"The History of Cattaraugus County, NY", 
published 1879 by Everts, edited by Franklin Ellis

Chapter: Town of Carrolton, pages 398-407

Transcribed by Claudia Patterson February 2004

CARROLTON, named in honor of one of the original proprietors of this part of the county, is one of the border towns, erected from Great Valley, March 9, 1842, and embraces all of township 1 and the lower half of township 2, in range G, of the Holland Survey, the area being 26,872 acres. The Allegany Reservation extends through the town, and was annexed to it for civil purposes in 1847. It comprises here, as well as in the other towns along the river, the finest lands for farming, and that which was most heavily timbered in the primeval condition. With the exception of the Tuna Valley but little of the land is well adapted for agricultural purposes, the greater portion of the town being elevated and much broken by the spurs and ridges of the Allegany range of mountains, which here extend into New York. The most elevated portion is Ball Hill, in the southeastern part of town, whose height above the valley is reported 800 feet; and other elevations closely approximate this height. North of the Allegany the surface is also much broken, and too elevated to be arable. Between these breakers and along the streams of the town there were originally heavy growths of timber, which rendered lumbering the most profitable employment of the people; and since the forests have been cleared away, the search for petroleum, which is found in paying quantities in town, has become the chief industry. The soil varies from a clay and shallow loam to a gravelly loam, the latter being the composition in the Tuna Valley, which is very fertile. The Allegany River crosses the northern part of the town and is the principal stream. Its principal tributaries are on the south side, and are Chipmunk or Trout Creek and the Tunegawant, or as it is now most generally called, the Tuna Creek. The latter name is deemed the more appropriate, and will be hereafter employed in this sketch of the town's history. The stream rises in Pennsylvania, and flows in a "very tortuous manner, nearly through the centre of the town, north to the Allegany. It has low banks and does not afford good water-power, there being but one good mill-site on its course in town. Along the Tuna the chief oil developments have taken place, and its banks are no\v lined with derri9ks and machinery to reach the hidden wealth. Nichols' Run is the chief affluent of Tuna Creek from the east, and Limestone Creek from the west.


of the town were led hither by the lumber interests, and came and went as their business required. . They did not come to open farms or yet to build mills, but simply to cut down the finest trees for saw-logs, which were floated away to be manufactured. To this class belonged Chas. Foster, Horace Howe, and Marcus Leonard; who came in 1814, and lived temporarily on lots 28 and 29. Others in the

same business followed, but no account of them has been preserved except their names, among them being John and William Moore, Elias Stone, the Morrison’s, and a few others. 

Aaron Kellogg claims to have made the first permanent settlement in the Tuna Valley. He came from Madison County, N. Y., in 1822, to McKean County, Pa., and in 1828 moved down the valley to his present place on lot 41,where he has resided ever since, being now the oldest resident in town. Soon after, Jonathan Fuller made a small improvement at the mouth of Limestone Creek, but did not remain long here, moving farther up the creek to what afterwards became known as the Moore lot.

In 1831, Samuel Webber, a native of Maine, moved his family as far west as Angelica, in Allegany County, then came to the Tuna Valley, buying land on lot 41, just north of Kellogg, and then made the first substantial improvements in town his family coming as soon as he had provided a home. This was first a rude shanty, but the following year was replaced by the first frame house in town. Webber removed in 1841, but a daughter married Aaron Kellogg, in 1831, and in their family was born, in 1832, the first child in town, a son, who was named Franklin Agustus. Mrs. Kellogg is now the oldest female resident in Carrolton, having lived here more than forty-seven years.

Levi Leonard came about the same time as Webber, and settled on the Reservation, below the mouth of Tuna Creek, where he had a ferry across the Allegany about twenty years. He also kept a public-house at that place, which was the first regular tavern in town, although it is said Elias Stone had a place here as early as 1829, at which travelers were entertained. Leonard then moved to a farm a mile below Limestone, where Edward Houck had previously settled, and still lives there.

In February 1831, John O. Beardsley came, with his family of a wife, four sons, and three daughters, from Chautauqua County to lot 17, on the Pennsylvania line. The journey was very difficult, and had to be made by sleds over rough paths, barely wide enough to admit their passage. The names of the sons were James, John 0., Hiram, and William. Some of these became prominently identified with the interests of the town, and are to day among its leading citizens.

Peter Zeliff made a settlement on the east side of Tuna Creek, about the same period as the foregoing. The original farm is now occupied by C. Willis, but a son, James Zeliff, yet lives in the village of Limestone. In this neighborhood Seth Wixon was an early settler, having a number of sons, among them being Barney, William, Wilson, and. Reuben; and further south were Charles McCune and his son, Wilson W., as pioneer settlers.

Calvin Leonard settled at an early day on lot 26, where two of his sons now reside. At a later period Ira Rice settled the place occupied at present by Harper Andrews; he was an innkeeper and a wan of some prominence in those days.

In 1844, Chase Fuller came from Erie County, and bought the whole of lot 25, where the village of Limestone now is, on which he resided until 1856, when he removed, but is at present again a citizen of the town. He had sons, named Philetus M. Lafayette T., and Manley C., none of whom remained in town.

