
store is said to have been kept by John Stow 
in 1823. John Heath and Joseph H. Williams 


succeeded him. Alvin Williams succeeded 
them, and also kept an inn, the first in town in 
[826. Later were Gardner Cleveland, Jr., and 
Howard Blodgett; Ira F. Gleason and John 
Williams; Gleason and Stephen W. Steward; 
Stephen W. Steward ; Avers & Blood. In 1875 
William B. Blodgett and Arthur Beach were 
general merchants ; Avers & Coffin, druggists ; 
Willis D. Gallup & Son, hardware and stoves." 

One of the early and industrious pioneers of 
Clymer was Peter Jaquins, a soldier in the War 
of 18 1 2. He reomved from Guilford, Chenango 
county, to Cattaraugus county in 1820, in 1824 
bought lot 42 in Clymer. and in 1825 made his 
home here and erected the first saw and grist 
mills in the town. He was an excellent hunter, 
and it is said "that he captured nearly one hun- 
dred wolves previous to 1812, for which he re- 
ceived an average bounty of twelve dollars per 
head." His children were : Bruce, who located 
near his father ; Edward, who went to Kansas ; 
Wallace; Art, a farmer and cattle dealer, who 
married Frances Vrooman : Elizabeth. The 
name of this enterprising pioneer is perpetu- 
ated in the post office called Jaquins. 

James, John and David Petitt,, brothers, emi- 
grants, arrived at New York about 1789 to be- 
come citizens of the New World. One of them 
settled on Long Island, one located in New 
Jersey and James made his home on the west 
shore of Lake Champlain. Here his son Ralph 
was born at Willsborough, Essex county. 
Ralph when a young man went to Genesee 
county, where he married Julia Lyons, March 
25, 1827, and the next month the young couple 
came to Clymer and commenced housekeeping 
in the primitive house erected on Mr. Petitt's 
location on lot 47. on Clymer Hill. Mr. Petitt 
was thereafter a lifelong resident of the town 
and held numerous local offices. Ten of his 
children attained maturity. 

Lyman Brown, a native of Kingston, Pa., 
born May 30, 1801, subsequently was a resident 
of Hamburg, Erie county. In 1820 he bought 
land on lot 26 in Clymer, and in 1831 became 
a settler of the town, where he resided until 
his death in 1873; his wife died the same year. 
Mr. Brown was extensively engaged in cattle 
dealing, was supervisor in 1848, and held other 
town offices. His sons were Jesse, Martin, 
Homer. Jesse was born May 9, 1825, in Erie 
county, married Louisa Bligh, of North Cly- 
mer in 1851 ; he followed the vocation of his 
father, served as town superintendent, super- 
visor several years, inspector of elections many 
years, and loan commissioner several terms. 

In 1832 Gideon Brockway, with his wife and 
four children, removed from Southampton, 

Mass., to Clymer, purchased a farm and resided 
here until his death. His youngest son, Rich- 
ard B., accompanied his father and made Cly- 
mer his home. Beman, oldest son, came a year 
later to visit his parents, and as he says, "in 
the winter of 1833 I taught a district school in 
Clymer, for which I was about as well qualified 
as the average citizen is to edit a newspaper. 
However, I made out to stand the occupation 
three months, which were the longest ones I 
remember to have passed in my whole life." 
Mr. Brockway proved his ability to "edit a 
newspaper" not many years after, by making 
a success of the "Mayville Sentinel," which he 
edited and published for ten years. He was on 
the editorial staff of the "New York Tribune" 
with such men as Horace Greeley and Charles 
A. Dana as companions. At the time of his 
death, December, 1892, he was the oldest news- 
paper editor and publisher of the State, and the 
owner of the "Watertown Daily and Weekly 
Times." In him all elements of a strong char- 
acter were so united as to cause one to say, 
"He was a man." 

Williard McKinstry writes in the "Fredonia 
Censor" in 1885 this of the town : 

The dwellings fiftv years ago were mostly of logs. 
Some noted characters have lived in this vicinity, 
Horace Greeley's parents about two miles from the 
village, and this was their post office address. J. G. 
Cleveland, since connected with the New York "Tribune, ' 
spent his boyhood days here. William Rice, a member 
of the Legislature in 1840, was the village blacksmith, 
and his son, Hon. Victor M. Rice, has since occupied 
a prominent position as State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction and was the founder of the free school 
system of this State. He struggled to get an educa- 
tion. His first school books were bought by his going 
to the woods and cutting wood for the ashery and 
drawing it there with a pair of steers which he had 
broken, made the exchange with my uncle who then 
carried it on. Hon. Silas Terry, a most worthy citi- 
zen, held a seat in the Legislature of 1840, and his son, 
L. S. Terry, who has been Supervisor several times, is 
one of the progressive farmers of the town. When 
Senator Lorenzo Morris first commenced practicing 
law he opened an office over Ira F. Gleason's store in 
Clymer, and Stephen W. Steward did mercantile busi- 
ness here before founding the First National Bank of 
Corry It is a prosperous agricultural town, and the 
railroad and the building up of the City of Corry, eight 
miles distant, have given it a good market and pros- 
perity It has an excellent soil and contains many 
splendid farms. Hon. Walter L. and Loren B Ses- 
sions passed their youthful days with their father, 
John S Sessions, an early settler on a farm in this 
town and have always had a strong support here in 
their political aspirations. Although a small town 
Clvmer has exerted an important influence at times in 
politics of the State through the men who have lived 

Garrett Slotbootrij a Hollander, came to Cly- 
mer in 1850, and died here in 1885. He had 


served his time in the Dutch army, married a 
daughter of John Nuytinck. His son, John A., 
was born in Holland, educated in the Clymer 
schools, and assisted his father in farming. He 
enlisted in August, 1862, in Company D, 112th 
Regiment, New York Volunteers, and served 
until the close of the war. He was wounded 
at Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 1, 1864. In 
1866 he commenced merchandising at Clymer 
Hill, continued twenty-five years, then located 
at Clymer Village. He served as justice of the 
peace and supervisor. He married Magde- 
lene, a daughter of Peter Kooman (who settled 
in Clymer about 1858. He was born near Ant- 
werp, Holland, emigrated to Buffalo in 1847. 
He died January 6, 1879). The Hollanders, 
many of whom have made their homes in the 
town, are useful and worthy citizens. Hon. G. 
W. Patterson, the land agent, it is said, was so 
impressed with the value of obtaining such 
frugal, honest and industrious people as resi- 
dents, that he made extra inducements to 
secure their coming. About 1846 the first 
nucleus was formed here and now a large per- 
centage of the town's best citizens are of this 

John Steward, Jr., settled in Harmony in 
1 82 1 and had a large family; his sons were, 
John, Stephen W., Eliphalet, and Alfred W. 
Stephen W. was for some years a merchant in 
Clymer and was later one of the most promi- 
nent in founding the First National Bank in 
Corry, Pennsylvania. Alfred W., a farmer 
and cattle dealer, resided in the village. Sar- 
dius located in Harmony and was prominent. 

Otis D. Hinckley was a resident of Clymer 
since 1850 and one of the town's most active 
and useful residents. He was for a time a 
merchant, but long and extensively employed 
as a surveyor. He was almost continually in 
office as justice of the peace, was justice of 
sessions of the county court, represented the 
First Assembly District in the State Legisla- 
ture of 1875 and served as clerk of the Board 
of Supervisors for twenty years with marked 

William Emery, son of Gilbert Emery, an 
early settler of Harmony, born in Harmony, 
April 19, 1840, was a farmer and lawyer, and 
long held the office of justice of the peace and 
other positions of trust. Byron King, son of 
James King, another son of Clymer, was one 
of its most substantial citizens. Maurice Smith, 
son of Walker Smith, was also born in the 
town, and a farmer. J. B. Johnson was also a 
farmer and a lumberman. Other residents who 
have been of local importance were Hon. Silas 
Terry, Artemas Ross, Esq., James Wiltsie, 

Daniel Hurlbut, John B. Knowlton, H. E. 
Brownell, Jesse Brown, W. D. Gallup, Otis D. 
Hinckley, Ira E., William B. and Charles S. 
Gleason, Stephen W. Steward, Charles Bright- 
man, Hartson S. Ayer, and John Bidwell, who 
headed the national ticket of the Prohibition 
Party, was a native of the town. 

The religious denominations are : Metho- 
dist Episcopal, Baptist, United Brethren and 
Dutch Reformed. A good interest has beei 
manifested in education, and, besides the dis- 
trict schools, a union school of three depart- 
ments is conducted at Clymer Village. 

Young carefully gathered facts concerning 
the early mills. He says in 1875 : 

The first sawmill was built by Peter Jaquins in 1825; 
he added a gristmill the next year. Eight years after 
both were burned. A new sawmill was built and eight 
years thereafter that was burned and Mr. Jaquins 
again built one, which he subsequently sold to Porter 
Damon and John Williams, who also built a gristmill. 
Williams sold his interest to Damon. The mill passed 
to his sons, Loren and Andrew. The latter sold to 
Hartson S. Ayer & Brother and the sawmill was sold 
to Hall & Shepard. Hall sold to Welch and Shepard 
& Welch erected a large three-story planing and shin- 
gle mill. William Rice built a gristmill below the vil- 
lage on the west branch of the Broken-Straw and sold 
it to Judson Hurlbut, who built a sawmill. Daniel 
Hurlbut built a sawmill on Big Broken-Straw, on lot 
50, a mile below the Shepard & Welch mill. John B. 
Knowlton now owns the mill, with machinery for plan- 
ing, turning and the manufacture of agricultural im- 
plements. Thomas Card built a sawmill on lot 20, 
where he still owns a mill. James Upton built a saw- 
mill on lot 45: the dam is built of stone from a large 
quarry near the mill. B. Parker early built a mill on 
lot Q. A stream sawmill was built by Shepard & 
Havens at Clymer Station, and is now owned by Wil- 
liam Havens. A stream mill has also been recently 
built near the center of the town by Charles Maxwell 
and Joshua Hatton. 

Clymer Village and station are practically 
one place, which is a thriving place of trade. 

The first physician was Dr. Roswell F. Van 
Buren, who was in practice from 1826 to 1836, 
when he moved to Carroll. Dr. S. G Peck 
settled early on lot 6, and practiced many years. 
Dr. Harvey A. Phinney succeeded to Dr. Van 
Buren's practice and continued a physician 
until his death in the fifties. Later were Drs. 
George R. Spratt, J. M. McWharf. Artemas 
Ross, L. P. McCray and others. 

Supervisors — 1821, Ande Nobles; 1822-23, 
John Heath; 1824-27, Gardner Cleveland; 1828, 
A. S. Underwood ; 1829, Alex. Wilson, Jr. ; 
1830, John Heath; 1831-34, Wm. Rice; 1835, 
Harvey A. Phinney; 1836-39, Wm. Rice; 1840, 
Ira F. Gleason; 1841-42, Wm. Rice; 1843- 
44, Moses Randall; 1845, Wm. Rice; 1846-47, 
Samuel Bly ; 1848, Lyman Brown ; 1849-50. 



Chas. Brightman; 1851-55, Stephen W. Stew- 
ard; 1856, Jesse Brown; 1857, Stephen W. 
Steward; 1858-59, Chas. Brightman; i860, Her- 
ules Rice; 1861, L. S. Terry; 1862-63, Hartson 
S. Ayer; 1864-67, Joshua Hatton ; 1868-70, 
Hartson S. Ayer; 1871-72, Jesse Brown; 1873- 
74, Otis J. Green; 1875, Jesse Brown; 1876-78, 
O. D. Hinckley; 1879-82, Lawyer S. Terry; 
1883-89, John A. Slotboom; 1890-96, James D. 
Gallup ; 1 897-03-04-05-06-07-08-09- 10- 1 1-12-13- 
14-15-16-17-18-19-20, Lorenzo P. McCray, who 
in 1914-15-16-17, was chairman pro tern, of the 

board and in 1918-19 was its capable chairman. 
He is now serving his twenty-fourth term on 
the board, only one other member Joseph A. 
McGinnies having served a longer term. 

Clymer reported to the State census bureau 
in 1915 a population of 1,316 citizens and 25 
aliens. The Mohawk Condensed Milk Company 
of Clymer was reported as employing 31 hands, 
and four small factories employing eleven 
hands were operated within the town limits. 
The full value of real estate in the town in 1918 
was $970,726; assessed value, $761,603. 

The City of Dunkirk. 

Town and City of Dunkirk — The first white 
men whom it can be definitely stated came into 
the corporate limits of the city of Dunkirk 
were a party of surveyors under Andrew E'li- 
cott, Surveyor-General of the United States, 
who in August, 1790, traversed the Lake Erie 
shore of Chautauqua county while engaged in 
establishing the western boundary of New 
York State. Seth Pease and his party of Hol- 
land Land Company surveyors came in 1798 
and traversed the same shore, making a minute 
survey of the shore line of Dunkirk harbor. 
To Zattu Cushing, who became familiar with 
the section in 1799, when building the "Good 
Intent" at the mouth of Mill creek in Erie 
county, Pennsylvania, is due the credit of caus- 
ing the first settlement to be made in both the 
town and city of Dunkirk. The first step taken 
by Mr. Cushing was in 1804, by the purchase 
from the Holland Land Company lot 29, which 
included the west part of Point Gratiot, now 
a public park within the corporate limits of 
Dunkirk. He also in the same year bought 
lots 28 and 33, these including the lands on 
both sides of Canadaway creek and within the 
present city limits. 

The first actual settler in the town of Dun- 
kirk was Seth Cole, who came from Paris, 
Oneida county, with Zattu Cushing in Febru- 
ary, 1805, bought land at the mouth of Canada- 
way creek from Cushing the following June 
and settled thereon the same year. Zattu Cush- 
ing settled on his land in now the town of Pom- 
fret, where descendants yet reside. The land, 
for which he paid three and a third dollars per 
acre, was cultivated by Seth Cole, who took 
his first crop to Buffalo over the frozen waters 
of Lake Erie. In 1808 Timothy Goulding 
bought land one mile west of the harbor and 
settled thereon, his purchase including a part 
of Point Gratiot. He built his house within 

the now corporate limits, and has the distinc- 
tion of being the first actual settler of the city, 
as Seth Cole was of the town of Dunkirk. The 
first settler at the Harbor was Solomon Chad- 
wick, born at Warren, Mass., October 16, 1776. 
In Madison county, New York, he married 
Persis, sister of Timothy and Luther Goulding, 
and in 1809 moved to Dunkirk with his family, 
making the journey overland with sled and 
oxen. By a contract dated February 21, 1810, 
he bought seventy-three acres at the Harbor, 
all lying within the present limits of Ward 
Two of Dunkirk. His log cabin, the first at 
the Harbor, was on the shore near the foot of 
present Dove street, a little East of the water 
works, where he lived five or six years, then 
moved to the town of Sheridan, thence to 
Perrysburg, in Cattaraugus county, where he 
died, aged 87. From him Dunkirk derived the 
name of "Chadwick's Bay." A rivalry existed 
for several years between Fredonians, who 
spoke of "the lonely fishermen of Chadwick's 
Bay," the fishermen in turn talking of "picking 
blackberries on the common at Pomfret Four 

Luther Goulding came from Madison county 
in June, 1809, and settled west of Chadwick 
and built a log house near the bay and east of 
his brother Timothy. Luther Goulding built 
a barn near Point Gratiot, the first frame build- 
ing erected in the city. That barn was repre- 
sented in a painting of Dunkirk made by Pro- 
fessor D'Almane in 1835, and was standing as 
late as 1846. 

But a little later than the Chadwicks and 
Gouldings came the Brighams, who were 
longer and more closely identified with the for- 
tunes of Dunkirk. John Brigham came in 
1808, bought lot 23, within present city limits, 
and there died in August, 1828. He laid out 



Brigham road in Dunkirk, the second road 
opened from Fredonia to the lake. 

John Brigham, Jr., with his wife and child, 
came with his father, and Walter E. Brigham 
was the first white child born in Dunkirk. 
Amon Gaylord, born in Connecticut, came 
about 1811 and built upon land on Lake street, 
a little west of Central avenue, his son Ahiram 
coming at the same time. Daniel Pier came 
in January, 1814, and built at the corner of 
now Second and Lake streets. 

The first vessel of which there is record 
came to Chadwick's Bay in 1810, commanded 
by Samuel Perry, but Dunkirk Harbor and 
the mouth of the Canadaway became better 
known during the second war with Great 

June 18, 1 81 2, war was declared against Eng- 
land, of which official information reached Fort 
Niagara on the 26th. The British learned of 
this twelve hours earlier through a dispatch 
sent to Queenstown by John Jacob Astor in the 
interest of the Fur Company. They promptly 
captured a small vessel loaded with salt which 
had just set out from Black Rock to coast 
along the shore of Chautauqua to Barcelona 
or Erie. This was the first notice the citizens 
of Buffalo had of the existence of war. It cre- 
ated consternation upon the border. Chautau- 
qua was thinly settled. Its people were poor and 
illy prepared. Having forty miles of lake coast, 
it was more exposed to invasion than most of 
the other parts of the Holland Purchase. Until 
Perry's victory in the fall of 1813, the British 
had complete command of Lake Erie, and 
could land forces at Dunkirk, Barcelona, Silver 
Creek, and at the mouth of the Cattaraugus. 
The poverty of the people undoubtedly shielded 
the county from invasion. Soon after news of 
war reached the county, a detachment of forty- 
five men tinder Captain James McMahan was 
posted at Barcelona, where he built a defensive 
work to protect salt boats on their arrival at 
the northern terminus of the Portage road. A 
similar detachment was stationed at the mouth 
of the Canadaway to guard those salt boats on 
their way up the lake. Salt from the Onondaga 
salt springs for Pittsburgh was at this time the 
principal article of transportation along the 
southeastern shore of the lake. 

With the exception of an affair at the mouth 
of the Cattaraugus, the town of Dunkirk has 
the distinction of being the only town in the 
county in which actual hostilities occurred be- 
tween opposing forces in war, subsequent to 
its settlement. It was an attempt by the 
enemy to capture a salt boat on its way from 
Buffalo to Erie. About forty men of Captain 

Tubbs's company, Col. John McMahan's regi- 
ment, had been posted at the Widow Cole's 
house at the mouth of the Canadaway. The 
salt boat had put into Eighteen Mile Creek to 
escape a British cruiser. It stole out in the 
darkness, and after a hard night's row ran up 
on the west shore of Canadaway creek. As 
morning broke and the fog cleared away, they 
saw off the mouth of the creek, not a quarter 
of a mile away, a large armed schooner, proba- 
bly the "Lady Provost." A boat with a dozen 
or more armed men set out from the vessel to 
attack the salt boat, which fired upon them 
from a swivel. Captain Tubbs and his men lay 
concealed behind the east bank of the creek; 
when the British small boat arrived within 
musket shot they opened fire. The boat imme- 
diately put back to the vessel, with what, if 
any, loss has not been certainly ascertained. 
It is related that the crew of the "Lady Pro- 
vost," afterwards captured by Perry, stated it 
to have been three wounded and none killed. 

Mrs. Cole was the heroine of the occasion ; 
when hostilities commenced she mounted her 
horse and rode to the Canadaway for reinforce- 
ments ; after her return she was actively en- 
gaged in carrying food and drink to the men. 
The war waged by the British upon salt boats 
finally destroyed all commerce in salt, and its 
transportation over the Portage Road came to 
an end. 

During the summer of 1813, British vessels 
were cruising the lake, chasing and capturing 
such small craft as ventured from port, occa- 
sionally looking into Erie Harbor, where Perry 
was building his fleet, and now and then com- 
mitting depredations along the American shore. 
The "Queen Charlotte," mounting seventeen 
guns, afterwards captured by Perry at the 
battle of Put-in Bay, was the most dreaded of 
these vessels. She was a scourge to the in- 
habitants all along the eastern border of the 
lake, often hovered off Dunkirk, and made fre- 
quent descents to plunder the inhabitants, par- 
ticularly at or near Eighteen Mile Creek in 
Erie county. 

After the war the commerce of the bay in- 
creased a little. Haven Brigham, second son of 
Jonathan, before mentioned, settled in Sheri- 
dan in 1S10. He and his younger brother Win- 
sor built a sawmill and had it in operation in 
181 1, but soon after Winsor sold out his inter- 
est to Haven and commenced the erection of 
the county court house at Mayville. Haven, 
about 1815, built a schooner of forty tons' 
burden, the "Kingbird." She was commanded 
1>v Capt. Zephnniah Perkins, who ran her be- 
tween Dunkirk and Buffalo, freighted with 




lumber from Haven's mill. She brought back 
merchandise for the people of Dunkirk and 

In 1816 a stock of goods consigned to Ralph 
and Joseph Plumb, merchants of Fredonia, 
was landed at Chadwick's Bay. As this was 
the first cargo of such a nature, a temporary 
wharf was made by placing wooden horses in 
the water upon which planks were laid until 
the vessel was reached from the shore. 

In 1817, with the passage of the act author- 
izing the construction of the Erie canal, a new 
and hopeful era dawned for Dunkirk. The act 
was passed April 15, 1817, and the same year 
DeWitt Clinton was elected Governor of New 
York. Chadwick's Bay was then undoubtedly 
the best harbor on Lake Erie within New York 
State limits, and was for a time a dangerous 
rival of both Buffalo and Black Rock. Gov- 
ernor Clinton thought most favorably of Chad- 
wick's Bay, and invested in Dunkirk real estate. 
Dunkirk was spoken of as the most suitable 
western terminus for the Erie canal, and hopes 
ran high, likewise speculation. 

Daniel Garnsey in 1816 or 181 7 purchased 
for Elisha Jenkins, of Albany, as trustee for a 
company composed of Isaiah and John Town- 
send, DeWitt Clinton and Mr. Thorn, 1,008 
acres of land, including the farms of Solomon 
Chadwick, Timothy and Luther Goulding, 
Daniel Pier and others. Assignments were 
taken of their contracts and deeds obtained of 
the Holland Land Company. Chadwick re- 
ceived $2,000 for his farm, for which he paid 
less than two hundred. Daniel Pier, who was 
a hatter when he came to Dunkirk two years 
before, brought with him a box of wet and 
damaged hats, which he repaired and sold for 
seventy dollars. This sum was all that he 
paid towards his land, which he now sold for 
$2,400. Such advances in real estate were 
then without precedent in the county, and have 
scarcely been paralleled since. Like vicissi- 
tudes of fortune have followed Dunkirk from 
the beginning. Mr. Garnsey was probably a 
stockholder in this Land Company, became its 
agent, and actively promoted its interests. For 
several years he was the leading citizen of 
Dunkirk, and the first member of Congress 
from Chautauqua county. This was the begin- 
ning of the Dunkirk Land Company, and as 
soon as their purchases were completed, the 
village site was surveyed and improvements 

About the beginning of 1817, the harbor was 
called for a short time Garnsey's Bay. The 
name Dunkirk was given by Elisha Jenkins, 

the trustee of the Land Company, and one of 
the proprietors of the village. Mr. Jenkins 
was a citizen of Albany, and had been a ship- 
ping merchant of Hudson, with his brothers 
and father. They had also a business house 
in New York, where some of the firm resided. 
Elisha was for a time engaged for the firm at 
Dunkirk, France. The bay at that place re- 
•sembled Chadwick's Bay on Lake Erie, hence 
the name Dunkirk. Dunkirk in France is a 
city in the department of Le Nord, situated on 
the Straits of Dover, a place famous in French 
history and the scene of many battles and 

In 1817 Sampson Alton erected a two-story 
brick house on the south side of Front street, 
near Buffalo street, which stood until torn 
down in 1891. That was the first brick house 
built in Chautauqua county, the brick being 
made on Front street, the lime burned in 
his own kiln and the bricks were laid by the 

Adam Fink, postmaster of Dunkirk under 
President Jackson, the first man to be married 
in Dunkirk, was an expert axe-maker, and 
made the first cast steel edged tool in the 

Daniel Garnsey, supported by the Albany 
group of gentlemen known as the "Dunkirk 
Association," then principal proprietors, was 
diligent in his endeavors to build up Dunkirk 
and invite commerce. A road was made to 
Fredonia, a wharf and warehouse were built at 
the foot of Center street, a hotel on Front and 
Center streets, and other buildings at an ex- 
pense of $20,000. The earliest and only num- 
ber of the "Chautauqua Gazette" in existence, 
which was published at Fredonia, bearing date 
May 19, 1818, contains this "Marine News" 
underneath the woodcut of a ship: "Garnsey's 
Bay, Dunkirk, May 17th, 1818. — Cleared: 
Sloop Independence for Sandusky, passengers, 
lumber and potatoes. Arrived : Schooner 
Firefly from Detroit, with passengers. Schooner 
Blacksnake from Erie with passengers and fish. 
Schooner Buffalo Packet with passengers and 
furniture. Schooner Eliza of Sandusky with 
passengers, Sloop Livona from Buffalo with 
passengers. Cleared : Firefly from Buffalo, 
Blacksnake for Buffalo, Buffalo Packet for 
Buffalo, President Monroe for Buffalo, Livona 
for the River Raisin with passengers." 

Later in the same year the "Walk-in-the- 
Water," the first steamboat to navigate the 
lake, was added to the list of boats that regu- 
larly entered the harbor of Dunkirk. She 
was of two hundred forty tons burden. Job 



Fish was her first captain. The following 
notice of a trip of the "Walk-in-the-Water" to 
Mackinaw to carry goods for the American 
Fur Company, is given in a New York City 
paper of May 20, 1819: "The swift steam- 
boat, Walk-in-the-Water, is intended to make 
a voyage early in the summer from Buffalo on 
Lake Erie, to Mackinaw on Lake Huron, for 
the conveyance of a company. The ship has so 
near a resemblance to the famous Argonautic 
expedition in the heroic ages of Greece, that 
expectation is quite alive on the subject. Many 
of our most distinguished citizens are said to 
have already engaged their passage for this 
splendid adventure." 

The "Walk-in-the-Water" made weekly trips 
from Black Rock to Detroit and back, stopping 
at Dunkirk and other principal towns on the 
American shore. Her rates of fare from Black 
Rock were $3.00 to Dunkirk, $6.00 to Erie, 
$12 to Cleveland, $15 to Sandusky, $18 to De- 
troit. Her speed was from eight to nine miles 
an hour. She made seven trips to Detroit the 
first season. The facilities for travel afforded 
by this boat brought Chautauqua county a 
little nearer the east, lessening the time and 
increasing the comfort of passengers from and 
to Buffalo. The "Walk-in-the-Water" was 
ruined in a squall near Buffalo, in November, 
1821. It was succeeded by the "Superior," the 
second steamboat on the lake, in May, 1822. 

The "Chautauqua Gazette" of May 19, 1818, 
contains an advertisement dated February 17, 
1818, in which under "New Store" N. N. Ca- 
pron advertises that he has "groceries, dry 
goods, hardware and crockery, also cotton and 
woolen goods, cotton yarn and thread, glass, 
mill irons, nails, iron and steel, broad and nar- 
row axes, long draft and trace chains and that 
such goods will be exchanged for lumber and 
gain or sold very low for cash." That he will 
"pay cash for one thousand pounds of deer 
hair." This early merchant, Newton N. 
Capron, was the brother to Horace Capron, 
once a Commissioner of Agriculture to Japan. 

By the "Chautauqua Gazette" of August 10 
of that year, it appears that the place had fully 
assumed the name "Dunkirk," and that prac- 
tical and substantial steps had been taken to 
prepare the harbor for the entry of vessels. 

John Beggs, of the merchandising firm of 
Beggs & Lynde, came from Scotland and set- 
tled in Dunkirk in 1819, and was prominently 
connected with its early history. He built 
Central avenue dock and the Buffalo street 
dock. He died in 1837. His brother Charles 
came later and was a druggist and deputy post- 

Dr. Ezra Williams settled in Dunkirk in 
1820, and in his prime had a very large prac- 
tice. He was postmaster of Dunkirk under 
President John Quincy Adams, one of the 
founders of Dunkirk Academy and father of 
the eminent Dr. Julien T. Williams. 

There were no good roads between Dun- 
kirk and Buffalo, no bridges across the streams. 
An artificial harbor had been completed at 
Buffalo in 1821 ; the western termination of 
the Erie Canal had been decided in favor of 
Buffalo in 1823 ; these things all tending to 
hinder Dunkirk's expected prosperity. In 1825 
the population had dwindled to fifty inhabit- 
ants, and the dull years prior to 1818 had again 

Fortunately for the future of Dunkirk, its 
possibilities attracted the attention of Walter 
Smith, a young merchant of Fredonia, remark- 
able for energy and business capacity. Besides 
the superior advantages of Dunkirk as a lake 
port, with its fine harbor open to navigation 
two weeks earlier than Buffalo, there still lin- 
gered a belief that it might be necessary to 
extend the Erie canal to this point to gain the 
benefits of its harbor. Moreover, a bill had 
been passed by the Legislature upon the per- 
sonal application of the inhabitants of the 
southern tier of counties for the appointment 
of three commissioners to explore and survey 
a State road from the Hudson river to some 
point upon Lake Erie, which it was nearly cer- 
tain would be Dunkirk. In fact, the surveyors 
employed by the State arrived at Dunkirk on 
December 24, 1825, and stuck their last flag at 
the foot of the wharf, completing their survey. 
This line was pronounced by them to be the 
best to the lake. These considerations un- 
doubtedly influenced Walter Smith to unite his 
destiny with that of the village. In that year 
he bought the undivided half of the property 
of the Dunkirk Company for the sum of $10,000 
and immediately turned his energy and busi- 
ness ability to building up the place and de- 
veloping the resources of the surrounding 
country. Although he was scarcely twenty- 
five years of age, his business capacity and 
judgment was that of one of mature years and 
long experience. He had broad views of busi- 
ness and was fitted mentally for large under- 
takings. He became at once the controlling 
power in Dunkirk, and soon the most influen- 
tial and public-spirited business man in the 

Walter Smith was born in Wethersfield, 
Conn., March 21, 1800. When fifteen, he was 
clerk in the store of Jacob Ten Eyck, in Caze- 
novia. New York. When nineteen, he made a 



horseback tour through the western counties 
of the State in search of a suitable place to 
engage in business. He arrived at Fredonia 
in March, 1S19, and resolved to settle there. 
He returned to Cazenovia, where, although 
still a minor, he formed a partnership with Mr. 
Ten Evck, as Walter Smith & Co. Mr. Ten 
Eyck furnished the capital, and Mr. Smith re- 
turned to Fredonia in May with a stock of 
goods. Todd & Douglass engaged in business 
in Fredonia that year. Joseph and Ralph 
Plumb, then in business there, failed in June 
of the same year, and Mr. Smith bought their 
store and ashery. His first year's sale of goods 
exceeded $20,000 and at the end of twelve 
months he repaid Mr. Ten Eyck and owned the 
business. This increased so that in the sixth 
year it amounted to $75,000. In the earlier 
years of his business he furnished supplies for 
all the forts and garrisons of the United States 
on the Great Lakes under a contract with the 
general government. Every article of produce 
so furnished was raised in Chautauqua county 
except white beans, which were bought in 

In 1826 Walter Smith moved to Dunkirk and 
thereafter devoted his talent and energy to 
building up that place. He "transferred to this 
theater of action his capital, his prestige, his 
remarkable talent for business and adventure. 
Daily stages for passengers and a wagon line 
for transportation were soon established be- 
tween Dunkirk and Warren, Pennsylvania. 
Communication with Buffalo was opened by 
means of the 'Pioneer.' The few steamboats 
that then made infrequent voyages to west- 
ern points, where great cities have since grown 
up like exhalations, were induced to call at 
Dunkirk for the convenience of those who were 
westward bound, and a new impulse was given 
to the general trade, travel and improvement 
of the country. Mr. Smith's life was a masterly 
and persistent struggle, always against natural 
obstacles, often under adverse fortunes, to 
build up a commercial town at Dunkirk which 
would vie in importance with neighboring 
cities on the lake." Such was his attention to 
the public interest that his influence became 
potential in the north part of the county, par- 
ticularly in his own village, so that it used to 
be facetiously said that Dunkirk had no other 
God than Walter Smith. 

