FROM: THE HISTORY OF CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, NEW YORK
Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent
Men and Pioneers
Philadelphia: L. H. Everts, 1879
CHAPTER on the TOWN of Allegany
Transcribed by Samantha Eastman Feb 2004
Portraits in this chapter:
James and Lucinda (Norwood) Freeland and residence
Mr. and Mrs. Erasutus Willard and residence/store
Nathan and Rosaline (Moore) Dye
Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Ward and Ward Hotel
Mr. and Mrs. James Henry Farquharson and residence
Written By Cyrus G. McKay, Esq. 1879
This town was formed from Great Valley as Burton, April 18,1831. Its
name was changed March 21, 1851. Humphrey was taken off May 12, 1836. It
lies upon the south border of the county; it is comprised of townships
1 and 2 of the fifth range, according to Joseph Ellicott’s survey, and
contains 44,989 acres. It is bounded north by Humphrey, east by Hinsdale
and Olean, south by Pennsylvania, and west by Carrolton and Great Valley.
The surface is a hilly upland, broken by the deep valley of the Allegany
River, which flows from east to west through the centre of town. The hills
have steep declivities, and their highest summits are 700 to 900 feet above
the valleys. The principal streams on the north side of the river are Five-Mile
and Nine-Mile Runs; on the south are Two-Mile and Four-Mile Runs and Chipmunk
Creek. The soil is a shaly and sandy loam on the hills, and in the valleys
it is a clayey and gravelly loam.
Rock City, five miles south of Allegany village, is already famous
as a place of resort for parties seeking pleasure, and those wishing to
view the grand and picturesque scenery with which the place abounds. There
are rocks of immense size, towering up to a great height, and having apparently
been sundered by some unaccountable convulsion of nature; there are alleys
and streets, and apartments which are roofed over with rocks, one of which
rooms is large enough for a party of 25 or 30 persons. These towering rocks,
composed of light conglomerate sand-rock intermixed with white, flinty
pebbles, are very hard and solid, indented with seams, which have the appearance
of having been caused by the beating of storms for ages, or of the rocks
having been washed by the dashing waves of a sea which, ages ago, submerged
all this region.
Ebenezer Reed, from Connecticut, made the first settlement in town,
near the mouth of the Five-Mile Run, in 1820. Amos B. Orton began the same
year, about one mile north from the river, on the lot which has since been
known as the Henry Chamberlin place. Isaac Eggleston began about the same
time, on the lot which some time after was bought and occupied since by
S.J. Horton. Mr. Eggleston removed to the farm below J. Freeland, on the
south side of the river. Andrew L. Allen located on the Austin farm, near
the present residence of R. Wilber; and David Orton began on the H. Chamberlin
farm, about 1820. Wm. B. and David Orton, and Allen joined the Mormons
and went to Nauvoo, about 1828.
Hiram Wood commenced on the Hall farm, at the foot of Chapell Hill,
in 1821. Elias Fish made a beginning on what is known as the Blackmore
place, now owned by John P. Phillips, in 1821. James Strong, Sr., began
the same year on the place now owned by his son, James Strong, Jr. Abiathar
Phillips, Sr., began in 1826, on the lot afterwards owned and occupied
by his son , A. Phillips, Jr., and now by Samuel R. Phillips. Deacon Thompson
and Wm. And Erasmus Morgan located in Morgan Hollow, in about 1830. Josiah
Hall, and Kinyon and Wilber, from Onondaga County, came in about 1833.
Wm. Faunce bought out A.B. Orton’s place in 1828. Grandison Taylor occupied
the place afterwards the Lathrop farm, in 1831. Samuel Bronson was on the
Folsom farm in 1828. Deacon Warren began on the Conrad Becker farm, and
----Taylor on the Christian Hartung place, about 1828. John Palmer settled
on the north side of the river, in rear of the depot, in about 1830, and
remained about five or six years. Wm. Wright began on the James Freeland
farm, about 1831. John and Henry Altenburg settled on the south side of
the river in about 1835. John Morris came to the Abel Burdick farm about
1831, and Lewis Pryce on a part of same lot at same time. Philo, Luther
W. and Cyrus Hall settled on the Two-Mile Creek about 1848. Some time after
his settlement, while himself and wife were absent from home, one night,
the shanty in which they lived took fire, and was entirely consumed, together
with their four children, who had been left at home without any apprehension
of the awful fate which awaited them. The father still resides on the Two-Mile
Creek, with Joel Hall, his nephew.
James R. Clark and his four brothers, Barak, Raynor, Sanford, and Alfred,
settled here about 1835. James R. began or lived on the place now owned
by C.B. Learn. Alfred Clark kept a hotel for some time, and afterwards
a grocery-store, succeeded by his son, Calvin G., who still continues the
business on Main Street.
Other early settlers were Isaac Freeland and his brothers James and
Andrew, Abel Burdick, ---- Gleason, ---- Reynolds, Franklin Smith, Reuben
Lamberton, Geo. C. Sheldon, Wm. and John Ellis, Jacob Sayles, Josiah Hall,
Wm. and Jabez Chapin, Jason Blair, H.H. Janes, W. Parker, A.L. Simonds,
Joseph Nessle, ---- Lyon, ---- Morgan, ---- Gillett, ---- Gooden, and Rev.
N. Folsom, who married a daughter of ---- Hubbard, who lived on the place
now occupied by Leonard Becker. After the farm came into possession of
Rev. Mr. Folsom, he built a large dwelling there, and Geo. P. Fuller occupied
a part of the house. In 1863 it was entirely consumed by fire.
From about 1830 to 1838, Franklin Smith, father of A.O., H.M. and W.H.
Smith, and of Harriet Zemira, now the wife of A.H. Marsh, resided in a
house which stood on the north bank of the river, near the present School-house
in district 9. By a heavy fall of rain, Oct. 19, 1835, the river suddenly
raised to a flood, which over-flowed the banks and submerged the adjacent
flat lands, being the greatest flood which had occurred in the river since
the first settlement here, and only exceeded by the great flood of 1865.
On the said 19th day of October, 1835, a daughter of said Franklin
Smith was born, being the above named Harriet Zemira, now Mrs. Marsh. When
the child was not over six hours old, the impending danger from the rising
flood required that the mother and child should be immediately removed
to a place of safety. Accordingly, they were placed in a skiff, which was
run to the door of the house, and took the mother and her young daughter
aboard, and carried them in safety over the swelling flood to a neighboring
house which stood on higher and dryer ground.
The first marriage was that of Wm. B. Fox and Sally Strong, at the
house of James Strong, in 1825. The firsts deaths were those of children
of Isaac Eggleston, in 1823.
The building in which the town clerk’s office for this town was kept,
together with all the books, records, and papers belonging to the town,
was destroyed by fire on the evening of Feb. 25, 1854.
Among those who had held the office of supervisor prior to that date
were the following, viz.: Ebenezer Janes, Erastus Willard, H.W. McClure,
James Freeland, A.O. Smith, S.B. Willard, Abiathar Phillips, S.J. Horton,
James G. Johnson, and E. H. Blackmore.
Of those who ere town clerks prior to 1854 were Jedediah Lathrop, Dennis
Lamberton, S.B. Willard, Isaac Fuller.
Among those acting as justices of the peace were Isaac Freeland, A.O.
Smith, G.C. Sheldon, E.H. Blackmore, Seth Allen, Ebenezer Jones, Andrew
Mead, and Erastus Willard.
At the annual town-meeting held at the house of Amos Scofield, in Allegany,
Feb. 28, 1854, the following town officers were elected, viz.: Supervisor,
Caleb Jewett; Town Clerk, A.C. Keyes; Assessor, Shubael Simons; Commissioners
of Highways, N.P. Covell, James Nessle, Wm. B. Fox; Justice of the Peace,
Cornell Wiltse; Superintendent of Schools, A.P. Phillips; Inspectors of
Election, R. Welch, S.J. Horton, Seth Allen; Overseer of the Poor, George
C. Sheldon; Collector, S. Allen; Constables, Eli Gleason, J.R. Jones, W.
Hall, J. Starks, Davis Thornton; Sealer, C.R. Doty.
Since 1854, the principal officers elected at the several town-meetings
in each year were:
1855 James G. Johnson
1856 A.O. Smith
1857 Edward S. Mills
1858 Hiram Couchman
1859 David Austin
1860 Gilbert Palen
1861 Edward S. Mills
1862 Gilbert Palen
1863 James Freeland
1864 James Freeland
1865 E. Willard
1866 E. Willard
1867 E. Willard
1868 Andrew Mead
1869 J.B. Strong
1870 J.B. Strong
1871 Asa Haskell
1872 Asa Haskell
1873 H.W. McClure
1874 E.C. Howard
1875 James Freeland
1876 Z. Geo. Bullock
1877 Asa Haskell
1878 J.H. Farquharson
1855 Edgar Shaw
1856 Luther P. Forbes
1857 Albert J. Scofield
1858 Wm. B. Evans
1859 J.H. Farquharson
1860 A.H. Marsh
1861 J.R. McConnell
1862 Dudley Phelps
1863 John P. Colegrove
1864 John P. Colegrove
1865 Nathan A Dye
1866 Chas. Dolan
1867 Dudley Phelps
1868 Frederick Smith
1869 Frederick Smith
1870 Frederick Smith
1871 Charles Spraker
1872 E.R. McClure
1873 E.R. McClure
1874 Dudley Phelps
1875 Dudley Phelps
1876 C.J. Hickey
1877 Lewis S. Corthell
1878 E.R. McClure
Justices of the Peace
1855 James Freeland
1856 Warren Onan
1857 E. Willard
1858 A.C. Keyes
1859 Andrew Mead
1860 W.H. Phillips
1861 Cyrus G. McKay
1862 E. Willard
1863 Edgar Shaw
1864 W.H. Phillips
1865 C. Wiltse
1866 H. Couchman
1867 Balthasar Witman
1868 N.A. Dye and M. Thornton
1869 J.B. Wilkins
1870 Michael Thornton
1871 E.C. Howard and John Collins
1872 E. Willard
1873 J.B. Strong
1874 A. Haskell
1875 E. C. Howard
1876 E. Willard
1877 N.A. Dye
1878 D. Thurber
In 1837, Nicholas Devereux, of Utica, a large land-owner in Cattaraugus,
laid out and surveyed into lots a proposed town, which was expected at
that time to become an important station on the Erie Railroad, the first
survey of which ran through it. The name of the new town was Allegany City.