A number of others had come to Carrolton as permanent citizens before this period, but the paucity of the settlements at that time and later years is shown from this list of

LAND-HOLDERS IN 1849, most living on the lots described:
William Beardsley
Hiram Beardsley
J. O. Beardsely
Chase Fuller
Manley C. Fuller
Lafayette T. Fuller
Philetus M. Fuller
Sidney Fuller
Lester Granger
Abner O. Hunt
Ellis Hazzard
Talcott Howard
Guy C. Irvine
Giles Kellogg
Aaron Kellogg
Levi Leonard
Francis Moore
Joseph McCoy
Ira Rice
Orange Spaddord
Nathan S.Sears
John N. Wixon
Barnebus Wixon
Daniel Warner
Sylvanus Walker
William S. Wixon
Delos Whittaker
George Zeliff
Peter Zeliff
William Grimes
Alfred Martin
Ira Washburne

In 1860 the entire population of the town was only 779; in 1875 it was 1218; and it is now, 1878, more than 2000. In 1849, the valuation of the town was $35,041; in 1878, it was $613,072.


The first town-meeting was held in May, 1842, when the officers elected were: Supervisor, Ferdinand D. Perkins; Town Clerk, John Palmer; Justices, Ira Rice, George W. Farr j Assessors, Aaron Kellogg, W m. L. Wixon, Ira Rice; Commissioners of Highways, George W. Farr, Peter Zeliff, Levi Leonard; Commissioners of Common Schools, John Palmer, Wm. L. Wixon, E. E. Perkins; Inspectors of Common Schools, John Palmer, Wm. L. Wixon, Isaac Wright; Collector, Lafayette Rose; Constables, Dearborn F. Fellows, Lorin E. Lewis; Poormasters, Levi Leonard, George W. Farr; Sealer of Weights, Isaac Wright.

From this period unti11846 the records of the town are missing. In 1846, Chase Fuller was elected Supervisor; James Fuller, Clerk; and Enos Parsons and Wm. Grimes, Justices.

Since 1846 the principal town officials have been
Supervisors Town Clerks
1847 Charles Fuller Daniel Warner
1848 Ira Rice Enos Parsons
1849 Chase Fuller James Fuller
1850 Abner O. Hunt Nathan L. Sears
1851 Chase Fuller Manley C. Fuller
1852 " "
1853 " A. O. Hunt
1854 Abner O. Hunt Edwin A. Jones
1855 Chase Fuller "
1856 William Beardsley Samuel W. Fish
1857 " Wm. E. Zeliff
1858 James Nichols John L. Baxter
1859 " "
1860 " "
1861 " "
1862 " "
1863 James Nichols Milton Westbrook
1864 Daniel Smith Giles M. Kellogg
1865 James Nichols Shep. S. Vibbard
1866 " "
1867 Felix Bailer Giles M. Kellogg
1868 Nelson Parker Edwin M. Bell
1869 " Shep. S. Vibbard
1870 Job Moses "
1871 " "
1872 " "
1873 Harper G. Andrews "
1874 Shep. S. Vibbard George Paton
1875 Harper G. Andrews "
1876 James Nichols "
1877 " E. M. Bell
1878 J. H. Beardsley George Paton

Wm. Beardsley
V. I. Love
Lafayette Rose
Isaac Freeland
Wm. Grimes
Isaac W. Hall
James Fuller
Chase Fuller
Daniel Warner
Abner O. Hunt
Eliphalet Roselle
Ira Rice
Daniel Warner
Chase Fuller
Monroe Hayford
Wm. Beardsley
Ira Rice
Daniel Warner
Manley C. Fuller
Michael Wheeler
J. Baillett
J. A. Hazzard
Wm. Grimes
Michael Wherby
M. J. Titus
Patrick McMahon
Manley C. Fuller
Ira Rice
James Zeliff
John L. Baxter
Reuben Du Boise
Marshall Fuller
Ira Rice
Shep. S. Vibbard
Isaac Adams
Job Moses
Charles Kellogg
Milton Westbrook
R. E. Fuller
A. B. Hunt
A. V. Hill
James Zeliff
Shep. S. Vibbard
R. E. Fuller
Wm. J. Clark
Walter J. Wright
John F. Bassett
Giles M. Kellogg
Shep. S. Vibbard
Clark Frank
Levi H. Stephens
G. O. Cutler
Clark Frank
R. E. Fuller
E. C. Topliff


A special meeting was held at the house of Ira Rice, May 19, 1846, for the purpose of ascertaining the minds of the people on the propriety of licensing the sale of spirituous liquors. 'Whole number of votes cast; 9, in favor of retailing liquor, 6.

Among other action called forth by the late rebellion was a special meeting, Dec. 28, 1863, when Daniel Smith presided and James Nichols acted as secretary. Calvin Leonard, Will E. Zeliff, Sherman Jacobs, M. D. Harris, and M. C. Fuller were appointed a committee to draft; resolutions, the import of which was that each volunteer or drafted man should receive a bounty of $300 from the town. The subsequent quotas were filled in the usual manner.

In 1878 the receipts of the town for the support of the poor were $611.08.


In 1846 the town was divided into the road districts, having Wm. Grimes, P. III. Fuller, and Ira Rice as overseers. . The number of districts was increased as the county settled up, but owing to the peculiar nature of the territory, the mileage of roads was never so great as in other towns of the county having the same or no greater area. A favorite means of communication, in early times, was by boats or scows on the Tuna Creek and the Allegany River. Nearly every family in the Tuna Valley, where were the principal settlements, had one or the other of these crafts, and most generally employed them in bringing in provisions and taking out such products as the country then afforded.

A ferry, owned by Levi Leonard, was first employed to cross the Allegany, at the mouth of Tuna Creek, but on the 14th of July 1849, measures were taken to erect a bridge across the stream at some convenient point. A tax of $1500 was voted, and Daniel Warner, Wm. Beardsley, and Isaac Freeland were appointed a committee to solicit additional aid from the people of Pennsylvania to help erect this structure, which was put up near the mouth of Chipmunk Creek. June 27, 1868, a new bridge across the Allegany was authorized by a special meeting. This was erected farther down the river, below the mouth of Tuna Creek, and the old site was abandoned.