In 1827 the expenditure of $4,000 appro- 
priated by Congress to improve navigation of 
the harbor and the building of a lighthouse 
was commenced. The stake for its site had 
been stuck on the 10th of July the year before 
bv Garnsev and Dox. The steamboat "Pio- 

neer,"' Captain Miles, was now making daily 
trips between Buffalo and Dunkirk, carrying 
passengers. It would leave Buffalo at 9 o'clock 
in the evening and arrive at Dunkirk the next 
morning at 8 o'clock. Returning it would 
leave Dunkirk at 9 o'clock a. m. and arrive at 
Buffalo at 2 o'clock p. m. A line of stages be- 
tween Dunkirk and Erie, via Fredonia and 
Westfield, connected with the "Pioneer." At 
Erie, this line of stages connected with a line 
to Pittsburgh and another to Cleveland. By 
the "Pioneer" and these routes, passengers 
from Buffalo could reach Cleveland in two 
days and Pittsburgh in three. 

Walter Smith so stimulated the settlement 
of Dunkirk that by 1830 its population is be- 
lieved to have increased from fifty to over three 
hundred people. The defeat of the State Road 
by the Legislature of 1826 was the beginning 
of the agitation of the subject of a railroad. 
Mr. Smith was one of the first projectors of 
the New York & Erie railroad, and in its in- 
cipient stages the leading and most efficient 
man in the State to promote it. He spent the 
greater part of the winters of 1831-32 in Al- 
bany, bringing the importance of the road to 
the attention of the Legislature. It was largely 
through his efforts that the road was char- 
tered, April 24, 1832. Through his influence a 
clause was incorporated in the charter requir- 
ing the running of a certain number of trains 
into Dunkirk daily, thus securing to it perma- 
nently and beyond contingency the benefit of 
the road. The wisdom of this provision is now 
apparent. There were then but five thousand 
miles of railroad in the whole world, yet Mr. 
Smith saw with a remarkable clearness of 
vision the revolution in business that railroads 
were to make. At a meeting of the projectors 
he said that "the day would come when cattle 
fattened in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio would 
be brought to the New York Market." His 
prediction was derided at the time as vision- 

Judge Richard P. Marvin, of Jamestown, 
was also one of the first citizens of the county 
to appreciate the importance of a railroad. He 
addressed a meeting at Jamestown, September 
20, 1 83 1, of which Judge Elial T. Foote was 
chairman, at which it was resolved that appli- 
cation should be made to the Legislature for 
a charter. This was the first public movement 
made in reference to the New York & Erie rail- 
road. It was through his efforts that the im- 
portant provision was incorporated in its char- 
ter that the termination of the road at Lake 
Erie should be at some point between the Cat- 
taraugus creek and the Pennsylvania line. 



The preliminary survey was made in 1832 by 
Dewitt Clinton, Jr. One million dollars of 
stock was required to be subscribed before the 
company could be organized. The subscrip- 
tion of William G. Buckner completed the re- 
quired amount, and the company was organ- 
ized in July, 1833. Eleazer Lord of New York 
was chosen the first president, and William G. 
Buckner, treasurer. Benjamin Wright was 
appointed to survey the route. He was assist- 
ed by James Seymour and Charles Ellet. The 
survey was completed in 1834. In 1835 the 
company was organized, and forty miles put 
under contract. 

By the census of 1835, Dunkirk had a popu- 
lation of 628, an increase of nearly one hun- 
dred per cent, since the census of 1830. This 
increase resulted in the incorporation of the 
village of Dunkirk in 1837. 

The "Chautauqua Gazette" was the first 
newspaper published in the county. In 1826 
it was united with the "People's Gazette." It 
was moved by Mr. Hull to Dunkirk in 1826 
and was the first newspaper published there. 
In a few months, however, it was removed to 
Westfield. The "Chautauqua Whig" was the 
first permanent newspaper published in Dun- 
kirk. Its publication was commenced in Au- 
gust, 1834, by Thompson & Carpenter. After- 
wards its name was changed to the the "Dun- 
kirk Beacon," the name probably suggested by 
the beacon at the entrance of the harbor. 

It was while Dunkirk was part of district 
9 of town of Pomfret, that its first school house 
was built. This building, which stood near 
the rear of the later Lake Shore Bank, was in 
after years filled up as a dwelling house. A 
brick school house was built about 1827. In 
May, 1837, Dunkirk Academy was incor- 
porated, the brick school house being used for 
the Academy building. Twelve years later the 
property was conveyed to the Union School 
district, and the academy became the academic 
department of the Union School. 

On May 5, 1830, a Baptist church was organ- 
ized, the first in the town. The Revs. Joy 
Handy and Elisha Tucker were among its first 
preachers. The society worshipped in the new 
brick schoolhouse on Third street for many 
years. Later, this church and others held serv- 
ices over Parson's wagon shop. In 1856 it 
built a brick church. 

In 1830, ten persons, Congregationalists 
and Presbyterians, petitioned the Buffalo Pres- 
bytery to organize them into a church, and 
a church was formally constituted May 22, 
£030. About September 1st that year, Rev. 
Timothy Stillman, a graduate of Yale and 

Auburn Theological Seminary, began his 
labor as pastor on a salary of four hundred 
dollars a year. The congregation also wor- 
shipped in the brick schoolhouse on Third 
street. As a result of a revival in 1833, thirty 
were added to the church and measures taken 
to erect a meeting house on the corner of Cen- 
ter and Third streets. It was a wooden struc- 
ture, and was completed in 1835. Rev. Timo- 
thy Stillman closed his labors as pastor in 1838. 
He was one of Dunkirk's best known and most 
respected citizens of old times. He had a 
large influence in religious circles. He was 
small in stature, a strict theologian, and a firm 
adherent to his denominational faith. It has 
been said of him that it was seldom that so 
much Presbyterianism was enclosed in so small 
and compact a package. He married Mary 
Ann, a daughter of Mosely W. Abell. 

October 23rd, 1894, the Rev. J. T. Badgley 
was called to the pastorate. He came direct 
from Auburn Theological Seminary, where he 
had just graduated, and his pastorate con- 
tinued for just a quarter of a century, his resig- 
nation having been presented October 23rd, 
1920, upon his stated conviction that no pas- 
torate with rare exception should extend over 
a period of more than twenty-five years. Dur- 
ing this pastorate the church grew and pros- 
pered. A chime of ten bells ranging in weight 
from half a ton to one hundred pounds each 
were installed in the spire as the gift of Mr. R. 
J. Gross. A very commodious and beautiful 
building was erected adjacent to the church 
designed as a community house, and named 
Westminster Hall. This building, 80 by 40 
feet, consists of four stories, has an auditorium 
provided with a stage equipped with scenery 
and electric light effects, making it possible to 
stage plays of any kind ; beautifully furnished 
club rooms and parlors; a billiard room, with 
three tables ; dining room accommodations for 
250 guests, and is one of the most complete and 
elaborate in the State erected by any church 
for community service. 

Rev. Jay Tryon Badgley, born in Blenheim, 
N. Y., December 30, 1863, removed in 1871 
with his parents to California, where he was 
educated in the public schools of San Jose until 
prepared for college. He entered Hamilton 
College in 1884, graduating in 1889, serving as 
principal of Madison Academy, 1889-91 ; he 
entered Auburn Theological Seminary in 1891, 
and graduated in 1894. The same year he was 
called to the pastorate of the First Presby- 
terian Church of Dunkirk, N. Y., continuing 
in this office for twenty-five years, resigning 
in 1919, when he enlarged his field of activity by 



accepting the position of executive manager 
of the Chamber of Commerce of the city of 
Dunkirk. Mr. Badgley was married, in 1889, 
to Nellie Allen, of Clinton, N. Y. Children: 
Ralph A. Badgley, New York City representa- 
tive of Sherwin-Williams Company ; Mrs. Ben- 
jamin L. Jenks, New York City ; Mrs. Clyde R. 
Elms, Philadelphia, Pa. ; Dr. Carl E. Badgley, 
instructor in surgery and anatpmy, Michigan 
University, Ann Arbor, Mich. ; J. Willard 
Badgley, with Atlas Crucible Steel Co., Dun- 
kirk, N. Y. 

A Methodist Episcopal class was formed 
about 1833. The service was first held in the 
school house, later, over Parson's wagonshop. 
Before the Civil War the ministers were Revs. 
Wright, Johnson, Osborne, Warren and Tib- 
bitts. Under the latter a church was built in 
1858. This was the forerunner of the present 
First Methodist Episcopal Church, now located 
at East Sixth and Washington streets. 

Dunkirk now had reached the highest degree 
of prosperity that it was to enjoy for many a 
year, chiefly due to one able, self-reliant and 
unassuming citizen who never held a public 
office higher than pathmaster. Walter Smith 
did more in his day to build up his town and 
promote the prosperity of the county than any 
other citizen. Of him it has been said that 
"no man in the State was his superior in plan- 
ning, forecasting and executing grand busi- 
ness operations." He died September 21, 1874. 

Jamestown at this time depended upon its 
lumber and other manufactories for its impor- 
tance ; Fredonia upon its trade and mercantile 
advantages ; while the expectations of Dunkirk 
were based upon its harbor, the commerce it 
was to bring, and the great railroad soon to 
terminate there. 

In 1836 an act was passed authorizing a loan 
to the Erie Railroad Company of $3,000,000. 
The comptroller was directed to issue State 
stock to that amount. Judge R. P. Marvin, a 
member of the Legislature, took an active part 
in securing the assistance of the State. This 
large sum was expended, yet the road was not 
completed and work had to be suspended. 
Fourteen miles were graded from Dunkirk 
easterly, extending south of the present line 
into Arkwright. Relics of these wasted efforts 
may still be seen in the remains of cuts and 
fills that mark the heavy grades of the old 
route up the ridge to reach the headwaters of 
the Conewango. Walnut creek still flows 
through an old and substantial culvert at a 
place in Arkwright called the Abbey, built 
nearly seventy years ago. Six or eight miles 
•of rails were actually laid on this track from 

Dunkirk along Railroad avenue. Long before 
the whistle of a locomotive was heard in the 
county, this piece of road was made use of by 
Dunkirk excursion parties. Flat-cars provided 
with extemporized brakes, hauled up by horses 
to its termination, would run back to Dunkirk 
of their own weight. Two cars provided with 
temporary seats were filled with Dunkirk peo- 
ple on the Fourth of July, 1845, an d the day 
enjoyed in this unique way. The ties at length 
went to decay and the track was abandoned. 

The long delay in the completion of the Erie 
road of itself would have most disastrously 
affected the prosperity of Dunkirk, even had 
not a still greater calamity befallen it. The 
period immediately previous to 1837 had been 
one of apparent prosperity, and business men 
of the country had traded extensively upon 
credit. People of all classes had embarked in 
wild speculations, particularly in real estate. 
There was a great demand for corner lots and 
favorable sites. Cities were laid out along the 
lake wherever there was a harbor. Almost 
every village was affected. As Dunkirk was 
to be the termination of the Erie railroad it be- 
came an unusually promising field for specu- 
lation. The crisis came in the spring of 1837. 
All the banks in New York and in the whole 
country suspended specie payment. Upon 
Dunkirk the calamity fell heaviest. The town 
seemed prostrated beyond all hope of recov- 
ery. The credit of almost every business man 
was blasted. Walter Smith, upon whom the 
fortunes of Dunkirk rested, was overwhelmed 
in the common fate. Fifteen notices of mort- 
gage foreclosures appeared in the "Fredonia 
Censor" of November 8, 1837, and twenty-nine 
filled the columns of the "Dunkirk Beacon" of 
March 30, 1841, evidences of the reckoning 
that followed the speculations of 1836. From 
this period forward until the Erie railroad ap- 
proached completion, but little effort was made 
in Dunkirk to recover its prestige. Its com- 
merce nearly left it. Steamboats only stopped 
there to wood up. The docks and warehouses 
went out of repair, their planks and timbers 
rotted. Dwelling houses became dilapidated ; 
the doors and windows of the vacant ones 
broken. For thirteen years the great unfin- 
ished Loder House was the home of bats and 
owls. Long piles of steamboat wood lined the 
road and loaded the wharves of Walter Smith 
and John Beggs. 

In 1844 such promise existed for the future 
business of the town that the first bank was 
opened, a bank of issue, established by A. J. 

The land of the Dunkirk Association had 



been divided into shares among its owners in 
1838. Of the proceeds one-fourth was to be 
given to the New York & Erie Railroad, pro- 
vided the road should be built in six years. 
The company failed in this, notwithstanding 
the time had been twice extended. When it 
became certain that the road would be com- 
pleted, the proprietors of the land made a dona- 
tion to the railroad company of forty or fifty 
acres for a depot and other purposes. Mr. 
Smith, after he bought out the Townsend Com- 
pany, purchased for the association about six 
hundred acres of additional land. After the 
railroad was completed, the property was sold 
and the proceeds divided among the pro- 

September 22, 1S41, the Erie road was opened 
from Piermont to Goshen, and June 7, 1843, to 
Middletown. In 1845 the State released its 
lien and authorized the original stockholders 
to surrender two shares of old stock and re- 
ceive one share of new. The road was opened 
to Port Jervis, January 6, 1848, to Bingham- 
ton, December 8, 1848, to Owego, June 1, 1849, 
to Elmira, October, 1849, ar *d to Corning, Janu- 
ary 1, 1850, and now Horatio G. Brooks, upon 
whom the destinies of Dunkirk had so often 
rested, risen from the position of fireman to 
the rank of engineer, brought his engine, No. 
90, built in Boston by Hinckley & Drury, by 
way of the Erie Canal and Lake Erie to Dun- 
kirk, January 3, 185 1. As if to announce his 
coming to cheer the hearts and retrieve the for- 
tunes of the people of Dunkirk, he blew the 
first blast of a locomotive whistle ever heard 
in the county of Chautauqua. May 14, of the 
same year, the road was opened to Dunkirk, 
and the New York & Erie railroad completed. 
We continue the story as written many years 
ago by Mr. Obed Edson : 

The great enterprise which the people of Dunkirk 
had so anxiously awaited through long years of doubt 
and despondency was at last consummated, and a great 
highway of travel opened from the ocean to Lake Erie. 
It was the longest railroad in the world. The opening 
of the Pacific railroad produced no greater sensation, 
and was relatively an event of no greater importance 
than the opening of the Erie road at that time. A 
great celebration was held in Dunkirk to commemorate 
the event. Considering the interest of the occasion, 
the number of people assembled, the distinguished per- 
sons present participating in the ceremonies, the inter- 
esting character and the magnificence of the display, it 
has never been equalled by anything of the kind held 
in Chautauqua. President Fillmore and his cabinet 
and many other distinguished citizens of the nation 
were to be present. 

The distinguished party arrived in New York from 
Washington, May 13, 1851, and in the evening at- 
tended a banquet at which Mr. Loder, the presi- 
dent of the Erie road, presided. At eight o'clock 
in the morning of May 14 a train consisting of twelve 

passenger cars left New York City having on board, 
besides the eminent party, a host of railroad officials. 
It was divided into two sections, an hour apart. It 
was the first long excursion train that had ever run on 
a railroad in the world. The road was four hundred 
forty-five and one-half miles long. It was the first 
great trunk line in the United States, and the first to 
join the Great Lakes with the ocean. Everything was 
provided for the comfort and pleasure of the excur- 
sion party possible at that day. An observation car 
was made of a flat car which Daniel Webster used as 
a rostrum for the delivery of speeches at the stations 
as they came to them, and from which he viewed the 
scenery of the road while seated in a rocking chair 
provided for his comfort. The excursion was a trium- 
phal procession all the way. Crowds of people along 
the line flocked to witness it. The train stopped at 
Elmira over night and did not leave until ten o'clock 
the next morning. It was in charge of Engineer 
Charles H. Sherman, who at the time of his decease, 
and for many years before was a resident of Dunkirk. 
The time made for so long and so new a road is not 
much exceeded by the speed of trains at the present 
time. Between Port Jervis and Xarrowsburg the re- 
markable run of thirty-four miles was made in thirty- 
five minutes. The two sections, just before they 
reached Dunkirk, were made into one. 

During the forenoon of May 15, ten large steamers 
arrived loaded with passengers. Among them was the 
United States warship "Michigan," the steamers 
"Queen City," "Empire State," "Empire" and Key- 
stone State." Cannon were fired on the arrival of 
each. On the arrival of the "Michigan," one hundred 
guns were fired for the Union. The harbor was filled 
with shipping, and presented the appearance of an 
important maritime port. Dunkirk was filled with 
people. Every arrangement that was possible in a 
town of its size and circumstances had been made for 
their comfort and entertainment. Private houses were 
thrown ope^ "''he railroad depot, ..ien a covered build- 
ing extending over the present tracks of the Erie and 
Lake Shore roads, which at that time was three hun- 
dred feet in length, was devoted to the occasion, and 
the Loder House, an unfinished hotel of large propor- 
tions, was filled with tables loaded with eatables. Flags 
and streamers were strung across the streets, decorated 
the hotels and nearly all the private houses. Upon the 
depot above the flags of France and England floated 
the Stars and Stripes. There were archways of roses 
and evergreens — a grand archway spanned the rail- 
road track, through which the train was to pass. Gov- 
ernor Hunt, who had arrived from Buffalo on one of 
the boats, held a reception at the American Hotel. The 
train from New York, which was expected at 1 p. m., 
was delayed. It consisted of twelve passenger cars, and 
bore besides a host of railroad officials, Millard Fill- 
more, the President of the United States, Daniel Web- 
ster, and other members of the Cabinet — the president 
and directors of the Erie, and many distinguished in- 
vited guests. It was decorated with one hundred ban- 
ners, each bearing an appropriate motto which had 
been presented by the towns and villages along the 
line. The train had been preceded by the locomotive 
"Dunkirk" as pioneer half an hour in advance. They 
stopped long enough at Forestville for Stephen A. 
Douglas and John J. Crittenden and others to make 
some brief remarks to the people that had assembled 
there. As Daniel Webster rose to speak, the dazzling 
sun, blazing full in his face, seemed to suggest the 
thought. He pointed to that orb, and in true Web- 
sterian phrase, commenced: "My friends, you have as 
beautiful a country here as yon bright sun ever shone 





upon." As the president and directors of the road 
stepped from the cars, the ladies of Dunkirk presented 
them with a banner, and Benjamin Loder made an ap- 
propriate reply. A procession was then formed under 
the direction of Noah D. Snow, marshal, led by Dods- 
worth's New York Cornet Band, and marched to the 
depot, where tables and provisions had been prepared 
for the masses— two oxen, eight sheep, fifty pigs roasted 
whole, four loaves of bread containing five barrels of 
flour, twelve barrels of hot coffee, three hundred plates 
of sandwiches, besides a large quantity of other provi- 
sions were ready in the depot as a free lunch for the 
thousands in waiting. 

The procession soon returned to the Loder House, 
where an excellent collation was served to the officers 
of the road; there the tables were beautifully decorated 
and the viands most inviting. Hon. George W. Pat- 
terson made a speech appropriate to the occasion, which 
he concluded by introducing President Fillmore, who 
congratulated his hearers upon the completion of the 
road and said it was an undertaking greater in extent 
and of more importance than that which had been 
accomplished by any private corporation in the world. 
He gave as a toast in conclusion: "The New York and 
Erie Railroad — the greatest private enterprise of the 
age. All honor to the men whose enterprise has accom- 
plished this great work." 

Benjamin Loder responded by giving a full history 
of the road, and said it was the longest ever built under 
one charter in the world. He was followed^ by other 
speakers, among them Stephen A. Douglas in a very 
eloquent speech, Senator Daniel S. Dickinson of New 
York, Governor Hunt and others. The last speaker 
was Dr. Peter Wilson, the educated and talented chief 
of the Cayuga nation of Indians. He made one of the 
most eloquent speeches of the occasion, eliciting great 
applause. Dr. Wilson then presented Mr. Loder a 
banner of the Cayuga tribes, upon which was inscribed 
the pipe of peace, their national emblem. 

In the meantime a meeting was held in the open air, 
where the multitude was addressed by speakers from 
a platform on the north side of the Loder House. 
President Fillmore was introduced by the Hon. G. W. 
Patterson, and briefly addressed the people. He was 
followed by Governor Washington Hunt, William A. 
Graham, the Secretary of the Navy, and John J. Crit- 
tenden of Kentucky, Attorney-General, who made a 
very eloquent speech. Joseph Hoxie, of New York, 
addressed the people in a humorous way, and was fol- 
lowed by Senator William H. Seward. Soon after the 
commencement of the speechmaking, calls were made 
for Daniel Webster, which were persisted in until he 
appeared. Many other distinguished men were present 
besides those that have been named, among them Wil- 
liam L. Marcy, the Secretary of War in Polk's ad- 
ministration during the war with Mexico, Nathan L. 
Hall, Postmaster-General, Senator Fish, and Christo- 
pher Morgan, Secretary of State of New York. The 
speakers, among whom were many from the South, in 
the course of their remarks betrayed their concern for 
the stability of the nation — they showed that they were 
conscious that grave questions were beginning to 
threaten it. They often referred to the importance of 
the Union of States, and the value of the Erie road as a 
band of union between the East and West. They ex- 
pressed the hope that other railroads would be built 
binding the North to the South, and the whole Union 
together in iron bonds. There were there on that 
occasion many representative men, both from the North 
and the South, who a little later were leaders upon 
the opposing sides in the great Civil War that soon 
afterwards desolated the land. (This was on the 15th 

of May, 1851; on the 15th of April, 1861, Fort Sumter 
fell, less than ten years later.) 

The evening was occupied by the firing of cannon, 
ringing of bells, bonfires and illuminations. A grand 
display of fireworks such as had never before been be- 
held in the county, and music by Dodsworth's New 
York Cornet Band, entertained the people to a late 
hour. No accident or other occurrence marred the 
good feeling, or interrupted the festivities of the occa- 
sion. Different estimates have been made of the num- 
ber of people present on that day. None goes lower 
than fifteen thousand, while many estimate the num- 
ber as high as thirty thousand. The President and 
most of the visitors left Dunkirk on Friday, the day 
after the celebration. Mr. Webster, however, remained 
until Saturday, when he left for Buffalo. Before his 
departure he addressed the citizens of Dunkirk at some 
length, mainly upon the subject of internal improve- 

Before the month in which occurred the great rail- 
road celebration was over, the New York & Erie rail- 
road commenced running five passenger trains from 
Dunkirk to New York daily; three were first class, and 
two were second class trains. The fare to New York 
by the former was eight dollars, by the latter five dol- 
lars. The gauge of the road was originally six feet, 
which was supposed at the time to give an advantage 
over a narrow-gauge in the shipment of freight. Par- 
ticular attention was given to the transportation of 
stock. The fine steamers "Niagara," "Queen City" 
and "Detroit" commenced to navigate Lake Erie in 
connection with the railroad to Cleveland, Toledo and 
Detroit. The fare for a passage to the latter place 
was four dollars. The arrival and departure of these 
large boats and of others of less importance gave the 
harbor a maritime appearance that it has never since 

Within a year after the New York & Erie railroad 
was completed to Dunkirk, another important railroad 
was in operation which gave increased importance to 
the place. The Buffalo & Erie Railroad Company was 
organized as early as April 14, 1832. The route was 
surveyed and located nearly all the way to the State 
line, but as work was not commenced upon it within 
four years as required by its charter the enterprise 
failed. This attempt to build a road along the shore 
of Lake Erie was followed by the incorporation of the 
Buffalo & State Line Railroad Company, June 6, 1849. 
The road was in a great measure originated by the 
enterprise of the people of Fredonia, and a large por- 
tion of its stock subscribed by them. It was at first 
located through that village and considerable grading 
was done on that route, but it was at last decided by 
the directors to build the road by the way of Dunkirk. 
On the 1st of January, 1852, this road was opened 
from the State line of Pennsylvania to Dunkirk, and 
on February 25th to Buffalo, with a gauge of four feet, 
eight and one-half inches. The railroad that at this 
time was being built from Ohio to meet this road was 
being laid with a four-foot ten-inch gauge. This led 
to a strife for the point where the gauge of the roads 
should change. The people of Erie made a strong 
effort to have the six-foot gauge extended to Erie. As 
it would involve a reshipment of freight it was thought 
that the point where the gauge should change would be 
of great business importance. 

The struggle resulted in what was called the "Har- 
bor Creek War," and the tearing up of five or six miles 
of track in that town in Erie county, Pennsylvania, by 
a mob. The war ended, however, without bloodshed. 
The road being completed from Buffalo to Erie, no 
longer was the traveler obliged to journey along the 


sandy beech of the lake, or plod through the "Four 
Mile Wood" or the "Cattaraugus Swamp" to reach 
Chautauqua county from the east. By the subsequent 
consolidations of the various roads between Buffalo 
and Chicago the Buffalo & State Line railroad finally 
became a part of the Lake Shore & Michigan South- 
ern railway. 

After other branches of the Erie railroad 
were completed, the line of the road to Dun- 
kirk became of minor importance, and the Erie 
line of lake steamers was withdrawn, this 
greatly reducing the importance of Dunkirk 
as a lake port. 

Dunkirk, which had been the smaller of the 
leading villages of the county, began to take 
higher position in business and in public affairs 
after the completion of the Erie railroad. One 
of the earliest industries to settle there was 
the making of candles, a business established 
by Wilson and Harmon Camp, who moved 
from Sinclairville about 1848 and built a much 
larger factory and engaged extensively in the 
manufacture of candles. In addition to new 
industries, men of strong and enterprising 
character came, mechanics and professional 
man, founders of later well-known Dunkirk 
families. In 1858 the Armory, which later be- 
came the City Hall, was built by the State, 
and in 1859 the town of Dunkirk was set off 
from Pomfret. Prior to this action there had 
been no town meetings held in Dunkirk vil- 
lage, although efforts had been made to that 
end. Seldom was a supervisor selected from 
that part of the town of Pomfret, and the fric- 
tion between the villages of Fredonia was in- 
tense. Finally, Dunkirk's annual demand for 
the town meetings and the expense incurred in 
some Dunkirk improvements, caused Fredonia 
to assent to the creation of the new town. 

Soon after the completion of the Erie rail- 
road, the population of Dunkirk greatly in- 
creased, people of many nationalities becoming 
permanent residents. The Irish came first, 
closely followed by the Germans, and with 
them came a new religion, the opening of the 
railroad practically introducing the Catholic 
faith into Chautauqua county. Prior to 1851 
there had been no resident Catholic priests, 
and no Catholic church in the county. When 
their numbers were sufficiently increased, the 
Bishop sent a missionary priest who would 
gather around him the Catholics in some farm 
house and hold religious services. In 1851 
Rev. W. Lannon purchased a small frame 
building for divine services, and in July, 1852, a 
site was chosen for a church. The church 
opened for divine service March 17, 1854, and 
in November it was dedicated by the Rt. Rev. 

Bishop Young, of Erie, Pennsylvania. Its first 
pastor was the Rev. Peter Colgan, who for nine 
years ministered to the wants of the congre- 
gation, identifying himself with it in all its 
spiritual and temporal prosperity. In 1858 the 
Sisters of St. Joseph were brought to Dunkirk 
by Rev. Father Colgan to take charge of St. 
Mary's School and Orphanage, and May 26, 
1 861, the monastery was established. 

Many German Catholics at first worshipped 
with St. Mary's congregation. In 1857 they 
organized a society and built St. George's, a 
frame church. A separate parish was formed 
in 1874, when Father Kolb took charge and the 
church of the Sacred Heart was built at a cost 
of $20,000. 

Not all, however, who came with the new 
influx of population were Catholics. The Prot- 
estant churches of the village received many 
new members, and an Episcopal Society was 
organized in 1850 by Rev. Charles Avery. Two 
years later a church building was erected, and 
in 1867 a lot was purchased at the corner of 
Eagle and Fourth streets, and a church erected 
at a cost of $12,000. St. John's German Evan- 
gelical Church was organized in 1850 by Rev. 
Voight, of Buffalo, and a church edifice erected 
in 1852, the first pastor Rev. Strauss. 

The Zion Evangelical Association was or- 
ganized in 1865 and a church edifice erected 
the same year, Rev. J. J. Bernhardt, pastor. 

In 1 86 1 came the Civil War. Dunkirk was 
among the first localities in Chautauqua county 
to be seriously admonished of its coming. Feb- 
ruary 16, 1861, the train which bore Abraham 
Lincoln on his way to the capital for inaugura- 
tion, stopped at Dunkirk, and Lincoln from 
his car, which halted west of the Erie depot 
and just east of the center of Lion street, made 
a short speech, in which he impressively re- 
ferred to the gathering storm about to burst 
upon the country. Dunkirk may also be said 
to have been a witness to the last great tragedy 
of the war when the body of Lincoln was being 
borne to its final resting place after his assassi- 
nation. As the train paused at Dunkirk at mid- 
night of the 27th and 28th of April, 1865, for a 
moment, to receive a solemn reception amidst 
the firing of minute guns, dirges of music, toll- 
ing of bells, and in the light of funeral torches, 
a deep and lasting impression was made upon 
the people there assembled. These impressive 
incidents, the great railroad celebration and the 
debarkation of Lafayette at the harbor of Dun- 
kirk in 1825, are the most important historic 
events in the annals of Dunkirk. 

Dunkirk was not only the first town in the 



county to be awakened to the great danger 
that threatened the country, but the first to 
take action in support of the government. 
Companies D and E of the 72nd New York 
Regiment of the Excelsior Brigade, the first 
organized in the county, were raised in Dun- 
kirk, sent forward, and June 20, 1861, mus- 
tered into service. Less than two months 
later, Company B, Captain James M. Brown, 
from Jamestown, was mustered in and joined 
the same regiment. Captain Patrick Barrett, 
of Company E, was the first man to enlist in 
Dunkirk, and one of the first soldiers of the 
county to fall in battle. He was mortally 
wounded at Williamsburgh, Virginia. Wil- 
liam O. Stevens, captain of Company D, after- 
wards became colonel of this regiment, and 
was killed at Chancellorsville. In the fall, Com- 
pany H, also from Dunkirk, Captain Stephen 
H. Doyle, was mustered in and joined the same 
regiment ; he was killed in battle before Rich- 
mond. Many other gallant officers and men of 
the three Dunkirk companies fell in the battles 
of the war. In other regiments and in other 
branches of the service were many of its citi- 
zens found. The Irish and the Germans of 
Dunkirk contributed quite their full share and 
suffered their full share of its losses. 