A large building was erected, which was designed for a hotel, and several
other buildings were also erected for various purposes. The site of this
contemplated city is about a mile southeast from Allegany village. Soon
after this beginning was made work on the Erie Railroad was suspended,
and business at Allegany City also came to a stand-still. When work on
the railroad was again resumed, in 1848, a new survey located the road
some half a mile farther north, and consequently the city project was abandoned.
This contemplated city was to have been built on the Devereux farm so-called,
which contains about 300 acres, and is situated on the north side of Allegany
River. It has for several years been owned by the Delaware and Hudson Canal
Company. A plat of Allegany City was made in 1842 by Maj. T.I. Brown. It
embraced the proposed route of the Erie Railroad, the site for the depot,
with the location and names of various streets. A splendid map of the city
was printed, which had a beautiful appearance on paper, but the city never
had any more tangible existence.
The village of Allegany, on the north side of the river, is situated
in the central part of the town. The buildings are detached considerably,
and stretch over a distance of nearly a mile, from Five-Mile Creek to St.
Bonaventure College. There are five church edifices, - Methodist Episcopal,
Free Methodist, Roman Catholic, German Lutheran, and Presbyterian, - 2
tanneries, a brewery, planning-mill and sash-factory, grist-mill, 2 saw-mills,
a cheese-factory, 7 or 8 stores, and as many groceries, and 2 or 3 hotels.
There are 2 harness-shops, one by L.S. Corthell, who located here in 1859,
and the other by C. B. Smith & Co., who began in 1876; 2 wagon-shops,
one by J.G. Wiedman, who has been engaged in the business here for over
twenty years, and one by George Karst, of several years’ standing. Both
manufacture light and heavy carriages of the best quality. There are in
the village the show-shops of E.R. McClure, R. Faulkner, H. & V. Hyde,
John Bockmier, and N. Hatch, the cabinet-shops of August Stintman and John
Gasper, the marble-factory of M.R. Collins, which employs 4 or 5 Hands,
and the tin and sheet-iron shops of A.C. Keyes and J.W. Hermance. The population
is about 1000.
There are several well-finished brick dwellings in the village. Those
of E. Willard, E. Sweeten, E.D. Mixer, E.B. Strong, George Karst, and William
Zink are all well built, and have a fine appearance.
Is the name given to a new village which has rapidly been built on the
Four-Mile Creek, - the new oil region, - three-fourths of a mile west of
Rock City, and in sight of that strange formation. The new village contains
5 or 6 stores, about 50 dwellings and boarding-houses, a few saloons, and
several mechanic shops. There are 60 to 70 oil-derricks in the immediate
neighborhood; also three iron oil-tanks, of a capacity of 25,000 barrels
Stephansburg, half a mile north of Rockview, has about half as many
buildings, with a school-house, 3 or 4 stores, several boarding-houses,
saw-mill, and several mechanic shops.
The interval and flat lands of the Allegany River Valley are a mile
in width, and those of Five-Mile Run, through the central part of the township,
average half a mile in width.
The old Buffalo and Olean stage-road, coming over Chapell hill, followed
the valley of the Five-Mile to a point about a mile north of the present
site of Allegany village; thence it ran about a mile north of the rive,
along the base of the hills. This road was cut through the forest, and
became an important mail-route, about 1815. From that time until 1852,
when its use was mostly superseded by the construction of the Erie Railroad,
it was one of the most useful and stirring thoroughfares in Western New
York. Stages passed daily over this road, after about 1822, and often they
were loaded with passengers, sometimes requiring extra teams for their
A road was marked out and used by the pioneers, as early as 1815, running
from Olean (then Hamilton) down the north side of the river, and following
usually the riverbank. About 1845 the present road from Allegany village
to Olean was opened and made passable for teams. At that date numerous
tall and stately pine-trees lined the road on either side for nearly the
whole extent of the town.
One of the early stage-drivers and proprietors was Peter Sampson, of
Ashford, who in the early days drove over the route between Buffalo and
Olean. He was a hale, intelligent, and industrious German, from the Mohawk
country. Reuben Hurlburt, of Ellicottville, was also one of the early stage-drivers.
The first bridge across the river at Allegany village (a frame structure)
was built in 1846. It was carried away by a flood, as were two other, before
An iron bridge was built over the river in 1873, at a cost of $15,000,
raised by tax in three years. It is 300 feet in length.
The Olean, Bradford and Warren Railroad runs through the south part
of Allegany. There are some five stations on that road, in this town. They
are called Two-Mile, Four-Mile, Rock City, Knapp’s Creek, and State Line.
It is a narrow-gauge road, built with much energy and dispatch in the fall
LUMBERING AND MILLS
The primitive forest was dense, and in many parts interspersed with
choice pine-trees. The manufacturing of pine lumber, which was run in rafts
down the river for market, constituted a leading branch of employment for
the early settlers. Many men were employed in the business, and many teams
were required to draw the logs to the mills. The first settlers were mostly
too much engaged in the lumbering business to devote any great attention
to clearing up the land, or to agricultural pursuits. At least a dozen
saw-mills were built by the first settlers, on the Five-Mile Creek and
other streams, and put in operation. The old-fashioned water-wheels and
straight upright saws were then in use, but large quantities of lumber
were manufactured during each year.
The lumberman who operated in this town in the early years of its settlement
erected a large number of saw-mills, among which were the following:
1. Reuben Lamberton built a mill near the mouth of Five-Mile Run in
1830. This was run by him for about five years, when he sold to its present
owner, George C. Sheldon, who has continued as the proprietor to the present
2. A mill was built by Anson King on the same stream, about half a
mile above Lamberton’s in 1827. After his death, in 1838, his step-son,
James G. Johnson, his son-in-law, George Van Campen, and other heirs became
the proprietors, and in 1840 it was sold to Jacob M. Park, the present
3. The next mill on that creek is the one now owned by Charles Chamberlain,
who built it about 1850. Near this Mr. Chamberlain built a small grist-mill
4. Next on the creek is the mill of J. Blair, built in 1845 by S.B.
5. The next mill was built by William B. Fox, in 1848. It stood about
four miles north of the river, on the same creek. He sold in 1854, and
it has since gone to ruin.
6. The sixth mill on the Five-Mile, in this town, was built by Freeman
Wilber, in 1856, near the present dwelling of Lyman Trucsdell. It was abandoned
after being used several years, and has entirely disappeared.
7. About 1831 a dam was constructed across the river by Guy C. Irvine,
Wm. Forbes, Wm. Clark, and Jedediah Budlong, at a point about a mile above
the mouth of Nine-Mile Creek, and a large saw-mill was built there, on
the south side of the river, by that company.
8. Another, on the north side of the river, was built by Calvin T.
Chamberlain. These mills made a large amount of lumber for several years,
until about 1852, when that of Irvine & Co. was abandoned, and a few
years later the mill on the north side was also discontinued.
9. A saw-mill was built on Nine-Mile Creek, at Vandalia, in 1840, by
David Chamberlain, and was afterwards owned by Ira Washburn and R. Patterson.
About 1848, Richard H. McCoy became the owner, and it is now the property
of his son Albert McCoy.
10. There was a saw-mill two miles above Vandalia, on the same stream,
built by Wm. Grimes about 1858, which was allowed to run down after being
used a few years.
11. A steam saw-mill, on the same stream, three miles from the river,
was built by Roy Stone & Co., in 1866. It was capable of sawing 25,000
feet per day; 30 hands were employed. A settlement comprising 8 to 10 families,
and known as "Stone’s Camp," found a home there in the wilderness. The
mill was burned in 1868, but rebuilt in a year or two, and is still doing
a good, but not as large a business as formerly. It is now owned be E.
12. About the year 1832, Dr. Andrew Mead built a saw-mill near the
mouth of Four-Mile Creek. In 1838 it became the property of Seymour Bouton,
who is still its owner.
13. Levi McNall built a water-power saw-mill on the Four-Mile, two
miles south of the river, in 1848. In 1863 he built a steam saw-mill, which
was used for the manufacture of a large amount of lumber until 1874, when
it was burned. It was rebuilt soon after and still does a good business.
14. About 1854, a saw-mill was built by Geo. Van Campen, on Four-Mile
Creek, on the lot now occupied by Mrs. Perkins. It was used for several
15. A saw-mill built by Jos. Nessle on his farm was in use only a few
16. A mill, built by Colonel J.G. Johnson and A.O. & W.H. Smith,
in 1853, stood near the present residence of Mrs. Carroll, and was burned
17. D. Austin and ---- Crosby built a saw-mill on the site of Wm. Stephan’s
mill, in 1852.
18. A mill was built near the present dwelling of M. Donohue, in 1855,
by Johnson & Smith, and after being used a few years was sold to David
& Joel Hall, and the machinery was taken by them to supply a mill on
19. William Stephan built an overshot saw-mill, in 1868, on the same
stream, four miles from the river, at a place now called Stephansburg.
His mill was burned about 1870, but has been rebuilt.