In 1878 the commissioner reported that $1494.92 bad been expended on the public roads, placing them, considering the nature of the country, in a very fair condition. There are highways on either side of Tuna Creek and along its principal effluents, and a road on the Reservation, on the north side of the Allegany.

Parallel with this road runs the Erie Railroad. It consists of the main line and side-tracks and switches at Vandalia and Carrolton Junction. The length of the former is 5 3/10 miles, of the latter about 2 miles. A good station is maintained at Carrolton Junction. In 1876 the assessed value of the road in this town was $75,000.

The Bradford branch of the Erie Railroad extends from Carrolton Junction southward, on the east side of Tuna Creek. It was begun as the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad, and was afterwards known as the Buffalo, Bradford and Pittsburgh Railroad. It was intended primarily as an outlet for the coal in Northern Pennsylvania, and was located and graded to some extent before 1860, but was not completed until after that period; and after the track was laid some time elapsed before rolling-stock was supplied. It is said that various expedients were resorted to by the people along the line to transport freight. Among other means' employed was a fiat car on which was placed a stationary engine, from which power was communicated to the car by means of a leather belt. A Mr. Newell, of Bradford, is credited with having been the proprietor of this novel vehicle. The main line of the road in town is 7 21/50 miles, and the switches and side-tracks about the miles longer. Besides the junction building at Carrolton, there is a station at Limestone and a stopping-place at Irvine's Mills. The road does a large passenger and shipping business, and in 1876 was assessed at $80,000 in Carrolton.


The application of machinery for manufacturing in town was first made in 1828, by Stephen and Jesse Morrison, who put up a sawmill on Tuna Creek, where Irvine's Mills now are. After this had gone down, a mill was put up on the opposite side of the stream, about 1840, by F. E. Perkins and others. In 1857, B. F. Irvine and Nelson Parker put up the present mills, which have since been improved. The firm engaged extensively in lumbering, some years cutting 4,000,000 feet of lumber and making 2,000,000 shingles per year, which were formed into rafts and floated down the Tuna to the Allegany, and so on to market. In addition to the power from the Tuna steam is employed, thus keeping engaged continually a large force of men. Parker was killed by the cars at Carrolton in 1874, and Irvine died in September 1878. The lumber business is now here carried on by the Irvine Bros.

Near these mills M. Babcock & Son erected a handle-factory in 1874, having a capacity of 15,000 handles per day, which were shipped principally to European markets. At present the factory is idle.

Twenty or thirty years ago A. O. Hunt put up a small sawmill on lot 41; to which a run of stone was added for grinding purposes. A sawmill was operated at Limestone, on the Tuna, by Chase Fuller, and a steam sawmill, at the same point, by Fish & Baxter, and above the village, on the Tuna, J. O. Beardsley had a sawmill. But all these have long ago been discontinued.

In 1856, J. Nichols & Co. built a steam sawmill on lot 2, on Nichols' Run, whose capacity was 8000 feet per day. In 1872 the mill was removed to Limestone village, where it is yet operated by Nichols, and now combines saw-, shingle-, and planing-mills. The motive power is furnished by a. 30 horse-power engine.

In 1865, Wm. Grimes put up a steam sawmill in town 2, west of Vandalia, which was destroyed by fire in 1872, and rebuilt by Grimes. It is yet operated by his family, and a sawmill on the Reservation is carried on by J. L. Soule.

At Vandalia a planing-mill was put up in 1871, which was burned in 1873, and was rebuilt by Boy, Stone & Co., and is at present operated under the management of George O. Cretline. It contains excellent machinery, and is capacitated to prepare 15,000 feet of lumber per day. Seven men are employed.


were established by a company which became a corporate body Feb. 16, 1874. The capital stock was fixed at $20,000, in 800 shares. The first directors were Roy Stone, Cushman Bishop, and Edward D. Loveridge.

The object of the company was to extract tannin from hemlock and other barks, and vend the same. An establishment, having a capacity of 15 barrels per day, was erected under the direction of the company, and operated two years, when a suspension followed. When fully worked, 13 men were employed. At present it is operated at less than its full capacity, by S. E. Bishop, for the proprietors, Adams & Shaler.


The business of tanning was begun at this point about 1858, by Dodge & Smith, who purchased Chase Fuller's interest in this real estate, and put up buildings of much smaller capacity than those at present employed. In 1863 A. E. & G. W. Palen became the proprietors, and soon enlarged the works,-introducing new machinery, and conducted the business on a large scale. The panic of 1873 affected the firm, and in November of that year work was suspended. Nothing was done until 1875, when F. H.

Perry &; Co. purchased the property, and began operating the tannery in its old condition, continuing until the spring of 1877, when the tannery was enlarged by them, and now embraces the following buildings: the tan-yard, 126 by 308 feet, containing 480 fall-sized vats, whose capacity is 500 sides per day; 2 leach-houses, 38 by 130 feet, containing 28 leaches, each 16 feet in diameter and 8 feet deep, in which 10 cords of hemlock-bark are leached per day; a brick. engine-house, 30 by 60 feet, containing an 80 horsepower engine, 5 Blake pumps, a hose-cart, with 300 feet of 4-inch hose, and work-benches; II very large dry-house, containing a 40 horse-power engine, having 7 lofts, which are reached by means of an elevator driven by steam; a beam-house, containing 30 vats; a freight-house and business-office. The latter is warmed by steam, and every part of the tannery where warmth is required is heated by the same means. Side-tracks lead from the railroad to different parts of the ground and into the principal buildings, and every necessary convenience has been supplied, making this one of the most complete, as well as one of the largest tanneries in the Union. 12,000 cords of hemlock bark are consumed annually in the manufacture of 150,000 sides of sole-leather, which is sold to European buyers through the office of Palen & Co., of New York City.