During all the four years of war, Dunkirk 
was the center of military action in this con- 
gressional district ; from there the troops took 
their departure to the seat of war. Through 
Dunkirk they were constantly passing to the 
scene of strife or returning, perhaps wounded, 
from the field of battle. Here were the head- 
quarters of the provost-marshal, and here all 
the drafts for the congressional district were 
conducted. The State Arsenal and Armory 
was the rallying point for the volunteers de- 
parting for the front, and the place where some 
of the dead heroes of the war lay. 

The new order of things introduced into 
Dunkirk by the completion of the Erie rail- 
road may be said to have been consumated at 
the close of the Civil War. Dunkirk has ex- 
perienced many adversities, and survived them 
all. A good harbor and superior railroad facili- 
ties are assets not to be overlooked, and im- 
portant manufacturing industries have located 
there. The Brooks Locomotive Works, incor- 
porated November 11, 1869, located in Dun- 
kirk, obtained their real estate and buildings 
from Horatio G. Brooks, who under the date of 
October 29, 1869, leased for a term of ten years 
from the Erie Railroad Company the above men- 
tioned property, known as the Dunkirk Shops, 
where the railway company had constructed a 
few locomotives and freight cars, as well as 

repairing same. At a subsequent meeting of 
the trustees of the Brooks Locomotive Works 
held in the City of New York, November 13, 
1869, Mr. Brooks was elected president and 
superintendent, and Marshall L. Hinman, sec- 
retary and treasurer. 

The initial order for locomotives was from 
the Erie Railway Company, such order being 
for twenty-five eight-wheel engines, six-foot 
gauge, which was the standard gauge of the 
Erie railway at that time, and the order to be 
completed at the rate of two engines per month. 
During the first month one locomotive was 
completed, and also one during the month of 
December. Twenty-seven locomotives were 
completed during the first twelve months. 

Mr. Brooks died at his home in Dunkirk, 
April 20, 1887. From the time of his death to 
the consolidation with the American Locomo- 
tive Company, Marshall L. Hinman and Rob- 
ert J. Gross were the leading spirits in the 
management of the works, Mr. Hinman becom- 
ing president of the company in 1892, Mr. 
Gross vice-president. With the consolidation 
of the works as part of the American Locomo- 
tive Company, Mr. Gross, in June, 1901, was 
elected second vice-president of the American 
Locomotive Company and placed in charge of 
the Brooks Works at Dunkirk, the latter be- 
coming at once one of the most important 
branches of that progressive organization. 

The construction of the Dunkirk, Allegheny 
Valley & Pittsburgh railroad bringing several 
towns of the county in direct trade with Dun- 
kirk, was an important event among the many 
which have followed the coming of the first 
railroads. Others were the extension of the 
Western New York and Pennsylvania, the 
building of the Nickel Plate, the trolley lines 
from Fredonia and Buffalo, and the double 
tracking of the Lake Shore & Michigan South- 
ern, making Dunkirk the most important rail- 
road center of the county. Extensive improve- 
ments made by the government through the 
influence of Congressman Warren B. Hooker 
gave to the harbor a depth of nineteen feet, 
also effective permanent breakwaters. 

Another highly important industry of 
modern Dunkirk is the Atlas Crucible Steel 
Company, manufacturers of high-speed tool 
steel. This company was organized in 1907 by 
Edward Burgess, C. P. Burgess and R. E. 
Dickenson, as the Atlas Steel Company, and 
reincorporated in 1912 as the Atlas Crucible 
Steel Company. In 191 5 the Dunkirk Glass, 
Essex Glass, Commercial Steel and Conti- 
nental Heater Companies established plants in 
Dunkirk, which is also the home of the United 



States Radiator Corporation, the Romer Axe 
Company, Lake Shore Seed Company, Niagara 
Motor, and other prosperous, important cor- 
porations. The industries of Dunkirk are to- 
day turning out and sending to all parts of the 
world, locomotives, seeds, glass bottles, radia- 
tors, silks and silk garments, automobiles, auto- 
mobile axles and parts, steel, marine engines, 
boilers, engine mufflers, axes, carriages, 
wagons, lamps, lithographs, macaroni, grape 
juice, furniture, lumber, shirts, pennants, 
cigars, gloves, hosiery, doors, artificial stone, 
brick, steam valves, paper boxes, lenses and 
scores of other articles. 

The fishing industry is an important one, 
the fine harbor affording safety and conven- 
ience for shipping the tons of fish caught daily 
in Lake Erie during the season. In the year 
1913 Dunkirk shipped 3,673,760 pounds of fish. 
A municipal wharf built at a cost of $100,000 
is one of the modern improvements to the har- 
bor, while municipal Dunkirk has a complete 
system of sewers, electric light, power and 
water plant, and well paved streets and elec- 
trically lighted at the city's expense. Dunkirk 
has a city hall, public library, efficient police 
and fire departments, well housed and 
equipped, and a large and splendidly equipped 
hospital, the Brooks Memorial. Washington 
Park is in the center of the city, a children's 
play ground. Point Gratiot, a city park on 
Lake Erie, contains 125 acres. 

The city's educational advantages are of a 
high order. The school system of ward 
graded, grammar and high schools is under 
control of the University of the State of New 
York. In addition to the public schools there 
are parochial, grammar and high schools, busi- 
ness colleges and private institutions. The 
graduates of the high school are accepted on 
the certificate plan by all colleges which have 
adopted this method of admitting students. 
The commercial, manual training and domestic 
science departments are perfectly equipped for 
best results and are in charge of a most effi- 
cient corps of instructors. The school build- 
ings are all of modern construction with 
hygenic and sanitary equipment. (See school 

Seventeen houses of worship provide for 

ious side of life upon 
:ity's stability depends. 

that moral and relif 
which so much of a 

These buildings range from modest sanctuarie 
to the steepled edifices of Gothic architecture. 
People of various nationalities have the oppor- 
tunity of attending services conducted in the 
tongue of their native land, as there are 
churches where only German, Polish, Swedish 
or Italian language is used. 

There are two national banks in the city, the 
Lake Shore and Merchants, and a trust com- 
pany, The Dunkirk, established in the sum- 
mer of 1920. (See banks.) 

Fraternal, social and benevolent orders are 
to be found in abundance, as are clubs, guilds, 
church and charitable organizations in wom- 
an's influence are supreme. The Dunkirk Club, 
Willow Brook Country Club, the Woman's 
Literary Club and Woman's Union are repre- 
sentative of those organizations. 

According to the State census of 191 5, the 
city of Dunkirk had a population of 15,704 citi- 
zens and 2,166 aliens; total, 17,870 residing in 
its four wards. The same census credits the 
sixty factories or mills of Dunkirk and the 
Lake Shore repair shops with employing an 
average monthly force of 4,350, of which 3,643 
are men, 380 women, 29 children between the 
ages of 14-16, and an office force numbering 

The first supervisor from the newly erected 
town of Dunkirk was Geo. M. Abell, who 
served in i860. John S. Beggs, 1861-1873; 
Alex. Popple, 1874; Wm. Bookstaver, 1875- 
83; David Russell, 1884; Wm. Bookstaver, 
1885-86; Julien T. Williams, 1887-90; W. J. 
Cronyn, 1891 ; Samuel D. Gifford, 1892; Ralph 
Day, 1893 ; Samuel D. Gifford, 1894-95 : James 
C. Russell, 1896; Frank G. Gould, 1897; John 
K. Patterson, Jr., and Henry Mayo, 1898-99; 
John K. Patterson, Jr., and Thomas J. Cum- 
mings, 1900-1905; Benjamin L. Harrison and 
Thomas J. Cummings, 1906-1907 ; Rollin W. 
Snow and Thomas J. Cummings, 1908; Rollin 
W. Snow and John J. Walters, 1909-13; Peter 
Gregoreske and Nelson J. Palmer, 1914-19; 
Peter Gregoreske, Charles D. Loeb and Frank 
Lewandeski, 1920. 

In 1880 the village of Dunkirk was incor- 
porated a city. 


Towns : Ellery — Ellicott. 

Ellery — For about twelve miles of its length, that town extending from the towns of Elling- 
the eastern shore of Chautauqua Lake forms the ton and Gerry on the east to the town of Chau- 
southwestern boundary of the town of Ellery, tauqua on the west, and from the town of 



Stockton on the north to the lake. Within 
these borders are comprised 30,098 acres of 
principally hilly land, well watered, and lying 
at about the geographical center of the county. 
The twelve miles of lake front comprise the 
most valuable lands in the town, the entire dis- 
tance being well improved and largely devoted 
to residence and recreation purposes. Bemus 
Point, Griffith's Point, Greenhurst, Long Point, 
Maple Springs, and Midway are popular sum- 
mer resorts, and Long and Bemus Points, 
capes, extending into the lake, enclose a beau- 
tiful bay sometimes caller Middle Lake. In 
other parts of the town are the small villages — 
Ellery Center, West Ellery, Towerville and 
Midway. The lake shore of Ellery is tra- 
versed by the Jamestown, Westfield & North 
Western railway, a modern electric line, con- 
necting Jamestown, the villages and resorts of 
the eastern shore of the lake with Westfield 
and Dunkirk. 

The population of Ellery in 191 5, according 
to the State census was 1,876, of whom 88 were 
aliens. There is no manufacturing in the town. 

Ellery was set off from the "mother town," 
Chautauqua, February 29, 1821, but the first 
settlement was made by William Bemus in the 
spring of 1806, at Bemus Point ; Jeremiah Grif- 
fith about two weeks after settled at Griffith's 
Point. His children were John, Seth, Samuel, 
Polly, Jeremiah and Alexander. A little later 
the same spring, Alanson Weed came with his 
family and settled in Ellery, about two miles 
south of Dewittville. Abijah Bennett came 
with him, stayed during the summer, and the 
next winter brought his family. 

William Bemus, son of Jotham, Sr., and Try- 
phena (Moore) Bemus, was born at Bemus 
Heights, Saratoga county, New York, February 
25, 1762. About the beginning of the Revolu- 
tionary War he removed with his father to Pitts- 
town, Rensselaer county. He married, Janu- 
ary 27, 1782, Mary, daughter of William Pren- 
dergast, Sr. Mr. Bemus and his family were a 
part of the company of emigrants, composed 
chiefly of Prendergasts, who journeyed to Ten- 
nessee and returned and settled in Chautauqua. 
He came to Ripley in the fall of 1805, and spent 
the winter in Westfield, near Arthur Bell's. 
The next spring he settled on the east side of 
Chautauqua Lake, on land bought in January, 
1806, at what has since been known as Bemus 
Point, in Ellery, where he resided until his 
death, January 2, 1830, aged nearly sixty-eight 
years. The wife of Mr. Bemus, born March 
13, 1760, died July 11, 1845, a §T e d eighty-five 
years. They had a large family, all of whom 
removed to this county. Their children were: 

Daniel, a physician, removed to Meadville, Pa., 
where he died ; Elizabeth, wife of Capt. John 
Silsby, they removed to Iowa, where they 
died; Tryphena, who married John Griffith, 
son of Jeremiah Griffith ; Thomas ; Charles ; 
Mehitabel, wife of Daniel Hazeltine, of James- 
town, she died September 22, 1887, aged nearly 
ninety-five years ; James, married Tryphena 
Boyd and resided at Bemus Point, where he 
died. Charles Bemus, fifth child of William 
and Mary (Prendergast) Bemus, was born in 
Pittstown, August 31, 1791. He came to Chau- 
tauqua with his parents in 1805. He married, 
February 28, 181 1, Relepha Boyd, who was 
born July 20, 1790, and lived at Bemus Point 
on land originally bought by his father, until 
his death, October 10, 1861. His wife died 
January 2, 1843. 

In October, 1809, the northeastern part of 
the town was first settled by William Barrows, 
a native of New Bedford, and a son-in-law of 
Maj. Samuel Sinclear, of Sinclairville. He set- 
tled on the bank of the Cassadaga creek, at 
Red Bird. After clearing a tract of land he 
removed to Ohio. The same year John De- 
mott settled about one-half mile south of Bar- 

In 1809 John and Joseph Silsby settled on 
the lake, one or two miles southeast of Bemus 
Point. John Silsby was captain of a Chau- 
tauqua county company in the War of 1812, 
and was wounded at the battle of Buffalo. 
Enos Warner was an early settler in Ellery. 
He bought land on lots 26 and 27. John R. 
Russell settled on lot 30. Clark Parker in 
1810 settled on lot 27. He was an ensign in 
Captain Silsby's company. William Smiley in 
1810 removed to Ellery, and died in 1825. His 
sons, Joseph and William, served in the War 
of 1812 and participated in the battle of Buf- 
falo, in Captain Silsby's company, in which 
William was killed. William, a grandson of 
William, was killed in the battle of the wilder- 
ness. Josiah Hovey built a cabin on lot 13, 
in the northeast part, and in 181 1 sold to John 
Love, who settled there. He died in Illinois 
in 1859, at the residence of his son Frederick. 
In 181 5 Joseph Loucks, from Madison county, 
settled in the southeastern part. His sons, 
John, Daniel and Hiram, came with him. The 
sons, Joseph, Henry, Peter and David, came 

William Atherly, William G. Younker, 
Henry Strunk, Henry Martin and Thomas 
Arnold also early settled in that part of the 
town. In 1816 Adam S. and James Pickard 
settled on lot 3. In a short time they removed 
to lot 22, in the northern part. Joseph W. 



came later. Their descendants still reside 
upon the highway, which is called Pickard 
street. About this year Samuel Young settled 
in this northern part upon lot 54. Ezra Young 
early settled on lot 46, Harry Hale on lot 38, 
Festus Jones, an early blacksmith, on lot 37. 
His brother, Luther C, was a surveyor. 

John Wicks, from Saratoga county, settled 
in Ellery in 1818. His son, James H., born in 
Saratoga county, August 2, 1817, came to 
Ellery, subsequently removed to Gerry, where 
he died March, 1891. He was justice of the 
peace for sixteen years, and an active Metho- 
dist. He married Sophia, daughter of Andrew 
Ward, an early settler and lifelong resident of 

In 1824 Peter Pickard settled on lot 9, in the 
eastern part. The same year James Heath set- 
tled in the same part on lot 2. Seth Clark, 
Clark Parker, James Hale, John Miller and 
Jacob Johnson were all early settlers here. In 
1824 John Thompkins settled in the northeast- 
ern part. 

The Hale family of Ellery dates back to the 
early days of the Massachusetts colony. Har- 
vey Hale, born November n, 1797, in Otsego 
county, New York, married Jerusha Babcock, 
December 15, 1822; he died December 27, 
1876; she died April 5, 1876. They settled in 
Ellery in the spring of 1827 about two miles 
north of Ellery Center. 

Nathaniel C. Barger was born at Peekskill, 
New York, June 24, 1808. In 1828 he married 
Catherine Tompkins, and started for the West 
over the Erie canal and settled in 1828 in the 
eastern part of the town of Ellery, where he 
made his home until his decease. Mrs. Barger 
died in 1837. Their children were John D., 
Nathaniel T. and Lowry D. Mr. Barger mar- 
ried Tamor Tompkins, July 16, 1837. 

In 1839 Orrin Hale settled in the central 
part. Elhanan Winchester settled early near 
the center. His brothers, Marcus, Jonadab, 
Jotham, Francis, Ebenezer, Herman and Hart- 
ford, all settled in the town. Ebenezer was 
early associated with Horace Greeley in pub- 
lishing the "New Yorker." The father of the 
Winchesters came later and was twice mar- 
ried. He had twenty-three children, it is said. 
Lewis Warner early settled on lot 34, Morri- 
son Weaver on lot 42, James Newbury on lot 
18, and Amos Wood on lot 36. In the western 
part the early settlers were Luther Barney, 
James and Joseph Furlow, Ezra Horton and 
Joseph Brownell. Barnabus C. Brownell set- 
tled in the northwestern part. 

Benjamin Parker, son of Thomas Parker, 
was born in Rhode Island, in March, 1765. In 

the Revolution he was for three years em- 
ployed by the colonial government with an 
ox-team and a cart as a transport. He mar- 
ried Mary, daughter of Ebenezer Davis, of 
Hartford, Connecticut; she was born June 2, 
1 761. Mr. Parker, after residing in Washing- 
ton county, came with his family to Ellery 
about 1816 and purchased one hundred twenty 
acres of land near Bemus Point, where he re- 
sided until his death, November 7, 1842. His 
wife died January 26, 1847. Since Benjamin 
Parker's death the old homestead has been sold 
in proceedings in the Supreme Court in which 
there were ninety-two parties, his direct de- 

Elisha Tower, son of Isaiah and Sylvia 
(Toby) Tower, was born in New Bedford, 
Mass., May 10, 1788. He early removed with 
his parents to Duanesburg. In the summer of 
1810 he came to Chautauqua and after a while 
took up 176 acres of land on lots 43 and 12 in 
the northeastern part of Ellery and commenced 
improvements. In 1813 he was drafted into 
the United States service and participated in 
the battle of Buffalo. He assisted his comrade, 
Cornelius De Long, who had been wounded 
in the head by a spent grapeshot. to escape 
from the enemy. June 1, 1815, he married 
Philenah, daughter of Simeon and Rhobe Mor- 
gan. Mrs. Tower died December, i860, and 
Mr. Tower January 17, 1866. 

James Heath, born in Brattleboro, Vermont, 
about 1785, married Zubia Austin, in Cam- 
bridge, Washington county, and moved to 
Wayne county, where he resided for several 
years. March 2, 1824, he moved to Ellery, 
took up land on lot 2, on the town line road 
between Sinclairville and Fluvanna and re- 
sided there until his death, January 17, 1845. 
Morgan L. Heath was born in Lyons, Wayne 
county, April 20, 1812, moved with his father's 
family to Ellery in 1824. December 25, 1843, 
he married Electa Purdy. 

Odin Benedict, son of Dr. Isaac Benedict, of 
Connecticut, was born in Skaneateles, Onon- 
daga county, August 20, 1805. Dr. Isaac Bene- 
dict moved' to Marcellus about 1803. He was 
a surgeon in the LInited States service in 
the War of 1812, and died in 1814. Dr. Odin 
Benedict read medicine in his native town and 
graduated at Fairfield Medical College. He 
was licensed by the Herkimer County Medical 
College in January, 1826, and the same year 
came to Ellery Center and commenced prac- 
tice. He was the first resident physician, and 
for years was one of the best known in the 
county. He had an extensive practice which 
continued until the year 1850, when he re- 




moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and started a 
government stock bank. In September, 1851, 
he went to Dunkirk and engaged in banking 
for a few years, after which he had a broker's 
office there for some years. He then resumed 
the practice of medicine, which he continued 
until his death in 1874. He was elected super- 
visor of Ellery in 1833 and was supervisor of 
that town fourteen years. He was member of 
Assembly in 1840 and 1843, and was postmas- 
ter in Ellery for about twenty years. In 1826 
he married Sally Ann Capp. He died in 1874. 

Samuel Weaver, son of Morrison Weaver, 
was born in Pittstown, January 16, 1833, came 
to Ellery from Washington county with his 
parents in 1834, and was school teacher for 
several years. He was elected supervisor for 
Ellery in 1888, serving one term with marked 
ability. He married Evaline M. Lazell, Janu- 
ary 13, 1859. He died in 1893. He had one 
brother, Simeon B. 

Alfred Harvey came to Ellery and settled on 
lot 30, March 2, 1847. He was born in Onon- 
daga county, in 1819. He married Alsina, 
daughter of Volney Patterson. (Mr. Patter- 
son came to Gerry about 1855, and died in 
1873). She was born in Onondaga county, 
August 31, 1826. 

Jacob R. Brownell, born in Dutchess county 
January 10, 1802 ; after death of his first wife 
Mary in 1830, married, March 18, 1832, Han- 
nah Harrington, of Hoosic, and moved to 
Ellery the same year and settled on lot 43. He 
died January 20, 1871 ; his wife died July 25, 
1862. Their son, William O. Brownell, was 
born May 18, 1834, married Armenia M., 
daughter of Thomas D. and Ann M. (Shears) 
Wallis, who came to Ellery in 1836. Mr. Wal- 
lis died January 25, 1871, and his wife April 
20, 1873. 

Charles G. Maples, who settled on a farm in 
1838, was many years justice of the peace, 
United States Assistant Assessor of Internal 
Revenue several years, and surrogate of the 

The first sawmill was built in 1808 and the 
first gristmill was built in 181 1, both by Wil- 
liam Bemus. Joseph and David Loucks built 
a sawmill in the southeastern part of the town 
in 1830, and in 1832 Thomas Wing built a 
gristmill, but the most valuable grist and flour 
mill was built the same year by Seth and Sam- 
uel Griffith. A carding and cloth dressing 
establishment was early erected by Tubal C. 
Owens, on Bemus creek. William Bemus 
deeded one acre of land at Bemus Point for 
burial purposes. Matthew P. Bemus after- 
wards conveyed seven and one-half acres to 

the Bemus Point Cemetery Association. A 
fence, at an expense of $3,000, was erected 
around it, and the cemetery was made one of 
the most tasteful in the county. A large num- 
ber of the dead from Ellery and many from 
Harmony are buried there. 

A Baptist church at West Ellery was formed 
in 1808 by Elder Jones, then a resident of 
Ellery, at the house of John Putnam, for many 
years a deacon. The Baptist church, Ellery 
Center, was organized with nine members in 
1814, by Elder Asa Turner, the first pastor. 
The first house of worship was built in 1830; 
in 1862 another one was built. 

The First Universalist Church of Ellery was 
organized with twenty-three members by Rev. 
Isaac George, the first pastor, June 12, 1822. 
A house was built in 1858 at Bemus Point. 

The Methodist Episcopal church, West El- 
lery, was organized with twelve members by 
Messrs. Chandler and Barnes in 1831. Their 
first church edifice was erected in 1836; a sec- 
ond one in 1861. The first pastor was Rev. 
William Chandler. 

The Methodist Episcopal church, Pickard 
Hill, was formed in 1830, Rev. J. C. Ayers, 
pastor. In 1871 they united with the United 
Brethren, and built a union church. 

The United Brethren church, Pickard Hill, 
was organized in 1869 with eight members by 
Rev. Lansing Mclntyre, first pastor. 

Supervisors — Almon Ives, 1821-24-27-32; 
Peter Loucks, 1822; Abijah Clark, 1823; Jona- 
dab Winchester, 1828-31 ; Robertson Whiteside, 
1829; John Hammond, 1830; Odin Benedict, 
1833-48; Minot Hoyt, 1840; George P. Van- 
dervort, 1843-48-50; William S. Aldrich, 1851- 
53; Ira Haskins, 1854; Elias Clark, 1855; 
Leman Pickett, 1856-57; William C. Benedict, 
1858-63-65-66-72-84-85; James Hale, 1864; John 
R. Russell, 1867; John S. Bemus, 1868-69; 
Oscar Hale, 1870-71-75-76-86-87; George W. 
Belden, 1873-74; Asa Cheney, 1877-83; Sam- 
uel Weaver, 1888; Benjamin A. Pickard, 1889- 
90; S. Dwight Thum, 1891-97; Frank F. Pick- 
ard, 1898-1905 ; A. Morelle Cheney, 1906-13 
(chairman pro tern., 1910-13 inclusive), 14-17 
(chairman, 1916-17) ; O. C. Casselman, 1918-20. 
The full value of real estate in the town of 
Ellery in 1918 was $1,763,987; the equalized 
assessed value, $1,383,973. 

Bemus Point, the principal lake resort, is 
widely known, and its summer colony is drawn 
from widely separated points. Its permanent 
population, according to the State census of 
1915 was 270. In government it is an incor- 
porated village. 


Ellicott— Ellicott, formed from Pomfret, 
June I, 1812, received its name in compliment 
to Joseph Ellicott, so long connected with the 
Holland Land Company, comprised townships 
one and two of ranges ten and eleven, and in- 
cluded Poland, Carroll, Kiantone, and a part 
of Busti, making the town twelve miles square. 
April 16, 1823, the west half of township one, 
range eleven, was taken off to form Busti, and 
four of these lots were re-annexed to Ellicott 
May 7, 1845. March 25, 1825, Carroll was 
formed, and April 9, 1832, Poland was set off. 
Four lots were added from Carroll in 1845. 
Jamestown was carved out in 1886, leaving the 
towns surrounding it on the north, east, south 
and west sides, and containing 19,065 acres. 
Chadakoin river, the outlet of Chautauqua 
Lake, flowing northeast, unites with Cassa- 
daga creek, flowing southwest, on the east line 
of the town, about equal distance from its north 
and south boundaries. Ellicott is surrounded 
on the west by Busti and Ellery, north by 
Gerry, east by Poland and Carroll, south bv 
Kiantone and Busti. The soil is of alluvial for- 
mation along the streams, changing to clayey 
and then sandy loam as it approaches the hills. 
There are several artesian wells at Ross Mills, 
and a greater number at Levant, from some of 
which the water-works of Jamestown are sup- 
plied. These are from seventy-five to one hun- 
dred thirty feet in depth, and produce an abun- 
dance of pure cold water of unvarying tempera- 
ture. The water is invariably found in coarse 
sand and gravel, under a layer of clay. The 
supply is apparently unlimited, and various 
theories concerning it have been advanced. 
The water is raised in these wells by its own 
force fully twenty-five feet above the surface 
of the ground. 

The first election was held April, 1813, at the 
house of Joseph Akin. John Silsby, the near- 
est justice, presided, assisted by Laban Case, 
moderator. The officers elected were : Super- 
visor, James Prendergast; town clerk, Eben- 
ezer Davis; assessors, Solomon Jones, Benja- 
min Covell, William Deland ; commissioners 
of highways, William Sears, Michael Frank, 
Laban Case; overseers of poor, Joseph Akin, 
Stephen Frank ; constable and collector, 
James Hall ; constable, Laban Case ; fence 
viewers, Ebenezer Cheney, Aaron Martin. The 
second town meeting met at the house of 
Joseph Akin in 1814, and adjourned to the 
tavern of Laban Case. 

In 1813 the town voted $250 for bridges and 
roads, and that the supervisor solicit bridge 
money from the county. These roads were 
laid out in 1813. "From Joseph Akin's and 

Laban Case's past the 'Vernam place' to James 
Akin's ; Reuben Woodward's to Culbertson's 
(afterward Colonel Fenton's) ; from near Jones 
Simmons's to near Edward Work's mill ; from 
near Doctor Shaw's to near Simmons's. From 
the south of Fairbank, past Sloan's to Russell's 
mill at the public highway from the house of 
Lawrence Frank to Stillwater; from Simmons 
& Work's road at a sapling to James Prender- 
gast's mills ; from a small beech tree on the 
bank of the creek a few rods north of William 
Sears's to Prendergast's mills." In October, 
1814, roads were laid out from "Joel Tyler's 
to Conewango to a black oak ; from near Wil- 
liam Sears' dwelling house, as formerly laid 
out by courses and distances, across Esquire 
Jones' bridge across Stillwater Creek to the 
bridge across the outlet of Chautauqua Lake, 
near and below James Prendergast's mills. 
(This was built by Reuben Landon); from 
Work's mill to the bridge over Cassadaga, 
leading to Kennedy's mills ; from Fish's to near 
Garfield's." The $100 bridge money received 
in i8i4from the county was thus appropriated: 
Bridge across the outlet at Esquire Prender- 
gast's, $37.67 ; bridge across Stillwater creek, 
near Joseph Akin's, $29; bridge across Kian- 
tone creek at Robert Russell's mill, afterwards 
A. T. Prendergast's, $33.33. The remainder 
was raised by the inhabitants. The building 
of all the bridges in those days was much 
aided by subscriptions payable in labor and 

The first settlers in Ellicott were William 
Wilson, George W. Fenton and James Culbert- 
son. William Wilson located on the Chada- 
koin river, probably on lot 5, in a shanty in 
the spring of 1806; by June he had so far com- 
pleted a log house as to make it his home, 
although as the land was not yet surveyed, he 
could not buy until May, 1808, when he pur- 
chased a portion of the west part of lot 5 and 
of the east part of lot 12 ; the land was occu- 
pied by him until his death in 1850. The same 
spring George W. Fenton located near Levant, 
put up a log cabin and made quite a clearing 
which he sold to John Arthur on removing to 
Carroll. James Culbertson is said to have 
located at the same time "north of the outlet," 
probably west would be better. These three, 
"except perhaps Edward Shillitto," were the 
first three settlers in the old "twelve miles 
square Town of Ellicott." Dr. Hazeltine 
graphically groups the early settlers of Ellicott 
thus: Wilson was living below Falconer in 
1806, James Culbertson a mile below, George 
W. Fenton, John Arthur and Robert Russell 
on the opposite side of the outlet a mile below 



Work's in 1809. During the following year 
Thomas Sloan was on the old Indian clearing 
(the Prendergasts' farm) on the Kiantone ; 
Solomon Jones, and the Akins and others on 
the Stillwater. Nathaniel Bird was at the foot 
of the lake where the late Gideon Shearman 
lived, and William Deland on the Solomon 
Butler farm. Previous to the settlement of 
"The Rapids," the Frews, the Owens, the 
Myers, James Hall, Ebenezer Cheney, Eben- 
ezer Davis, William Sears, Jasper Marsh and 
others were settlers on the Conewango and the 
Stillwater in that part now Carroll and Kian- 
tone. The first settlement in southern Chau- 
tauqua was at Kennedy. Dr. Thomas Ken- 
nedy in 1804 built the first sawmill there on the 
Conewango, and there were a number of set- 
tlers, but their names are lost. The Strunks, 
Zebulon Peterson, Augustus Moon, Benjamin 
Lee, Jonas Simmons, Amos Furguson, Thomas 
Walkup, and other early settlers of the north 
part came in shortly before or soon after the 
settlement of "The Rapids" had commenced. 

August 1, 1807, Dr. Thomas R. Kennedy and 
Edward Work, who were developing the mill 
power at Kennedy, purchased a large tract on 
both sides of the outlet below Dexterville, in- 
cluding the mill sites at Worksburg and Tif- 
fany's, and valuable timberland east of the 
Cassadaga river and Levant, along the Ken- 
nedy road. In the fall of 1807, Work erected 
a hewed log house north of the outlet. In 
1808 he built his sawmills and put them in 
operation. About this time Kennedy and 
Work opened a road from Kennedy's mills to 
Work's mill and built the first bridge across 
the Cassadaga, about one-fourth of a mile 
above Levant. In 1809 Work built a gristmill 
with one run of stones, split out of large rock. 
The erection of this mill was a condition of 
the sale of the land. This mill was a great 
accommodation to settlers and led to the open- 
ing of roads to the settlements about the foot 
of the lake and to Stillwater creek and Frank's 
settlement. These mills were built three years 
before the settlement at Jamestown, when 
almost all travel was in keelboats and canoes 
or by Indian trails. Twelve of the boats used 
in the transportation of salt down the Alle- 
gheny were built at Work's mill in 1808. The 
discovery of the salt springs on the Allegheny, 
Kanawha and Ohio rivers caused the discon- 
tinuance of the salt trade by this route. The 
keelboats that came for salt brought loads of 
provisions, whiskey, iron castings, nails, glass, 
dried fruit and other articles. Edward Work 
was a resident of Ellicott from 1807 till his 
death in 1857. From 1818 he was a prominent 

member of the Methodist church, and his home 
an hospitable "Methodist tavern." In 1840 he 
sold most of his property and retired from busi- 

Jonas Simmons came in 1809 and made a 
claim at Fluvanna, and in 1810 brought his 
wife and thirteen of his fifteen children. John 
Strunk, his wife's brother, and Benjamin Lee, 
whose wife was a sister to Mrs. Simmons, and 
John Strunk, came with him. Four of John 
Strunk's children were in the company, so a 
whole school district came in one company. 
These were the first settlers in the west part 
of Ellicott. Jacob Strunk, brother of John, set- 
tled in 1816 on lot 53, township 2, range 11. 
Augustus Moon, a soldier of 1812, located on 
lot 37, township 2, in 1814. His brothers, 
Gideon, Samuel and Jonathan, soon came. 
Their settlement gave name to Moon's Creek. 
In 181 5 Nathan Cass made a clearing and built 
a sawmill at East Jamestown. A year later he 
sold to John and Darius Dexter, residents of 
Mayville from 1808. Darius was one of the 
most prominent citizens of Ellicott. He re- 
moved to Dexterville, as the mills were soon 
called, in 1818, and did extensive business for 
many years. He sold to Falconer, Jones & 
Allen. "He is remembered as the first colonel 
of the old 162nd Regiment, and a charitable 
man of great popularity." 