20. D. & J. Hall built a steam saw-mill on the Two-Mile Creek,
in 1860. It was burned in 1867, and soon after rebuilt.
21. In 1874, Rufus Austin built a steam saw-mill, about a mile south
of the river, and used a part of the machinery of Hall’s mill in the construction
of the new one, and he makes a considerable amount of lumber.
22. A steam saw-mill was built in 1833, by Paul Reed, near the Three-Mile
Creek, between the river and the present Olean road.
23. A steam saw-mill, containing also a run of stones for grinding,
was built by J.C. Devereux & Co., in 1848, near the tannery of the
Strong estate. This mill employed several hands, and for several years
manufactured a large quantity of lumber. It was burned in 1860.
24. A good steam saw-mill was erected on the south side of the river,
about four miles below Allegany village, in 1852, by C.J. & D. Soule.
25. A steam saw-mill, on Birch Run, was built by Joseph Richler &
Son, in 1873, and is now owned by Joseph Richler, Jr.
26. Charles Soule & Son built a steam saw-mill on the south side
of the river, above the mouth of Birch Run, in 1873.
27. A saw-mill was built by William Morgan, in Morgan Hollow, in 1848.
After a few years it was discontinued.
28. A large steam grist- and saw-mill was built on the north bank of
the river, in the village, by Hiram Wheaton and J.H. Farquharson, in 1873.
In 1874, Mr. Wheaton sold his interest to Mr. Farquharson, who ran the
establishment until the fall of 1878, when he rented to Jerome Brownell.
29. About 1856, Patrick McMahon built a large steam saw-mill on Chipmunk
Creek, some two miles from the river. He employed from 20 to 40 men, and
for several years manufactured a large quantity of lumber. Mr. McMahon
had previously been engaged in constructing the famous bridge over the
Genesee River, at Portage, and a part of the machinery and apparatus used
in the mill which sawed the lumber for that bridge was brought to the mill
on the Chipmunk Creek.
The foregoing embrace all of the most important mills which have been
built in the town of Allegany. Allowing that one-half of these 30 mills
were making an average of 250,000 feet of lumber each year, and we have
an aggregate amount of 3,750,000 feet as the quantity of lumber manufactured
in Allegany and sent to market annually. Taking the period from 1830 to
1860, - thirty years, - there was an average of 15 mills running during
the season. This estimate makes the total amount manufactured in thirty
years preceding 1860, - 112,500,000 feet.
The first tannery in Allegany was built in1834, on the north bank of
the river, by Col. J.G. Johnson, Gilbert Palen, and Caleb Jewett. It was
a large establishment for those times, and the first sole-leather tannery
in the southern tier of counties west of Delaware County. In 1857 it was
sold to Palen & Strong. Some years later Mr. Strong became the owner,
and he conveyed the property to his son, the late Jarius B. Strong, by
whom it was conducted until his death. In 1876 it was destroyed by fire,
but was rebuilt the same year. The tannery, together with the large estate
left by Mr. Strong, is now under the management of E.C. Howard, administrator,
and his sister, Mrs. Strong, administratrix. About 15 men are employed
to carry on the business. Before the death of Mr. Strong about 4000 to
6000 sides of sole-leather were manufactured annually.
A small upper-leather tannery was built by Edwin R. McClure, in 1868,
in the western part of the village. Mr. McClure commenced tanning in this
town in 1849, and still continues the business.
In 1876, A.B. Canfield & Co. built a tannery, 40 by 40, two stories
high, at Vandalia, in this town. It employs 2 or 3 hands.
PLANING-MILL AND SASH- AND DOOR-FACTORY.
In 1840 a large building was erected by Couchman & Mills, about
thirty rods below Palen & Strong’s tannery, for the purpose of manufacturing
doors, sash, and blinds, and planing.
And afterwards Lewis S. Hall became the proprietor. The establishment
was destroyed by fire in 1862. It was rebuilt by Mr. Hall, and conducted
by him until his death, in 1876, since which time the business has been
carried on by his son, George A. Hall. In former years it was the custom
to build a large boat each year, to be used in conveying prepared lumber,
doors, sash, and blinds down the river. These articles were sold at various
places on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Latterly the increased demand
for their work at home and in the vicinity makes a market here for all
that is manufactured at the establishment. About 6 to 8 hands are employed.
Annual sales, about $12,000.
The first inn was kept by Ebenezer Reed, near the mouth of Five-Mile
Run, in 1820. A few years later an inn was kept in the north part of the
town by Raynor Clark.
In 1852 a large three-story hotel was built near the depot, called
the Devereux House. It was kept for different periods by R.P. Stetson,
James Razey, E. Holmes, R.H. Renwick, H.M. Smith, Abram Gray, Benj. Baldwin,
and bought, in 1858, by Mrs. Ward, and the name changed to Ward’s Hotel.
D.W. Ward is the present landlord. It is one of the best hotels in the
About 1833, David Chamberlain resided at the mouth of Nine-Mile Creek.
Soon after he was succeeded by Ira Washburn, who kept an inn for some time,
and then moved to Hinsdale, where he still lives. After him Robert Paterson,
now of Kill Buck, kept the hotel at that point. This was about 1847, and
the next year R.H. McCoy bought the saw-mill and hotel. His son still resides
in the house, now used as a dwelling.
In 1838 a hotel was kept in the north part of the village by Barak
E. Clark, and in 1841 one was kept by Raynor Clark. It was afterwards kept
by Alfred Clark. Joseph Nessle built the tavern now kept by P. Hogan, on
Main Street. First it was kept by A.P. Stetson, and by ---- Glover, N.
Salisbury, Chas, Hall, Amos Allen, D. Vannatta, M. Stone, and C.H. Emerson.
Ward’s Hotel, with Mr. and Mrs. DW Ward
About 1852 a large hotel and store building was erected in front of
the depot, and called “The Block.” Built by S.B. Willard, Devereux,
and Bentley. It was destroyed by fie in 1861.
first general store at Burton village, now Allegany, was kept by S.B. &
E. Willard, in a building which stood on the east side of the creek, in
1844. Alfred Clark kept a grocery and a hotel in 1844 in the north
part of the village. George Bascom kept a store in a building on
the north side of Bascom Street in 1848. He built a store 36 by 80,
on the corner of Main and Bascom Streets, in 1854. This building
was moved in 1875 to the west side of Main Street, and is called “Bascom
Hall.” The second story having been fitted up commodiously for meetings,
concerts, and public exhibitions. David Chase kept a store in a building
on the north side of same street, and he built the store and dwelling which
has been occupied by Mrs. Bridget Zink as a dwelling, brewery, and saloon
Erastus Willard erected a store on the east side of Main Street in
1846, in which he continued mercantile business until the erection of his
present large two-story brick store, which is now one of the largest and
best-arranged stores in the county, kept by Willard & Smith, whose
sales amount to $60,000 to $80,000 annually. James G. Johnson had
a store on the east side of Main Street, and Geo. Van Campen kept one in
a building which stood on the east side of Main Street; both in 1854.
S.K. Hale began store-keeping in Allegany in a building called the Red
Store, east side of Main Street, in 1858. In 1862 he began in the
store now occupied by Spraker & Mixer. He sold his store and
dwelling to A. H. Marsh in 1864, and removed to Olean.
A.H. Marsh came to Allegany in 1851, as clerk for George Van Campen.
In 1854 he became a partner, and remained till November, 1857. In
1859 he formed a partnership with Theo. Palen, which continued five years.
In 1867 he bought S.K. Hale’s store, at which time C. Spraker became a
partner, under the firm-name of A.H. Marsh & Co., which continued for
eight years. Spraker & Mixer still continue in the business.
In 1865, Howard & Phelps kept in the store next to William Spraker’s.
D. Phelps sold his interest to E.C. Howard in 1870, and built a store near
his residence. In the spring of 1878, Haskell & McAuliffe bought
E.C. Howard’s store and goods.
In 1850, Forbes & Smead kept a grocery-store in a building which
stood about on the site now occupied by Warren Onan’s dwelling. Soon
after they occupied for time the store now occupied by Haskell & McAuliffe.
A store in the Zink Brewery building, in 1844, was kept by Butterworth
& Fox for several years, and then by David Chase. The building
was then sold to Zink, and has since been used as a brewery and dwelling.
A.O. & W.H. Smith, with Harmon, Bro. & Co., kept a store in
1858 in the corner building now owned and occupied by William Spraker as
grocery-store and post-office. They continued to sell a large quantity
of merchandise until about 1864, when William Spraker and J.H. Farquharson
bought the building, and opened a grocery-store in the same. In 1874,
William Spraker became the sole owner of the store.
Nathan A. Dye kept a grocery-store at the stand now occupied by him
and his sons, beginning in 1853. They keep a general stock of groceries
and provisions, flour, feed, etc., and do a good business.
Calvin G. Clark succeeded his father in the grocery business about
1863. They began in the north part of the village as early as 1843.
In 1848 they occupied as a grocery the building on the west side of Main
Street, now occupied as a dwelling by J. Fouser. In 1860 they built
the store since and now occupied by C.G. Clark as a grocery.
A.C. Keys began the tin and hardware business in Allegany, in 1851,
in a building which stood south of E. Willard’s store, on the east side
of Main Street. He began in his present store, west side of Main
Street, in 1852. He keeps a general assortment of hardware, tin,
Charles Dolan began in the grocery business here in
1860, and continued until his death, in 1869, since which time his
widow has kept the store.
Grocery-stores have been started within a few years by M. Riley, J.B. and
W. & F. Sweeten, and a flour- and feed-store by J.H. Bouton, in his
new brick store. A grocery, started by Hickey & Sullivan, July,
1878, was burned Dec. 3, 1878.