The tannery gives employment to 70 men, and since January 1876, has been under the management of John Goodsell.


The search for oil in the Tuna Valley began in 1864. That year, James Nichols, Henry Renner, and Daniel Smith leased 1000 acres in. the neighborhood of Limestone, and began sinking a well in May, on the Baillett farm. At a depth of 570 feet oil was struck, but nothing further was realized than a confirmed belief that oil abounded in paying quantities. For some cause the enterprise was abandoned at this stage, but the prosecution of the oil discoveries was continued by "The Hall Farm Petroleum Company." This was composed of New York capitalists, and had among its members Job Moses, who was the leading spirit of the company, and eventually became the sole owner of its interests. A tract of land containing 1250 acres was purchased of Lewis Hall by the company and a well sunk, the-fourths of a mile west of Limestone village, in the fall of 1865. The second sand was reached at a depth of 540 feet, and the third, or oil-bearing sand, at 1060 feet. In this, oil was found, and all the indications favored a good well. It yielded for a part of a day at the rate of 200 barrels, but was lost by an accident before its capacity was fully ascertained. Mr. Moses was so much encouraged that he purchased 9000 acres in addition to the Hall tract, and leased 1000 acres more for oil purposes. In 1867 he put down another well, a short distance west of the first well, and after a depth of 1100 feet had been reached it was tubed; and again an accident prevented the realization of anything from this source. The following year a third well was sunk more than 1000 feet, which produced at first 10 barrels per day, but was soon reduced to 3.

The oil development now dragged slowly, and nothing important was done until 1871, when a fourth well was put down on the Moses tract, on lot 41, in which oil was struck in the second sand, at a depth of 540 feet; but the well was extended to the third sand; and a depth of about 1100 feet. In this, the yield of oil was not large but the quality was good, and the well proved remunerative. Other attempts to strike the" oil belt" were made, but it was generally believed that it did not extend so far north, and in the spring of 1875 the two wells named above were the only producing ones in town, chiefly because, as was afterwards ascertained, the other wells were not sunk deep enough. The work of putting down new wells was now directed to points nearer Bradford, and in December, 1875, Harsh &; Schreiber begun work on a well on Wm. Beardsley's farm, near the State line, and on the west side of the Tuna. About the same time, Wing & Lockwood were engaged in boring a well on the Hiram Beardsley farm, on the east side of the creek. Oil was struck in the second sand, 775 feet from the surface, the yield being about 25 barrels per day. These wells were completed and tubed in February, 1876; and soon after another well was finished on the Muller farm by the" Consolidated Land and Petroleum Company," oil being struck at a depth of 1075 feet.

Inspired by the success which attended these wells, new combinations and companies were formed, leases of new tracts of land were effected and larger leases subdivided, and in a few months a forest of derricks crowned the upper part of the valley in Carrolton, which gradually extended its growth until now it has taken root on the Reservation on the Allegany, six miles from where it received the impulse which caused it to expand. In October 1876, there were in town 35 producing wells and 60 more in course of drilling. At this date (December, 1878) 250 wells have been sunk in town, of which at least 225 produce in paying quantities. The largest producing wells have been the "Eureka," on the Clark farm, in 1877, and the" Irvine Farm Company's," in the fall of 1878, each about 175 barrels per day at first, but gradually decreasing to below 100. The average yield of the wells in this part of the Bradford region is probably less than 10 barrels per day; but as there is sufficient gas in most of them to force the oil to the surface, the expense of maintaining them is not so great, and nearly all the wells are remunerative. And when the expense of putting them down has once been defrayed, many of them afford incomes which will enrich their owners. It may be said, in this connection, that the oil development in Carrolton is attended with no such great excitement as usually prevails in oil regions, but is more of the nature of a legitimate occupation; and many of the improvements caused by the oil interests will remain after the field has been exhausted.

It is a work of no small moment to dispose of the oil after it has once been produced, and various means are employed to transport the crude petroleum to the refiner or consumer. The usual method by railway carriage was found insufficient and unsatisfactory. Accordingly, carriage by means of pipe-lines has been advantageously employed. The oil from the tank of the producer is concentrated at some convenient point, by gravity or otherwise, where a pump-station is erected, either to force it into huge tanks on the spot or miles away. This work is done ill Carrolton by the" United Pipe-Line Company." The first station was established in the full of 1875, at the State line. This is yet maintained, and the company has now at this point the tanks, whose united capacity is 75,000 barrels. In 1877 the pipes were laid to Carrolton Junction, and a station there established. From this the oil is pumped into four tanks here located, or forced to Salamanca. At Irvine's Mills, a station and a 25,000-barrel tank were erected in the fall of 1878. At these points are also loading-racks, by means of which the oil is conveyed from the tanks to oil-trains on the railroads. In October 1878, the company had 15 miles of 2-inch and 17 miles of 4-inch pipe in the town of Carrolton, and were laying more as the demand increased.

Several attempts have a15o been made to refine the erode oil in town. For this purpose the" Producers' Refining Company (Limited)" was organized, in 1875, but did not succeed in its aims, its franchises being transferred to the Pipe-Line. A second refining company was formed in 1877, which also failed to become operative.