Benjamin Ross came from Cincinnati in 
1815, and in 1816 bought on lot 30, township 2, 
range 11, "Ross Mills." His nearest neighbor 
was at Work's Mills, and Mr. Ross and Isaac 
Young were twenty-one days in cutting a road 
through the intervening three miles. He built 
a log^house and occupied it with his wife and 
child in December, 1816. "For a month they 
endured the cold without doors and windows, 
substituting blankets for them. 

In 1817 Jacob Fenton came from Jamestown, 
where he had a hotel and pottery from 1814, 
and established a pottery at Fluvanna which 
he conducted until 1822, when he died, and his 
son, William H. Fenton, succeeded him. In 
1826 Samuel Whittemore became a partner, 
which continued nearly twenty years. Mr. 
Whittemore came from Concord, New Hamp- 
shire, in 1826, in 1827 was appointed postmas- 
ter of Fluvanna, and continued in that office 
until near his death in 1875. He was chiefly 
instrumental in forming one of the earliest 
local temperance societies. He kept a hotel 
from very early date until his death, where no 
liquors were sold, and was much frequented as 
a summer resort— the first on the lake. 

Nathan Meads settled on lot 35, township 2, 
range 11, in 1812, and purchased over four hun- 


dred acres the next year. He built two small 
log houses near the outlet, and in 1815 com- 
menced a large two-story house of square 
hewed pine timber, which in 1816 he sold with 
his land to Solomon Jones and Henry Bab- 
cock. Thomas and Joseph Walkup in 1814 
purchased lands on lot 48. Elias Tracy settled 
on lot 49 very early. Phineas Palmiter in 181 3, 
Cyrus Fish, his brother-in-law, in 1814, and 
Stephen Wilcox in 1814, came with families. 
Palmiter bought on lot 64, but passed most of 
his life in Jamestown. Cyrus Fish had many 
children, and his descendants are among the 
best families of the county. Cyrus Fish, Jr., 
built a sawmill on Clove Run, where it is said, 
he operated the first "shingle machine" of the 

Jehial Tiffany, brother of Silas Tiffany, was 
born in Randolph, Vermont, in 1798. He re- 
moved with his parents in 1809 to Darien, 
Genesee county. In 1816 he came to Ellicott 
and tarried a while, and after a visit to Darien 
returned to Jamestown in 1818, and was in 
trade with his brother, and dealt in lumber. 
In 1829 they built mills on the one thousand 
acre tract they had purchased on the Chada- 
koin river between Dexterville and Falconer, 
long known as "Tiffanyville." Here Mr. Tif- 
fany resided, gave up merchandising and man- 
aged the mills and real estate. He died in 1867. 

Levant, at the junction of Chadakoin river 
and the Cassadaga, early promised to be a 
place of importance. From 1840, when five hun- 
dred thousand bricks were made here annually, 
until the present, brick-making has been con- 
ducted. David Rider, a farmer near Levant, 
was a son of Silas Rider, who resided in Elling- 
ton from 1829 to his death in 1840. Stephen 
Pratt and family located in Gerry in 1819. He 
died in 1838. Nehemiah Horton settled in 
Gerry in 1818, and died August 1, 1855. His 
daughter, Mrs. Rufus Pratt, resided with her 
son, Merrick B. Asa W. Horton, son of Nehe- 
miah, lived in the south part. Amos Blanch- 
ard settled in Ellicott in 1824. His son, Flint, 
a large farmer and dairyman, was prominent in 
Democratic politics. The largest body of pine 
timber of the county occupied the area of the 
original town of Ellicott. E. A. Ross, in a 
paper read before the Chautauqua Society of 
History and Natural Science, gives the pioneer 
lumbermen and mills of the Cassadaga, and 
from it we make this summary : 

Russell Run. the first stream above the "outlet," 
empties into the Cassadaga two miles above. Thomas 
Russell built the first sawmill on Russell Run one and 
one-half miles above its mouth in 1 S 1 6 ; he operated it 
some years. It was later owned by E. W. Scowden, 

who ran it as long as there was timber. (Pine was 
the only kind then called fit to cut.) Charles and James 
McConnell built a mill half a mile above Russell's; 
after some years they sold to Cyrus and Artemas Fish. 
One mile above this Elisha Hall built a mill which he 
soon sold. The fourth mill and the lowest on the 
stream, was built by Gideon Gilson and later sold to 
Elisha Hall. It was one mile from Cassadaga, near 
the public highway and the residence of William 
Clark, one of the earliest settlers. The lumber from 
these hills was of fine quality and was hauled to Gil- 
son's Landing at the mouth of the stream and there 
rafted. The next stream was Folson Run. which 
emptied into the Cassadaga, a short distance below 
Ross Mills. This had four mills. The lower, built by 
Elijah Akin, was later owned by Cyrus and Artemas 
Fish and later by Anson Chamberlain. The mill next 
above this was built by Joel Tyler and changed owners 
often. John Cobb and Joseph Darling, the latter being 
the last owner and having cut the last timber, were 
among them. This was a double mill and cut the most 
lumber of any mill on the small streams. The next 
mill was between the last two mills, about a mile from 
each, and probably was built by Nathan Cherry. Adol- 
phus Hooker, who later owned it, built another mill a 
little above this, and ran both until the timber was 
exhausted. These mills cut a large amount of timber 
for mills situated on dry or "thunder shower" creeks. 
The first mill on the Cassadaga above its mouth was 
built in 1817 by Benjamin Ross at Ross Mills. It was 
located in the bed of the natural stream. A dam was 
later built on its site and a new mill built on a race 
dug from the pond. The mill irons for the first mill 
were brought from Pittsburgh in a canoe, the trip 
occupying two weeks. The mill irons included cast- 
ings for the gig and bull wheels, big crank and gudgeon 
for the main water-wheel, beaver tail for the pitman, 
the dogs and bars for the old-fashioned headblocks, 
bull-wheel chain and saw. These irons did service in 
all the old style mills on this site. This second mill 
was burned in July, 1S32, after running only a short 
time. This was a sad blow to the little community 
that had come to depend upon the mill for employ- 
ment, but the neighbors came from miles around to 
aid in replacing it and in six days another mill frame 
was raised. 

This mill was operated until worn out and replaced 
with modern improvements with iron or patent water- 
wheel. This was the fourth and last mill owned by 
Benjamin Ross. He sold it to M. J. Morton, who sold 
it to Joel Partridge: he rebuilt it and sold to Wesley 
Martin. Three miles above the Ross mill John Hines 
and William Newton in 1819 built a sawmill on the 
Cassadaga and in 1822 built the first gristmill of that 
section. Joel and Thomas Walkup owned them later, 
and they were long known as the Walkup mills. John 
Cobb operated them later. He and his brother Rol- 
land were then largely interested in lumbering. The 
last owner was R. M. Miller. Hatch Creek, the next 
tributary on which mills were built, empties into the 
Cassadaga half a mile above Walkup mills, and flows 
through Bucklin's Corners, early called "Vermont." 
There was only one mill on this stream at any time. 
Samuel Sinclear was builder and owner of one of the 
first mills. Tower Run, a small stream heading in 
Ellery, was the next stream utilized. Henry Shaw built 
its first mill in 1816. Elisha Tower and Jesse Dexter 
built a mill in 1827 which was burned after running 
eighteen months and reported to have been rebuilt 
and running in six days. Holden Moon built a third 
mill on this stream about 1840. 


if. i 

Falconer, the prosperous and rapidly grow- 
ing manufacturing village of Ellicott, is an in- 
corporated village, joining the city of James- 
town on the east. It is located on level ground, 
with dry gravelly soil, surrounded by a fine 
farming country, and has an intelligent, pro- 
gressive population. It has most excellent 
shipping facilities, two of the lines of the Erie 
railway system forming a junction with the 
Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & Pittsburgh rail- 
road, and the latter road having also a station 
north of the Chadakoin connecting with the 
Jamestown Electric street railway. An abun- 
dance of excellent water underlies the village 
at a depth of from fifteen to twenty feet, and 
is easily obtained through driven wells. Rob- 
ert Falconer, the first of that family, was a 
Scotchman who after a prosperous business 
career in New York, located in Warren, Penn- 
sylvania, and was the first president of the ill- 
fated Lumberman's Bank of Warren, Pennsyl- 
vania. He was at one time interested with 
Daniel Hazeltine in his manufacturing in 
Jamestown, and purchased real estate at Dex- 
terville. Worksburg and at Kennedy. His 
sons, Patrick and William, became possessed 
of these valuable interests, and were exten- 
sive lumbermen and mill owners. Patrick 
studied law with Judge Hazeltine, for a time 
was his partner, and in 1840 bought his father's 
interests at Dexterville and Worksburg. In 
1844, selling the Dexterville property, he be- 
came owner of Worksburg (which took his 
name), and resided there until his death in 

1887. William, although a minor, was by spe- 
cial legislation made executor of his father's 
will. He built the building, now the hotel, at 
Falconer, and had other interests there. He 
was later a prominent resident of Kennedy, 
where he rebuilt the mills and conducted ex- 
tensive lumbering and merchandising for years. 

W. T. Falconer and D. E. Merrill formed the 
W. T. Falconer Manufacturing Company in 

1888, to make apiarian supplies, washing ma- 
chines, advertising novelties, etc. F. T. Mer- 
riam established an extensive business here in 
1888 for making sash, doors and blinds. In 
1892 the Lister Mills, for the manufacture of 
textile fabrics, were located here and the com- 
pany organized with a capital of $300,000. 
Large and substantial brick buildings were 
erected in 1892. Goodwill & Ashworth erected 
a large brick building in 1892, for the manu- 
facture of woolen warp. Various other manu- 
factories, with mercantile establishments, 
churches and a large and beautiful high school 
building, make up a thriving and active com- 

Chau— 11 

In 1S91 the Swedes erected a Union church 
of brick on a lot sixty by one hundred twenty 
feet presented to them. The members then 
consisted of thirty-five Lutherans, thirty 
Methodists and twenty-five Mission Friends. 
The Lutherans in 1892 formed an independent 

In the fall of 1892 Brooklyn Heights Chapel, 
then a Sunday school mission of Jamestown 
church, and Falconer "appointment," having 
preaching "once a fortnight," on Sunday after- 
noons, with fifty members, connected with 
Frewsburg, were joined as the Second Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church of Jamestown. 

The manufacturing concerns of the village 
as reported by the State census of 1915 are: 
The American Manufacturing concern ; Chau- 
tauqua Planing Mill Co. ; Chautauqua Worsted 
Mills Co., wool yarn; Cleveland Worsted Mills 
Co., wool yarn; Falconer Mirror Co.; Falconer 
Towel Mills ; Gerry Veneer and Lumber Co. ; 
C. W. Herrick Manufacturing Co. ; Jamestown 
Mantel Co. ; Lynndon Mirror Co. ; Simpson, 
Jones & Co., yarn ; Supreme Furniture Co., and 
four small factories. These plants maintain an 
average monthly force of 1,214 hands. 

The village is well supplied with mercantile 
houses of all kinds, wholesale and retail. The 
First National Bank of Falconer meets all re- 
quirements and demands of a financial nature, 
and the public school system is most excellent, 
including a high school. 

The churches of the village are the First 
Baptist, First Methodist Episcopal, Swedish 
Methodist Episcopal, Swedish Evangelical Lu- 
theran, Wesleyan Methodist, Roman Catholic, 
Our Lady of Loretto. 

Falconer Free Library is a well patronized 
institution, and lodges of the fraternal, benevo- 
lent and social orders are well represented. 
The population of the village according to the 
State census of 191 5 is 2,342. 

Lakewood, another incorporated village of 
the town of Ellicott, is situated upon the shores 
of Lake Chautauqua, and according to the au- 
thority above quoted had in 1915 a population 
of 702. Lakewood is a popular lake resort, and 
three hotels accommodate visitors — The Lake- 
wood Inn, The Sherman House and The Spen- 
cer Hotel. The churches are the First Metho- 
dist, Sacred Heart Roman Catholic, and the 
United Brethren. The Chautauqua Traction 
Company and lake steamers furnish frequent 

Celoron, also an incorporated village, had in 
1915 (State census) a population of 720. The 
village is charmingly located on Lake Chau- 
tauqua at its southern end, and there a beauti- 



ful park is maintained by the Celoron Amuse- 
ment Company. The village is within the one 
fare trolley zone from Jamestown and the lake 
steamers also make it a regular landing place. 

The full value of real estate in the town of 
Ellicott (supervisors' report) in 1918 was $3,- 
866,117. The population of the town (State 
census, 1915) was 4,862 citizens, 354 aliens; 
total, 5,216. 

The schools of these villages are of a high 
grade, ranging from kindergarten to high. The 
village form of government has proven ade- 
quate and satisfactory. Fire departments and 
all forms of sanitary methods are maintained. 
The town is prosperous, farming profitable, 
Jamestown and the lake resorts furnishing 
nearby markets for farm and dairy products. 
Life in Ellicott, whether on farm or in village, 
is attended with the best advantages and both 
contentment and prosperity abounds. 

Supervisors of the town as follows: 1813- 
15. James Prendergast ; 1816-22, John Frew; 

1823-25, James Hall; 1826, Solomon Jones; 
1827, Nathaniel Fenton ; 1828-29, Solomon 
Jones; 1830, Nathaniel Fenton; 1831-40, Sam- 
uel Barrett; 1841-42, William Hall; 1843, 
Horace Allen; 1844, Samuel Barrett; 1845-46, 
Henry Baker; 1847-48, Augustus F. Allen; 
1849-50, Charles Butler; 1851, R. V. Cunning- 
ham; 1852, Augustus F. Allen; 1853-54, Henry 
Baker; 1855, Simeon W. Parks; 1856, Augus- 
tus F. Allen; 1857, Francis W. Parmer; 1858- 
59, Lewis Hall; 1860-68, Augustus F. Allen; 
1869-70, Jerome Preston; 1871-72-73-74, Au- 
gustus F. Allen; 1875-76, Lewis Hall; 1877, 
Corydon Hitchcock; 1878-79, John T. Wilson; 
1881-82-83, Robert N. Marvin; 1884-85, Daniel 
Griswold; 1886-87-88, Gustavus A. Bentley 
2nd; 18S9-96, Alonzo Halliday; 1897, Willis 
G. Price; 1898-1903, Merrick B. Pratt; 1904-06, 
Harley N. Crosby; 1907-08, Ransom B. Lydell ; 
1909, Conrad Anderson; 1910-20, Hermes L. 
Ames, who in 1914-15 was chairman of the 

The City of Jamestown. 

The first white man to seriously consider 
the place now Jamestown as a possible site 
for settlement was James Prendergast, and 
it is from him that the city takes its name. 
The members of the Prendergast family were 
prominent in the early history of the county, 
and had in 1806 bought 3,500 acres of land 
in the vicinity of Mayville, and were rapidly 
clearing away the forest. James Prender- 
gast, the youngest of the family of eleven 
children, was sent out to find a team of horses 
which had strayed away, and before catching 
up with them at what is now Rutledge, Catta- 
raugus county, had traversed the great pine 
tree region of the Conewango Valley, Kian- 
tone, one of the granaries of the Six Nations, 
and a great deal of the then unbroken wilder- 
ness now Southern Chautauqua county. 

To such a man as James Prendergast proved 
to be, his view of the magnificent pine forests 
must have impressed him with a conception of 
their great future value, as with rare judgment 
he chose the site for mills, home and future 
city. Two years after his discovery of the 
Outlet and rapids, he made his first purchase 
of land, his brother, under the instructions of 
James Prendergast, purchasing 1,000 acres, the 
present boat landing being about the centre of 
that tract, two dollars per acre the purchase 

In the early fall of 1809, James Prendergast 
visited his purchase with a trusted employe, 
John Blowers, to whom he confided his plans 
for founding a settlement and engaging in 
the manufacture of lumber by utilizing the 
water power of the outlet. Blowers evidently 
thought well of the plan, for in 1810 he erected 
a small log cabin on the banks of the outlet, 
an event of historic importance, for it was the 
first building erected on the site of Jamestown. 
Later, a story and a half log house was built 
on the banks of the outlet for the use of James 
Prendergast and family. Then followed a dam 
for water power, a saw mill, a grist mill, and 
so Jamestown's foundations were laid. 

But the "kicker" arrived soon afterward, and 
it is astounding to learn that in 1812 James 
Prendergast was indicted by the grand jury 
for erecting this dam "to the great injury and 
common nuisance of the liege citizens of the 
State." He was found guilty, and fined fifteen 
dollars and substantial costs. He removed the 
dam, rebuilding on a new site where it was 
evidently not considered a "common nuisance." 
In December, 1812, Captain William Forbes 
came, moving into the second log house built 
by James Prendergast, the location of that 
house on now Cherry street, between First and 
Second streets. The first frame house was 
built by John Blowers, who built the first log 



house. This building was finished in 1813, and 
was also the first tavern in the town and 
known as the Blowers House, in honor of its 
first proprietor. The house was sold in 1814 
to Dr. Laban Hazeltine, and occupied by him 
as a residence for nearly forty years. No trace 
now remains. Fire destroyed the Prendergast 
early mills, but they were quickly rebuilt. The 
second war with Great Britain also interferred 
with the growth of the settlement, and a sec- 
ond time the Prendergast buildings, were de- 
stroyed by fire, but James Prendergast clung 
to his belief in the value of the location, never 
lost his courage, and finally settlers began to 
arrive, the outlet was bridged and other im- 
provements followed. 

In the spring of 1815 the first operations in 
real estate began. A number of lots fifty by 
one hundred twenty feet were surveyed and 
placed on the market at $50 each, and we are 
told that $50 was the ruling price for a lot for 
a period of about ten years, beginning with 
1815. Under existing conditions this was 
enough, for there was little about the location 
in and of itself to attract any but the adven- 
turous pioneer. Indeed, Jamestown in 1815 
was little more than a crude lumber camp, as 
will be readily seen from the perusal of a 
sketch written by Judge Foote, who describes 
the village as follows: 

A one and one-half story gristmill building, with two 
runs of stones, two single sawmills and one gang saw- 
mill, all owned by James Prendergast. There was one 
small store of goods owned by Jediah and Martin 
Prendergast, of Mayville, managed by Thomas Disher, 
a clerk. Two small shanty blacksmith shops were 
occupied by Eleazer Daniels and Patrick Campbell, 
and a small out of doors tannery owned by John Burge 
and James Rice. The chief business was cutting lum- 
ber. In November, 1815, there were thirteen families 
living on Jamestown territory, occupying rude cabins, 
and some men without families. A few families lived 
in adjacent territory: one in the extreme northwestern 
corner of the city limits, and two or three at Cass 
Mills (East Jamestown). 

Among the early settlers whose names must 
always be included in any list of the "founders 
of Jamestown" are these: Abner Hazeltine, 
Daniel Hazeltine, Samuel Barrett, Samuel A. 
Brown, Thos. W. Harvey, Royal Keves, Rufus 
Pier, Wm. Hall, Silas Tiffany, Doctor Foote, 
Horace Allen, Col. Augustus F. Allen, Dascum 
Allen, Col. Henry Baker, Adolphus Fletcher, 
Solomon and Ellick Jones, Chas. R. Harvey, 
Silas Shearman, Geo. W. Tew, Wm. H. Tew, 
Woodley W. Chandler, and John W. Winsor. 

The settlement was locally known as "Pren- 
dergast Mills" and "The Rapids," but in 1815 
the name "Jamestown" was adopted, and a 

year or so later a post office was established 
and Jamestown was a fixture on the maps of 
the county. 

By 1827 the number of settlers had increased 
to such an extent that the desirability of a vil- 
lage government was manifest, and an act of 
incorporation passed by the Legislature be- 
came a law March 6, 1827. The first village 
election was held at the home of Solomon Jones 
and these officers were elected : Trustees, 
Thomas W. Harvey, Jediah E. Budlong, Dan- 
iel Hazeltine, Jr., Samuel Barrett, Alvin Plumb; 
treasurer, Samuel A. Brown; clerk, George W. 
Tew; collector, R. F. Fenton. After the elec- 
tion, E. T. Foote, Horace Allen, S. A. Brown, 
Abner Hazeltine and Joseph Waite were ap- 
pointed to draft a constitution and by-laws, 
and when their work was completed James- 
town was ready to assume the duties and re- 
sponsibilities of a village. 

The act incorporating the village of James- 
town was drawn with great care. In terse lan- 
guage, the act defined the rights and prescribed 
the duties of the inhabitants and officials, and 
all in all was a very satisfactory scheme of 
government, as may be inferred from the fact 
that the principles that were then laid down 
were in a large degree adhered to in the amend- 
ments made from time to time to meet the de- 
mands of a growing village. 

To adequately protect the village from the 
ravages of fire was one of the first duties of the 
newly formed village government, and to pro- 
vide fire protection a meeting was held July 5, 
1827. At that meeting it was decided to raise 
$300 by tax. Eventually it was raised, and 
August 31, 1829, the first fire company was 
organized — Fire Company No. 1. This com- 
pany had a little hand pump which was hauled 
to the nearest reservoir at the outbreak of a 
fire, and with a dozen muscular young men on 
the brakes did more or less effective work. 
The first officers of this company were: Ellick 
Jones, captain; William H. Tew, captain's 
mate; Phineas Palmeter, Jr., engineer; James 
H. Culver, assistant engineer. All these offi- 
cers were prominent citizens. Ellick Jones, 
the captain, was the father of Orsino E. Jones. 

It is evident from a perusal of the early vil- 
lage records that the purchase of equipment 
for the department, the management of the 
same and the selection of officers, cut quite a 
figure in the politics of the village, and the 
minutes of a meeting held May 13, 1844, show 
that the main topic for consideration was a 
fire department controversy. 

The first system of fire protection consisted 



of a series of small storage reservoirs located 
in various sections of the village. Crude hand 
engines supplied water pressure for hose and 
thus the villagers were able to cope with an 
ordinary blaze. With the growth of the vil- 
lage came the demand for additional reservoirs 
an & d engines and to meet this demand hose com- 
panies and engine companies were organized 
from time to time. The first engine company, 
Engine Company No. I, was later known as 
Deluge Engine Company, and claims the dis- 
tinction of being the oldest in the volunteer 
department. This claim was sharply disputed 
by the Ellicott Hook and Ladder Company, 
and there are no records available which deci- 
sively settle this dispute, although an impartial 
investigation which was conducted in August, 
180^ resulted in a decision that the Deluge 
Company was entitled to claim the seniority. 
The order in which the present companies 
of the department were organized is as fol- 
lows: Deluge Engine Company Ellicott Hook 
and Ladder Company, Rescue Hose Company. 
Eagle Hose Company, Prendergast Hose Com- 
pany, Jeffords Hose Company, Fire Police, 
Martyn Hose Company. 

The village grew so rapidly that in a few 
years it was found impracticable to adequately 
protect the buildings with the reservoir scheme, 
and a private company constructed a simple 
system of water works with mains running 
through the business section of Main street. 
Pressure was supplied by a large steam pump 
and thus the business section of ^village 
was fairly well protected, residents of the out- 
lying portions of the village still relying on 
the reservoirs and hand engines 

In 1886, a general system of water works 
was projected. This system covered the en- 
tire town, and with powerful steam pumps 
provided ample pressure for all localities^ Then 
the old hand engines were laid away forever, 
and the volunteer firemen assumed the task ot 
protecting the property of the vdlage under 
more favorable auspices. In turn, the volun 
teer department gave way to the modern paid 
department with motor equipment on e engines 
hose carts and hook and ladder trucks There 
are six fire stations with the most modern fire 
alarm system, having boxes all over th city 
Fire headquarters are at No. I Spring street, 
Howard S. Rodgers, chief (July, I9 2 °-) 
H The documents prepared by the Chautauqua 
County Bank in 1831, in which they applied for 
a charter from the Legislature set forth these 
reasons why a charter should be granted. 

In 1816 there was no post office within twenty miles 
of Jamestown where it is proposed to locate this bank. 

Population of Jamestown, January, 1827 393. 
Population of Jamestown, June, 1830, 884. 
It has now eleven stores, one woolen factory, one 
sash Factory, one gristmill with three run of stones, 
one gang sawmill, three common sawmills, two printing 
,, Slice- and a great number of mechanic establishments. 
V steamboat of eighty tons burden plies daily between 
Jamestown and Mayville on the Chautauqua Lake. 
One of the Lake Erie steamboats is solely employed in 
doing the business of Chautauqua county. 

Jamestown is ninety miles on the route usually trav- 
eled, from the nearest banking institution in this Mate 
(United States Branch Bank at Buffalo). The bank at 
Lockport is the nearest State institution. There is no 
bank in the southern tier of counties from Orange to 
Lake Erie. . . . 

The lumber included in this estimate is produced in 
a territory about the size of Chautauqua which is partly 
in this county, partly in the county of Cattaraugus, and 
partly in the State of Pennsylvania, and ot which 
Jame'stown is the commercial center. 

The county of Chautauqua ranks among the f.rst 
in the State for size, commercial advantages, and fer- 
tility of soil. It has no large swamps nor barren moun- 
tains, and is probably capable of supporting as numer- 
ous and dense a population as any in the State. 

The charter for this bank was granted April 
18 1831. The institution was organized under 
the safety fund act, with a capital of $100,000, 
and the privilege of issuing bills to twice the 
amount of the capital. The first directors were 
Leverett Barker, John G. Saxton, William Pea- 
cock, James Hall, Samuel Barrett, Jediah E. 
Budlong, Oliver Lee, Thomas Campbell, Dan- 
iel Shearman, Elial T. Foote, Alvin Plumb, 
Abner Hazeltine, Richard P. Marvin. The first 
officers were Elial T. Foote, president, with an 
allowance of one cent for each bill signed by 
him, and Arad Joy, cashier, with an annual 
salary of $55°- . ' . , . , 

The prudent, conservative policies adopted 
by the founders of this bank have always been 
strictly adhered to not only by their successors 
but also by the officials of the other excellent 
banking institutions which in the course of 
time followed, and it is a pleasure to record 
the fact that there has never been a bank failure 
in Tamestown, and that all the banks have at 
all 'times maintained the most harmonious re- 
lations with each other. The present banks ot 
the city (1920) are the Chautauqua County 
National Bank; First National Bank; Ameri- 
can National Bank; Bank of Jamestown; 
Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank; Liberty Na- 
tional Bank; Union Trust Company. 

James Prendergast, with his rare foresight 
early realized the temporary character of the 
lumber manufacturing business, and did every- 
thing possible to induce manufacturers in other 
lines to settle in Jamestown. This policy has 
always been adhered to, and new industries 
have" been liberally dealt with, the result that 





Jamestown is a manufacturing city, its growth 
due to the development of industrial enterprise. 

The first manufacturing industry of which 
there is any record was a small cabinet-making 
shop started by Royal Keyes about 1815. The 
same year the Chautauqua Manufacturing 
Company was organized for the manufacture 
of cloth, and each year has seen the number 
increase until to-day (July 6, 1920) Jamestown 
manufactures in city and suburbs, wood and 
metal furniture, voting machines, washing ma- 
chines, pianos, paving brick, wrenches, woolen 
dress goods, suitings, towels, window screens, 
blinds, tools, rubbing, carving and sanding ma- 
chines, mirrors, automobile running gears com- 
plete, veneer, and bee hives. The census 
(State) of 1915 gives the names of 96 principal 
manufacturing firms and states that there are 
73 smaller factories — in all employing 6,616 
men, 1,785 women, 141 children and 561 office 
workers. The largest employing concern was 
the Art Metal Construction Company, with 
two plants and 1,130 hands; the William Brod- 
head Mills second, with 809; and the Salisbury 
Wheel and Manufacturing Company, 335. 

The furniture factories employ by far the 
greater number of hands, 70 factories and 
about 5,000 people being engaged in that line 
of manufacture, the city ranking second in the 
manufacture of wood furniture. Twice a year 
a furniture market is held, hundreds of buyers 
coming to the city to select and place orders. 
A nine-story furniture exposition building has 
been erected, in which the goods are displaved 
and large additions are now planned. The 
worsted and woolen of Jamestown and Fal- 
coner are known through their products all 
over the land and have added greatly to the 
wealth of the city. At this writing, five years 
after the State census from which the fore- 
going figures are taken, there are 263 factories 
in and around Jamestown, representing a great 
variety of industries. 

Jamestown has always possessed a high 
grade of retail and wholesale merchants, and 
its stores of all kinds are modern examples of 
merchandising. The seven financial institu- 
tions of the city have ably played their part in 
the development of manufacturing and mer- 
chandising and the diversified industries of the 
city have attracted a very desirable class of 
citizens, of whom a large percentage own their 
own homes. 

The first railroad to reach the village of 
Jamestown was the Atlantic & Great Western, 
now a part of the Erie system, which ran its 
first train into the city August 23, i860. James- 
town is now on the main line of the Erie be- 

tween Chicago and New York, and is the south- 
ern terminal of the Buffalo & Southwestern 
branch of the Erie, and in close touch by street 
cars with the Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & 
Pittsburgh railroad at Falconer, that road be- 
ginning at Dunkirk and terminating at Titus- 
ville, Pennsylvania. Jamestown is connected 
with the New York Central system by the 
Jamestown, Westfield & Northwestern rail- 
way and the Chautauqua Traction Com- 
pany, the lines of these roads extending from 
Jamestown to Westfield on both sides of Chau- 
tauqua Lake. At Mayville, connection is made 
with the Pennsylvania system. The James- 
town Street Railway serves the cities, Celoron 
and Falconer. The Warren & Jamestown 
Street Railway Company connects Jamestown 
with Warren, Pennsylvania, while excursion 
steamers make frequent trips around the lake 
touching at the various landings. 