The Burton post-office was established in 1840, on Five-Mile Run, about
a mile north of the present village of Allegany. Jedediah Lathrop
was the first postmaster. About 1852, John W. Clark was postmaster
at that point, and was succeeded by David Chase. In 1856 this office
was discontinued. The first post-office in the town was established
in 1828, on the Five-Mile Creek, and called Five-Mile Post-office, with
Josiah Hall as first postmaster. Elias Fish was postmaster in 1837.
About 1850, Wm. Wiltse was postmaster, and afterwards Cornell Wiltse kept
the office until it was discontinued, in 1866.
The post-office at Allegany village was established in 1851, and called
Burton until 1852, when the name was changed to Allegany. The first
postmaster was D. Chase and then Dr. A.P. Phillips. After him came
Erastus Willard, who was succeeded by James Freeland. In 1858, Patrick
McMahon became postmaster, and was succeeded by Warren Onan. A.C.
Keyes was appointed in 1861, holding until 1865; then Wm. Spraker, Jr.,
until 1866, when Lewis S. Corthell was postmaster until 1869, when W. Onan
again held the office for four years. William Spraker, the present
postmaster, was then appointed. It was mad a money-order office in
1874. The amount of business has greatly increased.
Bouton, an attorney-at-law, resided here in 1856, and had some business
in the line of his profession. He removed to New York in 1858.
Dr. Andrew Mead, who was a man of considerable note, came from Olean, and
resided in this town from about 1847 to the time of his tragical death
in 1871. He was one of the judges of this county at an early day,
and was several times elected justice of the peace. For several years
preceding his death he was frequently employed to attend suits in justices’
courts. He was admitted as an attorney-at-law on the expiration of
his term as associate judge. He had for many years a considerable
practice as a physician. In 1869 he fitted up a building on the west
side of Main Street, in which he lived alone, being a bachelor, and kept
a grocery in the front part of his building.
On an evening in December, 1871, being alone in his grocery, a young German,
named Theodore Nicklas, entered, and soon, in an altercation which arose
between them, the young man inflicted such terrible blows on the head,
arms, and face of the old doctor, with an iron stove-poker, that he died
within a few hours. Rendered speechless by his wounds, he was not
able to tell the sad tale of his cruel murder. The murderer took
about $55 from the doctor’s pantaloons pocket and his watch from his vest,
and locking the door as he went out, hid the key and fled to Olean, whence
by crawling into a freight-car he went to Buffalo, via Hornellsville.
So sudden, cautious, and slyly was the crime committed that he evaded detection
for four weeks, when his sale of the watch, together with his spending
money profusely in dissipation, and some other circumstances, led to his
arrest. He confessed the crime, making some frivolous and improbable
excuses; and was indicted, tried, and found guilty, and executed at Little
Valley, in March following. The doctor was about eighty years old.
Shaw, an attorney, practiced law here from about 1856 to 1871, when he
moved to Iowa.
A young lawyer, named John C. Spencer, resided here in 1865 for a short
time, and then went to New York. In 1869, Joseph B. Wilkins, a lawyer,
came here and practiced until 1874, when he went West. In the spring
of 1878, J. Arthur Corbin, a young attorney-at-law, opened an office here.
The first doctor who practiced here was Dr. Cleveland, who came in 1838;
Dr. Lane in 1842. Dr. James Parker came in 1854, Dr. Fritts in about
1856. Dr. W.B. Parker came in 1854; he built the house which Warren
Onan has since owned and occupied. He died in 1858. Dr. Finlay
came in about 1860.
Dr. Henry Van Aernam lived here and practiced from 1848, for five years,
and then moved to Franklinville. Dr. A.P. Phillips came in 1857,
and practiced here until 1859, when he moved to Chautauqua County.
Dr. John L. Eddy came in 1857, and was in practice here until 1867, when
he sold to Dr. Z. George Bullock and moved to Olean. Dr. Adelbert
McClary was a student to Dr. Eddy, and a partner for two or three years,
until about 1866.
Dr. John P. Colgrove resided and practiced here from 1863 until 1867, when
he went West, but returned in 1869, and was a partner of Dr. Bullock.
Dr. Colgrove moved to Salamanca in 1874; and in 1875, Dr. S.B. McClure
began practice, and became a partner of Dr. A.W. Bullock.
The first preacher who located here was the Rev. Mr. Dart, of the Free-Will
Baptist persuasion. He came about 1850. Rev. Mr. Crane resided
here also for a few years; and also Rev. Mr. Sill, Baptist, was an early
resident of Allegany. The Rev. Mr. Bascom, Presbyterian, a brother
of Geo. Bascom, was an early resident here for a few years.
The first school in Allegany was taught by Leonard Cronkhite, in James
Strong’s house, in the north part of the town, in the winter of 1825-26.
School-houses were soon after built in District No. 2, near J. Freeland’s;
in No. 1, near the mouth of Nine-Mile Creek; in No. 3, in Allegany village;
in No. 4, near S.J. Horton’s; in No. 5, in the north part of the town;
and in No. 6, near L. McNall’s.
The statistics of the schools of the town for 1878 are furnished by Sanford
B. McClure. The town has at present 13 school districts, containing
13 school-houses, valued, with their sites, at $5750, having 106 volumes
in library, valued at $60. The number of teachers employed was 14,
to whom was paid $3041.39; number of weeks taught,
360; number of children of school age, 1176; average daily attendance,
380 94/1000; amount of public money received for the State, $1998.61; amount
of money received from tax, $1908.74.
first religious services in the town were held at the house of James Strong,
Sr., conducted by Rev. Benjamin Cole, in 1823. The first religious
society organized as the first society of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
in 1829. Jonathan Benson first preacher, assisted by William Gordon.
Jabez Chapin was the first class-leader, assisted by Isaac Eggleston.
Among the members were Reuben and Annie Lamberton, William B. and Sally
Fox, Catharine Strong, David Orton, and Harriet Clark. About 1833,
Geo. C. Sheldon was appointed class-leader, which position Mr. Sheldon
has held in this and the Free Methodist Society up to this writing, and
is now leader in the Free Methodist organization. First presiding
elder was James Hemanway, succeeded by William Horner, John G. Gulick,
and Eleazer Thomas, who was murdered by the Modoc Indians in California,
while on duty as a government commissioner. Eleazer Thomas was succeeded
by A.D. Wilber, Calvin Kingsley, afterwards Bishop Kingsley; Thomas Carlton,
late of the Methodist Book Concern; C.D. Burlingame, E.E. Chambers, A.P.
Ripley, now of the Buffalo Christian Advocate, William S. Tuttle, E.A.
Rice, L.D. Watson, and now S.A. Stevens. Preacher Benson was succeeded
by W.D. Buck, William McKinstry, A.C. Dubois, Francis Strang, Horatio N.
Seaver, O.F. Comfort, D.V.B. Hoyt, Carlton Fuller, F.B. Hudson, Milo Scott,
John Kennard, Schuyler Parker, B.F. McNeal, A.C. Curry, C.P. Clark, John
Worthington, William Jennings, John Ready, J.B. Countryman, H. Butlin,
C.S. Daley, William Magovern, J.C. Whiteside, and now N.N. Beers.
This was first Steuben District, Genesee Conference, afterwards Cattaraugus
District, now Olean District. The present church edifice for the
society was erected in 1855. Geo. C. Sheldon, Erastus Willard, and
Henry Chamberlin were the building committee; the expense about $2500.
This edifice was dedicated by Rev. C.D. Burlingame, by whom the first funeral
services were also conducted, the deceased being Mrs. Juliette Sheldon,
wife of George C. Sheldon.
In 1858 the society numbered about 180 communicants, but was greatly reduced
in 1860 by the withdrawal of members, who in the same year organized the
Free Methodist Society.
In 1865-66 the edifice was repaired, at an expense of $1407, including
the bell, and was rededicated, Rev. C.D. Burlingame again preaching the
sermon, from the words, “The glory of the latter house shall exceed that
of the former.”
The society was reorganized in 1865, with Thos. D. Wilson leader, who was
succeeded by Erastus Willard, who is the present class-leader, with Wm.
C. Bockoven. The society now numbers about 50 communicants, and has
a Sabbath-school, which was established in 1866, with Thos. Clayton superintendent,
succeeded by C.G. Wright, Zelia Keyes, Mary Calkins, and now Benj. H. Green,
with about 70 scholars and teachers.
FREE METHODIST SOCIETY.
society was organized Aug. 2, 1860, Rev. H.F. Curry, Preacher; B.T. Roberts,
General Manager; Geo. C. Sheldon as leader, assisted by R.A. Eggleston
and J.D. Ellis. As a large number of the members had withdrawn from
the Methodist Episcopal Church and united with the Free Methodist, the
organization at its birth must have numbered nearly 100 at Allegany.
In 1871 the society erected an edifice, at an expense of about $1200.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ALLEGANY
church was organized in 1852 as the successor of a Congregational Church
and Society, the latter of which was organized Oct. 5, 1852, at a meeting
of which Lewis Price was moderator and Caleb Jewett clerk, and at which
Caleb Jewett, James G. Johnson, Martin G. Austin, Hiram W. McClure, and
Artemas L. Simonds were elected trustees.
The deacons of the Presbyterian Church organized in 1852, as before mentioned,
were H.W. McClure and N.P. Covill. The first pastor was Rev. Warner,
who was succeeded by Rev. Messrs. Ogden, Titesworth, Cole (known as Father
Cole), Akins, Beaumont, Ellery, Bascom, A. Woodruff, Billington, and S.B.
Stephenson, who serves the church at present.
The present church edifice was built at the time of organization, at a
cost of about $2200; Dudley Phelps, N.T. Sheldon, Deacons, with nearly
50 communicants; Lewis S. Corthell is clerk.
The society has a Sabbath-school in a very flourishing condition, with
70 to 80 scholars and teachers. Dr. Z. George Bullock is superintendent.