A refinery is now (December, 1878) being built on the McCarty farm, a mile from Limestone, by a company of producers, assisted by the businessmen of the village. Its capacity will be 60 barrels per day; and, if the experiment proves successful, other refineries will soon be built by men who are anxiously watching what success shall attend this effort.

In the course of the oil development some important discoveries have been made and interesting curiosities revealed. Veins of salt water have been struck at various depths, some so strongly saline that 7 gallons 'of the water produced 1 gallon of salt of excellent quality. Pieces of petrified wood have been taken from wells 185 feet deep; and in a well now being sunk on the Reservation a piece of charcoaled wood was found at a depth of 200 feet, and 90 feet above the first rock. Salt water was struck at a depth of 900 feet.


At Irvine's Mills is one of the oldest hamlets in town, the lumber interests here having caused quite a settlement. It is now a way-station on the Bradford Railroad, and contains 2 lumber-mills, a handle-factory, and a number of residences. A store was kept here at an early day by Thomas Clements, and afterwards by the owner of the mills. A tavern was also kept here.


is a hamlet on the east line of the town, on the north bank of the Allegany, and consequently within the Reservation. The Erie Railroad has a switch at this place, but it does not regard it as a regular station, and no buildings or platform have been provided. Here are several lumber-mills, hemlock-extract works, several shops, store, tavern, and 130 inhabitants.

One of the first to engage in trade was Shepard Soule. He was followed by John Carr, Gilbert Soule, A. B. Canfield, M. H. Sweeten, and A. C. Bishop, at present in business.

John Carr kept the first public-house; the present is kept by Mrs. L. A. Vanetta.

The Vandalia post-office was established in 1867, having as the first postmaster William Soule. The subsequent appointees have been John Carr, Gilbert Soule, and David Vanetta.


Five miles down the Allegany, owes its existence wholly to being the junction of the railroads, -the Erie and the Bradford branch. Aside from what usually attends such a place it has no interests, there being but a small store and a few dwellings of the nature usually found in villages located on the Reservation; but the travel to the oil regions has brought considerable traffic to the junction, and there are the public-houses, and a large depot building, containing telegraph and express offices, an engine-house, having two stalls. The largest of these is kept by Peter Boyle, who is also the post-master of the office established here a few years ago.

The United Pipe-Lines have a pump-station here, and four iron tanks, whose combined capacity is 60,000 barrels of crude oil. Hundreds of cars are loaded daily from a large loading-rack. There is also an elevated track for the reshipment of coal brought by the Bradford Railroad.


on the east side of the Tuna Creek, two miles from the Pennsylvania line, is a very flourishing village, containing about 1200 inhabitants, and interests noted in detail in the following pages. Where the village now is was first a hamlet, locally known as Fullersburgh, from the number, of Fuller families, who were the original settlers of the village site, and Limestone was the name applied to a hamlet on the west side of the creek, about the-fourths of a mile from the railroad-station. The term is evidently a misnomer, as no limestone rock formation exists anywhere in this locality. It is said to have had its origin from the circumstance attending the exhumation of some skeletons in prehistoric mounds near by. When the bones were exposed to the air they crumbled to pieces, producing a white dust resembling slacked lime. This fact caused some of the settlers to remark that the bones were just like limestone; hence the application to the stream on which the mound stood, and later to the hamlet. This contained a store, some time after 1850, by Daniel Warner, and soon after another store, by Hunt & Walker; subsequently Brown & Hall and others were in trade, Daniel Walker being the last thus engaged.

A large public house was erected at this place about 1855 by Nathan S. Sears, and kept by him a few years. Other landlords were James Blake, William Clark, and Henry Renner. The building is at present used as a tenement.

The location of the railroad on the east side of the creek and the subsequent building of the tannery-where Limestone now is, diverted the business interests of the old village to this point; and the latter place is at present simply a farm settlement. Although Limestone had a substantial growth after the railroad was fully in operation, it did not rise above the character of a country trading-point until the oil interests in this section assumed importance; and only since 1876 has the village attained anything like its present proportions.

In 1876, H. H. Perry &; Co., the chief owners of the village site, platted it, and from this time on the place has taken a position among the active, enterprising villages of

the western part of the State, and, unlike many villages in the oil regions, has a permanent and inviting appearance. There are already many fine residences and business blocks, and others are being built.

Limestone was incorporated under the provisions of the act of 1870 on the 7th day of December, 1877, at an election held for this purpose, when 52 voters declared for incorporation and 2 against. The bounds comprise 1000 acres of land lying along the base of the east hill, about 1 1/2 miles long and 1 mile wide. On the last day of December, 1877, village officers were chosen to serve until the regular meeting in March, 1878, -E. R. Schoonmaker, President; Geo. Paton, E. J. Knapp, M. G. Bell, Trustees; Shep. L. Vibbard was appointed Corporation Clerk; James Zeliff, Street Commissioner; and J. W. Fritts, Fire-Warden.

Among other measures adopted and executed by the village board was the appropriation of $800 for a" lock-up" and public pound, which were erected in 1878; the streets have been graded at an outlay of $1600, and other interests have been materially enhanced since incorporation.

The present village officials are: President, E. R. Schoonmaker; Trustees, E. M. Bell, James Nichols, E. J. Knapp; Treasurer, C. M. Stone; Collector, J. C. Deuell; Clerk, S. S; Marsh; Street Commissioner, James Zeliff; Fire-Warden, J. W. Fritts; Police Constable, O. M. Drake; Police "Magistrate, Shep. L. Vibbard.