Jamestown took upon herself the dignity of 
a city, April 19, 1886, after nearly a year spent 
in the discussion of the details incident to the 
preparation of a city charter. The committee 
of ten appointed to draft a charter was : Rob- 
ert N. Marvin, A. N. Broadhead, F. E. Gifford, 
Porter Sheldon, John T. Wilson, Orsino E. 
Jones, John J. Whitney, James I. Fowler, 
Jerome Preston and Oscar F. Price. The pro- 
posed charter, perfected to the satisfaction of 
all, was passed by the Legislature March 31, 
1886, the act was signed by Governor David B. 
Hill, and Jamestown became a city. By the 
provisions of this charter the city was divided 
into five wards. The legislative branch was 
vested in a common council or board of alder- 
men, with two representatives from each ward. 
The executive authority was vested in the 
mayor. The first election was held April 13, 
1886, and resulted as follows: Mayor, Oscar 
F. Price ; city clerk, Fred R. Peterson ; Alder- 
men, First Ward, Adam Ports, John G. Wicks ; 
Second Ward, W. T. Bradshaw, T. E. Gran- 
din ; Third Ward, C. F. Hedman, J. S. Ellis; 
Fourth Ward, Conrad A. Hult, E. F. Carpen- 
ter; Fifth Ward, H. S. Hall, E. R. Bootey ; 
police justice, Henry J. Yates; justices of the 
peace, Marshall P. Strunk, DeForest D. Wood- 
ford, Egburt E. Woodbury, Herbert U. Bain ; 
assessors, James C. Swanson, John W. John- 
son, John M. Farnham. There was no contest 
for the office of mayor. The total vote was 
1,950, of which number Mr. Price received 

The change from a village to a city took 
place on the evening of April 19, 1886, on which 
occasion the old board of trustees met, can- 
vassed the vote of the election and declared the 



result. In retiring, Major Hiram Smith, one 
of the trustees, took occasion to review briefly 
the past history of Jamestown and express his 
confidence in the ability and integrity of the 
newly elected officials. 

In addition to the usual city officials, James- 
town has a board of estimate and review, a 
board of water and lighting commissioners, a 
board of hospital commissioners, a board of 
park and city planning commissioners, and a 
civil service commission. 

Jamestown was one of the pioneer cities of 
New York in advocating municipal ownership 
of public utilities. Just what has been accom- 
plished is best set forth in an address of wel- 
come delivered by Mayor Samuel A. Carlson 
to the New York State Conference of Mayors 
and Other City Officials in session in James- 
town the week of July 4, 1920: 

It is fitting that you should meet here because James- 
town is one of the cities in which many successful ex- 
periments in municipal democracy have been made. 

We invite you to inspect our municipally owned 
water works, which is self-sustaining and which, not- 
withstanding our high hills and high cost of labor and 
material has continued to supply our citizens with the 
purest water on earth at the low cost of one cent per 

We invite you to examine our municipally owned 
lighting system by the means of which we are able to 
supply electric light at 4'Ac per K. W. And we call 
your attention to the fact that notwithstanding this low 
rate, the plant pays all expenses, all interest and prin- 
cipal on bonds and makes proper allowance for depre- 
ciation. The plant has never cost the taxpayers a 
dollar, except the $48.00 per year charge for each 
street light, and it has met the test and scrutiny of 
every antagonistic expert investigator. 

We invite you to look over our municipally owned 
public market system and building which has paid for 
itself without any tax assistance and which is patron- 
ized by thousands of our people every week. 

We invite you to inspect our municipally owned hos- 
pital which is maintained at a cost to the city of less 
than one cent per week per capita, and in which 15,000 
persons have been treated since its establishment ten 
years ago. We hold that it is just as much the func- 
tion of city government to rescue a citizen's life from 
the menace of disease as it is to rescue his property 
from the menace of fire. 

We invite you to inspect our municipally owned 
sand and gravel pit and our municipally constructed 
pavements, by which we have eliminated the profiteer- 
ing element usually imposed by contractors. 

We invite you to visit our beautiful parks, our insti- 
tutions of worship and social uplift, our Chadakoin 
Valley, filled with thriving industries, and our hillsides 
covered with homes owned by those who toil in these 
industries. Wherever you find home-owners you find 
no Bolsheviki. 

We call your attention to the annual publication of 
our entire assessment roll, which enables our whole 
taxpaying citizenship to constitute itself into a board 
of review. Less than 1 per cent, of our total tax levy 
remains uncollected in any year. 

We call your attention to our sanitary method of 
handling garbage by which each householder is re- 

quired to wrap his garbage in paper bundles thereby 
minimizing the task of its collection and rendering it 
suitable for consumption by some 500 hogs, making 
an inexpensive substitute for a disposal plant. 

Our milk supply is subject to a bacteriological test at 
a laboratory conducted by our Health Department. 

And all our health regulations are such that James- 
town now enjoys, I believe, the lowest death rate of 
any city in this State. We put the emphasis on a low 
death rate rather than a low tax rate. 

We call your attention to the fact that we have suc- 
cessfully put into practice the referendum method of 
determining important questions of public policy on 
which citizens are divided in opinion. 

And all commissioners in charge of our public utili- 
ties are appointed without any reference whatsoever 
to partisan politics. 

Had this speech been delivered about six 
weeks later, Mayor Carlson could have re- 
ferred to the municipal milk plant which was 
voted at a special election held in August, 1920. 

These innovations did not come easily or 
quickly, but through the public-spirited leaders 
and the determination of the citizens. The mu- 
nicipal lighting plant was won after a long 
fight, and at a special election held September 
26, 1890, three propositions were submitted to 
the voters of Jamestown — one to issue bonds 
for the construction of a sewer system, car- 
ried ; another, to issue bonds for paving, lost ; 
another, to issue bonds for the equipment of 
an electric light plant. Bonds were issued and 
sold at a premium, the contract for the con- 
struction and equipment of the plant was let, 
and on July 4, 1891, at 9 p. m., the machinery 
was started and electric lights flashed up in all 
parts of the city. During the evening a demon- 
stration was arranged in honor of George M. 
Martyn, one of the leaders in the fight, and 
later a considerable sum was subscribed by his 
friends, and a bronze drinking fountain was 
erected at the corner of Main and Third streets. 

The sewer system was begun at the corner 
of Sprague and West Second streets on the 
morning of April 11, 1893, and paving followed 
naturally. A determined effort was made in 
1893 to secure the removal of the county seat 
from Mayville to Jamestown, but on submis- 
sion of the question to the voters of the county 
the proposition was lost, there being 282 votes 
cast "against" in Jamestown, which had they 
been cast "for" would have brought the county 
seat to Jamestown. The city quietly acquiesced 
in the decision and at once began the erection 
of a City Hall, costing $85,000, the cornerstone 
being laid with Masonic ceremonies, Septem- 
ber 28, 1895. 

Public improvements followed fast, and 
finally an abundant and unfailing water supply 
became the great unsolved problem. The 
Jamestown Water Supply Company had sue- 

V II A I.!.- -.IAMKSTi i\\ X 



ceeded to the earlier rights and franchises 
granted by village trustees and city aldermen, 
and had a plant which gave the city satisfac- 
tory pressure for fire protection, and there was 
no objection to the quality of the water or the 
service. But municipal water service was de- 
manded and a committee was appointed to in- 
vestigate the two plants which had been 
bought — the purchase of the plant of the 
Jamestown Water Supply Company and the 
erection of a new plant. The committee em- 
ployed J. F. Witmer, a hydraulic engineer, who 
began his work January 21, 1901, reported in 
September, 1901, and negotiations were opened 
for the purchase of the plant of the water com- 
pany. A proposition to purchase the plant for 
$600,000 was submitted to the voters, a bill was 
enacted creating a water commission, bonds of 
the city were sold, and on April 1, 1903, the city 
took possession of its own water supply sys- 

The source of supply is at Levant, three or 
four miles east of the city. Artesian wells tap 
an unfailing supply of pure and cold water. 
This supply has been constant even during the 
greatest drought and it is believed it will be 
ample to supply the city for all time to come. 

Oscar F. Price was mayor of Jamestown 
from its incorporation as a city until 1894, 
when he retired, and Eleazer Green was elected 
by practically a unanimous vote. Mr. Green 
had for some years been one of the leading 
attorneys of the city and an active and aggres- 
sive Republican. In an appreciative and timely 
biographical sketch, the "Journal" said: "His 
nomination was a recognition of his fitness, 
progressive business spirit and sterling integ- 
rity, and his overwhelming election was 
further proof of the trust reposed in him. No 
man could enter upon his official career with 
greater evidence of esteem and confidence than 
does Mr. Green. He was selected with the ex- 
pectation that the city would be conducted in 
a business manner, and that there should be a 
clean, creditable administration." 

Mayor Green took the oath of office in the 
Common Council chamber May 7, 1894. On 
that occasion Mayor Price presented to Mayor 
Green the handsome silver tipped gavel which 
he had received so many years ago, and said he 
was glad to surrender this emblem of authority 
to a man of honor and ability. "Since coming 
to this council eleven years ago," said Mayor 
Price, "the city has more than doubled its 
population. This has been due to the enter- 
prise of her citizens and to the wisdom of those 
who have shaped its destiny during the early 
days of its cityhood." 

In the fall of 1895 Mr. Green was elected dis- 
trict attorney of Chautauqua county, assuming 
the duties of the office January 1, 1896. He 
therefore retired from office upon the expira- 
tion, and was succeeded as mayor by Oscar F. 
Price, his predecessor, who two years later was 
succeeded by Henry H. Cooper, who took the 
oath of office April 11, 1898. In the spring of 
1900, Mayor Cooper was succeeded by J. Emil 
Johnson, during whose administration the mu- 
nicipal water plant was acquired. 

In 1908 Samuel A. Carlson was elected 
mayor of Jamestown and in 1920 he began his 
seventh term as chief executive of the city. 

The following table gives the population of 
Jamestown from 1827 down to the last census: 
1827, 393; 1830, 884; 1840, 1,212; 1845, 1,642; 
1855, 2,625; i860, 3,155; 1870, 5,336; 1880, 
9,357; 1890, 16,038; 1892, 18,627; 1900, 22,892; 
1905, 26,160; 1910, 31.297; 1915, 37.78o; 1920, 
38,898, corrected, 38,917. 

The schools of Jamestown are included in 
the educational chapter, Dr. Rovillus R. Rogers, 
editor. Jamestown is a city of churches, and 
perhaps no city in the State has in proportion 
to its population as large a religious element 
or as many imposing church edifices. Rev. 
Eliot C. Hall in 1900 prepared a brief sketch 
of Jamestown's church history, which is here 
quoted, as it contains all the essential facts 
concerning the various church denominations : 

The early settlers were, for the most part, interested 
in religious matters, and favored the formation of 
churches. Many meetings, however, were held before 
any church was formed, and no minister of any denomi- 
nation visited the place without being invited to preach. 

The First Congregational Church was organized in 
1816 by Rev. John Spencer, a missionary from Con- 
necticut, and legally incorporated in 1821. 

A Methodist class was formed at_ Worksburg in 
1814, and a Congregational church in what is now 
Kiatitone, in 1815. (Both Worksburg and Kiantone 
were then in the town of Ellicott, in which township 
Jamestown was also located.) A building formerly 
used for school purposes known as the Old Academy 
served as a place of worship until the year 182S. when 
a church building was erected on the southwest corner 
of Main and Fifth streets. 

A commodious brick church edifice was erected in 
1869 on East Third street, which has been enlarged 
and remodeled and is now used by this church. 

Rev. Isaac Eddy was the first pastor of the church. 

The present First Methodist Episcopal Church grew 
out of the class formed at Worksburg in 1814. This 
class was duly organized into a church and moved to 
Jamestown in 1S23. Their first church edifice was 
erected at the junction of Second and Chandler streets, 
and completed in 1833. They now occupy a fine brick 
structure which has a seating capacity of about 1,500. 
This church has had a remarkably vigorous growth, 
and has the largest membership of any of the English- 
speaking churches of the city. 

The First Baptist Church was organized in 1832. 
Their first church edifice was built in 1833. The present 



building, constructed of Warsaw blue stone, is one of the 
finest in the city. It is situated at the corner of Fourth 
and Church streets and is a monument to the zeal and 
devotion of both pastor and people. 

The First Presbyterian Church was organized in 
1834 by Rev. E. J. Gillett, forty-one members of the 
Congregational church having withdrawn to unite in 
its formation. In 1837 a substantial church edifice was 
built of wood, on the corner of West Third and Cherry 
streets. This building was burned in 1S77, but was 
replaced by a large and commodious brick edifice, the 
interior of which was destroyed by fire in 1890. The 
building was immediately rebuilt with all modern con- 
veniences and facilities for church work. The church 
has a large and growing membership, and has been ably 
served by its pastors. 

St. Luke's Protestant Episcopal Church was organ- 
ized in 1834, but was without a stated pastor until the 
year 1853, when Rev. Levi W. Norton took charge of 
this parish. The first church building of wood, erected 
on the corner of Main and Fourth streets, was conse- 
crated in 1856. This building was burned in 1862 and 
replaced by a second building upon the same founda- 
tion in 1865. The present beautiful church edifice was 
the munificent gift of the late Mrs. Mary A. Prender- 
gast, as a memorial to her daughter, Catherine. It is 
constructed of Medina sandstone, is fire-proof and 
complete in all its equipments. It has a clock tower 
which contains the only chime of bells in the city. 

The Free Methodist Church was incorporated in 
1874, the outgrowth of a class formed in 1871. The 
present church building was erected in 1884 on the 
corner of Lincoln and East Seventh streets. 

SS. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church occupies 
a fine stone building on the corner of West Sixth and 
Cherry streets. For a number of years Jamestown 
was part of a large parish embracing several towns 
served by one church official. In 1874 a separate par- 
ish was formed here under the care of Rev. Father 
Richard Coyle, under whose wise administration the 
church greatly prospered. 

The English Lutheran Church has a modest brick 
house of worship on West Fourth street. The church 
was organized by Rev. S. G. Weiskotten in 1877. 

The First Unitarian Church was organized by Rev. 
J. G. Townsend as an Independent Congregational 
Church in 1885. Its church property at the junction 
of East Second and Chandler streets was purchased 
from the First Methodist Episcopal Church and com- 
pletely remodeled and refurnished. 

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was 
organized in 1882 as a Union Church, but subsequently 
placed itself under the care of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Conference. It has a new church building 
on its lot on Spring street. 

The Seventh Day Adventists have a church building 
on Cherry street. 

The First Church of Christ (Scientist) has a unique 
church building on the corner of East Fourth street 
and Prendergast avenue. 

A Primitive Methodist Church has recently been 
organized, and a house of worship erected on Allen 

The Brooklyn Heights Methodist Episcopal Church 
has a neat house of worship on the corner of Sprague 
and Palmer streets. 

The Salvation Army holds services in both the Eng- 
lish and Swedish languages. There are also six chapels 
where Sunday Schools and occasional preaching serv- 
ices are held. 

There is also a Spiritualistic and a Theosophic Soci- 
ety which meet by appointment in different places. 

Jamestown has a large Swedish population, and thev 
are largely a church-going people. A Swedish Metho'- 
dist Episcopal Church was formed here as early as 
1852. This church now occupies a fine brick struc- 
ture on the corner of Chandler street and Foote ave- 

The First Swedish Lutheran Church was organized 
in 1857. Rev. Carl Otto Hultgren, D. D., became 
pastor in 1864. A large and imposing Medina sand 
stone church building is located on Chandler street. 

The Swedish Mission Church was organized in 1879 
and has recently erected a fine brick building on Chand- 
ler street. 

The Swedish Christian Zion Church was organized 
by members who withdrew from the Mission Church 
and have a fine brick house of worship on College 

The Swedish Immanuel Lutheran Church was formed 
from members who withdrew from the First Lutheran 
Church in 1887. They have a commodious brick 
church on East Second street. 

A Danish service is held each Sunday in the Congre- 
gational church on Institute street. 

Since the above was written, the PilgTim 
Memorial Church has been located on McKin- 
ley and Forest avenues. The Salvation Army 
has a handsome citadel on the corner of Spring 
and Third streets. The Calvary Baptist Church 
is located at the corner of Ashville and Liv- 
ingston avenues. The Swedish Baptist Church 
is located on Chandler street. St. James' 
Church, Roman Catholic, is situated on Vic- 
toria avenue. Holy Trinity, English Lutheran, 
is located on Fourth street, between North 
Main and Cherry. Buffalo Street Methodist 
Episcopal Church, at Buffalo and Falconer 
streets. Grace United Brethren Church at 
North Main and Fourteenth streets. 

The newspapers of the city are: 

The Chautauqua Democrat (weekly). Pub- 
lished by the Jamestown Evening News Com- 

The Evening Journal. Published daily ex- 
cept Sunday, at 12 West Second street by The 
■Journal Printing Company, Frederick P. Hall, 
president and general manager; James A. 
Clary, vice-president and managing editor; 
Henri M. Hall, treasurer and business man- 

The Jamestown Journal. Twice-a-week, 
published at 12 West Second street, by The 
Journal Printing Company (for officers see 
above) ; established 1826. 

The Morning Post. Published daily except 
Sunday at 311-313 Washington street, by The 
Post Publishing Company, Ralph C. Sheldon, 
president ; Edward L. Allen, secretary and 
managing editor; Robert K. Beach, treasurer 
and business manager. Established in 1901. 

The Evening News. Published daily except 
Sunday, by the Jamestown Evening News 
Company. Inc. 307 Spring. 






... m 





The St. Clairsville Commercial. Published 
every Thursday by The Jamestown Evening 
News Company. 

The Vart Land (Swedish). Published at 
307 Spring street every Thursday by the Vart 
Land Company, F. G. Curtis, president ; S. A. 
Carlson, secretary. 

Skandia (Swedish). Published every Thurs- 
day by Liberty Printing Company, 14 West 
Second ; C. E. Lindstone, editor. 

The Union Advocate. Published every 
Thursday by The Jamestown Evening News 
Company, 307 Spring. 

The Furniture Index. Devoted to furniture 
trade, and published once a month by the Fur- 
niture Trade Publishing Company. 

The following are the philanthropic institu- 
tions of the city : 

The Woman's Christian Association Hospital, corner 
Foote avenue and Allen street, one of the best in the 
country, and supported largely by voluntary contribu- 

Gustavus Adolphus Orphans' Home, 1381 East Sec- 
ond street. This institution is, controlled toy the Lu- 
theran Augustana Synod (Swedish). 

During the year 191 1 the O. E. Jones Memorial Hos- 
pital, erected on a tract of ground willed to the city 
by O. E. Jones, was opened to the public. 

Jamestown has a number of handsome public build- 
ings, viz.: Federal building, City Hall, James Prender- 
gast Library and Art Gallery; State Armory. 

The Young Men's Christian Association owns a 
building and plant valued at $100,000, and the Young 
Women's Christian Association a handsome building, 
which with lot cost $65,000. 

The Agnes Association owns a large brick residence 
and grounds which is conducted as a boarding home 
for working girls. 

The Warner Home for the Aged, the latest of James- 
town's benevolent institutions, had its beginning in 
191 1 and received at the hands of Mrs. Mary H. War- 
ner the L. B. Warner homestead in Forest avenue as 
a memorial to Mr. Warner, who died in 1905. 

A comprehensive park system has been planned and 
a park commission composed of public-spirited citizens 
who have given and are giving much time gratuitously 
to the work of developing these parks into beauty spots 
that will be a credit to the city. One of the largest of 
these parks is the Allen Park located on the south side, 
a most picturesque and beautiful spot. 

What is known as the "Hundred Acre Lot," a wood- 
land lying on the 'borders of the city has been acquired, 
through public subscription, for the particular benefit 
of the pupils of the public schools. 

There are two parks on the north side, one between 
West Fourth and West Fifth streets, known as Baker 
Park, and the other between West Sixth and West 
Seventh streets, known as Dow Park. 

The Soldiers' Memorial Park, the purchase of which 
was authorized at a taxpayers' election in the spring of 
1919, has been turned over to the local American 
Legion Post as a Memorial Home for Jamestown's 
soldiers. This park was formerly the Governor Fen- 
ton Homestead, is near the center of the city and with 
the mansion and grounds is a very fitting memorial 
to the soldier boys. 

The Jones Memorial Park is on the shores of Chau- 
tauqua lake outlet. It is still in a rough state but in 
time will be made into a modern park. 

The area of the city is approximately nine 
and one-half square miles, or 6,136 acres. There 
are more than 33 miles of paving, mostly shale 
brick, although some of the business streets 
are paved with bitulithic and asphalt block. 

The assessed valuation of the city in 1908 
was $13,347,981 ; in 1909, $13,498,331 ; in 1910, 
$14,133,149; in 1912, $16,046,366; in 1913, $16,- 
981,395; in 1914, $16,455,020; in 1915, $I7»7 I 3.- 
396, and in 1918, $23,850,405. 

On the settlement of the affairs of James 
Prendergast, son of Alexander T. and grand- 
son of James Prendergast, the founder of 
Jamestown, whose funeral was held December 
26, 1879, a brief memoranda was found which 
requested that the business block at the corner 
of Main and Third streets should be made 
available as an endowment for a free public 
library. On January 2, 1880, The James Pren- 
dergast Library Association was incorporated, 
and January 3, the association was duly organ- 
ized and took title to the property. Mary 
(Norton) Prendergast, mother of James and 
wife of Alexander T. Prendergast, and the last 
survivor of the family, died in Rochester, De- 
cember 22, 1889. By will she devised the by 
far greater part of her estate to public pur- 
poses. The various Prendergast bequests are 
as follows : 

The James Prendergast Library (which has ex- 
tended notice in chapter on Libraries) was completed 
at a cost of $60,000, and furnished with an art gallery 
costing $45,000. The grounds upon which the building 
is located cover an entire city square in one of the 
best residence districts of the city. It was opened to 
the public, December 1, 1891, and then contained 8,666 
volumes, a number which has been constantly increased 
during the twenty-nine years the Library has been in 

A bronze drinking fountain erected near one of the 
main entrances to Lake View Cemetery at a cost of 

The magnificent St. Luke's Episcopal Church edifice, 
erected at a cost of $125,000. 

The sum of $2,000 set aside and the income derived 
therefrom is divided annually into four prizes to be 
paid to students in the Jamestown schools for superior 
merit in scholarship, the same to be determined by 
competitive examinations. 

The sum of $500 set aside and the income derived 
therefrom is expended in the purchase of books for 
the librarv of the Mission Sunday School conducted 
under the auspices of the Woman's Christian Associa- 

The rental of the Prendergast building at the corner 
of Main and Third streets provides an income suffi- 
cient to defray the operating expenses of the library. 
Thus it will be seen that the Prendergast family im- 
posed no restrictions, for they not only built the library 



but they equipped it, and provided an endowment suffi- 
cient to support it for all time to come — a truly roval 

The general welfare of the city of James- 
town is promoted by a Chamber of Commerce, 
a Manufacturers' Association and lesser busi- 
ness organizations. The fraternal orders are 
well represented, the Elks, Eagles, Odd Fel- 
lows and Masonic orders all being well housed 
in their own buildings. There are many liter- 
ary, musical, art and social clubs. 

The leading clubs are the Jamestown Nor- 
den and Mozart, the list, however, being capa- 
ble of great extension. There is a chapter of 

the Sons of the Revolution located in the city 
and a chapter of the Daughters of the Ameri- 
can Revolution. Other patriotic orders are: 
James Hall Camp, No. n, Sons of Veterans; 
James M. Brown Post, No. 285, G. A. R. ; 
Woman's Relief Corps, No. 73 ; Encampment 
No. 95, Union Veteran Legion ; Auxiliary No. 
24, Ladies of the Union Veteran Legion ; Ira 
Lou Spring Post, American Legion. 

There are lodges of the Scandinavian Fra- 
ternal Association of America, Swedish Broth- 
erhood, Swedish Sisterhood, Sons of St. George, 
Daughters of St. George, and many others, 
social, athletic, religious and fraternal. 

Towns : Ellington — French Creek — Gerry — Hanover — Harmony. 

Ellington* — He who attempts to write the 
history of people who existed, and events that 
transpired nearly a century ago, perpetuated 
largely in the memory of the few who are liv- 
ing and the sayings of the many who are dead, 
must needs feel that there is danger often of 
weaving into the story an occasional thread of 
fiction ; but the writer has endeavored in this 
instance to search for truth, reconcile conflict- 
ing statements and wherever possible to sub- 
stantiate the record by documentary proof. 

To the few representatives of the "Old Fami- 
lies" who are left to tell their stories and re- 
count the doings and sayings of their ances- 
tors, the author of this brief history desires to 
extend his grateful acknowledgments ; know- 
ing that the records of many persons who con- 
tributed largely to the material development of 
the town and the intellectual and moral prog- 

early settlers came from that State and Massa- 
chusetts and Vermont. 

On April 1, 1824, it was set off from the 
town of Gerry, and at that time included the 
town of Cherry Creek ; the latter town being 
set apart from Ellington, May 4, 1829. It is 
township number three of the tenth range of 
the Holland Land Company's survey, and em- 
braces about 23,000 acres of land. 

The major part of its surface is undulating 
upland. The principal valleys are the valleys 
of Clear creek and its tributaries. The sources 
of Clear creek are in the neighboring towns of 
Gerry and Charlotte. It enters the northwest 
part of the town on lot 56, and running south- 
easterly through the central portions of the 
town empties into the Conewango east of the 
village of Clear Creek in Cattaraugus county. 
The northeast corner of the town takes in a 

ress of this community, must pass without portion of the Conewango Valley, that stream 

mention, owing to the lack of sufficient data 
and sources of information. Families, promi- 
nent in an early day, have become extinct, or 
their descendants have moved away, and the 
brief record of their lives exist only in the 
memory of the living or some old structure or 
landmark that reflects the work of their hands. 

I, therefore, beg to invoke the charitable 
criticism of any who may feel interested in this 
necessarily brief review of the first centenary 
of Ellington and its people. 

The town of Ellington is bounded on the 
north by the town of Cherry Creek, on the 
west by the town of Gerry, south by the town 
of Poland, and on the east by Cattaraugus 
county. It is understood to have been named 
after Ellington in Connecticut. Most of the 

♦This narrative is by Mr. Theodore A. Case. 

passing through the northeast corner of lot 7 
and centrally through lot 8 and through the 
northeast corner of lot 16. 

The village of Ellington is located on lots 
28 and 29, at about the center of the town, and 
in the valley of Clear creek and Twenty-eight 
creek, which streams unite just east of the vil- 
lage. The present population of the village is 
about 400, and of the town about 1,400. Two 
and one-half miles east of the village and on 
the county-line road between Chautauqua and 
Cattaraugus, is the village of Clear Creek, and 
one and one-fourth miles north of the latter 
place on lot 7 is Conewango Valley, a station 
on the Buffalo & Southwestern railroad. From 
this place a bus runs twice a day, carrying mail 
and passengers to and from Ellington via Clear 
Creek. Four and one-half miles to the south 
is Kennedv, in Poland ; a station on the Erie 



railroad which takes much of the travel and 
traffic from Ellington. 

Ellington is essentially a dairy town and has 
long been famous for its fine butter and cheese. 
Its diversified surface affords good grazing 
and plenty of water and the farmer who is 
attentive to his calling seldom fails of an abun- 
dant harvest. 

In the town are two steam mills engaged in 
the manufacture of lumber, by Charles J. Main 
and by Mason H. Terry. Among the citizens of 
the village of Ellington who are actively en- 
gaged in business pursuits are the following: 
On the west side of the public park is the dry 
goods store and the general store of Luce 
Brothers, and in the south half of the same 
block the drug store of George G. Gilbert is 
located, also the village post office. On the 
south side is the grist mill and the flour and 
feed business of Luce Brothers, the garage of 
Miske & Dye, Odd Fellows Hall and Murray's 
Grocery. On the east side is the general store 
of Charles A. Seekins and the shop of A. D. 
Kellogg, barber and watch repairer. On the 
north side is Grange Hall, the brick hardware 
store of The George B. Waith Company, and 
the blacksmith shop of Axel Tell. On west 
Main street is the law office of Theodore A. 
Case and the blacksmith shop of Willard Al- 
drich. At Conewango Valley on the Chau- 
tauqua side of the street, Mark Hopkins has a 
general store ; Charles J. Mahon and D. A. 
Seager are also merchants of that village. The 
Bagg store and mill is on the Cattaraugus side 
of the street. 

The fact as to who was the first actual set- 
tler in the town of Ellington, as its boundaries 
are at present constituted, seems to be a matter 
of some little doubt, but the best authorities 
agree that the first opening in the forest was 
made in the northeast part of the town on lot 
7 and Joshua Bentley is credited as being the 
first actual settler. It is claimed, however, and 
perhaps justly, that another party, whose 
name is unknown, made a clearing and erected 
a log cabin near the same place a year or two 
in advance of Bentley, but remained only a 
short time. Mr. Bentley came from Stephen- 
town, Rensselaer county, this State, in 1814, 
and by the joint labors of himself and wife 
constructed a rude log cabin on the east part of 
the lot above named, near the present site of 
the dwelling now owned by Eldred Bentley, at 
Conewango Valley. The following year 'Mr. 
Bentley purchased 300 acres on lot 16, and 
about the same time land on lots 9 and 15 of 
the present town of Cherry Creek. Mr. Bent- 
ley's son, Joshua, Jr., who it appears was for 

a time engaged with a party of surveyors, 
came about the same time as his father, and 
in the spring of 181 5 settled on lot 15 of the 
Cherry Creek purchase. Later the records 
show that Joshua Bentley, Jr., bought a part 
of lot 5 in the town of Ellington and built a 
frame dwelling, the same now owned by Lu- 
man Mather, north of Clear creek. 

Following Joshua Bentley, Sr., about three 
years later came his brother, Eldred Bentley, 
from the same place, and settled on lot 15, 
about three-fourths of a mile to the west on 
the line of the old Chautauqua road. From 
these two brothers sprang the numerous fami- 
lies of Bentleys that reside in that and other 
portions of this town and Cherry Creek. 

With the opening up of this portion of the 
old Mayville and Ellicottville road in 1814, 
settlers were attracted to lands lying along 
its course. In the spring of 1815, James Bates, 
with his family, came from Onondaga county, 
but originally from Massachusetts, and settled 
on lot 48. In 1816 Benjamin Follet settled on 
lot 40, building a log house on the same prem- 
ises now owned by Frank Bentley. The same 
year Samuel McConnell, from Cayuga county, 
N. Y., located on lot 47, west of Follet's, where 
the road crosses the Clear Creek Valley, later 
known as the Boyd farm. In 181 7 Abner 
Bates, from Chesterfield, Mass., came with his 
family, consisting of his wife (Nancy) and five 
children, Vinal, Joseph P., Maria, Alvah and 
Corydon, and settled on lots 48 and 56. For 
the first year Mr. Bates was obliged to bring 
most of his family supplies from Fredonia on 
his back. The same year Reuben Penhollow 
arrived from Pittsfield, Mass., and settled on 
lot 39. Dwight Bates settled on the same lot, 
on the farm now owned by Joseph Luce. Ben- 
jamin Rider settled on lot 48, later known as 
the Kinsman place. In 1820 Benjamin Ells- 
worth settled on lot 31, known as the Throop 
farm, coming from Hartford county, Conn., on 
foot, bringing all his worldly possessions in a 
little bundle swung over his shoulder. He 
built a log house the same year and later mar- 
ried Calista Day, daughter of William Day, of 
Cattaraugus county. These are a few of the 
early settlers along the line of the old Chau- 
tauqua road, while in other parts of the town, 
outside of the present village limits, we note 
the following: In 1816 Simon Lawrence drove 
through from Rutland county, Vermont, with 
an ox-team and located on lot 38 in the Clear 
Creek Valley. After providing shelter for him- 
self and family he proceeded to clear the side- 
hill back of his log house and plant an 
orchard, the first in town; many of the trees 


are still standing. His son, Simon Lawrence, 
Jr., who was born upon the premises soon after 
his parents came, succeeded to the ownership 
upon his father's death and spent his whole 
life there. He died a few years since and his 
youngest son, Edgar P., now owns and occu- 
pies the old homestead. The same year Ward 
King, from Massachusetts, located in the 
northeast part of the town on lot 16. In 1817 
Charles Thacher, from Vermont, settled on 
lot 64, and the following year Oliver Bugbee 
on lot 23, Nathan Billings on lot 21, known 
as the Nye farm, and his brother, Daniel Bill- 
ings, on lot 13, later known as the Alverson 
farm. In 1821 Rolli Rublee, from Pittsfield, 
Mass., settled on lot 12, building a log house 
on the south bank of Clear creek, near the 
present iron bridge opposite the Day school 
house, and later a slab house on the farm now 
owned by Lorenzo Green. The same year 
Hiram Putnam, a brother of the late Worthy 
Putnam, settled on lot 4, east of Rublee's; he 
married a daughter of Simon Lawrence. 