THE LUTHERAN CHURCH
was organized in 1858, and erected their present edifice in 1861, at
an expense of about $1500. The trustees were John George Smith, William
Spraker, Sr., John G. Wiedmann, John Reitz; Frederick Smith, clerk.
The first preacher was Rev. Frederick Pultz, who has been succeeded by
J. Barrance, G. Ziska, Thomas Massasky, ---- Engelder, John Bernruither,
who still serves. The society now numbers about 50 communicants,
and has a prosperous Sabbath-school.
THE GERMAN METHODIST CHURCH
was organized in 1877, Rev. Moit, preacher, and now numbers about 40
communicants, with fair prospect of success. This society worships
in the Methodist Episcopal Church edifice on alternate Sabbath afternoons.
the above-named religious societies are free of debt.
a meeting held at the “Willard Hall,” April 3, 1854, to organize a Baptist
Church, in pursuance of a notice given by Rev. E.F. Crane, E.F. Crane and
Andrew Mead were appointed to preside at the meeting, and it was voted
to organize “the First Baptist Society of Allegany,” and to elect trustees.
J.G. Thompson, A.P. Phillips, John Ellis, S.J. Horton, L.P. Forbes, and
Andrew Mead were elected such trustees. The Rev. Dexter S. Morris,
of Eldred, Pa., was one of the earliest preachers. Their meetings
for worship were held in the school-house in Allegany village, and they
never erected a church edifice. The society has long ceased to meet
THE ST. FRANCIS MISSIONARY AND BENEVOLENT SOCIETY,
organized under the act of 1848. Nicholas Devereux, Mary C. Devereux,
John C. Devereux, Thomas B. Devereux, and John Timon associated themselves
to establish a missionary, scientific, charitable, and benevolent society,
to be located in the village of Allegany City or in Ellicottville, where
it now has its beginning, or in both villages. Said parties, viz.,
John C. Devereux, Charles Dolan, Peter Carr, P.J. Cunningham, David O.
Day, and Lawrence O’Connor, shall be known as “the Missionary, Scientific,
Charitable, and Benevolent Society of Allegany City;” and they declare
that the object of the society which they thus constitute shall be to provide
for missionary duties in the western part of the State of New York, for
aiding the poor and the orphans, and instructing the ignorant as far as
means permit, divine and human science, and for no other object; and the
said Nicholas Devereux and John Timon and John C. Devereux shall be trustees
for the first year of the aforesaid society.
THE FIRST UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY OF ALLEGANy
was organized Feb. 10, 1872. Nathan A. Dye, Charles Soule, and
David Thurber, trustees. The Rev. Isaac George, of Dunkirk, was hired
to preach occasionally for a year. Meetings were held at first in
the Presbyterian House, and afterwards in Good Templars’ Hall, over D.
Phelps’ store. In 1875, Rev. Benjamin Brunning was hired to preach
every alternate Sunday, and he resided here and continued as pastor of
the society a year, when he removed to Niagara County. No regular
pastor of the society has been employed since he left. No meetings
of this society have been held for worship for about two years.
cemetery near the Horton school-house, in district No. 4, has been in use
as a burial-place since about 1820. It has been fenced and kept in
a tolerably good condition for most of the time since its selection for
Another burial-place is in the extreme north part of the town, and near
the Five-Mile Baptist church. This cemetery was first appropriated
for purposes of burial in 1826. It has been well protected by a good
fence, and contains a considerable number of monuments and marble grave-stones.
As early as 1830, several deceased persons were buried on a lot selected
for the purpose on the Clark farm, now owned by C.B. Learn, half a mile
west of the village. And during the period from about 1830 to 1860
several burials were made on a lot appropriated for the purpose, on the
farm of James Freeland, south of the river. Those buried at the latter
place have, within a few years, been taken up and deposited at other places.
In 1855 the Allegany Cemetery Association was organized, the trustees of
which were James G. Johnson, Edgar Shaw, and Abiathar Phillips. They
purchased a lot of ground, which is situated adjacent to the eastern part
of the village, on the premises of George Bascom, containing about five
acres of ground. It is an elevated and suitable selection for the
purpose, and has been graded and surveyed into lots, with regular alleys.
It has been inclosed with a substantial fence and ornamented with shade-trees.
The present trustees are James Wiltse, Erastus Willard, and Adelbert H.
the soil is good and adapted to grazing, and generally well watered, not
more than one-third of the land in town has as yet been cleared and brought
under good cultivation. Here, as in other towns contiguous to the
river, lumbering has heretofore been the leading business of the people,
as the most available method of realizing a present income, and this being
the case, the thorough clearing up of the land has necessarily been neglected.
A considerable amount of grain is raised, and something is done in the
production of fruit, but the principal attention of farmers is turned to
dairying, particularly the manufacture of cheese.
first cheese-factory building was erected in 1867 by the Allegany Cheese-Factory
Association, which was organized at that time. This factory is situated
about two miles north of the village, on Five-Mile Creek, on a site which
has not, in all respects, proved satisfactory, although by good management
a large quantity of good cheese has been manufactured in each year since
the business was commenced. The milk of about 500 cows has been consumed
during the season of 1878, and 89 tons of cheese made. I.N. Sheldon,
of Cuba, has run the factory for several years. E.B. Strong has an
interest, and has had general charge of the business for two years, and
O.A. Chase has made the cheese for the season of 1878.
A second cheese-factory is located on the south side of the river, near
the village. It is managed and owned by the proprietors of the Five-Mile
factory. F.W. Case has been employed for three years past to make
the cheese. This factory was built in 1874. It has an excellent
location, and uses the milk of about 300 cows. These two are the
only cheese-factories within the town at the present time.
the excitement caused by the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania, a test well
was put down to a depth of 600 feet, on the farm of Walter Pratt, about
a mile north of the village of Allegany. No oil was found.
In 1875 a well was drilled, about a mile east of Vandalia, to a depth of
1200 feet, without finding oil.
In the month of July, 1876, the Bradford Oil Company commenced drilling
a well, on the Woodmansee place, a mile west of the village. At a
depth of 850 feet a vein of oil was struck in shale-rock, and the well
immediately was nearly filled with oil. There was great excitement
and demonstrations of joy here and at Olean, and in fact, the finding of
oil at Allegany was hailed with delight, and became the leading theme of
conversation throughout the surrounding country. At first the general
supposition was that the oleaginous belt had been struck, and that there
was a river or sea of oil underlying Allegany, which was likely to prove
sufficient to enrich all the people of the town. But the excitement
cooled down as the drilling continued without finding the right kind of
third sand-rock, and after going down about 1300 feet no more indications
of oil were found. The well was pumped, and produced a barrel or
two a day for a while until 1877. From 100 to 200 barrels were taken
out of the well in all. The Allegany Oil Company was formed in 1876,
and they commenced drilling a well on lands of J.G. Johnson, at the head
of Four-Mile Run, in the fall of that year. At a depth of 1360 feet
the third sand, unmistakably of the right quality, was found, and oil soon
arose so as to nearly fill the well, which at once gave evidence that they
had “struck oil” in paying quantities. The genuine oleaginous belt
was found to underlie at least the southern portion of the town of Allegany.
The event was hailed as the harbinger of lively times and the certain advent
of a new oil field, which would immediately draw hundreds of people to
it to see, or in some way to take part in the development of a new oil
In February, 1876, Geo. W. Stephens took several leases near the village
for oil purposes. The Bradford Oil Co. bought the leases, and commenced
a well on land of D.S. Woodmansee in May, 1876, and completed the same
in July of the same year. It produced only about one barrel per day,
and now, when pumped, produces about 5 barrels per week.
In July, 1876, E.C. Howard, W.H. Smith, D.W. Ward, and A.H. Marsh made
arrangements to put down a well near Levi McNall’s, but failing to obtain
as many leases as they wished, abandoned the project for the time being.
In August, or early in September, N.A. Dye, J.G. Johnson, J.B. Strong,
A.H. Marsh, and others associated with them, organized the Allegany Oil
Co., with N.A. Dye, president; W.H. Smith, A.H. Marsh, E.C. Howard, J.B.
Strong, J.G. Johnson, and D.W. Ward, as trustees.
Taking leases of several hundred acres, the company commenced a well on
the Johnson farm, five miles south of the village, which was drilled to
a depth of about 1300 feet and temporarily abandoned. In December
following drilling was resumed, and in February a heavy vein of gas was
struck, after going about 60 feet farther, and about 30 feet still lower
a small vein of oil was struck. The well took fire about this time,
burning the entire rig, and requiring several days to extinguish the gas
fire. After this it was tubed and pumped, but with only light production.
In May, 1877, the well was torpedoed; since which time it has produced
an average of 50 barrels of oil per week. The gas has been utilized
as fuel, and has furnished fuel for the drilling of several wells since,
and for the pump-station of the United Pipe-Lines. The Allegany Oil
Co. have since sub-leased the most of their territory. They have
put down four wells.
Soon after, Mr. James, of Fredonia, and Mr. Calkins, of Peterboro’, N.Y.,
commenced the third well in town, on the F.J. Waters farm, which was completed
in March, 1877, proving to be a good well. D.W. Canfield, and others,
completed the fourth paying well, on lands of M. Donahue. Soon after,
Smith, Howard & Co. put down the fifth, Griffin, Bramley & Hickey
the sixth, and M. Collins the seventh well. By this time the excitement
There are at present (December, 1878) about 100 producing wells in the
town of Allegany, with an aggregate daily production of about 1200 barrels.