In 1847, Chase Fuller put up a small building at the head of Main Street, in which he opened a store, which was kept by him, Talcott Howard, and others, until 1856, when it became the property of Dodge &; Smith, the proprietors of the tannery. They continued a store in this building until the full of 1863, when they occupied what became known as the" Tuna Valley Store." This is a two-story building 75 feet long, and the upper story was originally used as a hall. In 1868, A. E. &; G. W. Palen became merchants here, continuing until 1873. Since that period various firms have occupied this building, the store being at present kept by Schoonmaker, Goodsell & Co.

The second store in the place was put up in 1864, by D. E. &; J. D. Bell, near the railroad crossing, and is now known as the Harper building. In this, the Bell Bros. were in trade until 1876, when they moved into their fine building which was erected that season. They are the oldest merchants in the place. Another dry-goods store is kept by C. M. Stone.

The first drug store was opened by Dr. James Nichols, in 1871, in the place occupied since 1876 by Nichols &; Paton. A second drug store, opened by Leonard &; Co., in February 1877, is now continued by H. S. Baker.

M. F. Higbee kept the first hardware store, in 1876, in the Nichols' Block, which was erected that year. The upper story forms a room 36 by 57 feet, and is the public hall of the place. Greenwood &; Coope, hardware dealers, have traded here since 1877.

The first grocers were Barry &; Shafer, the former being still in trade. In this line are also W. H. H. Harper, J. C. Knapp & Co., William Paton, and others.

About 1862, William H. Cable opened the first tavern in a building yet used for hotel purposes, and known as the " Eagle House." Soon after Henry Renner put up a part of the present" Limestone House," which was enlarged to its present size by an addition on the west end in 1877. This house is yet kept by the widow of Renner. Opposite is the largest building in the place, a long the-story structure, enlarged in the fall of 1876 by E. R. Schoonmaker, and since favorably known as the" Tunegwant House." E. C. Topliff and others have been landlords here. Besides these hotels, there are 6 or 8 other public houses in the place.

The Limestone post-office was first kept at Irvine's Mills, about 1840, by F. E. Perkins. A. B. Rice was next appointed, then Abner O. Hunt, and after him Chase Fuller, the office being moved from time to time to the " places occupied by the foregoing. The office has since been held by L. D. Warner, P. Hull, Daniel Smith, .A. E. Palen, and E. R. Schoonmaker. There -are five mails per day.

. The Limestone Bank, by Bell Bros., was opened November 1877, as a branch of the First National Bank of Olean.

The newspapers of Limestone are mentioned in the chapter on the press of the county.

The medical profession had as its first permanently located representative Dr. James Nichols. He came to the town in 1856, and since 1863 has been in active practice. In 1871, Dr. M. C. Bissell located as a practitioner, and still continues; and since the spring of 1878 Dr. Smith has been a resident physician. .

As attorneys, there are at Limestone Frank H. Robinson, admitted May 18, 1876, and located here September of that year; P. O. Berry, since November, 1876; Z. M. Swift, admitted in 1866, located January, 1877; and W. H. Gibbs, admitted in 1877, and located in the fall of 1878.


In 1850 it was reported that the receipts from the county treasurer for school purposes were $63.33. In 1876 the receipts from the same source were $892.23; and total money received from all sources was $2038.33. Almost the entire school interests of the town are represented by the Limestone Union Free School.

This was formed of Districts Nos. 1 and 3, in June 1870, and a short time after had District No.2 attached to it. Arthur Palen, Job Moses, John McKenzie, John Hazzard, John A. De Voe, Eli Hooker, James Nichols, Nelson Barker, and R. E. Fuller constituted the first board of education. "

A commodious two-story frame schoolhouse was erected on a large lot the following year, which has been enlarged by the addition of a two-story wing OD the north side of the main building. An appropriation of $2000 has been made for the erection of a similar wing on the south side, when it will be one of the largest school buildings in the county. At present it contains five well-appointed rooms, in which a like number of teachers are engaged.

The Union district also embraces branch schools at Hooker's, near the State line, and at Irvine's, north Limestone. The number of children of school age in 1878 was 510, from which the school secured an attendance of 387. The amount expended for the support of these schools was $4000.

Oct. 7. 1878, an academic department was established, and an appropriation of $500 made for apparatus and library purposes. To conform to the new order, the name of the school was changed Nov. 4, 1878, to


and as such it is regarded by the Regents of the State, who have received it among the schools controlled by that body. The school is at present under the principalship of C. W. Robinson, assisted by the primary, one intermediate, one junior department, and one senior department teachers. The graduation is thorough, and the reputation of the school for scholarship is excellent.

The Board of Education m at present composed of E. R. Schoonmaker, President j S. S. Marsh, Secretary j E. M. Bell, Treasurer; George Paton, Collector; and James Nichols, M. C. Bissell, L. H. Stevens, D. F. Woodford, George W. Baker, M. G. Coggswell, and N. S. Kellogg, Trustees.

The town m at present comprised in five school districts, containing schoolhouses valued, with sites, at $7260. Number of teachers employed, nine, to whom was paid, in 1878, $2623. Number of weeks taught, 154 1/5, number of children of school age, 736; average daily attendance, 276. Amount of money received from the State, $1214.83. Amount of money received from tax, $3617.69.