In 1822 the population was largely increased. 
Among the new settlers were : Enos Bush, lot 
1 ; Samuel Newton and Gershum Newton, lot 
46; Gardner Bentley and Benjamin Carr, lot 
16; James Leach, lot 18; Amos Leach, lot 11 ; 
John Leach, lot 10; Benjamin Livermore, lot 
1 ; Henry Abbey, lot 32 ; Hosea Saxton, lot 25 ; 
David Gates, lot n; Henry Day, lot 24; Sey- 
mour Saxton, lot 18; Jeremiah West, lot 10; 
Z. L. Bemus, lot 1 ; Ira Gates, lot 19; Nathan 
Bugbee (brother of Wyman) lot 20; John 
Woodward, Jr., lot 2. Mr. Woodward was 
seven years supervisor of the town, and in 1835 
was elected member of Assembly. He was 
grandfather of Hon. John Woodward, later 
justice of the Supreme Court. He with his 
brother David, who later settled on lot 9, 
moved to the west. 

In 1823 Daniel C. Green settled on lot 24 
and Moses Wheeler on lot 43. In 1824 Orrin 
Fairbanks, lot 3 ; Enos Preston, lot 60 ; Oran 
Kingsley, Jr.. (father of the late Calvin Kings- 
ley, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church), lot 34; Otis Page, lot 34; Charles 
Crowfoot, lot 49; Ransom Williams, lot 18; 
Nathan Brown and David Ransom, lot 37 ; 
Julius Dewey, lot 38. In 1825 Friend L. Fisk, 
lot 44; Nathaniel Fuller, lot 54; Isaac Harmon, 
lot 36; Joseph B. Eddy, lot 52; Nathaniel Dun- 
ham, lot 60 ; James Tracy, lot 35 ; Elijah Green, 
lot 20; Veranus Page, lot 12; Isaac Holland, 
lot 35. In 1826 Israel Carpenter, lot 46; Rich- 
ard G. Farman and Jason Bumpus, lot 57. In 
1827 George Anderson, lot 20; Abram Holland, 
lot 25. 1828, Ira Day, lot 13. 1829, Dr. Wil- 

liam Ware, lot 5. 1830, Jonathan Slater, lot 
36, and Levi Warner, lot 32. 1832, Isaiah Nes- 
sel and Joseph B. Nessel, his brother, lot 38; 
Isaac Helmick, lot 51, and Lewis Rice, lot 21. 
1833, John N. White, lot 27. 1834, Salmon T. 
Case, and the following year his father Elipha- 
let Case, lot 63, and Andrew P. White, lot 42. 
1835, Allen Bagg and Franzier Luce, lot 28; 
Henry Altenburg, lot 63. 1836, Chauncey Fox, 
lot 54 ; Hiram Bagg, lot 27 ; John Shaw, lot 46, 
and Henry Wheeler, lot 38. 

The foregoing comprise a few of the names 
of the early settlers, most of whom were origi- 
nal purchasers from the Holland Land Com- 
pany, but the list must necessarily be brief; 
enough, however, has been given to show that 
the forest-covered hills, in those early days, 
presented to the settler, in pursuit of a home, 
attractions equal to the more fertile valleys 
and low lands. Possibly the rock-ribbed hills 
of their former New England homes, as con- 
trasted with the more moderately sloping hill- 
sides of their new found possessions, made the 
latter seem to them a pleasing heritage fraught 
with greater possibilities. Certain it was that 
the majestic pine and the oak that dotted in 
such profusion the uplands, must have been to 
them a convincing argument that their giant 
forms indicated a soil of untold wealth and 
richness beneath their spreading branches. 

Among the early industries established in 
the town, outside the village, we note the fol- 

Simon Lawrence, in 1820, built the first saw- 
mill, which was located on Clear Creek on lot 
29, on land bought by Frederick Love. Some 
of the remains of the old mill can be seen to 
this day, near the iron bridge crossing the lat- 
ter stream on the Clapp Hill road. Other saw- 
mills were built in town by different individuals 
and about in the order named. John Stafford, 
on Clear Creek, lot 20; Ira Day, on the same 
stream about one-fourth of a mile east on lot 
12; Silas Rider, on lot 29, northeast of William 
Clapp's residence; Jonathan Slater on Twenty- 
eight Creek, on land now owned by Gust. W. 
Engdahl ; Oliver Carpenter in the Rice neigh- 
borhood ; the Avery Porter mill about three- 
fourths of a mile west of Slater's; the McCul- 
lough mill on lot 62, west of Henry Harris's ; 
Henry Wheeler's mill adjoining his gristmill 
near Simon Lawrence, and the Gardner Gil- 
bert mill on the farm lately owned by David 
White. All of these mills have either been de- 
stroyed by flood, torn down, or burned up. 

The first gristmill was built by Ward King, 
in 1820, in the northeast part of the town, on 
lot 16. He fashioned the stones obtained from 



a neighboring quarry, using for the bolt 
bleached cotton cloth, bringing the water to his 
mill through hollow logs and using an overshot 
wheel. Such mills were called in those days 

The first tannery in town was established by 
Elijah and Elliot Mason, near Clear Creek, in 
1828. They sold the property to Philip M. 
Smith, who continued the business for many 
years. About two years later Lockwood & 
Hough started a wool-carding and cloth-dress- 
ing establishment on Clear Creek, on land 
purchased by them of Simon Lawrence. In 
1832, Isaiah and Joseph B. Nessel, two broth- 
ers from Onondaga county, N. Y., moved into 
town and bought the farm adjoining Law- 
rence's to the west, together with the property 
and business of Lockwood & Hough. They 
engaged in the enterprise until 1836, when they 
sofd their building and water privilege to 
Henry Wheeler, from Madison county, New 
York, who moved the building up near the 
road and converted it into a dwelling and built 
upon its former site a large flouring mill and 
sawmill. Mr. Wheeler continued in the mill- 
ing business at that place until 1851, when he 
sold out to William W. and Richard Gates, 
but three years later bought the property back 
and remained in business there until he pur- 
chased and built over the Vaill mill in the vil- 
lage. After the Nessel brothers sold out to 
Mr. Wheeler, Joseph formed a co-partnership 
with Alvah Bates, and they moved their wool- 
carding and cloth-dressing business to the vil- 
lage and built what is now known as the old 
Dobbin cabinet shop, and followed the busi- 
ness for many years. 

The first store in town was started at Olds' 
Corners by Camp, Colville & Holbrook ; fol- 
lowing them was Ruggles & Ingersoll, at Clear 

James Bates, who in 1815, settled on. lot 48, 
on what was later known as the George L. 
Wade place, kept at that point the first tavern 
in town. Later Alamanson Hadley and Henry 
McConnell kept tavern at the same place. Ben- 
jamin Follet kept another in a log house about 
a mile east from Bates' on the old Chautauqua 
road, he was succeeded by Lucretia French in 
1822, at the same place. A little later Joshua 
Bentley erected a frame building and kept 
hotel in it at Olds' Corners. About 1826 Ste- 
phen Nichols kept tavern in a frame building 
erected by him at Clear Creek. 

The first post office was established in the 
north part of the town, in the house of Benja- 
min Follet, on the old Chautauqua road, about 
1816 or 1817. It is generally understood that 

Follet was the first postmaster, and that he 
served in that capacity until about 1822 or 
1823, when he sold his purchase from the Hol- 
land Land Company to Lucretia French, a 
widow, who is said to have come here from 
Canada about that time and who succeeded to 
the office of postmaster, which she held until 
1829, when the office was moved to the Bates 
Settlement and Vinal Bates was appointed in 
her place. The Follet house was about the 
third or fourth log house built in town, and 
Mrs. French, like her predecessor, used it for 
hotel purposes, and for several years it was the 
place for the holding of all the public gather- 
ings of the town. The mail route was from 
Ellicottville to Mayville via Little Valley, and 
Sampson Crooker and Robert Guy were the 
first mail carriers; the former was the father 
of the late Hon. George A. S. Crooker, of Cone- 
wango. It is said they carried it through on 
foot, suspended from a pole resting on their 
shoulders. Later Samuel McConnell carried 
the mail through on horseback, once a week 
each way. Deacon Otis Paige was also one of 
the early mail carriers. The post office re- 
mained at the Bates Settlement until 1832, 
when it was removed to the village and Wil- 
liam T. Norris was appointed postmaster. The 
mail route was changed and extended from Sil- 
ver Creek to Ellington, taking in intermediate 
points, and for many years a stage carrying 
mail and passengers ran back and forth on each 
alternate day. After the building of the At- 
lantic & Great Western railroad the route was 
changed, running from Ellington to Kennedy, 
and after the completion of the Buffalo & 
Southwestern railroad from Ellington to Cone- 
wango Valley. 

The earliest transportation facilities were on 
the backs of the settlers, and in that way flour 
and family supplies had to be brought through 
from Fredonia, where was then located the 
nearest mill and market. The process was 
tedious and attended with hardships, but the 
early settlers readily adapted themselves to 
existing conditions. Later as the roads were 
cut through and made passable, the oxen and 
the cart made the labor more tolerable; and 
until the advent of the railroad all goods, mer- 
chandise and family supplies for this locality 
had to be hauled from Fredonia, Barcelona, 
Dunkirk or Silver Creek. The only articles of 
exchange for family necessities, which the 
early settler could transport on his outgoing 
trip, was black salts, pearl ash, or pine shingles 
— nature's product— the making of which pre- 
pared the way for the open fields in the heart 
of the forest. 



It is related of James Bates, Jr., son of the 
pioneer, James Bates, who settled on lot 48, 
then a young man, while returning home from 
Wyman Bugbee's through the woods in com- 
pany with his little brother he met what he 
supposed to be a large dog. He called to it 
but without effect. He then tried to frighten 
it away, but this he failed to do, and as it mani- 
fested no disposition to turn out for him he 
procured a stout club and cautiously approach- 
ing the animal dealt it a severe blow on the 
head, and with a second blow apparently broke 
its back. Alarmed at the supposition that he 
had killed a neighbor's dog, he requested his 
brother not to mention the circumstance, but 
he himself related it to Mr. Bugbee, who 
passed his father's house that night, and who 
from the description given of the animal readily 
recognized it to be a wolf. The lad Bates, in 
company with his father and Mr. Bugbee re- 
turned to the scene of the encounter, and the 
suspicion of the nature of the animal was veri- 
fied. The wolf was still alive, but was soon dis- 
patched and skinned and the bounty, which 
was forty dollars, was in due time obtained by 
the young man. 

Apropos to the foregoing is another little his- 
torical incident in which Mr. Bugbee took quite 
a prominent part, but with more serious results 
than happened to young Bates. Mr. Bugbee's 
home was a log house situated on the east bank 
of one of the south branches of Clear creek 
that runs through the northwest corner of lot 
29 and empties into the latter stream about 
forty rods to the north of his dwelling. The 
streams in those days were full of beautiful 
speckled trout, as were the forests of wild 
game, and by means of the gun and the rod 
the early settler never lacked for fish, fowl or 
venison. About one-fourth of a mile west of 
Bugbee's lived Simon Lawrence with his three 
boys, Alva, Simon, Jr., and John, who were a 
family of hunters. 

Bugbee while hunting one day, in company 
with two of his neighbors, his dog started a 
bear about one-half mile north of Lawrence's 
across Clear creek, at which he fired his last 
shot. The bear, though hit, was not disabled, 
and after running a few rods climbed a tree. 
Bugbee called to his companions who came to 
his assistance. Alva Lawrence shot the bear 
in the head, but did not kill it and it began to 
descend. The party (which now consisted, be- 
sides the two already mentioned, of Simon 
Lawrence, Z. Davenport, George McConnell 
and Joseph Bates, the two former being armed 
with axes which they had been grinding) sur- 
rounded the tree and with axes and clubs 

awaited the bear's descent. When about ten 
feet from the ground it dropped and McCon- 
nell dealt it several blows with his club, but 
without apparent effect. The bear started to 
run, and Bugbee's dog followed in close pur- 
suit. Being greatly annoyed by the dog the 
bear turned upon it and gave it a terrible hug. 
The cries of the dog brought Bugbee to its 
assistance. He got behind the bear and tried 
to force it to loosen its hold on the dog, but 
the animal sprang back and Bugbee fell to the 
ground. The bear seized Bugbee by the leg, 
when a terrible struggle ensued, during which 
time the bear bit Bugbee several times. The 
position of the combatants so frequently 
changed that Bugbee's companions found it 
difficult to afford him any substantial assist- 
ance without imperiling his life. Finally a 
blow from the axe of Simon Lawrence caused 
the bear to loose its hold on Bugbee's leg, and 
turning upon Lawrence with a blow from his 
paw sent the axe flying from his hands, where- 
upon Lawrence, seizing Davenport's axe, re- 
newed the battle and finally buried the blade of 
the weapon in bruin's head, thus putting an 
end to the combat. Bugbee was so exhausted 
and faint that his companions were obliged to 
carry him home and his injuries confined him 
to his house for about six months. 

Ebenezer Green, Jr., who for many years 
was called Captain Green, from the fact that he 
held during the "General Training" period a 
captain's commission in the 218th Regiment 
of State Militia, was the first settler within the 
present bounds of the village. In the winter 
of 1819 he made maple sugar on the site of the 
present village park. In the following year the 
first public religious service ever held in the 
valley was conducted by Rev. A. Williams, a 
Methodist minister, at his house. 

It is related of Mr. Green that one evening 
while searching in the woods for some lost 
stock, he was chased to his home by a pack of 

The journeys of the early settlers with their 
families from the eastern states to the tree-cov- 
ered hills of Chautauqua, presented to a certain 
extent a sameness. There was the customary 
ox team and cart with its varying load, accord- 
ing to the size of the family and the amount of 
household goods ; but sometimes a new feature 
was introduced to meet the fancied needs of the 
prospective home in the forest. This was the 
case with Rolli Rublee, who journeyed through 
from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1822. Be- 
side the wife and children and the household 
articles usually brought, he utilized his four- 
legged table by nailing slats around it and 



fastening to the legs a temporary bottom, in 
which he placed a pig. To complete the outfit 
he tied his only cow to the hind end of the cart, 
the milk from which was shared by the family 
with the pig, on the journey. 

Julius Dewey, who came from Massachu- 
setts in 1824 and settled on the west side of lot 
38, which he articled from the Holland Land 
Company, was a man who was proverbially 
prompt to pay his financial obligations ; indeed 
the writer can remember when a boy of hear- 
ing him often remark that 'twas "always con- 
venient to have a little grease money," suppos- 
ing, of course, that he meant that to have 
money to promptly pay one's debts made busi- 
ness matters run smooth. But in the early 
days there came a time when the modest in- 
come from his pioneer farm failed to equal the 
amount due at the Land Office on his purchase. 
With a spirit commendable for its earnestness 
he determined there should be no default, and 
accordingly one morning he gathered up into 
a modest bundle a few articles of personal 
necessities and started on foot for his old home 
among the Berkshire Mountains to raise the 
necessary funds. He accomplished the jour- 
ney and in due time returned on foot in time 
to make the payment when it fell due at the 
Land Office. 

The first white male child born in town was 
Simon Lawrence, Jr., in 181 7. The first white 
female child was born to Benjamin Follet and 
wife about a year earlier. The first marriage 
was celebrated between Rufus Hitchcock and 
Ranah Hadley in 1817, and about six weeks 
after the event Mr. Hitchcock met his death by 
falling from a building which he was erecting 
in the neighboring town of Cherry Creek. 

It is claimed the first public religious serv- 
ices ever held in town was at the house of 
Abner Bates in 1817, conducted by the Rev. 
Daniel Hadley ; others claim, however, that the 
first sermon was preached by Rev. John Spen- 
cer, a Presbyterian clergyman. 

James Thacher, who by the way was the 
first supervisor of the town of Ellington, set- 
tled on lot 64, December 9, 1820. It was the 
practice in those days to turn the cattle out to 
browse and, indeed, it was their only means 
of subsistence, with no cleared fields and little 
native grass. On one occasion Mr. Thacher 
missed one of his cows, which remained absent 
for a period of twenty-seven days, when he 
happened to be straying through a neighbor- 
ing slashing and found the animal with its head 
so caught between a couple of trees that it was 
unable to extricate itself. It was alive when 
found, having all that time been without food 

or water; but it was still able to be driven 
home, and by careful treatment its life was 

There originally existed in this town, as evi- 
dence of a pre-historic race, four circular 
mounds. One on lot 47, on what is known as 
the Boyd farm ; one in Clear Creek Valley on 
lot 29, on the farm now occupied by Clarence 
Baldwin ; one on lot 4, on the old Doctor Ware 
farm, south of Clear Creek, and one on the 
crest of the hill north of the village ; which has 
always been known as "The Old Indian Fort." 

There has been from time to time many 
relics of much interest and historic value taken 
from these mounds, particularly from the one 
last named ; beside the latter has for many 
years been the meeting place for pleasure par- 
ties and curiosity seekers, and is still in a fair 
state of preservation. 

On September 8th, 1865, the village of Elling- 
ton, and, indeed, the whole town, suffered from 
an unprecedented flood, destroying most of the 
bridges throughout the town, and in the vil- 
lage several buildings. "Twenty-eight Creek," 
which runs through the southern part of the 
village, and which in ordinary times is a small 
rivulet suddenly became a raging torrent, 
spreading out through Main street, covering 
almost the entire village. The valley was 
transformed into a river, bearing upon its 
waters huge logs, trees and floating wreckage. 
All the buildings on the south side of the park, 
including dwellings, stores, the hotel and Bap- 
tist church, were either undermined, destroyed, 
wrecked or washed away. 

The dwelling of Abel Mattocks, on the south 
side of Main street, wherein were his wife and 
family, was carried away and wrecked and four 
of the children drowned. The mother was car- 
ried a distance of several rods under water and 
lodged on a pile of driftwood and rescued by 
the citizens. The body of one of the children, 
a four-year-old boy, was never found. Jere- 
miah Torrey, an old resident of the village, 
was carried by the water into the park, where 
he caught on a tree, but the floating wreckage 
swept him away and he was rescued by the 
people on the east side of the park. The "Wal- 
den Block," which occupied the same place of 
the Frisbee and DeVoe Block, and in which 
were stores and shops and living rooms above, 
was completely destroyed, and but for the large 
quantity of flood-wood and hay that had lodged 
near it, upon which the occupants took refuge, 
many more lives would have been lost. The 
hotel, then kept by W. V. Welch, in which 
were many citizens and guests, became under- 
mined and partly destroyed, the occupants 



taking refuge in the upper story ; expecting 
momentarily to be precipitated into the raging 
flood. Many of the imprisoned inhabitants 
within the doomed buildings became panic- 
stricken and performed many foolish and amus- 
ing acts in the face of the impending danger. 
It was indeed an event long to be remembered 
by some, and has ever since come to be spoken 
of as "The Flood," and it was many years be- 
fore the evidences of the destruction wrought 
entirely disappeared. It was generally sup- 
posed that the occasion of it was a partial 
cloud-burst in the western part of the town, 
which caused the breaking of some dams west 
of the village, and the choking up of the nar- 
row channel of the stream, thereby flooding 
the valley with the great downpour of rain 
from the hills. 

The first town meeting for the election of 
town officers, after Ellington and Cherry 
Creek had been set off from the town of Gerry, 
was held at the house of Lucretia French, 
where the first post office had been established, 
on March 1, 1825, at which time the following 
ticket was elected : Supervisor, James Thach- 
er ; town clerk, Cornelius N. Nicholson ; asses- 
sors, Robert James, Jr., John Leach and 
Charles Thacher ; collector, Alamanson Hadley ; 
overseers of the poor, Reuben Penhollow and 
Ward King; highway commissioners, Robert 
James, Ira Gates and Henry McConnel ; con- 
stables, Alamanson Hadley, Benjamin Liver- 
more and George H. Frost; commissioners of 
common schools, David C. Spear, C. H. Nich- 
olson and Parley Eaton ; school inspectors, C. 
H. Nicholson, David C. Spear and Parley 
Eaton ; sealer of weights and measures, John 
P. Hadley ; poundkeepers, Benjamin Ellsworth, 
Montgomery Evans and Nathan Brown ; fence- 
viewers, Daniel C. Green, Nathan Brown and 
Reuben Penhollow. 

The following is a list of the supervisors of 
the town who have been elected and served 
from 1825 to the present time : James Thacher, 
1825; Cornelius H. Nicholson, 1826-27; James 
Carr, 1828-29; Gideon Evans, 1830; John 
Woodward, Jr., 1831-34-38-40; Benj. Barnard, 
1835-37; Geo. J. Phipany, 1841-43-47; Jarvis B. 
Rice, 1844-46: Tohn F. Farman, 1848-53-60; Ma- 
son D. Hatch, 1855; Charles B. Green, 1856- 
57-61 ; John Farnham, 1862-63 ; Samuel Griffith, 
1864-65-72-73; George Waith, 1866-67; Philip 
M. Smith, 1868-69; Carey Briggs, 1870-71; 
Theodore A. Case, 1874-75-84-86-S7-88-95-96- 
97-98-99-1900-01-02-03-04-05-06-07; Olivin Put- 
nam. 1876-77-78-79-80-81 ; Austin H. Stafford, 
1882-83; Ernest F. Rowley, 1889-90; Sardius 
Frisbee, 1891-92-93-94; Charles J. Main, 1908- 

09-10-11; Charles H. White, 1912-13-14-15-16- 
17; James B. Anderson, 1918-19-20. 

John Woodward, Jr., was elected Assembly- 
man for the Second Chautauqua Assembly 
District in the year 1835; David H. Treadway 
in 1848; Dr. Jeremiah Ellsworth in 1852-53; 
Charles B. Green in 1858, and Theodore A. 
Case in 1876-77. Andrew P. White was elected 
school commissioner in i860, Byron Ellsworth, 
county treasurer in 1863, and Austin H. Staf- 
ford, county clerk in 1885. 

In the line of the medical profession, Dr. 
Sands M. Crumb is said to have been the first 
practitioner through this section, living near 
Clear Creek, Cattaraugus county. The first 
resident physician was Dr. William Ware, who 
moved into a log house between Ellington and 
Clear Creek, on lot 5, on the 18th day of June, 
1829, coming from Hartford county, Connecti- 
cut. He practiced his profession here until his 
death. Dr. Benjamin Potwin settled in town 
in 1832 on lot t,/, west of the village on the 
farm now occupied by his grandson, G. R. 
Potwin. He died about 1853. Dr. Jeremiah 
Ellsworth settled in town in 1846, coming from 
Silver Creek. In 1854 he sold out to Dr. W. B. 
Schemerhorn and moved to Gerry. Dr. Schem- 
erhorn practiced a few years in town and 
moved to Kennedy. Doctors Elijah DeVoe 
and his brother, Daniel DeVoe, were also resi- 
dent physicians at this place for many years. 
Both are now dead. Dr. Newton F. Marsh was 
a lifelong practitioner at this place, coming 
here a young man he enjoyed a large and lucra- 
tive practice until his death, which occurred 
in 1900. Dr. James Brooks practiced in Elling- 
ton from 185 1 until his death and was suc- 
ceeded by Dr. Osborne and he by the present 
( 1920) physician, Dr. Spencer A. Drake. 

The village of Ellington is situate in the 
Clear Creek Valley upon parts of lots numbers 
20, 21, 28 and 29, and its main street runs east 
and west on the dividing line between lots 20 
and 21, 28 and 29. The purchasers of the land 
from the Holland Land Company on lot 29, 
where the village was built, with the date of 
each purchase, as disclosed by the records, are 
as follows: On July 15, 1829, James Briggs 
took title to 67 acres on the east side of the 
lot. In July, 1833, Benjamin Vaill purchased 
67 acres next west of and adjoining that of 
Briggs. On March 24, 1834, Vaill also pur- 
chased 75 acres west of and adjoining his other 
purchase. On July 15, 1816, Frederick Love 
purchased 50 acres west of Vaill's 75 acres, 
and on May 15, 181 5, Wyman Bugbee pur- 
chased the tract lying west of Love's and com- 
prising the balance of the lot. 



On the west side of lot 20, Ebenezer Green, 
Jr., had settled and built a log house as early 
as 1819, where Albert Clapp now lives. About 
three years later his father, Ebenezer Green, 
arrived from Pittsfield, Mass., from which 
place his son had preceded him, and purchased 
the son's interest, the latter moving over on 
lot 21, where he bought land and built a log 
house on the site of the dwelling lately owned 
by William L. Rhoades, where he resided for 
many years. The house first constructed by 
Mr. Green was the first one built within the 
present bounds of the village. 

Jeremiah Baldwin, from Bethany, Genesee 
county, N. Y., in the year 1824, articled 99 
acres lying on the east side of lot 28, taking 
deed of same November 14, 1836. On May 3, 
1828, Horace Wells purchased 60 acres lying 
next west of Baldwin's. On November 27, 
1835, Silas Wheeler purchased 80 acres lying 
next west of Wells', and on May 29, 1835, 
Wheeler also purchased 116^ acres lying west 
of his 80, which included the balance of the lot. 
The two latter purchases by Mr. Wheeler em- 
braced tracts articled by Jacob Vader and 
George Altenburg, respectively, of the Holland 
Land Company several years prior to Wheel- 
er's deed. Vader and Altenburg, who were 
brothers-in-law, came from Onondaga county, 
N. Y., quite early, cleared up these tracts, set 
out fruit trees and built themselves log houses ; 
but finally disposed of their interests to Mr. 
Wheeler and settled in other parts of the town. 
In most instances the date of actual settlement 
ante-dates the deed by several years. Mr. Vaill 
(whose name has heretofore been erroneously 
spelled Vail) was accredited to Genesee county, 
but his home appears to have been in New 
York City and he is said to have been a man 
of considerable wealth ; at all events, to him is 
largely due the success attending the early 
settlement of the village. 

The first log house on lot' 29 was built by 
Wyman Bugbee near the west line of the lot as 
early as 1814. In 181 5 Frederick Love built 
himself a log house on his fifty-acre purchase, 
just east of Bugbee's, on land occupied by Mrs. 
Clarence Baldwin. These houses were built 
before any highway was laid out in the valley. 
On June 22, 1816, Simeon Clinton surveyed the 
road commencing at Love's house and run- 
ning westerly up the valley to the Angelica, or 
old Chautauqua road, near the dwelling of 
Samuel McConnell. and on June 30, 1819, he 
surveyed a continuation of the road from 
Love's house eastward down the valley until it 
intersected the road leading west to Gerry, 
near the southeast corner of the village park. 

Chau— 12 

The Gerry road — which was called the center 
road by reason of its running east and west 
through the center of the town — had its east- 
ern terminus at this point. Mr. Clinton, how- 
ever, on the latter date, continued the survey of 
the road east along the line of lots to the Day 
school house and, from thence northeasterly 
to the county line, the present site of the vil- 
lage of Clear Creek. Prior to the opening of 
these roads the few inhabitants of the valley 
were content with footpaths through the 
woods, with a log spanning Clear Creek below 
the village for the use of pedestrians. The 
road running from the southeast corner of the 
park toward Kennedy was laid out on the west 
line of Baldwin's purchase by C. H. Nicholson, 
surveyor, June 19, 1827. 

In 1824 Mr. Baldwin built a double log house 
on his purchase, which stood on a portion of 
the lot now owned by Mrs. Joel Slater. In this 
house Mr. Baldwin kept the first hotel in the 
village. Soon after he built a frame addition 
on the west end, wherein George Walbridge, 
from Buffalo, kept a hardware store for four 
or five years, the first in the village. Subse- 
quently the frame portion was purchased by 
Lewis Leet, who moved it upon the Larabee 
lot, which Mr. Leet had purchased of Mr. Bald- 
win and where he was then conducting a tan- 
nery and shoe-shop, locating his vats across 
the street on Spring Brook. The first frame 
dwelling was built by Stephen Aldrich west of 
the Baldwin hotel ; it was subsequently moved 
across the street and is now owned and occu- 
pied by Nelson McKee. 

Opposite from Baldwin's log hotel, on lot 
29, Elisha and Levi Beardsley, two brothers 
from Genesee county, who were representa- 
tives and agents of Mr. Vaill, purchased of 
Tames Briggs, July 28, 1830, two and three- 
fourths acres of land upon which they erected 
a frame building and opened up a general store. 
To the east of the store they each built a frame 
dwelling, the first of the kind, with the excep- 
tion of the one above noted, erected in the vil- 
lage ; both of these houses are still standing 
and owned and occupied by Whitcomb and 
Wesley Mather. Back of the store on the 
Whitcomb Mather lot they built an ashery the 
following year. Briggs built a log house on 
the west side of his purchase, but on the 
28th day of October, 1833, he sold his remain- 
ing 64*4 acres to Silas Wheeler, whereon 
Mr. Wheeler built the large dwelling now 
owned by T. W. Sprague. Mr. Wheeler came 
from New Ipswich, New Hampshire, about 
1830, following his brother, Moses Wheeler, 
who settled on lot 43 in 1823. Silas was then 


a young man of some means and possessed fine 
business attainments, was a good surveyor and 
a valuable man in the community. He invested 
largely in real estate throughout the town, 
built several dwellings, and was otherwise 
actively engaged in business for many years. 