There are three iron tanks, of 25,000 barrels capacity each, and wooden
tankage about 50,000 barrels.
daily production of oil in Allegany is about 1200 barrels. While
the production of oil in the lower oil country is falling off, there is
as yet an increase rather than a decline in the amount produced by the
wells on the Four-Mile. It is thought they well hold out for some
years yet, and longer, from the fact of their not flowing so large on the
start, as was the case in some of the lower oil districts.
Following is a list of owners of wells:
Allegany Oil Col
Coast & Clark
Borden & Co.
Coast & Clark
Pebble Rock Oil Co.
Barse & Morris
Barse & Morris
Hickey & Nessle
Brown, Norris & Co.
Hinsdale Oil Co.
Gillespie & Creswell
Gillespie & McMahon
Bacom & Moulton
Gaskell & Co.
Shreve & Co.
Gaily & Preston
C.B. & H.
Fanchall, Bros. & Co.
McDonnell & Co.
Follett Bros. & Early
Peck & Tennant
Mead & Sargent
J.B. & E.M. Johnson
Roberts & Co.
Moulton & Brackney
Shreve, Lamberton & Shreve- J. Moltrus
Gillespie, Keyes & Co.
Welch & Co.
Collins & Co. `
Lockwood & Eaton
Bayley & Co.
Bramley & Co.
Calkins & James
Canfield & Phillips
Bennet & Brown
White Elephant Co.
Buffalo Oil Co.
Brown Bros. & Co.
Colegrove & Co.
the year 1840, a Society of the Sons of Temperance organized here, with
Ebenezer Grover and George C. Sheldon as presiding officers, and about
35 members. Not having a hall, they rented the ball-room in Alfred
Clark’s hotel, with the stipulation that no liquor should be sold in the
house during lodge-meetings. They afterwards erected a large and
commodious hall over a store built by E. Grover, and known as “The Sons’
Hall,” completed in 1853, and consumed by fire in 1854.
In 1853, the Sons of Temperance were merged into the Good Templars, with
Warren Onan as Worthy Chief Templar. In 1854, Mr. Onan was chosen
a delegate to represent the order at Albany, and he with others were so
far successful to get what was termed the “Maine Law” passed through both
houses of the Legislature, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Seymour.
The lodge continued to flourish for a while, but was finally discontinued.
Some years later, another lodge was organized, with John R. McConnell as
presiding officer, but which was doomed to share the fate of its predecessor.
The call for volunteers took its presiding officer, with many of the members,
to the Southern fields.
Again, in January, 1868, another lodge of Good Templars was organized,
with A.L. Simonds as Worthy Chief Templar, and a large number of members.
This lodge was successful for a while, but at the end of four years its
charter was surrendered.
In April, 1875 the temperance spirit was again aroused, and another lodge
of Good Templars organized, with William C. Bockoven, Worthy Chief Templar;
but, like others its career was short, and at the end of one year its doors
were closed, and the temperance cause was allowed to smoulder for something
over a year, when it was again awakened by the organization of a Lodge
of Good Templars on the 18th day of October, 1878, with Charles H. Tousey,
W.C.T.; Mrs. C.B. Smith, W.V.T.; William C. Bockoven, L.D.G.W.C.T; the
Rev. S.B. Stevenson, Chaplain, together with about 20 charter members.
THE ANCIENT ORDER OF UNITED WORKMEN,
an organization having for its objects the elevation and improvement
of its members, and guaranteeing $2000 to the heirs or assigns of a deceased
member, was organized Dec. 27, 1876, with 21 charter members, and the following
officers : Asa Haskell, P.M.W.; S.B. McClure, M.W.; C.G. Wright, G.F.;
C.H. Tousey, O.; E.D. Mixer, Recorder; C.B. Smith, Financier; A.G. Burlingame,
Receiver; Z.G. Bullock, G.;W.W. Campbell, J.W.; A.B. Scofield, O.W.
order has steadily increased from the start, and now numbers 35 members.
ST. BONAVENTURE’S COLLEGE.
of the Franciscan Order in Cattaraugus.
To the apostolic zeal of the venerable Bishop Timon, and the munificent
generosity of Nicholas Devereux, is pre-eminently due the establishment
of the order of the Friars Minors in the Allegany Valley. A quarter
of a century ago the Catholic Church in this section was still in its infancy.
In those days a smoky cabin or humble log chapel served the purposes to
which a score of church edifices are to-day dedicated. The Catholic
portion of the community was widely scattered, and the number of priests
Bishop Timon had at this time pastoral charge of the diocese of Buffalo,
which included then, as now, Cattaraugus County. He was anxious that
the followers of St. Francis should labor here, and he wished that the
order should be established in his diocese. But there were difficulties
almost insurmountable in the way, and his desire might have remained unrealized
but for the support generously offered him by Mr. Nicholas Devereux.
That gentleman entered with zeal into the designs of the bishop, promising
to donate 200 acres of land, and a sufficient sum of money, should the
Franciscan missionaries establish a branch of their order in the Allegany
Valley. The bishop gladly accepted the offer, and in company with
Mr. Devereux proceeded at once to Rome. He waited upon the General
of the Franciscans, represented to him the object of his visit, and urgently
requested that he would accede to his wish, in sending some of his missionary
brethren hither. The General consented, stipulating, however, that
the Franciscans should be received as Missionary Fathers; that the right
of establishing the order of Friars Minors in the diocese of Buffalo should
be granted them; and that they should be supplied with a house and church
in Allegany. The bishop willingly complied with those conditions,
and in the year 1855 three Franciscan Fathers, accompanied by one lay brother,
arrived at Ellicottville, where they were received and hospitably entertained
by the Devereux family. Their advent into the diocese of Buffalo
was joyfully hailed by Bishop Timon.
For three years they remained at Ellicottville, and at the end of that
period they moved to Allegany, the site of their present imposing institution,
and for several years attended the various missions extending from Cattaraugus
Mr. Devereux, whose generosity had been instrumental in bringing them here,
died ere his promise was formally ratified; but the members of his family,
in compliance with the expressed purpose of the deceased, made a formal
bequest of the property into the hands of the Franciscans, legally securing
it to the order. Subsequently, when their duties as missionaries
became less pressing, owing to the increase of secular clergy, they laid
the foundation of a college, which, under their management, has increased
year by year, till, to-day, St. Bonaventure’s College, Allegany, ranks
high among the educational institutions in the land.
N.A. DYE (Nathan)
His father, Dennis Dye, was born in the town of Litchfield, Herkimer Co.,
N.Y., March 15,1805, and resided there until about 1830, when he removed
to the western part of the State. He has resided most of the time
in Cattaraugus County, and since April, 1852, in Allegany. Up to
the time of his death, Feb. 23, 1872, he was engaged as a farmer.
His mother’s maiden name was Minerva Merrill; she was born in Johnstown,
Montgomery Co., N.Y., Sept. 27, 1808, and now resides in the town of Allegany,
N.A. Dye was born in the town of Litchfield, Herkimer Co., N.Y., Aug. 22,
1829, and was educated in the common schools. He removed to the town
of Allegany from Freedom, N.Y., March 7, 1852, and to the village of Allegany
Sept. 1, 1853, and engaged in the grocery and provision trade, in which
he has continued to the present time, having taken his two sons, Charles
O. and Mason M., into co-partnership with himself May 1, 1874.
Mr. Dye has served in the following offices: as assessor, elected Feb.
26, 1861, and re-elected Feb. 23, 1864; as town clerk, elected Feb. 28,
1865; as justice of the peace, elected Feb. 26, 1867, re-elected Feb. 25,
1868; as assessor, elected Feb. 22, 1870; justice of the sessions of Cattaraugus
County, Nov. 7, 1871; and as justice of the peace, Feb. 26, 1877.
Politically he is a Democrat.
He was married Jan. 26, 1851, at Yorkshire Centre, N.Y., by Charles T.
Lowden, Esq. His wife, Rosaline Moore, was born in Royalton, Genesee
Co., N.Y., Jan. 3, 1827. Her father, Oliver Moore, was born in Vermont,
April 6, 1804; was a farmer and one of the early settlers of Freedom, in
this county, where he resided forty years upon the farm which he cleared
up. He removed to Allegany in April, 1869, and died March 2, 1877.
Mrs. Dye’s mother, Judith Pixley, was born in Vermont, Jan. 12, 1796.
She resided in Allegany.
The family of Mr. And Mrs. Dye are as follows: Charles O., born May 18,
1852; Mason M., born May 6, 1854; Jennie R., born Sept. 23, 1858; Edwyna
M., born July 11, 1860; William H., born Nov. 19,1862; Nellie B., born
Sept. 3, 1868; Nathan E., born Oct. 14, 1870. Charles O. was married
to Mary D. Nessel, of Allegany, Jan. 8, 1876. Nathan
E. died Sept. 14, 1871
Nathan Dye & Rosaline (Moore Dye)
JAMES HENRY FARQUHARSON,
youngest son of Francis and Margaret A. Farquharson, who were
married Oct. 4,1827, at Buel, Montgomery Co., N.Y., removing to East Pike
(then Allegany), now Wyoming Co., N.Y., about the year 1829, where they
had born to them four children, named, respectively, Sarah C., William
M., James Henry, and Mary A., all of whom are still living, except Mary
A., who died at the residence of her brother James, in Allegany, Cattaraugus
Co., Aug. 27, 1866, and was buried at East Pike, Wyoming Co. Sarah
C. was married, July 26, 1855, to Stephen A. Howard, and is still residing
on the old homestead at East Pike; William M. was married Feb. 22, 1866,
to Miss Virginia Desuey, and now lives at Salamanca, Cattaraugus Co.
Francis Farquharson was born Nov. 10, 1799, and was by profession a clothier
and cloth-dresser, and for some time previous to his marriage to Margaret
A. Van Deusen, Oct. 4, 1827, worked in the manufacturing establishment
of his father-in-law, Michael Van Deusen, in the town of Buel, Montgomery
Co., N.Y., and also did business on his own account near Toronto, Canada.