Aaron Kellogg relates that the first religious meeting in Carrolton was held at his place in 1831, that being the most roomy house in town at that period. The minister was a Rev. Mr. Glazier, of the Baptism persuasion. No church organization followed his efforts, and no organic body existed until 1843, when a class of Methodists was formed in the southern part of the town. It appears, however, to have had many obstacles to overcome, resulting principally from the meagre settlements, and did not gain much in membership the following years. The minister on the Bradford circuit preached to them people every few weeks or less frequently, but not until the population of the town had been augmented by the oil development, was a movement made to erect a spiritual home. The first movement in this direction was the organization, May 21, 1872, of



The trustees selected were James Nichols, Wm. McGill, Job Moses, Henry Wade, Cortes Harris, Israel Adams, Arthur Palen, George Higgs, and Ann Harris but the purpose to build a church was not immediately consummated. In the spring of 1877, James Nichols, E. R. Schoonmaker, and E. M. Bell were appointed a building committee, and that season a very fine frame edifice, 35 by 50 feet, with a well-proportioned vestibule and comer tower, was erected in the village of Limestone, at a cost of $2100. It was dedicated Aug. 26, 1877, by the presiding elder, Rev. L. F. Watson, and the Rev. John A. Copeland. The appointment now became a separate charge under the past0ral care of the Rev. Benjamin Copeland, who remained with the church until September, 1878, since when the Rev. R. C. Grames has been the pastor, preaching also at State Line and Nichols' Run.

The Limestone Church has 45 members, and a board of stewards composed of J. G. Drehmer, A. L. Metcalf, James A. Lewis, and George Paton. The former two, E. R. Schoonmaker, E. M. Bell, and Cortes Harris compose the board of trustees.

The Sunday school connected with the church had its origin in a union school organized in 1876, with C. M. Stone superintendent. Since May 15, 1878, a separate Methodist Sunday-school has been maintained, having 87 scholars, and J. G. Drehmer as superintendent


had its origin in the labors of the Franciscan brethren of Allegany, who preached here (Limestone) once a month. To accommodate the worshipers a small house was erected in the eastern part of the village, in which meetings were held with such success that in August, 1878, the mission' became a parish, having the Rev. Father George as a resident priest. Fifty families at present constitute the membership.

The original house of worship was much enlarged and improved in 1877, and was consecrated anew in June 1878. It is a plain frame, with annexes, and can seat 300 persons. In the fall of 1818 a very fine priest's house was erected on the same lot, by the devoted members of Limestone parish, and the entire property is valued at $2500.


was formed June 19, 187'1, with the following members: C. M. Stone, C. Johnson and wife, J. W. Fritts and wife, and Mrs. M. K. Todd. The Rev. R. G. Williams, of Bradford, supplied the society with preaching until the last Sunday in May 1878, the meetings being held semi-monthly in Nichols' Hall.

Since June 1, 1878, the Rev. C. F. Goes has served here and at Tanport, as pastor of the Presbyterian churches, his labors being attended with encouraging results. The members of the Limestone church number 18, and J. W. Fritts is their elder.

The first board of trustees, formed soon after the church, was composed of C. M. Stone, W. H. Harper, and Fred Gerwick.

In July 1878, a Sunday school was organized by the church, which at present has 40 members, and appears to be in a flourishing condition. The services of the church are still held in Nichols' Hall.


has recently been formed at Limestone, and under its direction a public reading-room was opened, Dec. 2, 1878. A building on Pennsylvania Avenue has been fitted up and supplied with a good collection of books and periodicals. The project has been instituted and is carried forward mainly by the Rev. Goss, Grames, and Prof C. W. Robinson, although the citizens of the place manifest a commendable interest in the matter and give it encouraging support.


Limestone Lodge, No. 780, F. A. M. - This flourishing lodge first held its meetings under a dispensation granted in 1877, and in June, 1878, it was duly chartered with 9 members. The initiations and additions from other sources have increased the membership to 35, having the following officers: Warren Dow, W. M.; H. V. Day, S. W.; F. H. Robinson, J. W.; James Nichols, Treasurer; E. R. Schoonmaker, Secretary; John A. Todd, S. D.; Guy O. Irvine, J. D.; E. E. Herrick, J. H. Beardsley, Masters of Ceremonies; J. G. Drehmer, Tiler. The lodge meets in an elegant hall in the Bell Block. 

Tuna Lodge, No. 1217, K. of H., was instituted at Limestone, with 21 charter members, Sept. 19, 1878. The first officers were T. N. Cooper, P. D.; H. G. Andrews, D.; C. M. Stone, V. D.; M. R. Wheelock, Ass't D.; S. R. Vibbard, Rep.; M. H. Paxon, F. R.; E. M. Bell, Treas., J. W. Fritts, Chap.; E. E. Hardy, G.; J. Greenwood, Guard; J. F. Bassett, Sen. 

Limestone Lodge No. 177, A. O. U. W., was organized Oct. 18, 1878, with 57 members, and, as officers, F. H. Robinson, P. M. W.; J. H. Beardsley, M. W.; J. G. Drehmer, G. F.; Lorenze Hill, 0.; S. L. Vibbard, R.; C. M. Stone, F.; George Paton, Rec.; A. L. Metcalf, G; S. Woodring, J. W.; E. S. Knapp, O. W. The meetings of both of the above orders are held in Masonic Hall, and both are highly prosperous. 



Among the most prominent business men of Limestone, and those whose industry made them successful in life, none deserve more credit than he whose name heads this brief notice. He was a self-made man in every sense of the term, and one whose influence was felt wherever he lived, particularly in the community in which be passed the last eleven years of his active business life.

Henry Renner was born in Mense, Germany, June 6, 1826. He emigrated to America about the year 1840, and, first settled near Glenwood, Susquehanna Co., Pa., where he remained nine years engaged in tanning, a trade which he learned in Germany. Among other firms he worked eight years for Messrs. Schultz &; Eaton, of Susquehanna County, and after coming to Limestone, in October, 1869, he worked the years at his trade there. In 1873 he purchased the present site of the Limestone House, and two years afterwards he erected the present hotel thereon, which stands to-day a monument to his enterprise and a credit to the village. .