In 1833 tne Beardsleys built for Mr. Vaill the 
first gristmill in the village. It was located on 
the latter's 67-acre purchase, and on the site 
of the present flouring mill of M. H. Terry. 
With the starting of these industries by Vaill 
a nucleus was formed for a little settlement 
and by his direction, that year Elisha Beards- 
ley, who withal was an elder in the Christian 
church, a merchant and practical surveyor, 
surveyed and plotted out into lots, all that part 
of lot 29 which Mr. Vaill then owned, whereon 
the village now stands, reserving therefrom, 
for a public park, a lot four chains and seventy- 
five links by four chains and forty links. The 
village plot was enlarged by the addition of his 
75-acre purchase the following year. Among 
the lots which appear to have been sold for 
building purposes, was lot 5, deeded to Silas 
Wheeler, just west of which was lot 8, sold to 
John Herrick. The old Christian church lot 
number 6 was eighty-three links wide and ex- 
tended across the east side of the park. Lot 1 
at the northwest corner of the park had been 
sold to William T. Norris, upon which he built 
the old store and dwelling attached, owned by 
the late Daniel Eigenbroadt. Next east was 
lot 2, east of lot 2 was lot 3, purchased by 
Albert Terhune. The Beardsley Brothers pur- 
chased lot 4 and the following year erected 
thereon the building now known as the 
"Grange Hall." On the west side of the park 
was lot 17, purchased by Merritt & Terhune. 
Just north of this was lot 18, deeded to the 
Congregational Church Society. Daniel Eigen- 
broadt had purchased lot 19, across the street, 
where he had the year before erected his house, 
and Alvah Bates had purchased the lot directly 
west of the church lot. Lot 30, later "owned 
by H. N. Jacobs, had been purchased by Sam- 
uel Babcock, and Enoch Jenkins had con- 
tracted for lot 31, lying directly across the 

These are a few of the first sales made by 
Vaill. Several lots had been laid out on the 
prospective street leading to Vaill's mill, but 
no sales appear to have been made, as that 
street was not formally opened until April 21, 
1834. Many of Mr. Vaill's sales were made 
on contract and in but few instances were 
deeds executed at time of purchase, as but few 
settlers were able to pay the money down for 
their lots. The Beardsleys themselves, a year 

or so later, purchased by contract of Mr. Vaill 
many of his unsold lots, but unfortunately for 
them they became thereby financially embar- 
rassed and Ira Day, a prominent citizen of the 
town, who in 1828 settled on lot 13, and who 
had become personally liable on many of their 
obligations, was obliged, in order to secure 
himself, to take by assignment all the Vaill 
and Beardsley contracts. In 1835 Mr. Vaill 
died and in the course of the settlement of his 
estate Mr. Day found it also necessary in order 
to protect his interests and carry out existing 
contracts, to purchase the balance of Mr. 
Vaill's real estate in the town. In so doing he 
incurred an indebtedness of $2,200, which in 
those days was looked upon as a debt of alarm- 
ing proportions, but which he nevertheless 
successfully liquidated and thereby came into 
possession of a large part of the real estate 
whereon the village is now located. 

No lots were included in the original village 
plot on lot 28. Mr. Baldwin, however, who 
owned the land from the Kennedy road to the 
east line of that lot, sold off all the lots front- 
ing the street up to the southeast corner of 
the park, and in 1832 built his residence on the 
Kennedy road, the same owned by the late 
Samuel Griffith. He sold the first lot off the 
east side of his purchase to Reuben Case, where 
Matthew Frank now resides. The lot next 
west where Mrs. Yaw now lives was sold to 
Elder Morse. Samuel Case purchased the orig- 
inal lot where Mr. Baldwin erected his log tav- 
ern and built the dwelling now owned by Sam- 
uel G. Baldwin. Mr. Case was a blacksmith 
and for a time had a shop on the same lot. 
Lewis Leet purchased what is now known as 
the Larabee lot, as before noted, and Silas 
Wheeler bought the balance of the street front 
to the corner. Mr. Wheeler sold the corner 
to Matthew Norris, who had a cabinet shop on 
the Fox place on the west side of Mill street, 
and Mr. Norris moved his shop upon the cor- 
ner and for several years continued the indus- 
try at that place. Later John C Cody bought 
it and converted it into a grocery and jewelry 
store. The later owner, Charles A. Clapp, for 
many years occupied it for a dwelling. 

On October 28. 1833, Harwood Boyden 
bought of Horace W r ells his sixty acres lying 
west of the Baldwin tract, and in 1835 Mr. 
Boyden also purchased the 80-acre tract of 
Silas Wheeler lying next west, and the same 
year sold the two to Allen Bagg and Frazier 
Luce, who that year moved into town from 
Pittsfield, Mass., the former moving into the 
house that Boyden had erected on the Wells 
tract, across the road from Baldwin's dwelling. 



In 1841 Mr. Bagg sold out his interest to Mr. 
Luce and purchased the 1 163/2 acres owned by 
Mr. Wheeler on the west side of lot 28, known 
as the Altenburg tract. All the lots, there- 
fore, on the south side of the park, with one or 
two exceptions, were sold off by Mr. Luce 
after he acquired full title to the land, and all 
the lots on the south side of West Main street 
from W. Aldrich's blacksmith shop west to the 
foot of the hill were sold by Mr. Bagg. 

In 1833 Sewell Merritt and Lewis Terhune 
built a hotel on the lot which they purchased 
of Vaill on the west side of the park. That 
year Mr. Baldwin had closed up and sold his 
log tavern and Merritt & Terhune succeeded 
to the hotel business ; save perhaps for a year 
or two, Lyman Little kept a public house in 
the dwelling erected by Stephen Brown, where 
Adelbert Andrus now lives. About 1837 Mer- 
ritt & Terhune sold out to David Torrey, who 
added considerably to the size and capacity of 
the building. In addition to the lot, Mr. Tor- 
rey owned several acres of land lying directly 
west of his hotel which he sold for church, 
school and private purposes, at different times. 
In 1839 Mr. Torrey traded his hotel property 
to Jarvis B. Rice, for a farm west of the vil- 
lage. Rice kept the hotel until 1842, when he 
sold it back to Mr. Torrey, who, in connection 
with his son Jeremiah, continued the business 
until 1853, when it passed into the hands of 
Joel Gates. Gates continued the business until 
1856, when he disposed of it to Mrs. Ruth 
Walkup, a widow, who by the help of her son 
conducted the hotel until i860, when it was 
purchased by A. M. P. Maynard. In January, 
1861, while owned by Mr. Maynard, it caught 
fire and was destroyed and was never rebuilt. 
The dwelling of Lafayette Eigenbroadt now 
stands on the site of the old hotel. 

On the 15th day of January, 1850, David 
Torrey sold the southeast corner of his hotel 
lot to Jeremiah Baldwin, who erected thereon 
a building, and in company with his son-in- 
law, John M. Farnham, opened up a hardware 
store. The co-partnership of Farnham & Bald- 
win continued until i860, when Farnham pur- 
chased Mr. Baldwin's interest and remained 
in trade until 1865, when he sold out to F. E. 
and T. A. Case. The firm subsequently be- 
came F. E. & J. H. Case ; F. E. Case sold out 
to E. E. DeVoe, and the firm became Case & 
DeVoe, until Case sold out to Hiram Terry, 
who in company with DeVoe, engaged in trade 
until the building and contents were burned 
in December, 1875. Adjoining this building to 
the north, on' the Torrey lot, was a store 
erected by Henry Wait soon after Baldwin 

built his hardware store. Wait started in the 
book business, but after a year or two sold out 
to Alvah Bates, who opened up a dry goods 
store, Mr. Bates continued in trade until his 
death, when the property passed into the hands 
of J. F. Farman & Son, who about 1866 sold 
the building and stock to Charles A. Clapp. 
Mr. Clapp in March, 1869, sold out to Sardius 
Frisbee and Darwin J. Maynard. Mr. May- 
nard soon disposed of his interest to Mr. Fris- 
bee, who continued in trade until 1875, when 
the property was burned with the adjoining 

In 1876, upon the site of these two stores, 
John H. Case and Mr. Frisbee erected the pres- 
ent three-story block, the former engaged in 
the drug business in the south half and the lat- 
ter resumed his dry goods trade in the north 
half, where he engaged in business until Feb- 
ruary 26, 1903, the date of his death. Upon 
Mr. Case's death the south half was purchased 
by George G. Gilbert. William T. Norris 
started in the grocery trade in the building 
erected by him on lot 1 at the northwest cor- 
ner of the park. He was the first postmaster 
in the village, succeeding Vinal Bates in 1833, 
when the office was removed from the Bates 
neighborhood. Norris sold out his store and 
business to Seth Grover, and Grover to Henry 
McConnell. In 1852 the property was pur- 
chased by Daniel Eigenbroadt, who for many 
years dealt in groceries and hardware at that 
point beside working at the blacksmith trade in 
his shop on the adjoining lot west. Mr. Eigen- 
broadt came from the Mohawk Valley and set- 
tled in the village in 1832 and the following 
year built his residence on village lot 19, 
where he lived until the time of his death, July, 
1899. Upon the site of the old store now stands 
the brick hardware store and dwelling built by 
his son, D. J. Eigenbroadt. On the adjoining 
lot east, now owned by Caroline and Eliza 
Smith, Seth Hussey and Elijah Edwards had 
a shoe-shop. Hussey and Edwards were tan- 
ners and soon after Vaill built his gristmill 
they purchased a lot east of and adjoining his 
mill and erected a tannery ; this was afterward 
owned and operated successively by Lewis 
Rice, Richard W. Gates, Lewis Leet and Har- 
vey Nye, but was destroyed by fire during 
Nye's ownership and was never rebuilt. Henry 
Haman afterward purchased the lot and privi- 
leges and erected a steam mill in its place. 

Albert Terhune, who purchased lot 3 on 
the north side of the park, sold it to George J. 
Phipany, who came from Genesee county in 
1836. He built the store and dwelling attached, 
now on the lot, the property of Mrs. C. D. 


Stockwell. Phipany started in the mercan- 
tile business in company with Richard W. 
Gates, but he soon purchased Gate's interest 
and in July, 1839, formed a co-partnership with 
John F. Farman, who came from Oneida 
county with his brother in 1826. Farman had 
previously been in trade a short time with Silas 
Wheeler, presumably in the Beardsley store on 
the adjoining lot. Farman & Phipany con- 
tinued in partnership until 1841. About 1839 
Farman purchased the Beardsley store of his 
father-in-law, Ira Day, which he enlarged and 
improved. From 1848-50 Mr. Farman was in 
partnership with Alvah Bates at that place, 
after which he conducted the business alone 
until 1856, when he sold out to Erastus C. 
Woodworth. Mr. Woodworth remained in 
trade until i860, when he sold the property and 
business to Gates & Wheeler, who the follow- 
ing year sold to Daniel S. Bailey, who, with his 
son, Edwin, continued in active trade for many 
years. John F. Baxter was the last owner and 
occupant of the property for mercantile pur- 

On the east side of the park, Alvah Bates 
about 1840 purchased of the Christian Church 
Society the corner lot and built the store now 
owned by Charles A. Seekins. Two years 
later Mr. Bates sold out to Norman Guernsey, 
who in 1843, m company with John F. Farman, 
engaged in trade at that point until 1847, when 
Mr. Guernsey bought out Mr. Farman, and 
the following year formed a co-partnership 
with Warren Palmer. About 1850 Mason D. 
Hatch bought the property and continued the 
mercantile business at that point until his 
death, which occurred in 1857, since which 
time the property has passed through several 
hands. To the north of this Albro S. Brown 
erected a dwelling and shop on land bought 
by him of the Christian church. Mr. Brown 
was a wagon-maker and followed that business 
until 1866, when he sold his property to A. M. 
P. Maynard, who converted the shop into a 
drug store and three or four years later sold 
the property and business to James Wheeler & 
Company, who continued in that line of trade 
at that point for many years. 

F. E. Case, about 1879, purchased a lot on 
the east side of the park and built the store, 
where he was almost continuously in the hard- 
ware trade until his death. 

At the southeast corner of the park on lot 28, 
William Jenkins, about 1832-33, built a small 
building which he used for a tannery, and at 
the same time erected a frame dwelling on the 
south bank of Twenty-eight creek, now known 
as the Dobbin house. Three or four years 

later Mr. Jenkins sold the property to Abner 
Porter, removing his tannery business upon 
the south hill, on the farm later owned by 
Henry Bagg. 

Mr. Porter built a blacksmith shop on the 
corner where Jenkins had his tannery and also 
a frame dwelling just west of his shop, the 
same lately owned by C. M. Turney. Porter's 
shop was afterward sold and fitted up for a 
store. Clapp & Williams, for two or three 
years occupied it for mercantile purposes : later 
Doctor Giles owned the property and used it 
for a drug store, at the time of the flood it was 
used for a shoe-shop, but becoming greatly 
damaged by the water was finally moved over 
on the east side of the park, between the 
Wheeler drug store and Case's hardware store. 
The dwelling, about the same time was moved 
down on the corner. To the west of this, 
George H. Chandler built a two-story building 
which he used for a cabinet shop and dwell- 
ing: later this became the property of John B. 
Stone, who occupied it for like purposes. After 
the Torrey hotel burned down the building was 
refitted and used for a public house. At the 
time of the flood it was owned-by W. V. Welch 
and was very much damaged, but repaired by 
Mr. Welch and moved down on the north side 
of East Main street and used for hotel pur- 
poses. A. W. Clapp is the owner of the prop- 
erty and for several years acceptably followed 
that business. 

West of the Baptist church lot, Myron Wal- 
den and David H. Gates in April, 1848, pur- 
chased a lot of Frazier Luce and built upon it 
a two-story double store building, for many 
years known as the "Walden Block." In the 
west half Alvah Bates opened a dry goods 
store and Alonzo Palmer occupied the east 
lower half for a harness shop. Dobbin & 
Bartholomew had a cabinet shop overhead, and 
later George Waith a shoe-shop. After a year 
or two Bates sold out to Horatio N. Barnes, 
from Gerry, who later formed a co-partner- 
ship with Nathaniel Christy, also from Gerry. 
Owing to failing health, Barnes sold out his 
stock to Christy in 1854, the latter continuing 
in trade until 1856, when he sold the business 
to A. M. P. Maynard. Mr. Maynard at about 
the same time purchased the drug stock of 
Dr. Giles and moved it up to the Barnes store. 
He continued in trade at this place until the 
fall of 1865, when his property was almost 
wholly destroyed by the flood that occurred 
that year. Afterward Mr. Maynard opened a 
drug store on the east side of the park, as before 
noted. The building occupied by Perry Fris- 
bee, grocer, and Waith & Brown, live stock 



dealers, was built on the site of the old "War- 
den Block" by Terry & DeVoe, soon after the 
latter firm was burned out across the street. 

Among others who have at different times 
and places engaged in mercantile and other 
business pursuits in the village, we note the 
following: Milo Wilcox, quite early had a 
small grocery store situate on the lot now 
owned by Sylvester Ransom, west of the hotel. 
He took ashes from the farmers in exchange 
for goods, and had an ashery northeast of his 
store. Likewise Richard W. Gates, about the 
same time, kept a small grocery in the house 
now occupied by Andrus Seekins, sending out 
teams to purchase ashes in exchange for goods. 
His ashery was on the lot later owned by C. H. 
Rice. Allen Bagg, as early as 1840, engaged 
in another primitive industry, manufacturing 
peppermint essence, and for that purpose had 
a still located on the Luce farm back near the 
foot of the hill. 

In 1S48 Lemuel Perrigo built an iron 
foundry on the lot now occupied by the hotel 
barn. He soon formed a co-partnership with 
Daniel Smoke, and for several years did a suc- 
cessful business. They sold out to John Clapp. 
Mr. Clapp sold to Franklin Fuller, who con- 
tinued the industry until 1861, when Warren 
Arnold purchased the property. After engag- 
ing in the business a number of years Mr. 
Arnold disposed of the building and contents, 
which was moved over on the Chauncey Jack- 
son lot, but the business was soon after discon- 
tinued. Ellery Bentley, as early as 1850, had a 
grocery and tailor shop on the lot now owned 
by Caroline and Eliza Smith. In 1859 Joseph 
Wesley purchased the lot with some adjoining 
land, rebuilt the house and a few years later 
erected a steam planing mill and cooper shop 
in the rear. He sold the shop to Lawrence & 
Shepardson and in 1873 it was burned down. 
Homer Pratt in 1858 built a grocery store on 
the lot now owned by Daniel Hadley ; after 
engaging in trade for about two years he died, 
and the store building was afterward purchased 
by Maria Sears and moved over on West Main 
street and converted into a dwelling, later a 
part of the Congregational parsonage. In 
1853 Benjamin R. Brown commenced business 
in the old Phipany store, and for many years 
was one of the leading merchants in town. He 
sold out to Orrin Strong, of Gerry, who also 
engaged in trade for several years at that place. 

Following Henry McConnell in the old Nor- 
ris store, back in the forties, Winfield Leach 
and David Knight, each for several years en- 
gaged in the grocery trade until the property 

passed into the hands of Mr. Eigenbroadt in 

After the death of Mason D. Hatch his store 
was occupied by Andrews & Preston, of 
Jamestown, under the management of Andrew 
C. Holmes ; they did a large and profitable 
trade. Later Holmes took the business in his 
own hands and for several years was one of 
the leading dry goods merchants in town. 

In 1872 John Benedict started in the mer- 
cantile business on West Main street in a 
building erected by him and continued in active 
trade until 1889, the time of his death. He 
was succeeded in business by his widow, Mary 
W\ Benedict, who was later burned out. She 
subsequently rebuilt the store, but continued 
the business only for a short time. 

Wesley Milspaw, in 1872, purchased a build- 
ing on the south side of the park and engaged 
in the sale of agricultural implements, wagons 
and sundry supplies, until his death, which 
occurred in 1902, besides for many years he was 
an extensive dealer in hides, furs, etc. In 1853 
Joseph B. Nessel purchased the Jamestown 
"Herald" of Dr. Asaph Rhodes and removed 
the printing plant to Ellington and commenced 
the publication of a paper called "The Elling- 
ton Herald." He continued its publication 
until 1856, when it was discontinued. Albro S. 
Brown for a time had charge of its editorial 
department. In those days Mr. Nessel was a 
strong anti-slavery man and was closely identi- 
fied with what was then called the "Under- 
ground railroad." In addition to that he was 
an earnest advocate of the Anti-Masonic move- 
ment and was commonly known as a "man 
with a hobby." 

The Christian church was the first church 
organized in the town of Ellington (then town 
of Gerry). 

Elder Freeman Walden, from Genesee 
county, New York, came to the town in 1822, 
and commenced holding religious services in a 
log school house situate upon what is now 
known as the Joseph Smith farm, about mid- 
way between the present villages of Ellington 
and Clear Creek ; also in barns and private 
houses in other parts of the town. On July 
13, 1823, the church was organized with seven 
members, as follows: Elder Freeman Wal- 
den, Malinda Walden, his wife; Ira Gates and 
Clarissa Gates, his wife; Polly Gates, Rolli 
Rublee and Simon Lawrence. They took and 
subscribed to the following pledge or covenant: 
"We, the undersigned, agree to take the Scrip- 
tures of the Old and New Testament for our 
rule of faith and practice at all times." On 


April 22, 1824, the society held a meeting to 
perfect a legal organization under the statute 
and to choose a board of trustees. Ira Gates, 
Simon Lawrence and Joshua Bush were elected 
the first trustees. 

Elder Freeman Walden was duly installed 
pastor and ministered to the spiritual wants 
of the little flock. He and his wife settled on 
a small farm about two miles southeast from 
the village, where he supported his family 
with what little aid he received from his hand- 
ful of followers. He continued his pastorate 
for a period of about twelve years. In 1835 
his wife died, and the following year he moved 
away. It was during his ministration that the 
church edifice was erected. 

It appears that on May 18, 1833, a subscrip- 
tion paper was circulated to raise funds for the 
erection of the building which, as expressed 
in said paper, was "to be thirty by forty feet 
and high enough for a gallery." The structure 
was raised (a heavy timber frame) August 15, 
1833, and completed at an outlay of about $500, 
the members contributing in work, money and 
material, and the following year it was dedi- 
cated to public worship, upon which occasion 
Elder Seth Marvin delivered the dedicatory 
sermon. In 1828 Elder Elisha Beardsley, also 
from Genesee county, moved into town and 
assisted occasionally in church work. After 
the departure of Elder Walden, services were 
conducted with more or less regularity by 
Elders Oliver Barr, Seth Waterman, Warren 
Skeels and D. Willard. From 1838 to 1840 
there seems to be no record of church service. 
During the latter year and for two years fol- 
lowing, Elder Jeremiah Knowls served as pas- 
tor. From 1842 to 1845 Elders Halliday (from 
Fluvanna, New York), Irwin Bullock and Tot- 
man, by turns, officiated. Elder Havens, 1845- 
47 ; Elder Nye, 1848. For ten years following 
there is no record of other than occasional 
services held by Elders Totman and one or two 
others. In 1859 to 1861 Elder J. W. Snyder 
served as pastor. In i860 the church building 
was repaired and rededicated, on which occa- 
sion a sermon was delivered by Rev. E. B. 

Elder Thomas Garbut succeeded Elder Sny- 
der in 1861 and remained until 1864, and was 
followed by Elder M. W. Tuck, who remained 
about two years; but he having in the mean- 
time united with the Masons, the church dis- 
pensed with his services. Elder A. S. Lang- 
don served the church as pastor from 1866-68; 
Elder J. R. Spencer from 1868-70; Elder O. P. 
Alderman, 1870-72. From the latter date no 
regular services were held in the church until 

1875, when Rev. Alden Allen was engaged and 
served as pastor until June, 1879; Rev. A. S. 
Langdon followed for about one year and was 
the last regularly employed pastor. 

The membership becoming so reduced the 
trustees finally sold the church property to the 
Free Methodist Society, who entirely re- 
modeled the building. Later ministers have 
been Rev. Charles Thorber, Rev. Lewis Leon- 
ard, Rev. R. A. Robertson, Rev. Leroy Bar- 
more, Rev. Clarence Silvernail, Rev. Henry 
Pool, Rev. Samuel Butcher, the present pastor. 

The following is a transcript of the record 
of the first meeting held for the organizing 
of the Freewill Baptist Church of Ellington : 

April 24, 1828. 

Met at the house of Horace Harmon according to 
previous arrangement to take into consideration the 
subject of organizing a church. A sermon was de- 
livered by Elder Amos C. Andrus from Heb. ii chap- 
ter, third verse. Then a general description of doc- 
trine, faith and practice of the Freewill Baptist was 
given by Elder A. C. Andrus. Then gave the right 
hand of fellowship to five brethren and three sisters, 
and acknowledged them to compose the First Freewill 
Baptist Church in the Town of Ellington, after which 
the church 

Resolved, First, That Julius Dewey serve as Church 
Clerk. Second, That Covenant meetings be held on 
Saturday before the third Sabbath in every month. 

The name of the eight members referred to 
in the foregoing, as appears from the record 
later on, were Joseph Seekins, Stephen Marsh, 
Dolphos Howard, Sally Marsh, Chloe Howard, 
Solmon Wheeler, Julius Dewey and Betsey 
Seekins. The membership appears to have 
grown quite rapidly, and covenant meetings 
were held at stated intervals for several years 
at school houses, private dwellings of the mem- 
bers and often in barns. Winthrop Johnson 
was elected the first deacon and Joseph Seekins 
church steward. 

Andrus, who organized the church, was a 
traveling preacher. The first settled pastor 
was Elder Francis B. Tanner, who for many 
years administered to the spiritual wants of the 
church and whose labors were supplemented 
by Elders A. C. Andrus, Jeremiah Baldwin, 
Joseph Parkyn and others. On April 16, 1842, 
fifty-six of the members withdrew from the 
society to organize a church in Cherry Creek. 
No steps seem to have been taken looking 
toward the erection of a church edifice until 
January, 1844, when the society adopted a reso- 
lution providing for the raising of the funds 
by a tax upon its membership, and for that 
purpose Isaac Holland, Winthrop Johnson and 
J. R. Felt were appointed a committee to 
"equalize the tax." The following year the 



building was erected. Frazier Luce, of Pitts- 
field, Massachusetts, donated the lot upon 
which it was built, and the first services held 
therein October 26, 1845. During the erection 
of the building Rev. B. R Cooley and Rev. 
Lucius O. Jones had pastoral charge, but Elder 
A. C. Andrus appears to have been in charge at 
the time of its dedication and was succeeded 
by Elder James A. McKay, who remained until 
1848, when he withdrew with some thirty other 
members to organize a church in the town of 
Gerry. From 1849-52 the pulpit was supplied 
by Elders Tanner, Baldwin and O. H. Light- 
hall ; then followed Elders Plumb and Benja- 
min McKoon, the latter remaining until 1854, 
and was succeeded by his brother, the Rev. 
Daniel W. McKoon and Charles Putnam. In 
1857 the church secured the services of Rev. 
A. N. McConoughey, who remained until 1861, 
then, following him, was the Rev. Charles 
Putnam, from 1862-64; Rev. D. W. McKoon, 
1865-66; Rev. R. E. Cornwell, 1868-70; Rev. 
I. J. Hoag, 1870-72 ; Rev. Nelson Young, 1872- 
73; Rev. J. L. Higbee, 1873-74; Rev. A. P. 
Cook, 1874-77; Rev. Jerome Short, 1879-80; 
Rev. John Shannon, 1880-81; Rev. F. W. 
Reeder, 1882-83 ; Rev. Z. A. Space, 1889-91 ; 
Rev. George Southwick, 1891-93, since which 
date no regular service has been maintained in 
the chapel, owing to the constantly decreasing 

The following is the record, in part, of the 
first meeting held for the organization of the 
Congregational Church in Ellington : 

Ellington, N. Y., Feb. 4, 1828. 

A meeting previously appointed for the purpose was 
held at the house of Mrs. Lucretia French for the pur- 
pose of organizing a church. The Rev. William I. 
Wilcox was present and chosen moderator. The fol- 
lowing persons presented themselves as candidates for 
the proposed church, viz.: James Bates, Benjamin Ells- 
worth, Israel Carpenter, Aaron Merrill, Josiah D. 
Bates, Lucretia French, Calista Ellsworth, Harriet 
Spear, Nancy Bates and Polly Landon. 

After much mutual conversation in relation to the 
doctrines and precepts of the gospel, and prayer, the 
following articles of faith and covenant were read to 
and adopted by the above named persons and they 
were declared as regularly constituted by the name and 
title of the First Congregational Church of Christ in 
Ellington. (Here follows the thirteen articles of faith 
and the covenant.) 

The ordinance of baptism was adn„nistered to one 
adult and two children. The Rev. William I. Wilcox 
was chosen standing moderator of the church and Ben- 
jamin Ellsworth clerk and delegate to represent the 
church at the next stated meeting of the Buffalo Pres- 
bytery, with a request to be received a constituted 
member. Concluded with prayer. 

William I. Wilcox, Moderator. 
Benjamin Ellsworth, Clerk. 

At the next meeting, on March 29, 1828, 
Otis Page was admitted to membership and 
chosen the first deacon. Later on Daniel Bush 
was chosen deacon. They, together with Dr. 
William Ware, were subsequently made elders 
in the church. During that year the following 
named persons were added to the membership : 
Elizabeth Altenburg, Elizabeth Vader, Timo- 
thy Gross, Warren Mansfield, William Ware, 
Sally Ware, Daniel Bush, Jane Bush and Mrs. 
A. B. Farman. The church services for the 
first five or six years seem to have been con- 
ducted by the local membership assisted by 
the Reverends W. I. Wilcox, Abel C. Ward 
and D. G. Orton. The first communion set and 
baptismal bowl were presented to the church 
in October, 1834, by I. D. and Sherman Board- 
man, of Hartford, Connecticut, through Dr. 
William Ware, valued at nine dollars and fifty- 
eight cents. The second set was presented to 
the church in 1870 by Mrs. Frazier Luce, of 
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, whose late husband 
was a frequent attendant of that church. 

In 1840 the Rev. William Waith was en- 
gaged as pastor and remained until August 30, 
1847. He was the first regular pastor of the 
church, and during his pastorate, in the year 
1842, the church edifice was erected. Dr. Wil- 
liam Ware very generously donated the lot 
upon which it was built. 

In 1845 tne church by resolution adopted the 
Presbyterian form of government and was 
thereafter styled "The First Presbyterian 
Church of Ellington," and they united them- 
selves with the Buffalo Presbytery, and under 
the new organization, the following elders 
were elected : Otis Page, Andrew P. White, 
John N. White, Daniel L. Bush, Lewis Leet 
and Jeremiah Hotchkiss. Subsequently, how- 
ever, the society voted to change back to its 
original form, purely Congregational. 

Rev. S. W. Edson succeeded Waith and re- 
mained until 1849, after whom the following 
named pastors served for the time and in the 
order named: Rev. William Todd, 1849-50; 
Rev. H. G. Blinn, 1851-52; Rev. Charles Keeler, 
1853-54; Rev. David Powell, 1855-56; Rev. W. 
D. Henry, 1857-60; Rev. Ward I. Hunt, 1861- 
64; Rev. Henry Benson, 1865-67; Rev. H. O. 
Howland, 1868-69; Rev. Rufus King, 1870-71; 
Rev. A. D. Olds, 1872-74; Rev. L. T. Mason, 
l8 75-77 ; Rev - G - c - Jewell, 1878-80, after whom 
were the following in the order named : Rev- 
erends T. D. Jenkins, A. W. Taylor, Lincoln 
Harlow, G. E. Henshaw, William McDougal, 
William B. Marsh, J. M. Merrill, W. G. Marts, 
F. A. Kimberly, George M. Reese, Levi Reese, 



J. M. Merrill, A. O. Stockbridge, H. A. Law- 

To Carey Briggs, a lifelong member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church of Ellington, I 
am indebted for the following: 

Of the early history of Methodism in Ellington we 
have no authentic record, for the reason that from 
1836 to 1844, Ellington was included in the Gerry cir- 
cuit, Jamestown District, Erie Conference. In July, 
1836, the annual conference held at Erie, Pennsylvania, 
appointed Josiah Flower and T. J. Jennings to the 
Gerry circuit, which embraced the towns of Stockton, 
Gerry, Charlotte, Cherry Creek, Ellington and Napoli 
and east to the boundary of the Genesee Conference. 

This was a four weeks circuit, as it took each 
preacher (then called circuit riders) four weeks to go 
the rounds and fill all his appointments. There were 
then no church edifices in the circuit, but services were 
held in school houses, private houses, barns, etc. The 
first church on the circuit was built about 1839, in 
Gerry, then called the Vermont Settlement. There the 
Ellington branch attended service and there the rec- 
ords were kept. 