His principal characteristics were an indomitable will, an unfaltering
faith, coupled with very clear conceptions of the developments of the future,
which characteristics led him to locate on a farm between Janesville and
Beloit, in the State of Wisconsin, about the year 1845, upon which he spent
the accumulations of his past years of toil; but being unable to complete
payment, lost farm and payments, which circumstance left him a poor man
the remainder of his life, which terminated Dec. 21, 1858, at the home
of his childhood, in the town of Cherry Valley, Otsego Co., N.Y.
Margaret A. Van Deusen, eldest daughter of Michael and Christiana Van Deusen,
was born Sept. 26, 1808, at Buel, Montgomery Co., N.Y., where she spent
the early part of her life, and was married to Francis Farquharson, Oct.
4, 1827, when she with him removed to East Pike, and became sharer with
him in the fortunes of life. She was remarried to David C. Winnie,
of Cherry Valley, Otsego Co., Jan. 4, 1869, at the residence of her son
James, in Allegany, and now resides with her husband, at his residence
in Cherry Valley, N.Y. Her characteristics are untiring energy, frugality,
perseverance, kindness to the oppressed and needy, ever ready to render
relief to the sick, thereby adorning the profession of Christianity which
she has long made practical in the rearing of her family, all of whom revere
her name and love to call her mother.
Henry Farquharson, the subject of this biography, was born at East Pike,
Wyoming Co., N.Y., March 23, 1837, where he spent his youth without note,
attending to the ordinary duties of boys on the farm, and working a portion
of the time at various kinds of machine work in a carding-mill, a saw-,
lath-, and shingle-mill, and for a portion of his time worked at the butchering
business, which was being carried on by his father. He attended the
district school, and is indebted to that source for all the advantages
of school obtained, but being of a studious turn availed himself of every
opportunity to acquire information, succeeded in picking up littles which
have fitted him for the active duties of life, in which he has played an
important part. At the age of sixteen he secured a place with Amos
L. Swan, then engaged in the manufacture of melodeons at Cherry Valley,
Otsego Co., N.Y., for learning to telegraph, a business that his advanced
thought had led him to adopt as a groundwork of a useful life. After
spending four weeks at Cherry Valley, the telegraph operator, Mr. William
Stearns, at Fort Plain, on the Central Railroad, requesting him to come
with him, and offering him superior advantages, he went to Fort Plain,
where he completed his education as telegraph operator, embracing only
seven weeks in all spent in learning. A situation not presenting
itself at this time, he returned to his home at East Pike, Wyoming Co.,
where he spent the winter at school, and obtained a situation as telegraph
operator, April 4, 1854, under L.G. Tillotson, as superintendent of the
New York and Erie Railroad telegraph at what is now Pine Grove, on the
Delaware division of the Erie Railway, from whence he went to Belmont,
on the western division, from Belmont to Alfred, Hinsdale, Cube, and Olean,
within the year 1854, making Olean his principal office. He was used
as supernumerary at Cattaraugus and other points, going to Hornellsville
in the fall of 1855, and worked there through the winter of 1855-56, receiving
the appointment of agent at Allegany Station, May1, 1856. Was married,
Aug.19, 1856, to Marion J. Hale, of Hinsdale, N.Y. This marriage
has been blessed with six children, - five sons and one daughter, - named
respectively, Francis Hale, born Sept. 19,1857; Fred Henry, born July 30,
1859; William Lincoln, born Aug. 29, 1861; Millie Josephine, born Aug.
14, 1866; Charles Byron, born March 15, 1869; and Van Deusen, born Feb.
2, 1872, all of whom have been spared to bless the hearts of their parents
and adorn the social circle and home fireside, James Henry Farquharson
was drafted July 1, 1864, and discharged July 8, 1864, by reason of having
furnished a substitute (in the person of the notorious Jumping Bob Way)
who was not liable to draft, for which he paid the sum of seven hundred
dollars. He engaged in the grocery business in company with William
Spraker, Jr., under the firm-name of William Spraker, Jr., & Co., Dec.
25, 1865, continuing the business until the fall of 1874, with favorable
In the fall of 1870, he, long realizing the need of a grist-mill for the
more complete accommodation of the town, resolved to supply the much-needed
convenience, and accordingly set about providing himself with mill machinery,
engine, boilers, etc., and after forming a copartnership with Mr. Hiram
Wheaton, under the firm-name of H. Wheaton & Co., commenced to build
what is now known as the Allegany Steam Mills, on the 1st day of April,
1861. They combine the manufacture of lumber with that of milling,
thus adding greatly to the convenience and enterprise of the place, furnishing
as they do employment to many who would otherwise be quite unemployed.
He bought the interest of Mr. Wheaton, July 25, 1874, since which time
he has managed the property himself; and to the able manner in which he
has succeeded in the management of this property, the masterly determination
manifested in the establishing the same, he has well earned the reputation
which he receives, that of being a man of no ordinary executive ability,
added to which are the characteristics of a true man and Christian, just
in all his dealings; a true friend to the poor and oppressed, with a heart
that overflows for the good of his fellow-man, carrying ever with him the
evidences of a life that is free from guile. He united with the Presbyterian
Church in February, 1876, and is regarded a faithful member of that society,
carrying his religion into all his business transactions, thereby showing
to the world that he practices what he professes. In politics he
has ever been active, but never an aspirant for office, serving faithfully
in the Republican party (as many of the former office-holders can attest)
until the fall of 1876, when he renounced the party, claiming their past,
present, and future action as tending to oppress the producers of wealth,
and allied himself with the little band of so-called Greenback men, determined
to lend his influence to the establishing of justice to all men under the
laws. He was nominated by the Greenback party and elected as supervisor
of his town in February, 1878, by thirty-three majority, with a Democratic
majority of one hundred to one hundred and fifty against him. He
was also the unanimous choice of the Greenback convention held at Salamanca,
September, 1878, for member of Assembly for the First District of Cattaraugus
County, and was only defeated for that office by W.F. Wheeler, the Republican
candidate, by two hundred and fifty-seven majority, with a Republican majority
of about five hundred in the district, receiving in his own town a majority
of four hundred and forty-three out of a total vote of five hundred and
forty-eight. As an employee of the New York, Lake Erie and Western
Railroad Company (the present name for the old chartered New York and Erie
Railroad), which service now extends to nearly twenty-three years, he has
been most faithful, having served under about ten different managements,
and three different names for the same road. He established at Allegany
Station many of the conveniences of a modern station, such as the telegraph-office,
the express-office, etc. He rightfully enjoys the esteem and confidence
of not only the officers of the several companies whom he represents, but
also of the community in which he lives. In habits temperate, with
a happy, jovial turn, loving a good joke or story, and enjoying the faculty
of making all happy about him.
J.H. Farquharson is a member in good standing of Olean Lodge, No. 252,
F. and A.M., and also a member of Olean Chapter, No. 150, also a demitted
member of Dunkirk Council.
Mr. and Mrs. James Henry Farquharson of Allegany
Residence of the James Henry Farquharson family
James Henry Farquharson Mill (with the Erie Depot), Allegany,
Harmon Avenue, Allegany NY
MARION JOSEPHINE HALE was the eldest daughter of Daniel and Emily Hale,
who were married at Camden, Oneida Co., N.Y., Dec. 17, 1839. Their
marriage was blessed by seven children, - five daughters and two sons,
- named respectively, Marion Josephine, born Jan. 19, 1841; Polly Elizabeth,
Feb. 19, 1843; Lucy Amelia, April 17, 1846; Emily Frances, June8, 1850;
Sarah Delphine, March 6, 1853; Thomas Henry Fremont, Oct. 29, 1856; and
Daniel Trumbull, Dec. 20, 1858.
Daniel Hale was born Sept. 14, 1814, at Bennington, Vt., his parents removing
to Florence, Oneida Co., N.Y., when he was about twelve years old.
He married Emily Chidsey, Dec. 17, 1839, at Camden, Oneida Co., N.Y.
Emily Chidsey was born in Cazenovia, Madison Co., N.Y., her parents removing
to Camden, in the same State, where she married Daniel Hale, Dec. 17, 1839.
Mr. Hale being by profession a blacksmith and machinist, removed to Sacket’s
Harbor, at which place Marion Josephine and Polly Elizabeth were born;
thence they moved to Florence, Oneida Co., where Lucy Amelia was born;
thence they moved on the line of the New York and Erie Railroad, living
a short time at Owego, Barton, Elmira, and Watkins, and finally fixed a
residence at Hillsdale, Cattaraugus Co., where the balance of their children
were born. They removed to Olean in the year 1861, Mr. Hale having
charge of the repair-shops of the New York and Erie Railroad Co., which
position he now holds. Polly Elizabeth was married to Thomas A. Heller,
Oct. 22, 1867, and now resides at Salamanca; Lucy Amelia married William
Miller Ingstrum, Oct. 22, 1867, and is now living at Salamanca; Emma Frances
married Jonah Davis Palmer, Nov. 13, 1871, and is also living at Salamanca;
Sarah Delphine married Orlando W. Barker, Oct. 15, 1872, and is now living
at Hornellsville, Steuben Co., N.Y. The sons, Thomas Henry and Daniel
Trumbull, are still unmarried and living with their parents at Olean, N.Y.
Marion Josephine, the subject of this biography, was born Jan. 19, 1841,
at Sacket’s Harbor, Jefferson Co., N.Y., removing with her parents to Florence,
Oneida Co., Owego and Barton, Tioga Co.,; Elmira, Chemung Co.; Watkins,
in Schuyler County; and Hillsdale, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., where she obtained
her education at the district school and at select schools taught by Miss
Mary Phipps and Miss Sarah Eddy.