On the 24th of December 1857, he was married to Mrs. Juliana Bell, widow of Worthy Bell, a native of Susquehanna County. The result of this union was much mutual happiness and one daughter, Maud, who was born June 13,1860. After a useful and busy life Mr. Renner died, April 19, 1878, respected by all who knew him, and loved by a host of mends. He was a good practical business man, honest and fair in all his dealings, and always sustaining a reputation for integrity that was above reproach. 


Mr. Renner held several offices in the town in which he lived, and in all of them his official conduct "was actuated by the same principles of honor that characterized his private business life.

Mr. Renner was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, being in good standing at the time of his death as a member of Olean Lodge, No. 253, and also of St. John's Commandery. He was interred with the beautiful ceremonies of the Masonic order.

By her first husband Mrs. Renner had the children; two sons and one daughter, of whom the latter is deceased. Her other sons, Edwin M., and Maurice J. Ben, are extensively engaged in the mercantile and banking business at Limestone, under the firm-name of Bell Brothers.


Cattaraugus County is noted for the number and excellence of its professional men. Nor are these confined to any particular locality, but we find them in various parts of the county; one or more in every village of any considerable size. The representative physician and surgeon of Limestone and its surroundings is Dr. James Nichols, who has practiced medicine in this county for about fifteen years with reasonable success.

James Nichols was born at Arcade, Wyoming Co., N. Y., July 23,1825. He was the oldest son of John and Sally Nichols, who came to Arcade in 1812, and were among its first as they were among its most respectable settlers. He moved with his parents to Centreville, Allegany Co., N. Y., in 1837. About that time his father met with financial misfortune, losing his property, so that young Nichols was compelled to depend upon his own labor for support and education. He went to Farmersville, Cattaraugus Co., in 1844, and there taught the village school several terms. He subsequently chose medicine as a profession, and engaged in its study with E. S. Stewart, M.D., of that place, now of Ellicottville, completing his medical education at the Buffalo Medical College, from which institution he was honorably graduated. On account of ill-health he did not immediately engage in active practice, but moved to Carrolton in 1856, where he followed the lumber business, and, through the arduous, muscular labor of that, greatly improved his physical condition. He commenced the regular practice of medicine in 1864, and has since been uninterruptedly engaged therein. He is a member of the Cattaraugus County Medical Society, of which he has been president, and also elected delegate to the State Medical Society.

DR. JAMES NICHOLS of Carrolton

On the 1st of March, 1852, he was united in marriage with Mary Jane Wade, the eldest daughter of Henry Wade, Esq. They have had four children, namely: Henry James, born Aug. 26, 1856, died Sept. 19,1857; Jennie M., born Jan. 19, 1858; H. James, born Sept. 16, 1859; John B., born Jan. 1, 1861.

Dr. Nichols was twice elected a member of the board of supervisors for Farmersville, and nine times to the same position in the town of Carrolton. He was a war Democrat, and was appointed upon the Senatorial Committee by Gov. Morgan, and assisted in raising and organizing the 113th and 154th Regiments of New York Volunteers. His political record has been a peculiarly honest one. Actuated always by the same principles of integrity that characterize his private business, he succeeded in fulfilling the duties of the various offices to which he has been elevated with a remarkable fidelity.

He is at present a member of the firm of Nichols &; Paton, druggists, of Limestone, and besides attending to his extensive medical practice, finds time to attend the requirements of his business. He has been almost a constant member of and at different times president of the board of education of Limestone Union Free School, and was largely instrumental in procuring the organization of that and also of the Limestone Academy. The doctor became a member of Union Lodge, No. 334, F. A. M., Bradford, Pa., about sixteen years ago. He withdrew from that lodge in March 1878, and was one of the charter member of Limestone Lodge, No. 780. He is now a member of Olean Chapter, No. 150, and of St. John's Commandery, K. T., No. 24.


was born in County Mayo, Ireland, about the year 1835. He emigrated. to America in 850, and settled in Dunkirk, where be remained for about fifteen years. In 1865 he removed to Carrolton, where he embarked in the mercantile business. He continued in that for about two years, with fair success. In 1870 he erected the Junction Hotel, to fill a want long felt by the traveling public, as there was no good public stopping-place at Carrolton before. He has done well, and made a financial success of the enterprise.

In 1868 he was appointed. Postmaster at Carrolton, and has retained the office ever since.

He was in the 68th Regiment of New York National Guards, which was called out to do duty during the, rebellion, being stationed near Harrisburg, Pa., during an emergency. He is a consistent Republican. .

On New Year's Day, 1862, he was united in marriage with Margaret, daughter of John T. Tyrrell, Esq., a prominent Irish citizen of Buffalo, a man noted for athletic strength and a fondness for manly sports. Mrs. Boyle was born near St. Catharine's, Canada, April 5, 1852. They have had eight children, namely: John J., Edward D., Nellie May, Kittie Maud (deceased), Grace C. (deceased), Charles Peter, Mary Maud, and William P. Boyle.

Mr. and Mrs. Boyle are consistent and earnest members of the Roman Catholic Church, and attend the same as regularly as services are held at Carrolton, and frequently at Dunkirk.

Peter Boyle is now proprietor of the Junction Hotel, in connection with which he has a restaurant, billiard-room, and livery stable. In addition to his regular business he farms quite extensively. He is an intelligent and practical businessman, enjoying a good reputation for honesty and fair dealing. A fine illustration of his hotel and surroundings, with portraits of himself and wife, can be seen in another part of this volume.


Residence of PETER BOYLE

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