At the annual conference held at Erie, Pennsylvania, 
in July, 1844, Ellington was constituted a separate 
charge and Samuel A. Henderson was appointed pas- 
tor. He found seven well organized classes, to wit: 
One at the Center. Matthew Lane leader: one in Bates 
District, Charles Thacher, leader; one at Clear Creek, 
Harold Webster, leader; one at Waterboro, George 
Clark, leader; one at Fuller Hill, Wesley Mils- 
paw, leader; one on West Hill, David Fisk, leader; 
one in Gerry with Archelaus Mosher, leader; com- 
prising a membership in all of about one hundred 
fifty, with no church edifice or parsonage. A par- 
sonage was rented and the adjourned first Quarterly 
Conference was held in it November 13, 1844. On De- 
cember 28, 1844, the second Quarterly Conference was 
held in the Presbyterian Church, just newly erected 
in the village. The record of that Conference gives the 
first full official list as follows: Presiding Elder, 
Darius Smith; preacher in charge, S. A. Henderson; 
local preachers, T. Thacher, E. Briggs: exhorters, 
Zelotus Hitchcock, George Pierce; stewards, Hosea 
Felt, Norman Guernsey, David Carl, H. N. Jacobs, 
Lorenzo Mather, Carey Briggs and Elisha Baker. 
These, with the above mentioned class leaders, consti- 
tuted the Quarterly Conference, and through their 
efforts, heartily supplemented by the efforts of the 
membership, a church edifice was erected the follow- 
ing year (1845). . , , • 

The following are the names of the pastors with their 
date of service: S. A. Henderson. 1844: S. Churchill, 
T843; Ashbel Parcell, 1846; J. H. Tackett, 1847; T. D. 
Blinn, 1848: John Peate, 1849: Alvin Burgess, 1850-51: 
Justin O. Rich, 1852-53; O. L. Mead, 1854-55; T. D. 
Blinn, 1858-59; Joseph Allen and W. W. Case. 1860-61: 
W .W. Warner, 1862-63; L. W. Day, 1864; S. N. War- 
ner, 1865; Joseph Leslie, 1865-66; H. H. Moore, 1867- 
69: O. G. Mclntyre, 1869-71: G. W. Moore, 1871-72; P. 
W. Scofield, 1872-75: G. W. Chesbro, 1875-77; Milton 
Smith. 1877-80; A. A. Horton, 1880-83; Victor Corn- 
well, 1883-84: J. W. Barker, 1884-86; J. H. Prather, 
18S6-Q0: H. M. Burns, 1890-91: C. W. Miner. 1892-95; 
A. M. Lockwood, 1895-98; R. M. Warren, 1899; L D. 
Darling, 1900: R. L. Foulke, 1000-02: G. W. S. Phil- 
lips, 1902-04: J. E. Imes, 1904-07; J. M. Crouch, 1907- 
08; David Taylor, 1008-11; William C. Mealing, 1911- 
14; William N. Snyder, 1914-16; R. H. Ellinghouse, 
1916-18; Perry F. Haines, 1918 to date 1920. 

Ellington Academy — For over half a century 
this institution has been one of the first and 
foremost schools of Western New York, and 
the multitude of men and women who have 
received their early educational training within 
its walls have left their impress in every de- 
partment of intellectual activity all over this 
broad land. 

On January 12, 1850, about seventy-five of 
the leading citizens of the town, fully recogniz- 
ing the benefits to be derived by an institu- 
tion of this character, pledged themselves by 
an instrument in writing to furnish the neces- 
sary funds to purchase a suitable site and erect 
a building to be known as "The Ellington 
Academy." The funds so subscribed were 
divided into shares of $25 each and each owner 
of a share was entitled to a voice and a vote in 
the organization. 

On March 30, 1851, the stockholders met and 
by ballot decided upon the purchase of a site 
and at the same time elected twelve trustees 
from their number, to wit: Jeremiah Baldwin, 
John F. Farman, Hosea Felt, Charles B. Green, 
Benjamin Barnard, Myron Walden, John M. 
Farnham. Seth W. Chandler, Mason D. Hatch, 
Carey Briggs, Jeremiah Ellsworth and An- 
drew P. White. The trustees immediately 
effected an organization by the election of Jere- 
miah Baldwin, president ; John F. Farman, 
treasurer, and Andrew P. White, secretary. 

At a meeting of the trustees, April 25, 1851, 
plans were adopted and a contract made with 
Myron Walden, Nelson Brown, Benjamin 
Pickard, and Andrew P. White, 2nd, for the 
erection of the building, which was to be sixty 
by forty feet and three stories in height. 

The construction of the building was imme- 
diately undertaken by these gentlemen and by 
fall of the following year, at an expense of 
about $3,650, was made ready for occupancy. 
The first term of school opened in the fall of 
1852, with Prof. William C. J. Hall as princi- 
pal ; Andrew P. White, male assistant ; Miss 
Emeline Warren, as female assistant ; Miss 
Delia McGlashan, primary teacher, and Pro- 
fessor Backus, teacher of instrumental music. 

On January 20, 1853, a formal application 
was made by a committee of the stockholders 
to the Regents of the University of the State 
for an academic charter, and the same was 
granted under date of February 11, 1853. The 
first Board of Education were the original in- 
corporators of the institution, none of whom 
are now living, save Carey Briggs, and out of 
the original seventy-five or more stockholders 
who were instrumental in the successful organ- 



ization of the school barely a half dozen sur- 
vive ; but the good they accomplished lives 
after them. 

In 1853, tne second year of Professor Hall's 
administration, a teachers' training class was 
organized, and almost continuously since then 
that has been one of the distinctive features of 
the institution. The primary department, how- 
ever, was discontinued in 1859. Following 
Professor Hall, in 1855, Professor Payne had 
charge of the school for a brief period, after 
whom the principals of the academy, with their 
respective terms of service were as follows : 
Warren B. Marsh, 1855-57; J onn C. Long, 
1857-60; Hiram L. Ward, 1860-64; A. C. Moon, 
1864-66; Miss Millie Smith completed the term 
of A. C. Moon in 1866-67; R. E. Post, 1867-68; 
followed by W. E. Stevenson, who was the last 
principal under the old academic system. 

In the winter of 1870-71 the taxpayers of 
School District Number Two, comprising the 
village of Ellington and vicinity, having by 
vote decided to establish a Union Free School, 
with an academic department, applied through 
their board of trustees to the trustees of the 
academy for a transfer of the building and 
property to the new school district, which re- 
sulted in the following action by the latter 
body : At a meeting of the academy trustees 
on March 23, 1871, the following resolution 
was adopted : 

Resolved, That we the Trustees of Ellington Acad- 
emy, in pursuance to section seventeen, chapter four 
hundred thirty-three of the Laws of 1853, do hereby 
vacate our offices in favor of the present Board of Edu- 
cation of Union School District Number Two, of the 
Town of Ellington, and to their successors in office, to 
be used by them as the academical department of said 
Union School upon condition that the said school dis- 
trict shall maintain the said academical department by 
teaching at least two academic terms per year; other- 
wise the said building and appurtenances belonging 
thereto shall be delivered back to the stockholders in 
pursuance to the provisions of a bond this day executed 
by the said board of education to certain stockholders 
named therein. 

This was signed by the following named 
gentlemen, comprising the full board of trus- 
tees at that time: J. F. Farman, John Shaw, 
Galutia Beardsley, Allen Bagg, L. M. Day, 
Lewis Leet, Edwin Anderson, L. D. Fairbanks 
and Theodore A. Case. 

Thus the Union School became a reality on 
March 23, 1871. Having been chartered as an 
Academy by the Regents of the University it 
was non-chartered and became a junior Re- 
gents school. In consequence of a large in- 
crease in the library and the working apparatus 
for the labratory and the excellent educational 

work of the institution, the school has been ad- 
vanced through the grades of middle and senior 
schools until October 3, 1899, when it was ad- 
vanced to the grade of High School, the high- 
est rating given by the University of the State 
of New York. 

The principals of the Union School from 
1871 to the present time are as follows: P. F. 
Burk, 1871-75; W. P. Spring, 1875-76; R. R. 
Rogers, 1876-80; George J. McAndrews, 1880- 
81 ; D. D. Van Allen, 1881-83 ; Frank W. Cross- 
field, 1883-86; Fred C. Wilcox, 1886-87; I- 
Howard Russell, 1887-88; Clyde C. Hill, 1888- 
90; A. H. Hiller, 1890-91; George Hanley, 
1891-93; Ellis W. Storms, 1893-97; Francis J. 
Flagg, 1897-99; Edward C. Hawley, 1899-1900; 
Ernest B. Luce, 1900-03 ; E. A. Reuther, 1903- 
04; Daniel Brewer, 1905-08; H. C. Lege, 1909; 
Robert Swan, 1910-13; George Luke, 1914; 
Frank York, 1915 ; Raymond Kuhrt, 1916-17; 
Glen G. Row, 1918-19-20. 

The population of Ellington, according to 
the State census of 1915 was 1,317, of whom 
25 were aliens. The value of the real estate in 
the town, according to the supervisors' report, 
was $569,857 in 1918 and its equalized assessed 
value $447,092. 

French Creek — French Creek was formed 
from Clymer, April 23, 1829. It takes its name 
from the stream watering the town, which was 
early used by the French in their military ex- 
peditions, and contains 21,832 acres. Its sur- 
face is hilly, broken by the valleys of French 
creek and its tributaries. The main stream 
enters the town on the north line, on lot 24, 
about two miles from the northeast corner and 
running in a southwesterly direction, leaving 
the town and State on lot 58, about one and 
one-half miles north of the southwest corner. 
This stream, in its zigzag course, is a great 
annoyance to the inhabitants on account of the 
height to which the water rises in times of 
freshets. The town is cut by its valleys into 
three ridges ; two running nearly east and west, 
separated by the Beaver Meadow Valley ; the 
other running north and south, and separated 
from the former by the valley of French Creek. 
These ridges rise in some places two hundred 
fifty feet. Most of their sides are tillable and 
well adapted to grazing, but some places are 
steep. The soil varies from heavy clay to a 
gravelly loam ; there are small deposits of muck 
along the creek. The hill tops are generally 
wet, being underlaid by stiff, hard clay, im- 
pregnated with oxide of iron. 

The French Creek flat varies in width from 
a pass but little wider than the bed of the 

I Si i 


stream to about three-fourths of a mile, and is 
about three miles long. The Beaver Meadow 
flat is so called from the appearance of its hav- 
ing been occupied by beavers. The meadow 
was covered by alders. At one time there were 
many pine and balsam or fir trees along the 
edges, and on what were islands at the time it 
was occupied by the beavers. In the south part 
of the town is another beaver meadow, a small 
one, on lot 9, the dam of which is quite perfect. 
The water from this meadow flows into Hare 
Creek, which takes a southerly course. There 
was a third beaver meadow on the west 
branch of the creek, on lot 47. This town is 
adapted to dairying. Its cool nights and heavy 
dews keep the grass in better condition than 
the drier climate of the lake shore, though 
many fruits can not be raised on account of 
frost. Near the southwest corner is a circu- 
lar cranberry bog, which was given the name 
of "Possum." Indications of petroleum occur 
on lot 21. 

The first town meeting was held in March, 
1830, at the house of William Hooper. These 
officers were elected : Supervisor, Alexander 
Wilson; town clerk, Isaiah Golding ; assessors, 
John Gotham, Nathaniel Thompson, Silas W. 
Hatfield ; collector, William Thompson ; over- 
seers of poor, Paul Colburn, Augustus Bolles ; 
commissioners of highways, Parley Bloss, John 
Gotham, Royal Herrick; commissioners of 
schools, William Hooker, S. O. Colburn, Eli 
Belknap ; inspectors of schools, D. H. Peck, A. 
Noble, Ephraim Dean ; constables, William 
Thompson, George Adams ; justice, Ephraim 

The first settlers came from Oswego, Essex 
and Oneida counties during the War of 1812. 
Andy Nobles is said by some to have been here 
in 181 1. He located on lot 44. John Cleve- 
land was on lot 31 in 1812, Roswell Coe on lot 
39, Nathaniel Thompson on lot 9 in 1813; 
Amon Beebe and Gardner Cleveland probably 
settled the same year. Young says that the 
first school was taught by Polly Forbes in 1817. 
Child says it was taught by a Chitsey in 1818. 
Child says "the first death was that of a son of 
Nathaniel Thompson, drowned in French 
Creek." Young gives the first death as that 
of a child of J. Inglesby in 1818. "The first 
tavern was kept by William Graves, who built 
the first grist mill, both in 1822, and the first 
store was kept in one end of the grist mill by 
John Dodge." Parkley Bloss located on lot 
46 in 181 5. He was the first highway commis- 
sioner, and did surveying with a pocket com- 
pass and used a rope as a surveyor's chain. He 
had ten children ; his sons were Aden, Parley, 

William, Reuben, Calvin, Richard, Benjamin. 
He died in 1852, aged 75 years. His son Wil- 
liam was a noted hunter; one winter before 
January 1st he had shot forty-nine deer with 
his father's open-sight flint-lock rifle. Many 
authenticated tales are told of his adventures 
and exploits in cutting wood and other labors. 
In 1870, when sixty years old, in one day he 
walked a mile and cut down the trees for, and 
cut into twenty-two inch lengths, three and 
one-half cords of wood. This whole family 
were energetic workers and did much to clear 
up the lands of the town. Gardiner Case, a 
soldier of 1812, some years after that war, came 
to French Creek and was a permanent settler. 
Henry R. Case is his son. Silas Terry settled, 
probably in 1820, on lot 2, where he bought 
land in 1821, coming from Harmony, where he 
settled in 1816 and later married Polly Powers. 
He resided in French Creek until 1855. He 
was one of the most important men of the new 
town, was justice for sixteen years and was 
collector of Clymer in 1821, which then in- 
cluded Sherman, French Creek and Mina. The 
tax collected that year in this town was about 
$800. He was also collector four years later. 
He was supervisor of French Creek in 1844-45- 
48, and in 1849 member of Assembly. Of his 
nine children, Seward W. was captain of Com- 
pany G, 49th New York Volunteers, in the 
Civil War, and was killed at Spottsylvania ; 
Cassius M. became a Congregational clergy- 
man ; Mary R. married Hon. Walter L. Ses- 
sions ; Lawyer S., made his home in French 
Creek. Nehemiah Royce settled on lot 19 in 
1825. He was supervisor seven years. Al- 
mond Stephen Park, son of Elijah Park, was 
born December 22, 1814, in Granville, Wash- 
ington county. In 1828 he came to this county. 
April 27, 1834, he married Rhoda Ann Baker 
and settled in French Creek in 1836. Mr. Park 
represented his town on the board of super- 
visors in the year 1863. Lewis H. Park was 
born March 2, 1843. He married Mary M. 
Myers, November 14, 1869. 

French Creek was included in 1816 in the 
parochial charge of Rev. Karl Wilhelm 
(Charles Williams) Colson, an early Lutheran 
missionary to the scattered Germans in Ohio, 
Northwestern Pennsylvania and adjacent local- 
ities. The first services to form a church were 
held in 1818, on lot 46, at the house of Alanson 
Root by Elder Ashford, who in 1821 organ- 
ized a Baptist church in a log school house on 
lot 56. Among the first members were: Na- 
thaniel and William Thompson, William 
Adams, A. M. Higgins, the wives of all of 
these ; Roswell Coe, Amon Beebe. This church 

^^/ ^-^5 

rc r 

Tr HItL 


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:i:m:i: \i, so ■ i ' 1 1 : i .1 - s 1:1 i;tii i'i.ach, i;ei;i;i 



had a brief existence, most of the members re- 
moving from the town. Several subsequent 
abortive attempts to keep up a Baptist church 
were made. A Methodist Episcopal church 
was organized in the northwest part in 1830 by 
Rev. J. K. Hallock and Rev. J. Chandler. The 
members were Isaiah and Betsey Golding, and 
William and Amy Adams. Moses Olds and 
wife and Mrs. Bowles were early members. 
The society built a fine church costing $2,000 
on lot 46, in 1858, which was completed, painted 
and carpeted in 1867. This society received 
fifty acres of "gospel land" from the Holland 
Land Company. It was on lot 30, and was 
sold by order of the county court and the 
money used in building the church. A Chris- 
tian church, in which the ceremony of washing 
feet was literally carried out, was formed in 
1834, with a membership of twenty-four, 
among them Benjamin and Calvin Bloss. 

Supervisors — 1830-31-32, Alexander Wilson, 
Jr.; 1833, Nathaniel Thompson; 1834-35-36-37, 
Ira F. Gleason; 1838, Daniel Hooker; 1839-40- 
41-42, Philo S. Hawley; 1843, David L. Glea- 
son; 1844-45, Silas Terry; 1846-47, Nehemiah 
Royce ; 1848, Silas Terry; 1849, Nehemiah 
Royce ; 1850, Thomas D. Jones; 1851, Nehe- 
miah Royce; 1852, Philo S. Hawley; 1853-54- 
55, Nehemiah Royce; 1856, John Sliter ; 1857, 
Marvin Hooker; 1858, Stephen W. Steward; 
1859-60, Hibbard W. Fenton ; 1861-62, Reuben 
J. Beach ; 1863, Almond S. Park ; 1864-65, Law- 
yer S. Terry; 1866-67, Dana P. Horton ; 1868- 
69, James A. Merry; 1870, Dexter M. Hap- 
good; 1871-72, Henry R. Case; 1873, John 
Jones; 1874, H. R. Parsons; 1875, John Jones; 
1876-77, Reuben J. Beach; 1878, Orson Allis ; 
1879, Nehemiah Royce; 1880-81-82, Henry R. 
Case; 1883, Orson Allis; 1884-85, Edward 
Jaquins; 1886-87-88, Henry R. Case; 1889, 
James Rhoades ; 1890-91, George I. Hapgood ; 
1892-93, Henry R. Jones; 1894-95-96-97-98-99- 
1900-01-02-03-04-05-06, Henry R. Case; 1907- 
08-09-10-11, Edward A. Austin; 1912-13, Sam- 
uel A. Webber; 1914-15, Lucas C. Gleason; 
1916-17, Frank A. Jones; 1918-19, Lucas C. 
Gleason ; 1920, Amos White. 

According to the State census, 191 5, French 
Creek has a population of 922 citizens, 19 aliens, 
and in 1918 the real estate of the town was 
valued at $472,810, which was assessed at $370, 
952. There are three small villages in the 
town : French Creek, Marvin and Cutting. 

The town has good schools. 

Gerry* — Gerry was formed from Pomfret, 
June 1, 1812. Ellington, including Cherry 

♦Condensed from a narrative by Mr. John F. Phelps. 

Creek, was taken off in 1824 and Charlotte in 
1829. It was named from Elbridge Gerry, a 
signer of the Declaration of Independence, and 
a Vice-President. It lies southeast of the cen- 
ter of the county, is bounded on the north by 
Charlotte, east by Ellington, south by Ellicott, 
west by Ellery and Stockton, and comprises 
township three, range eleven, and contains 
thirty-six square miles. The highest hills are 
in the northeastern and southwestern sec- 
tions, their summits being 400 feet above the 
Cassadaga Valley and 1,700 feet above the 
ocean. The wide and fertile Cassadaga Valley 
extends from the northwest part southeasterly 
to its southern boundary, and averages two 
miles wide. Through it runs the Dunkirk, 
Allegheny Valley & Pittsburgh railroad, built 
in 1871. Gerry Station is 722 feet and Sinclair- 
ville Station 757 feet above Lake Erie. Cassa- 
daga Creek, a large, slow, crooked stream, 
flowing southerly through the valley is the 
principal water course. The other streams are 
Mill creek, which empties into the Cassadaga 
in the northwestern part of the town. E. A. 
Ross says : "Mill creek takes its source by 
two branches, one from Arkwright and one 
from Cherry Creek, and flows southwesterly 
through Charlotte and part of Gerry. The 
lower mill on this stream was located half way 
between the Cassadaga and Sinclairville, and 
was built by John McAllister on land later 
owned by his son James." Hatch creek rises 
in the northeastern part, flows southerly 
through the village of Gerry and empties into 
the Cassadaga. Folsom creek rises in the 
northeastern part, flows nearly south into Elli- 
cott and into the Cassadaga. The town is well 
adapted to grazing and dairying, and the valley 
is adapted to the raising of corn and other 
grains. The soil of the uplands is clay loam, 
that of the valleys sand loam. 

The principal portion of the present town 
of Gerry was an unbroken wilderness up to 
1815, although in the northern part contiguous 
to Sinclairville a few settlements had been 
made as early as 1810. In 1815 several fami- 
lies, all from Vermont, including those of Wil- 
liam Alverson, Porter Phelps, Dexter and Na- 
than Hatch, and Reuben and Solomon Fessen- 
den, plunged into the unbroken pine forest 
bordering the Cassadaga Creek on the east and 
commenced carving out the new settlement 
called Vermont. These were soon followed by 
many others, nearly all from Guilford and Hali- 
fax, Windham county. They came with ox- 
teams and on foot. Among the family names 
we note Bucklin, Cutting, Shepardson, 
Mathews, Pratt, Salisbury, Starr, Cobb and 



many others. These pioneers found them- 
selves subject to laws unknown in the old Ver- 
mont. In 1813 the first town meeting in Gerry 
was held at the house of Samuel Sinclear, when 
the following town law was enacted : "Ox- 
sleds to be four feet in 'wedth.' Penalty for 
being 'cetched' on the road with an ox sled less 
than four feet wide, five dollars." The hog 
was also placed under restrictions at that time, 
not being allowed to run common without a 
suitable yoke. 

The work of home-making progressed 
rapidly, log houses were built, clearings made, 
a road was early cut through to Sinclair- 
ville, a distance of five miles, and roads 
opened in other directions. The first official 
recognition of the name Vermont to this local- 
ity we find in the town records of 1818: "A 
survey of a road beginning at a pine stump 
near James Bucklin's house, said stump stand- 
ing in the highway now designated by the 
name of Vermont." In 1820 James Bucklin 
opened a hotel which caused the place to be 
known as "Bucklin's Corners." In 1822 a post- 
office was established called Vermont, with 
Dexter Hatch as postmaster. 

In 1822 Caleb Mathews commenced the 
manufacture of pottery on his farm east of 
Vermont Corners. This was carried on suc- 
cessfully on a small scale for a few years. 
About this time Solomon Fessenden estab- 
lished a brickyard, and for many years sup- 
plied brick of superior quality to the inhabi- 
tants of the central portion of the county. In 
-1838-39 a craze for manufacturing developed 
in the northern portion of Vermont, settlement 
and three factories were built for the produc- 
tion of wooden pails, wooden bowls and veneer- 
ing respectively. This movement gained for 
the neighborhood the title of New Pittsburg, 
which it held locally for a number of years. 
These enterprises met failure with the excep- 
tion of the veneer business which has grown 
from this small beginning to one of great im- 
portance. Here in 1845 Riley Greenleaf, who 
was a genius in mechanics, invented and put 
in successful operation the first machine for 
cutting veneers in a continuous sheet from the 
surface of a slowly revolving log. These ma- 
chines are now universally used wherever this 
business is carried on. 

One of the largest factories in the United 
States is located at Gerry Village, and is owned 
and managed in part by John Strong, who used 
the first machine made over half a century ago. 
A general store was opened at Vermont by 
Howard B. Blodgett in 1826. He was suc- 
ceeded by Norman Gurnsey. Sidney E. Pal- 

mer, his clerk, became the owner of the store 
and goods in 1838. Mr. Palmer was afterwards 
made postmaster, his commission bearing date 
August 1, 1841. He held this position con- 
tinuously until his death in 1896, a period of 
fifty-five years, and was said to have been the 
oldest postmaster in point of service in the 
United States. A large portion of this time 
Mr. Palmer was town clerk. He was also five 
years on the board of supervisors from Gerry, 
and in i860 represented the Second Assembly 
District of Chautauqua in the Legislature. 

The postoffice, which long held the name of 
Vermont, was changed to Gerry about 1876, 
and the station on the Dunkirk, Allegheny Val- 
ley & Pittsburgh railroad was changed from 
Vermont to Gerry as late as 1881. When these 
changes were made, "Vermont in Gerry" was 
no longer a fact, but a memory. The pioneers 
are gone, but many of their descendants are 
occupying their places. It was believed in 
1902 that there are but two persons living who 
came with the first settlers, Caroline Phelps 
Eaton, daughter of Porter Phelps, and Albru 
Fessenden, son of Reuben Fessenden, were 
brought here by their parents in the fall of 
181 5 and the spring of 1816, respectively, mak- 
ing the journey from Vermont by ox-teams. 

The Vermonters in Gerry have always fur- 
nished their proportion of men of affairs in 
town business. One of the most conspicuous 
examples was Willard Bucklin, one of the pio- 
neer settlers. He was eight years on the board 
of supervisors, and for thirty years almost con- 
tinuously held the office of justice of the peace, 
noted for the correctness and fairness of his 
decisions and rulings. Other Vermonters or 
their descendants who have represented the 
town on the board of supervisors include the 
names of James Bucklin, Henry Starr, John F. 
Phelps, and the present incumbent, Orson N. 

The first birth of a white person occurred in 
the Jones family. Atkins, same year, built a 
log house on the northeast part of lot 55, a few 
rods from Jones' log dwelling, upon the farm 
now owned by B. F. Dennison. In 181 5 his 
wife Clarinda died, the first death in the town. 

During 181 1 the "old Chautauqua road" 
from Mayville to Ellicottville, was cut through 
the northern part of the town by John West, 
Peter Barnhart and Dexter Barnes, one rod 
wide, and cleared it of small trees and fallen 
ones for ten dollars per mile. They began 
July 4, 181 1, at the fourteenth mile stake east 
of the court house, near the house of Amos 
Atkins (the Love stand) in Gerry. They were 
about three months in cutting the twenty-one 



miles to the Cattaraugus line. September 1, 

1814, the same parties and others began to 
work upon this road and continued until cold 
weather. They resumed work September 1, 

181 5. Bridges were built and the road other- 
wise improved. It became the route by which, 
to some extent, the settlers came in from the 
east, and communication was had with Genesee 

The first town meeting in Gerry, as at pres- 
ent constituted, was held at the house of Cal- 
vin Cutting, May 2, 1S30. The officers chosen 
were : Supervisor, Hugh B. Patterson ; town 
clerk, Howard B. Blodgett; assessors, Wil- 
liam Mellen, William M. Wagoner, Calvin 
Smith ; commissioners of highways, William 
Mellen, Jr., Willard Bucklin, Horace Strong; 
commissioners of schools, Benjamin Tuttle, Jr., 
James Scofield, Nathan Hatch ; inspectors of 
schools, William Mellen, Jr., James Bucklin, 
Jr., Samuel J. Goodrich ; overseers of poor, 
William Gilmour, Gilbert Strong; collector, 
William Gilmour; justices, Leander Mellen, 
Hugh B. Patterson; sealer, Nehemiah Horton ; 
poundmaster, David Cobb. 

Stages were first run through the town in 
1827 by Obed Edson and Reuben Scott. In 
1852 the Fredonia and Sinclairville plank road 
was built through the village of Gerry. 

Sinclairville station is in the village of Sin- 
clairville. A little more than one-third of the 
corporate limits of the village and much the 
smaller proportion of its population lies in 

Gerry Village is not incorporated, but is a 
prosperous little village containing about two 
hundred fifty inhabitants. Its principal manu- 
facturing establishment is the prominent one 
owned by the Strong Veneer Company. Large 
amounts of timber adapted to the manufacture 
of veneers once grew in localities in this county 
near Charlotte and Gerry, and at an early 
period many engaged in this manufacture — 
Philip Edgerton, of Sinclairville, Greenleaf & 
Cole, Leffingwell, Colton, Lewis and Jonah 
Cutting, and John Strong, of Gerry. T. D. 
Copp made voyages to London, as' also did 
William S. Fish later, to sell veneers. John 
Strong and his son Burdette commenced busi- 
ness January 1, 1893, m a new mill at Gerry, 
which had two cutting veneer mills with a 
capacity of twenty thousand feet per day. Au- 
gust 28, 1893, this mill was destroyed by fire. 
The value of the property was $25,000, insured 
for $5,000. They immediately erected a new 
iron-clad mill at Gerry, forty by eighty feet, 
three stories high, with cutting machine that 
weighs eighteen tons and will cut an eight- 

foot log. The timber comes from New York, 
Michigan, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. Curly 
walnut, birch, maple, ash, sycamore and ma- 
hogany are used. A. J. Peterson's steam saw- 
mill at Gerry Village has all modern improve- 
ments, employs fifteen men and manufactures 
twenty-five thousand feet of lumber per day. 
William and Addison Murch owned the saw- 
mill at the east side of the village. The 
basket factory was formerly owned by George 
Noble, who for several years extensively 
manufactured grape-baskets. One season be- 
sides his factory at Gerry he had others 
at Brocton, Portland, and Ashville, at which 
he manufactured one million grape baskets. 
The Gerry creamery, and the Starr factory are 
butter and cheese factories of Gerry. 

The Methodist Episcopal church in Gerry, 
the first religious association, was formed about 
1819, by Elder Jonathan Wilson. It was subse- 
quently legally organized, and December 12, 
1828, a deed was executed by the Holland Land 
Company of one hundred acres on lot 53 of 
land appropriated to religious purposes to 
James Scofield, William Alverson and Stod- 
dard Cannon, Methodist members, as trustees. 
In or soon after 1829, with the proceeds of the 
sale of a portion of it, a meeting house was 
built upon the west side of the highway, about 
two miles south of Sinclairville. It was the 
first church built in Gerry and in the Cassa- 
daga Valley, and one of the first Methodist 
meeting houses in the county. For years it 
was the only church in Gerry. It was the, 
center of Methodism and was fondly regarded 
by the early Methodists. Adjacent to it a pub- 
lic burying place was set apart from this tract 
of land. The old church has long since passed 
away, as have the earnest and faithful fathers 
of the little society that built it. Of the build- 
ers of this church and early members of this 
society whose influence was long felt in Gerry, 
are buried, James R. Alverson ; his wife, Dama- 
ris : his brother William ; James Heath ; and 
Gilbert Strong, aged 92. Here are buried other 
pioneers of Gerry : John McCullough, James 
Langworthy, Robert Lenox, David Strong, 
David Cowden ; and Susannah Woods, died 
June 15, 1873, a S e d 100 years, 8 months and 22 
days. The church was merged in the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church of Sinclairville, and later 
the meeting house was accidentally destroyed 
by fire. 

The first Baptist church of Gerry was formed 
by Rev. Jonathan Wilson about 1820, chiefly 
of members from the Stockton church. They 
held meetings in Gerry Abbey's log house at 
"The Huddle," a small cluster of log houses 



near the old Cutting stand. This church organ- 
ization has ceased to exist. 

The first society of the Methodist Protestant 
church was organized at the school house in 
district No. 4 in Poland, in May, 1839, by Rev. 
James Covell. The second was organized in 
district No. 11 (Miller's settlement), in Poland 
in 1840 by Rev. O. C. Payne. The third was 
organized by Rev. James Covell at Bucklin's 
Corners, April 15, 1840. The fourth was organ- 
ized by Rev. Joseph Parkyn in district No. 2 
in Gerry, December 28, 1840, and included the 
country around the early Methodist Episcopal 
meeting house. The first regularly appointed 
preacher was Rev. Joseph Parkyn, superin- 
tendent, and Rev. E. A. Wheat, assistant. 
Their successors have been : William Emmons, 
Elisha Brownson, Alanson Kingsley, Ran- 
dolph Pennell, Lewis Sweetland, O. C. Payne, 
John W. Davis, William H. Farnham, Isaac 
Fister, S. M. Short, A. O. Hutchinson, C. K. 
Akley, H. L. Bowen, Charles Hundson, until 
1882, when the Free Methodist class was organ- 
ized at Gerry by withdrawing members. The 
Kennedy class of Methodist Protestants was 
about this time separated from Gerry, making 
Gerry a station to which Rev. F. N. Foster was 
appointed and served six years, supplying Ken- 
nedy also for three years. He was succeeded 
by Rev. C. C. Reynolds, A. L. Stinard, S. E. 

The Free Methodist Church of Gerry was 
organized in 1880. In 1883 an excellent church 
building was erected on a lot donated by N. J. 
Wilson, at Gerry Village. Among those who 
contributed largely were N. J. Wilson, John 
Strong, L. R. Barmore, Walter A. Sellew, Jar- 
vis K. Wilson, Joseph Trusler, H. N. Sealy and 
others. Of the ministers who have served this 
church are those who stand high in the coun- 
cils of the church at large, among whom are: 
J. H. Harmon, Walter A. Sellew, B. R. Jones, 
editor of the denominational paper; Prof. D. S. 
Warner, principal of