She was married to James Henry Farquharson, Aug. 19, 1856, and took up
her residence with her husband at Allegany at once, where she has since
lived and shred with him in all the pleasures and vicissitudes of life,
contributing largely by her happy disposition to smooth the rough paths
of the active business life of her husband; and her name and presence finds
a hearty welcome in the homes of all, especially those of the poor and
needy, and in sickness she is ever present to contribute to the relief
of the suffering. Her home has ever been a favorite resort for old
and young in joy or in sorrow, each finding in her a fit companion.
In her family no more fitting tribute can be paid her, nor one receiving
a more hearty indorsement by husband and children, than that “she has ever
been a kind and affectionate wife and mother.”
Freeland, father of James Freeland, was born in the north of Ireland about
the year 1773. Came to this country and settled in Tompkins Co.,
N.Y., about 1798. He was a farmer and mechanic. He was married
to Catharine Robinson, in the same county, about the year 1800.
James Freeland was born in Caroline, Tompkins Co., May 11, 1810.
Lived on the farm with his father, attending the district school at home,
until nineteen years of age, when he began the world for himself.
On May 23, 1833, he married Lucinda Norwood, of Caroline, daughter of Jonathan
In 1836 he removed to Cattaraugus County, with his family, consisting of
his wife and two children, where he began anew in the woods and among strangers
clearing a new farm.
In 1838 he was elected commissioner of highways, and from that time to
the present he has held the same and other offices of trust, namely: justice
of the peace, assessor, postmaster, and supervisor, all of which he filled
to the satisfaction of his constituents and with credit to himself. Both
in and out of office he has retained the full confidence of his fellow-citizens.
In 1876 he was nominated for Congress by the Democratic party, of which
he has been and still is an active member. Has always been an earnest
and efficient laborer in whatever he undertook.
All the acts of his life have been marked with perseverance and integrity.
Indeed, whether in office, in clearing land, building log houses, making
roads, erecting bridges, or as a pilot on a river raft, he has always been
regarded a success. He is , at the age of sixty-eight, enjoying the
fruits of a well-spent life.
His family consists of his wife, three sons, and two daughters.
Dolphus S. married Fannie E. Norwood, in October, 1868. Is now living
in Iowa. Farmer.
Jonathan B. married Mariette Hardy, Nov. 2, 1859. Free-Methodist
minister; at present pastor of the church of the same denomination in Binghamton,
James A. married Lottie E. Soule, Nov. 27, 1870. Resides in Allegany.
Ruvina E. married Randolph Worthington, Oct. 30, 1873. Farmer.
Lives in Allegany.
Mabel L. married Rev. Hermon H. Loomis. Now located at Smithton,
Mr. F. has always taken a lively interest in all public enterprises, and
contributed liberally to the advancement of the different churches and
all other matters of public interest.
James Freeland and Lucinda (Norwood) Freeland of Allegany
James Freeland residence of Allegany
ERASTUS WILLARD, ESQ.
Willard, the father of Erastus, was born in Rutland, Vt., in 1784.
His mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Reynolds, was born in Fort
Edward, N.Y., in 1788. Erastus Willard was born at the town of Lisle,
Chenango Co., N.Y., on the 23d day of March, 1823, while his parents were
moving from Fort Edward to Cattaraugus County. His parents reached
the town of Franklinville, where they settled the latter part of same year,
where Erastus spent his boyhood days up to the age of ten, when his father
purchased a wild tract of land three miles south of the village of Franklinville,
on the Ischua. His brothers, Perry and Orville, still reside on the
same premises; the tract now contains about six hundred acres, more than
half of which has been added to the original by the brothers above named.
It was here that he spent the remainder of his boyhood days up to the age
of twenty, - fall of 1843, - attending district school until eighteen,
then the higher schools in Franklinville, boarding with his parents and
going on foot six miles to and from the school.
the fall of 1843, clad in home-made sheep’s gray, with one extra shirt,
two pair of socks tied up in a bandana, and fifty cents in cash, he left
his parental home (to which he never returned, except on short visits)
for the town of Burton, now Allegany, where he engaged in teaching school
until March, 1844, at twelve dollars per month. Many of the now good
and wealthy citizens and farmers of the Five-Mile Valley, Allegany, were
then his scholars. In the spring of 1844, Mr. Willard took charge
of a large quantity of lumber, and went with it to Southern markets, where
he became acquainted with the late Judge Benjamin Chamberlain.
to Allegany late in December, 1844, Mr. Willard purchased a small stock
of goods, which he exchanged for boards and shingles, after disposing of
which he went on foot to Rochester, and from thence by rail and boat to
New York City, where he met Judge Chamberlain, who introduced him to the
New York merchants. This was the real commencement of his long mercantile
life, in which business he is still engaged.
Willard was married, April 26, 1848, to Miss Harriet A. Huntley, who was
born in Cuba, N.Y., Dec. 25, 1828. Her father, Henry Huntley, was
born in Herkimer, N.Y., in 1804. Her grandfather, the late Abner
Huntley, was born in Charlestown, near Bunker Hill, Mass., in 1767, and
died a Scio, Allegany Co., N.Y., in 1877, at the extraordinary age of one
hundred and ten years.
He was familiar with very many of the incidents and the hardships of
the Revolution. In 1875, while visiting at Mr. Willard’s, he related
to him that he had never used as much as one pint of spirituous liquors
in his life, remarking, “I am one hundred and eight years old, and am breaking
a three years’ old colt to ride.” He voted for General Washington,
second term, and at every presidential election since, up to and including
General Grant’s last term. He left his native State and settled in
Cuba in 1824. He was for many years a member of a Christian Church.
We have not space to recount but a few of the interesting incidents of
the life of this remarkable man.
Willard’s family embraced three children, of whom but one now survives.
Charles Willard was born in Allegany, N.Y., March 11, 1849, and died the
10th day of November, 1865, of typhoid fever contracted while a student
at the Alfred Academy. He was a noble young man, affable and courteous,
and respected by all who knew him. It is said death loves a shining
Willard, second child and son, was born in Allegany, July 28, 1870.
Hattie, third child and only daughter, was born in Allegany, Aug. 5,
1872, and died September 7, same year.
Smith, a member of Mr. Willard’s family for the past twenty years, was
born in Germany, Oct. 21, 1841, emigrating to the United States in 1851,
landing in New York City on the 26th of December, from whence he went to
Buffalo, N.Y., where he remained until 1856, when with his parents he came
to and settled in Allegany, N.Y., and soon engaged as a clerk in Mr. Willard’s
store. By strict attention to business and rigid integrity he soon
became master of the situation, and in 1868 became equal partner with Mr.
Willard in the mercantile business, which position he still retains.
Mr. Smith owes his success to three very important traits of character,
viz., integrity, perseverance, and economy. Mr. Smith’s brother,
George, gave his services to his country, and fell, fatally wounded, in
the battle of Gettysburg. John S. Smith, another brother, is employed
as clerk in the store of Willard & Smith. Both Frederick and
John are unmarried. Their mother survives their father, and is still
living at the old homestead in Allegany, a lady of great moral worth.
Willard has represented his town on the Board of Supervisors for five terms;
was first elected in 1847. Was supervisor three years during the
late war, and aided in
Promptly filling the quotas of his town; he was not drafted, but felt
it his duty to put a substitute into the service, paying him three hundred
Willard was elected magistrate in 1844, which position he has since continuously
held, except a part of one year. He remembers twenty-five years ago
the Hon. Marshall B. Champlin, of Cuba, late attorney-general, and the
late lamented Senator White, of Olean, were opposing counsel before him
on several occasions. From these gentlemen Mr. Willard learned very
many useful lessons. In 1877 he was the cadidate of the Democratic
party for member of Assembly, polling a large vote, but not sufficient
to overcome the plurality vote of the opposition.Uniting with the Methodist
Episcopal Church in 1865, he has stood firmly by it amid some very sever
trials. Mr. And Mrs. Willard are still members of the Methodist Church
in Divine Providence, Mr. Willard has been actuated by the faith that God
helps those who help themselves in all the legitimate industries of life,
as it will easily be seen that he owes his success to personal exertion.
Coming to Allegany thirty-six years since, he found there one blacksmith-shop,
one hotel, and a very few small dwellings where the village is now situated.
At the election in the spring of 1844 sixty-one votes were polled; now
(1879) Allegany has over six hundred voters.
Mr. Willard’s father died about the time Erastus commenced business,
thus leaving him without parental advice, experience, or financial aid.
About twenty-five years since, Mr. Willard, with Geo. C. Sheldon, James
G. Johnson, Geo. Van Campen, A.V. Smith, Geo. Bascom, Jas. Freeland, H.W.
McClure, and Henry Chamberlain, aided largely in erecting and paying for
the present Presbyterian and Methodist church edifices, and afterwards
aided to build the Lutheran and Catholic places of worship. All of
the earlier improvements of Allegany owe their existence to the earnest
labor and material aid furnished by the pioneers above named. How
little many of those now enjoying these improvements realize the sacrifice
required twenty-five years ago to build them !
Mr. Willard knows what hardship means; he remembers 1837, when flour
was twenty-five dollars per barrel, the country around Franklinville new,
the crops destroyed by the late frosts; when the winters were long and
severe, and poor families suffered immensely. Very many of the earlier
settlers testify to timely aid from him. One peculiar trait of his
character is never to retaliate evil for evil, but cull the good from the
past and present, harboring ill-will towards none. It is said during
an active business life of thirty-six years he has not collected a single
debt by forced sale of a debtor’s property.
Messrs. Willard & Smith have one of the largest and best stores
in Western New York, and are actively engaged in the mercantile business
Mr. and Mrs. Erastus Willard and son Clare Willard
Erastus Willard Residence and Store of Allegany